By Jennifer Kent
I figure it’s now or never. Three months ago she walked into my favorite coffee shop and has been here every Saturday since. I know this because I stop in here every Saturday morning after my morning run. After that I made it a point to make sure I’m always here at the same time. The first day that I saw her I was a sweaty mess, which normally wouldn’t bother me because, well I came in every week for my coffee fix, but this could not be my first impression. I couldn’t shake this feeling that everything had to be perfect because this meeting could change everything.
She immediately intrigued me for a number of reasons; she comes here and drinks tea in a coffee shop, she is always writing, and it’s always in a journal never on a laptop or tablet. She always stays for exactly two hours and in that time she drinks two cups of tea and has a muffin. Last week she switched things up and was reading a Romance novel and it didn’t look like one of those smutty erotic novels either. There’s no ring on her finger, I checked. So when I got home I researched the author and found out she wrote true love stories about forever and yearning. The kind not many people read anymore. Then I tried to convince myself that I’m not a stalker. I mean, I’m always looking for a great book to read.
I don’t know what it is but I feel drawn to her. From the very first time I saw her I wanted to be her love story. I don’t even know her name. Crazy. But in the few times she actually smiled my way, and I’m not even sure she was smiling at me or at something going on in that beautiful head of hers, I imagined a montage of the life we could have together. A little snippet. Our own little moment in time that was like a preview of things to come. An amazing wedding on the beach, three beautiful children, a little boy then twin girls, a house on a quiet street where the kids can learn to ride their bikes and I would even do the mini van thing. I just keep waiting for our moment.
The fates seemed to align today because I got a prime spot right out front and I’m just waiting for her to come out so I can talk to her. I watch through the window as she gets up and collects her belongings. My heart does that crazy flip flop thing it usually does when I think our time together is about to end. But hopefully it’s just the beginning today. Just as she gets to the open doorway a kid whizzes by on his bike and as she jumps back out of his path she drops her bag and her things spill out onto the sidewalk. Leaping forward from where I’m leaning on my car I rush over to her to help and she looks up and smiles at me.
“Thank you, Landon.” She says as she stands up.
“How do you…”
“I overheard you talking to one of the Baristas one day.” She says with a shy smile before I can finish my sentence. Taking her pens that I am still holding she adds, “I’m Emily.”
Looking at the book she’s holding I smile, silently thank God that I bought the right book and say, “You know what this is, Emily?”
“What?” She asks narrowing her beautiful brown eyes at me.
“This is our first moment.” I answer with a satisfied smile at the beautiful blush that creeps across her cheeks. Yeah, I may have ran out and bought the last book I saw her reading and spent every spare second I had reading it for this exact instance.
All shyness seems to evaporate when she smiles at me this time and I get another one of those snippets. “I like this moment.”
“Me too. What do you say we extend it and take a walk to get to know each other a little better?”
“Sounds perfect.” She says as she tucks a stray curl behind her ear. After we stow her things in my car we cross the street to the causeway to take a walk along the beach.
We walk and talk for hours. When she says she’s a little hungry we stop briefly at a hot dog vendor to get something to eat, I insisted when she said she had never eaten off a food truck before. This day is exactly like I imagined, as weird as that sounds. We have so much in common and before we know it the sun is setting. Taking her hand I lead her out onto the sand and we sit to watch the sun sink into the water. In all my musings up to this point I never could have imagined anything as romantic. As she settles back against my chest I get the feeling that our small moment in time is just the beginning of a lifetime of the memories we are going to make together.
This is Jennifer's first story on tonywassom.com. If you'd like to send her a message, please email me at Tony@tonywassom.com and I'll pass your message on to her.
Torn: The Reason (Part IV)
By Jenness Jordan
“See the ties becoming loose. See yourself somewhere safe.” Gram whispered.
The more I focused on the ties, the looser they became.
It was working! I don’t know how, but who was I to question… Duncan.
Tears trickled down my face.
“Dear, don’t cry. Everything will be alright as long as you get out of here now. I can’t stay any longer. You need to go through the window and up the path to the field and keep going until you find an old gas station. There you will find a way home. I love you, dear, now please hurry.” She said as the circular light began fading away.
For once, I was going to listen and do without question. Creeping quietly off the bed, I tiptoed over to the window, which just happened to be open, and out I went.
So, far so, good. I continued to stay focus on the objective, which was to get as far away from that room as I could. Nothing and I mean nothing was going to sidetrack me. Staying on the path until I reach the cornfield. The cornfield seemed to go on forever. As I moved on, my body became weak and tired. I wanted to rest, but I couldn’t. No, matter what I needed to make it to that gas station. At least I knew that I was safe and headed for home.
Wait a minute. I don’t even know where I am. Stop questioning yourself. Just keep focused and go.
It seemed like I had run and walked a hundred miles before I saw any sign of civilization. Up ahead in a small clearing was a streetlight next to a building. My feet picking up speed, as I got closer and closer to my hope. Standing in front of me did not look like hope. It was old and falling apart.
This is supposed to help me get home. It’s abandoned. Why did you send me here, Gram?
“Ma’am are you alright? Do you need some help?” A voice called.
Startled by the voice, I stopped crying and looked up to see a sheriff standing over me.
“Oh thank you!” I cried as I stood up and flung my arms around him.
Thank you, Gram!
The sheriff put his coat around me and helped me into the car as I told him what had happened.
“Geez, ma’am, that’s just awful. I’m sure glad that you were able to get away and that I found you when I did. You know they have had the whole upper east coast looking for you and that piece of scum since last night. It was all over the news and the scanners. By, the way, how did you manage that? I heard that the scum you were with was some kind of psycho and that there was another victim.” The sheriff explained as we left the gas station.
