Char

Dani's Kern River Glass water

Cheers team tiny peppers. I have for you today post #2 for Nano Poblano. This is another chapter from the book I am writing introducing you to the character Char. The chapters I’m sharing are in no particular order since I haven’t written enough of them to have an order, and there are 18 main characters to introduce. Each chapter is meant to be a mini story in and of itself and at the end they are linked and you can see the bigger picture and the big reveal. Big family. LOL Without further ado…

Char

Char sits with white knuckles clenching the steering wheel of her faded yellow Volvo, as she watches her daughters exit the front steps of their middle school.  Honey and Chasey seem happy as they chatter excitedly amongst their friends. Tears roll down her cheeks as she peers at them through dirty blond disheveled hair.  With shaky fingers she dials her cell phone and waits for an answer.  Hello, Isabel’s voice answers in a familiar comforting melody.  Mom, they don’t even miss me Char sobs on the other end.  Sweetheart, you know that’s not true, Isabel responds in her best efforts to console her daughter.  They’re children Char, they deserve to be children.  Of course they miss you; they’re just coping the best way they know how.  You and Bastian need to work this out between you and try to involve them as little as possible.  He’s made his wishes clear mom there will be no reconciliation.  He wants a divorce without delay. Surely he cannot believe this is in the best interest of the girls? Isabel exclaims.  He called me a bleeding hear-ted martyr, mom. He says I am so consumed with my causes that I have forsaken my family’s well being, especially the girls.  Char, Isabel says cautiously, is there something you’re not telling me?  Char’s sobbing turns to a muted wail now, I… I took out a loan … against the house, and I … I … forged Bastian’s signature on some bank withdrawals, and he found out.  It would never have happened if he had only been more reasonable in the first place! Char how could you? Isabel demands.  Mom, we can afford it, and there are so many who are in need, how could I not?  Mom he is spoiling them rotten, they have everything and they are so ungrateful!  Char… I don’t think he gives to them in excess.  Char, Isabel says softly, you can only lead by example and hope their hearts will mirror your own at some point, but you cannot force them to feel as you do.  They are good girls Char.  I know mom, it’s all such a mess now.  Bastian won’t even talk to me without the lawyers present.  He’s cut me off from all of our bank accounts and reduced me to a minuscule spending allowance.  Oh Char I had no idea it had come to this, why didn’t you tell me sooner?  I couldn’t let you down mom” Char’s wailing is more audible now.  Now now, of course you are not letting me down, where are you staying?  I have a small studio near town, Bastian pays for it directly.  Char you can always stay with us, you know that.  I know mom, but I don’t want to intrude. I knew you would offer that is partly why I didn’t tell you sooner.  I am fine, just having a difficult day.  Sweetheart where are you? Isabel asks.  I am at the girl’s school.  Don’t worry, they don’t know I am here; I just had to see them.  I’ll be more together when I pick them up for the weekend I promise.  I got to go mom, I am late for the shelter.  Alright sweetheart, but you call me if you need anything, okay?  I will mom, thanks for listening, talk to you soon, I love you.  Char hangs up her cell phone and puts her head down on the steering wheel and continues to sob.  Startled by a tap on the window Char raises her head to see her daughter Honey standing outside the glass.  She wipes her eyes as she quickly rolls the window down. What are you doing here? Honey demands.  I… I just like to watch you girls sometimes… you know… make sure you are alright, I miss you.  Weekends just don’t seem like enough time when you are used to seeing someone every day.  You look a mess mom, it’s embarrassing Honey spats disdainfully.  I don’t think what your friends think is nearly as important as what is happening to our family, Honey. Our family would still be together if you would stop trying to give away all of dad’s hard earned money mom, Honey snaps.  It’s our money, and that really isn’t any of your concern, Char says sharply.  Just then one of Honey’s friends calls to her from the steps of the school.  I got to go mom, see you this weekend, Honey says as she runs off to join her friends. Char yells after her daughter goodbye, love you, but Honey pretends not to hear and jogs a little faster.

Bastian Sinclair a devoted husband, father and shrewd businessman meets with his attorney to discuss the settlement offer he intends to propose to his soon to be ex-wife.  Jacob Weiss dutifully shows his client into his office.  Please have a seat Mr. Sinclair.  I think you will like what I have drawn up for you. A joint custody agreement with the girls residing in your residence during the school year, and with their mother every other weekend and during summer is a pretty common shared custody arrangement.  If she contests this, you do live in close enough proximity to share 50/50, but that scenario is often difficult for the children, what with being shuffled back and forth week to week.    I don’t anticipate her contesting the proposal Mr. Weiss.  Despite her failings, she does want what’s best for the girls.  She just has trouble seeing past her causes.  I did want to caution you that the $5,000.00 per month spousal support is more than generous, and goes far beyond what is required of you Mr. Sinclair.  I have no desire to see her in ruin Mr. Weiss; she is the mother of my children.  She is a good and decent woman however misguided.  Alright then Mr. Sinclair, I’ll make the necessary arrangements.  I have also, per your instructions, set up the trust account for the girl’s college monies that only they can access once they become of age.  Bastian signs the proposal with mixed emotions.  Thank you Mr. Weiss, please let me know when she has been served and you have set up the meeting.  I will Mr. Sinclair, it shouldn’t be long.  I hope not Mr. Weiss; I would like to get this unpleasantness over with.  Bastian stands, offers a firm handshake, smiles cursorily, bids Mr. Weiss good day and walks out the door.    Sitting in his late model cream colored Lexus SUV Bastian ponders the recent years of his failing marriage and wonders why he couldn’t see this coming, and if there was anything he could have possibly done to stop it.  As reality sinks in and settles the confusion in his brain, he puts the key into the ignition, starts the car and drives away.