On Time As Usual

Here is a short story about love and parenthood. A single mother of five boys has the typical hectic morning.

A plastic hair clip held Veronika’s hair. She dabbed her body with a towel then slipped into her bra, panties, and silk slip. Grabbing a rag, she wiped away the steam from the mirror while brushing her teeth. She applied her face cream, gurgled water, rolled on deodorant, spat into the sink, then coated her eyelashes with mascara. She blended foundation around her square jaw line then grabbed her watch from the windowsill.

“Ten minutes as usual,” she said.

Yury waited outside the door. She scooped him into her arms and marched into the boys’ room. She yanked the blankets off Anton and Mark, who shared the lower bunk bed. Then, she pulled off Erik’s blanket. He slept on the top bunk since he was a year older.

“Wake up!” she said loudly over their groans and whines, “Five-minute showers all of you,” she walked to the kitchen.

Alexi slept on the pull out sofa in the living room. His light snoring reminded Veronika of when he was a baby. With the Yuri in his booster, she grabbed a baby bottle and jam from the fridge. Yury sucked his milk while watching his mother move back and forth, up and down, and using her hips to close drawers. She was so busy preparing the boys’ lunches, she hadn’t noticed Alexi stretching and yawning as he got off the couch. Veronika hurried to her room. When she passed the boy’s room, she noticed all three were still in bed.

“What is this?” she flipped the switched on and off to wake them, “We have twenty minutes!”

The twins curled their bodies into skinny balls. Erik sat up and with his eyes still closed. He pointed to the bathroom door.

“Alexi is taking a shower,” he flopped back to sleep.

“Alexi!” Veronika banged on the door. She reached into her room grabbing the baby clothes sitting on the dresser.

Yury stood in the middle of the hallway between the bathroom and boys’ room.

“Yeah, Ma?” said Alexi opening the door slightly.

“I thought today was your day off?” Veronika buttoned up Yury’s jeans.

“They asked me to come in,” he said through the small crack of the door.

“Ok, make sure the twins shower,” Veronika lowered the sippy cup from Yury’s face to tug his head through the shirt.

“Erik meet me at Sergei’s!” she yelled into the boys’ room.

She knocked repeatedly on Sergei’s door. He answered by grabbing her tight fist as though it were giving him a headache.

“Can you take Alexi to work with you, then drop of the twins at school?”

“Will you go on a date with me?” he said with a tired smile.

She glared back at him and rolled her eyes. Minutes later, Veronika locked the door to the apartment while Sergei told the boys another story about his war days. She primped herself one last time adjusting her name badge, apron, and hair. She looked at her watch.

“On time as usual.”


WordPress Daily Post Prompt: Primp


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