Ever since, however, I'm ashamed to admit, I kind of miss her.
It's true. I find myself howling under my breath sometimes. Such is life, I suppose.
One thing I definitely miss about her is, however, is how she used to maniacally keep the place clean. The place is constantly dirty now. The cleaning duty has fallen, by default, upon me, it seems. And I am a very poor substitute for her mania. (But no more god-damned Renuzit, that much I can tell you for sure)
When she vacated, I felt liberated! I could finally go out into the back garden without fear of trespassing. She had long treated the back as her personal haven. I was always too intimidated to venture out there. For a few weeks it was mine, all mine!
Once I was sure the coast was clear (it took a while to be completely certain she wasn't just hiding under the house waiting to pounce from behind the ferns), I decided to decorate the place a bit.
I planted a few seed packet herbs from the dollar store here and there. I stole some pots from my mother. The basil has thrived, the lavender and the cilantro, not so much.
Poverty is the mother of invention....or something like that....so I've had to be resourceful. I bought some 15 dollar chairs, and a few strings of deeply discounted paper lanterns, an outdoor mat (for another 15 dollars), made a bench and a little table, from things found in my neighbor's garbage, did a bit of painting with leftover paint...and here it is.
Of course, the sad thing is I haven't been out there at all since. It's too hot and, well, just too lonely to enjoy alone. To be honest, I get kind of sad sitting out there by myself.
I'd thought of having some people over, but again, it's still way too hot for that, and, you know, I'm still half afraid the howler is under the house waiting to pounce. You never can be too safe.