Ray Quidam

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Facts about ‘South Carolina’

Published May 14, 2010 by ladyserenity92

 I wrote some notes on a piece of notebook paper back on my vacation in ca.2006. Please enjoy.

Facts about ‘South Carolina’

The state capital of S.C.: Columbia.
The state bird:Carolina wren.
The state flower: Yellow Jasmine(The song lyric ‘Summer Breeze’ has a line that ‘hints’ this flower.)
State mammal: Whitetail deer.(Bambi lives there!)
State game bird: Wild turkey.(Thanksgiving at my sister’s house!)
State gemstone: Amethyst(Hey, I have a geo of one in my bedroom!) 😀
State song: ‘Carolina’. (Might be James Taylor’s “Carolina” (?).
State hospitably drinks: belive it or not, both tea and milk are the two state drinks of South Carolina. In fact, during a visit, I combined the two drinks together and made milk tea. Milk tea is very good. After you made your  ‘sun tea’, put some milk in the tea(and a sweetener/sugar, if you wish), mix it up and put the tea in the refrigerator for about three hours max.(I sometimes leave mines in the ‘frige a little longer.)

After your milk tea is cold, serve a glass to everyone and for yourself. This is a ‘British-style drink’. But what ever you do, don’t put any lemons or lemon juice in the tea with the milk. Milk is a liuque and lemon juice is an acid. When mixed together, the lemon juice causes a ‘cuddle’ effect to the milk.
State tree:Palmetto(When you first visit South Carolina, you often mistake a palmetto tree for a palm tree. Palmetto trees are distant relatives to the palm trees.)
State fruit: Peach(Since there are beaches, I wonder if there are people selling peaches on the boardwalk? Peaches are much tastier, and lest expansive than ice cream.)
State butterfly: Eastern tiger swallowtail(My heroine in my novel called “Such Sweet Sorrow” was called ‘Butterfly’.)
State seashell: Lettered Olive oyster.(South Carolina is heaven to sea shell captors and collectors.)
State stone: Blue granite.
If your ever hungry, South Carolina has a lot of seafood and rice dishes. The ‘State’ dish that South Carolina is famous for is their Gullhula-rice dish ‘Pallou’. Prallou is like Spanish Pallea, but there are different versions of the dish that are based from region to region. I have a recipe for both pallou and sun milk tea. I’ll post the two recipes on my ‘Recipes’ category.

This ‘note’ was an ‘outline’ based on my novel ‘Such Sweet Sorrow’. It has been three years since I’ve placed my novel on  hiatus. Just like ‘Caolina’, Butterfly and Ray are still on my mind to this day. Someday I’ll finish up the novel and other projects that I’ve put off. Only time may tell.

The original story was set in Charleston County, in a fictitious seashore island town called ‘Blue Vision’.

Just like forbidden love, writing a novel is so complicated!

Stay Tuned!

Such Sweet Sorrow (chap.14)

Published December 26, 2009 by ladyserenity92

After a brief hiatus, Such Sweet Sorrow returns. The countdown to the series finale now begins. Enjoy the countdown to the final chapter.

My family was morning the lost of Anna. T.R. and Jordan took it very hard over losing Anna. They turned to me and asked a lot of questions on why Anna killed herself and would she go to Hell for what she done. I was too upset to say anything to my brother and sister. I got up from the couch and went over to Vladimir’s place to have a talk with him.

I came to Vladimir’s door and rang the doorbell. The door open and Vladimir fixed his eyes on me.

“I’m sorry, I can’t have company,” he told me. “I’ll come over to your cousin’s house and give you, your brother and your sister Anna’s things.”

“I just wanted to talk to you,” I answered.

“Butterfly, you were a good friend to my sister. I thank you so much for loving her; I just don’t see it in the best time for me to talk to you. I’m not trying to be mean-hearted; now is a bad time to talk to me. I have to plan for Anna’s funereal and tell my parents the news about Anna’s death. I’ll bring the boxes to Mr. Raymond’s house. I think you should join your family. They need you now to get through the loss of  my sister.”

