The next Chapters….

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:

http://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/would-anyone-read-this-chapter-one/

so it makes more sense

xoxo

k

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mom readinglistening to mom reading

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.

 

attic office emptybook casescomputercomputer2

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;

Hi Keri,                                                                                                  

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,

Jack

 

 

 

 

 

#51 The Calm Before The Storm

 

Dear Journal,

I think it must be that I have never had someone I loved die before. Or maybe I just don’t know what to do with the feelings of guilt that I feel. I want to ask Jack if he blames me for not letting him go see his mom when she called. I want to talk about it with him but I don’t want to make him talk about it if he doesn’t want to because after all, it has been months now. But I just can’t seem to move on inside and I still feel like I want to cry all the time.. When I wake up, I sometimes forget at first what has happened, and then I remember. I can’t stop remembering. My mom even said that maybe I need to see someone. I told her no way! That I was okay. That I would write it out. So here I am again. You know, maybe I should start praying more. I feel like this journal thing is kind of like talking to God in a way.

writingggg

I spend the night at Jack’s house a lot. I say I’m at a friend’s and they don’t ask anymore. I think they know that I’m with Jack. I’m not proud of it. The lying that is. Jack says it’s not lying. But who am I trying to fool?  Since his mom has died, everything has changed.  His house is ours  except that we  just aren’t married so I still have my bedroom at home and when summer is over I will have to go home again and sleep in my own room. But for now it is nice. We can do anything we want, anytime we want. It is so much better than sneaking around at his dad’s or at my house after my parent’s have gone to bed.  I have all my stuff, or a lot of  it at his house. Jack said that I am using him to play house and I told him that he is using me to have his way with me. He laughed and thought I was trying to be cute. I wasn’t.

  making out on top of bed

Larry kept coming around a lot when he knew Jack wouldn’t be home. I finally told Jack but he didn’t seem bothered by it. Funny, I may be young but I am not stupid. Larry is very good-looking. Did I mention that? I mean Disney Movie  Prince cute. And he knows it.  Much cuter than Jack if you liked that kind of thing. But I am attracted to the personality more than anything first and hitting on a friend’s girlfriend is not attractive to me.  I just find it strange that Jack has  been so jealous about every other guy that was doing nothing and yet when it is happening right in front of his face, he doesn’t seem to care.

Larry look alike

I introduced Larry to my friend Lindsay and they have been dating for a while now but Larry’s made it clear when they are not around that he wishes we were together. We hung out at the beach together a few weeks ago and in the waves, he was all over me. I am not sure how Jack missed it.

ocean playing

 

#40 Tinsel and Tears

Christmas tree on top of car

Dear Journal,

Mrs. Walker would not be happy with the way I am keeping up with you! I am so sorry that I am doing catch up again.

So lets see…. How to catch you up….

Oh yes! You should see our little house! It is so cute! Jack put up Christmas light right after Thanksgiving and we got the perfect little tree for our front bay window! Speaking of…. While we were driving down the street with the tree tied to the top of our car this guy in a big truck kept flashing his lights at us. At first Jack thought that maybe the tree was not tied right and was falling off,  so he pulled over and come to find out it was Larry, Jack’s friend from High School who lives behind the gates in Rolling Hills now. He followed us home and helped Jack bring the tree inside and then he invites us to his house and we followed him there and he gave us this amazing tour. His house was so big we had to use a golf cart to see it all! He has the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen. He kind of looks like one of those Prince’s in the Disney movies!

When we were riding around, I sat in the middle of Jack and Larry and Larry put his arm around me. Jack didn’t  even seem to notice. He usually is so jealous! Anyway, I didn’t like it. It really bothered me.  Maybeeee,  because I was worried that Jack would be upset but then it bothered me that Jack didn’t seem to even notice or care that Larry was kind of all over me. (He has since come over a few times when Jack hasn’t been there which I will save to tell you about  on another day!)

You should see his house. He lives  in the pool house which is twice as big as our house! They have a maid’s quarters in the main house which is also bigger than our house! Along with tennis courts horse stables and like I said a pool! Crazy!

