Tiny Threads:Snapdragon, Volume 1

By: Jami Denise

Snapdragon, Volume 1





For Misty and Erin.

Thank you for being my soul sisters.

There aren't even words. I love you.

For Skylar, thank you for sharing your name with me for our little story. You're my angel.





Chapter 1


I remembered a time in my life when I’d been a sound sleeper. As a kid, nothing woke me. I’d sleep like a log, no matter where I was.

How I wished that were still true.

It was like my subconscious was constantly on alert. Maybe it was the instincts of a mother, or just old age, but my brain knew something was wrong, and when I reached over to the other side of the bed, I found that was true.

My husband wasn’t home yet.

Tired and ticked off, I threw my legs over the side of the bed and padded out of the room to find my phone. I flipped the switch in the kitchen, squinted just enough against the glare of the light to find my purse on the counter and dug around until I had my phone in hand.

I punched his number onto the screen—a little harder than necessary—and waited for it to ring. It’d been almost four hours since he said he’d be home, and my heart seized with worry. He always met up with his brother, Glenn on Thursday nights to watch sports, but he was always home right after dinner. I never had a problem with that. What I did have a problem with was waking up scared he was in a ditch somewhere. He knew me well enough to know I worried all the time.

His phone chirped from the other room, so I followed the sound into the den. There he was, sprawled out on the battered old sofa with his dumb dog curled up on the floor next to him. I sighed, relieved he was home safe, but irritated.

My first instinct was to wake him up and bitch about how inconsiderate he was, but I reconsidered. What good would it do? I was too tired to talk, and with the way he’d been acting, it probably wouldn’t do any good, anyway.

Instead, I left him to sleep in his ragged jeans and T-shirt with his stupid dog and returned to our room.

*

My very rambunctious five-year-old woke me the next morning, jumping on the bed and giggling like a little lunatic. The mattress groaned in protest, and my overly tired body protested just as much.

“Ma, come on. Get up! We’re going fishing with Papa Joe!”

Their fishing trip. After getting up in the middle of the night looking for Royal, and then staying up for hours lost in thought, the morning was not getting off to a good start.

“I'm sorry, Bubba. I forgot. Give me a few more minutes and I'll be down. Are your sisters awake yet?”

“Yup. I don’t know what they’re doing.” he said, shrugging his shoulders.

I laughed. The poor kid spent most of his time wondering where they were or what they were doing. He just couldn’t help himself. He adored his sisters, even when they were less than nice to him.

“Can you go find Skylar for me? She can start packing your lunches, and I'll be down in a sec to make your sandwiches. Where's Daddy?” I asked.

“He's loading the truck, Ma.” He gave me a wild look, as if to say, why are you asking stupid questions.

“All right. I'm up.” I chuckled. Clearly, he wasn’t in the mood for conversation.

He darted out of the room, and I followed, wrapping my old pink robe around me as I stumbled through the house. I detoured to the garage before heading into the kitchen. A quick word with my husband—alone—needed to happen. Anger wasn’t a good emotion to leave untended, and I was still angry with him about the previous night. I slipped into the garage and found him standing in the bed of the truck, loading equipment.

“I didn't hear you get in last night.” My voice was small and scared. I didn't like it.

Without turning around, he answered. “Yeah, it was late. Didn't want to wake you.”

His tone made my stomach drop. I was sick of his indifferent, ugly attitude. Pure determination moved my legs until I stood at the side of the truck in front of him. I needed a read on his expression—to gauge his mood. That’s where we’d been, walking on eggshells with each other. What I found on his face made me sad. He looked tired.

“That was thoughtful, but I worry. I woke up in the middle of the night and you weren't there.”

I pulled my robe tighter across my body and wrapped my arms around my torso. I hated the unspoken tension between us, but I was too tired to hash it out for God and all the neighbors to hear. But we needed to talk, and one way or another, I’d get him to sit down and do just that when he got back.

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