A Teacup Full of Hope (want to read a book I wrote?)

Photo by @carlijeen on Unsplash

Right before my fortieth birthday (I am now 53) I wrote, and self published, a book. Three people bought it; my sister, my mom, and someone from the Internet (thank you to all of you!).

I knew nothing about marketing and self promotion and I still don’t. For some odd reason, I thought I should share it with you here on my blog. It needs revamped. I am going to work on that revamping each week prior to posting it for you to read. This book was created before I became Orthodox. I am not yet sure if I will work in Orthodoxy or just leave it be.

It was written during the time I worked in tea rooms and tea stores so of course… tea!

I hope you enjoy it. Feed back welcomed but not mandatory.

ALL WORK IS COPYRIGHTED and may not be reproduced in any form electronic or otherwise or for any reason with out my written permission. In other words, don’t steal my work.

Here is the prologue. Feel free to tell your friends.

PROLOGUE

Simone rolled over and hit the snooze button on her alarm clock. Six a.m. On the dot. The whining from the box next to her bed convinced her not to roll over and go back to sleep. Sitting on the side of the bed, she lifted the soft bundle of fur out and headed down the hall to the back door of her town home. She set the precious fluff ball down in the grass, ‘potty’, she commanded. Maxine looked up at her through sleepy, half closed puppy eyes. Her ears had not yet begun to ‘unfurl’. They still bent over towards her face; furry, unfurled little flower petals. The red and white puppy cocked her head, and twitched her ears at the voice of her new mistress. In a few weeks, those ears would be standing up tall, and proud, and when the hair around her ears started to grow, and get longer, her appearance would live up to her breeds name, Papillon- the French word for butterfly- she would look like her face was stuck smack-dab between two large butterfly ears. Papillons were notoriously hard to potty train. Maxine was no exception. Simone knew the minute they went back inside, her little friend would leave a puddle for her somewhere. Simone was careful not to leave Max out in the open unprotected. She had heard the stories from her neighbors about going into their backyards and finding the only thing left of their pet was its collar. She hadn’t spent all that money on Maxine just to have her end up as a cougar snack. Life in Colorado Springs could get a little to ‘wild west’ sometimes. She picked Maxine back up and padded on bare feet into the kitchen and made herself a cup of- Organic Dragonwell green tea, stuck a piece of precooked, left-over-from-yesterdays-breakfast, bacon she took from the frig into her mouth. She was careful not to let Maxine get close enough to snatch it from her lips. Keeping a firm grip on her little bundle of trouble, she took Maxine back outside for another try at, ‘potty’.

“We don’t have all day, Little One, We have a busy, and depressing, day ahead of us.” Simone failed at holding back the tears. A busy day indeed. In a few hours, everything she owned, that she had purchased on credit, was going to be confiscated by the credit card companies and hauled away. Her town home was being foreclosed upon, and she had already declared bankruptcy. All thanks to Amanda Cuttington, and the giant knife she had plunged into, Simone’s back. Not only had Amanda slept with Simone’s boss, and convinced him to fire her so she could have Simone’s job, but she had told such an outrageous lie to get her fired, that whenever a potential employer called her former employer’s H.R. department for a reference, they were always emphatically told she was not a rehire candidate. That spelled instant death for any possibility of her being hired anywhere but those jobs left for people in her situation; low-paying, hard work kind of jobs. Her ‘high fashion’ days were over and anything not nailed down was being confiscated and sold at auction, on the premises, to pay off her debts. A slight breeze blew across the small backyard as Simone sat there drinking her tea from a Wedgwood cup and saucer and munching on the piece of bacon. Finally, Maxine ‘gave-it-up’ and they both went inside to get ready for the coming events. Simone finished dressing, scooped up Maxine, took her precious pet and a few boxes of things she didn’t want her creditors to get their hands on; things left to her by her grandmother, over to her neighbor’s house. She had already made the arrangements to keep the heirlooms and Maxine safe. Her neighbor had offered Simone her sofa to sleep on for as long as she needed it but Simone just couldn’t imagine imposing any more than she already had. She had a cozy, if not ridiculous looking, run-down trailer waiting for her on the other side of town. ‘There weren’t any trailer parks on this side of town’, she thought as she walked back to her home, however brief it was still her home, ‘and if there were, I probably couldn’t afford them. I wonder when they’ll show up?’ She didn’t have to wait long. Soon the trucks that were to be used to haul away her possessions were jockeying for position out front in the narrow cul-de-sac along with the cars of those persons who had come for the auction. Some of her neighbors came out of their homes to watch.

‘Let them watch. I don’t care.’ she told herself. A futile attempt at bravado.

The auction began after the items belonging to the credit card companies had been taken away. Simone stepped outside and sat on the steps of her backyard deck. The table where she had enjoyed her tea and bacon, was already gone. It was hard not to cry. She bit her lip until she tasted blood. She would not break. Not yet. Not in front of the watching eyes of the neighborhood gossips.

Soon, but not soon enough, it was over. Everything she had accomplished and collected, gone. Life as she knew it, gone. She waited a full half an hour after the shaking in her body had stopped and the last person had left before getting up from where she sat. She walked to the front door without looking around, closed it, locked it and tossed the keys back in through the mail slot before turning her back on what had been her life and walked away. She looked around as she left, making sure no one was watching her. She walked down the hill and two blocks over to an old, beat up, rusted out clunker. She fished the keys to it from her pants pocket and let herself into her car. It was a far cry from the flashy little thing she had been driving, but she had paid cash for it and it was hers. She needed something to go to work in when she finally found a job, ‘God willing’ she added, a throw back from being raised by her deeply religious grandmother. She drove up to her neighbor’s house and retrieved Maxine and her boxes she had stashed.

“Thank you, Carrie.”

“No thanks needed. Are you sure you don’t need a place to stay?”

“I’m sure.”

“See you around sometime.”

‘I doubt it’, thought Simone walking back to the car.

As she drove to her new home in her new part of town, she was no longer able to hold it together. Maxine stumbled into her lap, trying to jump up and lick away the tears. Simone pulled over to the side of the road and let the sobs over take her.