I often have people asking to read stuff I write when I tell them my dreams to work with and write books. I thought I would let you take a peek at something I’ve been working on for a while. I love criticism and feedback on my work. You have a voice: use it.
I have another post coming up soon with more of my thoughts. If you haven’t yet, take a look at my previous post about my sister and our experience with her mental health. Hopefully I will be posting a healthy mix of posts featuring my thoughts and my creative writing. Anyways, here we go…
The bell on the door rang as she walked into the coffee shop. Charlie smoothed her blue skirt and walked up to the counter to order a hot chocolate. The barista handed her the foam cup. She looked around for a seat, but the shop seemed to be having a busy day. A tall boy with caramel skin was doing homework at a table towards the back. Charlie walked over to him.
“I see you at school, you know. I know you.”
“I think we are in AP English together.”
He gave a short nod and then returned to his homework. Charlie pulled out the chair across from him and sat down.
“Yeah, that’s right. You sit a couple rows back from me.”
He didn’t respond.
“My name is Charlie. Well, it’s Charlotte. I’m known as Charlie.”
“Rodney,” he responded, not even looking up.
“Cool. Well, I typically come here after school. Not much happenin’ at home and all. And this is one of my favorite places to do homework.”
Silence. Charlie tapped her fingers on her cup. She gave up on waiting for a response that would never come.
“So, anyways. Do you mind if I share this table with you?”
“No,” he responded, still looking at his book.
“Thanks. I’ll shut up now.”
Charlie struggled to open the coffee shop door against the wind. Once inside, she adjusted her t-shirt and pushed her hair out of her face. She bought a bottle of water.
Rodney was at the same table again. She walked over, dropped her backpack on the ground and sat down across from him. She grabbed the book Something Wicked This Way Comes out of her bag and flipped through until she found her spot. Rodney looked up to see who had disturbed his peace, rolled his eyes and looked back down at his homework.
“’Well, what tongue does the wind talk? What nationality is a storm? What country do rains come from? What color is lightning? Where does thunder go when it dies?’”
Rodney looked up once again. “What?”
“It’s a quote. Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes. I feel like it’s fitting with this storm coming in and all.”
“I heard that there’s going to be some real bad rain, but it should blow right through.”
Rodney put down his pencil and sighed. “Are we really going to do the cliché weather small talk?”
“Hey, I did it in a much more creative and imaginative way. I think I should get some credit for that.” She smiled and pushed her hair out of her face.
He looked back at his homework.
“My uncle read this book in college. He had a friend recommend it. He loved it. Says that it is magical to read. That Bradbury had a talent with words. He came to visit around my tenth birthday. Gave me the book and the movie for my birthday. He wouldn’t let me watch the movie, though. Not until I had read the book. He wanted me to appreciate the writing. He would read it aloud to me before I went to bed every night…” She trailed off. Rodney noticed that her smile was gone. She was staring at her drink with a blank look.
“Are you alright?”
“This book makes me sad.”
“Then why are you reading it?”
Charlie was still staring, as if she was merely talking to herself. “I’m dealing with some conflicting emotions. I was hoping that it would help me sort them out a bit, but now I feel that it’s a mistake.” She shook herself back into the present and began to pack her stuff up. “I’m sorry I bothered you. I will stop distracting you in the future. I need to go home before this storm gets too bad.”
She slung her backpack on her shoulder and left.
Thursday + Friday:
It rained for two days. The roads became flooded almost instantly. The sky was dark even during the day. School was canceled.
The bell jingled. Rodney walked in and noticed Charlie sitting on the other side of the shop, engrossed in a book they had to read for AP English. He walked over.
“I don’t mind, you know.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t mind you talking to me. You’re not bothering me.”
She looked down, embarrassed.
“I mean it.”
He sat down across from her and they worked on homework in silence. The corner of her mouth had turned up, as if she were hiding a smile. It stayed that way for the rest of the day.