I pull into the driveway and
park the van. My head is throbbing
with the beginnings of a headache.
I lean back on the seat’s headrest
and close my eyes. Just for a min-
ute. Only a minute.
My eyes shoot open. An elec-
tric shock jolts me and my heart
pounds in my chest. I feel a wave
of blood moving through my body.
I’m getting light headed and dizzy.
What the…? I turn and my son’s
face is looking at me through the
driver’s side window. I put my hand
to my chest, breath deep and push
the button to open the window.
Nothing happens. Right. I turn the
key in the ignition and put the win-
“Aiden. You scared me.
“Aren’t you coming in? You’ve
been out here for almost an hour.”
An hour? I look at the time on the
dash. It’s been almost an hour since
I parked. The groceries! I panic.
Meat, frozen pizzas, milk, cheese.
I ick the switch unlocking all the
locks on the van and the back door
“Grab some groceries and
take them into the house. Where
are your sisters?”
“Awwwwe do I have to?”
“Yes. Your sisters?”
“I don’t know. Inside.”
I grab a few bags and yell for
my three daughters to unload the
van and put the groceries away be-
cause I’m running late. They whine
while doing it. I don’t care.
“If you hadn’t fallen asleep…”
Aiden starts and I just glare at him,
daring him to continue. The boy’s
not dumb, I’ll give him that.
I have to get ready Gus will be
home soon.I run upstairs to jump
in the shower, shave, wash my hair,
the whole nine yards. I have less
than an hour to look gorgeous. Not
an easy feat at forty.
After twenty-two years, four
kids and an extra hundred lbs I am
not the slim beautiful eighteen-
year-old girl my husband married. I
know Gus still loves me. He says my
curves and stretch marks make me
that much more real and attractive
to him. More cushin for the pushin
he teases me and I try to believe
him, I do.
My husband doesn’t have an
By Shannon Peel
The Novel #ThatsLife was written as a serial
series. Each Issue of APeeling will include a
chapter for you to enjoy.