Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 6- Christmas Hope Installment One

How can a person not be excited about Christmas when their name is Natalie?

My name means “born on Christmas day” but I was really born on November 25. Both my mother and my father loved Christmas just as much as I do and most of my siblings have Christmas themed names. We keep up our decorations and a gold, fake Christmas tree all year long. In my house, it’s basically Christmas every day minus the presents.

Some of you may have already read a story that I previously wrote. In that story, I chronicled a year and a half of my life. In that year and a half, I moved from Miami, Florida to Florida, Massachusetts, I discovered that my father was basically murdered, my mom got remarried and I got two older sisters, my older sister, Abby, got married, we moved to New York City, my mother faced her past and I got two more older siblings–this time a brother and a sister,I became a paraplegic, we moved back to Florida, Massachusetts, my mother had triplets, and my older sister, Jaci, got married.

It was a rather busy year and a half, and life didn’t stop moving fast just because I felt like I needed a break.

The summer I wrote that story, I met the girl who asked me to write it. Her name is Charlotte Lily King, but almost everyone calls her Charlly. She just happened to be the stepdaughter of one of Mr. Stewart’s nephews. She also just happened to be moving to Florida, Massachusetts and be a paraplegic. Charlly moved in with me and my family since there is really no other wheelchair friendly house in Florida. While I would like to write about Charlly’s move to Florida and all the craziness her life brought, that’s Charlly’s story to tell. All you need to know is that her stepdad’s name is Laz, Charlly’s biological father’s name is ‘Lou’, Charlly has a younger sister named Becca Lou, a half brother named Jacob or ‘Mini-Lou’ as she likes to call him, and a stepbrother named Matt.

Life did start to slow down a little only to get more crazy. Then the craziest of all seasons arrived. Christmas.

As you can probably guess, Christmas is a big deal in my family and this Christmas would be particularly special. It would be the first we would spend at our new home, Drury Hall, and it would also be the triplet’s first Christmas. My mother invited every one in our family to come even my grandparents, who live in England. She was determined to make this Christmas special.

But this Christmas would be special and would be remembered for different reasons than what everyone had in mind. This Christmas would prove that there was still good in the world and that miracles really do happen.

And that hope helps bind us all together.

**

“Natalie?” My mother asked walking into my bedroom. “Do you know where I placed the ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ ornaments?I bought three for the triplets in September and now I can’t find them.”

“I haven’t seen them,” I said without taking my eyes off the sky. The weathermen had said there was a good chance that we would get a fresh snow this weekend and I desperately wanted to go sledding.

“Did you hear a word I said?” Momma asked.

“You asked if I had seen the triplets Christmas ornaments,” I said pulling my eyes away from the window and onto my mother. “I’ve never seen them in my life.”

My mother gave a mixture between a snort and a laugh and walked towards the door.

“Steve! Have you seen Avery, Love, and Emanuel’s ornaments?”

“It feels like snow!” Charlly squealed as she rolled into my–our bedroom. Charlly had opted to room with Noel and I. The experience was…interesting. Life left like one big sleepover with Charlly living in the house.

“You’re becoming a true Floridian,” I smiled. Charlly laughed.

“I can’t believe that Christmas is less than two weeks away,” Charlly said more to the window than to me.

“Why not? It surely feels like Christmas in this household,” I said.

“It feels like Christmas, but it just isn’t,” Charlly answered.

“How is that possible?” I asked.

“I just have this feeling,” Charlly trailed off.

“What kind of feeling?” I asked.

“It’s probably nothing,” Charlly said shaking her head. “Forget I ever said anything.”

“Charlly, if something is bothering you…,” I started.

“Charlly,” Momma said interupting me, “have you seen three ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ ornaments?”

“I thought I saw the new ones on the tree this morning,” Charlly said. Momma leaned against the door post and put her hand to her head.

“Forgive me, girls,” Momma said. “Christmas always gets me out of sorts. But I still love the season!”

“Let’s go to the B&B,” Charlly said before I can bring our previous subject back up. “The boys are about to return with the Christmas tree any moment now.”

**

“What happened in here?” I asked as Charlly and I rolled into the restaurant. The entire room was covered with tinsel.

“This is what you get when you give a four year old a box of tinsel,” Lou said as he started to clean up the mess.

“Why does that not surprise me?” Charlly asked as she pulled some tinsel through her wheel.

“I got this mess here. Why don’t you help Donna get ready for the tree?” Lou said taking the tinsel from Charlly.

“How come you didn’t go on the tree chopping trip?” I asked Lou.

“Don’t really my kind of thing,” Lou shrugged.

“Translation: Lou is lousy with a saw,” Charlly said.

“What can I say?” Lou asked. “Give me a saw and lose your eye.”

“Ok…,” I said. I quickly rolled into the family room.

“Where’s all the tinsel?” Ms. Donna asked as she rummaged through her box of Christmas decorations.

“Strewn all over your restaurant,” Charlly answered. She sent Jacob a look.

“Here!” Lou shouted. He threw some tinsel from the restaurant into the foyer.

“Oh my goodness,” Ms. Donna said as she walked towards the restaurant.

“We’re BACK!” Mr. Drew shouted as he and the rest carried the tree into the restaurant!

“We saw some flurries on our way back,” Darcy said as he helped up the tree in the holder.

Charlly squealed and rolled to the window.

“It’s snowing!” Charlly shouted.

“Someone’s excited,” Leo laughed. Charlly smacked him and Leo smirked.

I guess I should tell you this now in the story rather than later. Leo and Virginia ‘broke’ up this summer after Charlly came to town. Leo started liking Charlly and ever since their relationship has been…complicated. Also, Virginia refuses to speak to Charlly. Virginia hasn’t spoken a word to her since August.