Before I could say anything, Vladimir shut the door. I walked back to my cousin’s house and to the front step. Halfway to the porch, I felt a raindrop on my cheek. Soon more raindrops came pouring down. I looked up into the sky and let myself get soak in the rain. When I was a little girl, my nana always told me that when someone has died and it starts to rain, God and his angels cry because they are happy that someone has come to Heaven to join them; and sad because the person’s life has come to an end on Earth.

Cousin Ray came outside in the rain to bring me inside. “Butterfly, you must come inside! You’ll get sick if you stay out in this rain.”

I saw my cousin and felt tears running down my face.

“It isn’t fair,” I told him. “She was my friend! I just don’t understand why she killed herself when everybody loved her. I hate Anna for what she did. It just doesn’t make any sense, Ray! It isn’t fair.”

Cousin Ray held me in his arms and held me close to his chest. “I know it isn’t, honey,” he whispered. Cousin Ray let me cry in the pouring rain until I was through. Soaked from the rain, we went back inside the house.

Back inside, Miss Carla made Cousin Ray and me take hot baths and change into a pair of dry clothes. After the hot baths and change of clothes, Miss Carla grabbed both our clothes from both bathrooms and threw them into the dryer. To prevent us from catching summer colds, Miss Carla gave both of us each a mug full of hot chicken noodle soup. I didn’t have much of an appetite, so I sat my mug down. I heard a few raps on the front door as Miss Carla breezed out of the kitchen to answer it. Miss Carla opened the door. It was Vladimir with the boxes of Anna’s things. Vladimir came inside and saw Cousin Ray and me as he sat the boxes down on the floor in the corner.

I stood up as Vladimir went over to me. Vladimir faced me and began to speak. “I came over here to say goodbye,” he told me softly. “After my parents return, I’m leaving Orangeburg. There’s nothing here that can make me stay, so I’m leaving.”

Cousin Ray spoke up,” where will you go? You’re so young and your parents need you. There are some things that can make you stay.”

“There isn’t much for me here, Ray! I have to go. I have to tell my parents that I’m leaving and never coming back. I don’t want to share the same fate as my sister. This is goodbye.”

Turning back to me, he said, “I know that I was hard on you the first time I meet you. You brought my sister so much happiness in her short life. She was indeed a butterfly. I’ll never forget you, Butterfly.” Vladimir held my face on kissed my birthmark. Without looking back, he walked away, opened the front door and went out into the rain. Cousin Ray and I watched Vladimir go.

It was the first (and last) time that I got to meet Vladimir. After Vladimir gave the news to his parents overseas about Anna’s death, they were heartbroken over the loss of their only daughter. Three days later, Anna was cremated and her ashes were placed in a family plot in a cemetery.

There was no funeral.

As for Vladimir, after his parents were discharged from the Army, he kept his word and left home. After leaving Orangeburg, Vladimir went to California to start a new life. There was a rumor that Vladimir got arrested for selling drugs because he was homeless and in poverty. In truth, I never knew what became of Vladimir after he left home. Cousin Ray tried to find him on the cyber line. After many empty searches, he gave up. I never heard from him again.

After Cousin Ray handed me Anna’s box, I left the den and retreated upstairs to my room. Alone in my room, I carried the box over to my bed and sat it down. I lifted the lid off the box and studied the contents inside. Inside was some books, handwritten notes; some CDs, a portable Blu-Ray player, a few DVDs, and the tape recorder that Anna used to record that day at the mansion.

I took the tape recorder out of the box and sat down on my bed. With the tape recorder in my hand, I pressed the play button, hoping to find the answer on why Anna took her life. With the tape recorder on, Anna’s voice began to speak:

Can you hear me? I hope you can. Ever since I brought this tape recorder, I always wanted to recorder my life so that the next generation can know what’s on the mind of a typical teenager. I want to say a few words to you about my life. I don’t know much about my early life; I was born in a small town called Sliver patch, New Hampshire. I went to school and met a few friends in junior high. It was at that time I met Mercy True. Mercy True was a girl that I liked so much. We often hung out together. I was ever so grateful to have her as a friend. It was a month later that Mercy moved away. I never cried so much in my life. I turned to my other friends for comfort; I don’t know what came over them, but they all turned cold toward me. I was all alone with no friends.

