I walked out of the post office and tucked a strand of hair behind my ear as the wind whipped it in my eyes. I watched my best friend Shannon park next to my car and emerge, slamming the door.
“Can you believe this mess?”
“I know. What happened to spring? This time last year it was in the low 90’s and gorgeous.”
“And look what I’m wearing!” She struck a pose to showcase her capped sleeve shirt and Capri workout pants.
“We’re going to have to walk fast just to keep the sleet from settling on us.” I looked up at the angry April sky, overcast and the color of gravel. I locked my purse in the car, and we set off around the loop that encircles the old town of our small community.
“You know what the worst part is?” she asked. “The girls went to school today in short sleeves. Sadie was even supposed to wear a tank top, like that was going to happen, because they’re covering the letter B with a beach theme. You know, B is for beach, B is for ball, B is for . . . ”
“Brrr!” We both laughed. “I think the weather man needs a new Doppler radar for Christmas. When you mistakenly say the temperature will be 73 instead of 53, you’ve got a small problem.”
“And what about the rain? I woke up last night and heard hail on the roof. Did you hear it?”
“Are you kidding? With a tin roof? I jolted awake thinking I was being buried under an avalanche of marbles.”
As we neared our first corner, I spotted Tigger coming to greet us. “Ok, Shannon, here’s the deal. See that cat? That’s Tigger. One of the world’s greatest felines who will be crushed if we don’t stop to pet him each time we pass. I was out here earlier for a lap, and if I didn’t scratch his ears enough before moving on, he’d follow me crying. It’s too pitiful to bear, so just plan on petting.”
“Whose cat is this?” Shannon asked, stooping to accommodate the twirling tabby.
“Mrs. Abbey’s. Everybody who walks around here knows him because he’s so friendly.” Case in point, he stood up on his back legs just so Shannon wouldn’t have to reach. He purred so loudly I wondered if BMW had started dropping motors in cats.
We walked and talked, but less than twenty minutes later, a light drizzle began, chilling us even further. “Man. That was short-lived exercise. Did we only make two laps?”
“Nah,” Shannon said, stopping to enumerate on her fingers. “I know I petted that cat at least three times, maybe four. What’s that? A mile?”
“If we’re lucky.”
She cracked the door on the driver’s side and said, “I’ve got to get on home and get the girls packed anyway for their weekend. It’s not supposed to rain, is it?”
“Nope, so I’d pack for a blizzard.”
She ran a hand through her hair, now damp from the moisture in the air. “Tell me about it. B is for blizzard!”
© 2013 – Traci Carver