Read My Dear Stranger Online

Authors: Sarah Ann Walker

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance

My Dear Stranger

BOOK: My Dear Stranger
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My Dear

Stranger

 

 

 

 

Sarah Ann Walker

 

 

Copyright © 05/09-1 2014 Sarah Ann Walker

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 0991723120

ISBN-13:
978-0-9917231-2-6

 

 

DEDICATION

 

 

To
Jakkob

 

You are the greatest blessing I have ever known.

And I hope every single day I have given you the love and strength needed to make it through life happily.

 

T
here will always be bullies baby, but one day I hope they don’t hurt your heart as much as they do now.

 

All my love,

Mommy

xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover
Design- James Freeburg

Cover
Synopsis- Sarah Ann Walker & Cheryl Shockley-Dent

 

 

This book is a work of fiction.  Any reference to real people, or real locales are used fictitiously.  Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

 

CONTENTS

 

 

                 Acknowledgments

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
This was the beginning…
 

 

 

 

 

    
    
  ... Of the end.  
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EPILOGUE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

I want to thank my husband once again for the beautiful book cover. 

It’s
exactly what I wanted.

I
want to thank my sister Brennah for the funniest, filthiest line ever- I’m glad I could write it into this book (Patrick loved it.)

I
want to thank Paola for being my best friend for a quarter of a century (Holy Shit!)

Thank
you Chris Carmilia always for your support and excitement.

Thank
you Brenda Belanger, my Boston Bruins Beauty.

 

Thank you Deniro, Paula, Christina, Megan, Jodie, Randi, Diane, Tara, Joan, Sleepy, Jen, Stephanie, Diana, Darcy, Sandy, Katica, Gladys, Crysti, Peggy, Shanyn, Sam, Briana, Cori, Glenda, Ashley, Jessica, Goldschool, April, Laura, Dena, Lisa, Rosanna, Suzy, Carla, Alanna, Michelle, Hayley, Tracy, Melannie, Whitney, Lou, Lynn, Glenda, Manda, Michelle, Leisa, Retta,

Triple M Books, A Literary Perusal,

Wine and my Kindle, & A Pair of Okies to name a few...

 

I want to thank my many friends, fans, readers, and bloggers who have supported me this last year.  I wish I could name you all.

 

Thank you Cheryl Shockley-Dent for being a kind, patient             friend when I was stressed.

And thank
you Kim Rinaldi for giving me great advice, and for
always
having my back.

 

 

Here goes… my third book
.

And potentially my
last.

xo

Sarah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the beginning…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

 

 
I was cleaning out the spare room this morning and I found my old hatbox filled with my special stuff.  You know, the stuff you think is important.  The stuff you keep year after year, move after move, man after man.  The stuff filled with weird memories, and nostalgic little tidbits which you truly believe at the time are the most important treasures you have.  Yes…
those
things.

  After running out to the garage with my hatbox for a
cigarette which I still hide from my husband, I lifted the lid and was transported back in time to a place where these useless things, photos, and pieces of scribbled upon paper actually meant something to me.

  When I found pictures of old friends I thought were going to be my BFF's I smiled.  Where the hell are they now, and why don't I actually care about them anymore?
  It’s amazing to me how once upon a time these friends were everything to me, and now I don't know where they are or what happened to them.  And sadly, I really don't care.  They were important to me then, but they have absolutely no importance to me now.

  Sifting through the papers and notes; the little love notes and messages from potential boyfriends, the catty notes in high school from my girlfriends trashing another girlfriend behind her back, I'm humored and enlightened.
   

 
I truly never thought I was a teenage bitch, but I guess I had moments like everyone has in high school.  You know the moment- the moment where you suddenly follow along and decide to hate the one girl you actually do like for a week because everyone else decided to hate her.  A week where she struggled with being disliked, and you thrived on being with the group who disliked her.  It's amazing how truly brutal teenage girls can be with one another.  Well, until it’s your turn to be hated for that long week.  After that week of being hated, trashed, bullied and emotionally tortured I know I never followed again.

