You can find the first part of this story, Greener Grass, in my right sidebar under I Like To Write. ***** Dave swung his '06 Chevy Impala into the garage and hit the remote to close the door behind him. He sat there behind the steering wheel, listening to the car engine tick as it cooled. His briefcase was propped on the seat next to him. It was hot in there. Suffocating.
You can find the first part of this story, Greener Grass, in my right sidebar under I Like To Write.
Dave swung his '06 Chevy Impala into the garage and hit the remote to close the door behind him. He sat there behind the steering wheel, listening to the car engine tick as it cooled. His briefcase was propped on the seat next to him. It was hot in there. Suffocating.
He slid out of the car. He hoped beyond hope that Tamara would be inside, that she would've paid Megan and thrown some chicken on the grill for dinner. But he knew that even if Tamara had hopped a flight, which she couldn't since her purse was still at home, there was virtually no chance of her making it back so soon.
Anyway, she didn't sound like she was raring to return. So selfish, he thought, as he dropped his keys in their usual spot next to the mail on the sidebar. So damn selfish.
He heard the kids through the open sliding glass door. They played on the wooden structure Dave had assembled a couple summers before.
Megan glanced at them from a swing as she checked her cell phone.
He padded quietly into the bedroom, hoping to buy himself a few more minutes by not making his presence known. He changed into shorts and a soft, old Badgers t-shirt. He went to the refrigerator, willing a cold beer to appear. But, they hadn't had beer in the house for a few years now. Not since Tamara dried out.
Grabbing a Coke instead, he gulped it and watched the scene out the window, standing back a bit, so as not to be seen.
Megan was a cute girl. Long, dark hair as shiny as polished leather. A nice body. A young body. A chin that was a little horsey. But deep brown eyes that reminded him of the doe he'd killed with a bow and arrow last winter. Not that he was a big hunter. Some guys from work had gone to deer camp, so he'd gotten a license, borrowed some gear and tagged along. Good schmoozing, he thought.
He'd actually felt a little sorry for the deer, though. He hadn't killed anything since. Not even a spider. Tamara laughed at him, in fact, for transporting daddy long legs from their bathtub to the safety of their deck.
But, hell. Whatever glint of pride he felt for having slayed a hundred pound animal was outweighed by the soulful eyes that had gazed at him before he'd shot it.
Megan stood and sauntered to Eli, who was lying at the bottom of the slide, his face crumpled and red. The shrieks hadn't started yet. There was always a delay of about thirty seconds after he hurt himself. And then he screamed as if someone had lopped off his index finger, when in reality he'd only scraped his shin or stubbed his toe.
She crouched and examined his elbow. She kissed her hand and patted the abraded spot.
Eli yelped like a puppy tied to a bike rack, even longer and louder than usual, until Megan took him in her arms and rocked him back and forth.
She was good with the kids, Dave thought. He was lucky to have her help out.
He went outside, walked across the prickly grass in his bare feet. Caitlyn glommed onto his leg. He rubbed her head, flashed her a grin. "How'd it go?" he asked Megan.
"Good," she said, standing. "Real good." She gave him the report then, of who'd gone to the bathroom, what they'd eaten for snack, the injuries sustained.
"Thanks," he said. "Thanks a ton. Your money's on the kitchen table. It's twelve an hour, right?"
She looked at the ground, shoved her cell phone into her pocket. "It's actually fourteen for three kids," she said. "That's my new rate. Sorry."
"Oh. Of course, yeah. That makes sense. More kids more dollars." He pulled his wallet from his pocket and peeled out another ten.
Megan said, "Will you be needing any more help while...this week?"
Rubbing the whiskers that had started sprouting a few hours ago, he said, "Yeah, that'd be great." They arranged for her to come the following day and he watched her walk toward the house for her bag, watched her until she blurred into the shadows of the house.