100 Word Wednesdays, Fiction, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Photography/Visual Art, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

100 Word Wednesday: “Heart Break” #amwriting #flashfiction 


Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting #100WordWednesday! 

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Credit: Jennifer Pallian

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Everything had to be perfect. Kayla didn’t want this to be a one time affair. It was 1:00 p.m., and Tye had awoken hearing noises in Kayla’s kitchen. 

He lumbered in, taking a seat at the island where Kayla had prepared a tray with ‘hair of the dog.’

“Morning Tye, you probably have a killer hang over at your age,” Kayla teased.

Tye drank both drinks from the tray. “Feeling much better now. Where’s your brother? Did he crash here too?”

“We, no Tye, it was just us. Christian stayed at Mimi’s last night.”

“He’s a lucky guy. Mimi’s a fine woman.”

Kayla frowned, “What about last night? Aren’t you a ‘lucky guy’ too, Tye?”

“What about it?”

“Does it mean anything to you? You told me you loved me.”

Tye was silent, “From the moment I saw you in that short black dress . . . I don’t remember much. I drank a lot. It can’t mean anything, Kayla, even if I’ve always had a thing for you. You’re Christian’s sister, he’d kill me.”

“Not if you actually loved me. If you felt the way I feel about you.”

“Doesn’t matter –”

“It does matter because I’m twenty eight-years old, a grown woman. If last night meant nothing, just say it. Because I’m damn sure you’re lying when you say you don’t remember.”

Tye rubbed his face his eyes dazed. He lumbered back to the bedroom and began dressing.

He wouldn’t look at her and Kayla confronted him, catching him off guard. She pushed him hard and kept pushing, attempting to get a reaction from Tye when he grabbed both her hands holding her still. 

“I’ve loved you since I was fourteen. You may have not loved me then, but I’ve seen the way you’ve looked at me since I turned twenty-five. You like me a lot and you know it,” Kayla cried. 

She struggled, but Kye wouldn’t let go of her hands. He pressed his lips to hers, brushing them back and forth before pulling back. “This can’t happen again, Kayla. You know that, I’m engaged.” 

” Lisa doesn’t love you. You don’t owe that harpy anything.”

“I do owe it to her, we’ve been together five years.”

Tyler brushed his thumb against her lips and let go of Kayla. He left her bedroom to put on his dress shoes at the front door. “I wish I could be with you. But Lisa’s pregnant. If I don’t marry her she’ll never let me see my daughter, ever.” 

Kayla blanched. She tried not to burst into a crying jag as she held her throat feeling her breath constrict. She gazed at Tye, “Please tell me I wasn’t just some girl you slept with.” 

“I wasn’t that drunk, Kayla. I lied. Last night meant the world, but that’s why we have to both forget it.”

The door shutting echoed long after Tye left. Tears dripped down her cheeks as Kayla sat on the floor, a ferocious pain eating her alive inside as she wept. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Children/YA/Family, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, My Thoughts, Nature, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Nasty Courtyard Neighbours #amwriting #flashfiction 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW,

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Credit: Yarnspinner 

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Our condo building has many square courtyards that can be purchased with a high rise condo so that a family can have their own place to garden and have barbecues. Parallel to us was another courtyard, higher up, and we detested the people who used it as they were loud, obnoxious, and cooked a great deal of smelly seafood. 

You cannot exactly complain to the landlord about this, although, I tried unsuccessfully. The garbage and beer bottles they threw on our courtyard when we weren’t there proved they had to be breaking some bylaws as did their noise pollution extending beyond 10:00 p.m. 

Nevertheless, our twelve-year old daughter, Jeseme, up late on a Saturday and gabbing in the courtyard with her friend, finally had enough of these neighbours and as I am told, screamed bloody murder and more to them in a way as adults, we only wished we could have done earlier. Apparently Jeseme was so frightening the nasty neighbours sold their courtyard and a lovely retired couple purchased the ill kept space. They also have a granddaughter who is the same age as Jeseme and her and April have become fantastic friends. A win win situation from my perspective. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Animals/Pets, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, My Thoughts, Nature, Relationship, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Oscar #amwriting #flashfiction #fiction #pets


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

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Credit: Shivangi Singh

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“What made you think we were going to fit your couch in our condo?” Eve asked Grant. 

