The following morning, Karmen awoke to find Atticus had followed her on all her social media accounts, and he commented on her latest selfie with “What a wonderful picture.” Karmen was over the moon, and she wondered how she could find herself falling for him after only one date, but he hadn’t left her mind since he walked her to the door.
Their obligations throughout the week kept them from getting together for a second date, but they spent their free time on the phone, often while they watched baseball. They made fun jabs at each other on social media, and as Friday morning arrived, Atticus decided to turn up the charm.
Knowing her love of sunrises and sunsets, he sent Karmen a picture of the morning sky that looked like someone had set the clouds on fire. It was a breathtaking spectacle, and Atticus found himself wishing he could share it with Karmen.
Karmen couldn’t help the smile that crossed her face, and she found herself wondering if he thinks about her as often as she thinks about him. If he could make her smile from ear to ear with pictures of sunrises and simple text messages, she wondered how he would sweep her off her feet if they were dating.
She was the first to arrive at Vintage Pages Café when she saw Atticus standing in front of the door, holding a bouquet of Gerber daisies, “Something told me you’d appreciate these more than roses.”
“Did a little investigative work?” Karmen arched an eyebrow, “I wake up to you following me on all of my social media accounts, and then you show up at my work with Gerber daises?”
“Maybe,” he chuckled.
She smiled widely as she took the daises from him, bringing them to her nose and inhaling their aroma. “They’re beautiful, thank you.”
“It’s my pleasure,” he responded sincerely. Atticus suddenly realized he would do anything to make her smile.
Karmen turned around to unlock the door, and Atticus noticed the way her pencil skirt hugged her hips, and his eyes followed along the back seam of her black pantyhose until stopping at black, 4-inch stilettos.
Atticus placed his left hand over his right wrist as Karmen turned to smile at him before entering her coffee shop.
She removed her jacket, revealing a white, button-up blouse. She looked professional and incredibly sexy. Atticus had to stop his thoughts from wandering to her in his bedroom, pencil skirt on the floor…”
“You look stunning.” His eyes roamed over her, and there was something in the way he looked at her that made Karmen feel beautiful.
“Thank you,” she smiled, “I have a lunch meeting with my publisher.” She smiled, nervously glancing at him from the side.
“You’re publishing a book?” He asked excitedly.
“Yes!” She responded with as much enthusiasm.
“Congratulations!” He stepped towards her and enveloped her in a hug.
Karmen didn’t want him to let her go, “Thank you.”
“We should celebrate.” He let her go and gazed into her eyes.
There was something about his eyes that captivated her, they were brown and mysterious, and something else she couldn’t name, but only people who have known tragedy carry in their gaze. That’s what made them so beautiful.
“My friends are taking me out to the Broken Oar tonight,” she stated matter of factly.
“You mean the pub with the Blues Brothers cardboard cutout?”
“That’d be the one.”
He smiled at her. “I’m having dinner with a friend who is visiting from New York, but maybe we’ll stop by for a drink after.”
“That would be great!” She replied. “If not…” she trailed off.
“If not,” he paused, stepping closer to her, his chest mere inches from her face. “what are you doing tomorrow?”
“Spending the day with you?”
He chuckled lowly, the sound reverberating through Karmen’s core. She found it incredibly sexy.
“I’ll keep in touch,” he responded.
“Please do,” she kissed his cheek and walked him to the door.
Atticus winked at her before leaving her presence, and she enjoyed the view as he walked away. As soon as he was out of sight, she jumped up and down, giggling like she did when she was 15 and on her way to a Backstreet Boys concert.
She put on her apron, turned on the Foo Fighters, and got to work baking the chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing, her publisher’s favorite.
Fridays were always busy due to tourism. Karmen felt terrible for leaving early, fortunately her friends understood how important this opportunity was for her.
Peanut and Miranda closed the café and left the antique shop and bookstore to the workers they finally hired to close. It felt good not to have to work extremely long hours anymore.
They picked up pizza and wine before heading to Karmen’s.
“It seems like you really like this guy,” Miranda said before taking a bite of her New York-style pizza.
“I’m completely smitten.” Karmen smiled before taking a sip of her wine. “He makes me laugh, and he’s charming, and he has the sexiest voice.”
“Not to mention his talent,” Peanut lifted her glass to Karmen before turning her attention to Miranda, “yesterday at lunch, she told me how she was up past midnight reading his book because she can’t put it down.”
“How far along are you?” Miranda asked.
