Short Story: Oranges

Lara hated oranges. She hated the taste, she hated how sticky her fingers became after handling one, and she hated them because Lance loved them.

She shuddered as she thought of how her would buy a large bag of oranges from the Farmer’s market every Saturday. He’d come into the house whistling an
off-key rendition of Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me To the Moon, bag of oranges over his shoulder, and swing the bag at her head. If she dodged the bag, he’d beat her up.
The first time it happened, she cried for hours. Now, five years into their marriage, she’d come to expect the beatings. Sometimes Lance would sing
whilst he beat her. He used to find reasons to ‘discipline’ her but nowadays, he beat her for anything. Some days he’d just slap her around but there were a couple of occasions
where his violence landed her in hospital.
Like this time.
Lara was in the Intensive Care Unit, bandaged and propped up, staring at the fruit salad the nurse had brought her. It was littered with small, glistening orange slices.
The smell was revolting. It was almost as bad as the smell of alcohol that clung fiercely to her husband. Alcohol was his mistress. His lover.
It worked hand-in-hand with Lance’s other lover, football. She was in hospital because of a football game gone wrong. Lance often acted like she was the source of all his problems.
He’d been sloppy this time around. He’d thrown her through the glass door that led to their terrace. The neighbours’ dinner party was in full swing.
They saw everything. Her husband was in the county jail at that very moment. No one was willing to bail him out.
Lara thought of the years of madness that were her life. After he’d finish beating her up, he’d go to the kitchen and eat a couple of oranges. When he was done, he’d throw the peels at her.
Lara often wondered how she’d managed to marry such a brute. Had he always been like that? Probably.
She hated a lot of things because of her husband. Oranges. Frank Sinatra. Her life.
She sighed, as she thought of what would happen when she left the hospital. Her family was pushing her to file for divorce. Support from her neighbours was pouring in.
The police seemed to be on her side.
The thought of everything was giving her a migraine. She pressed the call button and waited. The nurse was there in a second.
“Are you alright, darling?” she asked. Lara shook her head slowly.
“Could you please remove this fruit salad? The oranges are killing me.”
That’s how she’d handle her life, Lara resolved. One problem at a time.

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Finally I Can See You Crystal Clear|| Wedding Day|| Daily Prompt

Daily Prompt: Can’t Drive 55

She smiled as she took in her reflection. Her white dress hugged her body in the right places, showing off her statuesque figure. She smiled. She looked stunning and she knew it. She sighed with relief as she sat down. She needed to rest – it was the only time she was going to get a chance to rest for the entire day. She chuckled. A bride’s wedding day was one of the best days of her life but it was also one of the most active. She shuddered as she thought of all of the events planned for the day. A sense of peace followed right after the shudder. It was here. Her wedding day was finally here. She sighed as she took a bit of time to think of all of the heartbreaks she’d cried over. She laughed. To think that she’d cried over guys who would have had her feeling very uncertain if she were to wed anyone of them. She shook her head. The pains of adolescence and young adulthood were many but she’d endured. She’d made it. She thought of the very first day she met him.

She was in the midst of contemplating the emotionally draining relationship she’d found herself in. Then along came this guy with a wonderful smile and a sense of humour to match. She’d given him the label – Best Friend. But for a long time her heart had said otherwise. It took one fateful day – months after she’d ditched the last douche bag. She smiled as she remembered how he simply told her that he liked her and he was tired of sitting in the shadow of being a mere “Best Friend”.
She remembered how confused she’d felt. In the months that they’d become best friends, they’d shared everything with each other. Everything. The good. The bad. The ugly. The really ugly. She didn’t know if she could allow him to love her with all the baggage she had. Life was quite a blur for her as their friendship went on one heck of a rollercoaster ride.
They stopped talking due to her uncertainties and insecurities.

