Archive for February, 2015

You’ve Got This

by: Rebecca Taylor

“I don’t know how I’m going to look after them all by myself for the month during the school year,” said Tim Harris. “Meg and I have been split up for five years and usually I just get the kids on my weekend, sometimes a few days during the week. She’s the one who has helped them with homework and school projects.”

“You’ve got this,” said his friend Abby Carlson, “you’re their dad. They aren’t babies anymore and they can tell you want they want.”

“But can they tell me what they need?” asked Tim.

“They’ve got what they need, a dad who loves them,” answered Abby.

“Yes, a dad whose whole cooking repertoire consists of grilled cheese sandwiches, or BLTs or peanut butter and jelly. I can BBQ but February isn’t the time for that. I am thankful for this hospital cafeteria. And that’s another thing; I don’t always get out of here on time. I can’t stop in the middle of reading an x-ray and say ‘Sorry, I think your arm is broken but my kids are waiting for me at home or school or wherever.’”

“Have you ever thought of asking for help? Or having a backup plan if you’re not home when your kids get there?”

“Well Callie is fifteen. I know Meg sometimes left her to watch Jimmy and Angela,” said Tim.

“Well, there you are, keep in touch with your kids if you’re not home, but do what you have to do. Even married parents must have these situations all the time with regular 9-5 jobs,” said Abby.

“But then they’re prepared and they’re not working shifts.  I am and even though I’ve been a dad for fifteen years I often feel like I’m making things up as I go along,” said Tim.

“So you’re flexible, it’s a good thing,” said Abby, “I can help out if you need me to, you know make a casserole, check in on the kids if you’re going to be late. With my own photography studio, I can make my own schedule.”

“Abby, you’re wonderful,” said Tim, “but I don’t want you to feel like you have to help me.”

“Are we or are we not somewhat more than friends?” said Abby.

“We are,” answered Tim, “and I know that you’ve met my kids and they adore you. It isn’t that, I just don’t want you to feel like you have to step into a sort of mom role if you are not prepared for it.”

“We’re all going to do just fine,” said Abby, “you and me and the kids. You’re their dad and you’ve got this. No worries right?”

“There are always worries,” said Tim, “but I’ve had some practice in keeping the unnecessary ones at bay.”

“That’s good,” said Abby, “because worrying will get you nowhere. I know a month sounds like a long time when you aren’t used to it but you’ll see, you’ll get into a groove and everything will be fine.”

“I’m glad I’ve got you,” said Tim, “because with you supporting me, I know anything is possible.”

“Together, it is,” said Abby smiling.

Stood Up

by: Rebecca Taylor

Rachel’s first trip to England didn’t go as planned. She had had such high hopes for her overseas voyage; but she soon realized that some expectations like some people let you down.  To begin with, her boyfriend was supposed to be meeting her at the airport and he wasn’t there. She waited an hour and then tried his phone number to find out that the number was no longer in service. She was now in an unfamiliar country, where she knew no one and had nowhere to stay.

Let this be a lesson to all women; do not go halfway around the world for a guy you think you know. My cell phone won’t work here and you can’t e-mail someone on a pay phone. Why did I take this chance, how could I think I was in love. My mother was right. I don’t know if being stood up or the fact that she knew he was all wrong makes me more pissed off right now. Rachel knew that she had two choices, she could sit down and cry, or she could do something about the predicament she was in. Her inner survival mode won out as she made her way to the information desk dragging her suitcase behind her. An hour later, a cab dropped her off at a motel. Once in her room, she collapsed on the bed and a silent stream of tears came forth.  Eventually, she got up and after making herself semi presentable she headed to the internet café down the street. She checked her e-mail and other than some jokes and junk mail –nothing. If Sam didn’t want to be with me, fine, but why not tell me this before I came all the way from California. Why have we been talking and e-mailing for a year if this is the way he is going to treat me. I’m usually a good judge of character, what went wrong? I’m going to find out before I leave here. He is going to have to break our relationship off in person. He said he loved me.

The next morning, Rachel hailed a cab and went to Sam’s apartment. Standing tall, she walked up the front steps and entered the building. Inside, she found apartment 7 and rang the bell. It was answered by a teenage girl.

“Hello,” said the girl with her English accent.

“Hello is Sam Banks here?” asked Rachel.

“He doesn’t live here anymore,” answered the girl seeming surprised.

“Do you know where I can find him?”

Just then a man, presumably the girl’s father came to the door.

“She’s looking for Mr. Banks,” said the girl.

“He hasn’t lived here for over a year,” replied the man.

“But this is the address I have. I sent my Christmas card here and got a reply.”

“Then I’d try the postal service, Miss, perhaps they can help you.”

