Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Christmas Memory

I was nine years old with blonde hair, hazel green eyes and teeth that looked like Bucky Beavers. A face only a mother could love; my mother, Joyce.
My mother loved Christmas and always made sure that it was magical and special. Of course to any nine year old, everything about Christmas was special and magical. The music, the bright colorful lights, the smell of baked cookies and of course Santa and his presents. But it wasn't all those holiday treats that stuck out most in my mind. I don't remember what present I got for Christmas that year or what cookies I ate. There was one fond memory that forever took a spot in my heart and I will cherish it til the day I die.
I remember coming down the stairs after taking a bath. I was wearing my long pink nightgown. The smell of popcorn lingered throughout our two story house, making my mouth water.
"Here Jame, grab the bowl of popcorn on the counter." My mother said with a big smile on her face. I smiled back, eagerly waiting to see what she had planned for the evening. She grabs two big glasses of soda then walks towards the living room with me trailing behind her.
My father, Jim, was already in the living room, setting everything up. My eyes grew wide as he turned off all the lights except for the Christmas tree lights. Mom had laid out two large blankets across the living room floor, right next to the stereo.
I copied her as she laid down onto her stomach, facing the tree then began shoving handfuls of popcorn into her mouth. I looked up to see Dad standing in front of the stereo. Soon, the voice of Merle Haggard filled the living room as he sang "Santa Clause and popcorn, Jingle bells and reindeer horns."
I laughed as I watched and listened to mom and dad sing along to Merle. Soon, after swallowing a mouthful of popcorn, I joined in. The three of us lied on the floor for hours, eating popcorn and listening to some good ole fashion Christmas music.

My mother is gone now. It will be four years ago on December 21 and I still laugh and cry when I hear Merle Haggard's "Santa Clause and Popcorn" song. I thank my mother for giving me such a wonderful childhood Christmas memory. Love you Mom!!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Cullens Thanksgiving

Here is a special treat in honor of the Twilight Saga and Thanksgiving.  Enjoy!!

                             Thanksgiving with the Cullens

"Come on Dad!" Reneesme squealed pulling Edward’s arm. Edward followed along willingly with a huge grin across his stone face as I followed closely behind. Reneesme was excited that Thanksgiving was just a few days away. She wanted to show us where she and Jacob had found a flock of turkeys that were deep in the woods. "Shhhhh!" She whispers putting her tiny little finger to her lips. Even though this was her second Thanksgiving, it really felt like her first. With everything that had gone on in our lives last year, the Volturies, we really didn't get to celebrate the holidays the traditional way. Edward and I and the rest of the family, including Jacob, made a promise that we would make this a special holiday for Nessie. I watched my beautiful daughter as she gracefully walked through the woods. Her deep brown eyes glistened with delight as she spotted a turkey. I stood back, watching her and Edward pointing and whispering to each other about the turkeys. Nessie lifts her head up, sucking in a deep breath, inhaling the scent of the wild bird. "Hmph! They don't smell too good do they?" She whispers to Edward. Her little nose crinkled in disgust. He chuckles quietly. "Most birds don't my love. But they do taste pretty good. Eating just one isn't very filling though." I laughed under my breath at his comment. Edward turns to look at me with his smoldering golden eyes, making my stone cold heart jump out of my chest. I gave him a wink then a smile. "Daddy! Look! Look at that big one there." She points at a turkey that stood in the middle of the flock. It stood at least a foot taller than the rest of the turkeys. "That one will fill you, Daddy." Nessie speaks louder, scaring the turkeys. We watched as they all flapped their wings and flew for safety. "WOW!" Her eyes lit up with amazement. We all held hands together as we walked back to the cottage.

           Alice was busy decorating our cottage for Christmas. She wanted it to be a surprise for Nessie. I was really looking forward to decorating as a family, but of course, Alice always gets her way. I did make one request. That Edward, Nessie and I decorate the tree. She put her lower lip out, pouting, but then she agreed. Of course, Edward was standing there glaring at her. I'm sure that made a difference.

Nessie let go of my hand to run ahead of us. Edward and I watched her as she happily skipped through the forest with her long bronze hair blowing gently in the wind. Edward's laugh was like a sweet melody to my ears as we watched Nessie continuing skipping through the woods, punching a tree here and there, knocking them to the ground. She turns to smile, exposing her pearly white teeth, as dimples formed around her little mouth. Even though she was just born last year, she has already grown to the size of a 5 year old. And her intelligence was way beyond our imaginations. Carlise was still studying about this. Wondering if this is also one of her many gifts that she already possessed.

          "Mommy! Look!" I looked up to see what Nessie was pointing at. A bright light was glowing ahead in the woods, in the direction of where our cottage stood. "Ugh! Please don't tell me that Alice has built a winter wonderland theme around our home." I moaned. Edward looked at me with a nervous smile. "Ugh!" I moaned again low enough so that Nessie wouldn't hear me. Nessie took off running at full speed. So we followed closely behind.

          "WOW!" She hollered so loud that it made Emmett's booming laugh sound like a whisper. Carlise, Esme, Alice, Jasper, Emmett, Rosalie and Jacob were all standing in the yard in front of the cottage, chuckling. Nessie ran up and gave each and every one of them a hug, thanking them for the wonderful surprise.

Yep, I was right. Alice had built a winter wonderland. I glared at Edward for not stopping this but when I saw the look on Nessie’s face, how excited she was. I shook my head and bit my tongue. Alice turned and laughed at me then proceeded on to give us a grand tour. We all walked in a single file line with Nessie and Alice being first of course.

There was fake snow spread out all over the yard, front and back. The whole cottage itself was lit up, changing colors from blue to red to green to purple then back to blue and so forth. A real life-like Santa Claus was sitting in a sleigh with eight tiny reindeers in the front. It pretty much took up the front yard. “Ugh”. I moaned. Edward squeezed my hand, leaning down to kiss my hair. I wrapped my arms around his waist, as we continued to the stroll inside the cottage. Nessie with her mouth open wide, walked slowly soaking everything. Everyone else seemed entertained by Nessie wondrous reactions. I looked over at Jacob, he too was just as excited as Nessie was, as if it was his first Christmas too. I could feel a smiling cracking through my stone cold face.

          "Mommy! Daddy! Quick! She grabs our hands leading us towards her bedroom. A small gasp escaped my lips when I walked into her room. I had to admit I had never seen anything like it, except maybe on television. Her room was truly magical. Christmas music was playing softly in the background. There were red and white lights streaming from the ceiling from one end of the wall to the other. A huge spruce tree was in the corner of her room, decorated in a candy theme. An electric train chugged around the room with little puffs of smoke shooting from the steam engine. Nessie ran from one end of her room to the other looking and touching everything.

"Hahahaha, look at the train, there are little presents on the flat cars." She squealed.  "Nessie dear, those are real presents for you, one for each day of December for you to open." Alice's purred. Jacob sat on the floor to get a closer look at the train. He looked like a giant lying on the floor beside the small train and it's little presents. Nessie walked over and sat down beside him, both if them watching the train chug past them, making a circle around the tree until it came back again. Edward and I quietly walked out of her room to let her play. We continued to tour the rest of the house. I was relieved to see that she left our bedroom alone. The living room was decorated in maroon and gold. I had to admit everything looked very elegant, although it was too fancy for my taste, but I bit my tongue. I did notice that an eight foot spruce tree stood bare in the corner of the room. "Thank you." I whispered in Alice's ear as I hugged her.

          Thanksgiving Day was finally here. We all dressed up for this special occasion. Nessie was exceptionally darling in a sparkling purple dress with matching shoes. Purple was her favorite color, for now at least. She changes it about once a week. Last week it was lime green. Whatever is her favorite color is, Esme, Alice and Rosalie take her shopping and buy her a week’s worth of clothes in that color. I told them that they were spoiling her, creating a monster but that just brought on a roar of laughter.

Edward walked into the living room wearing a dark blue Armani suit. It still took my breath away when he came toward me. He wrapped his arms around me, lifting me up to put his lips to mine. Nessie giggled as she watched us kiss. I grudgingly agreed to wear a Vera Wang sparkling blue dress. The strapless dress was a little too provocative for my taste. Naturally, Alice was the one who picked it out. Edward seemed to like the dress more than I did as ran his the back of his soft hands down my shoulder to my wrist, sending tingles through my body. "Behave! We have a dinner to attend." I whispered, nuzzling his ear. "Hmmmm." He moaned.

          This was all new to us, spending Thanksgiving the traditional way or the Cullen's way. The ten of us, including Jacob, went hunting for turkey. Nessie was the first to bag a turkey. Jacob went next, then we all followed. I had to laugh watching Emmett chase after a turkey. He couldn't decide which one he wanted. He ran around like a chicken with his head cut off. Of course, Edward got the big turkey, Nessie made sure of it. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves as I stood back, leaning against a tree, watching my new loving family play hide and seek with my daughter. Memories of my own Thanksgiving weren't this happy. But that was okay, as long as Nessie was having the time of her life, that was all that mattered to me. All because of Nessie, we started a new tradition today. I smiled knowing there was going to be many more new traditions in the Cullen’s house.

          "Bella love. We got to get going. Charlie will be expecting us soon."  Edward's sweet breath whispered to my ear. We all walked back to the Cullen's house laughing and singing. I was truly blessed. I would have given up my soul a thousand times over for this moment.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Best of Both Worlds

Noooo...I'm not talking about Hannah Montana's song. I'm talking about me. Well...it's a comment that my husband says about me from time to time. He says that I have the best of both worlds. Why you ask....Well...I was born with a disability, a hearing disability. At four years old I was fitted for my first hearing aid and started speech therapy shortly after so that I was prepared for kindergarten. All through elementary I was treated like a special needy child. The teachers made me sit up front and were always making sure that I could hear them and understand what was going on in class. At that age, all I cared about was recess and snack time. But as I grew older, things weren't so simple. Of course being a teenager, I had the same problems as most other teenagers such as peer pressures and making friends and struggling to find myself (hmmm...of course that didn't come til much later).

As I look back in my teenage years, I really had it good then but I just didn't realize it.

I remembered one day while sitting in history class. My teacher, Mr. Selner was giving one of his long boring speeches about the tribes in Africa. My eyelids started getting heavy as I sat in my desk, staring at his lips ( I read alot of lips to communicate). I remembered reaching behind my ear and turning off my hearing aid (which I had done many many many times). The next thing I knew the whole class was staring at me and laughing. Mr. Selner was standing in front of me with a smirk on his face "Well class, Jamie is turning me off again." He chuckles. I could feel my face turning three shades of red in that split second. Needless to say, I didn't do it again in his class in fear of him catching me again.

Now that I am older, wiser and deafer. lol  Yes...I now where two hearing aids....well I'm supposed to. That's where my husband comes in and tells me that I have the best of both worlds. If I don't want to hear the kids screaming and fighting or the dogs barking or the neighbor guy blasting his stereo to "Money for Nothing" song from Dire Strait, I can simple take my hearing aids out or turn them off.

Although I have missed out on alot of joyous sounds, like the coos of my children when they were babies or the song of a bird singing in the morning or crickets chirping in the early evening. I'm sure that there are far more sounds that I would rather not hear. So if you come to me someday to nag and scream or bitch about something....and you see my reaching behind my ears, that is me turning you OFF!!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Little Heathen

Hmmm....where do I begin? Oh yes...first I have to say "What was I thinking?" As an animal lover...I just invested in another puppy. Why do you ask? When I already have two (a 13 yr old Cocker spaniel and a 3 year old chihuhua). I don't know why....maybe I secretly want to be one of those animal hoarders. God help me!!!!
The newest addition to the Wilsoncroft family is a teacup chihuahua named Lola. She weighs only 1 lb 8 ounces, so really she doesn't take up alot of space but geesh....her bite makes up for everything else. Did I mention that she is a little heathen? When I compare her to my first chihuahua Sophie...there is NO comparison. Sophie was the most perfect and I say that with a capital "P" dog on the face of the Earth. She only ever peed once in my home and pooped once and as for chewing on my children's toys....she never did such thing. She played with her own toys which were always scattered all over the living room like a cyclone had come through it.
But what was I thinking? That all chihuahua puppies were this good? Hell to the NO!!! Sophie set the bar sooo high that poor Lola sits on the low end of the totem pole. Honestly.....looking back Sophie wasn't a normal puppy...just the perfect puppy. Lola is a normal active rug muncher who does what puppies do best...peeing, pooping and chewing. Thank God she is cute because honestly...that is what is saving her little white fuzzy ass.....and the fact that I do love puppy breath.
That is another story all together....Puppy breath......the second best smell next to the smell of a newborn baby.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Don't sit under the apple tree

                   DON'T SIT UNDER THE APPLE TREE


I will never forget the date it was Thursday June 26, 2008. It was the day that Todd and I moved into our new home. We had been searching for the perfect house for a year. We both wanted something with a little bit of land that was not too far from town. But a lot of the homes that we had looked with the realtors were either dumps or highly overpriced. Until one day I found an ad in the local paper.


I stared at the ad for a few minutes with tears clouding my eyes. I knew the moment I saw the ad that this was the place we were looking for. Without even seeing the property, I knew that this was we had been searching for. I called Todd at work and told him about the ad. His response….was to call right away before someone snatches it up. My heart was racing like a runaway train when I picked up the phone and dialed the number.

Two days later we were pulling up the steep dirt driveway next to a two story house that looked to be a hundred years old or more and definitely abandoned. It siding was made of its original wood not the aluminum siding that you see on houses nowadays. The wood was old and dark and probably full of termites I presumed. Just thinking about it gave me the heebie jeebies.

Todd and I got out of our Jeep and walked over to an older gentleman who was standing beside the old house.

“You must be Mr. Wall?” I asked, reaching my hand out to shake his. Todd did the same.

“And you must be Todd and Madison Holmes?” Mr. Wall said. He was a squirrely looking man, short like me, maybe an inch taller than my 5 foot petite frame. He had brownish grey hair that looked as if it hadn’t been combed for days and his beard and mustache were in need of a good trim. But it was a look that I was accustomed too. A lot of the older folks who lived in this part of town looked like this, especially the older farmers.

“Yes.” Todd answered. I smiled nervously at the older gentleman. I couldn’t help but stare at his worn clothes and shoes and his eyebrows. It took all I had to keep from laughing at his eyebrows. They were the bushiest eyebrows that I have ever seen on a person. They had to be at least 2 inches thick, maybe more.

“Follow me then.” He ordered, walking around the old house. I glanced up at Todd, hinting to him while raising my eyebrows up and down. He smiled at me then elbowed me playfully to keep quiet.

“This old house was built in 1918 by my grandfather, Orvis Wall.” He walked up the steps and to the door, using a key to open it. I stopped at the bottom of the steps and stared at him with wide eyes. Did he seriously think that we were here to buy the house? This old house that was filled with bats, mice and termites and God knows what else.

Reading my mind, Todd quickly stepped forward. “Uh..Mr. Wall, we are not here to look at the house. We are interested more in the land. If we buy this land, more than likely we will be tearing this old place down.” I sighed in relief when Todd told him our plan. The old man turned around slowly and with his mouth agape, staring at us like we had just committed the worst crime ever.

“Wha..wha..wha…did you say?” He stuttered. His hands began to shake as he glanced back and forth between Todd and I. I immediately began to panic, afraid that we were going to put this old man into cardiac arrest.

“Oh no Mr. Walls. What my husband meant to say was that we are planning on building another home here, somewhere on this property. We just weren’t going to live in this house.” I tried to speak calmly as he continued to shake.

“Oh..well…well that’s fine then. There is plenty of room for another home on this land.” Mr. Wall locked the door then continued to tell us the history about the house. About his grandfather Orvis and grandmother Ethel and how much he used to love this house and staying here when he was a young boy.

“There’s an old pond down over that hill there.” He said pointing across the yard. “And there used to be an old pig pen where my grandfather and father used to raise and butcher them. Boy! Those were the days.” He chuckled as he grabbed a pipe from his breast pocket and began packing it with tobacco from a pouch that he kept in his back pocket. I watched with amazement, how he stuffed and packed the pipe then lit it with an old silver zippo that he kept in his other front pocket.

“Did I tell you that my Pappy Orvis taught me how to smoke a pipe?” Todd and I shook how heads, amused. I always got a kick out of old folks and how they liked to talk about their younger days. They never seemed to forget what happened to them when they were kids but if you asked them what happened last week they would look at you clueless.

I walked back over to the Jeep as Todd and Mr. Wall did some negotiating. My head snapped up when I heard Todd say “What? Are you serious?” My heart sunk when I heard him say these words. I really liked the property back here. It was quiet and secluded and yet the nearest neighbor was just across the road, caddy corner from us. And the best part was that we were only 3 miles from town. It wasn’t that I liked living in town. Todd and I both grew up in the small town of Centerville. We both thought it would be a nice change of pace to live in the “country” so to speak.

Todd Holmes was a senior when he first laid eyes on me. I was just a freshman, a straggly looking freshmen, if you ask me with brown frizzy hair from a bad perm that my mother had given me and my teeth were covered with braces. Yep, metal mouth was my nickname at that time. Todd on the other hand was tall, 6 foot to be exact with short dirty blond hair and the bright green eyes that I had ever seen. Every time he would smile, two perfect dimples would pop out, making his face more handsome than ever. All the girls in school were crazy about him, myself included but I knew that he was way out of my league….until the day he accidently tripped me in the hall and I went flying across the hall with my books went sailing in every direction.

But that wasn’t what caught his attention it was the blood pouring from my mouth. I had bitten my tongue when my face smacked off the floor. He literally carried me to the nurse’s station, apologizing a hundred times. From that day on, he had always been in my life.

I stood quietly watching Todd and Mr. Wall talk. After a few minutes they shook hands and parted ways. My heart sunk to the pit of my stomach when I saw the disgusted look on Todd’s face, leaving me to believe that the negotiation didn’t go well.

I quietly walked around the passenger side door and jumped in. I knew that we didn’t get it. Todd was too quiet when he started up the Jeep.

“Well…aren’t you going to ask me?” He turned to look at me before shifting gears.

“I know.” My lips quivered again. And so the search continued looking for a place to call home. I was so sick of renting the small apartment that we had lived in for the last year and a half. We both talked about starting a family and the apartment we lived it barely fit the two of us let alone adding a baby.

“You know? What are you psychic?” He remarked. I turned around to see a huge smile, dimples included across his face.

“What? What? We got it?” I shrieked jumping in my seat.

“Yep, my lady we found ourselves a home.” He laughed. “And it was a steal too. I offered him more money but he wouldn’t take it.” I wrapped my arms around his neck, squeezing him as hard as I could.

“What was the final price?” I asked pulling my arms away from him. I was curious now as to what was said between them.

“Five hundred dollars!” He chuckled in disbelief. I stared at him with my mouth hanging open, five hundred dollars for two and a half acres of land? Things were finally starting to look up for us.  

The next few weeks were crazy. We ordered the perfect double wide home with four bedroom and two baths and two huge living rooms, one with a fireplace. And weeks after that, we had the ground dug up to start on our basement. Todd always wanted a finished basement, someplace where his buddies could come over and drink beer and play pool and watch the Pittsburg Steelers on a huge flat screen tv. Our home was soon to be a reality. The only problem that I had was the location that we had chosen. We had just bought two and half acres of land and the only place that we could place our new home was right behind the old house. Todd explained to me that there was a natural gas well line running through here and well with the price of fuel these days…having natural gas was a big advantage, especially in the winter time. I wasn’t keen on the idea of cooking on a gas stove, afraid that I will burn the house down but if it was going to save us a lot of money in the future then how could I argue?

After two and half months of signing our life away with loan papers and packing boxes after boxes, we were finally moving into our new home.

After spending hours unloading the Uhaul truck and placing the boxes in their dedicated rooms, Todd and I along with our parents were exhausted. We hadn’t realized how much stuff we had accumulated in the last year and a half and what boggled all of our minds was where in the hell did we keep it all in our little shoe box of an apartment.

“I told you she was a hoarder.” Todd teased as we all sat around the kitchen table eating pizza. “GAH!” I picked up a wad of napkins and threw them at his face.

“Yeah, she gets it from her mother.” My father decided to join in by teasing my mother. My parents Jeff and Maggie Mason were high school sweethearts too and married young, only because my mother had gotten pregnant with me at the tender age of sixteen. I looked more like my father with the thick dark coarse brown hair and dark brown eyes. My mother had short feathered hair with green eyes. I was petite like her, minus the middle age spread.

“GAH!” Mother and I both gasped and stared at Dad for being so rude. His broad shoulder shaking as he laughed. “What? It’s true. You go home right now and look in our closet. The woman has at least a hundred boxes of puzzles stacked to the ceiling. Believe me, I know. I dread every hunting season when I gotta get my gun out of there. It ends up being a two hour production.”

“Oh for heaven’s sake, it does not take you two hours to get your gun.” Maggie scolded playfully.

“Like hell it does.” My father continued to tease my mother. Todd’s father Ted joined in and began tormenting Carol, Todd’s mother. Soon all six of us were bickering back and forth, guys against the girls.

After dinner, we thanked our parents for helping us and watched them pull out of the driveway, all of them promising to be here early the next morning to help unpack more boxes. As I turned to walk back into the house, I caught something out of the corner of my eye. I snapped around to look at the window of the old house. It was one of the windows on the second floor. I could have sworn that I had seen someone standing there. But all I could see was a white curtain that looked torn to shreds.

Todd and I spent a few more hours unpacking boxes that were marked ‘kitchen’. Todd stood by the cupboards as I carefully handed him our ceramic plates, bowls and glasses. I was so excited. Everything was fresh and new and exactly the way we wanted it. Our new house was starting to feel like a home.

It was getting late when we both decided to call it a night. Todd crashed on the bed and was snoring within minutes. I had decided to take a nice warm shower before going to bed. I was anxious to take my first shower in my new home.

I stood under the shower for a while enjoying the warm water soothe my aching back and shoulders. I hadn’t realized how out of shape I was until we began packing and moving these boxes. As I began lathering my hair with shampoo I heard a voice in the bathroom with me.

“Todd is that you?” I stood quietly for a moment waiting for his reply but he didn’t answer. Then I heard it again. It wasn’t a voice. It was singing. I knew that this wasn’t Todd because it was a female voice singing. I slowly grabbed the shower curtain then quickly snapped it back to see who was in here with me. But the bathroom was empty. I hurried and rinsed the shampoo out of my hair and got out of the shower.

As I began to dry myself off, I could hear the singing again. This time it was louder, loud enough for me to understand the words to the song.

“Don’t sit under the apple tree, with anyone else but me. Anyone else but me, anyone else but me.” 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011



She came to me in my dream. At least I thought it was a dream, considering that I haven’t slept for two days.

I thought it was strange that I was standing in the middle of a car repair shop, a shop that I didn’t recognized. I glanced around looking for sign stating the name of the shop or at least tell me where I was at, but there was nothing.

Leaning up against an old blue Buick Century was a woman that I did not recognized. Even though she was dressed in pair of dirty denim coveralls that mechanics usually wore, she still looked out of place.

“Who are you?” I asked. I slowly walked towards her as she waved her milky white hand for me to come. I was awestruck by her beauty. Her creamy white skin was flawless and her long brown hair flowing over her shoulders, reminding me of a model. But her most prominent feature were her lips. They were the brightest red lips that I had ever seen. They were her natural lips, not the caked with red lipstick.

I asked again, “Who are you and why am I here?” I gave her a peculiar look when she smiled at me. Right away I felt stupid for asking her name when it was there in plain sight over her left breast. A white name tag with DOROTHY embroidered in red.

“I’m Dorothy.” She says. I was shocked at the sound of her voice. It was sweet and melodic, reminding me of a group of children singing in a church choir. Anytime I would hear a children’s choir it would always give me goose bumps, just like it did now.

“Where am I?” I glanced around the dirty shop, again looking for a clue to where I was.

She ignored my question. “You are troubled.” She sounded apologetic. I thought that was odd. Why would she be sympathetic with me? She doesn’t know me nor I her.

“Uhhh…what are you talking about?” I couldn’t help staring at her bright red lips. They were beautiful and perfect. Flawless. Everything about this woman was flawless, from the strands of her thick dark hair to the tip of her perfectly manicured fingers. Wait a minute! What mechanic has perfect nails? Aren’t they usually grimy and caked with grease and dirt?

“You are restless my child. You are worried about your Mother.” My heart sunk to the pit of my stomach when she mentioned my Mother. My eyes became murky as I tried to look her in the eyes.

