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.

 

Gre (pronounced gray)

Cheers team tiny peppers it’s that time again. This is a chapter from a book I am writing.  This chapter introduces you to the character Gre.  I hope you enjoy.

Gre   (pronounced gray)

Gre bounds from his black Mercedes towards the hotel.  Room key in hand he looks like any other hotel guest, possibly late for a meeting?  Save for his dashing good looks and million dollar smile, he is perfectly inconspicuous.

Today he turns down his pearly gleam and avoids eye contact as he swiftly makes his way to Lu’s hotel room to retrieve the camera before maid service arrives.  His timing always impeccable, he passes the maid’s service cart in the hallway as he exits with the recording equipment.   This is Gre’s favorite part.  Now with all the pieces in place he can contact Max’s wife for the agreed upon monetary reward.  She will be most pleased with the results, and he’ll likely get to handle the divorce on top of everything else.  Pleased with himself, from his car phone he makes the call. The phone rings and a woman answers, “Good afternoon, Stillwell residence?”  “Mrs. Stillwell please, this is Gre calling”.  “One moment please”, the pleasant voice responds.  Mrs. Stillwell’s harsh tone was immediately recognizable, “Gre! I trust you have interrupted my massage with good news?” “Why of course”, Gre purrs.  “Good”, she says disdainfully, “then you’ll send the courier?”   “He’s already on his way”, Gre coos.  “Fine”, she snorts, “I’ll transfer the funds to your account as soon as he arrives”.  Gre’s voice suddenly turns authoritative, “I trust you will Mrs. Stillwell, it’s been a pleasure doing business with you”.  “You’d do well to remember my number when it comes time to commence divorce proceedings”.  “I am aware of your reputation Gre, and I will keep you in mind”, she snaps.

Mrs. Stillwell hangs up the telephone with mixed emotions.  Although her plan has worked perfectly, and her fortune is safe, her heart is still broken over her beloved Maximillion.  With his clear violation of the pre-nup, he won’t stand a chance in court, but somehow this is little consolation.  She wonders if she will be able to actually watch the recording, and fears that however painful she will not be able to tear herself away from the horrifying images of her husband fucking another woman. Elizabeth Stillwell regrets her association with a man like Gre, but knows full well his kind is necessary in her world, perhaps in all worlds?

Satisfied with the morning’s trappings, Gre puts his key into the ignition and speeds towards home.  It’s still early he thinks, a quick change and a meeting at the office, then on to more pleasurable activities.  He wonders what color panties Lucy is wearing today, if any, under her latest designer suit and matching Prada pumps, and smiles wickedly.   His daydreaming ends abruptly as he reaches his penthouse, the awaiting valet takes the Mercedes to its usual parking spot, as Gre exits and heads for the door.  The doorman says “sir Gre, nice to see you home early”.  “Hello Jordan”, Gre responds in kind. “You have a visitor sir Gre”, Jordan says.  “I wasn’t expecting anyone” Gre retorts.

“It is your favorite house guest sir Gre”. Jordan quips in a rare moment of humor.  “Great! Gre blurts out begrudgingly, you let him in then?” “As you instructed sir Gre”.  “I wish that bloodsucking leach would fall off the face of the earth”, Gre protests.

“Jordan, you don’t happen to know any hit men do you?” Gre utters half mockingly.  “No sir Gre”, Jordan says with laughing eyes.  “Fine!, I guess I better see what he wants”, Gre grumbles gruffly.  “Thank you Jordan”.  “You’re welcome sir Gre”. Jordan smiles a knowing smile.  Gre heads up to his apartment to confront his least favorite sibling.

Gre enters the penthouse to find his brother Slo sprawled on his leather couch, a beer in one hand and the remote control to the big screen TV in the other.  “Oh, hey Gre, you’re home early, the doorman let me in”, Slo oozes.  “You’re half baked”, Gre says sternly.  “Ummm only a quarter baked bro”. Dude!, there wasn’t much food in the house so I used your credit card to order some pizza and beer”. Gre doing his best to contain his ire says, “You know I don’t eat that disgusting unhealthy crap”.  “It’s all good dude, more for me then”, Slo beams.  Slo eyes his brother with a concerned look on his face and says, “Dude, you really need to take it easy, you could have a heart attack or something”.  Gre resisting the urge to knock Slo out with a left hook says, “We’ll talk later, I have a meeting”.  “I trust your stay here will be limited to the week’s end!”  “Sure sure bro, no problem, just missed hanging out with ya is all”.  “Fine” Gre snaps, and heads to the bedroom to change for his appointment.

Flashback

Hello fellow Peppers and followers. Today for my first nano poblano post I am sharing a very rough draft of a book chapter I have been working on.  I normally write in the first person and I am not very good at writing dialogue. First and foremost, I am a poet, and I love poetic license. 😉  So please be kind, but tell me if you are intrigued enough to want to know the rest of the story. 🙂

