I woke up early the next morning so that I could prepare myself for the day ahead.
I planned on visiting Carol for a few hours, then coming home and changing for my date with Tyler.
With this in mind, I stared into my closet for what seemed like hours trying to find something appropriate to wear to the nursing home.
Outfits, colours, modesty, all these things played a big part in how these people perceived you.
Appearance was a big part of the world.
I finally settled on a knee length sundress. It was strapless and all white. I slipped on a pair of flats and pulled my hair up. I didn’t apply any makeup though; I simply washed my tan face and headed out the door.
I arrived at Heartwood Homes and didn’t even bother checking in. The nurses simply smiled and waved me through, like we were old friends. I walked briskly to Carol’s room and knocked.
“Is that you?” she asked irritated.
I smiled to myself, “Yes, it is” I said, walking in.
She sighed but scooted over in her chair so I could get by and sit cross legged on her bed.
“What do you want?” she asked, after a few minutes of silence.
I thought about this, “How did you get the scars?”
She lowered her eyes, her feistiness gone. She quietly said, “I can’t tell, they’re always watching. I promised.”
Now I thought she might be crazy. This worried me because I was really counting on the fact that her money was real and not made up like this story seemed to be.
“Oh come on Carol, you can tell me,”
She looked so weak and frail in that moment that I almost felt bad for asking, almost.
She coughed, “If I tell you, then you’ll know. I’ll have to leave everything for you to deal with, you don’t want that,”
“Everything?” I asked.
She sighed, “Well, yes. And you won’t even have time to comprehend it all, because after I tell, I’m sure to die,”
Now I was genuinely confused, “Carol, certainly it’s not so bad?”
“Oh, but it is, and I’ve already said too much,” she said shivering.
I automatically reached out to pull a blanket over her small shoulders, “Just tell me,” I soothed.
She looked into my eyes steadily for a few minutes then said, “Alright, see that jewelry box over there? It has my will in it. When I die, come and get it. It will say who gets what. The dolls up there, they all are from a different continent, the continent names are listed on their right shoe. Take the shoes off and there is a key under each one. They are to my cars and houses. They are all labeled. In the teapot is a letter. Burn it. Understood?”
I reviewed what she had said, “Yes I do,” I said firmly.
“Good, now there is no turning back, and I am sorry Adylinn. You seem like a nice, shallow person,”
I began to protest but she cut me off with five words, “It was cold that morning,”
And with those five words I was plummeted into a life that I didn’t want to live in.