Erica’s tiny frame was bone-tired after moving all of her possessions across the street and down two blocks, all by herself; with only the help of a “borrowed” shopping cart. Just a few minutes, she thought to herself. I deserve a little break before I return this cart to Thurman’s.
She laughed out loud (imagining the spectacle she must have been to the neighbors these past two days) as she pulled her honey-colored tresses from the messy ponytail, ran her fingers through the shoulder-length strands and fixed them back into another messy ponytail. The last of the darkening tangerine sky was disappearing behind the houses across the street as Erica plopped down on the 5-step stoop of the historical semi-detached that would be home for at least the next year. Watching the color of the sunset fade into twilight soothed Erica’s weary soul.
The bathroom has been updated but the kitchen is original. Erica would have preferred it the other way around, but you do what you can with what you have (she hears her mother’s voice in her head). She knew she was lucky to have found the one bed/one bath on such short notice after her roommate, Sunshine, had gotten them evicted by not paying the rent and running off to Jamaica. Erica swore she would never live with another roommate, EVER again, no matter how tight things got.
She had wanted another place that faced due east, but begrudgingly ended up here facing west. The tiny kitchen is in the front, Where will the African Violets live? she fretted silently.
Then her mind drifted back to the move she would forever call “The Great Shopping Cart Escape of 2013” when she tells the story to all her friends who just happened to have been out of town and unavailable to help. She still couldn’t believe she had been able to get the couch up the five stairs all by herself. Her idea of using flattened cardboard boxes taped together and laid across the stairs (essentially turning the stairs into a cardboard slide) then turning the couch upside down and pulling it onto the cardboard was just the first brilliant step. When she had the couch spanning the length of the stairs, the bottom end propped onto a short, heavy box, she began raising the bottom end by adding one small box at a time until it was even with the top end and she was able to slide it through the front door. ‘I guess some of Dad’s engineering ingenuity rubbed off on me after all.’ She mused, absent-mindedly making the sign of the cross and mumbling ‘may he rest in peace,’ as a midnight blue Aston Martin pulled up, grabbing her attention.
He was six-foot-four if he was a day, handsome in a rugged, easy way and his smile sent Erica’s mind swimming, and her hand to her hair hoping she looked half-way presentable. He took the stairs two at a time and was there in an instant offering a hand to assist Erica to a standing position.
The next thing she knew, she was in the house next door having dinner with her new neighbor, Marge, and Marge’s handsome son, Marcel Knight, star of the new hit cable TV show, Bounce. As she was eating, Erica relaxed and knew that the African Violets would be fine in the new kitchen window. They would get used to the afternoon light and Erica would get used to Sunday dinners with the Knights.