Little

Day Twenty-two: Little

 

They say less is more.

Though she’s little, she is fierce.

And they are correct.

 

Author’s Note: I like to throw in haiku’s and poetry when I am doing writing prep, so while this is not a lot I was in a funk today so I had to break my current routine and venture down a slightly different route.

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Big

Day Twenty-one: Big.

 

After thirty-three days straight Julia had finally scored not just one but two whole days off from work. Two days for her to do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. Turns out all she wanted to do was sleep late and stay in her pajamas as she made her way to the kitchen for a late dinner and eat said dinner on the couch in front of the TV.

Rain softly hit her window repeatedly signaling she had made the right choice to stay in and avoid the outside world. Her DVR was full of shows she had missed in the last thirty-three days due to work or the exhaustion gathered at work that meant she went pretty much straight to bed most nights, but that seemed like too much focus to muster. She needed a mindless movie or show that she could have on but not need to pay much attention too.

Flipping through the channels felt fruitless at first, nothing caught her eye or seemed right for the mood she was in. Reality TV seemed too dramatic, and possibly annoying, there was a Law and Order marathon but she prefered SVU to the regular, and HGTV was all House Hunters and whiny buyers did not sound like a pleasant afternoon. Julia was about to give up and go search her shelf of movies for a good one when upon a second run through of the channels she heard a classic line.

“You people work on commission right?”

She instantly dropped the remote and watched the sales lady reply and then said the next line along with Julia Roberts, “Big Mistake. Big. Huge.”
Yes, this would most definitely do. Even if she had missed a good chunk of the start, she believed that it was always a good choice to watch Pretty Woman if it was on. Perfect day off activity indeed.

Squeeze

Day Twenty: Squeeze

 

“Oh come on!” Celia grunted as she squeezed the tube of toothpaste trying to get anything out so she didn’t have to show up to work with monster breath.

Realistically she should have known this was going to happen based on how her morning had gone so far. When she thought she had hit snooze on her alarm she really turned it off, so twenty-seven minutes later she woke with only fifteen minutes to get ready and eat something. The outfit she had set aside last night was great, until she tried to put on the nylons and she put a giant run in them. Her bag of her favorite coffee grounds was empty when she went to grab it so she had to resort to the tin of basic coffee she kept around for just these moments of lapse in memory.

There was no time for a proper breakfast so she popped a bagel in the toaster, but when she went to put peanut butter on it a blob fell from the knife right onto her blouse and so she had to run back to her room and find one to match the skirt she already had on. So by the time she got to the bathroom to brush her teeth and throw on some light make-up she really should have anticipated some other small inconvenience to top off her morning.

Finally the smallest drop of paste released from the depths of the tube and Celia made quick work of the task at hand before grabbing her bag and flying out the door. At least traffic seemed to be on her side so that she would probably get off the elevator onto her floor right on time. She only need ten minutes to prep for her presentation and she refused to think the cluster that was her morning was any sort of omen for the presentation or the day ahead.

At least she was really hoping that the Universe would take pity on her and realize it had exhausted her crappy luck for the day.

Flight

Day Nineteen: Flight

 

For the majority of my life I never considered that fight was an actual option, flight was all I had known from a young age. My mom fled when I was six years old, she said being a stay at home mom with three kids and a man married more to his job had became too much. She had said her life no longer felt like her own, her time was budgeted precisely for cooking, cleaning, running errands, entertaining kids and pleasing a husband with nothing left for herself.

Then at fourteen my dad left after years of holding our family together, my older brother was then nineteen and dad decided Keynan could take his turn carrying the weight of responsibility. He took off, sent us money every month with no return address and no letter asking about us or our lives. We managed, but Keynan was stressed and trying to make it through his college classes and so he leaned on me just as much as I and our younger sister leaned on him. When I finally turned fifteen I got a job and worked every moment I wasn’t in school and could find someone to watch Jenny for me.

At eighteen I was looking forward to college, but Keynan was 23 and heading for law school and had moved in with his girlfriend. I knew he deserved a break, some freedom, so I didn’t argue when he moved five hundred miles away to start his next chapter in life. Like dad he sent money, but always with letters and he called often.

So when I was 21 and Jenny was seventeen she got into trouble, and didn’t want help. She was ready to let herself slide down as many slippery slopes as possible. It wasn’t necessarily that she was choosing flight over fight, but she was just letting others choose things for her and they didn’t care about what ultimately happened to Jenny.

I could have chose flight for myself, I was so close to graduating with my degree, reaching a milestone in my life. I could have chose to grab my break or my freedom, but I knew that all of that was nothing if I didn’t know that my baby sister was okay. So for the first time in my life I chose to fight, and it was the hardest thing I had faced in life so far. Jenny didn’t want to listen, didn’t want to accept my help or my advice so we bickered back and forth for months on end.

How exactly I’m not sure, but I managed to get Jenny to her high school graduation and even got her to agree to community college. She would get her generals out of the way and then I told her she had the choice to continue on or be done and join the real world. Which is why sitting beside Keynan and his wife and their little boy while Jenny walks across the stage getting her undergraduate degree, with honors no less, in psychology the most rewarding thing about choosing fight.

Escape

Day Eighteen: Escape

 

“Dude, what’s with the cranky face?” Paul said as he tossed a pen across the shared desk space.

