Short Stories

Just One Day


*I feel like I should preface this by saying that  had to kick start some creative flow today and so I ended up with this. I am posting this today in case I am too busy on Mother’s Day (doing laundry hahaha), so happy early Mother’s Day to all my fellow blogging mommies out there 🙂 Hope your day is blessed!!

 

The house was too quiet. There were no kids running past her door, or shushing each other so they wouldn’t get caught getting into all the goodies. There was no one jumping on her bed, and there were no sounds of little voices giggling as they hovered over her. This was surely a bad sign she thought to herself as she jumped up out of bed. She grabbed a lightweight robe from the back of her bedroom door and slipped it on and tying it loosely around the waist as she hurried down the hallway. She was still listening for noise, and growing more and more anxious as she continued to hear only silence. As she came into the kitchen, her eyes immediately settled on a piece of paper with familiar scribble. The piece of paper was a note from her husband.

Dear Abby,

            Happy Mother’s Day my love. I hope you were able to sleep in a little bit. I have taken the children for a fun day out. Please do not worry about cleaning anything or trying to do laundry. Enjoy the day and we will be back at 5:30 to pick you up for dinner. I love you and couldn’t ask for a better wife and mother.

Love,

James

Abby felt the smile all the way to her toes. Most mother’s days didn’t work out to be anything entirely special, between his schedule and hers. It had been so long since she had been away from their four beautiful children that at first she wasn’t sure what to do (or not do) first. There were a few dishes in the sink from last night and so she shrugged her shoulders and headed over to wash them up. There was a note taped to the faucet.

I am serious, unless you’re getting sustenance get out of the kitchen! Love you.

Laughing she decided to go take a nice long shower, uninterrupted by small people banging on the door and demanding use of the toilet. After she was done performing her live concert in the bathroom she toweled off and picked out a nice outfit to wear. Usually she donned a worn pair of yoga pants and a tank top while she was running around the house, no sense in destroying nice clothes! Back in the bathroom she pulled out her barely used makeup. She had small little wrinkles, probably only visible to her. Oh the joys of children, constant worrying that they are going to get hurt…or that you are causing what will inevitably be years of therapy.

By the time she was done in the bathroom she hardly recognized herself. This was the woman that existed before the husband, the kids, the house, and all the other responsibilities that came with growing up. Abby picked a book off the bookshelf, one that she had purchased not long ago, and at the time had full intentions of reading. For the next few hours she sat and read, it didn’t even matter at that point what the book was about only that she was able to focus on it for more than 5 minutes.

Abby loved her kids, would die for her kids. That did not mean that things were always easy, in fact they often were much harder than she ever imagined. Some days ended in tears (hers, not the kids), while others ended in a deep sense of pride. The truth of the matter was that she really didn’t do much of anything besides raise small children, and most of the time she was okay with that. She wondered if her husband had picked up on her heavy heart as of late and could see that she was struggling with what should have been the biggest blessing in her life…motherhood.

By the time five o’clock rolled around she had never been so relaxed, so clear headed. She touched up her makeup and hair and was ready to go when her husband pulled in the driveway. James left the kids in the car as he got out to hug his wife. “You look beautiful babe”. She smiled at him and hugged him as if her life depended on it. “Thank you so much for today. I really needed it”. He nodded and told her he knew how much she needed it, and he was thankful for all the hard work that she put into their family.

As soon as she slid into the front seat her kids were clamoring to tell her about their day. As they shared all of their funny stories from the day she laughed with them. Staring at her amazing family she realized sometimes it just takes one day, just one step back to give you the chance to enjoy life again.

© Ashley M. Nee 2013

To British Accents


People have always said I can be rather insensitive. As I sat at the end of the bar sipping my over priced rum and coke I looked around at all the women around me, a sea of women really, grinding their way through pervy inexperienced man-boys.  Didn’t these delusional ladies know that any man worth having was most definitely not going to be found in this dump?  I surveyed my surroundings; the bar was fakely upscale. I don’t think the owner realized that just because it was named Posh did not actually make it “posh”. I had heard many people refer to this establishment as a club, but there was nowhere to dance. As I continued my judgey overview of the bar I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. Figures I would be sitting here enjoying a nice stiff drink in a place like this. I must hate myself, I thought.

