Just a quick note to explain why I dropped Rachel all those years ago.
I was recently moved into a new domicile, somewhere in Chelsea on Tenth Avenue, and my naughtiest friend was coming to visit me. “I have a housewarming gift for you,” she said, and I fell for it.
Because we were acquainted already for a decade I knew better than to leave anything tempting out in view. As she made her way over I rushed around tucking silver ashtrays under couch cushions and even went to the extraordinary lengths of placing all my jewels, a small pile of heirlooms, into a pale blue velvet pouch which I tucked into a boot and shoved to the back and dusty recesses of a closet.
Rachel arrived in a whirlwind of chatter and chaos and high spirits and sure enough she had brought me something, a gardenia scented candle. It crossed my mind this item had likely been lifted and spirited away from its previous owner, but I love the smell of gardenia, so I lit it and offered a private prayer.
When Rachel asked me if I would be so gracious as to make her a cup of tea it was my pleasure to oblige. Soon the kettle was whistling and boiling and I became engrossed in the process of steeping. When I turned around to hand her the brew she was nowhere to be seen. “Rachel!” I called but heard nothing back. I sped from room to room calling out her name.
And then I found her on the floor on her stomach, face deep into the closet. Somehow with her perfectly calibrated criminal olfactory system she had sniffed out the hiding place. “What the hell!” I exploded and ran and grabbed her by the ankles and dragged her, belly scraping on the bare floorboards, out from the closet. I yanked her out though still her arms were stiffly outstretched and her hands closely gripped around my bag of jewels.
We were both laughing and shrieking, but it was also the proverbial last straw. I loved her dearly but suddenly I felt I had to drop her and block her. I saw only downslide ahead, and I disengaged. I thought for certain she’d end up in jail, with me attached.
Instead, these days she is a bonafide self-made highly respectable millionaire.
It’s not the first time I’ve been wrong.