The Boss

The Boss

By Abigail Barnette

I normally do not read erotic romances. I think it has to do with when I was in my teens and I read my mom’s romance novels. I always felt like the stories were the same and there wasn’t really anything different in each book. I decided to try an erotic romance again now that I see there are more people writing them and it isn’t just one or two companies doing it.

I decided to read The Boss by Abigail Barnette because I love Jenny Trout and Abigail Barnette is her other name that she writes under. I met her at The Novel Experience Event in Las Vegas, NV in 2015 and decided to pick up her book and check it out. It was well worth it.

The Boss is a BDSM book about Sophie Scaife. She works at a magazine company and just found out that a man she had a one night stand with is now her new boss. Sophie is still attracted to her boss, but she has to worry about being with him or advancing her career. She has to decide to let him dominate her and risk losing her job or advancing her career, but never full unlocking her sexual desires.

This book was awesome. I am so glad I decided to read it finally. I am now going to be getting the rest of the books in this 5 part series. The sex wasn’t too extreme for me. I don’t like books that get extremely graphic and it sounds like I am reading porn. The emotions in the books made me feel like I was right there. I felt like this could have been a real relationship between two people. Sophie’s boss, Neil, made me fall in love with him. He felt like someone that was real and knew what he wanted. He wasn’t a jerk or overly dominating.

My favorite part of this book has to be in the middle of it. I don’t want to give anything away, but there was some sex and then a surprise after the sex. I felt embarrassed for all the people involved in the scene. I could feel myself turning red as I read it because I knew how the people in the scene felt. Abigail wrote the scene that well.

I finished this book in one day. I haven’t done that since the last Harry Potter book came out. I just couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know what was going to happen. Between the sex scenes in the book to everything that was happening at Sophie’s job I just kept reading. This book wasn’t just erotic romance, but a story about making choices and following not only your heart, but your head as well.

If there was anything that I didn’t like about the book is I would have loved more about the issues Sophie was having at work. I would have loved more interaction with that. I would also love more story about her roommate, Hollie. Her roommate is just amazing and I think the author could write a whole series of books just based on her and her life.

The ending being a cliffhanger didn’t bother me because it left me with something to think about. It left me wondering what would happen next and didn’t leave me thinking it was a copout ending. It truly was an ending that was going to need another book to tell what happened. I liked that.

This is a series that I am going to read more than once. I can already tell. I love the characters and the story theme. The book didn’t feel like another cookie cutter erotic romance. This is a book that I want to know more about the characters. I can’t wait to read more.

Good Reads Review: 5 Stars

The Boss

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The Outliers

The Outliers

By Kimberly McCreight

I received the book The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight for free as an advanced copy when I went to the RT Booklovers Convention in Las Vegas. Reading the back of the book at the convention I thought that the book sounded like something that I would like and would have me hooked from the beginning. The back of the book read:

-It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help.

Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.

This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice: she has to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.

But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning?-

This is supposed to be the first book in a new series. I was really excited to read this book because I thought it was going to be this great rescue book and it would have all these twists and turns. I was completely wrong.

The main character Wylie is supposed to suffer from agoraphobia since her mother died in a car accident. Yet she is able to just take some breaths and be able to leave the house like she never had it. Even throughout the book she seems to have overcome her agoraphobia quickly. It is almost like she never had it.

My oldest daughter suffered from agoraphobia for over a year. I saw what it took to get her to get out of the house just to go to the doctor so Wylie being able to do what she was doing so quickly really got on my nerves with this book. It almost seemed like it was a great idea and then the author changed her mind about it.

I figured out what was going on rather quickly in this book. I thought some of the stuff that should have been surprises was kind of lame. I just really didn’t feel that this book was going anywhere. The ending of the book to me seemed like a cheap shot. It really was what I thought it would be.

It took me a month to read this book. I kept putting it down and not really wanting to read it. I finished it because I hoped it would get better and I was wrong about what was going on, but it didn’t and I wasn’t. I didn’t connect to any of the characters. I didn’t care what happened to them throughout the whole book. Even with a shock that comes to one of the characters I didn’t care. I don’t think I will read any more books in this series. I just don’t care enough about the characters or what happens to them to invest in this series.

I give it 2 stars on Goodreads

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My First Book Review- Their One Night By Zoey Hart

Their One Night

By: Zoey Hart

This is my very first book review. I thought it was time to actually sit down and write out a review for some of the books that I have read, specially the books that I received for free. My first book review is not a book I received for free, but I wanted to put it out there for people to read and possible check it out. Please bear with me as I make my way through my first review.

Their One Night is an erotic romantic book novella by first time author- Zoey Hart. The story is about an older woman, Allie, who has to decide if she will have one night with her best friend, Jani’s, younger brother, Cris, who she has had a crush on for 10 years. Allie has done her best in the past 10 years to keep her feelings about Cris a secret from everyone, including Jani. When Cris comes home from college and offers a chance at one night between the two of them Allie has to decide between her attraction to Cris and the feelings of her best friend.

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the main character Allie. I liked that there was a struggle in her head about what she should do. Zoey really let you see inside Allie’s head what she had to balance between the two choices.

I think Zoey did a great job in describing the locations, what was going on, and what everyone was wearing and feeling throughout the story. I felt I could picture what was going on while reading the story. Her use of very specific words, the shape of the pool for example, helps to show the reader what is going on instead of generic words such as round or square. Zoey described feelings throughout her story in great detail as well. By putting the reader in Allie’s head there was a better understanding of what was going on as well as made the reader feel like she was there with Allie.

If there was anything that I didn’t like about this story it had to be how short it was. I could have used more of her struggle to make her choice, more flirting, more sex, etc. The book was awesome in the small novella that it is, but I really wanted more of everything. I could see this story going into a full novel and being explored more.

I would recommend this book to anyone that likes a quick read with a great story. This book is for adult only. I would not recommend this book to a young adult or a child as the sex in the book is graphic. For Amazon ranking I would give this 5 stars as it really is worth the buy and the read.

Their One Night by Zoey Hart

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Lack of Sleep Dreams

So my doctor told me I have Fibromyalgia. I am pretty sure that I also have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as well because of the Fibro. I am always tired. No matter what I do I am never full rested. I either get to much sleep, on the weekends, or not enough sleep, during the week. I am at a no win win with sleep right now. Today the fatigue is hitting me hard. Several times I have almost fallen asleep at my desk. This is not a good thing because I really don’t want to lose my job. My lunch is at 10am today so I figured I would try and hold out till 10 and then go take a 20-30 min nap in my car. I would have tried coffee at first, but the machine is broke and I don’t think I should drive with how tired I am today.

So out to my car I go. I have a Scooby Doo blanket that I use to cover the windshield so not only does no one see me, but the light won’t come into the car as much. I set the alarm on my phone for 10:30 am, grab another blanket that I have in the car, and rollover on my side to get a nap. I am pretty sure I was out in less than 2 mins. This is where the craziness comes in. I had the scariest, weirdest dream.

My dream:

I was in my car sleeping when my cell-phone rings and it is my husband. I try and open my eyes to talk to him, but I just can’t get them to stay open. I tell him that I think I may need to go home from work because I am just so tired and I can’t seem to stay awake. He tells me that I should try and sleep more before I leave for the day. I shouldn’t drive if I can’t keep my eyes open. I agree with him and try to go back to sleep. Suddenly I am sitting up in my car and I am trying to drive home, but I am still in the parking lot of work and I am backing up into another spot. I hit 2 parked cars before I pass out again over the steering wheel this time. I try and try again to wake up, but my eye lids won’t stay open. I wake up again to myself trying to drive home. This time I end up driving back into the same parking spot I was in earlier. I hit 2 more cars along the way. I pass back out but I can hear security talking to the people around me that I hit cars. I try to find my cell phone to call my husband, but I pass out again. I wake up to my Project Director tapping on my forehead. She asks me what I think I am doing sleeping in my car. She asks me if I know anything about the wrecked cars in the parking lot. I look out and see a bright red mustang without the front end of it. I shake my head again and try to find my husband’s cell phone number in phone, but phone updated while I was sleeping and I can’t figure out how to find his number. The project director looks at me again and shakes her head. She leans in really close to me and tells me that she never liked me. She tells me I am a thief because I get online while I am on the clock and steal from the company’s web times. She then taps me on the head again with her long, pointy finger and walks away. I pass out again from lack of sleep. I wake up to security tapping on my window. He asks me if I am okay and if I know anything about the cars parked in the lot with damage. I start to try and call my husband again, but the alarm on my phone wakes me up.

Dreams are a crazy thing. I feel a little better after my nap. I went to the store and get a coffee along with a Rockstar. Hopefully I will be good to drive home. Hopefully.

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Facing It – A Not So Great Short Story (Per my English Teacher)

Katie is standing in a meadow with her boyfriend Mark. The meadow is surrounded by a forest of trees and the sun is shining down on all the purple and yellow flowers in the meadow. Mark takes Katie’s hand and starts to pull her slowly to the middle of the meadow. The sun hits his jet black hair giving it a blue tint and his eyes seem to be even more emerald green in the light. He gives her hand a squeeze and Katie smiles at him. Suddenly Katie notices that Mark is sparkling like a thousand or more diamonds were covering his body. She shields her eyes for a second to adjust to the light and then smiles at Mark in amazement. He pulls her to the middle of the meadow, drops her hand and removes his shirt. The sunlight hits his chest and Katie can only see the sparkling light from his chest. She takes a step closer to Mark and his mouth opens. An ear piercing alarm sounds comes out of Mark’s mouth. Katie steps back from him and waves at him to stop. He just continues to screech over and over again. Katie rushes over to him and puts her hand over his mouth, but he just continues to screech getting louder and louder. Katie covers her own ears, but she can’t stop the noise.

Suddenly Katie sits straight up in her bed. The sunlight is shining through her bedroom window and her alarm clock is going off next to her. She reaches over and turns off the clock. Throwing herself back onto her bed she lets out a sigh.

“I have got to stop reading Twilight before I go to bed,” she says with a stretch. “I keep having the weirdest dreams about that book. “

Katie turns over and reaches out to the space next to her. Feeling nothing, but sheet Katie looks and sees that her boyfriend Mark is not in bed with her. A note is attached to the pillow instead. Pulling the note off the pillow she looks it over.

Hey babe I had to leave early. I have a model coming over at 10 to pose for my new master piece. I’ll catch you tonight at dinner.

Mark

Katie reads the letter several times. She turns the paper over and looks at the back. She tosses it to the side.

“He just signed it Mark. No ‘I love you’ or anything. What the hell is his problem?” Katie asks as she jumps out of bed. “The only time he does the Mark thing is when he is pissed at me. What did I do this time?”

Katie stumbles over to her laptop and flips the cover open. Typing in Facebook she waits for the page to come up. She checks to see if he left her a message or if anyone else has. Nothing from him, but there was a message from Cathy a friend from high school asking if she was going to be come in for her wedding. She sends her a quick message to say she would be there since it was in the summer and she would be off. She told her she couldn’t wait to see her and signs off. Katie gives her page a once over and notices everything is the same as it was the night before. Sighing she closes the laptop and makes her way to the bathroom.

Katie turns on the bathroom light and stares at the cream color walls. She pushes her bleach blonde hair back from her face. She can already tell that today is not going to be a good day if Mark is in a mood. He seems to be in a mood a lot in the past couple of weeks. Katie feels like she couldn’t do anything right with him. She knows he has been working a lot because he is getting ready for his gallery opening, but his moodiness is really starting to get to her.

Katie turns on the water in the shower so it can warm up. She flips on the CD player on the back of the toilet and the Go All the Way [Into the Twilight} by Perry Farrell starts to play. She climbs into the shower and screams when the hot water hits her. She adjusts the water and she starts to wash her hair, sings along with music. As I Caught Myself by Paramore starts to play Katie finishes up her shower. Sing at the top of her lungs the very last line of the song Katie gets out of the shower and wraps a towel around her. Her cell phone rings and Katie screams.

“Hello?” Katie says as she tries to catch her breath.

“Hey Katie, its Trudy,” the person on the line says. “Could you stop and pick up some Dunkin Donuts on the way to work? I had to run out the door this morning before George tried to tickle me and I didn’t grab my breakfast.”

“Is he still playing that tickle game on you?” Katie asks with a giggle. “I can stop. Anything special you want?”

“Just a lemon and raspberry filled would be awesome. Thanks Katie. You are a life safer,” Trudy says.

“No problem. I will see you in 45,” Katie says and hangs up the phone.  She dials Mark’s cell phone number, but it goes straight to voicemail. She leaves him a quick message telling him she loves him and hangs up.

Running to the closest Katie grabs her favorite black and pink pinstripe suit. Being 5”2 and 115 pounds it is the only suit that makes Katie feel like she is taller than she is. Plus it shows of her large chest without making her look like she is trying to show off her large chest. Working at a private school this was something she had to worry about on a daily bases.

Katie rushes to the bathroom to finish her hair and makeup. She takes a good long look at herself when she is done and can see the frown lines. She takes a deep breath.

“Just because Mark is being a jerk today doesn’t mean you have to let it ruin your day,” Katie says into the mirror trying to give herself her morning pep talk. “You love him and he loves you. Once his gallery starts taking off and his band starts getting gigs things will be better. Have to stay positive for work. Don’t want to give Principal Finchburger a reason to fire you.”