  Even when my little group tried to pick
one of us to hate again, I
know
I didn't follow along even once after I had survived my turn, because I remember being the one in the middle.  I remember walking with the 'good' group, but still talking on the phone to the 'bad' girl who everyone hated that week.  I remember talking to the good
and
the bad until the week was over and she was back in the fold. 

  Thinking about it years later, I realize teenage fear and insecurity for girls really is intense, and I find it amazing how many of us actuall
y survive being a teenage girl.

  I remember being a teenage girl.
  I remember the confusion and desperation and fear all the time. Everyone wanted to be liked, and everyone wanted to be popular.  I was liked and popular, but at a heavy cost.

 
I had secrets that hurt, and I hid my real personality for years.  I was too afraid to just be myself, like most girls are I think, because being a teenage girl can be awful.  That I clearly remember.
  Looking through my hatbox, I finally pull out the dreaded two books I've been avoiding.  One is a thick notebook, a diary I guess, but it doesn't look like a diary so I’m fairly sure my mother didn’t read it.  It's more of a full sized spiral notebook with 'English Lit' on the front cover as its disguise.  I remember thinking I was so clever because my mother would have never read an English Lit notebook hidden among real school notebooks, so I think my secrets were safe from her. 

  Anyway, it
’s a scrapbook diary.  It’s my diary, but I only wrote the important stuff in that book though- not the day to day 'dear diary' stuff some girls used theirs for.  My diary held only the important stuff; like the deaths of musicians, or the deaths of fellow high schoolers from drunk driving accidents.  In that book I only wrote the really big stuff.  It started when I was 15 and I kept adding only truly
important
information until I was 22.

 
Really, it's more of the social history that created me. 

 

  Skimming through I find I'm shocked by just how much tragedy I believed personally affected me at the time.  It's weird how in my teenage brain I thought the death of 4 students from a different high school, whom I had never met, was my tragedy to mourn.  Yes, the death of 4 teenagers affects the whole community, but somehow I made it about me, though I had never met them, nor really cared about them at all.  Yet there I was attending the massive funeral at the other high school- our rival high school no less- crying dramatically in my school uniform to show MY school's support.  But really, it was absurd and highly dramatic, though I think that is the way of high school girls sometimes.

  Flipping through pages I see the events that DID truly affect me personally.
  The sudden death of a close friend from a rare, acute sickness that stunned me and the city I live in, making her front page news for 4 days straight.  The death of my grandfather which absolutely broke my heart.  The death of a teacher who I had a major crush on also making the front page headline because of his stupid car accident when he fell asleep behind the wheel.

 
Death. 

  It seems I've always been afraid of death, so I’ve often found myself dancing with it as cl
ose as I could.  I did things, and I experienced things.  I tried things but I always survived, though sometimes I was shocked by my own survival- Not that I actually wanted to die when I was a teenager, because I didn’t.  And NOT that I wanted attention through my hidden dramas because I never told anyone at the time about them.  So, no one else knew what I was doing, or feeling, or experiencing, or imagining for myself at the time.  But I knew. 

 

  I danced with death for years, and I don’t know why.  I was so afraid of death, but I pushed my body to do things, take things, experience things that could only imply I had a kind of death wish.  But I didn’t.  I have always been afraid of death, and I still am actually.

 

  Some days it’s amazing to me how far I’ve come.  I did things no one knows about, and I lived things I’ve never spoken of.  But to the people around me now, I’m a wonderful, accomplished, loving person, and no one knows just how far I’ve come.  But I know.

  I’m a wife to an amazing man, and I love him for making me amazing in the eyes of others.  I love him for knowing there is more to my past but never asking about it.  I love that he has never asked me to speak about my past.

  He wooed me, married me, and he allowed me to become the woman who would be married to someone like him, no questions asked.  Even though I can be very lonely some days with him, I never take for granted the fact that he helped me become all I ever wanted to be in other people’s eyes.  And he’s good for me.

  I’m a mother as well.  I’m a mother to a beautiful son who I adore.  I am a good mother and I truly love being a mother.  Other parents think I’m a terrific mother, and I’m proud of that. 

  I love being a mother to my son, and I love knowing I’m doing everything I can to make him feel valued and secure in his little life.  I want him to know that he is an amazing person as he grows so he never feels the sense of fear, insecurity and sadness that I felt growing up.  I want him to know he’s amazing, so he
feels
amazing.  And so far I’ve raised my son well. 