“Be careful how loudly you laugh at yourself, people might think you are off your meds”.  I groaned and looked to my left, “Don’t you know women don’t clamor men with fake British accents anymore?” He was momentarily shocked and then his lips stretched out into a huge smirk. “Well good, maybe I will actually have a chance with some of the women in this town, you know considering I grew up in London”. Cue wink. Oh shit. I just insulted a perfect stranger. Now would be the time to down the rest of my beverage and gracefully bow out of the conversation.

“Hey!! Where do you think you’re going? You can’t insult me and run away.” A deep laugh followed this statement. “Come on, I will buy you a drink.” Who turns down a free drink? Not this gal. “You had me at free”, I said as I perched back on my bar stool. His phone rang just at that moment giving me time to get a good glance at him without seeming creepy. His hair was a deep chestnut color. From a distance it had looked clean cut, but somehow up close it looked tousled…perfectly so. His broad shoulders filled out his dark suit, a suit that looked just like any other suit. He was your average guy it appeared, but there was a twinkle in his eye.

I snapped out of my strange staring session as I heard him say goodbye to the person at the other end of the line. I could tell by his smirk he could feel me staring at him. “So let’s talk about your opinion of British accents shall we?” And we did. We talked for hours about life, love, and the stupidest movies we had ever seen. He was only in town briefly, and we never bothered exchanging any contact information. That night reminded me to stop and smell the roses. Whenever I raise my glass I always think, “And here’s to British accents”.

 

© Ashley M. Nee 2013

Intro to 7 Deadly Sins


It wasn’t until she was much older, sitting in her living room and smiling at the pictures of her family as they surrounded her, that she realized her past had come together in a most unique way. Her past lovers had been her downfall, her seven deadly sins so to say, and they all led up to this moment right now. She was never one to have any regrets in her life and even after thinking back to all of her indiscretions she was still proud of the woman she had become.

            With nothing to keep her busy anymore, she fished around for pen and paper. Perhaps she would jot it down and hide it somewhere. Surely whoever would find it would be in for a juicy read. She chuckled as she let her mind wander back to the days when her whole life was ahead of her, rather than behind her.

            As she searched for a pen she crossed paths with an old mirror hanging on the wall. She stared deeply into her reflection, admiring her wrinkles and sparsely scattered age spots. Her brown hair had long since been streaked with gray hair, giving her a settled in life look. Her hair had somehow become curly over the years, she never could figure out why; perhaps it was the occasional perms she had subjected her hair too. Long ago, before marriage and children and houses and pets she was a fine looking young woman. With a sigh she smiled into the mirror and watched the crows feet crinkle around her eyes as her hand located a pen. 

© Ashley M. Nee 2012

Drew and Kinsey Part 10


“Look over there”. He followed her gaze until he saw a girl, about the age of 22, sitting across the street in the park. “Who….” He trailed off and sat forward just a little more in his seat. He looked over at Kinsey and he knew exactly why she had sounded as if the sky had just fallen. “Drew that is our daughter”.

Drew shook his head. She called him for this? He had to find a babysitter and drive all the way out here for THIS? “Kinsey….enough”. He turned, grabbed the door handle and was about to open the door when he heard her. “It’s not her is it?” His eyes widened and he turned back to her, shocked. “No Kinsey, it’s not”. Then as if a tidal wave of understanding hit her like a semi she started crying. In this moment he knew that no matter how distant they had been she needed him to hold her. He wrapped his arms around her and they sat there for what seemed like hours.

When the tears finally started to subside he switched gears and grabbed her hand. “Are you ok?” “She isn’t coming back is she?” Kinsey asked. Drew was breaking down inside, “No babe…I don’t think she is”. “It has been six years, we haven’t heard anything, it is like she has disappeared.” Wincing at this, Kinsey looked straight into Drew’s eyes, “Do you ever wonder what happened to her?”

How could he put this to her without making it sound as if he was the worst person on the face of the planet? “I used to all the time, but since Harper and Asher were born I really try to just enjoy the two new little people we have now”. Silence. “They are beautiful aren’t they?” Drew took a deep breath, now was as good of a time as any. “They need you Kinsey you are such a wonderful mother and you need to come back to us. We can get through this I know we can.” More silence. Kinsey looked over at him once more and said, “I’m ready”.