“Chapter twelve,” Karmen replied.
“Tell her when you started reading it.” Peanut suggested.
“Wednesday,” she quickly spat before darting her eyes around the room and taking a sip of her wine.
The ladies chuckled.
Karmen sighed as she gazed off in the distance, allowing her thoughts to drift to Atticus as they had been all day. “I love the way he flirts with me,” she smiled as she made her way over to her closet, deciding what to wear.
Miranda walked over to her and brushed Karmen’s hair behind her shoulders. “I haven’t seen you this happy in two years.” Miranda had tears in her eyes.
“I never thought I’d feel this way about anyone again,” she smiled back at her friend.
Atticus entered the Broken Oar, and his eyes immediately scanned the crowd until they landed upon the woman who was currently living rent-free in his mind. Karmen was laughing, her head tilted back, and her long, dark hair hung down her back. She was wearing a floral skater dress that stopped above her knee and strappy pink high heels.
She turned her attention to the band and started dancing. Atticus’ heart began to beat rapidly.
“Oh, no.” His friend, Dean, sighed.
“What?” Atticus asked, never taking his eyes off Karmen.
“I’ve seen that look before. I know that look. I’ve given it to your sister many times.” Dean chuckled.
Atticus flipped him the bird.
Karmen spun on her heel. Her eyes fell upon Atticus as she watched him interact with his friend. His movements were animated, and she found it endearing, not to mention, he looked handsome in his khaki shorts and plaid shirt.
“Which one?” Miranda asked.
Karmen smiled. Miranda knew her so well, “Plaid shirt,” she replied.
“You’re right. Pictures don’t do him enough justice.” Miranda gushed.
“He’s handsome, right?”
“Incredibly.” Peanut stood next to Karmen’s left side.
Karmen smiled at her, “His talent, intelligence, sense of humor, and kindness only add to his looks. The pretty eyes and sexy voice are added perks,” she chuckled.
Atticus turned, and their eyes met.
Miranda smiled as she noticed the adoring way Atticus was gazing at her friend. She elbowed Karmen as if reminding her to move.
Karmen walked towards Atticus, “Hey,” she greeted him as she brushed a strand of hair behind her ear.
“Hey,” Atticus replied as he straightened his square glasses.
They introduced one another to their friends before finding a table.
Karmen danced in her seat as the band continued to play.
“Please don’t let me keep you ladies from dancing,” Atticus said before taking a sip of the hard cider Karmen had recommended. Atticus knew he was really interested in a woman when he found himself trying her favorite things, listening to her favorite songs, and watching her favorite movies.
“Feel free to join us,” Karmen invited, sounding hopeful.
“I don’t dance, but I don’t mind watching you,” he informed her.
Karmen blushed and smiled before Miranda dragged her back out to the dance floor.
After a few songs, the ladies rejoined Atticus and Dean, and Karmen slid her chair closer to Atticus. He smiled and leaned in close to her.
“Did you see the really stiff woman with her arms stretched outright?” He asked her,
“Oh, you mean the one who looked like she was doing an impression of Frankenstein trying to escape from a box?”
Dean spat his beer in laughter.
“That’s one way to describe it,” Atticus chuckled, “And exactly why I don’t dance.”
Karmen rolled her eyes and chuckled.
“I was just telling Dean how you are the only person who hasn’t asked me about my name.” Atticus informed her.
“I figured if it were a pen name, you would have told me your real name before asking me out,” she commented.
Atticus smiled, “Yes, it is actually my name. My mom loved To Kill A Mockingbird, and my dad could hardly help that his last name was Holmes.
Karmen chuckled, “It’s like you were born to be a writer.”
“That’s what I say,” He beamed.
As the night wore on, the group found themselves laughing till their stomach hurt, and Karmen and Atticus became more smitten with each other.
Atticus and Dean walked the ladies to Peanut’s car. Once Peanut and Miranda were settled, Atticus turned to Dean, taking the hint he walked down the sidewalk. Atticus turned his attention back to Karmen, “I’d still like to see you tomorrow even though I came out tonight.”
“I would like that too,” Karmen blushed.
“Do you trust me?” Atticus asked.
Karmen was not expecting that question, but God save her, she did. “Yes.”
“I’ve always wanted to plan a surprise date and see how things go. I mean, if you’re not at least remotely into the same things I am, are we compatible? And isn’t it best to find out early on before we dive too deep and leave ourselves heartbroken? “
Karmen smiled, “I actually really love that idea.”
