Kitty's Story Resumes: Kitty Has A Feeling
One gray winter afternoon as the light faded into an early dusk, not too long after Alva and her son had met, Kitty sat in the kitchen watching Alva stir a pot of soup on the stove. The days would start lengthening soon, but now they were still entering that tunnel of winter with its ever increasing darkness. Alva switched on the kitchen lights, patting Kitty on the shoulder as she moved back to the stove. It was warm in this room; the rich aroma of Alva’s cooking filled the air.
“You and that fella gettin’ along?” she asked casually.
“Cal?” Kitty answered. “Yes, Cal is a good boss.”
“Hmmm,” Alva said, and then laughed a little. “Boss, huh? Ain’t you got some more feelin’s towards him than that by now?” Alva knew Kitty had been going across the bridge to Manhattan with Cal. She knew because Kitty had told her how they were trying to find the lawyer who had handled the estate Alva had inherited. She knew because every time Kitty came back from one of these excursions her face was flushed and she was smiling, as if any heaviness in her heart had been puffed light as a milkweed pod about to burst. Alva remembered how that felt. Hadn’t she married on that feeling more than once?
Kitty smiled weakly at Alva. She had missed those years with her own mother, years when she would have confided in her, years when she would have become a woman and seen herself through her mother’s eyes. Her thoughts turned wistful, then fear of something took hold in her mind, spinning like an eddy, pulling at her.
“Alva,” she was almost whispering, “do you think it’s possible to sense when someone has died, without really knowing?”
“You got the feelin’ of a hant?” asked Alva. She looked up from her stirring, standing erect, on guard. “You seen one?” Alva had feelings sometimes. Feelings when things weren’t right, feelings about people, feelings of danger or of something mysterious that she could not have described in any other terms. It had been like that when she was a child. She had been surrounded by women who saw spirits and heard the faint cries of the dead from deep in the woods. She had brought all those feelings with her when her family sent her north. Her mother had made her promise to abide by three rules before she had been sent away: to watch for the signs; to remember the family that loved her; to help those less fortunate. She had kept her promise all these years.
Kitty looked out the window. “It’s a feeling,” she said. “About the past maybe. About … ” and here she stopped, for she could not quite focus on the nub of it, except for a vague sense, like a cloud hanging overhead that is not ready to let go yet, threatening, dark gray, almost ready to become a storm.
“Maybe you got to start looking for your mama,” Alva stated matter-of-factly, and went back to stirring her pot. “You never going to be ready to move on ’less you find your people,” Alva said and placed a bowl of hot soup on the table in front of Kitty. “And that man,” she said, “better he and you know the whole story before you make another move.”
Kitty tasted the soup. “This is so good,” she said.
Alva chuckled and popped the lid on the pot with a soft clang. “Course it is,” she said.