Fiction Fix

Fiction: Holly’s Hope

Holly stepped to one side of the hallway to allow the group of girls to pass her. She kept her eyes down and trained on the notes she had placed on top of her books so she wouldn’t have to see the other girls turn their noses up at her.

Unfortunately, it didn’t shield the snickers and nasty comments, she heard those loud and clear.

“Oh look, it’s Holy Holly. What are you praying for this time Holly? That you’ll actually get asked to the prom?”

The other girls howled with appreciation as they brushed past her. One of the larger girls deliberately bumped into her causing her to lose her grip on her books and drop them into a messy heap at her feet.

Holly closed her eyes, bit her lip and patiently waited for the girls to lose interest in her and continue on their way before stooping to neatly scoop her belongings up in her arms once more.

“Why do you put with that?” a male voice asked and Holly momentarily paused in surprise.

Cautiously, she glanced up. Her eyes landed on an Adam’s apple before slowly traveling up the neck to look into Troy Wilson’s face.

“Wh…what? Are you talking to me?” she stuttered and then immediately gave herself a mental kick in the pants. Of course he was talking to her! He was standing right in front of her, wearing a sexy smile and looking absolutely scrumptious. What a stupid question! He must think she’s such an idiot.

“Why do you allow those girls to give you such a hard time?”

Holly blinked, breaking the trance Troy always put her in before straightening to her full 5’6 height and offering a slight shrug.

“Wh … what exactly do you think I should do? If I talk back to them, it just gets worse. And there is no way I could physically do anything, there are like ten of them and one of me. And in case you haven’t noticed? I’m not exactly into the whole self defense thing.”

Troy sighed and reached out to take half of her books from the stack she held tightly against her chest. His knuckles lightly brushed against the “V” of her exposed skin with the movement. A white light exploded into a thousand shards of bright colors before her eyes and Holly’s breath caught in her throat. She felt light-headed and swayed slightly toward him before regaining her equilibrium, and her sense of sanity.

Yes. She was in love with Troy Wilson. She had been ever since she had been paired as his lab partner in Freshman Biology. He had been okay with the actual experiments, but when it came time for the computations, he had had to rely on her to get the answers. If it hadn’t been for her, he would have failed the entire class.

The other girls hadn’t picked on her as much back then. In fact, there was a time, a very brief time, shortly after she had started high school that she had thought she might actually fit in, be part of the “cool” crowd, but then some cheerleader … what was her name? Oh yes, Gabrielle, had singled her out for some reason and complimented her on her sweater. The other girls had gotten so jealous of the attention she had gotten from the most popular girl in the school, that they had immediately kicked her out of the group and had made it their personal mission, from that point on, to make her life a living hell.

She briefly wondered what had happened to Gabrielle. She had actually liked her if for no other reason than because for one small moment in time, she had made her feel like a human worthy of attention.

“There is going to come a time when you’ll have to stand up for yourself,” Troy said. He looped an arm around her shoulder and together, they continued on their way to the library.

“Yeah well, you let me know when that time comes, okay?” she replied, her voice raspy and breathy. She always reacted this way whenever Troy got close to her. She doubted that he had a clue how he made her feel. He treated her like a kid sister, an amusing and sometimes exasperating kid sister.

It was terribly annoying, not to mention, sort of insulting to her feminine wiles. Not that she thought she had any feminine wiles, but it would be nice to be treated as an object of desire as opposed to … well … an object.

“So, wh … what do you need help with today?” Holly asked. She hated her stutter. Especially as it only seemed to happen around Troy. And every time she was put into an awkward situation.

On second thought, it happened a lot. At school at least. She never noticed it whenever she was at home or at work.

He released a huge sigh, his breath stirring strands of her hair and causing them to brush lightly against her temple. “Math, what else.”

She suppressed her own sigh and gave him a sideways glance. “Again? I thought you were going to work on those problems last night.”

“I did!” he whined and quickly lowered his voice as nearby students gave them curious stares. “I swear to you on my mother’s grave …”

Holly winced. “I told you not to say that, it totally creeps me out.”

