A Day in the Life Roady Series - Tyler Back Home

Judged and Guilty- Roady Series Episode 31

I thought things might settle down for a while but I was wrong. Mom plays nurse to Roady who soaks up her attention like I never did a nice thing for him. He lounges on the couch, with a hand knit pillow under his head. Mom strokes his fur and he gives a contented groan. It may have a lot to do with the pain killers, but he doesn’t seem to know that. If she gets up, he follows her with his eyes and gives a gruff if she goes into the next room. She hobbles using a cane. If he hears the cane go silent, then he starts to bark.

I can’t believe what I’m witnessing. He associates the blissful high of the meds with her presence. As I’m taking this in, there’s a knock at the door. I open it to the sheriff. He delivers a subpoena to Mom. She’s to testify in court as part of a suit against the other driver in the accident.

A week later, Roady is weaned off the meds but he still whimpers when my mother leaves the house. The boys get dropped off at Vacation Bible School conveniently starting this morning. Mom and I go to the courthouse.

I sit on a hard wood bench like I’m in church waiting as Mom is briefed on what to expect. I brought a handbook on electrical installations that Jerry lent to me. I’m focused on studying circuit diagrams when I look up. Across the way, in the front row, there’s Anne.
Of course, I should have expected her to be here. She doesn’t see me. I wonder if I should sit further back, hide.
She has not called or texted since our last conversation. With Roady’s accident and all that brought on, I haven’t thought about what to do. Should I do something? She told me not to come back which meant she didn’t want to see me again, right? I don’t even know exactly what went wrong. That’s worth knowing if I can muster the courage.
She turns and catches my eye. There’s no smile or wave, and I realize, the pained look on her face is not because of me. It’s for Bobby. I hope my face reflects that I understand but I never know for sure what I’m communicating to her. My track record isn’t that great.

I listen as Mom gives her testimony. When she gets to the part where she sees the other car coming through the red light and knows the motorcyclist doesn’t “have a chance in hell” to get out of the way, I hear soft sobbing from a woman sitting next to Anne. Must be Bobby’s mother. Anne is gripping her hand and her head is bowed, clearly crying too.
For some reason this scene of grief makes me feel guilty. Who am I to be moving in on this sweet woman who lost her first love? I’m a louse. I need to leave town, escape a new trail of mistakes. It’s time.

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A Day in the Life Roady Series - Tyler Back Home

Knitting a Web Of Trouble- Roady Series Episode 16

It’s not what I expected, Mom being home. She spends all day in the recliner. All night too because she can prop the leg up that way. I expected her to be zoned out on pain killers. But all she pops is Ibuprofen and antacids and she knits. Yes, my mom has become a knitting fiend. That explains all the random afghans all over the house. I don’t tell her I half melted one at the laundromat. She’s not up and about so she won’t find it for awhile.
“What’re you looking at?” she says.
I’ve been staring at her, not realizing it. “Just didn’t know you were the crafty type.”
“I’m not. You know that. Not crafty at all. Haven’t you noticed all I can make is blankets and I’m the last one to know what size and shape. Sit and talk with me,” she says pointing to the couch.
I was going to take Roady for a walk and maybe figure out what we’ve got around to make dinner. She’s sitting there, immobile, the folding snack table next to her chair loaded with a huge plastic insulated cup of coffee, a bag of Doritos, and Hershey’s kisses. The air in the small living room is stifling. She doesn’t want the windows open because she gets cold and then can’t close them. It’s over sixty outside in the morning, summer time in my book. I sit down.
“Knitting?” The needles clink together. There’s a strand of yarn coming up out of basket on the floor.
“It all started when I bought a big bag of yarn at a garage sale. They told me to keep busy, especially my hands so it occurred to me that I could learn to knit.”
“Who told you?”
“Rehab,” she says. “You know I went through a whole program when I got pregnant with Junior.”
“You were knitting then? I don’t remember that.”
“I didn’t and I didn’t quit pills either.” She gives me a straight on look. “I’m sorry. I know I promised but I didn’t count on having babies and a husband.”
I’m stunned. Where was I when she was using? Out with Linda, being a teenager, oblivious?

“But,” Mom says. “By the time I was pregnant with Liam, my doctor was on to me and she scared me half to death saying at my age with my blood pressure I could miscarry at any moment if I kept doing what I was doing. So I started rehab again and I started knitting.”
“What about now?”
“You see me knitting.”
“But the accident. You were high.”
She puts her knitting down in her lap. “It wasn’t pills,” she says. She won’t meet eyes now and anyway I won’t look at her. “It was just a joint, okay?”
“Okay?” I raise my voice. “You’re kidding right?”
She lowers her head and starts to cry. “It’s not addictive you know.”
“Really? Cause I’m pretty sure you would be smoking right now if you had any.”
“Dammit Tyler if there were ever a time I should be smoking, eating, drinking hash it would be now. I’m in pain.”
I get up from the couch. “Keep telling yourself it’s okay. Just don’t ask Bobby’s fiancé if she’s okay with one of the drivers in the accident just being high on marijuana.” I walk to the door then look back. “And don’t ask me either.”

Binge READ Episodes 1- 15 by choosing the category- “Roady Series” – Find it in the drop down “menu” at the header of this blog.
————————————————————————————————-This post is fiction based on the back story of a supporting character in a novel in process by Clare Graith. See for more info about the author.

A Day in the Life Roady Series - Tyler Back Home

Side-swiped by the Dog – Roady Episode 13

Roady likes Mom. I don’t know why but it bugs the hell out of me.
Stan starts his weekend shift the same day Mom is discharged from the hospital. She hobbles into the house and crashes into the recliner. JJ hangs on the arm of the chair. Carson jumps around showing Mom his ninja moves. Junior and Liam go out to the yard after mumbling simple hellos. I watch Liam copying Junior’s gait. As I turn back, Roady comes running around my legs and stops at Mom’s feet.
“A dog? How did you pull that off?” She pets the scruff of Roady’s neck and he gives a happy groan.
“Roady,” I call to the dog.
He hesitates a second, then comes to me. I hate the stab of pain I feel at his pause. It’s one of the worse feelings to have. You know when all the cells in your body scream that someone else has what is yours, has stolen what was yours and you want to rip it back no matter the cost. It starts with a simple observation like Roady running right up to Mom, taking to her just like he took to me. Then the thought creeps up behind it, ‘so Roady’s attention to you is not special, means nothing’. I tell myself, ‘it’s in his nature to be friendly’ and ‘why would it bother me that the dog thinks Mom is nice? She generally is’.
But then she seems to know just how to scratch him and I’m under an avalanche of feeling stupid that I thought the dog really distinguished me from any other person. A fire of resentment is set off that bursts into jealousy. Now I’m standing here. The dog wants to go back to Mom for another scratch and I’m holding him in my petty desire to call him my own. I turn and join Liam and Junior outside throwing rocks into a trash can. You never know what is round the next corner and I seem to get side-swiped more than my fair share.

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This post is fiction based on the back story of a supporting character in a novel in process by Clare Graith. See for more info about the author.