Here’s Chapter 22 from Soul Cages (rated PG-13).
Second edition copyright © 2014 by Lynn Kilmore
Published by Osuna Publishing
This story is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, dialogue, and locales are either drawn from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, and locales is entirely coincidental.
Part One. Dreams in the Desert
I found Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday followed the same schedule as Monday. Morning run, then watching Dad drive off at seven. Unpacking boxes, then John arriving after lunch to fix things. Helping with repairs, then participating in a prayer circle with Mom and John at five-thirty when he left. Eating a too-silent dinner with Henry and Mom, then taking Henry out to play at Piñon Park; Ben, Sarah, and Fermat joined us on Wednesday evening. Sneaking off to call Nicole, then Dad stumbling home exhausted at nine from work.
Through it all, the winds blew, kicking up reddish dust to hang above the city. And the upcoming meeting with Andervender on Friday loomed in the back of my mind.
I asked Ben to stop by with Jin on Sunday to meet Dad. Ben was willing, so we set the time for one-thirty.
Every day John and I talked, but kept to safe topics since Henry and Mom interrupted us frequently. We talked about Alexandria versus Albuquerque; about autism; about Habitat for Humanity; about the yard work he did for Mr. Brown, Mrs. Girady, Mr. Rickmand, Miss Wratham and others; about East Alexandria High School, though I left Trent out; about my summer trips with Grannie and Aunt Letty to the Outer Banks; about the black sheep in John’s family—Uncle Arn, who was an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles; about Grannie’s love of writing poetry and poetry slams; and on and on.
Each night I wondered if I ought to fake a fight with John to take the pressure off him to change my mind about First Beginnings. On Thursday night’s call I asked Nicole for advice.
“Forget it,” Nicole said. “It’s too late. They know you two get along, and would expect any fight to blow over. But if you told your mom you wanted to date him, his parents would freak since they think you’re not a good Christian. He’d be ordered to stay away.”
My heart sank. “I’d do it, except I’d lose John’s friendship.”
“Well, it’s the only solution I can think of. You sound so lonely and stressed out there. Once Mom’s past the chemo, I’ll come out to visit.”
“That’d be great.” But I wondered how willing Mom and Dad would be to have Nicole visit. They had left no friends behind, just acquaintances and coworkers. I doubted they would want to find out how First Beginnings looked through Nicole’s eyes.
************** End of Part One. 22. *****************
Happy Thanksgiving! L.M.