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By T.J. Stone, C. Zane
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013 T.J. Stone and C. Zane
All rights reserved.
—In each person's life it would seem that they should write a book about something. For many people who can read and write this may simply come in the form of a journal" or Diary, with maybe the simplest of scribblings to just capture the moment. Now imagine, if you are slightly past 50ish and your life was not what it should be. All that you held near and dear to you, and the dreams that you worked so hard for, became just one large empty nest. Well if you were such a person as our heroin is, and that happened to you, then you might want to get those feelings put out on paper as she did. Perhaps never intending to share them with anybody else, yet time, and fate would come to be and the ride of a life time would reveal itself to all, at some later point in your life and journey.
Along came a lady by the name of Hailey, and like you and me she considered herself to be quite normal. In fact for the most part, her life had been like a good storybook, a fine marriage, children, a nice house, she was very happy and her friends supported her, with that white picket fence dream coming true Hailey had a fairy tale life. Now somewhere along the way this nice little story turned into a true fairy tale, and like all good fairy tales something had to go wrong or take her away from the norm. I'm sorry that had to occur here, yet if not for this part (the all too common human factor of conflict), then there would be no real story to tell here. After all there could be no Hero and no riding off into the sunset if there was no bad guy or problem that needed solving, what kind of story would it be if life were always just peachy keen. Now I don't know about you but I would miss that part so I am willing to read about the conflicts of Hailey's past 50ish life. Add to that all the journal entries that she made along her roller coaster ride on Hailey's Comet and the story is a great adventure worth telling. From the deepest part of her heart she has recorded her feelings in her journals. And now as unauthorized as I am to do this I'm going to share some of her secret life and desires with you. This will be that inner most circle that makes you who you are, from which is going to be brought from its dark storage place in the attic and exposed to the daylight. And I am going to try to do it Justice, for if you join me we will all go for a ride on Hailey's Comet. I will be your guide for I was there when it came the first time around—
Yours truly, husband and friend always; Will
Hailey (The Beginning) Hailey Greenley
Looking up at the ceiling of her bedroom she wondered how she got here. Not here in this old faded bedroom or second hand house of course, but in this fall season of her life, what her friends termed the joyous empty nest. Yet for her deep down there was little joy,
"Oh brother! I sound like Oprah or a radio talk show Host, where is Delilah now? Too bad staying in bed can't be considered a career. 'Ok Hailey get up! You can do this girl, where's my Star Bucks coffee?"
Hailey said out loud to nobody there, for
Will had been up for hours and already out the door. Dear old Will where did he get his energy, she hated him for being a morning person. Not wanting to remain a couch potato or a bed potato, if there is such a thing, Hailey threw off the covers and slipped on her ratty looking but comfy slippers, the ones with the cute little butterflies on them, boy it was like her teddy bear collection it was the old her, where had the 80's country living look gone to? She thought it would be her look forever so much has died in her life and so she begrudgingly shuffled into the bathroom. The bathroom these days was a scary place because of the mirror.
"Mirror—mirror on the wall who could have been the fairest of all," asked queen Hailey.
"Yet, for Hailey her life was no fairy tale and perhaps she wondered about the happy ending thing. These days the mirror might very well be the monster, or evil witch revealing all the bad things she was thinking about herself. Where was Glenda the (good) witch? All she wanted was a mirror showing her best features, like her shoulder length strawberry blonde hair, was that too much to ask? Even if her hair color now came out of a box she was the same person she was then.
"Who are you old girl and where did you get those creases? Fifty-something, yep this is as good as it gets".
She thought about it some more (Sad)—(Hmm)—I like the whole staying in bed career idea, I would like to do something to the guy who came up with the work ethic idea, I bet he did not Clean house or have to look after kids. As she stared into the mirror Hailey couldn't help daydreaming and thinking verbally,
"Yes this is Hailey Josephine Greenley and (Yes) I'm wearing my power pajamas. I faxed over the papers you wanted Will," she put on her best (Will) voice—
"Yes dear thank you so much Sweetheart for helping me out like that in my business."
