“Oh, hello, Abby, dear,” Maga said. “How are you?”

“I’m good. How are you feeling?”

“I just found out I lost a dear friend, so I’m not too perky.”

“Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear this.”

“Thank you.”

“Who was it?”

“Miriam Shauble. Does that name sound familiar?”

“Vaguely, barely, I guess. How did you know her?”

“Oh, you know.” She paused, struggling for words. “High school and that sort of thing.”

“I’m so so sorry about this.”

“She was a helpful, thoughtful lady.”

“She sounds lovely.”

“She really was. I just found this information out right before you called. It’s a lot to take in.”

I held my tongue and let her have a moment to do so.

“We do the best we can,” Maga said. “What did you do today?”

I ran down the extensive list of things I did / are available for me to do: work, walk, eat, rinse, repeat.

“Have you had dinner yet?” I asked.

“I’m having it now,” she said.

“What’s on the dinner menu?”

“Well,” she paused as if trying to remember what she had instead of looking down at her plate… “A sandwich.”

“The cafeteria is closed, right?”

“No, no. It’s open. That’s how I’m having a meal right now.”

I chuckled. “Yes, of course the kitchen is still open, but you’re not allowed to go into the cafeteria to eat with other people, correct?”

“No. It’s terrible. I haven’t left my room today.”

“I know it is, but they’re just trying to keep you safe. It’s clean and germ free in your room.”

“I can’t wait until this is all over.” *Loud crunching noises* “Can you hear that?”

“I sure can. You’re eating potato chips, aren’t you?”

“How ever did you know that?”

“They pair nicely with a sandwich.”

“Yes, they do.”

With that simple, effective statement she ended the call to focus on her simple, effective dinner that was unfortunately served with a side dish of sadness.

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