She feels at
Home. I tell her
She is, as we chop
Apples, avocados, and
Celery into bitable chunks of
Long talks shared with
He parked the sandwich before her, observing her hunger for friendship as a family of six scurries to Gate 3B, luggage rolls by, a lady with her neck tossed back snores, children sprint, ducking behind chairs; and a businessman cries at the protagonist’s goodbye. She smiles and takes a bite.
Happy Friday, everyone! This little piece is for KaylaAnn’s Flash Fiction Writing Contest. I encourage all of my readers to join in on the fun. The last date for submissions is March 16, 2018. Be sure to check out KaylaAnn’s page for the official contest rules.
For those of you who read my post called “Meeting Golden,” I promised to write about the time I crashed my friend’s week-long vacation in Hawaii.
Here it is!
We decided that she’d get a ten minute head start to smoke a cigarette. I didn’t mind, relishing in the extra time to snooze on the pull out couch.
We met during undergrad. We’d study Chaucer and Shakespeare together, always with Dr. Caldwell. In our final semester, Britany suggested we take creative writing. I agreed but insisted, “We’re gonna take intermediate, okay?” That was until intermediate wasn’t an option. That’s when we parted ways. Britany took the advanced class, and I joined in with the beginners.
Britany called right before graduation. One of her regulars had gifted her with a trip to Hawaii. The room was paid for; all she had to do was book a flight.
I half jokingly invited myself, and before I knew it, I was asking my husband if I could fly to Hawaii with a friend I didn’t know too well.
Don’t get me wrong, Britany and I talked regularly, but most of our conversations revolved around homework, how we had procrastinated again, and the kids we had tutored during the week. Our friendship only existed within the walls of our university. Things could get awkward in Oahu. A week is a long time to spend with just one person.
On our trip, Britany and I developed a system. She’d smoke and after approximately ten minutes, I’d take the elevator down and slide out the back door to meet Britany in the designated smoking area. Every time, I’d find Britany with a new friend. They would be swapping life stories like kids with trading cards. A lady gave us fresh banana bread, another advised us where to snorkel and which bus to catch.
But the most memorable encounter was when I observed Britany sitting on a bench with a Japanese couple. Britany and I were supposed to be on our way to sing karaoke. I had hoped once she saw me, she’d rise so we could leave. Instead, Britany invited me to sit down. The couple spoke little English, and for the past ten minutes, they had communicated using google translate. Together we lingered, bonding over cats and sharing bits of ourselves. After awhile, the four of us drifted to the karaoke bar.
There we sang in our own languages. Although, they did join in with Aerosmith’s “I don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” We clapped and cheered for one another, and between anthems we’d chat, speaking into the tablet’s microphone. It worked well, although there was one particular instance Britany and I looked down on the screen to read,
“The dark horse is forever”
We’d lose it, compose ourselves, and tell them to try again.
I wonder what secret messages we spoke into them.
I enrolled in a class called Chaucer, in which we exclusively read Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Although I may be an English major, I did not read much growing up. I had never heard of him, and I was not ready to encounter middle English. If you’ve never read middle English, it might as well be a totally different language. Although, somehow you get used to it. Dr. Caldwell demanded that we read the text as it was written. However, we were allowed to read his works in modern English as a supplement. She reminded us that our midterm and final would include portions in middle English. Therefore, in order to succeed we needed to know how to digest his work as it was originally written.
I did exactly as she instructed. I’d read a small portion of the tale in middle English, and then I would stop to read the equivalent in modern English to ensure I was comprehending the material. It was an exhaustive process, but I was also going to nail Dr. Caldwell’s exams.
Then the day of the midterm arrived. I successfully completed the short response, but when I reached the essay portion of the exam, things started to get shaky. I was asked to thematically link three or four tales, and my mind could not think of a single connection. I grappled and grasped for anything, sensing that time was slipping away. Finally, it hit me. In each tale, one character goes on a quest. I furiously wrote down and developed my idea, and I walked out of the classroom feeling victorious. That was until I realized, “Oh my gosh, I just argued that they all have a plot.” Suddenly, I was convinced that I had failed, and sheer panic struck. That’s when she caught up to me. We had never spoken before, but she said something along the lines of “Wasn’t that a doozy?” I’m pretty sure “doozy” isn’t even in her vocabulary, but let’s roll with it. And that’s all I needed to spill my guts. From that day forward, I’d sit next to Britany Jean Golden.
Hello Everyone! Happy Tuesday. This blog post is dedicated to my sweet sister-friend, Britany Jean Golden. Today is her birthday, and I guarantee you’ll be hearing more about our friendship soon!
…Like that time I crashed her week-long trip in Hawaii. That’s when we became sisters.