Friday, November 23, 2012

NaNoWriMo Friday

I had some thoughts to share about being thankful, but I'm really getting into my novel. (Yeah, I totally just said novel!) So I'm going to keep writing about Miss Emily and where she is going.

So as not to waste this post, I thought I would share a little bit of what I have written tonight.


The Healing of Emily Jones

            She had been working as the second shift custodian for a week. She didn’t have to come in until 1, but she always came in an hour early. She could find a quiet spot and read or journal. It gave her a sense of accomplishment and peace to have a quiet and solitary routine. Some people walked in and out of the break room to get something from the vending machine or to use the copier. It was never the same person twice and most didn’t even say anything to her. That is until David walked in. She had been in her routine for a couple months and only been home from Chicago for three and half months. She put her back to the door in an effort to keep people away form her. Some days she brought in her headphones just to ensure that the rest of the world would be drown out for that hour.
That fateful day in March she had forgotten her headphones at home and the window blinds were open in the break room. She tried her normal spot, but the sun was in her face and it was distracting. She moved to the other side of the table and continued reading. She heard the door open and didn’t look up. She continued reading her novel, The Count of Monte Cristo. She heard the coins drop into the machine. She heard the click of the buttons. She heard the food drop to the floor of the vending machine. She expected to hear the door open. She tried not to notice the silence in the room. She began to get nervous. She tried to keep reading her book, but the words were swimming. She couldn’t focus. She didn’t want to look up. She told herself no matter what to keep staring at the page. As the silence extended, she was screaming inside her head. She was begging herself not to look up. Whoever it is will go. Don’t look at them. They are just looking for something else in the machine. They might be looking for exact change. You don’t need to know who it is. It is better for you to not know. Despite all the excuses and assurances, she looked up. She looked into beautiful amber colored eyes. The heavy lashes only accentuated the unique color she found. The man was well dressed in a corporate suit. The gray suit somehow accentuated his beautiful black hair. It was perfectly coifed into a business pompadour. The cut was just long enough to be stylish and short enough to be acceptable for business. She wanted to look away, but he spoke. His deep velvety voice with only a hint of a southern drawl spoke to her. There was no looking away after that. In fact, she hasn’t looked away from him since that day.
“What are you reading?” He asked simply.
She struggled for breath. Words seemed impossible. Her heart was beginning to flutter and her brain was failing for the strings to tie it back down. She knew she should have spoken by now. She knew it was becoming awkward, but the words weren’t at the surface yet. She expected him to say something, to ask again, or to excuse himself. Still nothing. He waited. He waited for her to find the words. He didn’t wait impatiently. He waited as someone who has no other place to go. He waited as a friend would for the words to come. He waited for her. Her brain won the battle and tied her heart back down.
The Count of Monte Cristo. He faced many hardships in life, but he still found a way to live. I admire that.” Maybe if you sound like you have a hard life, he’ll go away. No one wants to hear someone else’s problems.
He looked at her for a few moments and she started to believe she had succeeded in scaring him off. “Hardships can define us, but they don’t have to confine us.”
Crap. Act like you have nothing else to contribute. “I suppose that is true.”
“Is it true in your life?” He asked sitting in front of her gazing into her eyes.
Who is this man? He hasn’t looked anywhere, but my eyes. Why isn’t he looking me over? Now what do I say. Lie. Don’t tell him who you really are. “Yes. I don’t let anything confine me. Past disappointments are just that, past. No need to keep focusing on them.”
“You have had disappointments though.” He said with an eerie assurance.
Why is he still talking? He doesn’t know me! Don’t let him see you sweat or get angry. He’ll want to apologize and make it better. Act detached. You don’t care about him or his opinions. “We all do. I’m no different.”
“That my Scandinavian beauty is a lie.” What the hell is he talking about? “You are very different. There are not many women that would come into their minimum wage job an hour early to read The Count of Monte Cristo. That makes you decidedly different in every way that matters.”
Now what? I need to know what that means. I need to know what he thinks. You don’t need to know anything about him. You needed to know plenty about other people and that didn’t turn out so well. Don’t give in. Stay strong and stay distant. “It’s just a quiet space.”
“Quiet spaces are not always so popular. Many women I know wouldn’t be interested in quiet or in canonical literature.”
“I suppose you don’t know me that well.” Ah crap! You’re inviting him to get to know you. This is not what we talked about.
“No I don’t and that is currently disappointing me. I’d like to do something about that.” See I told you so! “Can I meet you back here tomorrow and talk some more?” What? He asked what? Uh. I’m out of ideas now.
“Um. I suppose so. Won’t you get in trouble missing work?”
“Some more differences.” He said smiling. “No. I’ll take my lunch break later. You don’t mind me interrupting your reading time? I would hate to disrupt a beautiful mind at work.”
Don’t react. Don’t blush. Don’t look at him like that. Despite her best efforts, she did blush and she did look at him with a look of wonder and delight. “I think talking to you would be nice.”
“Wonderful. I will see you tomorrow at this time. Emily.” As he spoke her voice, all reason was lost again. Her heart soared as her brain scrambled to reach for the strings. Her words were lost and the screaming was blocked out.
How does he know your name? Ask him! Don’t let him get away with that! Ask him! Call him on it! You don’t even know his name! Why are you letting him get away with this? Ask him damn it! She shook her head ever so slightly. “Um. How do you know so much about me, Mr…?”
“Mr. Jones. David Jones, assistant director of Human Resources.” He reached across the table to shake her hand. His polite response went virtually unnoticed as she shook his hand. His smooth skin and long fingers had her heart in the clouds and the strings out of reach for her brain. She had nothing left to protect her, but the voice of the walls inside her. “I was just reviewing your file today to finalize the tax paperwork.”
Don’t say anything. Just look satisfied with the explanation. Don’t look like you are falling in love with him. Just look like you want to get back to your book. Don’t say anything. She didn’t say anything. She just sighed. Not that either!! Look like you are in control! She gazed back down at her book.
            “I will see you tomorrow, Emily. In the meantime enjoy your novel. It is a good one.” He said knowingly.
             She said nothing. She looked back down at her novel and began to read again. Hallelujah! He is leaving and we have made no commitments. We made it through today.

Creative Commons License
The Healing of Emily Jones by Andrea Ward is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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