Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chapter 2-8: If I Could Turn Back Time

                It was quickly apparent to both Shane and Carrie that three kids were a bit more of a workload than they had expected, Shane especially. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done. Carrie had expected there to be some scheduling conflicts, having grown up in a large family herself but what she hadn’t accounted for was the fact that her grandparents had been around to help raise the four of them. With just her and Shane, it always seemed one baby was left out. Either someone was getting potty trained and another being taught to talk while the last was getting into mischief or someone was learning to walk while the other was getting read to, while the last was left to fend for him/herself. There just weren’t enough hands to go around.

                 Just a few short weeks after the twins’ birthday, it was time to celebrate Shane’s. This was a birthday that he was not looking forward to. He stared down at his cake, wishing that he could turn back time, do something better with his life. He knew that was a wish that couldn’t come true. He blew out the candles and half-heartedly wished for the enough money to take care of his children so that they wouldn’t have to worry like he did.

                 The next morning, he had to head over to the graveyard to do some more immunizations. Why in the world the hospital was holding the clinic there was beyond him. Few people showed up so Shane spent most of the time agonizing over his life. 

                  He had spent all of his life loving Carrie, but life now seemed so short. They rarely talked anymore, rarely spent time together and never had money to take off and go out without the children. Everything had happened so fast. “Maybe I made a mistake,” he thought to himself. He quickly snapped out of it as a patient came up, ready for their shot. Almost immediately after they headed away, he fell back into his musings. “I think I am getting fat,” he thought to himself, patting his belly and wondering where the extra flab had come from.

                 He headed back home and, upon walking in the door, realized he had missed Uvie’s birthday. She just gave him a sad, disappointed look and ignored him. 

                 Knowing that nothing would fix it, he decided to just go about as normal as possible. He scooped Verne up and took him to the potty. Finally! One good thing all day and it happened to be that he had potty trained his son. Small victories were still victories though.

                 On her way to bed, Carrie heard a shriek from the bedroom. She rushed in, wondering what was wrong. “I hope it’s not a spider,” she shuddered.

                “Oh, mommy, it’s so pretty,” Uvie launched herself at her mom. Carrie smiled, happy that her daughter liked the bedset she had picked out. “I have two beds, mommy! And they’re both purple! I’m gonna sleep on the bottom tonight. Can I sleep on the top tomorrow, can I?” Carrie laughed and told Uvie that she could sleep in whichever bed she wanted. She was lucky her daughter was so easy to please.

                 That night, after getting all the kids down for bed, Shane and Carrie quickly fell asleep themselves. Both tried not to think about the fact that it had been weeks since they had been intimate. They both ignored the fact that they rarely even cuddled anymore. Their days were long and, when it finally came time to sleep, that’s all either of them wanted to do. Unfortunately, Shane wouldn’t be getting much. He was called away to an emergency at the hospital, in the wee hours of dawn with a long shift looming later that day.

                 Carrie had her own work to do. With Uvie now in school, Carrie could get a sitter for the twins during the day, though she didn’t do it often. This time though, she had a special request for a makeover. The customer was specifically asking for her and Carrie figured that one day with a babysitter would be good for both her and the little ones. She arrived at the salon to find Kyle waiting, rather anxious.

                “Carrie, I know it’s silly but after Tanner and I broke up, I started worrying about love,” she fretted. “Look at my hair, it’s awful. That fringe on my head looks like ba curtains. And what about my hips? I think they’re getting bigger?” Kyle went on and on.
                “Kyle, calm down,” Carrie interrupted, unable to take another second. “Do you want a full makeover?”

                 “Um…,” Kyle paused, suddenly unsure about her decision. “Actually, let’s just do a new hairstyle.”
                When Carrie finished, Kyle took one look in the mirror and squealed like a piglet being chased for the slaughterhouse.
                “Ohmigodiloveit!!!” Carrie flinched at the high pitch.
                “Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou! Now I have to go see Tanner!”
                Carried just shook her head and covered her face, not sure whether to laugh at the girl’s enthusiasm or cringe at her efforts to get a guy back that she hadn’t really cared about in the first place.

                 She went home that evening, fed the twins and tucked them into bed and then helped Uvie with her homework. Although she loved her job, being home with her children was really the place that she liked to be.

                “Mommy, can you read me a bedtime story,” Uvie asked as she put her homework back in her bag.
                “Sure thing sweetheart. What did you have in mind?”

                 Uvie brought her a book on logic and chess. Though Carrie couldn’t quite see the appeal, she figured that it would be as good a book as any to help put her oldest to sleep. Sure enough, two pages in and Uvie’s head dropped to the pillow. Carrie kissed her goodnight, turned her light down, and left her snuggled cozily on her bottom bunk.

                Jeannie called Shane into her office that afternoon.
                “I’ve noticed that you’ve done some pretty great work. There’s one more thing I need you to do.”
                “Jeannie, you can’t be serious,” he exclaimed, after she had explained the predicament.
                “I am. Do this, and I’m sure a promotion won’t be far off.”
                With a feeling of trepidation, he set of for the Red Rendezvous.

                 While Shane was heading to town, Carrie was teaching Verne to talk. Meanwhile, Vesper was scooting around the house as fast as her chubby, baby legs could take her. Walking was the first skill she had mastered and it was all Carrie could do to keep her in the house. At least the xylophone kept her entertained. 

                 “Look Shanda, I need some help,” Shane said to the bartender.
                “Huh,” she snorted, “the hospital sent you, eh?”
                “The prior administration made a deal with you. My superiors wants to take care of that once and for all. The last thing the hospital needs is an arrangement with the local crime gang made public. It would shadow all the good we’ve been doing.”
                “Yeah, yeah, well we need things too.”
                “Name it,” Shane blurted, without considering what Shanda might ask for.
                “The local police force has been bolstering their tropps. They’re still recruiting. Convince them to scale back the new hires and I’ll tear up the contract from the hospital. It will be like it never existed,” and with that, he was dismissed.

                Shane headed home, discouraged and unsure of how he might be able to approach the police headquarters to discuss this. When he arrived home, tired and dejected, he was greeted with the sight of the twins jabbering to themselves on the floor and his wife hunched over a piece of cake. He kissed Uvie goodnight and scooped up Verne for bed. Carrie got Vesper and, together, they put the kids to bed.

                 “Honey, I’m sorry, I thought I would around more to help teach them to talk,” Shane apologized.
                “Huh,” she said, surprised.
                “Aren’t you upset because I’m never here?
                “No,” she whimpered, her chin quivering. “Dorothy called me. Daddy passed away today,” and with that she burst into tears. He gave her a big hug, rubbing her back, sick at seeing his wife so upset.
                “I was mad at him but I never thought I might not get a chance to talk to him about it. He died thinking I hated him. Oh Shane, what if it’s my fault?”

                 Shane knew that he was going to have to think of a way to comfort his wife and get the police force to lay off all the while trying to make a merry Christmas for his family when they didn’t even have much money for a complete home, much less gifts. Shane was started to feel like Scrooge already.

Chapter 2.7                                                                                                                                         Chapter 2.9


  1. RIP Goodwin. =[ Poor Carrie, the last words she said to him were in anger. Plus she overrun with kids! She needs a break!!

  2. Poor Carrie and her guilt. Shane is falling apart too.