“You guys can go play in the snow after we finish putting up the tree,” Charlly’s mom, Mrs. Jennifer Gray-Stewart, said as she hung the first ornament on the tree.

Soon everyone was busy hanging ornaments and stringing tinsel around the tree. By the time we’re finished, the ground was covered in snow, but sadly not enough to have impromptu sledding day.

“We’ll just have to have a Marshmallow Day tomorrow,” Darcy said as Charlly and I prepared to go home.

“Tomorrow,” I promised. “We’ll go to The Hill straight after school.”

Darcy nodded and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek.

“We might come for dinner,” I said. “Momma’s been a little frazzled lately.”

“Understandable with the triplets and you to take care of,” Darcy said. I shoved him just as Charlly rolled up.

“I’m not even going to ask,” Charlly said as she rolled out the door.

“Bye,” I waved as I too rolled out the door.

“I really hope it keeps snowing,” Charlly said. “I really want to sled on the legendary Hill.”

“From the looks of it, tomorrow is going to be an awesome snow day,” I said looking at the clouds.

We would never get to go to sledding on The Hill the entire winter season.

**

The day started off wrong.

The triplets woke up around five A.M. screaming their lungs off and waking everybody up, snow had turned into rain, I woke up with an upset stomach, Noel had slept in the panic room and refused to come out, and Charlly didn’t speak a word the entire morning.

I could tell that she could feel it too.

Something terrible was going to happen.

By the time lunch came around, I was just about a nervous wreck. I kept telling myself that nothing that bad could possibly happen, but my emotions wouldn’t listen.

I was just about ready to snap when I saw Darcy leaning against a red trashcan, waiting for me and other friends to show up for lunch. I don’t know why it bothered me so much that Darcy leaned up against that silly trashcan. All I know is on that rainy December day, it infuriated me.

“Why do you lean up against the trash?” Those were the first words out of my mouth when I rolled up to him.

“I don’t know…,” Darcy stared at me. I could tell that he was caught off guard by the question.

“It’s disgusting!” I shouted.

“What?” Darcy asked. “Natalie, where is all of this coming from? You’ve been on edge all morning.”

“I just think that its a little disgusting that you’re leaning up against a trashcan!”

“It’s not like people barfed in it!”

“You don’t know that!”

“Fine!” Darcy shouted throwing his hands up in the air. “I’ll move!”

Just seconds after Darcy stepped away from the trashcan, the trashcan exploded, sending fire and something hard onto my face.

Posted in My Crazy Life

My Crazy Life: Episode I-The Summer Everything Changed Installment VIII

Chapter VIII

Sleepovers & School Switches 

I lay outstretched on the B&B lawn. The sun shone on my face and kept my body warm. Cars passed by and almost all of the them honked. Becca Lou, who was supposed to be watching Mini-Lou, ran around the yard making bubbles with Rachel and Bella. Meanwhile, Mini-Lou threw mud on unsuspecting people.

“Penny for your thoughts,” Leo said laying down next to me.

“I wish summer could last forever,” I whispered.

“I just wasted a penny,” Leo mumbled as he threw a penny on my stomach.

“Jokes on you! I didn’t even feel it!” I shouted.

“Well do you feel THIS?” Leo shouted. He turned over and started tickling me.

“Stop it!” I shouted as we started to roll down the driveway.

“Never!” Leo shouted as he continued to find a feeling spot.

“Aren’t you supposed to say ‘as you wish?’,” I joked.

“Huh?” Leo asked as we landed at the end of the driveway.

“Leo? CHARLLY!” Virginia screamed from down the street.

“Oh no,” Leo mumbled. For the first time ever, Leo actually looked scared of Virginia.

Leo quietly picked me up and carried me back up the driveway to my wheelchair.

“Well aren’t you going to say anything?” Virginia asked sending daggers with her eyes at us.

“What do you want me to say? You’re controlling, bossy, and loud?” Leo asked.

“Excuse me?” Virginia asked outraged.

“Or would you me to say I made a big mistake when I sent you that mushy Valentine?” Leo asked.

Virginia tried to speak, but no words came out of her mouth.

“It’s been fun. No actually, that’s a lie,” Leo said.

“I’m breaking up with you Leopold Logan the Second!” Virginia screamed.

I tried not to laugh at this very tense and serious moment. Leopold?

“I never asked you to be my girlfriend in the first place!” Leo shouted as he walked down the driveway.

Virginia looked at me and then at Leo who was almost out of sight.

“That did not just happen,” Virginia spit. “He did not just break up with me.”

“Virginia, I’m sorry,” I started.

“No, you’re not!” Virginia screamed. “You planed this whole thing! You just stole my boyfriend!”

“What!” I shouted. “I’ve only been here for three weeks!”

“So your plan worked faster than you expected!” Virginia shouted.

“What plan?” I asked.

“Mi Scusi! Excuse me!”

Virginia and I turned. Neither of us had noticed a yellow taxi drive up the driveway or a young man get out of it.

“Can we help you?” Virginia asked.

“Maybe you can,” The young man said with an Italian accent. “I’m looking for an O’Donnell residence.”

“Ms. Shelby O’Donnell?” Virginia asked.

“Yes! She’s my sorella sister,” The man said.

“You’re Giovanni!” Virginia shouted in full drawl. “The Italian half-brother.”

“And you must be Virginia,” Giovanni said. “The girl with the terrible drawl.”

Virginia blushed.

“Ms. O’Donnell doesn’t live in Florida. She lives in North Adams. You’re about twenty minutes away from your destination. Her orchid is the first house on the outskirts of North Adams. If you see a brown barn, you’ve gone too far. That’s the Woods property.”

“Grazie,” Giovanni smiled. He got back into his taxi and it took off.

