Dear Diary #45

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Dear Diary,

It’s the start of a new month but you wouldn’t believe it was almost summer with this weather! Last month we really had it all; snow, rain, wind and sun and May seems set to be the same! The weatherman said there was a chance of snow on high ground tonight and for ever where else heavy rain.

I’ve had to turn the heating back on, put extra blankets on the beds and make sure the children have jumpers again. Hopefully, this is the last we’ll see of winter though and we can move on to some decent sunny days. Though, this is England and we don’t get many of those as it is!

Today itself has been a quiet, overcast and a normal Tuesday. I packed the husband and kids off to work, then did some tidying up, the dishwasher and the clothes washing. I took the dog out for a walk close to lunchtime and talked to some of the neighbours; That new family at number seventy-two seem nice, Mrs Black has finally gotten her autistic son in a special school and the Summers have a new puppy. It’s a little red spaniel!

Then I made tuna pasta for lunch and watched the news. That poor baby with the brain trauma has died and there’s been more issues with immigrants trying to get into a America. Afterwards, I got my laptop out and did some more job hunting. There didn’t seem anything new up since Friday morning. There was one job that was an after school club but it was only two days a week and not much money.

Three o’clock came and it was time to go and pick up the children. Thankfully, they had both had a good day and we got back in time for the afternoon game shows to start. It started raining too.

Later, I made fish fingers for tea and hubby came home, tried and complaining about his boss. I did my caring wife bit then put the kids to bed early. We had a quiet evening of TV before going to bed ourselves.

Tomorrow, I’m meeting some old friends from the church’s new mum’s group for lunch. I’m so grateful as it’ll break up the repeating circle of weekdays that I seem to be stuck in. Perhaps, one of them can suggest some ideas for helping me out. Heaven knows I need a change of pace!

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Booties

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I only started knitting for something to do whilst I was waiting. I got into it and made far too much! I give a few things away to other mothers but I didn’t want to stop making things now. So, I opened an online shop and created a homemade business.

Backwards Time

stress-2883648_1920She was just so far behind with everything that she might as well be time travelling back into the past. The work was piled meters high on her desk, so that it looked like paper sculptures and her computer calendar chimed every minute with another reminder about something.

She did all she could in the work time then went home to a dysfunctional house. At least her husband had remembered to pick up the kids from their after school clubs today. There was still a meal to be made, clothes washing to do, tidying up and from out of the chatter of her ten year old, a school project that was due in tomorrow and he hadn’t started yet.

There was no escaping the lack of time here either but she couldn’t easily stop like at work. Somehow and with family help, she got everything done and went to bed at midnight. The dream she had though was strange. She was walking somewhere, the colours were all washed together and she could hear a loud clock ticking in the distance.

There was a town but all the people in it had clocks instead of faces. She could hear them speaking to each other and they didn’t find it as bazaar as she did. Still that loud ticking continued. She entered a city and found all the buildings made of clocks and the noise they created was deafening. The people they didn’t seem to care because they were totally clocks themselves.

She watched them hurrying past. They had long thin black legs with shoes at the end and long black hands with black gloves and the clock face was the body and the head together. They seemed to talk in a tick tock language which she couldn’t understand. Then she saw a clock dog being walked by a clock person and it was all just too much to handle.

Hurrying away, she left the city and found herself in the colour washed landscape once more. There was a mirror before her, standing alone and seemingly waiting for her. She went up and looked at her reflection…but a clock face looked back at her instead. Screaming, she awoke from the dream and sat in the darkness wrapped in twisted sheets.

Her husband shifted beside her and awoke, questioning what was wrong.

‘Look at my face!’ she demanded.

‘I can’t, it’s dark,’ he replied.

She got up went into the bathroom and slowly stepped before the mirror. Her own face looked back at her. Breathing deeply, she shook off the dream but decided that tomorrow she was going to ask for some help and perhaps then she could live in the now and not in the past.

Trip #100WW

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He wouldn’t have liked his strangers going through his things and putting them on display. He was a private, independent and adventurous young man with a quiet talent. Those strangers probably thought they were doing a good thing; does anyone recognise this bag and contents? Handed to police (in random country). It only made me more heartbroken though because it meant he had truly gone. He wouldn’t leave his things like that. I suppose I should be happy to get them back but I’d rather it had been him instead.         

(Inspired from; https://bikurgurl.com/2017/11/08/100-word-wednesday-week-44 with thanks.)

