Grocer and Writer Inspirations

On June 30, 2019, it will be five years since I began writing my infamous “Grocer and Writer” stories. I have caught both flack and praise for writing them and yes I’ll admit that they are quite polarizing. In 2016 and 2017, I had written offshoots of them, trying to be less offensive, but I haven’t been able to elaborate on them as much as the original stories.

In this piece, I will try to document every source of inspiration that I drew from in order to create these stories.

It is a love story between a mildly Autistic young man who is a twenty-two/twenty-three year old Grocery clerk and his girlfriend, a plus sized seventeen/eighteen-year-old honor student turned high school dropout. I know that in and of itself brought a lot of flack due to the high amount of controversy, but I was only trying to teach that everyone deserves to be loved.

I will say that I met my girlfriend over four years after beginning writing these stories, but as I got to know her more and fell in love with her, I realized that there are many ways she reminds me of the young lady in these stories. She reminds me of other good female characters in the stories I write as well. And not only that, when I read them to her, she smiles at me from ear to ear and stares at me intently and with great focus. She is never offended or disgusted like so many others were when I presented those stories to them.

These weren’t written in chronological order, by the way, they were written as the inspirations came to me.

On June 30, 2014, I wrote my first piece of the series. I had previously worked as a grocer for a company I had hated, but this was 2010-2011 and there were no other jobs available, little did I know that working for this said company would cause me to draw so much inspiration. The piece takes place in January and starts off with my male character whom I now will name Garth Cooper getting off of work from his God awful grocer’s job. The name of the store where he works is known as “The Downtown Grocer” and its location is based on the New Orleans Central Business District. He fires up his old car, a 1989 Toyota, and heads to his girlfriend, an honor student turned dropout, whom I have now named Samantha Abbott, parents’ house in the suburbs which are based on Metairie/Old Metairie (a suburb directly West of New Orleans.) He brings her to his house, which was based on my Maternal Grandma’s house located in Metairie, but instead his neighborhood is based on Mid City, New Orleans.

In early July 2014, I wrote a piece on how they met. It is Thanksgiving and Garth Cooper is in the municipal park, writing stories in a composition book. He has the day off and uses it to focus on his passion, writing love stories. The park is based on New Orleans City Park, but also Central Park in Manhattan, New York City. The fictitious city in which they reside is inspired by a combination of New Orleans, New York and Detroit and their respective suburbs. While Garth is writing in the park, Samantha takes a walk to the park to get away from her arguing parents. She first notices him and is attracted to him. She is able to get him to allow her to sit with him, even though you, the reader, will find out that she is seventeen and he is twenty-two. At first, he is reluctant but realizes no one else wanted him. They exchange phone numbers and he reads to her, making her want him all the more. The end up a couple and sit together until the sun and Mercury go down. He drives her home, concluding the piece.

In either July or August of 2014, I wrote a piece consisting of a day at Garth’s God awful job, which is based on some personal life events I had previously experienced and Samantha’s miserable home life, which was done by observing others I had formerly known. It takes place on The Winter Solstice. As mentioned before Garth’s job at the Downtown Grocer, which is located in a neighborhood based on the Central Business District of New Orleans and Samantha’s parents’ house takes place in a neighborhood, based off of Old Metairie, which is a suburb to the immediate west of New Orleans. Garth is on a break along with the male janitor and the female cook. He is texting Samantha when the janitor sees the bliss in his eyes and wants to know if he is talking to his girlfriend. Garth says he is and talks about how he loves and reveres her. The cook then starts badmouthing Samantha as she cannot stand to see a happy or chaste couple. Garth stands up to the cook and to which she threatens him with an edged weapon. All in all, Garth threatens to record her making the threats and turn the recordings over to the police to which she quiets down. Then the break is over, to which Garth begins stocking the shelves. A gentleman asks him to help him find the remoulade sauce and then helps him get some fresh fish from seafood. Garth takes care of his customer, who we later find out is none other than Samantha’s dad. The assistant store director chews Garth out for conversing with the gentleman, to which the gentleman backs him up. The assistant store director comes down harder on Garth and the gentleman overhears to which he cancels his revolving account and says how neither he nor his business partners will ever shop there again because of the way they treat their employees. Garth is forced to stock the boxed gelatin from now on. Meanwhile, Samantha is in her room listening to one of the music channels. Her pill-addicted mother is woken up by the music. She accuses Samantha of stealing her Xanax and threatens to beat her. Samantha calls her dad, to which he intervenes and tells his wife to look under the sofa for her stash. She then takes the Xanax and crashes. I wrote another piece following this where Garth gets off of work and goes pick up Samantha, then brings her to his home, which his neighborhood is based on Mid City, New Orleans. They tell each other about all that went on during the day over a simple dinner of oatmeal. Both contemplate only in their minds that they should live together as soon as Samantha turns eighteen. Then they discover their synchronous thoughts. The piece concludes with Garth looking at the clock on his dining room wall and realizing that he has work tomorrow. She tells him how she doesn’t want to go home and be around her mother. So he lovingly tucks Samantha into the bed in his extra bedroom, then goes to sleep in his bedroom, concluding the piece.

In August of 2014, I wrote a piece consisting of their first time being intimate with each other. It takes place on Christmas Eve, and Pachelbel’s Canon in D Minor had a lot of inspiration for it. Yes she is seventeen in he is twenty-two, and while they didn’t fully realize that she was legal they lovingly had sex anyway. Since the location of these stories is mostly based on Louisiana and the age of consent in Louisiana is indeed seventeen, no laws were broken. The piece begins with Garth getting off of work then going pick up Samantha from her parents’ house. He then drives her to his house and they sit on the sofa. He offers her virgin egg nog, to which she says she shouldn’t drink because she is so fat. He reassures her that he would love her no matter what size she is. Garth then turns his television on, to where he learns of several murders that occurred over the past twenty-four hours and he also learns of the world preparing for global conflict. Samantha suggests that he turn the television off and that they focus on each other. She then confesses that she wants to be intimate with him. He doesn’t know that seventeen is legal, so he is hesitant. She convinces him that they are not guaranteed tomorrow and they should make tonight worth it. She says how she wants him so badly because he accepted her when everyone else she was interested in so cruelly rejected her. Eventually, he agrees and they go to bed together and deflower each other, falling even deeper in love.

Later in 2014, I wrote a piece of their first date together. It takes a place a week and a day after they met and became an item or a week and a day after Black Friday. Prior to this they had been religiously texting each other and getting to know each other. He calls her and says how he’d like to take her on a date to a place that is based on The Riverwalk in New Orleans. She agrees, and as the phone call is finishing up they exchange those three little words! She gets dressed then texts him that she’s ready. He comes to pick her up and they go to his job to pick up and cash his check. They hold hands in the store until his boss the assistant store director orders them to stop holding hands. He cashes his check and pays the $5 cashing fee, then they go to the Riverwalk. They eat breakfast at a restaurant based off of Cafe` Du Monde, then they have lunch at a fish and chip shop, based off of the Louisiana seafood restaurant Spahr’s, which doesn’t have a presence in New Orleans. He then buys her a Casio Baby G watch at a gift shop. Afterward, they walk until the sun goes down and he takes her home. They plan to see each other again on his next day off.