Yeah like (Will) would ever be so kind as to thank me for what is extra he figures I am part of the money making program and should be overjoyed to be his doormat and at his beck and call. (Phooey) so in another voice, a most proper one Hailey began again,
"Oprah, it is so very kind of you to supply me with such a gorgeous bed down here at Harpo studios. I agree with the universe I am very lucky to have my dream job and being able to have my office in my bed. Everyone in the audience will be receiving a pair of power pajamas provided by Hailey J Greenley Design Co"
The sudden cold chill which ran through her lightly clad body in the (Power Jammies) penetrated inside her, which woke her into reality. The blast of cold air abruptly blew in the open bathroom window just like any other unwanted intruder. Life was literally and figuratively getting under her skin. Annoyed that (Will) always insisted on sleeping with the windows open she opened the door to the walk in shower hoping hot water would warm her up from the inside out. As the hot water flowed over her body Hailey had a hard time resisting the urge to drift back to another time in life when everything seemed simpler. Hind sight has a way of coloring and slightly altering our memories so, and yet simpler now, may not have been so simple at the time. To Hailey the past had to have been so much better than the present, or was there this little (fool man) sitting on her shoulder it seems laughing at her,
"Get away from me she screamed to herself go bother someone else I am not in the mood today"
"She had named him Charlie after dickens and one of her irritating teachers from high school—he was always looking over her shoulder and telling her what should be in the real world, Hailey she had her dreams to cling to even back then. She was young with a lot of creative energy. She had her whole life ahead of her—she was creative and smart she was going to be somebody, and then came (Will), the love of her life and then husband and then two little kids. The perfect suburban life she had always dreamed of with the picket fence and two cats in the yard, all made her want to smile and cry simultaneously.
"Mom, help me—you were always saying things like, (Life is all about change, you have to embrace it), and (Getting older is not for the faint of heart), where are you now Mom"
Mom had the wisdom of the ages and unlike her I hate changes and mom is making way too much sense to me now. What she forgot to tell me was how much (IT SUCKS), it was time to get out of the hot water for like my life it has turned cold. Hailey wrapped herself in her fuzzy blue robe and tied a towel around her hair making a turban.
"Come on Whiskers stop barking it's only the garbage truck" Hailey shouted as she ran down the stairs, to make some coffee (homemade of course not the big S fix) and plain toast as (Will) had forgotten to bring home some almost butter as she had asked him. Oh yeah, Whiskers is gone she suddenly remembered, a dark spot came over her. Whiskers, was the family dog and a member of the family for fifteen years, Hailey and Will brought him home when their son Adam was nine years old. He was part schnauzer and part mutt; (mostly noble mutt) He was a great dog and friend, and boy did he have (attitude). Adam and whiskers were inseparable, and then as Adam grew up, he became hers. Whiskers always had that old-man look in his white and grey beard, hence the name Whiskers, good old Whiskers. An (inner sigh) came to her, "He was so sweet" Hailey whispered to herself. He would come to greet us anytime of the day, and would be waiting for the kids when they got off the school bus. Every day we would take him for a walk and his only down fall, was he didn't like other dogs very much. He loved children and all humans really. Will used to give him treats at the table and taught him to be a beggar, but we didn't mind; now there isn't anyone to give our scraps to. At least he's no longer in (pain).
Sitting on the Kitchen table was her journal and laptop. After filling the coffee maker and popping the bread in the toaster, she sat at the table starring at her journal. (Time for a new entry) she thought as she grabbed a pen conveniently sitting nearby, and looking towards the stove began to talk write,
Today Will is a pain in the proverbial ass, is he having an affair with his assistant at the office?—that little tramp—how could she, (Will) is mine" I love him of course, but his incessant need to teach me about things I didn't ask for and trying to figure out for myself is annoying to say the least, I purchased a laptop for my birthday that I was very excited about, (Will) already owns one and he thinks he is an expert, she looked over in the direction of the sink knowing she had much to do this day,
"I use a computer on a daily basis so I'm not completely (inept)—AM I? I email, Google, shop on line and organize our family recipes to name a few of my computer skills and expertise. (Will) always has to immediately tell me what to do and how to do it—(JEEZE) he makes me so mad I am not sure why" she bemoaned her plight.
"Perhaps it is Me, sometimes I just want to figure things out for myself. I suppose some people would say that's my pride or stubborn nature showing up and if I were completely honest, I would agree. I think most males possess the annoying desire to teach the females on this planet anything and everything!"
Normally writing was a way for Hailey to distract and entertain herself but she was now too annoyed with life. (Today even the weather is boring), she thought as she looked out the kitchen window.
