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The Seed of Hardship - Chapter 10

Updated on July 15, 2011
Seed of Hardship "cover"
Seed of Hardship "cover"

Click here for Chapter 1

<<Previous chapter (Chapter 9)


Chapter 10

Tori returned to the house with Kezia sleeping in her arms.  She walked down the hallway and to the nursery to lay Kezia in her crib.  After that, she walked to Kristel’s room.  “Kris?” she called, entering the room, the only room in the house with the lights on.  However, Kristel wasn’t in the room. 

Tori looked around, wondering where her friend was.  She began walking back down the hallway, quietly calling Kristel’s name as she walked. 

“Kristel, where are you?” she called slightly louder as she neared the kitchen.  She walked into the kitchen and, despite the darkness, she immediately noticed Kristel sitting at the table.  Her arms were crossed on the table and her head was buried in her arms.  She sniffled quietly and Tori quickly approached her.  Tori stood behind Kristel and placed her hands on her shoulders.   

“Do you want to talk?” she asked.

Kristel slowly sat up and sniffled loudly.  She rubbed her forehead and said, “I think my blood pressure is acting up again,” she said.

“You think?”

Tori sat beside Kristel and looked at her wet face.  “It’s 146 over 94, my head hurts and I’m gaining weight.  I’ve been working out every other Saturday at the gym and every day on my own.  I don’t understand the weight gain.  I haven’t even been eating a lot.”

“Kristel, I don’t see any weight gain,” said Tori. 

Kristel stood and held her arms out dramatically.  She looked down at herself and then back up at Tori.  “You don’t see any weight gain?” she asked.  “I’m losing my waist!  I’ve put on pounds on my thighs and hips.  What do you mean you don’t see any weight gain!  It’s even on my face!”

“Okay,” Tori quietly said.  “Calm down.”  She reached out to Kristel and gently grasped her wrist.  “Sit down, relax.” 

Kristel held on to the back of the chair and placed a hand over her eyes.  Tori stood up and rubbed Kristel’s back.  For a while she remained silent and then said, “So, you’re gaining weight, your blood pressure is increasing and you’re getting headaches?”

“And I have a dull ache in my lower back,” Kristel complained.  “It started a few days ago.”

“Alright, Kristel,” Tori calmly said.  “This sounds more than just your blood pressure.”

“Just my luck,” said Kristel, putting her head down on this table.  “I was so cold to Matthew.  This is God’s way of punishing me.”

“Don’t be silly,” said Tori. 

Kristel remained silent but after a few seconds, she drew in a long, loud breath.  She sat up and looked Tori straight in the eyes.  “Did I overreact, Tori?” she asked.  “Was I irrational?”  Tori didn’t answer; she seemed to be thinking about it.  “I mean… I’m just so sick and tired of Matthew’s irresponsibility.  I can’t take it anymore.”

“I know what you mean,” said Tori.  “And I don’t think you overreacted.”

“But I feel like I did.  I blamed Matthew for everything wrong in our relationship.  Be honest with me, Tori.  Is there something I need to change about myself that I’m not aware of?”

Tori twisted her mouth in deep thought.  She looked straight ahead as she continued thinking about it.  Kristel kept her eyes on her friend, waiting for an answer.  Tori remained speechless, not speaking for almost one full minute.  Kristel was beginning to get impatient and rather testy.  “You’re supposed to say ‘no Kristel, there’s nothing you need to change.  It’s all Matthew’s fault’,” she grumbled.

Tori looked at her with soft eyes.  “You said to be honest with you,” she reminded her.

Kristel looked slightly shocked for a moment but she sighed and asked, “Well?”

“Well…”  Tori was slightly hesitant.  “You’re…”  Kristel stared at Tori as though she was prepared to reprimand her.  “You’re stubborn.”

Kristel furrowed her eyebrows terribly and continued to stare at Tori with a displeased look.  She opened her mouth to protest but decided to think about it first.  After thinking thoroughly about her personality, she realised that Tori was absolutely right.  She was stubborn.  She had always been.  “You don’t like people to help you,” Tori added.  “Especially Matthew.” 

“That’s not true,” Kristel protested.

“Oh yes it is,” said Tori.  “Sure Matthew forgets to do things a lot but he does offer to help you do many things.  And what is always your answer?”

Kristel looked away from Tori, not wanting to hear anymore.  “That can be a little emasculating to a man, Tori continued.  “Imagine if you were a man and your wife never let you help.  Wouldn’t you feel useless?  Maybe sometimes that’s how Matthew feels.”

Kristel rolled her eyes and stood up from the chair.  “He knew who he was marrying.  If he had a problem with an independent woman then… too bad… too late.”  She began walking away, rubbing her forehead.  As she briskly walked away, she began to feel increasingly unsteady.  By the time she reached the hallway, she had to stop and lean against the wall.

When Tori caught up she stood in front of Kristel and put her hand on Kristel’s shoulder.  Kristel closed her eyes and held her hand firmly to her forehead.  “You need to relax,” said Tori.  “All this stress is taking a toll on your health.”

Kristel nodded in agreement.  She knew she had to relax but it was easier said than done. 

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    • kaltopsyd profile image

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      You didn't notice? haha. Cool. Oh and there's nothing wrong with hoping. :)

    • ACSutliff profile image

      ACSutliff 6 years ago

      I didn't even notice I did that! How funny. I'm only hoping. I want to see a happy ending to this story... somehow.

    • kaltopsyd profile image

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      It's funny you use the word seed. :) But thank you, AC. I'm glad you have faith in Kristel and her willingness to change.

    • ACSutliff profile image

      ACSutliff 6 years ago

      Exactly! But you have planted the seed, making the reader ponder and hope that she is willing to change because she asked for an opinion. Right now, I have faith that she will change eventually.

    • kaltopsyd profile image

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA


      YOU are insightful to analyse this so well. I appreciate it. I love your comments. Again, I really do like Tori. I wish I had a friend like her. Oh and Kristel was willing to listen but is she willing to CHANGE? ooooo.... hehe

      Thanks for commenting!

    • ACSutliff profile image

      ACSutliff 6 years ago


      What I like the most about this chapter is that Kristel ASKED for Tori's opinion. She didn't like what she heard, but the fact that she is seeking her opinion shows that she is willing to listen even if she doesn't like what she hears. Hurray for Kristel!

      Tori is a great friend, the way she told the truth. She was sensitive, but she didn't sugar coat it. Everyone should have a friend like that! What she says about Matthew is very insightful too. Though it's true that you shouldn't try to change the person you marry, it's also true that when you love someone, you care so much you will do what you have to do to for your significant other. I think Kristel and Matthew could both learn something from that.

    • kaltopsyd profile image

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Yes, Tori certain is a true friend. :) I like her. Thank you, Marvalous.

    • marvalousnj profile image

      marvalousnj 6 years ago from Central Jersey USA

      Good chapter, I am glad Kristel has Tori. She's a true friend. Hopefully she will be able to help her friend.

    • kaltopsyd profile image

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hi Dallas!!!!! For... the truth-giver? :) haha. I don't know.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Truth is described as "liberating:" for whom?

    • kaltopsyd profile image

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hi Patricia! Yeah, the truth can hurt, especially when you're already feeling low. Tori did what she had to or what she thought she had to. Kristel DID ask for honesty. :) Thank you so much once again for your support.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      I really feel for Kristel! Nobbody likes to hear the unadorned truth about their character, and she is already feeling low. However, Tori was put in a difficult position - how could she help her friend without telling her an uncomfortable truth?

      The tension in this scene is excellent!