Katherine walked in and saw her in the last booth. Jessica was waiting for her.
Jessica looked up, smile and said
Jessica: How are you? Was her answered? That was a good way to put things on her.
I’m good she said. Jessica knew something was up with her friend, she always knew. No use of hiding things. Jessica could see her friend was having a hard time.
Katherine looked out the window. There is no use hiding anything she knows me so well, she thought. Out the window, the wind was making the rusted leaves move in the payment. It was a picture Katherine always appreciate it. I love fall she thought.
Jessica smiled and said. It is a beautiful season, the colors are amazing!
Katherine: looked at her friend, tilted her head back and took a deep breath, the kind of you take when you are building the courage to face something hard.
He is my professor. She said
Jessica’s eyes open wide in surprise and said. No, it can be not Michael? It is amazing to have someone you can just say a word and they know what or who you are talking about.
Nyomi: I saw something at the store and I thought of you. I hope you like it (smiling).
Jay: Hmm, I prefer next time not to buy me anything … if you want, you can give me the money instead.
Nyomi: I can.t believe you would say something that is so hurtful.
Jay: I didn’t mean to hurt you.
Nyomi: What do you want from me Jay? I try so hard to make you happy and still you criticize everything that I do. Why don’t you say what’s on your mind?
Jay: I’m not in the mood to talk right now. Probably later, okay.
“Your Majesty, I have His Royal Highness here.” the butler announced.
“Thank you Aston, that would be all.”
Taking a deep breathe, Nicola walked into his mother’s sitting room, immediately feeling goosebumps develop on his arms. Guess this is going to be a frosty encounter, he thought.
“Hello Mother. I was told you called for me.”
One look at his mother and he knew this meeting was not going to be different from any of the others. Raising from her chair and turning her back to her son, Queen Agatha pours herself some tea.
“Jaxon tells me that you have been down to the nearby towns. Sighters happened to see you fraternizing with the likes of … farmers and fishermen.”
“That is true. I wanted the chance to get to know more of those who are part of the kingdom but do not reside within the city walls.”
“Hmm,” stirring her tea, Agatha slowly turned around and looked directly at her son. “If you want to learn more about the people of Minalima, you can spend more time with the Royal Historian or any other member of the Court instead of consorting with those beneath you.”
“Beneath me? Those people are the very core of Minalima. You do realize that you are nothing without them? That we are nothing without them? This kingdom is not just what is found within the city’s walls.”
Agatha continued to coldly stare at Nicola. He couldn’t understand. His mother wasn’t always like this. He had distinct memories of her, good memories of her. Smiling, laughing, enjoying life. Who was this woman that had fashioned herself as his mother; wrapped up in her gowns and tiaras? What exactly occurred that turn his mother into a total and utter bi—
“And what of this dark-haired man that the Sighters speak of?”
Wide-eyed, Nicola opened his mouth several times in an attempt to speak. How could she know about that?
“Yes… I knew there was another reason for your visit to these so called ‘cores of Minalima.’ Nothing gets passed me, Nicola. Nothing.”
“I– I’m not sure what the Sighters told you but that’s exactly what happened, nothing.”
“Make sure that nothing does. You may be able to live with your… affliction but Minalima would never have a king like that. She needs someone strong, valiant. Someone who can continue the bloodline and run into battle when needed. Not someone… someone …”
“Someone like what, Mother? Someone gay?” Nicola’s heart had never felt like this. He imagined this is what it sounds like as a thousand horses gallop through an empty, narrow valley. And while his stomach may have dropped into the dungeons of the castle, he knew he had to continue.
“Yes, Your Majesty, your son is gay. This is not an affliction. The future king of Minalima is a gay man!”
“The future king of Minalima is no such thing! Someone lied to you several times if you believe that to be true.”
“And who else would it be, huh!? You have no other children, Mother. There is no other choice as your successor!”
Suddenly, Agatha began to smirk. “And that’s where you are mistaken, Nicola. Laws can be overturned and rewritten. New rules can be put in place. I would tear down the city walls myself before I see someone like you crowned.”
Nicola took a step back as if he had been pushed. She wouldn’t… she couldn’t.
“I am your son; your own flesh and blood! I can’t believe you would say something that is so hurtful.”
“Well I did.”
*I hate writing dialogue and this was honestly a real struggle. HELP!*
Jonathan came bursting into my room. His eyes were frantic as he looked my way. I was frozen on my bed with my phone in my hand. He walked towards me in quick, wide steps.
“I can’t believe you would say something that is so hurtful!” he spat as he pointed at me. I rolled my eyes and sat back against my head board. My older brother was always so dramatic.
