Tag Archives: marriage

The Spot Writers –

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt: Newspapers and news sites show a plethora of depressing stuff from floods and wildfires and other environmental problems, to mass shootings, to refugee problems and other political and social crises. Write a story focused on a depressing occurrence and give it a happy ending.

This week’s story comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Cathy’s novel, WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, is available from her locally or on Amazon, to great reviews.

https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/

***

Downtown Meetings by Cathy MacKenzie

“Did you go downtown this morning?” Simon asked, entering the kitchen.

I jerked around from the counter, dropping the dishtowel as I did so. “Why?”

“I saw you driving down Main Street with the top down.”

The top down? I breathed a sigh of relief. “Nope, not me.”

“It sure looked like you.”

“You know I never have the top down when I’m alone.”

“And why is that?”

“Because it’s presumptuous. Like I’m flaunting. You know I hate attention.”

He laughed. “Well, it looked like you.”

“When did you think you saw me?” I bent over to pick up the towel, glad to have something in my hands.

“Oh, I guess it was around eleven or so. I had to go to a meeting on Churchill.”

“Wasn’t me. There’s lots of red mustangs.”

“Yeah, I know.” He wrapped his arms around my shoulders and kissed me. When he broke away, he asked, “What’s for dinner?”

“Meat loaf.” Simon’s favourite.

After dinner, he disappeared downstairs to his man cave.

I plonked to the kitchen chair. Scary stuff, that was. Had he seen me in my red Mustang with the top up, trying to catch me in a lie? No, he had no inkling.

My life was simple and carefree, with very few problems as compared to those who endure such catastrophes as forest fires, tornados, and hurricanes. Why did I want to create a disastrous situation when there was no need for one? Simon was a perfect husband and provider. Sure, we had the odd spat—what married couple didn’t? I should be more grateful for him and my life.

I finished the dishes and headed to the bedroom, intending to read in bed. Instead, I pondered, unable to concentrate on the book. Sweat poured over me, and I threw off the blanket. What had I been thinking? Could I have gone through with it?

If Simon had actually seen a woman resembling me in a car similar to mine, what a cruel coincidence. I very rarely drive downtown. What a fluke he’d been there the same morning I was.

I hadn’t been attracted to Rob, not with his receding hairline, paunchy belly, and seventies-style clothing. Not up to my standards, for sure, and I should have exited the mall immediately when I saw him—the guy who waited by the fountain. Despite my initial reaction, we enjoyed conversation over lunch. I was taken aback when he mentioned his wife and how it would kill her if she discovered he’d been hooking up with other women.

Gee, what should he expect? He had joined Dates & Mates, a local dating site, specifically for sexual partners. It would kill Simon, too, if he ever found out I was a member. But this was my first time. Rob was the first anonymous guy I’d connected with online, the first guy I’d met in person.

“She never wants it anymore,” Rob had said. “She has a condition.” He rattled off the medical term, which was foreign to me.

I had almost blurted, “So, because she can’t—or won’t—engage in sex that gives you permission to seek sex elsewhere?” But I kept my mouth shut. Who was I to talk? I was as bad as he was.

I wondered what sort of marriage Rob had, and that’s what had knocked the sense into me, thinking of his innocent, unsuspecting wife at home, waiting for her husband, not knowing of his double life.

This was all foreign to me. Cheating and lies. And what about my love for Simon, my husband of ten years? Didn’t he deserve better? I had thought I needed excitement in my life, but I already had the best husband. I didn’t want another. It was pure luck Simon hadn’t caught me.

Suddenly, I was cold and yanked the covers over me. Minutes later I heard Simon coming up the stairs. He would keep me warm, as he always did.

***

 The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.ca/

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It’s a Boy!!!

Today, December 30, 2015, just in time to ring in the New Year, I have a new grandson. As of this moment, he is unnamed, but one name in the running is “Parker.” I kind of like it—a lot, actually—so I hope that’s it. Another under consideration is Benjamin though my son says Parker is “growing” on him. And since he couldn’t remember the other name(s) they were contemplating, I’m thinking it’s safe to say Parker is it!

“Parker” weighed in at eight pounds fifteen ounces. My daughter-in-law had a scheduled section (she wasn’t due until January 3), and the baby’s head was so big the doctor said it was a good thing she had a section.

“He looks like a sumo wrestler,” my son told me. But what does he know?

“You were nine pounds one ounce,” I replied. Bragging, I added, “and I had you naturally.” I neglected to tell him I was in labour, shrieking and in pain, for three days. With numerous drugs. After that experience, I swore I’d have no more. But time brings forgetfulness, and eight years later, I found myself pregnant again. By choice!