Bus Jam

Aerial Photography of Cars on Road Intersection

I slide the sleeve of my black jacket up and checked my watch for the countless time then looked down the road. The huddle of people who were at the bus stop with me turned to look too. I caught a glimmer of exception on some faces but that quickly faded when they saw that there was still no bus.

Trying not to grind my teeth, I stepped back into the crowd which was a mixture of school children, parents, older adults and workers but I was the only man dressed in a business suit.

‘There should have been two buses by now!’ an angry tubby woman shouted.

‘Three,’ an older man corrected, ‘the eighty-five hasn’t turned up yet.’

‘Mummy, I’m going to be late for school!’ a small girl in a grey skirt and blue uniform jumper cried out.

I looked over. The mother, an African woman with a towering head scarf on, lengthy brown coat and a long, very brightly coloured pattern skirt looked tried. She was half leaning on the double buggy which had months old twin boys almost stacked on top of each other. Behind her, six more children-four girls and two boys, wearing the same school uniform, played on the grass.

The little girl tugged her mother’s coat. The woman muttered and sent her to play with the other children.

Someone tutted at my elbow and I turned back to see a supermarket worker scrolling through his phone.

I checked my watch again. Time hadn’t moved. I grounded my teeth together, caught myself and stopped.

Looking up I saw cars lining the road. Their drivers tapping the wheel or dropping their hands out of sight. One woman was even putting on lipstick. Then the traffic began moving again, the lights further ahead had changed colour.

‘Look a bus!’ a high school girl cried.

Everyone twisted their heads to look and there just peeking around the corner was the front of the bus.

People flew into a flurry. Pushing each other, getting out their purses, money, bus passes. The children raced back from the grass, pressing against their mother and the pram. Someone dropped their phone, but the sound of it hitting the pavement was lost in the babble of voices and mixture of movement.

The traffic crawled to a stop. The crowd sighed like a deflating balloon and became still again.

‘Which one is it?’ the old man asked.

‘I think it’s a seventeen,’ the same girl answered.

‘Pah! Not the one I want!’ he grumbled.

It wasn’t the one I wanted either but it would get me into the city centre of Manchester. I checked my watch again and the hands had crept around. With a sinking feeling, I realised no matter what I was going to be late to my new job again. I needed a car! Or maybe a motorbike? Perhaps, a bicycle would be better? At least my mother wouldn’t have to worry about me as much with one of those.

The traffic moved on and finally the bus pulled up. Everyone charged up as the doors opened. People getting off and on mixed together then broke free of each other. I squeezed on, waving my pass then I saw the bus was totally full.

There was nowhere for me to go as there was a blockade of people before me. I tried to look over them to see if there was any seats, but there appeared not to be. The way to the stairs was also blocked, a mother had her three children pressed into the stairwell.

‘I’m sorry but you won’t get that pram on here,’ the bus driver shouted.

I turned, my hands slipping over the cold blue metal handrail. The African family were trying to get on. The mother was rocking the buggy back, causing the front wheels to lift and her sea of children were all ready on and huddling against the other passengers.

‘Hey, excuse me! No room! Stop!’ the bus driver shouted loudly.

The woman looked up, balancing the front wheels of the pram on the floor of the bus.

‘You’ll have to get the next bus. I’m sorry.’

The woman said something under her breath that sounded like it was in a different language. She slowly reversed the pram and yelled at her children in English, ‘get off! Come over here! Tilly, come!’

The children, like tumbling puppies got off the bus and clustered around her. The little girl who really wanted to go to school burst into tears. Two of the boys started fighting and the other girls walked back to the grass again.

The doors of the bus closed and we left the family and a few other people behind us.

I clung to the handrail, though there was no need really, the press of bodies against mine was enough to keep me stable. I shut my eyes tried hard not to think about who’s fingers had just brushed my hip and who’s elbow had bumped into my bag.

Taking deep breaths, I thought about over things, like what I was going to say to my supervisor, what I might grab for lunch today, if I’d get the guts to talk to that pretty blonde a few desks away from me.

First though, I had to get through this.

Little Boy

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Emmy woke hours before the alarm went off. Coming to the familiarity of her bedroom, she wondered what had disturbed her. Laying in the early morning light, Emmy’s dark hair spread across the empty pillow next to her, she realised she was not alone.

‘Mummy?’

A soft child’s voice whispered in her ear.

A shiver rushed up her spine and Emmy felt frozen to the bed.

‘Mummy?’ the voice repeated.

‘Hello?’ she finally breathed.

‘Are you awake?’

‘Yes,’ Emmy answered.

‘Me too. I couldn’t sleep anymore.’

Emmy squeezed eyes shut and took a shuddering breath. She felt a small, cold hand on her bare shoulder and a breath against her face.

