Another Day in the Retirement of Me
Episode 3: A Day on the Town. (Part I)
Sluuuurp! A series of groans passed around the table.
"Do you have to be so verbal with Jell-O?" Stacey asked in annoyance.
"Yes," Rachel answered, "If I have to be miserable, so does everyone else." She proceeded to take another slurp of the red gelatin.
"Why does eating Jell-O make you miserable?" Sonita asked; her nose crinkled up slightly in disgust.
"She hates Jell-O." Katy explained.
"Why? What’s wrong with Jell-O?" Sonita asked again.
"It’s slurpy, and slimy, and tastes completely artificial!" Rachel exclaimed, pounding her spoon on the table for emphasis.
"It would be a lot less slurpy if you would stop slurping it." Stacey commented dryly.
"Yeah, but then you wouldn’t be miserable." Rachel pointed out before taking another large slurp of Jell-O.
"If you don’t like it, why do you eat it?" Sonita asked.
Rachel blinked as if she was speaking a completely different language. "Because," She explained, speaking slowly so that the teenager would be able to understand, "Have you seen the other food they serve around here? I can’t even begin to identify that." She gestured to Katy’s bowl of mush, "They won’t even tell me what’s in it." She gestured again, this time to Stacey’s food, "That’s supposed to be some soy product. It’s not. I’ve had soy, and that is not soy. It’s probably something they scraped off a radiator." She returned to scowl down at her Jell-O, "At least I know what this is."
Stacey nodded, eyeing her "food" with new distaste, "It tastes about that bad, too."
"What I wouldn’t give for some normal food," Rachel continued, "Like… sushi pizza… Or tuna ice cream… Or even split pea soup!"
The eyes of the other two old women glazed over in nostalgia.
"Then why don’t you get some?" Sonita proposed.
Rachel sighed, "Look, Sony, we—"
"Sonita." The teenager corrected.
"Whatever, my point is we’re stuck here. We can’t just up and leave even for the noble sake of finding something distinguishable to eat." Rachel continued mournfully.
"Well, why not?"
Rachel opened her mouth to answer and promptly closed it again.
"Well… Because." Katy offered, frowning in confusion herself.
"It’s decided then!" Stacey declared, pushing her tray back, "We’ll leave and get some real food elsewhere!"
"Right!" Rachel agreed enthusiastically, "We’ll go on a quest for food!"
"It’s been a while since we’ve had a quest!" Katy said, quite excited herself now.
"Yeah, they don’t really let us out much since our last one…" Rachel went silent with thought, "But we’ll bring Sonnet so—"
"We’ll bring Sour-cream with, they’ll probably let us out if we have ‘supervision.’" Rachel decided, ignoring Sonita’s complaints that her name wasn’t Sour-cream.
The three old women stood purposefully, leaving their trays on the table for someone else to clean up—after all, that’s what the nursing homes were paid for. Katy sat back down in her wheelchair and they made their slow way to the door, Sonita grudgingly following.
A nurse stopped them when they reached the doors, "Where are you three going?" She asked, looking at the women pointedly.
"We’re going out." Rachel declared, unperturbed by the nurse’s look.
"I can’t let you leave without—"
"That’s why we’re bringing her along." Rachel said, cutting her off, "We’ll be good. We just want to get some edible food; life’s too short to eat toxic waste."
The four of them walked out of the building without waiting for the nurse to respond, Stacey half-dragging Sonita as Katy, for once, wheeled herself forward.
For the first half a mile, their walk to a nearby Denny’s, was uneventful. There was only the normal Rachel assaulting innocent bystanders with her cane, Katy rolling uncontrollably down hills with Sonita running after her, and Stacey stopping to gasp for breath every ten steps even though she was perfectly able to go much further—as Rachel continuously reminded her.
As the nursing home got farther and farther away, Sonita was regretting her big mouth more and more. What had started out as an innocent enough comment was turning into an all out disaster.
"Stacey, what are you doing?" Sonita asked in surprise as the old woman seated herself on a bench on the side of the road.
"So… Tired…" Stacey managed as she gasped for breath.
