It is senior year of high school for Asher Lucas. His family moved to the Fort Apache Reservation the year before. They move into a cozy, three bedroom townhouse in Teacher Housing in Whiteriver, Arizona. His mother teaches second grade and his father serves as the Associate Pastor at a church nearby their new home. He’s the big brother of two sisters, 15-year-old Abbey, and baby Annika.
Asher grew up in a Christian home. He’s known Christ Jesus personally since he was a little boy, but in his last year of high school his faith has never been tested more, when he starts a journey to share the love of Christ with Melody Gartner, a senior girl at his school, who goes from Miss Popular to Nobody after breaking up with the school QB, Jon. Melody is a sweet, bubbly, vibrant girl whose dad is the Pinetop-Lakeside’s best vet and her mom is the queen of charity events. And she goes to church too– the Church of Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ. Melody once embodied everything a Mormon Teen should be, but rumors spread she’s a cheating whore and she struggles to deal with the social fallout.
Abbey has a crush on Tenor Gartner, Melody’s brother, and Asher being the protective big brother he is, wards Tenor often at every opportunity presented. Tenor doesn’t like Asher’s religious influence over his sister Melody, so Tenor tries to make Asher’s life difficult.
As his he grows closer to Melody, Asher desires to save Melody from her world of mess but he knows he can’t. Therefore, Asher battles to allow Christ Jesus to step in and be her Savior. Along the way, he gets a little closer to Christ.
MEET THE CHARACTERS (Drawn by Me)
[I sketched these beauties on SketchBook, on my SurfacePro 3, using a PAC DOT S PEN. I used Canva to lay them out for a blog title template.]
[I sketched this too on SketchBook… I drew it to scale of the space I had, so some petals are incomplete. This is a simple PNG File.]
Originally, the story was called “Everloving”. Yes, I was trying to coin a new word like Shakespeare. I wanted to create a word to describe the EVERLASTING LOVE of GOD and I came up with EVERLOVING because HIS love is continuous in action towards us!
I remember feeling like a genius when I came up with this title. I sat in my living room, pretending I was being interviewed on The View, along with Kirk Cameron about “Everloving” the Movie. Kirk Cameron was the executive producer and played Asher’s dad. While I was the writer and director of the film. I imagined being asked what it was like when Angelina Jolie stopped by on set to watch her daughter’s performance. That’s right, I envisioned Shiloh Jolie-Pitt playing Melody when she’s old enough.
And we discuss how controversial everything is because not only are we saying a popular religion is wrong, we get a girl who is a hardcore tomboy to be a girly-girl in a film. The big kicker is the Shiloh gives her life to Christ onset and it rattles Hollywood.
Yes, clearly, I’m a dreamer, but you never know, it might happen.
Every Monday for the foreseeable future, I will post a chapter from TWAR77. I encourage you to share the posts with your friends and family. PLEASE, bombard me with constructive feedback in the comments. This means even if you catch a typo or super awful grammar mistake. I do ask that you’re respectful in your feedback, otherwise, you will be ignored.
I truly you hope you visit weekly for Manuscript Monday. I can’t put fully into words how I feel about this project. I do plan on publishing this book. Will I self publish it? I don’t know. I’d rather not.
I wrote this story for a few reasons. When I got the idea, I was unexplainably driven to write it. I think part of it is was I live in a region where being a Mormon/LDS was the same as being a Christian. I even went to church with people who didn’t understand that Mormonism doesn’t follow the Bible alone and founded by a con artist Joseph Smith.
I know a lot about Mormonism because I had a friend that became Mormon, but through fervent prayer and staying in touch, she came back to Christ Jesus within a year. I thought if I could understand the religion I could understand why she converted… but it didn’t help.
The Holy Spirit once told me to just love my friend when I was with her. I’m an intellectual, so I thought using apologetics for faith was loving, but I was missing the mark. It didn’t matter how well I debunked the LDS Church with history, science, and scripture from the Bible. When I realized my words were futile, and I recognized loving her was hanging out with her and just being us together, there would be moments she would ask what I thought about some Mormon practices. That’s when I was able to answer with what the Bible had to say, or history, or science… There were times I didn’t have an answer, but then I could pray with her for her to receive an answer. The loving approach was better and way easier than trying to be her savior.
I also know some really great people, who are Mormon, well LDS members (using the M-word is a no-no now according to HQ) and part of me hopes they read this one day and they make the decision to follow Christ Jesus through the Bible and the Holy Spirit alone as an ex-member of the LDS Church.
Melody’s dad is Adam in the story and many of things he says or experiences he has are from actual accounts I’ve heard LDS members share online in YouTube or in person. And Asher Lucas is my display of how I think a teen today should aim to carry out their faith. These people are fictional but there is truth in their interactions.
To be clear, I wrote this story because I was inspired to, I want to reach the lost, and I want people to connect with God and embark in a real relationship with Him. God is my DAD and I’m beyond blessed to be His Daughter, and I’m so grateful I don’t have to buy or earn His love. He gives it because He is LOVE and all He does is done because of His love for US.
THIS MONDAY – 12/03/2018 – VISIT HERE TO READ CHAPTER 1
Netty firmly believes the family that dines together, stays together. Eating dinner at the table isn’t up for debate and absences from dinner is only excusable when sick, out of town, at work, or invited to someone else’s house for dinner. I’ve been to 37 dinners since living with Netty and Deshaun. Tonight makes the 38th dining experience.
“At the next visit, we’ll know the sex of the baby. We should have been able to find out today, but the technician couldn’t get a clear view… but everything else looks really good.” Netty says passing Deshaun the serving bowl of sautéed green beans.
Dishing out a hearty scoop onto his light blue plate, Netty’s favorite set of dishware, Deshaun asks me, “What do you want, a boy or a girl?”
I hate that question. I hate that I’m pregnant. I hate that I dream about having a little girl and treating her like precious gold. I hate that I’m afraid she’ll look exactly like the jerk and I’ll detest her existence and treat her like the scum of the earth.
“A boy.” I lie.
“Really?” Netty seems surprised.
“A boy, you want a little D running around?” Deshuan hands me the bowl of green beans.
The whiff of the veggies makes me super nauseous. Normally, I love veggies, but lately I only want wings and rice. I take a little bit because Netty will lecture me about how bad it is to eating according to cravings and not a well-balanced diet.
“I just want a healthy baby.” I say honestly. “Maybe, we shouldn’t bother finding out the sex. Letting it be a surprise could be fun.”
Netty nearly choked on her meatloaf at that thought. Netty plans everything to a tee. Knowing the gender will help plan for the baby shower, how to decorate the nursery, and how to pray for the kid’s destiny. Gulping her food, she says, “Well, if that’s what you want… okay…”
That must be the opposite of how she feels on the inside.
“What does D want, huh?” Deshaun wonders.
“Um…” I can’t lie about this one. Netty confronted me in the car, on our way home from the doctor’s visit, asking me if I told Derek yet. I told her the truth, that I didn’t. I almost broke down and told her about the jerk, but I can’t. “I don’t know.” I shrug my shoulders.
Deshaun chuckles when he concludes Derek knows nothing about the baby. He sighs as he bites the food off his fork. Though his mouth is closed, we can hear him smack his food as he chews. It’s super annoying. The baby flutters and kicks me as I eat the meatloaf. This baby is a total carnivore.
Deshaun takes a swig of his beer from the green bottle. He sets his beer down on the table and after he swishes his gulp down, he asks me, “You plan on raising this baby on your own?”
“I don’t even know if I want the baby, so I until I know what I want to do, I don’t see the point in telling him.”
