(Previous post: Change I)
It was rather quiet in the office when Lysa walked in. Shirley, her co-worker was there filling her nails under the desk.
“Hi.” Lysa said dropping her purse on her desk.Shirley muttered a hello without even lifting her head.
“You shouldn’t get too comfortable.” She added as Lysa was turning on her computer. “The big boss is here.” She said gesturing to the halfway open door of the next room. Lysa looked in and saw a black haired woman talking on the phone her back to the door.
“I swear to you Lysa if she says one thing to me today… Just one… I’m going to hand in my resignation without a second thought…” When Lysa said nothing Shirley went on. “I can you know… ‘Smoke’, my band is doing really, really well… We have a weekly gig in the inn now, it is a start I know, but a really good one, it is a break I have been waiting for. So I can just quit…”
Lysa sighed. Sure Shirley could just quit, she could leave today… And not because she played drums in a small time local band with her brother and step mother. Shirley’s father was Riam Gradle, a famous rock star who hadn’t actually gambled, or snorted or whatever it was that rock star usually do with the massive fortune he had… So yes, Shirley didn’t need to work a crappy part-time job at the spa… Lysa didn’t have that luxury, not with the new house, Dougie’s laziness and everything else that had been going on… She sighed…
“Maybe we are just overreacting… It is not so bad here. She had not been that bad…” Shirley lifted her head and her blue eyes met Lysa’s.
“Really Lysa? She had been a bitch! There is no other word for it. She acts as if she is our boss when just yesterday she was one of us… She runs around as she owns the place…”
“She kinda does…” Lysa intejected.
“She is just one of the partners!”
“Which makes her our boss…”
“What’s up with all this shouting? I was on the phone!” The door to the other office were now completely open and a dark haired woman stood there eyeing both Shirley and Lysa angrily. Lysa noticed she was no longer seated but was up with both her hands on the table so she quietly took a seat now wanting to enrage their boss further. “So?” The woman asked again. “Your shift started five minutes ago and here you are shouting while I am making important business calls. You are not only not doing your job but preventing me from doing mine!”
“Sorry Summer.” Lysa said quietly. “We’ll get back to work.” Summer nodded.
“You better do. Those packages don’t sell themselves.” She turned around back to her new office and Lysa saw Shirley mouth: “Bitch” behind her back. She sighed quietly and got back to work.
Once she was done with work Lysa stood on the street outside the spa alone. She needed to get home, she needed to talk to her husband… But she couldn’t. She knew she would just snap if she were to come home and found Dougie playing some of his video games surrounded by empty pizza boxes…
So she sighed and went the other way. She was out of breath when she reached the styling salon Luther worked in. She liked Luther, she really did, but she couldn’t deny she sometimes was jealous of him , he and Dougie were such good friends, and they had that amazing bond she sometimes felt she and her husband were missing…
So when Luther showed up on their doorstep one day and Dougie just let them stay there indefinitely she couldn’t help but react… She felt as if she was just not enough… She was not a good enough friend… Not a good enough wife… It just frustrated her so…She even went to talk to Luther’s mum’s and tried to convince her to get her son to go come back home, she tried everything….
But right now she found herself in need of someone to talk to, someone to tell her things will be alright, someone to tell her Dougie loved her and how that was important, how that was enough… And the only person she could get those assurances from was his best friend of course.
Luther however seemed to be busy. Unlike his best friend, Lysa’s beloved husband who had never worked a day of his life, Luther was working since he was a teenager, he was in the army, worked in medical research and since recently had left his job at the hospital to be a stylist. He seemed to be doing a good enough job. Lysa saw him in conversation with a young brunette with familiar blue eyes, to make matters more intriguing, another woman was looking over them. She was wearing sunglasses that covered a greater portion of her face but anyone could recognize her by her long, brightly orange hair.
Nina Caliente was a musician, and a mayor star in the community, with her standing right there, her hands crossed in front of her intently observing the conversation Luther seemed to be having with the younger woman Lysa guessed this girl must be her younger daughter, which meant Luther must have been doing great at his new job to score a client like that. She waited until they were done and both women thanked him and left before she approached him.
“Wow Nina Caliente! Good job hot shot.” She told Luther who smiled broadly.
“Seems I did catch a bit of a break.” He answered before asking. “What brings you here?” Lysa sighed.
“I guess I just needed to talk to someone…” She replied feeling suddenly nervous. Luther gestured to a couch in the waiting room and once they were both seated spoke again.
“So what is on your mind?” On most times Lysa tried to ignore how good looking Luther was with his sweet face and warm brown eyes. She felt herself blushing a bit which of course angered her so she had to take a deep breath to compose herself.
“I just… I was wondering…” She found it much harder to spill what she came here to say, even to Luther. “Do you think Dougie would ever grow up?” Luther sighed then briefly looked away.
“You know, you knew him well enough before you got married Lysa… I don’t think it is fair expecting him to change who he is…Even for you…” Now Lysa felt the anger inside her raise even more. Of course Luther would take Dougie’s side… That is how it had always been, and apparently always will be… Maybe she should just leave, go back to her mum’s…. Leave the two of them to their perfect little life of playing games and eating pizza… Luther must have noticed her expression changing though because he stepped in quickly. “Now I didn’t mean it like that… It is just… He loves you a lot and he would do everything for you but you must allow him to remain himself… But it is true he should put some more effort and…” He was talking really fast now but Lysa was growing red in the face and she stood up angrily.
