Drifted – Part 14

joy

Another night came and went. Brenda was feeling more lonely than she ever wanted to in her life. She cried for herself and her daughters. How could life be so damn cruel? It wasn’t something she looked forward to on a daily basis. Getting up in the middle of the night to flip over her pillow and toss John’s pillows onto the floor. She’ll regret it in the morning when she goes to make the bed. She’ll put the pillows back in their place as she never threw them off in an act of frustration. A little before 7:30 in the morning, her alarm awakes her from the short nap she gets every night now. She hits the shower to wash away her never-ending tears that flew out of her eyes at anytime. After she got dressed in something casual, she made her way into the kitchen and every memory of she and John helping each other make breakfast for the girls came back. She pushed back her tears again for the hundredth time. She got everything ready for her coffee pot. She turned around and looked at the small table and Ivy’s high chair. It looked quite the cute little kitchen for five women living in one house. No man to help them out, even though John hardly ever did that so this was nothing new to Brenda, but yet the sleeping alone part was the part she never went through. John might’ve cheated on Brenda, but he always came home to her. That should count for something. That’s at least what her heart kept telling her.

After making sure everything was ready, she checked the clock one last time, before heading into the three oldest girls room: Ava and Tatum share a bunk bed, while little Gracie baby has her own bed. She is just a four-year old, but she has had some delaying issues with her speech and body. She can easily fall out of a big girl bed. Before they found out she had Autism, they did get her a big girl bed, but it was short-lived since the sidebars were too little for her and when she’d roll in the bed at night she’d fall right off and Brenda or Claire would find her asleep on the floor just laid out and looked pretty comfortable actually. So after four accidents, they decided to get her a crib and that way they knew she wouldn’t get out so easily, because that was the other thing. If she wasn’t sleepy, the little child would run out of the bed and somebody would have to chase after her. She might not be able to get her words figured out, but she’s got the giggles down pat and knows what to do when there are people after you. Brenda stared her sleeping girls and wondered what they were dreaming about and it was difficult for her to wake them up from a dream where they were princesses and had a better life than where they had both of their parents around and felt like they loved them unconditionally. They do in reality, but it didn’t mean much after being around one parent for a little while.

After staying at home yesterday, and for waking up late, Brenda struggled to get her girls up and ready for school. While Ava and Tatum went to regular elementary school, Grace had to go to a special school for half a day and work on her speech and learn different things that she should already know by now. “Okay, you ladies look lovely, all right so we’re running a little bit late, so take each other’s hand and walk into the living room. Don’t go on the couch, but line up by it. I have to get Miss Ivy ready too.” Brenda said, she was out of breath after helping putting on clothes and brushing three sets of teeth. Now she had to get the baby going so they could leave before she decided to keep them all home. Ivy was already awaken and was in the mood to play peek-a-boo through the bars in her crib. When Brenda got up closer, she leaned over to play a little with her tiny daughter. Brenda always wanted to be a mother. She was always around kids growing up, she loved the challenge of kids. Even though she imagined having all boys and maybe a girl, but having all girls made her happy too. She remembered the laughs and fights between her and sisters better than anyone. She knew that if anything happened later in their lives, they would be there for each other like their mother and their aunts were there for each other. After a couple more rounds of peek-a-boo it was time to get Ivy ready. Brenda grabbed a pink and white onesie that had said, “Daddy’s Littlest Girl” and she hadn’t even noticed what she grabbed at first until she pulled it over her head. She wanted to burst into tears again, but Ivy was the perfect distraction.

By the time Brenda got Ivy’s little booties on, something got their attention. There was lots of different noises going on from the living room. Usually Ava and Tatum have to argue about who had the prettier coat and better shoes, even though they both have the same jackets and shoes, just in different colors to keep them separate. John thought that would be better; hell that’s what their in-laws thought as well, but nobody gets to get them ready in the mornings like Brenda and hears the constant fighting between them. Surprisingly, it didn’t sound like they were fighting at all. They sound happy, which is very weird unless one of them has decided that mommy was taking too long and they turned on the TV in the living room, but as Brenda carried Ivy on her hip, she didn’t hear the TV on, but a man’s voice. A familiar voice that she was thankful for, but was also concerned because she hadn’t heard a knock on the door either. She walked further down the hallway and made her way into the living room to find John had let himself into the house and brought the girls breakfast. She was stunned to see him there, as he has never done this before. Why the change in heart? Then everything made sense after seeing the smiles on the girls faces. Pure joy, and even Ivy got on the action too.

