Romance Fiction posted January 3, 2021 Chapters:  ...14 15 -16- 17... 


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Trouble with movers.

A chapter in the book Football - A Novel

Football Chapter 9 part 1

by barbara.wilkey




Background
Katherine struggles raising her four sons by herself.
ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

After the staff meeting, Katherine went to her room and searched the planning documents and wrote the first week's objectives for each subject on the white board and divided them with colored magnetic strips. I think I'm almost ready. I have Monday to finish anything I've forgotten. I'm in good shape.

She turned her head when she heard, 'Knock, knock' at the door.

Katherine glanced up and smiled. "When did you learn to knock? I'm used to you just walking in."

Gabriel set down a large bag. "It's the new me. I told you that I'd work on a few things." He studied the bag. "I figured you wouldn't think about lunch with furniture being delivered. Mom and I decided to help. There should be enough for all the boys and Ms. Sarah."

Grinning, Katherine teased, "But not me."

Chuckling he realized his error. "Of course you. I'd never forget you." He avoided eye contact. "Hmm, I guess I'd better go."

She touched his arm. "Gabriel, thank you. It's very thoughtful."

"If you need any help, you have my number. It's on the school phone tree." He left.



TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 9 part 1

Katherine barely arrived home and changed her clothes before the movers arrived. The boys and her mom had just finished eating.

Sarah handed her daughter a sandwich. "Eat. I got this."

"But, Mom." As Katherine watched Sarah walk away, she took a bite. "This is really good. Mrs. Hudson's a good cook." She exhaled a deep breath and took another bite.

Mid-afternoon, Katherine noticed her mom slowing down. She slipped her arm around her. "Mom, go home. I'll be all right."

"Honey, are you sure. There's still a lot to be unloaded."

"You need to go home and rest. I might need your help tomorrow. If I do, I promise I'll call."

Finally, Sarah agreed to leave.

The movers carried large boxes and more furniture, but left them in the entry way and the living room.

Katherine, with Daisy by her side, approached a mover. "Excuse me. Who's in charge?"

The large man pointed to a taller man. "He is."

Walking up to him, Katherine said, "Sir, I don't understand why these men aren't placing the boxes in the appropriate rooms."

"We were told to deliver furniture. That's what we're doing."

"The contract says you're to put the boxes and furniture in the assigned room, put together any furniture taken apart, and then take the boxes with you."

"Ma'am, that's not how it's done." He walked away. "I have work to do."

Katherine hurried to the kitchen with Daisy following. I need to find the contract. She opened a drawer, then another, and shouted, "Found it!"

*****
A few minutes before four o'clock Jordan opened the locker room door. Coach Hudson walked up to him. "Didn't your mom bring you?"

"No. I didn't want to bother her. I told Joel to let her know I left."

"What's going on?"

"She's arguing with the movers. The contract said one thing, and they're doing something else. It's a mess." He continued to the locker room.

Gabriel hesitated. "After practice come to my office, I'll give you a ride home."

Jordan nodded.

Gabriel walked up to Bill. "When we're done have as many available coaches and players come to Katherine Riley's house. I think the movers are taking advantage." He paused. "You'd better wait for my phone call."

Bill grinned. "You'll get accused of pushing your way in again."

"Probably, but she needs help."

"How about waiting until she asks?"

"She'd never ask. I'll risk the anger." Gabriel walked away. "Let's get some conditioning started."

*****
After practice, Jordan stood outside Coach's office. Gabriel motioned him in. "You were a little off during practice. You worried about your mom?"

"Sorry Coach. I'm needed at home. Not here."

Gabriel shoved his paperwork aside. "I'll do this later. Let's go." He motioned for Reggie to follow.

*****
As Gabriel parked the pick-up at the curb, Jordan sighed. "I knew it wouldn't be good but I never imagined this." He glanced at Gabriel. "There's boxes stacked all the way to the curb and even a cop. Sorry Coach, but I should've skipped practice."

"Understood."

When they got to the door, they saw Joshua talking to the officer and another man, "Sir, I'm sure our dog didn't kill his or any cat. She's been inside with Mom."

Gabriel nodded. "Hello, Eugene." He glanced at the officer and offered his hand. "I don't think we've met. I'm Gabriel Hudson. You must be new in town. What's going on?"