"Rachel, I think we should wait for Sta—what are you doing?!"
"Die evil of evils! Hahahahaha!" Rachel shouted gleefully as she pounded her cane against a very battered looking mail box before running to another a little ways up the road to repeat the process on.
Sonita stared after her with wide, horrified eyes.
"Wheee!" The third old lady’s squeal tore her out of her stupor, and she watched in dismay as Katy’s wheelchair disappeared from view, speeding down the hilly streets.
"Ha! Look who’s laughing now!" Rachel grinned evilly—a look that Sonita found quite unnerving on such a wrinkled face—and moved to abuse yet another mail box.
Biting her lower lip in indecision, Sonita turned back towards the bench, only to see Stacey was no longer on it and a bus was pulling away from the curb.
Growling in frustration, the young teen stalked over to where Rachel was beating a mail box senseless—or would have been had the mail box had any sense to begin with—and quickly snatched the cane out of her hand in one swift motion.
"Hey!" Rachel cried in surprise, swinging around to see a very unamused Sonita.
"Look, I think Stacey got on that bus, and Katy’s rolled off to who knows where." Sonita started, wisely holding the cane out of Rachel’s reach.
"So?" Rachel asked in disinterest, "They always do that. Now give me my cane back!"
"No! Those are private property!" She gestured to the row of destroyed mail boxes Rachel had left behind.
"But… I need it to walk!" Rachel protested, limping as dramatically as she could closer to where the teenager held her cane.
Sonita rolled her eyes, "Just like Katy needs a wheelchair?" She asked.
"Yes—No!" Rachel hastily corrected herself, "No, I really need it to walk! Katy’s just lazy."
Sonita raised an eyebrow skeptically, "All I’ve seen you use it for is to hit things with."
"Added perk." Rachel shrugged, "The staff thought that was better than when I was running people over in my wheelchair."
"You ran people over in a wheelchair?" The young teenager asked in horror.
"…Not in so many words, but that’s the general synopsis." Rachel replied thoughtfully.
"Okay, whatever. I don’t even care anymore. Lets just find Stacey and Katy so we can get you back to the nursing home." Sonita said, turning again to try to spot the bus among the several that were littering the road.
Rachel took an uneasy step forward and immediately collapsed, "Give me my cane back you little… Inconsiderate gnome!"
Sonita looked back at the old woman in confusion, "What are you doing? I’m not going to give you your cane back so give it a break."
"Help! Police! I’m a poor, defenseless old woman and this girl is harassing me!" Rachel cried out loudly.
Sonita shot nervous glances at the people who were starting to stop around them, muttering to each other and basically giving her unfriendly looks. "Rachel, you’re making a scene…" She whispered anxiously beneath her breath.
Rachel shot her a mischievous look before starting up again, "Help! Help a poor elderly lady get her walking cane back!"
"Hey, little girl, I think you should give the lady her stick back." A helpful young man put in, taking an active interest in the event and rising above the impassiveness America has perfected.
Sonita shot Rachel a glare but reluctantly handed the cane over, not willing to put her life on the line for the well-being of a couple of mail boxes. "Jeez, fine. Can we go find Stacey and Katy now?"
Rachel snatched the cane out of her hand, clutching at it protectively, "I’m not going anywhere with you! I don’t even know you!"
Sonita was turning red from embarrassment and wanted more than anything to just walk away, but that would be disregarding her civil responsibility of keeping the three women from blowing anything up… "Fine, I’ll go find Katy and Stacey and you wait here." She walked away quickly, ignoring the comments she overheard from the crowd running along the lines of that poor woman, someone should call that girl’s mother, and come on! You call that a fight?
Rachel, meanwhile, had grown tired of the spotlight as well and was stealthily sneaking the opposite way out of the crowd—that is to say she was hitting peoples’ shins to get them out of the way and hobbling through the small pathway this created.
That’s all for now, tune in next time the conclusion. Will Katy ever stop? Will Sonita find Stacey in time? And, most importantly, who will save the mail boxes of Minnesota?? All will be revealed in part II of this amazingly big two part installment of Another Day in the Retirement of Me…
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