Giselle didn’t leave her house until the afternoon. Later, she threw on her down-coat and ran outside into the frigid winter to her midnight Honda. She didn’t want to be alone anymore. Also, she decided she needed to be among people, having a few drinks. She couldn’t let herself regret turning Jimmy away.
Her body began shaking as she sat in the Honda’s drivers seat and wept. She was over Jimmy, she’d been over him for a year. He had the nerve to call me Gigi! He had the nerve to ask for me back because Jasmine didn’t want him! Giselle’s crying ended as the warmth from her heated car soothed her body and made her forget the morning’s events.
As she wiped her cheeks the distinct ringtone “Heal Over,” played on Giselle’s iPhone. Her friend Beth was checking in on her. She didn’t think she could talk to her without crying so she waited until Beth’s ringtone stopped. Then, Giselle texted her:
Jimmy was by, Jasmine divorced him. He said he had no one and that he wanted me back. I told him to get lost. Can we go for a drink?
A couple of minutes later Beth replied:
I’m so glad you told him off. He was never good for you. Meet me at the Tavern Grill in 15 minutes, K?
Giselle had been sitting in the Tavern’s bar for a half of an hour when Beth arrived. She was also finished margarita number two. “Have one of these Beth, they’re are awesome. They make you want to dance, sing, and forget everything.”
Beth snorted. “You never could hold your liquor.”
She shrugged. ” I was fine, then, early this morning Jimmy appeared at my door. I saw it was him knocking and I thought he’d go away. After a half-an-hour he began ringing my doorbell and wouldn’t stop. I had to talk to him, but I didn’t let him in the house.”
Giselle brushed her side-bangs out of her eyes.” I don’t blame Jasmine for divorcing him. I would’ve left the cheating b*stard too — if I had known he was married when we were dating. I don’t know how I could’ve missed it, thinking back; I was so naive.”
Beth laughed, ” It was too hard to tell you that Jimmy was a cheating b*stard a year ago. It seemed that you couldn’t escape the trail of dust and destruction Jimmy left you in; it was a perpetual cycle for you guys. It was a relief when he broke it off with you. And yes, you were naive, but not anymore.”
“It was painful when Jimmy chose Jasmine. I felt so stupid and I didn’t know my heart could hurt like that. It was six-months before I felt normal again.”
Beth sighed, tapping her nude-pink manicured nails. “Breaking up with you was the best thing Jimmy ever did. When you texted me I was afraid you were going to say you two had made up.”
“Awesome, Jimmy’s not a good guy and never will be.”
Giselle nodded but Beth grabbed her hand and squeezed it. “Do not go back to him, Gigi. Don’t take his calls. Avoid him at all costs. Be strong like you were this morning; you owe him nothing.”
“I’m done with Jimmy, Beth. Truly, I mean it.”
She patted Giselle’s hand. “Look lady, sometimes life is hard and it’s gonna take time to forget about the good times with Jimmy. But you’ve been without him a year and you’re gonna be fine. So, in the meantime, let’s order another few margaritas and some appetizers. Let’s celebrate severing your last connection to Jimmy.”
Giselle raised her third margarita. “Cheers, to that. But you don’t have to wipe my tears away, Beth, I’m a big girl.”
“I know you are but I’m your friend. I’m here to remind you, you’re gonna keep healing and soon, Jimmy will be a distant memory.”
Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. I’m combining SPF with November Notes Prompt Day 21 “Great Escape” by Gavin James.
Credit: Alistair Forbes — A Mixed Bag
“Great Escape” by Gavin James
Giiselle shivered, slipping out of bed. It was 7:00 a.m. and Jimmy had been knocking on her front door for a half-an- hour. The knocking continued as she made a strong cup of Irish Breakfast tea. Stop! Just stop knocking, leave me alone!
The knocking ended and the long loud ringing of her doorbell commenced. Giselle swore, unlocking her front door and throwing the screen door open. “What the hell do you want? It’s 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday.”
Jimmy rolled his eyes. “You’re being rude. We need to talk about us, the way we were. Until we talk I can’t sleep, so why should I let you?”
