#amwriting – #fridayfiction

Friday Fiction

#amwriting – #fridayfiction

They say with age comes wisdom, but I’m not so certain that’s true. By now I should have learned to temper my expectations, but I haven’t.

I am in my ninety-first year of life, which is somewhat of a miracle. Women in the Browne family do not live long lives; it’s a proven fact. For as far back as anyone remembers, there has been only one cousin who made it to ninety-one, but she’s three-times removed and hardly worth a mention.

The truth is I expected to be long gone by now, but here I am. Alive and well. I’ve tried to adjust my expectations and take each day as it comes, but this is not an easy thing to do. Expectations are a way of life. Sadly enough, they are also what causes more heartache than anything else. I spent most of my ninetieth year, waiting to die. Now I’m wishing I had that year back. Instead of worrying about dying, I’d be celebrating the fact that I’m still living.

The problem with expectations is that if you imagine something will be one way and it turns out differently, you’re disappointed. It doesn’t matter if the way it turns out is better or not, the simple fact is it’s not what you expected.

When I left Memory House, I expected to leave other people’s memories behind. I figured in giving Annie the house all the magic would go with it, but I was wrong. Annie has her own kind of magic. It’s different than mine, but in the years to come it will serve her well.

As for me, I still pick up the memories of other people. In the watch Sam carries, I can picture the face of his daddy and the roughness of his callused hands. If I touch my fingers to the Rockettes picture hanging on Lillian’s living room wall, my heart starts to race. I feel the anger she felt when she was moved to the end of the line. I see the pout of her mouth and hear her grumble, “This isn’t fair!”

But those are simple memories. Clear-cut. Over and done with. The saddest memories are those that won’t let go; the kind Annie’s friend Maxine carries around day and night. They’re like a cloak tied tight around her shoulders. Even when she’s deep in conversation or laughing out loud, I can see those memories poking a heartless finger into her brain. After all these many years, I’ve seen enough of other people’s memories to know happy from sad. Max thinks those memories are happy, but they’re not. Handsome men with flashy smiles blind a girl to the truth and that’s what has happened to her.

If she doesn’t find a way to rid herself of those memories, she’s in for a sorry life; and it’s all because of her expectations.

About the author

Bette Lee Crosby

USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby's books are "Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances." - Midwest Book Review The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby's writing is, "A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures." Samantha from Reader's Favorite raves, "Crosby writes the type of book you can't stop thinking about long after you put it down." "Storytelling is in my blood," Crosby laughingly admits, "My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write." It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win nineteen awards for her work; these include: TheRoyal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal, Reader's Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer's Choice Award.

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