“Well Eve, I can explain.” 

“I told you before, your couch will not fit through the front door. It won’t fit in the elevator either.” 

Grant sighed and rubbed his eyes, ” It’s just, he’s been through everything with me. I could never leave him behind. He’s my lucky charm and I’ll curse my favourite sport’s teams if I leave him.” 

Eve laughed, “Leaving ‘him‘ will curse your sport’s teams, huh? Do your buddies outside, below the patio think so? They’re the ones who’re having to get your couch or ‘him‘ to the third floor balcony?” 

“Errr. . .well, they know about Oscar,” Grant mumbled. 

“Oscar?” 

“Well, Eve it’s not my couch we’ve been moving, it’s my pet elephant. He’s gotten so big now, we had to haul him up through the patio door.”

Eve’s mouth gaped, “We’re talking about the proverbial elephant in the room, your couch right? I don’t see it up here.” 

“Look behind you,” Grant muttered. Oscar the half-grown elephant trumpeted happily squealing behind Eve.

 Grant’s fiancée squealed for a different reason. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Flash Fiction, May Day Prompts, My Thoughts, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Maydays:  Flash Fiction – The Green Lady #Maydays #amwriting



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Thanks to K.L. Caley from new2writing for hosting #Maydays prompts. Today’s prompt is doing or having done something stupid or awkward.

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http://www.cooldigital.photography

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Jeff had drank too much that night. It started with the tequila shots, followed by rye and gingers, and ended with shots of jäger. He walked through the bar, connected to his condo building, and he stopped in the lobby. He noticed a pretty woman, wearing green and standing by herself. She must be waiting for a cab, Jeff thought.

Jeff started talking to the woman, leaning up against her, laying it on thick as he could.

 “Hey baby. You’re gorgeous. You’ve such beautiful green eyes. Would you like to come upstairs to my condo and have a drink with me? You don’t have to stay there unless you want to. I can’t believe you’re here alone and you haven’t a wedding ring. Women as beautiful as you don’t come to this bar often.” 

The woman didn’t say a word and Jeff tried to get a kiss from her but she was rigid, ignoring Jeff’s lips.

 “Please, one kiss. You’ve such plush lips. I want one kiss, only to remember such a lovely woman by.You’ll like it. I’m a fantastic kisser.” 

The woman didn’t move. She never even turned her beautiful smooth greenish-skinned face towards him. Jeff became angry at her and Jeff tried to turn the woman towards him, she ended up falling on the floor. Then he was in tears, hoping she was alright. 

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to knock you over. I’ve had too much to drink. It’s only you’re gorgeous and I’ll probably never see you again. It’s okay. I know you’re not interested. Sorry to have disturbed you.” Jeff said helping the woman stand up, before heading up to his condo. He collapsed on his bed and slept.

The security guard watching the camera footage of a drunk man hitting on a plant he thought was a young woman, had tears running down his face. He couldn’t stop laughing as the histarical scene played out.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, May Day Prompts, My Thoughts, Relationship, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Maydays: Flash Fiction – Her Name Isn’t Susan. #Maydays



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Thank you to CL Kaley of new2blogging for the #Maydays prompt a coffee break fantasy.

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http://www.fallseven.ca

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“Ahhhh, coffee. I love it. Would you like some?” Peter asked the woman. He didn’t remember her name.

“I don’t drink coffee, thanks Peter,” Sally said her throat feeling raw.”I could use some water, or orange juice if you have any?” 

Peter peered into his fridge. It was bare. “Um, Susan, I have cranberry juice is that alright?” 

“I guess. And my name is Sally, Peter.” 

“Oh. Uh. Sorry Sally, I drank a lot last night.” Peter said.

Sally shrugged. “Whatever Peter.” 

 “Actually, you’ve been calling me Susan since your third beer last night. I kept correcting you every time but you kept calling me her name. Who’s Susan?” Sally questioned.

Peter appeared nervous. “She’s no one. Just an old girlfriend.” 

“Ah,” Sally remarked, “I understand now. Got any whole wheat or multigrain bread for toast?”

 Peter wasn’t listening. He drank his coffee remembering the morning Susan left.

——

“Where are you going?” Peter asked Susan.

