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Submitted into Contest #34 in response to: Write a story told entirely through text messages or emails.... view prompt

5 comments

General

Text thread: Amy, Julia, Holly, Karen

 

Amywhat does Dave’s post mean?


Julia: I wondered the same


Karen: I didn’t see it… 


Amy: he wrote – for those who know: good news


Karen: what DOES that mean?


Amy: I’m going to contact Dave.  I’ll get back to you

********

Amy: Dave said Sue has cervical cancer.  She’s been undergoing treatment for 8 months and got a good report yesterday.  She’s in remission.  


Holly: I had no idea about anything


Julia: me neither


Karen: I haven’t really spoken to them since Julia’s wedding 12 years ago… I mean aside from a casual chat on Facebook.  Do you think we should go visit?


Amy: I actually mentioned getting together when I was texting with Dave.


Julia: a brunch in York?


Holly: sounds good to me just let me know the details


Karen: we could swing by 228 and relive the memories, can you believe it’s been 25 years since we all lived there?


Text thread: Amy, Dave, Holly, Julia, Karen, Sue


Amy: I started this thread so we can arrange our date


Karen: good thinking Amy… you’re my hero


Amy: lol


Holly: what are we thinking?


Dave: Amy and I talked about meeting for brunch next Sunday – is everybody free?


Sue: yep


Dave: we know you are Sue – we planned it around you


Dave: she just gave me the finger


Karen: hahaha ain’t love grand…. Yep I can be there


Julia: I’m free


Amy: it’s on my calendar already


Holly: I’ll have to see if Eric can handle the boys for the afternoon.  And if I rearrange my Scouts meeting and skip the 2nd part of mass I can make it…


Text thread: Amy, Julia, Karen

 

Karen: has Holly always been this much of a pain in the ass?  A simple yes would suffice


Amy: lol


Julia: the 3 of us should go the night before and have a secret hangout session


Karen: ooooooh I’m in


Amy: me too!!! I’ll get us a room


Karen: meanwhile, I almost sent that message in a thread that Holly is part of


*Julia changed the name of the conversation to “simmer down Holly”*


Julia: I named this thread so none of us makes that mistake


Text thread: Amy, Dave, Holly, Julia, Karen, Sue

 

Dave: we have a 10:00 reservation


Karen: can’t wait! 


Holly: I might be a little late.  Eric needs help with getting the boys ready for church.  Start without me I’ll be there by 10:15 or so depending on traffic. If I’m running really late, I’ll text.

*******


Sue: thanks for an awesome day!  I’m sorry I had to get cervical cancer to reunite us!


Amy: we’re sorry too but maybe we wouldn’t have made the effort without a push.


Julia: it was a really fun day.  


Karen: I had a blast. I hate that we waited til one of us got sick but I’m glad we made time for it.  We’re all here for you and Dave, anything you need.  I can’t wait to see you all next month.


Holly: It was great seeing everybody.  Until I got home - Eric and the boys had destroyed the house and I had to clean up! Heading off to my Scouts meeting.  See you next month.


Text thread: Amy, Holly, Julia, Karen


Amy: I thought Sue looked great, but you can really see the worry in Dave’s eyes.


Karen: yeah, it was tough for me to look at him


Julia: can you imagine what he’s feeling? They’ve been together since sophomore year of college… they moved into 228 together – what year was that? ’91?


Karen: yep – that was the only year the 6 of us all lived there.


Holly: he looked sad, but Sue looked unfazed


Amy: typical Sue


Text thread: Amy, Dave, Holly, Julia, Karen, Sue

 

Sue: Had a great time again yesterday!  I love our brunch dates!  I’m so excited for New Orleans.  


Karen: me tooooooo. Just sorry I can’t get there til Saturday!


Amy: we understand pharmacy owner friend.  We’ll miss you but if you get there early on Saturday, you’ll really only miss 1 day since we’re all flying in at separate times on Thursday.


Karen: my thoughts exactly


Julia: I love our brunch dates, too.  I’ve only had to miss 2 in the past 2 years.


