Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chapter 6-9: ThisKidsNotAlright

It wasn’t long before Evangeline would find out how hectic a house would be with four school-age children. With the nice weather, she decided to have the twins’ birthday down at the beach.

“Do you like the water,” Evangeline cooed to her only daughter, taking joy out of the last few moments she’d be tiny. Hanley just giggled and begged for more.

When the time came to blow out the cake, everyone gathered around. Miles put his arm around a beautiful, statuesque blonde as he watched his daughter attempt to blow out her candle.

“Did you see her?”
“The woman Miles brought. She looks like a model!”
“Evangeline, you guys broke up. You don’t expect him to just pine over you for 50 years, do you?”
“No. But it’s his kids’ birthday; a family event. She’s not family. He could have at least let me know he was bringing someone.”
“Ah, I get it.”
“There’s nothing to get. I just wish he had the decency to be courteous about it.”
“No, you’re pissed because he didn’t tell you and give you enough time to find a date of your own. It’s not a game Evangeline. No one wins the breakup by moving on first.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Evangeline’s denial was marked by her sudden interest in her cake, staring down at it and avoiding any further eye contact with her friend.

“Alright guys, get together so I can take a picture of all of you with your dad.” They crowded up around Miles and, after some jostling and possibly pinching (Evangeline couldn’t tell with the shrieking if someone was really hurt or just being loud) the kids finally posed for her camera. “Great! I’ll get copies made for all of you and we can put them in your rooms.”

“Mommy, come be in the picture with us!” Hanley beckoned her mother forward.
“Honey, I’m taking the picture.”
“Aunt Ren can take it, can’t you,” she said turning to her aunt. Renata, looking at Evangeline, shrugged her shoulders and came forward to take the photographer’s place.
“Renata,” Evangeline hissed at her friend, smile plastered over her face to hide her discomfort.
“What was I supposed to do, tell her my hand’s broken?”

Evangeline made her way over to the group and slide in next to Miles. They stood together, keeping as much space between them as possible and tried to avoid touching.
“Mommy, you’re doing it wrong! Here, let me show you!” Hanley thrust her arms out behind her brothers and held them each while striking a pose. “Now you do it!”
Evangeline sighed but Miles put his arm around her and pulled her closer, all pretending to be a big, happy family. The camera still caught the tension on their faces despite their attempt to pretend otherwise.

“Gemma, wake up! It’s time for school!” Hanley was excited for her first day. Gemma, having been there before and being somewhat of a loser couldn’t care less and stayed snuggled in her bed until the last possible minute.

In the other room, both the boys were awake and commemorating Halden’s first day with a good old fashioned pillow fight.

“Can I do my homework in here with you?”
“Gemma, this is the boy room. You have your own desk.”
“But you’re really smart and can help me. I want to get on the honor roll like you.” Flynn sighed and went back to his own homework. Maybe if he ignored her, she’d go away. Instead, she plopped on the floor of his room and began going over her math problems.

“Eight times one is eight. Eight times two is sixteen. Eight times three is…is…twenty six. Wait, no.” Sounds of vigorous erasing permeated the room.
“Gemma! I’m trying to concentrate!”
“I’m being quiet!”
“No, you’re not. You’re doing your tables out loud!”
“Oh, I am? Sorry.” She didn’t realize that she was muttering the problems. Saying it out loud just seemed to help her remember. “Eight times four is thirty four. Ugh! I’m never going to get this.” Flynn got up and stomped out of his own bedroom, slamming the door behind him.

Leisure day arrived and with it, Miles’ turn to have the children for a holiday. They had the day off of school and his team didn’t have a game so it made perfect sense for Evangeline to take them into the city.
“Okay kids, be good for your dad okay? He’ll bring you home this afternoon before dinner.”

“Wow, look at you! You’re getting so big.” Miles hugged all of his children and they sat on the porch stoop, trying to decide how to spend the day.

“Let’s go to the zoo,” Hanley shouted.
“Honey, the zoo is in Bridgeport. We wouldn’t make it home in time.”
“I’m hungry, can we get lunch?”
“Flynn, we just had breakfast!” Halden corrected his brother. “Can we go to the park?”
“That sounds perfect. Let’s go to the park and then we can go get lunch. Sound good?”

The day was beautiful with light, fluffy clouds in the sky and just enough of a breeze that no one got too hot. Halden, interested in sports like his dad, worked on his throwing arm while Flynn and Hanley ran around the playground.
“You’re getting much better already,” Miles praised his son. He was proud that, even though he didn’t get to spend much time with them, his children looked up to him.

Checking his watch, he realized that they needed to start the drive back towards the suburbs if they wanted to get lunch and be back to Evangeline’s on time. They piled into his car and started the drive back towards their mother’s home, stopping at a local diner for lunch.

“Alright everyone, let’s get you guys home. Hanley, c’mon.”
“Wait daddy, I see something.”
“Hanley, stuff in alleys aren’t for little girls, let’s go!”

“Oh, you’re so cute. C’mere little kitty. Hi.”

“Wanna sniff me?” The tiny kitten that had been hiding beside the ice bin timidly stepped forward hunkered down waiting to see what the 2 legged thing would do. It smelled nice and moved slowly. Maybe it wouldn’t try to kick him. And then, before he could scuttle away, the big thing picked him up. Oh, it’s actually being gentle. And then he felt a warm hand running soothingly along his back and all thoughts of squirming and escaping melted away.

