Friday, December 18, 2015

Fiction Friday #9: Playground Dad part 3

I started the Fiction Friday series in October to help improve my descriptive prose writing. Perhaps I'll write a book some day, most likely not, but I'm enjoying being creative each week. If you'd like to write along with me, I will have a link up for the series each week. Add a link to fiction on your blog.

Today's story is the third part in a series. Here are the earlier installments.

Playground Dad part 1

Playground Dad part 2

I'm going to drag this out into a 4th part, you'll probably be able to guess why. I ran out of time to write the scene I really wanted to write this week, so this will have to suffice for now. Sorry!

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I’ve just been going through the motions the last month. It’s now the end of July, and Brad is taking Jack on vacation for a full week. With Angela of course. But I try not to think about that part. I focus on the fact that Brad is making an effort. He’s trying to still be a decent father to Jack even if he turned out to be a horrible husband.

It’s Friday morning. I’m walking into work and running through the evening in my head. Brad is picking Jack up from daycare early this afternoon to drive to his parents’ house in Chicago. It’s not much of a vacation, but he’ll get to see his grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. They can go to the lake and maybe the children’s museum. Jack will love that.

I have nothing to do all weekend. I’m really looking forward to some quiet time. I need to relax and catch up some sleep. Being a single parent is really taking its toll on me. Brad only has Jack every other weekend usually, so I rarely have time without him. I typically use those weekends to catch up on cleaning and shopping, so I don’t have to squeeze those chores in when I’m alone with Jack. Now I’m facing the whole weekend alone and 5 evenings next week as well. It feels like a luxury and an eternity at the same time.

I reach the entrance to my office and head to the stairs. I switch gears and focus on my workday. I have only a couple of morning meetings and then the afternoon free to work on my budget proposal. I need to finish it before Monday morning’s pitch with the executives.

A few hours later I’ve finished my meetings and am heating up my lunch in the break room when Melissa approaches me. She’s another financial analyst on my team. We’re friendly, but I wouldn’t really call us friends.

“Hi, Teresa,” she says. “Do you have any big plans for this weekend?”

“Actually, my ex is taking my son on vacation for the week, so I really haven’t planned anything,” I say. “It’ll be my first week without him since the divorce.” Why am I telling her all of this? It’s like I can’t stop myself. I must be lonelier than I thought. “I’m looking forward to just relaxing and enjoying the time alone,” I finish.

She looks a little shocked with my gushing. We hardly ever talk about anything besides work. She takes a moment to think, and then she smiles quickly.

“I’m having a party on Saturday evening,” she starts. “You should come. It’s kind of a backyard barbeque sort of thing. Nick and I have invited everyone we know. It’s informal. An open house so to speak.”

“I don’t know,” I say without really thinking.

“No. No,” she continues. “It’ll be fun. It’s supposed to be beautiful weather. And since tomorrow is the 25th, we’re decorating the yard with lights and plastic snowmen. A Christmas in July theme.”

I resist the temptation to roll my eyes. Christmas in July. Really? But what will I be doing otherwise tomorrow night. Watching a chick flick and eating ice cream out of the carton? Making myself even more depressed? It might be good to get out and do something.

“OK. Maybe,” I say noncommittally. I don’t want to seem over-eager. “I’ll see how I feel tomorrow. Email me the details.”

“Great!” She exclaims. “I hope you come,” she adds before abruptly leaving the lunch room.

Strange. I grab my leftover lasagna from the microwave and head to one of the tables. I read email on my phone while I eat, but I’m distracted. I’m thinking about Melissa and her party, wondering whether I should go. I suppose I need to do something while Jack is away. I should take this opportunity to enjoy myself. Maybe meet a few people.

I finish my lunch, resolving to go to the party. Then I head back to my desk to knock out my proposal before the end of the work day.


To be continued…

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I tried to work on dialogue again this week. I am struggling with that a little bit. I also didn't know how much detail to add about her work. I didn't want it to be boring, but I wanted it to paint a picture as well. 

Again, I welcome any feedback. 

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