Her favourite part began to play in her mind. A mutual friend of theirs was getting married and they were both part of the bridal party. It had been so awkward considering the fact that the last time they’d seen each other, they’d been yelling at each other at the top of their lungs. Now there they were, partners in the bridal party. She remembered the taut smiles. The sad feeling eating away at her heart. Her heart lifted as she remembered how he came outside and found her whilst she had a little cry. The bride and groom had already left and the bridal party was free to do as they please. She’d become overwhelmed at the thought of “what could be” she had to leave. She remembered feeling someone grab her arm and pull her close to them. She’d already recognized his cologne. She tried to protest but he refused.

“I let you go once,” he’d said. “I refuse to let you go again. I love you – baggage and all. All I ask is that you see through your haze and realize that you deserve to be loved.”

She smiled as she remembered how it felt for the blur of confusion to leave her sight. She remembered looking up at him.

“I see you clearly now,” she’d said. “I see us clearly now.” Her thoughts were interrupted by the harried wedding planner barging through the door. “It’s time!” she said, gasping for breath. She took a deep breath and rose from her seat. It was time.

Walking down the aisle, the priest’s words, the congregation around her were all a blur. All she could see was the love of her life in front of her. It was time for the vows. She smiled up at him as she prepared to say her vows.

“Finally, we are here.
Expressing our great love we share.
Finally, all can see
The amazing future that is you and me. Finally, we are here, my love
Where all can see that this was made by God above.
Time has had its challenges.
Time has had its pain.
But though we’ve fallen a couple of times, we’ve risen time and time again.
I promise to love you through it all.
Through every problem, every celebration – big and small.
Finally, my love, we are here.
Through all of the blurs of my life, my eyes are clear.
Finally, I can see you crystal clear.
I see you clearly.
I love you dearly.
I see us, baby.
You and I is all I see.”

If you love them, hold on to them. If you know that they are worth it then hold on. Love cannot survive without faith and effort. Forget what the world will say. If you know that he/she is the one..then keep them!!!

Title from 3rd line of Rolling in The Deep – Adele

Her Funny Man || Short Fiction

She sat at the coffee table. She watched her hand stir her coffee on…and on…and on….

She was pretty sure that she’d dissolved every single sugar particle but she kept stirring. She wasn’t even in the mood for coffee. She’d needed to leave the house and well…the cafe down the road seemed the best place to escape to. She had, after all, spent the last five months in her house. The joys of being a writer, she smiled bitterly. No one forced her to leave her house. Her friends had tried and failed. She couldn’t face them. Not yet. She was still stinging from that day…

“Woah there, pretty lady! You’re about to stir that coffee off of the table!”

She snapped out of her thoughts and looked up at the person. She managed to stifle a gasp. A fine looking man was standing in front of her, a heart-warming smile on his fa. She gulped.

“Sorry,” she spoke quietly.

“Mind if I sit down?” He asked. She wanted to say no but was surprised to find herself nodding. What are you doing?   she asked herself. He sat down and smiled at her. She suddenly felt self-conscious of her attire – a plain summer dress that was in serious need of bright colours.

“Who was he and what did he do?” He asked all of a sudden . Her eyes widened. He smirked.

“I have five sisters,” he explained. “I know the drill.”

She shifted in her seat uncomfortably.

“Besides, I was their personal punching bag,” he pulled a face. She giggled. The laugh sounded so foreign to her.

“You have such a beautiful smile,” he complimented her. “One wouldn’t guess that you’re a serial killer.”

“A serial killer?” She asked, stunned.

Cereal. You know, Cheerios, Froot Loops? I saw the way you were stirring that coffee. Lord knows what you can do to poor innocent bits of honey-coated grains!”

She giggled again.

“You’re crazy!” She couldn’t stop laughing.

“And you’re too beautiful to be sad!” He countered. She calmed down and looked at the good-looking man with the chocolate brown eyes.

“My fiancè left me at the altar five months ago,” she sniffed. “Cold feet of note.”

She sighed with relief. It was the first time she’d  mentioned the drama without bursting into tears. She looked at the table. She felt his hand tilt her chin up.

“Please go out with me,” he spoke quietly.

“You don’t know me,” she replied, stunned.

