Friday, September 27, 2013

Chapter 6-8: Mean Streak

                “Already working on your homework kiddo?”
                “Yeah, it’s easy though.
                “That’s good! We always knew you were a smart cookie.”
                “But that means it’s boring. Why do I have to do homework for stuff I already know how to do? Isn't homework supposed to be practice?”

                When Evangeline got home from work that night, she fell onto the couch, exhausted. She’d had a long day at work; the ovens’ temperature gauge had malfunctioned, causing the stoves to run hotter than the cooks thought, burning a lot of the food. An employee had been demoted several ranks for failing to perform up to par. Then, Evangeline had nicked her hand while chopping onions and the frustrated kitchen manager had intimated that Evangeline could be demoted next if she didn't get her act together. On top of it all, she had received a call from Flynn’s teacher, asking for a meeting with her and the principal the next afternoon due to some behavioral problems that needed to be addressed.

                “Are you feeling okay,” Renata sat on the couch across from her, already dressed for bed after putting the kids to sleep.
                “Just a long day. I wish I could be there for Gemma’s party tomorrow.”
                “She’ll see you when you get home. You shouldn't worry so much.”
                “I know. It just sucks that I’ll miss it.” She sighed, already dreading the next day. “I've got to call Miles too. I’ll need to discuss this thing with Flynn with him.”
                “Have you all talked to him at all lately?”
                “No, not since that disastrous moment at the party. He’s been out of town so we haven’t had to work out custody yet. But he texted me yesterday and he’s back now and wants to see the kids.                 Joy.”

                The next day, she arrived at the school just before her work shift. Luckily, the principal didn’t keep her waiting for long. She hoped she wouldn't be late to work.

                “Mrs. Avendale,” the principal begin.
                “Excuse me?”
                “It’s Ms. I’m not married.”
                “That explains a lot,” the cross woman behind her scoffed. Evangeline closed her eyes for a moment and tried to focus on why she was here. “Don’t blow up, don’t blow up.”
                “Your son is a menace. He rarely pays attention in class and he corrects me in front of other students. When I reprimand him, he sasses me. He has no manners and no respect for his elders.”
                “Ms. Avendale, your son has been sent to my office previously but he does not seem interested in behaving in class. That said, he is quite bright and has excellent grades.”
                “Have you tried giving him harder work? He told me that the work was too easy for him.”
                “When he’s in my class, he gets the work assigned to my students! I don’t give do special treatment!”
                “Mr. Sneed, I believe what she is trying to say is that she would like my son removed from her class. I’m agreeable to that solution as she doesn't appear to have the skills to handle a child with intelligence above her own. I’d like to get Flynn tested and see if he could possibly excel in a higher grade. If not, I’d greatly appreciate finding a teacher that has more patience and is willing to try to make the classroom more engaging for him. If your school doesn't offer that I’ll find a way to manage and get him and his siblings when they are school-age, into private school.”

                Gemma’s birthday was a small affair, attended only by family.

                When Evangeline pulled into the driveway, she noticed extra cars still there, including Miles’ car. She went in through the garage and caught Renata in the kitchen, cleaning up the remnants of birthday cake.
                “Come here,” she hissed. “What’s he doing here?”
                “Gemma is his niece and he wanted to see the kids. I can’t tell him he can’t see his children Evangeline. Plus, I know you wanted to talk to him.”
                “Not tonight!”
                “Sorry. It’s too late now though. Flynn saw you drive up so everyone knows you’re home.” Evangeline sighed and started towards the dining room.

                “Hey baby. Let me talk to your dad for a few minutes alone, then I’ll come up stairs and tell you a bedtime story. Go get ready, okay?”
                “Kay mom! Bye daddy!” Flynn hugged his father and raced up the stairs.

                “We need to consider private school for Flynn.” Evangeline relayed her meeting with the school to Miles, straightforward and all business.
                “Huh, okay. I guess we can swing that, if they can’t find a suitable place for him. Whatever is best. Can we talk about us, please?”
                “Miles, I've had a long day. A long week really. There’s nothing to talk about. What happened, happened and there’s no us anymore. No further discussion needed. Now I promised our son a bedtime story so I've got to go do that.”
                “Evey, please.”
                “Don’t make this any harder than it has to be.” She stood, the conversation finished. “You’re welcome to see them whenever you want. I know your place isn't big enough for them all but you can come get them any time you’re in town. Just give me some advance notice. Goodnight Miles.”

