Bad Connection

I found a spot to sit in the sand where I could watch the seagulls and the occasional fish breaking through the surface of the water. The sun began to burn brighter as it made it’s way higher into the sky and it warmed me through and through. When I was out here like this it was easy to forget the stresses of my day, whatever was happening at the moment. Unfortunately I was horrible about making enough time to have this moments to myself.

Sometimes Evan would come with me down here and walk alongside me down the shoreline. We would watch the jumping fish, the early morning surfers and water skiers, the fishermen who were looking for a good catch in the early morning. It was strange not having him here with me this morning. It had become something of our morning routine to spend these moments together. I wondered what he was up to and thought about texting him but realized I had left my cellphone back at the house. The scenery and the temperature was too nice right now though for me to want to leave so I sat.

I thought about when Evan and I had first met some ten years ago back when we were barely old enough to have our own things like bank accounts and bills to worry about. Before we had car payments and mortgages and steady paychecks that did more than simply put small meals on the table. He had been the most magnificent person i had ever known with his gentle personality, his witty sense of humor and his calming smile. He had lit a fire under me with his knowledge on books and writers and art. Everything has about him was so different from anyone else I had ever known.

He didn’t laugh at my forgetfulness or my disorganization. He had never ridiculed me for my love of books, even if they were only frivolous fiction. He understood my Star Wars obsession, especially with Ewoks. He didn’t comment on the amount of coffee I could put away in an hour or my junk food vices. He was patient when it took me awhile to pick up new things, to remember how to do them, he didn’t mind that I always took the same route home, that I always shopped at the same grocery store, that I had my favorite brands of food. He understood me and accepted me and that was important to me.

Thinking about Evan made me miss him and I wondered if he had made it back yet. I decided to trek back to the house and find out. As I walked I thought about how lucky I was that he also shared a love of the ocean. I absolutely loved it that we literally had a beach in our backyard and that I could come out here anytime I wanted. The sounds and smells were so soothing to me.

Having reached the house I opened the back door, calling out to him.

“Ethan! Are you home?”

I walked through the kitchen into the living room where I stood for a moment, listening. All was quiet. Sighing, I fetched my cellphone and dialed his numbers from the contacts. It rang once, twice and then someone picked up.

“Ethan? Where are you, Silly? I woke up and you were gone.”

I laughed softly and waited for his reply. On the other end al was silent except for the faint sound of static.

“Ethan? Can you hear me?”

I thought I heard a voice very faintly in the background, and then another voice. I listened even more intently. Definitely two voices. But, no, that couldn’t be my Ethan could it? Not only could I hear the distant muffled sound of his laughter but I also heard the soft, tinkling laughter of another woman.

Written in response to the Daily Post.

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Therapy

As the first rays of the morning sunrise were beginning to peak I decided to make my way down to the beach behind our spacious house. Sitting by the ocean always helped me to clear my mind, to calm and soothe any of my anxieties and I knew it would help me to feel better this morning. I debated putting on my running clothes and taking a jog down the beach or maybe putting on my swimsuit and going for a couple of laps. The water was perfect this early in the morning, the waves undulating, hypnotic while the seagulls cried overhead, searching for their morning meal. In the end I decided to do both. I could go for a jog and then cool off in the water. Pulling on my one piece and tying my hair back I pulled on some ankle socks, a tank top and some spandex knee-length jogging pants.

Ethan wasn’t in bed and I didn’t hear anything coming from downstairs so I decided he must be either in his office with the door shut or out doing his daily tasks already although I wasn’t sure what that consisted of exactly. I figured I would catch him on the way back in. Who knows, he might even surprise me with a meal. The thought surprised me and I couldn’t help but wonder if I was becoming spoiled.

Heading out the bay doors that faced the back of our home I made my way down the grassy hill our house was built on. The scent of the sea enticed me and I picked up my pace. The closer I got the more excited I became. I could hear the faint call of the seagulls crying to one another, small splashes of fish jumping and the sound of the waves undulating back and forth, one consuming the last, a beautiful dance that alswayd kept me mesmerized.

I made my way down to the shoreline and smiled appreciatively at the great expanse of turquoise water before me. It was so breathtakingly beautiful. There’s nothing like standing in front of an enormous body of water to put life into perspective, remind you how small you are, how tiny yet important your role in life is in the grand scheme of things.

I stood for a moment with my eyes closed, feeling the breeze circling around me, listening to the sounds and smelling the scents before opening my eyes and heading off in a brisk walk eastward. I figured I would do a warm up walk first and then go back west and jog until i felt the glorious burn of a workout well done. As I walked I kept my eyes peeled for seashells and hermit crabs and it surprised me that I realized I was doing this. It had been years since I had gone hunting for seashells and hermit crabs despite having lived off the ocean for many years now. I made the decision to make this a more frequent habit.

