Postcard Prose #11 (The Final Piece)

Dear Emmi, & Lucy,
Thanks for the Birthday Wishes. Really had a ball here. Spent last Wed. at La Rocca with Flaminio. She treated us to a lovely lunch. Harry found some mushrooms which we took her and she had them cooked for up at the castle.
We are really enjoying it. Miss our U.S. coffee and hot water tho. Hope you are well.
Love Theresa

Reading the part about U.S. coffee caused Emmi to pick up her small paper cup, and take a sip of her still-hot latte. After she finished reading the card, and sipping her coffee, she looked up at Lucy sitting across the small, black iron table, reading the newspaper. She also picked up her paper cup (hers filled with black coffee), and took a sip.

"I don't understand how they don't have hot water in Europe," Emmi said to Lucy, "it's not like Theresa and Jerry traveled back in time to the Stone Age."

Lucy replied without looking away from the paper, "I think their host Flaminio in particular just doesn't have hot water right now…I want to say that's what their first postcard to us said."

Emmi looked out of the window they sat next to, watching the cars go down the street. An airplane flew lower than normal overhead in the east towards the airport. Her eyes stayed on the plane until it disappeared.

"When are we going to be able to take a vacation?" Emmi asked, "I feel like if a married couple like Theresa and Jerry can do it, we as single roommates can do it too!"

This time Lucy looked away from her newspaper at Emmi, her cup still in her hand. The look she gave didn't encourage Emma that they would be taking a trip anytime in the near future.

"Don't glare at me!" Emmi exclaimed, "we've been roommates for almost two years at this point, and we haven't taken a road trip, or a trip out of the country together at all! And all of our friends who are dating or married have! How is that? How can they find the time, and we can't?"

Lucy sighed and put down her newspaper on the table. "Emmi, money-wise? It seems impossible. I mean, we're barely paying rent these days. Unless you want to try to find another job…"

"Umm, you could find another job too, ya know," Emmi retorted, "I know for a fact you want a vacation just as badly as I do!" She looked through the window again, unable to look Lucy in the face after she'd received that glare. Emmi knew that it would be a stretch to take a vacation right now; the place she and Lucy were living in was extremely nice, but barely affordable, and they were unwilling to move from it because it was located close to the community college Lucy was attending in the fall, and it was in the middle of the downtown area where all of Emmi's favorite coffee shops were, and where she did most of her work.

Emmi finally said, "Lucy, I think we should do it. I mean, we aren't getting any younger, and it seems like everyone is going on some sort of vacation. Can't we just pool our money together after we pay next month's rent, and see what we can afford?"

"I've never asked you in the two years we've lived together how much you make," Lucy began, "but I know for a fact that, even after I pay our bills, whatever's leftover won't be enough for a trip."

"Even if you don't buy groceries for the time we're gone?" Emmi asked, "Lucy, if you can't tell right now, I'm kind of suffocating here Pasadena."

Lucy took another sip of her coffee. "I know, I know, I mean, so am I, but that doesn't mean we should go bankrupt to save our sanity! We'd only make it worse once we got back."

Emmi was determined to make it work. Neither of them had ever left Pasadena since they both grew up there, went to the same school, and now lived together in a small apartment downtown. They were both tired of seeing the same things over and over again; it was time to explore the world.

"I'm willing to do some research on some cheap road trips or something," Emmi said, "if you're willing to actually consider this. Wouldn't it be nice to travel somewhere before the summer is over, and you'll be stuck studying?'

Lucy sighed again, wrapping her hands around her coffee cup. She looked towards the ceiling, and pushed her glasses towards her face. "I mean, I guess you're right," she said, looking down at the floor, "I can see what I can do with the money I have. Just let me know what you find, okay?"

Looking at her watch, Lucy stood up from the table and said, "I've got to go meet Sarah, my admissions rep, to talk about stuff happening this upcoming fall. See you back at the apartment?"

Emmi nodded, still lost in thought about taking a vacation. She grabbed her cup and Theresa's postcard, and headed out of the door right behind Lucy.

"I'm going back to our place now to do some research!" she exclaimed to Lucy, and quickly walked down a few blocks towards home. She wasn't going to let this chance to maybe leave Pasadena before the summer was over slip past them.

However, as soon as she walked through the front door apartment, Emmi's hopes fell. Instead of being greeted by the cool, refreshing air of the central air unit, she was met with sticky, humid air that was hotter than the air outside of the apartment.

"No, no, no…" Emmi muttered as she strutted inside towards the air conditioner control panel. The thermometer read 80 degrees, and she noticed that the switch was turned on, but there definitely wasn't any cool air to be found in the apartment. With a sigh, Emmi took her phone, and made a phone call to Lucy.

"Hey, it's me," she said when her call went to voicemail, "our AC is out now; feels like a sauna in here. I'm going to call Phil, and see if he can do anything about it today."

After she hung up, Emmi closed her eyes and placed a palm on her hand. She knew that getting the air to work again would cost them some extra money for next month's rent, which meant that, at least for the time being, a trip would definitely be out of the question.

"Get me out of here," Emmi mumbled before dialing for Phil, their apartment maintenance man.


💙 Mishy 🦋