Lesson 6 – London’s Calling (redone)

I hope you give me a second chance and read my redone 2nd post for Lesson 6. After some great feedback and my nagging thoughts about how I should of done better. I sat down and re-worked my post.

Again, I’d appreciate your wonderful comments, critique and feedback. This is the only way, I/We can be a better writer :) Thank you again, and now, I’d better get cracking on lesson 7. The joys of being a writer :)

~~~~

We’d chosen our apartment, signed the lease and Peter had a rush on all of our legal documents. Everything was going as planned.

Yet, as I drive down the tree lined streets, the empty boxes that fill my back seat to the roof, weren’t the only thing that were bugging me. I knew, I should have made two trips to pick up the moving boxes, but to save time, I chose not to. Although, in all honesty, they were the least of my problems. Today, is a big day and another step in this whole moving process for me and that step is.

Speaking with my parents.

Even thinking about it now, makes my heart beat a little faster and my palms sweat. I never used to get this way before Peter, but over the past few years… Everything had changed. My car came to a rolling stop in the middle of the my parents’ driveway. I turn my keys and wait as the aging rattling engine shudders to a halt. I sit for a minute, taking a couple of deep inhales and long exhales. And I gave myself a much needed pep-talk. I can do this, it’s just my parents. Come on Jen, it’s now or never. Open the door, swing out your legs, set your feet on the ground.

My car door creaked open, my feet found the asphalt and I step out. Gosh, my heart feels like it’s going to pop out of my chest… Why do I get so flipping nervous? I know why… My parents, that’s why. I look at their house and compare to my little home, theirs look’s like a mansion. I wipe my clammy, sticky hands along my sleeve’s and walk to the front door, knocking it twice.

The door opens and with a bright smile, I said, “Hello, Carson. Are my parents home?”

“Good Morning, Miss Jenny,” he smiles, “Your father is on his way out and your mother is in the garden.”

He opens the door a little wider for me and I step inside, “Thank you Carson.” I walk towards the foyer and the grand round table, set my purse and keys down. I heard Carson close the door behind me.

“Would you like for me to inform your parents that you are here?” He asked.

I smile, “It’s alright, I”ll find them.” I head for the hallway that lead to the garage, stopping briefly to look at an old family picture, my eyes regard the once happy scene. Why can’t things ever stay the same, why? I contemplate, as I walk the few steps until my hand reaches out and with a quick push down, it opens. Seeing my Dad still there, I felt a little relief, because I didn’t want to do this twice.

“Hi, dad.”

“Hi, Jenny.” He was holding open the trunk of his car, while his other hand grips his golf bag. He looks at me and says, “How come you’re not at work?” He shakes his head. “Oh, don’t tell me Peter’s late with the mortgage payment again?”

I found myself wringing my hands, I answer, “No, that’s not the issue and No, we’re not late with the mortgage. That’s not why I’m here.” I shake my head and exhale. Why hasn’t he forgiven Peter? Yet, when it came to helping Chad, Samantha’s jock of a husband, my dad never seemed to bat an eyelid. All of my memories came flooding back and I avert my gaze from his quizzical stare, to my feet instead. I could hear my dad hoist his golf bag into the trunk, then close it.

“Your mother is in the garden, pruning her beloved flowers.”

I knew this was not going to be easy, what was I thinking? My dad still holds Peter accountable for losing his job, even though it wasn’t his fault. I hear my dad open the car door, I glance up and he already had one leg inside, “Dad.” I called out.

“What?”

The scowl on his face said it all. Clenching my teeth, I stare at him and said, “Actually, I need to speak with both of you.”

He raises his arms, “Can’t this wait? I’ve got a game of golf waiting for me.”

Rolling my eyes, I wonder why does he have to be so melodramatic, turning away I answer. “No… No, it can’t.”

“Fine.”

I watch as he let out a big huff, then slams the door and follows me out to the garden.

Stepping out onto the large patio, I was greeted by a wash of bright reds, pinks and white roses. Their sweet aroma gently wafted up my nostrils, enticing me to take a few more deep inhales of their fresh perfume. Scrunching my eyes together, I could see the top of my mom’s sun hat breaking through the clusters of rose bushes. Sighing, I walk over to where she stood, “Hi mom.” The brim of her hat turns to face me.

“Hi, Jenny.”

My mom kept fussing with the roses and I scan the garden and all of its beauty, “The roses look great this year, mom.”

“Aren’t they… Although they’re beautiful every year.”

She didn’t even look at me when she answered. She just picked up the basket and moves on to the next rose bush, “Mom!”

“Yes?”

She snips another rose, placing it gently in her basket and I tentatively took a step closer to her, “I need to talk with you and dad.”

She flicks her hand at me, “Your father is off playing golf and I have to finish trimming the roses,” kneeling down, she cut off some wayward branches. “Why don’t you go and pour yourself some iced tea and when I’m done, then we can talk.”

