Pearl woke up bright and early the next morning not knowing exactly what to feel this was her usual flight or fight response of the morning today her senses were tingling. She felt very clear headed. She felt very alive as well as scared that she had taken on more than she could handle. She had just received a text message from cabinet telling her not to come in to work today. Her initial primal response was that she thought that she had done something wrong, this initially made her angry. She was always in need of the money she furiously pays the room for a while and then closed the blinds to let some light in the room. She loved how the morning the light reflected and bent across her living room. She collected her panic as well as her thoughts and remembered that she had paid this months rent in advance. She still had a month of paychecks coming to her. She had just rationalized her way up two levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. She remembered the absolute thrill of learning. This was an elective class she had taken while earning her nursing degree at the local community college.
She then remembered that Craig Bender was sleeping in the next room. From what she could recall this was the first time he slept in a warm bed and excluding warm summer naps on the street corner of 40th and Sandy. Craig was somewhat short and to the point the previous night. . She reasoned that either he was acclimated to being alone three was ashamed at first to be cared for in such a gentle kind way. He got more talkative as he headed toward sleep. From what she had gathered Craig tended to blame others for his situation. There was an underlying anger the peppered each and every sentence he muttered. Pearl was a true Unitarian at heart she was patient and non judge mental with Craig. She believe there with a sweet sadness with Bender and certainly sympathize with his frustration with the VA hospitals
What frustrated her was the lack of information he provides about his family he told an abstract story of an angelic vision of his daughter. He went into a dreamlike trance when he told the story of seeing her on the streets of Portland and the next minute he talked about her life and Atlanta. Every time he said her name he enunciated the name Amanda, much slower than the rest of the sentence. He almost seemed to choke up when speaking of her.
Cabot texted her again telling her what she would be paid for the day that was a really nice thing considering she was a contract employee.
Her attention then went back to Craig Bender. Remembered a story of men who survived a long ordeal in frigid waters. The entire crew had miraculously survived many nights in the icy elements. When they were rescued they were all put in Warmwater thinking it would make them feel better. None of them survived as the Warmwater raised their core body temperatures to rapidly. They all died suddenly after having survived their Ordeal in the frigid waters.
She was worried the same thing was happening to bender. He sat in the bathroom sweating one minute and a violent case of the chills the next. He was throwing up violently even though he now had little food in his stomach. It was all bile and mucus. She was worried she would lose him after rescuing him the night before. Cabot and the crew had trusted her with Craig Bender.
Pearl knew that she had to get bender to the doctor ever she wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
UNIX was cold tired and confused and she still considered herself rather lucky. She did not know this section of town well. She knew this was what would be an affluent section that sat above Westover and below the tree line to Forest Park. Right now it all looked pretty much the same as the snow and the wind became ferocious.
She did not know what she was going to do. She knew she had to get out of the cold and make a phone call immediately. That crazy redhead would be headed up the West Hills quickly. She wanted to call the police and also notify her friends that she was safe. Somehow she knew that she would be a sorry sight at anybody’s front door. And this thought scared her. She had no idea what she look like however she suspected that she look pretty bad. She had no time to think it through. there were no lights on in the houses in this neighborhood. It appeared that the power was out. Walking in the deep snow was a difficult task. Her stomach revolted occasionally due to the stress of the last few days. It was a good sign that she was hungry and she craved food. That was not her immediate concern. It flashed through her mind that she could actually die in these horrible conditions. Her immediate safety was her first priority. She could smell the smoky aroma from nearby fireplaces. This warmed her for the moment. She realize that it was up to her to make her own good luck. Without hesitation she walked up to the front door of the first house on her laugh. It was a large white house with bay windows and one appeared to be ground shutters. She stood on the front porch and let the snow belt the front of her face. For an instant it actually felt good.
As she stood there much to our surprise the front door open suddenly. This startled her back to some sense of reality.
This coincidence also so startled the resident who had come to the front door. “What do we have here ” said the pretty woman with long Black flowing hair. She seemed pretty calm despite the random meeting on the front porch.
Her sense of calm bothered Unix initially. However this snowstorm made everything seem surreal. She had started to expect the unexpected.