Sorry about my last post, I hope I get this one right. Thank you for reading and for all your comments, I couldn’t correct what you told me in the last chapter because Lee posted it for me, but believe me I take everything you say into account. Thank you so much. Chapter III here.
Fresh off the press! Here is chapter 8. As usual, let me know what y'all think and any suggestions you have :) I can't promise that the next chapter will come quite as quickly, but hopefully it'll be soon-ish :)
Also, just a general statement: thanks to all the new authors here! I love reading all the stories we've compiled here over the years. Happy we've got such talented people sharing their ideas. Keep up the work, ladies (and gents, if there are any lurking about!). :)
A talented architect, who’s trying to get back to his life after a spinal cord injury, meets a beautiful woman. Could she possibly like him back?
Hello everyone. I’m new here and this is my first story. I’m really enjoying indulging in my devotee fantasies, so I hope you like it too. I apologize in advance for any spelling mistakes I might have, because English isn’t my first language. I welcome any comments to help me improve.
Hi, everybody! Checking in with my yearly update for Margaret's Chance (only joking -- I think this is actually my second this year, WHOA!). For those of you still around and reading, thanks for being patient and I hope you like Chapter 7. It took an unexpected turn that I hadn't planned, but I'm pleased. Let me know what y'all think? :-D
Hello all! As promised, albeit a week later than planned, here is the next installment. Thank you for sticking with this story. I really do hope you are enjoying reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
Hey, people! Well, this is the end. I went back and reread the story, and I fixed all those embarrassing typos (I hope I caught them all...) I had a great time writing Lies, All Lies, and I hope you enjoyed it too! I did an illustration of Jesse and Lisa but I don't like the way it came out (hence the heavy photo editing.... I think that just made it worse) so hopefully I'll update it soon with a better one... Here it is: Part Six
And here is the Table of Contents
Just wanted to say that the next chapter will be up this Friday. I wanted to have it up last Friday, the 4th, but I saw that there was another story posted that morning and I didn't want to take away from it having top billing on the blog. In order to keep some consistency with the day of the week that I post, I'll have Chapter 13 up this coming Friday, the 11th.
Hey, everyone! I'm just posting a little update on when what's going on with me and In/Exhale, so if anyone wants to post a story today, feel free.
The last few months have been pretty rough for me. I made a blog post about it here, if you're interested.
TL;DR: More than one year and counting and I still don't have relief for my headache. On top of it, I was recently diagnosed with a kind of blood cancer, although I'm hoping to get a second opinion on the diagnosis. This is on top of many real life issues and other health problems, so it's hampered my writing productivity. But I DO have a bunch of I/E written, so I'm hoping to start posting again soon.
Thanks to all of you for supporting this story and my other writing. I miss you all and look forward to getting back into weekly posting again as soon as feasible.
So unfortunately, my book How to be Cool was not
selected by the Kindle scout program. So I've decided to make it
available for only $.99 on Amazon, which is the absolute cheapest I can make it. I just want you guys to read it!
Ethan will never be as cool as his twin brother Alex. Alex is a star
football player and president of the senior class, while Ethan was born
with cerebral palsy and needs crutches to walk.
Laura will never be as cool as her perfect older sister Nikki.
Nikki is everything Laura isn't—confident and gorgeous… until one night
when Nikki is brutally raped and hospitalized, and Laura finds comfort
in her new friend Ethan.
Together, Ethan and Laura realize maybe you don't need to be cool to be happy. Or to fall in love.
And then a revelation about the attack shatters everything…
I'm really enjoying writing this story. It's lovely to fantasize about the sun while I'm shivering my toes off... There's a blizzard outside!
Anyway, here's Part Five.
And, here's a little recap, in case you're getting confused (I know I am) :
A could-be romance between Jesse, a quadriplegic, and Lisa, a waitress aboard the cruise ship Sierra, almost begins, but doesn't. Jesse's unsure if he can ever be in a relationship again, and Lisa takes his uncertainty as lack of interest. When Ruby, Jesse’s ex-girlfriend, arrives on the Sierra, old tensions between Jesse and his best friend Brian resurface. Is Jesse really driving everybody away from himself? Also, here's the Table of Contents.
