CW: A Girl From The Apple Orchard (6/12)

Previously:

1) We meet Laura on a Saturday, deep in thought in her home office where Roy thinks she is writing her book. Instead, we learn that she is trying to write a letter explaining why she is about to leave. Her thoughts take her far away, and only a loud noise brings her out of the trance. Upon investigation, Laura learns that it was only wind that slammed the previously open window shut. Relieved, she tries to write, but nothing satisfactory makes it onto the paper. A pile of discarded balls of paper surrounds the trash can. Roy returns home with groceries to make dinner. When Laura confesses she was not able to write anything, he comforts her by saying she will do better next time. [AGFTAO Part 1]

2) Roy returns with groceries on another Saturday afternoon to a quiet home. Assuming that Laura is writing, as per usual, he unpacks the bags and begins to make plans for dinner. After a while, he grows slightly agitated and looks for Laura in her office. In the dark room, all he finds is what looks like a gift bag placed on the desk. In the meantime, we learn that Laura is on a moving train, but we are unsure of her immediate plans. Her fellow passenger – a young boy keeps swinging his legs and kicking her in the shins, but his mother does not even seem to care, excusing him as: “just a kid.” Laura gets up and walks out in search of a more peaceful seat. Then, we jump back to Roy who is finishing reading a letter from Laura. There is a teddy bear for Tommy in the gift bag. When Tommy runs into the room and tells Roy he is hungry, Roy puts the gift away and tells his son they will get pizza for dinner and watch TV. They leave the room, the letter, and the bear behind. [AGFTAO Part 2]

3) About a week or so later, Laura fires her gun reflexively and kills an enemy combatant, which leads to her being chased by his compatriots. As she runs away, she trips and falls down a hill, but manages to get up quickly and runs towards the forest where she hides and tends to her injuries. Unfortunately, shortly after, she is apprehended and taken away on horseback. Her captors bring her in before a woman on a throne. [AGFTAO Part 3]

4) Once Tommy falls asleep, Roy laments the fact that, just like him, Tommy might be destined to grow up without a mother. In the shower, he finally allows himself to cry. In the living room, he pulls out a hidden piece of paper containing wedding vows. Afterward, he rereads the letter Laura left behind in hopes of finding some comfort but it only makes him sadder. Before going to bed, Roy wonders why all the women in his life end up leaving one way or another. [AGFTAO Part 4]

5) Laura finds herself in front of a woman who is stylized differently but is undeniably her friend for whom she was looking. ” Queen Naayelli,” the locals call her. Although Laura is pleased to see that their mutual friend – Jason, was right about the fact that Olivia was not dead, she finds herself confused with how unperturbed the queen is by her arrival. Laura was hoping for a warm welcome, but instead, she gets thrown into a small, dark cell for the night. The next day, Olivia comes to meet Laura in her cell, but, to Laura’s surprise, she continues to act coldly and does not ask about Roy or even Tommy. The chapter ends with Naayelli calling in the guards as she is leaving, to presumably inflict some pain on Laura. [AGFTAO Part 5]

***

Roy’s phone pinged as he walked down the ‘Snack’ aisle at the supermarket.

Hmmm…?” He raised his eyebrow pondering who it might be.

The screen announced that he had “1 new voicemail.”

By then, Roy was really curious. Not only did he not hear the phone ring, but he also did not see a ‘missed call’ notification.

Must be Laura,” he thought to himself as he dialed the voicemail service.

It had been way too long. Surely she would want to check in with him and see how Tommy was doing.

She is not coldhearted! She just couldn’t get in touch until now.” Roy caught himself excusing Laura every time he thought badly of her.

“You have … one new voice mail,” the voice over the phone informed.

“This is your dealership. Your extended car warranty-“

Roy pressed seven to delete and hung up.

He let out a sigh. Yet another ruined day.

He went to the gym during his lunch break and worked out a little for the first time in months. He wanted to be in shape for when Laura would come back. She had been gone too long and was surely due to come back soon. However, after that voice mail, Roy lost yet a bit more of his already-depleted optimism and hope.

The boys at the office noticed that something had been off with him for a while and so they kept inviting him out for drinks. But, Roy had been avoiding hanging out with them because he did not feel like telling them that Laura had left him. It would be weird having to explain things once she came back. Instead of going out and getting drunk, his plan was to go grocery shopping and then home to Tommy; just like any other night these past few weeks when he did not have to work late.

“Ah, fuck it!” Roy swore under his breath and dialed one of his colleagues.

“Vin? Where are you guys meeting tonight? I figured we haven’t hung out in too long.” Roy brushed lint off his shoulder.

