Category Archives: creative writing

Summer Cold, Again*…

Summer vacation, it was a blast
Summer cold, it happened so fast
Lack of sleep, not my own bed
Stuffiness, all through my head,

Summer days, sneezing away
But, oh, those drugged Nyquil nights!

Well-a well-a well-a huh
Tell me more, tell me more
Do you cough all the time?
Tell me more, tell me more
Is your nose filled with slime?

Tried to rest, but that didn’t work
Phone calls from telemarketer jerks
My poor throat is feeling so sore
Need more meds from the grocery store

Summer germs, now something’s inflamed
But, oh, those sleepy Nyquil nights!

Well-a well-a well-a huh
Tell me more, tell me more
Do you still feel like crap?
Tell me more, tell me more
Do you still need a nap?

A couple more days and I’ll be all right
I might wash my hair, not look such a fright
Think I might actually be on the mend
And this stupid cold will finally come to an end

Summer days, sneezing away
But, oh, those blissful Nyquil nights!!

*To the tune of Summer Nights from Grease.  I probably would have done an audio recording for you, you know, if it weren’t for my cold…

The Reunion, 12…

 

You can find earlier excerpts from The Reunion here

“Well, who doesn’t love a good game of chase?” he leaned forward and casually picked up one of her hands, running his fingers over hers.  She was aware of how much larger and harder his fingers were, a little roughened from the carpentry work, obviously stronger than hers. Now that she thought about it, everything about him was larger and stronger than she remembered.

###

So,” she said, and the word came out a little huskier than she intended. Brian still toyed with her fingers and she turned her hand over to grasp his.  She cleared her throat and tried again. “So, what was it you got your degree in after all, Brian?  I always thought you’d be a mathematician or scientist or something.”

Brian grinned down at their joined hands.  “Saw me as a mad scientist, did you?  I’m an architect, actually, but designing big commercial buildings was not for me.  I did that for a while, but got tired of the traveling and big cities.  And I’ve picked up plenty of building skills along the way, enough to act as general contractor on building the inn.  I have to admit, I really like being hands on.”

The electricity between them was palpable and Jen was afraid she was reading more than was wise into Brian’s casual remarks.  But when she met his eyes, she could clearly see the teasing warmth. Down, girl, she admonished herself, as she felt the tingle down to her toes.  She needed to keep this easy and uncomplicated.  But, then again, there was something to be said for sexy and sweaty, too!

Brian paid the check and they decided to take a walk down by the riverfront while it was still light out.  There was a beautiful breeze and it was just beginning to turn cool.  Brian grasped her hand again as they walked along in front of the stores and shops.

“I’d like to see our little town build up like this over the years, have a true downtown area that might draw more than just the college kids’ parents.  So I bought the inn as a start, figuring I could live there and run it until I hire someone to take over, especially if I want to keep renovating other places in town.  I don’t know about the old bowling alley or skating rink, but it seems the kids in this area need something to do, too.”

“It seems like you’re doing a beautiful job of restoring the inn from what I’ve seen. I can’t wait for the reunion to see the downstairs all put together.  Part of my job is meeting planning, so I’ve had some experience with pulling venues together and deciding on decorations for events, things like that.”

“Sounds like you like what you’re doing, then?”

“I do like it most of the time, although I admit I’m not sure how I feel about living where I do anymore.  The commute in to the city is long and when the weather is bad, it makes the days incredibly long.  Especially in the winter, I feel like I can go days without seeing daylight!”  And even though she laughed, Brian could see a little bit of sadness in her eyes.

“I know this is asking a lot of you and you’re only here for the reunion, but maybe you’d find the time to go through some catalogs online and help me pick out some things for the inn?  My skills are more geared to picking out wood finishes and flooring, not paint colors and drapes and furniture.”  He’d be willing to take any help he could get from her in that area.

That does sound like fun, kind of like having a new house to decorate!”  Jen beamed.  It seemed Brian really was interested in spending time with her.  This could end up to be a very enjoyable week.  Or longer if the text she’d gotten from her friend at work was true.

 

It’s May 23 Again…

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I’ve reposted this from last year, so now it’s 36 years since I met and married the love of my life!