Fitz picked up the item from where it landed in his lap and twiddled it between his thumb and pointer, staring at the movement for a few seconds before responding. “This is not my cranky face, this is my ‘going-on-two-hours-of-sleep’ exhausted face.”

The office around them had hit the early morning lull, where all the immediate tasks waiting for them in the morning had been taken care of and not enough time had passed in the day for new nightmares to form. Paul’s second cup of coffee was still wafting steam up into the air but he had noticed that Fitz was on his third already, and it was halfway gone.

Leaning back in his own chair Paul shook his head. “It’s been weeks since you have looked even remotely alive, what’up?”

Fitz put the pen down and then ran his large hands through his hair and down his face, giving his cheeks a few pats to wake himself up. “Work. It has been deadline after deadline on this project for Ned, and you know he likes everything double, if not triple,checked before going for final approval.” he pauses to reach out and pick up his coffee mug and throws back what is left of the luke-warm beverage. “Not to mention I’ve been trying to help my sisters plan this surprise anniversary for my parents and when you live in a different time zone it always eats into sleep time.”

Just the idea of having to work on a project for Ned made Paul wince in sympathy for his best friend, but all the other added stress was taking it’s toll. Fitz had dark circles building under his eyes and his usually tidy hair was growing and often rocking the bed head look. Looking at him in this disheveled state made Paul’s protective older brother side come out.

“You need an escape my friend.” Paul said as he snapped forward and pointed a finger at Fitz. Without hesitation he was met with an eye roll and a “you’ve got to be kidding me” face which only  made him more determined. “I’m serious man. This weekend, tell Ned to piss off. Say you have family stuff you need to tend to, then tell your sisters you have a major work deadline and have to focus. Then we will hop on a train out of the city and just get away for a couple days.”

Paul could tell that Fitz liked the idea by how the stress wrinkles in his forehead dissipated a bit and a small light came into his eyes. But then it all fell again and he started to open his mouth to protest but Paul cut him off, “No way, not taking no for an answer. You really need a breather, I’ll even call Graham and we can make it a reunion weekend.”

A slightly tense silence lingered between them but he knew if the just held out, stared Fitz down, he could win him over. For added humor he even wiggled his eyebrows, which did in fact break Fitz into a loud laugh.

“Fine” he replied while shaking his head, “I have a meeting this afternoon with Ned so I’ll break the news to him then and my sisters will get a call tonight.” Paul pumped his fist in the air and gave a little shout, if his friend was anything it was almost annoyingly selfless. He always put others needs before his own, so to score a win like this meant that the weekend was going to be a good time for sure.

Battle

Day Seventeen: Battle

 

The most frequent piece of advice that Norma had received while she was pregnant and getting ready to be a first time parent was to “pick your battles wisely”. It was in all the books and articles she read and then it was reiterated by all her friends who had already become parents and even some who had just watched their siblings wage through the journey. At first it seemed like great, maybe a little obvious, advice and for the first few years it worked fantastic.

But then her little one turned five, and had opinions and ways to express those opinions pretty eloquently for a small human. Now if she wanted to set a schedule she had to work around the moods of an emotional, vocal, spitting image of her husband. Bedtime was more of a suggestion on most nights, and the holidays absolutely sucked with all the toys on display everywhere and on every other commercial on the TV.

However nothing could quite top the battle that was trying to get her very picky kid to eat anything green. Not just vegetables but anything in the hue of green was a no-go; jello, kiwi, avocado, mint ice cream,  even green colored M&Ms were absolutely out of the question. And it wasn’t that Norma wanted to force her child to eat anything, but she didn’t want them to miss out on good food because of its color.

Which meant every few weeks she would try a new meal or side dish that involved green foods and just hoped that would be the night her baby was adventurous. But most of those nights ended like tonight where they sat across from each other, her hopeful and them stubborn, pushing the offending green items around the plate and eating everything else.

Norma was learning that this particular battle would continue to wage on for a bit longer.

Wet

Day Sixteen: Wet

 

Across the gallery was the painting that Trent had been coming back to all night. He had made his way around the exhibit multiple times, looked at each piece with a casual glance, but no matter how hard he tried he could not stop his eyes from wandering back to this particular painting. So instead of avoiding it any longer he cut through the moderate size crowd to stand before the towering canvas print.

In the background of the image was a sea that was blue as a robin’s egg and calm as could be, in the foreground was a small beach with rock formations to the side reaching far up. But dead center was a woman sitting on a lone boulder looking directly outwards, to the people taking in the painting she inhabited, instead of fondly out to the gorgeous waters.

She wore a draping tunic in the shade of amethyst that hugged her figure, but managed to appear floating in a wind as well. This woman’s hair was a dark chestnut, nearly black, and it was half pulled back and draping over her right shoulder. Her skin was ivory and bespeckled with freckles and sunspots, giving her a youthful appearance that rivaled the authority her stance gave off.

The possibility of locking eyes with a painted woman seems a little far fetched the but way her green eyes were detailed gave off the feeling that you truly were holding the intense gaze of an impressive woman. They almost looked wet, like she might have been crying before she spotted someone approaching behind her and turned to star them down, but at the same time that effect made her appear all the more confident and intimidating. Trent hadn’t been able to stare too long at her face all night, but now that he was here he felt content to stay in this place all night.