 
He’s happy and well liked.  He has everything he needs but he’s not spoiled.  My son possesses an intelligent, beautiful soul which I’m proud to say I helped create.  My son is everything to me.  He is the strength that tethers me to this world I live in.

 

  Lighting my 7
th
cigarette in our garage, I’m glad I’m alone.  My husband knows I sneak a smoke or two once in a while, and though I know he disapproves, neither of us actually acknowledge I smoke, therefore we can’t ever really argue about it.  I think that’s the best thing about my husband; He knows stuff but he never acknowledges it, therefore it’s like my hidden stuff doesn’t play out in our wonderful life together.  My husband doesn’t acknowledge anything bad, therefore I’m not actually doing anything bad.

 

 

*****

 

 

  I’m alone this weekend- My very first alone since the birth of my son.  My husband took my 6 year old skiing with his whole, huge family, and I opted to stay home, which is an absolute first for us.

  After much discussion around our dining room table, I finally agreed to let my husband and son leave me alone so they could go skiing with my in-laws.  And I know my son will be fine.  I know he will.  He may be the youngest of my husband’s huge family, but that’s going to work in my favor, I thin
k.  My son will have all his aunts and cousins watching his every move.  Plus, I honestly do trust my husband with my son anyway, so I really shouldn’t feel nervous.  But I do.  I can’t help it.

  My son is my blessing on this earth, and this is the first time we will be apart since he was born.  This is the first time I will not kiss, and hug, and giggle with my little boy.  This is going to be the longest 3 days of my life, I think.

  I am alone, and this is the first time being alone in over 8 years.  I’m alone, and this is why I’ve decided to rid myself of my hatbox today.  It’s time. 

  My husband knows my hatbox lives under the spare-room
bed, because my husband knows I took this hatbox with me when we moved twice.  My husband knows this is private, and I know he has never opened it, nor snooped.  My husband is too good a man for snooping.  Plus, my husband doesn’t want to know certain things about me anyway, which is good.  He doesn’t want to know, and I no longer want to tell him, so we have a mutual understanding.  He doesn’t ask, so I never have to tell.  Ignorance in this case truly is our bliss.

 

  Opening a lounge chair in the garage is strange, but I have a feeling I’m going to be here a while.  Walking back into my kitchen I brew a whole pot of coffee while wondering if my son and husband are almost at his family’s resort.  My son is probably drawing in the backseat, and my husband is probably listening to one of his conservative, long-winded talkshows on the radio.  My son has an amazing ability to tune everything out when he’s concentrating on his art, which is just another reason why I love him so much.

  Opening the treat drawer, I pull out a fresh pack of cigarettes.  Pouring the whole pot of coffee into a huge hockey mom thermos, I wait.  I know what I’m going to do, and I know I have to prepare myself.  I know what I’m going to do and I’m scared to do it.  But I will.  It’s time.

  Walking back into my garage, I walk right to the waiting lounge chair, take a large gulp of the hot coffee which burns all the way down my esophagus, and I settle in.  With shaking hands, I light another cigarette, because its time.

  Opening the hatbox one last time I reach in and slowly
graze my fingers along the teal blue silk of my special journal.  I remember the feel of this silk, and I remember caressing the texture of red and yellow thread within the Asian blue silk.  I remember resting my cheek against this special journal throughout my endless nights alone, and I remember the texture of silken thread imprinting my cheek as I held on tight and cried around it. 

  Rubbing my cheek against my journal, I can’t help but smile.  I wonder if the adult me even remembers what it felt like to be the teenage me.  I wonder if the words will still hold the same weight for me now that they held for me then.

  Sitting back in the lounger with my thermos of coffee, my pack of smokes, and my mind buzzing, I settle in for this.

  It
really is amazing to me where I ended up when I think of the years I spent with this special teal blue silken journal keeping me alive.

 

 

 

  Opening the cover of my special journal I see my teenage girl handwriting and smile again.  My writing is cute and decorative with circles on the i’s and a little heart on the top of each page.  God, I was so young and naïve.

 

 

 

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