I can think about as I walk from the bus stop to my apartment is the apple pie
that I bought yesterday.That pie is
basically consuming all my thoughts, to the point where I can just about taste
it.It’s a lattice-crusted apple pie,
filled with tender, sweet apples and gooey caramel.I ate about a third of it last night after
dinner, and I plan to finish it tonight.
I said before, I like to eat.I won’t
lie about that.Yes, when I’m in public,
I pretend like I’m on a diet.But I’m
not.I mean, what’s the point?
a champion eater.I could probably
consume 5,000 calories in one sitting, no problem.I’ve got snacks and treats hidden all over my
bedroom.My favorite thing of all in the
entire world is chocolate—milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate—I’m
not picky. Fancy, expensive chocolate is best, but I think chocolate is one of
those things that’s delicious no matter where you get it.Like M&M’s—that little burst of chocolate
within the shell—it’s like a little droplet of pleasure in my mouth. I once
bought a giant tub of M&M’s and ate them in a single day.Okay, more than once.
I’ve never had a guy’s cock in my mouth.But it’s really hard for me to believe that it would be more pleasurable
than a mouthful of chocolate.
said, I love apple pie too.And I know
it’s the only thing that will make me feel better about what happened on the
when I open my refrigerator, the pie is gone.Gone.Completely vanished.In fact, every single scrap of my food is
gone.Even my TV dinners in the
freezer.Instead, the fridge is filled
with nothing but… oh my God, just fruits and vegetables!And bottled water, which I think is the
stupidest thing on the planet. I mean, why would you pay money for something
that comes out of the sink for free?
When my horror subsides slightly, I take a breath and analyze what just
happened.It doesn’t take me long.It’s pretty damn obvious.
I scream.“Abby, get out here!”
I moved to Manhattan two years ago, I knew that unless I wanted to live in a
studio apartment the size of a closet, I would have to have a roommate.That’s how Abby came into the picture. She
seemed perfectly nice when I first met her, when she was advertising a single
room in a two-bedroom apartment. The
fact that she was a yoga instructor should have been a tip off for me.
said that she wanted a friend, which I was fine with.I’ve had a lot of trouble making friends
since moving to the city, so it would have been great to have a roommate who was
my best friend.But Abby didn’t really
want a friend, as I discovered.She
wanted a project.And that project was
called Get Emily to Drop Fifty Pounds.It’s a project she won’t abandon no matter how much I assure her that
it’s a lost cause.
this is the first time she’s resorted to tossing all my food in the trash.That girl has crossed a line.
I scream again.
open up the cabinet under the sink, which is where we keep our trash can.I know this is a pathetic act of desperation,
but I start rummaging through it for my pie. I have no qualms about eating pie
out of the garbage.But apparently, Abby
predicted this because the garbage is empty. My amazing apple pie is probably
bitch.I’m seriously going to wring her skinny
eventually emerges from her bedroom, her thin brown hair in a high ponytail,
wearing her usual attire of a tank top and yoga pants.I hate how smug she looks.
I say, slipping the trash can back under the sink to hide my shame.“What did you do with my food?”
got rid of it,” she says, sounding like she has performed some humanitarian
task, rather than having just tossed all my groceries out.“I replaced it with stuff that’s better.I spent a fortune, Emily.It’s
all organic from Trader Joe’s.”
am so angry at her.I honestly can’t
even find words to express it.
trying to help you, Emily,” she says quietly.
don’t need your help,” I say through my teeth.
