Hi Guys! Soooo…. I know I am not supposed to be here until I finish my book… but just consider this like a post card or something like that….
By the way for anyone new to my blog… I am trying to finish my book… so I have taken a reprieve… but I have 120 posts that should keep you busy reading in the meantime! Thanks for understanding… and I will be back! 😉 I miss you guys too!!!!
Pieces of The Circle
References to real people, events, establishments or places are intended to only provide a sense of authenticity and are used fictitiously.
“Your life is like an empty book, with pages still unwritten, each day you fill another page.”
May this story encourage every young girl who still has an unwritten book, pages yet to fill and a life yet to be lived, and may it also inspire those women who think that their pages have already been filled, their books already written, and their lives already lived. May they realize that there are always new chapters or even sequels just waiting to be written and life still waiting to be lived…
And for all women, both young and old, looking for romance no matter what the cost, to understand what the cost could be…
It was 1973, the summer of her sixteenth year, when secrets were still kept in little locked journals and the words that filled the pages were just fantasies of what she hoped for. Images of a house with a family, behind a little white picket fence
danced through Keri’s head as she wrote, pouring out her dreams in way of poetry. She was sure that she wanted to be a writer and would stay up late into the wee hours of the night slowly filling each page with raw and corny poetry, waiting for her innocent prayers to be answered, for her Prince Charming to come and, whisk her away into the life she was so sure that she was meant to have.
That old book had since, been packed away for dozens of years, still holding all of those dreams. Keri had since grown up and so much of life had happened in-between.
Years later, while going through storage boxes in her attic, the book was discovered again by Keri, the girl, who was not so young anymore, nor hopeful or optimistic. Now much wiser and a little more tired and worn out, she held the book close and slowly opened it, breathing in hints of yesterday, flipping through the pages now yellowed with age. The memories flooded her heart and seemed to blindside her with a force she had not been prepared for.
The rain was tapping with such force outside of Keri’s window that it woke her up. It was a blustery Saturday morning; the kind that seems to still have one foot in winter and the other, in spring. Keri knew that it was just the kind that made her fifteen year old daughter Brynne, very lazy. But affected her in a totally different way…She had decided that it was the perfect day to talk her daughter, into getting a head start on some spring cleaning. She had spoken to her husband Tim, about cleaning out the attic and making it into a study to write in. An aspiration she had put on the back burner for a very long time. Tim had thought that it was a wonderful idea and told her that he would even build a little loft in their garage to store the boxes that were left after clearing everything out.
Inspired by the thought of moving closer to her dream, Keri put a roast in the oven and headed up to Brynne’s room with a glass of orange juice and a bagel with cream cheese. Keri pushed open the door singing a song that her dad used to sing to her to get her up on school days and Keri had continued the tradition. “Good morning breakfast lovers, welcome to ya, I got up bright and early just to howdy do ya, first call for breakfast, first call for breakfast!”
“Oh mom it’s Saturdaaaay!!” Brynne pulled up the covers and groaned but after a little coaxing, she reluctantly crawled out from under her warm down comforter and followed her mom up the attic stairs, munching on her bagel.
As Keri turned the knob, a rush of warm air and a comforting scent, filled with memories enveloped them, snapping them to another time.
Soon they were laughing and chatting while the rain drummed against the roof above them as they got caught up in all the memories.
“Look Mom” said Brynne as she held up an old floppy dog and danced it over her head then hugged it tightly with an expression of such love, that for a moment, it flashed Keri back to another time, long ago when that old floppy dog was not so old and floppy. She tried to remember the Christmas morning when her daughter had received it. As she leaned back against the wall watching Brynne pull out old toys and clothes with all kinds of memories attached to each one of them. She smiled and sat down in front of another trunk of her own, filled with old papers and notes and books that had since been long forgotten.
As Brynne got caught up in looking at some old colorforms, Keri reached down into the bottom of one of the trunks and found the little diary. She recognized it right away. A surge of energy seemed to run through her as she held it. The lock still latched, she clicked the little button and felt for its release. It unlocked easily but for some reason she froze and did not immediately open it. She stood up feeling uneasy.
She was puzzled at her reaction, as she looked out the large picture window at the top of the trees swaying in the storm and walked over to it, feeling very melancholy. The rain had started the night before and remained steady. She could see the little brook below and saw that it had filled and was running over. She felt comfortable inside the warmth of the attic and imagined herself, looking out the same window someday, as she sat at her desk and wrote.
