Hey guys….you know how we always appreciate feedback or at least like knowing that our work is really being read? Well, I am blown away by some of my blog buddies who have become true friends!
I want to give a shout out to Paul who sent me an edited version of my Chapter Two. What an amazing gift! Thank you Paul!! http://pjb1943.wordpress.com/about/
(click on his above link, he has an amazing story and a great blog!)
Here it is, Chapter Two edited thanks to Paul! I have a lot to learn about grammar and punctuation for a 50 something year old who loves to write… so this was sooo appreciated! When I get the $$ I am gonna hire you my dear!!!!
…. finds her back in her younger years, when
she actually started that journal and was living the stories that she wrote
about… slowly the chapters will carry you forward again to today, which is when
she finally begins to understand the lesson in her journey ~ hence; the title:
Pieces of The Circle
Here it is….
I eliminated the pictures this time so hopefully it will read just as good without them.
Keri watched as her mom and little brother Lonnie, prepared to leave for the airport. It was the first time since moving from Seattle to California that she would not be joining them on their yearly summer trip. After all, she was sixteen…, too old for “family vacations” she told her parents. Though she had to admit,her summers had been magical. When one would end she would start counting the months until the next one. Ever since she could remember she looked forward to every single one of them. Keri and her cousin, Annie, had spent all of their summers together at their Grandparent’s house near Lake Washington since she could remember. Memories filled her heart with the special adventures they had shared over the years. She smiled as she recalled how they would cook up schemes, trying to come up with ways to stow Annie away in a suitcase so that
Keri could bring her home with her to California. She smiled now just thinking about it. And she had to admit that it felt odd not to go this year. But Annie landed a babysitting job for the summer so Keri had decided to stay home this year. After what seemed like endless conversations about the subject, her parents had finally consented.
It was the summer before her senior year and her best friend Lori’s last summer home before she went away to school. Lori had her license for almost a year and Keri had finally received hers. This represented a new kind of freedom for both the girls that they had never known before. Her father was always busy. He traveled and worked late hours so she knew that for the most part she would have the independence for which she longed.
Keri understood that she was to maintain the house while her mom was away and she appreciated that her dad gave her a reprieve of sorts by
not requiring her to get a summer job. She knew that this was the last summer she had to just be a “kid” and planned to make it the best one yet. Little, did she know…
She threw kisses as her dad backed out of the driveway, heading for the airport to drop her mom and Lonny off and then take a flight himself. She grabbed her beach gear and headed to Lori’s to pick her up. The sun felt good on her face as she climbed into her car. The breeze was almost nonexistent. It was a beautiful day and she knew it would be warm at the beach. She could see the ocean from her house in Palos Verdes. The blue sky sparkled invitingly as she slid into the driver’s seat of her new car. The latest Top Forty filled the speakers her dad had just installed for her as she tuned up the volume. She rolled down the windows, and smelled the scent of fresh-cut grass. Feeling quite carefree and that all was well with her world.
When Keri pulled up to Lori’s she noticed a boy a little older than her, working on a sailboat on the long driveway that led to Lori’s house. As she passed him he took off his baseball cap and wiped his brow and nodded. She wondered who he was but decided that the day was a wasting and honked for her friend who stood on the balcony outside of her bedroom, motioning for her to
come on up. Keri sighed heavily as she jumped from her car…, pointing to her watch-less wrist as if to say, “Let’s not waste the rays”.
They were already leaving later than they had planned since Keri had waited to see her mom and Lonnie off. “Come on Lori, it’s almost One.” Keri whined in a playfully sardonic tone as the she walked through the door, only to be met with a glass of lemonade and a smile from Lori’s mom “Hey Mrs. T” Keri said accepting the drink and hugging her tightly,“I can never say no to your terrific lemonade”. And then turned as she heard Lori call out “I’ll be right down”. “So where are you girls off to today”? Mrs. T asked cheerfully… “Avenue F in Redondo” Keri confirmed. She and Lori had dubbed the spot right outside of the life guard’s station ever since they noticed Brad, the cute new lifeguard that they had met during spring break and had gotten to know even better, during the weekends that followed. They had a little flirtation going on as he would joke about turning down their AM radio, insinuating KRLA
and KHJ were passé and the FM stations he listened to were going to be the new place to tune in to. They had a volume war and finally Brad had used his megaphone and the girls had laughingly conceded, as Mrs. T probed curiously, Keri got lost in her day dreams as she thought of Brad who was tan with sparkling brown eyes. He was a couple of years older, and very funny. He loved to joke with the girls and they bonded with him right away, and then with several of his lifeguard friends in the area. Brad’s friends had easily become their friends and they all had begun playing what they called:”Sunset volleyball” once the beach had cleared and everyone was off duty. Brad had mentioned the bonfires during Spring Break, and after a day of teasing and sharing cookies they had brought for him, he had invited them back that night to play. They had excitedly gone home to shower and change and then ran back with a six-pack of sodas, a package of hotdogs and some of those home-baked cookies as their contribution.
