Work in Progress, or WIP, posts are excerpts from open writing projects. All writing is my own and in the rough draft phase. Take it (but don’t actually take it, copyright me and all that) for what it is!
How extremely fitting, Sarah thought, as she began to awaken from her fitful sleep on the day of her son’s court sentencing. The thunder booming even over the rumbling of the window air conditioning unit, the lightning lighting up the bedroom, despite closed shades, indicating it’s not a passing storm, but one that has settled in and eliminated the sunlight.
“It was a dark and stormy night…” she thought of how the beginning of the story might go, hoping that the outcome of this day is a bit different than the night Shelly’s Frankenstein brought his monster to life.
She didn’t want to wake up to her sunlight-simulating alarm clock; didn’t want to leave the comfort of her bed for the unknown of the day; didn’t want the night to be over for whatever is happening today to be final. She buried her head into their voluminous white bed sheets and pillows for just another five minutes, before taking a deep breath to face the music.
Tom, of course, was already up. She wonders if he even sleeps anymore. Perhaps he does, just not with her…
She makes her way through her morning routine, washing, putting on lotion, brushing, plucking, blowing, taming, lining, until she looked like a mother one would present in court. “Mother of drug addict No. 4” her part might be named if this was a daytime drama on television.
She wasn’t sure she could eat, but knew she should try. They don’t give you a set time for these things, you must simply show up and await your turn, so it could be many hours of stoically waiting in her sweater set, pencil skirt, flats and pearls in a sterile courtroom hallway before her baby boy’s name is called. She hesitated to wish for anything, a speedy decision, an early time slot, if she was honest, she just kept trying not to think about what might happen here. She’s not sure what the right thing to happen should be. Her baby boy could be locked up, she was well aware of that, and would this be the worst outcome? Her heart would certainly think so, but pragmatically, he’d be in a place that’s further away from drugs — theoretically anyway. Her son could be released on probation, that would certainly be the least stringent outcome, but without the tools he to survive in a world full of temptation and a desire to live a fulfilling life, which she’s not sure he has at the moment, then it seems we’re destined to be back in this same situation. Similar quid pro quo would follow if he was sent to court-mandated rehab facility. He’d likely be begging for those previously cushy facilities paid for by Mommy and Daddy’s insurance company, at that rate. Sigh. She decided a long time ago that doing this, running in her mind through the things that may or may not happen was not beneficial for her in any way. It’s excruciating. Instead, whatever happens next, she will deal with as it comes.
The waft of coffee greets her as she descends the steps. Tom is sitting at the island with his paper, cup of coffee and the remnants of toast.
“It’s fresh,” he motions toward the pot with his coffee cup hand.
She gives half a smile in thanks. She’s not a big talker in the morning.
She thinks about making some toast and then second guesses it. Her stomach just isn’t in a food mood this morning. She perches herself on the other side of the island as she drinks her coffee.
“You really should eat something,” Tom says, ever the pragmatist, without looking up from his paper.
He folds the paper down and looks her in the eyes over the newly acquired reading glasses. “We could be there for hours. You know you can get irritable when you’re hungry, if you get to that point, and that’s not what we need while we’re awaiting judgment for our son’s crimes.”
Without breaking eye contact, she reaches into the fruit bowl for a banana, places it next to her coffee cup, before lifting the cup again for another drink.