It was coming down to a month since Jimmy had moved into his new lot. His income was still at a low point and finding a job that was suitable to his needs, wasn’t forthcoming. He did look at possible prospects that would match his credentials but the hours and days he would have to work was not appealing. Albeit, Jimmy knew his expectations and misgivings were costing, due to his finances. The days were slowly progressing into dollar amounts in which his pockets bled to maintain. The time was coming when he would have to swallow his reservations, and find work. It was only a matter of time for the debt collector to come knocking. Thankfully, because of his opened spaced quarters, rent was at a minimum. The only issue for Jimmy was managing his hunger needs.
With the free time that he did have, Jimmy kept himself busy, jogging, playing chess, reading a lot and most importantly collecting, and planting mushrooms. The mushrooms that he had collected before were growing exceptionally well, and this was a good thing. They actually served as a saving grace to his pockets. They helped him financially stay afloat while serving as a source of food.
Despite the dark red looming over his head, Jimmy was beginning to settle in and get comfortable with his dwellings. Like his finances, his privacy was pleading for some form of security, but the upside to everything was that he had his own space. A space he was now comfortable in… which gave him the ease to invite (certain) guests over.
Eric, now his friend and confident, had come over. Jimmy had called him and requested that they hangout and chill. Eric, evidently, also had free time and had no problems in honouring Jimmy’s invitation.
Jimmy: What’s going on with you? Is everything alright?
Eric (rubs chin): yeah.
Jimmy: You sure, I mean from the time you got here, I noticed you’ve been rather distant.
Eric (sighs): Just have a lot on my mind
Jimmy: care to share?
Eric nodded his head but he didn’t say anything. He stared in Jimmy’s direction but his eyes had a distant gleam in them.
Eric: remember that day we met at the local Night Club?
Jimmy would never forget that day. How could he?
Eric: do you remember what we talked about?
Jimmy (sarcastic): It’s forever etched in my memory.
Eric: it’s in mine too
Jimmy: we talked about a lot of things.
Eric: We did but there was something you said that I had to reconsider after I had an interesting conversation with my…my…my wife!
… I think you should really consider asking her about what she thinks and feels on this whole idea of having more children. Your mother’s intrusiveness will not play kindly when the topic of children becomes a real sour discussion in your household.
Jimmy: Oh – that conversation.
Eric (confirms): ‘that conversation’
Jimmy: Do I have to guess what kind of discussion you had with your wife in relation to what I said to you.
Eric gave him a perplexed stare.
Eric: Well, you already know my mother has been pressuring my wife and I to give her more grandchildren.
Eric: And you know that Alice and I are grateful for the child we already have?
Jimmy (chuckles): Hmmmm
Eric: Why are you laughing?
Jimmy: I wouldn’t call it a laugh but…. I’m listening go on.
He was laughing but on the inside.
Surely Eric’s problem was of no laughing matter but it was really hard for Jimmy not to laugh when he already had idea as to what Eric’s problem was. From the day he met Miss Lewis, he already had the imprinted impression that the woman embodied the definition of “intrusion”. Now it seemed the “meddler” was beginning to be the bone of contention in his friend’s marriage….women!
Eric: Well when I tell you about the conversation I had with my wife, I hope you wont laugh or say I told you so
Jimmy: Why would I do that?
Eric: The day before yesterday I was at home and it was a bit late in the evening.
…Everyone was already asleep except for me and Alice. I was exhausted from the day as I had to care for Olivia while Alice worked. I was ready to head to bed but I waited for Alice to put Olivia to bed. When she was done, she came in the room, and the look on her face said it all…she wanted to talk
Alice: Eric, I know you’re tired but I need to have a word with you.
Eric: Uh oh…when you say it with a face like that, it must be serious
She looked at me, and she gave me a feeble grin. I perceived it was her way to try and sooth me for what she was about to say. Of course I put up a front, and kept my face as straight as I could. I wanted her to see I was strong enough to take whatever it was she wanted to say.
Eric: for you, I’ll stay up all night.
She released a dry chuckle that slightly raised my blood pressure. That chuckle made my breath snag in the back of my throat.
Alice: Eric, I love you with every breath I breathe. I look at our daughter and all I see in her is you.
…as I rubbed my hands against her soft cheeks, I could still feel my heart pounding. I struggled with what she wanted to say and my assumptions.
Eric: I look at you and I see her.
Alice: She has the both of us but when I look into her eyes, I see her father.
