ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Seed of Hardship - Chapter 4

Updated on June 26, 2011
Seed of Hardship "cover"
Seed of Hardship "cover"

Click here for Chapter 1

<<Chapter 3


Chapter 4

The next day, when Kristel and her children returned from church, she went straight to Daniel’s room. It was June but Kristel had yet to do the normal Spring-Summer transitions around the house. There was still winter clothes to be packed away, Daniel’s heavy wooden wardrobe was still in front of the window and his bed angled oddly to avoid covering the heat radiator.

Kristel thought now was a time as good as any to finally do the “spring cleaning”, especially since she didn’t want to be in the same room as Matthew. As she was struggling to push the armoire away from the window, she heard a voice ask, “Need help?”

Kristel stopped pushing the heavy wardrobe and leaned over with her hands on her knees, panting. She looked up at Matthew, standing in the doorway and said rather breathlessly, “I got it.”

Matthew looked at her with an expression of disbelief as Kristel gripped the wardrobe and got into the appropriate stance to push the furniture again. Matthew looked at the bed and saw that Kristel had already shifted it. “Kristel, you’re going to hurt yourself,” he said.

“I already moved the bed,” she stubbornly said. With a quiet grunt, she resumed in pushing the heavy wooden dresser. Matthew walked swiftly into the room and gripped the wardrobe. Kristel nudged him away with her elbow and kept her focus on the task at hand.

“Oh, come on, Kristel,” said Matthew, trying to help.

“I don’t need your help,” Kristel insisted.

“You don’t need my big, strong, manly help?” he teased, smirking slightly.

Kristel stopped to wipe sweat from her brow. As she prepared to commence, she felt slightly weak. She couldn’t continue; she was too tired to move. Matthew looked and her and saw that she was exhausted. “Kris? Are you alright, babe?” he asked her.

Kristel placed her hand on the dresser again, preparing to move it but she was too tired. She walked to the bed and sat down to catch her breath. Matthew took that as an opportunity to quickly move the armoire for his wife. When it was in the proper location, he turned to Kristel and asked, “Anything else?”

Kristel looked at him with the most annoyed expression before standing up from the bed. She muttered a word of thanks under her breath as she walked towards Daniel’s closet.

‘Kris, you’re tired,” Matthew observed. “Why don’t you just take it easy?”

“Because, Matthew,” Kristel began, opening the closet. “If I take it easy, nothing will get done around here.”

“That’s not true,” Matthew disagreed.

Kristel’s eyebrows shot up with a forced look of surprise. “Oh it isn’t?” she loudly asked. “Excuse me, I must be mistaking you with the other Matthew Reid.” She abruptly closed the closet and walked out of the bedroom, leaving Matthew looking sad and dejected. Matthew looked at the moved armoire and bed before walking out of the room.


Kristel walked into the bathroom and knelt in front of the cabinet below the sink. She opened the cabinet and began taking cleaning products out. She placed aside of a bottle of bleach, a spray can of Lysol, a spray bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles brand cleaner, a sponge and a rag. She thought of how many times she had asked Matthew to clean the bathroom. It always came down to her doing it instead.

“I don’t know why I bother,” she said to herself.

Sitting at the edge of the tub wall, Kristel tossed some bleach into the tub. As she turned the faucet on, Matthew came into the bathroom. He approached Kristel cautiously, thinking through carefully the best way to handle the situation. He looked at Kristel nervously and opened his mouth to say something but the right words escaped him.

Kristel picked up the spray bottle and stood to begin to coating the bathroom sink surface with the foamy chemical. “I don’t want your help,” she said. “You were supposed to do this days ago.”

“I know,” Matthew shamefully said. “I forgot.”

“You forgot,” Kristel dryly repeated. She gave a small, sarcastic chuckle and then abruptly became serious again. She looked over her shoulder and coldly asked, “What’s new?”


Later that day, Matthew was in the living room playing checkers with Hazel while Daniel watched television. Kezia was in the bedroom with Kristel, who was packing warm clothing into boxes.

Hazel gazed thoughtfully at her father as he mentally planned his next move. His black pawn had two chances of being jumped by Hazel’s red pawns. A few more bad moves and he would lose the entire game. He placed a finger on his pawn and slid it forward, preparing for the inevitable. However, when he made the move, Hazel continued staring at him.

“Hazel, your go,” he reminded her.

