Saturday, January 24, 2015

Taking Leave - 5.24

Previously in the Fuller family: Not finding the joy he'd previously found in his entertainment career, David has quit his job as a magician. The family tries their hand at going out on the town for a bit of fun, though Rosetta stayed home. The day did not turn out quite as expected. Rylan went off to attend a school dance as his mothers demand.


Rosetta sat on the front porch one day as her family inside did whatever they were doing. She was thinking about calling her job and quitting. She just didn't want to do it anymore. This had been on her mind for a little while actually. When David had quit his job it gave her pause because she figured they would need income to support themselves. So she put it off. After reviewing their bank account though, Rosetta realized that they had money enough to last them the rest of their lives with no extra income. It would even provide a college fund for all three of the kids. That set her will to quit in motion once more. Rosetta watched a little bird fly by and sighed.

"Yep." She said aloud to no one in particular. "Why not?" She pulled out her phone and dialed work to let everyone know that she was done. She also nominated her stand in while she was at it. Her stand in could handle things until a new Mayor was appointed. She felt no regrets as she hung up the phone. She smiled as she went inside to share the news with David.

David and Rylan had just sat down to a game of chess when Rosetta came in looking like she had something to say.

"Everything alright?" David asked, looking up at her.

Confusion flashed across her face, "Why wouldn't everything be okay?"  She shook her head a little, "Yeah, yeah, everything is good. I just quit my job!"

There was a brief moment of silence. David looked at Rylan then excused himself from the game for a moment.

"Well you're full of surprises aren't you?" He said to Rosetta as he stood up to talk to her. Then he smiled. "If you're okay with it, so am I of course. Should one of us be getting a different job though?"

"Nah, I looked over our bank, everything is alright for a good long time. Unless of course you want a job. That would be fine. I'm planning to stay home for a while though. Perhaps redecorate or something. A change would be nice."

"Speaking of change. I have a surprise for you too. I hope you go along with it and are happy." David hesitated just a little. "Okay, I reserved us a hotel somewhere. I wasn't going to tell you until you were in the car with me and on our way, but I just have to. We're going on vacation. Tomorrow, we leave in the morning."

Rosetta's eyes popped open wide. "What? When? What about the kids? Where are they going? How much was this? Where are we going? What if I don't want to go?"

David grinned at all her questions. "Well first off, you're going. No question there. I need you with me, and I'm going. You need to go too. It'd be good for us. Secondly, Rylan is old enough to stay and watch the girls. Besides, and you need to talk to them about this, but they will been teens themselves soon, and I think they can all handle themselves. We are just going to go exploring for a bit. I'm not sure how long, however long we want. It was a free vacation offered to us because of your job I guess. Though, I upgraded our hotel, so it did cost a little. Not enough to worry about. Did I cover everything?"

Rosetta looked speechless, but a wispy smile soon crossed her lips. It sounded good to her. Time away, kind of what she was looking for anyway. Then she gasped, "The girls! Their birthday is in just two days! What about that?"

"That's why I said, you'd have to talk to them about that."

"Okay, I'll do that. First I'm going to get changed, I put this on thinking I'd go to my office to let them know, but decided over the phone was better." She leaned in, kissed David's nose and smiled shyly at him. "This sounds fun."

The girls had been outside practicing their soccer moves. Dayna loved being the goalie, and generally always chose that position when practicing with her family. She hoped one day that she'd be put on a real team, perhaps a school team or something.

Caylin was kicker for now, but always tried getting the goalie position first. She figured it'd be less stressful on the body. Obviously, she hadn't ever done it before. Dayna always laughed when she suggested it's easier to protect the goal than kick the ball in. The two girls soon got warm, especially Caylin because she was in her cold weather outfit when it wasn't cold, and went inside to hang out.

When they came in, oddly enough, Caylin took off her outer wear. Dayna spotted Rylan playing chess and instantly requested to join his game. Caylin watched them play together.

A minute or two later Rosetta, having changed her clothes, came back down stairs. "Oh there you are girls. Your dad told me to talk to you about your birthday plans. Have you come to a decision of how you want to celebrate?"

Caylin looked at Dayna, who gave her a little nod. She turned and sat with her mother and father on the couch.

"Yeah, actually we did. I don't know if you are going to like it, but it's what we want."

"Oh, well what did you choose to do?"

"Well. Nothing actually. We don't want anything, no party... we just don't feel right celebrating without her."

Rosetta swallowed hard, the sob that threatened her throat came on her fast and unexpected. She nodded, unable to speak just yet.

Caylin continued, "So we just want you and dad to go on that vacation he's got going for you two and have fun. We'll be just fine here."

