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And The Story Continues With Chapter Five

Hey! It looks like another rainy Freebie Friday and I didn’t forget! I can already hear the thunder in the distance. I’m still pressed for time this week, but I may be a little more organized. My car was in the shop for three days so being chained to the house was probably a good thing. I even got a few chapters of ‘What Line’ written and I finished all the ‘band duties’ I had to do for H. I don’t think I worked this hard for the WHS Band when Andrew was in high school! The first ballgame is tonight for WHS so the year is just beginning.

Enjoy Chapter 5 of ‘What Line’ and leave me some comments on what you think about the story so far. Be sure to check out ‘Crossing The Line’ so the sequel makes sense though. I never did like reading the second book in a series first. It’s kinda like getting to the theatre after the movie has already begun! We can’t let that happen can we?

Chapter Five

 

…………Back to the present………….

 

 

The sun had gone down and Jim sat on the bench on the white sandy shore looking out over the water. He could hear the night life from the restaurant in the background. The laughter and gaiety that wafted out over the sand reaching his ears made him think of the fun he and Helena and the kids used to have in the evenings at this very same restaurant and beach. How could he have been so stupid? What in the world had he been thinking to let Lori Walters take so much control over his life? Was it too late to fix it? Did he want to? He sure hadn’t shown Helena that he wanted to fix anything. He had just lost all control of his life and let everyone down – his wife, his kids, even his business associates. He was sure they all knew what a fool he had been.

He stood up slowly not knowing what to do next. He had to go somewhere to sleep. He did have a key to Lori’s house and she was still in the hospital recovering from her boob job as Helena referred to it. Her daughter was at her dad’s for a week. Should he go there? It probably wasn’t a good idea but he had no place else to turn right now. Helena had thrown him out and his daughter, Carrie, had just gotten home with a new baby. He didn’t want to bring all these problems to her so her house was not an option. She would take her mother’s side, he felt sure. Carrie and Helena were very close. Lori’s house it would have to be. It would just be for one night. He would be out of there before Lori returned from the hospital in the morning.

Jim tossed and turned all night, sleeping fitfully. In the morning after hours of restlessness he decided to forego trying to sleep and go to work. He showered and dressed and gathering all his gear together so Lori wouldn’t suspect he had been there, he prepared to leave her house to go to work early. As he walked out of the bedroom he heard the front door open. In walked Elise, Lori’s best friend! They were both startled to see each other.

“What are you doing here?” they both asked at the same time.

“I needed a place to spend the night,” was Jim’s answer. “Why are you here?”

“Lori asked me to pick a few things up for her before I went to the hospital to get her,” Elise said defensively. “You shouldn’t be here. Lori wouldn’t be happy. You told her yesterday that you don’t want to see her anymore and took the truck away from her. She is so hurt Jim. And she needs you so much. This is just rubbing salt into the wound.”

Jim hung his head not knowing what to say. “Elise, Lori knew this wasn’t a real relationship. If it had been real, I would have left my wife a long time ago. She had to know that. She kept pushing and we were both stupid thinking we could hide it from Helena forever.”

“You need to go Jim. I am not the one you need to be talking to. You should talk to Lori. I don’t know how long she will be able to hold up. She’s not doing too good right now. I stayed most of the night at the hospital with her. She called me right after you told her it was over. How could you do that to her while she was in the hospital? I know it wasn’t life-threatening surgery, but with her medical history it could have been! What were you thinking?”

“Is she ok? What can I do for her?” Jim pulled out his wallet and took out a few bills handing them to Elise.

Elise knocked them out of his hand yelling, “Do you think giving her money will fix this? Well it won’t! She needs you Jim, and you know it. That is all she ever wanted! Get out of here and take your money with you. If you care about her then you will do something about this mess! Don’t come around here again unless you want to put things right. I don’t know how she is going to handle going back to work next week so you don’t have very long to figure out how to take care of this!”

Jim picked his bag up and walked out the door leaving the money scattered on the floor. He went to the office early. No one had arrived yet, so he made some coffee and sat at his desk trying to put his life in order in his mind. He felt sure Helena would be calling a lawyer soon if she hadn’t already done so. Lori didn’t really have a leg to stand on anymore because Helena knew all the gory details. He picked up the phone to call Helena, not knowing what he would say to her when she answered. The answering machine picked up, but he didn’t leave a message. She is probably out walking already. She had tried countless times to get him to go with her but he refused. If only he had listened to her and stayed involved in their life together instead of being all wrapped up in Lori, maybe this would have turned out differently.

Shuffling through the papers on his desk, Jim looked up as Jeffery walked in his office and sat down in the chair across from him.

“Man, you don’t look so good,” Jeffery said. “I know Carrie just had that baby but it looks like you were the one up all night with him! What’s going on?”

“Thanks Jeffery. That makes me feel great. Don’t you have anything positive to say?”

Jeffery got up and closed the door. “Are you ok?”

“No I’m not. Between you and me, Helena and I split up last night,” Jim announced. He didn’t add that Helena had kicked him out. That would have been too embarrassing even to tell his good friend and business associate. Anyway, he felt sure Jeffery knew about him and Lori. He had even warned him many times about being careful with her.

“Gosh! Did you see that coming? What happened? Was it Lori? You don’t need to talk about it if you don’t want to. Where are you staying?”

Now that was a loaded question! He didn’t want to let Jeffery know he had stayed at Lori’s last night. “A hotel last night. I don’t know from one day to the next. I’m still stunned. The kids don’t know anything yet unless Helena has told them. I don’t think she has though.”

“Wow! Why don’t you stay at my place for a few days until you decide what to do? I have a spare room and no wife to get in the way.” Jeffery was a playboy, a jock, and was between girlfriends right now. He had told Jim a few weeks ago he was trying to turn his life around. He was getting too old to be on the prowl all the time and it was time to settle down.

“I don’t know, Jeffery. I need to do something. I tried to call Helena this morning. She didn’t answer. I don’t know where to go from here. I always depended on her so much for all the answers. Now I realize how much and it hasn’t even been twenty-four hours!”

Jeffery stood up and pulled his keys from his pocket. “Here,” he said. “Here’s the extra key to my place. I think you need to take the day off – maybe the rest of the week. I can take care of the office today. We have that new girl we hired as an intern to help out for the summer and a couple of high school kids on the work program from school. I’ll make sure they earn their pay. Pam hasn’t gotten here yet. Get out of here before she sees you. You’re a little scary looking right now. I’ll tell her you called me last night and asked me to cover for you. She doesn’t need to know anything else. I’ll call you if there are any problems.”

“There are some things I need to take care of. My mind really isn’t on work today anyway. I would probably do more harm than good if I stayed. Thanks Jeffery. I owe you.” Jim stood and walked toward the door.

“You don’t owe me Jim. You owe Helena and your family. They are the ones that count and I know you care. This isn’t what your life should be like and you know it. Just go fix it. Ok?”

———————————————————————————————————

Are you hooked yet? Don’t worry. There are more Freebie Friday’s with more free chapter to come. Thanks for reading!

Elle

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About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

2 responses »

  1. It’s hard to have too much sympathy for Lori, since she knew Jim was married. I just want to clobber Jim over the head and drill some sense into him. Your writing manages to get the reader very emotionally involved with your characters.

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    Reply
    • Thanks! If that’s so then I have accomplished something. The one thing I hate about self-publishing is the promoting. It’s very time consuming and I have a hard time pushing the issue sometimes. Hopefully the book will speak for itself.

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