An opening line … 20 minutes … no self-editing … 3 … 2 … 1 … Write!
They say Old Weezie’s been reading palms out of her run-down shack for a hundred years or more.
Though she doesn’t look so old. I’ve been visiting her shack ever since I was a little girl and she still looks the same today as she did back then. She has one of those ageless faces, not too smooth, not really wrinkly, just tough and wise. She seems to be permanently caught in a state of being 60. Only her hands show any sign of wear and tear. The loose skin now has dark spots and feels paper thin when she takes my hand, palm up into hers. I can easily see the veins, so blue.
The first time I went to Weezie I was just 8 years old. My friends dared me to go knock on her door and I was never one to back down from a dare. When she opened the door it was almost as if she expected me. “Well you might as well come in,” she said. “We’ve got work to do.”
“Oh I’ve got to go with my friends,” I replied. But when I turned around I could see they were all running away like the devil was chasing them, through the field to get back to the road.
So I went in and my life changed.
Weezie showed me that I could do better, be better. That following through with a dare was only brave sometimes, and other times it was just plain stupid. That being stubborn could be a strong point or a weak point of character. She helped me to see the dark and the light in myself and to focus on turning up my light to obliterate the darkness.
As a child I spent time with her nearly every day, then a few times a week as a teenager, and then only when I needed her counsel as I started navigating the complicated waters of adulthood.
She was the first person I told when I fell in love with Jack. I expected her to tell me if it was good or bad, if it would last, if we were soulmates and meant to be together forever. But she didn’t. She just said I was on my path. That we were meant to meet.
She was the first person I went to when I found out I was pregnant with Kate. I was scared and unsure but she told me that all children were blessings and I had planned to have this one.
When Jack left me for a much younger woman who he worked with, she said everything had played out as it was supposed to and that Jack had his own lessons still to learn, but he had taught me everything he could. It didn’t make me feel any better at the time, but years later when Jack lost everything in his second divorce from the young woman, I knew she had been right. He had learned lessons on that path.
When I heard that Weezie passed on, I didn’t believe it, I couldn’t believe it. She was such a fixture in my life, such an inspiration to me. I went to her place and stayed a week, just looking through all of her things and waiting for her to come home. I slept in her bed and I could smell the lavender soap she used in her bath. I read her books and wondered about the woman who had read them. I waited taking long baths with lavender soap and reading about the secrets of the universe.
On the seventh day I watched the sunrise over the field and remembered that first day we met, when I knocked on her door in a dare. In the distance, at the edge of the road, in the morning mist, I thought I saw a young girl just standing staring timidly at the house. She seemed uncertain. And then I saw the others. About a half dozen young children about 7 or 8 years old, pushing at the girl, egging her on. Finally she ran toward the house, up the step and knocked rapidly on the door. She seemed surprised when I opened.
“Well you might as well come in,” I said. “We’ve got work to do.”
Jeeze! I never know where these prompts will take me, but this one was interesting for sure.
Does anyone have a great opening line I can use for my next Writing Prompt exercise? Leave a comment and maybe I’ll use it next week.