Short Stories

Katelyn’s Story New Beginnings

Chapter 2

A couple of days after Madeline and Stan’s big fight, he changed all the locks in the house. Taking the money she’d saved from selling her oil paintings, Madeline rented a small duplex close to the hospital. Once the lease was signed, the police escorted her to Stan’s home, so she could safely collected some of her belongings. He tried explaining why he’d changed the locks, but she continued to pack up the treasures that he hadn’t broken yet. “Please talk to me, honey. That’s all I want, for us to discuss our problems.” He begs grabbing a hold of his wife’s arm. The officer pulls him away from her. “Grab her again and I’ll take you to jail.” He warns. “I’m not going to hurt her, I just want to talk.” He cries, watching her walk towards her car. “Twenty five years of marriage condensed to a few small cardboard boxes.” She sadly concludes, loading the last container in the vehicle. Looking back on the porch, she sees her husband sitting on the steps, bawling like a baby. “You did this to yourself.” She thinks, tearfully pulling out of the driveway. Quickly dropping the boxes off at her duplex, she decides to visit her daughter, before her important business meeting. After spending a week in ICU, Katelyn’s moved off the unit. The doctor’s feels if she keeps making progress, and if the psychotropic medicine continues to work correctly, she’ll be ready to go home, within a few days. “Could you run by my place, pick up a few things for me?” She asks as her mother walks in the room. “I need to talk to you about the apartment.” “What is it?” “While you was in the ICU the landlord called me, told me to come get your stuff before he threw it out on the lawn. He said you’re two months behind on rent and since you can’t pay he’s evicting you.” “That sleaze!” “Was you two months behind on rent?” “No, OK, I was a month behind, but I planned on catching it up on Friday.” “Oh honey.” “Now what am I supposed to do? I’ve lost my apartment, probably my job and I’m flat broke. Wait, I have a paycheck coming, but it isn’t going to be much. Where am I going to go?” She cries. “You can live with me for a while, until you get a job and your own place.” “Dad will never allow me to move in his house.” “I’m not living at Stan’s anymore.” “You guys split up, why? It wasn’t because of me, was it?” “It should have happened a long time ago, but I hung on, hoping it’d change. I guess I thought I could fix it somehow.” “I’m so sorry mom.” She replies sincerely. “Well don’t be, I haven’t been this happy in years.” She quickly glances at her watch. “I hate to cut this visit short, but I need to go. I’m meeting someone who might be interested in buying the rest of my oil paintings.” “That’s great, mom!” “See you at supper?” She says rushing towards the hallway,” *** Stan should have been happy with his recent promoted, but he’s miserable without his wife being by his side. He initially hoped Madeline would see that she was wrong and ask to come home, but she moved her belongings out instead. “Oh Madeline, why do you continue to let her control you? Why? Can’t you see the girl’s manipulating you to get to me? She wants to destroy me, us, our family? She always has, and you’re letting her do it, the way you did years ago. After all I’ve done for you, too.” He concludes, closing the studio’s French doors. Turning off the rest of the lights, he walks into his den. This’s where he spends his evening since she left. He’s found it’s the only place in the entire house that doesn’t remind him of her. Walking to the bar, he pours a glass of scotch. Downing it, he pours another, followed by another. “I’ll get you off my mind one way or another.” He says, tipping the bottle up to his mouth. *** “The pictures, are absolutely gorgeous.”  Valarie exclaims. She and her husband owned an art gallery in Eureka Springs. They’re looking to promote a few new artists in their spring exhibit. “What do you think honey, do you like her art?” Valarie asks her husband. Howard continues inspecting each of the paintings closely. “I believe we can make it work, but I need to have more spring pictures,” “I can paint whatever you want me to.” The artist giddily informs him. Smiling, Valarie reaches over and squeezes her friend’s hand. They’d met at the fall festival last year. She loved her pictures so much she bought every oil painting Madeline had left. Once the last of her artwork sold, Howard wanted to meet the artist, see if she has any other pieces for sale. “We’ll take these three and I expect a few spring paintings real soon.” He informs her, walking back to his office. “I told you he’d love them, sweetie.” Valarie hands her an envelope. Opening it, Madeline sees