“Who was that?” Regina asked sneaking up behind us.

“Giovanni Moore,” Virginia said all dreamy.

“Does Leo have competition,” Regina joked.

Virginia stared at Regina. The fire was back in her eyes.

“UGH!” Virginia screamed. “Rachel! We’re going home!”

“No, I’m not!” Rachel shouted back. “I’m staying over for the sleepover.”

“Sleepover? What sleepover?” Virginia asked.

“Becca Lou’s having a Before School Sleepover here tonight,” I said.

“Well, then I’m having a sleepover tonight!” Virginia screamed. She ran into the B&B.

“Virginia’s heartbroken,” Rachel said. “Virginia does crazy things when her heart breaks.”

“Why would a sleepover be crazy?” I asked.

“Charlly!” Mom shouted. “We need to talk to you!”

What had Virginia done?

**

Actually, Virginia had not uttered a word about my ‘evil’ plan to steal Leo away from her. When I rolled into the B&B, I found Virginia on the phone trying to convince her aunt to let her have a sleepover and Laz, Mom, and Lou sitting on the couch.

“I should go,” Cece Elizabeth said getting up.

Lou almost looked disappointed.

“Charlly, we need to talk about school,” Mom said.

“Ok,” I said. “Are we going to start late or something? I hear that this new CO/OP center for homeschoolers.”

“Charlly, honey, you won’t be homeschooled this year,” Mom said. “Neither will Becca Lou.”

“What! Why?” I asked.

“Charlly, we aren’t going anywhere,” Mom said. Lou and Laz nodded in agreement. “Laz and I have decided to stay in the Berkshires for at least until after Becca Lou’s graduated. We love it here. We love that you guys have made friends so fast. Laz has his family here. I’ve finally found a place I can call home.”

I just stared at them. I thought about the words Natalie had said when she finally realized that Florida was the perfect place for her. Was Florida the perfect place for me? I jumped in my wheelchair as Virginia slammed the door as she left. I had already made an enemy, but even with that the want to go back to Chicago was slowly fading away.

“I’m staying too,” Lou said looking off in the direction Cece Elizabeth went.

“You like her,” I blurted.

Lou’s cheeks turned crimson.

“That’s a discussion for another time,” Lou said.

I winked at him and he winked back.

“So tomorrow I will take you down to the high school and sign you up,” Laz said quickly. He gave Lou a quick stare.

“Charlly!” Natalie shouted rolling into the B&B. “Virginia’s having a sleepover! And I can guarantee it’s gonna be CRAZY!”

**

Just the sight of chickens, a goat, and a pig told me why a sleepover would be a crazy idea.

“You have to be careful when you’re at Virginia’s house,” Natalie explained. “I almost squashed a chicken once.”

“Note to self. Don’t go out in the yard,” I said.

“Forget the yard,” Natalie said. “There are chickens in the house.”

“Are there goats too?” I asked.

“Nope,” Natalie said, “but I think Rachel keeps one of the baby pigs in her room.”

“Who lives like this?” I asked as Natalie rang the doorbell.

“Farm people,” Natalie said.

A tall boy yanked open the door.

“In the family room and FYI I’m not lifting you girls up the steps,” The boy said with a Massachusetts accent.

“Hi, Andrew,” Natalie said sarcastically.

“What did ya’ll think of that? Leo’s been giving me voice lessons,” Andrew said.

“I think you should do what I did,” Natalie said.

“And that is?” Andrew asked.

“Let it naturally find its way into my accent. I love the way I say ‘car’ now!” Natalie shouted.

“You’re accent is cute. You got a little British, a little Southerner, and dash of Massachusetts. My accent is a big piece of Southern pie,” Andrew said.

“And you want to sound like you’re from Boston?” I asked.

“Why not?” Andrew asked.

“A teacher told Virginia her accent hurt her ears and she only embraced it more. Own who you are!” Natalie shouted.

“Andrew! Stop harassing my friends!” Virginia shouted. “Well my friend.”

“Sorry, Ginny,” Andrew said.

Tears mounted in Virginia’s eyes.

“Just let them in,” Virginia shouted at Andrew. She marched down the hall.

“She was dumped earlier,” Andrew whispered as we rolled in the house. “And she’s pretty sour about it. Frankly, I don’t know what Leo saw in her in the first place.

Natalie rammed him with her wheelchair and left him silently screaming his pain.

“I haven’t seen you in a while,” Jessie-Maria pouted as Natalie rolled into the family room.

“I haven’t seen my brother in a while,” Natalie said. Jessie-Maria blushed.

“So how’s that going away?” Emily pried.

“None of your beeswax!” Jessie-Maria shouted throwing her pillow at Emily. “How’s your relationship with Nelson?”

“It’s officially and that’s all that I’m saying,” Emily smiled. She started to pet a chicken that had just snuggled up under her arm. “How ya doing Aggie?”

“You know the chickens by name?” I asked.

“Yup,” Emily said. “This is Aggie and the one leaving droppings by your wheelchair is Ellen.”

“You don’t have these chickens potty trained?” I asked.

“All but Ellen,” Virginia giggled. “She refuses to poop anywhere but that spot you are sitting in.”

I immediately rolled away from that spot.

“Hey, girls,” Aunt Jane said walking into the family room. She had a chicken on a leash.

“Hi, Aunt Jane. Hi, Alice,” Natalie said.

“Bock!” Alice shouted. She started to run towards Natalie.

“Stop!” Aunt Jane shouted. “I have a flight risk here. She ran out in the middle of the street. Timmy almost ran over her. He was racing Jaci to the clinic. The poor girl had resorted to puking in her purse.”

“Oh no,” Emily said. “My big brother is gonna be a daddy!”

“What’s so horrible about that?” Aunt Jane asked.

