Pine Street Episode 83

Franny slammed her door closed behind her, startling poor Precious, who was already unsettled from their encounter with the new human at Marilyn’s house.

“Sorry, sweetie,” Franny grumbled. “But what the hell? Doesn’t that man ever finish a conversation? Does he have some genetic issue that requires him to be mysterious? Or what?”

She unhooked the little dog from the leash, took off her jacket, and opened the refrigerator door. This seemed like a moment for some stress eating if ever there was one.

They’d been close, so close to figuring out what had happened between them, and if there even was going to be a “them.” Just a few unspoken words lay between their current status and some kind of resolution.

Words that Franny had been practicing. “I understand. I forgive you. I think we should try this. I think there could be something really sweet between us.”

Ugh, she thought. Really sweet? What grown-up talks like that? And double-ugh, that she would have been so close to baring her soul to Leo, when he was clearly preoccupied with the situation at Marilyn’s house.

Again.

Marilyn had prodded Franny to fight for herself. But what does that look like, when the person you might, might (Franny emphasized in her internal monologue), might be interested in, when that person squirrels away before you can ever get close enough to throw a punch?

Not that I want to punch him, of course. Although, maybe I do. Maybe if I did, he’d at least pay attention.

Nothing in her refrigerator spoke to her in a way that indicated it could soothe her anxiety. So she opened the snack cupboard and pulled out a bag of Tim’s Potato Chips.

Much like those who are trying to quit smoking always stash a pack somewhere, in case of emergency, Franny always had a bag of Tim’s hidden away. Okay, not really hidden, because she lived alone, so there was no one (other than Precious) to hide anything from. Even so, she tucked the bag behind a few other, healthier-appearing snack foods, just to give the illusion that she might make a different choice.

But when stress hit, out came the Tim’s. And given this day, Franny decided to pull out the biggest gun of all.

Opening the refrigerator again, she withdrew the jar of peanut butter. She grabbed a spoon, a paper towel, and flopped on her comfy chair to drown her sorrows in potato chips drizzled with peanutty goodness.

Precious curled up at her feet, ready for the crumbs and drips that would make her feel better, too.

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