Even later in 2014, I wrote a piece consisting of the night before Samantha’s eighteenth birthday and her moving in with Garth. It takes place in early February. It starts with him getting off of work and heading to the suburbs to pick Samantha up. It is a very cold evening. She is waiting for him on her parents’ driveway. His headlights illuminate her stature. He gets out of his car then opens the door for her and she gets in. He drives her to his house and they settle in. He asks her what would she like him to order her for her birthday dinner. She says something Asian. He begins to look through his telephone directory, to which she replies how she has an app to order it on her phone. She orders and soon the delivery man comes. Garth takes the food, pays him then escorts him back to his car. Afterward, they eat dinner in the dining room, to which Samantha says how the food made her sleepy. They go to bed, this time in the same bed and cuddle, soon falling asleep in each others’ arms. They are awoken by the loud noises and subsequent explosions of a train derailment. Since this series takes place in New Orleans, but in the future almost, I had written it to where the Norfolk Southern Back Belt line was actually rerouted from Old Metairie to Mid City, though this has yet to take place in real life, a little over four years later. The train derailment knocked out transmission power lines and caused a blackout. Samantha looks at her phone and sees how it is midnight and she is now legal to stay with him. A few minutes later, however, there is a knock at the door and a policeman, I haven’t decided if it was a state trooper, a railroad special agent or a city cop, orders them to evacuate.

At another point, sometime before July of 2015. I wrote the piece which takes place in the early morning hours of Samantha’s eighteenth birthday. They are complying with the policeman’s orders and leaving the city. Traffic is very dense as they discuss where should they go. Samantha says she doesn’t want to be with her mother. Garth says the only other option is to go to his parents’ house which is five hours away. She agrees. Traffic is still at a standstill. Finally, traffic begins to move. At some point, Garth calls his mother and explains the situation to her. He tells her that he also has his girlfriend with her. The route I planned to have them take is based on Interstate 10 from Mid City, New Orleans to around Gonzales, Louisiana with its junction with US 61/Airline Highway. They continue towards Baton Rouge on US 61 then west on US 190 until its junction with US 71, between Port Barre, Louisiana and Krotz Springs, Louisiana where they head North. They stop at a diner for food and fuel in a town based on Bunkie, Louisiana. Garth goes to pay for the gasoline, but Samantha insists that she will pay instead and that he can repay her “all night long.” She then hands her debit card to the cashier, to which she says how she thinks they are so cute. In July of 2015, I once met a cashier at the Race Trac in Paradis, Louisiana, who very much reminded me of the cashier in this story. As they explain the situation to the waitress, she gives them free food and a thermal mug with the company name on it. These two pieces were inspired by the Country song “Callin’ Baton Rouge.” In fact since Garth Brooks covered that song, I named my male character Garth, his surname Cooper comes from Dr. Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang Theory, since they are both on The Autism Spectrum, but still high functioning. By the way, Samantha also got her name from that said song and she is indeed “A strange combination of a woman and a child.” The last name Abbott comes from the Abbott family on “The Young and the Restless” since her dad is a business executive and reminds me of a combination of Jack Abbott and Victor Newman. I already had created a character with the last name Newman in another story I wrote, so that is why I used Abbott. I did watch Y&R a little before creating this series, but I didn’t watch Big Bang until years after creating it. You will see that Garth’s mother is also a lot like Sheldon’s mother, which was totally by accident. Anyway, after eating and talking with the waitress they get back on the road. The diner was partially based on “The Highway 71 Sandwich Shop” which was located in Bunkie, Louisiana, but I don’t think is any longer in business. They continue North, at some point deviating from what is based on US 71 and ending up on the Northeastern Louisiana Delta at Garth’s parents’ soybean farm. They are greeted by his mother.

In June of 2015, I wrote a piece taking place on the Sunday after their first date. Samantha texts Garth and asks to come over. He is just waking up but gladly accepts. So he drives to her parents’ home and picks her up. He then drives her to his home for the first time. He warns her about his shady neighbors and states that his home isn’t the best. She states that it doesn’t matter to her. After they enter he reads to her from his computer until he hears her stomach growling. He asks if she is hungry. She replies about how she is and that her mom went on an eating binge and ate all the food in their house. So he feeds her some pork n beans, the only food he has in his house. She wolfs them down. Afterward, they watch Breaking Dawn parts 1 and 2 on broadcast television, while they snuggle on the sofa. After watching the movie, they eat rice pudding and drink a coffee, chicory and milk blend then he takes her home.

Sometime in the Summer of 2015, I wrote the piece which takes place on Christmas Day. It starts with Garth making a breakfast of French Toast for Samantha. She is sitting on the bed doing research on her smartphone and finds out that she is legally at the age of consent, despite still being seventeen, in their state (which is based mostly on Louisiana where seventeen is indeed the age of consent), unbeknownst to Garth. He serves her breakfast and they awkwardly eat. She says how he should meet their parents since it is Christmas Day. There is freezing rain but they head out. During the car ride, Samantha says that she did some research and found out that she is legal. Garth is confused and asks what do you mean. She explains that seventeen is the legal age of consent in their state and that he didn’t break the law. She then confesses that she is afraid he won’t feel obligated to stay with her now that he knows this. Garth assures her that there isn’t anything in creation that could cause him to leave her. She asks him point blank what if he got her pregnant. He then said how he would then marry her and that he already wants to, its just he cannot afford a ring on his low wages. Samantha brightly beams after hearing this. Her dad then calls wanting to know where she is. She explains who she is with that he is good to her and that he does indeed love her. She then says that they are headed to the house at the moment. Upon arrival they ring the doorbell and Samantha’s dad answers, saying how they’ve met before. Samantha is confused and wants to know how. Her dad explains how he waited on him and The Downtown Grocer and took very good care of him, but was punished for talking instead of working. Garth says how he is on thin ice because of that incident. Samantha’s dad says how he can easily get him a better job but wants to make sure that he is committed to Samantha first and then asks how did they meet. Samantha interjects and tells the story and goes on to say that Garth is the only one who accepted her despite her weight. Her dad then says how she has an underactive thyroid gland and the weight is not her fault. He goes on to say how it tore him up seeing her rejected and lonely all the time. Garth despite being Autistic looks him in the eyes and says how he knows rejection too and that Samantha is the only one who wants him despite his quirks and awkwardness and that he would never dream of breaking her heart. Her dad then says how he is holding Garth to that statement and knows people who could tar and feather him. He then invites them in for Christmas Dinner, which is Asian takeout since he refuses to shop at The Downtown Grocer anymore. Samantha’s mom enters the room and asks Garth who the hell are you. Samantha replies that’s my boyfriend mom, don’t embarrass me. Her dad quickly says, let’s all eat, it’s Christmas and it should be peaceful. Thus the piece is concluded.

On November 7, 2015, I was sitting in the Paradis, Louisiana library and wrote the piece on when Samantha meets Garth’s parents while evacuating from the train derailment. After being greeted by his mother, she suggests that they must be tired from their trip and that Samantha can have his old bed and Garth can sleep on the sofa. Samantha becomes very distressed and Garth says how that is not necessary because they are both adults. Garth’s mother asks Samantha her age, to which she replies how she just made eighteen and she was in the process of moving in with him. This upsets Garth’s mother even more because they aren’t married. Garth’s dad wakes up and walks into the kitchen, wanting to know what is going on. Garth tells about the terrorist attack. His dad curses the terrorist groups. His mother commands him to explain the rest. Garth says how his mom is angry because he and Samantha want to sleep in the same bed. His dad tells her not to be so hard on him and they thought he wouldn’t ever find anyone because of his condition. Samantha gets very upset and wants to know what condition he has because she thinks it is something life-threatening. Garth’s dad says that he is mildly Autistic. Garth then looks at her and says how he was afraid to tell her because he thought she would leave him. Samantha replies reassuringly how she never would leave him because he loves her and reveres her. She then goes on to say that she is so fat anyway. Garth tells her that he likes her beautiful curves and that he feels bliss holding her at night. Garth’s mother then sharply commands him to watch it. Garth’s dad suggests that they all hit the sack. Garth’s mother walks to her liquor cabinet and takes a shot of whiskey, then another and tells them to do what they want. Garth’s dad shows them to the bedroom.