“Oh,” said Hazel, appearing to have been yanked out of a deep thought. “Sorry.” She moved one of her double stacked—the queen—pawns, right into the path of her father’s lonesome black pawn. Matthew looked at her as though she was crazy.

Hazel recaptured the contemplative expression and said, “Dad? Are you and Mom gonna be okay?”

Not expecting that question from his daughter, Matthew was lost for words. “You two don’t get along much anymore.” Matthew opened his mouth but Hazel intercepted. “Before you lie, I should warn you that us kids know a lot more than you adults think we do.”

“Yup, we do,” Daniel agreed from the couch where he was sitting.

Matthew looked at his son then back at his daughter. He looked down at the checkerboard and said, “Let’s play a different game.” He began hastily packing the game parts back into the box and refused to look at his daughter’s concerned expression.

Feel Free to Comment

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


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

      hehe, thanks, Dobson. I don't know where I get these perspectives from. I was surprised when many people thought I was older that I am because of my writing. I guess I should take that as a compliment?

      It is sad when a relationship gets to that point (which you just described). It's almost hopeless. :( ... well, thanks for commenting!

    • Dobson profile image


      8 years ago from Virginia

      Kim - You have a very realistic prtrayal of an average problem in a married couple's lives. Sometimes the accumulated disregard of one spouse steels the other's resolve to the point that they don't want their help. It's a situation where if you have to ask for the help AGAIN you would rather just do it yourself. Quite perceptive for a single young lady!

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


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

      Yes, Matthew does take time with his children. He likes playing with them. Thanks for your lovely comments as usual. :)

    • marvalousnj profile image


      8 years ago from Central Jersey USA

      Kalto, your characters are being exposed....thats good. I like that Matthew takes time with his children even though he isn't fully carrying his weight with the household chores. Great chapter, as usual the descriptions are well done.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


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

      Thank you so much, Patricia. Yes, I had to show that Matthew isn't the only one who can be difficult. I'm glad you like the dialogue and the photos (which I take way too much time searching for). :) Thanks again for stopping by to read.

    • 2patricias profile image


      8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      The dialogue in this story is excellent. You have started to bring out some of the flaws in Kristel's character, which keeps up the interest.

      I also like your use of photos.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


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

      haha. No problem. :)

    • ACSutliff profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm glad you like my idea, but then I got overly curious what you meant! Thanks for filling me in!

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


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

      This is such an awesome comment. Thanks AC. You've sort of made me realise that there's something I need to change down the line - something already written in later chapter. You have no idea how you've just helped me out. Don't ask. haha. :D

    • ACSutliff profile image


      8 years ago

      K Alto,

      I am starting to care about this family you have created. I think it's the scenes with the children that really do me in. Those two thick headed oafs have to stay together for the children, right!? :) I enjoy Matthews fun-loving personality, and I want to know more about Kristel. Your characterization is just excellent. :)

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


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

      haha. Sorry, Denise. Just a warning... I tend to do a lot of cliffhanger. This one was pretty mild I think. hehe. No problem about the Gambler. I was impressed by it so I had to link it. Thanks for following me closely... no pressure! Ahh. :D

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Awww man--you left me (us) hanging. LOL Forget the next game, Matthew, answer Hazel's question! (Waiting for more) I'm following you closely on this story, Kim.

      Thanks for linking my story, The Gambler--that was quite a surprise. :)

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


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

      Hi, AC!

      I guess the fact that you're concerned means that I'm doing a good job? :) You're right. Both sides (Kristel and Matthew) have some things that they need to fix about themselves.


    • ACSutliff profile image


      8 years ago


      I'm worried for their marriage because Matthew doesn't seem to be able to change, and Kristel is so stubborn and set out to do it herself. When Matthew finally wants to help, Kristel turns him away. One of them is going to have to change! I have a bad feeling it won't be Kristel either. Just a bad feeling, I don't know why....

      Enjoyable chapter!

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


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

      Thank you, K9. YOU are very kind. I'm only trying to be as kind as you by linking your wonderful hub. ;) hehe. Thank you so much for reading! I truly appreciate it.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      8 years ago from Northern, California

      Kim, it is amazing how much our children can understand when a stressful situation is at hand! You express this perfectly. Another wonderful chapter in your series. Up and awesome, you always leave me wanting to read more!

      Thanks for the nice link to my dog hub, you are very kind.

      ~Always choose love~



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, 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:

    Show Details
    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 or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    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)
    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.
    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)