The Only One for Me

By: Bridget Anderson


Corra Coleman danced around her cozy kitchen preparing breakfast and lunch for her children, Jamie and Katie, while she kept a keen eye on the clock. A typical Wednesday morning at the Coleman household.

“Mom, I can’t find my charm bracelet,” Katie whined.

Corra finished stuffing their lunch boxes, and then pushed them to the end of the counter. “Honey, it’s not in your backpack?”

“No, that’s where I’m looking.” Katie stood up and turned her backpack upside down, spilling the contents onto the middle of the kitchen floor.

“Katie!” Corra barked.

“Mom, can I go back upstairs and get my baseball glove?” Jamie asked from his seat at the kitchen table.

“Have you finished your cereal?” Corra asked, as she hurried over to help Katie sort through her belongings on the floor.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Okay, but hurry. The school bus will be outside any minute now, and we’re already in trouble for holding up the bus.”

Jamie pushed his chair back and ran for the stairs.

“It’s not here.” Katie started to cry.

“Well, honey, maybe it’s in your room. Go on up and look for it real quick.” The bracelet was a birthday present from her uncle Rollin last year. The first day she wore it to school she aced her exam and was selected as the lead in her school play. Since then, she wore her lucky charm to school every day.

Katie took off running while Corra buckled her backpack. The way she calculated it she had about twenty seconds to sip some coffee before they came stampeding back down the stairs. She never had time to eat breakfast at home. She walked over to the back door and looked out. Between the houses in back of her she could see the school bus on the next block.

She grabbed the lunch boxes and Katie’s backpack and hurried to the front door. She glanced up the stairs on her way. “What are you two doing up there, the school bus is on the way.”

Ten-year-old Jamie took the stairs two at a time and practically crashed into Corra on his way out.

She hollered out the door. “If you don’t come home with that glove don’t come at all. I’m not buying another one.”

With his backpack on one shoulder, and his glove on one hand, Jamie threw up the other hand signifying he’d heard her.

The bus pulled to a screeching halt a few houses down. Corra turned around looking for Katie. “Katie, come on, the bus is here.”

“But Mom, I still can’t find my bracelet.”

From the bottom of the stairs Corra looked up at her baby who looked like someone had broken her heart. Oh man, he’s going to honk his horn, I know he is. Although her leg was nearly healed after being broken in an accident seven months ago, Corra still wasn’t up to jogging up the stairs. She’d just have to deal with the bus driver because she had to help her baby.

Once upstairs in Katie’s room, she started tossing clothes and covers around. “Where did you last see it?” she asked.

“It was on the dresser when I went to bed last night.”

Corra walked over and peered behind the dresser, and there lay Katie’s bracelet, and a few other items. Corra pulled the dresser out a little. “Bingo.” She retrieved everything, and handed Katie the bracelet. Alongside of the bracelet was a small baby picture of Katie and her father, Eric Hayden, during happier times. Corra hadn’t seen this picture in a long time, or her ex in over two years.

The school bus horn sounded and Corra slapped the picture facedown on the dresser. If she didn’t see that again it would be too soon.

“Come on, young lady.” She grabbed Katie’s hand and hurried out of the room. Katie trotted down the stairs ahead of her.

Katie pulled on her jacket and her backpack, and then gave Corra a hug and a kiss before she ran out the door. Corra stood on the porch and waved as the bus passed. There went the two most important people in her life.

* * *

Thirty minutes later, Corra was in her car listening to the radio as she hurried down the quiet picturesque two-lane road that led to her family’s business. The Coleman House bed-and-breakfast was not only her parents’ legacy to her and her brother Rollin, it was also now her place of employment. She pulled her car around the back of the new gift shop into her reserved spot and climbed out.

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