How I Met Her-Second Chances

I take a bath and wash then condition my hair. Afterwards, I wash my body with my favorite Dial Soap.

After I am all clean, I put on some Old Spice deodorant and then make my face clean shaven.

I’m told I look much younger than my age, but my looks don’t get me very far, unfortunately.

My Weather Radio in my kitchen goes off, alerting me to a freeze warning. So, I go to my bathtub and slightly crack open both faucets.

Then I get my Bible from my EDC backpack and read until I get a text that the couple I met was in front of my house.

I put my Bible back in my EDC backpack, then sling it on my shoulders and walk out the front door, locking it behind me.

The couple is waiting in a brand new van.

I get in on the right rear passenger side, close the door behind me, buckle my seat-belt and place my backpack between my feet.

“So how you’re liking the neighborhood?” The man asks me.

“Honestly, I think y’all are wonderful. I like my house. Melinda’s and The Corner Store are pretty awesome, but my only complaint is my neighbor.”

“What did he do now?” The lady asks me.

He watched me check out while I was making groceries, then he followed me home and was making comments on how I was using food stamps.” I pause then continue, “I’m schizophrenic, okay. And because of that, I get a disability pension as well as my medical needs met and some nutritional assistance. My neighbor was harassing me about that and accused me of sitting on my butt and he called me a lazy moocher.”

“You know, we’re both mental health counselors,” The man said then continued, “And we know the struggle you go through, so don’t beat yourself up.”

The lady then adds in, “I thank God that you get the help you need!”

“I do too, believe me!” I answer.

“That man is just a jerk, but if he keeps harassing you, just call the cops. This city has always been a safe haven for mental patients and many of them not only survive here but they thrive here,” The man says.

“What will everyone at church think of my mental shortcomings?” I ask.

“They will realize that we are all sinners and we all have fallen bodies,” The man answers.

“There are others in the church besides you who are mental patients, so you’ll fit in nicely,” The lady adds in.

Soon we arrive at the church just as it begins to snow.

“I know the perfect Bible class to put you in,” The man says.

“Honey, is it the special needs class?” The lady asks.

“It sure is,” He answers.

I take my backpack and I am taken to the classroom.

There is the teacher, an older gentleman.

Then there is a younger couple.

Finally a young lady sitting all by herself. She has long reddish blonde hair, a pretty face, glasses, and she is pleasantly plump. I’m instantly attracted to her!

She smiles from ear to ear at me and motions for me to sit next to her. I feel very giddy.

The teacher asks me to introduce myself to the class, so I tell them how I just bought a house in this city and my neighbors invited me to church. I told them I was from out of town, but like it here except for my neighbor.

The three students introduce themselves to me.

The teacher then asks, “Do we have any prayer requests?”

The young lady whom I am attracted to says, “Unspoken.”

I then say, “Just that God protect me from my neighbor.”

The young man from the young couple says, “Our marriage.”

His wife says, “Yes, we need it.”

We all bow our heads as the teacher leads in prayer, then begins teaching.

We soon get off the subject and begin to talk about marriage and relationships.

The young man says how women shouldn’t be so bossy.

To which his wife replies how men should be more considerate.

“What is your take on this?” The teacher asks me.

“Well,” I reply, “I’ve had some failed relationships in my past, but if I had a good woman in my life, I would definitely love her and revere her tremendously. If we all can remember to be like that with our significant others, treat them with love and reverence, that is, then marriage would be a lot easier and much more pleasant!”

The young lady whom I am attracted to smiles at me from ear to ear, until the teacher asks her, “And what is your take?”

“I think what this he just said is very true and I agree with him totally!”

I begin to blush.

So does she.

We then bashfully smile at each other.

“That’s very profound,” The teacher says, then continues, “I think you will make an excellent contribution to this class if you decide to continue coming here.”

“Thank you, sir!” I tell the teacher.

Suddenly, the power goes out and the room becomes dark.

“Must be the snow, you know the grid down here can’t handle it,” The teacher says.

I reach into my backpack for my Streamlight Jr. tactical flashlight and I light up the classroom.

The young lady whom I am attracted to smiles even more at me.

“I like to be prepared for anything,” I tell the class.

The young lady giggles.

The young man from the couple says, “You’re definitely going to fit in here!”

His wife adds in, “Yes, I hope you decide to join,”

“I think I will,” I tell the class.

I can see the young lady beaming from ear to ear by the light of my flashlight.

We sit in the dark as the couple continues discussing their problems, but the young lady and I are staring at each other with increasing affection.

