How are you guys? Today I am sharing part one of a story I am still working on, Reunion. This was supposed to be a short story but the story and characters are growing and I am letting them grow and I am exploring who they are, what they want and figuring out where they end up. So read and please comment and offer feedback on our first Fiction Friday.
Dead men tell no tales…
Lillian-Catherine Goldson is going home to bury her father. The man she hated most is gone, ashes to ashes and dust to dust, nothingness, but Lilli can’t let go of the past. She needs acknowledgement to the past hurts but the dead can’t commiserate.
Reluctant to reunite with her family, she decides to do her duty. But the Goldson home was never filled with warmth, love and happiness, instead Lilli is forced to confront the pain she has ignored for so long. Can she survive her mother’s bitterness? Or her sister’s seeming indifference?
And then there is TJ, the boy she loved, who said he loved her too, but then he abandoned her when she needed him most, will he be there too?
Can she exorcise her demons and free herself or will Lilli be taken over…
I am sick to my stomach, my hands shake, dripping sweat as I make the final turn onto Orange Grove Road. I am so close to home. Every nerve screams run, I want to turn around head back into the city. Even my car, Lil’ Boy Blue protests. My ’98 Honda Civic rattle and screech, as we negotiate the narrow track of a once upon a time road, craters litter the surface of dirt, stone and gravel interspersed by small bits of broken tarmac. I slow to a complete stop, wiping my hands on my jeans.
Breathe. Just breathe.
I follow my instructions, but instead of exhaling calm, I dry heave. I am scared and that fear is so strong, it makes me feel stupid. I want to turn around and speed back to the stuffy, stifling studio flat where I had domiciled these seven years, even there, anywhere was better than where I was headed.
But instead of fleeing, I ease off the grassy patch along the school yard’s playground, my poor car cried its way up the hill, and then, I was home.
I park on the side of the road, not yet ready to go into the yard. I park behind a line of cars, everyone is here. They would all come, it was the last chance to say goodbye, reconnect and celebrate the patriarch. Tomorrow we would bury my father.
Grabbing my knapsack from the backseat, still shaken and unsettled, I grab my handbag and step out. The day had taken a turn, one of those helter skelter rural hillside afternoons, a fierce whipping wind lick at my skin while the yellow-orange sun burned ever bright blue. Within seconds, before I could get my bearing and assess, I am surrounded by the younger children, nieces, nephews, cousins of cousins, a swarm of sticky brown hands reaching to help me unload my car. I don’t recognise any of them.
“Auntie Lilli,” someone calls out and as soon as do, I am wrapped by warm fleshy arms around my waist and squeezed. I manage to return the hug, still focused on my unpacking. I have no intention of rebuilding anything here. Unlocking the car trunk, I unload my laptop. I knew I wouldn’t really use it throughout the weekend, I would not be able to think or work, but maybe it could help, provide an excuse to get away somehow claim an important conference call with my team and disappear into the backwoods.
Did they even have Wi-Fi here?
With all my bags secured, finally I look up. A tall girl, stands next to me. She is about a foot above all the other children, and almost shoulder to shoulder with me. I see every muscle in her face react, as the corners her mouth turn up, her cheeks lift and her eyes crinkle. Happy. Genuine. Those eyes could not lie. She feels my recognition and I cannot help myself from matching her emotion. I am grinning too.
“Lisa-Maria is that you? Oh my god baby girl.”
I set down all the bags and give her a real hug. I squeeze and deep inside I feel a strange shift, I have prayed throughout the year, even in moments when I was certain God had forsaken me, I have prayed for this child, begged that she be kept good, safe, pure, innocent. Untainted by them. I hold hard to Lisa, reluctant to let go. I feel her tense and as I release her from the fierce hug. I am overcome by a sadness so strong, I cannot hold back the tears. The tears come hard and fast and I barely notice my not so little Lisa-Maria, picking up my bags, and the other little hands are on me now guiding me to the front door. I am home.
Well, that is part one of Reunion. What do you think is at the root of Lilli’s fears? What do you guys think?
I will be uploading part one to wattpad tomorrow afternoon. And then part two of the story will be shared here next Friday.
Have a great weekend!