Three months later…
I lay alone in the dark on the twin bed, covers pulled up to my chin, tears streaming down my face.
Once again, my life had changed in an unexpected and devastating way that had me seriously thinking I was cursed. Bad luck seemed to touch me no matter where I went, and it touched everything and everyone that I touched as well.
First, I lost my husband. Then Forrest went to prison. And now Adele was dead. Yes, dead. That nasty cough turned out to be advanced cancer and it killed her just a few months after our vacation in Turkey.
Let me back up a bit and just say that the vacation was both fun and not. I enjoyed the sea, sun, food and activities, but Frieda made me want to slap her a few times. She kept up her death glares with fierce determination the entire time and it really got old. Especially when we were all sitting around chatting one pleasant evening and were discussing health and fitness-related issues. When I intentionally failed to hide the disdain in my voice when mentioning how certain diseases could cause one to gain weight contrary to those that fat-shamed those who were heavy and assumed it was because they were lazy pigs, I could practically taste Frieda’s anger. I knew that where Frieda had accused me of being racist, she pretty much hated those who were overweight. In other words, she was a hypocrite who was just as judgmental as anyone else could be. She knew my insults were aimed at her and her icy blue glare told me so. I admit that sometimes it felt good to give her an indirect but obvious piece of mind. I guess I kind of had fun getting under her skin but for the most part, we ignored each other.
One time I was handing drinks to our little group and when I went to hand hers to her, she sort of looked at me in a way that made me bounce between thinking she would refuse the drink because it was served by me or maybe throw it in my face. But after some hesitation, she reluctantly accepted it.
Frieda never came around wanting to reconcile in any way or suggesting that we leave the past behind which I would have been willing to do. I only harbored resentment because she continued to. I knew in my heart she was in the wrong and I wasn’t going to let anyone try to change my mind or apologize for something I had no need to apologize for. Yes, I could be just as stubborn.
Then we returned to Germany and Adele saw a doctor about her rapidly worsening cough. Soon afterward, it was determined that she had deadly cancer that had spread fast and couldn’t be treated. She was then given less than three months to live.
Adele’s friends and family rallied around her along with myself and somehow, she managed to plead, beg and convince Frieda to take me to live with her in Munich until I could save enough money to get my own place, wherever that may be.
As Frieda was happy to let me know, she was only doing it for her dear friend, and I better not get any wrong ideas.
“Oh, don’t worry,” I assured her. “I have no desires for intimacy with you or anyone else. My only goal is to get by and survive until my time is up.”
And then Adele was gone and down to Munich Frieda drove us without saying a word the entire time.