Thursday, May 27, 2021

one way or another

 Jared guessed he and his mom were a lot alike in their choices. Except, being with Angel changed things. Evidently. 

Of course, his mother was hard to work for and as of late she was forgetting everything. Even work that was once slow was now picking up after the pandemic. People needed to eat and of course, socialize. They weren't making boxed lunches anymore for senior citizens. 

Still, the two o'clock gig was happening live too. Thank god, the walking exercise class he guided only lasted thirty minutes because there were always dishes to wash and BINGO was from four to six on Friday. He spent more time at the Senior Center than his mom did. Perhaps he was a master of nothing, but it kept him busy, and somehow he managed time for Angel too.

His mother Fan mentioned something about moving to Iowa. Jared told her the drive would be longer. Did she really have to? He knew the only reason why she was dating this new fellow was that he was a friend of her ex-husband's.

"What if that doesn't even work out?" Jared winced, thinking she'd always been this way and they'd let it slide.  Finding a man was like playing a game. "What about Sal?"

"Sal?" She turned to him with a wince. "What about him?"

"He won't be there if you-"

"What?" She gave him a soured look.

"Never mind." He guessed it wouldn't hurt. He could have the apartment all to himself without her. Maybe Angel could move in with him instead of playing this hide and seek game of theirs. After all, he was the trouble maker, but he knew he was nothing like his mother. "Just be careful." Jared carefully sighed. Just as Angel told him, they couldn't be her keeper.

Friday, February 5, 2021

living in an iceberg

 


January felt it was frozen in time to Angel. It was one winter storm after another. She forgot about going out in these harsh times. It was best to stay indoors and possibly veg on old TV shows. Of course, it was wrong, but just when she thought, oh I might go back to work, life got complicated.

First, it was Fan. Angel didn't understand how her dad could have gotten wrapped up in Fan's life. They were always having to look for her in the neighboring bars. Sure, she always said she was fine, but she gave them a scare more than once. She knew her father did too much for her.

"Why should you even care about her?" It went against Angel's grain. This was not the Dad she knew. She couldn't leave him now. Someone had to pull him back from falling totally and completely under Fan's spell. 

She was tempted to have words with that dangerous woman. Always out looking for a man for the night. Shooting pool and drinking shots of tequila. Oh, she thought she was something, all right. 

Jared was under her thumb too. It left Angel bitter. Maybe that's why she kept sleeping with him. Honestly, she wanted to believe it was a winter thing. But somehow, it was on the sly at the best of their ability. Maybe it was a plus that her dad was always off during the night trying to keep up with Fan and her adventures in dating.

"But would you really call it that?" She asked Jared one morning when she was still in his arms before the sun could rise.

"I don't think she knows what real dating is," He told her in some countries, dating meant living together.

This made her laugh softly into his chest. "Is that what we're doing?"

"Maybe something like it," he smiled back and she wondered how much longer they could keep this up in her father's apartment. Other wise they were strangers when her father was around. Missing each other by minutes.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Is she pretty?

 Jay didn't want to have any regrets about the holidays. As far as he was concerned, it was best each to his own. Yet, he knew his younger sister Jody was a mess and no one could really help her.

"Let's hope she doesn't turn in to mom," Jared said over the phone.

"Don't say that," Jay snapped back. "That'll never happen."

They'd learned their mom was seeing someone younger and a co-worker of their step-dads. "She's higher than kite these days," were Jared's very words. After all, he worked with the woman.

"Not surprised," Jay said. Even he was a little down these days. He and Amanda didn't even share Christmas presents. They'd done nothing. It was as if the holiday didn't even exist. She said she was OK with it, but he could sense this was not true. She was in a slump of some sort. He didn't dare want to tell her about his mother.

"And what did you do for Christmas?" Jay asked.

"Oh, nothing much," Jared said, but Sal made ham and turkey and then delivered dinners to Jody and even their mother.

"Well, I could have used some of that," Jay shot back. "Why wasn't I on the list?"

"You didn't call. You sounded as if you wanted to be left alone," Jared barked back as if he didn't really care what his brother wanted.

"And you're still at Sal's?" Jay found that kind of funny. He didn't know his brother could stay that long anywhere. Wasn't he a roaming cowboy of some sort?