“What did I do now?” I asked curiously. “I’ve been in my room all day.”
“Did you or did you not speak to Jessica today?” he was staring at me closely. I placed my hand on my chin and pretended to think. His stare was making me uncomfortable but I ignored the feeling. He sighed and started pacing around my room. He walked back to me. “Let me see your phone.”
“What? No! It’s my phone. Why do you even care? So what if I spoke to Jessica, she’s my friend!” I stood up and kept my phone behind my because he was still eyeing the darn thing.
“Did you really have to tell her I wasn’t worth her time?” he cried.
I laughed, “Well are you?” He paused and took a step back. Looking into his eyes he looked a bit sad that I nearly reached out to touch him.
“But that’s really uncalled for Jenna,” he choked up. He shook his head when I didn’t respond. As he turned to walk out I grabbed his arm.
“Look,” I said slowly. “You’re right. I shouldn’t have said that. But, I was only looking out for my friend. Johnny, you’re my brother and I love you but it’s a bit weird that you’re trying to date my best friend especially when I’ve seen your track record. I live with you dude.”
He looked at me with understanding. He touched my shoulder softly and spoke quietly. “Did you really think I wouldn’t take things seriously with your best friend? Trust me I’m not trying to ruin your relationship with her. I’m just trying to build one with her. I serious about her Jenna. She makes me happy.”
I flicked his fingers from my shoulder. “Fine I’ll talk to her. Just don’t break her heart or I’ll crush yours,” I warned as I hopped back on my bed. He thanked me and smiled before walking out.
Leave me alone…. He replayed those words over and over in his head. Where did it go so wrong? They were laughing , for hours it seemed, and all he did was ask her one little question. One question that ruined it all…
Two hours before, Class had finished and everyone seemed to rush out. Jack couldn’t understand why, all anyone did these days was smoke up and pretend to have a life. The only two people left in the class were jack and Eve. As she packed her stuff into her book bag, she looked up at him and smiled. This was all the encouragement he needed, to finally get the chance to talk to her.
”Hey, eve. Wait up?”
She looked back and her thick eyebrows arched in surprise.
“ you know my name..? How… “
”I’ve been watching you…” as he said this he realized how creepy it would sound so he hurriedly went on “ I just meant I noticed your notebook had Harry Potter all over it along with what I assume is your name in hearts”.
She chuckled “ well sir your assumption is correct, and now I assume you share a love of Harry Potter as well…?
”Actually.. I kind of hate it”.
She gasped dramatically and put her hand to her chest “ I can’t believe you would say something so hurtful”
“oh I’m totally joking,” he raised his sleeve to show off his deathly hallows tattoo “been obsessed since forever”.
her eyes seemed to brighten up a bit “ jack Keats a fan of magic. Never would have guessed.”
”oh? And why’s that.i actually met the entire cast for the premiere of the last hallows”
”Jack, I will Avada your ass so fast if you’re lying!”.
“But that’s really uncalled for..” he said laughingly, and her expression only made him laugh that much harder.
”but seriously I did go, and actually I was wondering..”. he cleared his throat as her expression turned to stone, “ if you would want to come with me to this trivia thing tonight “.
As she responded her voice sounded lighter as if she was letting out air “ I would love to”
Jack was so excited that he didn’t even pause to think before he said “ Awesome. If your parents don’t mind, I’ll pick you up at 7?”.
Her face seemed to droop and her eyes glassed over “my parents.”
In realizing his mistake he began to say “ eve, I’m sorry I didn’t——
She threw her bag over her shoulder and started walking out. “ it’s fine. Just leave me alone”.
Real Estate agent- What do you think of this place?
Alejandra- hmmm there are some features that I like but i’m not sure. I don’t think I love it.
Real Estate Agent- well is there something in particular you do not like? Perhaps the contractors can make these changes.
Alejandra- I like the big windows which allow for natural light to come in and for our guests to sit by the windows. I believe it will draw them in and lose themselves with the scenery. Now, I don’t like the floor and the pipes visibility. But to be honest, I am undecided with what i would like. I just know this place doesn’t feel like it’s the one.
Real Estate Agent- Okay, don’t worry. We will keep looking and find the one for you.
To be continued….