“So I’ll get to know you,” he replied.

“I-I’m not ready to date,” she stuttered.

“I-I don’t talk to cereal killing women but here I am talking to you,” he smirked. She smiled.

“But I don’t even know you,” she tried to enforce that with conviction but it wasn’t there.

He put his hand on hers.

“I’m Tim,” he replied. “And I want to make you smile. I want to make you laugh. I want to make you believe that you do deserve to be happy.”

She didn’t know what to say.

“Think of me as your personal funny man,” he flashed a cheesy grin. She chuckled. She was amazed. She hadn’t smiled let alone laughed in months yet this random guy had managed to make her laugh at least four times in the space of fifteen minutes.

She smiled.

“I’m Anna,” she replied. “Friday at 8. That’s when I’ll be free.”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/daily-prompt-clever/

Light Up

 

If a restaurant were to name something after you, what would it be? Describe it. (Bonus points if you give us a recipe!)

Photographers, artists, poets: show us DINNER.

 

“There she is!”

Whispers emanated from the small group of waitrons. She was totally unaware of this as she walked past them and smiled. They greeted her with enthusiastic waves and heart-warming smiles. Theresa, the newbie of the group, looked at her peers.

“What’s all the fuss about?” she asked, failing to understand the significance of this woman’s arrival. She clearly wasn’t just another patron, she’d figured. Her colleagues were far too excited about her. Most of the members of the group looked at her, surprised.

“That’s Megan Light,” Wanda, her mentor, informed her. “She’s a special part of this restaurant.”

“Why?” Theresa asked. She’d only been on the job for a couple of days. Stacey, a quirky blonde, pointed at a table in the corner.

“That’s where he proposed to her,” Stacey explained. “He had the ring come on a silver platter. It came as a ‘special dessert’. It was beautiful. She cried. He cried. She said yes. They received a standing ovation. They deserved it. It was just so beautiful.”

All the fuss because of the proposal? Theresa wondered. This restaurant was weirder than she’d thought.

“I’m guessing it’s their anniversary?” Theresa said. She tried her level best not to sound cynical. Wanda shook her head gravely. Melissa, a beautiful African girl, pointed at a table on the other side of the restaurant. It was a dimly lit area – reserved for intimate occasions –on the patron’s request, of course.

“He broke of the engagement there,” she spoke quietly. “We could feel the ominous vibes from the moment he walked in to meet with her. It was nothing dramatic. She cried quietly. They shared a sad farewell kiss and she left first. Before we could award him with “Loser of the Year”, we saw him cry as he watched her leave. We knew that there was more to his decision than he’d let on.”

Theresa felt her heart tighten. She didn’t like where the story was going. She could feel something painful coming along.

“What happened after that?” Theresa asked quietly. Her colleagues’ faces clouded over with sadness as they recalled the next event.

“They held his memorial dinner here,” Wanda spoke simply. Theresa’s eyes widened.

“What?”

“Brain cancer,” Stacey wiped a tear away. “He passed on a couple of weeks after he broke off the engagement.”

Theresa felt emotion swell in her heart. She found it strange. She didn’t even know these people but there she was, feeling sorry for a woman she’d never met let alone spoken to ever. It puzzled her. She saw the understanding look on Melissa’s face.

“We felt the same way,” she replied. “We barely knew this couple but it honestly felt like we’d been part of their story. Her speech at the memorial dinner was beautiful. Loving.”

“When did it happen?” Theresa asked.

“Two years ago,” Wanda explained. “She comes here every week and sits at the table where he proposed to her. I asked her about that once.”

“What did she say?” Theresa asked, desperate to hear the answer.

“At first, she needed to be close to him,” Wanda said. “His proposal was the clearest memory she had of him at the time. As time went by, her answer changed. She said that this place had become a place of refuge for her. It still is. When she’s under pressure, she comes here. If she’s stuck, she comes here. When she’s going through something – good or bad – she’s here. She’s become a part of this place.”

Theresa nodded quietly.

“It’s her birthday today,” Melissa said.

