Completing The List

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1. Go Out More Often

     Life as she knew it was going relatively well. What more could one person ask for given the heightened situation in other parts of the world? She had her health, a family to lean on and a man that loved her more than he loved himself. To Elizabeth Fraser, there wasn't a single thing she thought she needed, except maybe a few trips to get some new shoes. Not a necessity, but it would definitely score you a lot of brownie points in her books. She had been married for over five years, and to her that in itself was a miracle. Elizabeth was one of those people in her circle of friends that always swore she would never get married, ever. That one person who wanted to raise cats and buy shoes for the rest of her life and not worry about a man and kids and all that jazz. At the time it seemed like something she wanted in her life and she really couldn't explain why. It was also something she didn't hesitate to let people know as well: married life just didn't seem in the plans. She was a big fan of Beatrice from that great Shakespearean comedy 'Much Ado About Nothing'. The woman that would rather hear a dog moaning than hear a man say he loved her. She wanted to be exactly like her icon, cold and unwilling to hear anyone out but deep inside there was still a romantic that hoped for something different. That something arrived when Hayden came into her life.

     Elizabeth was raised in a very male dominated household. The middle child of three squeezed between two alpha males that were her brothers, and combined that with her ultra macho alpha male like Dad... the house was booming with testosterone and she had to be tough to keep up with the men in the house. Usually one's Mother was the one person someone would turn when she wanted the company of another lady in the house, but this was an option that wasn't available to Elizabeth. Less than two years after she was born, Elizabeth lost her mother to cancer and she was suddenly the only one in the house that had to sit in order to urinate. This meant that she had to live in a house full of alpha males for the better part of her life, which meant her name was shortened to Lizzy since men were never fond of big names and was called that for the rest of her life despite the fact that her mother always hated it when her father called her that. Now while most women who are raised in that macho environment would be tomboy tough and too much to handle, but Elizabeth managed to remain a woman while still being able to punch her brothers with authority. While most men would seem intimidated by her independence and toughness, Hayden shrugged if and relished the idea of a challenge. He was persistent, not to the point where one needed to file any restraining orders, but enough to realize that what he was doing and exactly what he wanted. Lizzy was a waitress at a place that was not high profile but nowhere near sleazy either, her happy medium. The clientele was reasonably fair with their tips and she was able to work in a somewhat gentle work space that was hardly if ever a hazard or place of harassment. Her impeccable memory along with her upbringing in an all male house made her bedside manner just the thing needed to keep people at bay and in their place and at the same time interact with clients which lead to a very loyal base that came back often to see her smile and enjoy the quality food. Lizzy was bold, ambitious but still at the same job for several years, content with what she had and not willing to upgrade out of fear that it would ruin the status quo which was all right by her. With a large bath tub, a bottle of wine chilling in the fridge and a good book half finished, was there really any more she could ask for?

     Hayden on the other hand had a very different background. His family was Irish, which meant a lot of brothers, sisters and more than enough drinking and rough housing to go around. He was tough and able to take anything that came his way. Hayden was never the kind to take the easier road out, even if it was right there in front of him. He had the talent and the brains to do and become anything he wanted, but h chose not to take that path because there was no challenge, no thrill. He would find both of those when he signed up and started training to become a fireman. While many found his profession to be honourable yet risky, it was his mother was furious over his career decision, mainly because he was the youngest child of seven. The idea of 'her baby' going out day in and day out to risk his life to save strangers in a burning building infuriated his mother a great deal. The rest of his family was more supporting and that was the benefit of having a huge family, no matter what happened at least one member would come to your side and show a little support. It's the times when everyone banded against you when it was appropriate to take a good look on your position and re-evaluate. But Hayden was strong and vigilant in his career choice and his performance on the job convinced many it was what he was meant to do, his true purpose in life. Hayden literally had no fear of anything, and was often awarded for courage, valour and his ability to rescue many lives despite the danger. Many of the guys in his firehouse started to call him 'horseshoe' cause there was convinced he had one on him somewhere because he was the luckiest bloke they had ever seen go into building after building and not come back out with a scratch. Hayden never hesitated to thank his peers for teaching him the right way to do his job and mentor him, but they all knew it was a cocktail of luck and skill that lead to his impressive record. None of this helped relieve the fears that his mother had for his profession. She worried everyday that someone would come back to her home to inform her that his luck had run out and the job had caught up with him.

PJ Lowry

Edited: 15.07.2019

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