In March of 2016, I wrote the ending piece [but not the final piece.] Garth has now become a famous writer, so he fixed up his house, bought a new truck, a new computer and an engagement ring for Samantha. He then drives to her parents’ house to pick her up. He had asked her dad’s permission to marry her the previously to which he happily agreed. Garth then opens the passenger door for her and helps her in. He then drives her to the park. After they arrive, he suggests that they go sit on the bench where they sat when they first met. After sitting for just a moment, Garth gets down on one knee, pulls out the ring and proposes to her. Her eyes swell with tears and she happily says yes. The cook from his former job is in the park with all of her illegitimate children. Garth stands on the bench and says how he just proposed to the girl of his dreams and she said yes. Everyone in the park claps and cheers. The cook then starts yelling to the crowd how Samantha is fat and Garth is retarded and that they will be on disability and all of them will have to pay taxes to support them and any children they have. Garth then stands up to the cook and says he actually got a job as a romantic novelist, but that probably means nothing to her. He then says that either she leaves them alone or he will call the police. The cook pulls out a revolver and shoots Garth dead. She then aims for Samantha but several people wrestle the gun from her. Samantha sees Garth dying and her heart explodes. She then collapses on top of him and dies as well. The cook in these stories is based on several women whom I had the unfortunate experience of being acquainted with over the years. She is basically violently jealous of Samantha because she is only intimately known to one man, Garth, who exceedingly loves and reveres her at that, whereas the cook has children for several different men all who used her. The piece was also inspired by Meghan Trainor’s song “I’m Gonna Love You Like I’m Gonna Lose You.” That song was popular around that time. I actually caught a lot of flack for writing this, especially from my then wife, now ex-wife. After writing this, I decided that the series was too offensive and the world wasn’t ready for it, so I decided to start writing other series, “A Train Conductor Meets a Disabled Writer”, which I haven’t had much success with.

In November of 2016, while sitting at the Raceland, Louisiana library, I wrote two more pieces covering the time Garth and Samantha spent in the country while they were evacuated from the train derailment. It starts off with Garth and Samantha waking up in his old bed at his parents’ house and finding out that the heater isn’t working. Garth turns on his flashlight that he had packed (a vintage First Alert Ready-Lite that came with his house) to check the thermostat but then the bulb burns out. Samantha calls for him to come back to bed, which he does until they are both overtaken by the hunger pangs. So they walk to the kitchen where Garth’s mother is putting pancakes and bacon on the table. They eat, though there is great tension in the air. Garth says how the heater is broken. His mother corrects him and says how it is just out of oil. She then tells him to make himself useful and to go to the hardware store and get more oil. Garth says he plans to go there anyway to get a new bulb for his flashlight. Quickly they leave the house and go into town. They arrive at the hardware store just as it is opening up. Other customers are being waited on, so Garth and Samantha walk around the store. Garth meets the owner’s son and a former classmate of his while Samantha takes a call from her dad and goes into a corner. The owner’s son was once a football star but ended his career in college from an injury. He says how he now tries to be the best hardware salesman he could be. Garth explains how he is in town because the city he lives in was evacuated because of the train derailment and he needs bulbs for his flashlight and oil for his parents’ heater. The salesman looks in the computer and says there are five bulbs left. Garth says he will take all five of them, then says he’ll be paying cash for the bulbs but to charge to oil to his parents’ account. The salesman suggests he buy a Mini Maglite LED flashlight because the power might be back on to charge his flashlight. Garth says he doesn’t have enough cash for both the bulbs and the Mini Maglite. The salesman says to charge it to his parents’ account. Garth says they would be livid if he did. Samantha comes out of the corner from her phone call and says how she will gladly buy the flashlight for him like she bought gasoline for him at the truck stop. She goes on to say how he can pay her back all night long. Several people point and stare at them, then whisper amongst themselves. Garth charges the oil to his parents’ account, pays cash for the bulbs and Samantha buys him the Mini Maglite LED with her debit card. At the time of writing this, I had never been to Northeast Louisiana, in fact, the first time I had gone there was in mid-April of 2018. The hardware store reminded me of one I had worked at, in Houma, Louisiana, just in a more rural setting. It also reminded me of one in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Earlier in April of 2018, I went to a rural hardware store in Napoleonville, Louisiana, and purchased a Mini Maglite LED just like the one featured in this piece. I was trying to recreate and live out these stories in my own weird way, I guess. The piece concludes with Garth opening the car door for Samantha and then getting in the driver side. His mother calls him on the phone wanting to know why he and Samantha were acting lewd in the store, because of her saying he can pay her back all night long for the flashlight. She then commands them to hurry and come home because it is freezing there. This scene was based on a campaign speech I heard from Mike Huckabee where he stated that he lived in a small close-knit community and if he did anything “wrong” several people would have already called his parents to tell them, before he even got home. Also, I grew up in a small town and lived in another (Raceland, Louisiana and Mathews, Louisiana) where the people there are a bunch of nosy busybodies. I have yet to bring my girlfriend around these towns in public because I know that everyone there will see that I am not with my ex-wife, despite my divorce being final since October 11, 2018, and that there will indeed be a lot of pointing and staring. Quite a few phones would probably start ringing as well. The second piece of this begins with Garth driving Samantha back to his parents’ house and explaining to her that the people in the hardware store called his parents’ house about the comments she made about him paying her for the flashlight and that he is not angry with her and that he indeed will pay her back all night long, but she needs to be careful what she publically says and does in a small town. He comforts her by saying that she probably never went to a small town and didn’t realize that “everybody knows everybody”-a line from a certain Tracy Byrd song about living in the country and that small town people are busybodies. They soon arrive at Garth’s parents’ house to which he hands his mother the tank of oil then they go to his bedroom. Garth installs a new bulb in his flashlight then opens up the packaging of the Mini Maglite LED and installs the batteries and turns it on. He is impressed by the brightness and reminds Samantha that he will indeed pay her back all night long with tips and interest compounded nightly. His mother is secretly listening to the conversation, then barges in and wants to know from Samantha how long have they “been screwing out of wedlock.” Garth tells her she doesn’t have to answer that. His mother says for them to find another place then. Samantha breaks down and says, how they first had sex on Christmas Eve. Garth’s mother gets angry with him and accuses him of charming Samantha. Samantha said how he didn’t charm her, that he does write beautiful stories but she wanted him before that and he was the only one who didn’t reject her, despite her size. Garth’s mother then insists that if they will live like a married couple then they will have the responsibilities of a married couple. She orders Garth to help his dad on the farm and Samantha to help her cook and clean. She even forbids them from sharing a kiss before going to work. Garth sulks, walks to the barn and enters, turning on his new flashlight. His dad is impressed by the brightness. Garth says how Samantha bought it for him. His dad says she is a keeper and that he had been praying that he finds someone. Garth says how his mother isn’t happy about the relationship to which his dad says she just doesn’t like seeing him all grown up. Garth says how his mother wants him to work on the farm for as long as he stays there. His dad then asks him to help change the fluids in the tractor, then to organize the barn, as he used to when he was a child. He has said that it has gotten into disarray since he moved out. Garth’s dad is loosely based on Noah Calhoun’s dad from “The Notebook.” Garth spends the day organizing the barn until the sun goes down. Samantha helps Garth’s mom cook and clean then she also reads some of Garth’s older stories, falling even more in love with him. Finally, the day is done, Garth and his dad come in and are served green beans and seared chicken breasts. As they are eating dinner, Garth and Samantha get alerts on their phones that the evacuation order is lifted. Minutes later, the assistant store director calls Garth and tells him he has twenty-four hours to return to work or he will be terminated. Garth’s mother makes a comment about them going home and screwing. Garth’s dad walks them to the car and suggests they get married.

