All Rachel wanted was a quick commute home and maybe a bubblebath. She knew she’d get neither and sighed audibly, causing the two men seated in front of her to throw snooty looks over their shoulders before returning their attention to the presentor on stage. “I’m not even supposed to be here,” she thought sulkily to herself before trying to concetrate on what the presenter was saying. But here she sat, three hours after her work day was supposed to have ended she had convinced herself to stay out of professional obligation, that and there had been no oportune time to slip out.
Allen waited for Rachel as long as he could. Finally looking at his watch and knowing he should have left at least five minutes ago, he cursed the Burger King toilet and his shallow jean’s pocket for their concerted sabatoge of his only method of contacting her. His cellphone may as well be a fishtank accessory now for all the good it did him after taking its recent suicide dive into the murky toilet water of the fast food eatery. It was no use- he had to leave. He only prayed she would see his note before she saw… them.
By the time Rachel arrived home, the house was dark and she was hungry. Those were really the only two sensations that registered after her marathon 13-hour day. Not worrying with the lights, Rachel kicked off her heels and hobbled across their tiny loft to the fridge. Peering inside and seeing nothing she wanted, Rachel settled on a bowl of cereal and after pouring a good amount into a bowl and adding some milk, she took her dinner to the couch where she collapsed unceremoniously. Staring straight ahead and not even really tasting the spoonfuls of vanilla almond granola, she wondered briefly, where Allen was. The thought only half formed, however, before Rachel gave up sustenance for sleep and curled up on the couch. She was fast asleep before the remaining cereal had time to go soggy.
Since leaving the house two hours ago, Allen couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that he had forgotten something. Hoping it was a residual feeling of being without his cellphone, he tried to rationalize the feeling away, but with little success. Later, as he passed a woman at the end of her break packing up her lunch bag, a wave of sickening foreboding washed over him as he saw her press the lid of her Tupperware securely in place. He had forgotten to seal one of the containers. Without thinking, Allen took off towards his car- he had to make it home before Rachel. God, he hoped he wasn’t too late.
Still asleep where she had collapsed on the couch, Rachel subconsciously brushed at something tickling her face. Suddenly, the darkness disappeared as seemingly every light in the house was simultaneously turned on, causing Rachel to wake with a start. Seeing that it was just Allen, Rachel went from groggily confused to seriously peeved and was just about to tell him off for waking her up when she noticed the expression on his face. It was as if he had seen a ghost.
Allen’s worst nightmare was staring back at him. He would have sworn it was a dream or some ridiculous scene from a cheesy horror flick if it hadn’t been his own girlfriend curiously returning his stare, not knowing apparently, the terror she was about to experience despite his best efforts to prevent it.
“Babe, don’t be scared, but I have to tell you something. I needed to bring two of the animals home from the rehab clinic to stay here overnight. One of their containers was not properly secured and…now, don’t make any sudden moments and stay as still as you can, because there is a trantula on your head,” Allen tried to move towards her slowly but quick enough he could hopefully remove the aracnid before Rachel reacted and threw the thing across the room as he fully expected her to do. He could tell by her lack of reaction that she was having trouble processing what he had just told her, and might even be contemplating the chance that he was playing some elaborate prank on her. He wished he was.
Rachel wondered if her boyfriend was losing his mind or just his sense of humor. Telling her there was a giant spider on her head? Man, he needed some new material or some sleep, either way, Rachel wasn’t buying his act. Then, she felt something move in her hair.
She had felt it move, Allen could tell by the dramatic shift in her expression. He knew he would only have a split second before she reached for the uninvited headwear and flung it as far away from her as possible. Just as he was sure he’d be spending the next half hour scraping trantula-sized splatter off of the wall, something unexpected happened. Rachel smiled. Then, with all the grace of a ballerina, she slowly arched her arm up and over her head and slowly lowered it before gingerly plucking the spider from her head.
Rachel was getting a kick out of the stunned look Allen couldn’t seem to recover from, thanks to her little stunt with the spider. Not wanting to continue his misery any longer, she shrugged her shoulders causally and said, “I got your note about bringing home these guys. You know, you really should be more careful securing their containers. When my dad brought me home my first trantula- his name was Percy by the way, the same thing happened to me and Percy almost met his maker when my mom accidently swept him into the dustbin while she was cleaning. Don’t you just love spiders?”
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Today was a loooong day. Thirteen hour work day, to be exact. Tonight, from 6 to 9pm, our graduating physical therapy students presented their capstone projects and although I had every intention of ducking out early… the opportunity never presented itself. That’s ok, I was glad to lend my support to these guys after all their hardwork… I may just need a few naps tomorrow.
TWO: There are not one, but two ginormous tarantulas sitting on my dining room table as we speak (or as I type… whatever, you get the idea). While seeing them here is no surprise, Andy was kind enough to give my plenty of warning, actually seeing them here, knowing that we are sharing the same air is wigging me out just a smidgeon. I, unlike Rachel from the story, am not exactly a huge fan of these critters and the notion that we will be spending the night (actually two nights) under the same roof is giving me the heebie jeebies.
***THIS IS IT! My last story! Can you believe it’s been a whole year???? I set a goal to write one work of fiction based on something that happened to me that day and by golly! I did it! What a rollercoaster this blogging journey has been. There’s so much I want to say, so I’ve decided to add two more posts, one tomorrow on the lessons I’ve learned thanks to this experience and one on my actual birthday (which is Friday… that whole leap year thing kinda screwed up my days!) about what my future plans are, with the blog and beyond. So stay tuned…
Love & Squirrels.