Real life has been impacting my writing more than usual lately.
A couple of months ago, when we were still on full lockdown, a neighbor called late at night. She’d fallen and hurt herself; and wanted a ride to the hospital.
Long story short, despite my misgivings surrounding the virus, I helped her because I thought it was the right thing to do.
Got her dressed, put her in my car, took her to the hospital, returned a few hours later to bring her home, took her to the all-night pharmacy and waited inside with her while she got painkillers, took her home.
I then checked on her multiple times a day for the next couple of days to make sure she was okay.
She verbally thanked me.
Now I don’t do things in order to be thanked, but I do notice when someone makes almost no effort to acknowledge an effort that was made on their behalf. If she’d just given me a card, I would have felt okay, but because she did next to nothing, I felt used.
Last week she moved, without so much as a text saying good-bye.
I know that says more about her than it does about me, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot as I finish up Hitwoman 24.
In this book, despite already having too much on her plate, Maggie Lee does something which she believes to be the right thing, but then she has second thoughts about it and ends up feeling used. In some ways, her emotional journey in this one is hitting close to home and I’ve been struggling to get it right.
Not to worry, Maggie’s story has a happy-ish ending.
To tap into that, I’ve been thinking about another neighbor.
A few years ago, a woman I barely knew (we’d met a few times but had never really spent any time together) called me in a panic. She was on a trip and hadn’t brought her passport, but they weren’t going to let her on the cruise without it.
She asked me to go into her home, find the passport and send a picture so that they’d allow her to board.
So I did, despite the fact I’d never stepped inside her home before. I was happy to do it for her.
She was sooo grateful and when she returned thanked me with a sweet card, a sweet treat and a gift certificate. As a result, we became friends and remain so despite the fact she’s moved across the country.
And when she moved, she gifted me this painting she’d done: