Every once in awhile, I ask my friends on Facebook to throw a name, place and object at me so I can write. I don’t know why having my friends do this for me is SO MUCH BETTER than using the prompts I get emailed to me. Maybe because I like my friends better than a random writer blogs daily newsletter.
Anyway, so I asked and I received. I was going to choose 3 but, as it turns out, I only had time for two. But hey, I wrote. So, thank you my friends. Thank you so much. It feels good to stretch that writing muscle, it was getting a bit stiff from lack of use!
This one was from Beverly. She suggested Heather, Ireland, Shamrock.
Heather sat in her cubicle and stared at the cursor which blinked mockingly at her. The words in Ian’s email blurred as tears built up and burst forth. Heather hated crying at work, she hated the drama that went along with it. It was a shared office space so everyone could pretty much see everything that their coworkers were doing. It was like constantly being surrounded by nosy neighbors and the gossip at work was monumental. The proverbial fishbowl.
This time, however, crying couldn’t be avoided. Her emotions were out of her control as she sobbed as quietly as she could into her hands. Ian was the love of her life and it killed her to find out that, out of the blue, that feeling wasn’t reciprocated. The two sentence email shattered her heart. It read simply, “Don’t bother moving here. I’ve found someone else. -Ian” Short, sweet and to the point, just like Ian.
The trouble was, she had already subleased her apartment, gotten a transfer to the Dublin office and bought a one-way ticket to Ireland. Today was going to be her last day in the Atlanta office and she had two weeks to pack up her place, move stuff she wouldn’t need to her parents basement and ship the rest to Ian’s house.
But now what? She breathed in deeply and glanced around the office. Thankfully, the coworkers who had come in as early as she had were preoccupied with their projects, deadlines were fast approaching. She absentmindedly twisted the gold and diamond shamrock promise ring that Ian had given her as she considered her options. Should she just go forward with her plans to move? It wasn’t as if she would be jobless and the money she made as a Project Manager could easily afford her a flat close to work.
There really wasn’t much keeping her in Atlanta anyway. Heathers friends were all married and raising children while she remained single and the parent of a long-haired domestic cat. She had nothing in common with her friends anymore except for shared memories. As for her parents, they kept the house in the suburbs as a home base while they were enjoying their Golden Years traveling to far off places, checking in once a week on their only child.
Heathers heart skipped erratically inside its prison. Her heart my hurt but her pride will never be broken. She had been looking so forward to a fresh start in a foreign land and it wasn’t just about being with Ian. Although, he was the icing on the cake, to be certain. Nodding her head slightly, she knew what she was going to do. To Hell with him. Maybe the only purpose Ian really served was that he was just the fire that had needed to be lit under her stagnant ass. Because, had Heather not met Ian while visiting the Dublin office, her future would have looked exactly like her past.
Sliding the broken promises of the shamrock ring off her slender finger, she placed it into the office issued, standard metal drawer. Maybe the next person who sat here would have good luck because of it. Tucking her pale blonde hair behind her ears, she began filling 6 years into one cardboard box which would be stored in the basement. The tears had stopped. Her heart began healing. Excitement began bubbling.
Heather would have to find a place to stay, and quickly. She had two weeks which she was sure was enough time to rearrange her plans. Things were going to work out, she was sure of it. She wouldn’t let a man get in the way of her future and she would never be so quick to allow someone into her heart as she had with him. Ian could kiss her Irish ass. He may have found someone else but she sure as Hell wasn’t going to stay here in Atlanta because he told her not to come.
When she was finished loading up her box, she walked around and said her goodbyes. She had a few work friends but none she was overly close with so the whole farewell thing was fairly unemotional. She grabbed her jacket and her box and headed toward the elevator when she suddenly had a change of heart.
She walked quickly back to her desk and opened the drawer she had buried the ring in. The ring, this gold shamrock with its microscopic chip of a diamond, it would come with her on her new adventure. It would be a symbol, a daily reminder that bad things happen when you least expect them and that there still can be a positive outcome.
She slid it back on her finger except this time, she put it on her right hand as a promise to herself. She was going to be just fine.
Here is one from Julie who says I should write about Sylvia, Yoga Class, Mirror
Sylvia sat in the back of her yoga class. She always did. She tried not to be seen, the fat girl amongst the sea of slender and toned bodies. She also chose the back because it was farthest away from the mirror. From far away, she didn’t look as heavy as she did when she got closer. From far away, she could pretend that figure wearing an oversized t-shirt wasn’t her.
Her husband encouraged her to exercise, it was good for her spirit, he claimed. He didn’t mind that she was overweight. What he did mind was how it made her feel. She smiled slightly at the thought of her husband, Jim was a good man. She really was lucky. Her mom always told her how lucky she was to have found him, most men wanted women like the stick figures downward dogging in class, not women like Sylvia with too much around her hips and thighs. Jim didn’t care that Sylvia always had 20 extra pounds she was carrying around with her. He thought she was beautiful the way she was. He was, on the most part, a wonderful husband. Every time she caught him in a lie, she had to remind herself how lucky she was and that he really did love her. She always agreed to believe him that it would “never happen again.”
The yoga instructor walked around the room, inspecting bodies and their forms. When needed, she would readjust a leg, back or whatever wasn’t in the proper position. She spent a lot of time repositioning Sylvia. She wasn’t exactly the yoga type but she hated Pilates and the treadmill bored her to tears. After the instructor got Sylvia’s posture perfected, she smiled and walked onto her next victim.
It went that way for an hour. To Sylvia, it was an hour of torture, between being the only fat girl in the room, yoga itself and the giant mirror that sprawled across the entire from of the classroom. Mirrors were why she stopped taking ballet when she was young, despite the fact she had been quite good. Or so her ballet teacher had told her mom. Mirrors were why she avoided trying things on when she went shopping, unless it was absolutely necessary.
Sylvia avoided mirrors whenever should could. They made her sad. Because, as long as she didn’t see herself, she could imagine herself to be anything and anyone. Reality was something she liked to avoid whenever she could. But, in those rare instances she was caught looking at her reflection, all she could think about was she really was lucky to have found Jim.
Awesome read and great job!
Is Jim really a rare breed that looks inside to find the real person? Or is Jim a codpiece, using and taking advantage of Sylvia? What lies are he caught in and how often? Does Sylvia find an inner strength to deal with Jim or an inner peace from his genuine love and concern? Does Sylvia begin to notice her body changing in the mirror (self image) only after confronting Jim.or believing what Jim sees in her (inner beauty)?
Please keep writing this story…