As I began jogging off down the beach I felt the stress once again melt away. I was able to assess not only my situation with Lily more clearly but also the situation I was possibly imagining with Ethan. Surely he was only reflecting my own crazy emotions right now. Maybe my anxiety was making him anxious as well. I decided to not think about his mysterious phone call for another moment and simply enjoy our day together.

The run turned out to be just what I needed. My muscles burned in the wonderful way that only a run could make them burn. The salt air made the sand stick to my skin and the humidity flattened my hair to my face and forehead. There was sand in my shoes that were becoming heavy with the water I had been trekking through but I didn’t care. It felt amazing to run. I felt so alive.

Written in response to The Daily Post.

Rays

I hadn’t expected to hear from Lily again, I’m not sure why, maybe because I had figured that I had made her uncomfortable during our meeting and who would want to go through that twice, so it was a surprise when she called me early Saturday afternoon. I was still a bit unnerved about Ethan’s somewhat secretive phone call although I told myself that this reunion with Lily was what had me on edge and that I was overreacting where no reaction was needed. While nibbling on the homemade blueberry pancakes Ethan had made and served me in bed my cell phone began chirping at me. It caught me by surprise because hardly anyone ever called me. This is, after all, the age of texting and as little human interaction as possible.

Glancing at my screen I didn’t recognize the number which would usually warrant a silence of the ringer on my end but for some reason I chose to answer it instead.

“This better be as good as the amazing blueberry pancakes my husband has just served me.”

“Oh, uh, hi. It’s, um, me.”

I rolled my eyes at the introduction. Telemarketers were getting creative with their recorded messages these days and I had had more than my share of the junk calls. Just as I pulled my phone away from my ear to disconnect the call the voice came again.

“This is Lily.”

My finger hovered over the disconnect button while my other hand froze in mid bite, syrup slowly dripping off my fork. The words froze in my throat all I could do was sit with my mouth open, eyes wide. Just then, Ethan entered the room.

“Ready for mo-“

He stopped mid sentence, a cup of orange juice in one hand, a small basket of fruit in the other. His eyes slowly widened and I wondered what kind of look I had on my face.

“Lily,” I mouthed the words, laying my fork down on my plate and sliding the whole thing onto the bedside table. The words were stuck in my throat so I sat there, gaping, like a washed up fish trying to pull air into its lungs.

“I’m sure you don’t want to talk to me after the way our meeting went, but I just called to apologize.”

Instead of reassuring her that she hadn’t done anything wrong and instead of apologizing on my own behalf for having shocked her and probably hurting her with the truth, I said, “For?”

She laughed nervously.

“Honestly, I’m not sure? For disappointing you, for not knowing the right things to say? For missed time? For, well for everything.”

I didn’t know what to say to this, I certainly hadn’t expected this. I hadn’t expected to hear from Lily again at all.

“Well, I’m sure you had your reasons. Besides, there’s not much use in crying over the past. Anyways, let’s agree to accept each other’s apologies and just let it be.”

Lily sniffles a bit on the other end.

“Are, are you… crying?”

Here was yet another thing I hadn’t expected. I wasn’t really sure what I had expected but it wasn’t a woman I didn’t know blubbering on the phone with me for something as trivial as giving her child up for adoption. Or maybe she was crying because our meeting hadn’t gone as planned. Or maybe it was the stress from the whole situation.

“I’m just, I just, you know…”

I waited a moment for her to finish her sentence and wondered if she had disconnected the call. Beside me, Ethan had started snacking on breakfast, half watching the morning news which he had turned down low. I chewed on my bottom lip while I waited for Lily to finish her sentence.

The morning sun shown through the window and onto the carpet, making patterns, circles and lines that I had never noticed the sun did before. It was mesmerizing to watch the slivers and bubbles of light slowly twist and dance on the carpet. The colors were brilliant, purples and pinks and golds and even a green somehow. It seemed as though everything else faded away except for these colors. It was almost as though I had tunnel vision, everything else around me save for these beautiful colors faded away, the noises, the room, the furniture. All I was aware of was the colors and of my own breath coming in slowly, going out slowly, the gentle beat of my heart.

I blinked and suddenly Ethan was shaking me, trying to get my attention.

“Christ! You scared the hell outta me! Where’d you go?”

I looked around the room, everything looked the same, maybe a bit dimmer outside than it had been a moment ago.

“What?”

I tried to control the feeling of panic inside while I tried to comprehend what had just happened. The phone lay in my lap, the screen dark.

