ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Seed of Hardship - Chapter 22

Updated on June 9, 2011

Catch Up

Click for chapter 1
Click for the previous chapter (21)
Click for Chapter 23

Chapter 22

The sound of Celine Dion singing “I’m Alive,” emitted loudly from Kristel’s car radio as she cruised through the quiet backstreet road.  The covering of the trees provided substantial shade from the hot summer sun, giving Kristel a chance to turn off the AC and roll down her window. At the next traffic light, she reached across to the glove compartment and rummaged around for her Bluetooth earpiece.

Just as the light turned green again, Kristel gripped the earpiece and lifted her foot from the brakes She managed to turn on her Bluetooth setting on her cell phone as she was driving, and she immediately made a call to Tori. “It went well!” she exclaimed as Tori answered the phone

“That’s great!” Tori said just as enthusiastically. “Looks like things are really turning around for you.”

“I hope so! It’s about time!” Kristel smiled brightly and then added, “I’m early but I’m on my way to pick up the kids. Don’t worry about it, okay? Do you want me to get Stephanie for you?”

“Um, sure,” Tori agreed. “Thanks. Then I’ll get Hailey and meet you at your house.”

“Sounds good. See you!”

“See you,” Tori replied.

`````````````

Source

“Are you married?” Matthew slammed his glass down on the bar counter.

The bartender, scruffy-faced and long-haired, polished a small shot glass on the bottom of his apron.

“Once upon a time,” he replied. He turned his back to Matthew, and placed the shot glass among a few others on a rack.

Matthew scoffed. He traced the rim of the glass with his index finger. With a sigh, he slumped over the bar counter.

“Marital problems?” asked the bartended.

“Separation problems,” Matthew corrected. He let out a quiet laugh despite his forlorn demeanour. “Only because we can’t afford a divorce. How lame is that?” He propped his chin against his fist, and stared down at the bar counter.

The bartender looked perplexed by Matthew’s statement. He twisted his mouth in contemplation, trying to find the right words. At last, he asked, “You want a divorce?”

Matthew jolted upright, as though a mild electric shock had ran through his body. “Hell no!” he exclaimed. He glared at the man almost threateningly before softening his expression. “She does,” he explained.

The bartender’s mouth formed an “oh,” but he made no sound. He refilled Matthew’s Rum and Coke, and watched piteously as Matthew took a swig from the refilled glass. “What’d you do?” he questioned.

“Oh, you want to blame me too?”

The bartender detected the hurt in Matthew’s voice. “Sorry, man. I mean what happened?”

Matthew gaped blankly at the man for a brief moment. Then he frowned melodramatically, and honestly said, “I messed up.” He shook his head slowly. “And there’s nothing I can do to fix it.”

“How are you so sure? Maybe there is.”

Matthew gulped down the remainder of his drink, and held the cool glass to his head. “And what about your wife?” he interrogated.

“Dead,” the bartender bluntly replied. He took Matthew’s glass away and refilled it promptly. “Stroke,” he casually added.

A shadow came over Matthew’s face. Even the complaining tone of his voice changed. “Oh man,” he sighed. “I’m sorry.”

“It was over ten years ago. Don’t worry about it.” He gave a tired, crooked smile, and pulled a rag from his apron pocket.

As he began wiping the counter, he heard Matthew ask, “Do you miss her a lot?”

“From time to time.” He finished wiping the counter and flicked the rag before folding it and tucking it away. “But, it was her second stroke in one year and I couldn’t bear to watch her suffer any more.” He paused and stared somewhere past Matthew, a nostalgic look on his visage. “My only regret is not treating her like a queen before she became sick. Sure, I took care of her when she was sick, but she couldn’t even enjoy it then. You know?”

Matthew placed the drinking glass down, and rubbed his temples. The bartender shifted his gaze to Matthew. Swallowing rather loudly, Matthew looked at his wristwatch. It was almost nine PM. “She’ll still be awake,” he quietly said to himself. He abruptly hopped off the bar stool. “Thanks, man!” he said to the bartended. “I gotta go!”

The bartender smiled, almost proudly, as Matthew dug into his pockets and tossed a few dollar bills onto the counter. “I’ll have more for you tomorrow,” he said. With that, he ran out of the bar.

``````````

Source

Within a few minutes, Matthew was on the road, driving at nearly 50 miles per hour in a 40-miles-per-hour zone. He unintentionally drove past a stop sign without even slowing down, and when he realised, he swore under his breath, but continued driving. “Slow down, slow down,” he told himself. Yet, he couldn’t. There was an extreme rush of adrenaline flowing through his veins.

He saw the reflection of a bright, flashing red light, which was accompanied by a loud boop! Blue and white lights joined in the red blaze as the high pitched boop began sounding more like a regular police car siren. “Crap,” Matthew mumbled.

For a split second, he glanced at the upcoming green traffic light, and seriously considered making a quick escape. Then his senses gripped him. “Stupid!” he exclaimed. He sharply pulled aside and slammed his foot down on the brakes. Pounding his fist against the steering wheel, he swore under his breath again, then he straightened his posture and looked at the road ahead.

The sound of the police car siren subsided, though the lights continue flashing. The other cars on the road decelerated slightly, looking curiously to their right as they drove past Matthew. Matthew’s hands were shaking severely. He gripped the steering wheel with both hands, and released a shuddering breath. Still, he was panicking internally, though he managed to keep a cool exterior.

The sound of a closing car door alerted Matthew of the officer’s approach. Matthew held his breath for a moment, and stared straight ahead. A knock came, causing him to jump. He released the breath he was holding, and quickly rolled down the window.

“Hello officer,” he hastily said. He gave a nervous smile.

The officer was a lanky, angry-looking man. “Are you aware that you were speeding, and ran a stop sign?”

“I did?” Matthew tried to appear clueless. “My mistake, officer,” he politely said. His mouth twitched as he tried to maintain a serious appearance. Unfortunately, a smile was fighting its way through his forced stoniness.

“Have you been drinking?” asked the officer.

Matthew’s heart skipped a beat. Trying to remain calm and collected, he looked the officer in his eyes, but as he opened his mouth to answer, the words escaped his mind. He gulped silently.

“Sir, please step out of the car,” the officer instructed.

Let me know that you've been here

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

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

      Oh, I'm sorry I made your heart sink, Pat. But thank you so much for reading!

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 

      7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      This is a real rollercoaster of a chapter. My spirits lifted as I thought that Matthew had finally got the wake up call. Then my heart sunk as he went back to stupid mode.

      Great writing!

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

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

      Yay, I'm glad I can make a chapter dynamic. That comment makes me feel good. Thanks, AC. Sorry about that cliffhanger. It was such a perfect moment to do that; I couldn't resist. :D

      Marvelous one, yes, Matthew is just a magnet for unfortunate events. Kristel is doing pretty well. :)

      Thank you both for commenting as always!

    • marvalousnj profile image

      marvalousnj 

      7 years ago from Central Jersey USA

      Matthew...Matthew... what to do with Matthew. Even with good intentions he gets into trouble. So let's see.. Kristel seem to be getting things together and coping well as expected. Another great and fast moving chapter Kalto.

    • ACSutliff profile image

      ACSutliff 

      7 years ago

      Oh, wow, this chapter was dynamic. Such awesome good things happening, with Kristel's new job, and even that scene at the bar was positive, as Matthew learned something about his relationship with Kristel.

      But he just had to be an idiot and drive drunk, didn't he? Man! How could Kristel ever take him back now? He's really crossed the line way too much. I'm sad for him, because it looked like he had finally learned. Phooey!

    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)