“Think about it,” Emily said. “My big brother Timothy-Caleb Stewart raising a child…with his genes.”

“God help us all,” Aunt Jane said.

Everyone laughed.

“Well, we all know he’ll be a better father than Lou,” Virginia said.

Nobody said anything. Natalie and Aunt Jane stared at Virginia in shock that she had just said that.

“Virginia, that wasn’t a very nice thing to say,” Aunt Jane said. “Apologize.”

Virginia looked at me and smirked.

“I’m sorry, Aunt Jane, but I can’t do that,” Virginia said.

“And why can’t you?” Aunt Jane asked folding her arms.

“Because from this moment on, I am never speaking to Charlotte Lily King ever again!” Virginia shouted.

Natalie and I stared at each other. We were both thinking the same thing.

Oh, snap.

Posted in My Crazy Life

My Crazy Life: Episode I-The Summer Everything Changed Installment VII

Chapter VII

Invitations & Inventions & Laser Tag &…….Little Brothers? 

I was awoken the next morning by the sound of the doorbell being repeatedly pushed.

“What time is it?” Natalie groaned as she made a sleepy transfer to her wheelchair.

“Six-thirty,” I said as I glanced at the clock.

“Make it stop!” Noel screamed. She put her hands over her ears and started to shout random things.

Chaos erupted in the Matthews house. The sound of babies wailing made me become fully awake. I heard the sound of four little feet and two big feet racing down the steps.

I heard Mr. Steve grumble as he passed the room.

“I’M COMING!” Mr. Steve shouted as the ringing started to get faster and louder.

“Charlly, its for you!” Mr. Steve shouted seconds later.

“Me?” I mumbled as I transferred from bed and into my wheelchair.

“Good Morning, Charlly,” Megan said as I passed her in the hallway. Bella gave me a smile and waved.

“Morning,” I mumbled because so far it wasn’t very good.

The roll to the door was slow. I almost fell asleep a couple of times on the minute roll to the door.

“What took you so long!” Becca Lou shotued when I got to the front door.

“Why are you ringing the doorbell at six in the morning?” I retorted.

“The-police-showed-up-at-the-B&B-and-I-overheard-them-say-they-wanted-to-speak-to-a-Robert-King,” Becca Lou said. She spoke so fast she said it all like it was one word.

“WHAT!” I screamed.

“Then-I-asked-who-Robert-King-was-and-Lou-stood-up-and-said-that-he-was-Robert-King!” Becca Lou screamed.

I was down the wheelchair ramp and on the road within seconds.

A bazillion things ran through my mind. Was Lou being arrested? Why else would the police want to speak with him? Maybe one of my grandparents had died? I remember Lou saying something about having a much younger sister. Was she in trouble?

“Charlly, have you heard a word I’ve said?” Becca Lou screamed as we past the Rivers’ cabin.

“No, sorry,” I said. “Say it again will you please?”

“Why does Lou call himself Lou if his name is Robert?” Becca Lou asked.

“You’ll have to ask Lou about that one,” I said.

When we reached the B&B, Lou’s motorcycle was still parked in the driveway. No police cars were around. I noticed that Cece Elizabeth was sitting on the porch swing.

Cece Elizabeth turned towards us when she heard Becca Lou’s frantic feet stomp up the steps.

“Girls,” Cece Elizabeth sighed, “Lou’s gone.”

**

“I’m sorry, Charlly,” Mom said after I asked her what happened for the millionth time. “Lou asked me not to tell you. All I can say is that he did not get arrested.”

I gave a frustrated sigh. It was now the afternoon and no one would say anything about what had happened that morning. All I knew was that the police came to speak to Lou, Lou grabbed his jacket, and left with them.

“I’m sure he’s coming back,” Natalie said as we rolled into the restaurant to hunt out a snack.

“You don’t know Lou,” I sighed.

“He left his motorcycle and his stuff,” Natalie said. “He has to come back for that at least.”

“Lou never cared about stuff. If he was out of there, he was out of there,” I grumbled.

“If you ask me Lou looked all most happy to go along with the cops,” Darcy said not looking up from what he was doing.

“Did you use the words happy, go along, and cops in the same sentence?” Natalie asked.

“Yup,” Darcy said as he handed Natalie an envelope.

“What’s this?” Natalie asked opening it.

“Invitations to my birthday par….celebration,” Darcy said as he handed me mine.

“You’re never to old to have a birthday party,” Natalie laughed as she took out the card.

“How old are you turning? Twenty-One?” I joked as I took my card out.

“Fifteen,” Darcy said.

“My baby is growing up so fast,” Ms. Donna said as she brought out some fruit.

“Mom!” Darcy shouted.

“What? It’s true?” Ms. Donna said.

At the same time Natalie said, “You have got to be kidding me.”

“Don’t tell me you don’t like laser tag,” Darcy said in a surprised voice.

” You’re having a laser tag party!” I shouted as I read my invitation. “I’m in.”

“I’ve never played,” Natalie started, “but that’s not…”

“It’s real simple, Nat,” Darcy said. “You….”

“I know how laser tag works,” Natalie snapped. “If you don’t want me to come to your party, next time just say so.”

“Huh?” Darcy asked clearly confused.

“Don’t play dumb with me,” Natalie said dropping the invitation on the ground. She started to roll towards the family room.

Darcy and I stared at each other for a second.

“Do you have any idea what that was about?” Darcy asked me.

“Nope,” I answered.

“I better go after her and find out what’s wrong,” Darcy said getting up. He turned to me. “I might need some backup.”

I nodded and rolled after the direction he went in.

“Natalie! Wait!” Darcy called as he ran down the driveway.

Natalie stopped, turned around, and folded her arms.

“I’m waiting,” Natalie said when we reached her.

