Carrie, Carly & Candi. (A short story by Shubricca L Bell) Part 1.

This is a story of a mother (Carrie) and her daughters Carly (the oldest) and Candi (the youngest). Carrie has been divorced from Carly and Candi’s dad for eight years, and has spent her adult life running her florist shop and taking care of her daughters. Today Carly is graduating college with a degree in Culinary Arts. Candi is sixteen, and on the way to her junior year of high school. “Excuse me, is this seat taken?” a woman said.

“Mom, is dad coming?” Candi whispered. “I don’t know honey. You know how your father is. “I’m sorry, but yes, this seat is taken, Candi said, to the woman. The woman walked away. 

Candi began to text her dad. “Where are you? The graduation ceremony starts in two minutes!” “Omw,” her dad replied. “Hurry, before you lose your seat,” Candi texted. 

Meanwhile Ian was tied up in a business meeting that went an hour over the scheduled time. “I’m sorry, but I really have to go. My oldest daughter is graduating from college today, and I promised her that I’d be there. “Ian I’m sorry, but this negotiation is important. I need you here,” Ian’s boss said. 

“I’m sorry too, but my daughter graduating college is more important to me, and she needs me more right now. I have to go,” Ian said. Ian rushed out of the office and quickly went by the store to get balloons and a card. He had planned on driving Carly’s new car, to surprise her with at graduation, but he didn’t have time. “You just lost your seat dad. 

Sorry. I tried to save it,” Candi texted. The class of 2021 had begun entering the auditorium. “Has Carly walked in yet?” Ian texted. “No, but soon,” Candi texted. 

Ian began to speed, but found himself in traffic. He parked his car at a nearby pharmacy, and ran three blocks to the graduation ceremony. There were no more seats in the auditorium, so latecomers had to view the ceremony from the TV’s in another room. Ian got there just in time to see Carly. He refused to watch by television, so he barged through the doors to the auditorium and yelled! 

“Woohoo! Carly! That’s my daughter!” Carly waved to her father. “Dad!” Candi yelled, before running to her dad and giving him a hug. 

“You look like crap. What happened?” “Nice to see you too, baby girl. I just ran three blocks to get here, and I lost a couple of balloons, but I made it,” Ian said, as he held eight strings and only four balloons.“I’m glad you made it, dad. 

There aren’t anymore seats though,” Candi said. “It’s okay. I’ll stand,” Ian said. “Okay, I’ll stand with you, but aren’t you going to say hello to mom?” Ian looked at Candi as to say, I don’t think that’s a good idea. 

“Come on dad. The two of you have been divorced for eight years, but you act like complete strangers. The two of you are supposed to be coparenting, remember? A part of coparenting is being cordial,” Candi said. “I don’t have a problem with being cordial but ever since I married Emily, your mom only has a few choice words for me,” Ian said. 

“Just go and say hi,” Candi said. Ian received a text message. It was Emily, letting him know that her clothing boutique was closing early for inventory, but she could drop Carly’s car off. “Yes! Thanks babes!” Ian texted back. 

“Was that Emily?” Candi said. “Yes, she’s on her way,” Ian said. Ian went to greet Carrie. She was in a good mood, so she greeted him back. Emily and Carrie were childhood friends before Emily and her parents moved to Ohio during senior year of high school.

Emily moved back to Georgia after seventeen years, and landed a job as a manager at a designer store. The store is in the same plaza where Ian works as a marketing manager for a telecommunications company. Ian met Emily after he and Carrie  divorced, and neither of them knew that the other had a previous relationship with Carrie until they had both fallen in love. They dated for years, and finally tied the knot last year. Carrie was in a good mood today, because this day wasn’t about her, her ex husband or her ex friend, it was about Carly.

As Carly walked across the stage, her family cheered her on, being sure that their cheers were loud enough for everyone to hear. Carly shook the administrators hands and then did a quick pose with her bachelors degree in one and holding up the peace sign with the other. Her family recorded a video and took several pictures. After the graduation, Ian met Emily outside. “Congratulations Carly,” Emily said. 

“Thanks Emily,” Carly said. “Wow, is this your new car?” Carly asked Emily. “No, baby girl. It’s yours,” Ian said. “What?” Carly said, with excitement. 

Emily gave Carly the keys. “You deserve it. Congratulations, again,” Emily said. Carly couldn’t believe it, as she circled the car, admiring the outside of her new MINI Convertible. “Check out the inside,” Ian said, before he went with Carly and Candi to check out the car’s stylish interior features. 

“Wow, very nice,” Carrie said. “Yeah. My dad gave us a huge discount, so it was a steal really,” Emily said. “Awesome,” Carrie said, looking straight ahead. “Carrie, can we talk,” Emily said. 

“Aren’t we talking right now?” Carrie said, still looking straight ahead. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know that Ian was your ex. I just want us all.” Carrie cut her off by holding up her hand, then she turned facing Emily. 

