Story chapter ONE

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    Chapter One:

    I fumbled with my keys. They just seemed to slip out of my grasp. I sighed and set my bag down. Why can’t I find the right key? The lights in the hallway weren’t very bright and it didn’t help that I was worn out from work. Today seemed to be extra stressful. I stopped my worries from distracting me and looked at my keys. There it is!

    I unlocked the door to my apartment and dropped the keys down on the counter. Wow! Today was a long day. My job is exhausting.

    My cat, Belle, jumped off of the top of the sofa and rubbed against my legs. I could feel her soft purr vibrating her whole body.

    “Hey, kitty. Yeah, I’m excited to see you too.”

    I pulled a boxed dinner from the freezer and placed it in the microwave. I stood there waiting for the satisfying ding of the timer that would announce my finished meal. A few minutes later, I was seated comfortably on the couch, eating and reading my favorite novel. Boxed chicken didn’t taste the greatest compared to my mom’s cooking, but it was the only thing I had available to eat at that moment.

    Since work took up most of my day, and wore me out, I didn’t have the time or the energy to do a lot of things, like cooking a nice meal. That didn’t really bother me. I enjoyed how consistent my life was, but I wasn’t exactly happy. Most people saw me hardworking and fun-loving, but overall quiet and reserved. I didn’t really share my problems with others. Instead, I kept them shut away inside, thinking about them as little as possible. Working at a daycare helped me do that. I loved working with children. Every day, something totally new and exciting happened. I had worked at the daycare since I had graduated from college, so almost a year and a half had passed.

    A knock at the door startled me out of my thoughts. I quickly disposed of my empty dinner container, tucked a few stray hairs behind my ear and smoothed out some wrinkles in my shirt. I probably look like a wreck.

    I unlocked the door and opened it a crack. Oh my word! Was not expecting him to come by.

    “Hello Lucas!” I said, a smile lighting up my face. “Come on in.”

    “Thanks Chloe!”

    “Don’t mind the mess,” I said sheepishly. “I’ve been really busy.”

    “That’s not a problem.” He chuckled and then said, “I really don’t care.”

    That was one of the things I enjoyed about Lucas. He was so easy-going and calm. “We can sit on the couch. Do you want something to drink? I have some Coke.”

    “You know me too well,” he chuckled again. “I love Coke. Thanks.”

    “Yeah.” I went over to the couch, set my book on the table, and moved the cat onto the floor. “Here, make yourself at home. I’ll grab the sodas.”

    I pulled two cans of coke out of the fridge while Lucas sat down on the couch. I enjoyed when he stopped by my apartment, even though sometimes he didn’t let me know which meant I wasn’t prepared at all, kind of like this time. But I wasn’t stressed out when he was around, so it made his company enjoyable. We had known each other for almost a year. We met at a single’s retreat at our church. At the time, he hadn’t been a part of our church until a month before.

    He worked at a hardware store a couple of blocks from my apartment, and his house was not more than a few minutes away either, making things convenient.

    I dumped the coke into two glasses and sat down next to Lucas.

    “Thank you,” he said. “So, what’s up?”

    “Mostly just work. It’s taken up most of my time recently. You?”

    “Well, same here. I’ve worked till after six o’clock every day this week. We’ve done a little bit of reorganizing in the shop so it’s been pretty hectic.”

    “This week has been crazy because most of the kids that don’t always come were here this week. Caring for so many kids is strenuous. But I mean, I love this job, and I knew when I started what working with kids is like.” I paused for a second. “Do you wanna play chess? Just wondering. It’s a great way to pass time.”

    “Sure, but I know you’ll beat me. You seem to forget that this isn’t the first time we’ve played.” I could see the twinkle in his eyes.

    “Well, you do have a point. Though, maybe this time you’ll have a stroke of luck.”

    “I highly doubt that Chloe, but come on, let’s get to it.”

    The time passed much more quickly than either of us expected. At the end of the round, I checked the time. Both of us were shocked that it was already 9:30.

    “Wow. I should probably head out. Don’t want you to be too tired tomorrow since you didn’t go to bed on time because of me.”

    I laughed. “Lucas, it’s not that late and I am 26 years old. Don’t worry about it. I’ll be fine. But, thanks for coming. My day wasn’t the easiest, but I had such a pleasant evening with you. Thank you.”

    “I enjoyed it too. Umm, just call me if you need anything. I’ll see you Sunday,” he said.

    He gave me a quick hug before he said goodbye and left.

    I fed my cat and then prepared to go to bed. It was nice to go to bed on time. It was something I didn’t do often.

    I crawled into bed a few moments later and fell asleep.


    Why won’t that noise stop? What on earth!

    I was so groggy, I didn’t even realize my alarm was going off till quite a while after it had started

    I smacked the snooze button.

    After repeating that process one more time, I dragged myself out of bed and shuffled into the kitchen to make my cup of coffee.

    I sat down at the table and checked my phone.

    Could you come into work early today? Jono’s mom dropped him off for early care and didn’t let the office know.. Hope it’s not too inconvenient for you. Thanks. -Carly.

    Carly was one of my co-workers and also one of my closest friends.

    Phwesh! I still have to get ready. Guess I can just really hurry.

    Sure! I typed back. Sorry, didn’t see this till just now. B there in 15.

    I rushed to prepare for the day, then quickly grabbed my coffee, keys, and purse and headed out the door.


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    Life is short, smile while you still have teeth!

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