Monday, May 20, 2013

Chapter 1.5: Time Consumer

“What is sleep?”

Amity found this question popping into her head nearly every day.  She couldn’t remember the last time she’d slept through the night uninterrupted. She couldn’t remember the last time she sat at the dining table to eat a meal, as opposed to hastily heating something in the microwave and scarfing it down at the computer while trying to get a few precious minutes of writing in. The twins demanded what felt like every ounce of her attention. Additionally, Atticus had just begun his first year of elementary school, and Amity couldn’t help fretting over him while he was gone during the day. She felt guilty because he wasn’t getting as much of her attention as the twins were, and she couldn’t help but notice that he spent more time with his imaginary friend than he did before.

The house fell into a bit of disarray.

To add to the mounting stress, Adam had been promoted to Team Manager. While she was excited for him and happy that he would no longer be playing and subjecting his body to injury and strain, it also meant he was working longer hours and travelling much more. 

Which left the household upkeep mostly to Amity.

Luckily, once the twins were toddling, she felt a little more comfortable leaving them to their own devices.

She tried to get back into writing for her job at the paper. But more often than not, she found herself staring the computer down like it was an unwelcome visitor in her home. When she actually mustered the drive to sit and write an article, her mind wandered. She had no idea where the newfound lack of focus came from, but it was disruptive and made her feel disappointed in the quality of her work. She just didn’t have the interest in writing about local events anymore – she wanted to write whatever she wanted.

She discussed it with Adam the next time he was home. 

“Why don’t you quit your job? You can be home full time with the kids and write whatever you please. I think you’d make a fantastic novelist, love.”

Amity scoffed. While Adam’s salary was nothing to sneeze at, raising three children came with a large price tag. She enjoyed the security of two incomes and couldn’t help but think of how long the payoff would take. It wasn’t going to be like her job now, where she enjoyed a paycheck once every two weeks.  They would be living off one income for who-knows-how-long while she wrote on a novel. Not to mention how busy she was with the kids. When would she ever find the time so sit and work on a novel?
She dismissed Adam’s suggestion, telling herself that she would manage somehow.

The next day she pulled out the desk chair and sank into it, letting out a sigh as she eyed the computer.

And right then she decided she couldn’t do it anymore. Adam was right.  She took a deep breath and called Rajita to give her two weeks’ notice. Her very next phone call was to the Aurora Skies City Hall to inquire about how to register herself as a self-employed writer. She immediately felt relieved and excited, but nervous all at the same time. To her surprise, Rajita took the news rather well and said she understood. And that was that. Amity was officially a novelist. 

Now that her office was at home, Amity made a point to spend as much time with the kids as possible with her new found novelist amibitions.

She relished teaching Astrid how to walk and talk. As much as she loved both of her sons, she felt very much attached to Astrid, being the only other lady in the house. Atticus took to entertaining Brendan whenever possible, often leaving the little girl out of their playtime. Amity made a point to try and show her she was loved and accepted as much as possible.

Adam also loved spending time with Astrid. After spending long days with a team full of men in a male dominated work place, he found it wonderful and relaxing to come home and have a tiny little girl grasping at his hands, begging to be picked up.

Atticus was excelling at school and making friends, much to the delight of his parents. Amity had secretly worried he would grow up so attached to Hesper that he would end up socially stunted and bullied at school. However, he began to spend less and less time with his imaginary friend and more time developing his interests outside of school. 

Amity had redecorated his room, complete with a bunk bed for him and Brendan to share when Brendan was old enough. Atticus spent a lot of his time in his room, playing pretend or reading his favorite books.

Amity was happy that he took an interest in reading, and she was all too eager to read him the bedtime stories he asked her to read before tucking him in for the night.

It seemed like it didn’t take long for the twins to be old enough to join in playtime with their older brother. Amity could hardly believe when their birthday crept up on her. 

She busied herself with planning a party and with redecorating the nursery, which would become Astrid’s bedroom.

They aged into beautiful children, and Amity and Adam were both excited to find that Brendan and Atticus were more willing to include Astrid in their playtime.

Brendan and Astrid became fast friends. Perhaps it had something to do with an intrinsic “twin” bond. They shared secrets together, and played in the backyard whenever they got the chance.

Which left poor Atticus to do his homework all alone some nights.

But Atticus didn’t mind. He still enjoyed spending time with his siblings whenever he got the chance. He’d made friends at school, so between them and the bustling life at home, he never felt lonely. 

He even decided to gift his prized doll Hesper to Astrid, something Amity was not altogether pleased about. She’d been trying to find a time when none of the children were occupied with the doll to sneak it out of the house and toss it, but to her dismay, there was never a moment when the doll was not in someone’s arms.

Amity’s days were occupied with novel writing now that the children were in school. Despite how much she longed for a moment alone when they were all babies and toddlers, she now found the house to be too quiet during the day for her liking. Oftentimes she would turn on the TV or radio while she was writing, just for the sake of having background noise. It made her feel less alone.

When the children came home from school, she made sure to engage them in playtime and have dinner ready before putting them to bed.
However, before putting herself to bed at night (often alone), Amity couldn’t help feeling a little sorry for herself. She would never ask Adam to give up his career that he loved, but she was growing weary of spending most of her days alone and only interacting with him through a telephone wire or an internet browser. She hoped he would realize sooner rather than later that his family needed him more than his team did.

Until then, she would just have to keep tucking herself in at night.

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