Unbreakable Chapters 3 & 4

CHAPTER THREE –What is and what should never be

The funny thing about memories is that they never really go away. They sit at the back of your subconscious waiting for a trigger, and then they quickly flood back to the forefront of your being. Sometimes it’s a song or a smell that brings it all back. This one hit her quick, like a punch in the gut. She remembered the very blue of the sky on that June day and the way the sun kept hiding behind the fluffy white clouds. They were walking on this very boardwalk when her father scooped her up into the air. She giggled and held on tight as he picked her up and swung her around in the air. She didn’t talk much about them. Maybe people just assumed she’d forgotten. She would never forget. She remembered her mother’s goodnight kiss so feather light, the way she moved when they danced, how green her eyes were when she was happy. She remembered her laughter and the smell of her perfume and the way she crinkled up her nose when she was disgusted. Her memories of her dad brought a smile to her lips; the easy way he carried himself, his humor, his bear hugs and silly voices and the way he never let her mother win an argument. She would never forget how it felt that day. Her dad had been busy with work and they hadn’t seen much of him in weeks. Her mother was beaming. Her eyes lit up when she smiled. It was ‘fun day’ at Weirs Beach and they had a fabulous time. They rode the water slides at Surf Coaster, took a day cruise around Lake Winnipesaukee and ate the best barbecued ribs ever at J.T.’s Roadhouse.  She would always treasure that feeling of warmth when her parents tucked her into bed that night. She was a fortunate child who didn’t want for much but it was the simple things she always appreciated the most, like time with her family. Less than six months later they were gone. In an instant they were taken from her and her once safe, happy world was empty and cold.

Thank God for Blanche and Danny and the life they gave her. By all accounts her parents had been very wealthy.  Her father at the tender age of thirty was a real estate developer. Mostly corporate real estate, he built office buildings, and high-rise condominiums. Before Natalie started school she traveled quite frequently and was in the company of some of the worlds most astute businessmen.

Life in Lincoln was much simpler. Blanche made sure that she had everything she needed but she also taught her and Danny the value of a dollar. From the time they were young they had chores around the house and they were often asked to help out at the diner. Blanche was a proud woman. She worked hard for everything she had and instilled that same ethic in her children.

He came back just then with their snow-cones catching her misty eyed.

“Is everything okay?  He asked, puzzled.

She motioned for him to sit down beside her on the Boardwalk bench, “I was just remembering the last time I was here with my parents.”

His slow smile encouraged her to continue, “Tell me about them Nat.”

For the next little while they sat on the Boardwalk talking about their lives, their hopes, their fears. They talked about her deceased parents, his miserable absentee dad, their plans for the future.

NASCAR mania had begun to descend on the popular beachfront town of Weirs Beach and activity on the boardwalk increased. Travelers from near and far were walking billboards for the sport and their favorite drivers; sporting t-shirts, hats and flags. Natalie and Johnny were drawn in by the excitement both having followed the sport since they were children.

“Have you ever been to a live race,” Johnny inquired.

“Just some pro-stock and local short track races when I was a kid. My Dad’s company used to sponsor a short circuit racer so we traveled to different tracks when I was small but never a NASCAR event.” She replied.

“Me either,” Johnny continued. “My Mom is not much of a fan. I’m sure we’ll both get to go someday.


The breeze dissipated in the late afternoon and the carefree teens spent the latter part of the afternoon beating the sweltering heat riding the slides at Surf coaster. They squealed like children playing water tag and Johnny won a blow up lounger in the slider racing challenge. They wrapped up their water park adventure on the lazy river. It was near closing time and Johnny looked at her deviously.

“We could hide in the bathrooms and get ‘accidentally’ locked in here for the night.”

“That would be so much fun,” Natalie exclaimed excitably, “You’ll think I’m a huge moron but I always wanted to get locked in the Trafalgar theater and watch all the classic movies”

“You like old flicks?” Johnny asked.

“I love them. Something about being transported back in time. My mom was a huge movie buff so I grew up watching all the classics,’ she said wistfully.

“I’ll be honest,” Johnny began, “I’ve never really seen any of the classics but Wuthering Heights is paying at the drive-in here tonight if you’re interested?”

“Are you kidding? I read the book in school this year and I saw the movie with my mom when I was little. It’s such a classic love story. Are you sure you want to go?” Natalie asked.

“Love story huh?”

Natalie laughed, “Change your mind?”

“Absolutely not! I’m seventeen, it’s about time I broadened my horizons.

They agreed to go get dinner and call Blanche to see if it was alright if they were home late.

CHAPTER FOUR- More then a feeling

Gram Millers house was a quaint Victorian style cottage a short walk from the beach. It was her childhood home and although her family would prefer that she move to a seniors complex she was adamant that as long as she was living she would take care of herself. She had raised her family here with a man she loved. There had been some lean years and she had gone without many luxuries to keep her home. Sadly she realized that she was getting to a point in her life where she knew that taking care of herself was getting increasingly difficult but she wasn’t yet willing to give in.

