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General

“You told our son that I have the virus?!” I was on the phone with my ex-husband, Darrell.

“No, I simply told him that you had been exposed to it and needed to quarantine for a long time. I could tell he was upset, but glad that you were being quarantined as to not get sicker or get other people sick.” I pulled my phone away from my ear and pressed the speaker button before setting it down on the counter. I ran my fingers through my hair and sighed.

“Listen to me when I say this. I will get my time with my son. You will bring him here this upcoming Friday just like the plan says when we got divorced all those years ago. Week with me, week with you. And that’s final.” I hung up the phone and cried out in frustration then growled when my phone rang again. Without looking at who it was, I answered.

“What? What do you want?” I walked to my dining room table and collapsed onto a chair. My cat, Macy, rubbed up against my leg and I leaned down to give her a quick pat on the head.

“Well, that’s no way to answer your mother.” I sighed and closed my eyes, attempting to calm myself down a little bit.

“Sorry, Mom. I just got off the phone with Darrell. And guess what he told Jex!” I grabbed the pen that was sitting on the table and twirled it in my hand.

“What did he tell Jex?” There was suddenly a sense of worry in Mom’s voice. She knew how bad of a father Darrell was, and she kenw how sensitive Jex was.

“He told Jex that I was exposed to the virus and that I was going to be in quarantine for a long time! I haven’t left my house in two and a half weeks!” I threw my hand into the air and it fell back down on my thigh. 

“That’s outrageous! Who does he think he is? If that was true, wouldn’t you want to tell Jex yourself?! Jex can’t possibly really believe him, can he? If he does, just imagine what wou-” Mom stopped talking and I heard her sigh. 

“What’s wrong?” I leaned forward in my chair; a worried expression coming across my face.

“It’s just that it’s your son, and I’m just Grandma. I shouldn’t have that big of a say in what you should do. I should only give my opinion when you ask for it. Even if I do have a big mouth.” I smiled to myself.

“Mom, I always want your opinion. I may be forty, but I still need my momma. But I don’t understand why Darrell can’t just leave me alone except for when we have to meet to pick up and drop off Jex. Why, why, why?” Tears rolled down my face and I quickly wiped them away. 

“It’s just like I’m some protagonist or whatever in a book and Darrell is my archnemisis times a hundred. Can you come over please?” I wiped my eyes with my sleeve and waited for Mom’s answer.

“Yeah, sure. I’ll be over in a minute. Love you.” 

“Thanks. Love ya.” I hung up the phone and sat it down on the table. I leaned down to the ground and picked up Macy. She meowed and pawed at me, but I held her tight. I sat there, rocking back and forth while Macy eventually settled down in my arms. 

I only stopped holding Macy when I heard a knock at my door, then the door opening. I loosened my grip on her and she immediately jumped out of my grasp. I got up and walked to the entryway. Mom was there, taking off her shoes.

“Hey, sweetie. How are you feeling?” I walked into Mom’s open arms and gave her a hug. 

“Awful, honestly. Jex is twelve; he doesn’t need all of Darrell’s lies, and he just doesn’t need to be caught up in me and Darrell’s fights. He already has enough pressure being put on him doing online school everyday. Darrell thinks that it’s summer and that Jex should be outside playing football or something. I just don’t know what to do.” I released Mom and she gestured to the kitchen. I nodded and followed her in.

“Do you want me to make some tea?” Mom half-smiled and I shook my head.

“No, no. I’ll make it. Go take a seat in the living room. Please, Mom.” Mom put her hands up and walked into the living room. I walked over to the stove and picked up my metal teapot. I turned on the water and filled it up. Putting the pot on the stove, I turned it on. I walked into the living room and sat down on the couch facing Mom, who was in the rocker.

“Well, what do you want to talk about first?” Mom raised her eyebrows and I frowned.

“I’ve been avoiding telling you this for about two weeks now, but Jex was diagnosed with depression.” I turned my head to hide the new tears that were falling.

“No. What has Darrell done to him?!” I looked up at Mom and saw her tears; saw her anger. I knew Darrell was up to something, and Mom could as well.

“He’s taking medication and going to counseling.” I crossed my hands and put them in my lap. I was crying like Jex passed away.

“You know what? Maybe all three of you should do counseling together. Because otherwise it’s just going to get worse.” I looked up at her and I could tell that she was sincere.

“I would do it.”

Two Years Later…

“Hey, Darrell! What’s up?” I was on the phone with my ex-husband, Darrell.

“Hey, Sabrina! I was just wondering what time you wanted to meet tomorrow to drop off Jex?” Things had gotten a lot better with Darrell since we started doing family counseling after Jex was diagnosed with depression.

