No Cognitive Defect - Part II

Anita was gone nearly two hours, and a faint aroma of pot surrounded her when she came back into the kitchen at mid-afternoon. Her cheeks and ears were bright red.

“The clouds are coming in,” she said. “It’s getting cold, too.”

Wilson had watched the weather again while she was out. The storm was still a toss-up, but the forecasts favored it sliding off to the east to take its fury out on Maine.

“How nasty can it get here? I’m not much of a ‘snow’ person,” Anita remarked as she microwaved water for tea.

“Bad,” Wilson replied. “We can get snowed in for a couple days up here. Sometimes the power goes out, too.”

“How do you keep warm?”

“We have a standby generator in the basement, but it’s balky. It fires up automatically when the power goes out, but when it breaks down…and it always breaks down…we use the fireplace, and lots and lots of wood,” Wilson said, a frown suddenly creasing the left side of his face.

“What’s the matter?” Anita asked as she came to the table with her tea.

“The wood,” he replied. “It’s all in the carport. I forgot to have them stack some on the porch. Erica always had them put wood there in case we got walloped by a storm. It’s a long walk out to the carport when the weather is nasty.”

“I’ll do it in the morning if you promise to try my stew tonight.”

“Here’s my counter offer,” he said firmly, “I’ll try the stew if you try my meatloaf.”

“I accept your counter offer, counselor,” she laughed. “A little meatloaf won’t kill me, I suppose.”

“Then it’s a deal,” he said, extending his right arm without thinking. She clasped his weak hand without hesitation and said, “Deal.”

* * *

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