Twisting my head, I could see my dad with his arms crossed, watching us, “Actually, mom. Dad’s waiting on the patio and this is important.”

“Okay, but make it quick, I don’t have all day.”

My mom, lifts up her basket, then walks back to the patio, while rambling on about all the jobs she had to get done that day. Gosh… She thinks that getting her nails done, followed by a pedicure, a massage and afternoon tea at the golf club are jobs! I need to tell her some home truths. How at times she could be shallow and if she ever did what I did in a day, her immaculate nails would be snagged and short. Her pedicure chipped and most certainly there would be no time, for the frivolities of afternoon tea.

I plop my frazzling body down in one of the wrought iron chairs. My mom continues to fuss with the roses, dad pours himself some iced tea, then he asks, “Pat, Jenny, would you like a glass?”

“Oh, no thank you, dad,” I dry my sticky damp palms along my jeans, “I’d rather just get on with it.”

“Yes, please,” My mom answers. She looks directly at me, motioning with her gloved hands, “Well… Get on with it and what’s so important that it couldn’t wait?”

I could feel my heart pounding in my chest, all I want to do was to break free from this awkward nervousness that ransacks my whole body. Speaking with my parents was never easy and with a deep breath, I blurt out, “We’re moving to London.” There, I’d said it, thank heavens. I sighed a huge sigh.

My mom busied herself with the flowers and asks, “Why on earth are you moving to London, Ohio? It’s a good for nothing, two-bit town.”

My dad looks just as uninterested as he sips his tea, while his other hand clumsily fiddles with his cell. Great… My parents don’t care. Glancing down, I notice a stray thread on my blouse and pulling at it, I carry on, “Um, no, not quite Ohio, mom.” I turn and survey the garden, glad I had been blessed with a green thumb, the only talent my mom shares with me. “We’re moving to London, Great Britain.”

My dad splutters, as tiny droplets of tea, lands on his shirt, “You’re what!”

My mom, always cool as a cucumber, set her pruning shears on the table, looks at my dad and says, “Oh, John.  Calm down she’s kidding. You know she’s always had a flair for the dramatics, just like you. Isn’t that right Jenny? You always love to be dramatic… Don’t you.”

I couldn’t take their dismissive tone, I ball my fists, “I’m NOT kidding, we are moving…” How could I tell them, I dreaded the move too… “And we’ve already signed an apartment lease, we’ve even sold our house.” Looking down at my feet, I let the tip of my shoe shuffle at a stray rock, “We’ll be leaving in four weeks.”

Jumping out of his seat, dad yells, “Another country! What an absurd idea,” his glass, spilling more droplets of tea over the ground, “And in four weeks, nonetheless?” He shakes his head, “This has to be one of Peter’s dumb schemes, no doubt.”

“You’re in debt again! Is that why you’re moving?” My mom lifts up her tea, taking a quick sip, “I could tell from the first time we met Peter, he was no good for you.” She set her glass back down.

My hands, gripping the armrests, while I say, “You’re so condescending, both of you. NO! We’re not in debt and before you ask, dad…” I slip my hand into my back pocket, pulling out a crisp white envelope, “I told you, Peter would pay you back.” My dad stares at the envelope in his hands, then at me. My mom rolling her eyes, her mouth parts, ready to say something, I didn’t let her.

Argh! I hate the way you treat Peter. He may have some hair brained schemes at times, but he loves me and Jack. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for us.” I stood up, I could feel my heartbeat race, my hands quivered.  Walking across to the hedge, reaching across the top I snap off a rose from its branch. Placing it close to my nose… I inhale, allowing its alluring scent to calm my fraying nerves. “Mom, Dad… Peter’s not go –”

“Oh, I beg to differ.” My mom interjected. “He’s taking you and Jack away from us, to another country, at that.”

“– Mom, please. Try to understand. Peter was offered a fabulous job and after much consideration, we decided he should accept it. It’s going to be an adventure and Jack can’t wait to visit all the cool places there.” I turn to face my parents, they should be pleased that I’m moving. Now, they won’t have to be ashamed of me for marrying beneath their standards, even if it was six years ago.

She stands, brushes the creases from her cotton pants and said, “You and Peter go, leave Jack here with us. You’ll be living in an apartment for crying out loud, no yard for him to run around in, it’s always gloomy and it rains all the time, who wants to live there. I don’t, that’s for sure.”

“What!… Wow, mom. You’ve surpassed yourself this time. Firstly, I’m not asking you to live there, and leaving Jack here, with you!” I slam my hand on the arm rest, “More like, leave him here for the servants to raise him, NO WAY.” I look at my dad, hoping he could see the hurt registering in my eyes and he did.

“Patricia, that was rather harsh, don’t you think.”

My mom tilts her head, bends down, picks up her basket and pruning shears, then says, “John, I’ll be in the garden if you need me.”