“Yes,” she stepped closer to him, “I love surprises, and I love out-of-the-box thinking, and I can think of no better date than one that involves both.”
He smiled and kissed her cheek. “Is ten o’clock too early in the morning for me to pick you up?”
“Not at all,” she smiled.
“Great,” he opened her car door, “I’ll see you in the morning.”
Karmen kissed his cheek before getting in the backseat. “Good night, Atticus.”
Some songs and movies from our past do not have the most outstanding quality or originality, but they give us that sense of familiarness, a reminder of a simpler time. (I sound so old.) So, just because they might be a little tacky or even poorly done in some cases doesn’t mean we shouldn’t love them.
You know that feeling you get when you’ve spent some quality time with a loved one after you haven’t seen them for a while, and after spending time with them, no matter the length, you feel lighter, a bit more carefree?
Certain movies and songs feel like reconnecting with a good friend.
I go the most extended amount of time without seeing my brother because of distance (and time), but I cherish every moment I get to spend with him because they always become part of my favorite memories.
There are far too many songs and movies that bring that sense of nostalgia to list all in one post. So, I have decided to write about them whenever I feel nostalgic.
This morning, I was dancing alone in my living room. I enjoy dancing to exercise and to clear the cobwebs from my mind. I can get lost in the music and escape the world for a while. It’s a nice feeling, and I’m burning calories, so, yay!
While getting lost in the music,Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) by The Backstreet Boys was next in rotation. I remembered the choreography from the music video as if I had practiced it yesterday, and I couldn’t help the smile that crossed my face as I reverted to thirteen-year-old Kristian, dancing in her best friend’s living room. My eyes were glued to the television as I danced along, tripping over the one raised floorboard I failed to remember.
We practiced every weekend…
I had a mad crush on Nick Carter, and I remember the excitement that rushed through me when I heard him sing ‘Am I Sexual?’ I didn’t know why. I just knew I felt warm and lovely and awkwardly giddy.
A particular situation has brought to light gratitude for my innocence. I had a childhood. I didn’t give into adult temptations early in life, and I’m happy with myself for that.
Please don’t misread my intentions. I’m not judging those of you who have or the person who is the cause of this newfound gratitude. I won’t talk about that situation because I don’t need to for you to understand my point, and it’s not my story to tell.
I would spend entire weekends with my best friend C. She and I are no longer friends, and she’ll probably never read this, but a part of me will always care for her because she gave me some of my best memories, and I hope she knows that.
Our falling out happened at a shallow point in my life. I fell into a deep depression after realizing I held onto some self-guilt after the incident with my rapist. I still struggle with this from time to time, but I’m working on it.
To quote Yoda, “Do or do not. There is notry.”
I did some stupid things, and I realize now that I battled with self-doubt for a long time. I was insecure, and I allowed a lot of other’s opinions to affect me negatively.
I’m not proud of many of the decisions I made during that time in my life, but I’m no longer beating myself up for them.
I was angry, and I took it out on people who loved me, and I broke people’s trust. I understand I am still accountable for those actions.
If someone from my past is reading this by chance, I am genuinely sorry for hurting you. I don’t blame you for leaving, and I’m not asking for your forgiveness because that’s your decision, but I do forgive myself.
I am no longer that person, and we have grown in different directions. We don’t even know each other anymore.
Wherever C is, I hope she’s happy.
This low point in my life made me grateful for the people who stood by me through my anger, guilt, and depression.
* I’m trying hard not to cry right now. * Sorry, Yoda.
I realize how much these people love me. I realize how lucky I am to have them, and I will never again take them for granted. They know who they are.
And to the friends and family I have met after the tragedy, I will never take you for granted either because I know what it’s like to feel as though you’re not good enough, and I would never want to hurt anyone.
Plus, I no longer care what people think and geek out on all the things that bring me joy, and anyone who joins in my excitement of fandoms must be pretty cool!
Thanks for the memories C, Backstreet Boys (What’s up, Nick Carter?), and the 1990’s!
You might have noticed the disappearing act of my last post. I realized I had bogged the story down with a lot of information that didn’t propel it forward, so I scrapped it and came up with something better.
The following morning Karmen woke up an hour earlier than usual to Swiffer her floors in case Atticus stepped inside when he came to pick her up. She went for a run, took pictures of the sunrise, and realized she had only left herself with 20 minutes to shower and apply her makeup. She was always captivated by the sky.
As she removed her new sports bra, which did manage to offer more support than any of her old ones, she forgot about the table in her hallway and stubbed her pinky toe.