The smell of the roast wafted up the stairs prompting Keri to go check on it. Promising a quick return, she left Brynne still sorting through boxes. She had fully intended to just check the roast and go right back up to encourage her daughter into getting rid of half the treasures she had stored up there over the years but Brynne had gotten caught up in her own little journey down memory lane and the whole project seemed to have turned into an all day event. Keri smiled; picturing Brynne in the pile she had left her in as she gently closed the oven door and turned the temperature down a bit, wiping her hands on the kitchen towel, she turned to go back up and then remembered that she had brought down the book, she went over and picked it up from the counter feeling slightly unsettled.
She played mindlessly with the little lock as she clicked it open and shut and walked into the living room, poking at the fire in the fireplace, then sitting down, she pushed the little button and the lock released as she opened the book. Things that she had not allowed herself to think about for a long time consumed her in an instant. Every word on every page snapped her back to another time in her life. She felt as if she had been given a time capsule, opening up such sweet but sometimes painful memories immobilized her as she turned each page. Noticing the initials of Mrs. Walker scribbled on every single page, she recalled how it had all started out as a writing assignment but had grown into so much more. She remembered writing the words and the exact way she felt when she had written most of them down. The memory of that young girl seemed to take on a life all of its own, as if she were reading about a fictional character and yet the memories those words triggered within her caused her to want to go and find that girl again, to somehow get her and bring her home.
Keri pulled a fuzzy throw over her legs as she read. Every page she turned seemed like opening up an old door and peeking inside. The love and pain and memories consumed her as the glow of the fire filled the room and the sound of the rain hitting the roof seemed to be lost in the background as she continued to read the words she had written a lifetime ago.
She hadn’t noticed how much time had gone by until she heard her daughter padding down the attic stairs. “What’s that?” Her daughter asked walking into the room, finding her mother deep into whatever it was that she was reading. Keri looked up and smiled. Brynne was puzzled. She had been lost herself in a magical mood, pulling out old dolls and stuffed animals that had sent her back to another time all of her own.
Brynne had fully expected to find her mom in the kitchen or having gotten caught up in something on TV which she always seemed to have on for background company, even if she wasn’t watching it. But today, she sat by the fire in silence with a book. “Have you been crying?” Brynne frowned, sounding slightly concerned as she sat down next to her mom eyeing her with a look of uncertainty. She wondered what it was that may have caused her to stop her day like this. Looking amused at catching her daughter’s interest, Keri wiped a tear away and smiled. She was a little surprised with herself, crying over an old diary but the only way she knew how to explain it was to be honest.
Keri had not mentioned the diary when she found it at the bottom of that old trunk. Not really hiding the little book, but not knowing if she even wanted to go there herself. She had thought that she had put all of those feelings behind her but over the years she realized that they were not as easily packed away as old things in a trunk might be. Like this diary, they would show up when she least expected, like today. Keri tested the waters by reading a few of the pages aloud to Brynne. After a few minutes, she stopped and looked up to make sure that she had not completely lost her daughter’s interest but noticed that Brynne looked quite captivated.
Inspired by the attention she seemed to have captured, Keri, explained to her daughter…”I started writing this when I was about your age.” Brynne listened interested. “I was so smitten with the idea of being in love and so boy crazy back then, then adding for good measure, ”even though I really was not allowed to officially date until I was sixteen.” She said smiling with a wink. “I hung out with a few boys and then the summer after my birthday I met someone.” Brynne’s interest peaked and she asked, “A boy that was not daddy?” Recently, Keri and her husband Tim had been negotiating curfews and dating rules with their daughter who now, found this all very interesting to say the least, picturing her mother with boys when she was her age was a concept Brynne hadn’t broached. “Yes.” Keri answered, “I met a boy who was not daddy, a boy who changed my life forever.”
A look passed over her mother’s face that Brynne could not read. They had shared a mother and daughter bond that few can boast about, they finished each other’s sentences and usually knew what the other was thinking with very few words. Both Keri’s and Brynne’s friends envied their relationship. And without ever giving it a name, they had been best friends from as far back as either one of them could remember and Brynne felt as if she knew everything about her mom, until today. Brynne listened with interest.
Keri wanted her daughter to admire her. She felt as if she had made so many mistakes in her life but had managed to rise above most of them. Brynne had always been so level headed and unaffected by the silliness of young love. When her friends would seem unusually boy crazy, Brynne had always been the one in control. She was a dancer and she would not let anything get in the way of her dream. Least of all, what she called silly romantic drama that she witnessed her friends going through much too often for Brynne’s taste. She felt she had plenty of time to find the right one and seemed in less of a hurry than her other friends. But even as level headed as her daughter was, Keri knew that it was only a matter of time, and it only took one boy to turn her heart upside down. And so she decided to share what she had written.
