Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: BUSY (02/02/17)
- TITLE: Leftovers, No More
By Ann McDaniels
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â€œBabe, the shower is free. I left you some warm water.â€
My head popped up from under the bed. â€œI donâ€™t have time for a shower. I canâ€™t find my book. Have you seen it? Did you hide it? You know I canâ€™t make it through the day without my little black book to tell me what time my appointments are, what errands I need to run and what household chores I need to get done each day.â€
With a slight heightened tone in his voice, Jeremy said, â€œNot again? You mean your precious black book that has every hour of your day mapped out and I'm left with 30 minutes before you fall asleep, exhausted.â€
â€œBabe, donâ€™t be like that. You know I have an extremely busy schedule. My parents taught me if you want these things done on time and done right, you have to do them yourself.â€
â€œDonâ€™t blame this on your parents.â€
â€œHoney, thatâ€™s not fair. I'm tryingâ€¦â€
â€œTrying to do what? Give me 45 minutes or maybe an hour of mindless listening. You give me a number, but I bet it will be just as pathetic. I'm tired of leftovers.â€
Unable to any longer look him in the eyes, I slivered away to search around my computer in the den, but it was not there. Like a German shepherd police dog sniffing for drugs turning an organized living room into what looked like an old abandoned, debris-filled, weather worn house. Slowly, darkness crept into my soul, fear gripped my thoughts and my knees weakened, but somehow I made my way back into the bedroom falling onto the bed to think and plan my next move.
It had to be in the nightstand. I snatched open drawers, sending them careening to the floor. Frazzled, I continued to look for my book, which contained my lifeâ€™s responsibilities. I checked my purse and went through the pockets of several outfits, but nothing. Then I remembered having a glass of warm milk before bedtime. Scrambling to the kitchen, I flung open the refrigerator. I moved around the few items, but again nothing.
Slamming the door, I began pacing, burning tears ran down my cheeks and breathing heavily as sweat erupted from the pores of my forehead. I felt like a junkie in need of a fix. â€œWhere in the world can it be? Where is it?â€ Jeremy, help. What will I do?
â€œCalm down, honey, before you have a panic attack. Your psychiatrist suggested I glue a GPS tracker inside the cover of the book. Just give me a minute to finish getting dressed and Iâ€™ll turn on my phone and track it.â€
We followed the blinking red light outside to our car in the garage where on the front seat was my treasured book. I hugged and kissed Jeremy and retrieved the book to find out what to do.
Jeremyâ€™s breath was heating up my neck as he peered over my shoulder. â€œWoo, Babe! Between appointments, errands and household duties, when will you have time to breathe? If you plan to do all that today, you are going to need more than your morning cup of coffee.â€
I ignored him and said, â€œWell, I need to get busy. I'm already two hours behind.â€
â€œSo Martha, now you have your book, â€¦â€
I interrupted Jeremy in mid-sentence â€œHon, who is Martha? You know my name is Mary.â€
With squinted eyes, furrowed forehead and arms folded, Jeremy asked, â€œWhen was the last time you visited your father at his church? Your daddy named you after Lazarusâ€™ sister, but did he chose the correct sister?â€
Lowering my head, yet still clutching book, â€œJeremy, what time is it?
â€œOh, no-no-no-no. My dad will be here in 30 minutes. The house is a mess. I havenâ€™t prepared anything for lunch. What will I do? My father will think I'm so unorganized.â€
â€œBabe, your father does not care about the house or the food. He just wants to spend some quality time with you. He misses seeing you on the front pew at his church hanging onto his every word.â€
More tears flowed. â€œYouâ€™re right. Can you order some food from that place on 53rd and West? I donâ€™t want to serve my father leftovers? A shower and change of clothes should help me relax. When my father arrives, please sit next to me. Iâ€™ll squeeze your hands when the temptation to clean strikes.â€
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