Chapter TwoA Chapter by Cre8nFrmWithn
A day in the life...
The day for Zen runs with the completion of the kitchen while the children brush their teeth, wash their faces and run downstairs to get their hair brushed.
Since Zenolyn’s husband is Caucasian, they have easy to manage hair. Damon’s hair is golden brown, small curls that cling to his scalp, easy to brush and control.
Darian’s hair is the same way but long and NOT easy to control, even with a brush!
It’s a chore to get her hair done and Darian fights tooth and nail, crying and shouting, “That hurts!” or “You’re pulling my hair out!” She’s such a prissy brat, Zen would think.
“If I didn’t see you as soon as you exited me, I’d say you were someone else’s child”, Zen would respond.
After grooming and getting dressed, they would say a prayer and begin their homeschool day. Zen loved the idea of teaching her children at home. It allowed her to spend time with them, developing a closeness that would create a bond, a special bond between them…yeah right!
Zen didn’t even want to home school when she and Darren discussed their future children’s education, years ago. He was raised where Mommy was always there when he got home from school. He wanted that for his children.
She didn’t have a problem with being a housewife. The deal was for Zen to be home and then take a part-time job, so she could be home before the kids were out of school. It sounded good at the time but Darren slowly changed the idea.
The change began when they found out Zenolyn was pregnant. Darren was over-joyed! He bought the baby furniture and put it all together, banning her from assisting with anything. He fantasized about how he would come home to his wife and son every evening and play before dinner.
When they discovered they were having twins, the dream abruptly changed but with the same ending. Darren would come home and play with his twin sons before dinner and then help them with their homeschool homework! It was major to him.
Zen wasn’t as thrilled. She hadn’t been convinced of being a teacher all day and then a housewife all night, especially to twins. Twice the diapers, bottles, feedings and fussing, yeah it was every woman’s dream.
It was a nightmare for sure. The first few months, she had help on hand from both mothers-in-laws. They took turns staying the night and worked in rotation when the babies would cry but after three months, Zen was thrown to the wolves.
Darren helped out but he was rarely there. When he wasn’t in the office, sometimes with overtime, he was on a business trip. And then there were times when he was just out with the guys, as if she didn’t have friends to hang with.
Most of the time Zenolyn just sat at home with the children. It’s not that she didn’t enjoy her life; it was a blessing to have a husband to provide the way Darren did. He got her a home that she got to decorate to her fashion, a car and finally children. She just didn’t think she’d suddenly feel so…trapped.
When the twins got older, they were the pictures of perfection. She could sew up a storm so she made their outfits, little Jack & Jill, her friends would tease. They were always coordinated, complete with cap and bows. They were her world and they looked like it.
She took them to have photos taken, visit grand-parents, even spend time at the zoo with the tandem stroller that felt like a Cadillac whenever removed and replaced from the back of her mini-van. She did everything with them and for them. Daddy was there on the weekends he didn’t have to leave town but for the most part. It was always she and the kids.
Sometimes she felt like a military wife, except he came home from his tour most nights. The thing is, she felt lonely all the time. Even when he was there he wasn’t.
Many times he stayed downstairs in the den, watching games or playing on the game console. Periodically he’d come out and shed a few words with the family but if she needed him, he didn’t hear her. She figured it was selective hearing but didn’t force the issue.
There were times Zen would call Darren upstairs to play with the kids in the tub. It was always fun playing with the twins during tub-time but he never did it. He’d always claimed work needed to be completed in the office. He was a bummer.
Several times, when she thought they’d have a nice evening, she’d ask why he didn’t do much with her and the kids. It never got anywhere. He’d always say that he was busy and quite tired from his days work. He had this business or that meeting to prepare for and that was it. IF Zenolyn got upset, they’d end up arguing. Darren would move downstairs to the sofa for the night and she’d softly cry into her pillow until the babies called for her.
Darren wasn’t a mean fellow. Zen loved him dearly and she knew that he loved her, he just didn’t show it like he used to.
He called and left ‘love you’ texts on her mobile but it wasn’t enough. He brought home flowers and he gave her foot massages long after the kids were in the world but they didn’t do anything. They didn’t go anywhere as a family much and that hurt. Since having the twins, she seemed completely isolated.
When she asked him to take them out, he claimed it was too much work for him. Wha? Too much work in taking them to the park or the mall for a walk? She did it by herself all the time and she didn’t cry about it. He had it tougher convincing companies to dig deep into their pockets and shoveling out money for the company he worked for but taking his wife and kids out for the day was hard. Oh no, he’d rather play hardball with some miser than take his own flesh and blood out and about.
