It's been a while, but I'm still here.
See if you can guess which favorite person I am writing to.
This week, Mama Kat offered 5 awesome prompts. I could think of good stories for most of these:
1.) Write about a time a friend left you speechless.
2.) What would it take for you to pick up and move?
3.) A memorable neighbor.
4.) Write a poem about that time you were left behind.
5.) A song with significance.
So I'm going to start from the top today and save the rest to use later on.
Write about a time a friend left you speechless.
Immediately, one moment comes to mind....
I was in college, so I was probably 19 years old.
A group of us were out one night. There were maybe 5 or 6 of us.
We had been drinking (but I have no clue who got us our beer). Being the sneaky girls that we were, we poured our beer into empty McDonald's cups.
We ended up at a bowling alley. This was not something we normally did, but we had a blast. I was not the DD and was feeling pretty tipsy.
Two of us went to the bathroom, because teen age girls can't seem to ever go to the bathroom alone, right?
As we were finishing up and washing our hands, my friend sat up on the counter. She said, "I have to tell you something."
I was smiling & giggling from drinking the contents of my McDonald's cup, and I naively said, "Okay. What?"
"I had an abortion."
~~~ buzz kill~~~
I was speechless. I thought I knew this person but evidently I did not.
"My boyfriend & I went out of town last month & had it done. I wanted to tell you, but I knew I wouldn't have enough nerve unless we were drinking," she said.
Still, I stood in silence. All I could do was give her a hug.
I can't remember what was said next or even how we awkwardly left the restroom to rejoin our friends. I was so blown away with her news!
We never mentioned it again, and our relationship was never the same.
I have still, to this day, never told another person.
Remember my The "A" word post? I wonder how my friend feels about her decision now, 15 years later.
I could never have imagined a more emotional day.
Really it started out like most days. I was in a hurry to get to work, and traffic was horrendous. The smell of exhaust always made me feel sick to my stomach. Or maybe it was my nerves that morning.
That was the biggest day of my career. It was all on my shoulders to seal the deal with IBM.
We needed that deal. The bad economy had been brutal on us, and without that account we would have had to do some serious down-sizing.
We weren't a large company by any means. And I had become good friends with so many of the women I worked with.
I didn't want to see any of them, or myself, go.
A few of us grabbed a quick lunch, but I was too nervous to eat much. Once back at the office I looked over my notes one last time then started the proposal.
Things seemed to go well. IBM was very receptive to my ideas. And at the end of the meeting they accepted my offer!
That was huge! It was great for the company. And of course for me too.
After work several of us went out to celebrate. I loved having those women in my life. They were pretty much the onlypeople in my life.
To be surrounded by such amazing friends at that point was too overwhelming to hold it in. As things sometimes went after a few drinks, I teared up & got emotional.
We continued to talk & laugh & have a good time.
Eventually most of my friends needed to get home, and it was just me and Janet.
Janet was older than me, 17 years older to be exact. But she was my best friend.
When my parents were killed 3 years earlier, Janet was the one friend I could call any time of day. We knew everything about each other.
As the two of us sat in the booth Janet got quiet. I asked her what was bothering her.
She was obviously nervous.
I reassured her that no matter what was on her mind, I would be there for her. Besides, I was still on such a high from making the IBM deal I could handle anything.
Janet took a deep breath. "I am your birth mother."
Then the whole world shifted.
This week's prompt is to write a piece that begins with the line, "I could never have imagined" and ends with the line, "Then the whole world shifted."
My immediate thought was to write about my BFF Lori who passed away 1 1/2 years ago.
But I wanted this to a happy "world shift."
I also wanted to write fiction. It's a bigger challenge for me.
I wanted to do something different than most people. I figured they would write about having a baby, 9/11, or getting bad medical news.
"What?" is all I could say.
I felt dizzy, like the world was collapsing in on me.
Janet apologized for just blurting it out like that, but she didn't know how else to say it.
"So, how long have you known, um.., that I was your daughter?" Those words sounded so strange as they came out of my mouth, like someone else was speaking from within me.
How was I asking my best friend this question?
Janet explained that she had always known. It was an open adoption until I turned 3. Then there was no more direct contact between us, but she continued to keep track of my whereabouts & achievements thanks to newspaper articles and the internet.
For the first 3 years of my life, I had monthly visits with Janet. She told me that the 1st Sunday of every month was her favorite day of the month. It was a time for her to see that she had indeed made the right decision. And she cherished the photos of those visits. They were among her most precious possessions, keeping them in a locked safe in her bedroom closet.
Janet was only 17 years old and still in high school when I was born. Her boyfriend got scared and left when he found out she was pregnant. Thank God her parents were incredibly supportive of her choice.
All of that information was getting to be too much for me.
I needed some air. And time to process everything.
I was an huge mess of emotions.
I didn't want to hurt her feelings, but I just couldn't understand why Janet chose that evening to reveal the secret.
So when she joined me a few minutes later, I came right out and asked her.
Janet apologized again and said she hadn't planned on doing it that night. She told me that she was so proud of my hard work, that she just couldn't keep it a secret any longer.
Ironically all I could think was: I want my mom!
But Janet was my best friend, and she was the only other person I would honestly confide in.
As I stood there watching Janet I soon smiled & couldn't stop smiling. I became excited; joyful; relieved. This was really happening!
After many hugs & tears, I told her that I would love to see those pictures.
Even though I'd done it hundreds of times before, it felt strange entering Janet's house that night. I looked at things from a completely different perspective now.
But it was good.
I sat on Janet's bed as she found the pictures in her safe. She sat down next to me and shared the stories that went along with every picture.
