I'm sorry to be a tease about my upcoming novel, Woman on the Verge of Paradise. It's been done for a while. I can't tell you when it's coming out. I'm trying - very selectively - for traditional publication first. I want to put it out yesterday. For now, though, here's a scene.
This takes you into my third grade classroom, during art time. I'd just competed against Joseph in hand ball. Flushed with puppy-crush energy, I quickly let him win and ran to the back of the line to await my next turn, hoping the bell would ring first.~~~
“Robyn, dear, come on over here,” Mrs. Siegal said.
Gulp. What’s going on? I walked to the back of the classroom, where my teacher sat holding a picture to her chest, her face gushing with exciting news. Joseph stood next to her and donned a very proud smile.
“Look what Joseph drew.” Mrs. Siegal flipped the paper over to display Joseph’s artwork.
I studied the picture, a crayon drawing of me in the blue and green checkered dress I was wearing, with my yellow socks, brown buckle shoes, and spirals of curly brown hair. A big red u-shaped curve centered my face. My nose, a black L. My eyes, cobalt blue, and my eyelashes, long and pretty. Above me, huge letters spelled out: “I Love Rodyn.”
I stood frozen—scared, overwhelmed, unworthy.
“I feel sick,” I told Mom the next morning. “I think I need to stay home from school today.”
Wait, how could it be so easy? You didn’t feel my forehead, shove a thermometer under my tongue, ask what’s wrong or spoil me with tapioca pudding? A bit disappointed and highly remorseful, I kept quiet while viewing a day’s worth of television.
Upon returning to Room 8, the flame between me and Joseph extinguished. I eyed my shoes whenever he strolled by. As far as I can remember, we never talked again; I’m not sure if we’d ever spoken in the first place. Nobody else breathed a word about our short and sweet love.
It’s as if it never happened. ~~~~
Be well, and have a great first week of March.!