it’s filled with hundred dollar bills. “If that isn’t enough, let me know.” “No, that’s more than enough. Thank you so much.” She says excitedly hugging her friend. After making the deal of her life, Madeline felt like celebrating. She decided to start by surprising her daughter with food from their favorite restaurant. “Hi mom, how did the meeting go?” She asks as her mother walks into the room. “Have you eaten supper yet?” “You’re kidding, right? This slop isn’t worth feeding a pig.” She pushes the tray further away from her, in further protest. “Good, cause I brought a surprise. She reaches in her purse and pulls out two containers. Katelyn instantly recognized the logo. It’s from her favorite Italian restaurant Geraldi’s “Since I sold all of the pictures and you’re getting better, I thought the two of us should have a celebratory dinner.” “Congratulations.” “That’s not all we’re celebrating. “Really? She asks, sitting excitedly on the edge of her bed. “They asked me to do more work for them.” “I knew you could do it mother.” She exclaims, scooping pasta onto her fork. The two’s so busy eating their delicious meal, they didn’t notice the doctor walking into the room. “Now I know why you didn’t eat any of our meals.” With a cheek full of pasta, the patient turns towards him and smiles. “We’re celebrating, I sold three pictures to an art studio this afternoon, and they’re wanting me to do more work for them.” “I can see the medicine’s isn’t decreasing her appetite.” He says, glancing at the half empty container sitting in front of his patient. “Since you’re doing so well, I believe you can go home, tonight.” “You’re releasing me?” She excitedly mumbles, through a mouthful of food. The doctor laughs. “Yea, but go ahead and finish eating. It’ll take me a few minutes to get the paperwork ready. **** Being cooped up inside for the better part of a week, Katelyn’s more than ready to explore her new surroundings. As soon as she saw her mother leave for the art studio, she dashes out the door. At first Katelyn’s really nervous, jumping at every little noise, but after a few blocks her anxiety started calming down and she’s able to enjoy the bright sunny afternoon. She’s enjoying her freedom so much she didn’t realize where she’d headed, until she saw her old apartment on the corner. “I don’t miss this dump one bit.”  She says, heading toward the building, she’d been planning on telling the landlord what she’d thought about him and his building for a long time. Now she had a chance. She started walking up the steps when she sees the yellow tape strung along the entrance, and a condemned sign hanging in the dusty window. “Guess you got kicked out too. Serves you right, asshole.” Laughing, she starts walking back down the steps when she hears someone calling out her name. “Hey Katelyn wait up.” She hears. Turning around, she sees her old friend, Anne runs towards her. “Where in the world have you been, girl?” Her friend asks. “I was in the hospital,” “Hospital, why?” “I was in a car accident.” “If I’d known I’d come see you.” “When did this happen?” she asks Anne, pointing toward the building. “Two weeks ago. An inspector came in, closed the place. I heard the city plans to demolish the building, put in condos or something. Hey, there’s a party at Bowers tonight, I’m sure the gang would love to see you.” “I’ve already made plans for tonight, but thanks anyhow.” “What’s more important than seeing a bunch of your old buddies?” It would be nice to see a few of my friends. She thinks. “When does it start?” “It starts at eight. So I’ll see you there?” “I guess.” “Great, see you later.” She yells, running over to meet a few friends. **** She thought about the party all day. She’d like to go see her friends, but didn’t want to get hooked up with that scene again. Now the doctor has her on different medicine she didn’t need to use the street drugs to stop the annoying voices. “I’ll go in say hi and leave.” She repeats. Opening her bedroom door, she starts to walk towards the entrance-way. “Going out for a while, be back soon.” She announces, heading towards the door. “Do you think it’s safe for you to go out at night by yourself?” “I’m not a child anymore, mom.” “I know, I just worry is all.” “If you’re worried about me going out and doing more drugs, don’t be. I’m done with that scene. See you in a little bit.” ”She rushes out into the cool night air, before her mom could protest. “Go in, say hi and leave. She coxes, stepping inside the house. The moment she walked in, she knew her plan was sunk. The music’s blaring, booze’s flowing and the smell of pot lingered in the stale night air. “Oh Katelyn I’m so glad you can make it.” Anne replies dragging her friend across the room.

