23 in Far from Home

  • June 9, 2021, 3:40 a.m.
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  • Public

Frieda was caught in the middle of a tug of war with her head and her heart. Her head told her to cancel the trip to Turkey since Adele was bringing Nicole along, but her heart held a degree of curiosity. A part of her wanted to see the girl in person, hear her voice and see what she was like to be around, even though she assured Adele she refused to speak to her unless it was absolutely necessary.

“I can’t stop you from taking her along,” Frieda told Adele, “but do know that I want nothing to do with her. I’m not going to say a word to her, and I don’t want her speaking to me either.”

Adele was surprised by her friend’s hardheadedness. No, Frieda wasn’t usually a forgiving person, but she was seldom so stubborn either.

“What is it with you? Adele laughed. “What did she do to you that was so horrible? I mean sure. I’ll tell her to stay away from you or at least not to talk to you and let her know that you don’t want anything to do with her, but you’re awfully angry for what you described as having simple differences of opinions between you two. So, you’re more okay with certain people than she is. So what? She did have a point when she mentioned that you could get judgmental at times too. You know, the fat-shaming thing?”

“I don’t shame fat people, Adele. I was referring to those that stuff themselves without a care in the world.”

“Yes, but it’s their bodies just like we all have a right to our opinions. But don’t worry, I’ll make sure she keeps her distance as best as she can on a thirty-foot yacht.”

“I would appreciate it.”

“I’m not trying to change your mind about her, of course. I just think the past should be left in the past.”

“That’s why I would rather not risk rehashing it by mingling with her. If we keep our distance, we’ll be sure to get along that way.”

“If it’s what you want, then okay. Though I can’t imagine she’d be looking to start any trouble with you. She’s been through a lot. I told you about her husband and the guy in Norway.”

“And how do you know she wasn’t involved with anything he did?”

“Because he killed his estranged wife before she left the US, and I can’t believe she would have anything to do with child pornography, so that’s how. Listen, Frieda. I’m telling you; she’s been a great help around here and fun to hang out and chat with, too. So I really don’t think you have anything to worry about. Besides, it’s not like she could harm you. She’s practically half your size.”

“She seemed like a pretty angry person when I knew her even if it was only in cyberspace. But I suppose you’re right. From what she said, I’m a lot taller.”

“Probably heavier too, even though neither of you is fat.”

“She was a little heavy when I last saw pictures of her, but I understand she had some kind of health problem.”

“Yeah, she told me that between that and all she’s been through she lost about thirty pounds. She looks pretty good now. Still a bit down at times but healthy-looking regardless.”

“Well, as long as she knows why I don’t chat with her, we’ll be okay. I just want her to know this up front. Remember, she once had a crush on me even though we only met online. Romance may be the last thing on her mind right now, but I don’t want her to get the wrong idea just because I’m momentarily single.”

“I’m sure that’s the last thing you’ll have to worry about. She’s anything but interested in getting serious with anyone. I think she just wants to survive and take each day one step at a time. Just keeping her head above water is all she cares about right now. As for intimacy later on down the road, I don’t know. That’s up to her. I doubt she’ll be single for the rest of her life any more than I expect you and I will be.”

“Okay, with that being cleared up - and I’m truly glad she has made a good houseguest for you - let’s move on to the nitty-gritty details of the trip.”

After the two discussed the trip at greater length and made small talk, they began talking about the weather and their health.

“I’m just getting over one of those summer colds,” Frieda stated.

“And I’m getting tired of this mysterious cough,” said Adele. “I just can’t shake it. If this keeps up much longer, I’m going to have to see a doctor, but not until after some serious fun in the sun!”
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