“So we – everyone here – have done something for her,” Stacey was back to bouncing with excitement.

“What?” Theresa asked.

Suddenly, the lights went dim. Theresa found herself being shuffled to the kitchen entrance. She was confused. What was going on? Suddenly, the staff began to sing “Happy Birthday”. The chef held a giant cake as they walked towards Megan’s table. Tears were streaming down her glowing face. Theresa felt a lump in her throat.

Wanda stepped forward as the singing ended.

“We’ve decided to name a special dish in your honour,” Wanda smiled. One of the assistant chefs rushed forward and lifted the lid off of a plate. “The ‘Light Up’ Special Dessert.”

Megan’s eyes widened as she admired the apple crumble, covered in a layer of specially whipped cream and adorned with a number of glistening silver balls. With a flick of a lighter, two protruding chocolate-like sticks began to sparkle. The crowd watched in awe.

Megan was speechless as she looked at the wonderful staff. Theresa felt a couple of tears fall down her cheek. She didn’t care.

“Your fiancé, James, mentioned how you lit up his world,” Stacey gushed. “He said it as he left the restaurant the day you two er um –

“It’s okay to say that we broke up,” Megan smiled sadly. She had such a gentle voice, Theresa wondered.

“Well yes,” Stacey continued. “Your presence here has always lit us up too. And since it fits with your surname perfectly, we’ve decided to name this special dessert in your honour.”

Megan waited for the applause to die down before she began to speak.

“I think this dessert should be named in your honour just as much as it’s been named in mine,” she explained. “You have all served as bright, reassuring lights in my world. In my darkest times, I’d find peace here. Your wonderful smiles and beautiful personalities gave me hope when I’d lost all of mine. God bless you all.”

Theresa wasn’t surprised to find that she and Megan weren’t the only ones crying. She smiled through her tears.

She’d definitely been employed at the right place. How could she go wrong with all of these bright, shining lights around her?

It could never happen.

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Tecumseh

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/daily-prompt-dinner/Image

Flip Flop|| Hidden Heroes

Flip Flop

An attempt at fictional blogging! Image

“Think of a topic or issue about which you’ve switched your opinion. Why the change?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TRANSITION.”

 

She crinkled her nose. She hated the smell of airports. To be honest, she thought, she hated airports. Period. She tapped her foot impatiently as she waited for the baggage carousel to start moving. She’d just jumped off of a thirteen hour flight – and it hadn’t been a pleasant one. Her mind flared as she thought of being surrounded by four wailing babies. The audio jack for her screen wasn’t working so she’d been left to fend off the agonizing wails of the infants. The bags under her eyes were visible enough to make her pass for being a blood-deprived vampire. She checked her watch. Where the hell were the bags? She barely noticed the arrival of a new human being. She heard his cheerful whistling before she saw him. The sound grated her ears. That was a result of her abominable mood.

“Looks like it’s a slow day today,” he chirped. She looked at him. He was talking to her.

“Yeah, looks like it,” she replied quietly. He nodded.

“So what’s your story?” he asked her. She looked at him, astounded. This guy had only been standing next to her for a couple of seconds and he was already asking her questions like “what’s your story”? That was a rather forward move. She blinked a couple of times.

“What do you mean?” she asked him.

“Exactly that,” he replied. “What’s your story? Why are you here?”

The nerve of this man, she thought. How dare he question her like he had a right to do so? She sighed.

“Flew in from South Africa,” she explained. “Student looking to take a break and find herself.”

He nodded.

“When’d you lose yourself?” he asked simply. She looked at him, lost for words.

“I beg your pardon?” she asked him, partially flabbergasted.

“When did you lose yourself?” he asked again. She felt a surge of annoyance travel through her system. She didn’t have time for this. She, for some reason though, felt a need to reply.

“A while back,” she replied. He nodded. He bent over and picked up a single backpack. She was taken aback; when did the carousel start moving? She wondered. He stood up straight and smiled at her.

“Well, I’m off,” he said. “Good luck finding yourself.”

