Waking Up In Arizona
The sounds of the kitchen woke Samantha up the next morning. She pulled up the bedspread Nancy had given her up over her head to hide from the sun shining through the patio door, and then peeked out from under the folds of the bedspread. Aunt Carol was in the kitchen, shuffling around in a robe and nightgown, dipping some thick slices of bread in some egg and putting it in a frying pan. If Carol had noticed Samantha waking up, she wasn’t showing it. She was going about her breakfast business, and she wasn’t being too careful about making noise, either.
Samantha pulled the cover back down over her eyes, and pulled her feet up under the spread so they weren’t exposed. The couch wasn’t exactly comfortable. The threads might have been soft once, perhaps in the 1970s, but any tenderness had been scotchguarded into oblivion. What loose threads there were sticking out from the cushions, and there were quite a few, were tough and were making her itch. However, Samantha tried to stay perfectly still, as if her life depended on it, trying to deny consciousness.
She heard a clank on the glass coffee table that was in front of the couch, and peeked out from under her bedspread again. A plate of french toast sat there, right across from her eyes. She looked towards the hallway, but Carol was already shuffling out. Without turning around, as if knowing the eyes of Samantha had emerged, Carol said, “Up and at ‘em!” as she was walking out.
Samantha sat up and stretched, hands still clenching the bedspread in case she needed to escape back into it. She looked at the toast with heavy eyelids. It did look good. From the next room over, she heard Carol’s voice say, “No eating French Toast while playing video games! If you make that controller sticky, you’re cleaning it yourself.” That meant that her other cousin Zachary was here. As much as Samantha didn’t tolerate Jessie, Zack was worse. At the age of 8 he must run on solar power, she thought.
She got up and wrapped herself in the bedspread like it was a robe. She was wearing her shirt and jeans from the previous day, and the Arizona morning wasn’t at all cold, but she wasn’t ready to let go of the blanket. She got herself a glass of orange juice sat down to enjoy her french toast. As the first bite dissolved in her mouth, she closed her eyes. Video game chirps aside, she was alone for the first time in a couple of days, and she was savoring it.