Some Good Reasons 8
"Ok Trey," she said as she set his carrier down on the desk next to the computer. "Mommy is going to find out how to go back to school. Don't tell Daddy just yet. Ok?"
Trey kicked his legs and started to play with the little mobile that was hanging from the carrier's handle. Brianna had been delivered to her birthday party three doors down so her only other task of the morning was to make sure that Trey didn't topple over in his carrier while she researched a few different online schools and local education programs. She hadn't really thought about it until Joey had left that morning, but with Colton being cared for and Brianna out for a few hours and Trey still not able to walk she was sure that something in the bigger scheme of life had allowed her this free time to be able to do her work.
Kelly's fingers flew over the computer and she scanned the internet sources in front of her. When she had the phone numbers of UCF's campus and a few of the popular internet credential programs, she printed out applications for everything and stacked them up before she shut the computer down and went to go find the phone and see about getting Trey a bottle before she had to go get Brianna again.
"UCF adult education admissions office," the voice on the phone said to her.
Kelly grabbed out the milk and bottle and sighed, "Yes. Is the cut off date for summer admission's still two weeks away?"
"Yes it is," the voice said, "All you need for admission is a high school transcript, application form, and a check or money order for the processing fee. There is an orientation meeting every Wednesday night in the main library that explains this all. You can sign up online or I can send you up right now for that."
"Actually I need to check my schedule and look over the class schedules before I apply. I'm a mother of three so I need to make plans for the kids and--" She stopped herself from babbling or she might reveal who she was. She didn't expect the woman on the other end to know who she was, but if by chance she knew that she was married to Joey and that news got out her school experience would be probably ruined. Going into the lion's den of college aged students that could potentially be NSYNC stalkers was in itself something amazing. Her saying that she was related to Joey in any way might cause the mass hysteria that yelling FIRE in a crowded building.
"I totally understand," the voice on the phone said, "Just make sure you put in your application before the cut off date and you should be fine. What program were you looking into?"
Kelly sighed and tried to make a decision at that moment. Maybe if she just blurted something out her decision would be made, but the options she had were all on the tip of her tongue. "That was another thing I needed to check out. I'm debating over a few majors and need to make a final decision."
"Why don't I send you a packet of information and we'll--"
"Actually I think I might drop by and get it, if that's ok." Kelly didn't want Joey finding out about this too soon. She didn't doubt that he would support her, but if she didn't talk to him about it first and he found the packet he might think that she was doing something on the sly. It was true that she was researching it without telling him, but her final decisions wouldn't be made without a conversation with her husband. Instead of explaining all that she lied, "I'm going to be in and out of town over the next week or so and I might miss it in the mail if I'm not careful."
"Of course. Do you know how to get here?"
"Yes," she said trying to keep back a laugh. There probably wasn't a sole in Orlando that didn't know where the college was, even the tourists seemed to know where it was, "Friends of mine have been at UCF for the last few years so I kind of know my way around the place."
"Well the hours for the next two weeks are noon to four so just stop by any time during the week." She shuffled some papers, "We're on winter break so it's strange hours."
Kelly hung up the phone with a smile on her face and picked up Trey and fed him the bottle, moving into the living room and making herself comfortable on the couch as she did it. Normally she would lay him down in his carrier to feed him, but holding him at the moment seemed to be a better idea. If all her other children were doing special things then a little Trey and Mommy time seemed like the right idea. When she had the bottle in Trey's mouth and he was starting to close his eyes to go to sleep she started to hum a little and rock him. She wasn't a great singer--humming seemed more her style so she held on him and rocked him.
He was just about to fall asleep when the phone rang. She sighed and moved to put him in his playpen in the living room then grabbed up the phone. "Hello?" Her voice automatically came out in a bit of a whisper and she moved away from Trey into the hallway, far enough so that she could see him, but not speak too loudly and wake him up.
"Hey girl yourself," Kelly said with a smile and walked back over to watch Trey sleeping. She knew that her conversation with Colleen wouldn't be too noisy so she could risk sitting near Trey for a bit and watch him sleep while she talked. "What's up in the house of the newly engaged?"