Zenolyn began to fall deeper and deeper into her chasm of loneliness as the children got older. Then suddenly, things changed.
It was like some light flickered on in Darren’s head. It wasn’t like something blossomed and grew into the day Darren stayed home. He didn’t begin to do more or slide into his fatherly role he just stayed home.
It was like an epiphany; suddenly it was good to be home with his family but Zen still needed more. He began going to the park, zoo, family events-the works! Zenolyn couldn’t have been happier.
That’s when he began influencing. Now don’t get Zenolyn wrong, she loved the fact that he was around but he began doing things with the twins that she didn’t approve of. Like what? Are you really wondering how a dad can ruin his children? Well, step into Zen’s shoes.
Part of the curriculum Zen uses is Bible. It starts simple, of course, leading them into knowing what is right and wrong. About family and how they help one another. Manners, lies, truths, Jesus and so forth were the base of the lessons.
Zen loved the curriculum and had decided to use it all the way through graduation. Well, as first graders, they knew right from wrong for sure. They’d been tested on it and knew that if someone told a lie, it was a sin.
But only when with Mommy. Daddy found times when it was okay for them to lie and they did it with grace. They always got caught but they knew how to do it, thanks to Darren. There were even situations where they stood before Zen. She'd squatted to eye level and asked for the truth, they told on Daddy. And much to her amazement, he would lie on them in defense! Now what kind of man would like on his own toddlers?
They went to the stores with him and drank soda and kept it a secret, knowing they were not to have any except for the weekends. They ate candy in their beds and lied about it, even with the chocolate stains on their mouths, faces and bed sheets. It was difficult.
Zen even had trouble punishing them for the crimes, since it was their dad teaching them. So she began fussing at Darren again.
“I don’t see what the big deal is”, he would say.
about the deal is that we agreed they wouldn’t have the
“Oh it was just once”, but it was always just once. They always ran eagerly to leave with Daddy, eager to break another rule.
Zen began feeling like it was just her life to suffer. Jesus suffered and now she was to follow suit. Darned Eve, she sometimes said to herself. First I have to be tortured through childbirth and now I have to continue paying for sins by enduring the crap of my husband!
One day Zen decided to run away. She got up one morning, fixed a quick breakfast and told Darren she was running errands and would be back soon. She didn’t give him a second to ask what she was doing or if she was taking the kids with her.
The response was evident by the fact that she left with no one but herself. She wandered around in the mall, trying to look like she was happy, strolling in and out of department stores but the truth of the matter was, and she was bored. She wanted to enjoy herself but she wasn’t. She missed the babies. She missed her husband.
Another time her friend asked her out. Moira was a long time friend, a gal who she’d befriended at Zen’s first job at age twenty-one
Moira was one of those gals who had a level head but didn’t always use it. Sometimes she did but for the most part, her ignorance came down to the men she dated. Moira wasn’t very heart savvy.
But as a friend, she was the best. Moira hadn’t had a steady boyfriend for years so she was always going out with The Girls. Many times, she invited Zenolyn but she’d always refused.
Until the night she was tired of the constant bickering of the twins. Well, that and the fact that Moira was not accepting no for an answer. She found a babysitter for Zen, a younger cousin; Darren was out of town again. They then took a mall trip, since Zenolyn didn’t have anything to wear and they were off to a dance club.
Just because Zen was never quite in to the dance thing, she didn’t know what to wear. She felt like an idiot when she and Moira met up with the other seven women her age and under.
The girls went out every weekend. They wore skintight dresses that glimmered and stopped barely below their bottoms and heels that took them to heights that made Zen’s head dizzy!
Their hair was done up like models with make up that flattered them. Their thin eyebrows and full lips, covered in coloring was more than Zen could tolerate on herself.
She wore a dress that looked like she was going to a parent-teacher conference instead to a dance club. She had on a sleeveless blouse that was scooped at the neck but not past her collarbones, there wasn’t even a hint of cleavage showing.
Her pants were black with tan pin stripes with a pair of respectable peep toed pumps. They barely showed the tip of her large toenails, which was NOT painted.
Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail that was planted dead center of the back of her head. Her long, thin locks stopped at her collar.
She didn’t even think to put her contacts in so she appeared as what she truly was- a mom and a geeky one at that. The girls laughed when she arrived, “You’re hitting the club in that?” they asked.
Their chiding only made Zen feel ridiculous, like a fool. She almost told them she was going home but her thoughts were interrupted when Moira shouted to them.
“Okay ladies, do we have our names?” It was a game they all played. They almost always got hit on when they went out. Guys were rude, bold and crazed when they saw women in clubs. It was like fishing and they were using every net and line they could come up with.