In 2017, I had rewritten most of the series, but also began working on another replacement offshoot, known as “A Disabled Electrician turned Writer” which was supposed to have similar themes as these stories but without so much controversy. I had slightly more success than my previous offshoot but haven’t written any more of it since 2018. Also in 2017, I began writing “Two Foamers in Love”, yet another offshoot replacement, but haven’t gotten much of it done.

On September 4, 2018, I wrote my latest piece of the series which actually is/was a prequel to the whole series. From Garth’s perspective, he is stocking salad dressing at “The Downtown Grocer” and how he hates his job and wishes at twenty-two he would have done so much more with his life. He thinks about his loneliness and how if someone loved him for him, he would love her immensely in return and treat her with the utmost reverence. He then thinks about his writing and tries to remember all of the inspirations coming to him in waves. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and he will be off, to which he plans to go to the park and write. He works late into the night, sweeping the warehouse and taking out the trash after the store is fronted and blocked. He gets off at 11:02, goes home and goes straight to bed not realizing that tomorrow he will meet the love of his life.
Meanwhile, from Samantha’s perspective, her mother just took several Xanaxes and then has crashed into a deep sleep. Samantha then goes into the kitchen and eats some canned fruit and drinks some milk. She says how she hates her life and how it isn’t like most seventeen-year-olds. She talks about her underactive thyroid gland and her weight problem and how she has liked many boys but they all reject her. She says how she wishes she could find a boy or even a young man who would love her for her and how she would treat him like a king. She says how she dropped out of school because she cannot get a ride to the private school she was attending because her mom is always loaded and because of her weight, she knows she would be tormented and harassed relentlessly if she began attending the public high school in her district. She contemplates suicide, by taking all of her mother’s Xanaxes at once. However, a voice in her head tells her not to give up. She goes into her room and watches “The Notebook” on demand. She watches until she can no longer keep her eyes open. Her mom then wakes up from a deep sleep and is belligerent. Samantha hears the voice again, saying just a little while longer. Her dad then comes in and argues with her mom all night long. Samantha goes to bed and dreams about those little encouraging voices, little does she know that tomorrow she will meet the love of her life…

Back to “My [Non-Offensive] “Grocer and Writer” Pieces”

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A True Story about my [Recent] Life

This is a true story, but is narrated by me as if I am one of my own characters. I did this purposefully because I finally feel as if I am living the life of one of my characters and a very awesome fantasy has indeed become reality! Those of you that remember those ever so controversial “Grocer and Writer” stories I wrote will be happy to know that the young lady whom this piece is about (my girlfriend) reminds me very much of the young lady in those stories, yet I created her over four years before meeting my girlfriend! I hope you, the reader, enjoy this:

I just made thirty-two a few days ago and my life has been improving quite a bit over the last few months.

By training, I am an HVAC and Refrigeration Technician, but I haven’t worked in that field in years.

I do keep a blog but I don’t get paid for it. Thankfully I get a disability pension for various mental disorders and a back injury.

After years of an extremely unhappy marriage, I finally got divorced, which at first had lots of red tape, but now is finalized.

Second chances are very rare and second chances at love are even rarer, but now I have found a wonderful young lady.

She is a very beautiful plus-sized young lady who is four years my junior.

Initially, I was attracted to her because of her size. Yes, I’ve been attracted to plus-sized females since my middle teen years.

Now I can say with total confidence that I love her with all that I am not only because of her size but also because of her pure and loving heart!

I could also love her no matter what size she would be! She could lose every pound, curve and inch or she could quintuple in size and I would still love her!

Nothing but an immense and tremendous reverence is what I feel towards her!

Her family also accepts me despite all the strikes against me. I equally revere that acceptance.

What is amazing is that her feelings towards me are mutual.

Not only that, she treats me better than I ever dared hope or dream!

I do indeed have quite a few strikes against me, but she loves me in spite of them.

It is as if such an amazing grace just short of God’s divine grace has been liberally imparted to me.

Many times I tell her how I don’t ever want to lose her, to which she lovingly assures me that I won’t [ever lose her]! Then she usually grabs me with passion then pulls me close to her and plants several kisses on me!

When we are cuddling and kissing, I feel boundless bliss and matchless joy!

I cherish every single moment spent with her!

She also reminds me of several female characters I created in the stories I write and I feel as if I am living out my stories just through her and I being together. That is why this piece is written like those stories.

I cannot picture myself with anyone else and I make it my business to treat her like a queen!

My prayer is that she and I will keep each other forever and always treat each other with love, reverence, kindness, and respect!

I didn’t think I would have wanted to marry again, but I can definitely see myself marrying her!

Love Among Terrorism

It’s a quiet Friday evening.

I sit alone in my apartment eating white beans and rice seasoned with Jalapeno peppers soaking in white vinegar.

Who knew such a cheap meal could taste so good?

After I take my last bite, I clear my table and walk to the kitchen sink to wash dishes.

I pour some dish detergent in the basin and draw the hot water.

As I wash the pots, plates, and utensils, I think about my wonderful girlfriend and how she and I will spend the day together tomorrow.

I am 31 and she is 27, but we pretend that she is 17 and I am 21.

She brightens up my otherwise sad life and I thank God for her and only wish that we would have met much sooner.

Suddenly, I hear a very loud sound, as if large a bomb went off. My whole apartment vibrates.

I look out from my second story kitchen window to see a giant fireball against the night sky.

There must have been some kind of an explosion at the tank barge terminal.

I passed through this area on a daily basis for years, to attend school and work never once thinking that the whole place could go up in flames.

It wasn’t until I began drawing disability and moved into the apartment complex adjacent to the tank farms that the thought of an explosion crossed my mind.

I watch the flames light up the sky.

Suddenly, the weather radio in my kitchen sounds its siren.

I touch the screen so I can hear the broadcast.

My thoughts and fears are confirmed there was an explosion at the tank barge terminal.

I walk into my living room, adjust my antenna and switch my television set on.

I tune it to the local news station.

High school football is interrupted by an emergency bulletin.

The station owner is now live and he seems to think that this explosion was no accident and therefore an act of terrorism.

I watch him tell his viewers how justice must be served.

In actuality, I’m disappointed but not surprised at all. There has been serious division in this country for some time now and our enemies laugh at us.

They also know our weak points all too well.

Suddenly, there is a knock at my door.

I answer.

A young sheriff’s deputy orders me to evacuate immediately.

I promptly comply with the orders and then beg him, “Please be careful.”

“I’ll try my best, sir, you just get your butt out of here,” He replies.

