“Mama! Mama! I need you!”
Heallen looked down at the scribbles over the pages of her Story reCraft journal. She wanted time to really look at each page of notes and arrows and circled sections so she could find some answers about her life. But . . .
“MAM-A! Where are you? I NEED you NOW!”
Her youngest daughter’s shrieks stabbed through her aching head. Heallen rubbed her forehead and drooped. She knew she should get up and attend to her demanding, spoilt child. But she didn’t want to.
What she really wanted to do was to spend some uninterrupted time on her journal. On her self.
She sighed again. How on NarraTeev was she ever going to find time for herself?
She stroked the indents in her journal’s page from her feverish scribblings a week ago, and walked away, to her family.
Hours later, with her three daughters settling into bed for the night, and her partner whittling in front of the fire, Heallen spied her journal again. She really needed to get to it.
It had taken her over an hour to squash her feelings of frustration and resentment at always being at the beck and call of her family, of being their all day and all night servant.
This wasn’t the life she’d agreed to. Was it? In all her childish imaginings of her adult life, feeling this stressed on a daily basis wasn’t part of those fantasies.
The journal beckoned.
Girlish giggling whispered from the next room. The whish of the knife on the soft wood mingled with the whispered tones of laughter, accented by the crackle and pop of the fire.
The music of her family’s noises settled around Heallen, isolating her from them, shrouding her in aloneness. The demands of evening housework and breakfast preparation began to fade under the family’s symphony.
Her fingers drummed on her journal. Time. Need time. Time. Need time.
I need time. Her words slipped out of her mouth on a breath, joining her family’s soundtrack.
She looked up at her partner. He had stopped whittling and was looking at her, his expression curious.
“I need time to myself.”
He blinked. “Then make it happen, my partner.”
Heallen nodded. “Every evening. After our girls are in bed. This will be my time.”
He blinked again, and put down his whittling. “What about preparing for our breakfast? What about the clothes and cleaning?”
Heallen stopped herself from speaking. If she answered, she’d knew sound defensive, as if she was asking for permission to take time for herself. Instead, she raised her eyebrow as if asking a question, and waited for him to answer.
He grunted a little, shifted in his seat. “Hmm . . . I could prepare breakfast for the girls when I get ready to work in the fields. The girls are ready to do more around the house, so they can clean the evening dishes.”
Relief rinsed through her. “Thank you. That will give me enough time for myself.”
Not sure where it came from, she added, “For now.”