The girls came up with names like Shakeema, LaQuan, and other stupid names that made Zen feel like she was going under cover for a hood block party.
“What name are you going with tonight?” One of the girls asked Zenolyn. She hadn’t a clue but said, “Barbara?”
A riot of laughter flew at her. Again, if her skin would have permitted, she’d have blushed beet red. She didn’t want to go.
They drove two cars into Illinois and hit the club scene. It was like being in another world to Zen. First they rode in complete darkness with only the knowledge of the farming fields beyond the windows. She didn’t like it. It didn’t feel comfortable to her but she didn’t say a word, she simply rode in silence, wondering what the children were doing with Moira’s trusted cousin.
When they arrived, they first stepped into a male strip club. Zen immediately didn’t like where the night was taking her. She’d tried to turn away from the door but Moira and the other girl, Denise (who was Tanisha this night) pulled her bac
The air was thick and smoky. The music pulsed with a heavy baseline, causing Zen’s heart to thumb against her ribs in time. The smells were dank and sweet; being in the club was like being in a honey-baked sweatbox!
All around her women were sitting, talking, standing, smoking, drinking and squealing! Yes, squealing- a woman with a tiara that read: Bride-to-Be was receiving a lap dance from a half naked man. He straddled the woman, his bare chest open due to his fingers being laced behind his head.
The dancer was handsome and very well put together. He wore a white cowboy outfit that made him appear both silly and sexy at the same time. His head held a bright, white Stetson with silver studs along the edge. He wore around his writs, cuffs that dangled long, leathery strips with silver studs on the end and matching boots. There was only one piece of clothing on this man.
He wore an angelic white man-thong. It was totally embarrassing to Zen, with his backside draped in more of those leather strips with shiny studs! His body was chiseled and looked to be in the greatest of health. The man was shaking what his momma gave him and making some serious money with it. The women, obviously her entourage, squealed with delight while giving the Bride-to-Be money to tuck into the guy's thong. Zenolyn’s ears hurt!
Zen had only seen abs like that on television and outside of her children’s; the only butt she’d seen was on her husband. She guiltily looked away, as though her mother or pastor at church had caught her.
She leaned over to Moira and practically shouted, “This is crazy!”
Moira looked at her, eyes raking over every man in the building, “I know right!” She was so excited; she didn’t catch the negativity of Zen’s remark.
They stayed there for about forty-five minutes before stepping from the club and walking a few blocks down to the next social establishment. This one was worse!
It was like a show for models, a huge catwalk was before the audience and the men came out in costumes that bordered Halloween! One man had a leather mask on where the eyes, nose and mouth holes were zippers! He was covered head to toe in some short of shiny latex- then as he began pulsing and gyrating to the music while things came off!
The man’s chaps flew over Zen’s head and a sea of screams pushed against her back. These women probably had husbands, boyfriends and children back home and they were behaving like animals!
Zen decided to never tell Darren of this place or any of the others she visited- and she didn’t! There were a few times that Moira almost slipped up and Zen had to nudge her below the table or give a ferocious cough to interrupt. She had no idea what Darren would think but she was sure that it wouldn’t be good.
Zen just wanted one thing: her husband. She wanted that romantic man that did his best to catch her attention all those years ago. She wanted that man who was always there and almost died to speak to her on the phone every single day for hours on end.
Back then, she and Darren worked for the same company. She was a lowly Data Entry Operator and he was in the Assistants office. He did a lot of go4’ing back then, which was how he ran into Zenolyn. Literally…he ran into her while delivering some paperwork to the south hall. She had no clue that the man who knocked her down then picked her up would be the man of her dreams and future husband.
She was too busy being stoic, mad at the world. She only had a few friends and she didn’t tell all of her business but to two people. One of them was Moira. The other was Justine Koblavough " the rat and indirect reason for her first date with Darren.
Justine had carried a torch Darren for years but never had the guts to say anything. Evidently one day, Darren approached her and inquired about Zen. Needless to say, this didn’t sit well. An instant dislike for Zen developed.
Filled with jealousy, she gave nothing but negative information on Zen, doing her best to block the connection. Darren received the information with a flat face but as soon as he saw Zen, he was determined. He asked her out.
Zen declined. She didn’t know him and didn’t want to have her heart broken… again. Darren accepted the rejection with a smile and then asked if he could at last treat her to lunch " offering to not even be there while she ate!
Zen laughed at the offer and responded with, “Sure, make it lobster and it’s a date-non-date!”
The next day, Zenolyn received a delivery of lobster with a salad and breadsticks at her desk. Attached was a single rose and note. Her throat tightened at the sight of the deliveryman.
