Cherie – Chapter 13 – Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

It’s been two weeks since I saw Cherie because she had to work multiple shifts at the hospital last weekend. It had also been three weeks since our intimate marathon at the Club Quarters. (See: Cherie – Hammer into Anvil)

We were both really feeling the strain of being apart. She was over her cold, but now her son was sick. Work and school were stressing her out, and Thanksgiving was also in the mix. I was having my usual challenges with everything I’m currently working on and finally over my cold after nearly a month of a nagging cough. She told me she did enjoy seeing her grandmother who is in her eighties and still kicking ass. She still has a job! Cheri’s mother was showing her the finer points of cooking a turkey. So at least that took the edge off her stressful life.

I have been doing a lot of cleaning around the bat cave lately. I think when your home space is clean and tidy it just makes you feel better. Two weeks ago I cleaned the bathroom with a vengeance. Every tile. Every crack and crevice, with every cleaning agent at my disposal. When I was finished the place crackled with light. When my daughter Lorelei saw it she was so happy. My only response to her glee was: “Let’s keep it this way.”

I have like five things in the bathroom I use. Lorelei is a twenty year old girl. She has over fifty different items in there. It’s incredible what a young woman needs to be beautiful. She owns that room, so she’d better be mindful of its cleanliness.

I even went out and got new rugs, new toilet seat, new towels, soap, shampoo rack, and a shower curtain. I went to this store that literally carries everything in the world. It’s at 13th and Chestnut. I love this store. Everything is reasonably priced and like I said…they carry everything! So my bathroom was looking great and color coordinated in white and lavender. The First Lady herself would be happy to go in there to powder her nose.

I could tell myself that I was trying to make the house better and our living space cleaner, but I knew what was happening. And I knew I was going to do more. So much more.

The next Saturday was the first Saturday Cherie and I hadn’t spent time together. I got up and went to Rachael’s for breakfast and had my usual awesome $8 breakfast. I then cleaned my room like I’d cleaned the bathroom. Threw out bags of trash, organized and cleaned every inch of the space. I scrubbed the hardwood floors and polished them. The place was looking so much better. Even threw out an old 19″ TV that belonged to Michelle that I never watched anymore. The busted VHS player below it went bye-bye as well. I then headed back to my favorite store in the world.

I bought these beautiful sheer blue curtains for the two big windows in my bedroom. I’ve never had curtains in there. Just the venetian blinds that came with the apartment. I picked up a navy blue sheet set for the bed, and a comforter. I couldn’t find a matching bed skirt so I ordered one on Amazon for $10.

I lugged all of the bags home and put it in the corner of my bedroom. I’d wait until Saturday to set it all up.  I could sleep on the old sheets for another week. I also went to the dollar store in Suburban Station and picked up 10 little candles for the house. I gave 5 to Lorelei because she likes to burn incense and candles in the livingroom. I picked some nice warm Christmas scents. I also picked up some candy. Cherie likes milk chocolate, so I grabbed a bag of Lindt’s truffles and a bag of Ghirardelli caramel filled milk chocolate squares. They are so delicious and remind me of her.

 

Saturday arrives and I get showered and go to Manhattan Bagel in Rittenhouse  for breakfast. I realized when I stripped the bed that morning my mattress liner had not been changed for a long time. It was time for a new one. Also my pillows looked like they had come from some fleabag motel on the side of a highway, so back to the Everything Store!

Picked up what  I needed and chatted up the girl at the counter. I was telling her how I’d been to this store several times in the last two weeks to get things for my house. She’s being cordial but doesn’t really give a shit. She’s attractive and exotic and probably gets hit on by every swinging dick that comes through the door. As I was walking out the door, I noticed on a side window they have a wall of shame. I figured pictures of bounced checks, but it was photos of actual shoplifters holding the stuff they were trying to steal. It was funny and hardcore in the same moment. I especially liked the grizzled old guy with the little jar of Vaseline. I don’t even want to know.

I get back to the house and unwrap everything. I’m breaking a sweat wrestling my mattress to not only get the bed skirt on but get the mattress liner on it. It’s the kind you have to slide over the matress and then zip it shut at the top. I was wrestling with it and the matress. It was like trying to get a condom on a drunk bull elephant.

I finally got it on and put the rest of the sheets together on the bed. Once I had it all on and the bed was made, it all looked terrific. I put the candies in a little dish of what would be her side of the bed. The candles in spots around the room to create the mood. I set my Pandora account to an elegant light music station.

You can see what’s happening. I’ve been cleaning up my house and making it beautiful for the first visit of Cherie. The house looks great and I want to keep it this way. I’m not having the initial crazy, manic euphoria with Cherie, like I did with Michelle and Annabelle. (See: Michelle – A Brand New Day & See: Annabelle – Nice to Meet You) This feels like a slow rise of solid energy. I’m not doing crazy things like I did with Michelle. I’m not having the agonizing frustration like I did with the confused and immature Annabelle. This feels like something else. I’m really looking forward to Cherie coming to see me here tonight.

I’m also keeping this off social media. Lorelei doesn’t even know about her. For now, this is my secret. This is my sequel. But I would love to see the hilarity of the following scene play out:

Lorelei: “House looks great, Dad.”

Me: “Thanks! I’m really happy with it. (smiles) Let’s keep it that way…”

Lorelei: “Are you seeing somebody?”

Me: “What makes you say that?”

Lorelei: “I remember how good the house looked a few years ago when you started dating Annabelle.”

Me: “Did it? I don’t remember…”

Lorelei: “Yes you do. So basically the only time this house gets the full cleaning overhaul is when you get a new girlfriend.”

Me: “Do you like living here instead of with your mom, Lor?”

Lorelei: “Yes.”

Me: “Do you enjoy getting an allowance from me every week?”

Lorelei: (Laughing) “Alright, fine! I’m going to my boyfriend’s house for the weekend.”

(Lorelei exits out front door.)

Me: Love you!!!

 

 

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Author: phicklephilly

Copyright © 2016 by Phicklephilly All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. All stories and characters are based on real people and events. The names and images have been changed to protect their privacy. Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation!”

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