Not-Donna

Thoughts from a Hospital Hallway

Olivia Semple

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Photo by Bret Kavanaugh on Unsplash

Her name was Mary, but uncle Teddy may as well have introduced her to us as “Not-Donna”, since that’s how we all treated her. Vivian hated her. The other sisters didn’t hate her, but said they thought she was “a lot”, which meant the same thing. Not-Donna was big and fat, half-deaf, and so rude. She’d just plop down at the kitchen table while the rest of us were talking and yell at him about what time did he want to leave. Except she wasn’t really yelling at him, she just couldn’t hear how loud her own voice was. We all knew that, but since she was Not-Donna, the sisters rolled their eyes at one another when Teddy wasn’t looking. Nobody wanted to like her.

Donna hadn’t even been dead for two months when he started talking about this new, big fat woman. Nobody knew she was big and fat yet though, because he’d met her on the internet, and on the internet, she just had a big old bobblehead and a lot of pictures of her cats. He loved cats.

They met on a Facebook group for Abyssinian lovers. I guess one night, a week or so after Donna died, Not-Donna’s cat had an allergic reaction in the middle of the night. Teddy couldn’t sleep back then because he was grieving so hard, and so he saw her 2am plea for help, and he messaged her with some tips. Whatever he suggested worked, and the cat got better within a few minutes. Then…

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Olivia Semple

Gypsy lady, chocolate fiend. Forever dizzy at Kierkegaard's abyss. I should be editing my novel but I’m procrastinating here instead.