*I really hope that you enjoy the first chapter of this story.
Anastasia Ryan was in the kitchen of her home cooking dinner. Her husband Mason Ryan was due home later that evening after being away for 2 stressful weeks. Anastasia was cooking while her 4 year old daughter Amelia and her 3 year old daughter Natalie played in the living room while her 9 month old daughter Ava crawled and fussed at her feet. It was all overwhelming for Anastasia. She didn't know how much more she could take. She hated when Mason was gone for long intervals of time because she was left alone with the kids. Ava never wanted to sleep and Amelia and Natalie fought non-stop everyday all day. It began from the time they woke up till the time they went to bed. Ava was crying as Anastasia tried to work. "Ava, what is the matter?" asked Anastasia as she picked her up from the kitchen floor. "Are you hungry? Do you want to eat?" Ava kept fussing so Anastasia rocked her while she cooked. Ava soon calmed down but Anastasia's nerves were slowly fading. She was more than ready for Mason to come home to help out with the kids.
"MOMMY!" yelled Natalie as she walked into the kitchen followed by Amelia.
"What is the matter Natalie?" she asked as she pulled the macaroni and cheese out of the oven.
"Amelia took my doll."
"No I didn't," said Amelia "She took my doll."
"No I didn't. You're lying," said Natalie as she stomped her foot.
"I'm not lying you are!" yelled Amelia back at her.
"Girls, please stop," said Anastasia in an exasperated tone. "Please stop fighting."
"But mommy!" yelled Amelia looking at her mom with her brown eyes and pushing back a piece of dark brown hair out of her face. She was the spitting image of her father.
"But nothing," said Anastasia, "why don't you two clean up and get ready for dinner. It's just about ready."
"Okay, Mommy," said Natalie.
"Okay, Mommy," said Amelia as she ran off before Natalie but Natalie followed quickly.
"Your sisters," said Anastasia to Ava, "I have no idea what I'm going to do with them." She looked at Ava's blue eyes and put a piece of dirty blonde hair behind her ear. Ava gave her a big smile showing her mom her two bottom teeth. "Let's set the table," she said as she grabbed plates out of the cabinet to place onto the table. "I guess Daddy isn't joining us again for dinner. Maybe tomorrow," said Anastasia as she skipped over Mason's place at the table.
Anastasia continued to set the table and put food on all the plates and gave the girls water to drink with their dinner. She put Ava in the high chair where she was going to give her bits and pieces of their dinner. Anastasia called for the girls. They came into the dining room and climbed up into their chairs. Anastasia knew another fight was coming when she saw Natalie look at her plate and then at Amelia's plate. Anastasia sat waiting for Natalie to say something. "How come Amelia gets the pink plate and I get the blue plate? That's not fair I want the pink plate, Mommy."
"It's Amelia's turn to have the pink plate. You had it last night," said Anastasia.
"But I want the pink plate!" she protested.
"Natalie, that is enough!" said Anastasia. "Just eat your dinner."
"But I want the pink plate," she said in her whiny tone before crossing her arms. She pushed her bottom lip out as her blonde hair covered her arms and her dark brown eyes filled with jealousy.
"Why does it matter?" asked Anastasia. "It's all the same."
"No it's not, Mommy. The pink plate is prettier."
"It is mommy," said Amelia with a smile. "The pink plate is prettier."
"It is just a plate and if you two are going to fight over it then I'll just throw it away and buy a white plate and let you two use those every night for dinner. There is ONE pink plate and two of you. You two have to take turns."
"Okay, Mommy," said Natalie as she took a bite of her food as Amelia looked at her and stuck her tongue out at her. "Mommy! Amelia is looking at me and she stuck her tongue out at me."
Anastasia let out a sigh and said, "Natalie and Amelia, that is enough! Amelia move yourself next to your sister so you can't look at her. You know this fighting is really getting old."
"Okay, Mommy," said Amelia as she moved her plate across the table and got up and walked around to sit next to Natalie.
This did not satisfy Natalie as she yelled, "Mommy, now she's touching me with her feet."
"All right," said Anastasia trying to keep her patience, "Amelia stop touching her with your feet and Natalie stop tattling. I don't want to hear another word from either of you. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Mommy," they said in unison.
Once dinner was over Anastasia cleared the table, gave each of the girls a bath and then put them to bed. It was quiet as she got in the fridge and grabbed a beer out to drink while she did the dishes. The taste of alcohol was so good to Anastasia as she drank it down. She planned to stop at one but had three more because it was helping her relax from the stressful day she endured. She finished up the dishes and went into the living room to relax as the front door opened. "Anastasia, I'm home," said Mason as he came in the door and laid his suitcase down.
"I'm in the living room," she said taking a swig of beer.
Mason walked into the living room to see his wife sitting on the couch. "Hey, Beautiful," he said with a smile.
"Hey, Baby," she said with a smile. "I missed you."
"I missed you too," he said as he walked over and softly kissed her lips. "Anastasia were you drinking?"
"I had a few," said Anastasia.
"How much is a few?" asked Mason.
"2 maybe 4," said Anastasia. "I had a stressful day."
"So you're drinking because you're stressed?" asked Mason.
"Yes," she said. "You have no idea. Ava is always fussing and crying. Natalie and Amelia did NOTHING but fight today. I needed a couple beers to calm my nerves. It's not a big deal."
"Yeah but you start then you can't stop. I'd prefer if you didn't drink."
"I am an adult," said Anastasia. "I can drink if I want to. And you're gone all the time. I need something to help me out."
"You're depending on it," said Mason.
"I am not depending on anything, Mason. I don't want to fight about this," she said. "You're home and I want to spend time with you. How was the road?"
"It was good. I missed you and the girls. How was everything here?" asked Mason.
"Chaotic like always," she said.
"I'm sorry, Anastasia. I will try to be home more. It's just with this new push they have me working a lot of shows but I promise you I'm off the next few days so I will give you a break and take care of the girls."
"Promise?" asked Anastasia looking at Mason with her blue eyes.
"Promise," said Mason as he pushed a piece of her blonde hair behind her ear. "Just promise me you won't drink anymore."
"I promise," she said. "I'm sorry. I was just so overwhelmed."
"I know but alcohol is not the way to help you. I know about your past so I don't think drinking should be involved in your life."
"I know, Mason. I'm sorry."
"It's okay. I just worry about you because I love you."
"I love you too," said Anastasia as she leaned over and softly kissed his lips again.
*A/N: So what did you think? Please review. Keeper or no?