|The Man Who Came for Breakfast
Author: Carbon Polygon PM
A father who's forced to keep a distance pays a nice little visit to his family. One-shot.Rated: Fiction K - English - Family/Friendship - Words: 1,551 - Favs: 1 - Published: 08-06-12 - id: 3048379
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It was another bright and sunny day, with nothing but the wind outside blowing in through the windows as an accompanist to the everyday sounds of seven boys bustling around the house getting ready for school.
These mornings, as anyone living in a family knows very well, are never quiet. It's a staple in family life and order, and something humanity takes for granted when school starts. Everyone, moving, like a hive of bees. There was the constant buzz of people moving, while yelling about something or other, and the TV jabbering in the background. Everyone was yelling out something and trying to help one another and themselves all at once.
"Mom! I can't find my other shoe!"
"Look under your bed!"
"Mom! I'm missing my essay! I'll be creamed if I don't find it!"
"Aw, no, this isn't looking good...my uniform is all wet! Why can't I iron?"
At around seven thirty everyone was gone, except for the youngest, who was still dwelling in kindergarden. With the aforementioned older six gone, the house was no longer teeming with people and so the youngest was left to sit on the couch and wait for twelve o'clock, when he'd leave for school and his mother would leave for work. Well, on the couch it was, for now.
Now that everyone was gone, and the house was quiet, the mother of a total of twelve had actually started to drink her coffee, that she'd made half an hour ago. Realizing it was now cold, she went to go and dump out the cup and refill her mug of stimulant.
"Did it go cold again, Mom?" asked her son, now getting on his knees to look at his mother making another cup of coffee in the adjacent kitchen, more or less placed in the middle of the house and parallel to the front hallway.
"Yep. Feet off the furniture."
He swung his legs off the couch and sighed. It'd be another five hours before he'd need to leave, he figured he'd need to do something.
"Can I go read?"
"Sure. I'll have your breakfast ready in about ten minutes, so be ready."
Almost jumping off the couch he scooted off to his room, leaving his mother alone with the faint sound of the news in the background, talking about the current heat wave in the US, as if nobody had noticed it.
Picking up a document, his mother started to envelope herself in the long, droning story that one of her clients was going through. All depressing, for sure. As a psychologist, she was very much prepared for such content. It was like domestication-there were always things on the coattails, something that would be included when the final result came out.
A sudden knock on the door made her come out from her trance. Out of the dark, rainy world of depression. It wasn't dark out-no, it was a bright April morning. Looking at the clock she saw it was only around seven-fifty. Getting up and briefly setting her paper aside, she quickly made her way to the door, expecting a package or the mail, albeit at an unusual time, she noticed.
She swung open the door, and if she was slightly less iron-willed and halcyon, she would've screamed.
"James! What in God's name are you doing here?"
The man who she saw once she opened the door was the last person she expected to be there, and at such an hour!
"Why are you surprised? I mean, I would think that you would be falling all over me. I came to say hi!"
She was containing her surprise rather well, as that was a talent of hers obtained both naturally and out of her profession. Smiling, she said, in almost a laugh.
"Well, don't be a stranger. Come in, by all means, but a little heads up-your son is here."
"Is he? How's he been?"
"I don't assume you've-"
"No, no, of course not, James. Why should I, when he's still only six?"
"Well, just making sure you're doing the right thing. Not of course because I doubt you would, just checking."
Just as the woman was letting her visitor in, her son came bumbling in the room, with a book under his arm.
"Mom, who's that?"
The two looked at each other for a few brief seconds, before his mother replied to him,
"Oh, this is Mister Watson."
Her son looked up at him, as if seeing something the older two were not aware of.
"Oh. Hi! I'm Chet. Are you from Mom's work?"
"Oh no, I'm just a friend of hers. You look just like her-you have her eyes. Do you have siblings?"
"Yeah! I have eleven! Can you believe it?"
"Wow, eleven? That's something! The most I've heard of is four! Did you know I had only one?"
"Cool! You must have had a quiet house!"
"Oh no, my big sister and I weren't always quiet."
Smiling a bit, the woman went to go and make coffee for her visitor. She heard in the hallway her son and his father (unbeknownst of course to her son) chatting away like old friends. How odd, she thought, that her son didn't seem to notice her visitor's British accent, or even his incredible resemblance to his own father.
After making a mug of coffee for her visitor, she went into the living room, where her son had dragged their visitor. She nudged her visitor and handed him the mug.
"Ah, thank you Catherine."
She sat down next to him, but not necessarily close to him, for their son's sake. Her son and his father were still talking to each other. She realized then that he was very good with children. His energy, combined with his constant amicable personality and open heart were just what she loved about him. How tragic it was they wouldn't be married, at least, not for a while.
One thing was confirmed between the two, of course. Catherine and James agreed not to have an affair outside of the relationship they themselves were in. Having come from harsh and embossed morality-strong families, they'd never dream of doing something so unchaste. Perhaps they were not married lawfully, but emotionally, it could be said that they were indeed married. It was hard living the way she did, with still seven children to take care of in the house, but it would all be worth it in the end. All of her children were strong academically, and the last name "Peters" always referred to a strong-minded leader in the school. After all, wasn't everyone of that name somewhere in the Student Council? Catherine has often told James how much her family was respected. James was a very patient person, and never seemed to mind hearing about the success of her children. As a psychologist, Catherine was always happy to tell other people things, and more over, be optimistic, and for once, feel happiness that wasn't really forced or dragged out into the open like Amaterasu in ancient Japanese mythology.
It was around eleven o'clock when James left (for a hotel). He'd be back, that much Catherine was sure of. They'd all had breakfast, and it was now time to get Chet ready to go to school. As the two of them got into the car, Chet had said,
"Mom, I really liked James. He's cool! He's a doctor like you! Will he come back? I wanna see him again, 'cause he's awesome!"
Smiling, she said, looking at her son from the front seat,
"I think he'll be coming back again, yes. No need to worry kiddo. Buckle your seatbelt."
As he slid the belt over his chest to let the buckle go in with a satisfying click, he said,
"I'm glad, 'cause he's a lot like me!"
Now Catherine certainly couldn't contain her optimism, which was like a rainbow over a dewey meadow.
Yes, he is, she thought, pulling the car out of the driveway.
Just a quick thing I came up with at two in the morning. The story behind this is, the kid's parents met as a symposium a couple years (ten) after Catherine (the mother) had eleven children with her first husband, whom died of leukemia. After a year with James (the visitor/father) they had Chet, who was more or less an accident. In this story, James went to see Catherine for the first time in a couple years, although keep in mind he makes efforts to see her, and for the most part he can get away from his job as a medical doctor to see Catherine. They aren't totally separated, because they're "emotionally" married (hence why they don't see anyone else). So they'll get married at some point, probably once Chet moves out.
Want to see what else happens? My main story Dissonance is set fifteen years later. :)