Karen: slacker…..


Amy: lol


Dave: I’ve enjoyed my afternoons with you ladies… still my favorite group of non-male people…

********


Sue: we LOVE 2-D Karen!!!


Karen: hahahaha since I couldn’t be there until Saturday I thought you might like a life-sized version to have around.


Julia: it scared us when we walked in


Karen: my face has that affect…


Amy: how in the world did you get it in here?


Karen: I asked the home owner if I could mail it to her and have her set it up before you arrived… 


Holly: you’re a goofball!  Can’t wait to see you Saturday.

********


Karen: 3-D Karen is at the front door but nobody is answering… are you in there?  Or are you avoiding me on purpose?


Dave: we’ve decided we’re more fond of 2-D Karen…


Holly: I’m coming down the stairs now


Text thread: Amy, Holly, Julia, Karen

 

Julia: anybody else concerned about the back problems Sue was having in New Orleans?


Amy: yes!  I hate to say it but I think it’s cancer related


Holly: between Sue’s back and my foot blisters… 


Karen: Holly… only you would buy new shoes on the way to a sight-seeing vacation…


Holly: I know


Text thread: Simmer down Holly

 

*Julia renamed the conversation ‘toes and bandaids’*

 

Julia: you think Holly got all of those souvenirs unpacked yet?


Amy: lol it’s going to take a while


Karen: she literally had to buy a suitcase JUST for souvenirs… who the hell does that???? 


Julia: I wish she would’ve bought some walking sneakers


Amy: I told her too… I can’t imagine how messed up her feet are


Karen: how can one person be such a pain in the ass?


Amy: lol


Julia: I’d laugh if it weren’t so true


Karen: I mean she’s genuinely a good person, but she is just the personification of the word effort.


Text thread: Amy, Dave, Holly, Julia, Karen, Sue

 

Sue: well, I finally went to the doctor about the back pain


Karen: jumped right on that, huh Sue?


Dave: yeah… 7 months later


Amy: so what did they say?


Sue: it’s not good


Amy: oh no Sue…


Sue: the cancer is back.  It’s metastasized.  We are working on a plan but it’s pretty significant.


Text thread: toes and bandaids

 

Julia: I haven’t heard from Sue and Dave in a while…


Amy: I texted Dave yesterday.  He said Sue is doing ok.  The treatments are taking a toll, but Sue is facing it like she does everything – matter of fact and being strong for everybody else.


Karen: I’m in awe of her… she’s so blunt.  It’s unnerving and comforting at the same time.


Julia: I thought maybe we could meet up.  I didn’t include Holly because she’s got so much going on and it’s always so overwhelming with her…


Karen: agree… I love her with everything in me but sometimes I just want to visit without being talked AT for hours on end


Amy: so when are we free?  Sue is home all the time now and Dave has his schedule arranged for a lot of home time.


Karen: I’ll ask Dave if he can take off this Friday - does that work for you guys?  

**********


Karen: Dave is good with Friday… do we want to stay over?


Amy: yeah let’s stay Friday night and leave early Saturday 


Julia: that’s good with me.

*************


Karen: ok… just go with me on this – I’m going to “suggest a trip” on the other thread so that Holly doesn’t know we visited without her and discussed it…


Amy: gotcha


Julia: on it


Text thread: Amy, Dave, Holly, Julia, Karen, Sue

 

Karen: hey! We had so much fun in NOLA last year… wanna try for another trip?


Sue: yes!  I’ve always wanted to go to Tennessee


Karen: we were just in Pigeon Forge a few years ago – it was awesome.  We rented a beautiful cabin… I could look into it.


Holly: what time frame?


Amy: what about early November?


Julia: I can only request Nov 2-6 because of other vacations – I’ll have to put the request in soon


Dave: those dates are good with us


Holly: well Eagan has scouts and Declan will be playing football… Wilson will be between things but he’s working now so I’ll need to get everything set up.  But I think I can make it work…


Text thread: toes and bandaids

 

*Karen changed the name of the conversation to ‘who invited Holly’*

 

Text thread: Amy, Dave, Holly, Julia, Karen, Sue

 

Dave: sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I don’t think Sue will be able to travel to Tennessee


Sue: I can travel to Tennessee – Dave won’t ALLOW me to travel to Tennessee


Julia: now worries, we can all just go to my cabin in the Poconos.  It’s closer and free!


