#NaNoWriMo – A Clip From Heartsong (an unedited work in progress)

Kellie and I visited the cemetery the day after they put Lillian’s headstone back, where I’d modified it. I knelt by Lillian’s grave, placed my hand on the runner of roses, and cried. My daughter was gone. I knew that. I also knew it was almost time to say goodbye. All I had left was to Jillian’s headstone. After that, I’d be able to say goodbye to them.

“Lillian, sweetheart, there’s something I have to tell you.” My hand rested on the headstone. “I want you to know, you don’t need to worry about me.” I reached for Kellie’s hand, pulled her forward. “I want you to meet Kellie.”Kel

Before Kellie could say anything I continued talking to Lillian, “See. I’ve met Kellie. So, I’m not alone here anymore.” I smiled, through the tears. “She’s my best friend. And I love her.” I spoke to Lillian like she was there. To me, she was. “I met her at breakfast one morning.”

“We became friends, started dating.” I patted the headstone. “Yeah. Me. Dating. I bet you never thought that would happen.” I paused, then continued my one-sided conversation with Lillian, “Now, don’t be mad. I know. She’s not your mother. But I know your mother would understand.”

“See, Lillian, Kellie’s moved in with me. We live together. We call it our home.” I smiled, wiped my eyes, cleared my tears, “We call just about everything ours. Our home, our cars, our money.” I did my best to smile.

“You know I’m slow sometimes.” I knew Lillian would laugh at that. “And it takes me a while to figure some things out.” I stuck my hand in my pocket. The small box with the ring inside rested in the palm of my hand. “It took me a while to figure out how I feel about her.” It was time to go for it. “I figured that out when I made a fairy for her.” Kellie almost blushed at that. “And you know, I don’t make things for people without a reason.” I took Kellie’s hand. “I told you I love her.” I paused, looked into Kellie’s eyes. Something I wanted to do every day, forever. “And I know your mother would approve of what I’m about to do.”

I stayed on my knees, shifted to face Kellie. Then, moved one leg forward, so I was on one knee. I put my hand back in my pocket, wrapped my fingers around the box. “Kellie, my love.” I pulled the ring out, opened the box, and held it out to her. “Will you marry me?”

She knocked me over as she threw her arms around my neck, and we wound up on the ground, in one heck of a kiss. When she finally came up for air I managed to get out, “I take it that’s a yes?”

“Yes!” she screamed and kissed me once more. “Yes!”

I got to my knees, helped Kellie to hers, then patted the top of Lillian’s headstone. “Well, Lillian, what do you think? You’re not angry are you?”

To this day I swear I heard her answer, “I’m so happy!”

It was my turn to kiss Kellie. And that’s exactly what I did.

And the voice between heartbeats said, “It’s almost time. Listen to your heart. It will tell you what to do. It won’t ever lie to you.”

We left the cemetery and headed back to our home. That’s what it was. What we wanted. Our home.

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#NaNoWriMo – A Clip From Heartsong (an unedited work in progress)

You can imagine my surprise when I headed toward my car, and Kellie came with me. She carried a pillow, and pajamas.

“What the heck are you doing?”

“I’m going to spend my night at your house, and sleep in your chair.” I stopped dead, felt like I’d walked into a concrete wall. “What do you think I’m doing, silly?”

My voice didn’t work, my mouth moved, but nothing came out. Part of me was terrified, knowing she’d learn so much about me, knowing I was letting her get closer to me. Part of me was jumping up and down, like I little boy, screaming, “Yippie!”

“Oh.” Yep. That’s all I could think of to say.

I opened the passenger side of my car. I hadn’t done that in months. The only people who’d sat over there were the women I’d had flings with. Now, Kellie was sitting there. All I could think was, “God, don’t let me wreck the car!”

We got to my tiny apartment, all one room of it. I needed to get a shower and get dressed for work. The only way to do that was pull everything into the tiny bathroom. I normally dressed by my chair. That wouldn’t work with Kellie sitting in it.

I gathered up clean clothes for the night, put them in the bathroom, then helped her get comfortable in the chair. She sat down, scooted around until she found a position she liked. I leaned the chair back, helped her position her pillow. “Um. This is actually pretty nice.”

“I like my chair.”

“You watch TV all day?”

I handed her the remote. “No. Not really. I turn it on and find something to sleep to.”

“Ah. I can try that.” She took my hand, smiled, pulled me toward her, “I need a good night hug.” She hugged. me. “No good night kiss?”

That’s when I realized I’d never kissed her. She’d always kissed me. So, I hugged her again, and gave her a little kiss. On the cheek. She giggled, wrapped her arms around my neck, pulled me down, and planted one on me. “Good night.”

I really did collide with the doorframe on my way into the bathroom. Smack. Walked right into that sucker. Got a shower, dried off, got dressed, then stood by the door, staring at it. I was afraid to open it. What if it was all a dream? What if I opened the door, and no one was there? What if I opened the door and woke up sitting in my chair, alone?

But what it if wasn’t a dream? What if Kellie was asleep in my chair? What would I do? What would I feel? Lacking any other course of action, I opened the door, and walked into my tiny one room apartment.

Kellie was watching TV, one of those nightly dramas, about a hospital and the people that worked in it. “I love this show!” She beamed at me.

Well. It wasn’t a dream. She was really there. I pulled out the only blanket I had from the bottom drawer of my dresser, “It’s the only blanket I have.” I sighed. “No sheets. Never needed them.” We spread the blanket over her and the chair.

“Mmm. This is nice. I can understand why you sleep here.” She smiled. “Comfy and warm.”

I put on my shoes, made sure I had my box cutter for work, my wallet and keys. As I headed out the door, she waved, “Have a good night at work!”

#NaNoWriMo – A Clip From Heartsong (an unedited work in progress)

I soaked in the shower, letting the steam from the hot water fill the room. The heat felt good on my neck and shoulders. It helped wash away memories of the dreams I’d had while sleeping.

Eventually, I turned the water off. I reached past the curtain, grabbed my towel, and pulled it in. I liked to stand in the warm shower to dry off before opening the curtain, letting the cold air outside the curtain in. Getting the water off my body before the cold air found it, and felt colder than it was.

I pulled on my underwear, then my pants, then pulled a t-shirt on. That’s when I noticed something funny about the mirror. It didn’t look right. The mirror was coated in condensation from the steam of the shower, that was normal. But there wasn’t suppose to be anything written on the mirror, and there was.

I faced the mirror, read the writing, “Mystica”. That’s all it said. “Mystica”. I recognized the handwriting. It matched what was on the bottom of the sketch. The same hand had written both places.

I used my towel to wipe the mirror clear, grabbed my hairbrush, started brushing out my hair. I froze as I stared into the mirror. Floating a foot above my shoulder was the fairy from the birdcage. “Her name is Mystica.”

I dropped my brush.

“Her name is Mystica.”

Then, she was gone.

I stared into the mirror for a while, trying to understand what I’d seen. It couldn’t be real. It couldn’t have happened. Fairies aren’t real. They don’t exist. They’re just beings in fairy tales.

But I’d seen her in the mirror. She’d said, “Her name is Mystica.” And how else could the writing in the condensation on the mirror have gotten there? I couldn’t explain it.

I was realizing there was a lot I couldn’t explain.

I finished brushing out my hair, left the bathroom, pulled on my shirt, buttoned it up, put on socks and shoes, packed a lunch, and headed to work.

It couldn’t have been real. Had to have been my imagination. Or a dream. Yeah. A dream.

Fairies aren’t real.

Everybody knows that.