Isn’t it the basic idea why we decide to spend a minimum of eight hours in sleep every night? Because we hope that when we wake up, things might just fall into place, and by some miracle, we might just feel better? Isn’t it? Sure is, I know.
You see, I’ve been paying attention to ‘The Rose For The Night’, and have written more than ten pages in the past two days (slow, I get it). This story has undergone many changes, the primal one being in its characters’ names. Bailey Camelot was changed to Avra Camelot, and Neil became Dean Aldrich, all because of my mood swings 😉
Writing TRFTN, I came across some instances where Avra’s situation made perfect sense to me, even though I haven’t been in such a situation myself. The most, what’s the word, heartfelt one is her desperation to take control of her life. She wants it all back–her life, her house, her wealth and her optimism. But as they say, once broken it is really hard to mend a heart.
She’s cynical because her husband–the man she’d trusted with all her might–kept her prisoner in an abusive, emotionally wrecking marriage. Avra believe she’ll never fall in love again. But when her best friends since childhood, Dean and Gina, try to changer her perception towards life, she realizes maybe there’s hope for everyone in this world–we might just not be able to see it.
The story follows Avra’s quest for happiness, and how she finds true love from someone she never thought of.
Here’s an excerpt from TRFTN. I hope you like it:
The phone started ringing just then, shrill and demanding. It was Gina, my attorney—whose work was pretty much over the day the judge granted me separation from the jerk I have—or had—for a husband.
I picked up nonetheless. You don’t want to be rude to lawyers—especially when you are slightly aware that your deranged hubby might try to get back at you.
‘Hey, Gina!’ I greeted her, probably with a little too much enthusiasm than what is expected from a newly divorced twenty-four-year-old.
‘Avra? Is that you?’ she sounded a little worried. I giggled silently, smiling even wider. Seriously, what is wrong with people? Just because I got away from an aggressive settlement doesn’t mean I should go all Moping Martha on anyone and everyone.
‘Yeah, it is me. What’s up?’ I toned down my sudden excitement for her benefit. ‘Did something happen?
‘Oh, no, not at all. I just called to check up on you. But it looks like you’re doing okay.’ She said. I could almost imagine her rolling her eyes at me. That’s what she always does.
Did I mention Gina Harris has also been my best friend since kindergarten? Probably not. Well, now you know. And since she is such a good friend of mine, she took it upon herself to get me out of the mess I’d gotten myself into straight after high school.
Gina is pretty much the reason I could afford to file a divorce case and a lawyer when I’m broke. All the while, I’ve lived with Malcolm, I was prosperous enough and didn’t feel the need to dig up the fortune my parents had left me. But now that I wanted to go away from him, it clearly meant living without his riches, too.
The local bank officer told me that it would take a minimum of two months for them to hand over all my ancestral assets to me.
And miserable as I was, two months seemed like an eternity to spend with that vindictive man. Hence, Gina came to my rescue, and agreed to be my lawyer until I could actually pay off her debts.
‘Avra, you there?’ she spoke again, a little nervous this time. I smiled at her concern.
‘Definitely am. Just driving down to my house. You wanna join me?’ I suggested, and she agreed even before I was done. There’s probably no reason Gina would reject a proposal to spend time with me. When we were in school, most people thought we both had a thing for each other.
That’s how close we are.
‘See you in an hour or something.’ She said, and hung up on me as I cornered down my lane. It had grown so . . . different. I sure recognized a few houses—despite all the years I’d spent away from the place—and many of the neighbors who had hung around for a while smiled at me as I passed by them.
Seeing all those people smile at me, it felt like my life was back in my hands. I mean, hey, I’m twenty-four, I work as an editor at the local newspaper—which is a high-paying job, let me tell you—and I’m pretty much sure that with all the money Mom and Dad had left me, and the dosh I get from my job, I can put even my grandkids through college, without any help from anybody.
Now that really makes me wonder—why did I even put up with Malcolm in the first place? The answer to that would be simple. Because I love him. Or did, just a while ago, anyway.
‘Well, well, if this isn’t Avra Camelot herself.’ An old woman—probably in her late forties or early fifties, with picturesque good looks and radiant green eyes—greeted me with a big, congenial grin. It didn’t take me more than a minute to remember her name, and how dearly I adored her all the while I used to live here. She is, after all, the mother of my one and only friend besides Gina.