Karen: I’ll cancel our cabin.  Do you need anything Sue?


Sue: Dave… to quit hovering


Dave: it’s a curse


Amy: lol


Text thread: Amy, Holly, Julia, Karen

 

Amy: that does not sound good…


Julia: I thought the same


Karen: I think we have to play it by ear… we could always rent a hotel near them instead so that Sue doesn’t have to travel at all…


Holly: that’ll probably be what we have to do


Text thread: Amy, Dave, Holly, Julia, Karen, Sue

 

Dave: I hate to change up again but I don’t think Sue can even travel to the Poconos


Karen: oh no Dave… I’m sorry.


Dave: she’s really getting weak and we need to be close by in case of an emergency


Amy: oh Dave….


Karen: what if we get a hotel near you and visit for 3 days.  Sue can rest when she needs to and we can visit when she’s up for it… would that be ok?


Sue: I would love that!!!


Dave: I didn’t realize you were awake


Sue: how can I sleep with you staring at me


Dave: lol


Julia: we’ll see you Friday!


Text thread: Amy, Holly, Julia, Karen

 

Karen: I have a cold! !  I don’t know what to do…. I don’t have a fever but I’m coughing, sore throat, and sneezing… I hate to not be there tomorrow but I don’t think I should go…


Holly: stay home and see how you feel Saturday morning


Julia: I think it’s best to stay home until Saturday at least.  


Karen: I hate myself…….


Text thread: who invited Holly

 

Amy: you missed 2 hours of Holly arguing with Eric and the boys on speaker phone about where the scout uniforms are. 


Julia: she sat right in the middle of the living room – yelling.  


Karen: hahaha what is wrong with her???


Amy: how are you feeling? Do you think you’ll be better tomorrow?


Karen: I feel quite a bit better I chugged orange juice all day and slept.  It’ll be a game-time decision tomorrow


Text thread: Amy, Dave, Holly, Julia, Karen, Sue

 

Karen: hello friends… I feel much better but will leave it to Dave and Sue whether they want me and my infestation around.  I was coughing and sneezing Thursday, sore throat.  Yesterday I rested and started to feel better around 8p – today I feel good but am sure there’s still something lingering….


Dave: Sue’s not on chemo.  She decided to stop treatments so her immune system is intact – we have masks, too.  We’d like for you to come.


Sue: come see meeeeeeeeee


Karen: ok, I’m showered and ready to go – I’ll be there in a couple hours!


Text thread: Amy, Holly, Julia, Karen

 

Julia: I’m glad we went… 


Amy: it was tough to see at times


Karen: I love how open she is – there definitely is no elephant in the room.  When she told us she wouldn’t be around much longer and asked us to take care of Dave… god I almost lost it


Holly: it’s very sad


Amy: it’s amazing to see her face it with almost no fear


Julia: definitely no regrets


Karen: the pain in Dave’s eyes is gut-wrenching. I wish I could make it ok for him


Amy: I’m afraid we won’t get a chance to make good on the January visit


Text thread: Amy, Dave, Holly, Julia, Karen, Sue

 

Dave: ladies… Sue is in the hospital. She’s had a stroke.  Unfortuantely we won’t be able to entertain visitors until further notice… so our January group 50th birthday party will have to be postponed.


Karen: we love you Dave please tell Sue we love her


Amy: yes please


Text thread: Amy, Holly, Julia, Karen

 

Julia: I went to see Dave and Sue today.  Steve went with me.. it was spur of the moment


Karen: how did it go?


Julia: well, I had texted Dave to check up on them and he said, “if you want to visit – you’d better do it soon” so Steve happened to be off and we went… it’s not good


Amy: I can’t even imagine… 


Karen: can we all get there next week? 


