I can’t go inside. Andrea parked in front of her friend’s home, watching the silhouettes move behind the curtains.
Kent moved out a week ago. She twisted the gold band on her finger nervously. There was nothing shameful about being single. Nothing at all. She just couldn’t handle the questions, the pity in everyone’s eyes. Not today.
The curtains moved. She’d been seen. She had to get out of the car.
Kent answered the door. “We’ve been waiting for you,” he said, extending his arms. She hugged him tightly, thankful, at least, for his friendship.
The Moral Mondays prompt this week is THERE IS NO “I” IN TEAM.
Tonight, Ava was staving off adulthood for a few more hours. Her house party was in full swing.
“Can you guys keep it down?!” Her next-door neighbor screeched as Ava opened the door.
Liquid courage coursing through her veins, Ava flung the contents of her cup in the woman’s face as her friends chuckled.
The next morning, Ava stumbled into her job interview, head pounding, bleary-eyed.
“Thanks for coming in, Ava.” Her next-door neighbor sat opposite her and Ava couldn’t breathe. “Do you really want to do this or should I just send you on your drunken way?”
The Moral Mondays prompt this week is ALWAYS BE ON YOUR BEST BEHAVIOR.
“No!” Izzy screamed, running to hide behind Rebecca’s legs. Rebecca ruffled her daughter’s hair as her great-uncle, Otto, continued to demand a kiss.
“Leave my daughter alone!” Rebecca growled.
“Brat!” Otto spat as he left the room. Rebecca scooped Izzy into her arms, nearly knocked over by a long-forgotten memory. Another uncle, another family gathering, another girl.
Give your uncle a hug!
She felt his wet lips against her cheek, his hands hidden from view. Her stomach flipped, her anger turning to sorrow.
“I don’t like kisses,” Izzy tearfully whispered into her hair.
Neither do I.
The Moral Mondays prompt this week is WHEN YOUR BLOOD IS BOILING, SPEND AN EVENING IN THE COOLER.
The room was decorated in Marnie’s trademark girlish fashion – bursting with pink and lace. I stood out like a fly in the punchbowl. I wasn’t invited. Not to the bridal luncheon, and definitely not to the wedding. Our friendship was long dead. I was only there to show Marnie there were no hard feelings. I smiled warmly as she gratefully accepted the wrapped gift from my arms.
When I heard the loud burst from the hallway, imagining Marnie’s ivory dress dripping with purple ink, I smiled wider. On second thought, I’ve never been that forgiving.
A sort of sideways take on the Moral Mondays prompt, which is Bless Those Who Curse You.
A warm, sweet-smelling bundle stirred in April’s arms. Her precious baby girl. She thought of her own mother, of all the things she didn’t know. The wild nights, stolen kisses, bad boys, ill-conceived romances, spontaneous road trips, the wind blasting her hair. The hidden scars. She pictured her daughter years in the future with a head full of secrets, a chasm between them.
“What’s on your mind?” Her husband asked, playfully tousling her hair.
“What she’ll be like when she’s all grown up.”
He grinned. “Let’s just focus on today.”
The Moral Mondays prompt this week is THERE IS NO FEAR IN LOVE.
Marnie and Allyson hung out every single Saturday afternoon. They’d never cancelled, even when they were ill. They’d just share candy and alphabet soup and watch movies under a blanket.
But that Saturday, Aria Franklin, the It Girl, asked Marnie to hang out. Marnie told Allyson that she was sick, so contagious she couldn’t have any guests. How was Marnie to know that she and Aria would run into Allyson at the store with alphabet soup and M&M’s in her basket?
Allyson blinked back tears as Marnie stood between her two friends, trying to resist the urge to run.
The Moral Mondays prompt this week is – DON’T STRADDLE THE FENCE
Angie was tired. Tired of taking the bus everyday. Tired of leaky roofs and faucets and broken floorboards that would never be fixed and secondhand, musty-smelling clothes that never felt clean, no matter how many times you washed them. But mostly, she was tired of waiting.
Her employer of almost 20 years, Mrs. Greenleaf, was waiting for her in the living room. She’d been gracious enough to add Angie to her will years ago.
“Angie, is the tea ready yet?” Mrs. Greenleaf called out.
“Almost,” Angie said with a sigh, watching, transfixed, as the green substance disappeared into the dark liquid.
My very late response to the Moral Mondays prompt this week, which is MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL.
There is a boy outside. I see his shadow against my wall. I shake my husband awake, allowing fear to narrate my thoughts.
He’s coming up our walk now. Did I remember to lock our doors? My husband creeps down the steps and I sit on the landing, staring at the bedroom doors of my sleeping children. The doorbell rings and I nearly leap from my skin. He’s standing under our harsh porch light. I see the bloody eye, the bruise rising from his temple.
“We had an accident. Phone’s busted. My mom’s hurt real bad. Could you please call 911?”
The Moral Mondays prompt is JUDGE NOT, LEST YOU BE JUDGED.
Mother loved Louisa best. Once again, Louisa had successfully convinced Mother to blame Gemma for one of her own infractions, sending Gemma to her room without dinner. “I don’t want to see you again until morning,” Mother had said, clutching Louisa, who’d stopped fake-sobbing long enough to stick her tongue out.
Gemma opened her bedroom window and let in the sweet summer air. She listened to the sound of her friends playing, families laughing, food sizzling on backyard grills. She grabbed her sketchbook and pencils, gifts from Dad, and let her mind run free.
The Moral Mondays prompt this week is FREEDOM IS A STATE OF MIND.
She’d been writing the same book since college. The story was a beautiful one that had come to her in a dream. She’d sprung from bed in her tiny dorm room, startling her roommate, and run to jot the idea down before she forgot it.
Today, the girl with the eager smile and a head full of dreams was gone. She was a mother. A wife.
A thousand words. I need a thousand words.
“Coming to bed, babe?” Dean asked as he passed her office in the hall.
“Not yet.” She blew him a kiss, then opened her laptop.
The Moral Mondays prompt this week is FINISH WHAT YOU START.