I didn’t think I’d find time to do an update for Secondhand Soul this week, but here we are! Not my best work, as it was mostly a freewrite/Videl bemoaning her situation. I’m really struggling with how to resolve her story – at least the bit with the grandma – so here’s hoping a prompt will inspire me in that direction soon!
Today’s piece comes courtesy of Our Write Side’s Master Class prompt series. I chose “Eager endeavors” as the inspiration for the piece.
It never occurred to me before how useless having a kitchen in the house really is. At least, not until I realized that it’s empty. As demons, Marcus and I have no need to eat – the same can’t be said for either of my half siblings. After everything that’s happened, I never thought I’d find myself going grocery shopping with a baby strapped to my chest and a kid practically attached to my hip.
Marcus, lucky him, has an assignment to do, so I’m on my own.
Is it normal for a kid to be so excited about buying groceries? Eva seems to have all but forgotten what happened to her parents and has preoccupied herself with running up and down the aisles, grabbing anything she can and tossing it into the cart. The baby – Mikey, according to Eva – is agreeable as ever, sleeping soundly while we move about the store. As I struggled to chase Eva down without waking Mikey, several mothers throughout the store made their sympathy clear, shooting me a look at screamed “Poor young mom.”
When we finally get back to the house and cross the threshold into what I’ve come to see as my safe haven, the relief is almost too much to describe. Eva, completely comfortable in her new surroundings now even though it’s hardly been a day, runs into the kitchen at full speed and starts to put groceries away.
“Thank you, Eva, but you can go play if you want.” I remove Mikey from the baby carrier and place him in a baby pen we’ve set up in the kitchen. The kid continues to sleep like a rock.
“It’s okay – I want to help!” Maybe she can sense how out of my league I feel, or maybe she’s just the over-eager type. Whatever the case, I’m grateful for it.
“If you say so.” I might have overdone it with the shopping – it takes us longer than I anticipated to put everything away and by the time we’re done, Marcus is already back from his assignment. Still shy around him, Eva makes herself scarce as soon as he enters the room.
“How much did you buy?” Marcus looks in the fridge before looking at me.
“I don’t know how long they’re going to be here – I erred on the side of caution.” Not to mention, I kind of just let Eva pick whatever she wanted, but I’m not going to tell him that. From the pen, Mikey starts to whimper, and a glance at the clock lets me know it’s time to feed him. Lucky for me, baby bottles are pretty easy to prepare.
“Do you even know how to cook half this stuff?”
“I can figure it out.” I shrug before checking to make sure the formula isn’t too hot. After a moment I pick up the baby, offering him the bottle. In seconds he’s calm again.
“Don’t worry about it – I can cook.” He offers a smile before reaching into the fridge for a tray of raw chicken. He grabs a few more ingredients and some seasoning before rolling up his sleeves and getting to work.
“Yes – it was just my sister and me for a long time. I cooked all our meals.” He shrugs, like it’s no big deal. “I know somewhere you think you need to deal with all this on your own, but you don’t, remember? That’s why I’m here. You can lean on me.”
If I hadn’t been feeding Mikey, I would have thrown my arms around Marcus. I’m pretty sure he can see the gratitude on my face, though.
Where do you think the story should go? I’m always open to suggestions and comments, so feel free to let me know!
Tune in next week for more snippets and the return of #TuesFlashFicTrain!
As always, think happy thoughts!