For all my loyal readers…. (Reading Girl especially – smile) I am sharing my next few chapters…. I’d love to hear how you feel about the transition from Keri’s journal to the third person telling it again, and your thoughts on it… I really felt that I left you guys hanging and just wanted to share! Remember read this first:
so it makes more sense
By the time she finished reading, the fire had died down to a flicker and two hours, maybe more had passed. Keri closed the book and looked up at Brynne “Oh mama” she cried, “It is all just so sad.” Keri overwhelmed by the moment, got up and walked over to her daughter and hugged her tight as tears filled her eyes. “I shared this with you because I want to spare you some of the pain that I experienced as a young girl, and for you to just always be aware. “NOW I understand why you wanted me to add SLOW TO ANGER to my list that you made me make.” Brynne said with genuine empathy and tears in her own eyes. Keri nodded and held the closed journal to her chest; she didn’t have any second thoughts. She knew that sharing this with Brynne would be a memory she would carry with her forever. She prayed that this knowledge would be like a little extra tool for her, that most young girls aren’t aware of.
Keri counted the years since those journal days and sighed. Looking into the fire she said, “Time sure flies.” “Do you know where he is now?” Brynne asked curiously. Keri shook her head. “No, “I’m not even sure if he’s still alive.” Brynne was filled with questions. “What about Larry?” she asked. Keri realized that she was not going to get off as easy as she thought and cleared her throat to continue. “We ended up dating for a while,” “YOU DID?! Brynne looked surprised and Keri laughed, “Yeah, he even asked me to marry him.” Brynne’s eyes grew wide. “Reeeeally?” “Yeah, but I don’t even know why I went out with him. I kind of knew it was wrong but I was so hurt just how quickly Jack seemed to move on and well, Larry really was very good-looking.” she chuckled and then continued more seriously, “but then, he knew it and I never loved him, so I said no.” She said it so matter of factly that it almost seemed as if she was realizing it all for the first time. “I don’t think that I really ever got over Jack. I just let my hurt turn into anger and have pretty much stayed angry with him all of these years later. I never really let anyone back into my heart for a long time.” Keri smiled at her daughter. She looked dumbfounded at meeting this side of her mom and wanted to know everything. “I dated for over a year or so and then I met your dad and that was that.”
“Waaaaait a minute.” Brynne demanded, motioning for her mom to sit back down, Keri sighed inwardly realizing that Brynne was not going to let her off the hook that fast and had many more questions. So with much filtering, Keri shared what came after Jack and in-between her dad which was a time that entailed a lot of things she did due to her broken heart, things that she was not very proud of. And that was how Keri told her daughter about Jack. It had been time. Tim already knew about him. He knew about Keri’s walls and what happened and that her first relationship was behind a lot of their issues. But he was very patient with her. When they’d first met, it was evident that Keri had been very hurt and did not trust easily. Their marriage had its issues but it was solid for the most part and Tim offered that one trait that Keri deemed so important; he was slow to anger.
“Okay Keri said, lets finish up with the boxes in the attic.” Brynne followed her mom up the stairs as they began sorting and throwing out things. Keri continued to answer her daughter’s questions as they worked together, and made a big dent clearing everything out that day.
Keri’s writing studio was finished and she loved it up there. The wood floors were rich and off set the wall to wall built-in bookcases that lined both sides of the room and reminded Keri of her Grandma’s craftsman style house in Seattle. On one side of the room there was a beautiful little window seat where she could take her laptop and write. The view was most inspiring there. At the front of the house, they’d built-in a craftsman style desk and drawers overlooking the little window on the opposite side of the room. It all turned out just the way she’d imagined. Tim worked on it a lot as time allowed, but just like her father, he traveled a lot for his job and Keri grew impatient over how long it was taking to complete. “I have a book that I need to write, and I really want to start it and finish it up in my study.” She’d pressed and so he hired Brian, a contractor to finish some of the details.
For a while, Brian and Tim worked together with Keri to create the charm she envisioned. Even the stairs that led up to the attic were recreated exactly the way she’d imagined with the brown and white steps she remembered from her grandma’s house . Several months after all of the construction was complete, Tim surprised Keri with a fireplace that she’d seen on-line and thought that he’d forgotten about. One night in bed, when Tim was working on his laptop, Keri urged him to go to that page with the photo of the exact fireplace she’d chosen. She knew it exceeded the budget they’d set aside for the studio but told him that “Someday waaay down the line she’d love to have one just like it.” Never dreaming she’d get it so soon.
Tim installed it a year later while she was in LA visiting Brynne for her birthday. She squealed with delight and hugged her husband’s neck, feeling very spoiled. She loved to turn it on in the mornings with a mug of coffee and write her blog and or work on her book. Brynne had been away at school for a little over a year and the house just seemed so empty. She wished Tim didn’t have to be away so often but she tried to be a good sport about it and understand and was growing more and more used to being alone. Her studio was her refuge. When she wrote, she didn’t feel so lonely. One day as she took a break from writing, she checked her blog comments and then wandered over to her Face book page and found a message from a name that caused her to choke as she sipped on her coffee. The message was short and generic. Keri set her mug down still sputtering and held her breath as she read;
I’ve been looking for you for a long time. It looks as if you are well. I am glad to see that you are still writing… I wasn’t sure if you’d remember me, but I’ve wanted to find you for a while now. I look forward to your reply,