Troy continued as if she hadn’t spoken, “ … I worked on those damn problems for hours and I still couldn’t figure them out. I must lack some sort of math gene or something because I honestly can’t figure this shit out.”

Again, Holly winced. “Troy, please don’t curse. I can’t stand that.”

Troy blushed and paused to open the door to the library for her. “Yeah. Sorry. Is your old man still around? Or did he take off again?”

She couldn’t stand anyone cursing around her because of her father. Her father had a very colorful language; in fact, he cussed like a sailor because well, he WAS a sailor. “He took off again. I think he’ll be back in six months … or so.” She grit her teeth at the memory of her mother’s face. She tried so hard to be strong whenever it was time for her father to take off for assignment again, but Holly could see that it killed her just a bit more each time it happened.

She knew her mother was deeply in love with her father. But she wasn’t so sure about how her father felt about her mother. In fact, she suspected that her father had cheated several times on her mother. She suspected this because her mother often asked her to balance the accounts for her and she had stumbled across some very suspicious-looking credit card activity to various jewelry stores and clothing outlets.

She had taken the bull by the horns a few months back and confronted her father about the purchases, but he had laughed at her suspicions and told her she was reading something into nothing.

She couldn’t help but notice that their relationship had cooled several degrees since the confrontation.

She could see how much her father had hurt her mother over the years and she was determined, now more than ever, not to ever get in a situation where she had no choice but to rely on a man to take care of her. As a result, she was practically obsessed with getting into college after she graduated. She would accept any college, but she really had her heart set on Harvard.

As if she could afford Harvard. But she was going to try her hardest to make it happen if for no other reason than to show her father that she wasn’t some wallflower that had to be protected and coddled. She would show her father that she was very capable of taking care of herself. She didn’t need him, or any man, to support her.

“Look, before we get started,” Troy said as they moved to sit at their favorite table by the stained glass windows, “I have something to ask you.”

Continue reading “Fiction: Holly’s Hope”

Reflections

Reflections: Future Mate

I love these question-type books because so often we’re so focused on the future that we place the past on a shelf to gather dust and/or be forgotten. I think it’s important to document our lives, not only the special times, but all times because life is too important, and too short, to forget. Answering questions from the Honey book, are my way of remembering my past and passing those special times on to my sons, husband and you, dear blog reader. Remembering the past helps us understand the people we’ve become.

This is addressed to my husband, minus the really personal stuff and edited for public reading. 🙂

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Long before we met, what did you picture your future mate would be like?

Believe it or not, I never pictured my future mate – ever.

I didn’t have fancy daydreams about what my wedding would be like when I was a girl. I loved acting out weddings with my dolls, but I never once gave my own wedding much thought; getting married and living happily ever after was never high on my priority list. I really have no idea why – I suppose I was too busy trying to secure my career aspirations and finding out what I wanted from life to ever really think about a future life partner.

And you know me, I’m a person who has always lived in the future, so you would think picturing, and planning for, my future husband would be something I would think about, at least once in a while.

True, I did think about having a steady boyfriend. I never really had any one boy/man in my life for very long – and that was mostly my fault for as you know, I felt it was necessary to dump the guys first before they had a chance to dump me later to protect my heart from being broken.

You certainly know how long it took you to get close enough for me to let me guard down (and even to this day, I don’t feel like it’s completely down), so you can imagine how cautious I was back then with men.

And though I craved the companionship, I was fine with the thought that it might not happen. I wasn’t one of those females who defined their very existence based on a man’s opinion or approval – I would be me and if someone accepted that, great. If not, then life would go on and I would find a way to be happy, with or without a steady mate.

Then I met you. I was 24 and really just beginning my career at the bank. I was focused, carefree and completely open to new experiences and relationships, if they happened to come my way. I certainly wasn’t going to go out and actively find them myself.

When Lacey introduced us, and I saw your handsome face and charming smile, I began to entertain the thought that perhaps it would be fun to share my life with someone else. And when you spoke to me for the first time and made me laugh, I began to hope that that someone would be you.

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I recorded this story through AudioBoo. You can find the recording here.