“That’s awesome, dude! ‘The Oracle’ on Main Street. I’ll send you the address.”

Roy disconnected the call without saying ‘Goodbye.’ ‘Hanging out with the guys’ was never really his thing. While his workmates got drunk and hit on random women at the bar, Roy preferred spending time with his family. But, now that his family involved only his son, Roy had to reconsider.

He called Paula – the babysitter, and confirmed that she would be able to look after Tommy for a few more hours. It was a Friday night and Paula was a junior in high school. She needed the money, like any other teenager yearning for independence, and she had nothing better to do, anyway. Roy shrugged. He was helping the young girl grow into a responsible adult. It would not hurt to socialize with the guys, either. Vin was very close with their boss and Roy felt like it was something he could leverage as he went up for promotion.

He almost reached the cashiers when he realized he could not just leave the half-filled cart in the middle of aisle 5. He was not THAT big of a rebel.

“Ma’am?” He stopped an employee walking by.

“How can I help you?” the elder lady asked with a genuine smile.

“Uhhh… I’m really sorry, but I just got a call that my wife cannot pick up our kid from pre-school. She’s had an emergency at work. She’s a doctor, you know? And our son, poor boy… he’s the last kid there. Been waiting for almost an hour…”

“Oh, dear!” The employee moved closer, her smile vanished.

“I have to go get him… I had to abandon my cart over there in aisle 5. I’m so sorry,” Roy blurted out, surprised at the story he had come up with.

“Oh, no worries, dear! I’ll take care of it. Go get your child.” She moved closer to him and opened up her arms.

Roy barely embraced her before running out of the store. Lying was not his strong suit, and lying to an old lady was surely going to send him straight to hell, but Roy did not want to think about that any further. He was going to let loose a little, which was bound to help him and Tommy in the long run. The boy needed a father that was strong, and Roy was tired of crying in the shower almost every night.

***

Roy lifted his head up and looked at his phone. It was almost midnight and there were seven missed calls and twice as many texts from Paula asking him where he was and when he was coming back.

He motioned at the bartender and was brought a double shot of whiskey shortly after.

“Women. Am I right?” he asked Rodger, who tended the bar.

The man flashed him a smile, gave him a slight nod, and then moved toward a client at the other end of the bar.

Roy pulled out two 50s and a 20 and placed them on the bar, underneath the empty glass. Then, not without trouble, he made his way outside and hailed a cab.

***

“You’re drunk! Again!” Paula whispered angrily.

“I’m not DRUNK!” Roy took his shoes off and threw them onto the mat in the corner.

“Shhhh! Tommy’s sleeping!”

“I will need to talk to your parents tomorrow and ask if you yell at them, too. You’re awfully rude. Did they not teach you how to be respectful towards an adult?” He stumbled into the kitchen and poured himself a glass of water from the jug in the fridge.

A puddle pooled at Roy’s feet. “Did you spill something and forgot to clean it up?” he asked Paula.

‘That’s it. I quit.” Paula stormed out through the back door before Roy could explain that he had been joking.

He would talk to her the next day (or that day, if it was after midnight already) and sort everything out. Roy knew Paula’s parents were reasonable people. They would talk some sense into their rebellious teenage daughter. He was not looking forward to Tommy being that age, but he just knew that Tommy would be different. He had taught him well enough.

***

“Roy, this is Brenda.”

Roy looked at the screen of his phone to confirm that he dialed the right number. “I was trying to reach Paula?” He wondered what irresponsible games Paula was playing. First, she did not show up on time to sit with Tommy. Now, she lost her phone.

“Paula will not be sitting for you anymore. I’m her mother,” the female on the other end of the line answered.

“Why not?”

“We understood when you showed up drunk the first time. It cannot be easy with Laura gone…”

How did she know about Laura being gone? That stupid kid must have told her,” Roy made a mental note to talk to Paula about his privacy and to cut her pay for a few nights to teach her a lesson.

“But to go out EVERY night? You have a SON to take care of!” Brenda continued. “And then, last night you showed up with another woman?…”

Nothing happened between Krissy and him. They just talked a little as they watched TV. All he wanted was some company. Was that such a sin?

“… For Chrissake, Roy! We don’t want that kind of influence on our Paula. I’m sure you’ll understand… eventually… Good luck, Roy. And Goodbye.”

Roy could not believe the audacity. He thought of going next door and telling Martin all about his wife sticking her nose in other people’s business, but he decided against it. If Paula did not want the extra money, he would figure something else out.

He grabbed his phone and dialed Vincent.

“Vin, my man! What’s up?”