“He’s the father, he should know about his child.”
“D’s no more ready to be a father than I’m ready to be a mother.”
“You should have thought about that before being careless and getting knocked up.” Deshaun snaps.
Crying, unable to hold them back, I plea, “May I be excused.” I wipe my suddenly runny nose.
“You need to finish eating.” Netty mothers me.
“I’m done. I feel sick anyhow.” Guilt like a brick hits me. I’m a horrible sister for lying to Netty and Deshaun. I’m a terrible girlfriend from hiding this pregnancy from Derek. I’m an awful person. “May I be excused please.”
“Yes, you may.” Netty says.
I wish I could just leave my dishes behind, but that isn’t earning my keep.
While I rinse my plate in the kitchen, I overhear Deshaun rant how unfair I’m being to Derek. Netty defends me a little bit, but she backs off the more heated Deshaun gets.
In my room, I lie on my side, like a good pregnant woman, and I wish I just knew what to do. I wish I could stop crying, but I can’t.
Kaylie’s been a doll. To spare me from the horrors of bus travel as a pregnant woman. She picks me up whenever. I text her my location and she pops up there as soon as she can get there.
I’m surprised at how well she’s coping. She broke up with Trevor before she miscarried, but I really thought she would go running back to him after she lost the baby, but that’s not the case. I also thought she’d be in utter despair. Netty confessed to me the other night she’s had two miscarriages and she still grieves the losses. However, Kaylie’s thriving in school. Her dark brown hair chases her crimson hair away as time goes on. She brings her guitar to school and plays in the park before and after school. In Social Studies when we talk about politics she boldly tackles the topic arguing from a biblical viewpoint.
I sort of have no idea what happened to my second best friend. She continues to be a different person. When she smiles, it doesn’t seem fake. When she sings, her voice brings a peace. When she laughs, she makes me laugh.
In class and in the hallways, when Trevor tries to talk to her, she kindly says she doesn’t want to talk to him. But when we’re alone, she says nothing bad about him. She wishes nothing bad upon him. Kaylie has become a saint. Kaylie’s life post Trevor is great!
I wonder, would I fair in life so well post Derek?
College GPA: 3.9
College Algebra: A-
College Writing I: A
High School, Junior Year GPA: 3.89
“FaceTime w/ Derek”
DEREK’S long locks are gone. He sports a clean cut, close fade. He looks well.
Derek: I miss you so much babe.
Savvy: I miss you too.
Though SAVVY is burning up under a pile of covers, she makes sure to hide her bulging belly.
Derek: So my mom picked up a lot of extra shifts, because a lot of nurses took the holiday off, so… she isn’t coming out for Christmas after all.
Savvy: That sucks hon, I’m sorry to hear that.
Derek: No, this may be a good thing. Maybe my dad will let me go visit my mom and then I can see you.
Panicking, SAVVY blurts-
Derek: (confused) No?
Savvy: Like I miss you like crazy. I really do. But you look really good… I can’t really remember the last time you looked so good, so happy…
Bashfully, DEREK smiles as his cheeks flush red.
Derek: I am happy. I’m really happy. Do you know why?
SAVVY waited for him to be romantic and to say something along the lines of seeing her face, but what he said surprised her and made her angry.
Derek: Jesus the Messiah.
Savvy: (rolling her eyes) Really?
Derek: Yeah, like um, last week, before I got released for Winter Break… in our last chapel service I accepted Christ Jesus and invited Him into my heart… Like I have no doubts anymore God is real. I don’t have nightmares anymore. I don’t want to get high anymore… and um… (whispering) I don’t think about sex all the time or look at porn anymore. (Returning to normal volume) And I don’t feel alone anymore… I have this peace constantly that doesn’t make sense. God is SO AWESOME.
Savvy: I’m happy for you… I’m happy that you’re doing so well.
Derek: Why don’t you believe in God?
Derek: I mean, do you believe in God, like Netty does?
Savvy: No. I don’t but I haven’t really bothered to study religion.
Derek: But knowing God isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship with Jesus.
Savvy: I kind of don’t feel like the preaching right now and if that’s all you want to talk about, maybe we should just talk another time.
Derek: So you’re going to ask me to not talk about something important to me because it makes you uncomfortable. I asked you a question just trying to learn more about you so maybe I can help you and you want to avoid it…
Savvy: You want to know why I don’t believe in God?
Derek: Yeah, why?
SAVVY pushes off her heavy blankets and points the phone at her stomach as she pulls up her flannel shirt.
Savvy: Because I got fluffing raped by my mother’s boyfriend and I’m stuck having the jerk’s kid. (Pointing the phone at her cigarette burns on the upper part of her abdomen) Because my mother abused the crap out of me. (Crying, and yelling, she holds the phone back up to her face) Because you got taken away from me, the one good thing in my life and now there’s more than a physical distance between us. It’s like I’m not important to you anymore. I don’t believe in God because I have nothing good going in my life and I haven’t really seen anything to convince there’s such a thing as a good God because life sucks. I wish we had fluffed and I wish I was pregnant with your baby, because at least I would be excited about this and maybe I would have you back in my life and maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t feel like dying. Like I hope I die giving birth because I don’t want to live anymore, but I can’t kill myself, because I don’t want my mother to have the satisfaction of getting rid of me nor due I want my sisters to miss me… and truth be told I’m scared as SNIFF of death because I can’t help but think you and Netty might be right, God is real and because I HATE HIM SO MUCH FOR MY CRUMMY LIFE I’LL GET STUCK IN HELL. This life is hell enough. I don’t want to live forever in hell, but if God is real He better do one good thing for me. I don’t know what that is… but it better be something fluffing good. And you know what, I get enough God Talk living with Netty, so I don’t want to talk to you until we can just be ourselves and talk and if you can’t be the new you without Jesus Fluffing Christ, than I don’t want to talk to you. GOODBYE Butthole!
SAVVY hangs up the phone and throws it on the bed. It bounces off and falls to the ground. Fortunately, she didn’t crack the screen of the caseless phone.
Love is a strong word. Well, it’s supposed to be a strong word. In many languages, there’s more than one word for love, because love between lovers entails a different meaning—a deeper meaning. Day three of being friends with Derek, I loved him. Not quite like a brother so I guess like a best friend.
We were 4 years old, at a daycare ran out of some old lady’s house. I forgot her name. I remember that the house had brown shaggy carpet, faded yellow flower wall paper, and the house smelled like old person and peppermint. There were 7 of us that stay consistent until we went to real school. I was there before Derek showed up.
I remember when Alexis dropped him off. She wore pink scrubs but I thought they were pajamas. As a kid Derek’s hair was bright, children of the corn blonde—so like platinum blonde— and long down to his butt like a girl. I kept thinking he was a girl for the first few hours we played together. I kept asking, “Why are you dressed like a boy? You’re so pretty.” And he’d snap back, “I’m a boy!”
I got put in time out for bullying him for his long hair. I had a reputation as a little rebel, so the old lady didn’t believe I was genuinely confused. At snack time, I was liberated from the prison of the boring corner, and she made me sit across from him. I gave him my banana as an olive branch hoping to establish peace. As we reached across the table, we locked eyes and he was the first person with blue eyes I didn’t hate or wasn’t afraid of because he was so sweet.
By day three at daycare together, we were playing together nonstop and begging our moms to go to Mickey D’s together. And I loved him. I didn’t get why, but I loved him.
We didn’t go to the same school until 5th grade. My mom moved us right next to an elementary school, which luckily for me was Derek’s school.
And of course, no one understood our friendship. They thought we were boyfriend and girlfriend. Sometimes we pranked new students and said we were siblings, and they would wonder, “Is Savvy adopted?” Like a mixed girl couldn’t be his fraternal twin sister? No one fell for the lie. My curly, maroon-ish brown hair and nearly black eyes and dark olive skin never tricked them. I found it funny, because I had two half-siblings that looked white and I really had two half-siblings that were fully white. No one believes I’m related to them either.
Derek’s parents went through a nasty divorce over the summer through middle school and Derek’s dad moved to California. The school year, Thanksgiving, and Easter he spent in Tucson, with his mom. The Summer and Christmas with his dad. And maybe it was a little ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’ of us, but we talked on the phone all the time, we texted each other, and we messaged each other via direct messages.
It wasn’t until 8th grade, when we kissed… that we became boyfriend and girlfriend… And he is the love of my life. I will not live without him.
“WHO the FLUFF do you think you are?” Jewel questioned me. “What kind of SNIFF is this?” She rhetorically asked throwing a bundle of condemns on the coffee table. All the pretty colors too, blue, purple, red, green… all the colors of the rainbow and a couple of dental dams too. You would think a mother like her would be so proud I’m so cautious with my sex life.
SMACK… across the face… Which stings bitterly… If figures a mother like her isn’t proud. Angrily, I choose to lie. It doesn’t matter at this point. She’ll treat me like she wants to treat from here.
“So my secret stash is not so secret anymore… oops…” I say with so much attitude I piss myself off.
SMACK… across the other cheek… She’s so caring to even out the pain of her punishment.
“Genie found that when that little SNIFF was helping put away your FLUFFING laundry little BLICK… She thought they were slimy balloons…”
I start laughing as Jewel proceeds to tell me Genie and Albany took some out of the package and blew them up like balloons… HOW HILARIOUS! Derek and I do that for fun sometimes after we get a fresh bundle from school. They pass them out on Fridays before every weekend after school. And we’re always allowed to stop by the counselors’ offices and ask for more. Our school is progressive. Then again, they have to be. Most of us are high school rejects: flunkies, addicts, juvenile delinquents, LBGTQ, or teen parents… some of us are more than one. There are a select few who are elites: home-school-sheltered, or chose-to-be-there… but they are the FEW.
“SHUT UP!” Jewel barked. I tried but I couldn’t.
For that she smacked me full force from every direction. In the face, on the head, in the throat, on my bare legs, with the front and back of her hand. The only thing that stopped her from using two hands was the cigarette in her writing hand.
Outraged I wouldn’t be quiet, she pulled me by the neckline of my grateful dead t-shirt and pulled down the collar, stretching it out to expose my shoulder. She threatened to burn me for the fourth time there, if I didn’t be quiet. Immediately, I stopped laughing, I STOPPED breathing, holding my breath to prevent myself from laughing.
She threw me up against the back of our black pleather couch. The coolness of the material soothed my stinging skin. She paced the living room floor, taking a drag of her cigarette here and there. For once in a long time, she didn’t know what else to say to me. Maybe she forgot why she woke me up at 3 am in the morning to discipline me.
This happened before I got home from my night class at the community college. The girls showed me their condemn balloons and I panicked she was going to beat the snot out of me there, right in front of everyone because I figured they were from my unused stash because I really am NOT sexually active. I don’t even masturbate like a normal teenager. I know… I sound like a total fiction character. I’m just not crazy about sex and I’ve seen so many pictures of STIs… I don’t want to take any chances.
But she let me eat my dinner. She let me watch TV with the girls. She let me get them ready and put them to bed. She let me do my homework in the kitchen. She let me get ready for bed. She let me say goodnight and go to sleep like there would no punishment for me.
Not until 3 AM came, after I had to hear her and the jerk screw on the other side of our paper-thin walls. After I heard them share some drinks in the living room and get high and screw again… I hope not on the couch where I’m sitting now. The girls sleep like bricks and can sleep threw a monsoon and/or a microburst. I’m the light sleeper. My sisters slept peacefully on our queen bed while I was awake for most the night. I had just fallen asleep because the all ruckus stopped and then I was woken up by a very angry Jewel.
She just yanked me out of bed, well, the half-naked jerk was ordered to sit me up, throw me over his shoulder, and carry me to the living room… He’s still in really good shape for an ex-marine. He went off to bed because he’s never apart of any disciplinary meetings and actions. She grabbed a fresh pack of cigarettes off the coffee table. Took a new one out, lit it with a match from her “Deus Dive Bar” matchbook, and threw both packages in the décor glass bowl in the center of the black, glossy coffee table. She pulled the condemns and dental dams out of her bra and tossed them on the coffee table toward me. Then she began her interrogation filled with physical torture.
She could just be pacing to psychologically mess with me. To confuse me or to keep me in a panic so I can’t anticipate her next move.
She stopped and faced me. She cocked her hip to the side and she crossed one arm underneath her chest, and she propped her smoking hand up via that elbow perpendicular to her free hand. She took a quick drag then she bent low and tapped her excess ash into the ash tray on the coffee table.
“I was 15 when I had you Savannah. FLUFFING 15 and I’ll be FLUFFED to have history FLUFFING repeat itself, you hear me?” Putting her cigarette in her mouth, only allowing the corner of her lips to lock it in, she walked away saying, “Find a better place for your MOD-SAMMED FLUFFING FLUFF STASH.”
Every day. To school- bussing it. To college- bussing it. To work- bussing it. To home bussing it. On the weekend- bus it to Derek’s- bus it to the mall- bus it to the game shop- skate shop- anywhere I want to go- bus it. PUBLIC TRANSIT SUCKS. Majority of the time it smells like sweat, urine, and unbathed hobo. Early in the morning, afternoon when high schools let out, and on the weekend during waking hours- the bus is FULL. Ugh?! And my 16th birthday is like not that far away… but will I get a car? No! I’m too poor for that😊 Will I get to drive occasionally- ha! I wish😊
I’m old enough for a learner’s permit and Jewel won’t take me to the DMV to get one. If I want one, I have to bus it there to get one… And who will teach me how to drive? Not Jewel, she has no time. Not the jerk, he has no car. Not Netty or Arnie because I like never get to see them. If Jewel knew I still talked to them I’m pretty sure she’d give me hell.
The real kicker is… Jewel hates lugging Genie and Albany all over the place and she doesn’t trust me to take them anywhere on the bus… so Jewel makes the statement like, “Sav you need to FLUFFING be 16 already so you can drive these little SNIFFs all over the place.”
What does that mean? She’ll teach me how to drive when I’m 16, or I’m just supposed to know how by then?”
I should be used to riding the bus. Both my life and riding the bus are very much the same in terms how I feel about them. I HATE THEM.
Tonight is the night! Jewel went to Vegas with the jerk for the weekend. The girls are going to bed at 9 pm and Derek is coming over. His mom is working the night shift at the hospital, so she’ll never know he’s not at home and because it’s our anniversary… we agreed it’s time to have sex…
Like, I don’t really want to completely. I mean I want to… I love him… everyone says you should be in love when you do it for the first time… but I don’t feel like I’m ready… This is huge! I show him like every day that I love him. I help him in class. I give him extra cash for the bus. I go with him to the skate park to watch him skate even though I think it’s totally boring. I pull him out of his funk when he’s depressed. I got a tattoo of his name that mom doesn’t know about for him… I go to parties with him and get high with him, and drink with him, and go down on him… because I would do anything for him. He’s my soulmate. And all I asked of him were two things, let me get good grades in school and let me not have sex all the way until I’m ready.
We were at a party last weekend. I told Jewel I went to Kaylie’s for the weekend, which was true, but we snuck out to go to Hayley’s party. She lives out in the Foothills. Her parents are loaded and she should go to private school, but the only high school that would take her was Brink, ours… She’s got a huge rap sheet. Her parents are gone so much they’re never around to even care when she adds to it.
A group of us were sharing some seriously good KGB via Hayley’s favorite bong… and some how the guys were talking about how gifted they were in their manhood. Everyone teased Derek saying he was the tiniest amongst the men and Derek got all defensive and pants’d himself to show the whole group how well-endowed he was… After that… all the girls from that group, even Hayley were flirty with him all night… Then it got around the entire school, and all day, everyday I have to watch girls flirt with Derek… in the hallways with small talk, in P.E. with their bodies, and in class by passing notes. Derek’s smart… he ignores it all as best he can and he shows me the notes so we can laugh about the girls… but I’m scared. If I don’t do more. I’ll lose him and he’s always been there. He can’t just stop being there.
So we were bussing it, after school, heading to my place and he told me to stop worrying about all the attention he was getting from girls at school. He reminded me that I’m his one true love. That we will be together forever. He reminded me our anniversary was Friday night and after being together for 3 years and knowing each other for 12 years… it was time… it was time to celebrate by making love. This was on Wednesday, I think… And originally we were going to do it at his house because his mom would be working, and I was going to use Kaylie as a cover and she was down with it as long as I promised to use protection, but when I went to ask Jewel to stay the night at Kaylie’s, Jewel announced her and the jerk were going to Vegas for the weekend.
“Tell us a story!” Genie yells from the hallway.
Genie and Albany come rushing around the corner, in their pajamas, all ready for bed. They climb on the couch, Genie to my left, Albany to my right.
Genie screams, “Tell us a story!”
“No, let’s just jump on the couch.” Albany says smiling. She faintly laughs as she stands up taking position. “We never get to when mom is here.”
Genie nods her hand and goes to stand up too. Expect, I fold her in my arms and sit her in my lap. Then I grab her by her arm pits and use all my strength and lift her in the air as I rise to my feet. “Let’s go jump on the bed.
As I rush to our bedroom, Genie spreads out her arms and yells, “I can fly!”
Albany chases after us and then passes us around the corner to the hallway to get to the bed first. When Genie and I get to the room, Albany is quite the gymnast doing back flips on the bed.
“Hey! No flips, just jumps!” I remind her to stay safe.
I toss Genie on the bed but I stay on the ground. I let the two of them jump their hearts out. Again and again they asked me to join them, but I stay firm and decline. If we break the bed, we’ll all get knocked around and burned for sure.
When they tired out, which was like two minutes later, they got under the covers. I tucked them in… and gave both those blue-eyed blondies a kiss on the lips goodnight. The light was off and the night light was on. I was halfway out the door when—
“Story!” Genie yells.
“No!” Albany shouts back.
Genie and Albany enter a verbal fighting contest to see who could be the loudest and get their way. I flip the light back on and take a seat at the foot of the bed and yell, “SHUT UP!”
Albany jolts up and says, “That was creepy, you sounded just like mom.”
Genie adds, “Don’t do that again… please…” Covering half her face with the blue comforter. Then she chants in a loud whisper, “Story! Story! Story!”
“It’s time for bed.” I say.
“Can you please tell us a story?” Genie asks with a gentle voice sitting up.
Albany rolls her eyes as she plops back down, “Fine…” she sighs. “Tell a stupid story. Just not the one about the cowgirls… That’s really stupid.” Albany covers her face like she’s a corpse.
“Which story should I tell Genie?”
“The Yellow Butterfly,” Genie says.
Albany jabs the air with her legs below the covers as she moans from frustration.
I rip the covers off Albany’s face and see Albany smiling. Albany is just giving us a hard time. She doesn’t want to go bed. She likes the idea of staying up all night just because mom isn’t here. I stick my tongue out at Albany as I throw the cover back over Albany’s face. I tell her to be quiet.
“You be quiet.” Albany sasses back.
“Stop it!” Genie shrieks.
“Both of you shut up or we all go to bed now.” I say firmly.
As if my words are law, neither speaks another phrase.
“Millicent, a beautiful Darlin of the Darlinquex Tribe, wanted to pick fresh wild flowers…” I tell the story of the Yellow Butterfly. It’s a story I made up myself since Jewel never buys the girls books. I don’t always remember it word for word, or even from plot point to the next, but Genie knows it well. Any time I spiral out of control off course, Genie gets the story back on track, nice and steady.
Before I find opportunity to tell the good part, where Millicent follows the Yellow Butterfly home, the roar of Genie’s snoring hits my ear, and Albany appears too quiet. Both of my sisters are sleeping. I’m free to wait for Derek.
Something is wrong. It’s 11 pm and I text Derek a bunch of times but I haven’t heard back from him. This was his idea… If he road his bike over, what if he got hit by a car or worse a bus. Maybe I should start calling hospitals? Or maybe his phone is dead… He never charges it… He always forgets. He’s like the only teenager on the planet not addicted to his phone… It’s weird. I bring my charger everywhere with me and I like never turn off my phone. I put it on silent. I never TURN. IT. OFF. NEVER.
Finally, at 11:13 pm there’s a knock on my door. Relief cools my nerves as I open the door to Derek, who steps into the living room fuming!
“It’s fluffing bark-sniff!” He yells.
I take his hands and put them on my waist, and I cup his face in my hands. Staring him straight in the eye, I ask what’s going.
We take a deep breath together and he rests his forehead against mine. He breaks into to tears and through his muffled groaning he explains… His mom didn’t go to work tonight. He was getting ready to come over and his dad and stepmom and half-brother were in the living room… waiting for him to come out of his room… They confronted him about some drugs his mom found… Weed and prescriptions pills Trevor gave to him… They found the condemns and his mother read his journal… about him wanting to commit suicide. All the drafts of letters he wrote to his family. All the ways he planned to kill himself… His journal had more disturbing things. Drawings and doodles of the creatures that tormented him at night. The confessions that he sometimes heard voices telling him to kill himself. His mom showed his journal to a clinical psychiatrist at the hospital.
Tomorrow his family is taking him to a really expensive mental facility in California. If he tests looney, he’ll be staying until he’s better. If he just needs anti-depressants and is not a threat to himself or to anyone… he’s going to military school…
I can’t stop crying. I feel like the floor got ripped from underneath me. We collapse to the ground and holding each other we cry.
Once we were all cried out. I move as he moved and we sit in the silence with our backs against each other. For some reason the warmth we generate is soothing… sort of…
“We could runaway.” I suggest.
“No… you’re going to college and high school at the same time… don’t run from that…”
“I don’t care. I don’t need school like I need you.”
“They’re just worried I’m going to be like Laney.”
Laney or Delaney was Derek’s older sister. His parents got divorced because she killed herself. They don’t admit that, but they were happy together when Delaney was alive and then they hated each other after she died. At first, they thought it was because of bullying, but then it turned out she had schizophrenia- which is incredibly rare in teenagers, especially teenage girls… but all her journals and some of her YouTube videos showed all the signs.
“But you’re not… You’re perfectly sane! You go to counseling…”
“Yeah… but I don’t tell that shrink SNIFF…” He confesses.
We both knew that. We were both afraid if he told his shrink all that he experiences, he would get sent away. Now our fear has come true.
I turn to his back… For some reason… I want to do it now. If we have sex, he’ll know that I’ll be waiting for him and we’ll be bound to each other in a closer way than ever before. I rise on my knees and begin to rub his shoulders. He looks up at me and says, “We shouldn’t make love… it will hurt more when I go…”
Like that really old Spidey Movie, I kiss Derek upside down… which is hard… but not bad…
As we break for air and Derek faces me and he asks again, “Are you sure?”
I nod. I’ve never been more sure than now. We continue, not even moving to the couch. I lean down on my back as he leans forward staying on top of me. But as things get intensified between us… I’m scared… I know this is different. I love him and he loves me. I just don’t think I’m ready for this.
Derek breaks up our make out session. He notices the tears streaming down my face. He sits up sighing. I jolt up wiping my eyes.
“It’s okay… It’s not what it seems like… I’m ready for this…” I reassure him. I run my fingers through his long, light brown hair as I go to kiss him again, but he turns his head making my lips land on his cheek.
“No… I think we should wait…”
I put my hand on his thigh, and I mentally prepare to satisfy him the second best way, but he brushes my hand away. He looks at me and stares at me straight in the eye, “I love you, Sav… Let’s just wait until we’re both ready.”
“Really?” I ask to make sure.
Kissing me softly as he rubs my back… “Yeah baby… Waiting for you will be worth it.”
All I can do is hug him. I’m so grateful for him. I don’t deserve him. I know I should have given him this one thing, but I’m glad he wants to wait until I’m ready. Not a lot of guys are like that…
“Promise me we’ll talk as much as we can?” I beg.
He kisses me on the forehead, then he goes back to holding me in a hug, “I promise.”
Thank you for reading “Bussing It” and tune in next Sunday for another fresh installment!
Pretty soon I’ll be launching #ManuscriptMonday, where I’ll be posting a chapter a week, every Monday, to a book I want to publish. I’ll give you a hint: it’s a little sci-fi-ish… maybe it will be seen as dystopian but I can’t say that for sure. If you enjoy #StorySunday, I think you’ll enjoy Mondays more.
Right now, every Thursday you can experience some #StorySundayThrowbacks. Every Thursday until the stories run out! It’s the 1 year anniversary since I began “+Positively Unexpected”, which is about Tasha living in a future wear getting an abortion is really complicated. Yes, I’m a pro-lifer, but I wanted to address the topic of abortion a little outside the box. Check it out if you’re interested. Part One is already back up!
I’m excited to share my writing journey with you, and if you like what you read or think a friend would enjoy it, I’m asking that you share it, but you don’t have to… it’s up to you.
Mirror, mirror, set before me
Show me the things I dread to see
That at heart I can be naïve
My melodramatic side
Is a genetic trait I cannot hide
And all these pet peeves I have about my own flesh and blood
Are the very traits that stream from my soul like a flood
This mirror called my family
They are everything I am
The good, the bad, the ugly, the sad
For some wild reason seeing this truth left me grateful and glad
How blessed I am, not cursed
To be the product of such diversity, immersed
In the likeness of generations pasts
With an inherited lens from ages that has managed to last
And many could say that I am stuck with this carnal nature of my DNA
But there is another NAME of a family to which I belong
And by that NAME I’m a new creature, not perfect but strong
I’m not ashamed, filled with guilt, or wrecked with pain
I see the world with nothing to lose but with everything to gain
Not for a lifetime of glory that will fade like a vapor before the mercy throne
But for eternity with stored treasure called souls, like jewels in the crown of the greatest love I’ve ever known
Mirror, mirror, my kin
I’m not held in chains by your sins
The next generation that I will bear
Will not be caught in death’s snare
Designed by the blood oath of our fathers and their fathers
But instead the next generation will have the lineage of a different Father
The bloodline of a King
The best part makes me want to sing
All that gunk I mentioned before
All the stuff I saw in my reflection that displayed who I am to the core
Will still be a part of me, free from the shackles of carnality
The good, the bad, the ugly, and the sad
Will be balanced and be as they should, so well it will look like a fad
So thanks again and again a thousand times yes again and again
To God be the glory forever and ever, AMEN
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall”
I see the woman who answered the call
A call to be part of the Christ’s Bride
A call to be a child of the Most High
Above all, to know the one who created me to be HUMAN
The creature I see staring back at me is NOT…
And definitely NOT- QUOTE – “ONLY HUMAN” – END QUOTE, which is really SUB-HUMAN
I am Human-Female
There’s nothing gray, twisted, or wrong with that
Mirror, mirror, I am beautifully sculpted, totally original, by Creator God- Father, Counselor, Friend, and Lover
No other created thing could be any better
Than the Self-Existent One
Spirit of God make me more and more WHOLE like YOU, WHOLE as shown in the life of Jesus, Your Son
Deus, who’s actual name is Tom, pats me on the back as he tells me congratulations. As I walked in the door, he just decided to promote me to bar-manager/bartender. He’ll pay me a couple more dollars an hour and he feels comfortable enough to leave me alone to handle the Dive, the name of the bar, on my own. What is it with everyone abandoning me today? At least here I’ll be surrounded by drunks.
Deus, if you couldn’t notice by the name, is cock-headed. He thinks highly of himself and as the most dedicated atheist I know, he lives not only to discredit religion but to mock God as if he’s almost real. What Deus thrives on more is pissing people off. If a court would allow him, he’d change his name to God or Deus, but no judge is that immoral. Out of respect for peoples’ religion, I call him Tom, and he’s okay with it. Aside from his son, I’m the only who can call him by his birth name.
Well into his sixties, he sports a long white beard, and shoulder-length predominantly white hair. And usually always wears all-white. White slacks, a white short-sleeve button shirt, and white flip flops. I think he takes the mockery of God too far, but I think what once was a gimmick to him became his notoriety. I once went to a hardware store with him, because he had to make a few repairs at the Dive, and workers and customers at that place knew who he was. People will do anything not to be forgotten.
“The place is all yours Demi-Deus Dos,” Tom chuckles handing me a set of keys, “Tonight should be slow and clean up should be quick. Lock up will be a breeze.”
I watch him leave the Dive a little stunned. I haven’t worked here a full three months and I’ve been promoted. I didn’t think I’d actually get the bartender job. I applied for the heck of it. I wasn’t even sure I was legally old enough. Some people say you have to be 21 in AZ, others say 19 is okay. If Tom was a normal human being and not the freak he was I would rest easy that bartending age is 19, but Tom doesn’t exactly follow the law on a daily basis. The only statute he follows to a T is the status of the Dive’s liquor license.
“Can I commit commandment 6?” April, a loyal drunk, asks from her usual seat at the bar behind me.
Yes, Tom is that sick. He’s dedicated a drink to each ten commandment. Thou shalt not kill is an easy one to figure out: Bloody Mary.
April, who’s old enough to have given birth to me, flirts with me as I make her precious drink. Telling me about how she goes wild for Irishmen and the thing or two she could show me if I give her the chance. I guess it’s really not flirting… She’s blatantly open and honest about things she wants to do to and do with me.
The woman’s a heavy smoker and reeks of cigarettes, her dark, black hair is frazzled and thin, and she’s covered in faded tattoos. I’m not really into girls with tattoos. They’re gross. I’m definitely not in to women who smoke, double gross! I loved my mother, I still do, but I never had the desire to screw her, therefore I will never screw that woman. But I do let her think she may get somewhere someday… Did I mention she’s a mighty generous tipper?
As I tune April out, talking about her days as a stripper, I look around the bar and there are only two other people around. Both regulars: Harold and Shannon. Harold’s a navy vet from Vietnam, so he didn’t see much action, but he sure acts like it. Shannon is a dude, and if I had a girl’s name I’d drink a lot too. He wears black attire; he never takes off his shades, and drinks nothing but Jack Daniels. I think he’s trying to be the incarnate of Johnny Cash. Instead of singing a song about A Boy Named Sue, it can be a song about The Man Named Shannon.
Only a few more customers stroll in out before close. The loyal drunks, by no surprise, are too wasted to drive home. I had to confiscate their keys and call all three a cab. Cab drivers will drive drunks home for free and then the next day, drive them back to their car for free too. I always feel bad the cab drivers have to do all that work without pay, so I just give them fifty bucks from the tip jar. Tonight, since business was slow. I’m only giving out twenty to each driver.
Clean up was easy. Quick restock of the bar. Quick wipe down of a few tables. And lastly a quick mop. Lights out, lock all the doors, and I was home a little before two in the morning.
My alarm goes off at six, as it always does Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, but I don’t get out of bed until 6:45 am. I don’t bother to shower. I might even skip food, but when I step into the hallway I smell the makings of cooking pancakes and frying sausage, which means Peg is here. Entering the kitchen, the strong aroma of French Vanilla Roast coffee engulfs my nose. A mug filled with fresh brew is offered to me by Peg, who I might add looks beautiful this morning. Her sun-kissed blonde hair braided into a fishtail. Her face made up with light blue eye shadow and a glossy, glittery rose pink lip balm gives her thin lips some volume. Wearing her own pair of tattered, faded blue skinny jeans, she wears one of my brother’s green Henley’s, the sleeves are scrunched up above her elbows, and the bottom hem of the shirt nearly meets her knees like a super short dress.
I can’t refuse fresh brew, especially when tiredness threatens to take me back to bed.
“Sit down. Let me fix you a plate.” She says.
Why resist her hospitality? I take a seat at the bar counter, on a comfy, cushy stool instead of the table. Leaning forward, propping myself up on one elbow, I slowly sip the dark, yet smooth roast. Again, I’m King Odd… I love the bitter, tart taste of coffee.
Seconds later, a plate piled high with five, fluffy pancakes and four big patties of sausage I try not to have a heart attack prior to my first bite. Peg sets the bottle of cold syrup in front of my plate. She remembers that I’m the only person on the planet that doesn’t like hot syrup.
As I wolf down breakfast, determined to leave at a decent time so I’m exceptionally late to class, I just have to know, so with a mouthful of food I ask, “Why are you back together with my brother?”
Peg chuckles obnoxiously as she starts cleaning the dishes she made. For a moment, she ponders over the question staring at the running water from the faucet. Finally she admits, “I don’t know.”
I nearly choke trying not to laugh. After I endure a coughing fit to preserve my life, I chug some lukewarm coffee to wash down the remnants of food. As I finish up my food, I listen to Peg rationalize her decision to get back together with Alastair.
“When we met for coffee last Saturday, he told me how lonely he’s been. That he hasn’t even been able to use his childish antics to chase after other girls. That I’ve been the only one on his mind for the past few months… It was the most honesty I’ve ever seen come from him, and somehow I just knew things would be different this time.”
Wow, my brother is the god of bullshit. He told Peg exactly what she wanted to hear to swindle her back into his arms. If hell is real, there’s a special place waiting for him there. I don’t have the heart to tell her that Alastair picked up two chicks Friday night… one right after the other… I’m not going to focus on how disgusting that is… She could be right, things could be different this time. They could break up even faster once she learns the truth.
Alastair walks into the kitchen and waltzes over to Peg, folds her into his grasp, and kisses her without taking modesty into consideration. Peg starts tittering from embarrassment over their PDA and she gently nudges him away. Still hugging on her, gearing up for another kiss, Alastair says, “The van’s all packed. We just have to go pick up Dougie and Sly.” Sly’s the second guitarist for the band. Traveling the country in a Dodge Caravan with four people and a bunch of music equipment is going to get cramped. Glad I’m not going.
I don’t really do well with goodbyes. Finished with breakfast, I stand up and try to take my dishes to the sink, but Peg races over to me to steal my dishes. As she cleans them off, Alastair squeezes me into a quick, snug embrace. After a couple pats on the back, he releases me. I guess we’re both not good with goodbyes. He doesn’t say anything to me. Walking away he informs Peg he’ll be in the van waiting for her.
Drying off the dishes she just cleaned, and putting them away, one after the other, Peg says, “He’s gonna miss you. You’re the most important person in the world to him.”
“Huh,” emits from my lips. He may say that but he never really shows it.
Peg takes a second glance to make sure she didn’t miss a dish. Satisfied, she follows me to the front door. Seizing the opportunity, she too hugs me goodbye and says, “I’ll make sure he calls you.” Softly, she pecks me on the cheek ending the hug.
I take a moment to watch them drive away before I get into my car. It’s official… I’m a loner now.
Circle time just began when I burst loudly through the door. It’s not like I could help it, the door is loud. Gracie gestures me to join her side. Then she’s fast to boast about her friend, David Marchetti, being in a Late Night Show at the Invincible Theatre, and that her and I are going opening night of the 27th of this month.
“Cool, what’s it called?” Geoff asks.
I shrug my shoulders because I have no idea. I met two people in the production and they left out the title.
“Waiver… as in a waiver you would sign to relieve any responsibility for a sky diving company if you get injured or die.” Gracie explains.
“Is that what it’s about?” Geoff wonders.
“No… It’s about a woman struggling to break free from a life of abuse and reconcile her faith. I hear it’s a little Theatre of Absurd. I just know the acting is going to be phenomenal!”
The remainder of class muddles along. As does the rest of my day, and day after day, week after week here after, I go through the motions slightly detached from the world. If I could, I’d sleep all day and all night. I’d sleep my way into a coma if it was possible. Keeping the house is more important to me than my own sanity, therefore attending school and work outweighs my desire to escape life through R.E.M
Coming Up w/ Grady from B/C of Faith
Suddenly, a presence looming behind me makes me feel self-conscience. Am I standing in a weird position? Does my hair look alright? A deep gurgle vrooms from that looming presence and a question follows, “You don’t like the script, huh?” I here David ask.
He steps around me and stands beside Gracie. She reaches out to him and he swoops in her an embrace, lifting her high off the ground. Once he sets her down, talking the speed of a fret train, she tells him everything she loved about the play, which is everything. Once David confesses how he struggled for months to write the script, I suddenly know why Gracie loves everything about it. He also directed the play… no real surprise there. Some actors aren’t meant to write and direct… they’re just meant to act… but some think they can do it all.
“Grady?” I hear a half-excited, half-shocked shrill from behind me. I turn around and Kelsey Cadence rushes to wrap me in her arms. Sighing partly with relief and partly with enthusiasm, Kelsey confesses, “I’m SO glad you came!” Abruptly, very repentantly, she removes herself from my person and asks, “Did you come with a date.” She looks around past me, directly at someone, and gazing over my shoulder I notice she’s eyeing Gracie, probably wondering if she’s my date.
Hello! As mentioned earlier, thank you for partaking in #StorySunday.
Grady Timmins, Tasha Turner, Ann Taylor-Talmadge, and Cleo Swan are some of the recent characters featured in stories @ briannamonique.blog …
I’m BriAnna Monique, the author of every original story, and if you enjoy what you read on #StorySunday, I’m glad and that warms my heart.
Come back every Sunday to read more!
If you’re a fellow saint, I pray the Father keeps you. If you’re not a saint yet, I dare you, ask God if He’s real and I know He’ll reveal Himself to you.
BriAnna Monique Williams, blogger
Miranda and I are walking hand in hand as we walk Beau in the park. A Border Collie with assembly line markings of his breed. Black and white long, flowing fur with beady but wise nutmeg colored eyes. He doesn’t need a leash. He stays in front of us, scoping out the land with his sniffer. Making sure the way before us is safe to travel.
Sonoran desert sunrays warms the skin with nearly flame hot heat, but the huffy, warm air takes away the sting of the heat a little. Every time I look at Miranda, her beauty mesmerizes me. If I didn’t know her so well, I’d be speechless.
I tell her a joke I think she’ll appreciate.
“How does Moses make his coffee?” I ask.
“How?” She inquires.
Laughter escapes her lips signaling that she enjoyed the joke. She slaps me in the shoulder and tells me that joke was cheesy.
Her long, dark brown hair glistens a faint redwood hue under the sun’s light. That red hair of hers beaming with such a heavenly glow that makes her embody sheer gorgeousness. Her narrow, pensive brown eyes gaze at me lovingly as she notices my staring eyes.
Beau barks ferociously to direct our attention to what’s before us. It’s Felix Salinger, dressed in his high school football uniform. The entire cheerleading squad surrounds him, hanging all over him like slutty vampires waiting to sink their teeth into him. His camera-ready-face with his strong Latin jaw and flirty Spaniard countenance taunts me. Miranda lets go of my hand and takes off running toward Felix, shouting his name like she’s about to have an orgasm. And the closer she gets to Felix, Beau turns around barking at me and nipping at my feet. Right as he pounces to attack, I wake up to my blaring phone alarm set for six in the morning.
I forgot to turn off my alarm from yesterday. Well, now I’m up to enjoy something I haven’t seen in a while. Saturday Morning Cartoons! Sweet!!!
I throw on some briefs, a T-shirt that doesn’t smell funky so it can’t be dirty, and I grab a mixing bowl full of knock off brand fruity pebbles. The only spoon clean is a big cooking spoon. It shouldn’t be too difficult to eat from. I plop on the couch and turn on the TV as a proud couch potato and flip to channel eight to veg-out to the dumbest, wackiest cartoons ever created.
In the middle of my favorite one, about the faster than light hedgehog, Alastair emerges from the hallway and plants himself in the middle of my viewing point. He’s half dressed with his ratty, patch-less pants on and socks on his feet. Nervously, he looks over his shoulder, back down the hallway, right before he slips his greasy, dingy muscle shirt on. If it doesn’t look clean, it can’t pass for clean. He should wash that.
“Will you get out of the way already!” I yell at him.
Shushing me loudly, he crouches low as he rushes over to me, and leans into my face. Putting a hand on my shoulder, I have a feeling of what he’s about to say.
“Brother,” he says. He pauses to glance over his shoulder.
Do me a favor…
“Do me a favor why don’t you?” He asks.
Take care of the girl when she wakes up…
“See to it, when the girl wakes up that you take care of her and let her know that things are cool…” He licks his lips anxiously, “But make sure it’s clear there isn’t going to be a next time, alright?” He pats me on the face as if he’s being encouraging.
Revoking the opportunity for me to accept or reject, he stands up and says, “Thank you, brother. I owe you.”
By the door, he hurriedly slips into his shoes. He doesn’t even untie the laces to slip them on easily. He opens the door, and outdoor daylight beams in like blinding stage lights. Spotting his shades on the coffee table he snatches them quickly, and staring into the light he puts on his big, bulky, golden aviator shades.
“Where are you going?” I manage to ask before he closes the door fully.
Poking in his head back through the door, he whispers loudly, “I’m meeting Peg for coffee.”
“You’re back together with her?” I ask already feeling sorry for the sweet woman.
“No.” He admits. Then snickering he adds, “But I will be, after coffee.”
The sound of a female yawn wisps from down the hall. The girl he banged last night is up, which means I have no time to ask if it was the black dream from the monastery. Like a scared little boy, Alastair escapes out the door, yanking it shut behind him.
I figure I should at least look descent. It’s not the first time I’ve let girls off easy for my brother. I set my nearly finished bowl of cereal on the floor next to me. The sugary, pinkish milk is the best part when it slides down the throat all creamy with the grit of left over pieces of cereal. Stroking my hair to lay flat in all directions, I figure my bowl cut must look halfway presentable now.
Yawns are contagious. I yawn as I hear barefooted steps head toward the living room down the hallway. I open my eyes as my yawn ends, the footsteps have stopped, and I’m shocked to see Kelsey Cadence.
A seething rage forms a stuffy energy to encase my heart and if my brother were here I know for a fact I’d strangle him. I wouldn’t kill him, but I’d sure as hell get close…
Ten… nine… eight…
Counting backwards from ten sometimes helps with the anger. I think it’s working or maybe it’s just being in her presence that’s calming me down. Now that I think about it, it’s not like my brother knows I have a huge crush on Kelsey. I never told him. When he pointed her out last night, he was just thinking she was a random girl he could entice me with to be his wingman.
Her gaze is fixated on the terracotta tile floor. The language of her body is tense with shame and embarrassment as she slouches into the support of her crossed arms. The perfect Lara Croft braid she had last night is a mess now, with strands sticking out every which way as a crown of frizzles stand at the edge if her hairline. Her wrinkled strapless, pink and green floral dress serves as a sign that she slept in it. Her black, dance flats tucked in her clenched, underarm grasp. Clearly, one night stands aren’t her thing. I hope it’s what she wanted, well, I hope at least that she was a willing participant.
To break the awkward silence, I clear my throat. The gurgled noise causes Kelsey to look at me, and just for a second her shame falls as a coy smile posts on her face. She seems happy to see me.
“About last night,” I say and quickly confusion encompasses her face.
With angry pursed lips and a raised brow, she asks, “What happened to your accent?”
Trying not to laugh because she fell for his gimmick, but she thinks that I’m Alastair. She must have been pretty drunk.
“You couldn’t tell the accent was phony?”
Kelsey marches up to me, she gets as close to my face as she can, “What kind of jerk goes around picking up chicks with a fake accent?”
Chuckling a little, I admit, “A big one.”
Moaning in angered unbelief she turns away from me. Restraining herself from trying to hit me with one of her shoes, holding both shoes like twin daggers equipped to strike at any moment.
“Look, I don’t normally do this sort of thing.” She says.
I give a typical, “Mmhmm,” so it seems like I care, but amazingly enough I don’t. I do feel a little sorry for her, but then I remember she’s an idiot when it comes to reality. She should learn how to detect a@#holes on her radar.
“I’m just gonna go.” She blurts as she darts for the door. She steps into her shoes, one at a time, and then she walks out the door closing it gently. At least she has manners.
The door slowly creeps back open. With humiliation lathered all over her, from her facial expression to the way she moves, she lunges back inside, she hurries down the hallway, and moments later she comes back out toting a big, gaudy, purse made with black patent leather. Again she exits the house, only to come back inside.
“Can I wait inside for a ride, after I call for one?” She asks holding up her smartphone to prove that she plans to call someone.
I want to say no and make her wait in the hot sun, but I don’t have the right to be angry with her. It’s not like she knows I like her in that way. And now my chances are absolutely blown with her… since I’m a big jerk that used a ridiculously terrible Irish accent to pick her up and have hot, meaningless sex with her.
“Sure.” I say, offering her a seat in the recliner by pointing at it.
Of course, I could explain my brother’s the jerk while she waits for her ride. Then I would kind of be throwing my brother under the bus.