Flashback

Sarah and Lucas held hands nervously as they waited for Ms. Rosenbaum to appear with the news they were hoping for.  This wasn’t their first visit to the Little Angels Adoption Home, but so far they had come away with empty arms and heavy hearts.  Since the birth of their son Dmitri then 6, Sarah had developed ovarian cancer and opted for a complete hysterectomy.  They both wanted a little girl to complete their happy home.  Karla Rosenbaum was a pretty but simple woman not given to excesses. Her light brown well kept hair rolled neatly into a bun and soft, solid, olive scoop neck three quarter sleeved dress with smart black pumps were a testament to that. With trepidation she stepped into the office to face her eager visitors.  Her apologetic smile was a crushing blow that neither of them had counted on.  “I am so sorry, but the birth mother has decided to keep her baby” she lamented.  “I know this isn’t fair to you, but it is such a difficult, life altering decision to give up a child, and we have to give the birth mother every opportunity until the deadline to change her mind”.  Sarah hid her tearful eyes in her hands while Lucas attempted to console her.  “There are some older children that are in desperate need of loving homes, Karla reminded”.  “I know you wanted a baby girl, and we’ll keep trying… of course, but perhaps you might consider…? Karla’s voice trailed off as the couple stood to leave… “I understand she replied compassionately…call me when you are ready to try again”.   Karla rose to show them out, and as they walked down the long hallway towards the entrance, there on a bench sat a little girl, with big brown eyes and blond ringlet curls.  She sat silent and sweetly ankles crossed, hands folded in her lap and smiled shyly but then averted her eyes as the three adults approached her. Sarah couldn’t help but notice her, and when their gaze met something inexplicable transpired.  Sarah stopped after they passed and asked Karla who the little girl was.  “That’s Isabel Karla said.  She just turned 4.  “Why hasn’t anyone adopted such a beautiful little girl Sarah queried?” Karla lowered her voice to a whisper when they were a safe distance away, and said her mother had been brutally raped and couldn’t bring herself to keep the baby. Many adoptive parents are afraid of rape babies.  They fear the child could somehow inherit the violent tendencies of the father, especially if the child is male.  Although these fears are unsubstantiated, they persist in people’s minds none the less. By law we are required to disclose the birth circumstances to the potential parents, well to the best of our knowledge anyway.”  She really is an angel, such a shame Karla sighed”.  “She’s never given us an ounce of trouble”.

I’d like to take her for a home visit Sarah exclaimed, without a bit of hesitation.  Somehow Lucas wasn’t surprised, and he agreed with a knowing chuckle.  Karla’s eyes widened with hope, “splendid she replied,  I’ll make the necessary arrangements immediately”.  Karla smiled to herself for having had the foresight to arrange the chance encounter.  Sarah and Lucas waited in the lobby for Ms. Rosenbaum to return with Isabel.  It seemed like hours when Karla finally stood in the doorway with a frightened Isabel in tow.  “Isabel, Karla said softly, this is Sarah and Lucas and they would like to take you for a visit”.  Sarah and Lucas both smiled warmly and extended a hand to young Isabel. Isabel smiled nervously and bravely reached up and placed her tiny hands into both of theirs.  This day they did not leave the adoption home with empty arms, and their hearts were filled with promise.  After many subsequent home visits Sarah and Lucas began the process to legally adopt Isabel.

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“Do you remember her Lucas, that first day sitting in the hallway when we were leaving the adoption home?”  Sarah smiles lovingly into Lucas’s eyes, “She had blond curls and her eyes were soft and brown just like yours.  I was in love from the moment I saw her!”  Yes Lucas laughs as he feeds Sarah a piece of brie. Sarah delights at all the decadent food in their final picnic spread that she might otherwise avoid.  Luscious white chocolate covered strawberries, perfectly aged salami and brie, old world recipe sourdough wedges with real butter, her favorite jalapeño stuffed olives, and several bottles of oak y Cabernet from their favorite local vineyard.  Lucas smiles while refilling Sarah’s Cabernet, and professes, “I never doubted for even a second our decision that day and we truly have been blessed with all that is good in this life”. “Here’s to our beloved Isabel, Dmitri, and our 14 grandchildren, and to you my love, still my everything after all these years. They clink their glasses together as they gaze at the setting sun and snuggle a little closer.

Lucas covers Sarah’s shoulders with their blanket as the evening wind picks up. “It’s colder than usual for this time of year she bemoans”. “Here my love, have another glass of wine, it will take the chill off he offers, and pours it for her.  It is nearly winter now and the trees have already lost all their leaves.  The lake half freezes through at night and it doesn’t get hot enough during the day to thaw.  Soon there will be ice skaters zipping to and fro all bundled up in fashionable winter wear.  It is here that Lucas first met Sarah all those years ago.  They were both too shy to speak but intensely drawn to one another.  When Lucas extended his hand for Sarah to take, she silently put her hand in his without question and they simply walked away together.  They were neither one brave enough to skate out onto the frozen water so they snuck away hand in hand till they happened upon this remote, dreamy magical tree. It is here they found their words and their love story began.  They have been coming to this spot under their tree by the lake every Wednesday for as long as they both can remember. It is secluded, and they have cherished their private time immensely here in their secret place.  Now in their elder years, the hike down the hill gives them pause, but still they navigate it faithfully.

Lucas kisses Sarah’s forehead and then lays his head back against the tree and closes his eyes. He is starting to feel the effect of the sedatives they placed in their wine.  Sarah sighs and recollects aloud some of her favorite moments from holidays past.  “I do remember when they were little she says smiling.  They are all so grown up now, with lives and careers, and kids of their own.  I remember best when they were small at our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners”.  Quite the bunch they were, weren’t they?  So many little faces, all around our family table, it seems like just yesterday”.  “Such an ingenious plan you had Lucas that they all tell in turn the highs and lows of their day”.  “Thanks to you we learned so much about them. “It’s hard to imagine raising seven children, isn’t it?”  “Strange that Isabel and Dmitri each ended up with the same number of offspring”. “Well you know Dmitri couldn’t stand to be outdone my dear, Lucas says laughing”.  “Yes, despite Dmitri’s poor choices in women he took fatherhood and raising his children very seriously”. “I have long been grateful for that, Sarah responds”.  “Isabel and Augustus have been wonderful parents”.  “Everything has come full circle my love”.  “Life is good!”  Sarah rests her head on Lucas’s chest and closes her eyes too and begins to drift.  “This is the way Lucas; she sighs… where I want to be forever… safe in your arms”. “Yes my love, and so shall you always be Lucas promises”.