narrated by: Bekah
Our long time friend, Cole London was elected Mayor last month, and a banquet was set to be thrown in his honor. Lucy insisted that Tim and myself had to be in attendance to represent the Law Enforcement and Education Division of South Port.
I own professional attire, but nothing appropriate for an evening event, so we went to Zoe-Gen to get a dress for myself. I haven’t been in a bridal boutique in sixteen years, since I went shopping for my own quiet wedding. I’ve been friends with Lucy for thirteen of those years, since Lainey had just turned one.
It’s our friendship that forced me into accepting the invite. Finding dresses that don’t wash me out or are too long, is nearly impossible. My second motivation was for Tim, he’s hoping to move to Chief at some point, and these events get his name known.
He really hit it off with General John Russo, they both had similar notions on the best way to protect the city. A comradeship, I suppose for being in the protective services.
Our old Mayor’s daughter, Marta Steele is in charge of all events through Wickfield Hall, and Lucy had nothing but nice things to say about the young girl. She set up the seating chart, which put most of the women at one table, and the men at another. Generally I prefer to sit with Tim, but this wasn’t a celebration for me, so I didn’t let it dampen my moods.
I couldn’t help but notice that Marta had seated herself with her father, and Cole at the head table though. I felt that Lucy should have been sitting with her husband, or Marta with the ladies. I also noticed that she gravitated to where ever Cole seemed to be standing.
I hedged around the subject with Lucy, but she seemed to genuinely like the girl, and had no concerns over her husband spending time with her.
On the dance floor, I asked Tim if he thought Marta seemed to be making advances toward Cole, and he agreed. He had noticed the same behavior, but didn’t think Cole would ever cheat on Lucy. No matter the circumstance, Tim can make me feel better. I know that I worry too much, I’m just not sure how I can change that.
Right after Christmas is Tim’s birthday, and this year he turns forty. The girls wanted to plan something special for him, and decided on roller skating in Millwood. I arranged my sister-in-law, Cara to babysit Holden for us, Tim just thought we were going to hang out with his brother, Charlie.
Tim sees his brother every day at work, since they are partners at the Police Station, so I don’t see any of his family very often. There are no issues amongst us adults, but Willa and Rachael don’t get along well. Right when we get in, Willa starts tattling about Rachael jumping on the furniture, and I saw Cara roll her eyes. I realize my daughter can be a handful, but felt that the eye roll is just rude.
I feel like she judges me as a parent, and it grates me, cause she is definitely not any parent of the year. It makes me feel like I spoil our kids too much though, but Tim says it’s in my head. He claims that Willa is just a good girl, and knows that jumping on furniture isn’t polite.
There’s no denying that Willa can be a handful though. She gets upset at the restaurant that she wants to roller skate first, and she doesn’t like any of the food on the menu. Even Lainey is complaining that it will be too cold to skate later.
Tim holds my hands, he always knows when I’m about to lose my patience with the girls. With one glance, he can get both of them to calm down. If he wasn’t here, it would have escalated until we just drove home. I don’t understand how I can control an entire high school, but my own daughters don’t mind me.
I do feel better when Lainey gives a little lip to Tim during the cake. I pretty much hate that my oldest girl is a freshman now, her attitude has gotten worse as well.
Everyone is relieved when dinner is over, and we can roller skate. The girls team up, and leave me and Tim to go at our own pace.
After the weekend, it’s back to our normal routine. Tim works a late second-shift, and I work during the school day, so we just get a few moments together most days when I get home.
I can’t wait until he gets a promotion to move to a better shift, and I’m not the only one. Willa frequently climbs into his cruiser to try and weasel her way to work with him. Tim always pretends like he doesn’t know she is in the car, until he’s driven around the block, usually dropping her off at the front door.
Night time, I usually read to Holden, and tuck him into bed. He shares a room with us, as it’s only a two bedroom house. We looked into moving when Lucy and Cole moved away, but nothing on the market was what we had in mind, or if it was, not in in our budget.