“Do you…er’ did you know my…m..mother?” I stammered. I still couldn’t say her name without getting a lump at the size of a golf ball in my throat.

“Yes, I knew her. She was a wonderful woman. I was with her til the day she died.” Her voice was soft, soothing as she looked at me with her dark brown eyes. I cocked my head to the side, curious. I didn’t remember seeing her at the hospital on the day that my mother died. The day that she became free from the pain that rheumatoid arthritis had done to her poor weak body.

“Were you one of her nurses?”

She laughed sweetly, “You could say that.”

“Dear child, she doesn’t want you worrying about her anymore. She is at peace and she wants you to be too.” She reached her milky white hands out for me to touch but I kept them deep inside my pockets. My legs began to shake and the tears began to fall.

“I can’t. Not when I could have done more. Not when I could have helped her take away her pain.” I began sobbing as I remembered her lying in her bed sleeping with her forehead wrinkled in pain. “She never complained about her pain. In all these years when the arthritis was slowly destroying her organs and her joints, she never once told me how much pain she was really in.”

“Oh dear child, mothers are like that. They don’t want their children to see or know their agonies.” She took a step towards me, still holding her hands out. I could feel my clenched hands loosening inside my pockets as I debated whether to take them out.

“Did you know how much pain she was in?” My lips trembled as I asked her this question.

“Hmmm…let me see.” She pondered for a moment, then turned her dark eyes on me. “Okay…have you ever ridden a bike up a steep hill, a hill that seemed to go on for miles?” She asked. I shook my head understandably. I was an avid bike rider.

“Well, you know the feeling of how every muscle in your arms and legs and body ache when you are pushing and struggling to reach the top of the hill. That pulling, aching and burning feeling?” I shook my head slowly, understanding exactly what she meant. Tears began to fill my eyes quickly, trickling down my cheeks and onto my shirt.

“This is how your Mother felt 24/7.” Without giving it a second thought I ran to her as she embraced me with her warm loving arms. Suddenly I felt peaceful and at ease and very tired.

I woke up with the sun shining brightly through my bedroom window. When I sat up in the bed, I noticed my shirt was soaked and something black smudged near my left breast pocket.  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Father to Remember

A Father to Remember......No my Father is not gone. He is alive and well and I'm grateful for that. We all have memorable stories of how great and not so great our fathers were when we were growing up. Some of us have sad stories and some of us have happy stories or even funny stories. But if it weren't for our father's seeds we wouldn't be here on Earth to even mention those memories.

I had a typical childhood growing up, to say the least. Many happy memories, many not and many that I have completely forgotten.  Why you ask? Hell if I know. Brain farts? But the memories that I do have I cherish. Like the time, my Dad and I went fishing. I was maybe around the age of thirteen, not really excited about hanging out with my dad when I had better things to do, like hanging out with my girlfriends to talk about boys. But anyways Dad dragged me fishing. We were sitting along an old riverbank behind one of his buddie's house. This river was known for the carps and muskies.

After sitting along the bank for hours, bored out of my fricking mind and NO we didn't have cell phones back then or else I would have spent the hours texting my friends. We waited and waited for one bite, hell a nibble would have made our blood soar but NOTHING.  We were just getting ready to pack up and leave when out of the corner of my eye, I saw Dad's pole flicker.

I yelled his name (quietly) cause them fish can hear us when we talk. Go figure, I didn't know fish had ears. He turned around and damn near fell flat on his face when he tripped over the tackle box. I watched him move like a streak of lightening grabbing that fishing pole and swinging it back, hoping to hook this bad boy on.

"Jamie, I think we got a big one here!" Dad yelled. Yes, he yelled and let the whole river of fish know that we were there. lol  I stood up, excited now. This was the only thing some what exciting that has happened in the last two hours besides me getting grossed out by the sight of worm poop. Yes, worm poop is gross. Have you ever seen it? 

For fifteen minutes Dad pulled and released and pulled and released the line trying to pull this monster in. I could see that he was getting tired but the excitement on his face showed that he wasn't about to give up, not by a long shot. The fish was doomed to die. I grabbed the net and set it beside his feet, so that it would be handy for when he brought the fish close enough to the edge of the bank. I stood back and watched.

Another ten minutes went by and we were finally able to see the fish.  And HOLY SHIT was it a monster. The damn thing had to be at least three feet long.

"Look at that musky! I'm gonna have that baby mounted!" Dad cheered. I could picture it now....Mom would be totally appalled at the idea of a fricking fish hanging on the living room wall next her picture of humming birds.

I watched Dad as he bends over to grab the net. Just as he reaches the net into the water to grab the monsterous fish, a loud snapping sound seemed to echo all around us.

"What was that?" I gasped. I looked over at Dad, who had the most horrify look on his face. He stood there staring at me with the net in one hand and a broken pole in the other.

So that was how the story came to be, about Dad missing the BIG ONE. That happened um....tw...(clearing throat)six years ago. We don't need to know the exact years and to this day he still talks about missing the BIG ONE. Oh and by the way he missed the BIG ONE deer hunting too but I didn't go there with him. The very thought of hunting for Bambi made me cry.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Haunting Love

Here is a quick preview of one of my latest stories that I am writing. Yes, another one.

Calista Rose is a 16 year old girl who has been uprooted from her childhood home in Frederika, Delaware to Curwensville, Pennsylvania. Her brother Mike who is a senior and on the football team has been welcomed with open arms into their new public school. Calista on the other hand has not. Being deaf and having a tutor following her around all day, she was well...... basically a freak.

Calista felt alone in her new town and her new home....sometimes. Sometimes she felt like there was somebody watching her, especially in the corner of her room next to her closet door.

Stranges things started happening around her, cold breezes and sweet smells. It wasn't until one day she found her ASL (American Sign Language) book lying on her bed open with the words HOW ARE YOU circled in the book. Calista wondered if there was something paranormal in her house but was afraid to say anything in fear that her family would think that she was nuts.

So one evening she set a paper and pencil down on her dresser, seeing if anything would respond to it and sure enough it did.  Seventeen year old John Lansberry was living in the house with his twelve year old sister Holly.

Soon Calista and John become good friends and she learns that John and Holly were shot in killed in the house by their step mother Gloria.  Calista also learns that she is falling in love with John. But when the step mother Gloria finds out that John and Calista love each other......ALL HELL IS ABOUT TO BREAK LOOSE.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


                             Fat Chances

Chapter 1

I've always been overweight, ever since I was a little girl. My father, mother, brother and my sister and I, we would always call ourselves The Chunky Monkey family. So it was safe to say that being heavy, ran in the family, it was in our genes. Or so I thought, when my sister decided to go on a diet and join the local gym.

Sure, I’ve had my ups and downs of being overweight, my bouts of depression and being taunted in school by skinny blonde cheerleaders who said that I would never get a boyfriend with my fat ass. Being a teenager and 80 pounds overweight wasn’t exactly a smooth ride but I learned to muddle through middle school and most of high school. I am a senior this year, so after this, I didn’t have to deal with ignorant skinny people who got their jollies off tormenting fat people. Soon I would be in the real world with real people and real problems, some like mine, some worse.

“Annie, are you coming?” My sister Molly asked. Molly and I are both 18 and yes, twins. Thank God, we didn’t look alike, I could only imagine the name calling that came with fat twins. We both have Dad’s crystal blue eyes. Molly inherited Mom’s button nose as I inherited Dad’s long straight nose. We both have dark brown hair. Molly’s is long and wavy and mine, short and pixie.

“Yeah, yeah.” I groaned. I hated winter. Today was our first day back to school from our Christmas vacation. I used to love going back to school after the holidays, to show off my new clothes and jewelry. But this year I didn’t. I wasn’t happy that I was now officially wearing a size 2x shirt and size 18 jeans. Molly wasn’t as big as me. Of course it helps when you’re not vertically challenged like I was, which makes me look even bigger. Molly had at least a good 3 inches on me which helps her conceal some of her fat. But unlike me, who is shy and self-conscious. Molly was the complete opposite. She loved life and everything about it. She even managed to become friends with some of the classmates who used to torment us in middle school. And while Molly was off running to parties and sleep overs, I was home alone in my room either reading or writing.