Katie gives herself the once over one more time and makes her way towards the front door. She grabs her keys, purse and walks out the door. The sunlight hits her and she fumbles for her sunglasses. She rushes down the steps and to her car.

Opening the door to her Pacific Green clear coat Metallic Ford Aspire, Katie is hit by a gust of heat and can tell that summer is on its way. She slips off the jacket to her suit and lays it across the back of the passenger seat. She slowly pulls the fairy window shield out and folds it. Laying it behind her seat Katie climbs inside.

Katie starts the car and groans when See You Again by Miley Cyrus comes on the radio.

“Why does the radio station always have to play the same songs over and over again?” Katie asks as she flips the visor down and grabs her Katy Perry One of the Boys cd down. Sliding the cd into the player she smiles when Waking Up In Vegas starts to play. “Thank goodness for cd players and shuffle.”

Katie backs the car out of the parking lot and makes her way to work. The traffic isn’t as bad as Katie thought it would be. She stops at Dunkin Donuts and gets Trudy’s order along with two coffees (three sugars no cream), and a bear claw for herself. With traffic being light Katie arrives at work fifteen minutes early. With a smile on her face she walks into the administrative office of Upperwood Private K thru 12 School.

Trudy comes rushing up to Katie before she can even set her stuff down on her desk. She grabs the bags of donuts from Katie and throws herself into the chair next to Katie’s desk and groans. Katie hands her one of the coffees and sits down behind her desk. She pushes the button to turn on the computer and then turns to Trudy.

“So George is still playing the tickle game?” Katie asks.

“Yeah, but I have a plan to get him back,” Trudy giggles. “I’m going to hide in the garage and jump out to tickle him.”

“You are nuts Trudy,” Katie says with a smile. I wish Mark tickling me was the most of our problems.”

“Are you two still fighting?” Trudy asks with concern.

“We are barely talking anymore,” Katie says with a sigh. “He is stressed with the art gallery opening and his band trying so hard to get a record deal. I’m stressed with getting my bachelor degree for secondary education English so I can teach here at the school. I think both of us will be fine once this stressful time is over.”

“You both love one another,” Trudy says as she gets up to leave. She walks over to Katie and gives her a quick hug. “I am sure it is just the stress. Hang in there. I am here if you need me. Right now I better head to class before I get in trouble for being late.”

Katie gives her a little grin and turns back to her computer. Her mailbox is showing she already has 184 emails. Katie lets out a small growl and starts answering the emails. Most are from parents asking about graduation. She really wishes the students would learn to take their information packets home to their parents. It would make her life so much easier.

Katie spends all morning answering emails and phone calls. At noon she looks up not realizing that the whole morning has passed her by. She stretches and decides it is time to order lunch. She knows that Trudy will be walking in at any minute and want to know what she is going to have for lunch. Right on cue the front door opens and Trudy walks in.

“So where you getting lunch from today Katie?” Trudy asks as she sits down.

“I was thinking Jason’s Deli. I was thinking of getting the Grilled Portabella Wrap and a small side salad. What about you?” Katie asks as she pulls the menu out.

“That sounds awesome. Order me the Nutty Mixed-Up salad. I’m trying to lose 15 pounds,” Trudy says as she plays with Katie’s pencils.

“From where?!” Katie asks with a laugh. She turns to the computer and puts in their order. She then logs into her Facebook for her 15 minute break. She notices there still aren’t any messages from Mark. She checks her profile and her mouth drops open.

“Katie, what’s wrong?” Trudy asks. “You look as white as a sheet.”

“Unless someone hacked my account my relationship status has changed. It still says I am in a relationship, but it doesn’t say it is to Mark,” Katie says with a quiver in her voice.

“What?” Trudy jumps up from her chair and looks over Katie’s shoulder. They both stare at the screen. “Maybe someone hacked into Mark’s account. Go check out his page.”

Katie types Mark’s name into the search and pulls up his profile. Trudy grabs her shoulder when the screen comes up and the first thing on the screen was Mark has changed his relationship status to single.

“Oh my gosh Katie,” Trudy says as she squeezes Katie’s shoulder. “When did this happen?”

“It had to have happen after I left for work,” Katie says as her eyes water up. “I checked this morning. Look at the comments. His brothers all say they are happy he finally dumped the dumb blonde. I thought they liked me. Tracey and Cherry asks when he is ready to mingle and his band all says that it was time to ditch the zero. How could he do this? I know we had some problems, but I thought it had to do with him opening the gallery and the band trying to get a record deal.”

Trudy hands Katie a tissue and gives her a hug. “Don’t listen to them Katie. You are not dumb. You are about to get your  degree and you are not a zero. His band is full of zeros.”

Katie blows her nose and closes down Facebook. “I can’t believe I have been dumped thru Facebook. At least he could have broken up with me to my face. Now what do I do?”

Trudy shakes her head. “Maybe someone hacked into his account. I had that happen to my friend Laura. Someone hacked into her account and changed her status to say she was divorced from her husband Tim. She had a hard time explaining that to her husband.”

Katie stares at her computer screen and lets out a sniff. She turns to Trudy as the front door opens.

“I have an order for Katie,” the delivery driver says holding a huge bag.

“Yeah right here,” Trudy says as she hands the driver the money and takes the bag. The driver looks over his tip, smiles and heads out the door. Trudy sets the bag on the desk and sits down next to Katie. She takes Katie’s hands into hers and gives them a squeeze.  “Why don’t you eat some lunch and think about what you are going to do about this Mark thing.”

Katie nodded her head and pulls her wrap towards her. She slowly takes a bite and tries to swallow her tears and the wrap at the same time. A tear slides from her eye and slowly makes it way down her cheek. She grabs a tissue and blots her eyes.

“Honey, don’t cry,” Trudy says with sympathy. “I am sure it is just a Facebook thing.”

“I don’t get it,” Katie says shaking her head. “I thought we were heading towards a future together. I know we have only been together a year, but it has been a great year. Well except for the past two weeks.”

“Don’t jump to conclusions. Talk to him and make sure it isn’t a Facebook thing. It is the internet you know,” Trudy says as she stands up and throws away her trash.

“I have to head back to class. The lunch hour is almost over and my kids will be heading back in. I have my free hour at 2 today. I’ll be back to talk to you then. Hang in there. I love you girl,” Trudy gives Katie a kiss on the top of her head and walks out.

Katie throws the rest of her wrap in the trash and runs to the bathroom to throw up. She washes her face with cold water and stares at her reflection in the mirror. When she is sure that Ms. Finchburger won’t notice she has been crying she returns to her desk.

