Chapter 2.119



In a routine that felt far too familiar, I grabbed my bag and got out of the cab. I felt tired—so very fucking tired—and it wasn’t just because my internal clock was set to Germany.

As I went up the walkway, I saw the part-time nanny, Stephanie, watching TV in the living room. A muscle in my jaw ticked. Sure, her presence was necessary so that Loralee could keep working nights at Tomalee. But it wouldn’t be if we were living in Windenburg now.


I went inside and dropped my bag next to the door. “Hey, Stephanie.”

She started and twisted to look at me. “Oh, Mr. Smithson,” she said with relief. “I wasn’t expecting you. Wasn’t your flight supposed to be in a few hours ago?”

I let out an irritated sigh. “Delayed.”


She got up and walked over to me. “Oh, I’m sorry. Ms. Thoreau just called a few minutes ago and said she’s on her way home.”

“That’s great. Thanks, Stephanie. You can go on home now.”

The young woman nodded and gathered up her things. “Good night, Mr. Smithson.”



I shut the door behind her and went into the living room to collapse into a chair. She was a nice woman, but I hated her just a little. I wanted to take care of my own kids. And my own mother. I rubbed my face vigorously, trying to quell the rising irritation. Some of it was directed at the situation. Some at the nanny. A lot, more than I’d like to admit, at Loralee.


A soft, feminine voice drew me from my thoughts. “Another delayed flight?”

Speak of the devil.

I nodded. My eyes fell to her stomach. Every time I saw her, our baby had grown even more. I’m missing everything.


I could still remember the joy I’d felt the first time I’d felt Logan move. Jasper, too. But I could barely even remember feeling the kicks of our new little one.

I cleared my throat. “How’re you doing? And Little Spawn?”


She laughed a little and sat down, rubbing one hand over her rounded belly. “We’re okay. Heartburn from hell again today, but, otherwise, okay.”

Silence stretched between us. Our silences used to be easy, comfortable. Not anymore.

I opened my mouth to speak—I needed to just start, no use putting it off—but she stood up again.


“Let’s just go to bed.” She turned away from me and went into the bedroom.

Evidently, she knew I had something to say that she wasn’t going to like. After a minute, I got up and followed her. It could wait until morning.


When the bedroom door opened, I shut the kitchen sink off and turned to face my wife. I smiled at her, almost feeling the way I did four months ago. “Just in time for breakfast. You want an omelet?”

She nodded and sat down at the bar while I turned on the skillet again and started beating eggs. When it was done, I set it in front of her and took the stool next to her. I took a slow, deep breath. “So. We both know the current arrangement couldn’t last.” I just couldn’t keep flying back and forth every few days to a week.


She turned to me, but I couldn’t read whatever emotion was on her face. “Yeah.”

“We need to move, Lor,” I said, almost begging. “Mom—she’s not doing well. I had to move her bed to the living room because she can’t do stairs anymore.”


My wife squeezed her eyes shut, rubbed them, and then shook her head. “No. My heart breaks for her, but there are people who can help her. I know you want to be there for her but—“

“Just stop, Loralee.” I’d known it would go this way, for all that I’d hoped otherwise. My heart clenched in my chest. Part of me couldn’t believe what I was about to say. “I’ve got to take care of her. So I’m moving to Windenburg. I’ll—I’ll come visit every month or so.” Please, Loralee, please change your mind.

She didn’t recoil with anger or sigh in resignation. She just said hollowly, “What about the force?”


“Today I’m going to the station. To officially resign.” The construction job I had in Windenburg wasn’t my dream, but it was managing to pay for all the flights.

“So that’s it, then.” Loralee clenched her fists on the countertop. “You know what? That’s just fine. That’s where you want to be, right?”


She got up, glaring coldly at me. “You go and be there, then. I’ll take care of Logan and Jasper, and, while I’m at it, I’ll keep on growing this kid, too. So, yeah, go! Just fucking go!” She turned on her heel and went into the bedroom, slamming the door behind her.


