She was nosy. She came one vivid and sunny afternoon while I had distracted myself with weeding the pink and orange hydrangeas that carpeted the sides of my driveway. Kneeling, I turned to see the orange and blue floral pattern of her mammoth mumu swaying in the breeze. Across the way, I had never realized how big she was. A massive hulk of a woman, the sight of her knees, rippled and dimpled, wide as a young maple, disgusted me.
Her noxious perfume, reeking of roses, could not mask the body odor this gigantic beast before me produced. Stale sweat and chemical flowers.
I rose to shake her hand but she was carrying a tray covered in tin foil. The tray, it turned out, was a red herring for her need for companionship.
"We've never formally met so I thought maybe I'd bring over a gift", she screeched, her voice rising and terminating with a loud cackle that blisterred my ears.
"How very neighbourly of you", I perked up, as I put on my very best neighbourhood smile. I wiped the soil from my hands onto my pants, as I took the tray from her and examined it.
Despite my past transgressions, I've always maintained a standard of courtesy, so with no sign of hesitation offered, "Thank you, Won't you come in?"
"Oh", she said, disingenously, "are you sure it won't be any trouble? I seem to have interrupted you."
"No, no", I smiled, "the weeds will be there tomorrow."
Her broad grin lifted dime sized dimples alongside her cheeks, causing her glasses, the size of coasters to momentarily swell, pronouncing her beady eyes. She looked like a huge, cartoon rat, staring at me, expecting some morsel from me.
Ironies abound because it was my very murder of her despicable feline that first brought her as company. She had loved that cat. It's name was Oscar. It used to sleep with her but would never let her husband near it. It never touched food on the counter except for this one time she had made chicken for dinner. And on and on. And then the blubbering. And then the apologies for blubbering. So sorry for acting like this with someone she's just really met. Doesn't have many friends in the neighbourhood. Husband works long hours. Alone at home. On and on and on.
I consoled her the best that I could. I chewed through three of the horrible biscuits she had brought over. They were dry and overcooked. She said they were raspberry oatmeal. They tasted like neither.
I tried. Believe me I tried. With every wailing sob and ball of snot the woman produced, it made it even harder. It took every bit of my longing not to stand up and boast to her that it was I who had tempted her insufferable Oscar with antifreeze.
Instead I asked her if her husband was working throughout the evening.
"Oh yes", she sniffled, "I've got no one to go home too either"
"Perfect!", I said, "Why don't you stay for dinner?"
"Really?", she said, again disingenuously, "Are you sure I'm not overstaying my welcome?"
"Not at all", I smiled, genuinely, "Quite the opposite"