I had rushed home from work and hurriedly jumped in the shower to be sure I had time to redo my make up and pick out just the right outfit to wear.  First official date with a new older guy and I wanted him to sit up and take notice, but not assume I was more experienced than I was.  That’s expecting a lot from clothes, I know, but I wanted to look just right!  Because I took the train to and from the city, it was past 6:30 before I got home and I’d asked him to pick me up around 7:30.  And I still had to feed the cats and blow dry my hair…

He got there right on time and since it was early November, I’d finally decided to wear dark brown velvet slacks, a clingy coral scoop neck top and brown boots.  The look on his face when I opened my apartment door assured me that I had made the right choice.  We went to a club that had live music and he found us a quiet table and ordered drinks.

I was starving, but I didn’t want to seem like I expected him to buy me dinner, so I drank my drink, we talked and danced some slow dances and talked and laughed and, after a while, had another drink.

Now I’m the first to admit I’ve always been kind of a lightweight with alcohol, but this was a Friday night, I’d been up since 6 a.m. and the last time I’d eaten was probably around noon.  I’m not sure if I actually ate or had a diet soda and a cigarette, which was sometimes lunch, I’m ashamed to say.

After two or three drinks I was feeling a little light headed.  My sweet date noticed that I might have been getting a little woozy and asked me if I was feeling all right.  I sheepishly admitted I hadn’t had anything to eat since lunch and wasn’t much of a drinker. 

He felt terrible because he assumed when I told him not to pick me up until 7:30 p.m. that I’d already eaten dinner and just wanted to get drinks.  He kept apologizing and suggesting places to go eat, but I was so flustered that I told him it was late and I didn’t think I could eat anything.

By the time he got me home, I was feeling  better and we ended up steaming up the car windows a little bit, until somehow he got his watchband caught on the waistband of my velvet pants.  Setting me carefully back in my own seat, he told me sternly that was it, he was walking me upstairs before things went any farther that night.

And a little less than seven months later, we got married on a beautiful day in May, 35 years ago today!  We still laugh about our first date and I promised a friend that I’d write a post about it.

So thanks for all the wonderful memories, sweetheart, and all the great ones we still have to make!

The Reunion, 11…

You can find earlier excerpts from The Reunion here

“Brian, I do understand, but Casey’s what, 18, 19?  And she is going to be out from under her parents’ roofs pretty soon anyway.  You won’t have a lot of say so when she’s away at school, especially what she’s doing at night or on the weekends.  It sounds like you did a great job raising her and now you’ll have to trust her to make good choices.“

Whoops, she knew she’d really stepped into it when his smile thinned and his eyes narrowed.  “And you know this from your vast experience with child rearing?”

###

“Wow, sorry, of course not. No kids here. I didn’t mean to overstep. I haven’t even seen you in years and here I am giving you advice on your teenager –“

“No, I’m the one who’s sorry.  I just apologized for how I treated you years ago and I’m being an ass again.  Of course you’ve got opinions about how teenaged girls act. You were one. Your ideas are probably worth more than mine.” He looked up at her and she could see the sadness in his eyes. “It seems like Casey’s gone from being Daddy’s little girl to this almost grown up overnight and I hate it. I mean, she used to care what I thought and talk to me about everything!”

“Oh, Brian, I’m sure she still cares. Maybe it’s different for girls, this breaking away from being someone’s child and learning to live on their own. I know it was like some huge declaration of independence for me. It’s why I wanted to go out of state to college – get as far away from the little town and my parents as I could. Otherwise, I’d always just be mom and dad’s little girl.”

He looked down at his dinner plate and struggled to regain his composure. Just thinking about the recent issues with Casey was enough to drive him crazy. And here at dinner with Jen was not the place. He should be focusing on her.

“Forget I said anything about it. I’m sure she’ll come around.”  With an effort, he changed the subject.  “So tell me what you did after you went away to school.”

And Jen proceeded to tell him about how his not taking her to prom was actually a good thing because it had served as a catalyst to get her to change her life, come out of her shell, take care of herself by eating better and exercising and caring about her appearance. And that led to a boyfriend and then another whom she married after graduation and lived with in the Chicago area. But the marriage only lasted four years and even though she dated now on and off, it seemed as though she’d not found anyone she wanted to keep seeing.

“So it’s just you and Jack now?” he asked, his eyes teasing.