“Thank you,” replied Rachel turning to leave, her shoulders sagging. She had hoped to confront Sam – if he no longer loved her or had found someone new – someone who lived closer, she deserved to hear it from him.  But if that’s the reason, then why didn’t he tell me, why did he let me come here like this? None of this makes sense, I can understand a long distance relationship not working out but I cannot understand him letting me spend all that money to come here.

            At the post office, Rachel learned that Sam’s mail was forwarded from his former apartment, which is why he received the mail she sent him.

“Can you tell me where it’s being forwarded to?” she asked.

“I’m sorry; ma’am, but that would be a breach of confidentiality.”

“But I came all the way from California to see him. He was supposed to meet me at the airport, I’ve got to find him, I need to know why he wasn’t there.”

The postal clerk exchanged a look with her colleague.

“Let me make some calls,” answered the other clerk, “I’ll see what I can find out.”

“Thank you,” answered Rachel, “If you do reach Sam or someone who knows him, tell him I love him, tell him I need to see him, he at least owes me an explanation. He didn’t even e‑mail me.”

Half an hour later, the woman found Rachel standing by a rack of postal supplies, nervously biting her finger nails.

“I spoke with his mother. I know her; she comes here to get Sam’s mail. She’ll meet you in an hour in the cafeteria at the hospital. Here’s the address.”

“The hospital, but why?” asked Rachel, “What’s wrong?  None of this makes any sense.”

“His mother will explain.”

“Thank you,” replied Rachel, taking the paper from the clerk, her hands shaking as she did it. My last e-mail from Sam was almost two weeks ago. He said he’s see me when I arrived, and that he’d be away for a few days but couldn’t wait to see me again. Now, he doesn’t show up and his mother is meeting me at the hospital. I need answers and I need them now. I feel like I’m going to throw up. Something must be wrong, otherwise, why didn’t he come.

            Rachel arrived at the hospital with ten minutes to spare. She had never met Sam’s mother so was unsure of how she would know it was her, but hoped that maybe Sam had shown off one of the pictures he’d taken of them when he was in California. Rachel sat down at a table in the middle of the room, and waited.  It wasn’t long before a tall brunette approached her.

“Rachel?” asked the woman.

“Yes,” she answered.

“I’m Mrs. Banks, she replied taking a seat. “I need to talk to you about my son. I know that you came a long ways to see him.”

“Yes, and he didn’t meet me at the airport, and he no longer lives at his apartment.”

“I know. Sam was born with a rare medical condition. He can go for months without any problems but since returning from California, he’s been off work a lot, so he moved in with his father and me, so he didn’t have to worry about finances. A few weeks ago, he had to come back to the hospital. He hoped that he would be in and out before you came over, but he had to have surgery and that set him back. He didn’t want to tell you. He thought it would be better if you thought he stood him up. He was going to send you an apology later and the money to cover your costs.”

“He should have told me. This wasn’t his decision to make. I love him. My feelings are all mixed up right now but that doesn’t change that I love him. Can I see him?”

“Yes, but please don’t be too hard on him, at least not now.”

“I will wait for him to recover before I fully tell him what I think. I just need to see him; I need to know that he’s okay. He is going to be okay isn’t he?”

“Yes, with plenty of rest and your love, he will be fine. He may have some setbacks but it generally isn’t a life threatening condition.”

Rachel entered Sam’s room quietly behind his mother. Sam was asleep but Rachel put her hand in his.

“I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere, no matter what you say,” she whispered. “If it’s up to me, this won’t be my last visit to England.

Round Robin Story (February)

started by: Rebecca Taylor

Please sign up for a wordpress account if you do not already have one and continue the story in the comments section. You only need to write a few words or sentences before it is the next person’s turn.  Let’s see what we can all come up with.

Everything seemed to be clearer in the early morning hours when only the sound of the clock could be heard in the room. Libby had been awake for hours mulling things over in her mind and while things seemed orderly now, she did not know if when the sun came out, if she could do what she needed to, to make things right. Everything had seemed simpler before ______________________ (your turn).

Rumour Mill

by: Rebecca Taylor

The Rumour Mill works day and night

Grinding the truth into tiny particles like coffee

All it takes is a tiny bit for a strong brew

Once out of the pot, there is no pouring it back

The effects of the poison sipped in are everlasting

The burn lasts forever on the soul of the victim

Some manage strength by pushing the unpalatable lies away

Others fall target to the overwhelming fury of the overload

Caused by moving tongues building the heap of false information

And feeding the mill like a coal fired train

Someday honesty will find its mark

And place a closed sign on the door of the rumour mill

Freeing the nation from unnecessary pain.

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