Yes! We are alive and not only that, Eric is home until the New Year. While 2020 is one that many of us will not look back on fondly, we are glad to have this time together. Traveling and jobs; most everything changed with the pandemic. Thankfully, we’ve stayed healthy and hope the same for you and your loved ones.
For a gift, I decided to write something for my husband and then found out Baker was doing the same for hers. We chatted about back-in-the-day when a series of endings to stories was dictated by the reader's choice. We decided to give it a go and write one of our own. The rules are simple. Finish this post and at the end, you will have a choice to make. Hop on over to Baker’s “our sweet approach” http://oursweetapproach.blogspot.com/ and read the post that matches up with your answer. That will lead you back over here to read another section… and so on. Just think of it as starting a new chapter each time you jump from blog to blog. We will be posting new chapters as time goes on; with the hopes of finishing on Christmas Day. Though it is 2020 so this might take longer! Wish us luck and happy reading. Let’s end this year in style!
By the way, our main characters are Hugh and Becca but feel free to insert whoever’s name you please.
Chapter One: Be Careful What You Wish For
“Presents!” Becca squealed into the phone. “I get to open presents tonight?!”
Hugh was not the kind of man to step out of the lines and with the holidays still a good week away, she couldn’t believe he was disregarding the calendar.
Becca looked around the room, at the piles of laundry stashed in various corners and noticed her breakfast dishes teetering on the edge of the bathroom sink; which incidentally still had a monster glob of toothpaste stuck to the mirror. Looking past the grime, she caught a glimpse of herself; a messy bun with hair sticking out all over her head and wrinkled three day old pajamas. Hugh would be home in less than an hour and this was just their bedroom. After an entire day of being locked away on her phone, she couldn’t imagine what the kids had turned the rest of the house into.
Kids, that was the answer. She’d get the little minions to help clean everything and if she bribed them, they could do most of the housework before Hugh made it home. That’d give her time to shower and put on some make-up, a sexy little dress, and maybe, just maybe, earrings.
Moments later, three squirrely looking preteens and one “13 going on 30” lined up before their mother.
“What’s it going to cost me to have you four do a quick clean up of the entire house? Like really quick. The whole thing in less than forty five minutes and clean, not just picked up?”
“Awe Mom!” the youngest immediately moaned and slumped to the floor.
“$80 bucks,” the eldest exclaimed, but at the sight of her mother’s eyebrow going up decided not to add “each” to the end of that request.
“Fine,” Becca stated, handing over four crisp twenty dollar bills that she took out of the wooden emergency fund box where Hugh stashed cash. She would figure out how to explain that missing money later. With the kids off and running, Becca turned on the shower and made the clean clothes piles evaporate by stuffing everything deep in the recesses of their laundry basket, the corner of the closet, and even an old suitcase. The dirty clothes piles got pushed out into the hallway for one of the kids to add to their hampers.
“Much better,” Becca thought, smiling at her ingenuity and stepping out of her pj’s.
Becca let the water run over her body and lathered long streaks of thick soap over her skin. The shower was hot enough to steam up the mirror and soften the toothpaste glob until it slowly slid it’s way down the glass, over the backsplash, and onto the counter. Becca hummed and reached for Hugh’s razor, not wanting to nick her legs with the pink girl's Gillette, which had needed a new blade for a while now.
Wrapped in a towel, Becca hollered for a kid to “come get these dishes” and turned on the blow dryer just in time to drown out the baulking youngster who drew the short stick on kitchen duty. A quick run with the curling iron, a splash of perfume, and Becca was plucked and powder puffed, running the towel over the bathroom sink and vanity before tossing it atop the clean clothes pile she’d hidden in the laundry basket. Five minutes later, she was in the living room, wearing a little black dress with a silver chain that hung low between her breasts and yes, matched the earrings she’d opted-in before skipping downstairs.
Her sweet, pretty appearance quickly shattered as Becca barked out last minute orders, “Wipe down the counters with that bleach spray! Hit the coffee table with that lemon scented stuff and toss that rag under the kitchen sink! Somebody get the dirty clothes out of the hall and into a hamper! Quick!! Toss those toys behind the couch! Your Dad will be home any second!”
The garage door buzzed and Becca dismissed four sweaty kids to their rooms, flipping the switch on the rarely seen vacuum cleaner just in time for Hugh to walk in and find her finishing up the last of it.
“Wow honey,” Hugh pulled his wife in close, giving her a kiss and then spinning her in front of his glistening eyes. “You look amazing!”
Becca blushed and pushed his shoulder back, slightly bending her knees, butt out, with a toss of her freshly coiffed hair. “This old thing?” she cooed. “I just pulled this out of a drawer. Been cleaning all day.”
Hugh looked pleased, wrapped the cord around the hooks on the vacuum before returning it to the front closet and hung his jacket. “The place looks great,” he said, “and it smells really clean!”
“Well, you know,” Becca grinned, “all in a day's work.” She took a diet coke from the fridge and served her husband, massaging his shoulders and rattling on about neighborhood gossip.
Hugh sipped his drink and asked where the kids had gone, sneaking a little peak at what was under Becca’s dress.
“I told them to straighten their rooms up before dinner,” she giggled, waving a finger at him and then tossing her hair for the second time since he’d returned home.
Hugh shushed his bubbly wife and tiptoed out to the car. A few minutes later, he returned with three beautifully wrapped packages. A red one with a silver ribbon, a bright blue one with a plaid bow, and a forest green bag with pictures of little beige reindeer printed all over the paper. Becca’s eyes grew as large as saucers and she reached out to grab the gifts.
“Uh uh,” Hugh scolded, placing all three presents on top of the china cabinet and out of reach of the little people in the house. “After dinner, you may choose ONE.”
That’s it! End of Chapter One. You can hop on over to “our sweet approach” after Sunday at http://oursweetapproach.blogspot.com/ and read the post that matches your choice… the red, the blue, or the green.