With that, I place two tee shirts and two pairs of pants in my everyday carry backpack, along with my medications and the few valuables I can take with me, then walk out the door.

I lock the deadbolt, then walk down the stairs to my car, a 1991 Oldsmobile.

As I put the key in my ignition, my phone rings.

It’s my girlfriend calling.

Hurriedly, I answer, “Hey, Bae.”

“There was an explosion near you. Are you all right?”

“Yes, I have to evacuate, so I hope I can come your way.”

“Please do! I definitely need to see you right now anyway, because I was so afraid you were killed in that awful explosion.”

“I’m okay, in fact, I’m pulling out of the complex’s parking lot right now.”

“Okay, focus on driving safely.”

“Traffic might be very dense right now, though.”

“Just be careful, I’ll wait all night for you if I have to.”

“Okay, bae I’ll get there when I can. I love you and I don’t ever want to lose you.”

“I love you too and you won’t.”

“Okay, bae, bye.”

“Bye.”

I continue driving.

Cops are directing traffic at every signaled intersection, to get everyone out quickly.

I drive through the darkness. The closer I get to my girlfriend’s family’s house, it seems the longer the trip takes.

Finally, I pull into the driveway, where she is nervously sitting on the porch.

I step out of my car and she longingly rushes up to me.

We embrace, then share several sweet kisses.

“Thank God, you’re safe, bae!” She tells me.

I hold her by her beautiful, curvy waist, then look her in the eyes and speak, “I love you so much, bae!”

“I love you too!” She replies.

Her family then greets me, angered over the terrorist attack, but relieved that I survived…

An Autumn Squall Line

This is one of my Post Modern stories and probably the shortest as well as the least controversial. I initially wrote it in the early morning hours of April 16, 2018. I was inspired approximately a week before that, when I took a trip to Uptown New Orleans. It is about a young working poor couple riding out a severe thunderstorm and subsequent power failure in their shotgun house. When I initially wrote it, they were cohabitating and fornicating, but, earlier, a few weeks ago, The Lord got a hold of me and I took it down in July 2018. I’ve decided it was a beautiful enough story that I could take the sin out of there and rewrite them as a married couple, with minimal effort, so that is what I did on August 11, 2018.

Without further ado, here it is:

A cold front is making its way through our city and with it stormy weather.

There is plenty of showers, wind, and lightning associated with this squall line.

Because of this weather situation, I got rained out from my job at the plant and my wife is off from cleaning houses today anyway.

So, happy to have some time to ourselves we lie down in my bed.

I wrap my arms around her curvy waist as we listen to the rain tinkling on the tin roof of my shotgun house.

I kiss the back of her neck as she moans with pleasure.

Suddenly, a bolt of lightning strikes the transformer that services my block and the power goes out.

I disconnected the gas-powered radiators when I bought my house and decided to use portable electric heaters instead, but now we have no heat.

It’s biting cold, especially for mid-November. Not to mention it is miserably damp.

We pull the thick blankets over ourselves and try best to keep warm.

I gently rub her love handles as we shiver.

She turns around wrapping her soft smooth arms and thick creamy legs around me.

We are very cold, but now the hunger pangs are setting in as well.

So, we step out of bed and get dressed, then I retrieve my Coleman LED lantern from the closet.

By the light of that lantern, we walk to the kitchen and I light my range, the only appliance in my house that still uses gas.

I slowly turn the knob on and strike a kitchen match.

The blue flame brightly glows in my dark kitchen.

With the lantern in hand, I walk to the pantry and get two packs of Ramen Noodles.

I retrieve two bowls and a kettle from my kitchen cabinet and draw some water into it from my kitchen tap.

Then, I place the dried noodle block in the bowls and the water-filled kettle on the lit burner.

We stand by the stove, clinging to each other for warmth.

Finally, we hear the kettle whistling.

I turn the burner off, then pour the boiling water into the bowls with noodles.

Immediately afterward I empty the powder from the flavor packets into the bowls and stir them.

I take a bowl and give the other one to her.

Happily, we eat.

After we eat, I turn on my weather radio which is operating on backup batteries and learn that the storms will last ‘throughout the night.’

She gives me a kiss and then says to me, giggling, “I know of something else that can last ‘throughout the night!”

I nod with a wide grin and kiss her in return.

Hand in hand we walk back to my bedroom and undress.

We adore each others’ bodies for just a moment, then passionately climb into my bed to make love as the storm rages on.

We climax multiple times until we are too sleepy to keep our eyes open.

Lovingly we fall asleep in each others’ arms.

In the morning, we wake to birds singing and bright sunbeams coming through the window above the bed.

We step out the door and sit together on the front porch swing in the crisp cool Autumn weather.

Back to “Works of Fiction”

Phone Conversation-Cyrus’ Perspective

The next day Cyrus woke up with feelings of euphoria. He had lived a lonely life up until this point when he had met Tabitha Howell online the previous night. He conversed with her for a while and quickly developed feelings for her. She revealed to him that her feelings for him were mutual.

After slowly waking up in his bed, Cyrus looked at his smartphone charging on the night table.

He selected Tabitha’s number and sent her a text: “Do you have free texting?”

A minute passed, but then he got a reply: “I sure do.”

“Great! I texted you because I remember you telling me that your parents are overprotective.” He sent another text “I don’t know how they’d react hearing you talking to me.”

“Well, I am nineteen so they can’t do or say much.” “Anyway they went shopping, so you can call me if you want to.”

So Cyrus then texted. “I’ll call you then.”

“Wonderful. I’m waiting.” Tabitha replied back.

Cyrus was nervous. At the same time, however, he was much excited for a chance to call Tabitha. So, he selected her number on his phone then touched the “Call” icon.

After only one ring, Tabitha answered “Hey!”

“Hi,” Cyrus replied.

“Finally I get to hear your voice. It’s very sexy!”

Cyrus blushed, caught his composure and then replied: “I like your voice as well.”

“Are you off all day today?” Tabitha asked.

“Yes, but I go on duty at six o’clock tomorrow morning. I assume you’ll be getting ready for school at that hour.”

“I will, but I have half days all week since we are having third quarter exams.”

“Well I would definitely love to spend time with you, but I know you should be studying.”

“Yes sir, Mister Braden. Gosh, you sound just like my teachers.”

“I just want you to be successful so you might have a job with an easy schedule.”

“I’m disabled and I doubt I could get any good job, especially in this economy.” Tabitha paused and then continued “I only go to school because I still live with my parents and they want me to.”

“What’s your disability?” Cyrus asked.

“I’ll tell you, but I hope and pray you don’t leave me.”

“I won’t leave you. If anything, your writing has taught me that everyone deserves to be loved.”

“Okay. I’ll tell you: I’m a schizophrenic. That’s why I had to take my medicine last night. Actually, I’m supposed to take it every night.”

“That doesn’t faze me at all,” Cyrus replied with assurance.

“You really mean that?” Tabitha asked with a mixture of happiness and desperation.

“Of course. There are lots of foamers I know with yours and similar disabilities.”

“What are foamers?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Not everyone knows that term. A foamer is someone who likes trains but doesn’t actually work for the railroad.”

“Oh, okay. That’s cool I guess.”

“Many of them take heavy medications which sedate them. That, in turn, prevents them from getting any railroad job.”

“How come.”

“Because to work for the railroad you have to be awake and highly alert for shifts as long as twelve hours.”

“That makes sense, actually. Many times I fall asleep in class, because of my medicine. Other students mock me and accuse me of being drunk. In reality, though, I don’t drink at all.”

