A Flowering novella by Sarah Daltry
Four years. One night that was supposed to be an escape turned into four years. And now, four years is about to turn into forever.
Lily was never anything special. A perfect girl from a perfect world living an empty life. She was lost, thinking she knew who she was and what she wanted. She thought she knew love, but then there was a boy.
Jack has been through Hell. Watching his mother die – at his father’s hands – will never leave him. He had given up on living a life, figuring he would drink himself to death, if he didn’t give in to all the voices telling him to kill himself first. And then there was a girl who smelled like strawberries.
Two years have passed since Orange Blossom. Jack and Lily are only months away from their wedding and their journey is about to come to an end. Join them in the final title in the Flowering series, a story of growing up, of finding yourself, and of “blooming.”
After driving for two hours and a three hour seminar session, I’m exhausted. I take out my cell to text Jack and ask if he wants to order dinner tonight, because there is no way I even have the energy to go through a drive-thru. I notice as I look at my phone that I have twenty-six texts. That’s right – twenty-six. All sent between nine this morning and noon. All from my mother. They grow increasingly frantic, as if texts just shoot directly into my brain and notify me that she has something “very important” to ask me. I wish I had never given her my number. More, I wish I had never taught her how to text, because she seems to think it’s the same thing as actually speaking, and then she gets agitated when I don’t reply.
The last one she sent is incoherent. Just a lot of random letters and punctuation. I would worry that something was actually wrong, but my dad and Jon didn’t text. If something had happened, they would have as well. Instead, it’s just endless streams of urgency from my mother.
I leave my stuff in the library and go back outside to call her. She answers almost immediately. “I have been trying to reach you all morning,” she says.
“I had class.”
“But I texted you.”
“Right, but I still had class.”
“Okay, well, two things. First, we need to confirm the DJ. Have you done that yet? Did you meet with him? Do you know what time he’s setting up?”
“I’ll call him when I get off the phone with you. Sorry. It slipped my mind.”
There is a lengthy pause. She’s trying. I keep telling myself that, because it keeps me sane. A few years ago, I would have gotten quite the tirade about forgetting to call the DJ. Instead, she’s practicing deep breathing, which she learned about in yoga. My existence has led her to yoga.
“I promise. I’ll call,” I tell her.
“Okay. The second thing is that your father wants to put down a deposit for your honeymoon this week. Gail has been checking in and we don’t have an answer for her, so you have to pick something. I don’t like having to keep making Gail wait.” Gail is the travel agent my parents use. Everyone in my parents’ life is a long-lost friend; there is no such thing as Expedia.
“Can I let you know tomorrow?”
“I suppose, but haven’t you talked about it?” she asks.
“We have, but Jack feels silly taking your money. Maybe we’ll just do a weekend away at the Cape or something.”
The deep breathing resumes. People in my mother’s life don’t do weekends away at the Cape; they own houses there.
About Sarah Daltry
Sarah Daltry is a girl who writes books. The books are in all genres, because Sarah’s not so great at committing to things. She’s happily married and she and her husband live with their cats in New England. Sarah is painfully shy and, if you are able to find her, she is probably in a corner, hiding. She has also written the urban fantasy romance, Bitter Fruits; the YA gamer geek comedy, Backward Compatible; the literary reimagining, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock; historical erotica, The Quiver of a Kiss; and a variety of erotica and short stories.
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