I sat on her face, it might kill her.
smiles at me.“Can’t you let me make you
dinner?I’ve got a delicious recipe from
my Vegan cooking class.”
me tell you, Abby does not have a “delicious recipe” from her Vegan cooking
class.Aside from the fact that I’m
pretty sure all Vegan dishes are awful, Abby is a phenomenally bad cook.She baked me a Vegan cupcake once and I
almost broke a tooth on it.When she
starts making something on the stovetop, I generally stay in my room because
the smell is just so bad.
noticed that Abby mostly just eats a lot of raw vegetables. What kind of
enjoyment could a person possibly get from crunching on raw cauliflower?
will never let this go.And since
there’s absolutely no food in the house and I’m too tired to go outside, I
guess I’ll just let this happen.
yay!” Abby exclaims, clapping her hands together.
dashes around the kitchen, trying to put together a meal for me. Even though I
really hate her for throwing away my food, it’s actually sort of sweet how
excited she is.I know she really does
mean well—it’s just super annoying.
from now on, I’ve got to be more careful around Abby.I thought that now that I had escaped the
watchful eye of my parents, I could finally eat whatever I wanted in my own
home.But obviously I can’t.I’m going to buy a mini-fridge for my
bedroom, and I’ll buy more non-perishable foods to hide in my closet.I’ll lock the door to my bedroom when I’m
out.And then when I finish this damn
Master’s and get a big fat raise, I’ll lease my own place and be able to eat
whatever the hell I want.
going to make you a roasted mushroom and brussels sprout salad,” Abby
I say, plastering a smile on my face.I
hate salad.Hate it.It’s essentially leaves.There’s nothing about it that tastes good to
me.But Abby seems to eat it for nearly
every meal. I have to wonder where Abby gets her enjoyment out of life, because
it’s definitely not from pieces of lettuce.
sit here and eat Abby’s salad—or at least, I’ll try.And as soon as she retires to her room, I’m
going downstairs to the diner down the block.I’m going to get a big, juicy cheeseburger, with grilled onions and
thousand island dressing on it.With a
side of onion rings.And cheesy
fries.And I’m going to wash it down
with a vanilla milkshake.No, a
I’m going to get myself at least two slices of apple pie.
sure it makes me the absolute worst person in the entire world, but I choose a
different seat at my next Software Engineering class, one closer to the front
of the room.I tell myself that it’s
because I want to see better, but that’s not it.The reason I switch my seat is entirely an
attempt to avoid Brody.
that he doesn’t seem like a perfectly nice guy.But I just don’t feel like making an awkward copy machine trip after
every single goddamn lecture.He needs
help—I get it and I feel for him—but can’t he at least rotate who he gets his
notes from?Wouldn’t that be fairer?
I’m a terrible person.
my little plot is a complete fail.A
couple of minutes before the lecture is due to begin, Brody wheels into the
room and even though there are several other people he could choose to sit next
to, he pulls up next to me.I glance
over at him, and he flashes me this smile like we’re old friends.
want to be pissed off.But you know
what?It’s hard to be angry with the
guy. Brody’s got one of those really infectious smiles that makes you feel like
you have to smile back.I definitely
don’t have that kind of smile, but he seems happy when I return his.
the end of lecture, Brody respectfully allows me a minute to extract myself
from the desk.Then he says to me, “Hey,
Emily, I hate to bother you again…”
want to copy my notes,” I say.
smiles again.Christ, he’s cute when he
smiles.“Yeah, I would.Please?”
notice he says “please” a lot.I know
it’s proper etiquette and you’re supposed to say please, but let’s face it,
most people don’t say it.But Brody
always does.Considering how much he
probably has to ask for help with things, I guess it’s a good habit to have. He
was raised right.
I say.And again, I return his smile.
the second time, we make the harrowing journey to the copy machine. I watch Brody
as he pushes his hand into the joystick on his chair and his lower body bounces
with the imperfections on the floor.If
I had to guess, I’d say he’s paralyzed.He goes a little slower this time, so I don’t have to jog to keep up
with him.I’m barely even winded.
do you think of Dr. Nichols?” Brody asks me.
pretty good,” I say.“I like the
lectures so far.”
you trying to get a Master’s or a doctorate?” Brody asks me.
a Master’s,” I say.“For now.You?”