Eric: I love the both of you and I wouldn’t be the man I ‘am today if it were not for you and my daughter.
Alice: Don’t forget your mother also played a major role in who you are now.
I chuckled nervously at the mention of my mother.
Eric: She is a godsend
…Alice removed my hands from her cheek and took them into her own. She squeezed them as she stared lovingly into my eyes.
Alice: She is, and I am also glad my father is here with us but they are not what I want to talk about.
Eric: They’re not?
Alice: Not really.
Eric (swallows): Okay
Alice: I am so grateful for what we have been able to accomplish thus far. I finally received the promotion I’ve worked so hard to achieve and now I can finish working on my book.
Eric: I’m happy for you too and I know your book will sell off.
Alice: That is the expectation – anyway for the past few weeks I’ve had some time to think.
…at this point I feel a sense of relieve because I’m thinking she is going to ask me for something – it’s not that serious.
Alice: yes. I’ve been thinking about what your mom said to me, two weeks back, and I think she is right.
…those words out of my wife’s mouth, gave me an unsettling feeling.
Eric: what is she right about?
Alice: That we keep the legacy alive, and I can’t say I don’t know what she means because she has been
Eric (interrupts): Pressuring us to have more children
I shifted my weight from one foot to the other.
Eric: But honey we already talked about this.
Alice: Eric, let me finish.
…I took in a breath and tried to calm my nerves.
Eric: Okay go ahead
Alice: Now I don’t want you to think that I ‘am succumbing to your mothers request for more children but I do think what she has been saying has some merit.
Alice: Yes Eric. We have Olivia and God knows I love my daughter but she is all we have.
Eric: she is not all we have. There is my mother, your father, me, and you. We are a well-knit family.
Alice: We are but…
Eric: But what! What is wrong with what we have now?
Alice: N…nothing, I ‘am just concerned that if something were to happen to us, Olivia will be by herself
Eric: What are you talking about? Nothing is going to happen to us and even if that were the case, she has Grandma and Grandpa.
Alice: No offense but our parents are getting older, and it is only a matter of time that they…they…they will you know kick the bucket.
…My wife said that with such grace I had to pause for second to allow my brain to compute what she just said!
Eric: I…I don’t even know how to respond to that.
Alice: It does sound crude
…I couldn’t help it…a dry chortle came out and I gazed at my wife while trying to hold back the frustration that was already settled from the conversation(s!) I continuously had with my mother. I could smell and see her influence!
Alice: Please don’t get upset but I need you to understand what I ’am saying.
Eric: I’m trying to.
Alice: I don’t mean to put our parents in the grave so soon, I am just looking at this with a different perspective. I do not have any other siblings and you are the only son of your mother. We don’t know of any other relatives from both sides. Olivia is practically the only person that will live on beyond us. As her mother it worries me because I don’t want her to be left alone….if something were to happen to us
Eric: I feel like you are hinting at something and if it is what I am thinking then I say my mother has got to you.
Alice: that’s not it, she only highlighted somethings for me
Eric: Highlighted! She has been spouting for months now that we give her more grandchildren.
… Alice looked away and a bout of dread formed in my gut.
Eric: My mother can be really persuasive and I know how you can be too.
Alice: I am not letting your mother talk me into anything if that’s what you mean. Her requests are only emphasizing what I’ve been thinking.
Eric: Then tell me Alice, what are you thinking.
Alice: I don’t want Olivia to be alone that is all I ‘am saying.
Eric: But she won’t be. We are going to be around for a good while.
Alice: You don’t know that. Nothing in this life is assured, even if we are in good health
Eric: Why are you talking like we are going to die tomorrow. What are you not saying?
Alice: I am saying it.
Eric: No you are not. It sounds like you are trying to suggest something while hinting to something else. I am confused.
…Instead of responding to what I said, my wife drew closer and planted a kiss on me. It was tender at first and gradually increased. Don’t get me wrong I loved kissing my wife, at any time and any place but in that moment I was confused. I pulled her back and looked at her.
Eric: Alice just come out and tell me what is it that you want?
Alice: Never mind, we’ll talk about it another time…just hold me.
…That’s what I did. I held her and squeezed her tight. I was concerned that she was probably talking about children, but I was even more scared at what she was not saying. Something was bothering my wife and I wished it was just about having children and nothing more.
Jimmy was so engrossed into what Eric said, that he didn’t feel the presence standing behind him.
Eric: Ah! Jimmy!
Eric: You have a visitor.