Giselle grabbed her down coat and stepped outside. She zipped it up, burying her hands in her pockets. ” The good old days are gone, Jimmy. We’re not together. I don’t care if you can’t sleep.”
“Gigi, listen. What’s between us is more than attraction. I love you for real, always have.”
“We haven’t been together for a year. This isn’t some mistake we made that we can just laugh about someday. I was the other woman and you had a wife.”
Giselle polked Jimmy’s chest. “You decided to try to work things out with her; you chose Jasmine over me. Our affair was always a delicate game and now it’s over.”
Jimmy groaned, “You were my great escape at a dark time in my life. Jasmine divorced me months ago, I’m not married. We can start again.”
“We’ve been down this road before and I’m done. I forgive you but I can’t forget how much you hurt me.” He laid his hand on Giselle’s shoulder.
She turned gazing into his red-rimmed gray eyes. “You’re not the one for me, Jimmy. I was naive to think a married man like you ever was. It doesn’t matter that you’re divorced now.”
Tessa had been in a bad mood all day and wished she hadn’t agreed to go sailing with Thomas. He had no idea that she had walked in on him in her own bedroom, not once three years ago, but many times since then — including yesterday.
Tessa had loved Thomas since she was thirteen and had never realized he was a serial-cheater until five-years into their marriage. Then, she’d discovered she couldn’t have children. Signs of Thomas’ frequent mistresses became glaringly apparent thereafter. Jewelry she never received, expensive shoes that weren’t her size, and pieces of expensive and foreign left in their bed.
Each time Tessa had seen him and another women, she stopped loving Thomas a little more. She’d been desperately close to the coffin of hope too many times. Every time she had walked in on him, she got in her BMW and drove as fast as she could away from the wreck of the day. She’d disappear and Thomas never asked where she’d gone.
When they arrived home to the comfort of their home after sailing, Tessa slammed the bedroom door on Thomas’ face.
“Sleep in another room.”
“Tessa, what’s wrong, love?”
She ignored his pleading tone. “Pack your stuff up when I’m at work, you’re moving out. We’re also getting a divorce. You’ve been cheating on me for years and I’ve walked in on you and various women, one too many times.”
Thomas stomped away and Tessa fell into bed. It was finally quiet in her head and her heart felt at peace for the first time in eight years.
“Driving away from the wreck of the day
And the light’s always red in the rear-view
Desperately close to a coffin of hope
I’d cheat destiny just to be near you
If this is giving up, then I’m giving up
If this is giving up, then I’m giving up, giving up
On love, On love
Driving away from the wreck of the day
And I’m thinking ’bout calling on Jesus
‘Cause love doesn’t hurt so I know I’m not falling in love
I’m just falling to pieces
And if this is giving up then I’m giving up
If this is giving up then I’m giving up, giving up
On love, On love
And maybe I’m not up for being a victim of love
When all my resistance will never be distance enough
Driving away from the wreck of the day
And it’s finally quiet in my head
Driving alone, finally on my way home to the comfort of my bed
And if this is giving up, then I’m giving up
If this is giving up, then I’m giving up, giving up
Hi everyone! Wonderful to see you again for this biweekly interview withMicheleVecchitto. Michele is a friendly and kind woman who has a talent for writing wonderful poetry and engaging stories. I have been following her for a couple of years now, so I hope you will like her writing as much as I do. You can visit her blog here: Steps Times Two – Love and Life . . . The Second Time Around.
1. Hi Michele, Please Tell Us About Where You’re From?
I live in Niantic. It’s a lovely town on the Connecticut shoreline that somehow manages to hold on to the charm of days gone by while still offering all the conveniences I might need.
One of the many treasures in Niantic is a used bookstore calledThe Book Barn.It now has four or five satellite locations, but the main store is a complex which includes a large barn and several quirky, smaller buildings, each overflowing with books devoted to a particular genre. The few resident cats and some goats, add to its unique vibe. It’s a place to spend the day and get lost in books. Niantic also recently opened a new boardwalk along the beach that offers fantastic views and a place to meet neighbors.
