So that my series may be better understood…
I began my Grocer and Writer series in late June/early July of 2014. It centers around the lives of a 22-23 year old grocery stocker/aspiring writer, his 17-18 year old girlfriend and the joys and struggles they share. The pieces were written in first person limited and each piece is done from both the male and female’s perspective. None of my characters have names.
Though it wasn’t written in chronological order, my characters met in the municipal park on Thanksgiving Day. My male character is from the country, but purchased a house for cheap in the working poor section of the city. On this Thanksgiving afternoon, he is sitting on a bench writing in his composition book.
My female character comes from a troubled, but well off family. Her dad constantly works and puts his job before his family. Her mom turned to pills to fill in the void once occupied by her husbands affections. My female character was an honor student until her mom’s addiction hindered her from getting a ride to school. She decided not to attend the public high school in her district out of fear of relentless torment. So she dropped out. Both of her parents were home, but fighting. She walked out of the house and to the park. She saw my male character sitting on the bench, writing and was instantly attracted to him. She paced up and down the walking path until he finally noticed her. She offered to sit next to him and he accepted. She wanted to read what he was writing, so he let her. After reading his love stories, she became more attracted to him. She asked for his composition book and pen, then wrote down her phone number in it. He was hesitant, especially when he found out her age. However, he also knew that no other girl or woman had ever been interested in him before. She reassured him that they did not have to do anything he did not want. With that, they entered into a romantic relationship and he gave her his phone number as well. For the remainder of the afternoon, he read to her until the sun and Mercury went down. He then drove her home and thus concludes that part of the series.
A week from the following Black Friday they went on their first date. He called her. She happily answered and he announced his intention to take her out for the day. He took her to the river where there were several shops and restaurants. They ate breakfast and lunch. She scarfed her food down because her mom no longer cooks and her dad had not yet given her money to make groceries. They walked the entire path and spend the day together, then into the night. After sunset, he took her home, then went home and slept, ending the second piece.
The next four pieces take place on the Winter Solstice. My male character is having a miserable day at work due to threats from a violent coworker, mistreatment from an oppressive boss and long hours at meager pay. My female character is at home in her room when her mom wakes up from her sedatives wearing off. Her mom goes on a rampage accusing my female character of stealing her pills and almost breaks the bedroom door down. She is belligerent until she finds her stash of pills, then takes them and goes to sleep. Meanwhile, my male character is showing a customer the location of remoulade sauce in the store and strikes up a friendship with him. It will later be revealed that this customer is my female character’s dad, but I haven’t penned it yet. After conversing with the customer, my male character is forced to get back to work. The customer confronts my male character’s boss for the mistreatment and ends up closing his revolving account. My male character is severely disciplined and forced to stock the entire canned goods aisle alone. Both parts conclude with my male character driving up to my female character’s parents’ house.
Following that, they drive to his home and eat dinner. Over the course of the meal, they talk of the unfortunate events that occurred during the day. My male character is concerned for her safety with her mom’s potentially violent ways. They also discover that they share synchronous thoughts. My male character is silently pondering the thought of her moving in with him, but she announces the same out loud. They mutually agree that she will move in with him when she turns 18. She asks to stay the night with him so she will not be around when her mother wakes up. The pieces conclude with going to bed in separate bedrooms and dreaming of each other.
The following pieces take place on Christmas Eve, where my male character picks up my female character from her parents’ house. They go over to his house and watch the news. There are reports of numerous local murders and global conflict. There is even a hint that the draft may be reinstated. Both are deeply troubled by the grim reality. My female character wants to be intimate with my male character, especially when she discovers that he too is a virgin. My male character is worried over the legal complications. She reminds him of the sobering fact that tomorrow is not guaranteed and they should seal their relationship. He agrees and they begin to make love. The piece concludes with him making her breakfast.
The pilot pieces take place in January. It is the pilot piece because it was the first part of the series that I wrote. *I was inspired to write while shopping at the Family Dollar that evening in late June 2014.* It contains the background my characters give in first person on their living situation and their lives in general. They tell of their love for each other to the reader and how they enjoy the stories that my male character writes. It concludes with them going to bed together and my female character wishing to stay the night because my male character is off the following day. He tells her that if it were up to him, she would stay with him every night. She reminds him that she will as soon as she turns 18.
The final (so far) pieces take place in early February. It is the eve of my female character’s 18th birthday. It is bitter cold outside and drafty inside. My male character picks up my female character from her parents’ house and drives her to his. He turns the news on and learns of the whole country on high alert of a terrorist attack. Once again, he is nervous. My female character makes him turn the television off and he orders her Asian food for delivery. They snuggle on the sofa while waiting for the food to arrive. Soon enough, the food is delivered and they eat. After eating they are sleepy and go straight to bed. They fall asleep in each other’s arms, but wake up from the whistle of the midnight freight train. Suddenly they hear an awful noise and the power goes out. My female character looks at her phone and the time indicates 12:01 AM. She announces that she is legal and can stay with him forever now. A few minutes later their phones display a message of a civil emergency. A few minutes after that, a policeman knocks on their door and orders them to evacuate. They comply with the policeman’s orders, grab their personal items and leave. They get in the car and my female character states that she does not want to stay with her mom. My male character then offers take her to his family’s house in the country. She agrees. They turn the radio on and learn that terrorists have derailed a freight train right where the transmission lines cross the tracks. Traffic is backed up but then begins to smoothly flow after 45 minutes of crawling. My male character gets off the Interstate and takes a back road, for fear that someone may wreck or break down and cause a major traffic jam. My female character gets angry with him, but they soon resolve their differences. He reminds her that, if they fight, the terrorists win another victory. They drive through the night and my female character tells my male character to call his mom to let her know he is coming. She offers him her phone and he places the call. While talking, they are disconnected due to a weak signal. After a while they make it to a truck stop to buy food and fuel. The waitress gives them free food and a free thermal mug when she learns of what happened to them.
Afterwards they are back on the road. My female character is worried about what my male character’s mom will think of him when she finds out they have been sleeping together. The piece concludes with them ringing the doorbell and being greeted by my male character’s mom. That is all I have so far…