Amy: I don’t think I can get a flight… I wish I didn’t have to move to Florida….


Karen: well I can go any day – just let me know 


Holly: I can’t do Monday or Tuesday, I have Wednesday free but I’d have to reschedule a cookbook meeting. I’m doing a fundraiser with the school and the deadline is approaching.  We have meetings on Thursday nights but I could do Thursday.  Fridays are my day to volunteer at the school from 9 til 11.  Just let me know….


Julia: I have off Thursday – does that work


Karen: works for me


Holly: my meeting was changed – I can be there by 3…


Text thread: who invited Holly

 

Julia: I wanted to BE HOME by 3…


Karen: yeah… I was thinking of visiting from like 10-2 or something.  If we visit at 3 I won’t be home til after 7…. Give me a minute…


Text thread: Amy, Holly, Julia, Karen

 

Karen: I have to be home early Thursday – anyway we could do morning Holly


Julia: I’m with Karen, I was planning to be there at 10 or so


Holly: do whatever you need to do, if I see you there great… if not I’ll just visit by myself.  I’d rather see you but it’s not imperative…


Text thread: Amy, Dave, Holly, Julia, Karen, Sue

 

Dave: I hate to bring you this news this way but… Sue passed last night.  It was peaceful.  She’s in a better place.  We love you.


Karen: Dave….. I’m so, so sorry.  I don’t have words….  We love you.


Amy: I’m sorry Dave.  Sue will always be with us.


Julia: We’re here for you.


Holly: I’m sorry Dave.  Would you still like for us to visit tomorrow?


Dave: thanks ladies.  We love you, too.  Let me see what today has in store. I’m a little overwhelmed.

**************

 

Amy: that was a beautiful service Dave. Sue would have loved it.


Karen: it really was… it was everything Sue hoped for… you are amazing to be able to talk like you did…


Dave: thank you.  I didn’t want to fuck it up.  It was the last thing I could do for her.  She laid out every detail and I wanted it followed to a ‘t’.  It really was the best it could’ve possible been.  My only regret is not having a chance to visit with you all…


Julia: we understand, you and Sue have a lot of friends – they all wanted to be with you.


Holly: it was perfect and no need to apologize to us.


Text thread: Dave and Karen

 

Karen: just a friend check… I’m worried about you.  How are you holding up?


Dave: we’re still friends if that’s what you’re checking on… lol. I’m doing ok I guess. I’m devastated… I’ve only known love with Sue.  I don’t know how to be Dave… I’ve been Dave and Sue for so long.  I know I’m depressed, and I know I’m struggling.  I’m happy to have both kids home but at the same time I think about how much fun we could be having if she were with us… how much fun we SHOULD be having.  My whole world is gray and I’m not sure when the color will return…


Karen: Oh Dave… Sue was larger than life… when we had her here with us we reveled in that fact… with her gone we have a hole that can’t be filled.  It’s magnified for you… I promise you… the color will return – unexpectedly, for some reason without explanation but until that point – lean on us.  Call me, text me… just let me help you.  Don’t be sad alone…


Dave: thanks pal.  I promise to let you help….





March 27, 2020 20:56

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5 comments

Lynn Penny
22:21 Apr 01, 2020

This was absolutely beautiful. The way you were able to represent such a significant story with only text dialogue was incredible.

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Karen Iseminger
23:56 Apr 04, 2020

Thank you Corrie-lynn... sadly, it was a real-life event...

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Kassidy Barber
04:03 Mar 29, 2020

I love how real to life this is. The language is so natural to how we really talk when texting each other- down to the random caps, acronyms, and punctuation usage. And I definitely DIDN'T cry at the end.... ;)

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Karen Iseminger
23:30 Mar 29, 2020

thank you Kassidy... art imitates life - I just took excerpts from actual, real-life text exchanges. Sue passed away 3 weeks ago...........

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Kassidy Barber
07:03 Mar 30, 2020

I'm so sorry to hear that. I'm glad you were able to channel your feelings through a wonderful piece of writing.

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