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Baby Girl – #fridayfiction

Baby Girl – #fridayfiction When I turned onto Broadmoor Boulevard I passed two women who appeared to be mother and daughter, the daughter pushing a baby in a stroller. I peeked in at the tiny person with a pink sunbonnet tied beneath her chin. “She’s adorable. How old is she?” “Six months tomorrow,” the mom answered. I smiled and patted my almost non-existent stomach. “I just learned today that we’re expecting a baby.” There is a universa.....

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Baby Girl – #fridayfiction

Baby Girl – #fridayfiction A few minutes later a nurse came into the room, drew a vial of blood, then left me sitting there. When Doctor Haussler came back he was smiling. “Congratulations,” he said. “You’re having a baby.” He hesitated then added, “I hope that’s good news.” I nodded, even though at the moment the only thing I felt was shock. I left the clinic carrying a pamphlet with diagrams of what was happening inside my body and a list of ob.....

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Baby Girl – #fridayfiction

Baby Girl – #fridayfiction That’s how it started. We became friends, and our mamas did too. Blanche Carter and Mama had a lot in common. They both saw life as one giant thing to complain about. For the rest of that summer, Missus Carter was at our house almost every day. She’d amble down about a half-hour after Daddy left for work and stay for hours. Mama would brew a fresh pot of coffee and they’d sit at the kitchen table, Missus Carter talking about the no-good .....

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Baby Girl – #fridayfiction

Baby Girl – #fridayfiction With Daddy gone it was just Mama and me, and we didn’t have much to say to one another. After a few weeks of eating dinner in silence, Mama bought a little TV and set it on the kitchen counter. That’s how we ate dinner every night, Mama with her eyes glued to the television and me listening to a Sheryl Crow or Mariah Carey cassette on my Walkman. I can’t begin to count the number of times I cried myself to sleep that year. I’d wake up i.....

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Baby Girl – #fridayfiction

Baby Girl – #fridayfiction For the rest of that summer when Mama and Missus Carter settled at the kitchen table with their coffee and complaints, I’d slip out the back door, go down the block and help Ryan fix up their house. By the time school started we’d cleared the weeds out of the yard, nailed the shutters back in place and painted the whole downstairs. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it wasn’t. When you’re doing something with somebody special, wor.....

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Baby Girl – #fridayfiction

Baby Girl – #fridayfiction The first time I laid eyes on Ryan Carter was the day he and his mama moved into the Ballinger place. The house had stood empty for three, maybe four years and was considered an eyesore even for Spruce Street. Rumor had it that Alfred Ballinger bought the house with intentions of fixing it up, but he died just three months after they moved in. The whole three days he was lying in a casket waiting to be buried, his wife, Martha, sat by his side......

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Baby Girl – #fridayfiction

Baby Girl – #fridayfiction When I left Spruce Street, I was crazy in love and thought I knew exactly where I was going. Life, despite its ups and downs, was stretched out in front of me like one long highway to happiness. I discovered soon enough that there are forks in the road, places where the path splits off in two different directions and you’re forced to choose one way or the other. There are no signs on this road, no arrows pointing this way for Happy Ever After.....

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#1 Best Literary Fiction 2015 – #fridayfiction

#1 Best Literary Fiction 2015 – #fridayfiction “Where’s she from?” “I didn’t ask that neither.” Otis chuckled. “Love’s more ’n climbing into bed together. Love don’t come ’til folks get to liking each other. All you got now is an itch needing to be scratched.” Benjamin knew better, but he also knew when his daddy got a thought in his mind there wasn’t any way of arguing it out. Otis hadn’t seen the warmth in Delia’s eyes; he ha.....

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#1 Best Literary Fiction 2015 – #fridayfiction

#1 Best Literary Fiction 2015 – #fridayfiction In time Be-Baba-Leba gave way to a soft tempo foxtrot, and they returned to the dance floor. Halfway through the dance Benjamin looked over Lucille’s shoulder and saw those red lips smiling; not just smiling but smiling at him. In what was less than a heartbeat, she was gone again. was gone again. “There I’ve said it again,” Vaughn Monroe crooned from the jukebox, but Benjamin heard nothing. He stumbled through the r.....

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#1 Best Literary Fiction 2015 – #fridayfiction

#1 Best Literary Fiction 2015 – #fridayfiction The dry spell ended with that storm. Throughout the remainder of August and well into October, the rain came most every afternoon; not a deluge, but soft gentle showers that left the field ankle-deep in thick black mud. Once the earth molded itself around the root of the plants, the corn that had days earlier been near stunted grew like weeds. Benjamin walked barefoot through the field checking and then rechecking the plants, the m.....

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#1 Best Literary Fiction 2015 – #fridayfiction

#1 Best Literary Fiction 2015 – #fridayfiction His daddy had laughed. “In time. When I’m an old man, you’ll have to carry my weight along with your own.” As a boy Benjamin couldn’t envision the possibility of such a thing. Back then he’d seen his daddy and mama as two towers of strength, forces so powerful they woke the sun in the morning and pulled the moon into place at night. They’d been the makers of his world; now he struggled to be half what they’d .....

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But I miss you terribly – #fridayfiction

But I miss you terribly – #fridayfiction For a moment there is only silence and the joy of having him hold her. She would like to remain like this forever, but soon he will disappear just as he always does. He knows her thoughts, and again there is the soft sound of his laughter. “Opie, my dear sweet Opie. I don’t live here in this house. I’m alive inside your heart. I’ll go wherever you go.” “But here in this room—” “Look at the sky,” h.....

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If she could find room in her heart – #fridayfiction

If she could find room in her heart – #fridayfiction I was sassy-mouthed, cussed like a sailor and had the man who killed my daddy looking for me, but Grandma Olivia overlooked all of that. She said we were family and family had to stick together. If she could find room in her heart to love a kid like that, Laura and I can certainly make room in our lives for one sweet little old lady. Ophelia is ninety, but she doesn’t seem it. She’s sharp as a tack and plenty spry......

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