It’s easy for me to share my thoughts, hopes and dreams with all of you here on my blog. Although most feedback is positive, I do receive the occasional reprimand. That’s to be expected when you open your life up for the world to see, read about and judge.
What I love most are the responses that I get; the encouraging emails and real mail (if you can believe it) and the occasional “I hear you, Sister!”.
Today, I have something entirely different to share with you. I am nervous about sharing it. Instead of me being able to use words like “crap” or my made up favorites like “goody-ness”, what I’m about to share will be held to a higher standard. Because it’s part of my hidden soul-my personal writing projects.
Who knows if this will ever go anywhere-but it’s fun to write and to dream. I’m going to share the first section of the first chapter of a book I’ve been writing called “Garage Sale Addict”. I’d love to hear what you have to say, or maybe I won’t.
Regardless, everyone needs a critic-and with all of you, at least I’ll know if this is crap or goody-ness.
So, hear goes nothing.
Garage Sale Addict (Young Adults)
Story Premise: Recently dumped pet photographer, Rosayln Jones, hosts a garage sale to purge her life from the memory of her extremely wealthy ex-boyfriend. News travels fast in a small town and the mayhem of the day proves to be a temporary distraction from her pain.
Rosalyn hopes to regain the excitement and holds another sale the following week. Selling off her own personal items, she is soon disappointed in the lackluster response.
Rosalyn becomes increasingly addicted to the garage sale “high” and convinces herself to purchase designer items to sell at a loss in hopes of creating new excitement for herself and her customers. However, she soon is under investigation for what the Department of Homeland Security is convinced is some sort of smuggling or counterfeiting ring.
“He asked me to meet him at his parent’s house. For dinner,” Rosalyn pinned her cell phone between her ear and shoulder, speeding towards her home.
“What do you think that means?”, asked her best friend, Bonnie.
“The only thing I can think of is a proposal.” Rosalyn said and then grinned.
“After seven years? I would hope so. What are you going to wear?”
“My black dress with heels. Perfect for a life-altering occasion. Plus, it’s clean.” Rosalyn pulled into the driveway and threw the car in park.
“Call me when you get home tonight and tell me every single detail. I’m glad someone knocked some sense into Kyle, finally.” Bonnie giggled.
“Amen to that. I’ll call you tonight.” Rosalyn dumped her phone into her purse and checked her watch.
Fifteen minutes notice. Typical for Kyle.
She threw her keys and purse on the counter, rushing to her room to get dressed. One of her shoes landed near the doorway to her room, the other at the threshold of her closet. Her skirt and earrings found a home somewhere in between.
Rosalyn parted the hangers in her closet and shouted, “Black dress, come forth!”.
After slipping on her dress and shoes, she checked her reflection in the mirror. Makeup had long since melted from the day’s heat, leaving a rock star smudge around her blue eyes. She tried her best clean up the lines around her lashes using a q-tip.
“Oh well, they know what I look like.” She murmured, deciding against a ponytail and letting her curly hair fall around her shoulders again.
Checking her watch, she sprinted for the car. Rosalyn triple-checked her teeth for lip-gloss in the rearview mirror.
“Mrs. Kyle Fitzhugh, the Third.” She said aloud, but frowned.
“Am I ‘The Third’ as well, or is it only Kyle that gets to say that?” She muttered, dialing Bonnie halfway through her trip.
“Hey, what do I call myself?” Rosalyn spit out in the middle of Bonnie’s ‘Hello’.
“You mean besides crazy?”
“Funny. Kyle is the third ‘Kyle’ in his family. Do I call myself ‘Mrs. Kyle Fitzhugh, The Third’ or leave off ‘The Third’?”
“I have no idea what you should be called. How about just being Rosalyn Fitzhugh? It’s not 1953, you know.” Bonnie said.
“That’s not an option in the Fitzhugh family, you know that.” Rosalyn sighed.
“You can always break tradition.”
Rosalyn turned into the Fitzhugh drive and entered a code into the keypad.
“Thanks, Bonnie. I gotta go, I’m here.” An iron gate with a scripted ‘F’ slowly whined open.
“Good luck!” Bonnie said.
Rosalyn parked her tan Honda Civic in the circular drive, behind a silver Jaguar. Next to the silver Jaguar sat two identical black Mercedes with a red BMW in front of the entire pack.
“Don’t be intimidated, Molly.” Rosalyn kissed her lips, transferring her affection to ‘Molly’s’ steering wheel.
She inhaled several deep breaths, forcing her heart to slow and glanced at the hands that would soon wear a diamond ring. She regretted not taking better care of her nails-although her ‘clients’ didn’t care if she had a French manicure or not.
Rosalyn pressed the brass doorbell several times, staring at the wooden door, twice the size of her own front door.
She heard laughter seeping from within the mansion. The sound stopped abruptly and clacking footsteps approached her.
Mrs. Fitzhugh swung open the door, revealing the rest of the family standing just behind her.
“Come in, Rosalyn.” She said, an unprecedented smile finding her face.
“Thank you, Mrs. Fitzhugh.” Rosalyn stumbled over the threshold, immediately her face felt hot.
There was Kyle-flanked by his three brothers, his sister and their respective mates. Mrs. Fitzhugh wrapped a limp hand over her husband’s arm, who cleared his throat, nodded first towards Kyle and then to Rosalyn.
She steadied herself. The big moment had come-and with no fanfare, no dinner, no hiding the ring in the champagne. It would happen right here, in front of the entire family. The family that had never really liked her.
Kyle glanced at a woman standing next to him, causing Rosalyn’s eyes to follow. A woman stood not just next to him, but precariously close to him. In fact, the woman held onto Kyle’s arm, much as Mrs. Fitzhugh did with Mr. Fitzhugh.