Trying not to log back into Facebook Katie opens her weekly memo report and tries to work on it, but after several minutes she finds herself staring at the same sentence over and over again. She saves the file and closes it out. Wiping her eyes the new email message boxes pops up on her screen and she clicks on it.

To: Katherine Force <katherine.force@upperwoodk12.edu>

From: Donna Fits <donna.fits@aol.com>

Subject: Personal

Oh my gosh Katie I just saw your Facebook. Are you ok? When did you and Mark break up? I can’t believe some of the stuff that his stupid friends and brothers left on there. Do you need anything?

Donna

Katie clicked the reply button.

To: Donna Fits <donna.fits@aol.com>

From: Katherine Force <katherine.force@upperwoodk12.edu>

Subject: Re: Personal

I am ok Donna. I didn’t know we were broke up till about an hour ago. He just changed his Facebook to say he was single. I saw what his friends and brothers said. I don’t think Mark knows that I know yet. I don’t know what to do. I talked to Trudy. She thinks that maybe is account was hacked into. What do you think?

Katie

Katie hit the send button and waits for Donna’s reply. Within two minutes the new email message boxes pops up and once again Katie hits the button to open it.

To: Katherine Force <katherine.force@upperwoodk12.edu>

From: Donna Fits <donna.fits@aol.com>

Subject: Re: Re: Personal

WHAT?!?! Trudy thinks he was hacked into. I doubt it. I bet he did it himself. He changed his status on Facebook to single and never even said anything to you about not waiting to be together anymore. He’s an asshole. What is this high school? He used Facebook like a buddy in high school to break up with you. If you were on Facebook an hour ago then you haven’t seen some of the stuff on there now. Cathy saw what was on there and she has been defending you left and right. Jana has been on there too. They are both pretty pissed off. Katie I would confront him. Don’t do it on Facebook though. Do it to his face. When do you see him again?

Donna

Katie hit reply again.

To: Donna Fits <donna.fits@aol.com>

From: Katherine Force <katherine.force@upperwoodk12.edu>

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Personal

Donna he never said anything to me about breaking up. I know he has been stressed about his band and the art gallery opening up, but he never said anything about not wanting to be together anymore. I think I missed the signs this time. I mean with Larry I saw it coming, but Mark never pulled away or anything. Well maybe he did and I just didn’t see it. Maybe I was just blind to the whole thing. I can’t believe this is happening. It doesn’t surprise me that Cathy and Jana are on there. They never let anyone pick on me when we were growing up. I am trying to stay off Facebook. I don’t really go on there when I am at work anyway. Just on my two 15 minute breaks. I am supposed to have dinner with Mark tonight. I am torn between going on Facebook and having it out with him or doing it to his face. I’m worried that I will confront him and be wrong. What if he really was hacked into and I yell at him about it and ruin everything? I have to be sure about this before I do anything Donna.

Katie

Katie hit send and the message box pops up again. Katie looks around to make sure Principal Finchburger is still in meetings and clicks to open the message.

To: Katherine Force <katherine.force@upperwoodk12.edu>

From: Donna Fits <donna.fits@aol.com>

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personal

Katie sweetie I really don’t know what to tell you. I know that you have been complaining about Mark being moody all the time and that for a few days you didn’t even hear from him. Katie it sounds to me like Mark was doing the same thing Larry was doing. He was slowly pulling away from you. Just meet him for dinner tonight and see what he has to say. But don’t let him walk all over you. You can do better than him. I have been telling you that for weeks now. Go see him tonight with your head held high. Don’t let him see you cry. I am here for you.

Love you,

Donna

Katie wipes a tear from her eye and sends Donna a quick note back that she will talk to him tonight and thanks for all the support she has given her. She hits send and then sits staring at her computer screen. Principal Finchburger walks out of her office and hands Katie a stack of papers to put into envelopes and mail out to the students. Katie tells her she will get right on it.

Lost in her letters, Katie doesn’t hear Trudy and her co worker Amy walk into the office. She is startled to see them standing in front of her desk.

“Oh wow. How long have you been standing there?” Katie asks as she continues to fold letters into envelopes.

“Just a minute or two,” Trudy says as she sits down. “Amy saw the status change on Facebook during the lunch hour. Your cousin Jana is pissed. Mark hasn’t said anything on there yet so I stand by my thought that he might have been hacked into.”

“Are you ok?” Amy asks Katie with a concern look on her face. “I told Trudy I don’t agree. I think he did it because he is a coward. I can’t believe he did this to you this way.”

“I am ok Amy. I think he is going to be busy all day today Trudy. He has a model today that he is painting. That’s why he left my place so early this morning. I talked to Donna over email and I am going to talk to him at dinner tonight. We are meeting right after I get off so I will know in an hour or so what is really going on. I am just to torn about how to talk to him about it. I mean Trudy could be right and he got hacked into or you and Donna could be right and he dumped me over Facebook.”

“I know its hard sweetie, but you have decided how much you trust him and how much he really loves you. Only you know,” Trudy says as she squeezes Katie’s hand.

“Thanks ladies. You guys are the best,” Katie gives them a small smile.

Trudy and Amy grab a stack of letters and starts helping Katie stuff the envelopes. They finish the letters just as Trudy and Amy’s free hour ends. They both give her a hug and head back to their classes for the last class of the day. Katie stares at her screen and thinks about everything that has happened in the last few weeks.

“He has been coming over to my place so late sometimes, but he has the gallery opening,” Katie thought to herself. “He has been working so hard with his band, but he did disappear for a week with no calls or anything.  He says he loves me, but I haven’t heard that in over 2 weeks. We have been together a year, but do I really love him and him love me as much as we think we do? Or I think we do for that matter? If his computer wasn’t hacked into what do I do then? I really need to know for sure what to do before I meet with him.”

Katie picks up her cell phone and dials Mark’s number. He picks up.

“Hey, babe. What’s up?” Mark says in a rush.

“Nothing I just wanted to tell you I love you and I can’t wait to see you at dinner tonight,” Katie says with hope in her voice.

“Yeah back at you babe. I really need to get back to this painting. I will see you in an hour,” Mark says again in a rush.

“OK well I will let you get back to work. I love you and I miss you,” Katie says barely above a whisper.

“Yeah back at you babe. Bye,” Mark hangs up.

Katie takes a breath and closes her phone. She lets out a small sigh.

“I knew he still loved me. The whole Facebook thing must have been a glitch in the system,” Katie thought to herself. “Tonight we will have dinner and we will laugh at the whole Facebook mistake in the system.  I can’t believe I ever doubt the two of us.” Katie laughs and goes to the bathroom to check her makeup and hair. Almost skipping down the hall.

The bell rings for the end of the last class and the end of the day. Katie stands up and starts to put all of her stuff away when the new message box pops on to her screen. She clicks on the open button.