2. Can You Tell Us More About Yourself, Your Everyday Life?
I’m the second of four sisters. My family is especially close and the fifteen children my sisters and I have between behave more like siblings than cousins. My parents are definitely the foundation of our lives. I love everything about belonging to a large family – the support, the laughter, the chaos, and the history we create.
My three children are young adults, busy finding their place in the world. In some ways, they could not be more different from one another, but they remain close. I’m enjoying watching them evolve into the adults they will become. I’m proud of the choices they’ve made and the direction each of them is following in life.
I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life.My husband and I have been married just over five years. Markis an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.
Our personalities are different but we complement each other well. We are each other’s top priority and do everything we can to support each other in our many endeavors. We’ve intertwined our families and I feel blessed to have his three strong, caring, and talented children in my life as well. They, along with their families, are a vital part of my life.
On a professional level, I teach middle school Literature and Language Arts. I love working with students of this age. It’s my favorite age group of kids. I’ve taught math and science and enjoy teaching each subject, but I’m most thrilled to spend my days sharing Literature with my classes. Preteens and teens this age are discovering their voice and it’s exciting to see the world through their eyes.
Additionally, I work as a freelance editor. I’m working with an audio book company and enjoy the exposure to books I might not otherwise read.
“I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.” – Michele Vecchitto
3. When Did You First Start Writing and Blogging?
I started my blog in 2014 as a way of keeping myself disciplined about writing, but I’ve always been a writer. I kept journals as a teenager and still have poems I wrote for a memorable class in high school.
My teacher, Ms. Jordan, helped me discover my voice and probably inspired me to become a teacher. I was a stay at home mom for fifteen-years, and when my children were in school, I’d spend eight or more hours a day writing. I took writing classes and completed two novels and a few children’s books.
When I divorced in 2007 and returned to work full time, I lost some of my dedication to the craft. Steps Times Two is my blog and remedy to not being able to write all day anymore.
4. What Does Writing and Blogging Mean To You? Why Do You Write?
I’ve always been a writer as mentioned earlier. I many of my stories and poems from younger days and used to write tales for my kids, nieces, and nephews.
I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.
Beyond these meanings, I love the way writing connects people. I am so excited to be able to talk with people from all over the world about subjects I have brought up or someone else has written about. It sounds sappy, but I believe people are more alike than different and we all have something to share. I am a big fan of the community writing fosters between writers and readers (etc).
“I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.” – Michelle Vecchitto
5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?
Sometimes motivation comes from pure emotion. I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of it’s own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.
Inspiration for me can come from anywhere:a look between two people; a snippet of conversation I overhear; the expression on someone’s face when they don’t notice I’m looking; and/or an unexpected situation or some mundane activity we all experience. Music also inspires me. My playlist has a bit of everything on it and I love to hit play and let my mind drift. Sometimes I’ll find something to write about immediately and other times, I have to file an idea away and let it resurface when it’s ready.
As well, I’m a huge fan of writing prompts and blogging events. It’s a terrific way to stay involved in the writing community and interact with other people. I love to follow and read what other people are writing because each piece leaves me with something to think about and offers a varied perspective to consider. Prompts for me are similar to a puzzle. Each of us figures out how to put the pieces together in a different way to create authentic images. It’s fun when someone has a completely unique take on the same prompt.
6. Is There A Time Of Day You Prefer to Write?
I prefer to write in the mornings, although, it’s not always possible. During the week, I will write when I come home from teaching school. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I’d write from the time the kids went to school until they came home. I miss those days! I’m hoping to stay home next year and write full time.
“I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of its own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.” – Michele Vecchitto
7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects?
I have my blog which I try to work on each day. I also post on Poet’s Corner on WordPress and do my best to keep up. I am working on a historical fiction novel based on my husband’s grandfather who escaped from Poland in the early 1900’s. I’m enjoying the research portion of this novel greatly. In addition, I recently cleaned up a YA novel I wrote about ten-years ago. My romance novel also needs editing and I have two short stories to finish.
My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!
