Sheena confides in an old friend and explains what's currently pulling her down. Her Highness Hairball is appalled about the lack of attention we have been paying to her and decides to make a point...
THIS CHAPTER IS DEDICATED TO AIDEN AND EVIE.
"Is Patrick home?" he asked when I opened the door.
No hello, no how are you, no nothing.
You can tell I was really stressed out by the fact that I used poor grammar.*
"Sorry, friend. He's... actually I don't even know where he is. But he's not home."
Maybe I should pay more attention when he's talking to me. Like actually talking to me and not to somebody on the phone.
"Ah, well. Wasn't really important anyways," the guy turned around to leave.
"Hey," I piped up. "Wanna come in? Keep me company? I was about to make myself a nice cup of hot cocoa. Could I interest you in one?"
God, I miss the days when Patrick and Kylene would sit at the kitchen table, giggling about something silly, while I was preparing hot cocoa for all of us. Sure, he wasn't home that much back then. Either on tour or recording or photo shoots or whatnot. But when he was home, it really felt like home.
"Who am I to turn down free cocoa?" he grinned and stepped inside.
As we walked into the kitchen he asked, "So what's Kylene up to? Being her sunshiny self?"
"She's upstairs with Hedwig... Oh, did Patrick tell you about her latest random act of teenagerness? She told people at her school that the foreign exchange student could live with us. Her name is Hedwig and her accent is so bad that I hardly understand her."
"You look stressed out. Is everything ok, Sheena?"
I tried not to sigh. I tried not to spill my heart out to the silly goofball who's been friends with my husband for a little less than three decades and with me for the last twenty years. I tried to be cool.
But hey, I am still me.
"I feel so drained out," I said softly.
His eyes grew wider, "Wow. You... you're scaring me. What's wrong?"
I put the milk onto the warm stove. "Just... forget I even mentioned it, ok?" I said lamely.
That earned me a raised eyebrow.
He shook his head, "I can't... Look, maybe we've never been best friends but..."
That earned him a raised eyebrow.
"...I see that something's wrong and I demand that you tell me. Or else I will stay here all day and bug you about it."
I stared at the milk. These days you could either buy sheep, goat, horse or camel milk, no cow milk though as our president firmly believed that cows should be not be used to cater for the needs of humans. There was also a synthetic version of what faintly tasted like cow milk on the market. Despite the advertisment campaign titled "Got Plink?" the stuff never really became awfully popular. Might have to do with its mysterious radioactive glow. And the non-musical fallout that we've been having all over the country ever since its invention.
I remained quiet until the hot beverages were prepared and I carried two mugs of steaming liquid over to my guest.
"It's about Patrick and his job, isn't it?" he asked me.
"It's about everything really. Patrick, Kylene, my life passing me by and I'm not even sure I'm doing what I wanna do," I replied in an ambiguous fashion.
"Do you feel left alone? With all your responsibilites and chores?"
I couldn't say Patrick didn't care. I think it was more of him not realizing all the things I did for our little family. Maybe taking them for granted. I'm not sure I have the right to be mad at him when it's always been me who has taken care of everything on my own will. You can't think of yourself as a martyr and at the same time expect others to acknowledge what you're doing.
"Well, I must say I have been wondering how you manage to keep everything running the way it does," he pointed out.
I snorted, "Keep everything running? Kyle is completely out of control.**"
Then I told him about her reluctance to listen to whatever I had to say, about her not paying enough attention to school and being full of guys, her looks and who-knew-what-else.
"And Patrick is... he's not helping much with her. She's his little princess. I know he's a good father but he's just so... lenient with her. And we don't hang out anymore. Like it used to be, you know. Just sitting around the house, doing nothing really. Goofing off and having our silly conversations."
I stopped for a moment, "It used to be so different, so new. Exciting."
"But you still love him, right? Hope that question isn't completely out of line..." he stammered.
That question was completely out of line.
"That question IS completely out of line, dude," I glared at him.
When I was about to answer Kylene and Hedwig entered the kitchen.
"Hey, Mom. Hey, Uncle -"
"I told you not to call me 'uncle'. It makes me feel old," my pal replied and pulled a face.
"Alright, alright. Hey -"
My daughter was cut short by the sound of our cookie jar shattering to piece on the floor. As we turned around to see what had happened all we saw was Hairball running through the other kitchen door.
"Do oll American cats eat cookies?" Hedwig asked confused.
"Geeez," I sighed, getting up to clean up the mess.
"Mom, are you alright? You seem aggrieved," Kylene gave me a sympathetic look.
"I'm fine, honey."
"Ok... So, Hedwig and I were about to head out to meet a couple of my friends. See you later!" Kyle waved at us quickly and pulled her new friend out the door.
"Goot bye, ewvryvon!"
"Have fun!" my visitor yelled after them. Then he turned towards me, "Need some help?"
"Sure," I said and smiled.
He was some character. But I guess you could say that about all four for them.
All in all, things weren't really that bad. I guess it was just my habit of seeing the downside of everything.
* I wish I could use that as an excuse, Sheena.
* Should you be interested in the life of a somewhat more mature and likeable teenager named Molly who's recently made the acquaintance of the FOB guys and a couple of interesting original characters and has more control of her hair, I recommend you check out Bridget's (luckysgc921) story "Would You Believe Me If I Said I Didn't Need You?*". Please note her fine summaries, too.