Brody says.“I’m a code monkey now and I
know this is the only way I’ll ever get to advance at work.”
You work? I almost blurt
out.It seems amazing that Brody could
hold down any sort of job.But then
again, why else would he be taking this course?It’s not like software engineering is that incredibly enjoyable.
I know,” I say instead.“That’s my
that I don’t like my job,” he says.“But
I’ve got higher aspirations, you know?I’ve been on kind of a hiatus from the degree and now I’m trying to pick
things up again.I took some classes at
Queens College but those mostly sucked.Anyway, it’s too big a commute from where I live now.”
look at him in surprise.“Are you from
nods and raises his eyebrows at me.“Yeah.Are you?”
am!” I say excitedly.It’s the first
time I’ve actually felt like we aren’t just making awkward small talk.“Where in Queens?”
grins at me.“Did people ever ask you
growing up how you managed to get into the city all the way from the
all the freaking time,” I laugh.
you go to high school?” Brody asks.
gasps.“You’re kidding!Me too!”
shrug.“Well, it’s the only decent high
for sure,” Brody snorts.“Hey, what year
did you graduate?”
Brody says.“I was 2006.We were there at the same time.”
I say.I try to remember from my
freshman year if I saw a senior guy zipping around the halls in a power
wheelchair.Seems like the kind of thing
I would have remembered.But I’m drawing
course,” he says, “you were a freshman while I was a super cool senior.So we couldn’t have really interacted unless
I was, like, pushing you down the stairs or something.”
stare at Brody in surprise.He doesn’t
look like he’s in any position to be pushing anyone down stairs, although maybe
he was a little more mobile back in high school.That doesn’t seem like the kind of thing he’d
have done at any age though.Maybe it’s
just his face deceiving me, but he seems like one of those genuinely nice
kidding,” he finally says when he sees the shock on my face.“Seriously though, what’s your last name?”
Davison.”He rolls my name over his
tongue.I have such a boring name, but I
sort of like the way it sounds when he says it.“I don’t think I remember hearing about you.”
your last name?” I ask him.
he says.And before I can comment, he
says, “Yeah, I know, Brody Nolan.Could
I be any more Irish?”
be worse,” I say.“Your name could be…
finally laughs.“Okay, you’re
right.Could be worse.But Brody Nolan’s pretty bad.Especially with my face.”
look at Brody’s face.As I’ve said
before, he’s got a pretty attractive face.Nothing wrong with this guy from the neck up.So I have absolutely no idea what he’s
complaining about.He doesn’t even look
particularly Irish aside from the hint of red in his hair, not that Irish guys
are intrinsically bad looking or anything.“What do you mean?”
have freckles!” Brody says.
look closer, close enough to smell his spearmint breath, and my own breath
catches just a bit.It turns out he’s
right.He really does have light
freckles, mostly over the bridge of his nose and over his cheekbones.
practically invisible,” I point out to him.
were horrible when I was a kid, but they mostly faded when I hit puberty,” he
explains.“But if I went out in the sun
without sunscreen, I’d have a serious recurrence.”
I wouldn’t have noticed them.”
people don’t.”Brody shrugs.“But that’s probably because most people
aren’t paying much attention to my face, you know?”
can’t accuse Brody of not having self-awareness.He’s right—you see a guy in a power
wheelchair and his face isn’t really the focus of attention.Nobody looks at my face either, except to
tell me how exquisitely pretty it would be if only I dropped a hundred pounds.
Brody says, a smile playing on his lips, “you going to copy those notes there,
right.”We’ve been standing by the copy
machine for several minutes now and I’m still clutching my notebook.Somehow I got distracted by Brody’s cute face
say sorry,” Brody says.He rubs his nose
with the back of his wrist, which looks a bit odd.It’s pretty clear he has zero function in his
hands.“You’re the one doing me a favor.”
