A Chapter by nici_shahan
Created: March 08, 2017 at 04:00 pm
Upload Type: Chapter, G (All)
Category: General/Other | Drama | Sad
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My Own Hell Chapter 3
Today was a go back to bed day, she thought sleepily as she walked back into the bedroom after dropping Jase and Jenna off at school. The tea she had earlier had done nothing to the sleepiness that overcame her now. Yes, she agreed with herself in a small heated conversation she was currently having with her exhausted self. While also arguing that she had a whole list of errands to get done before the kids got home from school that day.
Saturday was the Annual Cowboy Ball, a charity event that Justin‘s company donated to yearly. The proceeds went to local fostercare organizations. Since Justin was in upper management he had to go to represent the company.
Jessica didn’t mind getting out of the house and dressing up. She was very excited to get a night out without the kids. The only problem was she had yet to go buy an outfit for the charity event. Being a hyper procrastinator, she hadn’t decided on what to wear. The even wasn’t fancy but it wasn’t casual either. She was torn between a county style dress and cowboy boots or tight wranglers and a country shirt finished with cowboy boots. The only thing she had decided on was cowboy boots. Scouring Pinterest for ideas had only added to her list of possibilities of possible outfits. It was too late to order anything; fortunately there were many stores in Houston to find western clothes to fulfil any of the possible choices she had found. The only problem was making the final choice on the style of outfit she wanted to wear.
Unlike her procrastination gifts, Justin was the complete opposite. Always on the ball, being prepared weeks in advance for meetings, projects, and events. It drove her crazy his ability to be prepared for a trip days before they left, while she was still scrambling to get her and the kids packed just a few hours before they were scheduled to leave. His help was always offered but she never accepted it, accepting help was never her thing, always preferring to do everything on her own. Stubbornly always refusing help, who she was trying to prove too she didn’t know.
He had bought his outfit weeks ago, as soon as he had received their tickets to the event. It was washed, pressed and currently hung up in their shared walk in closet waiting to be worn. Now she just had to decide. She wanted to look as good as he would, worthy of being on his side. Justin would look stunningly handsome, and she was positive she would be fighting the women off of him. Putting off buying her outfit, even after all the research she had done, had made the decision making worse. Her problem, which she would admit too, was being over critical to her own appearance. Never feeling worthy of being his wife. His dark looks overshadowed her light features. Watching him, sometimes she found herself jealous of his natural good looks; no one could deny his strong striking looks, or his perfect form.
She knew they looked well together, her shortness made it so her head tucked perfectly into the crook of his shoulder, his black hair set off the red in her auburn hair, his hazel eyes made her blues ones sparkle, his olive skin made her own pale skin shine with a healthy blush. They were perfect together. His only imperfection was the slight hump in in the middle of his nose from one too many broken noses from a wild childhood, while hers was straight and petite, matching her petite figure and face. His thick bushy brows highlighted his deep eyes and her manicured brows framed her large eyes. Both shining with only love for each other. There was no other person for either one of them; their eyes only saw each other. Her low self-esteem when it came to comparing herself to him was unnecessary, but yet it still lingered when events came up. Would she look nice enough? Would she look like a mom? Would she be labeled “house mom”? Would she look frumpy compared to the other wives who had executive careers? The questions the plagued her the most was…was she enough? And how long would she be enough for him.
Honestly she mumbled to herself as she crawled into her bed, wishing the warmth that was there when she had climbed out that morning was still there. No heat lingered only the indention of where two bodies once laid, their limbs entwined to become one. She heaved the thick velvet blanket over her and snuggled into the satiny sheets and breathed in the musky scent of Justin.
“Just one hour,” she whispered to herself as she closed her eyes, preparing for what she knew would actually be a two hour nap. A smile crossed her rosy lips as she began the descent into dream world. She wouldn’t be needed for at least two hours. Nothing was planned until soccer practice later. Without a hint of guilt she allowed herself to relax and stroll slowly towards the daze of sleep.
