Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Chapter 62 (1/11/17)

So, as it turns out, my goal to get a post up on New Beginning, New Adventures this week was lofty.  Buuuuttttt that's because all our conversation got me excited about this story again (strange how that works, huh?) and I got a bunch of writing done here!  I still have lots of work to do but I know where I want to go now and I have a rough idea of how to get there.  
Now, that doesn't mean I won't be posting on NBNA!  I'm pumped to write about Liv and Brody and the gang again.  I haven't quite decided if I'm going to finish up here first and then go over there to give them their due, or if I'll bounce back and forth.  I guess we'll see what happens!  I will tell you that I have plans this weekend that don't include writing, so it might be another week or two before you see a post either place, but I will be back and at it again soon!
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I spent the whole week dreading my trip to my parents’ for my grandma’s birthday.  By the time I pulled into my parents’ driveway on Friday evening, I had imagined every possible awkward and terrible scenario that could play out.  It was surprisingly calming, as the long drive had afforded me the opportunity to plan all the perfect responses to any awkward questions about my failed marriage or bratty Christmas outburst that might come up. 
“Hello?” I called as I let myself into my parents’ house.  I smelled something cooking but I didn’t see anyone.
“Kitchen!” my mom called back. 
“Are you…cooking?” I asked in mock surprise as I dropped my stuff and wandered towards the kitchen.
My mom laughed.  “Of course not,” she replied, and I could almost hear her eye roll before I rounded the corner and saw it.  “I’m opening a bottle of wine.  Want a glass?  Merlot.”
“I hate merlot,” I replied.
“You do?” she asked, looking puzzled. 
Now it was my turn to roll my eyes.  “I think we have this conversation every time I come home.  I’ve always hated merlot.  Do you have something sweeter?”
My mom shrugged and waved the hand with the wine opener towards the basement stairs.  “Feel free to go down and find whatever you want.  You know we’ll drink them.”
“Okay, I’m going to go put my stuff in my room and then I’ll go find something.”
While I was hauling my stuff to my old room and getting settled, I heard my dad come in.  When I went back to the kitchen, my dad was opening a bottle of wine.  “Went out and picked up a couple bottles of white for you.  We’re surprisingly low on white.  Here.”  He held out a glass to me, which I took. I took a sip and then put it down so I could hug both my parents.  My dad cracked open the oven and peeked inside.  “Dinner will be done shortly,” he announced, stirring something on the stove.
My mom wandered off while my dad finished up dinner.  I grabbed plates out of the cabinet and silverware from the drawer while I drank my wine and talked to my dad.  “So how’s the house?” he asked, pulling a pork loin out of the oven.
“It’s good,” I said.  “I’m finally getting things settled the way I want them.”
“You think that,” my dad said, chuckling.  “But you’ll soon realize that things are never quite the way you want them.  It’s one of the joys of home ownership.”
“Oh,” I replied, frowning.  “Great.”
“Hey, have I told you lately that I’m proud of you?” he asked, turning and leaning against the counter.
“Um, I don’t think so,” I said, smiling a little. 
“I am.  You’ve made some good life decisions lately.  I think getting out of that marriage was good for you.”
I laughed.  “Yeah, I think it was.”
“I’m starving, is dinner almost ready?” My mom reappeared in the kitchen, empty wine glass in hand.
“It’s ready,” my dad answered. 
He held out the bottle of merlot and my mom offered her glass.  When it was full, she came and sat next to me at the table.  “So…no company this weekend?” my mom asked casually.
“Were you expecting someone?” I asked, confused.
“Well, I just thought maybe you had a new man in your life…” she trailed off, looking at me expectantly.
“Oh,” I replied, and I felt my cheeks coloring.  “Yeah, I’m seeing someone.”
“Already?” she exclaimed.  “You’ve only been divorced for about 10 minutes!”
            I frowned.  “About 9 months, actually,” I said.  “And you asked like you were hoping I was!” I continued, indignantly.
“I did not,” she replied. 
“You did too!” I shot back.
“Your mother just wants to make sure you’re ready,” my dad said.  “Isn’t that right?”
My mom sniffed.  “Something like that,” she agreed. 
I sighed heavily.  I shouldn’t be surprised, but I was hoping that my mom could make it a couple days without being snarky about my love life.  “We’re just dating, Mom.  It’s not a big deal.”  I felt a stab of guilt as I said it.  Not a big deal?  Was that true?  Maybe.  But if it was, why did I feel guilty?
“That’s great,” my dad said.  He smoothly changed the subject, and I didn’t have to ponder too much longer.