“What are you doing here? We have to leave.” Brenda says to John as she still has Ivy in her arms, but Ivy has a hold of her daddy’s hand. “I know, but I missed my girls. And I knew they would probably be hungry anyway. So I brought them something to eat.” John said as he looked right at the smiling baby on the left. “Oh, look what mommy put you in! Daddy’s favorite shirt.” John said in his sweet voice. That voice that Brenda missed in the middle of the night. She did not want to miss this man after hearing about him cheating on her for some time now. If things were to get any better, it would take time. She knew things wouldn’t get better after a few days, even her heart knew that, but she couldn’t exactly keep him away from the girls. That wouldn’t be right for them as they are too young to understand what is going on with their mommy and daddy. So she kept a fake smile upon her face to insure that her daughters knew that things would get better. John exchanged a smile to Brenda but knew better than to believe she was really happy he was there. He was making her and the girls even later than before. It was 8:25am, if she didn’t leave now than she’d never get him to leave. “Well I’m sorry to cut this short, but we really have to go. Tell daddy “thank you for the breakfast” and let’s get to school!” Brenda said in a cheerful tone as she watched Ava and Tatum say their “thank you’s” and kiss John on the cheek. Gracie had to be a little more complicated but John helped her off her chair and walked her out to the car. He buckled the girls inside and watched Brenda as she put Ivy in her car seat. He kissed her on the forehead and was about to kiss Brenda before she stepped back. She wasn’t ready to take him back yet, and as much as she loved his sweet side, she knew better.

When she stepped back, John steeped in one last time and smiled at his four girls, before he hadn’t thought about the consequences of his actions. What if he couldn’t get Brenda to forgive him? He knew they were going to need help, if they both wanted to make this work for their daughters. “Hey, I think we should go to couples therapy?” John said in a whisper after he shut the door shut of Brenda car. He continued to look into Brenda’s eyes, but she looked so distanced. They didn’t have a future in her eyes anymore and it was all his fault. Brenda opened her driver’s seat door and looked at him once more before getting inside the car. “I don’t know John. Do you really think that would help us? Keep you from cheating on me with anything that has long eyes.” Brenda said in a stirn voice and then they both heard somebody say in the backseat say, “Daddy likes daddy-long-legs?! There’s one up on the ceiling in our room. Daddy can you kill it?” Ava said from her seat way in the back of the van. John couldn’t help but chuckle a little bit. Leave it to a little kid to lighten up the mood, especially when it was on this kind of mood. Not so pleasant for everybody. “I might, if I can find it, okay?” John said as moved his head over by Brenda’s chair. She was unmoved by what the bonding moment between them. “Just think about it.” John said as he looked at his wife again. “All right, I will.” Brenda said before she sat down in her seat and pulled the seat buckle to her side to strap herself in. “Drive safely dear. Bye girls!” John said as his goodbye to them and then shut Brenda’s door. He backed up a couple of feet before she drove off.

Now they were extremely late. Luckily, all of the girls teachers understood that she was now on her own as she emailed that there might be a slight change on the time she and the girls would get there. It was almost nine o’clock. She probably would have made it if John hadn’t showed up and brought breakfast for the girls. She was pretty sure that the girls still had sugar on their fingers from the small bites of donuts he gave them. She felt bad for their teachers. She pulled out of their little community and onto the main highway. She remembered the first time, she and John found their place. John just became head of the business and Brenda sadly had to quit because John couldn’t keep his hands off of her. After the birth of Ava, she went back to work and Chloe would come over and baby sit her brand new niece. When Tatum was born, Chloe and their mother Sandra would come over and help out whenever they could, but after Brenda had Grace and his delayed speech and movements. Brenda thought it would just be better if she worked from home, which led to her getting almost fired the first time around after Tatum going on mommy’s laptop and sending an email to her boss that didn’t make sense and when her boss found it, he thought she was drunk. Once she found out she was pregnant with Ivy, there was basically nothing keeping her there. She wasn’t really happy there anyways. Since John took her job, things were heading south. She started putting theories together to when maybe John started cheating on her. That timeline would have fit perfectly. Almost too perfect though!

While she thought the past, she wasn’t really focuses on her surroundings. As both Tatum, Grace, and Ivy were bundled up in their heavy jackets in the backseat. Little Ava was old enough now where she was allowed to sit up in the passenger seat; even though she chose to ignore the right height for her child to seat in the front seat. Brenda had a small car. She thought after her third kid, she would get a mini van, but the girls were still small enough to fit nicely, except for Ava. She was only seven years old, but was taller than the girls in her  class. She sat up in her seat, listening to the radio, and looking out her window. Ivy sat in her car seat cooing at her older sisters sitting next to her. Everything inside the car screaming calm and controlled, but inside Brenda’s mind was restless chaos from every way she turned. They were almost up to the school. Brenda watched the sides of the roads to see if anybody was going to be turning to the left anytime soon. There was a car headed for that way but it was going too slow she thought and she pulled out in front of it. She thought she was in the clear until the car sped up just after she pulled out and hit the right side of her car very hard. Brenda’s eyes were wide as she watched the front end of this red car run right into Ava and Gracie’s doors. The crash shook the car with such force that the glass in the windows busted and the car skited on its side before the other driver finally stopped. Everything was a blur in Brenda’s eyes, but her hearing hadn’t gone out as she could hear Tatum and Ivy screaming and crying from the backseat. Brenda lifted her up and looked at Ava, she looked to her in a glaze but could still speak. Brenda unhooked her seatbelt and checked on the other girls. Tatum and Ivy had some glass on their heads, but were fine. It was Gracie that wasn’t okay at all.

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