A couple of days after Madeline and Stan’s big fight, he changed all the locks in the house. Taking the money she’d saved from selling her oil paintings, Madeline rented a small duplex close to the hospital. Once the lease was signed, the police escorted her to Stan’s home, so she could safely collected some of her belongings. He tried explaining why he’d changed the locks, but she continued to pack up the treasures that he hadn’t broken yet. “Please talk to me, honey. That’s all I want, for us to discuss our problems.” He begs grabbing a hold of his wife’s arm. The officer pulls him away from her. “Grab her again and I’ll take you to jail.” He warns. “I’m not going to hurt her, I just want to talk.” He cries, watching her walk towards her car. “Twenty five years of marriage condensed to a few small cardboard boxes.” She sadly concludes, loading the last container in the vehicle. Looking back on the porch, she sees her husband sitting on the steps, bawling like a baby. “You did this to yourself.” She thinks, tearfully pulling out of the driveway. Quickly dropping the boxes off at her duplex, she decides to visit her daughter, before her important business meeting. After spending a week in ICU, Katelyn’s moved off the unit. The doctor’s feels if she keeps making progress, and if the psychotropic medicine continues to work correctly, she’ll be ready to go home, within a few days. “Could you run by my place, pick up a few things for me?” She asks as her mother walks in the room. “I need to talk to you about the apartment.” “What is it?” “While you was in the ICU the landlord called me, told me to come get your stuff before he threw it out on the lawn. He said you’re two months behind on rent and since you can’t pay he’s evicting you.” “That sleaze!” “Was you two months behind on rent?” “No, OK, I was a month behind, but I planned on catching it up on Friday.” “Oh honey.” “Now what am I supposed to do? I’ve lost my apartment, probably my job and I’m flat broke. Wait, I have a paycheck coming, but it isn’t going to be much. Where am I going to go?” She cries. “You can live with me for a while, until you get a job and your own place.” “Dad will never allow me to move in his house.” “I’m not living at Stan’s anymore.” “You guys split up, why? It wasn’t because of me, was it?” “It should have happened a long time ago, but I hung on, hoping it’d change. I guess I thought I could fix it somehow.” “I’m so sorry mom.” She replies sincerely. “Well don’t be, I haven’t been this happy in years.” She quickly glances at her watch. “I hate to cut this visit short, but I need to go. I’m meeting someone who might be interested in buying the rest of my oil paintings.” “That’s great, mom!” “See you at supper?” She says rushing towards the hallway,” *** Stan should have been happy with his recent promoted, but he’s miserable without his wife being by his side. He initially hoped Madeline would see that she was wrong and ask to come home, but she moved her belongings out instead. “Oh Madeline, why do you continue to let her control you? Why? Can’t you see the girl’s manipulating you to get to me? She wants to destroy me, us, our family? She always has, and you’re letting her do it, the way you did years ago. After all I’ve done for you, too.” He concludes, closing the studio’s French doors. Turning off the rest of the lights, he walks into his den. This’s where he spends his evening since she left. He’s found it’s the only place in the entire house that doesn’t remind him of her. Walking to the bar, he pours a glass of scotch. Downing it, he pours another, followed by another. “I’ll get you off my mind one way or another.” He says, tipping the bottle up to his mouth. *** “The pictures, are absolutely gorgeous.”  Valarie exclaims. She and her husband owned an art gallery in Eureka Springs. They’re looking to promote a few new artists in their spring exhibit. “What do you think honey, do you like her art?” Valarie asks her husband. Howard continues inspecting each of the paintings closely. “I believe we can make it work, but I need to have more spring pictures,” “I can paint whatever you want me to.” The artist giddily informs him. Smiling, Valarie reaches over and squeezes her friend’s hand. They’d met at the fall festival last year. She loved her pictures so much she bought every oil painting Madeline had left. Once the last of her artwork sold, Howard wanted to meet the artist, see if she has any other pieces for sale. “We’ll take these three and I expect a few spring paintings real soon.” He informs her, walking back to his office. “I told you he’d love them, sweetie.” Valarie hands her an envelope. Opening it, Madeline sees it’s filled with hundred dollar