“Hanley, what is that?”
“It’s a kitten daddy.”
“I can see it’s a kitten. Why are you bringing it in the car? It could be sick.”
“It’s lonely. It needs a home.”
“Your mother is going to kill me.”

“No Hanley! We don’t need a cat. We have four little kids living in this house to make enough of a mess.”
“But mommy. He was cold.”
“It’s summer, he was not cold.”
“But he would be, when it’s not summer anymore. Please, he needs a family. Everybody needs a family. Can’t we be his?” Evangeline sighed and acquiesced. She knew she would regret it later.

“Did you know that Hanley can’t read?” Miles stood with Evangeline in the front yard, sharing any information that she needed to know.
“Are you questioning my parenting Miles? Of course she can read! She reads all the time.”
“No Evangeline. I’m just concerned. We were driving home and she misread a billboard we drove past.”
“Oh.” She winced, realizing that she was once again, making assumptions and getting defensive without a need to. “I’m sorry. I’ll make her an appointment with the doctor and let you know how it goes, okay? Thank you.”

She spent the remainder of the afternoon playing Frisbee with Halden in the front.

Meanwhile, Hanley was introducing the newest member of the family to the house and giving him the grand tour. She pulled him close and planted a kiss on his ear. “Don’t worry, you’re safe now JuJu. We’ll take care of you and make sure you’re always warm and have food. And when you get old enough, you can sleep in bed with me.”

We have a cat now. A stinky cat that will shred our furniture and attack our feet. Needless to say, Renata was not happy about JuJu’s adoption. After a few weeks though, it became clear that, even though he was a stray, JuJu was well behaved. He hadn’t clawed anything to destruction and had acclimated to the litter box without issue.

“Can you believe I’m going to be a mother to a teenager in just a few days?” The two friends sat on the porch, enjoying their dinner and watching the sun set over the hills of St. Claire.
“Me too. Gemma won’t be far behind. I certainly don’t feel old enough for it. Pretty soon they’ll be dating and we’ll just be the batty old ladies that live together.”

“You and Emerson haven’t worked things out?”
“We see each other here and there. We spend time together with Gemma but, I don’t know. The few times we went on actual dates it just felt…awkward. He’s almost the father of a teenager but he’s still out partying at night, in the club while I sit home clipping coupons and doing laundry.”
“That doesn’t mean you can’t work things out. Opposites attract and all.”
“I want someone to share life with, not struggle to have something to even talk about. Aside from our daughter, we don’t share anything. Moving on, what about you? Any dates lately?”
“Here and there. I think I’m just happier alone.”
“I think you sti…”
“No, conversation over. Let’s clean up and get the kids to bed.”

Hanley’s doctor’s appointment revealed that she was near-sighted and needed glasses for seeing things far away. It was why she had misread a billboard but had no problem reading books she was holding.
“I look stupid.” Her lower lip quivered and Evangeline could see she was trying not to cry.
“You’re beautiful.”
“All the kids will make fun of me and call me four-eyes.”
“Don’t you ever let anyone else make you feel less than because you’re different. You’re special and perfect just the way you are.”

“Wow, Evey, you look beautiful.”
“Um, thanks Miles. Where’s Pauline?”
“She uh, she couldn’t make it. She had a work thing.”
“Oh, that’s too bad, maybe next time. You were right about Han. Thank you for telling me or who knows how long the poor girl wouldn’t have been able to see right.”

“Why can’t we be friends,” Gemma was confused as Rose Malone turned down her offer to play.
“Because she’s my friend,” Flynn explained. “Get your own.”

Rose and a few other of his schoolmates would be aging up with him and starting high school soon. He’d have just a little bit of time to enjoy school without his annoying cousin following him everywhere. Maybe when she became a teenager, she’d be less obnoxious? Yeah, that’s what I’ll wish for.

Chapter 6.8                                                                                                                                                     Chapter 6.10

Hey look! Another chapter and it's not even time skipped.

Character Bio: Evangeline Avendale

Name: Evangeline Avendale
Traits: Heavy Sleeper, Athletic, Grumpy, Natural Cook, Ambitious
Favorites: Hip Hop, Firecracker Tofu, Spiceberry
Aspiration: Celebrated 5-Star Chef

Evangeline grew up with the perfect role models: her mother, a cop who was tough and brave and a father who was absolutely devoted to his wife and children. Evangeline wanted nothing more than to prove that she could take care of herself, just like Camille could. Believing that being strong and independent means intimidating people, Evangeline is thought to be a mean bitch and those that rub her the wrong way have evidence to prove it. Only those that push past her hard exterior realize that she's actually a wonderful and loyal friend.

Evangeline's desire to have a love as strong as her parents and a husband devoted to her results in a marriage straight out of high school. Neal, not on board with his wife traveling across the country to attend university, discovers that his wife refuses to compromise. The fact that she's only going to make her parents, especially her father, proud was not lost on her husband but he gave in because he wanted her to be happy. While in college, Evangeline began making bad choices and eventually began an affair with a fellow student.

When she returned home for a semester break, Evangeline was confronted with the place that Neal holds in her parents' hearts and chickened out of coming clean about her indiscretions. With the mess mounting around her and the lies piling up, can Evangeline own up to her mistakes and find true happiness or will she continue this double life she's leading and hope no one is any the wiser?