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The River-Short story by Dit Dot

The River

Alex was in the kitchen preparing dinner for himself, Sophie and Devin when the phone started to ring. Alex quickly wiped his hands dry on the new tea towel he had bought a couple of days before. He hustled to the living room where he had left his phone. He answered the phone, “hello,” he said. “Hi Alex, it is Kate.” Alex had nearly dropped his phone. “My God Kate.”  He stuttered, “W-where have you been the past year? Why haven’t you answered my phone calls?” Kate seemed to avoid his questions and only replied nervously that she needed to talk to him. She asked if they could meet up for coffee. Alex had gone silent. He had so many more questions to ask her. He had been hurt and at times quite angry at her disappearance, at the same time he had been very worried about her. He hesitantly replied “Alright” and asked what time and where would they meet. She told him they could meet at the Second Cup around the block from their house where they used to go. “Is eleven o’clock a good time?” she asked. He thought for a moment and said that he could do that, the kids will be in school, and he had the next two days off. “Ok good” she replied.”I can’t wait to see you” They said a brief good-bye. As Alex put his phone down Devin asked “who was that Dad?“ and he replied “just a friend.”  He then called Sophie and told them to wash up for dinner.

The next day Alex got the kids on the school bus at eight thirty and waved goodbye. He went back home and showered and shaved, and wondered what this meeting up would be like and why she suddenly wanted to meet with him.  Despite his confusion, and hurt he was so relieved she had finally called after all this time.

Alex was right on time, and Kate was already there. Her once black short punk hairstyle was replaced with soft brown curls and it was shoulder length.  He thought that she seemed to look healthier. She got up and motioned to hug him, he hugged her back and noticed the perfume she always used to wear. He sat down and rushed asking her questions. “Where have you been?” “Why do you want to meet with me now?”

She carefully explained to him that she had been at rehab. Alex remembers how out of control she had been, drinking continuously, leaving him to care for Davin and Sophie.

“I am sober, it has been 7 months” she said. She told him she was getting her life back on track and told him she just started working as a receptionist at a Doctor’s office half an hour away from the house.  He knew the clinic well as it was in the mall they used to go to.

Alex was impressed. He said to Kate that Sophie and Devin have been asking him “ where has Mommy gone? Why can’t we talk to her?” Alex never had a good answer to give to them. They have been confused and often cried and said they missed her.

Kate continued talking, explained that she needed time to “find” herself.  “I have lost so much time with you and the kids though” She genuinely apologized for not returning his phone calls and  told him she had needed the time to herself to figure out how to live in a more healthy way so she could be a better parent, a better wife.

“I want to be back in your life. I want our family back, I have so much time to make up for.” 

Alex told her it was a lot to take in. “the kids and I are doing well, we are a strong trio” Alex told Kate that he needed time to think about it and would call her.

Later that day after Alex picked up Sophie and Devin from the bus he told them that they were going to go out for dinner and asked what they would like to eat . “Pizza!” they both cried out in unison.  Alex decided Boston Pizza would be a great place to go.

Once back home Alex asked the kids if they wanted to go to the river. It was a twenty minute drive from their house. “Yes!” they exclaimed excitedly. “Can we bring our fishing poles?” Alex gathered their belongings for their little adventure and they drove to Russell River.  Alex undid Sophie’s child seat buckle and the kids snatched their belongings and beach towels and skipped off to the rocky shore line. Alex insisted that Sophie wore a life jacket even though the current was gentle. Alex is big for his eleven years, already five feet two inches. Sophie is just tiny he thought, at four years old she is only thirty eight  pounds. Together they gathered rocks, stood in the water and playfully tossed them in the river.

Alex needed this. He always found that the  river to cleared his mind and it relaxed him after work, or after busy days with the children. It was very soothing the way the water rippled against the rocks. A short distance up the river was a small waterfall. The sound of the flowing river was very gratifying. He thought of the conversation he had with Kate. He breathed in the slightly musty smells of the river and  there was a soft breeze rustling through nearby trees. He had been missing Kate these past months, almost a year now. The feelings were quite intense since their meet-up. As a family they spent many evenings and weekends together at this peaceful section. It was rarely occupied. It seemed like their own personal paradise. Alex took another deep breath in and exhaled slowly.  Although it was seven in the early evening the sun was still warm on his skin. His heart was glowing as he remembered the good times they had together, seemed so far gone. He knew what he had to do. He decided that once he had Devin and Sophie in bed he would call Kate and ask her if she wanted to join them on the weekend. Maybe it was a fresh start.

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Christie F.

Welcome to my blog. I have been journal writing for years. I took a course in Creative writing and found I enjoy writing short stories and poetry. I write more when I am hypomanic or manic.
I went into Rehab for Alcohol Addictions and have been sober for fourteen years.
Shortly after I quit drinking I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2, I have since been diagnosed with Bipolar 1.
I enjoy talking about my story, for people to learn or relate. I try and have a healthy lifestyle and try to use my coping strategies. Life is just too boring without Bipolar, it is a blessing but yet sometimes a curse.
I am currently working on a book and dream of publishing one day.
I am so excited to have found Wordpress.
This is my new adventure.

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