8. Can You Tell Us About What Your Publishing Process Has Been for Some of Your Writing?
I’ve had poems published in anthologies and in places like The Reverie Journal. I have self-published two volumes of poetry which can be found on Amazon. I’m considering adding a third volume but I think my next push will be seeking a publisher for a novel.
Years ago, when I had more time, I was organized about sending my work out. I had a contract with Blue Mountain Arts and several ‘good rejections’ from publishing houses. I took classes and attended conferences. I think networking is a huge part of the publishing process and hope to get back to it in the next year.
I’ve been invited to participate in the Austin International Poetry Festival next April. Eight of my poems will be included in their anthology and I plan to travel to the event to do some readings.
“My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!” – Michele Vecchitto
9. Are You Able to Describe Your Writing Process To Us?
My writing process varies, depending on the type of project I’m working on, but it always includes music. I have a million playlists and a great pair of headphones.
The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me.If I’m working on a poem, I jot ideas or prompts on post-it notes and arrange them around my writing space.
If I’m working on a formal piece, I’ll have notes on rhyme schemes and various types of poetry. After I write, I’ll look for photos to accompany what I’ve written and then decide on a title. My titles always happen last.
If I’m working on a novel or short story, the music part is the same, but I’ll have notes on my bulletin board or in folders which I can flip through. I also send rough drafts to my sister Maureen. She’s read everything I’ve ever written and offers me honest feedback. She’ll tell me what works for her as a reader and what doesn’t, then I go back and edit.
I set my larger pieces aside, sometimes for days but often for months, and then return to them so I can see them with fresh eyes. My YA book has been through three major revisions already and I think it’s almost ready to send out.
11. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading? Any Genres In Particular?
I’m not sure you can be a writer without being a reader. I love both equally and will read almost anything. I like to balance my writing with quick, light reads and books which require more concentration. I’m a big non-fiction reader. It must be the teacher in me, but there’s never too much knowledge to learn. I always want to discover new things.
My own writing style has surprised me at times. My YA book is a fantasy novel which is something I’ve never followed, however; a fantasy story was the tale waiting to be told when I tackled the YA book project.
I must confess, I do enjoy writing darker, more provocative pieces. There’s such power there. I enjoy inspirational pieces as well.Both of these kinds of writing have their place.
“The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me.” – Michele Vecchitto
12. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers or Anything Else You Would Like To Add?
I find the more I write, the better I get. It’s a commitment and like any other craft, needs to be nurtured so, keep writing.
I’ve also started aFacebookpage and hope to add more writing related posts in addition to my own poems. Twitterhas been a great resource for finding writing communities and sharing information for me as well.
13. Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs?
I’m not sure I have favorites. I love to read blogs of all styles and content. A friend of mine started a blog in which she combines book reviews and running calledBelle of the Book. It’s fun to follow a blog when you know the writer personally. If the writing is good I want to read it.
14. Here is A Piece of Michele’s Writing She Has Shared:
Michele says about “Deerfield’s Ghost:” “I love this one because it almost wrote itself. When I came to the point when I narrowed in on a subject, I googled “massacre” to find a specific date to use and came across a list of victims from the Deerfield massacre of 1704. The funny thing is, it included the names and ages of people I had included in my poem.”
More Links To Michele’s Blog Pieces:
Ray holds special meaning for me because it was written for a dear friend who passed away. Reading it at his funeral was the first time I’d read my poetry in public and I feel grateful I had a chance to honor him in this way.
Small Town Hens is an example of a poem I wrote after I witnessed a situation that made my blood boil. It makes me chuckle now because it captured my disgust at poor behavior.
Light of Love was written after the nightclub attack in Orlando. I will sometimes respond to current events in poetry. This incident demanded a response.
The Choice and Metamorphosis are two old ones that I wrote during very difficult times. I try to live my life as described in “The Choice”and “Metamorphosis” speaks to the ability to persevere in even the darkest of times.
Thanks to Michele for thoroughly and thoughtfully answering the interview questions. I wish her much luck with her writing and future endeavours. Here is the link to her blogone more time: Steps Times Two.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s interview. If you would like to share and answer interview questions on writing and blogging of any kind, feel free to reach-out to me on my contact page.See you in two-weeks!
