"You know what? You're right. I guess I wasn't paying attention. I'll take these cupfuls and dump them. I'll make a fresh pot. Oh, and something else I'd like to tell you about. There's a very weird couple that's been stalking me the last few days. They're dressed like rejects from a 1960's commune. They came into the bookstore where I work and started following me around. I think they're high on something - they're probably so out of it they think they're my parents. If they come here, don't let them in. In fact, slam the door and threaten to call the police. Could you do that for me, please?"
I dumped the cups of horrible coffee into the sink and leaned against the kitchen counter while I talked to Mary.
"Sure. I've noticed you've been acting strange the last few days. You even talked about taking up kickboxing. No wonder - you wanted to protect yourself from a couple of creepos. Why didn't you tell my? Maybe I could have helped," she said.
"No, you couldn't. They're truly sick puppies. They say I belong with them, and they want to take me away from here. I'm really scared. I don't want you to get mixed up with them. They may be dangerous. In fact, I think I'm going to have to move out of this apartment. The furniture is all old crap. I'll just take a few clothes and personal things with me when I go. You're welcome to have whatever I leave behind for your own apartment. I paid the first and last month's rent when I moved in, so it's all paid up for the next month. I'll tell the landlord immediately.
Mary sat at the kitchen table and gawked at me, mouth wide open.
"Oh my God! If it's so serious that you're running away, then I'm going to call the police."
Mary rummaged through her purse on the table, and pulled out her phone, and just as I was about to object, she dropped it on the floor, where it self-distructed. I stifled a grin. It amused me that my watcher was so quick on the uptake. She stared at it for a moment, then made a disgusted snort.
"Huh. I knew it was just a cheap pay-as-you-go, but I had no idea it was so fragile."
"Well, you know how they crank out phones willy-nilly these days. I guess you get what you pay for, and you didn't pay very much. Anyway, there's no need to call the police. I''ll just leave town. I've been thinking about tracking down my birth parents, anyway. You know that. I've been talking about it since we met. I'm sick of being nobody's child. I want to know who I am, where I came from."
Mary just stared at me. She was just not used to such impassioned speech from me. I'd never been so focused before, and it really showed. I shocked even myself. I sat down at the table.
"I've got to get out of here Mary. It's not just the crazy stalkers - I'm not happy here in this town, in this life. You're the closest I've ever had to family, and I hate to take off like this on you, but I just have to ... find out where I came from, what my potential is, or if I have any real ... family ... out there."
Without warning the sadness and loneliness that I have felt for years, momentarily overwhelmed me, and I put my head down on my arms, and cried my heart out. Mary came around behind me and put a comforting arm over my shoulders. At least I thought it was Mary, until she pushed a box of tissue across the table to me. If she was in front of me, she couldn't be behind me. Apparently my watcher was compassionate.