In the last month, I have started and failed to finish 3-4 blog posts. I’ve been deep in editing mode. After the 19th, I’m hoping to get back to posting regularly. But I also plan on starting another book and preparing for the baby’s arrival (We had our first ultrasound, that was super cool.) So, I might not be able to be as active as I’d like to be.
But because I really do hate not participating, I thought I’d share an excerpt of what I’m working on. Milla’s father has just helped move her into her freshman dorm room. They are alone after her roommate leaves. I hope you guys enjoy it.
The Patel’s herded out the door, leaving Milla and her father alone.
The dorm room seemed to shrink, the cinder block walls encroaching. There was the smell of Naomi’s fabric softener mingled with the scent of stale air. It made the space more foreign, more frightening. Milla and her father were alone before the other three arrived, but she felt the weight of their solitude now. He was all the family she had. They only had one another. Worry knotted in her stomach. She would be here and her father would be there. She wondered if he would be okay, the house was so quiet. Then she wondered if she would be okay, the dorm was so loud.
“It doesn’t feel right to leave you,” her father said. His growling voice grating the words into her.
He took a deep breath, his large chest and belly broadening. “I’m reminded of your first day of school.”
She looked at him. He was not one to share his thoughts or emotions; her strong and capable father, breaking open his chest and giving her a glimpse of what was inside.
“I bought you a dress, I thought you would want to look pretty, but you would not wear it.” A smile pulled at his bearded face, a twinkle in his brown eyes. “You did let me put your hair in pigtails, but I’ve never been good at that.”
She struggled to imagine her father parting her hair and putting the elastics in. Her brain couldn’t wrap itself around the image.
“Then I took you to your school and I left you there.” He shook his head. “I felt like I had left my heart behind. I sat in my car wondering how I could survive.” He cupped her face in his worn hands, his smile turned sad. “But I did survive and I will again.”
“Don’t worry about me, Pops,” she whispered, her voice struggling past the tightness in her throat.
He nodded. “I will. Pay attention in your classes.” Pressing his lips to her forehead, he kissed her. “I am only an hour away and I will answer my phone at any time.”
“Thanks,” the word was hardly a word. It was more of a breath.
They hugged and he left.
Milla understood what he meant. Her heart was walking down the hallway, to an elevator and then to his truck. She was grateful to be alone. She climbed onto the strange bed that was her own. The sounds of car loads of people coming and going pushed through the closed door. She buried her face in her pillow. She cried into the smell of home.