“I’m leaving Peter. I’ve had enough. I can’t take this anymore.” Susan said. She had all her possessions boxed up and had hired a mover to load up the furniture she purchased.

“You have to have seen this coming.” 

“No, we had one fight and now your leaving me?” Peter asked.

“It wasn’t one fight, it was many fights over three-years. You never understood. It always came down to the same thing.” Susan remarked.

“What, what did it come down to?” 

“You Peter. It came down to you. You always did whatever you wanted, demanding I tag along. When it came to doing what I had to do for a work event or visiting my my friends, you never showed up.”

“Time and time again, you told me to quit my job. That I shouldn’t be spending so much time working or visiting my own friends.” Susan said, “I’m not putting up with your controlling behaviour anymore.”

“But. ..”

“No, Peter. I have a life. My own life. I’m tired of explaining things to you.” Susan said frustrated.

Peter was speechless as the movers came, taking the furniture Susan bought, and all of her things away. 

When Susan and the movers left, Peter felt the gnawing emptiness of his condo.

—–

” Peter is there bread for toast?” Sally asked. 

“What?” Peter asked lost in his head.”Oh no, sorry haven’t been grocery shopping this week. There’s cereal?” 

Sally sighed. “It’s fine. I’ll drink my cranberry juice and be on my way.” 

“Leaving so soon? Want to. . . ” 

“No, Peter I’m fine. I don’t think I can handle being called Susan again.” Sally remarked.

When Sally left, Peter remembered the emptiness he felt without Susan. Sally reminded him, he was a failure with women. Peter returned to bed to sleep off his hangover.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, My Thoughts, Novel - First Draft -"How Was Last Night For You.", Relationship, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

21. How Was Last Night for You: The Pain of Heartbreak


Please read Chapter 20 here.

Chapter 21: The Pain of Heartbreak.

It had been a week since Nina had had her awful fight with John at his parent’s home. John had chosen to end his and Nina’s relationship. He had told Nina it was for her safety. He didn’t want to be responsible for her death.

No one at the Eric’s house had seen the driver of the red pick-up truck who had twice, attempted to run Nina down. They had all been certain, Talise or someone she bewitched, had been responsible.

Thank goodness Jordan (John’s youngest brother) had saved Nina from becoming road-kill. Nina was frightened of what Talise was capable of concerning her and John. Nina had announced to John’s entire family at dinner that she loved John and wasn’t going to let him suffer from a sea witch’s wrath alone.

John’s family, Rianne, and Nina, were certain Talise (the sea witch who cursed John) had become evil in her jealousy over Nina and hatred of John, who refused to be with Talise again.

John had wanted to save Nina from Talise’s threat to stab Nina through her heart, by finding the cursed dagger Talise wanted to use on Nina. What was problematic was that John had only seen the dagger in a nightmare and the rest of the information they had come up with on the dagger, was purely fairy-tale or Adare folklore.

The red pick-up truck incident pushed John into panick mode. One moment Nina and he were lovers fighting Talise together, and the next moment John told Nina she was safer without him. Nina thought this was absurd because even though John’s curse had been noticeably absent for three-months, John alone protected Nina from his curse because he loved and cared for her.

Nina’s heart and mind were struggling  to come to terms and understand John’s decision to break-up with her after what the two of them had been through. Perhaps, John had only thought he loved Nina? Maybe he only wanted to break his curse so badly, Nina was someone he was using as a means to an end?

Nina’s doubt made her think back to her former longterm boyfriend Max who had used Nina and destroyed her heart and self-confidence with verbal abuse and manipulation. Was John no better then Max? Had John been playing Nina this entire time? But Nina didn’t care about Max because of John. She felt strongly about John, that his feelings towards her were true.

Yet, John had abandoned Nina onhis parents lawn while Nina wept. Rianne and Jasper had driven her home and Rianne had been staying with Nina since.

Rianne was especially worried about Nina and what Jasper’s jerk brother was doing to Nina. Rianne remembered Nina with Max, she knew her friend could not go through such heart-break again and still be a woman who believed the best about most everyone she met. Perhaps, Nina’s rose-coloured glasses had already been broken?

Nina was working again at Wilus after an extended absence due to her concussion. Each day dragged and Nina spent an eternity thinking about John and what he was doing. Nina developed a habit of checking her phone every couple of minutes to see if John text messaged or called her. He never did.