“Would you drink if you didn’t have to take medicine?”

“I don’t know. I would want to, but I’m way too afraid of the consequences.”

“You mean like getting injured or injuring someone else while behind the wheel?”

“No, I don’t drive. I meant like someone taking advantage of me while I was drunk.”

“Why can’t you drive?”

“My doctors and my parents don’t want me to. It’s mostly because my medicine sedates me. God, Cyrus, I hope you don’t leave me because of that. I’m so afraid that you will.”

“I know we’re just starting our relationship, but rest assured that nothing in creation can make me leave you unless you cheated on me or something like that.”

“I would never cheat on you, who else would want me. But, I hope you really mean what you said.”

“I remember from your writing how the main point you try to drive across is that everyone deserves to be loved. I definitely see this in the way your characters love each other. I want to love you like that and I only hope and pray that you will love me the same way.”

“You’re very sweet. Oh, if only I was alone with you right now.”

“I wouldn’t want to take advantage of you in a week moment.”

“If you did, it wouldn’t be taking advantage of me. Instead, it would be something wonderful!”

“How would you know it would be wonderful? Have you been intimate with anyone else?”

“Never. What about you?”

“I’ve never been intimate with anyone either! Believe it or not, I’m a twenty-five-year-old virgin!”

“Then when or if we do become intimate, it will be very special for us!”

Cyrus’ heart skipped a beat and he was filled with excitement. A plethora of his coworkers made fun of his virginity at his age, but now he felt vindicated.

There was an awkward silence, but then Tabitha asked: “Would you even want to be intimate with me?”

“I sure would! I was just thinking about how glad I am because I actually waited for the right one! All those guys taunting me through school and at work will be worth it!”

“People harass me about this too. Girls at my school constantly mock me. Only the nasty guys want to touch me, but I refuse them.”

“Just forget about them. I can also tell you this: If I’m ever able to pick you up from school, I’ll throw my arms around you and plant a huge kiss on your lips in front of everyone. I bet that would make everyone super jealous of you!”

“You really would?”

“Most definitely!”

“I would love you to do that, but I might get expelled if you. My school is very strict about PDA. I would then have to go to the public high school and get tormented even more about my weight.”

“Well, maybe we should just meet at the Landing Station depot then. How would you get a ride there, though?”

“I do have one friend that has a car, but I would have to convince her that you’re decent.”

“How could you do that? I would really like to meet you and shower you with affection!”

“I don’t know.”

Cyrus was frustrated for a moment, but then an idea hit him “I have an idea: Maybe you could show her all of our online conversations and my facebook profile. I have nothing to hide.”

“I remember you saying that the previous owner of your house was murdered. Did that happen in his house and why did that happen?”

“I can fully explain The previous owner of my house used to work at The Downtown Grocer. There was a deli cook who constantly harassed him. After he became a successful writer, he took his girlfriend to the park and proposed to her in front of everyone. She accepted. In an unfortunate twist of fate, that cook also happened to be in the park. She began to make trouble with him and his girlfriend. He warned that he would call the cops, so she pulled out a pistol and shot him dead. His girlfriend watched him die and then also died of a broken heart.”

“So how did you get his house?”

“His parents sold it to me through the help of the engineer on the train I work. But they sold it for double the price.”

“That doesn’t seem fair.”

“Well, in all fairness, he had fixed it up after he became a successful writer.”

“That’s fine then; I guess.”

“His writing style was very similar to yours. He also seemed to convey the same message that you do.”

“I wish I could be a writer, but I would have to make it big overnight or risk losing all of my medical coverage.”

“I think you could do it, but I fully realize that your health and medical needs come first.”

“Thanks for understanding. I wish my parents realized that.”

“Anytime. I see all the time what those foamers with medical conditions go through.”

Then came another awkward silence, until Cyrus said “You know I have all of his composition books, journals, and flash drive. Maybe we could read them together one day.”

“Sure, I guess.”

“Does it bother you to read the thoughts of a dead man?”

“Sort of, but I would like to see his work if he indeed wrote like me.”

“Great!”

“Now, if and when my friend decides to bring me to the train station, how will I know that you’ll be there?”

“Right before I go on duty, I can text you every morning whether or not my train has work to do at Landing Station or not. But afterward, I have to turn my phone off. It’s a railroad mandate for me to do so. But, I’m sure I’ll have work to do in Landing Station at least one day this week. I know the economy is stagnant right now, but Landing Station still has some rail traffic.”

“Awesome, I can’t wait until then!”

“And if my train has to park in the siding for a few hours, we can hang out on the passenger platform. The only problem is that I won’t know that far in advance.”

“Hey, my parents just got home. I have to go now.”

“All right, but please keep in touch with me.”

“I will as much as I can.”

Cyrus then hung up the phone, got dressed and left home to make his groceries for the week. He had fallen even more in love with Tabitha but didn’t want to tell her and scare her off…

https://ericjohnmonier.com/home/works-of-fiction/a-freight-train-conductor-meets-a-disabled-aspiring-writer/

Phone Conversation-Tabitha’s Perspective

The next day, Tabitha had woken up and began writing more love stories on her computer. Her parents were getting ready to go make groceries.

“We’re leaving, Tabby.” Her mom said.

“Is there anything you want us to get you?” Her dad added in.

“No, I’m good right now,” Tabitha replied.

“Call us if you need anything.” Her mom said.

“Will do,” Tabitha replied.

And then they left.

Tabitha resumed her writing. She had felt more encouraged to write her love stories than ever before since she met Cyrus Braden the previous night and he told her how he enjoyed her work even though many people didn’t. She thought about her conversation with him and the feelings she had developed for him. For a brief moment, she began to think just about him and paused from her writing.

Then she received a text on her smartphone. It was from Cyrus and read, “Do you have free texting?”

Tabitha sat in amazement for about a minute because of how she believed that she and he were having mutual thoughts of each other. Then she realized that she should reply and texted back, “I sure do.”

About a half minute passed; then Tabitha got two replies. The first one read, “Great! I texted you because I remember you telling me that your parents are overprotective.” The second one read, “I don’t know how they’d react hearing you talking to me.”

She was definitely going to try and make the relationship with Cyrus work as best as she could, so she answered with two messages, First, “Well, I am nineteen so they can’t do or say much.” Then, “Anyway they went shopping, so you can call me if you want to.”

She got a quick reply from him, “I’ll call you then.”

“Wonderful. I’m waiting.” Tabitha replied back.

After about two minutes, Tabitha’s phone rang. She only let it ring once and quickly answered it as she was no doubt infatuated with him.

“Hey!” She said.

“Hi,” Cyrus replied.

Tabitha then said “Finally I get to hear your voice. It’s very sexy!”

“I like your voice as well.”

“Are you off all day today?” Tabitha asked.

“Yes, but I go on duty at six o’clock tomorrow morning. I assume you’ll be getting ready for school at that hour.”

“I will, but I have half days all week since we are having third quarter exams.”

“Well I would definitely love to spend time with you, but I know you should be studying.”

“Yes sir, Mister Braden. Gosh, you sound just like my teachers.”

“I just want you to be successful so you might have a job with an easy schedule.”

Tabitha’s fear of rejection began to surface, but her desire to be honest with Cyrus outweighed it. So she said, “I’m disabled and I doubt I could get any good job, especially in this economy.” Tabitha paused and then continued “I only go to school because I still live with my parents and they want me to.”

