The Cafeteria Wars…..Conclusion and Information

The content on this website and in this Chronicle is intended for adults, 18 years and older.

(The Chronicle is after this lovely message if you’d like to skip all of this mushy stuff and get right to the Bradford boys bringing us to the next stage.)


book 1 hfhFor those of you who are able to get it, please enjoy. For those of you who will not be able to get it until December please understand that this was no slight to you. When ibooks gave me help is when I needed it more than ever. I am a single mom with two children and at the time we’d just survived our own personal hell and were struggling to get back on our feet. Without iBooks taking a personal interest in my books, I honestly don’t know where we would be right now. I realize that it was you, the readers, who saved us, but I can’t ignore the fact that iBooks took a big chance on me and for that, I thank them from the bottom of my heart.


This is the letter that can be found in the first Honeymoon from Hell novelette, which will be released tomorrow, June 1.


Dear Reader,

I’d like to start off by saying thank you for all your support and kind words over the years. It’s because of you that I am able to do be there and take care of my children by doing what I love. So, on behalf on my children, I wanted to say thank you.

Now, moving onto to this mini-series. I never planned on writing the Honeymoon from Hell series. It started off as a Chronicle or two on my website, which is how I continue giving life to the characters that I’ve created and fallen in love with. When I wrote a teaser about Jason and Haley’s honeymoon I was hooked and immediately wanted to write the whole story out as well as the honeymoons for the rest of the Bradfords, but I wasn’t sure how it would turn out or if it was even something that you would be interested in reading about.

Well, while I was trying to decide what to do I wrote the Chronicle to let you see how Haley broke the news of their impending family to Jason. After that I really couldn’t stop thinking about this series, but time was a factor.

So, I decided that I would write the series and release it in December 2015 after I was able to get out the books that I promised you. At the same time iBooks was doing what iBooks does best, helping self-published authors like myself get a chance to show readers what they could do. iBooks helped me out, gave me my real break and honored me with the first title of Breakout Author, so I decided to make my already busy schedule even busier and write this series early so that I could say thank you to iBooks for everything that they did for me and release this mini-series early through them.

Some readers are upset about the wait, and I am sorry about that, but I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t step up and show my appreciation and gratitude to those who have helped me and my children when we needed help. With or without this early release through iBooks, this series would not have been released at or anywhere else before December because of my workload, so please don’t feel slighted, because that was not my intention.

Now, as for this HFH, you will notice that the prologue is one of the last chapters of Playing for Keeps. That was done so that you wouldn’t need to go back and re-read the end of the book to figure out where we left off. It also leaves you with the choice to skip it and move on to the rest of the story.

Both Chronicles that you were introduced to for the HFH series are in this novelette. They were treated as sneak peeks on my website and now you can see how they come together.

With that being said….

I hope you enjoy the Honeymoon from Hell mini-series.



R.L. Mathewson

The Cafeteria Wars….

(I lost count! Lol, so let’s just finish this, shall we? This Chronicle is a little more serious than my usual ones, but I am going somewhere with this.)

An R.L. Mathewson Chronicle


            “Cole Bradford?”

            “Yes?” he said, trying not to fidget in his chair while his cousins sat beside him, looking bored.

            “Your parents are here,” Mrs. Benet said, still looking just as furious as she had an hour ago when she’d been forced to call every available teacher to clear the cafeteria while the police stepped in with the EMTs and tried to talk the cafeteria staff into leaving the walk-in freezer where they’d barricaded themselves once things had gone….south.

            “Think mom will homeschool us this time or do you think they’ll hire us a tutor?” Sebastian asked, sounding unconcerned as Cole sat there, wondering how things had gone so bad, so fast.

            “They might have Aunt Jodi tutor us,” Jonathan said, sounding hopeful, most likely because she loved to cook and it usually didn’t take much prompting or pouting to get her to whip them up something delicious to eat.

            “She’s got the twins to take care of,” Sebastian pointed out with a shrug.

            “We could help,” Jonathan said, pulling out what Cole already recognized as his grandfather’s iPhone.

            “That’s true,” Sebastian agreed with an absent nod as he leaned over to look at whatever it was that his twin was looking at while Cole sat there, staring at his cousins in horror, wondering why they weren’t panicking.

            They were seconds away from getting grounded for the rest of their lives and his cousins were sitting there, looking bored as they checked out stock quotes. Slowly exhaling and wishing that he’d never invited his cousins to join him at his lunch table, he dropped his head in his hands as he struggled not to pass out.