“You just want what Emily? You just want us all to be one big happy family? That’s never going to happen,” Carrie said. “Well, I’m sorry that you feel that way, because I’m pregnant and our children will be siblings,” Emily said. “Children?” Carrie said. 

“Yes, we’re expecting twins,” Emily said, as she rubbed her belly and smiled. “What? Did I hear that correctly? You’re having twins?” Candi said. “Yes,” Emily said with excitement.

We should all go out and celebrate all of the great things that are happening in our lives,” Emily said. “Not today. Today is about MY daughter,” Carrie said. “So typical of you. Always making things about you,” Carrie said. 

“Of course, it’s about CARLY. I wasn’t trying to be,” Emily said, before Ian cut her off. “It’s okay baby. We all know what you meant. Let’s all go grab dinner, huh? 

It’s on me,” Ian said. “Girls, I’ll see you at home. I have to work on an order for a wedding tomorrow,” Carrie lied. “Nooo. Can’t it wait mom?” Candi said. 

“No, Candi… it can’t. “It’s okay mom. I’ll see you soon,” Carly said, before giving Carrie a kiss on the cheek. “Love ya,” Carly said, before rushing back to get inside of her car. Candi kissed her mom goodbye as well.

“See you two when you get home,” Carrie said. Ian and Emily waved Carrie goodbye. Carrie rolled her eyes beneath her sunglasses, but she wore a fake smile and waved goodbye, then she turned around and said, “Heifer.” “Wait, mom. Can you give dad and Emily a ride up the street to dad’s car?” Candi said.

Carrie laughed. “God, you really have a since of humor,” she said. “Please don’t be petty. Please don’t be petty,” a voice said in Carly’s head. “Nope. 

They both have two legs, which makes four altogether. Their feet better hit the pavement like the Flintstones,” Carrie said.  Carly shook her head. “Too late,” she thought to herself. “Mom!” Candi said. 

“Girl, I was just playing! Y’all come on. Tweedledee and Tweedledummy,” Carrie said, in a stubborn voice. “No, if it’s a problem, it’s okay,” Ian said. Ian come on, before I change my mind,” Carrie said. 

Candi ran to Carrie. Good job, mom. I’m proud of you! Do I need to ride with you though? Or will you keep your cool?” Candi said.

“I’m fine girl. 

Ride with your sissy. I’ll see you both tonight,” Carrie said. “Okay, mom. I’m proud of you,” Candi said, with a smile. “You’re growing up a little bit. 

Way to be a Good Samaritan,” Candi said. Yeah, you’re going to get somebody’s butt kicked talking about being a Good Samaritan. You’re not slick either. I’m on to you little girl,” Carrie said. “What?

What I do?” Candi said with a smirk. “You’re up to no good. You know what you’re doing,”  Carrie said. “You heard that? Carly was just blowing the horn… 

Gotta go mom,” Candi said. I didn’t hear anything. Anyway, tell your.” “Aht aht! Be nice mom,” Candi said, cutting her mom off mid sentence. 

“Tell them people to come on,” Carrie said. “Okay, because you have to rush home and work right?” Candi said. “Exactly,” Carrie said. Candi laughed, “Okay, love you mom. See you tomorrow,” Candi said. 

“Umm, what was that?” Carrie said. “Oh, I didn’t mention it earlier? I thought that I did. After dinner, dad wants to take us to the fair downtown. It’s going to be pretty late afterwards, and he lives five miles away, sooo, we are going to crash there… 

If… that’s okay with you,” Candi said, with puppy eyes. Carrie sighed. “Okay, fine. I’ll see you and your sister tomorrow,” Carrie said. 

Ian and Emily walked up as Candi was walking towards Carly’s car. “Good luck daddy,” she whispered. “Thanks baby. See you in a minute,” he whispered back. “I can hear y’all whispering,” Carrie said. 

Carrie unlocked the doors to her car and got in. “Get in,” she yelled at Ian and Emily, before closing her door. The two of them quickly opened the back doors and got in. The ride to their car was long and awkward. “Honey, it may have been better if we’d walked. 

It’s been ten minutes. Had we walked, it would have taken us five,” Emily said. “Well we’re halfway there, so the two of you can get out. It will only take you like two minutes to walk the next one and a half blocks right?” Carrie said. “It’s a little longer than five minutes babe. 

Besides, you’ve been on your feet all day,” Ian said, to Emily. I can’t have you out here walking,” he said. “Oh, that’s so sweet, I’m going to throw up,” Carrie said. Traffic began to move quickly, and Carrie dropped them off a minute later. “Thanks Care Bear,” Ian said. 

“Ugh. Don’t call me that. Bye,” Carrie said, before leaving. Care Bear was a name that Ian gave Carrie when they were married, because Carrie always put everyone else’s needs before her own. Carrie was still caring, she just has a tough shell. 

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