To: Katherine Force <katherine.force@upperwoodk12.edu>

From: Donna Fits <donna.fits@aol.com>

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personal

Katie I know you are going to talk to Mark tonight at dinner, but I think you should know that there is a chick named Heather that just left a message on Mark’s page telling him that she had an amazing time with him today and everyday for the past two weeks and she can’t wait to be in his arms again. Mark’s been cheating on you Katie.

Donna

Katie reads Donna’s email twice before she sits down in her chair again. She clicks open her Facebook and clicks on Mark’s page. She reads the message from Heather several times. She clicks on Heather’s name and goes to her Facebook page. Heather’s status says she is in a relationship. Her page shows that she just updated it today. Katie puts her head in her hands and starts to cry.

After a minute or two Katie takes a deep breath and grabs more tissue. Wiping the tears from her brown eyes she clicks on the reply button to Donna.

To: Donna Fits <donna.fits@aol.com>

From: Katherine Force <katherine.force@upperwoodk12.edu>

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personal

I will take care of all this tonight. Just be ready for my phone call after all is said and done. I am going to need a shot of Jager and a few Screwdrivers. Love ya girl.

Katie

 

Katie hits send and shuts down her computer for the night. She grabs her purse and goes into the bathroom again. She washes her face in cold water and reapplies her makeup. She fixes her hair and smoothes down her shirt.  When Katie is sure she is ready to go she walks out of the bathroom and heads towards her car. Taking a deep breath she starts the engine and heads to Farfalla’s Cucina Italiana.

Traffic is light so Katie makes it to the restaurant in only twenty minutes. Checking her makeup in the mirror one more time Katie breathes in and lets it all out slowly.

“You can do this Katie. You can’t let this be like Larry all over again. Larry cheated on you seven times before you finally let him go. Don’t let Mark do this to you. You are better than that. You deserve more,” Katie says to her reflection in the mirror.

She grabs her bag, gets out of her car and throws her shoulders back with her head held high. She walks into the front door and sees Mark sitting at their normal table. She walks over and sits across from Mark. The waiter comes up to them before either of them says anything.

“May I get you folks anything to eat?” the waiter asks.

“I will have a glass of red wine please,” Katie says without looking at Mark. Mark says he will have the same and the waiter turns to walk away.

“If it is ok I already know what I want to eat so I would like to order,” Katie says sweetly to the waiter.

“Are you ready to sir?” the waiter ask Mark.

“Yes. I’ll have my usual. The creamy pesto please,” Mark says to the waiter staring at Katie the whole time.

“I will have Pasta Alla Cioppino. Thank you so much.” Katie says as she closes the menu.

The waiter walks away and Mark stares at Katie.

“What’s gotten into you Katie? You always order the bruschette chicken salad. Are you feeling ok Katie?’ Mark asks Katie with worry in his voice. “You aren’t pregnant are you?”

Before Katie answers the waiter comes back with their wine. Katie takes a sip of her wine before she answers Mark.

“No I am not pregnant. I always wanted to try it, but I never had the guts to do it. I just wanted to try something different. Don’t you ever want to try something different Mark?” Katie emphasizes Marks name as she asks him.

“Sure, I always like to try new things with my art and music, but this isn’t like you,” Mark says as he shakes his head. “You are a creature of habit. That’s what I always liked about you. “

Katie heard the word liked and knew that Mark was about to start talking about them breaking up. She interrupts him before he starts to speak again.

“Mark I think you and I need to talk,” Katie starts. “It seems these last few weeks you have been very distant and this morning you were gone before I even woke up. I think there is something going on that you aren’t telling me about.  Is there anything you want to get off your chest Mark?”

Katie watches Mark swallow and take a ragged breath.

“What do you mean Katie? You know I have been busy with the band and my art gallery opening. I told you in the note that I had to leave early this morning because my new model Heather was coming over to pose for me. What has gotten into you? Did you have a bad day at work or something?”

Katie takes another sip of wine and stares at Mark. She can’t believe he isn’t going to man up and tell her what was going on.

“No Mark I didn’t have a bad day at work today. I was actually pretty busy all morning,” Katie says as she sets her glass on the table. “Are you sure Mark there isn’t anything you want to tell me? This is your last shot.”

Mark shakes his head no at her. Katie waits for the waiter to walk away before she turns back to Mark. Katie sighs and takes a deep breath.

“Well Mark it seems you have nothing to say so let me say it for you,” Katie says with a slight edge to her voice. “I was busy all day until around lunch time. That was when I had enough time to go online and check my Facebook.” Katie sees Mark take a huge swallow and she knows he knows what is coming. “I saw that my status said I was in a relationship, but I was no longer linked to you. So I checked your page. I see that your status now says you are single.”

“I can explain that sweetie,” Mark says with a drink of wine. “There was a computer glitch and somehow I got discounted from you. It doesn’t mean anything.”

“Really Mark? If you say it then why didn’t you change it back to being in a relationship with me?” Katie asks in a harsh whisper.

“I only saw it when I took a second to answer an email. I didn’t have time to change it back,” Mark says with annoys. “I’ll fix it later. It isn’t that big of a deal. It’s just a Facebook program problem.”

“Oh Mark how stupid do you think I really am?” Katie asks. “You know what don’t answer that. I might have believed that story if before I left work I hadn’t got an email from my cousin telling me that your model Heather left you a nice message on Facebook. How long have you been sleeping with her Mark?”

Mark turns his head so he isn’t looking at Katie. Slowly Mark says barely above a whisper, “About a week or two.”

Katie stares at Mark in shock. Finally after a minute she finds her voice again. “So you not only dump me over the internet, but you have been cheating on me for a week or two. Mark if you didn’t want to be with me why didn’t you just man up and tell me it was over? Did you just love dating both of us?”

“It wasn’t like that Katie. It was just a onetime thing with Heather, but then it turned into something more and I was torn between you and her. I didn’t want to hurt either one of you. But this morning after I left you and I was with Heather I realized that you and I are on two different paths of life and Heather and I are on the same path. I didn’t want to hurt you. Really Katie,” Mark says still not looking at Katie.

“So you just changed your status on Facebook hoping I would get the hint? You aren’t a man Mark. You are just a little boy. You are just a little boy playing high school games. Only someone in high school would break up with someone over Facebook. I don’t need a little boy. I need a man. A man would have just told me it was over. He wouldn’t have sat at the table and lied to me about what he did. He would have manned up and told me it was over. You are a boy and I need a man. Don’t bother calling me Mark. I never want to see you again.”

Katie stands up and puts her hand out. “I want my key back right now Mark. I will put your stuff in a box outside my front door and you have till Friday to grab it or I donate it to the homeless,” Katie says in a stern voice she was shocked she even had in her.

