Angel with a Broken Wing – Chapter 2

My new book, Below the Wheel, drops on June 22. Here’s a little taste from last year’s novel, Angel with a Broken Wing.

 

TWO

The next evening, Christian relaxed on the couch watching the news on television. He glanced at his watch.

“Six-thirty? Whoa! I got class tonight.”

He leaped off the sofa, grabbed his textbook off the kitchen table, and headed out the door. He had some difficulty getting the Pinto started, but after several tries, the engine of the old ‘Gas Crisis Classic’ finally turned over.

“Going to work all day and then school at night is brutal. I should have done this right out of high school when I had the time. “I’ll be thirty-five this summer. It’ll take me forever to get my degree.”

The Pinto hesitated and bucked as he pulled into the parking lot of Gloucester County Community College. 

“This car’s a piece of junk! Didn’t they used to say that if you got hit from behind in a Pinto, the thing blew up?”

“The Flinto!”

He parked the car and began the long walk to the main building. He shivered as the frigid February wind whipped across the parking lot. It seemed to go right through his jacket and rattle his bones. 

He got to the door and a blast of warm air poured forth as he opened it, and dashed inside.

The hallway was filled with the sound of students chattering and running to class. It felt like high school to Christian. High school without the lockers.

He suddenly felt old as he trudged past the groups of twenty-year-olds that congregated outside the classrooms. He couldn’t help but notice the abundance of baggy pants, bad haircuts, tattoos, and body piercings.

“What the hell has happened to our culture?”

Christian finally arrived at his classroom and tried the door. 

Locked. He then noticed a note taped to the inside of the window on the door.

PSYCH CLASS CANCELLED DUE TO DEATH IN THE FAMILY

“Yea… Join the club, man. This sucks.”

He turned and headed back down the brightly lit corridor. The walls were lined with bulletin boards displaying upcoming student activities. Activities Christian would never attend. He was nearly to the door when a particular sign caught his eye. It was covered with brightly colored advertisements regarding travel. He stopped for a moment to read the board.

GO ON YOUR DREAM ADVENTURE! TRAVEL TO BEAUTIFUL COLORADO WITH US THIS SUMMER!

“Is it really that good? It can’t be as nice as the pictures. I suppose it’s good for the kids to get involved in something positive.”

“I wish I could go away…”

He continued to read the notes and signs on the board.

DIG UP DINOSAUR BONES!

HELP FEED THE CHILDREN!

BE A BIG BROTHER!

ROOMMATE WANTED!

NEED A RIDE!

“Need a ride?”

It was a small 3×5 card tacked to the corner of the board. Christian pulled it free from the thumbtacks that held it to the corkboard and read it carefully.

I NEED A RIDE!!! GOING WEST, POSSIBLY CALIFORNIA. WILL SHARE EXPENSES. IF INTERESTED, PLEASE CALL (609)555-2602) ASK FOR T.R. JEROP. 

SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY!!!

He read the card again, turning it over in his hand. He glanced up and down the hallway, and not seeing anyone, stuffed the card in his pocket. He walked towards the nearest exit. He stood in the warm vestibule and lit a cigarette before stepping back out into the bitter cold.

“What am I doing?” He made his way along the tree-lined promenade that led to the parking lot. “I should just put the damn thing back. I’m not going anywhere. Maybe I’m just jealous that this free spirit is going somewhere and I’m not. I don’t have the time, or the money to go anywhere. I’ve met so many people that would love to win the lottery and just fly away. This Jerop guy… he’s probably twenty years old, not a care in the world, nothing to tie him down. He just wants to see the country and cruise to the golden coast this summer. Must be nice. I gotta find some way to change my life. Jeezus it’s friggin’ cold out!”

Light snow began to fall as Christian got into the Pinto and drove home.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

10 Things All Couples in Healthy Relationships Do Every Day

Ultimately, the power to transform your marriage is in your hands.

All relationships are unique but all require one thing: hard work.

There is a lot of relationship advice out there, from articles to videos. But, after 20+ years as a marriage advisor working with executives and their families, I found that work success can also translate into martial and committed relationship success.

Healthy relationships require just as much work and effort in order to be successful. In marriage, especially, the hard work doesn’t stop at the wedding. It continues on until “death do us part”.

Whether you’re in a relationship or married, it’s important for both partners to do their fair share and lift their weight in order to last a long time.

If you can put as much effort into building your career as learning how to have a healthy relationship, you will achieve the same success.

Here are 10 ways to apply your hard-working ethics to successful and healthy relationships.

1. Take responsibility for the health of your relationship

You and your spouse are responsible for the state of your marriage.

Acknowledge that your beliefs, choices, and behaviors all play a role in your relationship, and strive to make decisions that support your bond.

2. Exhibit the behaviors you hope to see in your spouse

If you want to be with a kind, considerate, and hardworking person, you too need to adopt these attributes.

Lay the foundation for a successful marriage by acting in a way that makes you proud. Show your spouse you love and respect them to nurture your relationship.

3. Give more than you hope to receive

Treat your partner the way you would like to be treated — and then go the extra mile.

Be the example, even if you do not believe your spouse is giving back what you are putting into the marriage. Live without expecting reciprocity.

4. Determine who you are

Clarity about who you are and where you are headed brings feelings of purpose and fulfillment.

By discussing what you want and encouraging your spouse to do the same, you will build a framework to evaluate your desired outcomes.

5. Continue building your relationship skills

Few couples put in the time to actively improve their relationship skills.

It’s important, however, that you work to continually strengthen your bond.

6. Advocate for your marriage or commitment

Society conveys that spouses should consider divorce when things are no longer “fun” or “easy”.

Rather than accepting this outlook, view your marriage as the most important relationship you have. Remember that your union is sacred.

7. Commit to your partner

Marriage is an investment not only in your partner but also in your relationship.

Even when things become difficult, honor your commitment by putting in the work needed to sustain a healthy marriage.

8. Aim for personal growth

The challenges we face help us learn and grow. Couples who stay together through difficult times report that their marriages are happier and stronger.

Aim to improve yourself, and your marriage will improve too.

9. Learn from other successful relationships

Those who have not witnessed other happy marriages or committed relationships often struggle with their own relationships.

Remember that your example will give future generations a framework for their own success.

10. Remember that anything is possible

If you want to enjoy a thriving marriage, you must put in the time to nurture your relationship. This will not occur organically any more than your next raise or promotion. Pinpoint your goals and put in the work to achieve them.

Ultimately, the power to transform your marriage is in your hands. It is the result of the actions you take, for you have considerable power over your thoughts and attitudes.

 

The Absolute Dater – Making Online Dating Easy Again

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1