“Well the world doesn’t revolve around him! And he will learn it soon enough… He needs to step up a bit or I just might….” She couldn’t even say it. There were tears in her eyes so she turned around so Luther wouldn’t see her like this and ran outside wishing so hard she would have something, anything to punch at…
Lysa was calmer that evening… She had a piece of pizza and thought hard about a lot of things. She figured she owed Luther an apology… It wasn’t right of her trying to drag him into things between her and Dougie, she needed to talk to him… All this that was happening wasn’t hers alone…. They had to face it together… As a team…
All this kept her awake for a long time. Dougie wasn’t home. She had no idea where he was, she thought of calling him but then decided against it. She didn’t need to be the bad guy again… Spoiling his fun and what not… It was then she heard footsteps in the hallway.
“Dougie?” She called.
“It’s just me.” Luther said peeking in trough the open door.
“Dougie isn’t with you?” Lysa asked.
“No… I think he went to his brother’s…. I can call him if you want…”
“It’s okay, no need.” Lysa said trying to smile. “Luther I am sorry… For today, it wasn’t fair of me… Acting like that…”
“Forget it.” Luther said smiling. “I know me being here isn’t exactly ideal for you guys….”
“Let’s not talk about it now.” Lysa said. “Is that a book you’ve got, come read to me. I can’t sleep.” Luther walked in looking a little shy as he approached Lysa’s bed. He lay down on the covers and lifted his book. It was an old battered thing that must have seen a thousand of rereads. Lysa couldn’t read the letters on the cover but she could see the cartoonist illustrations. Luther started reading, his voice weird in the empty room.
“That is a children’s book!” Lysa said smiling.
“Ah yes, ‘Adventures of Raymundo’.” Luther said. “It used to be my favorite book growing up, I must have read it a thousand times! I still read it often, when ever I am feeling blue… You know I always thought I would read it to my kid one day…”
He cut off suddenly and Lysa quickly opened her eyes. She had forgotten Luther had a son, the boy must have been in his teens by now and she knew he and Luther didn’t have much contact. She wished she could say something soothing but nothing came to her.
“You know he came to the salon the other day…” Luther said. “My son… Jacob. He wanted a new look, something more rebellious he said. I tried my best, I really thought it would be a chance to bond but it turned out he hated it…” Luther rook a deep breath, his voice slightly shaking. “He just ran off saying I suck… I should have been there more I know… It is all my fault but I am trying Lysa…”
He said weakly and Lysa got up slowly touching his arm. In all the years she had known Luther she had not seen him so vulnerable. She wanted to say something, something meaningful and soothing but words failed her. They just lay there looking at each other for what felt like an eternity. Then Luther smiled.
“I shouldn’t bother you with this.” He said. “You wanted me to read, so I will.” Lysa said nothing more. She fell asleep listening to Luther’s voice and thinking about children and parenting…
The next day she woke up in bed alone. A heavy unsettling feeling descended over her, accompanied by a wave of nausea she was fighting with for days now. She looked around and sighed with relief when she saw Dougie’s clothes discarded on the dresser. Sometimes it was nice he was such a slob…
She found Dougie outside. He was taking out the trash, one pizza box at the time. The sight made her smile and she walked slowly to him. “Morning.” She said startling him briefly. When he saw her however Dougie broke in a smile as well. “Good morning to you too lovely!” Then his smile faded. “Look there is something I need to tell you… But first I apologize for last night….”
“I need to tell you something too.” Lysa said. It was not how she pictured it, the two of them standing outside in their pajamas, but she could no longer wait…
“Me first!” Dougie said. “I got a job… A new job… I am going to be an inventor, that is where I was last night, at Jun’s, my old inventing table with all my tools is there so I went to work. It is going pretty well I think.” He ended with an insecure smile and Lysa smiled back at him.
“That is great love.” She said. “We will need the extra money, especially with a kid on the way…” As expected Dougie’s face turned to stone, it made Lysa laugh.
“Whaaat?” He finally said.
“I am pregnant!” Lysa answered and Dougie flashed the widest grin she had ever seen on his face, wider than that time he beat Luther and one of their favorite racing games. He cupped her face with his hands still smiling like an idiot.
“I love you Lys.” He said and she smiled feeling her doubts let go….
Inside the house Luther was doing his best to make waffles on their burned out stove and Lysa felt that everything might just turn out okay…
/*First thank you all for reading! Any feedback is of course welcome! This is the end of this round’s story for Dougie and Lysa and in the next post we will start with yet another totally new family – The Javeed-Prentiss. You can read all about Cocoa, Andrew, Eduard, Sabina and Domynika before you start or just wait to meet them in the story.
Summer, Lysa’s new boss, if you didn’t recognize her, is Summer Caliente-Frail. She becomes the partner at the spa she had worked in Trying to get back to normal which is the last chapter of her family’s story this round. You can find all their chapters here.*/