But before she started reading more, Keri scanned the pages that were filled with such innocence and details about her first real love, her first real everything. Each page seemed to captivate her with memories of their first dates and their first kiss and first argument…all of their firsts captured inside this locked little book. She read the sad little poems randomly placed throughout the pages, and even found some very passionate accounts of some pretty explicit moments that she barely remembered actually writing about and blushed as she read each sentence silently to herself, remembering it all as if breathing in a scent of long ago and not getting enough of it… And then she finally got to that place. It was a place when everything seemed to change. A place where even her handwriting changed. A place where eggshells and tension seemed to become a part of her life. She began recalling some very unequivocally painful times as she continued to silently read to herself as if she were searching for a happy ending somewhere in the pages. And yet she knew how it all ended.
Realizing, that she had never really shared any of this with anyone she panicked at the thought of sharing her pain now. The anger she was feeling again, distressed her. When it was all happening to her, she had been ashamed. Her friends would never have understood why she stayed. And as for her parents, they wouldn’t have stood for it, especially her father, and so she had remained silent. Even though Brynne and Keri talked about everything, this was a hard one. She didn’t want to just blurt out things that she hadn’t prepared her for. However, she reasoned, if she was going to share this with anyone, the most logical one would be Brynne who was just beginning to be interested in boys.
Keri had always planned on talking to her daughter about this. She had never wanted her to feel the way she had all those years ago. She wanted her to feel as if she could talk to her about anything. Keri was snapped back to another time as she glanced over the pages. She remembered how she had felt back then and how it was a lonely place to be. Feeling as if no one would understand, so instead, she had found comfort in her writing. She remembered pouring her heart out in those journals like loyal friends, late at night in her room. They were always there for her, like good listeners, to catch her words as well as her tears. She had always kept each one, secretly hidden and then once one was filled she would begin another. It was as if writing relieved her of the ugliness inside.
Over the years, she had never had the heart to get rid of them. They had been like faithful old friends, a kind of reminder to her. A reminder of that young girl she had left behind, so long ago. It was almost as if in opening the pages of the little diary, she had found the innocent part of herself again, the part that she had given up, the part that had been packed away like those old dusty journals, still hidden in the bottom of that old worn out trunk. She was not too sure if she wanted to mess with the feelings that she had managed to neatly pack away. And yet had she really? Had she ever totally forgotten? She knew she wasn’t fooling herself. Her life was different because of all the things inside of those pages. She was different. And nothing could change that.
She knew that she could have gotten rid of those old books a long time ago and yet still would have never been able to forget. And so now, holding onto them symbolized a promise that she had made to herself, to never go there again. And so where ever she moved to, She brought them too, tucked deep down in the bottom of that old trunk, stored away, like her memories. Knowing that someday, she would use them as a message, a template so to speak, of things she wanted to protect Brynne from. But it had all caught her a little off guard today.
She was just grateful that she had found that trunk. In all the years that had passed, her memories had been confined to the privacy of her journals. She didn’t know if she even wanted to remember. And yet, Keri had always felt that everyone’s story, good or bad, was worth telling if it could help someone else not make the same mistakes. Keri thoughtfully considered her story and wondered if today might be the day she would share it and just perhaps, telling Brynne her story would help guide her in her future.
Long before Brynne had even been interested in boys her mother had encouraged her to make a wish list that included the top ten things she wished for in a husband. Keri had read the list and then added one more…she told her daughter that if any boy ever showed any sign of a temper that she should run like the wind! Brynne never quite understood why her mom had always been so adamant about that rule but had respectfully added it to her list.
Sitting there with her book in her hands, her life’s story literally tucked inside the pages, and her daughter a willing audience she considered everything. She held the book tight against her chest and looked into Brynne’s eyes filled with questions, with the crackling and popping of the fire raging, she opened the book and said;
“I never told you about this part of my life, maybe it’s time I tell it to you now.”
Brynne, who was always in a hurry curled her feet up under her and grabbed another throw as she settled in to listen to her mom read. Keri began reading, she read a page and then the next one and paused thinking that Brynne would be bored but instead she motioned for her mom to continue. All the pieces were fitting in place now Brynne finally knew why her mom had added that extra rule. By the time she was done, the fire had died down to a flicker and more than two hours, maybe more had passed. Keri closed the book and she looked up and noticed that Brynne was in tears. “Oh mama” she cried, “It is all just so sad.”
So there it is… I am making myself try to stick to my guns and between working fulltime, and the stuff going on in my life… just finally finishing this… I still have 20 more chapters and some of those have been the ending so this is just a dent but I did want to check in and say I actually AM working on it… I will share a few more as I go and would love feedback!
Thanks for your time!
Love you all!