I mumble as I fire off the first copy.
notes are only two pages this time.I
wonder if I took sloppier notes, hoping that Brody wouldn’t like them and maybe
stop asking for them.No, I’m way too
anal to do something like that.
really appreciate this,” Brody says, as I put the pages in his backpack again.
okay,” I say.I zip up his bag and turn
to face him.“What else are you going to
don’t mind too much?” he asks.“I know
it’s a hassle for you.”
I say.“I do sort of mind.I mean, it is kind of a pain to have to do it after
every single lecture, you know?”
things come out of my mouth that I can’t entirely explain.Why did I tell Brody it was a pain helping
him?I have no idea.Well, that’s not entirely true.It’s true that it is a hassle to help him.But
at the same time, I enjoyed it today.I
liked talking to Brody.
any case, Brody looks so hurt when I
say that.Hurt and surprised, like I
just punched him in the face. Which, in all honesty, isn’t entirely fair.For Christ’s sake, he just said it was a hassle!All I did was agree with him.
sorry,” he says quietly.“I don’t want
to be an imposition.I’ll just ask Dr.
Nichols to give me copies of the notes from now on.I won’t bother you again.”
don’t have to,” I say quickly.“I mean,
it really isn’t that big a deal.”
seems to be studying my face, which makes my cheeks start to feel really
hot.“No,” he says. “It’s fine.I’ll ask Dr. Nichols.”
that just makes more sense,” I say, swallowing a lump in my throat.“He’s the professor, so I’m sure his notes
are better than mine.”
nods and flashes me a tight smile.“Yeah.”
wrong with me, really?Brody is one of
the few people who’s tried to befriend me in the last two years, and my first
response is to tell him he’s a pain in the neck.I must have some deep-seated desire to spend
my life absolutely and totally alone.That’s the only reason I can think of for being such a bitch to an
obviously nice guy.
I stand there, trying to figure out if there’s something I can say to make it
right, Brody does a 180 degree turn in his wheelchair.He zooms down the hall to get away from me as
fast as he can, and I can tell he’s never going to talk to me again.And for some reason, that thought makes me
night, I’m lying in my bed, working my way through a bag of mini peanut butter
cups, when I see the familiar number pop up on my cell phone.I deleted the contact a while back, but
unfortunately, I still recognize the number instantly: Norm Donohue.
stare at the phone, shifting on the sunken area of the mattress that I always
slide into during the night.The peanut
butter cups churn in my belly, mixing with the pizza I had for dinner. Norm’s
number is the last thing I want to see on my phone right now.I’m in no mood to take a call from my
probably requires an explanation:
know I said I’ve never had a boyfriend.Well, that isn’t entirely true.
college, I watched all my friends, even the ones who weren’t particularly
attractive, pairing off with guys.Meanwhile, my own weight kept ballooning up.I’d always been shy, but after I got over 200
pounds, my shyness became almost crippling.I couldn’t even contemplate dating a real guy.
the only alternative was a guy who wasn’t
real.In a sense of the word.
I discovered internet relationships.
internet is different.The men there
don’t see me—they don’t know that I’ve got so many folds of fat that there’s
fungus sprouting between them.They
don’t know how many chins I’ve got. They don’t know that I just ate twenty
peanut butter cups, and I don’t even like
peanut butter cups that much. On the internet, every girl is a pretty, skinny
girl until proven otherwise.
was during my junior year of college that I started flirting with men I met
online.It was so goddamn easy when I
wasn’t face to face with them—I wasn’t shy at all on the internet.But I was careful about it. I’d go out of my
way to pick guys who lived at least several hundred miles away from me, so
there would be absolutely no chance of ever meeting them in real life.
my peak, I was a bit of a slut (in spite of being a virgin). I was “dating”
about half a dozen guys online.I’m a great email pen-pal.
of course, most guys didn’t want to “date” me without seeing a photo.And obviously, a real photo would have killed
the fantasy.So my go-to place for
photos was the Facebook page of a girl named Nadia that I sort of knew from
high school.Nadia is skinny, blonde,
and very cute.But not so pretty that
she seems unreal.Plus Nadia had a very
active social life and was constantly posting photos of herself.So I essentially had an endless supply of
photos of “myself” to send to these guys.