'She sounds so much older than she should be. Still so young, and have experienced things she shouldn't have yet. It makes my heart hurt to think that these two have lost someone so close to them. It must be hard to have a birthday without one you were born with. I'm not surprised they don't want anything special actually. Maybe that's their way of coping with the loss.'

Rosetta let out a breath and glanced over her shoulder at Dayna, who happened to be looking her way. Dayna smiled a little. "Okay girls. That's fine. I'll miss you while we're gone." She threw her arm around Caylin and hugged her close. "My big girls. Growing so fast!"

"Mom. Can't. Breathe." Caylin struggled to say. She straightened up and smiled. "I love you mom."

"I love you too baby."

"You too dad!" Caylin added, glancing at David.

He smiled, "I love you too. I hope you have a good birthday, even if it'll basically be just a normal day."

The next morning, bright and early, Rosetta and David were up and dressed, ready for their spontaneous vacation. The kids weren't even up yet. Each one had said their goodbye's the previous night, knowing that they were leaving really early in the morning.

Even though she was happy to be getting out of the house, temporarily getting away from the memories, Rosetta felt bad for leaving her babies. She saw her husband looking toward the bedroom doors of their kids often too. She knew he was anxious about it, but would not back out.

The two of them got in the taxi and, holding hands, headed off.

'Such a conflict of emotions here. I'm happy to get getting away from home and spending time with David. It seems like it hasn't been just us two in a very very long time. I miss that. I wouldn't trade my kids for the world, but maybe I'd like to add some more time with just my husband every once in a while. It was so sweet of him to plan this.

On the other hand, I feel so terrible for leaving without the kids! I wonder if they are really okay with this, or just saying that they are. I'm going to miss them so much. I hope I can stop worrying long enough to enjoy myself.'

It did take a few days for Rosetta to loosen up enough to relax. Eventually she did though, and that made her and her husband happy. David was enjoying himself too and so far, they didn't have a return date. They were just playing it day by day. It had been nearly a week since they'd left home and the two of them called daily to check in with their kids. From what they knew, everything at home was fine.

The girls had had their birthday and sprouted into beautiful teenagers and Rylan was just going about his life as usual. He was starting to count the days until graduation, him aging to a young adult, and going off to college. It wouldn't be long now.

Early one evening, Caylin was getting ready to make some dinner for her and her siblings. Dayna joined her in the kitchen.

"Guess what?" She asked.

"Um, your hair is grey and that's why you wear a hat all the time?" Caylin replied with a smile.

Dayna scoffed and shook her head. "No. I've decided I'm going to get a piercing. Or two. Won't that be awesome?"

"Yeah, uh, no. I don't know if mom and dad would say that it was. But hey, it's your life." Caylin studied her sister a moment. "Actually I think you'd look cool with a nose ring."

Dayna smiled at that. "Yeah, me too! Anyway, I've saved up a lot of my allowance, and I've got an appointment tomorrow. It's totally happening."

Caylin had gotten everything for dinner out of the fridge and was walking out the back door to cook it in the wood burning oven. "Hey, when do you think they'll be home anyway? It's been like, a week or something."

Dayna frowned just a little and shook her head. "They didn't say the last time they called. I miss them though, hope they come home soon."

Caylin wrapped-up her Calzones and was baking them while Dayna chatted to her. The food was smelling delicious and making both of their stomachs growl with hunger. When it was finished, they both grabbed a plate and sat down outside to enjoy it. They started eating while it was still steaming hot.

It was Caylin's turn to break some news. She grinned, "Anyway, I hope mom and dad wait for at least another two days to come home. I'm calling friends and inviting them over for a party tonight!"

Dayna paused in her bite. "Are you serious? You know you'll have to clean up any mess they make right? Might not be a good idea without asking."

Caylin rolled her eyes. "Look who's talking! Yeah yeah, I know. It's just going to be a small get together anyway, I don't know that many people. I'll call them when we are done."

Dayna took a deep breath and a look crossed her face that said, 'Don't say I didn't warn you.' The two of them finished up their meal and Dayna complimented her sister on her new found skill of cooking. She was especially good with the wood oven. Dayna grabbed their plates and started inside to wash them. She shook her head when Caylin pulled out her phone and started dialing.

Caylin made the phone calls and invited the friends she had planned on. When the first person turned her down she was a little disappointed, but she continued on with her list of friends. By the fourth person she felt really defeated. They had all said no. No one wanted to come to her party. She stood on the porch and pouted. She wondered if any of them actually liked her, or were they really busy like they said? Her attention was redirected when her sister came back outside wearing some work out clothes and carrying a soccer ball.

"What's happening?" Caylin asked.

"Well first you tell me what's with the long face? Boyfriend break up with you?"

"Oh." Caylin frowned again, "No one wanted to come to my party! I'm distraught."

