Jane Lynn (Formerly Dillard)


“Dinner’s ready everyone” I yelled to my family of 5. Out of breath, I collapse onto the couch hoping I’ll get a moment to rest before he comes down for dinner. “Jane? Sit up! There are dishes to do” towers a loud noise over me. He is my husband Jim. “Sorry honey. I’ll get right on it.” My dish sponge pores fill with soapy water. I put all my anger and frustration into scrubbing the dishes. There’s always things to do in this house, but somebody has to take care of the family right? “MOM! I told you I wanted GRILLED CHEESE! You're the worst. I hate you old woman” screams my smallest son Marcus. My oldest and middle son, Zac and Xavier, pound their feet down our cherry wood stairs like they’re wearing cinder blocks as shoes. There’s too much for me to do to have time to sit down for dinner with the rest of the family. I’m busy making Marcus’ grilled cheese. After that, I’ll do the laundry, get the kids ready for bed, pack their lunches, fix the furnace and somehow find time to make myself some food as well. Some may call me a housewife but really I’m a…well...I guess I am a housewife. I quit my job as the editor of Elite magazine when Zac was born. Jim said it would be best if I stayed home and devoted my time to his and the boys success. Call me unhappy but it’s my family. I’ve always wanted to be an actress but I think I’m a little old to drop everything for audition I’d probably wouldn’t yet get.

“Jane! We need to talk.” I can tell by his inflection that he’s serious. “What is it Jim? Is the dinner tasting okay?”  Usually Jim's complaints are minor and I can deal with them easily but it was what he said next that shocked me.


“Yes dear it’s fine. I wanted to address the fact that you aren’t bringing much to this family.”


“I take care of the kids, I quit my job, I make all the food, clean the house, and handle all your expenses.” His cruel words paralyzed me. I’m so in shock I drop the grilled cheese right out of my hand.


“Oh Jane. The thing is, a maid would be less annoying. Your role here is simply not needed anymore.”


“Jim, we're a family. I know we haven’t acted like one in a long time but we can’t just give up on the one thing we have.” It’s clear he doesn’t show any sympathy to my emotion.


“You mean all you have. The boys and I have a real successful future and the level of disconnect between us is just too much. I left the papers on your vanity. Please have them signed by the morning.”


He wouldn’t even be able to brush his teeth without me. This has to be a joke. A maid would have a heart attack with my kind of schedule. Let alone a maid doesn’t know how to be a mother to my kids. Yes they can be annoying but they are my children. I’ve raised them, not him or a silly maid. It was in this moment that I realized I need to make a change and start living. I’ve been trapped in this house for years doing the same thing everyday: cleaning the floors until I could see my reflection, but all that was there was a broken heart. Maybe this was my chance to finally let go of Jim and his hostile ways. One conversation can change your whole life.


“Hello?”


“Yes, This is Carly with Expedited Travel Agency how can I help you?”


“Do you have any flights to LA today?”


“Let’s see…. I have one at 2:00 pm. Will that work?”


“Book it. I’ll be there.”


I rolled my black suitcase down the cherry wood stairs. The house is silent for once. Jim took the boys with him to our beach house in the Hamptons. He told me I have 48 hours to move out of his house. Silhouettes of my memories of this house surround me. The wind whistled through the halls bringing with it the laughter of my children who once lived here and the caring call of a mother letting them know it was time for school. He thinks that they can do this on their own, but Jim doesn’t know the first thing about being a parent. A tear rolled down my cheek as I took it all in. It almost feels like I need to re build my identity without Jim. He had me caught in a trance I could not escape. I’m going to prove him wrong, burn into his brain that my role as a mother is worth more than a paycheck.


“Welcome to your flight Mrs. Dillard”. I look up to see a smiling woman greeting me with a yellow plane safety card and a menu.


“Actually, it’s Jane Lynn now.” I hadn’t said it out loud yet, but I didn’t want to carry the weight of the name Dillard. There wasn’t enough time to change the name on my ticket but I feel relieved. From the window of the plane the tip of the wing is illuminated by the glare of the sun, the lower side hidden in the clouds, the upper half is shades darker because of the growing shadow. As the plane swerves between clouds the line between shadow and light moves, and all the while the lady sitting next to me hums the ABC’s to her newborn son. I remember when Zac was that little. I close my eyes and imagine a perfect world where my sons would come to their senses and come live with me in LA. They’re definitely a handful but I love them more than anything.

 

This is my big break. I’m finally here in LA and in my wildest dreams I never thought this would happen to me. Earlier today I contacted an agency to let them know I was looking for a role. They said they would do their best but my lack of experience might be an issue. I was expecting that. I’ve made it this far and cannot give up. There’s still a chance for me. All that’s left now is to painfully wait for a phone call letting me know what I can audition for. “This is my stop” I yell to my Uber driver letting him know we have arrived at my hotel. As I step out of the car the blinding light of a March afternoon warms my body. For spring, there’s much more heat than I’m used to. The scorched side walk glistened with white rays of sunlight. I am really going to need to buy a pair of sunglasses.


I can’t believe it’s already been 2 weeks. So far I’ve been to the Hollywood sign, wax figures museum, and I even went apartment hunting. Jim’s lawyers emailed me about our settlement and thankfully I’m going to get enough of our money to afford a nice apartment. I’m not sure how this can get better. I might as well check my email to see if I got anything from my agent. I entered my passcode and unlocked my new rose gold Iphone 7.


Unread Messages: 2
Subject: New Audition!
My jaw drops as I read the letters on my screen. I got an audition! I’ve been waiting practically my whole life for this. Wait… My email said I have 2 unread messages, where’s the other? Suddenly my phone reloaded and pulled up the second email:
Subject: Mom? It’s Zac. When are you coming home?
Suddenly my heart drops as I see the message from my son Zac. I can’t imagine what he’s going through. I quickly read through his message and I don’t hesitate to reply:
Reply to {Mom? It’s Zac. When are you coming home?}
Zac,
I miss you so much. I know this separation has been hard for you and trust me it’s been hard for me too. I know spring break is coming up, you and your brothers should come to LA! You would love it here. Text me if you need anything. Again, I’m sorry things ended up this way. Everything is complicated but things are looking up!
-Mom
I take a deep breath and press the glowing send button. I tried to avoid his overall question, “When are you coming home?” because I’m not so sure myself. Maybe I should go home for awhile just to see my kids. I can’t leave them like this. Jim might be a tyrant but they're just kids. They don’t deserve this. I feel so horrible I almost forget to check my email about the audition.
It read:
Jane Lynn,
We received your request on information for upcoming auditions. About a week ago the casting director for ABC contacted us looking for a middle aged woman to play one of the main parts, a personal trainer, for there new TV show. We thought you would be perfect for this so we sent them your photos, information, and monologue. They loved it! They want you to meet you in 2 days to read lines. It’s pretty much a sure thing, all you have to do is agree.
Hope to hear from you soon,
-Entertainment Casting Agency


This changes everything. A main character on an ABC TV show? That’s crazy! They were right because that’s perfect for me. The only problem is, my kids. When you have to chose between the opportunity of a lifetime and your family that kicked you out what do you do?






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