bills. “If that isn’t enough, let me know.” “No, that’s more than enough. Thank you so much.” She says excitedly hugging her friend. After making the deal of her life, Madeline felt like celebrating. She decided to start by surprising her daughter with food from their favorite restaurant. “Hi mom, how did the meeting go?” She asks as her mother walks into the room. “Have you eaten supper yet?” “You’re kidding, right? This slop isn’t worth feeding a pig.” She pushes the tray further away from her, in further protest. “Good, cause I brought a surprise. She reaches in her purse and pulls out two containers. Katelyn instantly recognized the logo. It’s from her favorite Italian restaurant Geraldi’s “Since I sold all of the pictures and you’re getting better, I thought the two of us should have a celebratory dinner.” “Congratulations.” “That’s not all we’re celebrating. “Really? She asks, sitting excitedly on the edge of her bed. “They asked me to do more work for them.” “I knew you could do it mother.” She exclaims, scooping pasta onto her fork. The two’s so busy eating their delicious meal, they didn’t notice the doctor walking into the room. “Now I know why you didn’t eat any of our meals.” With a cheek full of pasta, the patient turns towards him and smiles. “We’re celebrating, I sold three pictures to an art studio this afternoon, and they’re wanting me to do more work for them.” “I can see the medicine’s isn’t decreasing her appetite.” He says, glancing at the half empty container sitting in front of his patient. “Since you’re doing so well, I believe you can go home, tonight.” “You’re releasing me?” She excitedly mumbles, through a mouthful of food. The doctor laughs. “Yea, but go ahead and finish eating. It’ll take me a few minutes to get the paperwork ready. **** Being cooped up inside for the better part of a week, Katelyn’s more than ready to explore her new surroundings. As soon as she saw her mother leave for the art studio, she dashes out the door. At first Katelyn’s really nervous, jumping at every little noise, but after a few blocks her anxiety started calming down and she’s able to enjoy the bright sunny afternoon. She’s enjoying her freedom so much she didn’t realize where she’d headed, until she saw her old apartment on the corner. “I don’t miss this dump one bit.”  She says, heading toward the building, she’d been planning on telling the landlord what she’d thought about him and his building for a long time. Now she had a chance. She started walking up the steps when she sees the yellow tape strung along the entrance, and a condemned sign hanging in the dusty window. “Guess you got kicked out too. Serves you right, asshole.” Laughing, she starts walking back down the steps when she hears someone calling out her name. “Hey Katelyn wait up.” She hears. Turning around, she sees her old friend, Anne runs towards her. “Where in the world have you been, girl?” Her friend asks. “I was in the hospital,” “Hospital, why?” “I was in a car accident.” “If I’d known I’d come see you.” “When did this happen?” she asks Anne, pointing toward the building. “Two weeks ago. An inspector came in, closed the place. I heard the city plans to demolish the building, put in condos or something. Hey, there’s a party at Bowers tonight, I’m sure the gang would love to see you.” “I’ve already made plans for tonight, but thanks anyhow.” “What’s more important than seeing a bunch of your old buddies?” It would be nice to see a few of my friends. She thinks. “When does it start?” “It starts at eight. So I’ll see you there?” “I guess.” “Great, see you later.” She yells, running over to meet a few friends. **** She thought about the party all day. She’d like to go see her friends, but didn’t want to get hooked up with that scene again. Now the doctor has her on different medicine she didn’t need to use the street drugs to stop the annoying voices. “I’ll go in say hi and leave.” She repeats. Opening her bedroom door, she starts to walk towards the entrance-way. “Going out for a while, be back soon.” She announces, heading towards the door. “Do you think it’s safe for you to go out at night by yourself?” “I’m not a child anymore, mom.” “I know, I just worry is all.” “If you’re worried about me going out and doing more drugs, don’t be. I’m done with that scene. See you in a little bit.” ”She rushes out into the cool night air, before her mom could protest. “Go in, say hi and leave. She coxes, stepping inside the house. The moment she walked in, she knew her plan was sunk. The music’s blaring, booze’s flowing and the smell of pot lingered in the stale night air. “Oh Katelyn I’m so glad you can make it.” Anne replies dragging her friend across the room.

