This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
BJ And His Family’s House
Forty-two-year-old BJ Savage loved his wife Hazel, but not her bad attitude. For fourteen years their marriage had been a wonderful and fraught adventure of ups and downs ever since the day they said, “I do,” and her wanting a relaxing summer vacation, he worried how she would take his latest task of the Boys Mentoring Program sponsored by the fire station. After a certain call from Captain Sullivan, he knew this summer wouldn’t be like any other.
They were the boys to be mentored this year. It certainly wasn’t the same as a kid from high school who got suspended for putting a whoopie cushion in his teacher’s chair. That was for sure.
BJ entered the house through the slide patio door, coming in after a morning jog. He wiped his sweaty, dark brown face with a towel wrapped around his thick neck and inhaled the familiar Rise-and-Shine scents of freshly-brewed coffee and toast. His wife was in the kitchen and hadn’t long got up, still dressed in her soft, pale yellow robe and slippers. He walked toward her while she gathered their kids packed lunches from the refrigerator for the last day of school.
“Good Morning, Angel Eyes,” BJ said with a smile.
Hazel placed their teenage son’s paper bag lunch on the marble counter and faced her big-boned husband. His burgundy sweat suit with Saint Vincent Fire Dept. initialed on it was soaked with wet spots on his stocky chest and underarm areas. She gave a warm smile. “Good Morning, honey—” she scanned her eyes over his strapping stature— “looks like you got a good work-out in.”
“Yeah,” BJ said. He sighed and wrapped his arms around his wife’s waist. “I wanna make sure I’m in good shape to keep up with the boy’s I’ll be mentoring this summer.”
“Oh, that again.” Hazel didn’t sound excited.
BJ nodded. “That’s right. I’ve been preparing for all the physical activities that will be taken place. I’m not exactly a young lad anymore.”
“You are to me,” Hazel said lovingly. “No matter the outward change, you’ll always be the handsome, teenage boy I watched play football in high school. Always.”
Her husband studied her face, her golden-brown eyes glistening in the sunlight from the kitchen window. His heart warmed with gratitude for Hazel’s kind words, but he still had some explaining to do.
“Why didn’t you tell me about this sooner?” his wife asked.
He cleared his throat. “Captain Sullivan phoned me about the boys enrolled in the program last week.”
“Okay, you still haven’t answered my question.” Worry overtook her face. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”
BJ gnawed on his lower lip, hesitating.
“BJ . . .” His wife pinned him with her hazel eyes, looking up at him.
“They’re juvenile delinquents.” BJ clenched his jaw, cringing inwardly.
“Juvenile delinquents? Oh, no! No way, Jose!” Hazel threw up her hands and slipped loose from her husband’s loving hold. She turned her back to him just after the toast popped up from the small electric appliance by the microwave.
“Aw, come on, Hazel. It’ll only be for two months,” BJ said, heartbroken.
Hazel pinched the hot crispy bread from the metal toaster and quickly dropped it on a plate. She spread butter on her toast and looked over her shoulder at her husband. “I know, but you’ve gotta understand, BJ. I’ve counseled and dealt with smart-mouth, know-it-all kids for almost 200 days. And after today, I’m going on vacation. I do not have time to deal with two teenage criminals added to the quarrelsome duo we already have, and neither do I trust them. It’s way too much headache, honey.”
“Can’t you have a heart? I thought you loved children.” BJ’s wide forehead puckered.
A muscle in Hazel’s jaw twitched. She placed her auburn, chin-length hair behind her ears and gripped the kitchen counter. “I do!”
Her husband cocked his head, still frowning. “Then what’s the problem?”
Hazel threw BJ a swift look, her eyes shot sparks. “You! The problem is you.”
“Me?” BJ looked appalled, pointing his hand to his heart.
“Yes, you!” Hazel sighed and rubbed her forehead, releasing a series of exhales to calm down. She shut her eyes a second, then opened them, facing her husband again. “You act like your in the Boys Scouts of America! This community program is not a part of your job as a fireman. It’s just volunteer work. I mean, do you have to take part every summer? ” Her expression softened, overwhelmed.
BJ stroked his black, coarse goatee and ward off his eyes from her, thinking. He knew it would be this way, especially for teenage convicts, but if she had such a problem with him being a mentor in the summer program, why didn’t she mention it before the first time he had participated? She seemed happy and thrilled, so supportive of his efforts the past years. But now he got the vibe that Hazel was pretending all along. He turned around and strolled out of the kitchen.
“BJ, where are you going?” Hazel angled her head, knowing she hit a nerve. “BJ!” She sighed and slumped her shoulders, watching him run up the oakwood staircase to the second floor.
Hazel pursed her lips and shook her head during the last of BJ’s loud steps. She turned back to the counter and added spoons of sugar from a canister to her pink Mother’s Day mug. She stirred it around with a weary sigh and took a sip, reflecting on the discussion she had with her husband. Having juvenile delinquents in their home didn’t seem like a good idea, especially around a flexible teenage boy like Lamar, who had to have almost everything he seen.
She couldn’t help but think they’d be a bad influence on their own son, and maybe Stephanie. That was the last thing she needed, and she had hoped to be able to spend more time with BJ too. The president of the church’s outreach and a lieutenant firemen, he was always on the go. If he wasn’t rushing to put out a fire, he was taking phone calls in his office from people who needed food and clothing assistance. Rarely did he give himself a break, except it be their wedding anniversary. So convincing him often he bit off more than he could chew was as hard as finding a polar bear in the Sahara Desert.
Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...
tyleroakleyfan: thank you for writing this story I loved it. it was great I enjoyed every minute of it I couldn't stop reading you did a fantastic job. Thanks for killing ron he was starting to piss me off. he was being a dick. I love that you made it a gay love story its about time someone did. love it great job.
Jessie: I wrote a review on fanfiction but I thought it would be fitting to write on on here too :) This story was honestly stunning. I am a budding writer myself and to read this- to FEEL this- reminded me of why I am honoured to have this passion and drive for a craft that is just so raw and beautiful.
Ashley Stryker: So I'm writing this review, keeping in mind that this is a work in progress and it's part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), so my "deeper" critiques will be saved until it's all finished up.+ Chapter One: A stewardess would not talk to anyone quite like that, particularly a clear minor...
M.L. Bull: Hello, Aalia!Your story compelled the emotional pain and struggle of a teenage girl very well.. The imagery was also convincing and well-written, showing the different personalities of your characters and their actions. However, I do think that many of your sentences are too lengthy and could use...
Alex Rushmer: Although I don't know the story of the Phantom of the Opera, I really enjoyed this story. The writing was very evocative, and it really put a picture of time and setting in my mind. The voice of the story really added to the character development. The idea of the time travelling -- or whatever re...
Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...
Jordan Young: *ALERT FOR POSSIBLE SPOILERS* Where to start? I don't know how to sum up this review, this story was absolutely sensational. Brilliant. Flawless. I loved every single bit of this story, it is truly amazing. I read this story in fifteen hours, it is magnificent. I loved everything about it, the p...
PaulSenkel: If you like Arthur C. Clarke's Odyssey, especially The Final Odyssey, then you will probably also enjoy this book. I definitely did.It does, however, address a more adolescent public than the above-mentioned book.I enjoyed the story and finished it in a few days. The overall situation on earth an...
LouiseJ2: I enjoyed the detail you went into with regards to the case. It made the UNSUB appear believable. The crisis in the middle of the story was my favorite part, very dramatic but not over the top. I feel like sometimes pairings can be overdone but I liked that some of the relationships were a little...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."