Kitty doubts herself
Although the days were growing longer again, to Kitty January felt like a cold and dark month. Alva’s fireplace was kept filled with wood and burning brightly by Marv, who had finished the upstairs bathroom and was now busily restoring the old mahogany mantle. It was a tedious job since the intricately carved wood had absorbed decades worth of every imaginable debris, year upon year each subsequent layer softening the original outlines and filling in the crevices. He didn’t seem to mind the heat from the fire. Kitty thought it might have been because he had been so cold living in the streets for so many years.
“I tell you, that man is going to make this ole house a showplace, the way he’s workin’ on everything,” Alva said to Kitty one evening after Kitty had come home from work, tired and confused.
It was the day after she had unburdened herself to Cal. He hadn’t said a word about it since. She thought she must have shocked him or possibly he thought less of her now because she had walked out on her marriage. Maybe he thought Kitty was like his wife. That he couldn’t trust her either. Then Kitty wondered why she was even thinking such thoughts. Why should she care what Cal thought of her? Yet she did.
“What?” Kitty asked, her mind turbulent with thoughts of herself and Cal.
“Whatchoo thinkin’ ’bout, girl? Look like you lost in space somewhere,” Alva chuckled.
“Oh,” Kitty said, “I’m just … ” She didn’t know what to say.
“You been awful cozy-nosy together with that boss of yours lately,” said Alva. “You got somethin’ goin’ on there?”
“I don’t know, Alva. I think maybe I told him too much about myself. But he was telling me about his wife – I mean his ex wife – and his children and it seemed like he wanted to know about me. Well, he asked me to tell him. So finally I did. But now I think maybe I shouldn’t have. I just don’t know what’s the right thing to do. And now I’m so confused … ” her voice trailed off.
“Wait a minute there, sister,” Alva held up her hands. “You gotta slow down some. Ain’t like this man’s gone and told you he got a sweet spot for you, is it?”
Kitty shook her head.
“Well have you got a sweet spot for him? I mean what all do you want?” Alva asked.
“I don’t know,” Kitty said. “I mean he just kept asking me to have lunch with him. And then he helped find that lawyer. And he’s been so nice about your tax problems and all.”
“That’s just like a man, ain’t it.” Alva said, as if that was enough to explain to Kitty what was what.
“What do you mean?” Kitty asked.
“Listen, child,” Alva began, “if you got your heart bumpin’ up in your chest over some man, you better find out what’s bumpin’ up in his chest ’fore you go lettin’ your emotions run wild all over town.”