after graduating from college, I met Norm.We ran into each other on a message board for geeks, and we got in a
passionate argument about freedom of speech on the internet.It got ugly for a short time, but then when I
hinted that I was a woman, he backed off.And started being nice.More than
relationship progressed quickly.We talked
on the phone pretty much every other day, and chatted via text messages during
the day, or else instant messaged each other.He was really great, really sweet, really understanding.And he was also fairly attractive too in the
photos he sent me—nice dirty blond hair, a solid build, penetrating eyes behind
“dated” Norm for nearly a year.It got
so intense that I dropped all my other internet relationships, and then it was
just me and Norm.I know this is going
to sound dumb, but I started to feel like he was my soulmate. I always thought
that soulmate thing was bullshit, but then I met Norm.He and I connected on so many levels.Like we’d be on the phone for hours, and I don’t even know what we
loved him.I really did.
I think about it, I still feel racked with guilt over the way I played him.
some ways, Norm knew me better than anyone else in the world.But in other, more important ways, he didn’t
know me at all.The only photos of me
he’d seen were actually of Nadia.I
refused to Skype or do Facetime, no matter how much he begged, claiming I
didn’t have the internet capabilities.I
was constantly lying to him to protect him from finding out how I really
I could do it over again… I don’t know.I wish I hadn’t sent him those pictures of Nadia.I wish I could have been honest with
him.Maybe he would have been okay with
the real me.I mean, stranger things
have happened.Maybe right now, Norm and
I would be a happy couple right now if only I’d been honest.
mean, probably not, but it’s possible,
any case, by the time I realized how deeply I cared about Norm, I was already
screwed.I’d already sent him loads of
photos of Nadia.It was too late to say
to him, “Whoops!That wasn’t me!” That
wouldn’t go over well at all.
lived in Palo Alto in California and I lived in New York, so geography made me
feel safe.But I knew this situation had
serious potential to come crashing down on me.And of course, after a few months, Norm started to suggest we find a way
to meet up.
always had the perfect excuse: work, family, no money.A plane ticket across the country wasn’t
cheap and Norm was just as broke as I was.Plus Norm was taking care of his elderly mother, so it was harder for
him to get away.So we just kept talking
on the phone, planning all the things we would do during a meetup that I knew
would never happen.
day, Norm said to me, “If I send you half the money for the plane ticket
through Paypal, do you think you could come for a week?”
first, I said no.But then he got more
insistent, almost angry about the whole thing.He said, “What’s going on? Don’t you want us to meet?”So I agreed to do it. I had to.Norm sent me the
money, and I really did think about buying the tickets.I was on the airline website and everything.I thought maybe if I showed up at his door
and explained in person, maybe he’d forgive me.
in the end, I couldn’t do it.I just
kept imagining the look on his face.
right thing to do in this case would have been to end the relationship.But instead, I pretended to buy a ticket for
two months in the future.I got him all
excited for the trip.He even cleared
out two drawers in his bedroom for me.We talked every night about what we were going to do when I got there.
then two days before, my grandmother died suddenly and I had to cancel.
really.My grandmothers are both alive
and well.And I was terrified that one
of them might die as karmic retribution for my lie.But I needed an excuse to get out of that
not sure he entirely bought it.He asked
me too many details about it to the point where I could tell he was questioning
my story.Also, I refused to reschedule
the trip.I knew he wasn’t going to buy two dead grandma stories.
so you don’t think I’m completely evil, I returned the money that he sent me
for the plane tickets.
that, my relationship with Norm quickly fizzled.Unlike a real life relationship, there was no
definitive, official break-up.He just
stopped calling me.
have no idea why he’d be calling me now.Nothing good can come of it.He
still thinks I look like pretty Nadia and the reality is that I’m barely
squeezing into an XXL T-shirt that I got for helping out at a company-sponsored