“Look, Natalie, I don’t know what I did wrong, but….sorry?” Darcy said.

I let a snicker escape. Natalie looked at me.

“I don’t know how you find this funny when it affects you too,” Natalie said.

“How does it affect me?” I asked.

“You do realize that we can’t play laser tag right,” Natalie said.

“Why not?” I asked.

“Why do we never use water guns in our fights?” Natalie asked.

“Huh?” I asked.

“Why do we have water balloon fights and not water gun fights?” Natalie asked.

I shrugged, but Darcy’s mouth fell open.

“Oopps,” Darcy said. “I didn’t think about that.”

“Now, I’m confused,” I said.

“Charlly, in order to fire a laser gun you need both hands free. One to pull the trigger and the other to push a button to make it fire. We are also slower than everybody else. We would be the easiest targets,” Natalie said. “We would probably never get to fire because we’d be waiting to be risen from the dead so many times.”

“Oh….,” I said understanding.

“We could play as teams!” Darcy shouted. “You guys could be on a team together and….”

“Nice idea, Darcy, but…,” Natalie started but her eyes landed on a taxi that was coming down the street.

I nearly fainted as Lou and a little mini-Lou got out of the taxi.

**

“I can’t believe you never told me you had another kid!” I shouted.

Lou cringed a little. He was searching for the words to say.

“I thought it’d be a nice surprise,” Lou said.

“You thought finding out that I have a for year old half-brother would be a nice surprise?” I asked.

“Yes….,” Lou said as if he was unsure of what to say.

I grunted and folded my arms. My eyes caught sight of Becca Lou and Mini-Lou, who’s real name was Jacob, playing with chalk on the B&B driveway.

Becca Lou didn’t even bat an eye when she found out that Mini-Lou was our half brother. She just took his hand and asked if he wanted to play with chalk or a ball.

“Look, Lottie, I didn’t know he existed until six months ago,” Lou said. “Trying to get full custody is why I didn’t come to see you right after I got out of rehab. When your Mom found out about him….”

“Wait! Mom knew that you had another kid with another woman?” I asked.

Lou nodded tentatively.

“Your Mom and Laz put in a good word for me,” Lou said. “The police came by this morning and told me that Jacob’s mother was arrested for DWI last night.”

“DWI?” I asked.

“Driving will intoxicated,” Lou said. “The blood work showed she was three times over the legal alcohol limit and was rather high.”

“Wasn’t that what you were arrested for?” I asked. Lou nodded.

“But I’m trying to change my life around. I hope some day she does,” Lou said.

I started to roll away. I was so mad at Lou at that moment. A nice surprise? Who in there right mind would think that suddenly finding out you have a new sibling would be a nice surprise?

“Love ya, Lou Pa,” I said just so we didn’t leave on too awful of terms.

“Love ya, Charlly Lottie,” Lou called.

I slammed the door way harder than I meant too. The sound of the door got Becca Lou and Mini-Lou’s attention.

“Come over here” Mini-Lou hollered. I rolled over to where they were drawing partly amused.

“Do you like to play?” Mini-Lou asked me.

“Sure,” I shrugged.

“Do you like to draw?” Mini-Lou asked.

“Sure,” I shrugged.

“Then this is the PERFECT game for you!” Mini-Lou shouted. He threw up his hands causing the piece of chalk in his hands to land on the ground and break.

I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I gave him a smile.

“Charlly feels like she’s too old to do chalk and play games,” Becca Lou said.

“Oh,” Mini-Lou said.

“It doesn’t look like there’s going to be a water balloon fight today,” I said transferring from my wheelchair to the ground. “I guess I can do some driveway coloring.”

“We’re drawing this town!” Mini-Lou shouted. “I saw a sign with a snowman on the way here and Mr. Lou says that there’s a statue of an elk here too!”

I spent the rest of the afternoon drawing buildings, clouds, and elks.

**

“Tada!”

I stared at the invention that Darcy was so proudly displaying to Natalie and I. If you asked me the thing looked like a double pair of underwear.

“Please tell me that is not underwear,” Natalie said.

“It is not underwear,” Darcy said. “I made it out of some strong fabric that Jaci gave me.”

“You sewed that?” I asked.

“With some help from Jaci,” Darcy blushed. “Ok a lot of help.”

“Put your underwear back on! You’re in a public place where people eat!” Mini-Lou shouted as he walked into the restaurant with Lou not that far behind.

Darcy burst into titters and Natalie and I started to giggle.

“Not wearing your underwear is no laughing matter,” Mini-Lou said as Lou ordered for them.

That only made us laugh more.

“Ok, if its not a strange looking pair of underwear what is it?” Natalie asked as she tried to stop laughing.

“Let me demonstrate,” Darcy said. He put his legs through two of the legs slots.

“You look ridiculous,” Natalie giggled.

“Your about to look ridiculous too,” Darcy said. “Lou can you help me with something?”

“Sure,” Lou shrugged. He walked up to where we were standing. “What do you need me to do?”

“Can you pick up Natalie and put her in the back of this thingamajig?” Darcy asked.

Lou gave a slow nod.

“One, two, three!” Lou shouted as he picked Natalie. He put her in the sling.

“This is fun!” Natalie laughed as Darcy walked around the room with er attached to him.

“I made another one for you too,” Darcy said to me as he helped Natalie back into her wheelchair.

“So how does this slow our problem?” I asked.

“Some one on your team will carry you on their back. They’ll be your legs,” Darcy said.

“Oh,” I said nodding. “That’s actually a pretty good idea.”

“So are we good?” Darcy asked Natalie.

“More than good.” Natalie smiled.

**

I tried to hold my breath. The enemy was approaching. Clueless that I and my partner were hiding behind a barrier.

“Ready?” Leo whispered.

