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An Unexpected Visit

It has been a stressful morning for Megan. Her kids had missed the bus (again), and she had to drive them to school, making her late for an appointment with her doctor. She finally made it home after a quick stop at the supermarket to pick up ingredients for tonight's dinner, but as she turned on the path leading to her front door, she noticed an unexpected visitor standing there.


It was her friend, Darlene, whom she had not seen in ages.


Megan's face lit up with a smile, and, in her excitement, she nearly dropped the bags she was carrying.


"Darlene! What brings you here?"


Darlene smiled and shrugged, "I was in the neighborhood. We hadn't seen each other in a while so I thought I'd come check and see how you were doing."


That's when Megan remembered the state of her house. She had not yet folded the clothes that were piled on the couch, there were dishes still in the sick that needed to be washed, and her kids had left their toys scattered about the room.


Her excitement dimmed a little as her cheeks flushed with embarrassment, "I wish you had called. Now is not a good time."


But Darlene only laughed, walking over to take some of the grocery bags from her, "It can't be any worse than that pigsty of a room you made me sleep in when I spent the night!"


Megan snorted with laughter, taking out her keys and opening the door, "I forgot about that!"

She had been a "Messy Bessy" when she was younger, perhaps that's where her kids got it from, but thankfully she had grown out of it.


Together, they put the groceries away, all the while talking about how their families were doing. Then Darlene offered to help Megan put away the toys while they talked about school and the latest gossip. They folded clothes together, washed and dried dishes together, all the while catching up with everything they missed.


When their tasks were done, they sat out on the porch, drinking tea and quietly enjoying the day without saying a word until Darlene stood up and turned to Megan with a smile, "Well, I have to go now. This was fun!"


Megan thanked her for her help, hoping she would one day be able to repay her kindness, "We should do it again sometime! Your house next time!"


Darlene smiled and left just as the bus showed up and Megan's kids came running towards her.

Distracted by her children, she did not notice Darlene's figure vanish, but she did notice her glass of tea remained on the table, untouched.


"That's strange." She said, but then it was back to her normal routine as her kids began their homework while she prepared dinner.


Midway through the meal, she got a call on her cell from Darlene's number.


"Hello?"


"Megan?" It was a man's voice.


"Daryn?" Recognizing Darlene's brother immediately, "What's wrong?"


"I'm just calling to tell you, Darlene had an accident this morning after her husband left for work."


That didn't sound right.


"An accident? She spent the afternoon with me? She never said anything about an accident."


There was a pregnant pause on Daryn's end.


"Daryn?"


"Megan ... I ... Darlene couldn't have been there." His voice began to crack, "She's ... She died this morning!"


(Originally posted as part of the Author's Challenge 2020 for March, Day 3 - An Unexpected Visit)

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