When they arrived they found half the guys playing a warm up game near a bonfire that the other half was just starting. There was a big tub of ice filled with beer that they added their sodas to, as they were greeted and quickly integrated into the game at hand,
evening out the teams. Not until the sun had finally dipped beneath the horizon did they stop playing. Keri and Lori dropped to the blanket they had laid out laughing. “That was so fun”! Keri said rubbing her wrists. Lori nodded in agreement. “You
guys aren’t bad for girls”. Brad had said and Keri gave Lori a high-five,stating, “For girls you say”? Just you wait, we will give you a run for your money when we’ve played more.” Volleyball, bonfires and Avenue F seemed to fill their weekends after that.
“Sounds like fun” Mrs. T laughed at Keri, realizing that she was far, far away in her thoughts. Keri took another sip as she snapped out of it and absently asked “who’s the guy in the boat?” Mrs. T cleared her throat and said “Oh that’s Jack”. Keri swallowed asking “Jack”? “Yes, Maddie’s old boyfriend”. Keri was curious, “Old Boyfriend”? she queried. “Yes, old”. Mrs. T Sighed, “you see Maddie got herself engaged and is bringing home her Fiancé to meet us”. Maddie was Lori’s older sister by two years. Mrs. T continued, “she has given us a month to break the news to him and get him moved out”. Keri was puzzled. She had just spent the night with Lori a few weeks ago. “He lives here”? She asked. “No, but we let him bring his boat here to work on. And he’s been working on it daily.” Mrs. T replied. Keri was even more confused. Why would someone get engaged if they already had a boyfriend she wondered. But was distracted by Lori clamoring down the stairs, as she kissed her mom and hurriedly began pulling Keri out the door.
Keri noticed Lori’s turquoise swim suit under her clothes and laughed stating, “I almost wore that same suit”! They had gone swimsuit shopping the weekend before at Rosie’s on Pacific Coast Hwy, a store that always seemed to have the best bikinis, and had
both bought some new ones but couldn’t decide on the ones they both liked so had ended up with a few of the same suits. “Lori noticed the pale pink one beneath Keri’s halter top and smiled, saying “I guess we should check with each other because I almost wore the pink one” !Mrs. T laughed. “Oh to be young again, she reflected, so carefree, if I only had to worry about what color my swimsuit was for the day.” Lori rolled her eyes as Keri happily followed her to the car, thanking Mrs. T for the lemonade, she gave her a quick hug. As Lori’s mom waved the girls on telling them to have a good time, closing the screen door she went
back inside Keri loved everything about Mrs.T. and her quiet, but involved presence in Lori’s life. Always just far enough away to not be in the way, but close enough to show she cared. From the time she and Lori started hanging out, Keri always felt welcome and during the weekends, the girls always were either at one house or the other. Lori was going to UCLA that fall and Keri
didn’t want to think about school the next year without her. It made her sad.But she forced herself to just think about the day ahead and decided that today was all that mattered.
Keri buckled her seatbelt and slipped a Chicago 8 track into her player. With the sun shining down through the sun roof, the girls put on sunglass and Keri cranked up the volume, smiling as they rolled down the windows. They began singing loudly. Rocking to the beat laughing. They hadn’t been to the beach for several weeks. The last two months had been filled with finals and all of Lori’s graduation responsibilities so they had both looked forward to today. The girls sang loudly as they drove down the long driveway, bouncing in their seats. The boy in the boat caught her eye and grinned at them as they drove by. Keri couldn’t help but feel a little
compassion for him. Wondering what the story was, she asked Lori. “Why is he hanging out here if Maddie and he are broken up”? Lori sighed in a way that reminded her of Mrs. T’s sigh and it made Keri smile. “Good old Maddie has my poor mom, always trying to fix things but I’m not sure how she is going to manage this one”. Keri asked “Why, because she has a new fiancé”?