Needless to say, my last two children were delivered by C-section. Good thing because my second, another son, was ten pounds six ounces.  Ouch! My daughter, who followed eighteen months later, was “only” eight pounds eleven ounces (if my memory is correct).

My son and daughter-in-law, to quote a cliché, are truly blessed. They married when my son was forty; my daughter-in-law-to-be was thirty-eight. Neither had been married previously, nor had either of them had long-term live-ins or children from prior relationships—a feat in this era. It was as if the two had waited for each other.

I had stood beside my daughter-in-law’s father in the receiving line at their wedding. Someone congratulated him, saying, “She waited a long time to get married.” Her father replied, “And I’m glad she did.” My heart swelled.

You have to know the entire story to “get”the gist. My son, even as young as fourteen, had always said, “I don’t want to get married. I don’t want to bring children into this world.”

I had been sad for him, with that perspective on life. But at the time, I hadn’t realized the repercussions on me: a potential grandmother. And back then, I hadn’t even thought of ever being a grandmother. Too grey-haired and decrepit for me!

But later, when the proverbial ton of bricks hit me, when I realized I might never be a grandmother, I was devastated and endured many sleepless nights. (I’ve written previously about my pain, but in a nutshell: My daughter had trouble conceiving; my younger son was in a relationship with a woman who already had a child from a previous relationship and she didn’t want more; and my oldest, the subject of this writing, never wanted marriage let alone children.) That was when I realized I was doomed to never be a grandmother. And, of course, when something is denied, isn’t that when you want it?

Fast forward a few years: My daughter announced she was pregnant just a few days before my younger son’s partner did. They each delivered a girl, three weeks apart (girls are now eight). Both my son and my daughter married shortly after the births of their children. My daughter regretted not following protocol; my son’s wife adamantly proclaimed she’d have no more.

My daughter suffered a devastating miscarriage about fourteen months after her first child’s birth. Time took (in my mind) forever to pass before she was pregnant again. But three years after her daughter’s birth, she delivered a son, her last child.

Okay, I thought. Four grandchildren (three biological, one step). I’m happy. Elated. More than elated! Four was more than I imagined I’d ever have.

And then my oldest child amazed me. At the time of my two granddaughters’ births, he commented he might like to marry and have children someday—if he ever met the right person.

About five years later, he finally met her. They married a year after meeting, an absolutely, over-the-top, perfect wedding. They had their daughter the following year (a respectable eleven months later!), and eighteen months after that…TODAY…I have my sixth grandchild, my second grandson.

My son and his wife are truly blessed. And so is this Granny, who never dreamt she’d have one grandchild let alone six.

 

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First Moves

First Moves

Despite the two-foot distance, Hubby’s breath is soft and warm across my face. The rankness of garlic isn’t a pleasant smell first thing in the morning. He barely touches me, just a flicker of a finger against my skin. He wants me to scoot over to him, wants me to make the first move. He won’t make it himself; not sure why. Why can’t he lay his arm across my chest or stomach?

So I lie there, as I do every morning, hoping for once he might make the first move, but he doesn’t. I don’t want to make the first move every morning. Once in a while, I’d like him to do so, to show me he cares, so I feel wanted.

If I ask why he doesn’t, he says he doesn’t want to disturb me. But that answer isn’t true, of course. If that were the case, he’d be quieter when he gets up to use the bathroom. Instead of throwing the covers and clumping to the next room, he’d gently alight from bed and walk softly to the bathroom. When he returns to bed, he could get into bed more silently and not huff and puff as if he’s blowing the house down. No, his answer doesn’t make sense.

I wish he’d make a first move. Just once!

I crave hugging and that wanted feeling before he leaves for work. I need that to start off my day, to pull me through loneliness or a busy day. To start me on the right track.

I sigh. I tremble. He doesn’t react. He must know I’m awake, more awake than I am most mornings, yet he ignores me. Maybe he doesn’t want to cuddle. He’s a busy man; perhaps he’s too deep into thoughts and can’t be bothered. Perhaps he doesn’t care.

I move. Just an inch. A hint to him to scoot over like his sly invitation to me. I silently pray that he might so I can feel better about myself. But he doesn’t. A counselor once advised me to take what I can, what I need.

I slither over. He reciprocates; he always does. He raises his arm, and I snuggle into him and wrap my right arm around his warmth. I lean my head against his cheek. His hand caresses my shoulder. We lie like that for 20 minutes or so until he squirms—the sign he wants to go. He kisses my forehead—the sign I should move back to my side of the bed. I disentangle myself from him, move over, and shroud myself with the linens.

All is right in the world. For a little while.

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