Sweet slumber only millimeters away from her, its sweet bliss just barely out of her reach dangled in front of her closed sleepy eyes. She would have grabbed it, fully possessed the slumber it teased her with had the phone not ringed at the same moment. Her body jerked fully awake, she watched her slumber drift quickly away from her closed eyes.
Her hand reached under her feather pillow, searching for the invader of her nap, finding the offender she quickly ignored the call and breathed in the silence when the ringing stopped.
Whoever it was could wait an hour. She’s been up late the night before waiting for Justin to come home from a late meeting. Usually she would have gone to bed to read or lightly dozed off while waiting for him but he had insisted on riding his motorcycle to work and wanted to stop and get a drink with his boys from work to relax after the tense meeting. The nights were getting warmer, the spring air putting the riding itch into him yet again. With the weather being more hospitable to riding, she knew she would have to deal with more late nights of waiting for him to return from a drive around the lake. The favorite ride of his, she had to agree the ride was beautiful, although she never rode on his motorcycle with him; the scenery from inside the car was breathtaking. The air had been crisp and fresh, something not usual when you live in a big city. No smog or pollution clogging up the sweet smell of nature.
On their wedding day Justin’s grandmother told them the secret to a long loving marriage was first never to go to bed fighting and second to always wait up for each other, never falling asleep until they were both home and safe. It was mostly her waiting up for him, his job kept him out late, she didn’t mind knowing he scarificed many things so they could have a beautiful life. Every night that she watched him walk through the door, knowing he’s safe and where he belongs made up for all the tired mornings she suffered through. Last night had been different, something in her kept her awake last night, waiting patiently for him, while watching reruns of Bones.
Getting up from the couch when she heard the familiar click of the lock turning and the slight squeak of the garage door opening, relief had swept through her, knowing he was home safe and alive. It didn’t matter that she had to wake up in a few hours. Besides her small photography business she was a stay at home mom. She knew that the next day was an easy one and that if she wanted to nap after taking the kids to school she would be able to. She was fully aware of how easy her life was. She appreciated everything Justin had done for her; every time he gave up something to make sure his family was well supported and taken care of. She was lucky; so many woman and children didn’t have it as good as her. So many went without, while she had everything, she knew the losses and difficulties that many moms and their children went through.
Jessica had been raised by a single mom until she was fourteen, when her mom had finally married her step dad, life had gotten easier for the both of them. Her mom was finally able to relax and be home. It had been the first time she hadn’t had to take care of herself. It was her own experiences that made her love being a stay at home mom. Knowing the feeling of getting herself up in the mornings as a child, making her own breakfast, lunch, and dinner because her mom had to work two jobs in order to support her. She knew loneness the pathetic comfort of the television on long lonely nights. Jessica could understand the embarrassment and longing to have mom come eat lunch with her and show up to Bring a Parent to school days. It was her own memories that kept her from complaining about always doing the laundry and dishes. Jessica was happy to do them. She was delighted with house work. She enjoyed keeping the house clean. She looked forward to having lunch with the kids at school. She was the first to volunteer for activities. She lived her life knowing the opposite side wasn’t as wonderful as the side she was on.
Sleep lumbered on in the horizon, but it was quickly disappearing over the hills of new thoughts of going on a quick jog. A slow quick jog, more of a power walk. Sighing deeply her hand found its way to her slightly rounded belly, it was once flat, before children had rounded it out and graced it with tiger stripes that she wore proudly. Was there less roundness she wondered with her eyes shut longing for her brain to shut off for a moment so she could take that morning nap she had been so excited for. Impressed with the thought of it being slightly firmer she thought back to the jeans she wore the day before, hadn’t she mentioned to Kim that she needed a belt to keep her jeans up?