The Miller women were sitting on the veranda sipping iced tea when Natalie

and Johnny returned.

“You kids look like you had fun,’ Gram Miller exclaimed.

“We went to surf coaster. It was a blast!” Johnny replied enthusiastically, leaning down to kiss his grandmother.

Johnny’s mom poured them iced tea and motioned for them to sit down.

Nora Miller felt much older than her thirty three years. Married at seventeen and divorced before her twentieth birthday she missed out on those carefree teenage years her son was now enjoying. Though she envied him that she certainly wanted him to experience all that life had to offer. Even though she had given up a lot of herself over the years she lived for and through her son. She remembered in those early days when John walked out on her, her son was her saving grace. She woke up to see his smile each day; she would kiss his forehead when she tucked him in at night and hope that his dreams were pleasant. His blue eyes were always so full of wonder and surprise. He was curious of the world around him and that had continued to serve him well throughout the years. Johnny was always anxious to try new things and see new places. Nora remembered fondly the scout trip he took to Washington when he was eleven years old. He was the only boy in his chapter to raise the thousand dollars need to take the trip and he did so of his own ingenuity. The framed picture sat prominently on a table in her living room. It showed her young son in his redskins ball cap standing proudly outside the gates of the White House. She looked at him now at seventeen. He was tall and handsome with a smile that could melt ice. She felt a sudden tug at her heart when she thought of his father at that age. His smile was the first thing that attracted her to him. He was always so happy in those days. ‘Probably drunk!’ she thought, thinking back. She had long ago given up the notion that he and Johnny would form a relationship. Johnny had little interest and her ex no longer had the inclination to get out of his own way. For almost fourteen years she had been mom and dad. She made dinner, she tossed the football around the yard, and she went to the ball games. Now her own mother was getting older and she faced the reality that quite soon she would be caring for her mother and son full-time. Her mother had always been her support system and she owed her as much but secretly Nora dreamed of a life of her own. Essentially she was a young woman and she dreamed of the kind of freedom and romance till now she’d only read about or saw on TV. She had never been outside of the New England states and she had never even gotten her driver’s license. She had become quite dependent on Johnny since he had gotten his but she knew it wouldn’t be long before he got busy again with school, sports and his own life. She made a decision right then and there to invest a little more time in herself.

“Penny for your thoughts Ms. Miller.” Natalie interrupted her thoughts

“For Goodness sake Natalie, please call me Nora.”

“OK Nora,” she replied, “I caught you lost in thought.

“It must be the heat dear. Speaking of, it’s to hot to turn the oven on so we’re going to have sandwiches and strawberry shortcake.”

“Sounds good to me,” Johnny rubbed his belly in mock starvation.

“I’ll help you Nora,” Natalie stood.

“I’ll entertain Gram,” Johnny stated.

“I’m sure you will. Nora winked at him.

The ladies made ham and cheese and cucumber sandwiches and an incredible dessert of strawberry shortcake on homemade biscuits. Nora joined Natalie and Johnny after dinner as they tossed the football around the front lawn. Johnny was a precision thrower and caught the ball with ease. Nora allowed Johnny to play junior football and he excelled at the sport. Nora was amazed at his speed and agility and encouraged his love of the game at every opportunity. She had never been fascinated with sports growing up but for Johnny’s sake she decided to take up an interest so that they were able to converse about it and therefore she was able to stay involved in his life. Football was his passion but he also participated in soccer and rugby and was a die hard NASCAR fan.

It wasn’t long before the heat put a damper on their football toss.

Nora took Johnny aside, “Honey I’m going to say here with Mom for a couple of days so you and Natalie can drive home when you like.

“Is Gram OK?” Johnny asked.

“She’s fine, I think,” Nora began, “I’m just a bit concerned about her mobility and her forgetfulness.

“Natalie and I aren’t going home until later anyway; we’re going to the drive in.”

“What are you seeing?” Nora asked.

“Wuthering Heights.”


“Yeah seriously. Natalie’s a huge classic movie buff.”

“Well you’re quite a gentleman,” Nora beamed, “I hope you enjoy it. It’s one of the most beautiful love stories of all time.

“Ah Mom, I didn’t know you were such a romantic,” Johnny teased.

“I used to be.” She answered wistfully.

Johnny hugged her then. A little tighter than usual she thought.

“Wait, wait,” she yelled after them as they got in the truck, “does Blanche know you are going to be late?’

“She does.” Natalie replied

“Hey Mom, why don’t you settle Gram in and come with us.”

“Thank you but no,” Nora replied, “Didn’t I raise a good boy Natalie?’

“You sure did Ms.; sorry, Nora.” Natalie answered awkwardly.

“Mom I’m not just being polite. We’d be happy to have you.”