 

Rianne and Nina were watching She’s All That, when Rianne caught Nina robotically checking her phone for the thousandth time and got up to take Nina’s iPhone away from her. Rianne placed the phone in her own purse, so Nina couldn’t take the phone back easily.

Laney was coming down the stairs in She’s All That with her new dress, hair, and makeup, on the TV screen; but Nina’s eyes were glued to Rianne’s Kate Spade lime purse.

“Nina,” Rianne exclaimed, “this is your favourite part in the movie when Laney comes down the stairs with her ‘new look’ to show to Zack for the party. You love it when she trips. You think it’s hilarious and realistic.” Nina made a little puff of air with her mouth, narrowing her eyes at Rianne.

“I like it because Laney is Cinderella, but a modern Cinderella. She already had all this beauty inside her and Zack’s sister and the dress, only help make her beauty blossom. The Prince, Zack, already adores Laney. And who doesn’t love Freddie Prince Junior from back-in-the-day.” Nina told Rianne. But as bees to flowers, Nina’s eyes were drawn back to Rianne’s lime purse.

“Who purchases a lime Kate Spade bag at full price? You could have had pink, light blue, navy, white, or even classic black and you chose to pay eight-hundred-dollars for a lime Kate Spade bag. I would be embarrassed to say I paid hundreds for a purse that colour.” Nina remarked, grinning snidely at Rianne.

Rianne smiled not fooled by Nina’s rude comment. She began to sort through her lime purse, fixing her lipstick, powdering her face, and spraying herself with a sample of perfume. She grinned at Nina pulling out Nina’s iPhone and shaking her head. “Nope, he didn’t call or text you Nina. John still hasn’t answered any of the two-hundred messages you left him on voicemail or by text.”

Nina frowned at Rianne: “Give that back you crazy whore. I want my phone now!”Rianne gave Nina another huge smile and zipped her lime purse up with Nina’s phone inside.

“Nope,” Rianne said.” Call me any name you want but you’re not getting your phone back until tomorrow morning. It’s not healthy for you to check it every two-minutes.”

“When he’s ready, John will call you. He loves you Nina. He’ll be back. He’s just scared for you and it doesn’t seem like he has had a woman he’s been afraid for before. He’s not dealing with you almost being killed again well. He doesn’t want you to die and frankly, I don’t want you to die either.” Rianne remarked.

Nina sighed and scrubbed her face with her palms. Tears started falling out of the corner of her eyes, trailing down soft cheeks bare of makeup. “Rianne…” Nina choked out, “I really need my phone. What if I miss his call?” Nina barely heard Rianne’s sound advice and concern. Nina was having her own pity party, as she had been all week.

“He won’t call tonight anyways.” Rianne said, “John went to find Talise’s dagger tonight, in her special cave.”

“What?” Nina asked sniffling, “You’re only telling me this now? Did John go alone?”

Rianne looked sympathetically at Nina, “Yeah, John won’t let anyone else be hurt by Talise. Especially, if she’s using dark magic, which we’re ninety-nine percent sure she is using.” Tears kept trailing down Nina’s cheeks and Nina started to sob in earnest.

“What if something happens? How could John do something so stupid? Something is going to happen to him I know it. I haven’t talked to him or seen him in a week. That’s a long time you know.” Rianne rolled her eyes.

“I’ve been here with you all week Nina or at work, so I haven’t been able to see Jasper or the boys at all. I talked to Sam and Isaac and they’re both scared I’m not coming back. They’re only five and three -years-old you know, they need structure and routine.” Rianne told Nina, silencing her sobs.

“I’m so sorry Rianne. I don’t mean to be selfish with you. Go out with Jasper and go see Sam and Isaac, tell them you’re only visiting Auntie Nina for a few more days.”

” That would be so good Nina, but I’m supposed to help keep you safe too, so you’d have to come with me to Jasper’s place.” Rianne told Nina and Nina nodded her consent.

“Tomorrow we’ll go see Jasper, Sam and Eric. I’ll babysit for a few hours so you and Jasper can catch-up.” Rianne smiled at Nina gratefully.

