story: second chances ; parent generation . wordcount: 531. rating: pg.
notes: Parent generation stuff for the challenge :) So Jim is Mike's dad, and this follows maybe a a few months after the first part of Lucky Bandanna. Basic context is that Jim's been competing in rodeos using his own money and a different last name and his family's not thrilled about it. And the (delicious?) image prompt's behind the cut.
Jim could barely drag himself out of bed that morning, and by the time he made it to the kitchen, his family was already there. He had tried to make a routine of rising early and getting out of the house before anyone else was up, but he couldn't do it this week. He felt too awful. He might have laid in bed all day, if he hadn't been so damn thirsty.
Cecil was lifting the lid to a box of donuts on the counter when Jim slid past him, making a beeline for the sink.
Cecil clicked his tongue as he watched his brother fill a glass with water til it overflowed . "You look like shit. You hung over or something?"
Jim felt the water splashing down the front of his shirt as he downed the glass in two gulps.
"He probably is," he heard his mother say, without looking out from behind her paper. "He was probably out drinking with that girl."
"I'm not," Jim snapped, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. "I mean, I wasn't." He thought to mention he'd been feeling like this for over a week and hadn't they noticed? but even forming the words seemed like too much effort. He reached for the faucet again.
Cecil snorted. "Have a donut, champ. Those are good for hang overs."
"You know who brought those over?" their mother asked. Her newspaper rustled. "Lynda Hart from down the street. Now that's a nice girl, Lynda."
"Carol's a nice..." Something's wrong; the word won't come. Woozy, Jim grips the lip of the sink. "Carol's nice."
"Oh, yes, she's an absolute joy. Her whole family is"
At the other end of the table, Jim's father set down his coffee cup with a clunk. "Leave him alone, Lydia. He doesn't want our input. He's decided not to be part of the family anymore."
Before Jim could say anything, Cecil was rattling the box of donuts at him again. "Go on, superstar, have one."
The box was shifting in and out of focus...but maybe eating something would be a good idea? Squinting, Jim tried to make sense of the brightly colored blobs. As he reached for the box, his own hand looked distant and fuzzy and seemed to be moving independently, without his consent.
The next thing he remembered, he was flat on his back on the kitchen linoleum surrounded by a scattered donuts. His mother and brother stood over him, looking respectively annoyed and surprised.
His mother placed her hands on her hips. "Oh, for God's sake, Jim, what's wrong with you?"
As Jim laid there, the kitchen seemed to be collapsing in on him. "I think I'm dying," he tried to say, though it came out muddled and muted.
"Jim?" His mother's expression faltered a little as she turned to Cecil. "What did he say?"
Even Cecil's voice sounded a little concerned when he said, "Jimmy?"
Jim's vision was starting to blurry again and growing dark around the edges, like he was entering a tunnel. In his last moment of lucidity, he managed to find the words:
"Will someone take me to the hospital?"
Yeah...cliff-hangerish to make me write more, haha. Carol and her family reappear in the next part.