Monday began nicely with our walk with our friends. Stacy is here this week, so we’re going to dinner together at The Surf on Wednesday, and she’s doing all our morning walks with us this week.
Then it was study time. Of the 240 signs I failed to remember when I tested myself on the entirety of the level one vocabulary, I now am confident that I have memorized 150 of them. Plus, I’m pretty good with telling time, counting money and ordinal numbers now, too. Very soon, I’ll be able to do the last lesson of level one. Soon I’ll have my level one certificate and it will really mean something to me because I will have all the vocabulary down pat.
During my short break from studying, I finished another Louise Penny novel. There are 17 of them. I dread the day when I finish the series. I truly do. I have loved reading every word. It’s like going to Three Pines when I open one. But there is some good news for me: The great Alfred Molina will portray Armand Gamache in a series being made by Amazon. It started filming last September.
Then I was back at my ASL studies, and then my weekly session with Michelle at 4:00. As for my course vocabulary test: 462 correct, 3 wrong. All my numbers, days of the week and names of the months correct. Call me chuffed! I earned that mark.
I had a seizure as soon as Michelle and I started talking on Messenger. And my speech was really dreadful. But that turned out to be a good thing. I finger spelled and signed well enough to have a worthy session.
Enid sat on the edge of her bed. Her head was slightly tilted. It made her look tired. She’d just come out of a meeting with her father and her sister. Her father announced that he was going to close Enid’s side of the business and expand Katie’s side. He said he’d help Enid find a way to play a support role in Katie’s team.
She slid onto the bed. She thought: One door is closed; another opens. That was her path. A door that brought in the same amount of money if she was lucky. She had to decide what to do. If she thought about Katie or her father, she felt like she was drowning. She felt sick. Both halves of her life, family and work, had suddenly failed her.
Her first decision was to resolve whether or not to get up in the morning and go to work to help dismantle the business. She didn’t want to go in. She didn’t want to see either of them, but she didn’t want to tell them that she wasn’t coming in, she wanted to tell them what she was going to do…. And she had until morning to figure out what that might be.
As soon as she’d had breakfast, she got out of the house and left her phone inside. She went to her doctor’s and begged for an appointment. She looked steady at the receptionist as not a muscle moved in her face. She had the strength of emptiness, and its pain. Her face said everything; she needed help and she got it. He signed a medical stress leave form that could lead to short-term disability. She had savings, but not much.
She stayed out all day, walking in the park and in the art museum. She had dinner in a diner and went to a movie, then, when she felt it was safe to go home and not see or hear from either Katie or her Dad, she went home. She brushed her teeth, undressed and went to bed. And then she heard her doorbell.
She didn’t move. It rang again. And out her window, she could hear someone calling her name. And it rang again. She knew who it was.
Katie offered her a monthly contract to help her with the expansion while Enid decided what to do in the long term. And she’d contacted some of her suppliers to find out what kind of compensation plans they had, and her father had happily agreed to the best one for Enid—plus 15 percent. She gave Enid a cheque, and pages and pages of information on services available to her from an employment coaching firm.
When Katie left, she filled up the tub and rid her mind and body of the stress of the past two days. She could do this. She could make a change. She had family supporting her.