She was instantly bombarded with questions, inquiries of: “Where did they come from?” “Who sent you a lunch like that?” and “Can I have some?” She had no clue that behind her and two rows over, Justine glowered and fumed. Nobody noticed. No one ever noticed Justine.
When she’d arrived at work the following morning, Darren appeared at her side and asked how lunch was. She was embarrassed and shocked by his previous day’s kindness. Then he was also very quiet and sneaky, almost stealth-like. Was he stalking her?
He was so cute, his brown hair glistening in the morning sunlight, those golden brown eyes focused on her and every word she fumbled over.
“It uh, was delicious. It also caused a huge commotion in the office.” She looked down at her shoes and quietly said, “Thank you. I guess I owe you.”
“Not at all. It was my pleasure. Seeing the smile on your face was enough for me. One day, when you’re ready, you’ll accept my offer.” He turned and strode away, leaving Zen mystified.
She didn’t see him for about two weeks but he was always around. One day he left early from work. He left a post-it on her desk with a simple: Hello!
Three days after that, he had a bouquet of red, pink and white carnations, meaning adoration caring enough to always be there and such delivered. Zenolyn was the talk of the office- and embarrassed.
Then he left a third gift, a small stuffed bear with the words: “Please Say Yes” embroidered on his tummy. The entire office was telling her to date the man! They also thought she was torturing the poor guy and being selfish by accepting his gifts but still not going out with him! They were all judging her and making her feel guilty. She didn’t want any of the gifts but she did enjoy the attention. Not from the office but from someone who actually seemed interested in her!
About two weeks after the incident, he met her in the hallway. At first, she didn’t know what to say but she knew what she’d do. She accepted his date request.
“I’m ready”, she said. Things took off from there.
Darren treated her like a queen, opening doors, asking her what she preferred. He listened to her ideas and dreams and only offered input after asking if she minded. He was epic.
But where was he now? That man who listened, smiled and was always there. Where was he? Where was his heart? Did he still love her as much as he used to? Did he still see her as the Queen of his life?
She reflected back to the day he proposed to her- after only two years of dating. He surprised her with a return to the location of their first date. The hallway he crashed into her.
He actually staged a crash meeting to invite her to Forest Park. There was a beautiful restaurant on the man-made lake called the Boathouse. You could ride the paddleboats around and enjoy the scenery.
There were fountains, stone arches and even a romantic view of the Art Museum. It was magical to Zen. She’d fallen in love with the place back when it was their first date location. It carried so much meaning to the both of them. To return at night, on proposal night was another story.
He’d made the outing perfect " no sunburns …like last time. He had everything set up, even a limousine!
They’d arrived and were seated immediately near the fireplace, overlooking the sun porch where other diners enjoyed an open view of the lake. The place was stunning, with string lights casting extra glows to reflect on the water.
After eating, Darren walked her to the pier where you get onto the paddleboats. As they started towards a boat, a man dressed in a tux-complete with tails began playing soft music on a violin.
“What’s going on Darren?” Zen asked with shock. Her heart began to race and she felt like she was beginning to perspire in all the wrong places because that’s what women do- they perspire.
Darren turned to her, dropped down on one knee and gently spoke to her. Zen looked around frantically. She saw spectators on the sun porch, watching in awe.
Zen’s breathing came in short bursts as she looked back down at Darren. She couldn’t gain control and this didn’t seem to bother Darren in the least.
“I knew that you were the woman for me the day I ran in to you Zenolyn. I plotted and planned on this day. I would be most honored if you would say yes to remaining my best friend and becoming my wife.” He pulled a burgundy, velvet box from his pocket and plucked a small half-carat stone, set to a solid gold band. It wasn’t the Hope Diamond but to her it carried equal value!
She didn’t know it but tears streamed down her cheeks. Her breathing was so rapid she thought she’d pass out. All she could do to respond was shake her head vehemently. Darren stood with the grandest smile on his face and kissed her. All around them people cheered and clapped for them. The roar was unbelievable but the violinist played the wedding outro. How could the crowd of onlookers be so happy for strangers?
But Zen knew. She knew because she’d felt the same thing when she watched all of her romantic movies. The heart pulling joy that she felt when the heroine of the story finally won the man of the show. How they fell madly in love and lived happily every after. She truly knew the feeling well. But this time, the happiness and the joy and excitement was for her.
© 2012 Cre8nFrmWithn
Added on March 13, 2012
Last Updated on April 5, 2012
A Life Of Zen - Chapter One
AboutMy name is Alyssa and I am a Domestic Homeschool Engineer. I like to write, leaving some details to the reader's imagination. I describe but do not wish to over-indulge. Many things are best when l.. more..