Mark slowly reaches into his pocket and pulls out the gold color key. He places it into Katie’s hand and holds on to her hand for a moment. “I am sorry Katie. I made a huge mistake. I should have just told you the truth.”

Katie snatches her hand away from Mark and drops the key into her purse. She turns from Mark without a word and storms out of the restaurant. She drives home as fast as she can without getting a ticket. Relief setting in that she didn’t cry in front of Mark, Katie calls Trudy, Donna, Amy and Jana to come over and help her get rid of all Mark’s stuff. After getting off the phone with each one of them Katie walks over to her computer and logs into Facebook.

“This is the last time I am ever humiliated like this,” Katie says as she clicks on account, account settings and deactivate account. As the screen comes up asking her if she wants to deactivate her account she clicks the box that says other and then clicks the “Deactivate My Account” button.  As Katie watches the loading bar go across the bottom of her screen deactivate her account she feels a sense of relief. For weeks she had been worried about Mark. Now she was only going to worry about Katie. It felt great.

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Payback – A Short Story

Trudy was annoyed. It was a simple as that. Her husband George was always finding ways to come up and tickle her when she wasn’t ready for it. No matter what she tried to do to catch George before he got her, George always had the upper hand. He would catch her while she was holding a box or tray of food. He would hide in the carport and get her when she got out of the car. George would wait till she was almost sound asleep and then start to tickle her. He would sneak into their bathroom and get her while she was in the shower. This last stunt caused them to have to get a new shower curtain that was clear so that he couldn’t sneak up on her again.

Trudy had decided that this week enough was enough. She was going to teach George a lesson about tickling people and maybe he would finally stop his stupid tickling game once and for all. George had extremely ticklish armpits. Trudy wanted to tickle George in his armpits and show him how annoying it really was. Sadly though, none of her plans had been working for her. Something always seemed to be happening to stop Trudy from completing her task.

On Monday, she hid in the carport behind her car waiting for him to get home so she could jump out and get him. George was over an hour late getting home from work that day and Trudy fell asleep waiting for him. He heard her snoring and found her hiding spot. He woke her up by tickling her. She screamed when he woke her up and. She couldn’t believe she had fallen asleep and George just wouldn’t stop making fun of her about it. He laughed at her every time he looked at her.

On Tuesday, Trudy hid in the closest in the hallway hoping that she would be able to catch him when he grabbed his coat for work in the morning. Unfortunately for Trudy, George didn’t take a coat to work that day. It was the first sunny and warm day of spring. She was almost late to her own job waiting for him in that closest.  Trudy felt so stupid for not checking the weather report before getting into the closest. She was glad that George never found out about that moment or she would have never heard the end of it.

On Wednesday, Trudy truly thought she had a better chance of getting him. George was going to play golf with some friends from work because he didn’t have any appointments that day. Trudy knew that when George was done with golf he always went home and took a nap. She had decided that she was going to go home at lunch from work and get him while he was taking a nap. When she walked in the door to the house she was surprised by the sound of George throwing up in the bathroom. She found out that George had gotten food poisoning from some bad shrimp. He was in and out of the bathroom for the rest of the day either throwing up or puking. Trudy ended up taking care of him for the rest of the day.

Because George had gotten food poisoning on Wednesday, Trudy put off doing anything to him on Thursday. She was still trying to help him get better and she really wasn’t up to trying to trick him. She had spent most of night cleaning up after George and spent all of Thursday doing the same thing. Trudy was just too exhausted on Thursday to attempt to try and tickle him. She spent most of the night trying to think of some way to get George.

It was Friday and Judy finally figured it out. She would get George that night and in a way that he would never see it coming. She put her plan into action as soon as George left for work. Trudy didn’t have work today because the school had been closed down for termite spraying. As soon as George left for work Trudy put her plan into action. She cleaned the house from top to bottom. She then ran to the beauty shop and had her hair dyed from blonde to dark red and her nails painted black with white tips. Trudy stopped at the mall and picked up some sexy new lingerie and a pair of black thigh high boots. On her way home Trudy stopped at a specialty store and pick up a few items for the evening and then the grocery store to get George’s favorite dinner, stuffed shells and cheese sauce.

Trudy started dinner as soon as she got home. While the shells were in the oven she went down the hall and slipped the lingerie on and then put on a slinky black dress over it. She pulled her new red hair up on the top of her head and tried on her new more daring make up. She gave herself the once over and then headed back downstairs to finish setting up dinner.

At 6:30 on the dot George walked through the front door. Trudy had dinner on the dining table, candles burning and their song playing on the CD player. George made his way into the dining room and Trudy was standing there. She held two glasses of wine and a smile on her face.

“Trudy? Is that you?” George asked her with surprise in his voice.

“Hello George,” Trudy told George with a smile across her face. “Have a glass of wine and let’s eat dinner.”

“What is all this Trudy?” George asked as he reached for the wine. “I know I did not forget an anniversary.”

“Can’t a woman just do something nice for her loving husband for once?” Trudy told George as she sat at her end of the table.

“This is more than doing something nice Trudy. You have changed your hair and makeup. I don’t think I have seen that dress before. Trudy are you leaving me?” George asked with some fear in his voice.

“No George I am not leaving you,” Trudy said with a small laugh. “The hair and makeup was just something new I wanted to do. The dress I have had for years and just never wore it. I just wanted to get dressed up for one night for no special reason other than I want to show my husband how much I love him.”

George stared at Trudy and then took his seat. Neither of them spoke for a long period of time. Trudy finally finished off the last of her wine and smiled at George.

“George tonight I want to try something new and exciting. Are you willing to go along with what I have planned tonight?” Trudy asked George as she slowly undid the straps of her dress and let it fall to the floor.

Standing in front of George all Trudy wore was a black banded elastic strappy bra with matching panties and her thigh high boots. George’s mouth dropped open and he shook his head yes slowly. Trudy walked seductively over to George and kissed his lips. She reached behind her back and pulled out a dog collar. She wrapped it around George’s neck and smiled down at him.

“What is this Trudy?” George asked. His were wide with trying to take everything in. “Are you trying to tell me after 5 years of marriage that you are into S&M?”

Trudy gave George a little giggle. “I told you I wanted to try something new. I have never done this before. I thought maybe you might like to spice up our love life a little. Do you not want to try something new with me anymore?” Trudy asked with a pout.

George jumped up from his seat and knocked it on the floor. “Oh no Trudy, I am ready to try something new. Let’s go.”

Trudy locked a dog leash on to the collar and pulled George eagerly to the bedroom. She opened the door and pulled George into their bedroom. She had put black satin sheets on the bed and removed the comforter. Black and red candles were lit all over the room and the smell of cinnamon filled the air. Trudy pulled George to the bed and gave him a small push down on it. George ran his hand over the satin and licked his lips. Trudy walked over to the bedside table and pulled out a small riding whip.