© Ashley M. Nee 2012

Drew and Kinsey Part 9


Anna was sure as soon as someone found out, there would be no more use for her. What was supposed to be one of the happiest moments in her life was going to be the saddest things she had gone through. It should have been a day to share with her husband, her mother, and all the other people she loved in her life. Instead she was fearfully checking herself in the mirror everyday to see if that day would be the day it no longer went unnoticed. It had been a long time since she had yearned for her mother, but today with her head hanging over the bathroom sink she kept seeing her mother’s face as her stomach heaved.

A baby. A baby was sure to change things. It would only take one man who forced himself on her to say something to Karloff…and then what would happen to her? Would they take her baby and sell it? If it was a girl would they raise it and pimp her out? If it was a boy would he grow up to be like these men who silently stood around the house keeping all these young girls prisoner in this dreary house? She didn’t even want to think of what it would mean to her, an impending death she was sure.

There was no one to tell, no one that she wanted to tell anyway. Days went by and soon she noticed the small pudge begin to pop up. She knew she could only hide it for so long. She would have to make the biggest decision in this babies life before the baby even came. She fell asleep at night, weighing her options. Should she try to escape? It wasn’t going to happen. Should she wait until someone noticed and deal with it from there? There was only one option that seemed right to her.

It was in the backseat of a car on a very rainy night. The moon was guarded closely by dark rolling clouds. She settled into the seat and let her mind wander to old memories that she had locked away long ago to keep them safe, untarnished from the life she knew now. Years of Christmas mornings flooded through her mind, the first time she rode a bike, her first kiss, Sunday shopping with her mother. There were so many things that she needed to remember in this moment.

Anna rested her hand on her belly and rubbed it gently. She prayed that God would forgive her for what she was about to do and said a small prayer. Before she could change her mind she lunged forward through the middle of the front seat and jerked the wheel with every ounce of hatred she had built up over the years. The driver looked at her with shock on his face…they were spiraling through the air. She gave a small laugh, looked deep into his eyes and said……

“I WIN”.

© Ashley M. Nee 2012

Drew and Kinsey Part 8


As Kinsey’s belly grew, so did her anger. What would happen with these two new lives? Would God be so cruel and take these children away from her too? She could barely look at Drew and when she did she could only blame him for all the misfortune that had fallen on them, and the two new lives she was not ready to care for. She was cold inside, and she knew that Drew could see it. Every day he backed further and further away from her. She wanted him to save her, but she couldn’t stop hating him. She was lost inside of herself, trying to dredge her way through to the outside, but for all she tried it just wasn’t happening for her. She was scared for the future; scared to think of what else life would lay on their plate.

She was about seven months pregnant when the other shoe dropped. Kinsey walked into the house and was ready to curl up under the covers. Drew was already in the bedroom grabbing his clothes off the hangars and piling everything on to the bed. “What are you doing Drew?” He jumped in his skin, so lost in his own thoughts he hadn’t heard her come into the room. “I was going to go to a hotel, but you’re so far along I don’t want you to have to do everything on your own….but it is pretty clear that you don’t want me here soooo I am moving into the basement apartment. I will be here if you need me, but far enough away you don’t have to see me”. The basement apartment had a small kitchen area, a bathroom and its own entrance. He turned to look at her, and for just a second he thought he saw fear cross her face. She cleared her throat, “Um…ok. I will let you finish up then”.

Drew watched her back as she left the room. He knew that despite all his hopes there was no other way the conversation was going to go. If a heart could really shatter in someone’s body, the pieces of his would be sinking into his stomach.

It wasn’t long before he had all of his important items gathered up. As he walked past the living room he saw Kinsey curled up on the couch sleeping. He grabbed the throw that hung on the back of the living room chair and gently covered her with it. He wanted so badly for her to be able to wake up and have the past few years be like a bad dream, but no amount of trying could help her overcome losing Anna.

The next month and a half seemed to creep by. Drew was there, just as he had promised, to help Kinsey with anything she needed. Slowly the guestroom became transformed into a nursery. The walls were a pale yellow and there was a wallpaper border with tiny giraffes to make the world seem like a happy place. Two cribs were placed side by side, with beautiful bedding. The time was fast approaching for two new lives to come into the picture.

A few days later Drew woke up to the sound of his phone. He rolled over and groaned…who would be calling at three in the morning? Before he could even say hello he heard Kinsey’s voice, breathless, on the other end, “It’s time”. Drew didn’t remember a time when he had ever moved so fast but it seemed only seconds later they were packed into the car and on the way to the hospital.