Anna sighs as the teacher tells the grade-one students in her class to find a partner of the opposite gender to dance with for a Christmas concert song they will also sing.
Anna is a bit chubby. She doesn’t eat much if any junk food. Her parents are careful about feeding their kids candy because children on Anna’s Dad’s side of the family have a tendency to be chubby. They tell Anna she has those genes. Her weight bothers her even at a young age. Anna doesn’t think she is fat compared to some chubbier girls around her age; she sees how much and what they eat — often fruit roll ups and McDonald’s Happy Meals.
Nevertheless, the boys pick on Anna for her weight and they don’t like her as they like some of the smaller and cuter girls. She’s not unpopular but she’s not popular either. Anna is nice and gets along with almost everyone. She is smart and can read better than most kids in her class. Her worst problem is a tendency to cry if she gets into trouble.
Anna peers around the music room and sees the other boys and girls have partnered up. The only boy left is Devon. Anna and Devon look at each other unhappily. The teacher, Mrs. Nette, pushes them together and starts to teach the six-year-olds to waltz. Both the boys and girls think co-ed dancing is kind of icky, unless you happen to end up dancing with someone one you have a crush on.
Devon looks at Anna and sneers. He was her friend Roxeanne’s little brother. Roxeanne lived by Anna’s house and she was a good friend who was a couple grades ahead of Anna.
Anna peers up at Devon and tries to take his hand as Mrs. Netted instructed, but Devon doesn’t want to touch her. He makes a fuss to the teacher. Mrs.Nette will have none of Devon’s complaining and makes him put his one hand around Anna’s shoulder and the other around her waist. He looks dejected and Anna sighs, not liking Devon touching her; he’s a jerk. She doesn’t want to look bad on stage because of Devon.
Mrs. Nette turns on the music. The song is called, “The Log Driver’s Waltz.” The girl knows it because Sharon, Louis, and Bram, sing it on the kid’s music tapes her Mom plays in their van.
“Come on Devon. Just do it. It’s not that bad. If you do a good job Mrs. Nette will stop watching you so much,” Anna says perturbed. Devon frowns at Anna and nods hestitantly. The class practices dancing to the song and then singing it a few times. They do this every music class until the Christmas concert. It’s tricky having to waltz and sing as well. Anna is nervous because her grandpa and grandma will be at her first Christmas concert. She wants to do well for them.
At the dress rehearsal Devon sneers at her, “I’m not even going to be here for the Christmas concert. I’m going to be at my Dad’s; I hate you.” She shrugs, Devon is always angry and often lashes out. Anna thinks it’s because his parents are divorced. She tells Mrs. Nette about Devon not being at the concert. The music teacher phones Devon’s Mom who assures her, he’ll be there.
Anna chooses a pretty dress to wear to the concert. She knows how to waltz even though she isn’t much of a dancer. She waves to her parents and grandparents sitting in the audience before going back stage. Then the grade-one class lines up to go out onto the stage. She doesn’t see Devon anywhere. Anna tugs on Mrs.Nette’s hand and she tells her, “Devon’s not here.”
“Well, will put you in the back and you can pretend you’re waltzing with a partner,” Mrs. Nette says. Anna frowns, not happy about the situation. Mrs. Nette grabs a boy from another class who is in grade-two, “Here you remember how to waltz don’t you?” She asks the new boy. He nods looking at Anna and taking her hand.
The music starts and all the grade-ones starting dancing and singing to “The Log Driver’s Waltz.” Mrs. Nette puts Anna and the grade-two boy filling in for Devon in the back of the stage. The grade-two boy isn’t a great dancer, and Anna isn’t great either but she does most of the leading anyways.
As the grade-ones start singing the second song they had practiced, Anna sees her Grandpa laughing and smiling. It didn’t matter what the grade-one class did, the audience thought it was adorable.
Anna remembered the “Log Driver’s Waltz” always; it became stuck in her head. Twenty-five-years later, she still finds herself humming the tune occasionally and remembering Devon –such an angry little boy.