"Uh-huh?"

"And what might be keeping you there, dear brother?" There had to be a female involved, somewhere. Obviously, she was taking the bait with him. Jay smirked then, wondering what kind of Christmas miracle it was.

"Sal's daughter is here." It was plain and simple.

"I see. Obviously, she knows nothing about you," Jay found himself laughing. He was alone. Amanda went to her mother's for the weekend. "Should I come over and tell her the truth."

"Don't!" Jay knew he'd hit a nerve.

"Oh, so are you being good this new year?" Jay kept smiling.

"Yeah, of course, I am," Jared said, but Jay doubted it. His little brother always loved a challenge when it came to women.

"Well, you better behave yourself," Jay said he had his eyes on him now.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

oh, why not

 When Jody got the call from her mom about the arrival of Sal's daughter, Jody only laughed. What was her mother expecting her to do?

"You could show her around," her mom said. "I don't even know where she's from. Actually, I haven't met her but your brother said she was at Sal's."

"Oh," Jody nodded. Actually, these days she had fewer hours at the office. She knew she was supposed to stay in. Andrew would want her to stay home, but she liked to have something to do. "I'll be right over." 

She had some snacks she needed to get rid of. Too many carbs were in the apartment at the moment and she'd bust out of that wedding dress before she ever found one at this rate. If Angel didn't eat it, Jared would. That guy never gained an ounce. So she left Andrew all to his lonesome on the computer. She doubted he even knew she was gone.

"Well, Christmas is coming," Jody said soon enough when she got to Sal's. "I hear you have a guest."

She'd gotten soaps, shampoos, and body lotion at the drug store, all for Angel.

"It looks like Christmas is here," he smiled back and let her in, but then asked how did her mother know.

"I don't know, she just called me," Jody shrugged and found Sal's daughter in the kitchen drying dishes. She introduced herself and told both of them that her mom wanted her to show Angel around town.

"She just got here," Sal said as if she must be tired.

"Well, if not today, maybe sometime soon," Jody smiled as she got out the tin of pretzels she'd dipped in melted chocolate chips that Andrew snarled his nose up and shooed away when she had them at home. She'd worked so hard on the treat and he told her never to make those again.

"You are right, I really don't know this town," Angel told her. She took a bite of the dipped pretzels with red, white, and green sprinkles included.

"You made these?" She crunched on a mouthful and told her they were delicious.

"My boyfriend...I mean..my fiance doesn't like for me to make stuff like this, but I have some time off and didn't want to waste all my pretzels with cheese dip." Jody shrugged.

"That sounds good too." Her smile was open and Jody was happy to meet someone who might as well be family.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Winging it

 Jared kept smiling not sure where any of this was going, but he'd slept with someone, and he'd never slept better. 

At first, he thought he knew how he could handle it, but she was crying and so...well, a guy has got to do what a guy's got to do. He held her close and she must have thought she was dreaming because he thought he was for a time. 

It was possibly the best time he'd ever had in bed without having sex. Honestly, it was a crazy feeling. Oh, he knew of her, but he didn't really know her. He knew she was Sal's daughter and he shouldn't have been there, but it was just meant to be. He thought now.

Of course, he'd sneaked out early and didn't want to cause any issues. He'd promised himself he'd be good. He'd show them he would know his place and he'd be his mom's right-hand man, too. Maybe he could be Sal's, right-hand man.

But he did wonder where he'd be spending the night. He could see it all changing.

He was finally used to being at Sal's. It felt like home. He'd never even felt that when he was at his house. There was a lot more fear then than anyone would ever admit. Oh, he never got hurt, but he knew how his mom's husband could be. Not even she would admit the abuse.

It would start with an argument, but first, his step-dad was a little drunk and Jay could just look at him and a fight might break out. He didn't want to think about those days. And he felt kind of sad at the thought of living with his mom, who yelled a whole lot more than she would ever admit. 

The thought of it made Jared all the more restless.

And now he'd met Angel. His face tensed. He hoped Sal wouldn't yell at him. He wanted Sal to be OK. But he knew he wasn't good enough for Angel. There was a lot he didn't even know about her, but he wanted to know her.

Right now, he needed work and a lot of it, or he might be walking the streets, again.