I started taking after school classes to ease my time. I wanted to get away from all the loneliness that was weighing me down. When I turned thirteen, my parents decided that moving to the South was the best way to get out of the city. I was heartbroken that my family had to move to another town. I thought that the South would be boring.

Moving to our new house, I saw Mr. Quidame and his housekeeper, Miss Carla. Mr. Quidame invited us into his house for hot apple cider and sugar cookies. It was a cold autumn day. Mr. Quidame spoke to me and my brother. Mr. Quidame told my parents that they will like it here in Orangeburg. ‘If you need anything, just call me,’ Mr. Quidame told them.

As Anna explained her life, I got to know things about her that she never told me. How she liked marshmallow cream with her Oreo’s; how she ran to Cousin Ray when she had a fight with Vladimir. To me, Anna had a wonderful life. If she were alive, I would had told her that she didn’t have a life yet and that she should go on living, even when things are tough.

As Anna kept speaking on the tape recorder, I felt her spirit touching my heart. I continued to listen to my dead friend’s haunting words on the tape recorder:

   I know that I may never meet you or see your face. But I want you to know that I am just like you. Although we are of a different world, I love you. If I’m gone from this world, remember that when I was alive, I was a girl who was a loving and kind spirit. I hope that you will turn out to be the best kindhearted person who ever lived. I love you. Anna Knight.

There was silence after that. I reflected back on the first day that I met Anna. How she gave me her books; the way she smiled her lovely smile. Anna was an angel that touched the life of me and my family. I’ll never forget Anna. Anna was more than my friend, she was my sister.

That night I asked T.R. and Jordan to choose a few things of Anna’s to keep and a few to burn. After choosing the things to burn, we went outside and held a memorial. My family and Miss Carla were outside for the memorial. We said a prayer and gave a few words about Anna. We laughed and cried a little; we even sang songs that Anna liked.

The moment came for the burning. Daddy brought the box that had Anna’s things inside and placed it in front of me. It was an old custom that when someone died, their cherished possessions would be burnt and be sent to the other side for the person to claim.

“Let’s get this over with,” I announced.

I reached into my handbag and pulled out a bottle of nail polish remover. I unscrewed the cap and poured the liquid onto the box. I stepped back as Cousin Ray set the box ablaze. I watched my family retreat inside as I watched the fire. Cousin Ray saw me and placed his arm around me. We stood as the fire burned, turning the box of Anna’s things into ash.

“Anna meant a lot to everyone,” Cousin Ray told me, “it was a shame that we never got to tell her that or thank her when she was alive.”

I watched the fire swallowing up the box in my cousin’s side embrace. I wept as the box turned into ashes. Cousin Ray held me in his arms and brushed away my tears with his handkerchief. After the fire died out and the ashes remained, we went back inside the house. Anna was gone, and I now I had to go on the road of life without her.

To be continued/Stay Tuned!

Such Sweet Sorrow (Chap.12)

Published November 17, 2009 by ladyserenity92

   My perfect world was coming to an end. My parents were divorcing; and now I was losing my cousin. In the sixteen years of life I had lived though the goodness and the ugliness of growing up. With the joy and pain of growing up, I had learned many lessons on what a teenage girl has to go through on the rollercoaster of adolescent life.

   When morning came, I awakened to a painful headache and puffy eyes. I had cried so much in my sleep after the fight I had with Cousin Ray. I thought about Mindy and how I blamed her for taking my cousin away from me. My Cousin Ray belong to me, and no one could take him away from me. As I rose up, I heard a gentle tap on the door. The opened and Daddy stepped inside.

“Hi, baby,” he greeted with a light smile.

“Hi, Daddy,” I answered with sadness.

Daddy came over to my bed and sat next to me. “Ray has the day off and he’s taking us to the beach. I would like for you to get ready. It’ll take your mind off the fight from last night.”

