He Just Wanted To Help

He hadn’t set out to find someone else, had never entertained the thought. It just sort of…happened.

It wasn’t that he didn’t love his wife. He did, he’d have never married her if he hadn’t as he wasn’t the type of man to marry someone just for social norms or familial pressure. If he felt a certain way then he first made sure that it was permanent and then did something about it.

Which brought him to the current situation.

She was a young mother, single and with little to no relatives or friends willing to help out. (He didn’t know whether they just weren’t able as from his perspective being willing was enough. If you couldn’t do something then at least you gave emotional support, but this young woman didn’t even have that much to her name.) He had always enjoyed being able to take care of someone and he loved his wife enough to also know that there were times when she didn’t want someone to take care of her, but to let her stand on her own. They had a balanced marriage and loved one another greatly even if they had never been able to have any children.

(There had been those amongst his coworkers that believed he should leave his wife once it became clear that she wouldn’t be able to stand the adoption process even though the two of them wanted children very much. They would whisper to one another how he shouldn’t let her desires overwhelm his own.)

This young mother looked like she needed help and wasn’t getting it from anywhere else, so he decided to help her.

It wouldn’t have been a problem, shouldn’t have been, except now everyone was convinced that he was going to leave his wife for a hot, young thing that already had a child. Something everyone was aware that he’d wanted since forever, a child, that is. He had no idea if his wife knew what the neighbors were talking about or not because she never brought it up with him and he had no idea how to bring up the subject himself. For one thing, he didn’t know how to explain that he was beginning to love this other woman and her son as well, though he was fairly certain that he didn’t love her in the same way that he loved his wife.

She didn’t know what to think when one of the older Associates started giving her assistance.

It had started small: he’d helped her carry a bulging diaper bag from the office to her tiny, used car while she carried the baby carrier. He hadn’t even made a move towards the child, which was likely the only reason she’d allowed him to help. She’d done everything she could to keep her surprise baby, she wasn’t about to let some acquaintance, no matter him technically being her boss’s boss or something, take control of the carrier her son was in.

It hadn’t really stopped.

Suddenly he was making sure that she had enough hours to bring home a good enough paycheck, but still be able to have childcare that wasn’t taking rent and food money instead. Her gutters were cleaned, not always by him, her shabby little house started looking better around the edges and if her son was ever sick? She was able to take paid leave.

Anything that involved work wasn’t something that he hadn’t already pushed for others working in the office, but it hadn’t gone all the way through the red tape for those who weren’t working full-time.

At one point or another, she wondered if he was looking for a little honey on the side-

(And it would have to be on the side because she’d met his wife at company functions and didn’t even try to fool herself into thinking that he would ever leave the woman he obviously adored for some twenty-something single mother with less time to focus on her looks than a preteen before they started caring about their looks.)

-but he never asked for anything and there was never any strange glint in his eyes that spoke of anything nefarious like she’d seen from several professors or teachers throughout her schooling career (that still wasn’t finished, just…halted…temporarily. She hoped.)

It was like he just…wanted to help. Nothing else. It was a desire that she knew, intellectually, existed in people, but had never run into anyone who had it and would use it to help her.

She wasn’t quite sure what to think about it and so just kept going on with her life and tried not to take advantage of him in any way.

Life was complicated enough without having to worry about the reasons behind her boss’s boss helping her.

She tried not to smile at her husband as he came home from work that day.

She’d heard the rumors, of course, even if she normally detested gossip.

She knew that her husband was worried about what was happening, but she wasn’t worried. It was his paternal instinct that had seen the young woman and her son and realized that no one was there to help her and so stepped up to the plate, as it were.

She wasn’t worried about his affections wandering any more than she was worried that he would leave her over her inability to concede to adoption.

(She wasn’t going to think about her issues with adoption. Now was not the time and she didn’t want her husband to think that there was anything he’d done wrong today. He had been late getting home after all.)

He was an honorable man and when he’d seen someone who was within what he perceived as his sphere of responsibilities (the young woman did work as an intern at his law firm after all) then he worked to make sure they were taken care of without treading on their own need for independence (something he’d learned early on in their marriage even as she’d learned to, at times, let someone else be the strong one at times.)