“Great Zeus’s beard!” She yelled, followed by a string of curse words as she made her way to the shower.
Hector, the barista, greeted her with a caramel macchiato as she walked into her shared business.
“Thank you, Hector,” she smiled as she graciously accepted the coffee as she made her way into the kitchen where Carmen was already making doughnuts.
“Hey Peanut,” Karmen greeted her friend by her nickname.
“Oh, hey!” She turned; chocolate was all over her apron.
Karmen chuckled, “A little mishap with the chocolate this morning?”
“I’m an idiot and squeezed the bottom of the piping bag as I was adding the melted chocolate.”
Karmen chuckled, “You make me feel normal.”
Peanut playfully swatted her with a tea towel, and Karmen yelped.
“Hey, hey, hey,” Miranda sang as she walked into the kitchen carrying the latest best-selling novel list. “We’re approaching the end of April, so it’s staff-pick time!” She smiled widely at Karmen.
Miranda didn’t have to utter a word for Karmen to understand the meaning behind her smile. She grabbed the list and immediately turned to the H section of the author list, and sure enough, Atticus Holmes had a new bestseller! “The Art of Imitation,” Karmen announced excitedly.
“What genre does he write?’ Peanut asked.
“That’s the thing,” Karmen gushed, “he doesn’t have a typical genre.” “The first book I ever read that made me fall in love with his writing was a romantic comedy, and he has since written a thriller, horror, and a crime noir.”
“Ohh, a noir.” Peanut was impressed.
“I can let you borrow it, but not until after he sees it proudly displayed on my bookcase.”
Peanut laughed, but Karmen and Miranda didn’t.
“I have a date with him tonight; we’re going out for ice cream. That’s why I haven’t devoured one of your Boston Cream doughnuts.”
“You knew about this?” Peanut asked Miranda.
“Yeah, but only because she met him on her way to meet me for breakfast,” Miranda replied.
“I talked to him for quite a while on the phone last night, and after I agreed to a date, I did the whole routine, bath, shaved legs, exfoliate, etcetera.” Karmen defended.
“Well, tell me everything,” Peanut demanded.
“He’s basically the male equivalent of Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way,” Karmen chuckled.
“Oh, boy,” Peanut rolled her eyes before turning her attention to Miranda, “So how’s Tony?” She changed the subject.
Tony was a pitcher for the Portland Sea Dogs, and Karmen despised him.
“Well, I drove 3 hours to spend Saturday with him only to go out with his buddies for drinks after they lost the game, and one of his pals kept hitting on me, and Tony sat there and didn’t say a word,” Miranda answered bitterly.
“The only balls that man has are the ones he pitches,” Karmen stated.
The girls laughed.
“Honestly, Miranda, why are you still with him?” Karmen asked.
“The sex,” Miranda replied honestly, “It’s the best sex of my life.”
Karmen nodded in understanding before raising her coffee cup to her friend.
Meanwhile, Atticus was meeting with his publicist to discuss an appearance at a horror convention in Stephen King country. It wasn’t that Atticus wasn’t thrilled to make the same list as the King of horror, but it was a bit intimidating, especially on the popular horror writer’s turf.
His publicist droned on and on about nothing of importance, and Atticus couldn’t keep his mind from wandering to Karmen and how her smile had knocked the wind from his lungs.
As soon as his publicist excused herself to take a phone call, Atticus took advantage of the opportunity to text the woman who had been running through his mind all morning.
Atticus smiled as he read her reply.
As he continued to work and meet with random people, the only aspect of his job he genuinely loathed, he kept reminding himself that all he had to do was get through the day, and then he’d spend what he hoped would be an amazing evening with a beautiful woman.
The rest of Karmen’s workday was uneventful. One of the perks of co-owning her own business was she could sneak out early from time to time, and she took advantage of that perk so she could stop at her favorite clothing store for a new blouse.
Karmen was an overthinker, so she considered all her options. She knew she was going for ice cream and a walk, so she had already laid out her best pair of skinny jeans and her teal, Chuck Taylors. She wanted to dress up a little to let Atticus know he was worth the effort, and after careful consideration, she decided she wanted to appear sexy.
She found a pretty white blouse with a plunging neckline and long, lace sleeves, and even though she didn’t know him yet, something told her Atticus would appreciate it.
She made herself a light dinner and watched a rerun of New Girl before she ran down the hall, stubbing her toe on the same table as she did earlier that morning. “You would think I would know it was there,” she scolded herself.