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Short Stories

Katelyn’s Story

Chapter 1

Katelyn rushes through the dark messy apartment, trying to get ready for work. She woke up to find the electric company turned off the power this morning, despite the payment arrangements she’d made.
“My boss’s going to kill me if I’m late again.” She thinks, sliding
her feet into a pair of tennis shoes. Bolting down the stairs, she
runs into the landlord.
“I want my rent money today!” He orders.
“I’ll give it to you on Friday.”
“All of it?”
“Yes, I promise.” She says, trying to get by him.
“You realize you’re two and a half months behind, right?”
“I can’t be that far behind on rent.”
“According to my calculations you are. So you own me seven hundred and fifty dollars.”
“I won’t be able to come up with all of it at once.”
“You have two choices. Either pay up, or move out.” Storming into his apartment, he slams the door.
“Maybe my boss will give me a loan.” She thinks rushing down the street towards the dinner. The only thing she liked about the apartment was that she lived a few blocks from her work. The place it’s self was a dump. The heat seldom worked, the water smelled like rotten eggs and the cockroaches were the size of mice. She tried finding a better place, but it’s all she can afford on her salary. She even tried to get a better paying job, but without a diploma, waitress work’s the best she can do.
“Look who finally decided to show up for work.” The boss announces as she walks into the cafe.
“Sorry for being so late. My electricity got shut off so the alarm didn’t wake me.”
“Every day you have an excuse for either showing up late, or not show up at all. Well, I’m done with the excuses. You’re fired!”
“Fired, no you can’t fire me! I’m one of your best workers.”
“I need someone who’ll be here on time every day they’re scheduled.”
“I promise it’ll never happen again.”
“I’ve heard that before too. You can pick up the last check on Friday.”
“Please give me one more chance, please.”
“I’ve given you a lot of chances, but you’ve disappointed me every time.”
“I’ll work really hard, pull double shifts, please let me stay.” Ignoring the begging, he walks back toward the kitchen.
“I said, let me stay!” She yells, throwing a stack of dishes on the floor. He turns towards her.
“Get out of my restaurant before I call the cops!” He orders.
“Fine, I didn’t want to work in a bug invested restaurant anyhow!” She screams walking into the hot morning sun. Reaching in her pocket she pulls out the rest of her money. It wasn’t much, just a few dollars and change, but she hoped it’d be enough for a taste of something. Through the years she’s found certain street drugs dulls the constant chattering in her head. The psychiatrist warned her about self-medicating, how she thinks it helps, but actually worsens the condition. After listening to a long boring lecture about the harmful effects of street drugs, she left his office in dire need of some. Stepping into the alley, she felt an arm wrap around her neck.
“Let me go, moron.” She yells, elbowing him in the stomach, the arm wrapped tighter against her neck. Hit me again and I’ll kill you. The tall, thick man warns, dragging the young women towards the van.
“I told you I’d find a good looking blond, boys.” Smiling, he throws her in the vehicle and closes the door.

****

With both children out of the home and Stan at the office all day, Madeline had plenty of time for art. Seeing how much she enjoyed painting, he had a studio built on the side of the house for her. This spacious room where she spends most of the day. Seeing as it’s getting late, she started cleaning up, when the phone rings. Getting a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach, she quickly answers it.
“Mrs. Howard?”
“Yes”
“This is Malinda from Cox Hospital. Katelyn was in a terrible car accident.”
“Accident? Oh my god is she alright?”
“I’m afraid not, they’re performing emergency surgery on her now.”
“I’m on my way.” Hanging up the phone, she hears her husband walk in the house. She runs to the front door to meet him
“Oh Stan, Katelyn’s been in an accident.”
“It’s either drug, or alcohol related.” He states, hanging his coat in the closet.
“Aren’t you going to the hospital?”
“Why, so she can swindle us out of more money?”
“You don’t understand they’re doing emergency surgery on her now!”
“Yea, well, we have a business dinner in half an hour.”
“How can you think of such a thing when our child’s having an operation?”
“I disowned her the night she nearly killed Katie, remember?”
“That was 10 years ago.”
“I don’t care the little bitch’s wrecked our lives when she’s younger and I’ll be damned if she’ll ruin my chance for a promotion too!”
“You can go to your fancy meeting, I’m going to see our child!” She yells, grabbing a coat out of the closet.
“No, you’re having supper with me, so start getting ready! He orders, pushing his wife towards the front room.
“I will see my daughter!” She screams pushing him out of the way.
“If you go see her instead of joining me for dinner, you might as well not bother coming home.”
“I chose you over her once. I’ll never do it again!” She yells slamming the door behind her. The night Katie’s rushed to the emergency room, Katelyn was taken to juvenile hall. After several suicide attempts, they thought she’d be better suited in a psychiatric hospital. She remained there until they thought their patient’s no longer a threat to herself, or others. With nowhere else to go, the teenager wandered the streets, begging for handouts. If she’s real lucky she’d find an empty cot at the local shelter, or be sent to the psychiatric hospital for evaluation. The vicious cycle continued for four years, until one night the police found lying under six inches of snow, nearly dead.
Madeline promised god If he let her live, she’ll never abandon the child again. Since then she’s helped her daughter move to different apartments and find several different jobs. She often had to sell her paintings to pay for Katelyn’s rent and utilities. Since the eldest child’s, unable to keep a job for more than a couple of months, Madeline’s hired a lawyer to help her get benefits. A process that’s taken well over a year.
“Oh Stan you know I love you with all my heart, but I have to go, to make good on my promise. I do hope you’ll forgive me someday.” She blubbers tearfully, pulling out of the driveway.

