Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pages from work in progress by Tyffany Richards

Junior High School

6th grade-  Lonely. Think solitude beyond imagination. Knowing almost everyone in your presence and yet knowing no one.  How can anyone survive in a situation like that only goodness knows. Attempts to make friends were misinterpreted, rumors were spread. The life of a pre-teen was difficult. Hilarious things happened as well, like the attempt to make the unexperienced, uninterested seventh grader into a boyfriend. It’s awesome the idea of week-long relationships…or was it a day? Those were the days of innocence and loneliness. The days everyone wishes to go back to.

7th grade-  Who knew that in the turnover of summer friends would be there. People who were reliable and trustworthy. If those are any words to describe thirteen year olds. Everything all silky smooth. The highest point of a teenager’s life, turning thirteen. Then everything crashes down. NO friends, no one to talk to. Relying on children far younger than you to be friends and having them become more important and more trustworthy than those you were once friends with.  Nothing is ever simple when you’re young.

8th grade- Loneliness. Think solitude... but with three friends. Knowing everyone in your presence and yet knowing no one. No attempts to make friends. The three that are there are fine enough. They stayed for all three years. Doesn’t matter what everyone asks, what anyone else thinks. And forget about relationships. Those are too difficult, being a teenager just screws with everything. No one knows what they want, everything is complicated.  When graduation comes around a new start is the best idea.

The Gate

“The Gate”

It was a regular house gate, the same style as all the house gates it was connected to. It was painted black like every other gate. A hundred years of layered black paint on a red metal gate. All the houses had been built Tudor-style, each with its own unique patter, mini-garden and alternated square and rounded doors. For a hundred years these houses stood, never changing, as buildings nearby were built up and broken down. The outsides of the houses stayed the same.

But this gate, at the bottom the paint was peeled off, when open it hung at an odd angle. Years of children hanging onto this gate and swinging had bent it downwards to a point where it dragged against the ground under their weight and peeled off paint as they swung. This gate was always swung open to where it hit the gate border to the next house and slammed back to close. This gate had seen many hands travel by it. It knew no hand better though, than the hand of Rose.


Rose had lived in the house since the summer she turned four. She was the child who swung on the gate weighing it down and peeling away its layers of paint until her parents would yell to her to stop bending the gate. Rose was always gentle with the gate as she grew older. She would open the gate as quickly and as quietly as she came and went. But now rose was never by the gate as she once had. Rose had grown older as all children do and gotten married and moved away. She no longer fiddled with the gate to get it to open or close quietly.  She was never there.

She had moved on to a new gate that required less trouble. This gate was wooden and had no latch. It was just pushed to open and pulled to leave. Rose’s husband Sean wanted to live in a more extravagant but simple life away from the bright lights and noises of the city that the two had grown up in. Rose was no stranger to this country life, she had attended a rural college, but she missed the city. Every chance she got she returned to the city, her old home and the gate she used to swing on.


David sat in his house in Long Island planning his next trip to the city. He knew that his trip would have to be for business. It almost always was now that he had grown older. There was never any pleasurable moment in the city when she was not there. He would go check on his businesses and then return to Long Island because there was really no need to afterwards. His bed would stay as cold as the winter frost that would soon cover his windows when the seasons changed.

He looked around his living room at the black and grey couches, the scarce paintings on his walls. This was a man’s house, not his home. There was no womanly touch to it, there were no soft pillows or cushy blankets or anything a woman would have spiced her home with.

He couldn’t figure out why he still lived in the suburbs of Long Island. It had been years since he graduated from college and started his successful business. Then he remembered that there was nothing left in the city for him anymore. She used to reason why he was in the city every day, the reason why he had started his company. He had waited for her for so long, always tried to be the guy she wanted. He knew that she loved him, but whenever he asked to be her boyfriend, something more than a fling, she always replied she was with someone. Even the time she did say she wasn’t with anyone, she still said no.

He headed over to the kitchen and microwaved a quick meal before he settled in his car to drive to his old home.


In her mind she wondered why she was back here again. She was swinging on the gate she had so loved as a child. She checked her watch and realized it was getting late. She would have to travel home soon. The gate could barely hold her weight now and it screeched across the pavement as she swung. She was taking a last swing before she was to head inside and tell her family she was leaving.

Before leaving she headed up to her old room. It was the same as she had left it. The queen-sized bed still tucked between two shelves, her old clothes neatly hung in the closet, her stuffed animals on the bookshelf. Nothing in there had changed except for the feel of the room.

It felt lonely and in a way strange to her. This was a room which she had many memories. The room from which she would stare out the window at her neighbors playing basketball or to spy on who was coming in. She got lost in her thoughts of old memories when her husband called. He told her to hurry and go to let the babysitter out.

Rosie had forgotten all about her daughter, Dahlia. She loved her daughter but she didn’t want to leave her old home.


If there was anything David hated more in the world it was out of state business calls. He would have to travel 5 hours to Delaware to meet a prospective client by the name of Sean Anthony. He had no idea why he even agreed to start out of state business calls. They only announced him and led him to late nights.

He planned to sleep over in a hotel that night and return to Long Island in the afternoon. He pondered about Sean Anthony while he was driving. From what he had heard Sean grew up in New York City and after marrying his long-time girlfriend he had moved to Delaware. Why anyone from New York City ever wanted to leave the city was beyond David. Sean sounded like a good customer however, David would be able to get some work done at least, knowing Sean wouldn’t cheat him.

Outside the car windows the road changed from highway dividers and retainers to one lane roads full of tall trees. David was really disliking the scenery. Tall trees loomed out over the horizon, some threatening to break and fall on his car. His GPS system told him he was heading in the right direction and about two hours off from the highway he reached his destination. Ahead of him was a large wooden gate. The fence on either side of it seemed to lead into the forest. It was quite a bit intimidating. David walked up to the gate and pushed it. It slowly opened but he could not see the house. There was a path leading into the forest, but that is all it seemed to lead to, the forest. David decided to try his luck and he followed the path to find a country manor tucked away.

At the door David was greeted by a man of average height, light-skinned with long neat braids. He was smiling and extended his hand out to David. David had no idea that he and this man would become enemies. The man introduced himself as Sean and motioned for David to enter his house.

On the inside it was actually a modest country house. All of the furniture seemed high-end or customized. A further walk past the front hall showed the fire place. It was a beautiful fireplace and around it were pictures. They spanned from the roof down to the mantelpiece of the fireplace. David decided to inspect the pictures further. His eyes lighted on what seemed to be Sean’s wedding pictures. There she was, the woman of his dreams, dressed in a beautiful wedding dress in the arms of Sean. The next picture over was a picture of Sean and his wife holding a beautiful little girl who looked nothing like Sean but more like David.


Rose was awakened by her phone ringing urgently. She had taken a nap in the doctor’s office while her daughter was getting a checkup. Rose checked the phone to see that her husband Sean had called five times already and was calling again. Rose picked up and all she heard was Sean say “Get home now.”

She wondered what in the world had happened to Sean to make him sound so upset. She found out as soon as she pulled up in front of the gate. Standing in front of her car were David and Sean. Rose realized this would probably be the last time she would ever see Sean. All of her secrets and white lies over the past five years had all unraveled in her home possibly hours before.

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