Dayna couldn't help but chuckle at the look on her sisters face and her choice of word, she was always a little weird like that. "Well, it's not the end of the world you know. To be honest, it wasn't a good plan anyway. Why don't you get changed out of your fancy clothes and come play with me instead?"

Caylin brightened and smiled, "Sure!" She bounced off to her room to change into something more suitable.

Dayna shook her head, sometimes she was still amazed at how easily Caylin could be distracted from things. She laughed aloud when her sister came back wearing her bathing suit. The two of them played outside for the rest of the afternoon, switching from soccer to hopscotch and back again. Dayna finally let her sister be the goalie and Caylin frequently teased Dayna that she couldn't make a goal. She was always wrong, but it was all in good fun. Caylin did finally learn that it was actually harder to be a goalie than to kick the ball in.

Rylan had been upstairs playing his video games for hours, he didn't even know that Caylin had made dinner. He didn't really seem to care either. He was busy. Rylan had put off his worries about growing up and going through more schooling for a little while so he could have some fun. Once he did, he was thoroughly involved and not much could break his attention.

The next day, Dayna was true to her appoint with the local tattoo and piercing artist. She went off early in the morning and came back just a few hours later with a new look. Caylin actually liked it and hoped, for her sisters sake, that she was allowed to keep them. Rylan hadn't said anything about it at all so no one knew his opinion. Dayna assumed he disapproved because he usually was a straight arrow and liked to follow rules. There were no rules about this though, not ones that were ever mentioned by their parents.

The three teenagers, having enjoyed being home alone for a while, were now getting bored with themselves and wanting their parents back. Life was different without them. It was more stale or tedious.

After finishing lunch this day, courtesy of Caylin once again, they all did the homework that they had ignored for a few days. They had so much it that it took them three hours to finish it all. When they were through Rylan offered a game of dominoes. Since the girls were equally as bored as he seemed to be, they accepted and the three of them went to the den. to play.

Rylan sighed and rested his head on his fist. "They've been gone a long time. Feels like a month."

Dayna laughed a little. "Oh it does not, don't exaggerate. Granted, it does feel like a long time, it's only been a week."

Caylin interjected, "Still, I never imagined it would be so boring without them here. Too quiet." Her siblings nodded in agreement.

The three of them sat for another hour or two playing dominoes in silence. Every once in a while someone would sigh or say something but mostly, it was a quiet game. When they finished the girls went upstairs to do some things and Rylan went to the living room to read a book.

Just as Rylan was about to sit in the living room, David walked through the door. He was followed closely by Rosetta, who was smiling broadly.

"We're home!" David announced loudly and happily, as Rosetta hugged her son. He heard his daughters upstairs say 'Yay.' and start making their way down.

"Oh we've missed you so." Said Rosetta, "How were things while we were gone?"

The three of them sat down to chat while they waited for the girls to come downstairs. The first thing Rylan said was about the one thing that could have been against the rules.

"Just wait until you see Dayna!" He said. "Other than that, it was very uninteresting here with just us."

"Oh boy, what happened to Dayna?" Rosetta was asking when the girls walked in. When she saw her daughter she said, "Oh my. Well first of all, you two are so beautiful, we are sorry to have missed your birthday. Secondly. Dayna! What in the world?"

David spoke up, "Interesting birthday present to yourself. What makes you think we'd let you keep those?"

Dayna could tell that her dad was more upset about it than her mom so turned to plead to him.

"Oh come on dad! Please? It's the in thing now! I really love them, even Caylin does."

Caylin interrupted, "Hey, don't bring me into this."

Dayna rolled her eyes. "Please? I don't see anything wrong here. I used my own  money and everything!"

David studied his daughter, the look on his face showed no mercy. He was just not going to allow this. She had indeed become a lovely young lady over the week they were gone. He remembered her as a little girl, so cute. His heart warmed at the memories, his face softened. With a glance at his wife, who shrugged, seeming fine with it, he smiled.

"Okay, okay. Fine. You can keep them. You have to take care of them though, I don't want any infections on my little girl's face!"

Dayna broke into the biggest grin ever. She pumped her arm, "Yes! You guys are so awesome!"

David was assaulted by a huge hug from his growing girl.

Rosetta smiled at the scene. She was happy that David had agreed, she was hoping he would let Dayna be herself.

The mood was much lighter after that, the tension evaporated and laughter spread. They all stayed in the living room to chat about the events of the week. David told the kids that they were actually planning another vacation in about a year and hoped that was okay with them. Rylan, Dayna and Caylin all nodded and said that it would be fine but for them to try not to be gone quite as long next time. After an hour of stories and tales, it was time for sleep. This week had been interesting, and even though it was a year away, everyone wondered what would come with the next time this happened.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~Some Home Changes~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The new porch

Dayna's new room

Caylin's new room