"It looks like it's going to be one of those days-dark and slow and I'm ashamed of my lethargy for it could be the quiet before the proverbial storm and we know how those turn out", Hailey was done talking to the open space. Deciding to close up her journal Hailey then could smell the coffee brewing and her toast was ready, just under burned. Normally Whiskers would have sidled up next to her with a sheepish look on his face and his right paw on her arm, begging for her toast. Just as she was about to sip her coffee the phone rang, getting up and reaching for the phone there was a pause—
"Hi Linda, sure come on over I'm still in my robe if you don't mind. I'll see you soon", she placed the phone back on the receiver—
Brenda was one of Hailey's oldest and dearest friends and she had always wanted to be called Linda, as she had hated the name Brenda. They met when their sons were in middle school together. They didn't see each other as often anymore but they talked to each other on the phone at least every other week. Linda is and always has been a stay at home mom but her daughter always joked and said ("for a stay at home mom, you are never home") It is true; Linda is rarely home what with volunteering at church and the local high school not to mention her cycling. Linda has a daughter and a son just like Hailey. They met when their boys were on the same baseball team in middle school. Linda was very tall with long silver hair that was once brown, green eyes with an olive complexion. Why she was never a model was beyond Hailey. Linda is in Hailey's opinion one of the few who looked fabulous with grey hair. Some more of her day was passing as the doorbell rang, as Hailey opened it, there stood her age old friend,—
"Hey you come on in where it's nice and warm, you're just in time for fresh brewed home blend mud coffee and how a bout I make you some toast?" said Hailey ...
"Thanks but do you have any of Sam's scones lying around?"
Sam is Hailey's other best friend. She is a fabulous baker, and with that scones being her specialty.
"As a matter of fact I do. Sam gave me some just the other day" Hailey said.
"So Hailey what's with the face?" asked Linda.
Hailey looked up at her with that expression she would get when something would take her by surprise, "I forgot I have never been able to hide anything from you".
"Hailey your sighs can be heard from the next county." Linda quipped.
"Very funny" Hailey put in as she began to unburden something that had been bothering her for a while.
"Well yesterday I got a call from Alex which bothered me all night. She told me she and her brother got together earlier this week to discuss something about me."
"Oh really" Linda started to laugh.
"It's not funny. Stop laughing!" Hailey whined, "I'm very serious"
"I'm sorry Hailey, what's really going on with you"?
"Well those two never get together and Adam told Alex he was worried about me and asked her if she had noticed anything odd or different about me lately. Apparently he thought I seemed disconnected, insecure and acted like a sort of shell person," Hailey looked down at her cold coffee.
"First of all boys don't talk that way and second, what do you care what your kids think about you?" said Linda as she consumed the last bite of scone on her plate
"Seems to me if the kids are worried about me then maybe others are noticing something too." Hailey pointed out.
"Hailey is this about your birthday coming up, you always get weird over your birthday" Linda rolled her eyes.
"I guess that's it, you old (Smarty pants)" smiled Hailey
But inside Hailey knew differently. She wasn't fine and she couldn't quite figure out (why not), totally, was (Will) having an affair, had he suddenly not wanted her, after all she had given him, in fact it was almost it would seem all she (was) and (had). On the one hand she should be flattered that her kids, (her daughter and son) were concerned over her welfare, but on the other hand it just made her feel pathetic and maybe a little crazy. It was weird Adam didn't come to her directly over his concerns, Hailey and Adam had always been so close. They had been a real (mother and son) team but now he had his (wife) Laurie, and Hailey felt she had taken a back seat in their relationship, which was how it should be, yet still hurt. Maybe Adam was comparing his mom to His wife. Laurie was strong and very independent which was what attracted him to her in the first place. Hailey was strong in her own right, but Laurie had an obvious strength of being professional, the more modern woman of today. After Linda left Hailey opened her journal once again.
"I don't know why my birthday is making me so nuts this year. It's just I miss (MOM), she always made birthdays a big deal as I did for my kids, but mom moved away to a better place of no pain and I guess I'm missing her even more at this time of year. I know I worry too much, after all birthdays were to mark the time we are here on earth and should be celebrated. I should be happy instead of dreading the fact I'm not only another year older" she looked at the dishes in the sink now such companions to talk to, they were silent good listeners.
"I'm fifty five!! I've always hated the fives and zeros. I don't know why. At least I'm not hung up on wanting to be famous like (Will)", she looked back at her journal.
Excerpted from Hailey's Comet by T.J. Stone. Copyright © 2013 by T.J. Stone and C. Zane. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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