Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Blue (10/08/09)
TITLE: Blue Skies Cover Me
By Teresa Lee Rainey
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Chase away collecting clouds.
Canvass this sad soul.
. . .
Jessica braces for a bad day as she steps out of her shabby apartment near downtown Atlanta. She fights strong winds of an approaching storm, clinging to the skirt of her tattered, blue dress with one hand while trying to force her car key into the apartment door. She wonders if this day could get any worse.
Jessica stomps her foot in frustration and whines into the wind before realizing her key mistake. Finally, she shifts to the correct key with one free hand and locks the door. She turns to find Jeffery’s prized, big-boy-blue pickup truck sitting behind her old, beat-up-beige car.
Doubting her husband even cared to consider that she might possibly need to leave the house; Jessica twists back toward the locked door and tries to turn the knob.
Tears begin to fall, along with rain, while Jessica finds the apartment key . . . again. Soaked and seething, she stomps toward the bedroom. Deep down, she knows Jeff is simply worn out from working continual late shifts, but right now she is too hurt to care.
Jessica barges into the bedroom, dripping raindrops mixed with tears, and wails, “Jeffery Wayne Jones, will you pa-leeeze go move your stupid truck?”
She watches, with balled fists at her side, while Jeffery slowly sits up in bed. He rubs sleep from his eyes and stares at her before whispering, “Why are you dripping wet, Baby Doll? Are you crying?”
His soft words break her. Standing close to his bedside, her body wilts toward him. "Your st-stupid tr-truck is bl-blocking my cl-clunky car.”
Jessica can’t see past fresh tears, but feels Jeff’s arms wrap around her and pull her close, ignoring the damp dress. His voice rings deep and close to her ear while his hand soothes the small of her back. “Awww, Jessie, how could my ‘stupid’ truck make you this upset?”
Searching for his face, she wipes her swollen eyes. “We’re out of m-milk, Jeff-free. I’ve g-got to go to the st-store and it’s raining and my k-keys keep getting mixed up and your big ol’, st-stupid truck . . .”
“Hold on a minute, Jess.” She can tell he is trying not to laugh at her. His lips are turned up and quivering from holding back a full grin. “Are you seriously getting this upset over a trip to the grocery store?”
“It’s not funny, Jeff!” Jessica tries and fails to contain her own betraying smile while softly punching her smirking husband. “We really do need milk.”
“Okay then.” He takes her hand in his and places them on her swelling stomach. “If our baby boy needs milk, I guess a trip to the store is very important. You know I could get up and go with you.”
“No way, Jeff, you need your rest. Ever since we decided I would quit my job, you’ve been working more hours. I feel guilty enough already. I don’t want to be the reason you don’t get enough rest.”
“Jessie, I feel so blessed to be able to get the extra hours in at work right now. It makes me feel good to be able to provide for our family and let you be home when Jeff Junior gets here. There is absolutely no reason for you to feel guilty. I love you, Babe, so much.”
Jeffery reaches under Jessica’s chin and pulls her face to his. After several sweet kisses, he whispers, “You could just take the truck . . . if you want.”
Jessica kisses her husband once more and jumps up to change into comfortable, dry blue-jeans. Before leaving, she looks back toward the bed and realizes Jeff is already asleep again. Grabbing his keys, she walks out of their tiny apartment, locks the door behind her with no problem, and sings toward clearing skies.
Smiling on me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see.”
"Blue Skies" is a popular song, written by Irving Berlin in 1926.
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