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MemberJune 20, 2021 at 11:45 am
Victoria had tears of guilt and pain sliding down her face. She held her arms out to her children to come to her, they hesitated and that hurt her, she needed to hold them to keep her steady and sane. As the children slowly made their way to Victoria’s side, she grabbed them up as they huddled there on the ground. Victoria looked over Clay’s shoulder to see the house across the street where a man stood, tilting his head slightly back releasing cigarette smoke from his mouth while standing and leaning back against a front porch post. Victoria had never seen this man before; she was sure of it. He was short and stocky wearing a cowboy hat and a pair of gold tipped cowboy boots with the pants legs tucked inside of the boots. His shirt sleeve was rolled back upon his forearm and above his jeans was a large silver belt buckle. He was slowly looking up and down the road as if not to notice what had just occurred in front of him. Clay put his small arms around Victoria’s neck and Beth crawled into her lap. Victoria whispered, “who would like a bowl of ice cream?”
Both Beth and Clay held their hands up and said, “I would.”
As all three were making their way into the house, Victoria looked back over her shoulder to see that the man had disappeared.
Victoria asked Clay, “where’s your caterpillars?”
Clay pulling on Victoria’s hand replied, “I hid them so they’d be safe.”
Victoria and the children went into the house as Warner was walking toward the front door while straightening the dark blue silk tie around his neck before he jerked the front door open and pushed it with such a force against the living room wall, the vibration caused Beth’s first ceramic cup on a small side table to crash to the floor. Warner never looked back. He left the front door wide open as he walked toward his car. Victoria was never sure of where he went once, he left the house, or even when he would return, but he would leave every evening after work.
It has been weeks since that incident with Warner in the front yard. Victoria and the children had developed ways to avoid Warner but when she was not able to avoid him, she catered to him with as much warmth and tenderness as she possibly could to avoid his anger, again. The uneasiness of ground glass churned in her heart and stomach when he was near her. Victoria never saw the dark-haired man across the street since that incident on the lawn. The house where Victoria saw him went up for rent, and rented quickly. A young woman with the thick black hair pulled up the for-rent sign and tossed it into the garbage container. With a bounce in her step, she began moving boxes from her convertible mustang to her front porch just as a moving truck backed into the driveway. The kids wanted to play in the yard. Victoria pretended to read a book under the shade tree as she watched to see who the new neighbors would be. The mustang was blood red, her lipstick and her fingernail polish matched her convertible. The day was beautiful and the children played carefree in the same area where they saw the monster side of their father. It was as if they did not remember, perhaps that is for the best. She realized it was getting late and she had to prepare supper. Gathering the children up, she noticed the moving truck had left, but it was just there. It had left, and she never heard it go. Victoria attributed to her zoning out spells that she had became accustomed to doing when she began daydreaming.
That evening, Warner slammed the front door closed as he entered the house, which was an indication to Victoria this was going to be another bad evening.
“Did you know there was a shabby, brown dog outside that is the size of a small horse. It **it on the driveway and of course I stepped in it. I left my loafers on the front porch, go clean them before the horse comes and claims them to chew them up.”
Victoria was turning to remove the peas from the cook top on the stove when Warner turned to her and spewed, “DID YOU HEAR WHAT I SAID **TCH, NOT TOMORROW, NOW!”
Not wanting him to have another outburst Victoria turned the oven and stove top off, and she grabbed scrapped cleaning rags and the shoeshine box, and ran to the front door only to have the new neighbor standing there on the other side of the door with a smile and her hand extended when Victoria swung it open. Victoria was startled and stuttered, “he-ll-o, you caught me off guard.”
Victoria awkwardly set the shoe shine box down on the ground and reached for the lady’s hand.
With pearly white teeth and shiny red lips, she smiled while reaching for Victoria’s hand, “my name is Paula Rosado, and I just moved into the rent house across the street.”
Victoria noticed that she smelled of floral soap and her casual dress of bright oranges and lime greens seemed to enrich the dark mass of thick black hair and her coppery skin. Victoria felt a warmness radiating from her, as if there was a secured calmness about her.
“Oh,” reaching out for her hand “it’s nice meeting you Paula, my name is Victoria Cascio, but everyone calls me Vickey. I’m sorry that I can’t invite you inside because my husband has stepped into some dog pooh, and he asked me to clean his shoes for him.”
A soft voice with hints of being aroused came from behind Victoria, “please come in, I am so glad to meet you. My name is Warner Cascio, and you are who?”
Warner reached out to grab her hand when Paula said, “Mr. Cascio, I’m the new neighbor from across the street, Paula Rosado.”
Warner kept holding her hand until Paula jerked her hand away.
To be continued…..
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