Then the power comes back on, just as the lesson concludes.

We then go into the fellowship hall to have our meal.

Because the power had gone out, they all took pizzas from the freezer and began to bake them.

I sit at a table and wait for the food to be served.

Suddenly another young lady comes up to me and says, “My room mate likes you and she says she wants to get to know you!”

“Who is your room mate?” She points across the room to the young lady whom I am attracted to.

As I look at her, she waves at me.

“What do you think?” The other young lady asks me.

“To tell the truth, I think she is beautiful and I like her as well. We just had class together.”

“Aw, that is so sweet. She is going to be so happy and I cannot wait to tell her. Please don’t break her heart though, she has been hurt before.”

“So have I, so I promise to treat her right, wherever this may go.”

“Awesome! I’ll go tell her.”

“Also tell her to come sit with me, that is if she wants to.”

“I think she would love to!”

I watch her tell the young lady and how she smiles with excitement as she hears.

Now she is coming over to sit with me. I feel so giddy.

She sits at the table next to me.

At first there is an awkward silence but then she asks, “Do you really like me?”

“I sure do!”

“And you really do think I am beautiful?”

I look into her eyes and say, “Most definitely!”

“Even though I am overweight?”

I hold her hands and then say, “May I confess something to you and please try not to hold it against me?”

“Sure,” She says with a heavy heart.

“I think plus sized women are God’s most beautiful creatures!”

I then blush afterwards, but she giggles.

“You’re quite handsome yourself, you know!” She tells me.

“I have to tell you two things and you may not want me after hearing them,”

“Try me,” She says.

“Okay first of all I am mentally disabled. I am schizophrenic but it is well controlled with medication, though,” I humbly tell her.

“That’s okay, I am mentally disabled too. I have PTSD.”

“And the other thing, I was married before, to a Mexican woman who treated me terribly. Then I was in a relationship with another woman who led me on, just to dump me a little over a year later. I only slept with my ex wife though.”

“That’s no big deal, when I was fifteen I was molested by an illegal immigrant from Mexico, hence the PTSD and my weight gain. I’ve talked to many other young men, but they always give up on me before doing anything with me because I don’t put out, so you can kind of say, I only slept with one person too, though it wasn’t by choice.”

“We both have a past, but I guess it makes us stronger.”

“Do you still want me, now that you know this?”

“Of course. I hope you still want me as well.”

“Sure do!”

“You’re at least twenty-five right? I know age shouldn’t matter, but I would rather not date anyone under twenty-five, although I could easily make an exception for you.”

“Don’t worry, I’m twenty-five-going-on twenty-six. But how old are you?”

“Thirty-two-going-on-thirty-three. I hope I’m not too old for you.”

“Nope, you’re perfect-seven is a number of perfection and we have a seven year age difference!”

“Wow, you really are wonderful!”

“Thanks! You’re making me blush though!”

“I know but it’s so cute!”

“Do you really mean what you say about treating a significant other with love and reverence?”

“Yes, I am serious as a heart attack and honest as a robin about that!”

“Awesome, do you think you could feel that way towards me?”

“I sure could, and more than anyone else I ever met!”

“Wow! Where have you been all my life?”

“In another town, unfortunately.”

“Do you want to know what my unspoken prayer was?”

“Yes.”

“Well, first let me say that I thought you were very cute, the moment I saw you walk in that classroom, so I liked you ever since then, but my unspoken prayer was that you would somehow like me too!”

I then hug her tightly. She steals a kiss.

Then she says, “Sorry, but I’m crazy about you!”

“Nothing to be sorry for, I feel the same way!”

“So, are we a couple?”

“If you want to be we are!”

“Then, yes, we are!”

“Finally, I think I have found someone wonderful!”

“I’m so happy, it’s as if all my prayers and the prayers of several people at this church have been answered!”

“Mine have been too. I used to meditate on the perfect lady for me and you fit the description exactly!”

She kisses me again.

We then exchange phone numbers and addresses.

It turns out we live in walking distance from each other.

Our pizza is then served and we happily eat.

We spend the rest of the fellowship time holding hands and falling more and more for each other.

“Are you able to drive?” She asks.

“I have my license, but I no longer have my car. I’m more focused on paying for my house.”

“That’s fine. We can walk to each other. I never got my license though.”

“If I ever, get a car, I can teach you how to drive.”

“That would be awesome!”

All too quickly the fellowship time is over.

We share a hug and a kiss, then she says, “Call me when you get home and call me when you wake up tomorrow!”

“Of course I will!”

“Yay!” She says.

