A little flash-fiction-fix for my writing soul today. (Re-worked an older story)
My wife’s smile was way too big for my liking when she walked out the door.
“Hmph, Girl’s Getaway.” I slumped into the couch, grabbed the remote, and eyed the clock. Just twenty-four hours. Four PM to Four PM…she promised.
“ Mikey peed his pants,” six-year-old Kaitlin announced.
“Just a minute.” I stared at sweaty men running back and forth on the basketball court.
“Daddy,” Mikey called from the bathroom. “I need panties.”
“Ahhrgh!” I jumped to my feet and threw the remote on the couch with a bit more force than necessary. “They aren’t called panties, Little Man.” I fished around in the top dresser drawer and handed my three-year-old his Batman underoos.
“Great, Mikey. You woke Gracie.” His sad eyes ridden with the guilt I threw on him didn’t even faze me. I pushed past him to the baby’s room. “Ewww, that’s the nastiest smell ever.”
“Nope, she’s done worser,” Mikey whiffed the air; self-appointed baby poop expert.
“Mommy puts the nasty diapers in the outside garbage,” Kaitlin informed me when I stuffed the offending item into the can under the sink. In my absence, she commandeered the remote and contentedly watched some Disney channel stupidity.
I pulled the diaper out and wrapped it in a plastic grocery bag. “Kaitlin, come take this outside.”
Her mouth dropped open.
I shook the bag. “Now, please.”
“Do I look like Mom?”
Plopped back on the couch, I changed the TV back to the game. A sideways glance at the clock made me groan. Five o’clock…seriously? This is going to be the longest twenty-four hours of my life.
“I’m hungry, Daddy.” Mikey stood between me and the TV.
“Move Mikey. Oh man! You made me miss the shot at the buzzer.”
“He missed,” Kaitlin pouted from the other end of the couch. “Game’s over. Can I watch something now?”
“I’m hungry, Daddy,” Mikey persisted.
“Fine,” I tossed the remote at Kaitlin. It hit her shoulder but I pretended not to notice. She sulked and turned the TV off.
I managed to pull together a meal of mac-n-cheese and peanut butter bread. Load ‘em up on carbs. That should fill them up, right? Then I noticed the note on a casserole dish in the fridge with instructions for the meatloaf.
“Now I find this?”
“Mom told you she made dinner.” Kaitlin noticed the red hot burner and smoldering pot holder. “Daddy, look!”
“Cotton pickin’!” Trust me; I wanted to say something way worse than that.
The hours between six and eight ended up being total chaotic mayhem and the kitchen testified to the fact. I did what every good husband does…I turned off the lights and walked away. Four down, twenty to go. Ugh.
~ ~ ~
Amanda raised her hands in passionate worship. Tears flowed freely and soaked the front of her shirt. Her three best friends sat close enough together their hips touched. There’s no personal bubble for this foursome. Besides…it’s a girl thing.
Everything the speaker shared touched Amanda to the core. After an extended time of prayer, puffy-eyed and naked of make-up; the girls stopped at the store and loaded up on chocolate, Chunky Monkey, and diet Pepsi. Heaven forbid they drink sugary soda.
“If we’re ever going to wake up for the morning session, we better go to sleep.” One of the girls pointed to the clock. They were shocked to see it was two in the morning.
Amanda curled up close to her best friend in the middle of the Queen-sized bed. They whispered and giggled long after the other pair snored softly. One day was all she had and she was going to enjoy every moment. The last time she saw the clock before she drifted off, it was four AM.
“Twelve more hours,” Amanda yawned.
~ ~ ~
Back at home:
I rolled over and was greeted by bright-eyed Mikey.
“Can we have pancakes?”
“Do you have any idea how little I slept without your mom here?”
“Guess not,” I groaned and rolled out of bed.
“Your panties are twisted, Daddy.”
“Boxers, Mikey. I wear boxers. You wear underwear. Gracie wears diapers. Mommy and Kaitlin wear panties.”
“Never mind.” I grabbed my phone when it vibrated and read the text while I stumbled out to the kitchen: Love you so much. Being refreshed and blessed. “Well goody for you.” Sarcasm dripped from my lips.
I ignored the kitchen disaster I fully planned to leave for Amanda, and it only got worse by the time I finished my pancake efforts.
My phone vibrated off the table with several messages at once. Enticed by the sudden steamy texts from Amanda, I set aside my bruised ego and cleaned like a maniac and prepared for my wife's arrival home.
That day I discovered my hidden househusband and I’m not too proud to say: Girl’s Getaway changed my life.