A Room With A View

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Meet Catherine Shelby.

She has a loving and devoted husband. Her children are the envy of the entire neighbor. She loves her house and friends. Health is good. Life could not be better for her.

Submitted: March 07, 2016

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Submitted: March 07, 2016



The alarm clock went off the same time every day. 

Six o’clock sharp.

Catherine Shelby reached over and turned it off. She grabbed her bathrobe hanging on the wall hook, stood up and slowly, carefully tied her bathrobe together. She looked down at her feet. She loved the way the cool tile felt on them. Her husband James was always talking about putting a carpet in their room but he never did. He obviously enjoyed the feeling on his feet as well.

Catherine walked over to the large window and parted the curtains. What a beautiful day! Not that it mattered much. Rain or shine, she looked out the window to start her day. Routine was important to Catherine.

Catherine always enjoyed the view.  The grass in the front yard was a perfect green that seemed to go on forever. James always kept it watered and impeccably trimmed. James did not do the work himself that she could see. He must hire people for that because there were men in blue coveralls that came every Tuesday to take care it. James believed in having and sticking to a routine as well.

That is why they made such a fine couple.

From a distance she could see the statue of the Blessed Madonna. James did not like it because he thought it was throwing religion in the face of others.


One should be proud of their religion and not be worried about showing it. Oh well. Like the lack of carpet in the bedroom, he indulged her.

Bless his heart.

There was no finer husband than James Shelby. Hard worker, devoted husband and patient father.

Yes, that’s my James.

Every morning James was up and ready for work while she still slept. By seven AM he was walking in with breakfast. James loved getting their two children ready for school too. In fact, he insisted on it. “I am here to take care of your every need,” he would always say.  And he did.  Because James did so much, Catherine had a great deal of free time on her hands.  Depending on the day, she had set times that she would play bridge, bingo, or checkers with her friends.

And always the same friends. 

Again, Catherine loved routine.

She heard the sound of squeaky wheels intermingled with voices. The children were up and preparing for school. She was always going on about them. And her friends never got tired of hearing her stories. In fact they encouraged it.

Bless their hearts.

What could she say about her children she had not already said? Nothing. But that never stopped her. Jimmy was the star quarterback of the high school football team. He would be able have his pick of any college in the country. Scouts called him “the boy with the golden arm.” It seemed like every week he was in the local paper.

She would only read about his exploits; she was much too scared to watch him play in person – football was such a rough sport! All the accolades he received never spoiled the child either. He was kind and gentle to everyone. How he found time to bring lunch to her and her friends she could not figure. Not that it mattered, as long as his grades remained top notch. Which they did.

Now when it came to grades, her Lucy had everyone beat. She was first in her class. Even though Lucy was a sophomore, the scholarships were already pouring in. Lucy was in the band too. Played the clarinet.  Catherine felt guilty she had not been to any of Lucy’s concerts and she promised she would get out and see one.


Lucy did not seem to mind. She was different from other teenage girls that way. She was always fluffing Catherine’s pillows, bringing another blanket, or just patiently listening to her mother about how she spent her day.

Bless her heart.

The smell of food began to find its way into the room. That meant Jimmy, Lucy and James would be bringing breakfast along directly.

Yes, indeed. God has truly blessed me to have such wonderful people in my life, Catherine mused.

Catherine remained lost in thought about her family until she heard a knock at the door. She turned and walked back to her nightstand. Catherine brushed her hair with a few strokes, straightened her robe and put on her best smile. She always tried to look her best for her family.

“Come in,” she said. 

Three people slowly opened the door and entered the room.  The first was pushing a cart with a metal tray on top. The second wore horn-rimmed glasses and had a stethoscope around his neck. The last person, a woman, carried a tiny plastic cup filled with pills of various colors.
They were all in dark blue scrubs and they were smiling. They all had plastic name tags that read St. Mary’s PsychiatricHospital.

She looked at the clock.

Seven AM.

Right on time, as always.

But then routine was always important to Catherine Shelby.

© Copyright 2019 Ethan Howard. All rights reserved.

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