“What’s your disability?” Cyrus asked.

Tabitha became more desperate and nervous as she said, “I’ll tell you, but I hope and pray you don’t leave me.”

“I won’t leave you. If anything, your writing has taught me that everyone deserves to be loved.”

She breathed a sigh of relief and then said, “Okay. I’ll tell you: I’m a schizophrenic. That’s why I had to take my medicine last night. Actually, I’m supposed to take it every night.”

“That doesn’t faze me at all,” Cyrus replied with assurance.

“You really mean that?” Tabitha asked with a mixture of happiness and desperation. She only hoped and prayed that Cyrus was being truthful.

He then continued, “Of course. There are lots of foamers I know with yours and similar disabilities.”

Puzzled, Tabitha asked, “What are foamers?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Not everyone knows that term. A foamer is someone who likes trains but doesn’t actually work for the railroad.”

“Oh, okay. That’s cool I guess.”

“Many of them take heavy medications which sedate them. That, in turn, prevents them from getting any railroad job.”

“How come.” She asked with curiosity.

Cyrus answered, “Because, to work for the railroad you have to be awake and highly alert for shifts as long as twelve hours.”

“That makes sense, actually. Many times I fall asleep in class, because of my medicine. Other students mock me and accuse me of being drunk. In reality, though, I don’t drink at all.”

“Would you drink if you didn’t have to take medicine?”

“I don’t know. I would want to, but I’m way too afraid of the consequences.”

“You mean like getting injured or injuring someone else while behind the wheel?”

“No, I don’t drive. I meant like someone taking advantage of me while I was drunk.”

“Why can’t you drive?”

Tabitha became more nervous and her feeling of fear about rejection resurfaced again. Still, she knew it was best, to be honest; so she told him, “My doctors and my parents don’t want me to. It’s mostly because my medicine sedates me. God, Cyrus, I hope you don’t leave me because of that. I’m so afraid that you will.”

“I know we’re just starting our relationship, but rest assured that nothing in creation can make me leave you unless you cheated on me or something like that.”

Tabitha assured him, “I would never cheat on you, who else would want me. But, I hope you really mean what you said.”

“I remember from your writing how the main point you try to drive across is that everyone deserves to be loved. I definitely see this in the way your characters love each other. I want to love you like that and I only hope and pray that you will love me the same way.”

Her heart skipped a beat and she began to be filled with strong desires for him as she said, “You’re very sweet. Oh, if only I was alone with you right now.”

Cyrus replied to her. “I wouldn’t want to take advantage of you in a week moment.”

Hearing that made her want him even more, so she told him, “If you did, it wouldn’t be taking advantage of me. Instead, it would be something wonderful!”

Cyrus asked, “How would you know it would be wonderful? Have you been intimate with anyone else?”

“Never. What about you?”

“I’ve never been intimate with anyone either! Believe it or not, I’m a twenty-five-year-old virgin!”

Tabitha was then sure that she and Cyrus were meant to be and she said, “Then when or if we do become intimate, it will be very special for us!”

There was an awkward silence, but then Tabitha asked with a heavy heart, “Would you even want to be intimate with me?”

“I sure would! I was just thinking about how glad I am because I actually waited for the right one! All those guys taunting me through school and at work will be worth it!”

“People harass me about this too. Girls at my school constantly mock me. Only the nasty guys want to touch me, but I refuse them.”

“Just forget about them. I can also tell you this: If I’m ever able to pick you up from school, I’ll throw my arms around you and plant a huge kiss on your lips in front of everyone. I bet that would make everyone super jealous of you!”

Tabitha became filled with such a mixture of happiness and excitement as she asked, “You really would?”

“Most definitely!”

“I would love you to do that, but I might get expelled if you. My school is very strict about PDA. I would then have to go to the public high school and get tormented even more about my weight.”

“Well, maybe we should just meet at the Landing Station depot then. How would you get a ride there, though?”

“I do have one friend that has a car, but I would have to convince her that you’re decent.”

“How could you do that? I would really like to meet you and shower you with affection!”

“I don’t know,” Tabitha said as she grew frustrated. She realized that she might have trouble being able to meet up with him.

But then Cyrus said, “I have an idea: Maybe you could show her all of our online conversations and my facebook profile. I have nothing to hide.”

Tabitha thought of all their online conversations and thought of one disturbing part, then said, “I remember you saying that the previous owner of your house was murdered. Did that happen in his house and why did that happen?”

“I can fully explain The previous owner of my house used to work at The Downtown Grocer. There was a deli cook who constantly harassed him. After he became a successful writer, he took his girlfriend to the park and proposed to her in front of everyone. She accepted. In an unfortunate twist of fate, that cook also happened to be in the park. She began to make trouble with him and his girlfriend. He warned that he would call the cops, so she pulled out a pistol and shot him dead. His girlfriend watched him die and then also died of a broken heart.”

Tabitha seemed relieved, but was still concerned as she asked, “So how did you get his house?”

“His parents sold it to me through the help of the engineer on the train I work. But they sold it for double the price.”

“That doesn’t seem fair.”

“Well, in all fairness, he had fixed it up after he became a successful writer.”

“That’s fine then; I guess,” Tabitha said.

“His writing style was very similar to yours. He also seemed to convey the same message that you do.”

“I wish I could be a writer, but I would have to make it big overnight or risk losing all of my medical coverage.”

“I think you could do it, but I fully realize that your health and medical needs come first.”

She felt very happy hearing this and told Cyrus, “Thanks for understanding. I wish my parents realized that.”

“Anytime. I see all the time what those foamers with medical conditions go through.”

Then came another awkward silence, until Cyrus said “You know I have all of his composition books, journals, and flash drive. Maybe we could read them together one day.”

“Sure, I guess.”

“Does it bother you to read the thoughts of a dead man?”

“Sort of, but I would like to see his work if he indeed wrote like me.”

“Great!”

With a slight anxiety, Tabitha changed the subject and asked Cyrus, “Now, if and when my friend decides to bring me to the train station, how will I know that you’ll be there?”

He replied, “Right before I go on duty, I can text you every morning whether or not my train has any work to do at Landing Station or not. But afterward, I have to turn my phone off. It’s a railroad mandate for me to do so. But, I’m sure I’ll have work in Landing Station at least one day this week. I know the economy is stagnant right now, but Landing Station still has some rail traffic.”

“Awesome, I can’t wait until then!”

“And if my train has to park in the siding for a few hours, we can hang out on the passenger platform. The only problem is that I won’t know that far in advance.”

Tabitha then said with sadness, “Hey my parents just got home. I have to go now.”

“All right, but please keep in touch with me.”

She felt bliss realizing that he wanted her and replied, “I will as much as I can.”

Tabitha hung up the phone. She realized that she was beginning to fall in love with Cyrus. With a big smile on her face, she went into the kitchen to help her parents unload the groceries.

BACK

Cyrus Braeden Meets Tabitha Howell Online-Tabitha’s Perspective

On a late Saturday night in March, Tabitha Howell was checking the replies to her posts on several writing forums. Most of them were giving her harsh critiques. She sulked in depression. In her mind writing was the only thing she thought she was good at, but this wasn’t the case according to her online peers. She kept scrolling through the members’ feedback. People made comments like “Lovely but very inappropriate.” “Trashy.” “Not believable.” She had mixed feelings about these reactions. In part, she was glad that she was able to provoke the emotions of others, even though they were negative. However, in a much bigger part, she felt hurt by some of the comments. Tabitha was about to log out and take a bath to wash away the stench of failure when she saw a new post. She began to read it.