The officer accepted his hand but eyed Reggie. "I'm Don Rolland. This is my first week on the job. Mr. Holland says their dog killed his cat."

Gabriel addressed the wide-eyed officer, "Reggie may be big, but he's a marshmallow." He faced Eugene. "I thought Maggie was allergic to cats."

Eugene bit his lower lip. "Coach, you know how fickle women are. She is to most cats but not this one."

Gabriel nodded. "Did you get a look at the dog? Can you describe it?"

"I got a good look at him." Eugene used his hand to measure about thigh high. "He was big and brown. He ran up, grabbed the cat round the stomach, and shook him 'til it died."

The officer asked, "Did he take the cat with him? Where did he go?"

"The cat's on the lawn. I saw the dog run up to this door." He pointed at Joshua. "And this boy let him in."

Joshua raised his hands chest level. "I did not."

A loud crash, a scream, and a "Help!" rang out. All heads turned toward the stairs.

Gabriel took two stairs at a time and was the first on the scene. He lifted the bed frame and examined Katherine's hand. "Jordan, get your mom two bags of ice."

Katherine alternated her free hand rubbing her hand and then her cheek. "Thank you." She wiped the tears attempting to escape. "What are these men doing here?"

The officer introduced himself and Eugene. "He says your dog killed his cat."

Looking at Daisy, who had since laid her head in Katherine's lap, she said, "That's impossible. Daisy's been by my side all afternoon."

Eugene pointed. "It wasn't that dog. It was your black dog."

"She's the only dog I have."

Jordan returned with bagged ice.

Gabriel examined her hand. "I don't think you broke any bones." He took the ice and placed one on her hand. "Put this on your cheek. It'll help keep down the swelling and bruising." He motioned to Jeremy. "Hold it on your mom's cheek."

Jeremy grinned. "I get to help."

Officer Rolland looked behind him. "Mr. Holland, why don't you show me the dead cat?"

After they left, Gabriel said, "Joshua, watch from the window. I bet there's no cat."

Katherine attempted to stand. "Thank you, your pushiness was needed this time."

Offering his hand, he asked, "What happened?"

"The movers refused to honor their contract. They said they didn't have any tools, never put anything in the rooms, and it's my job to dispose of the boxes." Katherine set her jaw. "I have it in writing. I even called their front office, but got nowhere."

Taking out his phone, Gabriel said, "I got this." After he put the phone away, he continued, "A few friends and some players are on their way. Jordan and I'll set up the beds. You direct traffic. I mean let them know where to put things."

He glanced out the window. "I guess we have an hour and half, maybe two before it rains. Until they get here, take a break and keep the ice in place. Jeremy, keep it on your mom's pretty face. We wouldn't want it to bruise."

"You're incorrigible." Katherine turned and left.

Gabriel chuckled. "At least she didn't say I butted in."

"I heard that, and you did."



CHARACTERS:

Katherine Riley: age 33 - widowed: husband died 6 months ago. She moved to Texas from NYC with her four sons.

Daisy: Katherine's yellow Labrador

Gabriel Hudson: High School football coach and former NFL defensive lineman

Reggie: a very large English Mastiff

Jeremy: Katherine's six year old son. He's in first grade.

Jordan: Katherine's fifteen year old son. He's a sophomore.

Joshua Katherine's thirteen year old son. He's in 8th grade

Joel Katherine's eleven year old son. He's in 6th grade.

Paul Edwards: High School principal and Gabriel's friend.

Rodney Frost: Math department head, at least for now.

Angie Brooks Math teacher and Katherine's friend.

Frank Collins Math teacher.

Rebecca and Harold Hudson Gabriel's parents

Sarah and Bob Beck Katherine's parents, Bob is deceased

Frank Collins math teacher

Alan Green an Assistant Principal

Sandy Frost Rodney Frost's wife

Sam Auto repair shop owner

Bill Brooks Assistant football coach and Gabriel's friend.







Recognized

#19
January
2021


Thank you google images for a photo of a moving. I also want to thank everybody for the wonderful reviews. This novel is not actually about football, but is part of the background. High School football is a national past-time in Texas. This post is a little over 1100 words and is an information post. I'm sorry about the length. Again, I made changes as I posted. I hope it works.
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