This is one cookie that is too cute and sweet to eat.
Saturday crept up unexpectedly for me. I was still asleep in my bed when my pocket phone rang. It rang to the music of ‘Holla Back Girl’. I was so tired from last night that I paid no mind to the call and went back to sleep. I sleep late on Saturdays. I heard my door crept open and footsteps coming in.
“Rise and shine, sleeping beauty. Can’t sleep your life away.” Miss Carla greeted.
“So. What’s it to you?” I mumbled, pulling the covers over my head.
Miss Carla shook me as I opened my eyes. I gazed up and saw that she had a glass of water above my head. I jumped up out of bed and rubbed the sand from my eyes.
“All right, Miss Carla! You win. I’m up.”
“Thank you. It always works with my son all the time.”
After I fixed myself up for the morning, I greeted my family in the kitchen. I sat down next to Cousin Ray, just as Miss Carla gave me a plate of french toast for breakfast. The french toast had starwberries and whipped cream on top dusted with powered sugar. In the middle of eating, my daddy busted in the kitchen and pointed right at me.
“You little chit,” he roared. “How could you do this to me? At least you could have told me your mother called for me.”
It hit me like a boomerang. The phone call on my pocket phone was Momma trying to call Daddy.
“Daddy, I didn’t know.” I told him, “My bad.”
“Your bad!” he chastised. “My God, girl! Don’t you have any sense in your head. How could you be so stupid, Sheila?”
Daddy only called me by my birthname when he was upset with me or wanted to tell me something important.
I got up and attacked. “It was just a phone call, Daddy. I was tried. I’ve been up all night. Just give me a Coke break!”
“You are a rude, selfish pig, young lady! ”
“It was just a phone call, Daddy. Butterfly didn’t know.” Jordan said.
“You mind your own business, Jordan!” Daddy barked.
Cousin Ray rose up and looked at my daddy. “I won’t tolerate any fighting in my house. Please take it outside.”
Daddy looked at me with his hostile eyes. “Damn you, Sheila! You ruined my life.” Then he stormed out of the kitchen.
Cousin Ray looked at me and I looked at him. I left the kitchen and went out the front door. Since it was still early, there was no one around. I sat on the porch and cried. I’ve never been talked down to anyone like that before; not even my own daddy. I thought ‘why was I even born in this world to hurt people?’ I couldn’t help being born. Why did Daddy yell at me for not answering the phone. It was just a phone call from momma.
I cried for a while until a voice spoked, “Hey, it’s too early to cry. Don’t let the sun catch you crying.” I brushed my tears away and saw my Anna. Anna looked a little different now. She was tanned and had cut her hair. No longer were the pigtails or the Lolita styles she wore that greeted me. It was like she had matured into a woman.
“Hello, Anna,” I greeted. Anna studied me and may her conclusion.
“Did you and your father had a fight today?” She asked.
“Yep. All because I didn’t answer the phone.”
“I had a fight with my family. And this time it was with my brother. He told me that I was a Satanist. He read my dairy that had a story in it. I wrote it a long time ago on a bet.”
Anna often ‘wrote’ stories in her dairy everyday. Some true; some made up. The one story she had written was set to a theme of dungeons and Dragons, but it had magic girls to it. The story was very beautiful and sweet. She showed it to me and my brother and sister; then she showed it to Cousin Ray. Cousin Ray liked the story.
“Anna, this is wonderful. You could be a fantasy novelist. This is so hot.” My cousin told her.
When she showed her brother the story, all hell broke loose. It was at dinner that the augment between Anna and her brother went on all night.
I still remember the conflict. That was what woke me up.
I looked at Anna. “It was just a bullshit fight.” I told her.
“It’s okay.” she told me. “People fight all the time. It’s just a part of life.”
“It’s not okay, Anna! My daddy hurt me so much; I just hate it. What did I do to hurt him? I mean, what did I do to him? Anna, I envy you. You are so normal and sweet. You don’t have an enemy in the world. You’re so perfect.”
The front door opened. Miss Carla stepped out. “Your father wants to talk to you. It’s important.” I got up to confront my daddy. I looked at Anna. She shooed me away.
Cousin Ray escorted me to the kitchen. “I talked to your dad. He asked me to talk to you that he was sorry. I told him, ‘Walt, she’s your daughter. You talk to her.” Cousin Ray led me to the kitchen and I walked in. Daddy was sitting at the table, with red eyes.
“I was angry at your mother, not you or your brother.” he said. “It’s just we had been separated for three years. She just called to tell me that she wanted a divorce. Her first intention was to call you and let me talk to her. It just got out of hand. I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t mean to make you cry, Butterfly. I’m sorry.”
At all made sense now. The reason why Daddy was mad at me was because he was having a crisis with Momma. Momma and Daddy had been together for 16 years of their lives. They were 20 when they met; 22 when they married, and 23 when I was born. It was the reason why Daddy wanted to take us a vacation just to get away from the pressure that the separation was having on him. And now it had blowed over and struck us.
