"Hello?" Her voice was gravelly as though she had swallowed broken glass. Her mother's usual gentle, well modulated tones came through with a touch of worry bringing it to a high pitch that sent adrenaline through her system, waking her to a greater awareness.
"Lily? Why do I have your cat here?" Lily closed her eyes and fell back onto the bed, running her hand through her disheveled hair. She had totally forgotten about Basil.
"Well, I always thought that if something should happen to me, at least my cat would be okay. There are instructions on the carrier that direct him to your shop if he is failed to be picked up after 48 hours, with a credit card with his name on it attached so he may be shipped without delay. Guess I forgot to ask or tell you, huh?"
Her mother's snort of amused disgust came over the line.
"I guess so! I was so worried! I get this cat, in a hideous purple carrier, so I know it had to be yours, especially since his last name is Hightower, I don't know why, I don't know where you are, if you are okay, the mother is always the last to know! I thought you were dead! Do you have any idea how worried I've been? I've been calling you for hours! " Rolling her eyes, Lily figured this was at least she could have expected. It brought a smile to her lips to hear her mom chewing her out like she was fifteen again and had fallen asleep at a friends house without calling. Good to know that someone in the universe cared about her well being.
"Sorry mom. I didn't mean for you to worry. Things went awry and I have to take care of some business. K is in trouble and ..."
"K! I might have known. I don't know why you waste your time on that piece of ..." Again Lily rolled her eyes and was sorry she had gotten her started on it. Her mother just didn't understand about K. She had always felt that K was out to get whatever Lily could give her and give nothing in return, but she just didn't understand their relationship, and never would. Lily had stopped even trying to explain. No one understood. Even Daniel. K and Daniel had a hard time accepting one another. K felt as though she had some claim on Lily that would preclude Lily having a relationship with anyone but her. Lily didn't see it that way, but couldn't seem to make K understand. Daniel felt that if she was to be his wife, that she couldn't have any one who was equally as important to her in her life, and couldn't comprehend why she would allow someone, especially a friend, to come between a man and his wife. She didn't really know how to explain it to anyone either. K occupied a special place in her life. She had always been a confidant who was both accepting and nonjudgmental. They had found each other when they were both young girls, victims of their circumstances and succor against the world for one another. They had always been there for each other, to run to, to cry with, to comfort. They understood each other on a level that seemed to transcend other relationships. Even when they got older, they were still as accepting of each other's sins and shortcomings, no matter how abhorrent to the rest of the world it seemed. Lily felt that she could trust K with her life, and was sure K felt the same. She sighed mentally as she listened to her mother go on and on about it on the other end of the line. Finally she interrupted the haranguing.
"Mom! If you don't want to take care of him I will tell you where to send him. I have got to get some sleep or I will end up dead... of exhaustion! Or fall into a trap because I am so tired. I will call you in few days, okay?"
"all right. I'll keep him. He's a good boy. He's scaring the hell out of my birds, but I will keep him at my house. I can't keep him here at the shop. Will you come see me soon and pick him up?"
"Yes, yes, I will, I promise. Just don't give me a hard time right now, please?"
"Okay baby. I love you. Call me in a few days okay?"
"Okay, I will. If he gets to be too much for you, call Hayu, okay?"
"Okay. I love you."
"I love you too. Gotta go now."
"all right. Call me!!"
"I will. Love you. Bye bye.."