Kim went down to the operating room at 505 this morning.
Well, that’s not right. I try not to use the passive voice but it would be more correct to say Kim was taken down to the operating room at 505 this morning.
It’s not like she put on scrubs and headed in to work.
Then again, if she was headed in to work it wouldn’t have been at 505.
Annabelle, our lab – german shorthair mix – always got Kim up by 6. Annabelle never woke me up, she always nudged Kim when she needed to go outside. There were some mornings that Annabelle got Kim up several times: at 1, at 3, and finally at 6. But she always got her up at 6.
Annabelle never woke me up but I always knew when Kim took her outside at 1 or 3 because when they came back upstairs Kim would yell at Annabelle “now you lay still.”
I think that was for my benefit not the dog’s.
Kim never came back upstairs after the 6 am waking from the dog. Around 7 she’d make coffee. I’d smell the coffee and come downstairs. She’d take the grounds and put them in a container under the sink. When the container was full, she take it outside and mix it with the dirt around the flowers.
She’d pour my coffee and we’d hear a thump at the door as Annabelle threw herself repeatedly against the screen.
“Your girlfriend’s waiting for you,” Kim would say.
So I’d take my laptop outside and drink my coffee and work while Annabelle ran around the back yard.
I’d come in when the coffee was done to grab a glass of water.
“What are you doing?” I’d ask.
Some days it was bills, some days it was laundry. Some days it was cutting fruit.
“Don’t you need to get to work?”
But she wasn’t. Some time around 9 or 930 she’d start putting on her shoes.
“When are you coming home?” I’d ask.
“I don’t know. I have two evals at Bedford and a modified at South Pointe.”
“Let me know.”
“OK, I’ll text you.”
She’d get her shoes out of the back room and sit in the chair in the kitchen and put them on. She’d drink a little more of her coffee.
Finally, she’d leave for work.
Later in the afternoon I’d text her from a coffee shop. “I’m at Juma. Want to meet here when you’re done.”
“I have to stop at the post office,” she’d say, “I’ll see you at home.”
“When?” I’d ask.
“I’ll text you.”
This morning Annabelle started retching at about 645.
I got up quickly to let her outside.
She threw up a little bit in the hall upstairs before making it outside. I cleaned it up. Put it in a bag and tossed it outside into the driveway so Annabelle couldn’t get into it again.
I have to be honest. If Kim was here I would have pretended to be asleep until she let the dog out and cleaned up the vomit.
And to get me back, Kim would have let the dog jump back on the bed after vomiting and lick me in the face.
I suppose it was only fair.
Kim was taken down to the O R at 505. Annabelle was vomiting at 645.
Kim died at 7.
My best friend has gone home. She won’t be coming back.