            How was he going to explain this to his father?

            Oh, God…

            How was he going to explain this to his mother? His father would get angry, probably yell at him, threaten to lock him up in his room for the rest of his life, but his mother…

            She would just look at him through those sad eyes as she slowly pushed her glasses up, her little chin trembling as she stood there, trying to give him one of her reassuring smiles to let him know that everything would be okay and that they’d work through this when they both knew the truth.

            There was no fixing this.

            He’d been expelled.

            For the first time in his life he was in real trouble and sadly, he couldn’t put all the blame on his cousins. It had only been a matter of time before this happened, but he never expected it to happen so soon or for SWAT to have to be called in.

            “Get up,” he heard his father say tightly, sounding angrier than he’d ever heard him before.

            Swallowing hard, Cole stood up as he fisted his hands by his sides, digging his nails into his palms as he struggled not to pass out. His legs actually trembled as he stood up, threatening to drop him on his butt as he looked up, risking a glance and immediately wishing that he hadn’t.

            His parents and Uncle Trevor stood in front of them, looking angrier than he’d ever seen them before and considering some of the stupid things that he’d done along with his cousins, that was saying a lot.

            “D-Dad,” he started to say, hating the way that his voice broke, but he couldn’t help it.

            “Don’t,” his father said firmly as he gestured with a simple nod of his head for them to move their butts.

            Swallowing hard, he nodded jerkily and did just that as his cousins both yawned, looking seriously bored as they walked past him and headed for the double glass doors that would take them away from this school for the last time. Somehow he managed to make his legs move and take him through those doors, but it was difficult when all he wanted to do was to turn around and apologize, and beg his father not to kill him, but he stood firm and continued walking, pretending that he wasn’t struggling not to puke or pass out.

            “Which one of you boys is responsible for this?” Uncle Trevor asked, making his stomach flip over, because in about ten seconds his father was going to kill him.

            Taking a deep breath, he admitted, “I-it was me.”

            “I see,” his father murmured, sounding thoughtful as Cole focused on his father’s truck and forced his legs to take him there. He was barely twenty feet away from the truck when he felt his father’s hand come to rest on his shoulder.

            Before he could say anything, he felt his mother’s small hand wrap around his and give it a reassuring squeeze.

            “I’m proud of you,” his father said, giving his shoulder a squeeze as he looked up and met the eyes of Martin, the little boy that the cafeteria staff had refused to give any food because his account showed that he owed more than five dollars, who was standing next to his parents still crying while his father mouthed, “Thank you,” to them.

            They’d refused to give him anything to eat, even the bread and cheese sandwich that they usually gave the kids who didn’t have lunch money. When the little boy had started to cry, he’d just lost it…

            His cousins had as well, but not like him.

            For two years he’d been forced to watched as kids whose parents could barely afford to send them to school in clean clothes had to go through the embarrassment of being placed at the table in the corner and given two slices of bread with a piece of cheese slapped between them, a milk and an apple, which was bad enough, but not as bad as everyone knowing exactly what sitting at that table meant. It meant that their parents were too poor to send them to school with lunch money, but not poor enough to qualify for free lunch.

            Seeing that little boy cry had been the final straw, one that he wished that he could regret, but he couldn’t. He just couldn’t. He was fortunate, he knew that, because he’d never had to go a single day of his life worrying about where his next meal was going to come from, but those kids forced at that table every day…


            He should have never involved his cousins and wished like crazy that he hadn’t dragged them into this, but now they were all in this together.


© Rerum Industries, Inc. 2015. All Rights Reserved.

35 Responses to “The Cafeteria Wars…..Conclusion and Information”

  1. Avatar Amber says:

    Awe this brought tears to my eyes and I only hope that my two kids would react the same way if this situation was them. Proud of you Cole!!! Way to go buddy

  2. Avatar Misty says:

    This is why I love your stories. Yes, all the characters are batty and are on just this side of the crazy train tracks, but they all have a high moral compass that make you love them all the more. Thank you!

  3. Avatar Kayla says:

    This made me tear up! I love the Bradford men. Always doing the right thing and standing up for those who have no one else!

  4. Avatar Charmarie Dotson says:

    I could see my boys doing this and I would be proud of them too! Standing up for what you believe in is an important concept to teach and for your kids to follow:-)

  5. Avatar Martha says:

    This was awesome, made me sad but also proud, even though these are fictional characters. My daughter has actually witnessed this in her school and she always talks about how sad it is for those kids and how grateful she is and fortunate. Thank you for sharing you talents.