It was posted by someone known as Mister Trainman and it read, “Don’t worry about what the others tell you because I think your work is beautiful. I wish I could write at least half as well as you. Your stories bring about all kinds of feelings in me. Usually, I am able to suppress them, however, when I read your work, I can’t. But I don’t want to either. Keep it up. I look forward to your next post.”

Immediately she pulled up his profile and gained a great deal of information about him. He was a twenty-five-year-old train conductor named Cyrus Braden. At first, she seemed nervous due to the fact that he was six years older than her and might only be interested in sex, but also knew that no other worthwhile boys or men ever paid attention to her. She looked at his profile picture and was instantly attracted to him. She began to search for content he posted, but couldn’t find any. This made her slightly suspicious, but she still wanted to know more about him. His profile displayed “Online Now.”

So, she decided to send him a private message.

“Hi. I’m glad you enjoy my stories. No one else does. I would like to know more about you, so could you please message me back.”

She patiently waited for his reply until she saw the screen flash.

“Thank you for messaging me. I’m somewhat new here, but I know a beautiful story when I see it. My profile says it all, I’m 25 and I’m a train conductor. I work five sometimes six days a week, but I’m off tomorrow. Before I say any more, I would like to know more about you. You seem young and, even though I wouldn’t dare do anything, I don’t think it is right for me to be in contact with a minor.”

“Oh, I’m sorry I should have told you. I’m 19, so you have nothing to worry about. I don’t think you would want to do anything with me though, because I’m fat.”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. You seem like a genuine person and your writing is very beautiful. I never even saw a picture of you, but if I did I bet I would think you’re pretty.”

“I’m on Facebook and I have pictures on there. Are you on Facebook?”

“Yes. I am. I’m blushing right now because I’m going to ask you a dumb question: What’s your full name? All your profile name says is CuteCuddlyTabby.”

“Oh. I’m sorry. I should have told you. My name is Tabitha Howell.”

“Okay, I’m looking you up.”

“Don’t be too grossed out.”

She waited for his reply.

Finally, a message popped up on her screen “You are very beautiful. Even though you are somewhat overweight, I think it actually compliments your body. Please don’t think I am a pervert or anything for telling you that. I just admire you very much but I also revere you!”

Tabitha’s heart skipped and beat and she began to blush. She began to feel attracted to him.

She messaged him back “You’re so sweet to tell me that. You’re very cute too. There must be some lucky girl in your life.”

“Nope. There isn’t. Us railroaders have trouble getting and staying in relationships because of the hours we work. I do enjoy my job don’t get me wrong but my love life is quite lonely.”

“Oh. I see.”

“Would it be all right I friend request you on Facebook?”

“Sure. As if you had to ask.”

“Awesome. I’ll request you.”

“And I’ll confirm that request!”

After Tabitha had confirmed Cyrus’ friend request she told him “Message me on Facebook instead.”

“Will do.”

She began to study his Facebook profile and realized that he lived only fifty-five miles northeast of her. This made her slightly nervous, but also even more attracted to him. She wanted a relationship with him but also wanted to make sure he wasn’t any type of danger.

So Tabitha told him “You’re not that far away from me.”

“Wow, really? You don’t have your current location listed on here.”

“Yes. That’s for safety reasons.”

“I fully understand.”

“I trust you somehow, so I’ll tell you my hometown. It’s in Landing Station.”

“Wow, the train I work on makes a stop there almost every day that it runs.”

“Cool!”

“Sometimes we park on the siding track there and let higher priority trains pass us.”

“I want to ask you something, but I’m nervous. I’m afraid I’ll scare you off.”

“Just ask. I’ll do my best.”

“Maybe one day, you could come to the train station and visit me while we are parked in the siding. I can even have a special agent there for both of our safety.”

“You’re making me blush. What’s a special agent though?”

“A railroad cop.”

“Oh, I see.”

“So is that a yes or a no.”

“Yes, one day.”

“Could you tell me more about yourself, before we actually meet?”

“Well you know I am nineteen. I’m still in high school because I had to take a year off for medical reasons. Because of that, I still live with my parents and they can be overprotective. I attend a very strict Catholic school, but I wouldn’t go to the public school because everyone would torment me about my weight.”

“You mean you’re beautiful curviness!”

“You’re making me blush again. What about you?”

“I’m originally from Checker which is 15 miles east of where you are, but I ran away when I was 18 and wandered into the railroad yard. I almost got hit by a train, but the engineer named John Blythe took me under his wing and offered me a job. I gladly took it. He helped me buy my house too. I got it for $30 grand. The previous owner of the house was murdered right after proposing to his girlfriend. He too was an aspiring writer and had just made it big but a former coworker killed him.”

“What happened to his girlfriend?”

“Her heart burst when she saw him die.”

“That’s horrible.”

“Yes. I frequently think about it because their love for each other is inspirational to me it makes me wish I could love someone like that.”

“You can.”

“Are you talking about you and me?”

“Of course.”

“Well I work long hours and I am away from home a lot-I’ve seen that ruin the love lives of many of my buddies.”

“I don’t care; I would wait for you to have free time. You’re cute. You’re sweet. And who else would want me?” Tabitha paused but then “Do you even want me?”

“Yes. I do want you. You’re a very beautiful young lady and you write the most beautiful love stories. Your soul is also beautiful! Like I said before, I admire you but I also revere you!”

“So you’ll be mine?”

“I sure will!”

“You’re making my heart sing and dance!”

“Just as long as it will sing and dance with mine!”

“Of course it will!”

“Could I give you my phone number?”

“Sure. Would you like mine as well?”

“Most definitely.”

Tabby and Cyrus exchanged their phone numbers and continued talking.

She messaged him, “I don’t want my parents to hear me talking to you and freak out. They are very protective.”

“That’s fine. I don’t want to get on their bad side because I want things to work for us.”

“You’re so sweet.”

“And so are you! I would like to meet them to let them know that I mean no harm and I will always treat you right as long as you let me be yours!”

“Uh-oh. I forgot to take my medicine. I’ve been talking to you all night.”

“Well go take it. Your health is important.”

“I guess. That medicine is the reason why I’m so fat. It also makes me very sleepy.”

“Well your health is still important, so why don’t you go take it and we can talk tomorrow, either online or on the phone.”

“Okay. Thanks for understanding. I know you’re someone special because you don’t judge me because I have to take medicine and you think my weight compliments me.”

“I think you’re beautiful both inside and out. I just hope and pray you will put up with my crazy work schedule.”

“Of course I will now let me go take my medicine.”

“I’m going to miss you, but I hope and pray that I dream about you.”

“And I hope and pray to dream of you as well.”

Tabitha walked to the kitchen and took her Abilify with a glass of water. She was anxious because she knew she would eventually have to explain to Cyrus what she takes medicine for and was afraid that he might leave her.

She walked back to her computer and typed “I guess I will tell you goodnight.”

“And good night to you. I wish I could hug you.”

“Would you want to kiss me too?”

“Only if you would want. I don’t want to overstep my boundary.”

“You wouldn’t be overstepping because I would definitely want you to kiss me.”

“Then, yes, I would give you a long, loving kiss.”

“You make me happy!”

“You make me happy too!”

“Now I’m getting sleepy-it’s because of the medicine.”

“Then get some rest. I will too.”

“Okay, good night.”

“Good night.”

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