Once she was happy with her appearance, she realized she had time to watch one more episode of New Girl and paint her fingernails.
The second she turned off the television, Atticus knocked on her door.
“Hi,” she greeted him. Karmen immediately noticed his light blue dress shirt, and the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. She couldn’t explain why, but she found that particular look incredibly sexy, particularly when paired with nice-fitting denim jeans.
Atticus caught the glint in her eyes and smiled at her expression. “You look lovely,” he complimented her.
“Thank you,” she smiled. “You look very handsome.”
“I agree,” he chuckled, “shall we?” He held the door open for her.
He drove them to Coldstone, which was only about 15 minutes away. Atticus was impressed with her order of chocolate ice cream, peanut butter syrup, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. He ordered the same thing.
The two crossed the street to the beautiful park overlooking Pushaw lake and walked along the paved path.
“So, Orioles fan,” Atticus started between bites, delighted to hear Karmen chuckle, “if given a choice between dinner at a fancy restaurant or a hot dog at a baseball game, which would you choose?”
Karmen was impressed with his conversational skills, “A hot dog at the ballpark is better than a steak at the Ritz,” she replied, quoting Humphrey Bogart.
Now, it was Atticus’ turn to be impressed. Not only that she would prefer a day at a ballpark over a fancy dinner, but that she knew the quote from Bogart.
Karmen gasped as she turned to throw her empty container away and caught sight of the breathtaking sunset. “Look at that sky,” she stated in awe, pulling out her phone to take pictures.
The sunset was beautiful, but Atticus’ gaze was fixed on Karmen.
The two of them really hit it off, and neither of them wanted the date to end, but hours after the sun had settled, both of them knew they would have to say goodnight.
Atticus released a sigh, “I should probably get you home. I have to get up early in the morning.”
Karmen nodded in agreement, “I’m getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, anyway,” she replied.
Atticus walked her to her door, “I had a lot of fun tonight.”
“As did I,” Karmen replied.
“I’d love to see you again,” he told her as he brushed a strand of her hair behind her ear.
Karmen instinctively closed her eyes, savoring his touch, “I’d love that too.”
He smiled at her. “I’ll call you tomorrow.”
“Looking forward to it,” she smiled back.
Atticus leaned in and kissed her cheek, “Good night, Karmen.”
It was a beautiful Sunday morning, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and Karmen was literally running in high heels because she was ten minutes late to meet her best friend, Miranda, at the Baker Street Bistro, their favorite spot to meet for breakfast every Sunday morning.
Karmen had decided to go shopping for sports bras since Miranda had to push back their time an hour. The heel of her black, Mary Jane pump caught in a crack in the sidewalk facing Pushaw Lake. Fortunately, a bench was there to catch her fall, so she didn’t bust her face on the sidewalk; unfortunately, a handsome man was also sitting on the bench. A handsome writer whom she recognized.
“I’m sorry.” Karmen blurted.
The handsome writer chuckled, “Don’t be,” he smiled at her, “It’s not every day a beautiful woman randomly falls next to me on a bench.”
Karmen chuckled, and the sound was music to the handsome writer’s ears. “Atticus.” He finally introduced himself.
“Atticus Holmes,” Karmen responded, “I know, I’m a huge fan,” she replied as she wrestled with her shopping bags.
Atticus flashed her a million-dollar smile, and Karmen noticed how beautiful his brown eyes looked behind his square, black-rimmed glasses.
“Look, under normal circumstances, I would love to stay and chat with you, but I’m meeting a friend at Baker Street Bistro, and I’m running exceptionally late,” she confessed.
“Now, this I’m used to….”
Karmen arched an eyebrow in confusion.
“Beautiful women running away from me,” Atticus finished.
“I find that hard to believe,” Karmen flashed him a smile that created a sanctuary for butterflies in the pit of his stomach.
“You’d be surprised,” he confessed.
“Well,” Karmen paused, her cheeks blushing as red as her cotton sundress, “what if I ask for your number?” She finished as she typed his name under contacts in her phone before handing it to him.
Atticus flashed her another large smile as he took her phone and entered his number. “We’ll see if you actually call.”
“Oh, I’ll call.”
“Looking forward to it.” He tipped his Trenton Thunder hat to her before she turned and walked away.
Atticus took full advantage of the opportunity to check out the sway in her walk as she strode up the sidewalk before disappearing from his view.
Karmen made it to the bistro without any more mishaps. She walked in and found her friend sitting by the window with the perfect view of the lake.