‘Can I stay with you?’ the voice whispered.

‘I wish you could,’ Emmy gasped, feeling tears in her eyes.

‘Why not, Mummy?’ her son asked.

‘Because you’re gone,’ Emmy chocked out.

‘Gone where?’ the small voice quivered.

‘To heaven.’

‘Oh.’

‘But it’s okay…’ Emmy trailed off as the tears consumed her.

‘Don’t cry, mummy!’

Emmy felt small arms wrapping around her and a head, pushing against her shoulder blade. She brought her hand up and patted the space were she felt the hands interlocked around her throat.

‘I have to go now,’ her son muttered.

Emmy fought back her words and bit her dry lip.

‘I’ll come back. They don’t mind sometimes. Goodbye, Mummy.’

‘Goodbye sweetie,’ Emmy burbled.

She felt the duvet move slightly to the side and the arms around her go. Emmy blinked away tears and finally rolled over. The other side of the bed was empty.

Bye Bye Baby

Empty Crib

She sat in the rocking chair with him all wrapped up in the blanket. She hummed softly then began singing the lullaby even though he was quiet all ready. Clutching him tighter to her breasts, she touched his short curly black hair, feeling the softness of it. She muttered that he was a good boy.

Getting up slowly, she went and placed him down in the crib. Resting her hands on the cool wood, she shut eyes for a moment and when she opened them again, she looked down. A bundle of empty blankets meet her sad eyes and in that moment she remembered her baby had been dead for years.

 

Mother’s Day

Mom, Mother, Mother'S Day

Hurrying out of the snow blizzard and into the safety of the supermarket, Zoe paused to dust off her woollen coat. Catching her breath and noticing her glasses starting to fog up, she tried to get her thoughts together. Peering outside, she saw the snow flurrying down and landing on top of an already thick blanket of white. People were quickly walking by with umbrellas and winter clothes clutched tightly around them.

Loud voices turned Zoe’s head and she looked over to where green plastic shopping baskets were stacked up. She saw two thirty-something women with a number of young children around them where having a conversation about the sudden change in the weather and the early closing of the schools.

Zoe moved over to them and grabbed a basket from another stack. Avoiding a three year old boy, who was staring up at her with huge blue eyes, she ducked into the clothes section. A very pink pyjama set with butterflies and the words Goodnight, Sweet Dreams catch her attention. She stopped and picked up the sleeve to feel the material. It was soft as she rubbed it. They didn’t have her size or mum’s.

Wandering off, she drifted down a few aisles till she ended up looping back to the Mother’s Day section. It was tucked just next to Easter and the four shelves looked sadly empty. Zoe checked out the wilting potted plants then the three different boxes of chocolate. There were four wines to choice from and then a selection of bath stuff.

That’s it? Zoe thought then stopped herself from crying it aloud.

Glancing about desperately, she wondered where else the Mother’s Day stuff could be, but could only chocolate eggs and rabbits. Deciding nothing in front of her would do, Zoe walked away and went to the entertainment section. There, past the games, she looked at the DVD’s and picked up a rom-com that had come out last year, but she knew mum hadn’t seen yet. Browsing through the others, Zoe didn’t spot anything else.

She headed on to the next aisle where a woman with a baby was looking through the magazines. Zoe stopped at the books and picked up an interesting looking one. Her mum wasn’t into historical murder mysteries. She put it back and grabbed another about a cheating husband. It wouldn’t do either. She looked at a few more then decided on a book at a woman getting her dream of opening a bookshop and starting her life over again.

Zoe put it in the basket then decided to head to the wine section. She had her ID with her, so buying a bottle wouldn’t be a problem. Arriving at Wines Of The World so declared by the big sign over head, there were three couples of different ages selecting wine and talking. She squeezed past the first couple, who were looking at an Australian white wine and the second couple who were scrutinising rose wines. Hoovering around the third couple in the red section, she tried to decide what to get.

There wasn’t anything that looked like mum drank. Not waiting for the couple to move off, she first went to one side of them then the other and looked at the dark green bottles on the shelves. After a few moments, she changed her mind and walked into the soft drinks area. She grabbed a bottle of water for herself then went over to snacks and sweets. There she found a better looking box of chocolates then had been on the Mother’s Day shelf. Putting that into the basket, she wondered what else to get.

When nothing came to mind, she went to the check out and bought her things. Heading out, she was met with a white wash scene of falling snow. Pulling up her hood and watching a handful of people darting inside, she told herself to never again leave Mother’s Day to the last minute.