Well if that wasn’t motivation to get up and take a jog around the neighborhood she didn’t know what would be. She threw the warm loving blanket off of her and pulled herself up slowly; letting her feet dangle above the cool floor. One last longing thought of staying in her bed, a nap would have been so nice, she pushed herself out of bed and let her feet collide with the cool floor. An invigorating jog would be better.
Happy, and now fully awake she pulled on her favorite pair of yoga pants and matching tank and quickly got ready to jog out the front door before her excitement escaped her and the bed called her back. Its voice calling out to her, begging her to cuddle back up under its soft hug. Promising sweet rewards if she just listened to its lies. Returning to the bed, slowly, the thought of a nap colliding with the ambition to exercise, she gently slide her hand under the covers searching for her phone that she had tossed carelessly to the side. Quickly finding it hiding under the folds of the blanket, she looked briefly at the number and to see if they left a message. The number was local, but she’d never seen it before. Seeing that they left a voice message she quickly decided to check it later. The number didn’t belong to the school or Jakes office, most likely a telemarketer. She shoved the phone into her bra, a perfect place to hold it while she straightened out the bed, making it look less like a slob slept here and more like a hurried teenager made it. It was good enough for her. If she didn’t get out that door soon she would never go.
Heading out the door her brain nagged at her about the phone number. The day felt off, her enthusiasm for jogging was decreasing by the second as she tried to figure out who called her. Just check the voicemail she told herself, shaking her head at her hesitation to find out who called. It wasn’t a photography client; they would have called the studio number or contacted her through email. Roughly she sat down on the front porch stairs, phone in hand and stared at the phone. Did she miss an appointment? No she had checked the calendar this morning; there were no appointments for the rest of this week. Just some emails that needed to be sent out to Jenna’s class concerning the Valentines Party, soccer practices and and a photo session later in the week.
Just check the stupid message, then return she could return to her excited mood and get to jogging she chided herself at her stupidity. The phone vibrated in her hands, scaring her slightly back to the reality. CHARLIE flashed on the screen. Eyes rolling, she mused quickly about answering the phone. What did her father in law want this early in the morning and why was he calling her? While never close with Charlie, Jessica adored her mother in law, Susan. Susan was everything Jessica wanted to be, laid back and calm. Nothing got to her. Life was only lived once was Susan’s motto. Jessica had never seen Susan get angry, over whelmed, or lash out. All her grandchildren begged to visit her. Susan couldn’t be called a pushover; Jessica had seen her effective way of getting the grandchildren to behave. And it worked. Jessica had tried everything to get the kids to do chores, earn TV time, or to just listen. They fought back, pacifying her for a minute and then returning to their normal behavior. With Susan they behaved…all the time. Jessica repeatedly admitted she was jealous of Susan’s ability to get her children to listen.
Charlie on the other hand was completely opposite. Built up energy that could be either positive energy or negative energy. He had high expectations of all his children and his grandchildren. When expectations weren’t met sparks flew. More than once Jessica had to remind Charlie that Jenna and Jase were her children not his and he needed to back off. She knew Charlie met well, he had come from a poor family were hard work was the only way his brothers and him had a roof over their heads and meager food in their bellies. He grew up fast never allowed to be a child himself. He saved every last penny, tucking it away for what ifs of the world. Jess often wondered how Justin had turned out so relaxed and undaunted by anything that came up no matter how high the stress level was. She also often wondered how Susan stayed married to Charlie, but yet somehow they had a good marriage; love flew between them and one way or another her sweet calm nature balanced out his overbearing one.
In her own marriage she was the one with built up energy, although never expecting her children to behave a certain way, besides being polite and having manners, Justin was like his mom. Living life as it went, never going against the flow. Firmly believing everything happens for a reason. If they hit every red light on the way to somewhere making them late she’d be in an uproar but not Justin, he would be calm, stating that there was some unknown reason they hit every red light. Justin was her peace and little spot of calm. His easy nature brought out the calm in her, with him by her side she knew everything would workout; life would go as it should.