“Hey, Roy. I’m sorry, dude, but I cannot go out tonight. My wife said I had to sleep on the sofa if I go out for the fifth time this week. I like my bed. And my wife.”

Roy rolled his eyes. Women were always the problem. Life would be so much easier without them.

“No worries, man. My buddy from college just called me. He is in town on a layover and insists we meet up and catch up tonight. Laura’s out of town visiting her parents. I wanted to say ‘no,’ but he seems to be going through a rough time and I feel like I need to be there for him.” Lying was not as bad as Roy had previously thought. It got easier every time he fibbed.

“Of course. How can I help?”

Roy remembered that Vincent had a son only a few years older than Tommy and figured the two boys could have a sleepover.

“Sure thing,” Vincent agreed to the proposal and Roy dropped his son off at 7pm before heading to ‘The Oracle’.

***

“The usual?” Rodger asked as soon as Roy sat down.

“Mhm,” Roy murmured, pleased with the amount of effort he put into these interactions.

“Where’s your friend?” the bartender asked as he brought over a glass and poured two shots of whiskey.

“He’s on a leash. Says he likes his wife, so he opted to stay in. More fish for me, I guess.” Roy shrugged and took a swig.

A petite brunette sat down next to Roy and ordered ‘Sex on the Beach.’ Roy smirked and turned towards her.

“My sex life is just fine the way it is. I’m just here for a drink,” the brunette said before Roy could even open his mouth. “Let’s just enjoy our poison in peace. OK?” she asked with force and Roy obediently turned back around.

Once the drink was gone, so was the woman. But the night was young.

The next time a female sat down next to him, Roy figured he would not even turn around. The rejection hurt less when it was not face-to-face.

“What do you see in this painting up on the wall?” he asked, gesturing toward the abstract piece in the corner of the bar.

When the answer did not come, Roy turned around to tell his companion how rude she had been by not answering his question. The slender blonde was already halfway to the other end of the bar.

“That’s quite the strategy.” A full-figured redhead approached and sat down next to Roy. “Were you gonna say that you see your dick and her vagina in that painting?” She smirked and waved the bartender down. “Vodka soda,” she ordered.

Roy wanted to tell her off for her smugness, but he realized that he craved female company more than anything else. They began to chat and pretty soon they were laughing together.

“He has a wife and a kid,” the bartender said to the red-haired woman when he brought her another round of ‘vodka soda.’

Roy and his companion laughed.

“I know,” Renata replied in-between laughs. “Guess he doesn’t know I’m gay,” she added when Rodger walked away.

“Guess not.” Roy smiled.

He had not laughed in… well, in a very long time. He was grateful for having met Renata and for being able to just ‘be’ like a normal human being whose life was not a total mess.

***

“Write a story inspired by the word ‘abstract.'”
– prompt used for this CW piece.
[Source: BlogBattle]

***

P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!

Stay golden,

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***

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Stay golden,

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***

Did you enjoy reading this post?
Hit LIKE.
Have some thoughts on the topic?
Share in the COMMENTS.
Do you regularly enjoy my blog?
Be sure to FOLLOW.
Are my posts getting lost in your busy Reader?
Try SUBSCRIBING.
Want to get to know me better?
Check me out on TWITTER @SamGoldieKirk.

18 thoughts on “CW: A Girl From The Apple Orchard (6/12)

Add yours

  1. A couple of interesting things going on here: Very soon into this story I wondered how much time had passed since Laura left. During the course of reading, it seems a few weeks have gone by, with another week elapsing during this episode. Definitely makes me wonder what’s going on with Laura now! And Roy is becoming very dis-likeable. The lying, justifications (excuses), and pure arrogance (who I loved how you illustrated that in his belief Tommy will turn out better than the babysitter because Roy will raise him better) is turning him into something of a villain. Yes, he’s going through hard times, but hopefully he’ll start turning things around before I start hoping he gets hit by a bus. πŸ™‚ Looking forward to what happens next!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I received some feedback from readers regarding the time lapse not being clear enough, so I figured I would try and make up for it.

      Roy seemed to be a fan favorite, so I thought I’d rock the boat a little bit this time around πŸ˜‰

      Thank you for your feedback. Stay golden!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, Roy turned into a bit of an ass, didn’t he? I feel bad for that babysitter β€” having to baby not just the kid, but the drunk too. And then to get insulted for it! Perhaps Laura left not just because of her secret life, but also because of his misogynistic “Women, am I right?” worldview. Looking forward to the next part!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hmm sometimes we are quite the architects of our own misery and when the cows come home to roost …. well, the sympathy stops ^_^
    great job and shaking the tables I guess had been giving Roy a a bit of free pass in the matter but looks like he may not have blame free
    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

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