Underestimated(4)

By: Jettie Woodruff


everything? Do they deliver?”

Millie laughed at my run-on sentence. I didn’t

mean not to give her time to answer. I was just happy we

weren’t talking about my house anymore.

“Yes. You can get furniture for every room in the

house, including curtains.”

I was glad she mentioned curtains. I had neglected

to add them to my long list.

“Thank you,” I said, taking a ten dollar bill from

my purse. I liked Millie, and I hoped we would become

friends. She was probably twenty years or more, older

than me, but nonetheless she was a very nice lady.

“Can I offer you some more advice?” she asked.

“Yes, of course.”

“There is a place about fifteen miles from here

called Potters. It’s a warehouse full of housewares. I am

sure you could buy everything you need there, and they

only sell American made,” she added, proud of that fact.

I took out a piece of paper. “Thank you, Millie. I

will definitely go there. Do you know the address?”

Millie laughed a short laugh. “You don’t need an

address sweetie. Turn right at the stop light and drive till

you see the billboard on the left that says Potters. You

can’t miss it.”

“Thank you. I better get going. I have a long day

ahead of me,” I smiled and left the ten dollars on the

counter, leaving her a three a dollar tip.

“Come back this evening. Tonight is meatloaf

Friday,” she invited, and I left with a nod and a smile.

I knew I wouldn’t be back. I had too much to do,

but I would come back and have meatloaf Friday

sometime. I hadn’t had meatloaf since before my Grandma

Joyce passed away.

I drove to the furniture store first. I couldn’t

believe the prices. I had twenty-five thousand dollars in

pre-paid visa cards to buy everything that I needed, and I

wasn’t going to spend near what I thought I would. I was

pleasantly surprised at the quality. The dining room table

that I had picked out would have cost me probably five

times as much back in Las, I mean Indiana. I ended up

buying more than what was even on my list. I hadn’t

planned on buying an area rug, a desk, television or coffee

and end tables. I got everything that I needed for a fraction

of what I had planned on spending.

I was on cloud nine, up until it was time to pay that

is. I was standing at the counter, and the older man asked

for my last name.

Dammit. What is it? I was drawing a blank. I had

the Riley part, but the last name just wasn’t registering. I

could feel my face becoming flush when I didn’t answer

right away. He stood in front of me, awkwardly wondering

why I wasn’t answering.

“Murphy,” I almost yelled, when it finally came to

me. He gave me a funny look and turned back to his

computer screen.

I finished giving him my information, and we had

delivery setup for the following day. I would still have to

sleep on the floor for one more night, but I was okay with

that. I would much rather clean in the empty rooms than try

to clean around furniture. I would at least have curtains

over the windows.

I went to Potter’s next, and spent more time than I

should have in there. I was so thankful that Millie had told

me about it. The prices there too, surprised me, and I

bought everything that I needed, and then some. I found the

cutest set of dishes and couldn’t help thinking about the

exquisite china back in Indiana. Drew would have never

eaten off of plates like that. They were white, and although

I hated the bright yellow walls back at the house, the cute

little yellow ducklings circling the plates and saucers

were adorable. I wondered then if I had bought everything

that Drew would hate on purpose.

I was so excited. I could hardly contain myself. I

had stolen, well not actually stolen, we were married. I

had taken a microscopic amount of his money. Drew

probably hadn’t even figured that part out yet. I honestly

didn’t want anything of his. I would have walked away

and slept on the floor for months had Ms. K not convinced

me to take what was rightfully mine. Boy was I ever

grateful that she did. Now that I think about it, she didn’t

really give me a choice in the matter. I was taking the

money.

Buying the house was a little more difficult. It took

me almost six months to embezzle the eighty six thousand

dollars that Drew would never find. I had added between

fifteen and eighteen thousand dollars to different overhead

expenses for six straight months. The first couple of

months I was paranoid, no I was terrified that he was

going to catch it, but he never did. Stupid bastard

shouldn’t have been so credulous. I knew exactly where