“I’m so sorry,” she greeted Miranda before taking her seat.
“It’s alright,” Miranda replied, “You’re only twenty minutes late.”
“I know! I went shopping for sports bras and lost track of time, and then I met Atticus Holmes.”
“WHAT!?” Miranda shrieked.
“Shh,” Karmen hid behind her long, raven hair, hoping no one would notice her.
“The writer you’ve been crushing on for months?” Miranda asked.
“That would be the one.”
Karmen explained how they met, and Miranda listened with excitement. The girls giggled, and Karmen allowed herself to fangirl before taking a sip of her caramel latte.
“Any luck on the sports bras?” Miranda asked.
“Ugh!” Karmen sighed, “I hope so.” She took a long sip of her latte as if the drink had the cure to calm her frustration.
“Do you know how expensive sports bras are for big-breasted women?” She asked her B-cup friend rhetorically. “One was one hundred and twenty dollars!”
“That’s insane!” Miranda agreed.
“I know!” She took another long sip of her latte. “I don’t mind paying a little extra for something that supports the twins, but I refuse to spend triple digits for a flopper stopper!”
After she arrived home, Karmen put a chicken and vegetables in the oven so she could meal prep for the coming week. It was a habit she developed to keep herself healthy. Well, that and obsessing over the step counter on her fitness tracker.
She turned on the Orioles game and decided to give Atticus a call.
“Hello?” He greeted, sounding somewhat annoyed at being disturbed on a Sunday afternoon.
“Um, hi, It’s Karmen. You know the clumsy girl who fell this morning?” She replied.
The sound of her voice perked Atticus right up, “Oh, hi!” He replied with enthusiasm. “I had thought maybe you had forgotten about me.”
Karmen smiled, “No, I just wanted to get my chores done as soon as I got home.”
“You do chores on Sunday?”
“What can I say?” She replied, “I’m a creature of habit.”
“Just my type.” He replied.
“Do I hear cheering in the background?” Atticus asked.
“Yes.” She replied matter-of-factly. “I’m watching the Orioles game.”
“An Orioles fan in New England?” He feigned offense, “Say it isn’t so!”
Karmen chuckled, and the sound was quickly becoming Atticus’ favorite.
“I’m originally from Maryland,” she replied, “I moved here with my best friends, Miranda, and Carmen spelled with a C –”
“Wait,” Atticus interrupted, “You and your best friend share the same name?”
“Yes,” she replied, “just spelled differently.”
“Yes, and we’re basically the same person. She’s my blonde half.”
“Interesting,” he replied, not really interested. “Anyways, what brings you to Maine?”
“I was getting to that,” she retorted, somehow hearing Atticus smile through the phone, “We have always dreamed of owning a bookstore, coffee shop, and antique store all in one.”
“Did you open that quirky little place on the corner of Mason and Temple?”
“Mhmm,” she replied as she took a sip of her London fog, “Vintage Pages Café.” “Anyways, all three of us were looking to start someplace new, hopefully for the last time, and we settled on Maine and chased our dream.”
“That’s very admirable,” he responded genuinely.
“Thank you,” she paused, “If I’m not mistaken, you were wearing a Trenton Thunder hat this morning.”
“What of it?” Atticus asked.
“Well, you gave me crap for being an Orioles fan in New England, but last time I checked, Trenton Thunder isn’t affiliated with the Red Sox.”
Atticus chuckled, “I’m from New York. You should know this, some fan you are!”
“Hey!” She retorted. “I know you’re from New York, I read your back cover bio, but my point is you’re hypocritical,” she tried to remain stoic, but her slight chuckle gave her away.
Although Karmen couldn’t see him, Atticus was smiling from ear to ear. He enjoyed feisty women. “Well, I don’t know anything about you, and that’s hardly fair, so I think you should go out with me so I can get to know you better.”
“Smooth,” she commended him.
Atticus chuckled lowly, and Karmen found the sound incredibly erotic.
“Would you be interested in getting ice cream with me one evening this week?” He asked.
“I would enjoy that very much,” she replied.
“Good,” he smiled, “How about tomorrow?”
“Ummm,” she stalled as she ran her planned day through her head.
Atticus could sense her hesitation, “I apologize for the short notice,” he paused, “it’s just that I thought getting ice cream with an attractive woman would be the perfect way to end what I know is going to be a dreadful Monday.”
“You flatter me, Atticus,” she replied, “tomorrow sounds great.”
