Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)
- TITLE: Tomorrow will be Different
By Lyn Churchyard
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“Honey, have you seen my car keys?”
“Mom, Toby spilt my juice.”
“Mom, Ally’s lying.”
I sighed as I cleaned the mess off the tablecloth, scooped up a bundle of soggy papers, threw them in the bin, sent Toby to his room to put on a clean shirt and poured Ally a fresh glass of juice. I didn’t have the time or the energy to plumb the depths of who was and wasn’t lying.
“Just hurry and finish your breakfast and get to school; if you walk quickly you’ll be there on time.”
“No discussion will be entered into, just do it.” I snapped.
Mistake number two.
Twenty minutes later silence reigned in my kitchen and I sighed again. This time with relief that I actually had time for a quiet cup of coffee before rushing off to the office to dazzle my editor with my on time article.
I grabbed my attaché case, jumped in the car and all but gunned it out of the driveway.
Oh no! I’ve killed the cat. I’ve run over the neighbor’s dog.
I jumped out of the car and in fear and trembling, checked underneath. No mangled moggie, no crushed canine, just a busted bike… Toby’s busted bike.
Mistake number three.
How many times had we told the kids to put their bikes away?
Right about then, my conscience accused me. Who was it that told Toby to leave his bike and get in for his bath – that you’d put it away for him just this once?
With a little effort (okay a lot of struggling, sweating and muttering) I hauled Toby’s bike out from under the car and hurled it onto the garden bed.
Mistake number four.
Jasper, our three year old Russian Blue, shot out of the rosebushes and fled down the side of the house.
“Jas, I’m sorry.” I called after him.
A quick glance at my watch told me if I hurried and didn’t nudge the speed limit too much, I’d probably make it to work in time for the Monday morning staff meeting. If I was late, I could just see Heather’s eyes roll in disdain. Heather, my assistant, had one child, a fulltime nanny and a husband who took her on a two-week vacation to Hawaii every year.
I climbed back into my car, snapped the seatbelt in place and this time did gun the car out of the driveway.
Every light turned green as I approached, most of the traffic was somewhere else – I’m not sure where, but it wasn’t on the roads I was driving on. I was grateful. I hated the bumper-to-bumper morning drive to work. Yet, all the way to work, something niggled at my brain. Something I should remember, something important. I shook my head in an effort to dispel the niggles.
Mistake number five.
The car park at the newspaper office was strangely empty. Not empty, empty, just not full like it should be on any normal workday. I glanced at my watch. I had five minutes to spare.
The doors of the lift hissed open on the tenth floor and I hurried down the hall to the conference room. My wrist jarred, and my nose almost crumpled against the door when it refused to open.
What’s going on? I felt as though I was in some weird alternate universe. A giggle escaped me, or I’ve landed in Becky Miller’s universe.
Then it dawned on me, it was the first Saturday of the month –play day. Newly introduced by the editor, it was a day to spend with family and friends. Well, I can at least have a quick look over my article before I filed it safely away for Monday morning.
I searched my attaché case. No article. Then I visualized the juice-soaked mess I’d thrown in the bin and buried my head in my hands. Suddenly my head snapped up.
“Toby! Ally!” It’s Saturday, and I sent my precious babies off to school. What sort of mother was I?
How I made it back home in one piece I’ll never know. My babies sat on the front doorstep.
“It’s Saturday, Mom. You sent us to school on Saturday.” Toby said in reproach.
I’d been harried and rushed that morning, but realized it was my own fault.
My first mistake for the day?
Not starting it with the Lord.
Author's note: Becky Miller series by Sharon Hinck.
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