Chapter: 1 of 43
Other Info: Sequel to Walls
Warnings: Drug-usage, cursing, violence etc
Excerpt: Coffee in hand, she wandered her house, just looking at it. They’d been gone forever it seemed. She felt a little guilty, but she was glad to be back. Glad the whole thing had been cut short. She wished with all her heart it had happened a different way, but she was absurdly grateful to be back home. She’d always believed that things happened for a reason. Maybe this respite just had to be. God knew nothing but a crisis would have derailed this train they were on.
Diana tiptoed down the stairs. The house was finally quiet. It was about time. She headed for the coffeemaker, thinking ruefully about her first night back home.
She hadn’t been home half an hour, with the little ones, before Jessie had begun complaining that she didn’t feel good. After a few hours of trying to unpack, and settle them all in, while being forced to listen to Jessie whine, she’d finally checked her temperature, found it to be up a little, and sent her off to bed, dosed up on Tylenol. She’d thought briefly about dosing up the other two, on general principles. She was beat. She’d wanted to sleep.
As she went about her morning business, she laughed a little to herself. She should have known it would happen. Sleep was only an option on a tentative basis anyway, with six kids, but she’d really been hoping for some last night. The last few weeks had been pretty rough.
Never mind though, small children with the flu don’t care how tired you are. She’d only just begun to doze when the sound of one of them crying had awakened her. She’d discovered all three of her children awake, and miserable. She’d spent the night cooling them down, rubbing backs, telling stories, and generally trying to distract her achy, coughing, feverish brood from how they felt, so they, and she, could go back to sleep. By the time they’d all finally drifted off, it was time for her to get up. Walker and the boys would be back this afternoon, and she really wanted to get as much done as possible before they were here, and underfoot.
Coffee in hand, she wandered her house, just looking at it. They’d been gone forever it seemed. She felt a little guilty, but she was glad to be back. Glad the whole thing had been cut short. She wished with all her heart it had happened a different way, but she was absurdly grateful to be back home. She’d always believed that things happened for a reason. Maybe this respite just had to be. God knew nothing but a crisis would have derailed this train they were on.
She settled onto the couch, fully intending to relax with her cup for only a few minutes. She was asleep in seconds.
“Mom, wake up! Mom!! Wake up!”
A hand was shaking her, and urgent voice in her ear.
Fighting the urge to snap “Get lost!”, she sat up and tried to look as if she were functioning. “What is it Jess, Av… oh whoever you are, what is it?”
She shook her head. They were all blending into one group face. She peered at the child standing in front of her.
Avery. It was Avery.
She was almost sure of it.
The little girl giggled. “You’re not awake, are you?”
“Yes I am.”
“Good, ’cause Mackie just threw up in the hallway. We tried to catch him, ’cause Jessie wanted to give him a bath, but he got away.”
Diana’s eyebrows went up. “Tried to catch him? Catch him? You were chasing him? Don’t do that…” She hauled herself off the couch and went in search of her youngest son. “Wouldn’t you know,” she thought, “The one who starts puking has to be the one who will just do it where he stands. This day is going so well.”
One captured and bathed Mackie, and one scrubbed carpet later, Diana again took a stab at sitting down. She didn’t really have any hope it would last. Jessie was seriously complaining that her ears hurt, and Diana was expecting to have to go to the doctor sometime soon. Avie didn’t seem to know enough to slow down, and was running around the house, sniffing, hacking, and whining. Diana had begun to have ungracious thoughts about just opening the front door on one of her run throughs, and locking it behind her. Mack was just miserable and clingy. She’d resigned herself to wearing him for the rest of the day, and had settled him on the couch in front of the TV, so he could see her. She sighed, wishing for just half an hour to nap. God knew she was going to need it.
Walker had called her from the plane. For some reason, he’d felt in necessary to give her the lowdown on how terribly his trip home was going. He’d told her Taylor had been sick 100% of the trip. The car had been bad enough, the plane was just about killing him. She bit back the “Well you might have given him some Dramamine.” comment that was on the tip of her tongue. He didn’t need to know how much easier it could have been. Added to that, he’d told her, Zac was a basket case. Couldn’t get comfortable, couldn’t take Tay’s being sick at all, he was just coming unglued. Top it off, the only one of them who wasn’t sick, and was acting human, had gotten disgusted with all of them, and gone to sit by himself. Walker had laughed when he told her.
“DIana, he just finally looked up, slammed down his book, told us “You people suck!”, and got up and went and sat in the back of the plane.” She’d sympathized with him, and made all of the appropriate noises, and finally he’d ended the call.
She thought about what he’d said, and applauded Ike. She knew how he felt. “You people suck” wandered through her mind. She liked that. It just said what it had to.
She wondered briefly what her kids here would think, if she just hollered it out, and went to her room. Smiling a little at the thought, she stretched out with Mackie, and dozed off on the Disney channel.