“You’ve been sitting there like that, staring off into space, at the ground actually, for close to four hours. At first I thought you were just daydreaming but even when i snapped my fingers, shook you gently, clapped my hands, nothing.”

Ethan had at some point knelt on the bed in front of me, his hands on either side of my face, his own face very close to mine, worry laced in his eyes. I looked to the spot on the carpet where the brilliant light had been shining but now there was only darkness. The darkness had swallowed the brilliant, beautiful light.

Written in response to The Daily Post.

Weekend Coffee Share 01/07/17

Good morning and welcome to From Cover to Cover for another Weekend Coffee Share! I hope you’re staying warm and dry in your parts. Here in Texas it’s currently 59 degrees Fahrenheit with a 60% chance of rain. Warmer than it’s been lately but the rain will most likely cool everything off again. I’m ready for summer. It looks like the second half of the week will bring the low 50 degree weather again so I suppose I should enjoy this somewhat warmer weather.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I’ve been keeping up somewhat with the WordPress Daily Prompts. I’m mostly just writing to stay in the habit of writing. I’m not particularly interested in my own storyline, alas, I’m writing which is what matters the most to me. I had decided towards the end of last year to make 2018 my year for writing so here I am, showing up somewhat consistently.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have a tremendous amount of chores to do today as I slacked all this weekend. Laundry, sweeping, mopping, dishes, you name it, I need to do it. But this weather makes me so sleepy… 😴 I’m thinking of getting up and making myself a cup of coffee in my delightful Keurig alas that requires movement into colder parts of my house… We’ll see how I feel once I’ve finished writing this post.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that Christmas break is drawing to an end for my Little People. They go back to school on Tuesday. I’m not sure why not Monday, maybe to give their teachers an extra day to recuperate. I’m not looking forward to them going back to school. It seems I’m always having to rush quite a bit more when they are in school.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that aside from writing I am also current reading The Handmaid’s Tale and The Vampire Chronicles. I think that’s what it’s called? By Anne Rice. 🤔 I’m enjoying it enough I suppose although I’m thoroughly enjoying The Handmaid’s Tale. I don’t know what it is about dystopian novels that I adore so much. Maybe it reminds me that things aren’t as bad as they could be.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that last week a friend of mine and her husband went out of town and she asked me to check her mail for her as she had ordered some goodies for her husband and he for her so I trekked over there every time she texted me to let me know a new package had arrived. Even though she is my friend, I found the process a bit inconvenient being that we live on opposite sides of town and for most of those days I ended up having to hurry over there and then back home because it was simply too cold.

A good thing that came from it though was that she made the Mister and I dinner- two chicken breasts, pasta and a homemade cheesecake. It was delicious. She had offered to watch our three kids while he and I ate so we could spend time together alone but I was too anxious about leaving the kids with her when they’ve only met her once so I politely declined but only after overthinking the entire situation for over an hour. I’m crazy. I know.

And lastly, if we were having coffee I would tell you that this coming up Friday I have to travel out of town to do a merchandising presentation for my District Manager and I’m extremely nervous about it. He’s been trying for months to get me to take a training class to apply for a promotion and honestly I have no desire to move up. My job is stressful enough as it is not to mention being stressed Monday thru Friday for the rest of my working days doesn’t sound like fun to me… 😧 I’m extremely nervous and am just ready for it to be over with.

That’s really all for now. I hope you’re staying warm and getting everything done that you want and need to! The Weekend Coffee Share is now being hosted by Eclectic Ali. I’m so thankful she picked up the hosting of this after it started to sort of die out. If you haven’t posted a Coffee Share you should check it out and give it a go! Until next week, stay warm!

Secrets

I awoke before it was completely light out. I rolled over to hold Ethan close only to find he wasn’t in bed next to me. Blinking the sleep from my eyes I looked around.

Dawn’s light filtered in through the sheer curtains hanging in front of the bay windows and outside I could hear the horns and whistles from the ships preparing to leave dock for their day’s adventures. Seagulls cried and I imagined them dipping low, searching for their breakfast. My own stomach grumbled softly although I couldn’t imagine why after the enormous meal from last night.

I lay back against my pillows for a moment, wondering if Ethan was intending on coming back to bed or if I should go downstairs and greet him. Pulling my silken robe from my desk chair next to my side of the bed I decided I could get out of bed for the day, even if it was barely dawn. The light shown through one of the wind chimes hanging from a hook above the bay windows and it made a funnel on the carpet next to me. I stared at it for a moment, mesmerized at all of the colors reflected on the wood floor. It was beautiful, so airy, so delicate. I wished I could hold that light in my hands. The idea of the warmth of it made me want to stay in bed for the rest of the day.