She then gets in the car with her room mates and I get in the van with the couple who invited me to church.

“Seems like there was strong chemistry between you and her tonight,” The man says.

“There sure was,” I reply.

“She has a very good heart, but sometimes she has some mental issues. But if you’re patient and understanding with her, she will love you like there is no tomorrow!” The lady says.

“I can somewhat relate because she and I have plenty in common,”

“God definitely put y’all together, I can see that!” The man adds in.

“I think so too!” I say.

Soon we are in front of my house.

“We will pick you up Sunday Morning.” The lady says.

“Sure thing,” I reply.

I then get out of their van and close the door. Afterwards, I enter the gate of my cyclone fence, walk across my front yard up the steps then I unlock and enter my front door.

I sit on the sofa and call my girlfriend.

“Hey, you!” She answers.

“I was calling to let you know I safely arrived at home and I need to take my medicine.”

“Awesome, I’m glad you’re safe. We’re walking across the front yard now and I need to take my medicine too!”

“Mine medicine makes me sleepy, what about yours?”

“Yes, mine does too.”

“Well then, we both need our rest, but how I long to be able to hug you tightly and sweetly give you a good night kiss! I must also confess that I wish I could cuddle you in my arms throughout the night as well! But my prayer is for God to look after both of us until we see each other again and I equally pray for our peaceful slumber!”

“Aw, that’s so beautiful and, yes, I have those desires as well!”

“Then if you want we can exchange these words every night!”

“I would love that! I can tell you’re going to make me very happy!”

“And you make me happy as well!”

“Yay!”

“Now we both need to take our medicine, so let’s hang up and take it!”

“Okay, I cannot wait for you to call me tomorrow,”

“I promise you, I will as soon as I wake up. Please don’t ever think that I am going to ghost you!”

“I know you won’t”

“Just making sure!”

“You’re so sweet!”

“And so are you!”

“Okay, good night!”

“Good night!”

I take my medicine and then soon fall asleep happier than I’ve ever been!…

Back to “Second Chances”

Making Groceries-Second Chances

WEDNESDAY
It’s another day closer to Christmas as I wake up on my living room sofa.

I rub my eyes and then look at my watch which indicates that it is Noon.

I realize that I need to make some groceries, so I call the number on my EBT card and find out that I still have $22 of the $44 I get a month for nutritional assistance. I then walk into my utility room and retrieve my personal shopping cart.

Melinda’s Massive Superstore is about a block away from my house, so I put my jacket on and push my shopping cart out the door.

I guide it down my steps, across my front yard and out of the gate of my cyclone fence.

Then I push it towards Melinda’s as I walk on the sidewalk.

The weather is cold and raw, but I push on.

I cut across the parking lot and finally I enter.

The double sliding doors automatically open and I am hit with a blast of warm air.

I’m quite hungry and I know I shouldn’t shop on an empty stomach, but I have yet to put food in my new house.

First, I see the four packs of pudding on sale for eighty-nine Cents a pack. I buy five four packs of tapioca and three four packs of vanilla.

Then I buy got to the canned vegetables which are selling two for one dollar. I buy four cans of green and four cans of carrots.

Next I go to the canned meats and seafood and see that store brand tuna fish is selling for fifty cents a can. I buy eight cans.

I then buy a loaf of the cheapest sliced bread, which is selling for one dollar and twenty five cents. I also get a jar of store brand mayonnaise that is selling for two dollars and ninety cents.

Finally, I go to the frozen foods aisle and see Banquet Dinners for ninety-nine cents apiece. I get a turkey with potatoes stuffing and peas dinner. I get a spaghetti and meatballs. And I get a barbecued pork ribs dinner.

Then I walk to the checkout counter with my purchases.

A young cashier scans my items and I humbly pay with my EBT card. My new neighbor is watching me make check out. After the transaction is approved, I make a bee line back home. Finally, I am in front of my house, just as my new neighbor is pulling up onto his driveway in a truck.

I enter my the gate of my cyclone fence and am cutting across my yard with my groceries. I hear the truck door of my neighbor slam loudly as he stands by the fence and yells at me with a confrontational anger, “I saw you making those groceries with your food stamp card. It must be nice to sit on your butt all day and get hand outs!”

I try to ignore him and walk to my steps.

I guide my shopping cart up my steps and place my groceries inside.

He shouts again, “That’s right, that’s right, go inside and eat all the food that my taxes paid for you lazy mooch!”

I lock both the storm door and the wooden door.

