forest-path2Tina loves autumn. The trees and their color change always stirred her heart to want to slow down. The smell of damp leaves and the crisp crunch under her feet as she swept the sidewalk reminded her that change was in the air.


bride and groom 2Aaheli and Ajit were destined to be together. They just didn’t know it. They had met but didn’t remember. Eighteen years ago, when they were two years old, their parents had met. From that day forward each was raised with the other in mind. Aaheli would be raised to be the perfect wife, quiet, submissive. Ajit would be trained to work and be the head of his family. Neither took the news well when their parents explained the time had come for the marriage celebration.


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autumn trees

Margaret had been waiting tables at Freddie’s diner for two years. With each day that passed, each table that got waited on, each tip collected, she slowly lost her confidence. Leaving Ricktorsville, as small town in the south to move to Chicago, Margaret was sure her cum laude status would follow. The real world wasn’t very friendly. Her dream of becoming an editor and someday a book publisher rippled each day. Today is Margaret’s twenty-third birthday. She gave herself a deadline of twenty-five to have a “real” job working toward her dream job. The next table she waits on may be one of the last.



frank-and-anita-milfordFrank loved Myrtle the day he met her the first day of his sophomore year in high school. They dated until after graduation, May 12, 1925. Frank enlisted and was headed into the throws of World War II. The thought of leaving Myrtle without the promise her waiting was something he couldn’t stand. He was scheduled to head to basic training in a week. Frank’s grandmother invited him to dinner. She shared with him the story of how she felt when her husband was called to war. He left and she had no idea of how he felt or if she should wait for him. During dessert she slid a box to him. The ring inside was her engagement ring. Frank would tell his grandchildren that story and many others about his life-long love, Myrtle.


Christmas was at Aunt Thelma’s house this year. Once quite the mean and bitter woman, she was softening with age. Their history with her bitterness had her adult children cautious around her. The evening had gone well until two-year-old Ricky touched and dropped Aunt Thelma’s favorite purple vase. The crashing vase left an echo of silence.


manAll his life, Stephen Paris had been given everything. Fortunately, he liked school and good grades came easy to him. His father Frederick knew he had spoiled his only son. It was the only way he could get a reaction out of him. “Thanks dad!” An excited boy would grab the toy and go play with it. Stephen was graduating from college next week. His dad had a job lined up for him, but not what he was expecting. Stephen wouldn’t need the new suit or brief case he had purchased.


Rachel curled up in the overstuffed chair. Her sunken shoulders and empty stomach rolled together. It had been a month. She thought the tears would have stopped. But they didn’t. Rosemary, Rachel’s mom, was hopeful that her appetite would return. It had not and she continued to lose weight. Every other day she came over to Rachel’s studio apartment to push, pull or tug her into the shower. The first few days Rachel stood naked in the shower and whaled. No doubt she was trying to get all the hurt out quickly. In reality, it would take months if not years. In the meantime, Rachel needed to figure out how to function.