February 16, 2017

Jason: Week Thirty-Three, Day One

Cheri sighed contentedly when she slipped back into bed, snuggling against her husband.  Waking up every two hours was leaving her exhausted!
Next door, Liz and Moudy were sleeping soundly.
And upstairs in the remodeled girls' room, Lacie and Macy were fast asleep.

 Three hours later, Cheri wiped her hand over her face as she slipped from bed to grab Natalee.  She cast a glance over her shoulder to make sure the baby's mewling hadn't woken up Jason.  He had a game today and she wanted him to be well-rested!
She fed Natalee with a smile on her face, stroking her palm over her baby's soft newborn hair.  So soft and precious!
She heard Jason stir.  "Sorry," she called over her shoulder.  "Did Natalee wake you?"
Jason threw his legs over the edge of the bed and took a moment to stare at his wife and his newborn.  He'd missed out on this type of intimacy after the birth of the twins because of Ashley's erratic behavior.  But, if he knew were his ex was, he would drop down on his knees and kiss the ground she walked on for walking out on him.

It left him available for the true love of his life!
"No, babe. I wanted to wake up early to work out before the game.  Still working on that peak strength challenge," he told her, walking across the room to place a kiss on her cheek, followed by the kiss on Natalee's head.  "I'll see you guys after the game!"

Cheri smiled.  "Wish I could be there!" she said, a little sadly.  She'd been released from the cheer team during her pregnancy leave.  The board had said it was due to "budget cuts", but she was fairly certain it was because a new mother wasn't "sexy."  And she also knew for a fact that her position had been filled already.

Maybe she would take up moonlighting as a bartender, she thought with a huff. 
"Love you, babe!" Jason called over his shoulder, oblivious to her distress.

"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" Moudy asked his wife out of the blue at the breakfast table.

Liz nearly choked.  "What?!" she asked with surprise.

"I mean, like, do you want to stay here? In Sunset Valley?" he asked.  "My mom's been hinting that she'd love it if we would come visit her in Bridgeport, maybe even stay."
"Uh, I don't know," she said hesitantly.  She'd come a long way, but she still was awful at making decisions!  "I'm happy here right now, aren't you?"
"Sure, I love it here," Moudy told his wife, reaching out to pat her hand.  "It's just that Jackson is growing up so fast.  I was just thinking it might be time for a scenery change."

Liz took a deep breath.  "I hear you," she told him carefully.  "I promise to think about it, okay?"

Moudy smiled.  "That's all I ask."  He stood up.  "Well, I'm gonna go for my morning hike.  Wanna go?"
Liz laughed and pressed a kiss against his lips.  "No way!" she told him.  "I'll see you later!"

Moudy chuckled as he headed for the door.  "See you in a few hours!"
Liz stooped and picked up Jackson.  "Your daddy's crazy!" she told him glibly.  "Why in the world would he want to move?!"

Moudy headed straight for Landgraab's Swap N' Sell, waved in greeting to Annie, and headed to the back where she kept the broken and worn items.  Carefully he sorted through the items, keeping an eye out for furniture that could be refurbished.

Upstairs, Liz put Jackson in the nursery and then headed back into her room.  She glanced at the Orb of Answers and chewed on her lip.  She shook her head. 

She would not rely on the silly thing to help her make a decision, she thought.  It was ridiculous!

But, unbidden, her hands reached for the orb and lifted it up, shaking it roughly.  She stared at the window as the answer was revealed:  I sure wouldn't, but that's just me.

She sighed as she placed it back on the nightstand.  "That doesn't mean anything!" she assured herself uncertainly.  "Not at all..."

 "I'm bored!" Lacie announced, grabbing the remote and shutting off the tv. 

Macy scrambled for the remote.  "Hey! I was watching that!" she complained.

"Come on, let's play outside!" her sister demanded, jumping up and heading towards the door.  "We can play on the new see-saw!"

Macy hesitated.  She didn't want to play with Lacie, but she did want to play on the see-saw...

Reluctantly, she followed after her sister, hoping that Lacie wouldn't try to pick a fight today.

Macy was actually enjoying herself.  "This is so much fun!" she said with a laugh.  "I'm so glad that Cheri bought it for us!"  Her feet hit the ground and she pushed up, causing Lacie to sink down.
The strangest expression passed over Lacie's face at the mention of their stepmother.
Lacie's feet hit the ground and she roughly pushed off the ground.
Macy yelped when the see-saw violently moved too fast and she lost her grip, falling off from her high perch.
"Why did you do that?!" Macy asked, standing up, rubbing her back.  She glanced down at her skinned knees.  "You did that on purpose!" she accused.
 "Did not!" Lacie denied.  "Maybe you should've held onto the see-saw!"
Macy turned on her heel and ran inside.  "Cheri?" she called into the empty house.  "Liz?!"

