Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)
TITLE: Poetic Justice
By Sara Harricharan
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I don’t know why that ad jumped out at me this morning. It is a dream that is far too precious to share with anyone.
Maybe it had something to do with the songs in my head, forever unwritten, or the singing career I’d never pursued.
Six years of raising an adorable, curly-headed son, led to a practiced lack of patience, solitude and sanity.
Enrolling him in first grade had left my heart broken in two on the first day as I watched him hurry up the school steps, Spiderman backpack bouncing as he went. He wasn’t really a bad boy, just needy, like his father.
I threw the paper in the trash before it could stick in my head. I’d given up a great bundle of dreams to marry Todd. He’d kept his end of the bargain by finding a decent, well-paying, part-time job and a nice little house.
A part-time had turned into a full-time, our “nice little house”, evolved into lovely two-story and the charming little baby turned me into an old woman. “It’s poetic justice.” I muttered, pausing long enough to scribble that line on the notepad stuck to the fridge.
Dinner was a few hours away, I’d barely have time to cook once everything else was done. Pouring the last of my tea down the sink, I headed for the laundry room.
I’d heard the banging and scraping of Todd’s usual arrival, but opted to stay with my frying pan and finish the treat I knew he would be hoping for.
He appeared in the doorway and I offered the tray, happy when he helped himself to two slices of fried green tomatoes. “Check in on Spiderman junior and see if he’s ready for dinner.”
Todd grinned. “My stomach is rumbling worse than the whole crew turning out for the morning shift.” He headed for the stairs.
I carried the platter to the table. I couldn’t ask him about the ad. I’d never told him I wanted to sing. Or write songs someone else could sing.
By the time I worked up the nerve to ask him, he was washing dishes, having sent our little shadow upstairs to brush his teeth.
Grabbing a towel, I selected a wet plate, deciding to approach the topic from something innocent. “Todd, what do you think of my voice?”
“Your voice?” Bushy eyebrows scrunched up to his hairline. “What about it?” Concern spilled into his light blue eyes.
“Does it sound…nice?” The question sounded shallow as I left the dishtowel, moving to the other end of the kitchen to put the plate away.
Confusion melted away and he chuckled. “Like music to my ears.”
Right. I took a deep breath. “Speaking of music, there’s an ad for voice lessons in the newspa-”
“The one that’s been there since last week that charges you fifty bucks for ten minutes?” Something crashed in the sink.
I stuck my head in the pantry. “Fifteen minutes actually, nevermind.” Why, oh, why can’t I just ask him?
My creative self wilted as he connected the dots. “You want to take voice lessons?”
I mumbled my answer into a box of cornflakes. A wet dishtowel hit me from behind. I picked it up with two fingers and turned to look at him.
He was smiling. I made myself mirror the image and adopt the same joking tone. “Don’t tell me, you’ve signed me up already.” I threw the towel back, returning to my organizing of cereal boxes.
“I did actually.” Todd sputtered, from beneath the towel. “You start at two tomorrow.”
My brain short-circuited along with my creative self. I dropped the Cheerios, turning directly into Todd, who’d come to see what was so interesting in the pantry.
“Is that too late? I can call and reschedule if you want.” Todd waved a hand in front of my face. “Angel?”
I shook my head. “How did you know?”
He gently steered me out of the pantry. “You’re always singing. I thought it would be a nice treat. Your voice matches your name…Angel.”
I whispered my thanks into his shoulder, mentally banishing the selfish gnome that had kept me bound to my fears. It’s poetic justice…
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