Round 1 (2011/2012)


Winter 2011 – Gabriela Valdez (26), Joaquin Valdez (30), Nadia and Maribel Valdez (3), Arthur Heredon( 28), Marie Heredon (27), James Bartel (31), Abigail Brusch (34), and Kevin Barret (36). Last update: Spring 2011

Soundtrack: Meaning by Gavin DeGraw

ImageGabriela worries and sometimes she cries. She’s not sad but she is tired, so tired that some evenings she can barely keep her eyes open to listen to the new things her babies have to tell her or enjoy the way Joaquin runs his nimble fingers along her arms in open invitation. There’s always something to do: a student who needs a bit of extra help, a class to study for, a paper to write — it was all a bit overwhelming at times.

She shakes her head. Nadie sabe lo que vale el agua hasta que falta. She still feels strong, she still feels capable but she fears that now she’s missing too much. It was different before. Gabriela would get home at 3, dismiss the nanny and spend the rest of the day enjoying her family. She still gets home at three but the nanny stays until Joaquin is finished with his research and she spends between three and four hours remote accessing her education classes and working on assignments.

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Fall 2011: Samuel Heredon (33), Chance Heredon (7), Sofia Heredon (4), Abigail Heredon (67), Andrew Heredon (70), Gregory Wright (32), Nina Wright (30), Olivia Wright (2.5 weeks) and Teresa Gould (29). Last update: Fall 2010

Soundtrack: “In Repair” by John Mayer

It’s late when Sam pulls out his notebook, the children put to bed hours ago and the lights dim. He’s put it off to the point where he can’t anymore. Tomorrow is the day whether he wants it to be or not. Despite his hesitation it feels easier this year.

Sam stares at the blank paper imagining he can see the letters that have come before it, small echoes of all his stops and starts. The winding of gears cuts through the quiet and he watches the clock count down the last few seconds of the day. 57…58…59…60. It’s with the chiming of the old clock that he writes her name for the first time in a year, unable to prevent the tremor in his hand.

Dear Charlotte

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Fall 2011: Gabriela Valdez is 26, Nicolas Heredon is 7, Frederic and A.J Heredon are 5 and Taj Behar is 4.

A.J. likes it when they walk to school even though the wind is blowing so hard his ears and nose turns red. His mom always says to wear a hat if he insists on not wearing a jacket but it’s fun the way his hair flies around in the wind. He runs ahead, sliding his hand into his father’s and they smile at each other. He’s not a baby. He can walk down the street by himself, even cross it if his mom is watching, but he doesn’t mind when his dad wants to hold his hand.

They have the best time when Mom has to stay home from work with Sarah and it’s just the two of them. They get to talk about man stuff like going fishing and looking for frogs, plus his dad smiles more. For a long time, A.J. thought his dad would never smile again and his stomach would always hurt when only three of them sat down for dinner.

He’s seen movies. He knows divorce is when daddies go far away and come back only a few times. There’s even a boy in his class who doesn’t have a mommy anymore because of divorce. Maybe tomorrow he’ll talk to Dad about what he’ll miss if he goes away and how much Sarah would cry.

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Fall 2011: Kalen Behar is 26 and Taj Behar is 4. Last update: Fall 2010

Soundtrack: “Insects” by 10 Years

Warning: Simulated nudity.

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Summer 2011: Arthur and Marie Heredon are 27, John Heredon is 31, Rachel Heredon is 30, Joaquin Valdez is 29, Gabriela Valdez is 26, Nicolas Heredon is 7, A.J and Frederic Heredon are 5, and Nadia and Maribel Valdez and Sarah Heredon are 3.

Soundtrack: “I’ll Be Waiting” by Adele

Warning: A bit of simulated nudity and 2,500 words.

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Summer 2011: Marie Heredon are 27, Gabriella Valdez is 26, A.J Heredon is 4 and Sarah Heredon is 3. Last update: Fall 2010

Soundtrack: “Are We Really Through” by Ray LaMontagne

They used to do this together. She would wait patiently at the nursery door, watching Sarah dream her sweet little girl dreams and listening for the familiar creak of the old spiral staircase that signaled his arrival home. There was harmony to their movements. He would stand behind her, one arm around her waist and the other raised high to rest on the door frame. She would lean against him and breathe deeply, inhaling the unique mix of ocean salt and rich soil that so often clung to his clothes and skin. She would bring his hand up to place a kiss on his palm, fascinated by the layer of dirt that would cover him from elbow to wrist yet his hands were always meticulously clean.
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Summer 2011: Dina Caliente and Nina Wright are 30, Gregory Wright is 32, Alexa Wright is 5 and Reagan Wright is 2. Last update: Summer 2011

Soundtrack: “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone.

A.N: Long, almost 4,000 words long but I added pages so it should make it easier to read.

Dina hadn’t expected him to believe her, not simply on her word alone. She expected him to stutter and stumble his way through questions before dismissing her from his office to make a hasty phone call to Nina. She hadn’t expected his eyes to narrow in concentration and to feel the heavy weight of his gaze assessing her, taking in the shape of her face, the curve of her lips and the arch of her brow. He nodded his head, stood taller and Dina had thought maybe there was something to this man her sister had married. He hesitated only once before settling on whatever decision he’d made. “Do you have dinner plans tonight?”

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