“I’m not going.”

Daddy sighed.  “I don’t want to argue with you, Butterfly. I know that you’re old enough to make your decisions, but I want you to make peace with your cousin and get over what conflict you have against him. Your cousin’s getting married next summer and he wants to tell you that he’s sorry for hurting you. I want you to apologize to him for your part in the conflict.  Ray loves you and deep down in your heart you love him, too. Just apologize to Ray and make peace with him. . When you’re ready to apologize to cousin, I’ll be downstairs waiting on you.”

   Daddy gave me a side hug and left me alone. After Daddy left, I started to reflect on what I had done. I knew down in my heart that I had to apologize to Ray. I got out of bed and got ready for the beach. I took a shower and put on my mermaid-pink swimsuit and sunscreen. For the last touch, I tied my brown hair back into a ponytail. I went downstairs and found Ray in the kitchen, having coffee and reading the newspaper. I looked at my cousin as he glanced my way. I took a moment on what to say to him. I found the words in my heart.

I came over to my cousin and faced him. “I’m sorry,” I said.

 Cousin Ray stood up and embraced me. “I forgive you too, honey,” he said.

   Later on, I joined my family downstairs in the den. Cousin Ray stepped in the front doorway. “I’m sorry, everyone,” he announced to us, “my car is too small and it can’t fit everyone inside. I have to go to the car rental dealership to rent a van. It’ll take an hour to get the van ready; please bear with me.” Jordan groaned at the news.

‘I’ll go with you, Ray.” Daddy volunteered, “I know a lot about cars and vans.”

   Cousin Ray ended up taking Daddy with him to the car rental dealership while we kids stayed with Miss Carla back at the house. To ease the time, Miss Carla entertained us with stories and songs. Miss Carla gave us lemonade to drink. An hour later, Cousin Ray and Daddy came back with the van. “I’ve got the van,” Cousin Ray called, “let’s rock!” We cheered as we raced out the door and hopped into the van. We waved goodbye to Miss Carla as we drove away.

Along the way, Cousin Ray made a u-turn up the road that lead to an apartment building. Cousin Ray drove up to the building and parked the van in the parking lot. Turning his head to me, he said, “Butterfly, I want you to go to the intercom box and press the button to apartment 315. Just ask for Mindy.”

I was in disbelief. “Mindy’s—“

“Yes, she’s coming with us. Now move along.”

I unfastened my seatbelt and slid open the van door. I stepped outside and walked over to the front door. When I approached the door, I saw the intercom box. The box had buttons and the apartment numbers of the people who lived in the building. I scanned for apartment number 315. I found the number and Mindy’s name and pressed the button. The button made an electric buzzing sound

“Yes?” a female voice answered over the intercom.

“Is Mindy here?” I replied. “My Cousin Ray’s come to take her to the beach.”

“Hang on a minute. I’ll tell her that you’re here.”

As I waited, I studied my time tables in my head. I almost made it to 8×14 when I saw Mindy through the glass frame of the door. Mindy opened the door and appeared in front of me. Mindy wore a blue swimsuit with a scarf wrapped around her waist. She wore opened-toe sandals and carried a big picnic basket. Sticking out her arm to me, she spoke in a British accent, “Your grace, take me to your carriage.” I locked my arm with hers and walked her over to the van. As we stepped inside the van, Ray examined Mindy from head to toe and couldn’t help but blush at her beauty.

“Hi, Mindy,” Ray spoke. “You look as lovely as a rose in a garden.

Mindy scoffed. “Honey, I’m twenty-eight years old. I’m more beautiful than any flower in a garden of weeds.” We buckled our seatbelts as Cousin Ray started the car.

                                                                                                ♥

   During the ride to the beach, Mindy held a conversation with us.  Mindy was getting along with my family. T.R. and Jordan asked Mindy how our cousin proposed to her. Mindy told them that she and Cousin Ray were at a mini-golf course with some co-workers. After the game was over, Cousin Ray ordered some nachos to split with her. Eating the nachos, Mindy bit something hard.  Mindy spat into her napkin and saw that it was a sapphire ring. And the rest was history. We laughed in unison at the story. I began to like Mindy for her spirit. Mindy was the right choice for my cousin to have as a wife. I got a chance to talk to Mindy and found out that she wasn’t the mean person I thought she was. My jealousy was fading away from my heart.