“George you need to take off all your clothes,” Trudy said in a stern voice. When George made no move to take off his clothes Trudy snapped the riding whip at her side. “NOW GEORGE!”

George jumped to his feet at once. He slowly started unbuttoning his shirt as he stared at Trudy with wide eyes.

“Wow Trudy, I’ve never seen you like this. You are really into this,” George said as he pulled off his shirt. “Is there a safety word or something?”

“I don’t think we will go that far George. Let’s just start out a little and go from there,” Trudy said as she watched him undress. He stood before her naked and Trudy smiled at him. “Turn around George. You need a few spankings before we get started.”

George smiled and winked at her. He turned around and laid his hands on the bedroom sheets. He stuck his butt out and waited for the first smack of her whip on his bare ass. When Trudy swung she did not try to hit George hard. This was just a set up to the real game. She didn’t want him to stop in the middle before she could really get him. Trudy gave him two smacks and then pushed her boot into his butt so that he fell forward onto his stomach on the bed.

“George climb up to the top of the bed and lay down flat on your back,” Trudy said as she went to the bedside table again. George hurried and did as he was told. When he turned over Trudy noticed that George was aroused. She smiled and pulled out four sets of handcuffs. Starting with George’s wrists she locked him to the bed post and then starts on George’s legs. When George was secure Trudy looked down at him and let out a small laugh. She walked again to the bedside table and pulled out a long purple feather. Turning she stepped on to the bed and stood with both legs on either side of George. She looked down at him and then placed one boot square in the middle of his chest.

“George tonight I am going to show you how it feels to be tickled all the time,” Trudy said with a firm voice.

“What?” George asked as he tried to sit up. “I thought you wanted to try something new. Why are you doing this? I don’t find this fun anymore, Trudy.”

“I haven’t found the past six months to be funny either George,” Trudy said down to George. “I have asked you for the past six months to stop this stupid game, but you won’t. Tonight I will show you what it is like to be tickled over and over again.”

George tried to pull his arms free, but he could not move. Trudy looked down and noticed that George was no longer aroused. She smiled and slowly lowered herself onto George’s chest. She moved the feather across his face and down his chest. George flinched and stirred with every move. Trudy shifted a little and moved the feather back and forth across George’s chest. Closer and closer Trudy got to his armpits. She could feel George trembling between her legs.

“Please Trudy, don’t do this. You know my armpits are sensitive to the slightest touch,” George pleaded with Trudy. “I will stop the game if you just let me go.”

“That would be too easy George. I don’t believe the game will stop till you understand how annoying the game really is,” Trudy said with another swipe across his chest.

She took a breath and began to run the feather up and down the length of his right armpit. George started to laugh. Trudy moved to the left armpit and started going up and down the length of it. Up and down, back and forth Trudy went over George’s chest. George laughed so hard he could hardly breathe. Trudy did not let up, but continued to tickle him over and over again.

After 15 minutes Trudy felt a surprise between her legs. George was becoming aroused by the torture of being tickled. She looked down at him and was completely amazed. George’s eyes grew wide with his arousal. Trudy stopped tickling George and started to slowly get up.

“No Trudy, don’t stop,” George said while catching his breath. “This is the most amazing feeling I have ever had in my life. Don’t stop.”

Trudy didn’t know what to do. She hadn’t planned on George liking the torture. She had hoped he would beg for forgiveness and would never try to get her with the tickle game again. She had to come up with a new plan. Trudy tilted back and forth on George’s chest while she thought. Suddenly it hit her.

“Ok George I will keep tickling you and I will tickle you whenever we decided to play around, but only,” Trudy said with a light in her eye, “if you promise to never play the tickle game on me again. You have to promise. If you play the tickle game on me one time after this night I will never tickle you again.”

“I promise,” George said. “No more tickle game on you if you promise to tickle me just like this, handcuffs and all, whenever we decided to play.”

“It’s a deal,” Trudy said and started to tickle George again. Trudy gave George an hour of foreplay tickling with the feather and then they had the best night of sex they had had in a long time.

After that night George never played the tickle game on Trudy again and she continued to tickle him every time they decided have sex. This made both Trudy and George the winners in the end.

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A Re-Telling… 28 years later

They say that everyone is supposed to have fifteen minutes of fame sometime in their life. Most of the time the fame comes from doing something amazing;  such as helping in your community, saving someone’s life, winning an award, staring in a movie, etc. There are times where someone’s fifteen minutes of fame is related to something tragic happening. At the young age of ten I had my fifteen minutes of fame in a tragic way; I lost my younger brother, Andy.

The Christmas lights were still shining bright on our Christmas tree the day after Christmas. The tree sat in the corner of the living room looking lovely with tinsel, ornaments, and pretty colored lights, but it was just a cover up. The tree was hiding a dark secret from my younger brother, Andy, and I. My parents knew the trees secret, but they thought they could keep it until their days off to take care of it.  Little did anyone in my house know that that the tree was a ticking time bomb.

It was just another day at our little brick house with the huge picture window in the front. My step-dad had already left for work at four am and would be home in just a little over an hour. My mother was watching TV before going into work when her boss called to ask her to come in a little early. On a normal day my brother and I were left home alone for no more than 20 to 30 minutes. With my mom now leaving early my brother and I would be left home alone for a full hour.

I wasn’t worried about being left home alone. It was a normal thing while I was growing up. I had been left home alone since my brother was five and I was seven. So when my mom told us she was going into work early I just took it as more time to watch cartoons before step-dad got home from work. I just gave my mom a hug and started to head out to the living room to watch TV.

Andy became upset with the news that our mom was leaving early for work. His face became sad and tears rolled down his cheeks from his hazel eyes. He begged my mom not to go in early. Andy wasn’t normally like this, but today he just didn’t want my mom to go into work. He asked her to call out sick and just stay home with us. My mom pushed the black hair back from his face and gave him a kiss. She told him that she had to go to work or we wouldn’t have the money to do all the nice things that we liked to do. My brother hugged her and begged her again not to go, but there was nothing he could do. If there was any chance for overtime our mom took it.

Andy came out into the living room and began changing the channels on the TV. We began to fight back and forth because I was watching TV first and he didn’t have any right to change the TV on me. Mom came into the living room to see what the yelling was about. I was told to go into my mom‘s room to watch TV and Andy was told to stay in the living room to watch TV. This was what usually happened when my brother and I fought over the TV. My mom kissed us both good-bye and headed off to work.

The next hour was the same as always for my brother and me. We would watch TV in two different rooms. We would chase one another around the house. We would fight with one another over stupid stuff. It was just another day.