It was too early to deal with Charlie she decided as she pushed ignore, once again, on her phone. Instead she decided to just listen to the voice mail from the unknown caller and then get on with her jog, after all summer was coming up and what would be a greater way to welcome summer than with a new smaller swimsuit, maybe she thought quickly a two-piece swimsuit. New energy flowed through her, energizing her muscles once again.
Let’s do this she thought to herself as she hopped into in a slight jog down the driveway, her phone now snugly secure in the armband and earphones put in. Music blasted into her ears as she calmly motivated herself. I am strong…I am able to run 3 miles…I am capable of doing this…I am healthy her self-talk went through her brain as she jogged slowly up the street, waving at the her friend Kim who was pushing Jacob, her 1 year old son, in his stroller. She must have gotten back from her Mom and Strollers walking group.
Kim often tried to get Jessica to go with them, but her children were long past strollers and the one time she had gone she found it boring and slightly uncomfortable to be the only mom there without a child in a stroller. So she nicely passed on all the invites, promising that one day she would go again. Praying as she made the promise that Kim would forget she promised to go again.
The music in her ears was interrupted by a phone call, peering at the screen; it was the same number from before. The nagging in her brain returned as she lifted her hand to ignore the call again. When she got home she would listen to the message. Instead her hand gained its own strength and pushed accept.
“Hello?” she breathed quickly into the phone, not quite winded from her short block long jog. Her stomach twisted under her words. Something was wrong, her brain screamed, her chest felt heavy as she waited a mere second for a person to respond on the other side.
“Is this Justin Pooles wife?” a man replied from the other side of her new IPhone7 that Justin had surprised her with last week. Still new enough she hadn’t had a chance to go buy a case for it. Each time she used it she saw it falling from her hands and shattering on the ground. Today she would go get a case, its sliminess made it seem fragile and she was a certified klutz.
“Yes, this is Jessica Poole. Can I help you” she replied quietly. Stopping her walk, at the corner of her block, turning to look down the street at her home. It was an inviting look, her home there at the end of the street, in the middle of the cul-de-sac. So many block parties had happened there, right in front of her home with the red door. The door had to be red when they had picked it out. It didn’t matter that the door was made of Oak, and that the color of the door had been beautiful before. Not the door had to be red, it had to standout against the gray stucco walls and darker gray of the trim. She insisted that there had to be a focal point, something that stood out and said “Hello” when she pulled up to her home every day. That something was her red door. She loved that door, every day she saw the door and love would flow through her and it welcomed her home.
“This is Dr. Layton, here at University Medical. We have your husband here…” his voice drowned on. Kim was still outside with Jacob. She’d have coffee, maybe a jog wasn’t the best idea right now, she thought to herself as her energy started to crumble. Coffee did sound great right about now.
“I’m sorry could you repeat yourself, I thought you said University Medical?” Jessica asked the caller as she started back down the block towards Kim. Realizing she had missed everything the called had said to her while she was visualizing a large mug of steamy coffee.
“We have Justin Poole here. He was in an accident. We need you to come to University Medical.” The voice on the other side quickly repeated himself to her barely listening ear.
“You must have the wrong person. Justin is at work,” she told the caller, her brain starting to get fuzzy. Her steps slowing down as she tried to make her way to Kim. Four more houses to go she said to herself. Yes, coffee sounded great at this moment. Coffee would kick start her again, while preferring tea, sometimes coffee was a much needed substance. She longed to smell the spicy scent of coffee and taste the strong bitter taste.
“Mrs. Poole, Justin was in a motorcycle accident on the corner of Riverview and Cedar. He wasn’t wearing a helmet. He was life flighted here and arrived here fortyfive minutes ago. I tried calling you and left a message. I’ve also contacted a Charlie Poole. He said he’d contact you.” The voice slowly talked. Motorcycle accident? Did Justin ride his motorcycle this morning? Surely she’d remember if he had ridden it this morning. He always told her. Didn’t he say he’d be back this afternoon to get it for an early ride? She was sure she had heard that, even with the earliness of their conversation she knew he had said he would return for the motorcycle.