“Ummm… I’m still at work, so I can go get him after. Probably around four-thirty. That work for you?” The counselor was able to get down to the root of our problems, and we were finally able to have civil conversations such as what time we were meeting and where we were meeting to drop off and pick up Jex. It was a whole lot simpler than fighting about it.

“Yeah. See you then. Have a good day.”

“Sounds good. You, too.” I pulled the phone away from my ear and sat it down on my desk. I looked up and saw another patient. Or who I thought was another patient. 

“Good afternoon, how can I help you today?” I got my hands ready on my keyboard to type in her name.

“Yes, good afternoon. I was actually hoping to talk to you if that is possible.” That is the moment when I realized who she was.

“Sissy?!”

July 02, 2020 14:07

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24 comments

Niveeidha Palani
06:25 Jul 04, 2020

Hi Brooke, since I haven't really left feedback on your stories lately, I thought I'd drop by for a minute and leave some feedback (Hope you don't mind) :) A part two would be pleasant, this was an enjoyable read, and the cliffhanger made me stay on! Perhaps just a little more description would be perfect?

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21:13 Jul 04, 2020

That's totally okay, Niveeidha! Thank you so much! :) Yeah, I agree that this one needed more description, but I just wanted to get a story out. Thank you again! Stay healthy! :D

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Niveeidha Palani
01:48 Jul 05, 2020

Haha, I feel the same too, stay healthy and safe too! :)

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Laura Clark
06:16 Jul 08, 2020

Hi Brooke - I’ve seen from your comment that you’re after some feedback so I’ve got some thoughts that I hope will be helpful. Let me know if they’re not though and I’ll know for next time. The conflict between the woman and her ex and the supportive relationship between her and her mother were both set up nicely. I knew exactly how they all felt about each other and I think the grandma seems like a great person to have on your side! I thought the ‘it’s like I’m a protagonist and he’s my arch nemesis’ was a bit on the nose. Trust you...

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10:25 Jul 08, 2020

Thank you so much! It means a lot to me that you took the time to read my story and leave feedback. I totally understand all of your tips, and if I re-did it in the future, I would make sure to take your feedback into account. Thank you again and stay healthy! -Brooke

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Evelyn ⭐️
22:31 Jul 04, 2020

I am so sorry I didn't see this story until now! I'm glad I did though because it was amazing! I know you have a lot of sequels to write already but I really want to read more! Oh and if you have the time there is a new writer on Reedsy her name is Bella K. if you could check out her new story that would be great!

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00:35 Jul 05, 2020

Thanks! :) She already followed me, and I'm going to read her stories soon! :)

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Evelyn ⭐️
15:52 Jul 05, 2020

Okay great! Also just posted a new story, if you wouldn't mind checking it out!

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02:54 Jul 06, 2020

I will! :)

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Rhondalise Mitza
15:54 Jul 02, 2020

I concur with a part two please. :)

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02:42 Jul 03, 2020

XD Maybe! I have three stories that still need sequels, so possibly after those are done! Thanks!

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Batool Hussain
14:37 Jul 02, 2020

The ending is great! Maybe do a part two on it?

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02:42 Jul 03, 2020

Maybe! I have three stories that still need part twos (one needs a part four), so possibly after those! Thanks!

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Batool Hussain
04:38 Jul 03, 2020

If you write one, I'll definitely read it. You're welcome:)

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04:10 Jul 04, 2020

:D

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Batool Hussain
06:38 Jul 06, 2020

Do you mind checking out my new story? I would love to have your opinions on it;)

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13:52 Jul 06, 2020

Of course! :)

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14:08 Jul 02, 2020

Hey, readers! I wasn't really sure how to end this story, so if it seems a little rushed or just unsatisfying, please leave feedback and let me know! Thanks! -Brooke

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Corey Melin
19:18 Jul 03, 2020

A good take on the prompt. Having siblings who have gone through similar ordeals I can relate to the story. Positively good.

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04:10 Jul 04, 2020

Thank you, Corey.

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Sayani Sarkar
19:31 Jul 02, 2020

Hi, I think this story started really well, I liked the idea of divorce and the petty games Darrell was trying to play to keep away the son from his mother. Maybe if you elaborated a bit on that, built up the anger of the mother,adding it with more examples leading to the kid's depression, it would have been great. But even then, I really like the story line.

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02:40 Jul 03, 2020

Thank you so much for the feedback! It means a lot to hear that! :) Stay healthy! -Brooke

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Emaan Amin
17:16 Jul 02, 2020

Please write a part 2!

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02:41 Jul 03, 2020

XD Maybe! But I already have three stories that need sequels, so maybe after I finish those. Thanks!

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