Candle On The Water


Chapter One

Nicholas Corrington scribbled down frantically in his notebook as the English professor at the front of the room talked at lightning speed. Usually it wasn't that bad, but right now, there was only about a minute left in the last class of the week, so the professor was trying to cram in as much as he could before the hour was up. Finally he was satisfied with how much information he had emitted, and he stopped.

"Remember, lecture Monday over chapters twenty through twenty-five," Professor Whitman said. "And if you'd like, read ahead to chapter thirty for Wednesday's class. That's all. You're dismissed."

Nicholas sighed in relief, writing a few last words before shutting the spiral and stuffing it into his bag. He smiled at the guy who sat next to him and nodded a goodbye before heading out towards the door. Once outside the English building, Nicholas hurried towards the parking lot where his car was. When he reached it, he threw his bag in the back seat before quickly getting into the front seat and starting the engine. He had to go pick his wife up from medical school.

* * *

"Or perhaps you would like to try our new color?" Jessica Marshall asked the customer sweetly, her face stretched into a phony smile. She held out the eyeshadow sample for the middle aged woman to view. "It's sort of a sea green. It would look very nice with your eyes," Jessica offered.

"Hmm...well..." the woman hesitated, cocking her head to one side and examining the sample.

Jessica groaned inwardly at the woman's sluggishness. Her shift was supposed to be over right now, but she had offered to help this customer for her friend and fellow cosmetologist, who was having a discussion with her boyfriend over in the baby section of the store. But now Jessica just wanted to get home to her husband and see how his latest project was going. She sighed impatiently. The woman seemed to notice.

"Oh, uh...you know, I'll have to think about it. Maybe I'll just come back tomorrow," she said quickly.

Jessica mentally kicked herself. "Oh, are you sure? You could try some on, if you'd like, or..."

"No, no, it's fine, I'll just come back," the woman said. She flashed a smile at Jessica before turning and walking away.

In the back of her mind, Jessica felt disappointment, since she got a commission off of any item she sold, but at this current moment in time, she didn't care much. Her friend was coming back, and that meant she could give up control of the counter and leave. After smiling and waving at her friend, Jessica grabbed her purse and coat from under the counter and hurried away towards the front door of the large department store.

* * *

"Celebrate this day together
Feel the music ringing clear
Come away with us forever
Sing with joy for all to..."

The J. F. Smitt High School's senior girls choir was interrupted by the ringing of the bell that signaled the end of seventh period. Brian Larsen, the director, shut his copy of the music as the girls started to talk and pack up their things.

"We'll finish up tomorrow!" Brian called over their noise.

They completely ignored him, most of them already wrapped up in intense conversations. Brian laughed, shaking his head, and picked up all of the music on the stand in front of him before heading towards his tiny office to put it away. As some of the girls passed him, they grinned and waved goodbye.

"See you tomorrow, Mr. Larsen," one of them called.

He grinned, even though he was too absorbed with filing away his music to turn towards her. "Bye, Elizabeth!" he replied, shutting and locking the drawer that contained the music.

A few minutes later, when the room was finally empty, Brian was whistling one of the songs his boys choir was doing as he walked around the room and made sure everything was put away. Seeing that everything was in its place, he pulled on his coat and locked up the room. As he walked down the halls towards the parking lot where his car was, he passed familiar students and teachers, and he waved to them. Although today was a special day, that wasn't unusual. He was one of the most popular teachers on the campus among fellow teachers and students alike.

As Brian walked through the parking lot to his car, a smile was on his face. He was looking forward to seeing his wife this evening. Today was his birthday.

* * *

Kathryn Davis hummed softly to herself as she pulled the vanilla cake out of the oven and put it on the kitchen counter. After closing the oven, she discarded her oven mitts, went over to the mixer, and dislodged the mixing bowl, which contained the homemade chocolate frosting. Then she got out a knife and proceeded to frost the cake.