Mindy watched me from the corner of her eye and knew what was happening to me. “Thank you for being kind to me, Butterfly,” she said. “I’m happy that you have finally accepted me into your family.” I was happy to get to know Mindy. For the rest of the trip, I felt happy.

                                                                                                ♥

   Out of my window, I saw the beach. With the ocean and the waves crashing along the shoreline, it was like seeing a 3-D picture coming to life. Cousin Ray drove into the parking lot to park the van.  When Cousin Ray finally found a parking space, Mindy and my family were glad with relief. After my cousin parked the van, I leaped out of the van and raced with T.R. and Jordan to the ocean. We took our time walking to the ocean since the sandbank was too hot for us to run. I raced my brother and sister to the ocean, shouting, “Last one’s in a skunk in a bunk!”  . I drove into the water head first into the water as T.R. and Jordan jumped in after me. In the water, I saw Mindy, Daddy and Cousin Ray setting up a spot on the shore.

  As Mindy placed her picnic basket down on the blanket, Cousin Ray picked her up in his arms and started carrying her toward the ocean. Mindy fought my cousin, struggling. “Let me go, you dim-dim!” she demanded. Cousin Ray got into the water, with Mindy still in his arms.

Mindy cried, “Ray, Don’t!”

Cousin Ray smiled. “Goodbye, Mindy.”

In a split second, my cousin threw his fiancée into the water. Mindy leaped up out of the water like a daffodil in the springtime. Before she could chew my cousin out, a juggernaut ocean wave hit her from behind and knocked her back into the water. Mindy got up again to see Cousin Ray laughing at her.

“You jerk,” Mindy shouted, “I’ll get you for that!”

   Mindy tried to push Cousin Ray in the water. With a quick mind, Cousin Ray grabbed Mindy’s arm and fell into the water with him. Cousin Ray and Mindy jumped out of the water and laughed together. T.R. and Jordan laughed at the scene. I laughed with them. I took a glance at Cousin Ray and Mindy. I saw Mindy kiss my cousin on his left ear and whispering sweet overtures into it. I remember whispering into Cousin Ray’s left ear and kissing it. It was the same ear that my cousin was deaf in.

   When he was a boy, Ray was with some friends on a school field trip on the beach.  In the middle of a conversation with his friends, he saw a girl drowning in the ocean. Ray dove in and rescued the girl. Ray saved the girl; two days later, he caught a cold and suffered an ear infection that caused him to lose his hearing in his left ear. Instead of feeling sorry for being half-deaf, Ray developed a ‘trick’ that he often uses to this day.

   When someone whispers into his left ear, Cousin Ray feels the vibration that is felt within the tone. With a pen and paper, he writes down what was said to him and answers the reply right back.  Cousin Ray was thirteen when he started the trick. He has done it for 16 years.  Cousin Ray only told a few close people about his secret. Before the announcement, I whispered into my cousin’s left ear, “Ray Quidame, I’ll love you ‘til the day I die. Now and forever.”

And my cousin would think of what to say to me. He took his time to give his reply. Cousin Ray found it. He leaned forward to my ear and gave me an ear kiss that made my heart melt.

“Now we’re even,” was his reply.

The ‘forever’ that I hoped for would never come true.

   Later on in the day, it was time to eat. Mindy’s basket was stuffed with food that she made herself. Mindy was an Iron Chef. There were sandwiches, rice balls, pickles; devilled eggs, donuts, peach cobbler, lemonade and iced tea. It was a smorgasbord of cold food for a hot summer day.

“I took up cooking lessons at the community college,” Mindy confessed. “I remember having to make lunch for my class. The best part of getting married is that I get to try my cooking skills on my man and my family on the holidays. Well, don’t just stare at my food, let’s eat!”

