For Tuesday Tales this week I’m stepping away from the romance to finish up a contemporary fiction that’s due out in October. A Second Chance is the prequel to My Wildest Dreams, the first book in A Growing Wings series.
In A Second Chance, Jenny finds herself struggling with the aftermath of an unexpected sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). She is coming to terms with having a second chance at life and what these changes will mean to her current life. This scene of the story takes place about three months after the SCA. This week our prompt is ‘buzz’.
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“Jenny, what on earth are you doing?”
Leanne’s voice pulled me from my deep thoughts as I stood in my aisle at work examining one of the products. “These are different.” I held up two sheets of plastic canvas for her to see.
She walked down the aisle, carrying a repack box and held it out in my direction. “These are yours. Not our department.” She laughed as she dropped it on the floor at my feet and held out her hands to see what I was so intently looking at. “I love it when I can pass stock onto someone else to put up.”
She held the two sheets, looked at one, then the other. She held them both up to the light. “And…?” She sounded perplexed.
“Look how different they are. This is the new one.” I reached for one and flexed it in the air. “Look how pliable and soft this one is. And it’s clearer.” I pointed to the other. “Look how stiff the older one is, and it’s not as clear.”
She nodded her head in agreement and handed the other sheet back to me. “I see that. It’s not like it’s defective though. Maybe they just changed suppliers or something.”
“Don’t you wonder why the older pieces are stiffer? Don’t you wonder if it’s the manufacturing process or the materials? Or, does it harden and stiffen with time and exposure to air?”
“Girl, you think about too many things. Who cares why they’re different?”
“I never did before. It caught my attention though, and I was curious.”
Leanne shook her head and started to walk away. “You’re getting strange. You’re different lately.” She stopped and straightened a few packages on my felting display, then turned with a parting jab. “You sure that cardiac arrest thing didn’t buzz your brain or something?”
As she darted away, back to her department as if she were going to ‘catch something’ if she hung around too long, a memory surfaced.
I remembered when I was about ten or eleven. Our family was driving from California to Ohio, My mom was driving with me, my brother, sister, and our four-year old cousin, Timmy. We had him with us so he could visit his dad in Michigan. The memory of this trip, engraved on my mind forty years later, is four-year old Timmy asking ‘Why’. Four thousand miles of: Why? Why? Why? Today, with many more than four years under my belt, I feel like I’m going through that four-year old phase … why, why, why?
I find I’m more curious about life and reality. I’m more curious about the “whys”. I catch myself asking ‘why’ about many things that I never would have given a second thought to before. Maybe Leanne is right. Maybe my cardiac arrest mixed up the circuitry in my brain somehow. Or, am I merely looking at life and the small details that fill our world with more interest and childlike awe?