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–A special series of distraction stories

Written during the Corona Virus Pandemic with the hope of bringing a smile to someone’s face – or at least provide a short distraction during these challenging times. Stories are created based on one-word prompts that were submitted by friends. Each friend is assigned a character name and I develop a short fictitious story that integrates and upholds the word.

Priscilla Ayers: Home

“Priscilla, Priscilla?” Where are you? Come on, Priscilla, this isn’t funny anymore. Where are you?” It’s called hide and seek, not hide, and stay hidden. Seriously, Cill, come on!”

“Lexie?!” Priscilla yelled as she was startled awake. “Jesus, that was so real,” Priscilla whispered, realizing that it was only a dream. Her heart racing, Priscilla reached for her phone but noticing it was only just past 3 am on the East coast, Priscilla hesitated because she didn’t want to wake Lexie. But she couldn’t fall back asleep either.

Priscilla and Lexie always joked about the middle of the night calls, especially as they got older, because you fear the worst. And they had both had those calls recently, so Priscilla didn’t want to cause alarm. But she was rattled and couldn’t shake the feeling that she needed to chat with Lexie. After all, Priscilla and Lexie had been best friends since the first grade when Ms. Lassiter scolded them both for talking too much in class. From that moment on, there was no separating Cill and Lexie. Until that is, Priscilla’s love for adventure took her clear across the country and away from home.

Even ice cream didn’t help the day Cill told Lexie about her plan – and they could usually work anything out over pints of black raspberry and coffee ice cream.

Then again, Lexie was always the homebody while Priscilla loved to give in to her innate curiosity about everything, which, at times, landed Cill in some precarious situations. Like the time Cill convinced Lexie to sneak out with her only to be caught by Cill’s older brother – who had been waiting to see who kept stealing his beer from the boathouse refrigerator.

So, Priscilla knew telling Lexie would be one of the hardest things ever, and she still remembered the conversation with Lexie like it was yesterday.

“I understand your sense of adventure, Cill. I really do. If it weren’t for you, I probably wouldn’t have done half the things that I’ve done—but leaving here, leaving home. I don’t know, Cill. I couldn’t do it. Except for college, but that was different. It was leaving but not leaving.”

“I know, Lexie. But I need to do this. There’s so much out there that I want to see and do, and I can’t help but feel that there are missing pieces. That they are out there hiding, and I am supposed to seek them out so I can create the puzzle of my life.”

“It always comes back to that damn game,” Lexie laughed half-heartedly. Create away, Cill. But remember this, me – all of the people who love you – we are always your home. I know this sounds cliche but home is a feeling, Cill. So, I hope whatever it is you are seeking that you find it.”

Priscilla couldn’t say anything, but the tears in her eyes said it all. She still got a bit choked up every time she replayed that day in her mind. But even more so after her dream.

Cill looked at the clock. Only a half-hour had passed.

“The hell with it. I’m calling anyway.”

Priscilla tapped on Lexie’s name, and Lexie picked up on the first ring.

“Cill? It’s 3:30 am, well 12:30 am by you. Is everything all right? I was thinking of you, and now here you are on the phone.”

“Everything’s fine, Lexie. I had a weird dream, that’s all. And I haven’t been able to fall back asleep. We were playing hide and seek.”

Just then, Lexie cut off Cill.

“And I couldn’t find you.”

“Yeah, how did you know?” Cill asked, perplexed.

“I had a feeling, Cill.”

“Lexie, do you remember what you said to me when I told you I was moving out west?”

“Of course, I do, Cill. Why do you ask? We haven’t spoken about that day since we got all drunk off the champagne at your brother’s wedding.”

“I don’t know. I guess because I recently realized that I came out here seeking so much – like life had been hiding from me. But maybe, I was hiding from life in a way. So, by leaving home, I thought I could fill those voids. And I did, in some ways. I transplanted my roots and made a new life for myself. But home, Lexie, home is a place that I never left. You were right, Lexie. You were so god damn right. I’ve been home all along.”

“I miss you, Cill.”

“I miss you too, Lexie. Did you finish your ice cream yet?”

“Yeah, every last spoonful.”

“Me too. Thanks, Lexie. Love you.”

“Good night, Cill. Love you right back.”

Priscilla put down the phone and closed her eyes. “Home,” she whispered as she drifted off into a peaceful sleep.

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Laura Mikolaitis
Laura is an intuitive dot connector who loves to weave tapestries of possibility by seeing beyond the symmetry. A life long learner and achiever, Laura isn't one to sit idle and jumps at any chance to learn something new, especially if it poses a challenge. She holds a Master of Science degree in Communications and Information Management from Bay Path University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from SUNY Oswego. Laura is known for her keen ability to deep dive, assess, and present solutions that work. She also believes that showing vulnerability doesn't mean that you are weak, lack confidence, or cannot get the job done. For Laura, it helps her understand on a deeper level and make meaningful connections, which enables her to establish lasting relationships and partnerships. Laura spent many years of her career in manufacturing and consumer packaged goods before leaping to textiles. She's tackled roles such as Brand Manager, Product Development Manager, Project Manager, and Director of Global Business Development and Sales Operations. Currently, Laura is on what she fondly refers to as a career interruption of opportunity, as she seeks out the next chapter of her life. Laura hails from Northern NY, but a tiny hill town in Massachusetts captured her heart years ago. She credits her writing, which laid dormant for years, to her late mom, who always believed in her. Inspired by millions of moments, Laura writes unabashedly from the heart. Whether it is poetry, fiction, or a personal essay, her love for the written word feeds her mind, body, and spirit. With a dash of hope and a sprinkle of faith, she is the little engine that could.

8 COMMENTS

  1. This is touching. We should all have friends like that. We don’t make phone calls, but I have friends from 60 years ago that I’ve seen only a few times but Facebook messenger is our phone call. We are right there, side by side, lifetime between us.

    • Thank you, Jane. I know part of the inspiration for this story came from my friendships also. I have two very dear friends who I don’t see often because we live states apart, so I am grateful for the technology that keeps us connected even when we can’t be sitting next to one another. We have each other’s backs through thick and thin and it’s been that way for 30 plus years.

      I appreciate you reading the story, Jane and I am glad that you liked it.

  2. What a beautiful story, Laura. I especially love this: “all of the people who love you-we are always your home.” I’m so happy to know that many people have this experience of home, that they know this in every cell of their bodies and hearts. Thank you for sharing your wonderful writing. You’ve captured a wonderful, enduring friendship.

    • Thanks so much for your lovely sentiments, Laura. Friendships are important, and I am grateful for the dear friends that I have. We’ve seen one another through many of life’s trials and tribulations. No matter how many states separate us from being together, we are always home when we are chatting away. It’s a feeling that resides deep within and that keeps me going.

    • Thank you, Yvonne! I enjoyed writing about Lexie and Priscilla, and I am so glad that it resonated with you. Those bonds of friendship are priceless and something that I am thankful for each day. My friends are my family, and we’ve seen each other through so much. I suppose it is part of what inspired the characters for this story – and the story build around home.