Note: We've had so much fun with serialized stories that I'm trying my hand at one again! Here's the next installment of a new adventure for Cara Mia Delgatto and her friends. To read Part 1, scroll to the bottom of the blog post and click on OLDER POSTS.
"Let me think about that," I said, not wanting to tell Honora no. She rarely asks for anything, but she gives so much to all of us. Since her own daughter, EveLynn, has Asperger's, Honora has all this nurturing stored up inside, and no one to shower with her affection. Certainly, you can't touch EveLynn without making her upset. But slowly, Honora has come to be more and more lovey to all of us, dispensing hugs and pecks on the cheek with great gusto. She's the first of us to notice when someone is down. As for pitching in, Honora is always ready and willing to lend a hand. So while the words, "I don't think so" peppered the tip of my tongue, I swallowed them whole. Instead, I ventured a wobbly smile.
"You don't like birds?" Honora picked up on my reticence right away.
"Not really. I was attacked by a blue jay when I was a kid. In fact, I still have a tiny scar here." Lifting a piece of hair by my temple, I showed Honora the white pathway. "My dad discovered a nest with babies in our oak tree. I guess I got too close, and the parents decided to drive me away. Since then, I've given birds of any kind a wide berth. Cockatoos are big, aren't they? Uh, I think I'd feel pretty uncomfortable with one sharing our store."
Skye Blue stuck her head inside my office. "Okay, I was eavesdropping. Honora, I love birds! I'd be happy to take the cockatoo off your friend's hands. If my landlord doesn't mind."
That last bit was directed at me. Skye rents the apartment that's the twin of mine, which makes us neighbors. The twinkle in her blue eyes told me she was thrilled at the prospect of owning a cockatoo. Even as a tingle ran through my body and the hairs stood up on my arms, I found myself saying, "Okay. Of course I wouldn't stop you, if that's what you want."
This, I told myself, is a wonderful opportunity to come face-to-face with a deep-seated and irrational fear. You really, really need to get over your negativity about birds. Besides, if Skye keeps it in her apartment, you never have to see the winged beast.
"You sure?" Skye cocked her head and stared at me. "Cara, you look a little pale. If this really frightens you, we don't need to do it. I'm sure Honora can find this bird another home."
"That's the problem." Honora sighed and shook her head. "I've asked everyone I know, and I've been turned down repeatedly. Most of my friends are older. They have trouble stooping, so cleaning up after a bird would be problematic."
"Bring it on," I said, waving my hand in an airy dismissal. "If Skye wants the thing, it's hers."
But a little clutch of my tummy told me this wouldn't be as simple as it seemed.
~ To Be Continued ~