When it was half done, she happened to glance at the clock on the oven, and she jumped. She had to go meet her husband! "Shit," she muttered under her breath. She quickly opened the refrigerator and stuck the cake and frosting inside it. She would finish later, if she got the chance. Unfortunately, she probably wouldn't get the chance, so the cake would just have to remain half frosted.

Sighing, Kathryn hurried out of the kitchen of her medium sized house and down the hall to the stairs. Once on the second floor, she took the second door on the right. The nursery.

She opened the door quietly and tiptoed inside the room. A smile crossed her lips when she laid eyes on Leah Davis, her four month old baby daughter, sleeping peacefully on her back. Kathryn walked forward and reached into the crib with one hand. She started to stroke Leah's cheek, and as a result, the baby sighed and gurgled in her sleep.

Laughing, Kathryn slid one hand from her daughter's cheek to behind her small head and put the other hand under her back before lifting her out of the crib. Kathryn held the baby close, watching as Leah's tiny eyelids fluttered open, and her big blue eyes focused on her mother. Leah yawned, her eyes squeezing shut and her small mouth opening wide. Kathryn grinned and held the baby against her shoulder as she walked towards the changing table in the corner of the room. "Come on honey," she said to her daughter. "We have to get you a new diaper, and then we're going to see Daddy at work."

* * *

"So Saturday...No, I can't do tonight...Because I have plans, all right?" Kevin Rickford was arguing into the phone in the office of his law firm. "That's personal...No, I'm not meeting a woman. I'm married, remember?" Rolling his eyes, he sighed in frustration and leaned back in the chair in his office as the person on the phone kept talking animatedly. "Listen, I'll call you later. I have to be getting home...No...Well, leave a message at my house then, okay? I'll call you back...You don't have the number? Fine, here." Kevin quickly dictated his home phone number to the man on the other end, being sure to give him the business line. "Okay...Fine. Goodbye."

Kevin felt a strong temptation to smash the phone into little pieces, but he restrained himself and hung it up carefully, knowing that although he could afford buying a new one, he really didn't want to go through the hassle of going to get it. Crossing the last item off of the to do list in his planner, he shoved it and some papers into his briefcase, shut and locked that, and stood up, stretching out his neck. He had been sitting at his desk talking on the phone with clients for eight hours straight, and he had a feeling that he was going to be sore as hell tomorrow. But hey, his wife gave excellent massages, so maybe that wasn't so bad after all. Kevin grabbed his coat and, picking up his briefcase, headed out of his office. He locked the door before walking a few feet over to the door next to his.

"Gary?" he called as he knocked on it.

"Uno momento, Kev!" a male voice called back. A moment later the door swung open, revealing a limber man in his mid-thirties, a few inches shorter than Kevin's six feet. Gary Jones's eyes swept over Kevin, and he smiled wryly. "I see you're deserting me for the week."

Kevin grinned, clapping his fellow lawyer and co-owner of the firm as well as best friend on the shoulder. "You always were observant, Gary."

"I have a shitload of calls to make..." Gary sighed, rubbing his forehead.

"Want me to stay?"

"No, no...you go ahead, I'll just put them off as always," Gary said, grinning.

"Garó"

"Kidding, Kev. I'll get them done. You go on home and tell your lovely wife I say hello."

Kevin smiled. "I'll do that. How are things going with Eloise, by the way?" he asked, referring to his friend's soon to be ex-wife.

Gary grimaced. "What a heinous bitch. Never marry a lawyer, Kev, you hear me?"

Kevin almost fell over laughing. "I'll tell that to your next girlfriend."

Gary laughed too. "Maybe you should."

"See you Monday?"

"Sure. I'll let you know if anything goes wrong with these last few calls."

"Great. Bye, Gary."

"Bye, Kev."

Kevin headed cheerfully out of the small building that was Rickford and Jones Civil Law, nodding at his secretary as he passed her. He loved his firm, but he loved Fridays even more.


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