"Grandmother?" I called, quietly, into her room. "You okay?" A very unlady-like snore greeted me.
"Grandmother?" I whispered, tiptoeing over to the edge of her bed.
In the dim light of her room I could see that she was flat on her back. Sound asleep. Beside her on the night table was a bottle of Nycough. Good stuff.
I reached over, ever-so-slowly, and picked up a pillow. Straightening up, I paused to check on her. Yup. Still sound asleep.
"Good-bye, Grandmother," I whispered...
"Ralph! Eddie!" I hollered a few minutes later, running out of Grandmother's room. "Something's, uh, happened to Grandmother!"
For fat guys those two really came up the stairs fast. "She's in here," I said, ushering them into her bedroom. "Oh, no!" Eddie yelled. "I think she'd dead!! Ralph! Turn on the overhead light!"
"What happened, Harold?" Ralph gasped as he grabbed a pillow from the bed and hugged it, rocking back and forth.
"She... she suddenly gave this horribly gurgly noise," I said, "and then she, um, gave one last gasp, and then she was real still. That's when I hollered for you."
"Poor, poor Nana," Eddie sobbed. "I guess her loving old heart finally gave out. She was almost 83, you know."
"No kidding!" I said, impressed. My math the other Sunday had been way off.
"Oh, and she'd been so happy lately, so... alive," Ralph whispered. "All because of Roosevelt."
"That so?" I asked, wishing Ralph would put the pillow back on the bed.
"Oh, Lordy, yes!" Ralph said, holding the pillow close to his chest like a baby. "She'd started getting dressed every day. And wearing make-up, she was wearing make-up again. Didn't you even notice the change in her, Harold?"
"Guess not," I said.
"But it was so obvious! The big change in her since she met Roosevelt!" he cried, unthinkingly turning the pillow over in his arms. "After all these years, she... she... uh... "
And the three of us stood around Grandmother's bed, staring at the pillowcase that was smeared with Grandmother's lipstick and rouge.
Then Ralphie, his face suddenly hard, picked up the telephone and called the cops.
I knew Rosie was bad, bad news the minute I laid eyes on him.