ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Seed of Hardship - Chapter 13

Updated on December 19, 2010

Click here for Chapter 1

<< Previous chapter (Chapter 12)

Source

Chapter 13

“Can I start you off with any drinks?” 

Everyone turned his or her attention towards the cheerful waiter standing at their table.  The waiter’s straight brown hair was neatly pulled back into a short ponytail and he had pearly white teeth that seemed to sparkle when he smiled.  There was a sense of permanent happiness about him.

“Hi, cutie,” he cooked at Kezia, who was resisting being put into the highchair at the table.  Kristel struggled with the infant who held on tightly to her and stiffened her body to prevent the possibility of being forced into the seat.  As the waiter spoke to her, Kezia relaxed her body.

“Oh come on! Highchairs are for cool kids,” the waiter told her.  “It’s like the VIP seat.”

Kezia was so focused on staring at the waiter that she didn’t even realise she was sitting in the highchair.  “There you go!” said the waiter.

“Thank you,” Kristel muttered, setting into her chair.

“Oh, don’t mention it.  I remember when my sister was her age.”  He flipped open his order pad and touched the tip of the pen to the paper.  “So, can I start anyone off with a drink?”

“Yes,” Tori spoke up, raising a finger in the air to get the waiter’s attention.  “One kid’s apple juice and one coke.”

Everyone ordered his or her drink and when it was Kristel’s turn, she wasn’t even paying attention.  Her eyes were downcast and her forehead was resting in her clasped hands while her elbows, against the table, kept her upright.  She seemed to be reading the menu intently but her eyes remained on one point.

“Ma’am,” the waiter asked.  “Anything for you?”

Kristel continued staring downcast at the menu.  “Kris,” Tori called.  Daniel gently tugged on his mother’s sleeve. 

“Hmm?”  Kristel turned to Daniel.  Then she realised that he was looking at Tori.  When Kristel turned her attention to Tori, she saw that everyone else was looking at her.  Tori pointed to the waiter who repeated his question.

Looking embarrassed, Kristel apologised.  She ordered a glass of water with lemon and the waiter went on his merry way.  They all returned to their conversations.  Hazel, who was too upset with her parents to speak to Kristel, was in a deep conversation with Stephanie. 

Tori was showing Hailey how to play Tic Tac Toe on the children’s paper menu and Hank was being a good sport and playing along with Daniel’s attempt at stand-up comedy.  Kristel closed the menu and got back into her previous position—hands clasped against her forehead, elbows on the table.  She listened to the buzz of conversation all around her, not focusing n any one particular conversation.

Yet, in her head, she could only hear the many conversations she had with Matthew – the nagging she had done, the apologies he made.  She was so tired of it and the predictable pattern it had become.  The constant bickering was unsettling, frustrating. 

“Kristel, are you feeling okay?” she heard someone ask, interrupting her thoughts.  She looked up at Hank, who was directly across from her.  He awkwardly rubbed the stubble on his cheeks; feeling slightly odd asking Kristel about how she felt.

The corners of Kristel’s mouth twitched upwards in an attempted smile.  Unable to even falsify a happy emotion, she suddenly felt like crying.  “It’s just a migraine,” she said, as quietly as Hank had asked the question.  “Don’t worry about it.”

Hank looked at her with compassion but seemed unaware of what he should say next.  His blue eyes looked over at his wife, who was still playing Tic Tac Toe with Hailey, then back at Kristel.  “I’m sorry,” he said.

Hearing her husband’s apology, Tori looked up.  She looked between Hank and Kristel before asking, “What’s wrong?”

“I’m okay,” Kristel assured, taking her hands away from her head and trying to appear convincing.  Tori opened her mouth to say something but she instantly changed her mind.  

Source

Within a few minutes, the waiter brought the beverages to the table and took everyone’s main course orders.  Kristel ordered a salad, prompting an argument from Tori, who insisted that she ate something more.  Kristel remained customarily stubborn, insisting that she stuck to her decision to order the salad. 

At last, the main course was served.  Still, the conversation continued as everyone munched on his and her food.  Kristel stared down at her salad, not really in a mood to eat.  When she caught Daniel glancing at her, she picked up her fork and began eating right away.  Daniel turned his attention back to his own meal.

