I wandered around an old, falling-apart place that looked like a trailer from the outside but was a house inside. Surrounded by weeds. Hot, the afternoon holding its breath. Worrying, searching for Gretchen. I climbed decrepit stairs – no G. Came down, searched the living room. Ventured down into the dusty old basement, a single bare bulb…dim, on its last strand of filament. Cobwebs. More corners than one room should have. Trudged upstairs, head hanging low. I gasped in relief to see her sitting at the kitchen table, calmly drinking a soda. I got a soda from the fridge and walked down the hall toward my room, passing the guest room on the left —
Melissa was sitting on the bed, writing, her things on the bed. She’d let herself into the house while no one was home.
Angrily folding my clothes, wondering why Gretchen wasn’t upset.
Went to kitchen, around the corner where Linder was starting dinner. I hissed under my breath and signed at the same time. “why is SHE [Melissa’s name sign] here?!” Linder looked at me blankly and shrugged. “she let herself in! how dare she??” It was clear I was working myself into a state of solitary righteous indignation so I stomped out.
Melissa was now sitting at the table with G. I signed to Gretchen, “where you? search – not find. worry i!” Shrug. Intruder = Lin.
I packed, tasting loss and sorrow.
I couldn’t get the proper ASL conversation quotes to work b/c the html editor overrode me despite extra spaces. I’m short on time. Apologies to any d/Deaf or HOH readers out there.