I’m now feeling really guilty because I do have plenty though I no longer work as I take my Swiss Army Knife from my EDC backpack and use the can opener implement to open a can of tuna fish for my lunch.

Not only am I feeling guilty, I’m very paranoid that this neighbor might harm me. I mean he is ex military and ex criminal and could probably kill me with his bare hands.

I spread some mayonnaise on four slices of bread then I make two tuna fish sandwiches from that can.

I say grace, thanking God for providing me with the food, but also ask him to protect me from that troublesome neighbor.

I eat the two sandwiches hurriedly and then I wash them down with the Pepsi from last night.

After many thoughts cycle through my head, I decide to get on my computer and write a story for my blog. The villain will definitely be based on my hateful neighbor.

I write until the hour of Four PM. Then I get ready for church…

Back to “Second Chances”

The Prequel-Second Chances

TUESDAY

Christmas is in a few days and my life is finally turning in the right direction.

I’m thirty-two-going-on-thirty-three and was finally able to buy a house.

It is an older wood frame house on a corner lot in the suburbs and one of the oldest houses on the block.

My house may not be the best but it’s the best I could ever dare hope for.

The reason I say this is because I get a disability pension for being schizophrenic, but my illness is well controlled with medication and therapy.

Because of this disability pension I am able to pay the note on my house and all the other expenses.

I didn’t have that many possessions, so I quickly moved in.

I walk out my front door, down the steps, across my front yard and exit through the gate of my cyclone fence.

I begin walking along the sidewalk to survey the neighborhood.

My next door neighbor, an older man, gives me a dirty look, then spits on the ground.

I don’t even acknowledge him.

A middle aged couple is walking and they greet me warmly.

“I don’t think we’ve seen you around here before, young man,” The woman says.

“I’m new to the neighborhood actually. In fact I just moved in today,” I reply.

“What is your address?” The man asks me.

I give it to him.

“Oh, yes. There is a hateful old man that is right next door to you. Avoid him at all costs,” The woman says.

“Yes. He thinks everyone should kiss his behind because he’s a veteran, when in reality he only served in the military to avoid jail time,” The man interjects.

“Now honey, all we can do is pray for people like that.”

“You’re right darling,” The man says, then asks, looking at me, “Speaking of prayer, tell me, are you a Christian?”

“Well, I haven’t lived the best life, but at least I’ve been washed by The Blood,” I reply.

“Is there any church you go to?”

“No, I moved here from out of town and actually was hoping to find a church.”

“We’d love for you to come to church with us,” The woman says.

“I don’t have a vehicle at the moment though.”

“We’ll be glad to drive you there, we’ll even pick you up from your house!” The man adds in.

“Okay, then I would be honored to come to church with you!”

“Great, we have an evening service tomorrow, as on every Wednesday and of course the main service is on Sunday,”

The lady pulls out her smart phone and says, “We’d like your contact information.”

I give it to them.

The man also takes out his smart phone and they both enter my name and phone number.

They then give me their information and I program it into my phone.

“Well, we need to finish our exercise, but give us a buzz if you need anything at all,” The man says.

“And we will pick you up around five PM tomorrow evening for church,” The woman adds in.

“It was awesome meeting, y’all,” I say.

They both nod.

I’m getting hungry and there is no food in my house, so I walk around to find a place to eat.

I see a corner store and I enter.

I browse around until I see some microwavable jalapeno cheeseburgers, just like the ones I used to eat in my old town.

I select two of them and also a Pepsi from the soft drink fountain.

I then pay for my items with my debit card, then walk to the microwave and heat up one my my cheeseburgers for thirty seconds.

When it is done, I sit at the dining table, say grace and eat.

After eating I sip on my drink and watch the people go in and out.

I then buy two liters of Pepsi, then leave the store and head home.

Finally I am in front of my house, so I enter the cyclone fence, cut across my front yard as my neighbor stares at me. I continue up my steps and I enter my front door, locking it behind me.

I place the cheeseburger and the Pepsi bottle in my refrigerator, then go to my living room and log on to my computer.

My home Internet service hasn’t been set up yet, so I plug my smartphone into my computer to use as a tethered modem.

I browse the Internet for a while and do some writing for my blog, mostly about my new life.

Hours pass.

I’m hungry again, so I warm up the other cheeseburger and then pour me a glass of Pepsi.

Then I take my EDC backpack and remove the vial of Geodon from it.

The microwave beeps, so I eat the cheeseburger then take two 80 mg capsules of Geodon and wash it all down with Pepsi.

Soon enough I am sleepy and I crash on my living room sofa until Noon the next day…

Back to “Second Chances”

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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