We Get A New Tenant And Keep The Kid
Alice and Jeffrey listened to activity in the house slow to a stop. They heard Justin slap his practice pad on his desk and let the sticks he'd nearly worn the beads from fall into the empty planter on the window sill. A half hour later, things got heated on Zoom in Dylan's room. One of the young men in his study group refused to believe there was anything to worry about.
"He's got Legionnaire's Disease, you idiots! Lookit where he was! Or he caught something from some strange he met at the conference and he's trying to cover his butt! I'm not hiding in my house just to make him feel better!"
There was a pause. Then they heard one of Dylan's friends speak up.
"Bro. You got to calm down."
"I AM calm!"
Alice sighed. "I wish he was right. He's not. Karl's a good person. He wouldn't do that."
"No, he wouldn't." Jeffrey agreed. "But I'd almost be grateful if he called tomorrow and said, 'It's not the virus. I caught a little something from doing a little something.'" He turned to Alice. "What are the odds?" She shook her head. "Yeah. You're right. He's a good guy. I worry he's going to catch hell about this if it lasts more than a few weeks."
They listened as the kids on Zoom came to a consensus that they couldn't come to a consensus and logged out. They heard Dylan sigh and the bed springs creak as he laid back. Outside, the tree frogs sang and there was the occasional whine of a commercial jet.
"I think I know what we'll do to wait this out." Alice settled in and flipped the edge of the blanket over the book Jeffrey wasn't reading. We need to talk it over tomorrow. Plan on spending the first half of the day in negotiations.
"Oh. Mah gourd! That is so UNFAIR!" Justin seethed.
While he was saying this, Dylan danced around the dining room and enacted every football touchdown dance he could remember. This was too much for Justin, way too much.
"Little dude," Dylan paused mid-Smurf and pointed at his brother, "You need to be at peace with this. This is the way."
"You are taking advantage of the virus to get what you want! You... You... You TURD!"
Dylan felt a little, but just a little bad for Justin.
"Justin. Justie. J-Poodle, look..."
"I'm a man. I need my space."
Jeffrey walked back to the table and sat down to his now-cold bacon and toast.
"This is temporary until we get tests and get this thing figured out. Dylan, take what you need for the next few weeks."
Justin picked up Dylan's toaster waffle, licked it and tossed it back on his plate.
"That was the last one!" He rasped. "And enjoy Nana's old apartment. It probably smells like pee and raisin bran."
Alice shook her head. "This is going to be a long Spring," she muttered.