January is a time for resolutions, a time to wipe the prior year's slate clean and work toward new goals. So, before January slipped away, it seemed appropriate to ask my Facebook fans to name a resolution they'd like to see fictionalized. Though I only received one reply, I couldn't have hoped for a better topic: "more love time with your spouse," courtesy of Amy Davies-High. Personally, this resolution conjures some hilarious imagery, which sparked my imagination. Read on for the resulting short story.
Andee Lowry equated her life to a tornado. Her day typically started at the ungodly hour of 4:00 a.m. This allowed for a peaceful shower and five minutes of coffee time before the chaos of prying twin toddlers and a sleepy seven-year-old out of their beds and getting them fed, dressed and ready for the day ensued. Once she tamed the little goblins, she had a boss battle with a grumpy, groggy thirty-two-year-old ogre on her hands.
She was tired before cramming the kids and their gear into the mountain-sized SUV and spent by the time she arrived at work at 8:00 a.m. After eight hours of coddling executives, she faced collecting the kids, helping her son with homework, pacifying a giant, joining a make-believe tea party, cooking dinner, inhaling dinner, cleaning the kitchen, bathing the girls and reading bedtime stories. And then there was laundry.
On a good day, the merry-go-round made her dizzy. On a bad day, she daydreamed of running away with a sexy Spaniard. Today was a Spaniard
Andee's husband, Shane, sank into the overstuffed couch next to her. He squeezed just above one of her knees. She jumped.
"Sorry," he said. "You okay?"
A flush threatened to creep up her spine but quickly dissipated, crushed by the jolt back to reality.
"Yeah," said Andee. "I'm just tired."
Shane angled himself so he could rub Andee's shoulders. She leaned forward with his touch, giving him more room to work, and closed her eyes.
"Tough day at the office?"
Her eyes popped open and she gave him a sideways glance. Sometimes, she thought he was the smartest, most handsome man on the planet. Right now, he more or less resembled Cro-Magnon man.
"What?" he asked, shrugging and stilling his hands.
"Nothing. Keep rubbing."
As he resumed the back rub, a devilish smile spread across his face. "Have you had a chance to think about my New Year's resolution?"
Five days after the New Year, Shane had feverishly explained his resolution, which basically involved getting naked on a regular basis for reasons other than showering or changing clothes.
"You're serious about this?" she asked.
"Damn straight," he said. "I don't know if you know this, but my wife is hot. And Daddy needs more love time."
Andee's rusty gears started turning. "Well, Daddy. I'll make you a deal."
Shane's breathing sped, becoming a little ragged. Saucer-eyed, he nodded.
"Two days a week, you handle the kids. I'm talking a.m. and p.m. duty, down to bedtime stories. You give me two days, and I'll give you two days."
He blinked a couple of times. "Every week?"
"Do you want it every week?"
His posture folded a little, and his hands dropped to his lap. "Yes," he said with an air of resignation.
Andee stood, faced her husband and held out a hand. "So it's a deal?" she asked.
After shaking hands, Andee grabbed her wine glass and headed for the bedroom.
"You start tomorrow," she said.
Shane's eyes brightened, and he chased after her, grabbing her backside.
"Oh, no," she said. "I'm exhausted. I don't start until tomorrow either."