I made a promise to myself that If I did get married, I would never let a divorce get in the way. I was only fooling myself. divorce happens. And no one can control that. Instead, I told my daddy, “I forgive you, Daddy. I love you.”
I hugged my daddy and he hugged me. Daddy sobbed and wept. I wept, too. That was the day that my family would never be the same again.
To be continued/Stay tuned!
Here are some tips on how to celebrate Banned Book Week:
That’s what you have to do. No ifs, ends, and, or buts.
I may post a list of banned books to choose from.
You’re never too old for a teddy bear. —Katie, age 11
I love my teddy bear, Bebe. Do you love your teddy bear?
Just a small poem I wrote back in 2003 about my love of running. I once ran at the special Olympics. Please enjoy.
Sammy likes to run.
Look at her go.
‘Run, Sammy, Run!’ Is what the kids and teacher in Junior High cheer.
She’ll outrun anyone and everyone.
Even the boys.
As she dashes like Sonic, they call her the 15-year old lighting.
I wanted to ask her why she runs.
Without a word, she runs and leaves me in the wind.
Perhaps, I’ll never know.
I started writing Such Sweet Sorrow back in 2004. I’ve written many drafts and even sent one to be copyrighted. Today, I owe the copyright. I hate to tell the (fans of my e-novel); although it is a very moving story, after I finish up with the novel, I don’t have plans to do a sequel.
What I do know is that this will be Butterfly’s only book. I may work on The Taylor Children novels about T.R. and Jordan. And I might do a piece about Ray called Ray’s Diary. I don’t know how Butterfly’s story will end. Like good fans, you just have to keep reading to see how the story ends.
After I finish up Such Sweet Sorrow, I’ll take a three week break and write another story. I don’t know what type of story I’ll be working on. I’ll keep you posted.
After Cousin Ray left, I decided to visit Anna next door. As I got outside, there she was, sitting on the front step.
“Hi, there.” she greeted.
“Hey, girl.” I returned, siting down.
I started the conversion about the books I’ve read that she had given me a few days ago. I told Anna that the books offered me a little more enjoyment than the movies I saw about them. Anna smiled.
“I know,” she said. “I don’t watch much television in the summer and get bored surfing the Internet. So the two things I often do with my time are watching movies on my Blu-Ray and reading books. If I don’t have anything else to do, I do my summer homework that my home school teacher gives me. Even on summer, I always have to do homework.”
“I wish I could for once take your place, Anna. It would be something to live your life.”
“You don’t want to have my life, Butterfly. You have a father and mother that you see all the time, a cousin that cares about you and two sweet and kind siblings that love you madly. My parents are overseas in a war and my brother and I rarely get to spend time with each other. In fact, we don’t talk that much to each other. You’re the only friend that I may ever have in a lifetime. I’m always lonely. I should be the one to wish to take your place.”
I never told Anna that I would consider being her friend. I held her hand in silence, as she held mine. We were silent for a while, looking at the cars and people passing by.
“You’re like a butterfly. Always wanting to stay, but only to die young.” Anna quoted to me. I turned to her. Once again, Anna gave me that smile.
“I have Little Butterfly if you want to read that. Those books always make me cry.”
A man in a fast food uniform came up to us and saw us holding hands.
“Hi, Vladimir.” Anna answered, “this is Butterfly. She’s my friend.”
“Friend or no friend, you shouldn’t be sitting on other people’s steps,” he told her. By the tone of his voice, I knew that Vladimir wasn’t too glad to see me with his sister. Vladimir was in his late teens or early 20’s tall and had gray hair. By the frown lines, he never smiled in ages.
“I have to go,” Anna told me. “It was nice meeting you, Butterfly.”
Anna rose up and left with her brother. Anna and Vladimir looked back at me before going back inside their house.
Cousin Ray arrived back home at 5 o’clock that evening. We kids greeted him warmly. Cousin Ray gave T.R. and Jordan yellow roses; he gave me a red rose. I was aback by the gift.
I asked my cousin, “Ray, why did you give me a red rose?”
He replied,” You deserved to have a red rose, my honey. The reddest rose in Orangeburg, South Carolina.”
Cousin Ray was so happy to see me with a rose. I didn’t want to hurt him, so I thanked him.
When night came, I was haunted by the red rose that Cousin Ray had given me. I saw the rose on my night table. I remembered as a little girl Cousin Ray giving me a rose. I wanted to know why did he love me and why was he so good to me. I crawled out of bed, slipped on my bedroom slippers and went out of my bedroom. I came downstairs and saw Cousin Ray on the couch, reading a book in the lamplight. I didn’t want to disturb him, so I tried to sneak back upstairs to bed. As I was about to head upstairs, Smokie was sitting down on the steps, mewing at me.