Though all the members at the table seemed content, there was a tense vibe in the atmosphere surrounding them.  It was as though everyone was keeping their true thoughts and feelings preserved behind a pleasant mask.  The only person who was as content as she appeared was 4-year-old Hailey.  Then there was Kristel who could no longer hide her unhappiness no matter how hard she tried. 

As she munched on her salad she mentally told herself that she had to keep smiling… for her children.  It would be selfish of her to subject them to her misery and her hurt.  With that thought weighing on her mind,  she tried to remain pleasant for the rest of the meal.  She even tried carrying on a conversation but deep down she wanted to shut herself in a room and cry.  She was annoyed to be sitting with friends and family when she was in such a rotten mood.

At last, everyone was finished eating their meals.  The overly cheerful waiter came to take the plates away and supply the check.  Kristel tried to insist in paying part of the bill; only because she felt bad about allowing Hank and Tori to pay for them all. 

As Kristel stood up to lift Kezia from the high chair, she abruptly gave a sharp intake of breath and pressed her hands into her lower abdomen.  She gritted her teeth and automatically plopped back into the chair, sighing when the pain subsided.  Tori, who had been helping Hailey out of the chair, looked at Kristel with the utmost level of concern on her face.  Kristel’s expression of pain was quick but very abrupt, so everyone noticed. 

Kristel massaged either sides of her hips and held her hand against her lower abdomen again.  “You alright?” Tori asked.  Kristel now had everyone’s attention but the children didn’t know what to say. 

“Yeah,” she responded, nodding her head though she looked incredibly perplexed. “I just got a really intense… jabbing pain…” 

“In your stomach?” Tori asked. 

Kristel shook her head.  “Lower than that,” she quietly said, looking Tori straight in the eyes, in hope that she would understand her hint.  Tori looked to her husband and signalled that Kristel was alright. 

“Come on, kids,” said Hank.  “Let’s get to the car so we can get to the ice-cream store before it’s too late.”

“Yay!” Daniel and Hailey cheered. 

Hank held his finger to his lips, motioning for them to lower their voices.  Kristel still looked confused about the brief moment of pain she had experienced.  “That was the weirdest thing,” she said as the children followed Hank away from the table.  Hazel glanced back worriedly at her mother but Kristel gave her a reassuring smile and waved in a manner that said she was alright.

“The strangest thing is that I’ve felt that pain before,” Kristel added.  Now Tori looked just as puzzled as Kristel did.  

<< Chapter 12 

**Leave your mark on this Hub by commenting and rating. Your words are appreciated. And then I know someone is reading. :)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      I love Tori! :) I wish I had a friend like her. And yes, her husband is very supportive. Thanks, marvalous!

    • marvalousnj profile image

      marvalousnj 

      7 years ago from Central Jersey USA

      Tori is such a faithful friend, and great that she has her husband on the band wagon too. I enjoyed this read Kalto.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thank you, Pat,

      Yes, I have lot of experience with babies and toddlers and their clever ways of resisting being taken advantage of. haha. It's interesting the way they do that.

      In my last serial on HubPages, I put in a summary reminded at the beginning of each chapter but I didn't want to do it this time. So I'm glad my Hank reminder worked out. :)

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 

      7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Hello K,

      Brilliant description of the restaurant scene. The bit about the toddler going stiff so she wouldn't be put in the high chair is absolutely perfect. I guess you must have had the experience of a tiny child who suddenly seems to be made of wood!

      Great tension here - what will happen next?

      Good to remind us about 'Hank'. I am sure there is a lot of technique to writing fiction for Hubs, and I guess it is useful because I think more people will be reading from electronic devices in future.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      AC!!!!!

      It was a "jabbing pain", according to Kristel. :p You'll find out why she's felt it before within the next few chapters. And yeah, I figured everyone would forget who Hank was (I only mentioned him once before right?). I'm glad my little hint reminded you. Phew!

      Thanks for commenting!

    • ACSutliff profile image

      ACSutliff 

      7 years ago

      You sure do know how to make something as routine as dinner at a restaurant into an interesting event. This is very well written, as usual. :)

      That cliff hanger ending has really got me interested in the next chapter. What kind of pain was that, and why has she felt it before?

      For a second, I couldn't remember who Hank was. Thanks for the subtle reminder, or I never would have figured it out.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)