If you go back and read some old posts you'll see that for the most part, I talk about the joys and trials of writing and offer contest info and other links and so forth. For this challenge I'm going to stop talking about writing and post some actual writing.
My women's fiction novel, The Lemonade Year, is currently open for representation and critique. Thanks for reading!
On the day my father died, the lady sitting next to me at the café across the street from my office had two bites of a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich left on her plate. One of the bites had no bacon. The tomatoes were too ripe and the lettuce was the pale green color of giving up.
When the charge nurse called, I excused myself from a lunch with coworkers, saying I needed to get back to the office—that something was wrong with the layout they need to speak to me.
“Who?” the nosey junior copy-editor whose name I can’t recall questioned. “I thought you were working on the lemonade thing. That’s miles from press.”
I’m not a very good liar on the spot.
“No,” I said, standing up, trying like hell to get out of there. “The other one.”
There is no other one. For a while they’ve had me doing “more office admin and graphic design duties” which I know is just smoke up my ass. They haven’t acquired anything new in a while. All we’re doing is catching up on commitments. In my department, this lemonade thing is the bottom of the barrel. I should have freelanced, but I took the staff position because of the security.
There is no security. And the news in my ear that father had passed was proof of that.
I’m not ready for this, I’m not ready. Not ready.
Like a mantra that will do no good, the words flooded my brain. Who is ever ready? Even through long illness and certain inevitable demise, the heart still hopes, like a child, still believes in magic.
Addled, I left without paying my bill at the bacon, lettuce and over-ripe tomato café. I sent a text to Suzanne to apologize for leaving her with the nosey copy editor and my check. She wrote back to ask if I was ok. I tried to reply, but the whole process of written telephone communication via a handheld device capable of technological tasks of all imagination seemed suddenly ridiculous to me. Everything seemed ridiculous. As if all the effort to create plasma TV screens, three-D everything, cars that can parallel park themselves, phones that can video chat while surfing the net and washing your dog, was just a distraction from the fact that none of it can make you immortal. It’s all smoke and mirrors to hide the knowledge that your heart can still break, you eyes can still cry, and the people you love will leave you.