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Bedtime Drama Fiction

I so deserve this time alone. I never have a moment to myself. I work five long days and I'm utterly exhausted when I return home. My job itself is easy I've been doing it for years but its the mental anguish of retail that'll get to anybody. The constant whining and complaining from the average customer. How I wish just once I could look at one of them and say.

"Quit your bitching your already getting the damn shoes at half price."

Or I would like to say.

"You know the freaking coupon expired. So stop saying you had no idea. You just want something for nothing just like every other moron that walks in our store. Give it a rest already."

I stand in my den and try to shake the thought of those crazies out of my head. Some days between work and family, I just want to pack my bags and leave town permanently. Though I haven't done it yet.

Don't get me wrong I love my family. I swear I do. Now between summer vacation and my husbands work related injury, I am never alone.

Two hours ago this house was bustling with activity. My daughter Emily went from bathroom to bedroom. Both my boys were changing and yelling that Emily was hogging up the bathroom so they couldn't brush their teeth. I filled a cooler with water bottles plus handheld snacks for the car ride to the city. Chris entered the kitchen as I was drying my hands on a dish towel.

"You have any plans for tonight?' He asked.

"No, not really. I guess I might watch Netflix. Then try and finish my book."

He came up behind me at the sink. Put his arms around my waist and kissed the back of my neck. I always enjoyed when he did this.

I turned to face him. Kissed him right back.

Then we grinned at each other.

"Will you miss me tonight?"

I thought about the question. He waited for my response.

"Maybe."

He kissed the side of my face and nibbled on my ear.

"I guess I will. Want me to wait up for you?"

"It would be nice. We better get going."

He hurried out of the kitchen and called our boys from the bottom of the landing.

"Guys lets get a move on! Your going to miss this game!"

**

So here I am I got the entire house to myself. Chris took Kevin and Andrew to a hockey game and Emily is at her friends house for a sleepover. Now my only problem is trying to decide what to do first. I head upstairs turn left into the master bedroom open my closet doors and find something cozy to sleep in. Then with my pajamas in hand I step into the master bathroom, place my clothing on the vanity and turn on the hot water in the claw foot tub.

With the water running slow and the room getting steamy, I head downstairs.

The moment I look at my front door I can tell something isn't right.

I walk over slowly, glance through the glass panes on either side of the Oak door but I see nothing. I lock both deadbolts. Then stop in the kitchen for my snacks. The window above the sink is half open.

I could've swore I closed it. I feel gooseflesh run down my arms as I approach the swinging curtains. I shut the window hard and lock the latch on top.

I listen but hear nothing. My imagination sure is working overtime. Once I've chosen the perfect ratio of cheese, crackers, chips, I plan on finding something to watch. I'm just about to close the refrigerator door when I spot my home made onion dip.

Behind the kitchen I enter our laundry room. The dryer is still tumbling the clothes. I check the side door. Its locked. A sigh of relief escapes my throat.

"You are losing it." I say to myself.

Somewhere in the house I hear music. I slip out of the laundry room, pass through the kitchen and the music gets louder. At the hall closet I put my ear to the door and listen. It starts up again. I quickly whip open the door and find Chris's cell in the pocket of his

gray sweatshirt. I pull it out and shake my head. Shut the door and walk towards my den carrying the phone with me.

I send my oldest a quick text.

Andrew...

Let yr Dad knw he left his cell here. Have fun. See you in the morning. xo Mom

Back to my den, I turn on the TV and start up Netflix. I honestly have no idea the last time I watched a whole movie in peace. I scan through a couple of titles but nothing really appeals to me. After several minutes of reading descriptions I settle on a mystery thriller. Then I remember about my bath.

"Oh Shit!"

With the remote in my left hand, I charge out of the room head for the stairs and take them two at a time. When I return to the tub the water is about to over flow. I place the remote on the tiled floor and reach in the warm water to pull out the plug. After I've released just the right amount, I put the drain back in place then turn both knobs shutting off the water. I sprinkle my bath salts into the tub. After I have retrieved my towel from the linen closet and slipped out of my clothes' that I hear my cell phone ring.

I desperately want to sink down into this relaxing bath and let all my stress fade away. But I know it could be Emily calling to say goodnight. So I reach for my robe behind the bathroom door, throw it on then run towards the master bedroom. I still hear it ringing but its no where in sight. I scatter quickly through the clean laundry left on my bed. There's my phone at the bottom of the pile, exactly where I left it.

