#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!”

#FTT 19 : A Clip From My NaNoWriMo Work In Progress

Jessica awoke in the grass, freshly mowed except for a ring around her body. It was the first time a lawn got cut and she didn’t get ill. She’d always gotten ill when her father had cut the lawn. But Uncle Tim had cut his yard, and she was fine. She’d fallen asleep on her blanket, in the backyard, and Uncle Tim had mowed around her.

She’d never even heard him.

Aunt April’s voice interrupted her thoughts, “How’s my tired niece doing?”

Jessica laughed. “I took a nap in the sunshine!” She didn’t mention how she always got ill when her father mowed the lawn.

“Yes, you did.” April chuckled. “I thought you’d certainly wake up with Tim mowing.” She shook her head. “But you slept right through that noisy mower of his as he carved a circle around you.”

Jessica couldn’t believe it. She’d slept right through the noise the motor on the mower made. And she knew lawn mowers were anything but quiet. “I’m sorry I was in the way.” She looked at the circle of grass surrounding her. It was easily an inch higher than the rest of the lawn.

“Oh, don’t worry about it, dear,” April wave a hand, “Tim will just cut it next week anyway.”

“But it’s not a perfect lawn.”

“Jess. With Tim mowing it, it never is.” She winked at Jessica, as if sharing a secret with her.

And Jessica laughed.

She liked her Aunt and Uncle very much. They had taken such good care of her. Aunt April took her to school each morning. And picked her up at school each afternoon. They always talked about what she’d learned in school that day.

And Aunt April could cook! Wow! Could she ever. She loved those frittatas her aunt made for breakfast. She’d never asked Jessica if she ate meat, or dairy. She just made them vegan from the start, using an egg substitute, and soy cheese.

Jessica asked her aunt, “How did you know I’m vegan?”

“Well, dear. We asked your mother several years ago.”

Aunt April actually took Jessica with her when she went grocery shopping. “I know you don’t approve of meat or dairy, Jess,” she’d explained, “But Tim and I aren’t vegan, so I do have to buy them.”

“It’s OK, Aunt April. I understand. Mom isn’t vegan either.”

But April made sure she bought the vegetables, grains and fruits Jessica wanted, and she bought plenty of them. Jessica hadn’t eaten so well at home, or in the center. “You’re a growing girl, dear,” was all her aunt said. And to be honest, Jessica felt better than she could remember ever feeling. She wasn’t hungry anymore.

Instead, she was happy. That was all. For the first time in forever. She was happy.

464 Words

I wrote this for Week 19 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.