I climbed into the red Dodge Dakota pick-up that Mom and Dad had bought for my Molly and I. Why they would buy us a truck that I had to use a ladder to get into was beyond me. I grab the handle on the inside roof and struggled to pull my weight into the passenger seat. Molly didn’t seem to have a problem getting in. Having the 3 extra inches in height was a blessing for her.

“UGH!” I grunted as I sat in the black leather seats.

“I’m serious Annie, you really need to start going to the gym with me. There is a new Zumba instructor there and he is HOT!” She exclaimed. I shook my head, rolling my eyes at her as we pulled out of the driveway.

“I’ll think about it.” I said, knowing full well that I would think about it for a total of three seconds.

“Seriously, this Zumba really works. I’ve already lost ten pounds and I feel great.” Molly said excitably. I turned my head to look out the window so that she wouldn’t see me rolling my eyes at her again. Her losing ten pounds was all I’ve heard about for the last two days.

We pulled into the school parking lot, considering that we only live ten minutes away. I groaned in disgust when I saw that the parking lot was already full. I couldn’t wait for school to be over so that I wouldn’t have to see these people’s faces ever again. I was looking forward to summer. I was moving from this small town of Clearfield to Maryland to live with my Aunt Kelly. Molly had enrolled into a local college, to study nursing. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life yet. All I knew was that I wanted to get out of this stinking hell hole.

“Hey Annie! Hey Molly!” My friend Natalee Ramoni hollered as she stood by my locker waiting for me. Natalee has been my friend since the 3rd grade. She was the only girl, besides my sister, that I trusted with my life.

“Hey Nat, did you have a nice Christmas?” I tried to sound cheerful but I was feeling self-conscious about my 2x shirt. I felt like everyone was staring at me, that there was a big glowing tag flashing on the back of my shirt reading XXLARGE. I knew that this was just my imagination but I still felt like everyone was staring at my fatness.

“Oh yeah, it was the best. Looky what I got!” She cheered holding her hand up, waving a shiny white stone that cover her whole finger. I grabbed her hand, snapping it closer to me.

“OH MY GOD! YOU’RE ENGAGED!?” I looked up at Natalee, her face was glowing with pride.

“Yep, Tommy asked me to marry him. Can you believe it?” Tommy Held has been her boyfriend since the eighth grade. He was in tenth when they started dating. And for the last four years, he’s been working at a local lumber company, saving money to buy her a house. I envied Nat. She has everything that I ever dreamed in a man. He was sweet and good to her and he loved everything about her. Even though Natalee wasn’t fat like me, but she wasn’t exactly the skinny type either. And yet, Tommy treated her like she is the most beautiful girl in the world. I could see it in his green eyes when he would look at her that he genuinely loved her as she did for him.   

“Ahhhh….when is the date?” Molly squealed when she saw the diamond ring.

“This October, I told Tommy that I WAS NOT wearing a wedding dress in 90 degree weather. I laughed when she said this. Natalee hates summer. She would rather be freezing her ass off than bake in the sun.

The rest of the day went by quickly. Listening to Nat talk about her wedding plans was more enjoyable than listening to Molly talk about Zumba and the ten pounds she lost.

“So are you going to go to Zumba class with me tonight?” Molly asked as we pulled out of the parking lot. I groaned under my breath.

“Only if you promise to quit talking the rest of the night.” She laughed, then stopped when she glanced over at me and saw that I was serious.

“Do you mean to quit talking to you or everybody?” Her blue eyes were wide when she asked me this.

“Me.” I said. Although I would have loved for her to not speak the rest of the night but I knew that would be physically impossible for her jabber jaws.

“DEAL!” She squealed.

“What the hell am I supposed to wear?” I mumbled under my breath as I looked at the clothes that were scattered all around my room. I didn’t want to wear sweatpants and sweat my bloody ass off. I didn’t want to wear shorts so that everyone would see my thunder thighs. My purple t-shirt made me look like a grape. “Ugh!” I felt disgusting as I looked in the mirror. I really didn’t have any other choice but to wear my black t-shirt and grey cotton capris that didn’t do any justice for my fat ‘rolls’. I gave up and walked downstairs to the kitchen where Molly was waiting. Mom and Dad and my brother Shane had already left to go watch his basketball game. I would go once in a while to watch him play but after a half hour of sitting on those hard bleachers my ass and legs would always get numb. There was nothing more embarrassing than standing up and walking like an 80 year old lady because your fat body can’t sit in one position for too long.

“I’m so excited that you are coming with me. You are going to fall in love with Cory.” Molly expressed excitably.

“Shhhhh.” I shushed, reminding her of her deal. She laughed and turned to look at the road as she drove us to the other side of town.

“Whose Cory?” I asked, thinking about the name that she had just mentioned. I was pretty sure that I never heard her say that name before. She pointed at her pressed lips, hinting that she wasn’t allowed to speak.

I laughed. “Okay, just tell me who Cory is and then you can shut up.”

“He’s the Zumba instructor. He is tall dark and handsome. He is the type of guy you envision when reading a Harlquin book.” She gushed. Molly wasn’t much of a reader like I was. She would only read the Harlequin book, only because they were smutty. Molly was a fan of smut. I shook my head and laughed at her. That has remained to be seen.

“Good evening ladies.” I could hear a male voice greeting each woman, young and old, skinny and fat as we stood in line at the gym, waiting to get in. I held my towel and water bottle close to my stomach hoping to conceal some of my fat.

“MOLLY! So glad to see you.” The young male voice sang. I gingerly lifted my head to look up at this tall man. I gasped when I saw that Molly had been telling the truth. He is tall dark and handsome. His dark brown hair was short and feathered to the sides. His skin was a bronzed matching perfectly with his dark brown eyes. Two dimples formed around his perfect mouth when he smiled. I slowly glanced down at his perfectly trimmed body, his perfect muscles ripping under his white tank top and black mesh shorts. I could feel my face flushing not because he was hot but because I was obese. I looked like a tubby tooby girl standing next to this perfect handsome body.

“Ahhh…who is this?” He asked Molly. My head snapped up when I realized that he was asking about me.

“Cory, this is my sister Annie.” She tugs at my arm, pulling me closer to the two of them. The smell of Coast soap tickled my nose when I stood beside him.

“Annie, that’s a beautiful name. I’m so glad that you’ve come to join us. I want you and your sister to stand up front.” He smiled and then turned to the young lady standing behind me.

“Oh my God, he wants us to be up front.” Molly gushed. Great! I could feel my face getting hot at the idea of standing in the front row so that everyone behind us could see me trying to move my fat body to the rhythm of the music. What a jerk? Was he using us as an example? That they’ll look like me if they don’t exercise?

“Are you fricking nuts? I’m not standing up front. You can, but I’m keeping my ass in the back.” I bellowed as we walked into the next room.

“Annie, he’s never asks anyone to stand up front. This is HUGE!” She explained. “Well then go ahead, dance up front. But I’m staying in the back.” I persisted. I walked to the last line, setting my towel and water bottle against the wall. I stood there with my arms crossed waiting for the stupid Zumba to start. Molly sighed heavily and threw her bag down beside my towel. I knew that she was pissed but I didn’t care. I wasn’t about to make an ass out of myself just because the instructor was dreamy.

Sweat was pouring off my body as I pushed myself to keep up with the routines of the Zumba music. A couple of times Cory danced his way towards the back of the line, encouraging everyone to ‘Move those muscles. Feel the burn’ I kept my eyes peeled to the floor when he came over my way. I gasped when I felt his warm hand on my shoulder. I turned to look at him, to see him smiling from ear to ear, showing his perfect white teeth.

“Okay ladies, let’s take a ten minute break.” He spoke in a normal tone. I was shocked to see that he wasn’t out of breath or breathing heavy like I was. I felt like I was going to pass out as I leaned against the wall to wipe the sweat off my forehead. I bent down to grab my water bottle when I saw someone snatching it before I could get to it.

“Here you go.” Cory said in a polite tone, handing me my water bottle.

“Thanks.” I could barely talk, as I tried to catch my breath. I had to tilt my head to look up into his dark eyes.

“Are you feeling okay?” His eyebrows scrunched together when he asked me this.

“Uh..yeah..I’m just not used to this kind of exercis….

“I begged her to come with me when I first started coming here.” Molly interuppted. She leaned against Cory, trying to get him to look at her.

“Excuse me, but where is the bathroom?” I asked either one of them. Molly pointed towards the opposite direction of the large gymnasium never taking her eyes off of Cory.