His motorcycle would be in the garage, right where he put it last night when he returned from his drive with the guys. No helmet, he always wore a helmet. Safety first he always quoted, when the kids complained about wearing their helmets with their bikes.
“Can you hold on please,” she whispered into the phone. Her feet picked up speed with the phone tightly grasped in her fist, she sprinted to the end of the cul-de-sac. She heard Kim calling out to her and her name was being called from the phone. His motorcycle would be in the garage. This was an awful prank that his buddies from work were doing to her.
Breathlessly she skidded to a stop in front of the garage and punched in the code to open the door. She watched impatiently as the Gray garage door slowly opened. Each second painstakingly adding years to her young thirty one years.
“Mrs. Poole are you there? Mrs. Poole?” the voice on the phone called out to her. The dam motorcycle will be there, parked next to the far wall, far enough away so that when the Mercedes doors open there was no chance of the them hitting the bike. It would be there, she urged the air around her.
Her heart dropped, the air left her lungs, and her brain turned off. The black helmet sat on the shelf with no bike in the garage. The helmet glared at her, accusing her of not making sure Justin wore it. Her vision clouded and the world moved under her. This was a joke, an awful joke.
“Yes?” she whispered as she brought the phone back to her ear.
“I need you to come to the hospital immediately,” the caller’s voice sounded like it was in a long tunnel, thousands of miles away from her. She couldn’t understand what was happening, or was she trying to deny that this was happening.
“Is he…” she whispered, her voice caught in her throat.
“No. He’s responsive. He’s got some cuts and bruises. He’s on his way to have a CT scan and x-rays.”
“So he’s okay?” she gasped, holding her breath, her hand catching the wall of the garage to hold herself up.
“He’ll survive. I need you to come to the ER.” He restated. Calmly. Almost Impatiently.
“I’ll be on my way in just a moment.” I talked into my phone, the ground staring up at me. The empty spot in the garage laughing at me.
“Please drive careful. It won’t make any difference in his injuries if you get here in twenty minutes or forty minutes.” He cautioned her.
“Thank you,” she mumbled numbly into the phone as she pushed the red button to disconnect the phone. Her feet felt heavy and she attempted to walk into the garage. They wouldn’t move. Motorcycle accident. Surly this wasn’t happening. Justin was always carful on his bike. Never driving thoughtlessly or reckless.
“Jess…are you okay?” Kim asked from behind her.
“I’ve got to go” Jessica dragged her feet towards her Black Mercedes. Her keys and purse were still in it from taking the kids to school earlier. All she had to do was make her body work.
“Jess… what’s going on. You’re so pale.” Kim grabbed her shoulders.
Jessica felt her knees give way as she fell onto the concrete floor of the driveway. Pain seared through her knees as they made a rough contact with the cement. The pain did nothing to stop the racing of her heart or the vomit that was forming in her throat.
“Justin was in an accident. I’ve got to go to University Medical. Jessica mumbled though thick dry lips. Her mouth was bone dry; speaking was difficult, words refused to form on her lips. Her tongue felt swollen. Her heart raced in her throat. Her brain was cloudy with unformed thoughts.
“What? Wait, I’ll drive you. Just let me take Jacob to Cathy.” Kim exclaimed, helping lift Jessica off the floor.
“No, I’m okay. I’m sure he’s okay. I’ll call you,” the fog from Jessica’s brain cleared slightly, she had to get to the hospital. She knew she should wait for Kim to go with her, but each second felt like hours.
“Well then I’ll just meet you up there.” Kim left, dragging the stroller hurriedly to her house across the street.
Jessica nodded and slowly climbed into her car, her mind blank from anything besides getting to the hospital.
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