“Can you meet me at the U-Haul rental office?” she asked. “I need to meet Marcus there to rent the truck and I don't want to wait alone there.”
“Sure,” I said. The U-Haul office was close by—about fifteen minutes away from where I live. We hang up and I start preparing to leave. A few minutes later the phone rings. It's Annmarie, this time very frantic.
“I can't find the keys!” she said. “The guy at the U-Haul place is already waiting for us to show up! It's past closing time there. We won't make it!”
“Calm down,” I said. “Where was the last location you saw the keys?”
“Are they there now?”
“Have you tried your pockets? Purse? Living room? Bathroom? Office?” I rattle off other locations.
“I can't find them! What should I do?”
“First thing is call the guy at U-Haul. Explain the situation to him and see if he can wait a bit longer. Then call me back.”
“Okay,” she said and hung up. A minute or so later the phone rings. “Can you pick me up? I can't find the keys, and he's only going to stay there another fifteen or twenty minutes,” she said.
“Yes, but it will take me about twenty to thirty minutes to drive to your apartment,” I said. To get there, I have to drive north about eight miles, then east about seven miles. Going north is easy, it's going east that sucks up the time.
“Really?” she asked. Panic.
“I'll hurry as fast as possible, but yes, it'll take about that long.” We hang up and I drive over there as quickly as possible. I make it there in about twenty minutes or so; traffic was pretty good. I pick her up and I start driving back west and south to the U-Haul place.
“Marcus has the keys,” she said, in reference to their other car. “Kelly saw him pick them up last night.” So that explains why she couldn't find the keys.
The conversation over there consisted of her being upset over making the U-Haul guy wait, what was taking Marcus so long to drive to the U-Haul place from work and the somewhat poor planning that has been involved. For my part, I was trying to calm Annmarie down, telling her horror stories about past moves I've been involved with (“Yea, the last time I moved it was a last minute thing with me and my friend tossing my stuff in the back of a pickup truck. What a mess.”) and to try and accept the way things are and there is no use worrying about things.
We arrive at the U-Haul office to find their 32' truck sitting in front and Marcus' car there. We enter the office as Marcus is finishing out the rental paper work. He managed to finally arrive and start the paperwork before U-Haul guy left for the evening.
Once outside Annmarie and Marcus have a discussion about the recent events; I take an unnatural interest in the U-Haul truck in question. Thirty-two feet in length and fairly new in condition. Power everything (“for your driving ease”). Pretty nice. Instructions on how to drive it clearly visible to the driver and a lower bed than normal freight trucks for easier loading. Climate control. Automatic. Really just an oversized van with an advertisement for a mining museum in New Jersey.
After their discussion, arrangements are made to drive back to their appartment. Annmarie will drive in front, Marcus in the middle with the truck and I to follow. The drive back was for the most part uneventful even though we did get slightly off track (my fault—I thought the road the office was on went straight through to a major road, only it didn't. We ended up backtracking a bit).
Then it was time to park the truck.