It was raining when I woke the next evening, the fourth day of my new
life, tucked beneath the ancient quilt that covered my bed.
-- Chloe Neill, Some Girls Bite
It's been a week since I began puppy sitting for my coworker. I was all cuddled up under the quilt, when--for the first time--they barked to get my attention. As I got up, and peeked at the clock behind the various things I had covering it, I noticed it was 5:30 in the morning. My alarm on my phone was set to go off in half an hour.
When I arrived at the child gate holding the pups in the kitchen, I noticed both gray snauzers were standing there with their noses almost rubbing the gate. The fact that they barked when they were ready to go out is a signal that they are settling more into my presence, since that is their normal behavior, yet hadn't been done since Aunt Sophie took over.
So in my night shirt, I fixed the leash to Shasta, took Duchess in my arms and proceeded out of the apartment. Of course, Shasta bolted out the door, only to be stopped by the leash. Duchess and I had to navigate the maze under the stairs that Shasta had created with the leash.
Since I had time, I let them take their time after I put Duchess down. Eventually, she returned to me, eager and trying to jump into my arms, which is her signal that she's ready to go inside.
Once inside, after unleashing Shasta and refilling the empty water bowl, I noticed I had 15 more minutes before my alarm went off, so after washing my feet off, I crawled on top of the covers, lay 3/4 on my stomach with my left leg stretched over my right and dozed until my alarm went off.
Not having to take the pups out gave me a little extra time to shower, shave, dress and do my hair and makeup. Just a normal day getting ready for work.
Being a little low in the gas tank, I stopped to fill up at the station on the corner, and noticed I couldn't find my glasses. After driving back to the apartment and not finding them there, I noticed they had fallen by the driver's seat next to the door.
It's been almost two months since I went full time. The co-worker for whom I am watching her pups has never been clued into my old life. I thought at one time that I was going to have to tell her, but that bullet has been dodged for now. I show up for work in a skirt most days, feeling perfectly comfortable in them, and less comfortable in slacks. There have been absolutely no issues at work about my transition, and the only people who seem to regularly get the pronoun wrong before immediately fixing it are the few people who were "in-the-know."
One of those people has just left for another job in Minnesota. I took Anil to pick up his car after work at the private airport terminal, and we shared a farewell dinner at O'Charley's afterward. Even though my makeup had certainly been mostly absorbed by then and I had tied my hair back in an impromptu pony tail with my bang loosely covering my right eye, people still unerringly referred to me as Ma'am--and in a town that I considered very conservative and redneck. I had forgotten to be afraid.
I had support duty last week, which required using the telephone to contact customers and help debug their issues. I reached one person, saying "This is Sophie with the XXX helpdesk calling for XXX." To my dismay, I was sir'ed practically to death. When I called the mobile number for the actual person I was trying to contact and instead said, "This is Sophia XXX with the helpdesk," I was mollified with ma'ams.
My leg is feeling better. It's got a couple of knots left--one on the right side of the thigh and one in the calf, but I am able now to walk without a limp. I miss dancing lessons, so I'll be headed back tonight after I make sure the pups have their potty walk, water and food.
This is the hardest part of all: I have the divorce paperwork notarized. We both agree it's in our best interest to have this done as soon as possible. Since I have to file it in Louisville and I'm staying in Elizabethtown right now, the best thing to do is to just leave work an hour and a half early tomorrow to file before the office closes at 4:30. The fact that I am able to type what I just did without crying is maybe a sign that I'm finally ready to do it.
Meanwhile, on my mind is the bed I am going to have to buy for when my children come to visit. I won't have much time to purchase it and have it delivered before they arrive for a week. I do so miss them.
Hugs and God Bless,