An Escape

As a waft of perfume worn only by menopausal women desperate for filial attention hits my nose, I realize why I am in the spare bedroom.  Of course, this isn’t helping ease my anxiety. Quite the contrary, the events of last night come rolling back like an unwanted but inevitable hang over. And as with the cologne so horrid it remains etched in the air hours after the wearer’s departure, a more tangible reminder is found on my couch in the form of an overweight ass pointed upwards clad in stomach churning navy blue briefs. Norman had invited his mother and brother to come and live with us.  This cannot be the start of my day. Where is the remote?


“You are watching BBC World News, I am George Alagiah.” Good.  I haven’t missed George.  There isn’t any particular reason why anyone would prefer George to the other news anchors, but I like his name.  George Alagiah. Alagiah. It just rolls gently off the tongue.   I once looked his biography up on the BBC website just to uncover what sort of place produces a name like Alagiah. OK, maybe it’s vanity; after all, if I had the last name Alagiah just think about how cool my name would sound – Aliah Alagiah.  Sure it sounds a bit like a “John Johnson” but whatever…

“Europe continues to experience extreme weather patterns.  Across the Mediterranean temperatures continue to sore well above 40 degrees Celsius exceeding temperatures in drought stricken Africa. As parts of Europe buckle under intense heat other areas are struggling to push back rising flood waters.”

Better than the perpetually grey skies we suffer here. Or that particularly ugly storm front on my couch.

Brrring-Brrring, Brrring-Brrring.  The phone. Who could that be? An unknown number.  I hate answering calls that can’t be identified. What the hell – my day can’t get any worse. “Hello?”

A man’s voice gruff from years of smoking responds, “Khello,” in an accent emphasizing the consonants and lengthening the vowels in his words, “may I speak wiz Aliah McCauley?”

“This is she.”

“Aliah, I am cawlling on bekhawlf of ze layte A. Majevsky.  Zey whas a distant relatife of yours and as a result of zeir respect for your whork zey have lehft you all of zeir considerable estate.  As per zeir deerehctions, a man named Mikhayeel whill be arriving shortly to collect you.  A. Majevsky whished to assure you that ozer zan zose items utterly irreplaceable, such as family kheirlooms or other objects of sentimental value you need not bring anyzing furzer.  Indeed, bequeasthed to you is every book imaginable of any worth and a great deal more.”

“I see. Thank you for letting me know.” Funny, but I have no questions.  The bulbous ass facing me from the couch probably isn’t helping. Who would stay here? What else do I need to know?

“Very whell zen. As I said, Mikhayeel whill be zere shortly. Please try and be ready.”

Stunned I hang up the phone and wonder at what things to gather.  Fortunately, Norman had insisted on my leaving all of those objects near and dear to me packed in boxes in the garage when we moved in. About to head into the garage, I notice a shadow of a man on the other side of the glass in the front door. Mikhail is already here.

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