“Ready.”

We aimed our laser beams on our target and fired.

“Not again!” Virginia screamed.

“Ha!” Leo shouted. We ran from our hiding place.

“Gotca!” Natalie shouted as she pointed her beam at my shoulder.

“I’ve been hit!” I said all dramatically.

“Hey!” Natalie shouted as Leo shot her and Darcy.

“Let’s get outa here!” I shouted. Leo ran up the ramp.

“A ha!” Yule shouted. He took out Leo.

“Cover me while I recover!” Leo shouted as he ran in zigzags.

“Stop!” I whispered. I could see Matt trying to hide behind a barrier. I aimed and fired.

“Who did that!” Matt shouted.

I silently giggled.

“Not so fast!”

Leo turned, which was a bad move because Bennet took him out.

“Seriously, man! I just recovered!” Leo shouted. Bennet smiled, but his smile turned upside down when I took him out.

“It’s no fair! You guys get attached backup!” Benent shouted. “Well, I’m a paraplegic! I should be on somebody’s back!”

Leo ran away before Bennet could take another aim at him.

“Capow!” Mini-Lou shouted as he waved his gun in the air like a maniac.

“AH!” Leo shouted. He ran right into Lou.

“Sorry, son,” Lou said. He took the both of us out.

“Dad!” I shouted.

“Sorry, Lottie,” Lou said. “Hey! Who got me!”

Becca Lou gave a mysterious laugh.

“Thirty seconds!” Someone called out.

We all ran off in different directions.

As we ran, I managed to get Noel and Emily.

“Say bye-bye.”

I groaned as Noel got her revenge.

“Time’s up!”

The lights in the room turned back on. What seemed like hundreds of people emerged from behind barriers and out of nowhere.

“That was awesome!” Jessie-Maria shouted.

“I can’t believe I actually hit somebody,” Jaci said as we pilled out of the room.

“I wonder who won,” Darcy said as he put Natalie back in her wheelchair.

“Me of course,” Leo said helping me into the wheelchair.

“Let’s see,” Regina said looking at the score board. “That’s not fair!”

“What’s not fair?” I asked.

“Charlly, got the most hits!” Regina shouted. “And Natalie got second. Darcy third and Leo fourth.”

“All right!” Leo said as he high-fived Darcy.

“You guys had backup!” Regina shouted. “It should be illegal!”

“Illegal?” Lou laughed as he tried to get the laser gun from Mini-Lou’s hands.

“Well at least against the rules,” Regina said crossing her arms.

“There are different rules for paraplegics,” Natalie said as she got her sheet.

“Not all paraplegics,” Bennet joked.

“I don’t care!” Nelson shouted. “I just want to do it again!”

“Again!” Everyone shouted excitedly.

 

Posted in My Crazy Life

My Crazy Life: Episode I-The Summer Everything Changed Installment VI

Chapter VII

Forgiveness & Love

I thought in space I would be safe from him, but at the moment space seems like the least safe place in the universe.

Sure a war is going on on earth, but at least he isn’t there. At least the man that made my and my mom’s life miserable isn’t there.

I’m tempted to go back to the Asteroid Inn to make sure he’s still there or at least call and check. But even if I called I’d have to apologize for screaming at him and my mom and I don’t feel like even being around anyone right now. I’m in a place were nobody would ever find me. I’m hiding in the panic room of the Stevenson’s starfighter. I don’t even know why starfighters come built with panic rooms. You flee to the panic room when you’re about to die. Why not just die in the cockpit instead of this pitch black empty room is beyond me.

The only light in here is the small glow of my computer. My wheelchair takes up most of the room in the panic room. It’s starting to feel hot in here and the oxygen is starting to feel stale. But I don’t care. Its quiet in here except for the soft hum of the computer working. Anywhere else in the floating space house the sounds of machine running and people just living life would keep me from my thoughts. My thoughts aren’t good ones right now, but sometimes a girl just wants to be alone with her thoughts.

I might as well write down my thoughts so whoever finds me in here passed out from oxygen depletion can see what was on my mind and what drove me to hide out in the panic room.

My thoughts are these: Why did Mom ask him to come? Why did he come and what are his intentions? Would he try to smooth talk Mom to get back with him? He’s gotten so good at smooth talking and lying that even I can’t tell whether what comes out of his mouth is a truth or a lie. Would Mom leave Laz for him? I mean Laz’s not my favorite person ever but he’s a million times better than he. 

I haven’t see him for almost six years. He called every chance he got while he was in jail. I like to believe it was pure boredom that drove him to call us. Our conversations were always the same. He’d ask me about school, about my friends, and if there were any boys he needed to talk to. I don’t know what he said to Mom or even the words of the short cooing he would say to Bec, but every time Mom talked to him she went some place dark and Bec always shined.

After he got out of jail the calls came less often until two years ago they just stopped. I personally didn’t mind. The talks were always creepy and uncomfortable. Every time I got off the phone with him I would secretly pray that he would stop calling–even before I came to believe that God was real. 

I guess I always knew God was there. I’ve just always had a hard time believing that He was there for me. But the verse about him being the Father to the fatherless is what hooked me. No matter how hard Laz may try, he will never be my father. Even if Lou finds a way to lie into my heart, he will never be my father. But I am not fatherless and I’m not even alone at this moment. God is here with me and He’ll never leave. 

Then why does it feel like I’ve left Him on earth?

**

I woke up gasping for air. My laptop was the only light in this strange room I was in. The words stared back at me. I remembered writing them, but I didn’t remember when. All was quiet. I didn’t even hear a wail of a baby. Where was I?

I used the light of my laptop to find my way to the door. The door only lead to a much smaller room. My face rubbed up against another door. I fumbled for the doorknob and when I did light assaulted my eyes. All the sounds of the Matthews house were thrown into my ears at once. A yelp escaped my lips.

