TITLE: The Plate Spinner Chronicles
GENRE: Women's Fiction
Paul hung up the wall-mounted phone and stared at it a moment, a dozen unspeakable sentiments running through his head. She had thrown down the gauntlet again and, with the resolve of a stay-at-home dad navigating the grocery store cereal aisle on double coupon day, he braced himself for the imminent battle.
Easing back into the paint-chipped cane back chair at the head of the kitchen table, he tried to remember a time when the sound of her voice triggered a tingle from deep within his chest to the tip of his pinkie toes. Today was not one of those days.
Two pairs of eyes bore holes into his forehead, or at least they tried to. Shifting in his seat, Paul bent his head and twirled more spaghetti onto his fork. Without making eye contact, he announced, “That was your Mom. She had a bad day. Eat up.”
Thomas, thought by many to be destined for a successful career in investigative journalism, asked his father, “What did she say?”
With a fork full of food in his mouth, Paul looked at him and mumbled, “That she’s on her way home.”
“What else did she say?”
Swallowing hard, he replied, “Nothing. Eat.”
“So how do you know that she had a bad day?” the twelve-year-old asked while making quotation marks in the air with his fingers.
“Because when you know someone as long as I’ve known your Mother, you just know.”
“And how long is that exactly?” Thomas persisted.