“As well, don’t panic but Edith told me John’s curse has returned. It caused some car accidents after the dinner last week. Since then, his curse been acting up powerfully… making up for lost time I guess. John hasn’t had a moment of peace all week, Edith told me. . . ” Nina’s eyes started to tear up again.

” I should be with him. I have to help him break this curse and defeat Talise. If he leaves me . . . If he doesn’t return . . . I don’t know what I’ll do. John’s my guy, curse or not. I don’t want to be without him in my life,” Nina admitted.

Rubbing her face while she cried had made Nina’s face red along with her eyes. Rianne studied Nina with concern:

“Eventually, I’m hoping, and John’s family is hoping, you and John can work-out your relationship. For now you need to get up, shower, and start putting effort into yourself again. The Nina I know hates not wearing makeup and styling her hair. The Nina I know, doesn’t sulk for days, she starts living life again because she believes there are better times ahead.” Rianne brushed Nina’s hair out of her eyes and gazed at Nina, conveying her message with her eyes and voice. She was serious and practical as usual.

“I’m heading out to buy Chinese food for supper. You haven’t been eating Nina, so we need ‘substantial’ food, ” Rianne said grabbing her lime purse, her jacket, and heading for the condo’s door.

“You need to eat more your losing your curves. It’s not healthy for you to wallow in tears so long. You’re the most positive person I’ve ever known. You’ve had your week my friend, but it’s time to start living again. Your still in danger from Talise and you can’t let down your guard.”

” I’ll be fifteen minutes Nina, then we can eat Chinese food until we’re stuffed. After, let’s watch another old movie. How about a couple of scary ones? Let’s watch both I Know What You Did Last Summer movies.” Rianne declared, smiling after her talk with Nina. Scary movies were Rianne’s favourite movie genre.

Nina felt shell-shocked. She wanted to remain laying on the couch. But she needed a shower and Nina knew Rianne was right about everything else too.

Nina needed to pull herself together. That was the best way she could win John back and guard against Talise. She could not let her self wallow in selfish self-pity as her break-up with Max had caused her to do for months. She was over that stage, and she would get over this one.

Nonetheless, Nina was extremely worried about John going after Talise’s dagger alone. Nina didn’t trust Talise’s intentions for her or John. But she got up off the coach to put her face on. ‘Fake it until you make it,’ the saying goes.

Nina took her time showering and shaved, putting a conditioning mask in her hair, and a mud mask on her face. She dressed in comfortable PJ’s, a soft tank top with pajama bottoms. The pajama set was navy blue and Nina loved blue about as much as she loved pink.

She felt a lot better after her shower. Nina felt refreshed and like a burden had been lifted from her shoulders. She felt like herself again and knew in her heart she would be alright. Nina was certain she would be with John again soon.

She began the process of blow-drying her thick white blond hair. It was only half-dry when Nina heard the buzzer for the door downstairs at the condo building front entrance. She had been waiting for Rianne but wondered briefly why Rianne didn’t use her key when she buzzed Rianne into the building.

Nina noticed Rianne had been gone about an hour longer then the fifteen-minutes she had said and Rianne was always on time. Nina supposed the Chinese place was busy due to people eating late on Friday night in front of the TV. She felt uneasy about Rianne being gone so long. And she didn’t have her iPhone to ask Rianne where she was.

Nina went to unlock her door when she heard Rianne fiddling with the door knob. She gasped when it was not Rianne who met her, but a horribly aged Talise.

White strands stood out in Talise’s  wavy golden-blond hair. Talise had wrinkles around her eyes and mouth. In a short-time, she had gone from appearing in her early-twenties to appearing harshly older. Talise smiled at Nina and laughed, pushing the doorway open forcefully.

” You and I have business, dear,” Talise said. Her voice was throaty and dark.

Nina cringed at Talise  and Talise threw Nina back on the couch using magic harnessed from water in a flower vase.

Talise slammed and locked the door behind her, keeping Nina trapped inside her Condo with an unpredictable and unstable dark sea witch.

Please Read Chapter 22 here.


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, Flash Fiction, My Thoughts, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: You’d Have to Pay Me


This is the first time I had ever had to sign for a letter addressed to Occupent.The letter was nothing special, only a neighbour complaining about the billboard this company pays me to have on my lawn. The company mails me a cheque for $500 a month to leave their horrid billboard painting alone. I try not think about it or look at it much. 