I rolled around to find that I had really been in a panic room. Drury Hall’s panic room which was hidden inside an unused coat closet. How I had found such a private room in my state of distress I don’t know, but I was glad I had found it. I felt refreshed and renewed.

But all my problems were still there. Lou was probably still in Florida and the burden of having to apologize for calling him a ‘boldfaced liar’ and ‘the only person I’ve ever wished dead’ was still there. I tried not to replay the scene in my mind. I also let it rip at my mother before rolling off as fast as I could.

“Look who decided to show her face.”

I stared at Matt wondering what in the world he was doing sitting in a chair in the middle of the Matthews’ hallway reading a book.

“Matt, what are you doing here?” I asked.

“Waiting for you,” Matt said like I should have known that. “Noel told me I’d find you in here, but when I opened the door you were asleep.”

“And what do you want with me?” I asked folding my arms.

“You really hurt Lou’s feelings,” Matt said. “He cried.”

“He WHAT!” I shouted. Lou never cries. Never ever. He rarely ever even shows his true emotions. I couldn’t have possibly made HIM cry.

“Cried as in shed tears of sadness,” Matt said. “He didn’t have a weeping fest, but I saw some tears splash out his eyes as you rolled away like a mad woman.”

“I was a mad woman,” I said. My joke felt flat. Matt only got tighter.

“What you said was really mean, Charlly. All the man wants is a relationship with his daughter,” Matt said. “I know you don’t know this, but your mom and my dad helped get Lou into rehab. They sent him to a Christ-based addiction treatment rehab. Lou’s waited two long years to finally be able to be a real dad to you and Becca Lou and all you do is yell poison soaked words at him.”

“I don’t you need you to play sibling parent,” I snapped.

“Charlly, I would give anything to see my mom again,” Matt said in a low, sad voice. “I get two phone calls a year–on my birthday and on Christmas. Dad and I receive a Christmas card every year. She doesn’t even write a personal inscription. It always says in computer font “Mike, Patrica, and Nicole wish you a happy holiday.”

“What’s so wrong with that?” I asked. “I haven’t spoken to Lou in two years! I never received a birthday present or a Christmas card!”

“But there’s a big difference,” Matt said. “Anyone with ten percent of their brain can see that Lou cares and loves you an Becca Lou. I would do anything to know that my mom really loved me. She enjoys her life without me. She has the stable husband she’s always wanted and the perfect little daughter she wouldn’t even let herself dream about. And I have to admit that I enjoy my life without her. I don’t think you enjoy life without Lou. I know your just dying to go down to the B&B and roll right into Lou’s arms.”

I tried not to cry. I really did. But tears followed out my eyes like a river. For the first time ever, Matt willingly hugged me and wiped away the tears.

“Charlly, it’s never easy to apologize especially when you know you’re going to get punished, but coming from a guy who’s had plenty of experience in the forgiving depart, saying and actually meaning the words “I forgive you” is a lot easier than walking around with the boulder of forgiveness on your shoulders and saying the words “I hate you.”

I stared at Matt in pure amazement. That was something Laz would say at a time like this. Matt even sounded a little like Laz when he said it.

“I forgive you,” I said as I rolled towards the front door.

“For what?” Matt asked running after me.

I didn’t answer him.

**

When I rolled into the Sunshine B&B all eyes fell upon me. I looked over at Mom. I could see the reproof and harsh words forming on her lips, but Lou spoke before Mom had a chance to open her mouth.

“Lottie,” Lou said in a dry sounding voice, “before you speak I want to say something to you and I never want you to forget it. Never say sorry if you don’t mean it. Don’t say sorry to get out of trouble. Don’t say sorry because somebody’s forcing you. Saying sorry when you don’t mean it is lying. Its a flat out lie. And nobody likes to be lied to. Lottie, your mother and I have talked. You will not get in trouble for your little outburst this morning. With that being said, hate me all you want, Lottie. Just let me warn you that all hate is going to do is scorch your heart.”

I nearly had a panic attack at his words. The voice was the same, but the words weren’t. Lou never seemed to care a thing about what I did. I can remember all sorts of things I got away with that most parents wouldn’t their kids even think of doing.

It me a moment to realize that all eyes were still on me. Lou had sat back down in his seat. Some of the little kids were whispering to each other, but other than that a sound was not to be heard in the room.

How badly I wanted to be able to scream the words “I forgive you, Lou!” and hug the man to death, but they weren’t true. I still had a lot of anger and hate stacked up against Lou, but underneath all the hurt was love for the man that played a roll in giving me life.

I gulped. Could I really tell Lou that I loved him? I saw Lou sitting there waiting for some words from me. I could either say venomous words or words that would give him hope. Hope that one day we could one day forgive and forget.

I took my time rolling over to the table Lou sat at. Nobody’s eyes followed me, but their ears were listening.

I got as close as I could to Lou without rolling over his feet. His amber eyes sparkled at me. I had never seen Lou’s eyes sparkle before. The sparkling of his eyes sealed the deal for me to say the words I’ve been longing to say.

“I love you, Lou Pa,” I whispered.

Lou smiled. I hadn’t called him Lou Pa since he went off to jail and I rarely even said it before then.

“I love you too, Charlly Lottie,” Lou whispered.

And with those eleven words between us uttered, things would never be the same.

Posted in My Crazy Life

My Crazy Life: Episode I-The Summer Everything Changed Installment V

Chapter VI

Motorcycles & A Man Named Lou

The next day I stayed at home while Natalie, Noel, and Yule went to the B&B. I tried to rewrite some of my stories, but my brain was blanking out on creativity.

