It had been almost a month since Fallon had moved in with Lorena. The days had grown long, quiet and lonely. She was used to people being around, at all times of the day. But now that wasn’t the case. The town was quieter than she expected, at least where Lorena lived. Rarely would she see other folks out on her jogs. It usually wasn’t until she got to the beach and nearby docks that pockets of civilization would appear. The folks she did see were friendly, smiling, nodding and waving as she passed by.

By now her jogs had taken her through most of the small city, through the town square near the dog park, through the docks where fresh seafood was caught daily for the many seaside restaurants in the area. Her favorite though was the beach behind an empty lot. She ended up there more often than other places, and this time was no exception.

It was a small lot overrun with seaweed, bits of trash, seaglass and tall yellow grass with cattails clustered in groups. No matter how “ugly” it was, she loved coming here. The view to the beach was incredible and she felt refreshed every time she took in deep gulps of salty air. There has been a for sale sign up since she arrived a few weeks ago. It was still there, growing dirty and dingy in the sun. Despite how wild the lot looked knew she would be sad to see the place sold. It seemed like it had been sitting for awhile and it wouldn’t sit forever. Eventually someone would snatch it up.

She stood there for awhile. Soaking up the sun and daydreaming. Eventually she checked her watch and frowned, she needed to get back or she would be late for work. Hesitantly she turned to leave, and then paused. What if she could buy this lot? She mulled over the thought in her mind before attempting to memorize the phone number on the for sale placard. A reality company called Gulliver Real Estate. Keep it in mind Fallon, she muttered to herself, quickly making her way back to her temporary homestead.

She has been thinking about her life in the near future, and this would hopefully add a piece to the puzzle. With a little work that lot could be perfect. It was even close enough to work that she could walk. The idea was making her feel ecstatic. All of the possibilities were before her, all because she liked to jog. It was a healthy habit, and she was glad she had picked it up. Despite the ache in her ankle when she ran, this all made it worth it. Jogging meant that she had begun to get acquainted with the area in an intimate way, meeting people and exploring, all while enjoying that it helped to break up the monotony of going to work and coming home. Especially because she was often home alone.

Every time Fallon was at work, Lorena was home and vice versa. Fallon hadn’t been spending much time in the house at all. Work was keeping her so busy, she often spent long hours in the lab. It was hard to get used too the solitude, but she could see the appeal of living alone. Ultimately she was making the best of it, reveling in the idea of answering to no one, going when and where she pleased and doing whatever the hell she wanted.

Typically after work, well into the afternoon hours, Fallon would arrive home, exhausted but feeling fulfilled.That particular night, she was looking forward to relaxing with a copy of “Reel Her In”. A long reading session however, required a snack so Fallon headed into the kitchen.

Using a few of the apples she bought at the grocery store earlier that week, Fallon made a light snack. It was such a good idea to take this job out here, she thought, peeling a small banana, I knew that it would get me where I needed to be. Now I just need to save up another…..4k and I can move out!…That’s totally doable. I make what? 900 a week? Thats… enough. I think…….so minus groceries…the car note…my cell phone… Yeah! I will have it in no time. Couple of weeks? Month? Hm.

Slicing up the last apple, she threw it in a bowl with some bananas and strawberries and made her way to the couch. I just need to figure out how I am going to tell Lorena that I need another month. It’s almost like she’s been avoiding me this whole time. In her own house? she sighed. What is that about? Taking a bite into an apple slice, she looked around the small living room. Music was still playing on the small radio and she let her mind get lost in the melodies for a long moment. Now feeling a little less hungry and a little more energetic, she stood to put her bowl away in the kitchen. Next up was her book. She had checked it out from the library a few days ago but had been so busy she hadn’t be able to start. Now? She had the time, and would enjoy it.

Fallon was so sucked into her book that she didn’t hear Lorena sneak her way into the kitchen, quietly trying to open the fridge door so that she wouldn’t hear her. But the soft clink of ceramic dishware on the tile kitchen counter gave her away. Fallon looked behind her shoulder and saw Lorena grabbing a yogurt out of the fridge.

Marking her page and closing her book and made her way over to Lorena. “Oh hey! I didn’t see you there! I get so focused when I’m reading,” she smiled and sat next to Lorena at the table, noticing her bristle slightly before plastering a huge fake smile on her face.

“Heyyyyy…Fallon,” she said tightly, “How long have you been sitting there?”

“Just a little while,” Fallon answered. “Why didn’t you say anything when you came in? It’s not like I’ve seen you…much at all. It’s been like a month so far. I thought maybe we would be able to…hang out…catch up or somethin.”

“Because I’m busy, Fallon, and I don’t feel like talking to you every minute of the day,” Lorena snapped.

Fallon shrunk back, “Okay well. Damn. Sorry for mentioning it.”

A moment passed and Lorena spoke softly, “Sorry. It’s just…I have a lot going on right now. Work is crazy busy…” her words trailed off and stared into her now empty bowl for a second before suddenly standing and making her way back over to the fridge.

How awkward, Fallon thought at the sudden movement. Neither of them spoke for a few minutes.

Lorena was now in the process of making a BLT with Fallon sitting there awkwardly trying to figure out how to fill the dead silence in the air.

Lorena spoke before she got the chance, “By the way…” her voice was tense.

“Stop letting Spicy out of the house in the mornings. And, I am tired of cleaning your dishes that you leave out.”

“I don’t leave the door open???? And those are your dishes, Lorena, every night I come home from work, and your leftovers are sitting for the birds. I don’t even cook like that! And I am not washing your dishes just cause they are there,” her she responded defensively.

“Well it has to be you letting him out because he has bites and scratches all over him. I have never had this issue before you moved in,” she said hotly, annoyed at the conversation.

Fallon was shocked and offended, “What?”

“You know what? I knew I shouldn’t have said anything,” Lorena mumbled.

“Lorena,” Fallon’s voice was low.  

“Well, it must be a fuckin ghost is then.” Raising her voice as she spoke, she sliced into another tomato hard.

“Okay. Whatever. But Spicy? I never let him out. You know the window in the bathroom is always open right? Has it occurred to you that he might be getting out through there?” Fallon asked, annoyed with the whole conversation.

“And why is the fucking window open?” Lorena rubbed her forehead slowly, “ You know what? Whatever. Don’t let him out again. And clean up your shit. You are a guest here.”

Sucking her teeth, Fallon grabbed her book and walked quickly into her room mumbling under her breath. She wasn’t sure what the hell that was about, but she wasn’t about to stay and be berated. One more month, she thought to herself. Just one, then I’m outta here.  

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