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Margaret Lucinda Brennan was so excited that day, it was difficult to sit still. She always felt like a bee constantly buzzing from wonderful flower, to gorgeous flower. She felt so adult (startlingly) and so childlike at the same time. She was at the beginning, and though she felt forever away from her destination, she felt like she was standing next to it already. It was all very mind-numbing, jubilant, and progressive. She was an adult. She had finally moved out of her hometown of Tazewell, Virginia and was ready for a new adventure. Though the place that she was moving to, artistic Chapel Hill, North Carolina, wasn’t that far from scenic Tazewell, she was ready for this stage of life. She felt like she had been ready for a time close to forever, and now it was finally happening. She felt like she was already jumping up and down like a new born rabbit that had just barely discovered it’s legs as she was sitting next to her mother, Patricia Marina Lassig Brennan in the minivan so old and so green that anyone who heard it toss and tumble down the road mistook it for a dragon. Her mother had always been beautiful, with her deep blue eyes, long eyelashes and dark brown hair (which her second daughter had inherited). She placed her hand upon that daughters.

           “Calm down, Meg. You shouldn’t be that worried. NC State University really isn’t that far from home. You could always come home…your father and I will always be willing to let you enter into our home again.” Meg had to fight really hard from keeping a monstrous guffaw in. Home? After so long an excruciatingly long wait? Never. Never again. She knew her mother would miss her terribly, and perhaps she would find the day that she missed her family, plus hone town too, but that day definitely wasn’t today. She wasn’t a little brown eyed girl anymore, that wanted to stay in the home she knew forever. Her older sister, Gwendolyn (or Wendy, as they lovingly nicknamed her) and she always played games with dolls with fantastic locations, usually made-up that Wendy would usually be the one creating, while Meg would want there dolls to stay in Tazewell, the place that she knew. She had no time for dreams or imagination. That was then, this was now. She wasn’t ready then, she was now. She patted on her mother’s hand to comfort her; she knew that anything she wanted to say would be moving in the wrong direction entirely. It felt too long, though too soon for some in the group till they finally were getting all of Meg’s deep blue bags off and our of the car, plus some of her larger items out of her father’s, John Andrew Brennan’s deep scarlet Ford truck. She was only partially serious when she was giving the final hug to her father, as he was kissing her head (how embarrassing! He still treated her like she was just a little girl…but no more. Now he had to learn.) and saying his final farewells,

           “Megaroo, don’t you worry. We’ll just be in Tazewell if you need us. Love you, sweetie.” The most she could give to him in return was a little laugh that could be translated as either an adieu that meant she would honestly miss him or the opposite. That simple farewell seemed to be enough as he let go of his youngest daughter, not completely sure if he was ready to release his daughter into a cruel world. Even though the town’s name was Chapel Hill, it had to be worse than humble, old Tazewell. She gasped as she sat on her bed. Her very own bed, finally. She began tracing the multi-colored squares on her quilt which her mother had made from her old, long-worn shirts of her childhood, whether they were light pink, dark green, or jean blue. Her mother was crazy about memories of her daughter’s childhood, while Meg didn’t care if she forgot about the shirt she was wearing while she scrapped her knee or the jean jacket she was wearing while she broke her right arm as a girl. Suddenly, she heard a knock on her door. Who was it? Who could it possibly be? It is her mother, suddenly deciding that her youngest daughter wasn’t old enough to live on her own, she never would be. Still, if it was her mother, she would know that Meg lay behind the door, present. Meg held her breath as she turned the hinges on her door with the doorknob. Surprisingly, the figure that lay before Meg’s eyes wasn’t even close to her too protective, anal mother that would always be older than supposedly wiser than her. The person that lay before her presenting the oddest of welcoming gifts was a man. An attractive man. It was as if Donatello had sculpted his angelic face. (What on earth was he doing in North Carolina, in one of the smallest colleges in the world?) He had dark black hair that was the most perfect length, black eyes that Meg could see herself sinking into forever. The cat had got her tongue, luckily, he spoke first.

           “Welcome! I’m guessing your new here too. I hope you’ll accept this gift and know that my door is always open.” Meg’s eyes lowered shockingly fast for how mesmerized she was with his face. She didn’t know how she should react to his supposed “gift.” It was about the worst thing she had ever been given. How long had he spent on this thing that he had obviously made from scratch for her…or perhaps his girlfriend had made for his new neighbor (if only). It was a creepy crocheted cat, or maybe it was intended to be a zombie. It was a gray cat with freaky red and white buttons for eyes, plus yarned overalls with so red it looked more like it was blood-stained jean that would forever be stained. Meg had always been polite, as polite as her mother exemplified for her, but she seriously didn’t know how to react to this. She had been given some pretty bad gifts, but this thing took the bull. Now she found herself with the inability to speak for a different reason. Hopefully her dark brown eyes were hiding all her true emotions and he would continue speaking with his gorgeous, it had to be a deep baritone voice. Fortunately, all her prayers (well, almost all), were answered by him,

           “I don’t know why my girlfriend; Opal ever thinks that anyone will ever like these. She gave this to me. Don’t ever let her know that I gave one of her little beauties away.” Suddenly not only had Meg’s tongue been cat-napped, it now had been played with, buried, and rose to heaven. She still couldn’t speak, but she could smile at the very least. He ended it perfectly as he touched her hand with his (they were so warm!) and gave her a quick wink. His eyes were full of secrets she almost grabbed him so that he would stay as he turned and walked away. It was almost as if he didn’t mention that he had a girlfriend. (Whom she would surely arouse on Facebook later that night.)

           Wait, did she even say thank you? For the worst gift of all mankind, but at least he touched her because of it. 

March 15, 2020 16:59

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2 comments

Zilla Babbitt
21:49 Mar 25, 2020

Here for the critique circle :). First, I like how you set up the story by telling about her leaving home for the first time and then describing the Unnamed Man. The distinct character of Margaret is endearing and will be remembered! However, there's not a lot of white space for the reader to rest the eye on. A lot of long paragraphs, one after the other, get tiring pretty quickly, and it's easy to fix. Secondly, I feel as though you're telling me the first part of the story, not showing me. The last half is great, I can see the Man and M...

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D Myers
18:36 Mar 27, 2020

Very emotional and somewhat intense, nice work! 👍

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