If Gary in the Condo next to me doesn’t like it, too bad for him. I put his most recent letter in the garbage. Clever of him to have it sent to me as ‘occupant;’ he knows my name well.

As I am leaving my house for work, I glance at the billboard. The lady on it looks like some nightmarish clown. At least, my niece thought so when she visited with my sister. Sara hated to sleepover because outside the spare bedroom window is the billboard. I love Sara but the billboard stays, it pays part of my mortgage. I don’t mind switching rooms with Sara for the night she comes to visit me once a month.

On my way to the car, I see my neighbour Gary. I wave and run over to my billboard smiling and giving the billboard a thumbs up. Gary, an elderly man in his seventies, scowls at me. I wave to him again and drive off squeeling my tires and honking at Gary who shakes his fist and swears at me loudly as I pass him in my car.

I don’t care. If Gary paid me $500 a month to not have the ugly billboard on my lawn, well that would be the only reason I would be getting rid of the billboard. Until then, the hideous monument remains on my lawn.

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http://www.publicdomainarchive.com

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Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, Flash Fiction, My Thoughts, Relationship, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Flash Fiction for The Aspiring Writer: A Place to Sleep


“This is frustrating, Marcus.” Trisha complained.”Every morning at 6:00 am, the workmen start hammering and climbing up the scaffolding. Lulu and I just fall asleep, after her needing to eat all night, then the workmen arrive and make noise. I haven’t slept more than two-hours in a row for three-months.”

Marcus frowned, he wanted to help Trisha and Lulu. He could see how tired and run down Trisha was. Marcus went for a drive so he could think. He found himself driving through a neighbourhood with unique older houses.

To Marcus’s surprise, one of the houses had a ‘For Sale,’ sign. When Marcus walked into the house, he knew the house was perfect for his family. The house was updated five-years ago and the price was feasible. Trisha needed to see this house.

That evening Trisha stood in the great room of the house Marcus had found them. She turned around and sighed, “It’s quiet.” 

“So, we can buy the house?” Marcus asked.

Trisha laughed sleepily, “Yes.”

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Scafolding
Ellesepeth
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Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting this Flash Fiction challenge. Want to join? Check-out the link above.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, My Thoughts, Relationship, Writing

Part 6: Never Again – Finding Peace.


Please read Part 5 of ‘Never Again’ here.

Part 6: Never Again – Finding Peace.

(Three-Months Later).

“Kasia, are you finished packing?” Jolene asked her daughter.

“Yeah, I’m good Mom, but I had to get another suitcase. I did more shopping then I thought.” Kasia was huffing and puffing as she dealt with her suitcases, bringing them outside Chateau Blanc for Luc to load in an SUV.

“I’m not ready to leave Mom. I’ve had such a fantastic time here, seeing Auntie Cathy and hanging out with Damon.” Kasia sighed. ” I can’t believe I didn’t meet him until a month and a half ago . . .and you’re leaving Luc behind too?” Kasia exclaimed with surprise.

“Kasia,” Jolene said. “We have to go back to Ottawa for awhile at least. Auntie Cathy will be moving into a condo close to where we live soon. She only has to finish training her replacement event planner and do a bit of packing.” Jolene cleared her throat reaching for a bottle of water in her purse.

” Luc owns Chateau Blanc but he’s found an experienced caretaker to keep the place running. Luc’s a trained architectural Engineer and he’s taking a job at an Engineering Firm in Ottawa. He’ll have a great deal of input on projects and doing them to LEED standards around the world. You know he is passionate about the environment…” Jolene said shrugging with a smile.

“What about Damon? How will I see him. If I’m supposed to travel around with you and have a tutor for high school, when will I see Damon?” Kasia asked worriedly. “I’ve been saving money to travel. You know, the money I made modelling for La Petite Mademoiselle and a few other shoots, Simon, your agent, could find for plus-sized models in Nice… How will you see Luc if we’re always travelling?” Kasia asked. Jolene smiled as Kasia peppered her with questions. They’d both been extremely occupied the last few weeks.

“There is going to be some changes, Kasia. I’m not going to model anymore. I will have business trips with La Petite Mademoiselle in Europe. I have hired a couple of Presidents for the Canadian and United States chains. Judy thought it was a great idea, she wants to travel more with her husband.” Jolene explained.

