I have the day off today so I thought I would post something a little different.
This is a snipit of my NaNoWriMo book Jessica Likes Vanilla Ice Cream. Last week I finished my first pass through the whole book and for the first time since I started it I kinda like what I've created. I am still hip deep in the editing process but it's coming along.
The book cover is my Photoshop creation.
A big thank you to all my Ello writing friends for your inspiration and encouragement.
The Miller’s neighborhood was as picturesque as she had imagined. It was nothing but large two-story homes shaded by larger old-growth trees. As she walked from the bus stop down the shaded sidewalks leading to their house, she saw kids riding their bikes in the street, cars being washed in driveways, and even a father and son tossing a baseball back and forth in a front yard. Olivia smiled; she felt like she was returning home.
Both Angela and Robert came to the door to greet her. They were taller than she was expecting, but every bit as attractive as their photos suggested. They welcomed her in and offered her something to drink.
She was served an iced green tea sweetened with honey while sitting on a plush couch in the gorgeously decorated, spacious greeting room. The room felt larger than it could have been due mostly to a ceiling that somehow looked twice tall as the outside of the two-story home could allow.
Noticing right away the missing member of the family, Olivia asked, “Where’s Jessica?”
“At a friend’s house,” Robert said, his voice deep and unique. He looked a little ashamed as he continued, “We were hoping we did not need to do this. The doctor said that this was something she would grow out of, but after this weekend…”
He trailed off and looked to Angela to continue.
“Jessica had another episode and it was more frightening than it had been in years. It could have just scared us more than usual because we haven’t seen any signs for months. I mean, we know that she’s been hiding from the cameras but I think we really thought that she was finally growing out of this,” Angela said. Her tone of voice was very calm but she attacked the subject directly. This was the type of story that she had told before. This was a topic that she had discussed so many times that it was now bordering on rote.
Olivia thought she did a good job hiding her surprise over the revelation of cameras. She was pretty sure that she did not even blink when Angela mentioned them. She just nodded and kept her serious conversation face on. In her mind, however, she was trying to figure out what Angela was talking about. She had never regretted skipping her homework more than that moment. Olivia quickly decided it would be best to just power through.
“I’m sure you’ve read my references and spoken to Doctor Nita. The real reason I’m here today is to put you at ease,” Olivia said, going over the hastily prepared speech she came up with on the bus ride to the suburbs.
“Doctor Nita speaks very highly of you,” Robert said.
The thought of Nita speaking highly of her was hilarious to Olivia. They were all but strangers, and half of the time they had spent together he was criticizing her for lazy work. Nevertheless, she was thankful for the additional recommendation if it helped get her in the door.
“I have already completed my clinical rotations at the University Hospital and I will be graduating in a few months,” Olivia said, omitting the part about how her graduation was dependent on their decision to let her move in with them and write about their daughter. “I am also very good with children and can assure you I will do everything in my power to help your daughter.”
She noticed the subtle change in their faces at that last part of her spiel. They were desperate for help and she was offering them a lifeline. Olivia knew she was convincing them.
“The last psychiatrist Jessica saw, he…” Robert said, again trailing off. Olivia hoped that this was not a normal speech pattern for him because she could see how it would get annoying very quickly.
“I’ve heard,” she said, although she had only heard that that they no longer take Jessica to see him. “If it helps just think of me as a nanny who’s here to assist you. I can assure you, this will be a completely different situation.”
With that offhand dismissal she won them over. With the formalities out of the way, the couple showed Olivia around their house. Olivia was impressed by the beauty of the house as Angela pointed out all the upgraded fixtures Robert had installed, spending extra time describing the difficulties he overcame to install them. Robert bragged about how well his wife designed each room. She was a designer, and judging by the way Robert bragged about her, she was well known and respected in the business.
Jessica’s room was awash in Disney princesses and ballerinas. Pinks and blues, framed posters, and a bejeweled MacBook that was newer than the one Olivia owned set this room apart from the neutral tones of rest of the house. Yet, by creating the ideal comfort for the occupant, it fit in perfectly with the rest of the house, and after seeing it, Olivia could not think of any other way it could have been. Maybe Angela was a genius designer.
They ended the tour by showing her the guest room on the first floor that would serve as Olivia’s room while she stayed with them. It was quite a bit larger than her room in the apartment. Decorated in deep earth tones, with built-in bookshelves that were filled to overcapacity, the room had a warm and inviting feeling. The large queen bed, which was centered on the back wall, looked so plush and inviting, Olivia was tempted to make a big running jump into it to test it out. The best part of the room, however, was that it had its own bathroom connected to it. Olivia would not need to share a bathroom. Everything was right in the world.
Robert and Angela Miller stood at the door and watched Olivia walk down their drive and turn left, heading to the bus stop a few blocks away. They had offered her a ride but she refused, claiming she enjoyed the neighborhood. Looking back over her shoulder, Olivia saw them watching her till she was out of sight, their arms were around each other, holding a little tighter to each other than the scene warranted.
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