10 months ago

Book 1 Website Chapters 1-2

Truths aren’t reached

Truths aren’t reached by bridges of excuses. I’ll be here, just jump.” The lines of his brows relax, he winks and takes me in his fold, “That’s my girl. Hey, did I tell you I had lunch with your mother ...” Curiosity is greased by impulse. I glimpse and fall, stunned and at peace, transfixed like when I lay in the cool autumn grass watching the sunlight and shadows play. The man looks up, a divine and toxic elixir of unrecognizable thoughts and feelings that scatter and numb my senses. “Thank you, Scott.” I quiver. “Okay Kathryn, look,” Scott’s head tilts to examine. “That exuberant joy you talk about is in your freedom to choose from ...” I try to listen, but the quiver spreads in an uncontrollable need to touch and explore the textures of the man’s skin, to travel into his eyes. I know what I must do, but shame cloaks my need. Master of this charade, I hold on Scott’s eyes, “Exuberant joy isn’t perfection Scott, it’s passion pushing you over all the difficult stuff. It’s the source of the hope that manifests the faith.” Scott watching, I catch the man in my peripheral view and align my mental lens, but I move too soon. The man catches my look, jettisoning my heart to my throat, fueling a flame that reaches down to the kiss of my thighs. Scott’s tone sharpens, “So you’d rather stay because it’s a known miserable?” Frustrated, I focus on Scott, “I don’t know Scott. It’s different when you choose to be born a man.” Scott dismisses. I press, “Your world view is skewed, The Rules of Life by Melissa Abbott-Cooke. Contact: 615-669-5643 30

lind to the subterfuge, but we get the point and spend our lifetime working our way out of it. I’m making changes. I’ll find the answer.” “You don’t doubt your hope, Kathy. I love that about you.” He pulls me in again, smug if I didn’t know him better, lighthearted because I do. “Do you know that guy that’s leaving?” Alarmed, I pull away, shake my head. Hysteria fueling an unyielding clarity, I quickly align my mental lens to capture the weathered browns of fall in the man’s hair, his details and symmetry. His will be the only portrait to hang in my gallery. The man reaches the door and looks back to me. A radiating ache I’ve never known rises. Refusing, I swallow and snap the shutter of my soul to capture him; more than the wonder in nature and never something I’ve seen in a person, a man. He turns toward Michigan Avenue, glancing back through the glass wall. Scott lifts me into a hug, now different and uncomfortable. “Maybe this is a good thing. It certainly makes finding you easier. I’ll call you from LA; no working this weekend, got it?” The presentation under Elaine’s door an hour later, Joe, the nighttime security guard, sips from his Army mug, “You headed out now, Miss Winslow? That Mr. Howard looks sharp in his uniform, the ladies thought so too.” I clear my throat, glance to the sheet under Joe’s mug. The curiosity that has held me captive strangling my hope. “Yes Joe. Um, I, I wanted to ask you something.” He gently tires of waiting, lifts his book, “What’s that Miss Winslow?” I catch the title of the book, “Nothing, I just; thank you for letting Scott in.” The Rules of Life by Melissa Abbott-Cooke. Contact: 615-669-5643 31

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