She’d be more worried if she’d learned about the young woman and not found her husband trying to help her. It just wasn’t his way.

Not really sure how this ballooned from a random idea into this. There would have been more, but it’s been really windy today and our power’s been flickering so I had to go dig through the moving mess (I’m working on it) to find candles, flashlights and the lighter. Just in case the power goes out later today when it’s too dark outside to go by that light.


Looking Back…

Sometimes she looked back at her past and wondered at herself.

“I shouldn’t have jumped out of so many trees.” she’d grumble when her back ached.

“Maybe learning to eat strawberries with barbecue sauce wasn’t the wisest food to become acquainted with.” she’d mutter over the porcelain throne.

“Refusing to learn the piano when the lessons were freely-given by my mother wasn’t economical.” she’d sigh when looked at the work she’d traded for lessons as an adult.

“Ignoring my body’s protests before hiking this morning when I didn’t sleep well last night was stupid.” she huffed as she lost sight of the hiking group.

“Why did I say that to him!” she’d shriek as quietly as possible to her friends later about a boy she liked. “Comparing him as my brother because I was too afraid to say otherwise even to myself was more cowardly then just mumbling an excuse and running for the library!”

Then there were other times when she looked back and decided that maybe she wasn’t quite the little idiot that she had supposed.

“For all that it broke my heart, accepting the end of our engagement was the best choice at the time.” she’d whisper to her cat.

“Being able to spend time with my  nieces and nephews was better than finally defeating that video game I’ve been saving up for the last few months.” she’d laugh as her niece shrieked to be pushed higher and higher.

“Leaving that job before I burnt out was a wiser course of action then trying to do it and school at the same time.” she’d groan happily as she sank into bed after studying for an upcoming final.

Life is full of moments and though there will be many choices and actions that we regret and wish to have never done (be they hilarious or depressing) there are many more that we needed in order to become the people we are today.

This little rant was brought to you by Dungeon Prompt: In Hindsight… which made me look back and laugh at some things and cry at others.

Mistress Mary

Mistress Mary was not contrary

Nor was she quite so ordinary

Nor did she have a little lamb

Mary, you see, was quite the ham,

For yestereve,

When time was about to leave

She returned to home

For all day long

She’d been gone

Visiting children who swarm her in a throng.

Mom went to see my sister and her five children yesterday and they had a lot of fun. Mom’s so upbeat today that I came upstairs to her singing while she made biscuits and gravy for breakfast.

Wretched Ecstasy

How do you continue to work when the one you love is forever out of your reach?

It was a normal day. The sun was up, the sky was clear of cloud cover, though there was supposed to be a shower later in the afternoon, but one of those happy, sun-filled showers that always rejuvenated a person rather than bring them into the blues. Nothing of particular importance was happening that day, but neither was it a day full of boring events.

But it was another day of torture for all its simple beauty by simple virtue of the fact that today of all days it was his turn as guard. He loved his queen, always had and, likely always would. It wasn’t something that was truly surprising to anyone who really knew him. It was just a fact of life. The sky is blue. The sun brings warmth to the land in the day while the night cools it off just enough. The Illusion Master was in love with the Sol Queen. The grass was green in the summer and covered in snow in the winter.

Just another fact of life that was always there now and would always be there in the future.

His fellow Guards knew and the King knew as well. Even those who guarded the Moon Queen knew, though they didn’t gossip about it. (Well, all right, a few of them gossiped about it amongst themselves but only with those who were Guards the same as he. Even though they were for different Phases of the Day there was too much respect for it to be anything malicious.)

The Illusion Master (his name long gone from years of service and devotion to his Queen) did not know if his queen knew of his feelings. It wouldn’t have mattered had she known for she was a gentle soul, much like her counterpart the Moon Queen, though she was far more fierce in battle.

After all, the sun gave its gentle warmth to the Earth to nurture it, but it could just as easily have a sudden flare that scorched that same glowing orb below.

This character is new (I think) to my blog, but he’s been in this story’s universe almost as long as Comet and Star.