Motherhood Excerpt

It’s been a while since I shared a piece from Motherhood so here’s another excerpt from the story that I am trying to get back to. My attention has been diverted from it by work and other characters but I plan to get to work on it as soon as the semester calms down.


Noelle walked into the house and could hear the low rumblings of Ryan’s voice so she headed towards the kitchen. As she made her way to the kitchen, the family dog Spock popped his head out of the family room doorway. He quickly lost interest when he saw that she had nothing in her hand and he returned to his khaki and teal printed doggy bed. Noelle continued towards the rear of the house where she could smell Ryan’s gumbo cooking and she rubbed her hands together practically tasting the turkey sausage, chicken and crab that he loaded the dish with.

“Babe, are you cooking gumbo in here? It smells delicious” she said as she plowed through the kitchen door. To her surprise her brother in law sat at the table with a bowl in front of him listening to Ryan talk about something. She didn’t know who was more shocked Ryan or Remy but Noelle smiled at them both before she grabbed a bowl off of one of the shelves and scooped up some rice before ladling some fragrant gumbo over the rice.

Noelle chewed the first spoonful slowly and looked from one brother to the other before she sat on one of the upholstered gray bar seats. She looked around the kitchen as she ate as if seeing it for the first time.
The room had a hominess that was often lost on Noelle. Somehow her husband had managed to make it a place that was cozy enough for the kids and grown up enough for adults to enjoy. The room was painted a green that would not work anywhere else but contrasted nicely with the white trim. The room contained a pass through window where he’d had an oversized piece of maple placed so that there was a breakfast bar type sitting area; this is where she currently sat. She supposed that Ryan couldn’t take all of the credit; his cousin and one of his best friends had helped him with the parts of the house that Noelle wasn’t interested in. The kitchen would be the last place that one would normally find her.

She finally stopped eating and noticed the silence in the room. “Am I interrupting something?” she asked.
Ryan’s mouth had stopped right in the middle of the sentence when she entered the room. He was in the middle of telling Remy how he could use young workers from a local mentoring program as workers for his new project when she waltzed in; entering the kitchen as if she’d just come home from work instead of sneaking into the home that he’d asked her to leave. Not for the first time, Ryan really gave some thought to seriously changing all of the house’s locks.

Remy looked at his brother who remained silent. In fact, he hadn’t moved since Noelle’s entrance except to look at his watch. He wanted her gone before the kids got home and Remy could read that on his face.

“Actually we were discussing some business” Remy told her, “and I need to finish up with him before I scoop up Brock and head out to soccer practice.”

“Well, Ryan and I need to discuss some things too” she said. When she finally turned and looked at him she noticed the look on her husband’s face. Noelle realized that she may have miscalculated today’s appearance.

It seemed as if Ryan was not happy to see her and she thought back to Moira’s suggestion to give him space which she had not been able to do. Noelle knew that he was playing hardball now but she was determined to be home before they could do any more damage to their marriage. All she wanted was him; it was important to her that he knew that.

“But I suppose I could wait until you two finish” she said with a smile. She was already planning to slip upstairs and shower while they were talking.

He couldn’t believe that she’d walked into the house and grabbed a bowl like this was the old days. She seemed to derive pleasure from blindsiding him with her constant appearances and he was quickly becoming frustrated. He knew that Noelle is determined to wear him down so that life, for her, could return to normal. The only problem was that he wasn’t sure whether he could go back to that life.

“No, you don’t need to hang around. I said everything that needed to be said to you on the phone last week. The kids will be home soon and I need to finish up dinner because RJ is having a sleepover and I don’t want the mothers’ of her friends to think that I run a raggedy house” he told her.

Noelle stared back at him stonily. He’d practically told her to leave the house. Again. She absolutely wasn’t going to have this conversation in front of Remy but they were long overdue for a showdown. She had accepted his pissy attitude for as long as she was going to; it was time that he understood that she was only going to accept so much mistreatment from him. She knew that he was angry with her but he was going to have to get over it and soon.


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