“Let’s say 6:30?”
They finished making plans for the next day before Karmen jumped up and down like a child on Christmas morning. She started to text Miranda but decided this conversation was worthy of a phone call.
Such peculiar things –
life and time.
Both moving forward
never looking over their shoulders.
Yet, as I sit here
I can’t help but think of past times,
moments that feel like lifetime’s ago
and at the same time
feel like only yesterday.
I woke up early today
hoping to witness a spectacular sunrise,
but the sky only offered gray clouds.
Even mother nature feels your loss –
both of our tears carressing my cheeks,
falling into my coffee.
I’m glad it’s not bright and sunny today,
the world is a little bit duller without your light.
I always noticed how the sun couldn’t help
but illuminate your smile.
It seems fitting that the sun wouldn’t shine today.
I can feel your energy with me, on this special day,
bringing a smile to my face.
I am going to commemorate you
the best way I know how.
In the kitchen –
dancing, and laughing, and baking.
Letting your light shine through me.
Who needs the sun?
My smile has always been illuminated by you.
Happy Birthday, mom!
“I’ll like you forever, I’ll love you for always, as long as I’m living, your baby I’ll be.”
I don’t typically do tags or awards, but it has been a while since I have written a blog post, and while I do have all kinds of thoughts rattling around in my brain, I figure a questionnaire is a good place to start.
A few weeks ago, Brandy, or as you might know her, Nova, asked me to answer a set of questions, and how could I refuse such a lovely person who wants to know more about me? I always enjoy learning more about the writers behind the blog, and I enjoy answering thought-provoking questions.
Please check out “Share With Us,” the post where Brandy asked me to participate, and if you feel inclined, answer a few!
Who Am I?
1. Growing up, what did you want to do professionally when you got older?
As a child, I dreamt of being many things, but the one career I have always strived for is becoming a professional author. I thought for sure I would live in Bangor, Maine, next door to Stephen King. We would both sit on our front porches and roll ideas off of each other. Of course, that was when I wasn’t working as a backup dancer for a hair metal band.
I think I may have been a little off in regards to my career. Haha!
2. Do you live in the city or state of which you were born?
I was born in Oakland, Maryland. I grew up in Loch Lynn, Maryland, and I currently live in Deer Park, Maryland. All of these “cities” are within ten minutes of each other.
3. What’s an item that you had as a girl, but isn’t being sold anymore?
A Walkman. I loved my Walkman and was almost never without it!
4. Do your prefer pudding, yogurt, custard, or ice cream?
I enjoy all of these creamy pleasantries; however, I will always choose ice cream when given a choice.
5. What’s one topic of interest you’d like to learn more about?
The film industry. I took an UnderstandingMovies class, and my professor seemed to really enjoy my enthusiasm and excitement for the art. I find all of it incredibly interesting, and I notice so much more in movies now!
6. What is a favorite/unique family tradition in your house?
The fancy Thanksgiving cranberry sauce tradition.
I know you’re probably thinking that by “fancy” I mean “homemade,” but that is where you’re wrong.
When I was a little girl, we would spend every Thanksgiving at my maternal grandmother’s house, which is also the house where I currently reside. My grandmother would always have cranberry sauce as a side, but not just any cranberry sauce. Oh no, it had to be Ocean’s Spray canned cranberry sauce. I love this tradition because my grandmother would place the cranberry sauce, looking just the like shape of the can on the prettiest serving platter she owned. My grandmother would then place lettuce, rosemary sprigs, or fruit around the sauce to make it look pretty. Even as a child, I found it so comical that she put so much effort into this dish that looks like a jelled can. I made such a big deal over it that it didn’t feel like Thanksgiving without it would be complete. When my grandmother passed away, my mother continued the tradition. Now that my mom is gone, I still continue the tradition, and I really enjoy decorating the platter!
7. If you had one topic to teach to the entire world, what would it be and why?
Empathy because it breaks my heart that so many people lack it. The truth is, kindness is a choice, and it’s not always an easy choice, but it’s a golden one. It’s easier, however, to be kind when we can put ourselves in another’s shoes. We are all human beings trying to make it in a challenging world. Unfortunately, some people allow the pain and hatred of the world to harden their hearts. The rest of us work to rise above it because we know what it’s like to be hurt, and we don’t want to be the inflictors of pain. I think the world would be a prettier place if more people were empathetic.
8. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
People befuddle me, but to be fair, I also confuse people because I don’t fit into a box, so I think I do a lot of things differently than most people. The first thing that came to mind is that when everything is off, all of the light switches need to face the same direction. There are two sets of double switches in my dining room and kitchen, one light switch for the ceiling light in each room. If someone turns the light on in the kitchen and then turns it off in the dining room, it drives me crazy!! I don’t care if the switches are facing up or down as long as both switches are facing the same direction.
9. What’s one of your life saving cleaning hacks?
People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
People who live in old houses battle with cobwebs. Ugh! I don’t know what it is, but if I don’t keep up with the hack I’m about to reveal in a moment, cobwebs form in every tiny corner of my house what seems like seconds after I knock them down.
I have discovered the miracle of dryer sheets! Not only does it make your house smell like fresh linens, but when you use them to wipe down your walls and baseboards four times a year (once a quarter), it keeps the cobwebs at bay.
10. What’s one thing you wish you knew before having kids, but didn’t?
They’re rambunctious, messy, and like to kick.
I know, bad joke. I don’thave children. Or baby goats.
11. What is one lesson life has taught you recently?
That I am stronger than I give myself credit for, and no matter what storm life has in store for me (life always seems to throw me nor’easters,) my storm shelter can handle the weather.
12. If you could retire and live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
I gave this question a lot of thought, and I surprised myself with my answer. Usually, I would have said somewhere in Scotland, Tuscany, or New England, but the longer I thought of it, the more I realized that I want to live somewhere I can witness a gorgeous sunset, be within a few hours distance of my friends, and be with the man who makes me laugh on a daily basis. The location doesn’t really matter.
Since the start of the pandemic, I have been utilizing the Walmart pickup app. I’m not too fond of grocery shopping with large groups of people because I live in a small town and will inevitably run into someone I know, and I don’t want to spend any more time in the store than necessary, especially at Walmart.
Recently, however, I stopped at some of the quaint local stores around town to purchase some gifts for my penpals. I needed just a few more items that those stores failed to carry, so I made the trek up to Walmart. While I was there, I decided to grab the ingredients for my infamous macaroni salad because I had been craving it (I found a way to make it healthier, too, which I’m thrilled about!)
One of the ingredients in the macaroni salad is sharp cheddar, and if you know me, you know I take my cheese very seriously. My favorite is Cabot Vermont Seriously Sharp, so I made my way over to the dairy section, and that’s when I heard it…
“The Nothing Fight!”
The wife was a small, petite woman, and she was older, but not elderly, I’m guessing early to mid-’60s. Her husband, on the other hand, was a giant. He had to have been at least 6’3″ and slightly overweight yet toned. When she yelled at him, it looked like Tinkerbell was giving attitude to the Hulk.
“For the love of… ” Tinkerbell trailed off, “It’s just cheese, grab the Kraft.”
The Hulk, (who looked as though TInkerbell just informed him Thor is the greatest Avenger,) glared at his wife, and in a low growl replied, “How. Dare. You.”
Tinkerbell egged him on by placing her hands on her hips and saying, “Just grab the Kraft!“
“Just grab the Kraft!?” The Hulk shrieked.. By this point, I had tears stinging my eyes from holding back laughter, a trait I’ve never been great at mastering, which explains the multiple coughs I had to fake to cover up the sudden outbursts; I could never make it on SNL, I’d pull a 1999 Jimmy Fallon and ruin every sketch!
The Hulk pulled at his hair and turned back to the cheese, where the section on the shelf reserved for Cabot was empty…
Save for one that The Hulk overlooked but caught my eye.
“I can’t just get the Kraft, Honey,” he said in the most unloving way as if the term ‘Honey’ was a synonym for ‘Bitch.’
“Kraft is shit, and Cabot is a gift from the cheese gods!” (Okay, so I may have made this part up, but The Hulk was very passionate about Cabot cheese.)
I reached behind the Hulk, inconspicuously picking up the last pack of Cabot cheese…
“I understand about the Cabot; I can’t do Kraft either,” I interjected.
“See!? See!?” The Hulk asked in a way to prove he’s not insane.
Tinkerbell shot me the stink eye, and I held my hands up in surrender. “Sorry,” I whispered while returning to my cart, happily walking away with the last package of Cabot. At the same time, The Hulk continued to lecture Tinkerbell on how Cabot is the king of the cheese, and Kraft is an insult to cheeses everywhere.
I mean, no offense to Kraft cheese eaters. Would you please not flood my inbox with hate mail?
And, if you run into The Hulk, please don’t tell him that I took the last Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar.