Friday, November 12, 2010

The Lassiters Ch. 5 Back Home Again Pt. 3

That same night, when everyone was warm and cozy after their baths and the children were upstairs in their playroom, John broke it to his wife that he wanted to come out of his voluntary early retirement and go back into the workforce. Melora couldn’t have been more startled if he’d suddenly performed the splits. For one thing, they had discussed at length the fact that they wanted to enjoy what was left of the twins’ childhood. Trey and Lori would be teenagers before they knew it and then they wouldn’t want to be with their parents much at all. Teenagers were just that way and the Lassiters knew it from experience.  

It wasn’t like they needed the money. Between John’s considerable inheritance, the money he made in business ventures back in NC, his financial consulting online and what he made from his novels they were more well-off than almost everyone in Pleasantville except for Remington Goth, the zillionaire of Pleasantville.

Furthermore, Melora pointed out, John’s father, Big Jack, was nearly 85 and in good health but for how much longer? They needed to visit him in Atlanta more often than before because he wouldn’t even discuss moving closer. Possibly he would need special care when and if his health declined and they would move him to Pleasantview if he would let them at that time. All this would take time to do.

It was as if John had caught Jim Candeloro’s restlessness.  He mused,

“Maybe I’m getting that 'middle aged crazy' thing they talk about."

Melora thought, “Excuse me--middle-aged? Not unless you think you’re going to live to 100”.

She went to the kitchen because sometimes she believed she did her best thinking there, making cookies or cooking up a pot of chili. While she stewed a couple of chickens to make a huge pot of her mother's recipe for chicken noodle soup, she pondered and worried. Meanwhile John retreated to his study to work on his latest manuscript.

What was even more shocking to Melora was when they discussed it again the next evening John said he didn’t want to go back to any of the businesses he had previous experience in--not real estate, not construction, not financial consulting, or even journalism. He told her he wanted to go into the field of science.

"Science? Where is this coming from?" Melora thought. She knew John had taken science courses as well as business in college and that when they were first married he spent hours with the telescope on the upper deck of their first home. With time and because the demands of his business empire, the fascination with the stars had appeared to diminish, though, and she was totally flummoxed at this new direction he’d taken.

"What about your writing?” Melora questioned.

"I can still do that in my spare time,” John insisted.

“Spare time? What spare time? When exactly, will you have time for me and the kids?”

He had no real answer for that except to say he was always there for them, she knew that. Melora realized there was nothing to do but to grin and bear it. He was evidently determined to forge ahead with this. Frankly, she was furious with him but, for once, she held her tongue. Using sarcasm (one of her better abilities) had never worked with John and neither did badgering. Perhaps he would tire of this as quickly as he had acquired the inspiration. She could only hope that was the case.

Anyway, she could never stay angry for long with him and he well knew it. To the outside world John Lassiter was a very reserved and circumspect man, calm and reasonable, but not very outgoing. However; when John cared to try he could charm the birds out of the trees, and the person it had always worked best with was Melora. So before long she and he were cuddling and cooing once more. In truth, they had faced it long ago; they were madly in love with each other so they were stuck--there were no other options for them. Together forever; for better or worse, et cetera.

The next morning over their cereal, and while their parents still slept, Lori and Trey talked about their father going back to work and their mother being upset about it. Adults think kids don’t know what goes on in their own home; but they do. They were only upstairs in the playroom; voices always drifted up the staircase, especially emphatic voices. It didn’t worry the twins too much in the long run because they heard their parents laughing later. Still it had kept them both awake into the night after hearing at least parts of the argument.

Trey shook his head, “What a whopper that fight was.”

“Mommy says it’s not fighting or arguing, it’s discussing,” Lori corrected.

Trey rolled his eyes,

“Gimme a break.”

Lori said quietly, “I’m just glad it’s over.”

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