“Over there in that corner.” Cory said in a low voice. He gave me a strange look as I walked away. I grabbed my towel and water bottle and quickly walked towards the far corner of the room. All the other ladies were standing around talking and drinking their water. Some of them were gazing at Cory. Now I understood why so many women came here to exercise. It wasn’t to get in shape but to ogle over the instructor, Cory.

I walked over to the mirror and gasped in horror. I knew that my face was hot with sweat but….not like this. My face was beat red. I looked like I was ready to have a heat stroke. I quickly began splashing cold water on my face, trying to cool myself down. I can’t go back out there, not like this. I could feel tears pricking my eyes as I sat down in a stall to go to the bathroom. I hated Molly. I hated myself even more for agreeing to do this. I could hear the music starting again as I pulled my capris back on. I needed to get out of here. I walked to the other end of the bathroom to see if there was another exit. Shit! The only way that I could leave here was to walk back out into the gymnasium where everyone had begun exercising again, where Cory would see my red lobster face again.

I stood against the door, peeking to see if anyone was looking. The exit door was near me but I would have to make a mad dash to get to it and make my great escape. But with my fat body, dashing was one thing that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish without making a fool of myself.

I could hear Cory yelling something over the loud music but I couldn’t make out what he was saying. I stood beside the door, contemplating on my escape.

“Annie! Are you okay?” I gasped when I heard Cory’s voice just outside the door. I quickly took a few steps back so that he wouldn’t see that I was standing just inside the door.

Clearing my throat, “Uh yeah, I’m just a little lightheaded.” I spoke truthfully. I was feeling lightheaded…..earlier.

I gasped when I saw him standing before me. He quickly grabs my shoulders, looking down at me. I had to shake my head so that I could look up to focus my eyes on him.

“You’re not sick are you? Do you feel like you’re going to pass out?” I could see the worry in his dark eyes.

“Uh…no. I just need to cool down.” I bowed my head down towards the floor so that he couldn’t see my red face. But he gently takes his fingers under my chin and tilts my head to look at him. He stares into my eyes as if he was examining them.

“Come with me.” Before I could object, he quickly grabs my towel and water bottle, pulling me alongside him. We walked out of the restroom and through the exit doors. I sighed in relief when the cold winter air began cooling my skin. It felt like heaven on my over-heated body.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have pushed you too hard tonight.” He said sympathetically. I sucked in a sharp breath when he said this.

“What? No! This isn’t your fault that I’m not in good physical shape to handle a little Zumba. In case you haven’t notice….I’m fat. Fat girls tend to get out of breath a little easier when exercising.” I said.  Why was he blaming himself? I shook my head in disbelief.

“Annie, you’re not fat…..just pleasingly plumped.” He said, flashing another gorgeous smile.

“OH SHUT UP!” I hated this guy. One minute he seemed genuinely sweet and the next minute he would say something so fricking stupid that it would piss me off.

“What? What did I say?” He looked bewildered.

“Do you need glasses? You worry about your muscles and your tan so that you look good for the ladies but you don’t take care of your eyes. Go get an eye exam will you.” I snapped, grabbing my towel and bottle from his hand. I started walking towards the truck when I felt his hand on my arm. I turned around to look up at him.

“What?” I snapped. He gazed at me for a long moment, not saying a word.

“What the hell is your probl….” Before I could finish my sentence he bends down pressing his warm lips to mine. I was so befuddled, so shocked by his action that I dropped my white towel and water bottle in the muddy puddle beside us.

We both gasped when he pulled his lips away from mine. I stood there speechless for a moment, not knowing what to make of this. My mind was a pile of mush. I couldn’t think. I didn’t know if I should have been pissed or blown away or both. Leaving my towel and bottle on the ground, I turned to walk away from him. I was too confused to react any other way.

“Annie, wait.” I heard Cory say my name but I just kept walking towards the truck. I could hear his feet splashing in the puddles as he came running up from behind me. He stopped in front of me just as I was about to pull on the door handles to the truck.

“Annie, I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened back there.” He said sympathetically.

“Yeah, whatever! You like screwing with a girl’s mind. You probably have kissed every girl in there.” I accused, pointing towards the building.

“No, you’re wrong. I’m not like that at all. Annie, you’re a beautiful girl and…..and…I don’t know what came over me. To be honest I want to kiss you again….and again.” I could feel my cheeks blushing when he said this to me.

“Well that’s not going to happen. You better get inside, your fan club is probably wondering what happened to you.” I snapped.

“Uh…yeah, you’re probably right.” He started to run towards the building but then he stopped and ran back. He wrapped his solid arms around my waist, pulling me towards him as he plants his lips to mine. I struggled weakly in his arms at first but then I found myself standing on my toes to so that I could wrap my arms around his neck. He bends down lower so that I could reach him better. Feeling his hard muscular body against mine caused my heart to beat erratically.

He slowly peeled his body away from mine as we both gasped for air. As I watched him walk away, I realized that I knew nothing about this Cory. How old is he? What’s his last name? Where does he live? I needed to know these things if my heart was going to fall in love with him.     


Fat Chances

Chapter 2

I climbed into the truck, my mind was a foggy haze. I could still feel the warming sensation on my lips from Cory’s kiss and the hot spots on my skin where his hands had been touching me. I stared blankly at the silver Mustang that was parked in front of me as the memory of Cory kissing me played over and over in my mind like a broken record. I began to shiver when I realized that I was sitting in the truck without jacket on. I leaned forward to open the glove compartment, searching for the spare key that Molly and I kept in case of an emergency.

I started the truck up and turned the heat on full tilt. After a few minutes the truck was beginning to warm up. I glanced over at the tan building to see the side door fly open. The women from the Zumba class were walking out in a steady line. Many of them were younger who were already in great shape. You know the type, the blonde, tan skinny women who wore the tight spandex and the tiny tank tops. I was certain that they only came to the classes to show off their hot bodies in front of Cory, hoping to get his attention.

There were a few older heavy set women who came strolling out. I could see their reason of being here, trying to lose the baby fat from carrying their children for nine months. But I didn’t have an excuse, although I sometimes wished I was pregnant just so I had an excuse for being fat. I knew I couldn’t keep blaming it on my family’s genes. Only I was to blame for the spare tire that I carried around my waist. It was my bad eating habits and lack of exercise that gave me my extra rolls. I knew I needed to change and I have tried but eventually I would give in and fall back into my same old routine of sitting on the couch every night eating Cappuccino Crunch ice cream and watching Dr. House.

“Where the hell were you?” Molly snapped when she crawled into the driver’s seat. She threw her Twilight bag on the floor beside my feet.

“I wasn’t feeling well, so I came out here.” I said truthfully, even though I was excited about my first kiss. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to tell Molly. In truth, I was embarrassed to tell her that my first kiss was with Cory. Cory the HOT looking Zumba instructor. Cory, whom I also had just met and knew absolutely nothing about. My mind began racing with a thousand different thoughts. What if he’s a player and he was just taking advantage of me because I am fat and naive? Naive? GAH! I could feel my face flushing red with embarrassment and anger at the thought that he’d only kiss me because he thought that I was naive.

“Annie, guess what?” Molly’s bitter tone suddenly turned sweet with excitement. I sighed heavily in disgust before turning to face her.

“What?” I mumbled. Frustrated, I began twirling my hair as I thought about Cory’s kiss and the real reason behind it.

“I gave Cory my cell phone number.” She squealed. I could feel my heart dropping to my stomach. “And guess what else? He asked for my home number as well. Can you believe it? Of all those women in the exercise class, he wanted my home phone number.” She squealed with delight as she began bouncing in her seat. I could feel my mouth hanging open as I stared at her. I was dumbfounded. Appalled. Pissed.

Forcing a fake smile on my face, I told her that I was happy for her. So for the next fifteen minutes, until we pulled into the driveway, that was all I heard, Cory this and Cory that. When I got of the truck, I slammed the door so hard that it rattled the windows.

“Geesh, what’s wrong with you?” Molly asked as she followed me up the steps to the front porch. I balled my hands into a fist and turned around to face her.

“DON’T EVER ASK ME TO GO TO ZUMBA WITH YOU AGAIN!” I hollered and then stomped into the house. I kicked off my wet sneakers and threw them at the pile of shoes that were scattered by the door and ran upstairs to my bedroom. With a loud thud, I threw myself on top of my bed and began sobbing uncontrollably. I hated Cory. I hate boys. I hated everyone. Eventually I cried myself to sleep.

