I am barely starting to find a writing style and I know i'm not the best at this. This is the first chapter to a book I want to write. I would greatly appreciate any constructive feedback about the story and the writing. I know there may be some grammatical errors but please keep in mind this is a draft. Thank you
I had rushed from Mr. Parker’s store to my house as soon as they gave the hurricane warning through the antique radio that stood right next to the overly ripe tomatoes. The whole store had the smell of dead meat and exposed fruits and vegetables, which was one of the reasons people preferred to go to the big and fancy supermarket two blocks away. It was so huge you could see it while you were walking the street to get to the disadvantaged store Mr. Parker owned. Mored Bay was getting industrialized and there was nothing anyone could or wanted to do about it. Everything about this store was especially old though. Everything about it had a feel from another decade, far from the one we were living in now, and maybe that is why I chose to work here, I like the feeling Mr. Parker and this raggedy store brought to my life. The feeling of good old fashioned security that a woman ought to have, or should have had, when this store first opened its doors.
I had always known Mr. Parker as the grumpy old man who never said hi to you on the street, but since his son moved away to college, he needed someone to help around the store. I decided it wouldn’t be so bad to spend my time doing something besides reading so one morning I walked in here and just asked for the job. He gave me a scrutinizing look and stared me down from head to toe. I felt completely naked. “Can you start right now?” he said expecting me to say yes. “Yes” I half whispered while fighting the urge to put my arms around my breast and run back. “Well then start by taking those potatoes out of those boxes and put them in those half empty racks by the left of the carrots, you gonna get your hands dirty so I suggest you tell me right now if you afraid of some dirt” “I’m not, sir” I sad heading towards those boxes.
-“I think I better get going, sir” I said a bit shyly because Mr. Parker believed that nothing excused a hard day’s work, and I believed you didn’t go against anything Mr. Parker said.
-“Yes, go.”- He replied while he was picking out the bruised strawberries off the rack.
I took off the blood stained apron and placed it in the second shelve of the empty filing cabinet that hung in the wall opposite from the cash register and behind the dirty glass counter. Although this store never experiences much of a clientele, it is frequented by men who know that packaged meat isn’t the best, and who would gladly overlook this stench to get a decent piece of fresh meat. Since the second day of my job Mr. Parker almost lost his left thumb cutting a piece cow breast, I took over the job, hence the blood stain in my apron and the increasing amount of nasty glares I receive from Mrs. Jefferson-my shriveled up neighbor- and company.
I walked out in to the sidewalk and was greeted by the rising storm and his always present companions-heavy winds. I finished putting on a gray jacket that I had forgotten at the store and zipped it up. The sky was turning darker and was making the darker more menacing side of them come out. I stepped out and felt the heavy water droplets against my head, and realize that I need to put on my hoodie as well. I instinctively headed to the left and unchained my rusted bicycle and headed to the direction of my house, knowing that the storm was just beginning and that even then the wind seemed to want to detach my skin from my head, I considered going back to Mr. Parker’s and ask him if I could spend the storm at the store, which was also his permanent residence. A burn was starting to form inside my throat from eating the cold air and the idea of getting sick made me turn my bicycle the other direction. Usually it was heaven riding through these familiar and lonely streets but today it felt like hell. I had only advanced three blocks, so this treacherous journey back wouldn’t have to last long. As I was about to get to the store a dark blue sedan covered in tiny water droplet pulls over.
The window was brought down and I see the face I was expecting to see. “Cathy, what the hell are you doing riding your bike in this weather going the opposite direction from your home, get in, c’mon I’ll take you to your house.” I once again feel like a child being told what to do, but those words coming from Ms. Dale don’t sound so bad. “My bike,” I manage to make her hear my voice through the loud rain. She steps out of the car and I hear the classic car noise of an opened door. She was wearing her messy dirty blonde hair in a small pony tail. I had never seen her wear such a nice dress before. We both carry my bike to the trunk of the car and place it inside there. She closes the trunk with a loud thud. I hurry to the inside of her car, feeling the wind pressure against my cheeks getting stronger by the second.
As soon as I was safely sitting down I noticed the peach smell that the car had and how messy and disorganized the whole vehicle seemed to be. There must have been a thousand books in the back seats, I couldn’t see the floor because it was covered by Hemmingway and Bronte sister literature. “I know it’s a mess,” Mrs. Dale said, “but I’ve been very busy lately.” I turned my face around, embarrassed that I had turned my whole torso around to look at the book titles, but not caring enough to show a sign of that feeling. “You were usually organized,” I said, remembering the folders by which she had my different subjects and papers filed by. Mrs. Dale was my former tutor. My aunt and uncle had hired her because they had an old feud with the school’s principal and would never leave me in a place where he was in charge. At the time I was too confused by all the chaos in my life to really care much about my education so I really didn’t mind not going to the public school.
