Fiction Holiday

What a Fool

Josie stood in her yard, looking at her handiwork. Today was March 31st and tomorrow will be April 1st. The first day of April is the day immature people play tricks and jokes on other people and this year Josie was determined not to be pranked. She tested the electric fence she had put around her yard to make sure it was hot. The meter read full strength. Good, any fool would avoid that.

Satisfied that her perimeter was now safe, Josie went into her house. She locked the front door and began checking her windows. Those were locked securely. Josie then checked the back door and made sure it was locked, as well as the door from the garage. The blond woman checked to make sure the main garage door was locked as well as the side garage door. You can never be too careful, she thought.

She had already sent out email and text messages to her family letting them know she will be out of contact with them on April Fools Day. They understood. After all, it had only been two years since that fateful prank went so horribly wrong. They knew it was best to give her some space so she could grieve and then come to terms with the accident.

Unlike most people in today's age, Josie still had a landline at her house. She lived in an area where cell towers were few and far between and a landline was more reliable. She also had a cell phone, but if someone needed to contact her they could leave a message on the landline. Today, Josie removed the phone line from the jack in the wall and placed it next to the phone on its stand. Next, she turned off her cell phone and removed the battery. It was getting dark so Josie then went to bed.

The next morning Josie woke up bright and early. This year April Fools Day was on a Saturday and Josie didn't have to worry about interacting with other people. That was good, she could avoid the inevitable pranksters at the office where she worked. Most people there understood her aversion to the day, but some of them, including a joker, did not.

Josie walked from her bedroom to her kitchen and made some coffee. She sat down at the kitchen table and sipped her coffee while she worked on a word find puzzle. Her normal Saturday routine involved catching up on the news, then going for a run. However, with today being THAT day, Josie decided it was best to exercise by using the treadmill she kept in the laundry room. After she finished her coffee and washed her cup, Josie returned to her bedroom, changed into her running clothes, then walked to the laundry room that was located off of the garage.

Now she remembered why she rarely used the treadmill. It was boring. There is nothing to see while you move your legs up and down, trying to burn calories. On cold winter days Josie would take her tablet and watch some Podcasts, but today she is avoiding all contact with the outside world and her tablet was off-limits. Her usual hour run seemed like 4 hours and Josie found it hard to discipline herself to finish it. When her wrist alarm went off, Josie gladly stepped off the treadmill and headed to her shower.

This was going to be a boring day. Was she being over cautious? Josie didn't know and at this point decided it was better to be safe than sorry. After her shower, Josie went to her living room and sat down on her favorite chair, and picked up that novel she had been trying to read all year. Maybe a day unplugged from the world would help her forget.

Two hours later, Josie decided she had enough of the story. It was one of those life-affirming stories about a person learning to love themselves. Josie had received it from her mother at Christmas time. The 30-year old put the book down and picked up her photo album. She turned the pages, looking at pictures of her family, her high school graduation, her graduation from the Naval Academy. Then she found the pictures of Brad, her late fiancé. Josie closed the book quickly and put the book down. Not today, she thought. She was not in the mood to think about his death today. It had only been two years, it was too soon.

The woman walked over to her kitchen and made herself a sandwich. She removed the deli meat from the refrigerator, then the lettuce, mayonnaise, mustard, onions, and pickles. She found a loaf of bread in the bread box and took out two slices of rye bread, then put together the sandwich. It tasted a little dull to Josie. Brad had taught her to enjoy rye bread and the thought of him made her sad. She went into her fridge and brought out a beer, hoping that would help her choke down the food.

When the sandwich and 4 beers were finished, Josie returned to the living room. She sat down on the chair and pulled out the photo album again. Turning to the picture of Brad, Josie allowed herself to cry. The tears flowed freely, powerfully, as the pain returned to the woman. “Why did he do it?” she screamed out loud. “He didn't know. He didn't know I was trained in Special Forces. He didn't know how I would react!” Josie sobbed. She fell onto her knees, her face in her hands. Josie cried until she had no more tears left to cry. Then she got up off the floor, wiped the tears from her cheeks, and returned to the kitchen so that she could get another beer. Heck, she grabbed the rest of the 6 pack.

Once the beer was finished, Josie took a bottle of wine out of her pantry. It was a cheap Zinfandel. She twisted off the lid and poured herself the tallest glass she had. Soon, the bottle was done and Josie was too. She stumbled to her room and laid down on the bed.

Josie was awakened to the sound of her alarm clock going off. It was set to go off only during the weekdays so Josie was a little confused to hear it. She bolted upright in her bed, her head screaming back at her in pain. She found her cell phone, put the battery back in it, and turned it on. The date displayed on the screen was Monday, April 3rd. Josie had her days mixed up! With this realization, Josie laughed out loud. She had spent April Fools Day preparing for April Fools Day!  

March 29, 2021 05:32

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