  We did what Mindy told us and ate to our heart’s content. At first I wouldn’t like the food Mindy made. After a few bites, I was eating like a queen. After the cold lunch, we went for a walk along the shore. On our walk, we saw seashells that were pretty as jewels. Daddy told us that we could pick up a few to take home with us. I noticed a hermit crab crawling out of its shell. The shell was white with purple spots on it. I bent down to the hermit crab and told it, “I know you don’t mind me taking your old home away from you. I hope that your new home will be nicer than this one was. Thank you.”

  I have a habit of talking to animals. When I was a kid, I met a Buddhist monk at a Buddhist temple. I was with a tour group, doing a report on Buddhism. The monk told me that every living animal has a living spirit within them. I was haunted by the monk’s words. Over the years, I became a vegetarian. After the summer ended, I became a full-fledged vegetarian. I can eat whatever I want as long as it doesn’t have a soul. In my opinion, killing animals for food or sport is wrong. I still miss meat, but my family has gotten used to me not eating meat with them.

  On our way, we stopped at a photo booth. We decided to take pictures in the booth. At first Cousin Ray declined to have his picture taken.

“Ray-Gun, please don’t do this to us,” Mindy pleaded, “just do this for me. And please smile.”

Cousin Ray gave in and went through with it.

  The pictures cost a dollar for four takes. I took a picture with T.R. and Jordan first. The grown-ups were second. Then we split up in groups. I took a photo with Daddy, T.R. and Jordan, and Cousin Ray taking a picture with Mindy; it went on like this until everyone had their picture taken. On the last picture, we had to cram into the photo booth. We smiled as our pictures were being taken. After the photos, we went to the Seven-Eleven and brought some sodas and two beers for Mindy and Daddy. Cousin Ray rarely drinks alcoholic beverages, except on special occasions. The last time my cousin drank was at a tavern in Charleston. My cousin remembered the time his was drunk and got into a fight with another man for bullying him and his friends. Cousin Ray got sick and threw up in the tavern.

My cousin has drunk in moderation ever since.

  The sun was setting and we were all feeling sleepy. Cousin Ray decided that it was time for us to go home. We got into the van and drove back home. During the trip home, I looked at the pictures of my family and myself. One of the pictures that made me look over was that of Cousin Ray and Mindy. Mindy and Cousin Ray were just being like any ordinary couple in love. On the last photo, Cousin Ray was giving Mindy a kiss on her cheek.

  I remembered back on what my cousin said about being free to kiss any woman in the world and not having to marry her like people had back in 14th century Italy. But this wasn’t 14th century Italy, this was 21st century America. My cousin was kissing a woman he was going to marry and there was nothing I could do to stop it from happening or change his mind.

  Cousin Ray drove Mindy back to her apartment. Cousin Ray got out of the van and opened the door for Mindy. Mindy got out as Cousin Ray walked her to the front door. Out the window, I saw them talking and laughing.

‘I had a great time, Ray-Gun,” Mindy said kindly.

Cousin Ray was reddening when he talked.

“Anytime, my dear,” was my cousin’s reply.

“I can’t believe that we’re getting married next summer and moving to Atlanta in the autumn. A new life together; we’re so young.”

Cousin Ray sighed deeply. “I know. I’ve known you for years, Mindy. You were my best friend, and now you’re going to be my wife. I never planned to fall in love with you. What do you think our marriage with come out of?”

Mindy took a brief moment to speak.

“I’m not sure if they’ll be time for a family where we’re going. We’ll be so busy with our new jobs and all; I’m not sure having a baby would be possible. We’re young and the long hours at work. I’m just not ready to be a mother just yet.”

“We’ll just put off having a family for a year and just focus on our careers. You don’t have to worry, my honey.”

“Bullcrap! I’ve heard that same phrase from many guys thousands of time.”

   Cousin Ray swept Mindy off her feet and into his arms. Cousin Ray placed Mindy’s back against the door, dipped her just a midway and kissed her. Mindy embraced Cousin Ray and gave in to the rapture. After the kiss, Mindy told Cousin Ray goodnight. She gave him one last kiss before going inside. Cousin Ray said goodnight as Mindy went inside for the night.

