by Bly Jette
A view of Sally's home life.
He was actually interested in all of the little details, the stories behind the art on her body. He was interested in her story. He was interested in her. He hung on her every word and he couldn't explain it. But someone had hurt her, he could see that. She was a very damaged, beautiful soul. Jack knew that but he felt a surge of something he hadn't felt in a long time. When he talked to her, the past didn't matter.
He sat with her on that bench utterly enthralled with this woman and she was so open with him. Jack noticed how she was towards the others in the group, but when it was just them, she blossomed.
"So, ten tattoos eh?" he smirked.
"Yup, ten so far... I always want more" Sally laughed. "This one," she pointed her left wrist "was my first one, I started small just in cause but I had wanted tattoos since I was eight." On her wrist was a small heart with wings.
"It suits you" Jack nodded.
She went on to explain the other nine, two dark fairies on her back, a crooked dager on her forearm, a large dragon spiraling up her right calf, the word "love" on her right wrist, one that had Sally's childrens names, and various pieces of artwork her children had drawn. Most done in beautiful vivid colors.
"How long have you been married?" Sally asked, changing the subject because she wasn't one to talk about herself.
"Oh" he scrunched his face "Seven years..." he trailed off.
"How's that goin' for ya?"
"It's not... well, not really. She only stays with me three nights out of a week, the other days she lives with her sister."
"I'm sorry" Sally's emerald eyes softened.
"Now's not forever kid." he grinned.
"Nope, it's not." Sally grabbed her phone, she had lost track of time and the kids would be home in twenty minutes. "Shit, I have to go."
"Text me tonight, please?" There was an urgency in his eyes.
"Yeah, once the kids are in bed." Sally smiled and headed back towards her car.
"I'll walk with you, my car's on the other side of the parking lot but I don't feel right you walking by yourself."
"Jack" she half giggled "It's three-thirty in the afternoon"
"No matter, I'm walking with you."
At her car, Jack hugged her tightly and she nuzzled into him. Sally felt so safe with him, she trusted him... even though she didn't trust many people, that had to mean something.
Sally got home as the bus was pulling up, she was thankful that she made it in time. She wasn't sure what inside the house would be like though, sometimes her husband would be sweet and understanding and other times, the slightest word uttered would send him into a rage fit. Even though they hard started the divorce process, Todd figured he could still control Sally. She rarely did as he said anyway, but since his anger had peaked she was less mouthy towards him, especially around the kids. They had been through so much as it was, Sally couldn't put them through more. It broke her heart on the rough days.
"You're late" Todd muttered as Sally walked in the door.
"Yeah, sorry... Group ran a bit over." She could tell that he was aggitated and tried her hardest not to upset him on days like this.
He wasn't asking her, simply telling her that she needed to make dinner. The kids piled in with their bookbags in tow, talking and laughing as usual. Sally reflected a few moments, watching them interact with each other. All three of them were amazing.
Anne was the oldest, she was very much a diva. At eleven years old, she had her head on her shoulders tighter than most adults she knew, but when she had a melt down, it was a big one. Those days were rare as she had gotten older. Anne had dark hair like her mom, but the bluest eyes from Todd.
Then there was Jacob, who was all boy. He loved playing in the dirt, making and wrecking things, even if his sister had built it. At eight, he had advanced in his math skills to almost a high school level. He was the goofy one, always laughing and joking. He looked a lot like his dad, light brown hair and blue eyes, but he has a heart like Sally.
Conner is the youngest and quite possibly the mouthiest. He's six years old but could easily, mentally, pass for ten. He was a bit of a sponge, always eager to learn how something worked and tore a lot of things apart to figure it out. He had blond hair and Sally's emerald eyes.
"Earth to Sally!" Todd bellowed.
"Sorry Todd, got lost in through" she tried to smile, but the look on his face told her she better not. She sighed and went to the kids. "How was your day? Do you guys have any homework?" Anne groaned in response, she almost always had homework. Sally gathered their bags and walked into the living room.
"Mom, what can I have for snack? I'm starving!" Jacob held him stomach.
Sally busied herself with their routine, setting out homework, signing papers, looking at graded papers, fixing snacks and putting dinner in the oven. Any moment that was free though, her thoughts went back to Jack. The way he looked at her, talked to her like what she said mattered. He was off limits though, she kept telling herself that. He is married, end of story. She wanted no part in complicating his life and she certainly could not bring herself to break up a marriage.
"What the fuck is this?!" Todd screamed a room away, bringing Sally back to reality.
"Sorry dad, my cup fell over." Conner said quietly. Sally grabbed a towel and ran into the living room.
"It's ok honey, accidents happen." Sally pushed her way in front of Todd.
"You know, if you guys would eat and drink in the damn kitchen, this wouldn't have happened!"
"It's all right Todd, it's just..." she paused, "red juice" Sally scrunched her face. "I'll go get the carpet cleaner."
"Make him do it!" Todd simply couldn't talk about these things calmly.
"Seriously Todd, it's ok. I've got it. Conner can finish his snack then get started on his homework."
Todd grabbed the cup and threw it, the kids huddled around Sally.
"Mom..." Jacob looked up at her, his eyes filled with fear. Todd would never hit the kids, but his temper made it hard to remember that all the time. Sally's phone went off, her mom was calling.
"Hi mom" Sally covered the concern in her voice while Todd stomped off. Within ten minutes, Sally had made plans for the kids to go see grandma for the weekend. She hated when the kids left, but she knew it was not only good for her mom but for the kids as well. They didn't need to be a apart of this.