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After six weeks, stacks of moving boxes still lined two of the four walls in Tina’s bedroom-sized den, taunting her of the impermanence of her new living arrangements. Since moving into her partially furnished Market Street condo, anything that didn’t find a home in other rooms somehow migrated into this one. She only braved the growing mess as a last resort such as tonight’s mission to locate a spare charging cable for her cell phone.
Following a day like today, finding the box labeled miscellaneous on the bottom, in the back row didn’t surprise her. Tina unstacked the first row, then the three boxes atop her target, cursing herself for forgetting her charger at work and for not organizing this heap weeks ago. After ripping through the taped flaps, she sifted through a collection of old remotes, cables, and other knickknacks she hadn’t pulled out since the last move.
“There you are.”
Tussling with three or four cords, she untangled the one she needed. Unsure what those others went to, she dared not throw them out. If she did, she’d need one within a month. She began restacking the boxes, this time putting consideration into their order.
The doorbell rang, interrupting her futile attempt to organize the chaos. A growl in her stomach reminded her the food delivery service she called earlier had arrived, so she left the boxes for later and answered the door.
“You haven’t called in days.” A tall, sexy, brunette with a designer Saffiano leather tote slung over her shoulder had her elbows set wide against her body, fists planted on both hips.
“It’s called space, Kadin.” Tina kept a hand on the doorknob and debated whether to invite her in. When she carried out the last of her things from their shared Oakland apartment last month, they exchanged several harsh words, with Tina receiving the bulk of it.
Kadin’s eyes softened when she reached into her tote and pulled out an old coffee mug. “You forgot this in the dishwasher.”
The cartoon picture of a frog and words “Homework makes you ugly” brought a smile to Tina’s lips. Faded and chipped, she’d stopped using it most days, pulling it out only on special occasions the last few years to preserve its message. Her mother gave it to her the day she moved into the dorm at Stanford, a not-so-subtle reminder for her studious daughter to have fun in college. After her mother passed away from breast cancer in her junior year, the mug became a reminder for Tina to live up to her mother’s dreams for her.