So, I had the full intention of continuing with this story I started posting when my blog was just a baby. However, time started going so fast and before I knew it it’s 2013 already and I had practically forgotten about What If It All Means Something. I had some free time this afternoon and it popped into my head so I went to look and see what I had written last – because the last time I worked on this novel was in November for NaNoWriMo. I really don’t remember why I stopped posting this story…but I posted Chapter 4 on November 12, 2012. That was almost two months ago. 0_0 It feels like I haven’t even had this blog for two months. Anyway, I’m going to revitalize my posting of this story (but don’t worry, I haven’t forgot about Black Ice). This is a blog about writing, after all. So, let’s bring on the writing.
Oh yeah, before I forgot. If you’ve come on board before November 12th, or you just need a refresher, all of the previous chapters are still up. You can find them here, or by finding “What If It All Means Something” in the categories “Something Of Interest?” drop-down box on the left hand of this page. Yes, I am referring to the sidebar. The drop-down box is in the sidebar.
Well, without further delay, here we go.
What If It All Means Something
A Novel By William Louison
“Thanks for feeding your siblings, Darren.” Mom was standing with me in the kitchen, drinking a glass of water. She had just got home from work about five minutes ago, shortly after nine. She was a tall woman, just a couple of inches shorter than me. Her hair was dark like mine, and everyone said we had the same eyes.
“No problem, mom,” I told her. I didn’t feel like starting on my usual complaining. I was tired and just wanted to finish the dishes, which I was in the middle of when mom got home.
“I really appreciate all of your hard work, babe. Oops, sorry, you hate that word.” Even though my back was to her, I could basically feel her smile.
My hands were in the soapy water, wiping off the supper plates. There was leftover roast beef from the other night in the fridge. I had to heat it up for supper, as well as bake some potatoes and cook some veggies. I was turning into a veritable chef. Okay, not really, but I could do a lot with leftovers. Make it into a whole new meal. “Mom, it’s really okay. I didn’t have any school crap to do.”
“Okay,” she said, walking over to me and setting the cup down beside the sink. “I just want to make sure you know how much I appreciate everything you’ve done. All summer, Darren. We wouldn’t have been able to move without you.” I just nodded and kept washing, s she kept talking. “I got some good news today, though. Patty from the Doctor’s office is moving somewhere with her husband for his work, so her job opened up.” Mom was working as a night cleaner at an eye doctor’s office. She basically went to work every night from five o’clock, when the office closed, until nine, and cleaned the office. Because it was only twenty-four hours a week – the office is closed on Sundays – mom had to get a second job as a server at some diner, working from lunch time until about four.
“Patty was a receptionist at the office. They offered me her job. Full time hours. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are seven to three, and Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are nine to five.” I hadn’t seen her this happy in a long time.
“Does that mean you can quit the diner?” I asked her. It would be good for her to just have one job. She’s going to wear herself out working two.
“I think so,” she told me. “I’ll get paid more to be the receptionist, so I’m hoping I can leave that diner. It’s really a crappy place to work, and Paul keeps hitting on me.” Paul was the diner’s owner. His wife was the cook, but apparently she was oblivious to all of his advances on the servers.
“That’s great mom,” I said, putting the last piece of cutlery on the drying rack. Dishes done. I pulled the plug on the sink and grabbed the hand towel off the stove. “That’s really great.”
“I know,” mom said, still smiling. “But, enough about boring old me.” She was still smiling when she asked me, “So, how was school?”
“Boring,” I said, hanging the hand towel back on the stove door’s handle.
“I’d ask how your classes are, but I don’t think I’d get much of answer.” I was going to walk out of the kitchen and head downstairs, but I knew there was more she was going to ask me, so I just stood there waiting. “Did you meet any friends?”
“Yeah,” I replied, nodding. “Couple of guys.”
“Are they nice?” she asked me. What, does she think I can’t find ‘nice’ friends?
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It’s not supposed to mean anything.” She shrugged her shoulders and I realized now she really did mean nothing. I guess she’s just curious. Then why is it so annoying to me? “I was just wondering if they were decent guys. Like, nice and fun. That’s all.”
“Yeah, they’re pretty cool.” I tried to sound not so frustrated.
“And?” she asked me, but I didn’t know what else she wanted me to say, so I said nothing. “That’s all you’ve got?”
“Since when do you care so much about my friends, anyway?” It’s really not neither her business nor her concern.
The smile was gone from her face, and she even looked a little hurt. “Darren, you’re my son. Of course I care.” She sighed. “I’m sorry I asked.”
“Are you done?” I really just wanted to get out of this kitchen and go downstairs to my room, where I could relax alone.
“I’m just trying to talk with you, Darren,” she explained, frustration starting to creep into her voice. That’s okay though, she’s always frustrated with me for one thing or another. “Is that too much to ask? You’ve just been so distant lately.”
“It’s just been a long summer, mom,” I said. It wasn’t much of an excuse, but she seemed to take it. “What did you want to talk about?”
Her face lit up a little more. “You. Your day. Did you meet any cute girls?”
I shrugged at first, not sure if I should tell her about Laura. I guess she could see right through me because she asked me what her name was. “Laura, I told her. But she’s kind of a nerd.”