” Judy and I will be dealing with our expansion into France and into other select European cities. You will have occasions where you will be able to come to France with me or Luc and see Damon, while you work on Grade Ten material with your tutor. Damon maybe in Grade Twelve, but he also has his last year of high school to get through in Nice.” Jolene reminded Kasia.

“I think, it’s best to keep most of your modelling work for La Petite Mademoiselle, until you are eighteen. I don’t want to overwhelm you when you need to focus on school.  Not to mention, I would like for you to still put a shift in every week in our flagship store in Ottawa when we are home. It will help you to know how our company works on the ground level.” Jolene added. Kasia sighed, not completely happy with her Mom’s solution for Kasia’s schooling and work. Would she get to see Damon enough between work and school? What if Damon forgot about Kasia for some other girl?

“So, if you’re busy overseeing things in Europe, how will you organize your schedule with Luc’s” Kasia asked Jolene.

Jolene’s face lit with a smile. “I have something to tell you… I’m getting married to Luc! He asked me last week. It was so hard for me not to tell you. I wanted to wait for the perfect time, I suppose that’s now.” General shrieking ensued and the details of the proposal were shared.

” Luc will be doing some projects in Europe as well, so all three of us will often be back at the Chateau Blanc and Auntie Cathy is welcome, whenever she wants to come along.” Kasia was taken aback. Everything seemed to be falling into place. Kasia was overjoyed Luc would be her step-dad. Her only Dad, as far as Kasia was concerned. She missed Damon alread, even though he was chatting with Luc. He had come to the Chateau to see Kasia before she went back to Canada. “Damon,” Kasia called. . .

——

An iPhone began ringing and Jolene felt her pocket buzz. Her face went pale when she saw the number on the phone. It was Scott’s work number. Jolene felt sick. She hadn’t heard from Scott since she left Nice over five-years-ago. Jolene wasn’t ready to talk to Scott. But perhaps, she should accept his call and tell Scott once and for all, to leave her alone.

“Hello” Jolene said quietly, walking away from Kasia.

“Hello Jolene,” Scott said.”Nice of you to get in touch with me when you were here.” Jolene said nothing at first.

“Why would I want anything to do with you Scott. I don’t love you anymore and I’m not attracted to you. Our time together is a lifetime away, I’m getting married.” Scott laughed

” So, I heard. It took you a long time. It was difficult getting over me, huh?” Scott said.

” And why is that?” Jolene questioned Scott.

“Because you will always have me in our daughter, Kasia. She looks a lot like me you know. You should have told me about her.” Scott said sounding wounded.

” How did you find out about Kasia? You can’t have her. She’s mine, my daughter — not yours. You wanted me to abort her.” Jolene said furiously.

“Kasia came to visit me a couple months ago. She wanted to meet me. I can’t blame her. She’s a smart girl and tracked me down.” Scott remarked.

“Damn it,” Jolene said, “Auntie Cathy told her everything. I knew we should have kept our mouths shut about you, Scott. You stay away from Kasia, I mean it! I can afford a great lawyer these days so don’t try anything. You are not allowed to see Kasia until she’s eighteen. Then, it is her choice, unfortunately.”Jolene yelled into her phone.

“Relax, Jolene. I don’t want anything from you or Kasia. Kasia wanted to meet me but she doesn’t want a relationship with me. She also told me to stay away from her and you.” Scott said hushing Jolene.

” I don’t need Katrina finding out I have an illegitimate daughter, who might be a threat to the money Katrina brought to our marriage. She wouldn’t like it if Kasia inherited anything. Additionally, having somewhat a relationship with my own daughter Sara and my boys is hard enough.” Scott told Jolene, tiredly.

“So, what are you calling about then?” Jolene seethed.

“I need to apologize,” Scott admitted to Jolene.”It was wrong of me to tell you to get rid of Kasia when she was barely a person. I saw her at my office and I’m so thankful you never got the abortion. She’s a beautiful girl and I have no doubt she will be as successful in life as you Jolene.” Jolene couldn’t believe Scott was apologizing.

“Kasia hates me for trying to have her aborted and that bothers me. I couldn’t stand it if my daughter Sara was as mad at me, as Kasia is mad at me,” Scott admitted. “Kasia is also upset because of what I did to you. I can’t change myself  Jolene. I am who I am.” Scott said.

