Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Story-Time Tuesday - Living Fiction

Jenny Matlock
If you missed where this story started just click here to read it or simply click on the Story-Time Tuesday link at the top of my blog to take you to previous chapters.

Living Fiction - Chapter 49

Here's where Chapter 48 left you.

“Bob, I’m fine, thank you. What a good memory you have. This is my daughter, Jessie. Jessie…meet Bob. Bob runs…well, he runs one of the grief support meetings at the Carnegie Library.”

“So listen, Pearl. Let me give you my card. You can give me a call if you want to find out about upcoming meetings, or…well…just call me if you need to talk.”

I thanked him and pocketed the card.

“Jessie, it’s no big deal. I promise I’ll go back to a meeting there soon.”

“It’s not that,” Jessie replied solemnly, “I thought you had lied about the grief meetings, too.”

Obviously the girl DID think I lied about everything.

“Look, can we just get one thing clear here?” I asked her in a firm voice. “I didn’t lie about everything. I already explained that I was trying to protect you. Can we just let this go? Can we just quit with the inquisition and have a conversation?”

“That’s all I ever wanted, Mom. I just want to know how you are. Really. Do you want another coffee?”

And now, Chapter 49 Continues.

You might not be surprised to hear that it took Jessie a mighty long time to get her second coffee. In fact, she didn’t get one. And she didn’t come back to the table either. I glanced over a few times and she and Griffin were deep in a conversation about something that involved a lot of hand waving and giggling.

While my daughter was NOT getting me a coffee, I remembered the ‘things I’d like to do list’ I’d written a while back. I dug through my purse to find it.

I finally discovered it scrunched up underneath a tissue and wedged behind an empty sample bottle of buttercream scented lotion.

I unfolded it, and smoothed it out carefully on the table:

1. Quilt?
2. Write?
3. Take a writing class
4. Volunteer. With kids? Little kids?
5. Research what had happened to Jay.

I looked over my list a few times. Then I dug around in my purse and found a pen so I could scratch out number ‘5’ on the list.

Thinking of Jay made me remember I had left the dog alone in the house. How long can dogs wait to go outside, anyway? I’d only been gone a few hours. Surely Edgar could wait a little longer.

If I knew Jay was going to be gone a long time, I could get someone to come and install a doggie door, but I wasn’t really sure what his plans were.

Hoping Jessie would return to the table soon, I went over the rest of the list thoughtfully.
I crossed out number one. I just didn’t see myself quilting. Maybe I would someday, but right now I suspected it would be just another stress.

Number two still appealed to me. How hard could it be to actually make myself write? I know my blogging had not gotten off to a rousing start, but still…

Maybe I should actually do number three on the list first, though. Do you suppose they have classes aboug blogging? I doodled a note to ask Griffin about it.

Volunteering still seemed like a good thing to do, so I doodled about twelve question marks around that item.

I looked over my little list a few more times and then I crossed out number four. Maybe later I’d find a place to volunteer, but for now I was going to start small.

Jessie and Griffin were still chatting away. I decided that since she was never going to return to the table, I might as well head home.

Before heading up to the counter, I stuffed my list into my purse and then found some cash to leave on the table for a tip. Jessie seemed a little surprised when I tapped her on the shoulder.

“Sorry to interrupt you, sweetie, but I think I need to go home and check on the dog.”

“The dog?”

“Yes, Jess. The dog. Edgar. Remember him? He’s been alone at home for a long time. I don’t want him to be scared or to have an ‘accident’.”

Jessie started to argue with me, “But Mom, we’ve only been here a few…” She stopped talking and looked a little startled when she saw what time it was. “Mom! I didn’t realize! I’m so sorry…I…”

“Jessie,” I said interrupting her again, “It’s fine. Really. Take your time. Call me when you need a ride and I’ll run right back and get you, okay?”

Griffin immediately volunteered that he was off work in an hour and would be happy to give her a ride home.

I was not surprised.

“Sure, Mom, go on, and I’ll just grab a ride.”

As I turned to go I remembered my little doodled reminder. “Griffin? Do you know where I could take a class on blogging?”

The poor guy looked slightly bewildered for a moment. “You mean like how to set up a blog? I thought you had a blog?”

“I do have a blog. I mean more like what to write on it. Can you help me with that?”

Griffin laughed. “Pearl, you can write whatever you want about anything you want. There aren’t any rules. Just write whatever you like.”

Geez, Louise. Does everybody think I’m a moron? “I know that! But I need to know how to write a blog so that someone will want to visit and … you know … leave me a comment.”

Griffin laughed again. I was starting to dislike him a little bit. Nobody should be quite that happy. “Pearl, listen. When I bring your daughter home I’ll take a look at what you’ve got going on and see if I can help. Okay?”

“Okay?” I blurted, “That’s more than okay. That would be great!”

My voice might have gotten a bit loud in my enthusiasm because Jessie looked a little embarrassed.

I didn’t care! Griffin was going to help me with my blog.

The jingle of the bell made me smile as I almost skipped to my car.

As I glanced at the happy face in the rearview mirror, I almost didn’t recognize myself. It had been a long time since I’d seen a reflection with a happy smile.

To be continued on Tuesday, September 6.

(c) 2010 Jennifer R. Matlock
This publication is the exclusive property of Jennifer R. Matlock and is protected
under the US Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable international, federal, state and local laws. The contents of this post/story may not be reproduced as a whole or in part, by any means whatsoever, without consent of the author, Jennifer R. Matlock. All rights reserved.

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Willoughby said...

Jessie and Griffin? If they start dating, Pearl may be seeing a whole lot more of her daughter!

I wonder what Griffin will think of Pearl's blog??

Mrs. M said...

Hooray for happy smiles!!! I am loving Jessie and Griffin's budding relationship!!

Julie Kwiatkowski Schuler said...

It makes me wonder if I had a daughter, what kind of guy I would like to see her dating.

Susan Anderson said...

Okay, now you're trying to replace the romance I'm most interested in with another one!

You are a sneaky woman...


Ms. A said...

I need a Griffin!

Judie said...

Hmmmmm--Jessie and Griffin. This story was interesting before, but NOW...

Ames said...

Yay! Pearl is happy! And getting free blogging help! Double yay! And maybe Jessie and Griffin will hook up! ookaayee

So when are you going to get back to the Jay and Pearl part? We want McSteamy, we want McSteamy (I'm chanting here) we want
McSteeeemeeee! :D
See ya next week.~Ames

P.S Jay has been gone two weeks now. Don't you think it's time to bring him back? I mean Pearl got that makeover and all and .. and we really don't know what's up with him...just sayin. :D

Anonymous said...

Things are beginning to pop again now...can't wait till next Tuesday! Great writing sweet Jenny. Hugs

Barbara Rosenzweig said...

Is it still hot where you are? Here after Hurricane Irene, it's cool and beautiful!

Thanks, teacher, for your wonderful comments!

H said...

A budding romance in a coffee shop! Even if it doesn't last, I hope he makes her happy for a while.

cj Schlottman said...


I admire the gentle way you have moved this story in a different direction. The blogging thing is something I can relate to! The idea of Pearl smiling at herself in the mirror give me hope for her happiness - at least for a while.

This reads beautifully.