Story Sneak Peeks
Here are parts of some of my stories. I’ll post them as I write them. Enjoy! 🙂
I lay still, not feeling anything. Not a tingle, not a twitch, not the slight rise and fall of my chest as I breathe. Maybe it’s from years of agony, maybe I no longer care enough to notice. No, I know the real answer; I’m paralyzed. I haven’t moved for over 10 years. I can hear fine, and I see perfectly, but my ability to feel and move has vanished.
Yet I still feel pain. Not the physical kind, but the emotional kind. I hurt inside.
“Hannah, it’s time to eat. Would you like an egg sandwich or leftover pancakes?” Gretchen asks hurriedly. I know she doesn’t like having to care for me hand and foot, but she means well and I am grateful for it.
“Well, pancakes I guess. Thanks.” In truth, I’d prefer to go without breakfast than eat what was available; both were disgustingly tasteless.
“Okay, then. Pancakes it is!” My sister rushes to the kitchen, pulling her heels on as she walks.
I lay there, propped up into a sitting position by a pile of couch pillows. I’m afraid whenever she leaves. I know that my grandmother will be here if I need anything, but it’s not the same without Gretchen.
I hear the microwave beep and the sound of my sister’s heels clanking against the tile floor.
“Here you go.” She takes a forkful of sludge and holds it in front of my mouth, “Sorry I’m in such a rush. Mr. Germaine just gets so frustrated when I’m late.” She goes on to tell me about her latest project at work. I try to pay attention as she blurts out what she’s been doing for the past 6 months, but all I remember is that it has something to do with white balloons and roses. She is a wedding planner. It’s a shame she’ll never be able to plan my wedding.
As she grabs her keys and quickly walks out the door, I sigh. I turn my head and push a button to turn the TV on. I flip through the channels, but I find nothing except silly soap operas and game shows. I turn it off and sigh again. I sit there and talk to myself quietly. No one will hear me; my grandmother is hard of hearing and she’s the only other person in the house.
“Hannah” I say to myself, mimicking my mothers’ voice, “I hope you’re having a nice day. I love you.” I smile reminiscently. My mother always said that to me when I was upset. I’d usually lie and tell her that I was alright, but then I’d smile and cheer up. I miss her… now more than ever.
THE ART OF SECRECY
It was late Spring of 2008. I’d just met a handsome young man in Naples, Italy and we were out to dinner at a fancy restaurant. He was an American-turned-Italian chef named Leo Farrell and I was a “tourist” with no one else to spend my time with, or so our story went. He and I met at a small cafe earlier that day and agreed to meet at 8 for dinner. I dressed up and he wore a t-shirt and jeans.
‘Very inconspicuous’, I thought quietly when we sat at our table in a quiet area.
He glanced up and smiled, nodding.
I hid a gasp—I was taken aback at this careless gesture. Everyone else I’d ever met who was in this kind of circumstance felt very secretive about it. He wasn’t. He was different… and not necessarily in the good way.
“Excuse me ma’am, but what are you doing here?” He said quietly. Ah, he hadn’t been reading my mind as much as I thought.
“Business,” I said, not wanting to tell him the honest truth but silently adding on that my name was Rachel.
He was quiet for a moment, clearly annoyed that he was unable to read my mind. “Rachel, please. This is like depriving a pie-eating contestant of his yummy pie.”
I smiled, “Business, nothing more.” I looked down, smoothed my red dress, and thought with a sad tone, ‘I’m here, Leo, because your brother Paul is dead. He sent me here because you are our last resort. It took some time to track you down, but here we are and I have some important things to talk to you about.’
His face showed traces of confusion, anger, and sadness. But then he looked at me and flashed a smile. His eyes glazed over with tears and he looked at the menu, “So what are you ordering? The soup looks good.”
MISS ANNA REED
I looked down at her little face, which undeniably belong to a child of Tobey Barone, and smiled. Her big brown eyes brought me back to a time when I was happy, a time I actually enjoyed life… a time I enjoyed being me. I bent over to pick up the pen I’d dropped and sighed; this was not what I’d expected.
“Good morning, Penelope.” I said.
“Good morning, Miss Reed.” She smiled; she clearly had the intuition of her father and knew it was my first day.
I nodded and walked back to my desk, cracking my neck. Maybe if I’d slept sounder the night before I wouldn’t have been stiff. But I didn’t, and I remembered, as I turned around to see a classroom full of innocent old eyes staring at me from their desks, that my job was not to be distracted by the crick in my neck… nor was it to silently reminisce about my college love life. It was to educate these children, and I was going to try my darnedest to teach them well.
“Good morning to you all! I am so glad you’re all here today.” I pasted a smile on and quickly made eye contact with each and every student. “My name is Miss Anna Rend.” I smiled again and spun around to write my name on the white board with a big blue marker, consciously writing Anna Reed instead of Anna Barone. “I can remember my first day of kindergarten.” I leaned on my desk and took a deep breath, “It was a little scary. But I went to school for twelve more years, and I liked it enough that I wanted to go to school for another four years, then teach school!” I smiled nervously; I never wanted to be a kindergarten teacher. I wanted to be a paleontologist… like Tobey. I opened my mouth to continue.
“Miss Anna Reed?” A little boy said, not bothering to raise his hand.
I took a quick breath, glanced at my list of names and nodded, “Call me Miss Reed, please, Hendrix.” I nonchalantly rubbed my neck.
He giggled. “I need to pee, Miss Reed.”
And the rest of the day followed suit.