Christmas tree branches

 

Later that week, I kept bugging Jack to go with me to buy ornaments. He just gave me money and told me to go buy “whatever” I wanted while he took Larry soaring. I was so hurt. We only had one day off together last weekend. At least he put the lights on the tree but I decorated it all by myself. I remember my mom doing that a lot and it made me so sad, I cried.  When Jack came home he raved about  how perfect it was, but I really had it “in my head” very differently. When he saw how upset I was he started tickling me and kissing me and we ended up making love under the Christmas tree with the fire going. But it still seems to me that he really didn’t understand why I was upset. At least he didn’t get upset back. Usually when I get mad at him he doesn’t know how to handle it and just gets offended and it starts a fight. So maybe things are changing a little.

kissing on the floor

The Thursday before Christmas Vacation started, Jack told me that he wanted to go Christmas shopping for his sister and his mom. They are talking again and his mom invited us over to her new apartment for Christmas dinner. So we will do Christmas Eve at my parent’s house and then Christmas morning at our house and then go over Christmas afternoon at Liz’s. Jack has been in such a good mood since he made these plans. I am so happy for him. We went shopping last weekend and got his mom this beautiful gold cross with a diamond chip in it and a Bible. And we also got Rachel a Bible. We had their names engraved on both of them. Jack also got his sister a sweater that I helped him pick out. I haven’t seen him this happy for a long time.

#19 Dear Journal “Friends and Beaus”

Dear Journal,

I had to step back a bit. My parents complained that I was out too much on school nights and it was right before final exams. So the last couple of weeks I have stayed home a bit more. I think that it has given both Jack and I time to breathe. It was almost as if we were desperate to be together. But I was feeling suffocated. And though I don’t have a lot of homework this year,  I had to study for my dental and x-ray exams and needed the extra time!

SCROCscroc dental

I graduated from SCROC and passed my Dental XRay State Boards with flying colors which brought my GPA up to above a 3.0 so far! My dad is pretty happy with that!  I  have a few Finals that I still need to study for but thanks to you, I have an A in English! It was really a silly little graduation but they did have a ceremony at SCROC. They’d laid out all the intruments that we had to know so that everyone would see what we’d learned.  My dad was out of town and I thought that Jack was working, and my mom, well she just doesn’t come to stuff like that. So I was so surprised to see Jack there with my mom and he’d brought me a bouquet of roses! I was so touched and  even though  my mom had to go pick up Lonnie right afterwards,  it meant a lot that she’d shown up and I know Jack had arranged it.  He took me out for dinner to celebrate and told me how proud he was and how he couldn’t have rememebered all those intruments and how smart I was. He is so funny and I am so in love!

dozen roses

Now that I have afternoons free until the end of this school year, his mom has offered me a summer job since I can’t work at a Dental office until I turn 18 so my parents said yes and it helped seal the deal of me really not going to Seattle this year. So I will leave school right before lunch time and meet Jack for lunch and then go back and work with him for about four more hours until the end of school and then I will work four days a week during the summer. I will just file and help with the billing. It is like a gas station for the big riggers. They have accounts with some big trucking companies and Jack’s job is to bring in new accounts, which he already has! My job will be to to be in charge of their key lock system where each driver has a key for a diesel pump and I am supposed to go out and read the meters once a week and bill them for however much they use. It will all work out since my mom will be leaving soon for the summer and won’t need her car. In the mean time, I can be earning money for my own car and my dad said he’d match whatever I earned and he seemed pleased that I decided to work after all, since he’d given me one last summer before I had to get a job.

truckers

 

I was so excited I couldn’t wait to tell Laurie but when I did I was kind of surprised that  she seemed pretty furious with me. She reminded me that she was graduating this year and that we’d decided that this was going to be our last free summer to be kids together without any responsibilities and how we’d both decided not to look for jobs. I knew we’d talked about that last summer but that was a whole year ago and I didn’t even know that I was not going to have to go to Seattle until just a few days ago.  I can’t believe how selfish she is being.

friends sitting talking

 I am getting a little weary, being pulled in different directions by both Jack and Laurie. They seem to be playing me against each other and I hate it. Neither one likes the other very much and it is hard because I love them both! I don’t want to ruin Laurie’s summer but I really do need a car! And with my extra credits from SCROC and work experience from this summer, and this English class, I found out that I can graduate  even earlier than I planned to next January if I want! And without Laurie graduating this year and not going to be there anymore, you’d think that she’d understand my side of things.

The other day she got really mad when I told her about my job with Jack’s mom and I felt she wanted to tell me something. She almost slipped and then just said never mind. But I am curious if she knows more about what caused Jack and Maddie to break up. He said it was because of his mom and how she’d called him home and how she messed up another year before that and done the same thing. But then I remember when he was telling me how his temper “always” messed things up, that night after sailing. I never told Maddie about it because she already doesn’t like Jack.  And I don’t want to bring it up to Jack because I just don’t. And so I don’t know if Maddie is just mad at me and wanted to take it out on Jack or if there is something that she knows that I don’t?