It was 6 o’clock and there was still no sign of Bryan texting anytime soon. For the one-hundredth time, Lorena checked her iPhone for a message. It’s her mother’s retirement party and they were going to be late. Not wanting to wait any longer, Lorena dials Bryan’s number furiously. After the fourth ring, he picks up. “Hello?” Bryan answers. “Yeah, you wanna tell me why you haven’t texted me back all day?” she grits. “Lor, I was going to text you when I was on my way to your house. Chill out,” he replies. After spending all day being angry about receiving no texts, Lorena was furious now. Her fingers gripped the phone tighter while she tried to steady her breathing. “Chill out? CHILL OUT? I’m sorry. I didn’t know my mom’s retirement party isn’t important to you.” she yells. Bryan takes a deep breath because that’s nowhere near what he said. Lorena always takes things to the next level. “Babe, I said to chill out not that I hate your mom. What the hell,” he replies. “It’s ten minutes until my mom is supposed to arrive for the surprise and you are taking your sweet time to come and pick me up. It seems pretty messed up that you didn’t leave sooner.” she retorts. “Here we fucking go. You see this is your problem. You assume and don’t ask. Not a hey Bryan are you okay, why haven’t I heard from you. Nope. I’m the bad guy because we aren’t an hour early as you want.” he huffs. Lorena realizes he is trying to place the blame away from himself. “You know what? Forget it. You’re obviously not even on your way. You can take your excuses and shove them far up your –“. she screams. “I’m not trying to argue today Lorena. I’m not. Yes, I should have texted you but your yelling needs to reach a 0. I understand you’re upset but that was really uncalled for.” Suddenly, Lorena feels drained of this conversation. It’s two minutes until her mom’s big arrival. “Just hurry up and come get me. We need to finish this conversation tonight. Without us being assholes.” She smiles a bit and hangs up her iPhone. She walks over to her couch to wait for his stupid car to arrive.
Jassi: “Papa please tell mom that I cannot be a nurse. I am a teacher now, Mom, I have tenure! I am youngest teacher to have tenure, you should be proud!”
Papa: “Yes, we are both proud of you baache. You are doing good, but I think what your mother wants is something better for you. Teaching is a great thing you are doing but listen to what your mother has to say.”
Mom: “You can be teaching in nursing; you can do management and make so much more money with nursing. Look at your cousin sonu, look at how much money she is making. And she has 10 marriage proposals for her. You had that many and you turn every man down”
Jassi: “Ma please don’t go there, I am tired of marriage purposals and you comparing me to sonu, I do not care about sonu and her life!”
Mom: “AY watch your mouth ladke, don’t forget who you are talking to.”
Papa: “I think we all need to take a little break from this and have some chai and rusk to calm our nerves? Jassi?”
Jassi: “Yes papa, I will go and prepare everything”
Jassi leaves the dining room and walks into the kitchen
The silence was awkward. Julianne Sierra didn’t know how to speak to her daughter and truth be told, Aimee Sutton had no intention in speaking to her mother.
“I’m really excited that you’re here with me. I think you’re really going to like Galena, Aims,” said Julianne, attempting to start a conversation.
“I doubt that,” flashed Aimee before she began to lower herself more into the passenger seat, as if it would swallow her whole.
Her new residence in Galena, Illinois was due to the death of her Father. He had been killed by a drunk driver no less than two weeks ago. Aimee still had yet to process his death, distracted by her whole world changing around her. Never in a million years would she have thought she would be living in a crappy town like Galena.
“Oh come on, it’ll be fun!’
“I doubt it. I guess when dad told you that I’ll live with you ‘over his dead body’ he really took it to heart” Aimee responded, and Julianne gasped .
“I can’t believe you would say something that is so hurtful.”
“Well I did. Besides, who is it going to hurt? My dad? He’s dead, Julianne.”
“Aimee, I am not the enemy.”
Aimee laughed darkly and pushed her hair behind her ear before responding.
“So who is then? Because last time I checked you were the one who left dad and I back in New York to get re-married.”
“I didn’t leave you. My marriage between me and your father didn’t work.”
Aimee didn’t responed, allowing the car to once again fill up awkward silence.
David had just made the decision to start dinner when his cell phone rang. The caller ID flashed SISTER1 and he answered.
“Hi Liz, what’s up?”
“Hey David, you busy?”
“Not really. Want to talk logistics? I just need directions to the school. It starts at ten, ya?”
David walked into the kitchen.
“Yeah, ten. I’ll text you the address. It’s the same exit as me, so the same amount of time to get there.”
He filled a pot of water and brought it to the stove. “Great,” he said. “Can’t believe the girls are out of high school. Are we old, now?”
“You definitely. Me never.”
David laughed as he lit the burner under the pot. He put the lid on. “I got them both cool things. Do you think they would prefer money?”
“Your presents are always the best, David.”
As David was walking out of the kitchen, the front door opened and Michelle, his wife, walked in.
“Aww shucks,” David said into the phone, “you make a guy blush.”