"Nothing," Colleen said with a laugh, "My husband to be is sacked out on the couch in the living room in his underwear and his hand stuck in his boxer shorts like Al Bundy."
"No," Colleen said, "He's asleep on the bed curled up like a little baby. Like Lance would even walk out of the bedroom in just underwear."
"I think I believe the first story better," Kelly said with a laugh. She looked around the almost empty house and wished that Joey would come home. She knew that he'd be home from his errands that night, but having him gone from the house suddenly made her miss him. She hadn't felt this way in a while, but suddenly family seemed important to her. Maybe it was just the decision that she was going to be spending time away from them or maybe because this was the first time in weeks that only one of the three kids had been home with her, but either way she almost wanted to get off the phone and gather everyone up and make them all be there in the room with her.
"How are the kidlets and the hubby?"
"Good," she said trying not to sound too upset or too tired. She knew that her troubles were nothing compared to what the other NSYNC families were going through. She needed someone to vent to about things like this and while Colleen would be sympathetic, she wasn't sure that any of the other girls would truly understand, except Meredith, but then she'd start crying and then where would they be. "Colton is having a daddy day with Joe and Trey is sleeping while Miss Brianna is at a birthday party down the street for another few minutes before I pick her up."
Colleen seemed to smile with her words. "Sounds like a busy afternoon."
Kelly put a hand to her forehead and looked at the clock. It wasn't even eleven in the morning and she was already to put the kids to bed and get to sleep herself. For a moment she scolded herself for having sex with Joey the night before. It was horrible to think that, but when he was out of town she slept through the night, usually getting into bed when the kids did and waking up with them. When Joey was home she stayed up later, but still got up early with the kids. "Definitely."
Their laughter died down and Colleen got down to business. "So I heard that you were thinking about going back to school or something."
Her heart stopped for a moment and she prayed that Joey didn't know about this. She'd tell him eventually, but she wanted to get it all planned out and ready to go before she got his input. She didn't think that he would be that upset about it, but she wanted to be sure that she could really do everything without taking away from her family time or from him. "Ree talked to you?"
"She didn't mean to spill the beans, but she and I were having a few drinks and she mentioned it."
"I called today and I'm going to go later on this week and pick up some information. I don't know if I'm going to tell Joey yet. I want to see if this is really something worth doing--"
"It's going to be worth doing if you really want to get out of the house. I know you love the kids, but I've felt over the last few months that you've gotten restless."
"It doesn't show that much does it?" she asked suddenly worrying that Colleen wasn't the only one to notice her behavior.
"Don't worry girl," Colleen said, "I know the feeling so I think I register when someone else is feeling that way too."
"I think I may give up my job and become a housewife. That sounds so insane, but I want to take off a few years while Lance's career is still going strong and experience that with him. If in a few years he decides to retire then I can get a job again and work a little until I feel like retiring. For now though I think I want to spend more time with him and maybe see about starting up a family."
"Starting a family so soon?" she asked.
"Lance is big on family and I think if I want to have a kid that we should do it sooner than later. I want to not be old and grey when I start having babies."
"Colleen. You're younger than me."
"Yeah well I want my kids to have pleanty of honorary cousins to play with so having them now would give them the chance to get to know their cousins. I think Brianna needs a girl cousin anyway...I think Mere is having a boy. I don't think Justin would let her have a little girl before he got a little Mini me to play with first."
"What if they had twins? That would just kill them both."
"Don't ever wish twins on anyone or you'll be having them," Kelly said. She glanced at the clock and saw that she should be getting back to collect up Brianna from her party.
"Yeah right," she said then started to laugh. "I think guys are psychic when it comes to the mention of babies. Lance just rolled over in his sleep and now is staring at me. I better head out and assure him that I'm not having his baby yet and that we have plenty of time for that later."
"Sounds good. I need to go get Brianna from her party."
"Call me though if you want to chat. I 'm all for you going to school if that's what's going on. If I give up my job maybe I can babysit the kidlets a little before summer."
"I'd love that," Kelly said, "I'll let you know."
Kelly hung up the phone. After a successful conversation with the school and a bit of encouragement from Colleen she decided that maybe going to school wouldn't really be that bad of an idea.