“So?” Mom leaned against the counter and crossed her arms across her chest. “There’s nothing wrong with nerds.” Oh great, now all mom is going to want to talk about it Laura. I can just hear it already. “Don’t count her out just yet, Darren. Give her a try. Maybe you’ll be able to meet some nice friends for a change, not like your old ones from Washington.”
Here it comes already. She’s never met Laura, and now all of a sudden she’s going to be a fucking angel compared to my old friends? What the hell do they even have to do with this? “Something wrong with my friends, mom?”
“Old friends, Darren,” she corrected me. “And that’s a stupid question. You know I didn’t like them.”
Rolling my eyes I sighed and tried to control my temper. “You know what? I don’t even care what you think about them. That doesn’t bother me. But what do they have to do with anything?”
“I just,” she started, trying to figure out what she wanted to say. “Look, Darren, this is how I feel. I just don’t want you being friends with the same kind of people you were in Washington. It gets you involved in the wrong situations.”
“Why do you have to do this?” I found my voice was harsher than before, and my question came out more like a demand. “I don’t even know what you mean.”
“Don’t play stupid with me.” Mom’s voice had gone from calm and collected to sharp and disciplinary. I guess something I said must’ve pissed her off, as usual. “I want you to be safe and healthy. I don’t want a son mixed up with alcohol, sex and drugs.”
I could feel my heart start to beat a little faster and found myself clenching my hand into a fist. “Mom, everyone drinks. You’re just going to have to deal with it.”
“Deal with it?” She stood away from the counter and pointed a strong finger right at me. “I’m your mother, Darren. That means you’re the one who has to do the dealing.” I watched her arm fall down to her side, and I decided not to say anything in response. “And you know damn well it’s not the alcohol that I’m most concerned with.”
“I don’t do drugs, mom.” I was trying not to yell, I didn’t want to upset Brett or Sherry, but I couldn’t help it anymore.
“Don’t even lie to me.” Mom’s voice was raised too, and I could tell she was real pissed at me now. “I deserve more than your lies. The least you could do is be honest with your mother.”
I was going to slam my fist into the countertop, but at the last minute I decided against it. I ran my hand through my hair instead, to keep it occupied. “I don’t want a lecture.”
“Well too bad because now you’ve ticked me off.” Her arm was back up and her finger was back in my face. “As much as you think so, I’m not an idiot. I know you used to smoke pot with your friends.” Oh my God. This is ridiculous. I’d rather not have this conversation, but I don’t think I have much of a choice.
“I didn’t say you were an idiot.” I didn’t even get the whole sentence out, though, because mom cut me off half way through.
“I’m not finished.” Her voice was louder and sterner now, and I knew the rest of my evening would be ruined. “I knew about the pot, just like I knew you were sleeping with that little tramp.”
“That’s not fair, mom,” I argued back. “She was my girlfriend. Don’t call her a tramp.”
“Fine, I’m sorry.” She didn’t sound very apologetic, but I knew it was the best I was going to get. “It doesn’t matter, because I knew what the two of you were doing together.”
“We weren’t having sex, mom!” I can’t believe this. Why should I have to deal with this shit? Some days she makes me so angry I just want to punch something.
She looked at me with that disapproving look she was very good at – the one that I was very used to seeing. It made me feel even worse, which just made me get angrier. “I can tell when you’re lying, Darren. It’s a little trick us mothers know.”
She’s just trying to get me going. There’s no way she knows about anything I’ve done or haven’t done. Is there? How could she know, though? She doesn’t know anything.”
“Oh, now you don’t have anything to say?” I could see her mouth start to open, and I knew she was going to say more, but I beat her to it.
“Screw this!” It wasn’t really much, but I put all my anger behind it and I could tell by the expression on mom’s face that it had the desired effect. “I’m tired of this fucking bullshit.”
“Darren James Harrison!” When she used my full name, she wasn’t just pissed off, she was really pissed off. “You watch your language, young man. I don’t want to hear any more of that garbage come out of your mouth! Now you’re going to listen to me! The past is over and I want to talk about now. And I am telling you right now that you better get your act together, or this will not smooth sailing for you! Do you know what means, Darren? You better pick your friends real well and make sure they are respectable. If I ever find out that you’re pulling any of the crap you pulled in Washington, you can get out of my house. Am I clear?” Her tone made absolute certain that I would respond with a simple ‘yes’.
“Good,” she said after a long pause of heavy breathing. “Now get out of here and go to your room. I can always count on you to ruin a good day.”
I walked past her, heading for the stairs, which were just outside the kitchen. I desperately wanted to make a final comment, piss her off even more, but I didn’t want this conversation to go on any longer. So I just went downstairs to my room in silence.
Not The End
Thanks for reading!
- Chapter Four – Places – Part Eleven (ourbirthwrite.org)
- Starting Your Novel With Ease, Part I – Chapters (trueknights.wordpress.com)
- NaNoWriMo Day 15 – Why Bother? (allmeanssomething.wordpress.com)
- After NaNoWriMo – Editing Part 2 (the-view-outside.com)
- After NaNoWrimo – Editing Part 1 (the-view-outside.com)
- Editing Your NaNoWriMo Novel THREE BITE SIZE GUIDES TO EDITING AND REVISING THE FIRST DRAFTpart 3 (bridgetwhelan.com)