Delaying his business day yet longer, he decided to telephone in on his family. He had missed his wife’s departure for her facial that morning. He felt guilty about it, as if the routine were in danger; either that or he had missed an opportunity to have his breakfast made for him. He had decided that since it was her day and had started without worrying, he would keep it that way and would not bother her with anything, but he didn’t hold to it. He reached into his robe to pull out the phone that felt more like a brick in his pocket. With it came a crumpled dollar bill, torn on the corner, and a half-used wad of tissue paper. He put the tissue back and the dollar on the desk. He put the headset in his ear and dialed. His wife answered immediately.
“Yes, I’d like two ham biscuits and a large coffee, black.” He smirked.
“Oh! Hello. Got up late and found yourself all alone and helpless did you?” She chuckled. “Listen, I bought some eggs yesterday, and there’s still some bacon left in the fridge. Throw it in the microwave; it won’t be as messy. You can make yourself an omel-”
“No, no. Don’t worry about it,” he interrupted, noticing her tone turn to worry and concern. “Just wanted to tell you to enjoy your day. By the way, why aren’t you in your appointment yet?”
“Traffic’s miserable this morning; I’m almost there.”
“Oh. Figures. Heard about Shaw being in town for a book signing or something. Plugging his presidential campaign some more. Anyhow, be careful, enjoy your morning, and maybe we can meet for lunch, if you’re not too tired after your massage.”
“I’ll call you.”
He could tell that both he and his wife were losing their youth, and he tried to be sweet to her as much as possible. Menopause, or whatever, was probably coming around soon, but he hoped it could at least hold off until the kids were out of the house. He didn’t know how to deal with it.
He did not want to be irritating or needy concerning his family, but he felt it was better than the alternative. His youngest daughter Sarah, a freshman in high school, didn’t look like either of her parents. She had a great figure, was tall and blonde. She was sweet and generous, although not naïve, and was a brilliant student. She had an audition after school that day for the Savannah Youth Symphony. She played French horn and was a superb musician. She had been asked on numerous occasions to perform with various local orchestras and performance groups such as quintets or choirs, but this was could be her big break. She was hoping to win the audition, which would catapult her into the world of commercially recorded performances. She had a private instructor and was determined to win the position. To herself, she was very confident she would win the audition, and was not nervous in the least about losing it, but pretended she was; she was truly humble. Chuck called her cell phone, leaving her a voice message.
“Hey Sarah; it’s
Chuck walked into the kitchen and cleaned up a few things that the women of the house had left behind. He poured himself a cup of coffee while listening to the noises it made; he looked around. He couldn’t drink coffee as a child, and he really didn’t know when or how he picked up the habit. His parents did not let him drink coffee, and were even restrictive with sodas or other things with caffeine or too much sugar. The Williams’ were very strict, not allowing him to do much outside his academic career, which they strongly advocated. They put so much emphasis on his schooling and education that he hardly had time to enjoy growing up, much less the experience of being in elementary, junior high, or high school. He had always wanted to be part of the Latin club, or JCL (Junior Classical League), because they always seemed to have a good time and never cared what anyone else thought of their strange parties or activities. He never made any close friends, had any hobbies, had anything he truly enjoyed as a child, and because of that, he put his heart and soul into the only thing that he had to give it to: his education. He was stellar, always a straight-A student, but was never geeky or strange. He kept his social skills, and honed the ones he didn’t have, and this led him right into and out of college.