A half hour or so before Bex called her brother........
Oliver could hear the train whistle calling in the distance as he scrubbed pots and pans. He thought if he gave Izzy time she might call back. He'd stayed around and started cleaning the kitchen.
Really, he felt bad about all of this. She didn't deserve this. It was all his fault. He felt selfish now. Why would she go running away? Just how far could she have gotten? He'd been here not so long ago. But then he'd worked so long on the bed and all, time just got away from him. They'd been here yesterday, hadn't they? Or was it the day before? It was a bit of a blur. But she was here. She talked to Nelson.
It gave him an icy shiver that she might have been with child. He couldn't tell. It just didn't seem possible. She was not fat. Not exactly a stick, either.
He rinsed dishes giving him time to think.
What if Bex was allergic to cats? Well, he didn't know. He didn't think so.
He stopped what he was doing. He'd done enough. The kitchen looked better than it did. Oliver decided to call Max on a whim.
As they talked about the cat and how Bex wasn't really fond of cats.
"Well, my sister isn't here right now. Maybe you'd like to take care of the house while she's away." Sounded reasonable. They'd be helping out each other. Wasn't that something Max would want to hear?
"Of course, " Oliver felt better, already. Max was coming over. He could get a lift from somebody's nephew where he was staying. He'd be over in a jiffy.
Oliver looked around at their cluttered mess.
Where in the world would Max stay? Oliver chewed at the inside of his cheek, evaluating where to start next. The more he thought about it, he wanted to tell Max he was on his own. On his own at his house.
When Max got there, Oliver really didn't want to tell him about Izzy. But he could see what a state everything was in. The smell of the litter box alone reeked well over the old pizza boxes and the stench in the bathroom.
"My sister has upped and left," Oliver winced. "She's usually rather stable, but sometimes-" Oliver gave up, giving him a deep sigh. "Look, she's crazy. Loony bin crazy. And she just upped and left. Probably not on her meds. I don't think she could have gotten very far...."
"Have you called the police?" Max wanted to know.
"No." Oliver pulled his fingers through his hair. He was so close to wanting to pull his hair out about this situation, but they only needed one insane person to worry about. "See. She called. She was going on about something and then she hung up. I called her back. Nothing. I thought, I'd give her a few hours. Then I'd call."
"Do you have the area code?" Max was all matter a fact as if maybe he was a special agent of some kind.
"I guess." Oliver shrugged handing the phone over for Max to take a look.
"Well, this looks like an area code from Kansas. Maybe Missouri." Max nodded and handed him back the phone.
"OK." Just his luck the cops would find her in no time. "Do you mind staying? Do you mind the mess?" Oliver went to clean out the litter box then. He could only imagine how filthy Max thought the place was.
"Of course not. This is nothing. I've been around much worse. Its really rather quaint." Max followed him.
"Yeah, if you can get past the cat shit and the garbage my sister says she's always going to recycle but never does." Oliver tried to laugh as he dumped the soiled litter box outside in the trash.
"I'll do what I can." Max told him. "Thanks."
"Well, thank you for coming. It'll be good to have someone around the house. I don't know if you'd want to be here though when she's here. She's quite a handful. Actually." Which was an understatement.
"Call the police."
"OK." He'd do that right now.
Max's cell rang. Oliver supposed Max might have some other crisis more urgent.