Suddenly, the answer became crystal clear. "I can surprise Walter on his trip the second night out, and spend the next two weeks touring with him! That would be the perfect antidote to my panic attacks!"
A few hours later, Azalea was up and firing on all cylinders in anticipation of what needed to be done before she left. The first order of business was doing the groceries, so that the children would have enough food to live on while she was away. Two hours later, she was done and on her way back to the house for unloading before doing the next item on her agenda.
Groceries unpacked and the pantry refilled, Azalea was soon on her way to retrieve a few of the WOW! dresses that she kept stored at the cleaners. While waiting for the clerk to retrieve them, she made a call to the newspaper to have delivery stopped. Leaving the cleaners, she thought, 'I know I had something else to do, but I can't remember what it was.'
Suddenly, a blinding case of the obvious struck: she forgot to arrange adult supervision for the children. Flipping the phone cover, she quickly scrolled down the menu until she came across the one person that would do it without any preconditions.
Turning into a parking lot, Azalea found a space to pull into as she dialed up her friend, and hoped for the best. Six rings later, she was about to hang up when the call was answered.
"Hallo? Who might this be?"
'Don't act like you don't recognize my number.' she muttered under her breath. Out loud, she said, "Hey Malibu! How's it cooking with you?"
"Hey 'Zea! Long time no hear, what's it been, six months?"
"Nine. Listen, I really need a big favor from you. If you do me this one, we'll call ourselves squared, plus we'll be on even footing again."
Well, no one had to tell her twice about getting even. 'Seems like the only thing I've been doing lately with her, is working up to only getting slightly even.' Malibu said silently. Out loud, she said, "So who do I have to kill for you?"
"What? No, nothing like that, although...." Leaving that answer to fade away in the summer breeze, she pressed on. "I need someone to look after the children for the next two weeks. You know, pick them up from school, take them to their extra-curricular activities, things like that."
"Why, where will you be?"
"I plan on surprising Walter while he's doing a book signing tour in New England."
"So because you need adult supervision of the children while you're gone, you naturally thought of me."