Thursday, October 15, 2009

Just One More

Although it isn't actually reflected on the blog at all, I got a decent response and positive feedback on my Facebook page with curiosity about continuing the story. I actually need to go back and read all eight chapters that I've written to stir the creative juices, I'm just not there yet. On the other hand a friend of mine sent me a link today about a writing challenge for the month of November. You write a novel in the month of November, from the 1st to 30th at midnight. But it has to be a whole new project. The goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. Not sure if I'm up for the challenge, but the concept is intriguing.

But I digress, for now I am offering one more chapter of the "Story in Progress," as it's already been written. This chapter introduces more of the main characters, the "other side of the story," if you will. I'm still interested in feedback, be specific if you're so inclined. Tell me what you like, tell me what you don't like, but again be gentle, it's still my baby.


Chapter 2

“Mama…” Chelsea was vaguely aware of Joshua’s little hand was reaching up and tapping her back. “Mama, breffast peeze.”

Groggily, Chelsea rolled over to greet her son. “Good morning doodle bug.”

She looked up that clock, it said 6:14. She reached down and pulling him up into bed, said, “You’re up early,” she said, pulling him under the covers. “The sun’s not even awake yet, buddy.”

“I hungry mama,” he said wiggling out from underneath the blankets. Clearly, he wasn’t going to be put off.

“Don’t you want to cuddle with Mommy?” she said hoping to entice him into a few more moments of rest before having to face the day. Joshua hopped back off the bed and ran out the bedroom door. Chelsea just laid there a little longer. The laundry basket was still on Jared’s side of the bed. It’s bad enough he’s hardly here and now he isn’t even coming to bed at night.

“Come on Mama! Breffast!” Joshua announced as his head suddenly popped back through the doorway.

Chelsea stood up and grabbed her robe. “OK buddy, come on, let’s get breakfast.”

As she walked down the hallway she noticed the blanket bunched up on the couch. Obviously Jared had woken up at some point during the night. He didn’t even try to come to bed. The least he could have done was fold the blanket back up. He’s so inconsiderate.

Making her way into the kitchen she reached for a box of dry cereal and a bowl. “Pancakes, Mama!” Joshua said.

“Pancakes? Aww, not this morning buddy. How about some Cheerios?”

“No, pancakes! Peeeze.” Joshua begged.

“Did I hear somebody say pancakes?” Erica said as she came into the room. “Yum!”

Chelsea shook her head, “No, nobody said anything about pancakes. Cheerios are on the menu for this morning. What are you doing up so early? It’s only 6:30, you don’t have to be up for school for another half hour.”

“Joshua came in and woke me up. He said ‘Mama pancakes and breffast,” she said imitating her little brothers toddler drawl. “Pancakes sounded better than sleeping in.”

“Well, I’m sorry he misled you. It’s Cheerios, I can add a banana if you’d like, but that’s about as fancy as it’s going to get today.”

“Aww Mom,” Erica whined, “you never make us pancakes anymore.”

“Honey, you know it’s a school day, pancakes are too complicated on a school day. Those are for Saturdays or Sundays before church for a big family breakfast, they’re a treat.”

Erica could tell there wasn’t any point in arguing about it. “OK, I’ll take the banana on my Cheerios, but Mom it’s been like a bazillion years since we had a family breakfast. You don’t even get up on Sundays and go to church with us anymore.”

Chelsea turned and picked Joshua up and put him in his high chair. “Mommy’s tired on Sunday mornings honey, it’s my only day to sleep in.” She set bowls down in front of each of the kids, poured the cereal and started slicing up a banana.

“We never do anything together as a family any more Mom,” Erica said as Chelsea dropped the banana slices in her cereal and poured the milk on top of it. “I wish you would go to church with us, my teacher has been asking where you’ve been.”

Chelsea thought it about it. It had been about six weeks since she had been to church. She had picked up a part time job working at Dillie’s, a local coffee shop, a few shifts a week and usually worked Saturday evenings. After the her shifts she usually found herself hanging out and socializing till late night hours in the Promenade. Nothing worth rushing home for anyway. She decided to make Sunday mornings her time for herself. Let Jared deal with the hassles of getting everyone up, dressed, fed and out the door. She’d stay in bed till she heard them leave and then get up and enjoy her coffee and a little time on the computer chatting or catching up on email. There’s nothing wrong with taking a little time for myself she thought.

“Will you come Mama?” she heard Erica ask taking Chelsea back out of her own thoughts.

“What honey?”

“I said my Sunday School class is going to sing in big church next Sunday, will you come?”

“Sure honey, I’ll come,” Chelsea smiled, though in her heart she was disappointed she’d have to give up her time.

Chelsea walked down the hall and knocked on Angie’s door, opening it slowly. “It’s almost 7 Ang, time to get up for school.”

Angie didn’t stir, Chelsea walked into her room. She saw a note on Angie’s desk. It read, “Marriage is unreasonable. 1. Old-fashioned 2. Stifling 3. Unfulfilling.” Hmmm, it’s like she’s reading my mind.

She sat on the edge of Angie’s bed. “Wake up sleepy head.” Angie shifted a little. “Come on girl, you’ve got school,” Chelsea said, tapping her backside.

Angie rolled over to face her mom. Peeking through one sleepily opened eye she asked, “What time is it?”

“Five after seven honey, come on.”

“Mom,” Angie groaned rolling back over, “I told you I have late start today, I don’t have to be at school till 10:30. I was up really late working on my speech project, didn’t Dad tell you?”

“I haven’t seen Dad honey, how would he know you were up late? He was crashed on the couch before ten o’clock last night.” He didn‘t even make it all the way through his football game.

“He came in and checked on me at like 1 something… Mom, please can I just get a little more sleep?” Angie pulled a pillow over her head.

Chelsea pulled the door shut and headed back out into the kitchen. That’s when she noticed she’d left her cell phone out on the coffee table the night before.

She picked it up and saw across the front screen that it said “Six text messages.” She flipped open the phone.

The most recent message was from Jared, she’d just missed it. It read, “Working late this afternoon, don’t hold dinner.” Sigh. It’s not even 8 am and already he’s making excuses about why he can’t be here for dinner. Figures.

The message before that was from Karen, her girlfriend. It said, “Hoping to get a little exercise, let me know if you want to meet me at the park to walk.” She laughed to herself, that Karen, she always has a plan, always on the go. It might be fun to get out of the house with Josh. The sun was up and you could already see it was going to be a nice day. Maybe she’d be willing to walk at the Promenade instead. She texted her back quickly, “I’ll call you after I get Erica off to kindergarten.

The other four messages didn’t have a name, just a number, but she recognized it instantly. The first one was time stamped at 12:45, it read “Hello.” The second four minutes later just said, “You there?” Stamped twenty minutes later the third just said, “Why aren’t you there?” And the fourth said it came through at 1:36, it read simply, “Missing you.”

A wave of guilt wafted over Chelsea. Had Jared seen this? I can’t believe I left my phone out here! She panicked for just a moment, then realized if Jared had read the messages it wouldn’t have still listed them as unread. Phew. The panic subsided a little and she just dismissed the tinge of guilt that remained.

Walking into the kitchen she told Erica, “Hurry up honey, you’ve got to get ready for school.” She grabbed Josh, who now had banana all over his face and in his little blonde tufts of hair; she lifted him up out of his high chair and headed into get him changed and dressed. Exasperated she thought, another day in Mommy world.

By Diana DePriest © 2009

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I LOVE it so far!!! Just stumbled upon your site. Please post more!!!