My mom put me to work on Saturday, cleaning the house top to bottom.  I think I did more cleaning than she did.  At least until she sighed and came along behind me, re-cleaning everything I’d just cleaned.  “You’d think after living with me for 18 years you would have learned a thing or two about vacuuming,” my mom said, turning off the vacuum for the second time. 
“You would think,” I replied, turning so she didn’t see my rolling eyes. 
            I made my escape to the shower so I could get ready.  I finished my makeup just as the first guests for my grandmother’s birthday began to arrive.  “Jenna!”
            “Allie?” I asked, surprised.  I smirked.  “Is that really you?!  It’s…it’s been so long.  I don’t even recognize you.  You’re so….old!”
“And you’re such a bitch,” she retorted, drawing scolding from both of our mothers.  “It has been awhile though, hasn’t it?” 
I threw my arms around her, squealing.  “I didn’t know you were coming,” I said.
“You didn’t ask,” my mom pointed out.
“I didn’t know I needed to know,” I replied.  “But it doesn’t matter!  I’m so excited you’re here!”
Allie was 4 years older than me.  We had spent a lot of time together when we were little at our grandparents’ house, and with the way that splitting holidays with Kevin’s family and Allie’s trips back had coincided, we hadn’t seen each other in close to 6 years. 
Allie and I didn’t get much of a chance to chat until later when things were winding down.  We were in the kitchen, loading dishes into the dishwasher and finishing a bottle of wine when she leaned against the counter and said, “So I was really sorry to hear about your divorce.  It sucks, Jenna.”
I shook my head.  “Not really,” I told her.  “I’m really much better off now.  It sucked when it happened, and a lot of shitty things happened, but I’m a lot happier now.”
“Good!  Then I’m not sorry, and I’m happy for you!” she said, grinning at me.  Then her grin turned mischievous.  “So, any special men in your life now, then?”
I felt my cheeks turning pink.  “Yeah, actually,” I said, smiling.  “I mean, we’re just dating, but I really like him.”
“Just dating?  What’s that mean?” Allie asked.
“I don’t know.  I mean—“ I looked around to make sure no one else was in earshot, “We started out just sleeping together, because he travels a lot for work.  But we both got attached, I guess.  I fought it for awhile but finally realized that I had feelings too.  So we’re dating.”
She raised an eyebrow skeptically.  “So…you’re committed and he’s out sleeping around on his business trips?”
            “No!” I exclaimed immediately.  “We both agreed we’re not seeing other people.  I guess it’s just the label that is freaking me out a little bit.  It’s me, not him, that is dragging my feet on that.”
Allie cocked her head curiously.  “I’m not sure I get that,” she admitted.  “You ‘really like’ him, neither of you are seeing anyone else, you don’t want to see anyone else, I assume, but you don’t want to just call him your boyfriend?”
I frowned.  “Well…”  She had an excellent point.  An excellent point that I had no idea how to respond to.  I didn’t even have a logical argument (or an illogical one, for that matter) in my head.
“Jenna, you need to lock that shit up,” she said, shaking her head. 
“Lock what shit up?” Allie’s mom, my aunt Melissa, asked, coming into the kitchen.
“Her valuables,” Allie said, giving me a pointed look.  “You can’t just leave those laying around these days, you know?”
“Right,” Aunt Melissa said.  “You should get a good fireproof safe.  Put your important papers in there too so they’re safe and you always know where to find them.”
Allie smirked and I fought a laugh.  “Of course, Aunt Mel,” I replied.  “I need to invest in one for sure.”  We barely held our giggles in until aunt Melissa had left the kitchen.

2 comments:

  1. I was so happy to see this post this morning! I totally understand (and support!) you not wanting to write this storyline if it's not feeling right to you but I was bummed when I read you felt that way because I love this blog. But I'm so excited to read more NBNA or anything else you write :) Just do whatever makes you happy!
    -L

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