   Cousin Ray smiled as he walked back to the van. I saw the glow upon his face. It was the glow of love. As Cousin Ray got inside, he glanced at me.

“I can’t help that I love her more than you,” he told me. “Butterfly, I’ll always love you as my dear sweet cousin. You’ll always be my cousin. I’ll wait the day when I’ll see you and your family at the wedding.”

“Yes,” I answered. “Next summer—-“

“July 4th.”

“Your birthday, why?”

“No reason. Just a day I love so much ever since I came to America. Next year I’ll become a US citizen. I’ve just began to experience life, now I’ve going to live it to the fullest. I’ve been studying to get my citizenship for so many years now. Now it’s going to happen. I’m a man of two worlds; Canada and America.”

I fell asleep after Cousin Ray spoke to me. It was that Daddy woke me up that we were back at the house. Still sleepy, I struggled to walk inside. Inside, I went upstairs to bed. I opened the door to my bedroom and stepped inside. I focused my eyes on an envelope on my bed. Miss Carla somehow had somehow went into my room and placed the envelope on my bed. There was a sticky note on the envelope from Miss Carla:

Your friend Anna came by today. I told her that you were at the beach with your family. She seemed very sad when she gave me the note. Her eyes were red and she sounded very tried. I asked her what was the matter was; she just told me to give you this note. It isn’t like Anna to be sad like this since she met you. I don’t know what’s happened to her. Please read this letter in the morning.

Miss Carla

  I peeled the sticky note off the envelope. Written on the front of the envelope was: To Butterfly Taylor, From Anna Knight.

  A dark cloud was creeping around me as I held Anna’s letter. I turned on the light as I ripped opened the envelope and pulled out the letter. I begin reading Anna’s letter.

To be continued/Stay Tuned!

Such Sweet Sorrow(chap.10)

Published October 25, 2009 by ladyserenity92

For the rest of the morning Anna hung around. The reason for this was Anna’s brother was at work and wouldn’t be home until late in the evening. The divorce was heavy on my mind and the minds of my brother and sister. Jordan couldn’t watch cartoons, and T.R. played with Potato and Smokie to ease her mind. We were in our own world of childhood.

Saturday to me was one of the most boring days that the weekend offered. The four of us sat on the porch until noon. We heard the front door open and close. We stopped what we were doing and saw Cousin Ray.

Cousin Ray told us, “I know a secret place we can go to.”

We studied Cousin Ray, believing that he was pulling our leg. Cousin Ray read our minds by the looks on our faces.

“It isn’t anything weird or inappropriate,” he continued, “It’s just a place that I always come to when I’m down. I shared this place with no one; now I’m sharing it with you kids. What do you say?” We wanted to see the secret place Cousin Ray was talking about. Without a second thought, we decided to go with Cousin Ray to his secret place.

     It took us three blocks to get to the secret place. Before we left, Cousin Ray made T.R. leave her pocket phone behind. We were sad that Potato and Smokie couldn’t come along with us, but they understood.

   When we got to the secret place, it was like a Southern castle. The castle was really a mansion that was abandoned many years ago. The mansion had a white picket fence all around the yard. Opening the gate, Cousin Ray showed us the front porch. The front porch had a porch swing.  In the backyard was a magnolia tree with a swing on its branch. To the left of the yard was a peach tree with real peaches that were the size of snow globes.

   Inside the mansion was a love seat, a couch and a working harpsichord that still worked, in spite of the fact that it was old. Above our heads was a crystal chandelier. The five of us explored the mansion from the staircase, to the bedroom; everywhere we wanted to see. Cousin Ray looked at us and asked, “So, what do you think about my secret place?”

Anna looked at Cousin Ray and smiled. She answered,” It’s remarkable!”

 

    All afternoon, we had a party. We took turns on the tree swing, reaching for the magnolia flower that was on the branch. On the porch swing, as the swing swayed, it gave way and broke. We laughed at what happened. Next, Cousin Ray showed us how to make flower wreaths to go upon our heads. Cousin Ray told T.R., Anna and me that if we placed the wreaths under our pillow at night and sleep on the pillow, would have dreams of our future husbands.