“But, I regret cheating on you the entire time we were together, when you were off modelling. I was never your ‘one,’ and only guy. I’m no women’s ‘one.’ I’m my own guy. I like to be in control and be with whoever I desire. Katrina understands this, she has had a long-time affair with another man. Kasia believes that guy provides for Katrina, what I should be providing for her, love and attention.” Scott said, his voice scratchy. Admitting his faults was hard for him, Kasia had made him think.

” I’m sorry I met so much to you Jolene. I wish I hadn’t met much to you. I would have broken it off sooner, but I had plans…”

“You are and were selfish Scott,” Jolene shouted.” You never cared about my feelings or what I thought about something. You even tried to tell me I was pretending I wanted a baby — which is why I never told you about Kasia.”

” It wouldn’t have mattered had you told me you had had our baby. My Dad said Katrina was the right wife for me. She is in a sense. . . What I wanted to tell you though is for Kasia: Do not let her end up with a guy like me. I told Kasia ‘boys will be boys’ and that men naturally cheat. She called me on it and I thought about it and she’s right, not all men cheat. My half-brother for instance, is faithful to his wife. He works at the company with me.” Scott said.

” Kasia needs to find a guy like my half-brother. Not like me or her Grandpa. And tell her Scott said he will do his utmost to ensure someone like him does not marry her half-sister Sara.” Jolene pressed the phone to her ear. She was amazed at what Scott told her.

“For real, that’s all you want?” Jolene stuttered. “You want Kasia to end up with a kind and faithful partner? You aren’t trying to get me to sleep with you or have an affair with you? You promise to leave Kasia alone, even though I never told you she was your daughter?” Jolene could barely say anything she was so surprised by Scott’s reason for calling. She heard him sigh on the phone.

” As far as I’m concerned Jolene, you and I are done. I have my life and you have yours. We may be connected by Kasia but I promise, I won’t interfere in your lives. If Kasia in the future, wants to contact me so I can help her get into a prestigious university, I can help her, it’s the least I can do.But I have one request Jolene. . . ” Scott’s voice sounded sad to Jolene. She didn’t remember Scott ever sounding emotional.

“Please send, me a picture of Kasia once in awhile on your phone. Not often, just so I know she’s okay.” Jolene couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She kept her voice neutral.

” I can do that, if Kasia doesn’t mind. I will tell her what you said,” Jolene remarked. “I’ll mention you can get her into a prestigious university, no strings attached. And I will definitely make sure she never falls for a man like you.”

“Great. . . gotta go Jolene. My 3:00 pm is here. Good Luck.” Scott said distractedly. Jolene heard the phone click and knew, Scott had moved on. She couldn’t blame Scott for that. It was time for Jolene and Kasia to move on in life as well.

——

I watch my niece as she finishes walking down the aisle. Beneath her veil, her face is glowing. Her eyes are fixed lovingly on her fiancé, Luc Devereaux.

Luc has a giant grin on his handsome face. He told me earlier, “Aunt Cathy, I can’t believe I get to marry Jolene. I always thought and dreamed about her. She’ll be my wife, and I get a beautiful step-daughter too.”

I carefully patted my new nephews arm. He used to be my boss but now, I am his cherished Auntie.”You’re perfect for Jolene and Kasia. You’re all exactly what the three of you needed, ” I tell Luc.

I see Luc take Jolene’s hand and slide on her wedding band. Jolene does the same for Luc. Beautiful Kasia is her Mom’s maid of honour in a couture pink gown.

But Jolene is simply stunning, channeling Grace Kelly. She is the perfect vintage leading lady in her bridal gown, except for one thing. Jolene’s back reveals a tattoo I never knew she had until I helped her change into her dress this morning.

Jolene’s tattoo is a quote that reads: “You never know how strong you are, until being strong is all you have to be.” 

Jolene’s tattoo demonstrates all that she has come through in life to be at the the altar with her ‘one,’ Luc. It tells me Jolene will be strong whatever she faces in life. But she isn’t alone. She has Kasia, Luc, and as always, her Auntie Cathy who had the pleasure of walking her cherished niece, down the aisle.

Fin

——

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