Monday, September 28, 2015

Three Novembers

I got this idea recently when I discovered all my old journals that I kept for years and years.  What if I wrote a novel in three parts?  Each one about the same person but in different years. Each showing how much her life has changed in a short span of time. Here is a sample of what her journal entries would look like.
*     *     *     *     *
He told her the management was sacrificing their holiday so the hourly workers could spend Thanksgiving with their families. Knowing her husband well, she demanded to know who else had volunteered for this assignment.  
He ticked off four names on his hand.  A familiar one was couched in between the second and the fourth.
Here was the real reason he was “working” on a holiday.
When she asked why a single female would give up precious time with her three children when there were so many others who could take her place, he snarled at his wife, accusing her of always thinking the worst. She had only asked a simple question, yet he had responded with guilt.
Just like your mother, he added, jealous and needy. She retreated.  He always knew how to make her cower.  
*     *     *     *     *
She walked out of the medical building and tried to get to her car before breaking down but the moment she breathed in the crisp autumn air, the wall she had built around herself crumbled. Her keening cries scared a young boy and his mother who walked passed her in the parking lot. After two months of numerous invasive tests, she was cancer free. 
She wiped her face, located her car, and rushed to it before she cried again. She sighed deeply and smiled.  There was a bounce to her step.
She was not the weakling her ex-husband had once made her believe. She had faced the judge alone when it came to the divorce and she had done the same when she discovered her illness.   
Tomorrow was Thanksgiving Day, and she had a casserole to make before she visited with her family.  Now that she had only good news to share, she would tell them her story.

*     *     *     *     *
Little work would be done in the office for the rest of the afternoon so everyone stood around and talked about the upcoming four-day holiday.    
Some would entertain in their homes and others were traveling across the country to visit family or to enjoy a short vacation.    
I’m heading over to my parents, said a recently divorced single.  My mother makes the best prime rib. 
A couple of my buds are coming over to my apartment, said another, bragging in a loud voice.  We’re going to eat Chinese and watch one football game after another.
No one asked her plans. She had been divorced now for several years, and her kids would be spending Thanksgiving with their father and his girlfriend.  When the kids hesitated, she reminded them they would be back on Saturday.  They would be gone only three days.
That was one good thing about the divorce – it forced her ex-husband to spend time with his children whether it fit into his and his girlfriend’s plans or not.  If he tried to weasel out of it, the onus was on him.
What are your plans? Her friend’s breath caressed her ear and she turned to smile up at him.  She told him about spending Thanksgiving dinner with her crazy family.
Take me with you, he said. My kids are with their mother and I have nowhere else I want to be.

Her smile widened. She could already picture her sisters’ faces when she drove up with her famous yam casserole, and a tall, good-looking date for Thanksgiving Dinner.  

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