My mom completely ignored me. She turns and marches away in the direction of her rose bushes. I knew I shouldn’t of bothered coming here. They don’t care. All they care about is themselves, golf, roses and stupid luncheons. I felt sick, I eyeball my dad, then glare at the back of my Mom’s figure as she walks away, “Mom! Really, that’s all you have to say? My emotion’s were getting the better of me, I scrutinize my dad and I’m trying hard to hold back my impending tears, “Dad, please?”

“I’ll speak to your mom. This is and will be, quite the adjustment for all of us.”

I smile, “Thanks dad, but there’s not much time.”

He nods and says, “I know.”

I turn to look out where my Mom was, I yell, “Bye mom.” I receive no reply. My shoulders slump, “Well, I’d best be going, there’s still so much I’ve got to do.”

I shuffle past my dad and back inside, grab my purse, sling it over my shoulder, snatch my keys from the bowl, and march toward the front door. A few seconds later, I hear my dad calling after me. Wonderful. What does he want now? I turn to face him. He approaches me with his arms open wide, wraps them around me as he whispers in my ear, “It will all work out, you wait and see.”

Even though the hug lasted for a few seconds, it meant the world to me. I mumble, “Thanks dad.”

We break the embrace and he said, “We’ll talk soon.” Then turns and heads down the hallway to the garage.

I open the front door, head to my car, unlock it and slump down in my well worn seat. The noonday sun was at full height and its rays break through the treetops, dazzling me. I raise my hand and shield my eyes, my other hand delves into my purse, trying to find my sunglasses. Instead, my fingers wrap around a long flat shape. No!… It can’t be? I pull it out from my bag, flip it over and read the words which had been quickly scrawled upon it.

Please keep the money, use it for when you decide to come home for a visit. I love you Jenny, I always will, Dad.

I drop the envelope onto my lap, bury my head in my trembling hands, as my tears freely flow, I mutter, “I love you too, daddy.”

Copyright 2014 Freckles. All Rights Reserved.

About freckles

I'm a redheaded Welsh lass from Wales - Great Britian. The past nearly 10 yrs I have lived in the US and at the moment live in Wisconsin while my hubby is getting his masters. Me, I am trying to finish my 1st draft of a novel while running around after my 4yr old and 2 yr old as well as doing this course :) I love cooking, writing. Crafts, movies and music. I have 7 children & 2 granddaughters!! I know I look too young - Well, I am lol (well not quite 18 yrs old..anymore lol)
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8 Responses to Lesson 6 – London’s Calling (redone)

  1. Anna2987 says:

    Love this! Great character development. I could picture everything as I was reading it. The dialogue flowed nicely, as well as the inner monologue and I could feel the nervousness that Jenny felt.

    The only thing I noticed were the capitalizing of mom and dad. If you are using “My” in front of either mom or dad, it doesn’t need to be capitalized. The only time you need to capitalize those is when you are using them as a replacement for a name. (Therefore making it a proper noun.) For example, this part: “I felt sick, I eyeballed my Dad, then”, dad wouldn’t need to be capitalized unless you removed my.

    Great job, freckles! You always have such interesting posts and varying story ideas. It’s always refreshing to read your work. :)

    • freckles says:

      Thank you, Anna. I have gone back and changed the capitalizing of mom and dad :) as well as a few other words that I wrote as past tense, instead of present tense. Now, it should be better :)

      Thank you again for your great encouraging comments. I acutally wrote this from what happened to me. Although my story is not as dramatic LOL.

  2. Hana says:

    Freckles, this is a lot stronger than the earlier version. The backstory you provided gave enough history to show why Jen struggled so much with her parents. Very well done. It was easy to read all the way though and did not drag. I got a clear picture of the parents lifestyle – especially liked the description of the roses. Jen’s voice was well developed and it was clear that she was the one telling the story.

    Minor thing, but maybe look at the verb tenses. At the beginning of the story she talks in present tense and then settles into past tense once she gets to the garden.

    Nicely done.

    • freckles says:

      Thank you for taking to read the redone post :) I have gone back and edited all my dumb past verb tense words, to present tense (hopefully I got them all) Writing or editing while dealing with my older kids drama, from thousands of mile away, doesn’t help LOL. I appreciate the great feedback you gave me. Now, I’d best get cracking on lesson 7!

  3. carrots says:

    Aww… Such a sweet story! I loved it. Great work, Freckles!

  4. ester.s.mingot says:

    I agree with the others, Freckles, it’s much stronger and it flows nicer that the previous version. Well done!
    Writing in the first person is quite different from using the third one, I agree. It all suddenly becomes more personal, right? I personally like it more. It’s more intimate and deep I’d say.
    Well done!

    • freckles says:

      Thank you. I agree with you, writing in first person is not the easiest for me, but I’m glad I stuck with it and re-worked it.

    • freckles says:

      Thank you :) I’m glad this one turned out much better than the first one. Writing in first person is so much different than third, and for me, it took a little bit of getting used to!

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