‘Nice to see you, Mrs. Aldrich.’ I hugged her tenderly, and when I pulled away, I noticed she was crying. My throat was suddenly all clogged up.
‘It’s been so long since you came around. I’m so sorry for what happened, dear. And since when do you call me as ‘Mrs. Aldrich?’’ She crossed her hands above her chest, trying to act angry. I let out a giggle.
‘Sorry, Mrs. Al—I mean, Megan.’ I corrected myself, and she patted my cheek. I had known Megan Aldrich since I was a newborn, because of countless reasons. First, she was a very close friend of my mother’s, and second, because her son and I have been the best of friends since the time we learnt to speak.
Megan always liked people to call her with her name, and not use titles like Mrs. Aldrich, especially when it came to me.
‘C’mon in, I’ve redecorated your house. It is as good as new.’ She grabbed my hand, and dragged me in. She pushed open the door, and my eyes nearly fell out of my skull when I saw what she’d done to the house that no one had stepped inside in at least a decade.
The walls were repainted into blues and purples, my favorite color combinations. The eclectic furniture pieces fit in together so harmoniously that each of them looked like it belonged to the place.
For the most part, the house looked like it had never been left alone. I could see myself as a toddler, cuddling on the couch with Dad watching ‘The Powerpuff Girls’, Mom making my favorite blueberry pancakes in the kitchen, Gina and I trying to bake our first lot of cookies. . . .
All the memories caused tears to flow down my cheeks, without my knowledge. Megan noticed the waterworks.
‘Avra, dear, it’s all going to be okay. We are all here with you.’ She wrapped her arms around me—she is an inch or two taller than I am—and I sobbed silently for a minute before the bell rang.
‘It must be Gina. I called her over.’ I pulled away from her, and went to get the door. Like I had guessed, Gina stood in the doorway, trying to dry out her hair. It was still raining.
‘Can you believe the rain? It’s so freaking annoying! Get out of the way, Camelot, I’m just about wasting myself in the water.’ She pushed her way in, almost toppling me over. Megan and I, both of us chuckled at Gina’s exasperation. She’s never been a fan of the rainy weather of Lawrence.
‘Oh, hey Megan. How’s it going?’ she high-fived Megan on her way before she collapsed on the sofa. Megan pulled out three cans of cranberry juice out of the fridge while I seated myself beside a very irritated and exhausted Gina, as she ranted on about how much damage the rain had done to her perfectly straight and shimmery golden locks of hair.
‘I just got them done yesterday, and look what’s happened to them. Honestly, Camelot, you can’t live in Kansas if you’re fashion-conscious.’ She bawled, running a hand through her hair constantly. I got distracted when she called me ‘Camelot’—in a good way though, because Gina hardly calls me ‘Avra’.
She thinks of it as her right to address me in any way she wants, since she’s practically my sister and all, and she gets to share that right with only one person—Mrs. Aldrish’s son.
‘Gina, your hair is just fine. Here, have a drink.’ Megan handed her a glass, and sat in front of us on the coffee table.
Megan’s cool like that, you know. All these years, I’ve never felt that she’s my mother’s age, and I need to behave myself around her.
When we were nine, Megan used to organize grand picnics for us, take us to the movies, and what not. After my parents died, she practically raised me up until I went to college.
‘So, when is the court making it official?’ she asked Gina, and I knew she was talking about the divorce.
‘Almost done. The papers come in first thing Monday morning.’ Gina replied, taking a sip of the cold drink. I smiled when she winked at me.
‘That’s great. Monday is going to come bearing gifts, I see.’ Megan mused, and when she realized that Gina and I didn’t take in a word of what she’d just blabbered, she went on to explain.
‘Oh I’m sorry; I didn’t mention a little detail. Your buddy is coming to wreak havoc in my house as soon as the weekend ends.’
Yes, I admit I freaked out. But I wasn’t alone on this one; Gina too, was squealing her lungs out like me.
Dean was coming on Monday.
Dean Aldrich was coming to town on Monday—and I hoped with all my heart that his stay would be a bit more permanent than the last we’d met at my wedding. Yeah, it had been five years—five years—since I’d seen him.
And now, finally, after all these years—nasty years, that too—all three of us could be together. Dean, Gina and I.
I don’t know about others, but for me, I don’t think life gets any better than this.
I hope you like it. And since this post is sufficiently long, I’ll take your leave. Have a nice day!