“Oh, yeah, and he’s a sweetheart for sure. And the perfect speed, too. He’ll do walks around the block or the neighborhood, but then he’s more than happy to snooze next to me on the couch while we watch a movie. He’s a real snuggler.”

“A real snagger is more the word I was thinking,” Brian laughed. “I still can’t believe he stole my underwear while I was coming out of the shower.”

“He does love a good game of chase!” Jen laughed. And when she saw the glint in Brian’s eyes her breath caught.  Apparently he wasn’t upset with her anymore.

“Well, who doesn’t love a good game of chase?” he leaned forward and casually picked up one of her hands, running his fingers over hers.  She was aware of how much larger and harder his fingers were, a little roughened from the carpentry work, obviously stronger than hers. Now that she thought about it, everything about him was larger and stronger than she remembered.

Catherine’s Rose…

Monday evening when Catherine arrived home she found a single deep red rose lying by her apartment door.  Delighted, she picked it up and unlocked her door, glancing around for a card she might have missed.  Nope, nothing.

She texted her date from Saturday to thank him, but it soon became embarrassingly obvious he hadn’t sent it.  Awkward!   If not a florist, how had someone gotten inside the gated apartment complex?   How odd.   She thought of her neighbors and how little she knew them.

Ouch!  She had been clutching the stem too tightly and now there was blood on her hands…

Catherine pondered the question of who the rose was from all evening.  She couldn’t shake the sense of someone having been in her apartment, but knew she was being ridiculous. The gentleman from the security company that managed her building had reassured her that no one would be able to get in or out unless they had a pass code or key.

Thoughts of calling the police flitted briefly through her mind, but what would she tell them? That the innocent blood-red rose on her kitchen counter somehow meant something sinister? Right, she could see the police officers’ smiles already.  She double checked her door and window locks before turning out the lights and drawing the blinds.

There, off in the distance, did she see a pinprick of light from a match or lighter? But there was no following glow of a cigarette. Still, she stepped quickly aside as she continued to peer out an opening, glad that the wooden blinds hid her shape from outside view.  Nothing.  Really, what was wrong with her overactive imagination?  She needed a good night’s sleep and things would look better in the morning.

In the distance, a tall man cupped his hand around the match as it caught and turned away from the building to light his cigarette, shielding the flame from the night breeze. Nothing seemed amiss in the area, so he got into the van and started his drive home.

Mitch hoped he’d found the right girl after all this time.  His little sister would be about 27 or so now, if his memory was right.  By the time he’d driven home, he convinced himself that maybe Catherine Delaney deserved to be left alone to live her life in peace.  But other than his wife, Sam, he had no other family and it would be nice to think that someone cared about him.  And that he had someone to care for, too.

He pulled into the garage and parked the van, closing the door after him against the dark and dampness and prying eyes.  Sammy was waiting dinner for him, he knew, and she smiled that sweet and tentative smile that he loved as soon as she saw him.

“Honey, how was your day?” he enfolded her in a big hug and held on tightly.  “Mitch, I’m good, so good,” she said excitedly.  “I made a celebration dinner for us.”

“Wow, just because I got home on time today?” he laughed, taking off his gun walking into the living room to secure it in the safe.  She knew how uncertain his schedule could be and he was surprised she’d make a special dinner without letting him know about it first.

“Come on, babe, sit down and I’ll dish everything up.”  Sammy was already hurrying into the kitchen and he saw that she had, indeed, made a big pan of lasagna and her lasagna was one of his favorite things.  There was salad and she was just lifting perfectly toasted garlic bread out of the oven.

“My, God, honey, that smells so good,” he almost felt as though he was drooling and picked up his napkin quickly to check.  Nope, just starting to salivate over that wonderful tomato and garlic and melted cheese aroma.

Sammy sat down beside him and picked up her wineglass, which seemed to hold something other than the red wine he had in his.  “To family,” she said.

Mitch clung to his wineglass with difficulty.  Had she suspected he was looking for his long-lost sister?  He knew he should have talked to her about this sooner…

“—in about the middle of December!” she finished, looking so thoroughly pleased with herself that he felt bad he’d missed the beginning.  “Mitch, you’re all right, aren’t you?  I know we hadn’t really talked about me getting pregnant right now, but these things happen –“  Her face fell as she realized he wasn’t even paying attention to what she was saying.  Oh, no, he looked – disappointed.