“Thanks Grady.” She says sitting into the rocking recliner.
“Your name is Grady isn’t it?” She double-checks.
Curse that brother of mine! He stole my identity too to score with the chick. I’m definitely going to strangle him now.
“Yep, it sure is. Grady Timmins…”
She scrolls through her contacts and then makes a call. Right when the other line picks up, she asks, “Can you come pick me up?” Listening to whoever she called, she rubs the back of her neck. “Where am I?” she questions. Then she looks at me to clarify she was actually asking where she’s at geographically.
As I giveaway my address, number by number, letter by letter, Kelsey repeats all the info to her rescuer on the other line.
Then for a long period of time, she listens to the person she called. She must not receive the most positive attitude from that person by the glum look on her face as she takes in every word.
“You said if I ever needed anything, I could call though. I have no one else to call.” She defends herself.
She listens to the other person response. Before she hangs up she says, “Thanks… I appreciate it.”
I sit back down on the couch, I pick up my bowl of milk, and we wait. Our eyes both fall on the TV, but I wonder if she’s like me. I can’t stay focused on the program. The uncomfortable atmosphere of this slice in our lives makes it impossible to concentrate on anything.
I think of all the ways I could hurt Alastair, aside from strangling him. I could castrate him, but then he’d be a whiny eunuch and knowing him he’d pick up more women with his vulnerable-guy-act with a sob story. There’s beating him to a bloody pulp and then throwing him in a tub of ice to dull the pain. The latter idea is growing on me.
“I saw the guitars in your room, do you play?”
Seriously, she’s trying to make a small talk with me. Yesterday, I would have killed to have small talk with her. I might as well embrace the moment… and enjoy it a little bit.
“A little, it’s my brother that has the passion for it. They’re probably his guitars. I was just messing around with them the other night, I think.”
“I love the guitar. I learned how to play my freshman year of college.” She begins to unbraid her hair. “I’m a novice really, but at least I’m an all-star vocalist.” She titters.
I find myself chortling with her. I agree with her, “That you are…”
“OH GOD!” She shrieks as she covers her face with her loose crinkled hair strands. Looking at me with one eye open, “Did I sing while we were… you know… doing it?” She recloses her eye as if she could shut out the potential future embarrassment. Wow, she sings during sex. Now I wish it was me instead of my brother. Not that I think I’d be turned on by it, but it would be fun to witness in action.
For the heck of it, since I’m knee deep in this lie, I say, “Yes, yes you did.”
“Uh!” she groans disappointedly. Lifting her face out of her hair, she questions, “Do you think I’m a freak?”
I try to get her to relax. “Like I’m any less a freak,” I say.
We both laugh at our circumstance. In that instance, the awkwardness between us dissolved and a natural flow of conversation sprung. We talked about theatre and the numerous types. The motion of time became irrelevant. Missing my Saturday cartoons didn’t bother me. I, at last, converse with Kelsey Cadence.
I allow her to talk mostly. She talks about her last stint of auditions for the U. She didn’t research any of the plays in the U’s season. Unfamiliar with the characters and completely clueless of the plots in each play, her nerves almost put her body in shock. She doesn’t even remember how she performed her monologue. She couldn’t recall if she nailed it or bombed it. That’s why she was surprised to be the lead in two of productions this year. In Nov. she’ll be the lead in the U’s new segment of main stage originals, the first of student work to be produced on a grand scale by the U. Then, in April she’ll be a weeping leading lady in a Classical Greek Tragedy. Right now she’s finishing up rehearsal for a late night show, at a small local theatre. The production is four nights only opening Friday Sept. 27th at 10:30 pm., on Saturday night at the same time too, and then is closes the following weekend on Oct. 5th. If all goes well it might get picked up for a couple extra nights on Wednesday and Thursday of that first October week.
Kelsey finally gets to finish fixing her hair. Kelsey combs back her frizzy hair and loose strands with her fingers, and wraps the long tail of trailing hair into an imperfect, swirly bun. Stretching her neck, by cocking her head side to side in even-timed-intervals she sighs in relief as the tension loosens in her neck and shoulders.
“You should bring a date or someone and come to opening night. And tell like everyone you know to come.” As she stretches her arms up and back behind her head in a long reach. I have a guy moment and stare at her perky breast perched out as her back arches the harder she stretches.
“That wouldn’t be awkward for you?”
Her bashfulness emerges as she comes out of her stretch, and curls her arms close to her body, by resting her clasped hands in her lap. Again her line of sight falls on the ground. Biting her bottom lip she says, “Not really.”
For being a wonderful actress onstage, she’s a wide open book with a horrible poker face in real life. I would genuinely be interested in going. And I know without a doubt it wouldn’t be awkward or weird for me. I love to see her onstage. Gracie would probably want to go check it out.
I tell her, “Maybe.”
“Seriously though, if you don’t go, tell like everyone you know to come, k?” She pleads as subtly as she possibly can or as I assume as much.
Her phone rings, the chorus to the Rhianna song Stay blares. She answers the phone.
“You’re here?” She asks and listens. “What do you mean you’re lost?” She tells her ride to hold on. “How does he get here from Nolan St. and Rhodes Ave.?”
Him…? Did she call her dad or something?
“Tell him to take Rhodes to Pearce, turn left and take Pearce to Longo, take a right, and we’re the third house the left.”
Kelsey stares at me blankly. She didn’t pick up a word I said.
“Don’t leave! Hold on,” she barks into her phone. Agitatedly, she forks her phone over to me to give her personal taxi directions.
I take the phone.
“Kels! I don’t have all day.” I hear Felix Salinger hound. “I have a flight to catch in two hours for the game tonight.”
He begins to rant, calling Kelsey vulgar names. When he hears me clear my throat he falls silent. Then he questions who’s on the line with him. I ignore that inquiry and give him directions to my house. I stay on the line with him.
“Is yours the house with the old lady car out front?”
He’s referring to my moonglow Prius C. With the gas guzzler he probably drives, he’s probably just jealous I get crazy good gas mileage. I open the door and wave to him in his old school, hulky crème Escalade.
Kelsey joins me at the door. I hang up the phone and hand it to her. For lingering seconds, we gaze into each other’s eyes. I have no idea the thought floating through her head, but I wonder if I’ll ever see her again.
Impatiently, Felix honks his horn. Startling us both, this then causes us both to focus on everything around us. Kelsey’s reflexes must be wired to react to his demands. She exits the door toward his SUV parked by the curb.
Since high school, I’ve wanted to find a way to tick this guy off. Now I finally have the chance. I grab Kelsey by the arm, and reel her back inside. Cupping her face cautiously, but quickly and without flinching I kiss her long and tenderly, drawing out as much time as I can. I kind of want to puke knowing my brother touched the tongue my tongue now touches, but I keep my mind on the reward. A long, eardrum rattling, honk blares from the Escalade. I could keep our kissing session going, but out of politeness, Kelsey and I mutually pull away from our lips’ embrace. Not-so-coincidentally Felix’s horn stops honking.
Walking backwards, Kelsey timidly waves goodbye with a smile of bliss on her face. Once she turns around, she runs ever-so-girly to Felix’s Escalade. She climbs in and before she fully closes the door he speeds off revving his engine down the street.
If everyone wasn’t up this Saturday morning, they are now. What a selfish punk… I hope she makes it home sane. I guess with that kiss I didn’t really think about her, I just thought about me.
Still, it felt great to piss off that son of a b@#%*! And if she wasn’t cool with the kiss, she would have pushed me away, right? I hope she would have.