He sauntered off before she could reply. She shook her head. What kind of guy was he? Asking her such questions like he knew her. She wrote him off as a typical twenty-something male who thought that he had the right to question everyone around him. She hauled her suitcase off of the carousel with the force of an angered warrior goddess. She checked that she had everything and headed for the airport entrance. She sighed. Let the journey begin.

**

Six months later.

She exited Starbucks with her Vanilla latte in one hand and her prized cinnamon-coated bun, safely packaged. She looked around. London mornings were the epitome of the term “hustle and bustle”. People everywhere with important things to do, important people to see, and important things to say. There she was just hoping she’d get back to her flat with her breakfast intact. She allowed the chilly breeze to tickle her cheek as she waited to cross the road. The traffic light was refusing to change but it didn’t bother. In her six months of “self-discovery” she’d learned the true meaning of patience – she learned the hard way. From blatantly manipulative cab drivers, to bartenders with very shaky hands, and all the way to the rather grumpy people she encountered on the daily – she’d learned. She’d learned a lot of lessons and she was glad.

“Look out!” she heard someone yell. She looked around but didn’t get a chance to see anything as she was tackled to the ground.

“What the…?” she looked up and gasped. She knew that face. It was him. The cocky guy from the airport. Her world came into better focus as she heard the commotion around her. She sat up slowly and looked around. Her mouth formed an oval shape as she saw a cab partially wrapped around the pole she’d been leaning on. The driver was standing above her, simultaneously asking her worried questions and apologizing. A small group of people surrounded her but she kept looking at “Airport Guy”. He was looking at her.

“You saved me,” she said. Her voice sound terribly weak. It must have been the shock. He grinned.

“Yeah, looks like I did,” he replied. “Fancy meeting you again like this.”

She nodded quietly as she looked at her spilled coffee and crushed cinnamon bun. She shuddered as she realized that had it not been for Airport Guy, she would’ve ended up in a far more severe state compared to her crushed breakfast. Airport Guy helped her up.

“How?” she asked. That’s the only thing that could leave her mouth.

“I saw you, recognized you and was on my way to greet you but then I saw the cab hurtling towards you and you were in a world of your own,” he explained. If she was white, she would’ve been as red as a tomato. “So I took a risk and rugby tackled you to the ground. I half expected you to deck me when you sat up.”

“Why?” she asked. Since when was she a woman of monosyllabic words? She wondered.

“Well, I didn’t think that you’d want to see my face,” he responded simply. “I pissed you off at the airport.”

She looked away sheepishly.

“Sorry,” she replied quietly. He tilted her chin and smiled.

“It’s alright,” he said. “I’m used to it. The whole judge a book by its cover thing.”

“Well, I’ve revoked my first review of the book,” she smiled. “This book is a piece worth keeping.”

He grinned.

“Well it looks like you lost your breakfast,” he observed the sad sight that lay a meter away from them. “How about I treat you to a proper breakfast?”

She looked at him suspiciously. He raised his hands in the air.

“We’re all friends here,” he said. “Besides, no one can turn down good bacon.”

“True,” she smiled.

“The joint may look a little disappointing,” he warned. “But trust me, your opinion will change once you’ve had a forkful of eggs, toast and bacon.”

She nodded happily.

“Well it wouldn’t be the first time my opinion has changed about something,” she added. They looked at the harried crowd that surrounded the accident. She shrugged.

“Let’s go,” she said. They walked away cheerfully.

“So the last time I checked,” he said, “You were on some journey of some sort? Rediscovering yourself?”

She laughed and nodded.

“Well, how’s it going? Have you found yourself yet?”

She paused thoughtfully.

“No,” she replied. “A wise someone and their smart aleck questions taught me something.”

“What’s that?” he asked, amused.

“I never lost myself,” she said simply. “Never have and I never will.”

“Any other gems you picked up?” he asked.

“Yep,” she responded. “One person’s annoyance is another person’s hero. I was the lucky bugger who got both.”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/daily-post-transition/