Michelle gave him a questioning look, and he silently mouthed “Liz.” Michelle’s face contorted into that “I smell shit,” face he loathed so much.
She walked up to him, and in a low, angry voice said, “You need to get off the phone now.”
Liz’ voice was immediately in his ear. “Bitch face is home, I hear. My condolences. Okay, I guess I’ll go.”
“Hold on, Liz,” he said. He held the phone against his shoulder and addressed his wife.
“I just need to talk to her about this weekend. I put the water on for pasta. Going to heat up sauce in fridge.”
“What did you do today?”
In response, David held his hand palm out to her and resumed the call. Michelle huffed away. David headed back into the kitchen. He had a habit of pacing when he was on the phone that was unconscious until Michelle pointed it out to him five years ago. Now it was a self-conscious tic.
“Okay, Liz. Where were we?”
“Plotting wife death.”
“Have you considered a career in stand up? Because if so, don’t.” He grabbed another pot and placed it on the counter. He opened the fridge and took a Tupperware with tomato sauce out.
“Maybe I’m not the one to talk,” Liz said. “God knows, I stayed too long with John. All I will say is this. Derek and I have a spare room, and our bills are paid. You don’t eat much. Abigail and Mary are gone for the summer after graduation. Hostels in Europe. Abigail is taking a ukulele with her. Which means that there will be an entire studio in the basement, with guitars, drums, flutes, mandolins and amps, just collecting dust.”
“I can’t believe you would say something that is so hurtful.” David said.
Liz laughed. “Well I did. Have you been playing lately?”
“As a matter of fact—”
Before he could finish Michelle stormed into the kitchen.
“Why are you still on the phone? Why didn’t you put the sauce on?” She pushed herself in front of David and snatched the Tupperware from in front of him, pulled off the lid and dumped it in the empty pot.
Liz’ whispered in his ear. “Do I need to drive up there and kick her down a flight of stairs?”
“Karma says no,” David said, “Look, let me go, sis. I will see you on Saturday. Text me that thing. Love you lots.”
“Empty room. Rent free. Music studio. Bye brother.”
Liz ended the call.
David turned to Michelle. “What was that about?” he said, pointing at the pot that now sat on a burner warming up. “I was just about to do it. What is your problem?”
“Love you lots,” Michelle said mockingly. “Your whole family is a bunch of phonies and losers.”
“Why does my loving my sister bother you so much?”
“Please. You didn’t speak to her for ten years. Now your loving siblings?”
“Yes, because some people actually get over things. They move the fuck on.”
“What did you do today, David?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean tell me everything you did.”
David scratched his head. “Well, let’s see. I went shopping. I did some writing. I reminded Jonathan that I wouldn’t be at work on Saturday. I vacuumed the house, did the laundry. I read a bit and was going to start dinner when Liz called.”
David walked out of the kitchen. “I’m not playing twenty questions with you. Spit out whatever you want to say, or don’t. Are you taking over dinner, because I do have other things I’d like to be doing.”
“I saw Cathy on my way upstairs.”
Cathy was the super’s wife. They had recently bought an akita from the same kennel David and Michelle had gotten their dog.
“Did she have Dakota with her? He’s so beautiful and he’s getting so big.”
“No, but she did tell me you have a great singing voice.”
Oh shit, David thought, here we go. Best gird our loins for battle.
“Did she? Well, I think she is overstating the case a bit, but—”
“What the fuck were you doing playing guitar in front of the house? What is wrong with you?
“I’m sorry, I’m confused. In what universe is it aberrant behavior to play guitar in public?”
“It’s embarrassing. You caterwauling so the neighbors can hear. You’re not good. You’ve never been good.”
“Well, music is a subjective thing, but going by the only witness we have, that would make public opinion on the quality fifty fifty, wouldn’t it? And regardless, even if I were terrible, how am I am embarrassing anyone but myself?”
“You’re not a musician anymore, remember?”
“That is actually an interesting point. I have been guilty of saying that to people, that I used to be a musician. But, really, is that accurate? I mean I still know how to play. Isn’t it like saying I used to know how to ride a bike? I am a musician, I just don’t play in bands anymore or perform on stage.”
“Except the front stoop of your apartment building, like a fucking moron.”
David walked to the coat rack and grabbed his jacket. “I’m not doing this. I didn’t do anything wrong, and if you are mad at something that is perfectly normal, considering you married a working musician, you have to deal with it yourself. Eat what you want. I’ll grab something out. I’m not going to ruin my good mood on you.”
He walked through the doorway. As he was closing the door Michelle screamed at him.
“Go ahead, you coward. You’ll be back. You’ve got nowhere else to go.”