The babies came, beautiful each one, a boy and a girl. There were perfect, with ten little fingers and ten little toes. They both had full heads of brown hair and beautiful blue eyes. If only Kinsey was doing as well their life would perfect. The first time the nurse brought Asher and Harper to see their mom she rolled away from them and whispered that she couldn’t. The doctors had expressed their concern to Drew. This was not a healthy response to have towards children. Drew promised that he would care for them until Kinsey could ease back into motherhood.

Drew felt joy every single time he looked at Asher and Harper. He could see Anna in them and nothing made him happier. After the first few days of being home Kinsey asked if Drew could sleep upstairs and she could have the basement apartment until she was fully healed from her c-section. He obliged her, knowing that it was best that way. She did her best to interact with the babies but it was rare that she held them, nurtured them, and mothered them. If this couldn’t save her, nothing could.

© Ashley M. Nee 2012

Drew and Kinsey Part 7


Drew loved his wife more than anything else in the world. He saw her living in her pain and not being able to climb out. It had been three years since they saw their daughter Anna, and while he had an empty space in his heart he knew there was nothing else he could do. He thought to himself sometimes that he was a horrible father for pushing forward with his life, especially when he saw his wife dying a little more each day.

Drew spent his time making sure that his wife ate, showered, and smiled once a day. The latter was a little harder to accomplish on some days. Occasionally she would reach out to him in the night and they would find solace in each other. She could lose herself in him still but he knew when he looked in her eyes she felt like a traitor. He wondered what would become of her if he stopped taking care of her. Would she remember to do it for herself or would she hole up in Anna’s room and lay in the bed until she withered away?

Anna’s room. It was like a shrine to all the pain and tragedy in their life. He hardly ever went in there himself unless it was to look for Kinsey. One day, a year or so ago he caught his wife unloading a shopping bag in there. It was the first day of the new school year and Kinsey had bought an outfit for Anna, not knowing whether she would ever come home to wear it. It was sick in some ways, and he tried to get her to talk to someone. She refused.

Pulling himself out of his thoughts he rolled over in his bed. The clock said 4:45 a.m. No sense in waiting another forty five minutes for it to wake him up. He looked over at his wife, sleeping. It was the only time she ever looked peaceful. He would have taken a picture of her in that moment but decided against it, no need to wake her.

His gaze followed down her body, he needed her; this beautiful woman whom he had shared his life with for longer than he could remember. It was then that he noticed the bulge off her stomach under the covers. Shaking his head he leaned in gently put his hand on the comforter to see if it was a pocket of air. As his hand pushed down, her eyes fluttered open. “I was going to tell you today”.

Drew wanted to pinch himself, this couldn’t possibly be true. “I’m sorry…you were going to tell me what today?”

“I am pregnant”.

Tears came from both of them, his hurried questions leaving no time for answers. She rested a finger on his lips and said simply “I don’t know”. Never in their life had they had such conflicting emotions, excitement at the thought of bringing a new life in to the world, yet sadness for the child they had already raised but was gone.

He leaned in to kiss her but she turned her head just so and he caught her cheek instead. “We will figure this out, I promise you”.

Kinsey rested her hand on her belly. All she could think about was Anna. The day she found out she was pregnant with Anna it was magical. Would anything ever be the same again? Would she even be able to raise this baby the way it deserved to be raised? She hoped it was a boy, her heart ached to think of having another little girl, it would be like trying to replace Anna.

Hours later, sitting in the doctor’s office she kept looking over at her husband. She was watching his inner battle play across his face. A small smile would begin to creep out and he would straighten his lips. They had decided it was best to see the doctor as soon as possible. Kinsey had no idea how far along she was, or what the health of the baby was.

The doctor came in after what seemed like an eternity. “Hello you two, it has been a long time.” Kinsey nodded to him and laid back on the bed. Kinsey and Drew both knew that the doctor wouldn’t mention Anna; in fact it seemed as if no one did anymore.

“Well let’s check this belly out” he said as flipped the ultrasound machine on. The goo on Kinsey’s stomach was cold and strange feeling. She waited, almost holding her breath to hear what the doctor was going to say.

“It looks like you are about four months along. We will have to take good care of you…” Kinsey knew he was saying this because she was 41 years old. Maybe she wouldn’t even carry the baby to term…things like this happen all the time.

“There is your baby’s heart beat….and, as I was suspecting, there is the other one”.

© Ashley M. Nee 2012