I woke up this morning and had a feeling it was going to an interesting day, but had no idea it would turn out this way.
Mmmmm. Is that coffee I smell? Bacon? Toast? No way. You’ve got to be kidding me. Joe never fixes breakfast. I sit up in bed, take a nice long stretch, yawn, throw the covers off, stretch again, yawn again, rub my eyes, and head off to the bathroom to get myself cleaned up.
Still half asleep, I stumble — actually it’s more like I drag myself downstairs. And lo and behold what do I see? Joe and Alex in the kitchen fixing breakfast and the kitchen is remarkably clean.
“Mommy, mommy!” Alex exclaims, as he runs over and grabs hold of me, “me and daddy are making you breakfast!”
“Wow! It smells so good! Thank you very much!” I tell Alex as I stoop down and give him a great big hug and kiss.
“Good morning,” Joe says, “or rather almost afternoon.”
“Good morning.” I say with my head slightly tilted to the right and that half shy smile.
“I was wondering when you were going to wake up.”
“Yeah, I don’t know why I’m so tired.” I plop down in the chair at the kitchen table. ”I’ve felt really drained for a couple of weeks now.”
“Maybe you should go to the doctor. It has been a while, since you’ve had a physical.”
“Mommy, are you sick?”
“No honey, I’m fine. Just a little tired is all. But I will tell you what I am. . .”
“Hungry! All that food you and daddy fixed smells so good it’s making my stomach grumble.”
“Alright, hold your ponies,” Joe says.
Breakfast was wonderfully delicious and Joe and Alex even cleaned the kitchen, while I sat back and relaxed. It’s Saturday and I’ve got a ton of things to do. You know all the things you could do during the work week — cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, running errands.
One good thing it’s Joe’s weekend with Alex. Joe and I decided when Alex was born that we have mommy weekend, daddy weekend, and family weekend. The mommy and daddy weekends allows two things: 1) We have individual bonding time with Alex and 2) It allows the other parent to take of him- or herself. And of course our family weekends are always the best. Our last family weekend, we went up to Hunter’s Run and camped. On Saturday we went horseback riding and did some fishing. I’m not real big into fishing, but Alex and Joe love it; so I let them have their moment. Sunday we went for bike ride before heading home. It was perhaps one of the best family weekends we had in a long time, simply because it was Alex’s first time camping, horseback riding, and riding his bike without the training wheels. I think I smiled more than Alex and maybe even Joe put together.
“So, what do my two favorite men have planned for the day?”
“The zoo!” Alex shouts.
“I love the zoo. I wish I were going!”
“Nope! Nope! Nope! It’s just me and dad,” Alex says as he grabs hold of Joe’s hand. I poke out my lip and Alex in his infinite wisdom and diplomacy comes over, takes my hand, and says, “We can go next week, if you want.” Now there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is my child. That’s an action and line right out of my playbook. Man, I’m screwed. How in the heck am I going to guilt my child.
“Thanks, sweetheart. You guys better get going it’s already late.”
“Joe, please don’t let him eat too much junk food.”
“Yes ma’am. I’ll see you later.”
“Bye! Have fun!”
I watch them as they back out of the driveway and drive on down the street. Now for me to get myself together and get busy as the day is quickly getting away from me.
First stop the cleaners — easy, in and out.
Second stop the grocery store. Green beans, chicken breast, spinach, salmon, bread, milk, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, raisins, bananas, orange juice, apple juice, lunch meat . . .
As I’m driving back home I feel as though I forgot to do something, but can’t figure out what it is. Get home and put the groceries away and get to cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, dusting, and laundry. Well, I think it’s pizza is on the dinner menu.
I decide to go lie down, as I am just so horribly tired. It’s as though I’ve been up for days without having gone to sleep. I really have to make that doctor’s appointment Monday. I think I feel asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. After about an hour my eyes popped open and I remembered what I forgot. Damn! Forgot to pick up Joe’s suit from the tailor. And of course their not open on Sunday. However it does perplex me why Joe doesn’t want to pick it up himself, so he can try it on and make sure the alterations were done to his specifications. But that’s my husband. I stopped questioning.
As I’m heading back out, Joe calls to let me know he and Alex are on their way back from the zoo. ”That was quick.”
“Yeah, he got sick and started throwing up.”
“You didn’t let him have a lot of junk food? Did you?”
“No. He only had a soft pretzel before got sick.”
“Okay. I’m on my way to pick up your suit from the tailor and I will be right back. Take his temperature when you get home and get him started drinking some fluids.”
I get to the tailor and I’m in and out, which is really unusual. But I’m not complaining. I got a sick child I need to get back to. I call Joe. “I’m on my way back, but before I do I’m going to stop off and get a few things for Alex’s upset stomach.
“What was that?” Joe asks.
“I don’t know.”
“Sounds like a car backfiring”, I say.
“No. That’s gun fire! Go take cover! Now!”
“Okay. I’ll call you back when I’m safe!
“No! You stay on the phone with me!
I look around and I’m not that far from the tailor, so I head back there. I see people running and scattering all around me.
“Oh my god, I think someone was just shot!”
“Hurry! Take cover!”
Bang! Bang! Bang!
I feel this stinging sensation and feel something warm running down my back. I fall to the ground. ”Amanda! Amanda! Where are you? What’s going on?” I hear Joe calling my name, but for some reason I can’t answer. I try to get to my feet, but my body won’t cooperate. What’s wrong with me? I try to call out for help, but nothing comes out. I’m lying in the street and I pray someone will come help me, but people keep running past me.
All of a sudden it’s really bright and I can’t see and the people look like shadows as they run by me. I reach for the phone and put it up to my ear. I still hear Joe calling my name, but I still can’t speak.
I love you.
All of sudden it’s dark.