How had she overlooked the non-Fitzhugh?
“Kyle, go ahead.” The pearl-wearing, Kyle-touching, woman spoke.
“Well, Rosalyn…” He looked straight at her and used her full name.
“Yes, Kyle?” Rosalyn smiled, staring back.
“This is Gwennie, I mean, Gwendolyn Simmons.” Kyle patted the small hand that had been resting on his arm.
Rosalyn flinched, turning her eyes from his face to the woman he referred to.
“Nice to meet you, Gwennie.” Rosalyn stuck her hand out, but the woman didn’t budge.
“Gwendolyn.” The twiggy woman corrected her.
“Right.” Rosalyn smiled her snapshot smile at the Twig and retracted her unmet hand.
“Gwendolyn’s father owns Heritage, Incorporated. It’s a large real estate investment company.” Kyle spoke as if addressing a grade-schooler; not his long-term girlfriend.
“Good for you, Gwennie.” Rosalyn nodded in the Twig’s direction.
“Gwendolyn.” The Twig grumbled.
“They own real estate here, in California, overseas…” Kyle’s voice tapered off.
“…And in many other places.” The Twig spoke again, this time finishing Kyle’s sentence.
“Great.” Rosalyn said. Who cares? The foyer was getting smaller by the moment.
“I have spent a lot of time helping her and her father’s company buy real estate. And we have found that she and I have a lot in common during that process.” Kyle paused and peeked at Twig. The thin woman smiled politely back at him.
Rosalyn felt for the handle on the front door to hold her up.
“I wanted you to be the first to know, since you and I have such a history together, that she is…well…” He laughed that nervous little laugh.
Twig cut in, finishing his sentence-again.
“…that I have accepted his proposal. I am going to be his wife-Mrs. Kyle Fitzhugh, The Third.” Twig beamed, as did the rest of the family. She held out her fingers to show off an enormous diamond.
“What?” Rosalyn’s mouth hung open.
“Gwendolyn has accepted his proposal and is going to be his wife, dear.” Mrs. Fitzhugh oozed every ounce of sarcasm she possessed into the word ‘dear’.
“I heard that, but what? Why am I here?” Rosalyn’s heart had refused to beat for several seconds.
“We thought it would be better for you to hear it from the whole family, knowing your history with our Kyle.” Twig sunk her arm around Kyle’s back, pulling him towards her.
“My history? Your Kyle? We’re dating-have dated for seven years. We aren’t just friends, you know.” Rosalyn’s neck felt warm and prickly.
“We all knew you and he weren’t going to go anywhere. Now, don’t be crass and congratulate the new couple.” Mrs. Fitzhugh pushed Rosalyn towards Kyle and Twig.
“I didn’t know it wasn’t going anywhere. I had every right to think it was going somewhere.” Rosalyn clutched at her purse.
“Don’t you think he would have committed to you by now if he were serious, Ros?” Twig used a nickname she had no clearance to use.
Rosalyn looked to Kyle, but he watched his shoes, aligning them on the edge of the marble floor where it changed from white to black.
“Kyle, can we talk about this in private?” Rosalyn’s mind flashed through the years with Kyle; the first day they met on campus, their first date, their first kiss. “Rosalyn, there’s nothing to really talk about. Your little ‘whatever it was’ with Kyle is finished. He needs someone serious. You can go home now.” Mrs. Fitzhugh moved behind Rosalyn, pulling open the front door.
Rosalyn stuck a foot behind her, stopping the door from opening.
“Kyle, do you have anything to say to me?” She hated that her voice squeaked.
“Ros, these seven years with you have been fun. But you didn’t think we’d get married? We met in college and now you live one way and I live another.” He ran his fingers through his hair.
She loved it when he did that.
“But that’s what makes us great. We compliment each other, balance each other out.” Rosalyn hated that he wouldn’t look at her.
“You didn’t think we’d really work together as a real couple, did you?” He whispered.
“Of course I thought we’d work. Why else would I put up with your family and stick this out for so long if I didn’t think we’d work?” Rosalyn could feel her knees buckling.
The family exchanged sympathetic glances with each other.
“Why did you even invite me here tonight?” Rosalyn whispered, her eyelids growing hot.
“I thought it would be best for you to see that the whole family is behind Gwennie and I.” Kyle stepped forward and touched Rosalyn on the shoulder.
She flinched away from his touch, and a tear cascaded over her eyelashes.
“When did this happen? I just don’t understand.” Rosalyn wiped at her cheek.
“It’s for the best.” He patted her shoulder.
“Now, if you don’t mind, Rosalyn, we have a dinner that’s getting cold. I am sure you can find your way out.” Mrs. Fitzhugh turned her back to Rosalyn, swooped her arms to gather her brood, including The Twig, and ushered them towards the dining room.
Not one of them looked back. Not even Kyle.
A stunned Rosalyn mechanically counted the echoing footsteps, while staring at the floor in front of her. She willed herself to chase after the man she had spent seven years investing into, but her feet refused to move.
“Kyle-come back.” She whispered into the large entryway.
She opened her mouth to yell for Kyle again, but stopped and dropped her head.
Leaving the Fitzhugh estate for the very last time, her hands shook as she dialed Bonnie.
“Hey, that was quick!” Bonnie screamed in the phone.
“Settle down, Bonnie.” She muttered, opening the car door.
“So, is there a ring?” Her best friend sang out.
“Yes, but not on my finger.” Rosalyn glared at her bare hand.
“What do you mean?”
“Would you meet me at my house in fifteen?” Rosalyn sniffled.
“What’s wrong? Do you want me to come pick you up?” Bonnie could turn maternal in seconds.
“No. Just come over to my house, please. As soon as you can.” She hung up without saying goodbye, something she never did. The tears just wouldn’t stop.