New Year's Surprise

Submitted for Contest #74 in response to: Write a story that takes place across ten seconds.... view prompt

11 comments

Dec 27, 2020

Contemporary Drama Teens & Young Adult

I think I am finally getting my writing groove back! I woke up with this story in my head and instead of going back to sleep, I got up and wrote it down. Hopefully, I can finish up The Long Walk Home this week.

This has been a hard year in so many ways for everyone and I don't think that anyone will be sorry to see it end. I truly hope that next year will be better, but I'm deeply afraid that we may wish for 2020 back before the end of 2021. I sincerely hope and pray that I am wrong. This story has reminded me though that we get to decide how we react and that is powerful. Our reactions to events make all the difference.

I hope that everyone reading this gets to spend New Year's Eve with those people that are the most important to you and that you can begin this new year with hope, peace, and joy. But more importantly, I hope that you can hold on to those throughout the coming year.

It was New Year’s Eve and I was at a neighborhood party with my boyfriend of five years, Ron. My dad always told me to be careful who I spent New Year’s Eve with because whoever you are with at midnight, is the one you will be with for the next year. I knew it was silly, but I still believed it anyway. 

The countdown was just about to start, I was holding two glasses of champagne and frantically searching for Ron. I had told my best friend Tammy earlier that I thought he might propose this year. 

People were pairing up, preparing for their toast and kiss, still no Ron. Ten, nine… no Ron in the kitchen. Eight, seven….not on the deck. Six, five….not in the front yard, I was heading down the hallway to see if he had gone to get our coats when I noticed the light was on in the bathroom and the door was partly open, Four, three…..I nudged it gently with my toe, there he was in the bathtub kissing Tammy. Two, one….a single tear fell down my cheek and plopped into one of the glasses. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Auld Lang Syne was blaring. Party poppers were popping and larger fireworks were booming outside. The air was full of confetti, streamers, and the acrid smell of smoke from the fireworks. I was still frozen in front of the bathroom door, holding two glasses of champagne. 

“Cheers,” I said sarcastically and drained one of the glasses. The couple in the tub didn’t even notice it was midnight. 

I took a breath. There was a decision to make. My reaction in this moment would determine the course of the year that had just begun. I could pour the glass of champagne on my ‘boyfriend’ and ‘best friend’ and make a huge scene. I could turn the shower on and make a huge scene. That would feel so good, for a minute or two. There was another choice, a classier one, a saner one. 

“Happy New Year, Annie,” I said to myself and truly meant it. I drained the second glass. 

I went to the bedroom to find my coat. I sat the glasses down on the dresser and dug through the pile. I found his first. His keys were in the pocket, so I removed my key from the ring, then put it back, resisting the urge to sniff it first. My coat was under his, 

I put it on and walked out the front door into the cold, crisp night. I looked at the stars and the fireworks that were still going off. This was not how I thought I would be beginning my year, this was the total opposite of that. I paused outside my door, not ready to go inside and face the memories yet. “It’s better to begin the year knowing the truth. I can start over with no doubts.” I opened the door and went inside to begin my new year with the person I was with at midnight. 

All of my books will be on sale starting on New Year's Eve. So if you enjoy this story, check out one of my novels. The link is in my bio.

Here is the blurb for my most popular novel, The End.

We all have it. That feeling that something bad is about to happen, something really bad. We don't like to think about it and we never talk about it, but still, we worry about it. Sometimes we can almost feel the Earth holding its breath and waiting. We are all preparing in our own ways. Some have built bunkers and gathered supplies, some have a contingency plan on paper or maybe just in their head but nothing concrete. Then there are those of us who are in the middle, we don’t have a well-supplied bunker but we have a stash of things we might need when that day comes and a sort of plan to go with it. We think about how much we will miss things like chocolate bars, wine, and coffee and brainstorm about ways to preserve the things we will miss the most. We decide where to go, if leaving is possible, and consider the pros and cons of each possible location. The more pessimistic at heart are checking things off their bucket lists before it’s too late and maybe even devising an exit strategy. When Lucy and her sons wake up to a living nightmare on the last morning of their weekend camping trip, they must make the most of the people and resources surrounding them to endure, The End.

Here is the blurb from my latest novel, Finding Home.

Abbie is miserable and she doesn’t even know it until one night she turns left instead of right and just keeps going. This one small decision changes everything. It leads her to find pieces of herself that she didn’t even know were missing, and healing for things she never understood.

She is brave enough to take a chance on starting over. Not everyone understands her choices, she has almost no one in her corner and she is battling an eating disorder.

A series of bizarre coincidences lead her to a life she didn’t think she could ever have, but when that life begins to fall apart will she be strong enough to withstand the loss and not give in to her old nemesis?



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11 comments

Thom Brodkin
20:45 Jan 18, 2021

I'm almost certain I commented on this. Also why was I not following you? You are one of my go to readers so if you could could you check out "The End of the Beginning" for me?

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22:09 Jan 18, 2021

Lol! I would be glad too. I guess it's a glitch in the matrix?

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Thom Brodkin
12:42 Feb 05, 2021

You have to write more so I can read more. 😀 I just posted “Him”. Very different for me. Let me know what you think.

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14:07 Feb 09, 2021

I just read it, it's one of the most amazing pieces of writing I have ever read.

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Thom Brodkin
14:30 Feb 09, 2021

I say this all the time but it's true every time. When someone as talented as you says something so kind to me it means exponentially more. Thank you so much!!!

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14:42 Feb 09, 2021

You are the talented one. You need to publish something!

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Daniel Hayes
07:26 Mar 07, 2021

Hi Stephanie, another great story. I thought it was very creative, and I really liked it. I thought the plot was amazing, and it went with the prompt perfectly. Great job!

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22:36 Mar 08, 2021

Thank you!

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Echo Sundar
16:44 Feb 16, 2021

Wow. I loved this story It was such a creative way of having a story of only ten seconds! Great plot!

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18:31 Feb 17, 2021

Thank you so much!

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