  6. Avatar Aya Diaz says:

    Awww, yeah they’re crazy but the good thing is when it comes to moral and all that humanity stuff, they’re the best guys to have around. Looking forward to ur other books. Enjoyed it soo much. 😉

  7. Avatar Margie says:

    Love the Bradfords even the younger ones because they are just like their parents! They take care of each other and everyone else. On a side note, both of my kids have paid for someone else’s breakfast and lunch at school. We noticed my daughter was going through her account money rather quickly and when we looked it up, we noticed she was getting two of everything. When we asked her about it, she said she was helping a friend.

  8. Avatar Gina says:

    Oh my goodness what a stand-up little man. He has such a big heart and if I were his parent I would be so proud of him too. This chronicle really pulled at my heart strings because when o was a kid there were times when I also had to go in the free or discount lunch line. Like cole said everyone knew what that meant and were sometimes very mean about it. I’m so happy that the schools in my area have one lunch line for everyone and you tell them your assigned # to enter in the computer so no one knows who get discount or free lunches. A special thanks for this one, I love when characters go through things that are relatable. It makes me love them even more.

  9. Avatar Mary smith says:

    I actually said bravo to Cole. That was awesome and too bad it wasn’t done sooner. Loved it.

  10. Avatar laterressa Fowler says:

    Yet another good one. I luved readin how cole thought he was n trouble but every thing turned out to b kool n the end

  11. Avatar Sammy says:

    I was actually one of those cheese-sandwich kids for a while and wish a Bradford was there. I LOVE how all of your stories have a lesson behind them especially when it comes to standing up for others.

  12. Avatar Ramona Diaz says:

    So worth the wait. **le sigh** love seeing how the characters we fell in love have grown and have a family and that realistic and relatable they still are. LOVE THIS Couldn’t have addressed this any better. I got tears in my eyes and just fell in love w Cole and I’m still scared of Trevor and Zoe kids Can’t wait for more

  13. Avatar Lisa Zeigler says:

    I had no idea that the story was headed anywhere than the usual craziness by the Bradford’s but I got choked up and teary finding out that a child didn’t have anything to eat. The Bradford’s are crazy but they are raising the children right!

  14. Avatar Sandy says:

    this made me tear up sad for the little boy and proud of Cole and his cousins! I really love that you write these Chronicles for us each week. Thank you!

  15. Avatar Irish Grimes says:

    you are the bes? you brought this issue to light I was that child sometimes who didn’t have lunch money. something needs to be said for some authors would never touch that issuebut some children couldn’t afford to have food at the house so school lunch was a meal for them thank you so much

  16. Avatar Kadashee Baldwin says:

    I just finished reading and was in tears. I love those Bradfords. Thanks RL for touching on a subject that is hard. It is hard enough being a parent making “just enough money to starve to death” (as one caseworker put it) without your child being singled/out and embarrassed by the lunch they are given.

  17. Avatar Dee G says:

    Excellent. Great writing didn’t expect that ending at all. Ever thought about mystery writing? Very of the moment with the financial status of several countries.

  18. Avatar Jayne says:

    Now I want to know what they did….. Lovely story, Well done Cole, Jonathan and Sebastian (though I doubt it took too much persuading to get those two to help). Love your books keep em coming.!

  19. Avatar Noreen says:

    I was one of those children so thank you I love the Bradford men and the kids respect to you for bringing it up love all your books 🙂

  20. Avatar Barbara says:

    There is a line in a Alan Jackson song that says “good always wins”. The Bradford boys always come out as winners. Way to go Cole, I’m proud of you.

  21. Avatar Susanne says:

    OMG!! This was so touching!!! I’m a little bit more afraid for the future girls in that boys life!!! “Foodie” like his family with a heart of Haley!??! He is going to be a total chick magnet!! Thanks to you, these people are not only a laugh riot, but have some really great hearts to boot! (Still hoping for the continuation of the Cursed Hearts novels) 🙂 but I will read anything you write!! Love them all so far!!!!

  22. Avatar adri says:

    I had read this Sunday and just today saw an article where a lunch lady got fired for giving free food to some students she said she has a 1st grader crying because she was hungry so she gave her the free food we need more people like that out here

  23. Avatar melissa says:

    i always enjoying reading your stories and chronicles. i wish they would turn them into a tv series cause i would so watch it.

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