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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Part 7–Rollercoaster Ride

This is a continuation from the six posts below.

Biting off more than I can chew is my forte. But my heart told me that seventeen years of a life that we built on love, compassion, trust and each other’s harebrained ideas, couldn’t be broken by something stupid like hurt feelings. I watched TV for about 20 minutes and fell asleep. My mind was overwhelmed and sleep was my sanctuary.

I awoke during the night, with my old man at my side. I got up to check on the kids. Who by the way, still barricaded the door at night since the first night our houseguest came along.

There was a silent calm in the air. The Lane Estate felt like home again. Maybe a little nap was all I needed. I told myself tomorrow would be a better day as I looked at my princess sleeping peacefully on the couch.

Bright and early we were up and having coffee. I was still getting the silent treatment from Jane, but I cared a lot less. A funny thing happened, for more than a week, I had a second skin, a little sister, someone who looked up to me in every way. Although she was not a coffee drinker, she drank coffee with me every morning. It was her way of fitting in. She used half of a cup of sugar and half of a cup of Coffee Mate to a shot of coffee. That morning, when Mr. Lane poured us each a cup of coffee, made the way he and I drink it, she tried choking it down. I finally said, “You need more sugar, don’t you?” and handed her the sugar bowl. She had that beautiful smile again, and it was directed toward me. It was another reminder that I was dealing with someone who wasn’t well. My anger subsided but my guard remained up.

Mr. Lane and I got in the shower together, which is something we always do but hadn’t since our guest came along. He thought it would be a good way for us to discuss last night in private. But I didn’t want to talk or listen. Selfishly, I just wanted my life back.

He told me he explained that he couldn’t take her to Iowa. And said she looked really sad. Then he said, “I’m taking her to the mall today.”

“What about work?”

“I called in. She wants to go somewhere and I know she loves the mall.”

Inside, my head was spinning. Anger and darkness boiled over once again. I didn’t say anything. It was a record breaking shower, and I doubt all of my 2,000 parts were clean. I just wanted to get away from him.

“I’m starting to wonder if insanity is contagious,” I said under my breath as I walked out.

Lane 2 had a volleyball tournament that was going to take up most of the day. I was upset for my daughter. How could her father blow off work to go hangout at the mall, rather than come and see her play? Being mad for her felt better than being mad for myself. Before leaving the house, Lane 2 asked Jane if she wanted to come to the game. She said no. When I said goodbye to her, she just turned away not saying anything. It was one of those bite your tongue moments, because my mind had plenty for my mouth to say.

The big tournament was at a school, five miles away from the mall. I found myself looking at the entrance repeatedly. I wanted nothing more than for Mr. Lane to walk through those gym doors. I finally stopped looking when my daughter was pulled from the junior varsity team to play on the varsity team after one of the older girls got sick. It was Lane 2’s big day, and all of my energy and focus turned to where it belonged. In all, she played five games and did a great job. It felt good to only think of my daughter.

My cell phone was tuned off but it said I’d missed two calls.

“Lo, your phone went right into voicemail. Are you avoiding me?”

All I could do was think, “No dipshit. I turn my phone off when I am being a parent.”

“Lois, it’s me again. Call me.”

I really didn’t want to go on the emotional rollercoaster anymore, so I didn’t call him back. Life was topsy-turvy and that volleyball game was my only sanity. I’d been facing Uncle Giant’s failing health, which besides breaking my heart, brings on missing my own dad more than I already do on any given day. On top of the move and packing, the school transfers, the houseguest, the idiot husband, the book and the big plans waiting in the wings, that I can’t tell you about right now, my life was turning into a sandstorm and unlike Jane, I had no one there holding my hand through it all. Volleyball and my girl were much more fun to think about… safer anyhow.

Stay tuned for the shocking conclusion coming soon to a blog near you.