                “Gemma! Ewwwww!”
                “You walked in on me, get out jerkface!”

                “Flynn! I was saving that French toast for me!”
                “Your name wasn't on it so it’s mine now. You snooze you lose!”

                A few weeks into spring, warm weather without the rain finally made it’s way into St. Claire. Evangeline brought the children outside and settled onto a beach towel to read a book.

                “Watch where you’re throwing things! Don’t hit me or your siblings with those balloons Flynn.”
                “Hanley, no! Don’t touch that sweetie! That’s not a kitty.”
                “Kitty!” “So much for relaxing outside.” Evangeline put her book up and sat, keeping a closer eye on everyone to ensure there were no bites or bruises.

                “Are you excited about your date tonight?” Suddenly, Evangeline remembered that a co-worker had asked her out. This would be her first date since breaking up with Miles and she couldn't help but admit that she was nervous.

                “This is so much more work than I remember.” Evangeline examined her face, realizing that she was slowly developing wrinkles around the corners of her eyes that no amount of make-up would hide.

                “And then, he said ‘what the cheese, doodle,’” Gerard paused, waiting for Evangeline to laugh. “Um, I guess you had to be there.” Evangeline just lifted her drink to her lips again, taking a long swallow, hoping for the night to be over.

                “Do you think our daddies will ever live with us,” Gemma asked Flynn as they shot hoops on the side of the house.
                “Everyone at school lives with their mommy and daddy. We’re weirdos because our mommies live together instead.”
                “Who cares. Yes,” he exclaimed as he ball sank through the net. “I win again!”

                “Why didn't you help me,” Gemma thrust her finger at her cousin as soon as they got off the bus. “When I tripped down the hall you walked right by me!”
                “I was with my friends!”
                “So, I didn't want them to think I’m a loser like you!” He watched as her face fell but before she could cry, she turned and stalked off.

                Her babies were growing up. Evangeline could tell each time she picked them up or even looked at them that, soon, they wouldn't be babies any longer. Working the evening shift at the restaurant was tiring but it gave her alone time with Hanley and Hal each morning that she could spend reading with them and playing games.

                “Flynn, let’s place space adventurers!” All had been forgiven since the school incident. Gemma idolized her cousin and just wanted to be best friends with him which made forgiving him easy.
                “Sure, come on into my spaceship.” She grinned and headed over to the tree house. The park near their house was small and didn't have much but the tree house was the reason they always came here.

                “Oh no! Alien goo, watch out below!” Before she could even move, Gemma felt a cold gush of water whoosh over her. “Now you’re polluted with alien goo and you can’t come in the spaceship. You’d get the other astronauts sick!”
                “I won’t get you sick with alien goo. I promise!”
                “Yes you will. That’s what happens when you get infected. I can’t risk it.” Flynn might or might not have been watching a little too much tv lately.

                Gemma wandered, dripping wet, over to the swing set and plopped down in the rubber seat. She sniffled and tried to hold back tears. Flynn was so mean to her. Not all the time. He teased her or ignored her when they were at school. He does everything with me when we’re home. He’s just being a boy. Boys can be mean sometimes. Maybe tomorrow they could play space adventurers together, without the alien goo.

                “Which one of you did this?” Evangeline was the victim of a sneaky culprit’s trap on the sink and did not appreciate being soaked to the bone with a puddle quickly forming at her feet.
                “Not me!” Both the kids yelled in unison. She glared at them, trying to decide who would have done it. Both their faces were completely innocent so she just huffed off as she went to the bathroom to shower and dry off while Renata mopped up the puddle.

                What would the messes and pranks be like once the twins were old enough to contribute to the chaos?

Chapter 6.7                                                                                                                                                     Chapter 6.9

I'm back-ish. It was really, really hard to get back into this story for some reason. For some reason, this generation is just giving me troubles now that they're "on their own". There is still some story left for our adults but there will be a lot more focus on the kids. I'm hoping to get the heir vote up fairly quickly, probably two more chapters. Though, with me, that could be months out. LOL.

Special thank you to Buckley who's a great sounding board for working ideas out!