Ok so here’s something that terrifies me: sharing my fiction with the public. But I put it on my blog calendar and I’m trying to do more things that scare so here goes nothing! I’d love to hear your thoughts, kind or otherwise, if you feel like commenting and sharing.
Another Shitty Morning
Jack pulls down the visor on the driver’s side of the ancient Volvo station wagon and almost doesn’t recognize the scruffy man looking back at him from the vanity mirror. When had his hair gotten so gray? His beard so bushy? He looks down at the khaki colored bargain basement suit he’s wearing and tries to ignore the wrinkles that he was unable to remove. The fact that he doesn’t own an iron didn’t help that situation. All I need, he thought, is big sunglasses on my head and 20 fewer years on my face and I could pass for Zach Galifianakis in The Hangover. It’s a shame I don’t have his bank account too he thought with a sigh.
The brief silence in his brain allows the fear and hurt in Elizabeth’s voice to slam back into him. He slumps his head on the steering wheel sobbing, overcome by the weight of the emotion. “No daddy I’m not ready!” she wailed as he left. The sound of it is still rattling around in his brain as he fights every impulse in his body to rush back in and grab her and never let her go again. He drops his hands to his sides and imagines weights at the ends of them, holding him fast should his resolve fail.
He breathes deeply and tells himself that she will be just fine as he wipes his eyes on his sleeves hoping – only after it is done – that the wet spots will dry before he walks into the courtroom and not leave marks. He can already imagine her bouncing off the bus this afternoon with a smile on her face and a hug waiting on her arms for him just like yesterday and the day before. But now. What is she doing now? Is she still sobbing? Has she shut down and is she silently resenting him?
And what if all of the pain is for nothing? What if the judge doesn’t see his side? What if Lilah is able to pull it together enough to put on a good show today? What if his last chance to take his daughter to school has ended this way? With both of them in tears.
He looks in the mirror again, hoping his eyes aren’t too red and blows his nose in the white handkerchief that he always carries with him. With a heavy sigh, he starts the Volvo and pulls out of the parking lot hoping that Elizabeth is settled in her class and that the true Lilah will show her face in the courtroom today.