Fridays (Friday Number Seven, September 29th, page 1 of 6)

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It is Tuesday evening and October has slipped in silently, with turning leaves and an evening chill. On nights like this I wish my home had a fireplace, a hearth to sit before and drink in the warmth of glowing logs, while I listen to the beautiful music that wraps me in its reverie.

I have purchased a sound system, as the man at the store described it. My machine plays compact discs that sound as if I'm in a quiet club, with only the pianist and me, as he serenades me with beautiful music. I am mellow; I admit it. Amy and I dusted off a bottle of cream sherry from a Christmas long since passed. We are wallowing in our contentment, as the music of Frederic Chopin serenades us. No, I am not turning into a closet drunk, although I can't recall, in my prior life, an instance of drinking so much as a glass of wine alone. Does that surprise you? My prior life? Tonight I'm feeling that way. I'm not such a creature of unbending habit, am I? Here I am writing in this journal and it's not even Friday evening!

Six short months ago, I would have come home to a soiled house with a dying old woman demanding my attention, with an annoying bell, followed by silence that offered no opportunity for discussion or compromise. I would have religiously preformed my tasks, flopped into bed exhausted, and after a few hours' sleep I would begin the ritual anew.

Now I enter my own domain, relax in my sofa-nest, and hear a world renowned composer play my every request while I slowly sip a sweet and pleasant concoction first brewed by monks eons ago. And, I look forward to my Friday evenings where I'll meet someone with whom I can confide the trivialities of my simple life. A friend; that term sounds nice, don't you think? If only it could continue.

"Just a friend?" Amy asks. "Do you truly believe these Fridays will just drift along?"

"I won't worry about that," I answer her. "Mr. Anderson isn't the first friend I have cared for and we survived after they were gone from our lives." I am in too pleasant a mood to let dark thoughts creep into my world. I try to chase Amy from my mind, but she persists.

"You won't admit how much you care for the man!" she shouts. I change the subject to another time as I begin to read Sarah's ancient letters.

As I promised myself I've renewed my perusal of this young woman's writings. I'm steadfastly peeking into her past, slowly getting to know this child of so long ago. The reading proceeds at a snail's pace as her penmanship takes much effort to decipher. While her spelling and grammar are impeccable, time has faded her words and careful study is necessary to discern the letters. I use a magnifying glass to decipher the small print, making sure I understand each word correctly. Sarah's style is terse with little excess verbiage so I am careful not to lose an important nuance.

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