“I want to have a doctor for a husband, just like my daddy.” T.R. announced, placing the wreath on her head.

“Yeah. A gynecologist who’s a skirt chaser.” Anna joked lightheartedly.

We laughed at Anna’s joke. I scoffed.

“Well, my husband (or wife) will be whatever they want to be, as long as they can cook and clean when I come home from work.”

Cousin Ray was stunned. “Wife, Butterfly?”

   Jordan placed his wreath on the ground. “When I grow up, I’m never getting married and having kids.” Jordan turned to Anna and asked her, “What will your husband be, Anna?” With the wreath on her head, Anna replied,” Whatever he will be.” Outside, the five of us did a Maypole dance under the magnolia tree(either though it was July.) As the day winded down, we went over to the peach tree and took ten peaches off the branch to snack on.

    Inside the mansion, Cousin Ray played his guitar and I played the harpsichord. As the music played, I sang ‘Such Sweet Sorrow.’ As I sang, fresh tears came into my eyes. I thought about being seven years old and Cousin Ray singing me that song. After the song ended, we heard Anna crying. I saw her hiding her face in her hands, sobbing. I noticed a digital tape recorder next to her. I went over to Anna, just as T.R. and Jordan comforted her. I scooted down and placed my hand on Anna’s shoulder.

“Anna,” I began, “I know it’s a sad song. You have a right to cry, Sweetie.”

Anna dried her eyes and gazed up at me. “It’s not that the song is sad,” she explained. “It’s just that I’m happy. It was such a beautiful song. Could I trouble you with a request?” Anna was looking at Cousin Ray when she asked.

“Whatever you want, sweetheart.” was Cousin Ray’s reply.

“Could you play ‘Never my love’ and this time may I sing and T.R. play the harpsichord? Just this once?”

    I saw the digital recorder beside Anna and thought about the ‘request’. Back then, I didn’t understand Anna’s request. After she left, I finally knew the truth of her request.

Cousin Ray studied Anna’s face and came to a decision.

“Request granted”, Cousin Ray smiled.

   I let T.R. take my place on the chair in front of the harpsichord. T.R. was a wiz on the piano at our family’s apartment. Although I play both the guitar and the piano combined, it was nothing compared to my little sister’s key work. Anna stood up to join my sister and Cousin Ray. Anna stood next to T.R. and held the device in her hand like a microphone. T.R. and Cousin Ray began the music, as Anna stared to sing:

You ask me if there’ll come a time,

when I’ll grow tried of you.

Never my love

Never my love

What would you think,

When I ask you to spend your whole life with me?

   Anna’s sweet voice blended in with the music. Anna never told me that she could sing like an angel. At the closing of the song, Anna gave one of the sweetest notes in her voice. After the song ended, we applaud. “That was a great song, Anna.” Cousin Ray complemented. “Thank you, Mr. Ray,” Anna whispered.

Before we went home, we took the rest of the peaches from the peach tree for the road. As we walked home, T.R. spoked to Anna. “I think you have a nice voice, Miss Anna. I think you should be a movie star.”

“A movie star?” Anna began.

“Or better yet, you could be on YouTube. I love your voice.”

“And I love your playing. I wish I could learn how to play by ear like you do.”

Anna and T.R. kept chatting until we went our separate ways. T.R. looked at me and told me that Anna was the nicest girls that she ever met. “I love Anna Knight,” my sister said, “I’m so glad that she’s our friend. Inside Cousin Ray’s house, I thought about Anna. Anna was indeed a sweet person that ever came into our lives. I couldn’t imagine my life without Anna. “I love Anna, too,” I told my sister. Miss Carla and Daddy saw the peaches we had. Miss Carla took them and made peach cobbler out of them.

To Be continued/Stay Tuned

About ‘Such Sweet Sorrow’

Published September 17, 2009 by ladyserenity92

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.

Stay Tuned!

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