Dear Diary #19

It’s the start of a new month and boy, am I embracing it head on and arms out! Returned to the gym this morning and tackled the running machine again. Still a bit nervous on it, but once I’d got the rhyme and the beat of my music right I went for a full twenty minute fast walk. Felt really pleased with that and unlike last time, I didn’t get myself down about the person a few places over from me who was actually going at a full run.

Swimming afterwards was like Heaven. Though I hope the water is warmer up there! When I got home I actually felt more creative and sat down to try and do some writing before husband and baby appeared. I got maybe five hundred words done and finished off the chapter I was stuck on last night. Small steps!

Breakfast was a mad rush then it was just me and B. She’s starting to get a fat face and I swear she’s still forever hungry. Tomorrow, is weigh in day for the both of us. I tried to find out what she should be at for four months, but of course there’s so many factors to fit in there and the average is just an average.

I’m doing really great sticking to the day schedule though, but I’m not sure how much longer I can go without my mid-morning and afternoon TV. I miss Netflix’s too, though hubby and I did finally finish watching Dexter at the weekend. The escape from technology is so hard. I hinted that we need to become nomads a few days ago because I can’t see it being possible any other way.

Hubby won’t have it though. He muttered something about going camping. But with B in tow would I really want to do that? I’m still having a slight problem exposing her to the outside world. I know that sounds really bad, but I’ve not been out with her on my own still. I keep saying I’ll go to the park or the shops or to a friend’s with her, but always at the back of my head there’s this little voice that sounds off.

What if something happens to her or me? What if she catches something or is bitten by an animal? It’s safer inside.

I know that’s insane. Who doesn’t want to show off their first baby? But still…I hope these thoughts got away soon. I saw this thing in my baby pack about post-traumatic stress and how your mental health can be affected by a birth. Perhaps that’s what is and nothing more. I don’t really want to talk about it though, because what if it’s not and I am actually going crazy? I can’t think about it. But seriously, if it doesn’t go away, I’m going to have to do something.

I don’t want to be a bad or dangerous mum. The other day I kept thinking about that poor woman who jumped off a cliff with her hours old baby. She had lots of issues all her life, the news report had said and they didn’t understand why she’s been able to walk out of hospital alone like that. That’s an extreme really though.

Maybe, what I need to do is speak to hubby. I know he’ll tell me it’ll all be fine, but to be honest that’s all I want to hear and my own body back again! B is now crying, so I’d better go and see to her. Then it’s bedtime. Though it feels like I’ve done nothing all day, I’m so tired.

Searching For Love

Heart, Zoom, Color, Romance, Romantic, Red, Close, Love

Emerald tapped her pen against the plastic table and looked around the coffee shop. The distant chatter of people, movement of cups and chairs filled her ears. She lingered on a couple about to kiss in the corner then darted her eyes back to the notebook before her. She’d only written the title so far.

Underlying the words Plans for 2016 again, she sighed and wrote discover self on the next line down. Get back into cycling she scrawled underneath then paused again. Her eyes rose slowly to the couple now making out in the corner. Slyly she watched them, noticing the way their hands touch each other’s sides and face.

What was their life like? she wondered, how had they meet? Would they break up or go the whole marriage and kids road?

Her phone beeped a text and she dug in her bag for it, welcoming the distraction from those unanswerable questions. The message was from her mother. Emerald opened and read, fish and chips for T shall get on way home, what you want?

Smiling, she texted back her order then slipped the phone away again. Picking up her warm caramel coffee, she took a few sips and willed herself to think of more ideas for her list. Instead, she was drawn back to that couple. They were gathering their stuff and leaving. To do what? she thought. It didn’t matter at the end of the day. They were in love and not scared to show it.

Emerald put her coffee and added a few more things to her list. The list one make new friends, she underlined before sitting back again. She turned the page of the notebook and wrote a new title on the bold blue line; what do I want?

Someone to love me and care about me, someone to always be there for me, someone who’ll be my hero, my knight, my light in the dark.  

She paused, pen hovering above the paper as she rested her chin on her hand. Looking out of the coffee shop’s windows, she watched people go by in the street. Her thoughts far away as the image of her knight took shape. She reeled off another few things then looked down at the page again.

Her phone beeped, drawing her attention though she tried to hang on to the growing daydream. Pulling the device out of her bag again, she looked at the reply message from her mum; thanks, I shall get it. Want anything else? Love you lots xxx. Emerald replied back she was fine and she loved her too. Her fingers rubbed the screen and she hoped one day she could be saying that to someone else too, somebody who wanted to be her knight.