Cousin Ray turned his head and saw me.
“Hello, my honey. Would you like to sit with me?”
Not wanting to decline, I scoop up Smokie and walked over to the couch where my cousin was. As I sat down next to him, I placed Smokie down on the floor. Cousin Ray sat his book down on the coffee table to talk to me. Cousin Ray tussled my hair and moved closer toward me.
“What is it you want to talk about, kiddo?”
“I want to know something. Why are you so nice to me?”
Cousin Ray took my hand and quoted, “If I profane with you my hand. This gentle sin is that I want to kiss a girl who is as beautiful as a rose.”
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. I played along with him.
I quoted back, ” with a mannerly devotion show in this; for saints have hands that must be used in payer. Your lips must be used in prayer.”
“My dear saint, let lips do what hands do. They pray: grant thou, less faith turn to despair.”
We giggled at the inaccurate quotes from words of long ago. I wanted to go to bed, so I told Cousin Ray, “I must be going to my chamber. Good night, Cousin. ‘Til it be morning.”
“Parting is such sweet sorrow, my honey.”
Before I got up, Cousin Ray removed his glasses and set them on the coffee table. He glanced at me and asked, “may I kiss you?”
“Sure.” I replied.
When I said ‘sure’, Cousin Ray placed both his hands around my neck. He inhaled and exhaled. He closed his eyes and zoomed in on me. Before I could back out, I felt my cousin’s soft lips on mine. I closed my eyes as I felt myself melting into the couch. The butterflies in my stomach slowly transformed into fireworks. I was living a blissful dream. I don’t know how long the kiss lasted, but after Cousin Ray and I stopped, we saw each other and were red as stop lights.
“I think I should go to bed,” I said. “I’ll see you in the morning.” I got up from the couch and headed upstairs. Along the way, I glanced at my cousin once more. Putting back on his glasses, he looked at me and told me goodnight.
I went inside my bedroom and went over to my bed. I crawled into my bed and went back to sleep. In my sleep, I felt my heart filling with happiness that I never felt before. I dreamt about the kiss that my cousin and I shared. Is it what someone meant by the phrase of ‘kissing cousins’? As I fell asleep, I knew that I would never be the same with Cousin Ray Again.
To Be continued/Stay Tuned
Reading is good for the soul. — A New Journey Publishing Company.
When morning came, I woke up from my bed and went downstairs. When I arrived in the kitchen, I greeted my family and Miss Carla. As I sat in a chair next to my daddy at the table, Miss Carla placed a plate of grits, fried eggs, tomatoes and toast in front of me before placing down a cup of tea. I normally don’t drink tea that much, but I couldn’t find it in my heart to tell Miss Carla about it. So I poured some milk into the tea and added two lumps of sugar and stirred it up.
As I sipped my tea, Cousin Ray came in. He breezed over to me and kissed me on my cheek.
“Hey,” I beamed, turning red.
“Awww, Sissy’s blushing.” Jordan said.
“There’s nothing wrong with a man giving his female cousin a morning kiss,” Cousin Ray told my brother, “this isn’t 14th century Italy, you know.”
“I wish I could go to Italy,’ T.R. said dreamily.
Ray sat down next to me as Miss Clara gave him a cup of pitch-black coffee. T.R. gazed at Cousin Ray as an older brother.
T.R. asked cousin Ray, “So, Cousin, how does it feel turning thirty?”
Cousin Ray replied, “Like the truck of life just hit me.”
“Cousin Ray,” Jordan went, “why are you so odd?”
Like a few stuffy adults, Cousin Ray could have told Jordan to mind his own business; instead, Cousin Ray told Jordan, ” ‘What makes us different is that we are not normal’. Haruki Murakami, author of Norwegian Wood.” Cousin Ray always added wisdom to get his point.
“Can I trouble you children with one request?” Cousin Ray asked us kids.
“Okay.” T.R. said.
“Don’t call me ‘cousin’. Just call me Ray. Not ‘sir’ or anything else.”
“How about ‘Ray-Gun?” Jordan asked.
“I like that, kid. It makes me feel young again.”
We finished up breakfast just in time for Cousin Ray’s carpool horn blow outside. Cousin Ray looked at his watch and jumped up. “Wow, how time flies.” Cousin Ray kissed us kids (and Miss Carla). Cousin Ray took the lunch from Miss Carla’s hand and hugged Daddy as he left the kitchen to the front door. He grabbed his briefcase and went out the door.
Jordan, T.R. and I opened the door just as Cousin Ray was stepping inside the carpool. We saw Mindy waving at us.
“Goodbye, Ray!” we cried. “Come back soon.
“Goodbye! Parting is such sweet sorrow! Good day until tonight!” Cousin Ray called back softly.
As Cousin Ray got in, he shut the car door . The carpool drove out the driveway and down the street until it vanished from sight.
To Be continued/Stay Tuned!