When I woke up the next morning, fresh new tears emerged but I quickly wiped them away and forced myself to get out of bed. I tried to walk quietly to the bathroom but my heavy footsteps made the wooden floor creak beneath me.

I stood under the hot shower, lathering my wash cloth with soap. I began scrubbing my body vigorously, wishing that I could wash away all my fat. I stuck my face under the hot water and began rubbing Cory’s kiss from my lips and face. I wanted to be rid of him and the memory of his lips and hands touching me. After brushing my teeth three times, I finally went back to my room. I glanced at my alarm clock and saw that I still had an hour before everyone was to wake up.

I laid down on my bed and grabbed one of the books that was sitting on my nightstand. UGH! I sighed. It was a romance novel. As the matter of fact, all my books were romance novels. I didn’t want to read anything that had to do with romance or anything that had to do with two lovers kissing and caressing each other in all the right places. I threw the book across the room and buried my face into my pillow.  

I jolted awake when I heard a soft knock on the door. “Annie, can I come in?” My mother asked. I groaned when I rolled over and sat up on the bed. I noticed the sunlight was now peeking through my window.

“Yeah, come on in.” My voice was raspy with sleep. I was surprised that I had fallen asleep again. I watched Mom peek her head through the door before stepping in.

“Good morning.” I smiled weakly. My Mom, Kathy Powers was a big and beautiful woman, who carried herself well. She was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. She kept her dark brown hair with blonde highlights short and stylish. Her dark thick eyelashes flattered her dark brown eyes. Her lips were naturally plumped and pink and her long acrylic nails were always flashy and vibrant. Kathy was a professional nail technician who had her own little shop here at home.

She came and sat down beside me, giving me her worried motherly look.

“Ann, is everything okay? You didn’t come downstairs last night to eat dinner.” She spoke in a soft soothing tone. I stared at the zebra pattern that she wore on her nails. I knew that in a few days that she would have something different, maybe something bright, like hot pink hearts or yellow smiley faces. She would always beg me to let her do my nails but I would always refuse. I thought it was silly wearing fake flashy nail that reminded me of hookers. But I didn’t dare tell her that, I wouldn’t want to upset her. Although the next time, I might just take her up on it, I could use those long nails to gouge out the eyes of anybody who pissed me off. My Cory….or Molly.

“I’m sorry. I had a bad stomach ache last night.” I lied. I felt horrible lying to my mother but I really didn’t want to get into the whole details of telling her that a handsome boy took advantage of me because I was fat and naive.

“Oh baby, how are you feeling now?” She asked, rubbing my forehead with the back of her hand to see if I was running a fever. I felt like shit. That’s what I wanted to say. I wanted to run away. I wanted to move to Maryland today and say the hell with school. I wanted her to go down to the center and strangle Cory. I wanted a lot of things but I kept my mouth shut.

“Better.” I lied. I stood up from the bed and walked over to my mirror dresser. I grabbed the comb and lightly ran it through my hair.

“Good, I’m glad. Would you like me to make you an egg omelet before you go to school? I already have everything set out. Shane wants one too.” She smiled and stood up to walk to the door.

“No thanks. My stomach still feels a little queasy. I don’t want to take any chances on making it worse.” It was the truth, images of Cory kissing me made was making my stomach turn. I waited until it was time to leave to go down stairs. Molly was standing at the door waiting for me. She never said a word, which was good because I really wasn’t in the mood to hear about Cory or the stupid ten pounds that she had lost.

Natalee never showed up for school today. She texted me and said that she wasn’t feeling well. She wasn’t the only one. The day seemed to drag. I hated school, well not school in general, just the people that occupied it. School to most of the students here at Clearfield was more of a social event. You were either popular because your parents were considered high society or you were a sports freak. And I was neither to say the least.

“I’m so glad that we got out of social studies today.” Molly sighed with relief. We were supposed to turn in our history papers in today but the school decided to hold an assembly. I personally would have liked to see Molly suffer a failing grade than sit in the dark auditorium smelling the musky seats and dusty floors. It made my eyes and nose water just thinking about it.

We all lined up to walk down the halls towards the auditorium. Some of the boys standing behind me were goofing off, seeing who could punch each other the hardest in the arm. Kenny the tall skinny blond one was punching everyone and laughing. Fred who was tall and husky turned around and told him to knock it off before someone gets hurt. The group of boys just stood there laughing like he said a funny joke. As our line continue to walk down the halls, I could hear them pushing and shoving each other, their laughter echoing in the hall.

“UGH!” One of the boys was shoved into me, causing me to fall forward onto my knees. With all my weight on one knee I went crashing down on the floor. I heard something popped when my right knee hit the floor. “UGH!” I moaned as the pain began shooting from my knee down to my toes. I laid there with my eyes closed trying to keep myself from passing out. I could hear a few of my classmates laughing and snickering.

“Annie, are you alright?” I heard Fred’s voice as he leaned down to help me up. I slowly opened my eyes to look at him. Everyone was standing around me in a circle, staring and gawking at me like I was the fat lady at the circus.

“I think so.” I groaned. Fred lent his hand out for me to take. Even with his tall husky frame, I could see him struggling to pull my weight up off the floor. This caused my face to turn a few shades darker.

“Thank you.” I said sheepishly. “Sure, no problem.” He choked then turned away to get back in line like nothing ever happened. I was heated with embarrassment, even though I was grateful that he didn’t make a big issue of it, suggesting that I go to the nurse’s office or something. But at the same time I was hurt, he could have been more sincere with me, make feel like a human being who has feelings, instead of an outcast. I knew that this was going to be the subject for the rest of the day. Did you see fat Annie crash to the floor? I thought the floor was going to crack. I thought Fred was going to pull a hernia lifting her up off the floor. I could hear them talking now as the tears flooded my eyes.

I limped the rest of the way towards the auditorium. Through my jeans, I could feel my knee swelling as it continued to throb. “Ugh!” I moaned when I finally took a seat in the front row. I sat in front so that no one could see the tears that were flooding my eyes and trickling down my cheeks.

Molly was sitting behind me, her mouth flapping about Cory and how excited she was waiting for him to call. I closed my eyes, letting out a jagged sigh. After about another ten minutes the auditorium got quiet and the principal walked out on stage.

Mr. Stiles was an educated man. He would remind us every day when saying the morning announcement. “Today’s another great day for learning. Do your homework and study hard and whose knows….one of you students could be the next Einstein.” Each day he would say a different name, like Robert Frost or Neil Armstrong. It got to the point that my classmates made a game of it. They would guess which name he was going to say that morning. If you were right then you got to pick someone to do your homework. I of course never participated in their juvenile games.

I stared at Mr. Stiles’ bald head and black rimmed glasses as he continued to ramble about how important education was. Don’t get me wrong education was important to me. I’ve always achieved a grade point average of 3.0. But sitting here in the musky smelling auditorium with my throbbing knee, I really didn’t care about education or anything else except going home and sitting on the couch with an ice pack and maybe a bowl of ice cream.

“As you all know, next week is health and fitness week. We have an “educated” man here today to talk to us about how important it is to eat right and exercise.” I rolled my eyes when he emphasized the word educated. “So let’s give a warm welcome to Mr. Cory Shields.” Mr. Stiles began clapping as he turned to the edge of the stage. The bright stage light turned to a tall dark man as he began walking out to the center of the stage.

“GASPS!” I heard two loud gasps, mine and Molly’s. Although hers was sheer excitement, mine was sheer terror. Oh dear sweet Jesus just take me now. I slid in my seat, hoping that he wouldn’t spot me.

“Good afternoon guys and gals. My name is Cory Shields and I am the new fitness instructor down at the Civic Center. First, I would like to tell you folks a little about myself. I am 22 years old and originally from Florida. I graduated from Penn State University with a degree in nutritional science. When I first started college I wanted to major in journalism but as you can see I changed my mind. I didn’t always used to have this body. It took a lot of work and dedication to create these bad boys. ” He chuckled, putting his arms up to make a muscle.