The perk to Tim’s work schedule, is that I get to catch up on my reading. I miss being a librarian, and having all the new books at my fingertips. Though the pay is actually better as Principal.
When I went to bed that particular night, my thoughts were on the upcoming winter break, and spending time with the kids at home. Even when Quincy woke me up barking in the middle of the night, I didn’t suspect anything at first. Sometimes the dog barks for no real reason.
I gathered my bearings, and smelled smoke. In an instant, I was out of bed carrying Holden, and getting the girls from the next room over. We made our way downstairs, and there was no doubt that there was a fire somewhere on the main floor.
We made our way outside, just as the fire department had arrived. I knew it wouldn’t be long before Tim would arrive to the scene, recognizing his own address, just like he was there when I was in the auto accident.
I held it together for the kids until he got there, once he arrived I couldn’t stop shaking.
There were quite a few firefighters that arrived on the scene, Lainey and Willa clung to each other, and Tim tried to find out what was going on without letting go of us.
He was able to find out that the Christmas tree had started the fire.
The living room was gone, there was going to be damage in the girls room on the second floor right above it too. Water damage for both of those rooms, and smoke damage for much of the house, if not all, they said.
One of the firemen was injured, and taken to Metro Hospital. We were put up by insurance at a shoddy hotel downtown, and the next day we went to the hospital to visit the brave young man. I felt horrible about the entire ordeal, though Tim assured me they knew the dangers when they took the job on. This made sense, but when I saw the young man, with his pregnant wife, I couldn’t help but be upset.
I’ve sworn off real Christmas trees for life, and Tim is not fighting me on this. I think he was upset to see the pregnant wife as well. It’s hard to not put yourself in the situation, especially with Tim in his field.
In the end, the damage was extensive, thank goodness for homeowners insurance. But it was going to take time, and we decided to leave the shoddy hotel, and go up the mountains for winter break. Cara offered for us to bunk out in her living room, but their home is only two bedrooms, and there is no space for us.
Tim picked up a fake tree on the way up the mountains, and bought a few presents to put under the tree. This appeased Willa, and Holden was fine as long as he was with me.
Lainey wasn’t as easy to comfort.
When I tried talking to her about everything, she tried to act like it didn’t bother her, but she constantly sulked. All of her belongings are gone, her pictures from the Daddy-Daughter Dance are one thing she’s mentioned several times.
I can’t help but try and fix this. When one of my children need me, I instantly step into the Mommy-mode, and how can I solve this problem. I tell her that Lucy may have extra photos from the dance, but Lainey is right that there won’t be any pictures of her and Tim together. And there isn’t anything I can do about that.
I try to keep Lainey’s mind busy, and pester her until she agrees to play darts with me and Willa. She obliges, but she isn’t her happy herself.
She does play with Holden without being asked, and reads him stories. I’m sure in time, she will begin to accept how things are, but in the mean time watching her so heartbroken, is breaking my own heart.
I’m relieved at least that Willa is doing fine. She’s even more brightened when she finds out that we will be staying with Lucy and Cole, until our home is repaired sometime this spring. I’m hopeful that time with Alice will brighten Lainey.
Notes: First things first, the fire. It took place cause Lainey/Tim got stuck on the vacation lot back in 2013. I fixed it by moving them all out, but their belongings were gone. How to explain an empty house? Fire. I used Hooks Randomizer to see if anyone got hurt, and how bad. Benjamin rolled that he got hurt, but it was the smallest possible way, which was lungs/oxygen problem. Better than death!
I tried finding them a new house, but I don’t like any. So they are repairing their home for now.
Marta is the girl who tried kissing Grant Millett (I posted it at N99 sometime ago) and now she has the hots for Cole, she flirted, and he rejected. Proud of my married men here!
I’ve paid for the CSS upgrade to wordpress, and liking my new abilities! Hopefully nothing is bjorked. I have to manually adjust each post for the search/category page, which is a pita. But I’m not complaining.
Sorry for the long delay, I’ve been swamped. I’ll be catching up on blogs on the next few days. Thanks for reading!