 Jason was surprised none of his other teammates showed up to work out before the game.  He'd invited August and Mickey over, but they were both no shows.  That willingness to go the extra mile was probably why he was voted MVP!
Quickly, before he headed to the game, he made an egg yolk smoothie.  They were like his good-luck charm!  He thought of his Mom and how disgusted she was whenever he made them.  She swore she never would've told him what Mr. Gaithers had told her that one afternoon if she thought he'd actually continue the tradition!
 Time for the game!

Cheri re-read the email and felt her stomach flip.  Her hands shook slightly hovering over the keyboard.  Oh Plumbbob, how was she going to tell Jason?  

She heard Macy crying for her as little footsteps thundered on the stairs.

"I'm up here!" she called out.
"Lacie made me fall off the see-saw!" Macy cried, "I hurt my knee!"
"Oh, sweetie. I'm so sorry you fell off!" Cheri winced.  She knew the girls loved to fight, but she hadn't thought they could fight over the see-saw!  
"I didn't fall off! Lacie pushed too hard! She did it on purpose!" Macy cried, wiping tears from her eye.  
"I'm sorry, sweetie.  Let's go clean your knees up.  I'll talk to Lacy about playing nicely, okay?" Cheri told her stepdaughter.  Sometimes she wondered if Macy was too sensitive.  Lacie could be a pill, but she wasn't evil, for goodness sake!

After cleaning up Macy's knees, Cheri decided the girls' needed a distraction.  She remembered reading about a kids chess class at the local science facility. 

Macy was eager to attend, but Lacie fussed until Cheri put her foot down.
The taxi dropped them off.  "This is going to be so much fun!" she said as they headed inside.  "Are you looking forward to it, Macy?"

"Yeah!" Macy said, nearly skipping. 

"What about you, Lacie?" Cheri asked, smiling at her.
Lacie shot a nasty look at her wicked stepmother.  "You didn't really give me a choice, did you?" she asked snottily.

Cheri sighed.  She was fast friends with Macy, but couldn't seem to make any headway with Lacie.  It was clear the eldest twin was distrustful of her.  It was going to make everything much more complicated...

 Moudy dropped his finds off on the back porch and headed inside for a quick shower. 
He was home just in time to tuck Jackson into bed.  "Sleep well, bud," Moudy said, kissing his forehead.
"Did you find anything good today?" Liz asked, giving her husband a kiss.

"Yeah, I think I found a few good pieces.  I can't wait to try a new wood stain on the chair I found!" he told her.  
"I wanted to let you know that I thought about it!" Liz told him.  "I thought we could talk about it a little more..."

Jason headed upstairs, wiped from the long day.  
When he pushed open the door, he saw Cheri waiting for him in the living room.  He grinned like a fool.
Cheri jumped up from her seat when he came in.   

She was probably eager to hear the good news, he thought.  "We won!" he told her excitedly.  "12-2! We stomped them!" 
Cheri bit her lip and squeezed her eyes shut.  She'd thought about it all afternoon and had reached a decision.  
Immediately she began to pace.  "I'm still young, but I only have another few years left in the cheer industry," she told him before spinning around and pacing the other direction.  "And your open trading season is coming up in a few months.  You could always request a transfer, right?"
Jason watched her pace, trying to follow her ranting.
 "...It doesn't have to be permanent," she reasoned.  "And I could commute every week!"  She spun on her heel and implored him.  "I'm just not going to get another chance!"

Jason shook out of his befuddled state.
He reached for her hands, forestalling her pacing.  "Babe, what are you talking about? What's wrong?" he asked worriedly.
"I got offered a position on the cheer team in Riverview," she told him.

"RIVERVIEW!" Jason gasped with shock.  "The Badgers? Why the hell would you want to go there?"

Cheri pursed her lips.  "Sunset Valley isn't taking me back.  They've replaced me!"

Jason's mind raced.  "Angela? She's not your replacement! They told me you'd be cleared for next  season!"

Cheri shook her head.  "You know that's not how it's going to play out.  They're not going to just ask Angela to leave," she told him. 

Jason shook his head.  "No, they told me..."

"Jason! This is what they do.  I lost my spot on the cheer team.  They're not going to nicely ask Angela to leave nicely next year.  That's ridiculous."
Jason reeled.  "I'll talk to them! I'm a board partner!" he declared indignantly.  The board members had assured him that the leave of absence was during the pregnancy and the maternity leave was standard practice.
Cheri reached for Jason's hands again.  "Babe, it's done."  She hesitated.  "I don't want to jeopardize your position."

Jason puffed up.  "What are they going to do? Fire me?" he scoffed skeptically.  "I'm the MVP!"

Cheri patted his hand.  "I just want to cheer," she told him sadly. 
"I know babe, I'll work it out," he promised, pulling her into his arms.  "I'll get it all straightened out!"


  1. Cheri is such a devoted mother and wife!

    Who will leave? Cheri or Moudy? Need to keep reading!

  2. I love seeing Moudy dumpster dive. :D It looks like so much fun.

    1. I never thought I'd enjoy dumpster diving. But, it's been pretty fun! I love getting the furniture and making it look prettier! ;)