****

Madeline’s sitting in the waiting room anxiously waiting for some news. It’s been two hours and no one’s told her a thing. She stopped a few of the nurses to ask if there’s any updates. Each one informed her that the doctor’s still working on Katelyn and he’ll be out to talk to her when he’s finished. Seeing a door open, she looks up to see her youngest girl running toward her.
“Oh mom, how is she?”
“Your sister’s still in surgery. I’m so glad you’re here, Katie.” She bawls, grabbing her daughter’s hand.
“Do you know what happened to her?”
“The policeman told me the black van she’s riding in flipped. I guess the driver tried to outrun the cops, lost control and wrecked.”
“She could have been killed.”
“The driver and two passengers were. The officer said if she hadn’t been tied down, she’d died too.” She cries
“Tied down?”
“They were raping her. Those monsters raped my little girl when they wrecked.” She sobs.
“It’s alright, mom, she’s strong, she’ll pull through this.”
“I’ve been such a terrible mom, just awful.” She bawls.
“That’s not true, you’ve done the best you can.”
“I hope she knows I love her.” She blubbers.
“I’m sure she does.”
“Mrs. Howard?” Both of the girls look up to see a surgeon standing by them.
“We’re able to stop the bleeding and repair the damage to her internal organs.”
“So my girl’s OK?”
“As far as the internal bleeding goes, yes, but we’ve had to resuscitate her twice. So I’d like to keep her in ICU a few days, until we feel she’s stable.”
“Can we go see her?”
“You can go see her for a few minutes, but only a few minutes. She’s been through a lot tonight and needs plenty of rest.”
“Yes, I understand. She says, jumping up from the chair.” The doctor takes them through a maze of long hallways, before they finally reach their destination.
“Go to the far end, she’s on the right.” He informs them, pointing down the hallway. He starts to turn toward the entrance way, Madeline grabs a hold of his arm.
“Thank you for saving my child.” She cries, hugging him tightly. Katie could tell by the look on his face that the surgeon didn’t appreciate her mother’s kind gesture.
“It’s OK mom, Katelyn’s alright.” She says, trying to pull her away from the surgeon.
“Yea, and it’s all because of this saint right here.” She bawls hugging him tighter.
“She loves to hug.” The daughter tries to explain.
“Come on mom lets go see sis.”
“Thank you.” She replies, finally letting go. The doctor rushes out, before she could hug him again. Madeline runs to the bedside and grabs her daughter’s hand.
“I’m so glad you’re OK.” She cries.
“Hi, sis.” Katie begins. Slowly opening her eyes, Katelyn looks at her mother. Then turns her head towards her sister.
“Your sister came to see you.”
“Get out! Get out now Katie!”
“Surely you didn’t mean that!” Her mother questions.
“I said get her out of here!” Shocked by her sister’s outburst, she tearfully starts backing away. She’d just reached the foot of the bed when an alarm started sounding. The nurses rushed to the bedside.
“You two need to leave.” One of the nurses informs them.
“What’s happening to my baby?”
“She’s going into cardiac arrest.” The nurse replies, pushing the mother out in the hallway.
“No! Don’t die on me Katelyn! Please, you can’t die!” She cries.

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