Lori grimaced” yeah. I kind of feel sorry for him. I think that he thought that they would get back together like before”. Keri asked “Like before”? Lori nodded. “yeah they broke up a lot, and would always get back together. This time though, it’s over for sure she already has a new guy and a ring and a date”. “Oh that sucks for him”. Keri said. Lori nodded. Keri couldn’t help but take another
glance in the rearview mirror as they drove out of sight.
Brad waved to Keri and Lori as soon as he saw them coming down the ramp. He jumped out of his chair and hopped from the tower. He was still as cute and tan as ever, in his red suit and hugged them tight. A few of their friends were already playing volleyball nearby and waved. Even when the guys were off duty, they seemed to hang out at Avenue F. The girls managed to find a spot, dropping their bags and slipping off their cover-ups, they joined the game. They looked like models in a commercial for suntan lotion, out there in the sand, Brad thought as he watched them from above. The girls took turns taking showers at Keri’s house after the beach. Her dad was out-of-town on business for a few days and they planned to go out dancing and then come back to spend the night. “Oh I can’t believe it”, Lori groaned as she walked in Keri’s room drying her waist length hair with a damp towel, “I forgot my new shoes and my overnight bag”. Keri was sitting on the floor putting on the last touches of her make up in front of her floor length antique mirror as she replied, “That’s fine we’ll just swing by your place and pick them up”.
They just started discussing where they would go for dinner as they approached Lori’s house. Pulling up, Keri glanced at the covered boat still in their driveway, thinking Jack must have gone home for the day. “I’ll just run in and be back in two….” Lori started to say when the door opened and Mrs. T came out waving them in. “You two are just in time for my famous lasagna” she gushed. Keri and Lori looked at each other, both loving Mrs. T’s lasagna and without protest, jumped out of the car. “Why not”? they both said in unison and laughed.
Lori ran up to her room to grab her shoes and pack a bag as Keri followed Mrs. T into the great room while waves of warm garlic bread wafted through the room straight to her nose. “Oh my gosh it smells like heaven in here”! She exclaimed as she sauntered into the room with the farm like table filled with the Taber family and Jack. Mrs. T. immediately introduced him stating “Keri this is Jack Sagan.” Keri warmly held out her hand, from the moment she had heard his story, she had felt a twinge of compassion that she
could not shake And as he took her hand in his firmly shaking it, he looked her in the eye with a confident smile that impressed her. Hmmm she wondered if it was impressed or intrigued. But without knowing exactly what it was, something in
the stars seemed to shift.
The aroma of garlic and the chatter of everyone filled the room as dinner was served. Jack was friendly and animated and talked about being ready to launch his boat. Mrs. T seemed pleased knowing that launching it, meant that it would be moved and it was one more thing she could cross off of the check list that her older daughter had given to her. The boat being gone would be a
huge load off of her to do list, out of all the things that Maddie had
requested be done, before her arrival.
“I have a great idea.” Mrs. T cooed nonchalantly, “Why don’t you all go”? Lori didn’t miss a beat and piped up “Not me. I get seasick”! “Count me in”! announced Lori’s younger brother Matt, who was a year younger than Keri and had been helping Jack work on the boat for the last several weeks. He was eager to try out the vessel on the water. “Can I bring Sarah”? he asked hopefully. Sarah and Matt had been inseparable for the last year when Matt had not been hanging out with Jack. “Sure.” Jack agreed good-naturedly. Keri was laughing at something with Lori when she noticed just out of the side of her eyes, Mrs. T mouthing a silent message of encouragement to Jack as he turned to look at her and offered. “How about it”?
Lori glared at her mom, looking annoyed, and realized that she and Jack had most likely discussed these plans earlier in the day and that this dinner was a little more contrived than she had made it all look. Mrs. T seemed to miss or ignore her younger daughter’s reaction. Keri, on the other hand, had not missed the look, and searched Lori’s face for a clue as if asking her what to do. Lori just shrugged and so Keri turned back to Jack, not wanting to hurt his feelings, especially after knowing the disappointment that soon awaited him, she hesitantly answered “Sure, why not? I’d love to”. Before they left, Keri reached for Jack’s hand and wrote her number on his palm and smiled. He looked down at his hand and smiled back.