My heart began racing as I listened to his deep soft voice. I watched as he walked back and forth across the stage. He is thick dark hair feathered on the side and his dark brown eyes squinting every time he smiled at the audience. He was wearing light blue jeans and a navy blue sweater that clung to his hard chest, exposing the contours of his muscles. His tan hands clenching white as he held the microphone to his mouth. My heart fluttered when I saw how close his lips were to the microphone as he spoke.

I slid further into my seat as he walked across the stage, closer to where I was sitting. I was suddenly wishing that I had gone to the nurse’s office instead of coming here. Oh God, could this day get any worse? I closed my eyes and silently prayed, that’s when I decided that I would slip out of here and go see the nurse. After all I had a good excuse, a swollen knee.

I waited until Cory faced the opposite direction to make my escape.

“Can I get a volunteer to come up here and be my sidekick?” I heard him announce just as I started up the aisle. I could hear Molly screaming from her seat, “ME! ME! PICK ME!” My knee was throbbing like a bad toothache as I tried to walk quickly as physically possible.

“You? The girl in the aisle, would you care to join me?” Goose bumps shivered up spine when I realized that he was talking to me. I could feel all eyes staring at me as I stood frozen in the middle of the aisle. I wanted to run but I was pretty sure that I would look like an ass with my gimpy leg. A couple of girls snickered as I turned around to face Cory on the stage.

He stood there with his handsome smile, waving at me to come join him. “Come on up. I promise I won’t bite.” He chuckled lightheartedly. I glanced over to see Molly sitting in her seat, her mouth hanging open and glaring.

I wanted to die. I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me right now but I didn’t have that kind of luck. The only luck that I was capable of having was a lifetime of humiliation.

I slowly limped back down the carpeted aisle and to the wooden steps that were adjacent to the stage. Cory was standing on the second step waiting to help me.

“Annie!” He sounded excited when he said my name. I glared at him, slapping his hand away from me. He smile quickly faded as he looked confused. I could feel my face getting hot when I noticed that he was staring down at my knee.

He grabbed my elbow and gently guided me up the steps. I could feel his eyes on me as I kept my eyes peeled to the old wooden floor. Never letting go of my arm, we walked to the center of the stage where there was a long table set up. The audience was quiet as they watched us carefully. I could feel beads of sweat on my forehead at the bright stage light shined on the both of us.

I glanced at the table to see all kinds of fruit and vegetables on display along with a pile of pamphlets. Cory waved his arm out towards the audience. “Guys and girls, this is Annie. She is my new assistance for the day.” Cory said my name with such pride that it made my face blush. I could hear a few light chuckles from the audience.

“Annie, do you like to eat fruit?” Cory turned to me. I nearly choked when he asked me this. I swallowed the hard lump in my throat and slowly looked up to meet his dark eyes.

“SHE EATS ANYTHING!” A male voice hollered from the crowd. A roar of laughter echoed through the auditorium. Tears instantly covered my eyes as turned my back away from them.

“WHO SAID THAT?” Cory yelled. I didn’t look up to see his face but I could hear the anger in his voice. There a few people pointing their fingers at one of the seniors. I peeked over my shoulder to see who it was. Chris Hurd was the one who made the comment. I didn’t care too much for Chris. He considered himself the class clown and held the title respectably since the third grade.

“What’s your name?” Cory asked in a deep agitated voice. I turned my head to stare at the pamphlets that were scattered perfectly on the table.

“My name is Chris.” He laughed and so did a few others of his friends.

“Well Chris, you can be my other volunteer.” My head snapped in Cory’s direction. Was he serious? I wanted to walk off this stage right now but I was scared, frozen. I was already humiliated enough, I was afraid to make it worse. I crowd started roaring with laughter as Chris stood up and began walking towards the stage.

“Your job is to run around this auditorium fifteen times and then come up on stage and tell us how you feel.” Cory said with a deep authority. I turned my head to look at him and saw that he was smiling as he winked at me. I could feel a small smile growing on my face as I quietly chuckled under my breath.

“What? Are you kidding man?” Chris whined.

“No, I’m not kidding. I want to demonstrate how a young energetic man like your self can handle a strenuous exercise. Unless….you’re not up to the task?” Cory interrogated him. Even though my knee was aching terribly and I was embarrassed as hell standing up here in front of everyone, I was enjoying the look on Chris’s face as he Cory pressured him into running the fifteen laps around the auditorium. Deep down, I was hoping that he trips on the carpet and falls flat on his face. It would serve him right.

“And if I pass this test with flying colors? What will I get?” Chris asked sarcastically. Cory tilted his head back and laughed. He had a cute laugh, not too loud and not too soft.

“Well if having the satisfaction of knowing that you did it, isn’t enough then you can have some of the fresh fruit and vegetables that’s up here on the table.” Cory continued to chuckle. He looks over at me and smiles even wider, exposing his two dimple when he sees that I was smiling too.

“Deal.” Chris said. He walks over to the far right corner and bends down like he is getting ready to run a race. “Hey, is there a time limit?” Chris hollered.

“Yeah, you got fifteen minutes. I will set my stop watch, starting……..right….NOW!” He takes off his watch and hands it to me.

Winking at me, “Keep an I eye on this bad boy, cause I’m pretty certain our boy isn’t getting any fruit.” He snickers, his dark brown eyes gleaming as he smiles at me with his perfect lips. I could feel my heart beating rapidly through my chest.

“Okay.” I whispered, so that the audience couldn’t hear me.

While Cory continued to talk to the crowd about eating fresh fruit and raw vegetables, I kept my eye on the stop watch and Chris, silently praying that he falls on his face.

“Does anyone here know what is the healthiest fruit to eat?” I knew the answer but I wasn’t about to volunteer the answer. I took a quick glance at the audience. No one was raising their hands. Cory turns to me. “Do you know?” He smiles warmly showing his perfect white teeth.

His smile nearly took my breath away as I choked, “Watermelon.”

“Yes, that’s right.” He wraps his arm around my shoulder, hugging. The smell of Coast soap and his cologne tickled my nose.

“Watermelon is the healthiest fruit to eat and does anyone know why?” He didn’t even bother to look at the crowd instead he turned to look at me. I swallowed another hard lump in my throat when I saw that his face was inches from mine.

“Because it contains 92% natural water.” I answered not sure if that was the correct answer.

“Yes, you’re right and we all know that water is the healthiest drink for you.” He gave my shoulders one more squeezed before letting go. He stepped back and grabbed a pamphlet, holding it in the air. Just then the stop watch timer began beeping, letting up know that Chris’s time was up. I was too busy watching and listening to Cory that I had lost track of how many laps Chris had made.

“Tsk Tsk Tsk, Chris…my man. What happened to you?” Cory teased. Chris slowly walked up to the front of the stage. He bends over, grabbing his knees as he continues to breathe heavily while trying to catch his breath. The audience broke out into a roar of laughter, I included. It was nice seeing someone else being laughed at instead of me or some other fat kid.

I stood back at the far edge of the stage as Cory invited everyone to come up and grab a pamphlet and eat some fruit and vegetables. I watched as it was mostly girls who came running onto the stage, Molly included. Now was the perfect time to sneak out and head to the nurse’s station while Cory was busy talking to a group of pretty skinny girls.

I slowly limped backwards until I could feel the stage curtains against my back. I quickly turned around and walked towards the exit door that was located at the far end of the stage.

“Where are you going?” I gasped when I turned around to see Cory standing behind me. I could feel my heart slowly dropping to my stomach as I looked up into his warm dark eyes. I inhaled a jagged breath as part me wanted to feel his lips on mine. I wanted to feel his warm muscular arms around my waist. I wanted that burning sensation that it left when he let go of me.

“To the nurse’s office.” I turned around to push the door open but he blocked me with his arm.

“Let me see.” He said in a stern voice. He got down on one knee and began gently massaging my knee cap.

“UGH!” I groaned as I jerked my knee away from his hand.

“I think you better go to the emergency room and have it check. You might have a cracked knee cap. There is fluid building up around it.

“So what you are a doctor now too? Let me guess, a nutritionist and a Zumba instructor and a doctor? I said sarcastically. “Jack of all trades, master of none, right?”

“Hahahaha….you are absolutely right. But please don’t tell anyone.” His dark eyes gleamed when he put his fingers to his lips, swearing silence. I wanted to be mad at him for taking advantage of me, for stealing my first kiss without asking me but his smoldering eyes and gorgeous smile was making it too damn hard.

“What the hell is all this?” Molly hollered.