“Ladies it’s good to see you again. What did you bring with you this time?” I asked as Bunny and Clarissa entered the house.
“I found a local coffee roaster over on 6th Avenue and thought we’d give their French Roast a try,” said Bunny handing me the coffee beans.
“I brought scones and Devonshire Cream from The Hawthorn Tea Room,” said Clarissa displaying a clear container with six scones, the flavors hand printed on the lid above them.
“So, what are you supplying?” asked Bunny.
“My friend, Keira, in New Zealand sent me this huge bar of chocolate from Whittaker’s. Apparently they are the local chocolatier. Check this out, it’s called Ghana Peppermint. Richard and I have already consumed over half the bar. There are four rows left,” I said handing Bunny the wrapper.
“Seventy-two percent cocoa, wow, you can smell the chocolate and peppermint on the wrapper,” said Bunny holding it up for Clarissa to smell.
“What’s this?” asked Clarissa picking a card up from the kitchen counter.
“That’s the card Keira sent with it,” I said, “she is such a jokester read what she wrote inside.”
“Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands, and then eat just one of the pieces. So how strong are you? Love, Keira,” said Clarissa.
“Well, I can tell you we aren’t very strong,” I said, “I made Richard promise to leave enough for our coffee klatch.”
“Fannie, there are four pieces left, how are we going to divide it?” asked Bunny admiring the plate.
“Why can’t you cut it into thirds?” asked Clarissa, “it’s big enough.”
“The center is hollow and filled with a peppermint cream. I thought we could discuss it over coffee and take a vote.”
“Wow, Bunny, these beans smell fantastic,” I said over the grinder.
“Wait until you taste it,” said Bunny.
“Clarissa, I’ve set the coffee table, do you mind putting the chocolate and the scones on the table?”
“So Bunny, I hear congratulations are in order. George said you got your massage license and you’re re-opening your massage business.”
“I sure am, honey. I was getting calls from all over people asking me to start back up. We should be fully operational in a few weeks.”
“What are you calling your practice?” asked Clarissa.
“What I called it in Houston, Bunny’s Kick Ass Massage.”
“How can you say that with a straight face?” I asked laughing.
“How do you introduce yourself as Fannie Cranium?”
Richard entered the kitchen as the smell of coffee filled the air.
Sniffing the air, Richard said, “ladies, you need to save some of that coffee for me when I get back inside.”
“What are you working on?” I asked.
“I thought this was the perfect time to get out of the house and clean the driveway,” said Richard spotting the scones on the table, “so, if you’re really nice to me you’ll save me one of those scones with the coffee when I get back in.”
“I think we can arrange that,” I said smiling.
Richard walked into the garage. As the garage door opened, the sun glinted off rain drops on the truck’s windshield causing him to squint. A testimonial to sun breaks on a stormy day. Donning his ear buds, music flowed like the water.
Using the pressure washer, Richard guided 2,000 pounds of pure energy. Moss flew from the sidewalk and sped off the driveway leaving the sparkling asphalt behind. Spray flew in all directions. The wind kicked up again sending water, moss and mud onto Richard’s clothing, face, and hair.
Each of us ate a scone saving the chocolate for dessert.
“Ladies, I can’t wait for you to try this chocolate.”
“I don’t know which smells better, the coffee or the chocolate. Lord give me strength,” said Bunny, the smell of French roast melding with the chocolate.
Clarissa ate the piece of chocolate. “Oh my god, this should be illegal. How are we going to decide who gets the last piece?”
Bunny drank some coffee clearing her palette. Taking the chocolate, she smelled it. A look of pure satisfaction spread over her face. Taking a bit from the chocolate, peppermint cream caressed her tongue followed by bitter sweet joy.
“That is a small piece of heaven ladies,” said Bunny eye the two remaining pieces. “I haven’t tasted anything like that in years. I can see what your friend meant about strength…” her voice trailed off.
Taking my piece from the plate, I said, “Well now you can see my dilemma and why I wanted to share this with you two.”
“Why don’t we draw straws?” asked Clarissa.
“Sounds like a great idea,” said Bunny looking at me, “Do you have anything we can use?”
“I’ve got toothpicks.”
“Get ‘em out, honey, we are going to need them.”
“I’m on it.”
Returning from the kitchen with the coveted toothpicks in hand, we heard a loud crash coming from the back yard. We moved to the sliding glass door together.
“Do you see anything?” I asked.
“Look over by Joe’s fence, the top of that tree just broke off and is hanging about twenty feet from the ground,” said Clarissa.
We watched as the wind picked up again the the broken tree top came crashing to the ground.
“Did it hit the fence, his dogs are in the back yard,” I said opening the door. “We need to make sure they’re okay.”
Checking the surrounding tree canopy for any additional widow makers, we made our way through the green belt to the downed tree. It grazed the fence blocking his gate. As we moved closer Joe’s dogs started barking.
“The dogs are all right,” I said relieved.
“I don’t see any damage to the fence,” said Bunny. “We better head back inside before anything else fall from the sky.”
Richard entered the house. Grabbing some old towels from the laundry room he cleaned up as best he could.
Hearing no sounds in the family room, he entered a room devoid of people. Pouring himself a cup of coffee he noticed the last piece of Ghana Peppermint.
Richard picked up the chocolate. He closed his eyes smelling the bar. The heady aroma of dark chocolate and peppermint caused him to salivate. The last piece of Ghana Peppermint crossed his lips as the sliding glass door opened.
In unison we yelled, “No.” Watching the last piece of heaven disappear.
Chewing, he smiled.
“Do you really want it back?” he asked after he swallowed.
Clarissa, Bunny and I shared a look between us.
“I guess that means we all have strength,” said Clarissa with a sigh.
“Richard, did you hear the tree fall in the backyard?” I asked.
“A tree fell?” he asked surprised. “Where?”
“How could you not hear it?” asked Clarissa, “it’s out there as plain as day in your backyard.”
Richard moved passed us to the window. Bunny spotted the earbuds dangling around his collar.
“Honey, I guess that answers the question, if a tree falls in the woods and you’re listening to an iPod, does it still make a sound?” said Bunny.