“I’m sorry, ma’am. You just relax. You’re safe now and on your way home.”
“Wait. What about…”
“That scum, well, as soon as I get you to the clinic. I’ll head back.”
“You can’t wait. He’ll be gone, by then. Where’s Duncan?” I cried.
“Now, ma’am, you really need to relax. Everything is under control. If it’ll make you feel better, I’ll radio my deputies to head over there and detain him. Who’s Duncan? Was he there in the room?”
“Yes, he was there. I don’t know if he’s hurt, de…
“Ma’am, I’m sorry but I don’t really know what happened to him. The only thing that I know is that a gun had gone off which is why the authorities were called to the scene.” The sheriff replied. His voice a bit shaky.
I knew that he wasn’t telling me everything.
After describing the best I could to the sheriff where I had run from, he dispatched his deputies to the place where, hopefully, Luke still was. When we reached the clinic, he helped me out of the cruiser and into the building. Later that night, I miscarried. The doctor told me that the cause was due to what I had gone through. For the next few weeks, I remained at the clinic. The doctor did not feel that I was in any condition to leave just yet.
During my time in the clinic, I still had no idea what happened to Duncan. No one would tell me anything. Everyone, including the police, kept telling me the same thing. “We don’t know.”
By the time I left the clinic, I was beyond frustrated with the entire situation. Someone knew something. I was right! At home later, I found out from my family and best friends that Duncan was in a coma. My heart sank. Feelings of guilt consumed me. They all tried their best to comfort me, but I only rejected it.
“None of this would have happened if I just stayed with Luke. I should’ve just kept my mouth shut and let him have his affairs. Never gotten involved with Duncan. Everything that has happened is my fault. I lost my baby and Duncan could die because of me.”
For more information about Jenness Jordan, check out her site: jennessjordan. You can also reach her by email at email@example.com
By Heather Marie Maieli
She caught the punching bag, her fingers digging into the red leather as it swung back at her after her last punch. The chain holding it up in the ceiling, gave an almost protesting wail, as if threatening to break. She had been going at this for hours now, having locked herself in the gym, with no intention of leaving it anytime soon. As her hand dropped back down to her side, after wiping at her brow, her bangs matted down with sweat- her eyes fell on her now bruised and bleeding knuckles. It caused her to sigh loudly, as she knew she would hear about it later. She should have worn gloves…or at least wrapped her hands up…
The pain wasn’t that unbearable…in fact it was down to a low sting each time her knuckles met the bag. Just a small reminder of the pain she had been feeling inside, the reason why she had locked herself up in this room to begin with. She started up again, bouncing on the balls of her feet as she continued her heavy assault on the bag. A jab here…a hook there…pretty soon she had a pretty good rhythm going, having blocked everything out until there was nothing but the sound of her flesh hitting the leather.
The punches started coming faster, harder…there was blood on the bag which caused her punches to slide just a bit. She still pushed on. She was afraid to stop, afraid to death that if she stopped now, she would break down and crash…and she just couldn’t have that. She needed to be strong. And not just for herself…but she needed to be strong, to put on a brave face for everyone else.
Her breathing was heavy now, her heart hammering away in her chest, threatening to burst. No longer was the sound that she heard her punching, but the roaring of her blood pounding in her veins. She continued to hit the bag, as if with each hit she could somehow push all of her pain, her grief and her guilt into it…as if she could somehow hurt it…as if her continued assault would make everything just go away…make everything just stop…And it did…
With a loud, frustrated cry, she hit the punching bag hard one last time. There was a groaning noise, followed by a snap and the large leather bag fell, rolling along the floor until it stopped at her feet.
As she went to kick at her, her legs finally gave out, after hours of having stood there on them, her body having been so tense. She reached out, catching herself, her palms slamming on the cold floor. Another cry escaped her lips, a soft whimper as pain shot up both arms. The pain brought her back to reality, and she stayed there, on all fours, just staring at the ground, as her breathing slowed back down to what would be considered normal.
The combined scent of blood and sweat was finally starting to get to her…she needed to get out of this room…
Her feet felt like rubber as she dragged herself down the hallway, one hand sliding along the wall. it felt like she was touching sandpaper as she pulled her tank-top off, her bra quickly following, and she dropped them in a pile, standing there in the master bathroom doorway.
She didn’t even glace at her reflection in the mirror as she leaned over into the shower, turning the hot water on full blast. She winced again softly as she pushed her sweats down, stepping out of them, and kicked them to the side. She freed her hair from its pony tail and closed the glass door to the shower, as she stepped under the running stream.
The water slowly started to sooth her aching muscles, and she closed her eyes, running both hands through her hair as the water continued to rain down on her. It pooled around her feet, slowly sliding towards the drain, a pink tinge to it as the water washed clean away all the blood from her broken hands. Her body still shook though, all the rage building up beneath the pain. The punching bag had just been a temporary distraction. And suddenly…she stopped caring about being strong…
With a heartbreaking cry, she slammed her palms against the tiles in the shower. Little ceramic shards fell about her feet as she continued to scream, not caring if anyone heard her in her grief, not caring at all…she just continued to beat at the walls until there was nothing left to beat…
Fresh tears fell from her stinging eyes, as she slowly sunk to the floor, a tiny whimper escaping her lips following by sobs. She drew her knees up to her chest and cried. The shower continued to beat down on her, the water mixing with her tears and the blood from her freshly cut hands as it slid down her arms and legs. But she didn’t care…
She just needed this cry…
For more information about Heather Marie Maieli, check out her Facebook page. You can also contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org