Yard Sale: An R.L. Mathewson Chronicle
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An R.L. Mathewson Chronicle
“It’s time to wake up.”
“What time is it?” Jason mumbled into his pillow even as he cracked an eye open and noted that the sun wasn’t even up yet.
“It’s five o’clock,” Haley said, giving his shoulder a gentle shake. “Come on, I let you sleep in late.”
“It’s Saturday,” he muttered with a resigned sigh as he rolled over onto his back and kicked off the covers, well aware of the fact that his wife wouldn’t leave him alone until she got what she wanted.
With a lazy wave of his hand towards his morning erection, he said, “Just tuck me back in when you’re done.” With that said, he closed his eyes shut and yawned as he settled back against his pillow, more than ready to fall back asleep, but his wife, it seemed, had different plans.
“Jason? Jason? Jason!” she said with an exasperated sigh, shaking him awake again.
“You’re done already?” he asked, yawning as he moved to roll over. “That was fast,” he mumbled, blindly reaching for the covers.
“I thought you wanted to spend the day with me,” Haley said, sounding inhumanly perky at five in the morning.
“I do,” he said, nodding into his pillow.
“Then get up,” she said, pressing a kiss against his cheek.
He groaned as he rolled over onto his back. “I thought we were hitting yard sales this morning.”
“We are, but first we have to do a little research and decide on our plan of attack,” she said, sounding determined.
He forced his eyes open just long enough so that he could see where she was, reached out and grabbed her by the waist and pulled her small body down next to him, curled up behind her and closed his eyes with a gratified sigh. “Why don’t we,” he said, pausing to press a kiss against her shoulder, “go back to sleep and when we wake up we can waste away the rest of the morning trying out a few new positions that would put the kama sutra to shame.” He pressed another kiss between her shoulders as he continued, “Then I’ll make you lunch and if you still want to hit the yard sales-”
“But, all the good stuff would be gone by then,” Haley stubbornly pointed out with a firm shake of her head as she quickly disengaged herself from his hold.
He considered pointing out once again that it was just junk, but that would only get him banned from yard sale hopping with her again, something that normally wouldn’t bother him, but he’d been looking forward to spending a kid-free weekend with his wife for the past two months and he wasn’t about to get stuck wasting the day away on the couch missing her. So, with a groan and a muttered curse, he forced himself to get up and spend the day with his wife, hitting yard sales.
“There’s a yard sale on Orchard Street with antique fire fighter stuff, a yard sale on Independence Drive with antique blown glass and toys, one on Mockingbird Avenue with sports equipment, books and clothes,” Haley announced with flourish as she looked up from the list she’d compiled from online ads. “What did you find, Ja- Hey! Those are my pancakes!”
Jason shoved the last bite of her buttermilk pancakes in his mouth and washed it down with the last sip of her orange juice. “They were getting cold.”
“The waitress just put it down!” she argued even though she knew it was pointless. She’d taken her eyes off her food for more than thirty seconds and to a Bradford that constituted food abandonment.
“Here you go, handsome,” Cheryl, their waitress and a woman in her early fifties said with a wink and a smile as she placed a large brown paper bag on the table with two smalls bottles of orange juice.
“You’re the best,” Jason said, bestowing that killer smile every Bradford mastered by the time they were one on the woman as he pulled out his wallet and paid the tab, making the older woman blush and Haley shake her head in wonder.
That damn Bradford charm was both a blessing and a curse…
“What’s in the bag?” she asked, picking up one of the bottles of juice and taking a sip as she headed for the exit.
“Your favorite, my little grasshopper,” he said, reaching past her so that he could open the door and hold it for her.
“Jelly donuts?” she asked, grinning hugely when he nodded and gestured with the paper bag for her to go in front of him.
“I knew that you’d need your energy today,” he explained as they walked towards his truck with a shrug as though he wasn’t the sweetest man alive. He was always doing things that like, looking out for her and taking care of her and the kids.
He opened her door and waited for her to climb in before placing the bag on her lap and a quick kiss on her lips. With a wink, he closed her door and walked around the truck, leaving her smiling as she selected a delicious jelly donut from the bag and wondering how she’d lucked out marrying the sweetest man alive.
“It was an accident!”
“I want a divorce,” Haley said, sounding exhausted as she rubbed her hands down her face and shook her head as though she really couldn’t understand how he’d managed to get them both kicked out from yet another yard sale.
“He’s just overreacting,” Jason said, helping his visibly stunned wife into the truck, well aware that the guy running the yard sale, his wife, neighbors, children and four police officers were watching their every move.
“You’re a bad man!” one of the little girls manning the lemonade stand yelled while the other one stuck her tongue out at Jason.
“And you’re lemonade tastes like watered down chlorine!” Jason snapped back, taking perverse pleasure in the fact that the girl’s mother had to hold her back from trying to kick his ass.
“Please tell me that you didn’t try to start another fight with that little girl,” Haley said, rubbing her temples with the tips of her fingers as he climbed in the truck.
“She started it,” he pointed out, wondering why his wife was defending the little liar.
Made with real lemons his ass.
The little brat had lied and when he’d pointed that out, had his wife come to his defense? No, not Haley. Instead of siding with him and demanding his two dollars back, his wife had shelled out another two bucks, sipped the lemonade and proclaimed it to be the best lemonade that she’d ever had.
“She’s a scam artist!” he snapped back even as he shot the little liar a glare that was met with a small raised fist and a murderous little glare that would make Chucky proud.
“Whatever,” Haley said, pressing her hands to her face, “can we go home now?”
He frowned down at the list that she’d meticulously organized this morning. “There’s still five more yard sales on your list, my little grasshopper.”
“No,” she said sighing pathetically as she picked up the paper bag, dug out a donut and took a big bite out of a jelly donut. “Why don’t we just go home and watch a movie?” she suggested with a small smile as she offered him a donut, making him feel like an asshole.
He took the donut with a shake of his head. “I’m sorry, baby,” he said, taking a bite out of the donut, sometimes wishing that Haley would act like other women when she was upset and yell at him, cry, something instead of sending him a sweet smile of understanding. That damn smile made him feel an asshole when he accidentally fucked up, which was too damn often.
“It’s fine, Jason,” Haley said with that damn smile that he didn’t deserve.
It wasn’t, but there was no use arguing with the woman hell-bent on accepting him and all his Bradford flaws. Instead he reached over and laced his fingers with hers. As they drove home he racked his brain trying to come up with a way to make this up to her and somehow salvage this weekend. Maybe if he moved his ass fast enough he could open the pool, get it going by tonight, grill a couple of steaks, watch a few chick flicks and-
“Oh, thank fucking god,” he said, seeing his salvation on a large billboard off the highway.
“What?” Haley asked, looking down as she carefully cleaned her glasses.
“Nothing, sweetheart,” he said, smiling to himself as he changed course and headed towards the one thing that would make up for everything he’d put her through this morning.
“Where are we going?” Haley asked a minute later as he took a right on Oak Street and headed for the old drive-in movie theatre.
“Just need to run a quick errand,” he said, biting back a smile as he followed the pink and blue signs while Haley looked at her phone, no doubt making sure that they hadn’t missed a text from his parents, who were watching the kids.
A minute later he was pulling into the makeshift parking lot and waiting for Haley to look up and see her surprise.
“Are we……,” she asked, her lips breaking out into a beautiful smile as she looked around excitedly at the tents and tables covering the large area.
“We’re at a flea market, my little grasshopper,” he said, returning her smile even as he prepared himself for his own personal day from hell, but for her, he’d go through hell and back for one of her smiles.
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