She told me to take some of them home with me. Then Janet returned the rest of them to her safe. As she started to close the door, she spotted something in the back. She didn't recognize it until she took it out.
She wondered how she forgot it was back there.
When she joined me back on the bed, I saw the tiny little pink sleeper in her hands. I looked up at her & she had tears in her eyes.
It was the sleeper she gave my parents when I was born. It was the outfit I wore home from the hospital.
After a long hug, Janet told me that she wasn't letting me have it! And we shared a big, stress relieving belly laugh.
As strange as it was initially, knowing that Janet was my biological mother ended up being a wonderful thing. I had the best of both worlds in Janet. My biological mother was my best friend. Not many birth mother reunions turn out as perfect as this one.
*This is a completely fictional story.
Write a piece - 600 word limit - about finding a forgotten item of clothing in the back of a drawer or closet. Let us know how the item was found, what it is, and why it's so meaningful to you or your character.
Oops! Word count: 688.
I struggle with switching tenses a lot.
Any tips? Thanks ladies.
This week's Red Writing Hood prompt is: You are trapped (alone or with others) in a single location during the fury and/or aftermath of a blizzard of historic proportions. Keep the post under 1,000 words.
Lucas was a worrier my nature, and I knew he was scared. He kept his eyes on the white line, never blinking I'm sure.
When the south bound interstate traffic came to a 2 lane stand still, I realized I had made a mistake.
We shouldn't have tried to make it home. We were in the middle of nowhere. 10 miles away from the nearest exit in either direction.
I called Alex to let him know we were stopped. While I was on the phone I heard the sound of sirens, but Lucas & I couldn't see the source of the sound through the blizzard.
The ambulance finally passed us, but it quickly went out of sight again. I could only see as far as the SUV in front of us.
As time passed, Lucas really had to go. Bad. But we had nothing for him to go in. So as he opened the door of the truck, I reminded him to put his back to the fierce wind.
He slipped. But somehow didn't fall.
It was simply too cold and too difficult to 'go' and he got back in the truck.
A few minutes later, a police officer came around to all the vehicles & told us to turn around because the interstate was closed in our direction.
I immediately called home & told Alex to get on-line to find some hotels in the nearest town. As I drove back in the direction I just came from, I couldn't see 5 feet in front of me.
Lucas was absolutely quite. He was staring at the fog line again, making sure I didn't go into the ditch.
We finally made it to the exit. Along with the 200+ other people from I-57.
Alex called & said the 3 hotels in the small town were all booked.
The only option was to get a room in the next town which was 13 miles north. So Alex booked a room for us while Lucas & I finally got something to eat (and go pee).
Ever so slowly, we followed a caravan of vehicles and actually made it to the hotel. Enter choir of angels singing!
We enjoyed the comfort of a warm comfortable room, relieved to be safe.
The next day, we traversed the still icy & snow blown interstate and made it home at last.
The whole reason for our travel (an amazing 4th grade basketball tournament) was completely overshadowed by the blizzard.
* So my "single location" was a truck. Is that cheating?
** This is actually a true story. Except it was Alex with Lucas instead of me. It's an experience I hope we don't have to repeat. Ever.
*** Word count = 491. Really? That's it? Hm.
"You heard me. Pass the fruit pectin," the old man said to the teenage boy on the public bus.
The boy looked around, making sure the old man was talking to him. But instead of seeing people riding the bus, he saw giant strawberries sitting in the seats which didn't seem strange to him.
When the boy looked back, the old man was gone. The bus hadn't made any stops. He had just disappeared.
The next thing the teenager knew, he was singing Pour Some Sugar On Me - a song that was popular before he was even born - while cooking. He was adding citric acid to corn syrup in his grandmother's house. But not her current house. The house she lived in when he was a toddler.
As he did this, his 3rd grade teacher walked through the kitchen and said, "Oh sweeite. Be careful, you know how bad that high fructose corn syrup is for you, right?"
All of this seemed completely natural to him.
Until he woke up.
What's in your pantry? For this week's prompt, grab something out of your pantry and write a short piece - using all the words in the ingredients. It can be fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose. My item was Smucker's Strawberry Jam.
When I read this prompt, I knew it would be fun!
Here it is...
"Your assignment is to write a short piece - fiction, non-fiction, poetry, whatevs - in which each sentence starts with a the next letter of the alphabet. Starting with "A." So, yes, your finished product will consist of 26 sentences."
Another day started out with big grey clouds & strong, steady snow. "Blah!" thought Erin. "Can we just have 1 day without snow?"
Don't get her started about the weather. Ever since she moved to Chicago she's had a hard time adjusting to it. For as long as she can remember she has hated the cold. Go figure she'd end up in a city with brutal winters.
How did a country girl from Texas end up in Chicago? It had to be fate, because she always thought she'd live where it was warm.
Jake had proposed a year ago, and the wedding was only a few weeks away. Keeping up with everything had become stressful for Erin. Leaving her family & friends to move to Chicago was hard. Making the long trip back to Texas for the wedding was what kept her focussed. Nobody ever doubted that the wedding would take place in her hometown.
On her way to work, Erin couldn't help but be distracted with her thoughts of the wedding. Particularly thinking about the reception. Quaint wasn't her style. Rowdy, fun, & lots of dancing was what she wanted.
Soon her last day of work was over, and she & Jake made their way to Texas. This day seemed so far away last year! Upon landing, Erin was greeted my her sister, mother, and father.
Various groups of friends showed up for the big event. When it was time for the dance, everyone knew it would be a great time. Xerox copies of pictures would be made for sure! YouTube videos from the wedding will probably be seen around the world! Zimbabwe too!
Whew! I did it! It got kind of tricky there at the end, but I think it worked. I can't wait to read everyone else's post.