Hope rolled over to look at the clock and was instantly mad when she saw the time. Her first
thought was to go in the c loset, get her gun and walk over and shoot the neighbor's dog.
His incessant barking had woke her up every day for the past year and she was just about
on her last nerve. She tried to talk herself out of being angry, knowing that starting out with
that attitude would just ruin the whole day. Oh well, she may as well get up, maybe if she
hurried, she could still make it to church on time and then go visit her mother. She hadn't
seen her in a couple of weeks and during her last visit her mom had barely recognized her.
Charity said it was probably the medication and to not worry about it. It may have just been
an off day for her. It was tough walking into the room and not knowing what to expect.
There used to be a happy reunion every time they saw each other even if it had only been a
couple of days since they had spoken. But now it was kind of strange. Hope would walk in
and talk to Charity first just to see how things were going before making an entrance. She
never will forget the day that she came to visit and her mom told her that she didn't wear
makeup any more and told Charity to see her to the door. Later that day her mom had
asked where the Avon lady had gone. Hope walked out of the bathroom toward the closet
when the phone rang. “Is she okay?”, Hope asked with a break in her voice. “I will meet you
there”. She dropped the phone where she stood and grabbed the first thing she could find to
put on. Within minutes she was rac ing toward the hospital to meet Charity with the
ambulance. She didn't notice that it was a beautiful day outside. She didn't see the beautiful
flowers lining her sidewalk. She didn't see the neighbor's dog run back on his porch when
she walked to the car. She hadn't seen the couple holding hands walking across the road at
the stop light. She didn't hear the church bells ringing announcing it was time to gather
together to worship. She didn't feel the sun on her face when she ran from the car to the
hospital entrance. She didn't see the people in the waiting room watching her run to the
front desk to find out where her mom was. One thing she did see was Charity standing in
the hallway and she was not alone. Hope froze in her tracks and stared at the person that
Charity was talking to. “Oh my God, what is she doing here?” was her first reaction. “I can't
believe it, not here, not NOW!”. She was just about to turn around ever so quietly as to not
be seen or heard, but it was too late.
“Hope, please,” Charity said with an almost begging tone in her voice. Hope noticed that
Charity looked so tired, not physically, but tired of a situation that had been long overdue.
“You know I had to call her, please don't go, we need you here, with us.” The woman's head
was bowed and she hesitated to look up. It was as if she was in death row waiting for a
pardon from the governor. Hope looked down at the floor too, trying to decide what to do
next, in this split second in time, right here, right now. She had every right to make her
point and declare judgment, but something inside her told her to just keep looking down. All
of a sudden she started laughing as she realized what she was seeing. Her hot pink jogging
pants, neon green socks and sandals were more than she could take. Her two companions
put their arms around her and laughed too. They knew that although the “pardon” had been
granted, they would work out the details on another day. Right now they had something
more important to focus on in the room ahead.