The only difference to this day was that after an hour of being home alone my step-dad still wasn’t home.  He was usually home around four or five since he went into work so early. Andy and I really didn’t make a big deal of it because we were scared of our step-dad and the more time he was away the less chance we would be yelled at or spanked for doing something he felt was wrong. Step-dad was a former bull rider that chained smoked and had a short temper. On a view occasions Andy and I had felt the back of his hand for one thing or another. So step-dad not being home on time was not something my brother and I worried about too much.

At the almost two hour mark of being home alone the nightmare began. Andy was in the living room watching TV and I was down the hall in my parents’ bedroom watching a VHS when I heard my brother’s scream. I ran to the living room to see Andy standing next to our living room curtains with the bull rider lighter that my step-dad had got for Christmas from a friend was in Andy’s hand and the curtains were a blaze with flames.

I watched for only a second or two as the flames went up the curtains, across the roof, and headed towards the Christmas tree. Andy grabbed my hand and pulled me down the hall to our parents’ bedroom just as the Christmas tree exploded. The dryness of the tree branches were perfect for the flames to feed off of. In no time at all the room would be covered in flames.

As soon as we entered the room I slammed the door shut and ran into the bathroom to grab a towel and put it across the bottom of the door. All those classes on fire safety came rushing back to me.  I knew we had to get out of there. There was no telling when the flames would make it down the hall to the room where we hiding.

While I was putting the towel across the bottom of the floor Andy was trying to open the window. The window had one of the old screw locks to keep the window closed. There was a piece that sat on the track of the window and there was a screw that was in the metal piece that kept it from moving. In order to open the window you have to turn the screw until it comes almost out completely from the metal piece and then remove the metal piece from the track. It is a lock that Andy and I have played with several times in our own bedrooms, but never in our parents’ room.

Andy tried over and over again to get the screw to move and come out. He gave up after a minute or two and went into the bathroom to try and open the window in there. I ran over to the window to see if I could move the screw, but it wouldn’t budge. Andy and I switched places and both tried the two windows again and again. We were in such a panic that neither one of us realized that there was a telephone sitting on the nightstand under the window. We just ran around the room banging on the windows to get out.

After trying the windows for what seemed like forever, but was only minutes, I told Andy we should run across the hall to my room because we knew that the window would open in there. We had climbed in and out of my room several times while playing tag the last few months.  Andy shook his head yes and we made our way to the closed bedroom door.

Once again the fire safety classes kicked in and I felt the door to make sure it wasn’t hot.  I gave Andy a nodded and open the door. The cloud of black thick smoke that came into the room was over powering. In all the fire safety classes I have taken not one time had they told the class about how the smoke wouldn’t come just straight in and above us, but would come in right at our faces. There was no time to get low and crawl to safety. There was just the intake of black smoke filling my lungs and burning my eyes. I ran to the window and banged on it over and over again. Then I remember nothing.

I woke up nine hours later with my arms strapped down to the sides of a bed in the UMC emergency ICU. My mom was standing over me with tears in her eyes. There are two small tubes going into my nose giving me oxygen to help with my breathing. A nurse and a doctor were suddenly by my mom and they are looking me over. I started to cry because I couldn’t move my arms because of the straps. The doctor tells me he will have them taken off of me if I promise to not to rip off the cords and wires attached to me. I would later find out when I came in that after cutting my clothes off to see if I had been burned that I ripped off all the wires and tubes that they tried to attach to me until they had to strap my arms down.

I asked my mom where Andy was and she pointed across the room to a small boy under a white sheet with more tubes and wires than me. He had the full face oxygen mask on and wasn’t moving. All I could hear was the sound of beeping from the machines and the noise from the oxygen.  I take one long look at my brother and pass back out.

The next few days in the ICU were horrible. My mom would get in several fights with the nurses over them telling me that they wouldn’t give me anymore shots and then they would wake me up five minutes later to take blood or give me a shot. At one point in time my mother would have a nurse thrown out of the ICU after I woke to see her holding my brother in the air with one leg while she changed his sheets. She hadn’t just lifted him into the air a little, but was holding him up by one leg as if he was a baby. My screams would send my mom into the room and then a yelling match between her and the nurse would follow. A doctor would have to come in separate my mom and the nurse followed by the nurse being escorted out of the ICU. We wouldn’t see that nurse again before our time ended at the hospital.

After two days in ICU I was moved to a regular room down the hall from my brother. I wasn’t allowed to look in the mirror before I was given a shower and all the smoke was removed from my hair. I was a towhead until I was 14 years old so I can only imagine what my hair looked like at the age of 10 with smoke in it. My mom said it was green and that before they cleaned me up I looked like a rag doll that had been through a fire. She was the reason I wasn’t allowed to see myself before I was clean. She didn’t want me to remember how I looked at that moment. It was enough that her, my step-dad and my grandparents had seen me that way. My mom worried I would have nightmares about how I looked if I saw myself.

I was in a regular room for two days. On the day I was set to go home, December 30th, was the day that they decided to take my brother off of life support. Andy had brain damage and was in a coma. If he ever came out of the coma he would be in a vegetated state for the rest of his life. The doctors didn’t think he would ever wake up from the coma.

I learned later that when the firemen found my brother and I Andy had been found in my parents’ bathroom with only smoke to breath. The firemen had to revive him because his heart had already stopped beating when they found him. Even though the firemen brought him back my brother died the day after Christmas in 1987. My mom knew this and that was why she made the hard choice to remove him from life support. He wasn’t really there anymore anyway.

I was wheeled into the ICU one last time to see my brother on December 30th. I cried my eyes out and told him I loved him. I kissed the top of his head and held his hand. At the age of 10 I had a total of two brothers, one that I never met and Andy. On December 30th I lost the only sibling I had ever known or grew up with. He was my best friend and now he was gone. It was one of the worst days of my life.

I left the hospital that same day. On the car ride to my cousins’ house I cried the whole way. As we drove on the freeway we passed the house. I could see out the window that the picture window was gone and there only a wooden board covering it. I could see the smoke stains going up the window and into the roof. I closed my eyes from the sight and buried my head into my grandmother’s shoulder. I didn’t ever want to see that horrible sight again.

When I arrived at my cousins’ house I found out about my 15 minutes of fame. My brother and I had been in the newspaper and on the news about the fire. Someone passing by the house had seen the fire because the smoke was so intense it had pushed out the huge picture window and nothing but smoke was coming out. The firemen found me sitting in the living room next to the brick entry way into the house. The only thing that saved my life was the huge picture window breaking out. With all the smoke going out the window I was able to get fresh air. If I had never somehow found my way into the living room and had just passed out in my parents’ room I would not be here today.

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