Ayla pounded a weak fist on her pillow as she woke to the sound of rain on her window. She turned off her alarm and rolled over in bed.
“Well, no reason to wake up early now. Right, Mocha?” She pat her fluffy brown and black cat and got an annoyed look in return.
She sighed and pulled the blanket over her head. Maybe I’ll do laundry today instead. She took a sniff and cringed. After over half an hour of rolling around trying to get comfortable when she was just too annoyed at the rain, Mocha left and Ayla decided it was time to get up.
The bathroom light was a better alarm then her phone could ever be. It accentuated her unwashed tangled mass of blonde hair, faded pink from her last mental breakdown. Her face had red angry bumps poking out in a few places, and let’s not even get started on the state of her body hair situation. To save the grimy details, her eyebrows were more singular than plural.
She shook her head and started the shower. Mocha jumped on the counter and watched as Ayla stripped off her tank top with growing holes, that she had too long to bring herself to throw out, and panties. No reason to wear pants when nobody else is around. Ayla stuck a leg in the stream of water to test the temperature. Scalding hot, just as she likes it. Mocha stayed silent on the counter.
When finally done brushing the knots out of her hair, Ayla left the bathroom and found a pair of peach booty shorts and a loose-fitting concert tee. Nickelback. Nice. Her small bedroom mirrored the rest of her lonely house. The hallway leading to the living room was dark and blank. No picture frames or art hung on the walls. Mocha was a silent shadow as she trailed Ayla to the kitchen.
“Here you go,” Ayla mashed up some chicken pate and placed it in a saucer on the ground. “Ground up mush.”
Mocha glared at Ayla before bending down and devouring her breakfast. Ayla put her elbows on the window sill and watched water droplets race to the bottom. Beyond the racing droplets was a patch of yard overgrown and just waiting for her to rip it apart.
“Ugh!” She threw her head back and turned from the window.
She plopped on her couch and Mocha came around the corner, sat down, and promptly started cleaning her face.
“Well, Mocha, what should we do today?” Mocha licked her nose. “I was supposed to get the garden started, seeing as I have my first day off in three weeks. But guess that won’t happen, thanks rain!”
Ayla looked out the living room window. She bought this house a couple months ago. Small, one floored, tiny patch of land. But, she was big into gardening with her grandpa before he passed. Plus she was going to grow Mocha some catnip. She was all excited when she got home from work the night before. Gathered shovels, troughs, and her wheelbarrow to rip apart a thorn bush that was in some prime garden real estate.
Ayla looked down at her hand. Her nails hadn’t been tended to in so long. Her cuticles needed some major TLC.
She sighed, “Guess I could do my nails.”
Ayla stepped over Mocha, now lazily rolling on the floor, and got her seriously neglected manicure set from the linen closet. She sat on the living room floor and started clipping her uneven nails and cleaning the dirt out from under them. After the top coat she started on color.
“Look, Mocha! Now I have a literal green thumb, ha!” She extended her hand toward Mocha on the floor. Mocha, as always, looked disinterested.
“What do you think about me going green next time?” Ayla spun a faded strand of hair between her fingers.
Ayla laid on the floor and looked at the water marks on the ceiling. “Water ruins everything, huh.”
After a few minutes she sat up and inspected her nails. Satisfied they were dry and stood and looked around her living room.
“Hm.” She tilted her head. “I don’t know how I feel about this chair being here. I can face it out the window so I can see the garden, if I’m ever able to get started on that.”
Mocha looked concerned as Ayla picked her up and placed her next to the front door. She grabbed the couch and pushed. It didn’t slide well over the carpet, that was in desperate need of a vacuuming, but she finally got it to the corner of the room and turned it. The lamp was trapped behind it. She didn’t care where the couch faced, it was for the guests she never had. The rocking chair was her and Mocha’s go-to seat. Hand made from a tree that fell down in her neighbor’s yard twenty years ago. Her mother had made the cushions. It squeaked when you rocked in it but Ayla liked the sound, reminded her she was alive.
Ayla turned the rocking chair to face out the window. Then she decided she didn’t like where the TV stand was. She disconnected the TV and her Wii and pushed it to the corner opposite the couch. Now she had the TV stand angled to be parallel with the couch and the rocking chair next to the front door facing the window. That’s it. That’s all her living room was.
“We really need to get more furniture, huh?” Ayla watched Mocha jump on the couch, stretch, and lay down.
The rain outside picked up and larger drops hammered the windows. Grey clouds grey darker as more moved in. The cluster of line trees on the property line swayed with the wind and dropped needles on the ground. Hopefully the soil isn’t too acidic for a garden. A streak of light flashed across the sky.
Ayla looked at her phone screen. Mocha was the background to no notifications. “Mochie, what else should I do today?” Mocha yawed. “Yeah, a nap sounds good.”
Thunder rattled the sky. Mocha jumped and her already fluffy tail stood up like she was given a jolt from the electric chair.
“Sweetie! It’s alright,” Ayla rushed to the couch and cradled her. Another boom, and Mocha’s nails sunk into Ayla’s arm.
“Here, I know what to do.”
Ayla grabbed the remote and turned on spotify. “Drown out the scary thunder, huh?” Another boom and Mocha’s eyes went wide. “I know, I don’t like it either,” she stroked her fur.
Music from Ayla’s liked songs played. She had a mixture of songs from different genres, anything from kpop to rock, but never country. She switched it to the 90’s/Early 2000’s playlist and turned it up. Immediately, “I Want it That Way” by the Backstreet Boys came on.
“Oh, Mocha! Dance with me!” Ayla swung her cat around in a circle a few times, singing along as more thunder sounded.
Slowly, the size of Mocha’s eyes reduced.
“Tell ya what, Mochie. My next day off I’ll get your crate from the shed and you can come outside with me while I start the garden. Does that sound nice?” Ayla swayed and hummed with her cat in her arms as they rode out the storm together.