“Would you like to talk about the events of Friday now that you’ve had time to process them?” Holly asked sweetly after taking a sip of her coffee.
Autumn was in full swing in Maine. It was chilly, the wind was brisk, and the fallen leaves had created a crunchy carpet on which they could walk.
The best friends sat on their usual bench overlooking the river.
“I guess I can talk about it now,” Aaron replied less than enthusiastically.
He took a long sip of his Snapple as if he needed the liquid courage to continue. She took another sip of her coffee and waited patiently. This was his story, and he could tell it at his pace.
“I had already received a text message from Spectrum alerting me that the cable was out, and that they hoped it would be restored by 6:30,” he explained. “That had me bummed because it had been a particularly long week and a stressful day, and I was looking forward to vegging on the couch and watching some shows on my DVR.”
Holly nodded in understanding. “You always save A Million Little Things for Friday night.”
“Exactly! I’m tempted to watch it on Thursday, but I fight the urge because I know it’s the perfect show for unwinding on Friday night after a long work week. Just like The Rookie is perfect to watch on Monday night because Mondays are always so Mondayish.”
“It’s great that you have a coping mechanism in place,” Holly rewarded him with a gorgeous smile.
“So when I got home, I was already prepared for there to be no cable, but in the back of my mind I was holding out hope that I could still watch the shows saved on my DVR,” he explained. “When I walked through the door, however, the house was cold. I went to turn on the heat, and nothing happened. That’s when I knew something was wrong…”
“Yikes,” Holly agreed. “It was supposed to be in the 20s Friday night, so no heat would have been a total disaster.”
The mere thought of it made her shiver, and she chugged her coffee to warm her body.
“I went to the kitchen to check the microwave, and the digital clock was blinking. That’s how I confirmed that the power was out. So I ran next store to check with my neighbors. They confirmed that it had gone out about a half hour earlier.”
More nodding from Holly. She knew Aaron didn’t like to be interrupted when he was telling a story, but he also needed some form of feedback so he knew he had his audience’s full attention.
“So what did you do?” she asked because she that question would propel him deeper into the tale.
“What could I do?” he answered calmly as he stared out at the river as if the answers he sought were out there somewhere in the tableau of blue.
“My inner Boy Scout kicked in,” he answered his own question. “I used my phone to access the site of the power company, and it said 3300 customers in our town were without power. They had no estimate for when it would be restored, and no reason listed for the outage. I made sure the flashlights and the battery powered lamp were working. I gathered my candles and the lighter. Then I dug out my down comforter because I knew I would need extra covers for the bed if I was going to make it through the frigid night.”
“Always be prepared,” Holly said softly.
“I got the cat food out of the fridge, and then also took out what I planned to make for my dinner,” he continued. “I knew the best thing was to not open the fridge too often. I had just gone to the grocery store on Thursday, so I was worried about the frozen food I’d bought spoiling.”
Holly nodded her agreement.
“As I was feeding the kitties, I heard the furnace kick in, which meant the power was back, but I didn’t trust that it would stay on,” he said like someone who had experienced his share of power outages. “So I ran down to crank the heat to warm the house as much as possible. I also plugged in my phone in case that ended up being my only link to the outside world. Then I put my food in the microwave so I could have a warm meal.”
“I agree,” Aaron concurred. “So I was eating my dinner and watching James Corden when the power went out again. I cursed rather loudly. Then I grabbed the lamp off the shelf, and finished my dinner by lamp light. Luckily, the heat had been running, so it had taken off the chill in the house. I planned to spend the night reading, but then the power returned about five minutes later.”
“Hurray!” Holly cheered and applauded.
“So how did you deal with the power outage?” he asked after taking a long sip of Snapple.
“I got stuck at work late, so by the time I got home, it was all sorted out,” she confessed.
She shrugged and made an adorable face in hopes of saving herself from a snippy comment.
It must have worked because all Aaron said was, “I guess the moral of this story is to work late as much as possible, and all will be well in your world.”
Holly shook her head in vehement disagreement.
“No, the moral of this story is to always be prepared because you never know what life is going to throw at you. An additional moral is to always go to your house when the power is out.”
Aaron smiled. “I think that’s an excellent plan.”
“I’ll bring snacks,” Holly promised.
“That’s how you make an excellent plan even better,” he replied with a chuckle.