I fiddled around with Checkers, but the high score on the computer was way higher than the score I had gotten on my old computer. Who knew Bella was good a checkers?

“Charlly, there’s someone here to see you,” Mrs. Matthews called. I rolled out of what was now my bedroom and onto the porch.

“Leo,” I whispered.

“Hey,” Leo shrugged. “Natalie asked me to come ask you if you wanted to join us. We’re going to have a water balloon fight.”

“Sure,” I shrugged. I opened the door and told Mrs. Matthews where I was going and she told me to be back by dinner.

“Charlly,” Leo said as he walked and I rolled towards the B&B.

“Yeah?” I asked.

“Last night I thought about telling you something, but at the last second decided not to. I accidentally hit send and gave you half of the message. I then told you to delete it. After much thought, I’ve decided to confess to you,” Leo said.

I stopped rolling. Leo stopped walking. He looked at me straight in the eyes. I tried not to flicker or scream something I would regret.

“I’m crazy for,” Leo started.

Time seemed to go by very slowly. Seconds seemed like hours.

“Science fiction,” Leo finished.

“Huh?” I asked.

“I know impossible to believe right?” Leo asked.

“You like science fiction?” I asked relieved.

“Love it,” Leo said. “Anything in the future or with aliens I’m all for it.”

“Wait, how did you know I liked science fiction?” I asked.

“I just guessed since you named yourself MyHeadsInSpace. A normal daydreamer would have called themselves MyHeadsInTheClouds,” Leo said.

“Thanks a lot,” I said shoving him. “Why do you act like your love of science fiction is some big secret?”

“It is!” Leo shouted. “Not even Virginia knows how much I like science fiction! She also doesn’t know I write Sci-Fi stories.”

“You write?” I asked. I found that quite hard to believe. Leo was a tough looking boy. He was dressed in jeans, an undershirt, and a leather jacket. His hair was slicked back and he had a playful almost joking manor and attitude. He was not what I would have imagined when I thought male Sci-Fi writer.

“Yup,” Leo said. “I actually just finished my third draft of my novel last week.”

“You’ve written a novel?” I asked.

“A hundred thousand words,” Leo said with pride.

“Can I read it?” I blurted. Leo looked at me hesitated.

“I’ve never shown it to anybody,” Leo said.

“What’s it about?” I asked.

“It’s about this guy named Logan Leopold. He’s an astronaut in the year 2476. He’s on a mission to explore the galaxy closest to the Milky Way. While he’s hovering around the planets, his ship malfunctions and he crashes onto the planet Lux. The planet Lux is a more advanced Earth and the people that live on them are just like humans. This discovery perplexes the people back on earth. I call it Hopping Galaxies.

“It sounds good,” I said.

“You really think so?” Leo asked.

“Really,” I smiled. A smile popped up on Leo’s face.

“I’ll email it t you through the messenger tonight,” Leo smiled. “Race you up the driveway!”

Leo beat me by like three seconds.

“There you guys are!” Virginia shouted. “We’re ready.” Virginia threw a water balloon at Leo.

“Oh no you didn’t!” Leo shouted. He picked up a water balloon out of the bucket and threw it at Virginia.

Soon wet kids were running-and rolling- across the B&B yard trying their hardest not to get wet. Screams and giggles erupted without notice. Nobody even noticed the motorcycle that had made it’s way down the street, into the driveway, and then was parked. Nobody noticed the rider of the motorcycle walk up the driveway and ring the doorbell and nobody noticed him walk into the B&B when the door was answered.

“Who’s bike is that?” Leo asked as he stopped throwing balloons to admire the bike. I withheld throwing a water balloon at him and stared at the motorcycle.

“Does anyone around here ride a motorcycle?” I asked.

“None that I know of,” Leo shrugged.

“What are you guys doing?” Yule asked as he threw a water balloon at the back of Leo’s head.

“Cool ride,” Yule said. He walked up to the bike.

“Awesome bike!” Darcy shouted. He ran towards the bike.

“Who rides a motorcycle!”

“I wonder who the rider is?”

“Did anyone see anyone?”

“I wonder if it has a name?”

That question came from Becca Lou.

“It does, Ducky. I call it Tommy.”

I literately froze in my chair. I knew that voice anywhere in the world.

“Lou,” I said turning around.

Lou looked at me with tear stained eyes. Becca Lou ran into Lou’s arms.

“Hey, Ducky,” Lou smiled as he picked her up. “How you been?”

“Good,” Becca Lou said. “Mommy got married.”

“I know,” Lou said nodding.

My eyes went over to the porch. Mom was sitting on the porch swing. Laz was by her side. I couldn’t see Mom’s face well which meant I couldn’t read it. I couldn’t see Laz’s face either.

I felt like crying. What right did Lou have to show up here and ruin a perfectly good game of water balloon fight? Why hadn’t he just stayed in Colorado? I hadn’t seen Lou since he was sent to jail right after Becca Lou had been born. I hadn’t heard from since my twelfth birthday. Why did he decide to just show up like this now?

“And how have you been doing, Lottie?” Lou asked.

“Just fine without you in my life,” I snapped.

Everyone stared at me. Their eyes were searching for answers.

“Excuse me,” I said as I rolled through the crowded and towards the wheelchair ramp.

My mom didn’t say anything to me as I rolled up the wheelchair ramp. She didn’t even look at me. Laz did though. His face was blank.

“What does he want?” I asked.

Mom sighed. Her eyes kept watching Lou. Now Lou was answering questions about his bike. Becca Lou was still holding on tight to him. Something inside me wanted to do the same thing, but something else inside me told me that no matter how hard I hugged him he would still leave and he would still let me down.

“Why is here?” I asked. Mom finally looked at me. Her face and tears were mixed with regret and…was that happiness?

“Because I asked him to come,” Mom said.