“Where were you going, I hope you know this hurricane is a category three and it is bound to uproot at least a couple of trees, you should be at your house right now,” Mrs. Dale asked making me seem like I was doing something stupid again, like when I was her student, but it was my turn to remind her that we both did stupid things. “Where were you going, mam? It isn’t necessarily advised to ride a car when we’re in the mists of a hurricane”. She laughed and slightly tilted her head to the side. I could tell she was not aging. Her skin was as beautiful and soft as the day I first met her. Her light blue eyes were still carefree and her smile still invited mine to spread across my lips as well.
“Why are you laughing?” I said staring at her wide eyed. “I was on my way back here, I was visiting my parents back in Georgia, and the plane we were flying landed in Boston,” she said addressing my first question “I already had my car there and decided I’m a pretty fast driver and could make it back before the big storm, now, why were you going the opposite direction?” “Why didn’t your husband go with you?” I said still not wanting to answer the question I was asked. “He wasn’t feeling very well,” she said with a serious tone I did not like, and when she finished her jaw tightened a bit. I stared at her looking at her freckles when we passed by a lighted store. Then I looked away.
We rode in silence. The heat from her car had gotten me cozy, but my throat still burned. My jeans were sticking to my thighs and it was starting to feel really uncomfortable. I looked at Mrs. Dale her wet bangs were sticking to her forehead, and she was looking straight ahead her hands firm on the wheel. I felt bad. “I got a job with Mr. Parker”, I looked at her; she kept on looking straight. “I was there all morning preparing for next week’s new arrivals. I stayed there until a few minutes ago when I decide to get back home, on my way there, I realized the storm was too strong for a bike ride and I was heading back with Mr. Parker to stay at his place.” Then there was silence. My mind was thinking of ways to get me to stop acting stupid in front of her, maybe self-punishing wouldn’t be so bad. She bit her tender lip then looked at me again. It was frustrating having no light to help my vision. I wanted to see her because I was afraid I was going to have to wait too long to meet with her again.
We were in front of my house and she still hadn’t said anything back. She still had both hands firmly on the wheel and she was still looking straight ahead. Ok, now who was being childish? “I’m sorry I don’t know why I was being so rude.” She looked at me and said “Cathy, are you doing ok?” she told me in her caring and sweet marshmallow voice. I looked straight into those deep blue eyes and kissed her. I stood there suspended in a place where the moon and the sun combine to make my heart feel what I only felt when my parents were still alive, happiness. I stay here in this familiar place for about three seconds then I hear “Cathy,” and then the happiness is gone. “I’m sorry”, I say unsure whether to stay here or run to my house. “Oh, Cathy” she says and looks straight to me, her hair frizzy from the minute she went out to help me with my bike.
“I gotta go” I say and open the door and get out into the cold rain again. The heavy rain droplets once again press against my skull and I feel every part of me covered in water. I get my bike from the trunk and stroll to the gate. I take out the keys from my pocket and unlock the massive black fence that guards the house. Once it is open I step into the garden my mom once had covered in flowers and animals. I close the gate and see that the blue sedan is gone. Not trusting my bike to the mercy of this horrible storm I decide to take it inside. I walk the one pavement sidewalk that stops once the three limestone steps begin. I half carry my bike up and land in the porch where my dad first stood waiting for my young mom to come out for their first date. I open the doors and go inside.
I let the bike drop in the entrance and then I let myself drop. I lay my back on the door and sit, looking into the open and unfurnished house before me. This is mine. I am nineteen years old and I own this grand and lavishing house. I knew this house was going to be mine since my mother, the rightful heir to this mansion, died. My aunt and uncle told me many times throughout my seven years with them that the pretty house at the end of Malcolm Street, the one everyone admired, was going to be mine. I’ve owned this house for eight months now and I don’t feel special, not like the way I thought I was going to feel. Not the way I was supposed to feel. This was the family house the one where my great-grandparents lived. I am glad I have a roof over my head and somewhere comfortable to spend the night, that’s about it.
I take off my wet shirt that is sticking to my body with some trouble but manage to do it in one swift motion, then I take off my wet pants. I feel the coldness of the door against my moist back. I take off my ponytail with a lot of pain and manage to get it out without taking any hairs out. Then I take off my bra and then my underwear. I walk the five steps to the lonesome mattress in the middle of my living room and lay down. I grab the blanket that I left right next to me when I woke up this morning and wrap myself around it. I feel the small pink fibers touching every single part of me and it makes me feel secure. I face up and hear the loud storm going on outside and know that it is doing some damage to whatever is in the unprotected outside world. I lay here and don’t think anything about what happened a few moments ago. I just lay here in my mattress and with my blanket and not care about anything else.