Pushing back the covers and swinging my legs over the side, I pulled my robe on and secured the tie in the front. The wooden floor was chilly against my bare feet and I hurried to the carpeted hallway. From downstairs somewhere I heard Ethan’s voice, speaking softly although I couldn’t make out the words. I made my way downstairs, still feeling light and happy from the night before.

In the living room I saw that he had put the fire at out some point, probably the night before, after he had put me to bed. Our plates and the trays that had held last night’s meal had already been washed and put away and I smelled fresh coffee, pancakes, bacon. I smiled. He really was spoiling me. But where was Ethan?

I stood still for a moment, trying to pinpoint his location. It sounded as though he were in his office, down the hall on the other side of the living room. I decided to make myself a cup of coffee first, wake myself up a bit. Pouring the coffee and adding my cream and sugar, I grabbed a banana and nibbled on it as I walked down the hallway.

“Yes. I understand. I’ll speak to her. No, I wouldn’t do that, she tends to pull away if she feels as though she’s being pressured. Yes. No, I’m telling you, if that’s what you want, you’ll have to be patient. Yes. I’ll contact you.”

I pushed open the heavy oak doors to Ethan’s office just as he hung up his phone. He was sitting behind his desk, rubbing the bridge of his nose.

“Everything okay?”

He looked up sharply at the sound of my voice.

“How long have you been standing there.”

For some reason I felt like a child who had just been caught doing something she knew better than to do.

“Oh, I’m, just a few moments?”

I took a sip of my coffee, pushing my hair out of my face and watched him carefully. His expression softened but he stood and hurried around the side of his desk, wrapping me in a hug while gently guiding me out of his office.

“Let’s get some food in you.”

Kissing my forehead he took my free hand and led me to the kitchen.

“Who were you on the phone with?”

“Oh, just work.”

He sounded exhausted and I knew he was lying. It wasn’t anything specific, I just knew. I decided not to push him though. He seemed to be growing more uncomfortable by the moment so I allowed him to serve me breakfast and we made what’s I felt was small talk but what he seemed relieved to be making. While we ate I wondered what it was he was keeping from me and I thought of that funnel of light in our bedroom and wished I could sit in it, warm my insides from it’s glow.

Written in response to The Daily Post.

Haven

Dinner had gone wonderfully, Ethan had helped me to relax and enjoy a great meal and his company. The atmosphere surely helped. After we finished eating we cuddled up on the couch together, the fleece afghan usually thrown across the back of the couch over us as we watched a romantic comedy that we had both been wanting to see. He didn’t ask me for details about meeting with my mother, nor did I offer any. I honestly didn’t even think of her as we spent our time together, Evan and I.

Somewhere near midnight my eyes began to droop, my head to bow as I tried to stay awake. The next thing I felt were Evan’s strong arms under me, lifting me into him and carrying me off to bed. I opened my eyes briefly as we entered our bedroom and saw more rose petals scattered, nearly completely covering, the mattress. I smiled softly as he lay me down on their silkiness.

Evan went to put the fire out, put the dishes up, lock the doors and turn out the lights and then he was back next to me. We lay next to each other, belly to belly, his arms encircling me, the fingers of one hand gently twirling my hair while the other hand made patterns lightly on my bare back. It was nice to be held, soothed.

“I don’t know what I should do about Lily.”

“Lily…”

“Oh, uh, you know, my mom.”

Evan gently pushed a few strands of my hair out of his before wrapping his arm around me again.

“What do you want to do?”

I thought about this. I had bene so focused on wanting to know what Lily’s motives for wanting to meet me had been that I hadn’t really considered my own wants and needs.

“I mean, I always knew I was adopted. It was just something I accepted. When I was younger I didn’t think about it too much but when I got older, I wanted to know. I wondered a lot. About what she was like, if I looked like her, if my life would’ve been different with her in it. Better. If I would’ve been different.”

Ethan rolled onto his back, one arm still around me.

“If your life would’ve been any different it wouldn’t be the life you had now, you wouldn’t be the person you are now. The person I met and fell madly in love with. You might not have had that amazing bath that you did tonight, that dinner that I know you loved because your eyes are heavy and that usually happens after you’ve eaten an awesome meal.”

Evan’s teasing tone made me smile and I playfully shoved him with what little strength I had left after such a long day. He was right. If I spent all this time and energy wondering about what could’ve been I would end up neglecting and forgetting how great everything was that I already had.

Evan’s winsome personality was one of the things I loved most about him. He wasn’t just all brains and brawn. He had a heart that was filled to the brim with love and he so often used it to make the people he loved happy.

“No matter what happens, I’ll always be here for you.”

His words wrapped around me like a warm mink blanket on the coldest winter day and my eyelids finally shut for the night.

Written in response to The Daily Post.

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