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11 Responses to Chapter 2.119

  1. EddieSims says:

    So that went well…
    Tommy is really being a bit selfish here. You can’t just tell your wife I’ve made a decision so this is what we have to do and expect her to accept it. He’s only thinking about what HE wants to do for his mother and not what’s best for his whole family, mom included.
    Loralee wants for either his Mom to come to Oasis Springs or they hire someone to take care of her there and they can visit her. Tommy is choosing to live with his mom full time and visit his family every month or so while hiring someone, the nanny, to help out. His children need him too. It’s not fair to uproot them from their lives and school in Oasis Springs, make Loralee sell the business she’d been working for her whole life, just to move to Windenburg for one person. Yes, that one person IS his mother but still, he’s not being fair. He’s telling her do it my way or else I won’t be happy with you and I’ll resent you for it. Not cool Tommy!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. DanaColourful says:

    I don’t even know what to say anymore. I understand why Tommy is doing this, but I am definitely with Loralee on this one. Tommy is asking way too much. This isn’t something that he can just decide. He can’t expect her to just change her mind because he wants her to.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rip the Tomalee, but I’m a little conflicted here myself. I can see both sides point of view, and I think that Tommy is being a little unfair expecting her to just be ok with uprooting from everything they’ve ever hoped to achieve, and I think those hormones aren’t helping either.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Senna says:

    I have the strangest urge to choke Tommy right now…

    Okay, but it all seriousness, he is being very selfish. He’s so obsessed with going to his mother, that he’s more or less kicking the rest of his family onto the curb.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. theplumbob says:

    The comments really confuse me. How is Tommy being selfish? Is he supposed to just forget about his mom until she croaks so that she can finally stop annoying Loralee or what? If the tables were turned, you bet Loralee would be wanting him to move for either of her mothers. Neither of them is handling this correctly, but it’s much more undertandable on Tommy’s side. That’s his mother, not an old bike or something. Sigh. Why do people insist on getting married so quickly when they clearly don’t grasp the whole for better or for worse concept?

    Liked by 5 people

    • JoieWilder says:

      Yeah, neither of them are communicating like they usually do. They’ve been really lucky in their relationship to this point and haven’t been tested like this before.


    • CitizenErased14 says:

      That’s exactly what I said last time — Loralee very obviously avoided Tommy’s question of “wouldn’t you do the same for your parents?” Because she totally would. I still think they’re both sucking at communicating, mind you. But I definitely get where he is coming from

      Liked by 2 people

  6. sourocha1 says:

    I think that, in this case, someone might have to crack, and I want to know who would live better, if they made the other crack…I think that Loralee would not, besides having her husband that would not be very nice about all this, she would have to deal with herself, for leaving that old lady, and possibly dying without then there, with people that 100% would jugde her for what she choose (”Career before family? Jeez..”) and her mother’s that is very clear would be like ”And if it was me, you would do the same, huh?” And Tommy…he choose his mother besides her wife’s carrer…a lot of people can and will live with that, my only question is…how long do you think she will live? Because if they wait too long, their hole kid’s life are going to be on germany, and is going to be hard to even come back…and Loralee would be a little bitter, too…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. maladi777 says:

    Tommy really has no other choice here. His mother has only him. If it was Loralee’s mother it would be different, because there are other family member who could help. The fact that Loralee is not willing to even consider the option to move says a lot about where she comes from. She’s kind of used to have things her way. On the other hand this is such a bad time to move when she’s pregnant. It adds more complication to the whole package. Finding a new doctor and hospital in a foreign country where she will give birth etc. In all the stress she could miscarry. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  8. raerei says:

    Oh gah. Talk about an epic failure of communication. Both just want the other to do what they want with no plans on either side on how to approach this as a compromise. I’m not sure what it could be but both if them need to bend a little so they don’t feel like they’re losing their lives.

    Liked by 1 person

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