"Hello?" I say on the forth ring.

"Julia, are you ok? You sound kind of funny..."

"I'm fine. Just out of breath. I ran the bath forgot about it and jogged upstairs."

"Are you sure that's all it is?"

"Judy its nothing. I feel stupid. The front door was unlocked, the widow in the kitchen was left open. Just feeling jittery without everyone around."

"I'm not doing much. Want some company?"

I think it over.

"No, its nothing I swear. Plus I have been looking forward to reading and relaxing. No offence. You and I can get lunch tomorrow."

"Ok if your really sure your alright." She says.

"Yes, I am ok. Let me take my bath. I will text you in about an hour."

I almost feel bad. Then I think about my precious time alone.

**

Lying on my couch I smile to myself. How I love the sound of silence. Maybe I should skip the movie and just indulge in all this quiet. No it looks really good. Who knows when I will have the house to myself again?

I listen to the house once more. See it really can be calm around here. I let out a sigh then press play. The movie is on for exactly five minutes when I hear the chime of the door bell. Damn it I should have closed the blinds. I pause the movie and stare at the clock on the wall. Twenty five after eight. Who could possible be here?

If only I had gotten one of those ring door bells. I could be viewing whose outside from my cell.

At the door I hold my breath and prepare for whomever awaits me on the other side. I open it and there stands Emily with Joan and Hannah.

"Hey what's going on?" I ask in disbelief.

"I'm sorry I didn't call first Julia. Emily was just too upset." Joan replies.

I look down at my nine year old daughter. She's clinging to one of her plush blankets. I reach out and touch her forehead. Cool to the touch.

"Well your not hot. So what is it Emily?"

"I don't know. I just feel like I miss my room and my bed."

"Its ok sweetie. Come inside."

Emily passes me and waits in the hall. Joan hands me Emily's bags.

"I'm really sorry about this Julia."

"Oh its ok. Nobody's fault. These thing happen. Would you like to come in ? I could make some tea or coffee."

"No I'm good. I better get back. The TV is saying a severe thunderstorm is on the way."

"Ok. Be careful then. Thanks for bringing her home."

Joan smiles and she and Hannah run for her Ford Explorer.

**

Emily and I are under blankets on the couch. My movie has been replaced with Frozen, one of my daughters favorites. Thunder begins to rumble off in the distance. I see Emily get that look she gets whenever we have a storm of any kind. She snuggles closer to me. I let her.

"You want me to make some popcorn?"

"No mommy, stay."

At that same moment more thunder. This time right above the house. I touch Emily's hair. Her eyes have left the television screen and she's staring out the picture window at the impending storm.

I reach for the remote and make the sound louder. The song in the movie brings her attention back. After a quick flash of lightning followed by torrential rain the thunder comes again. This one is by far the worst yet. Emily squeezes my hand.

"Its ok. Only a noise. I'm right here with you."

We continue to watch Frozen but the storm outside rages on. The lights flicker on and off. A branch cracks and we both jump.

"Mommy I'm scared." Emily says.

" I know baby I am too."

I pull back the blankets and rise off the couch. Emily jumps up and grabs me. I take her hand and together we search the downstairs for flashlights.

"One for me and one for you. We are all ready..."

Another tremendous roar from the backyard then the house goes black. I hear Emily breathing hard. I switch on my flashlight.

She does the same. We venture from room to room and I tell her about the time I was a little girl and we had no power three days.

**

By the time the power has returned, she has fallen asleep beside me. Slowly I reach for my phone. I text Judy to let her know I'm alright.

Hey, Emily came home early. Then between watching a movie and the storm I lost track of time. Didn't mean to worry you.

Several minutes go by before she responds. I look down at the phone and watch her words appear.

Well I'm just glad your ok. But what a shame your night got ruined, I know how bad you wanted to be alone. Talk soon, Good night Julia.

I look over at my daughter sleeping soundly.

I type my final text of the night.

I know I should be sad but I'm not. So what if my plans changed ?Tonight turned out to be exactly what I needed.

July 30, 2021 03:38

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2 comments

Tomisin Olawepo
17:33 Aug 05, 2021

Kept me wanting to read on! Very interesting, and a wholesome ending!

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Joyce Schook
04:01 Aug 06, 2021

Thank you so much for your kind words. I am really glad you enjoyed it.

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