Alicia sat in the café of the Five and Dine warming her hands on a mug of hot chocolate. Amber Dernier had purchased it for her and told her to take a break. She was the owner of the Five and Dine, a little café.
“So what are you going to do?” Amber asked, returning to the table with her own mug of hot tea.
“I don’t know. It seems as if every time we take one step forward, then we’re taking two steps back. No matter how hard he tries, Charles can’t seem to catch a break and find a job, now Chelsea’s in trouble in school again and she just got suspended two weeks ago for fighting.
Now this time she’s being insubordinate with the teacher and I just don’t know what’s gotten into her.”
“Honey, children tend to act out the frustrations of their parents. She sees that you two are going through hard times and she probably feels powerless to do anything about it. Kids only want their parents to be happy and proud of them. Anything short of that, they feel useless themselves. I know, I’ve got five of my own,” she said, pride glistening from those iridescent blue eyes.
“I don’t know how you manage,” Alicia said, shaking her head.
“Children are your blessing. You don’t manage, you just love ‘em and be the best you can for ‘em. Don’t get so down in the dumps, it is Christmas time and it’s a time to be happy for friends and family alike. You have to lift up your spirits no matter what you’re going through for those kids. You think my Ed and me don’t go through hard times?” she asked, referring to her husband.
“I’m sure you do.” Alicia replied and then took another sip from her mug.
“Of course we do, darling. But we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and keep on forging right ahead. Honey how you think I started this café? I got laid off and we didn’t know what we were gonna do. I sold Avon for a while and with Ed being a police officer and all we didn’t have much money coming in. But I was walking past this place one day on my way to the kids’ school and realized it had been standing empty for over five years. No one paid it any attention anymore and it always had this for sale sign in it. I decided we needed to do something with it, as a town it was a bad reflection on us, an eyesore. So I said something to Ed and we got a few neighbors, some people from the school, and a few other folks from the community; and we all volunteered to come down and paint it, scrub it, and just get it cleaned up. Well as luck would have it, Shirley Dubose, the realtor came past as we were out here cleaning it up. She wanted to know what we were doing, and I told her. Wouldn’t you know the owner happened to be her cousin; she said he was looking to get rid of the thing. Well long story short she set up a meeting with him and me and my husband and we got this old building for dirt cheap. I used the severance pay and retirement packet I had gotten from working at the paper mill and Ed took some of his money out of his 401k and we bought this thing for nothing. Shirley’s cousin was happy to get rid of it, and we were happy to own it. Some of the community pitched in and helped us make the repairs and everybody donated a little time and money here and there, and 10 years later here we still sit. You just gotta find your niche in this life, whatever that may be. And then you gotta believe in it enough to make a go at it girl. Same with Charles, you gotta find out what your husband dreams about and then get behind him and push. Cuz what good is a man’s dreams without his woman right beside him believing in his dreams? Well that’s enough of me yapping, I gotta get back in this kitchen and you got some customers to tend to.”
Amber stood up and wiped away at the little spot on the table where she had been drinking her tea, folded the towel over her arm, winked at Alicia and went back to her kitchen.
Alicia smiled, she knew life wasn’t a fairytale but what was it without your dreams. Amber had been right. She just had to figure out what Charles dreamed about other than winning the lottery.
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