“Go on you two. I’ve got things to do. Besides Johnny, one pretty girl should be enough for you.’ At that Nora turned and walked up the flower lined path to the house.


Dusk came early and the air cooled as quickly as the darkness fell.

“Mom was right you know,” Johnny remarked casually.

“Right about what?” Natalie asked.

“That you’re pretty,” Johnny said, avoiding eye contact.

“Well thanks,” Natalie replied sneaking a sideways glance at him. When she noticed the blush on his cheeks hers immediately flared bright red.

Thank goodness for the distraction of the movie. It was the original movie, a masterful adaptation of Emily Bronte’s classic novel, Wuthering Heights which brilliantly told the tale of the tortured love affair of Heathcliff and Cathy. It was a powerful tale speaking of the depths of passion and what hatred and revenge can do to a soul. Under a moonlit sky the two friends sat together closely and quietly as the tale of the unrequited love of Cathy and Heathcliff unfolded. She recalled a childhood memory of being curled up on the sofa with her mother and the beautiful Catherine was telling Ellen that she and Heathcliff had become so much a part of one another that it was hard to tell where one person ended and the other began. She had always tried to be the right kind of girl, who married well and resisted passion, but by nature she was wildly passionate and uninhibited, like Heathcliff. On the big screen looming lifelike out of the darkness Cathy spoke from her heart “He’s more myself then I am. Whatever our souls are made of his and mine are the same. Linton’s is as different as frost from fire. My one thought in living is Heathcliff. Ellen I am Heathcliff.” Natalie’s eyes filled with tears, maybe at the memory of her mother, maybe because Heathcliff left before hearing Cathy’s admission of love or maybe at the thought that you could love another person so deeply that you felt they were a part of you.

To be continued

Very soon I will be protecting these posts with a password. If you wish to read further please message me # michd@live.ca or leave a comment and I will send you a password. Thanks for following! Michelle


Unbreakable- Fiction Files

I have decided to share some fiction that I wrote years ago. Let me know what you think and I will post more.




She could remember most of it like it happened yesterday, even the stuff she would have preferred to forget…..



Natalie’s Dad came from a small fishing community in Chester, Nova Scotia.

Chester was a sleepy little town in the winter. During those cold winter month’s they sent her grandparents cards with the promise of a summer visit. Each card held a picture within to update her grandparents of her progress. They had a prized collection from her first steps to her fist day of school. Nanny always sent some silly pictures back. Some were of her and Grandpa making mustard pickles. She knew they would store these in the cold room in the basement along with relishes and the jams and jellies she adored. The best bedtime snack in the world was Nanny’s homemade brown bread with strawberry peach jelly. Nanny would also send the latest pictures of their golden lab Duchess who was Natalie’s most trusted four legged friend.

Natalie was a bright and articulate child and primary opened up a whole new world for her. Until she reached school age she had spent most of her young life travelling with her parents which made it impossible to form any lasting childhood friendships. Her parents were very proud of their only child and never missed an opportunity to show her. When Natalie became tied down with school and her Dad’s business kept him frequently out of town his showers of affection began to come in the form of substantial gifts. As a child Natalie wanted for nothing but despite her charmed life it was the lazy summers in Chester that she longed for the most. It was here that she learned about the most important things in life; family & friends.

The community of Chester may have been small but her Dad’s family was large and gregarious. She would always look back at the summers she spent there as little girl with the fondest of memories.  She remembered Grammy Lewis’s baking most of all. They slept in an upstairs loft in an old sea captains cottage on the water and though Gram and gramps Lewis still occupied the main house she would rise early and walk through the gardens to the little cottage before they woke to start breakfast. Gram always said that breakfast was the most important part of the day. She remembered the whistle of the tea kettle and the smell of buttermilk biscuits wafting through the little cottage. Natalie and her Dad would get up as soon as they heard the kettle whistle so they could eat the biscuits while they were still warm and enjoy the morning sunshine as it entered Chester Basin. Natalie’s Mom preferred to sleep in for a bit so they always enjoyed their breakfast on the veranda and sometimes they would walk down by the water and skip rocks.  Her Dad regaled Natalie with tale after tale of the pranks he and his siblings pulled as children. She loved those easy times that she spent with her dad in Nova Scotia. Back home in Boston he worked for a large firm as a stock trader and some weeks she didn’t see much of him at all. He was always sure to give her a kiss and hug no matter how late he came home. When Natalie started school it became apparent that she needed a more stable home base. They made a permanent move to their Lake house and Natalie attended a small school in Laconia, New Hampshire. Her mother was able to be closer to her family which seemed to make her less restless and lonely.


CHAPTER 1 “When I think of you”

Natalie sat on the edge of the riverbank, her long tan legs dangling in the tepid water. Johnny swam over and made a huge production of splashing water in her face.

The summer was flying by too quickly. She had gotten a postcard from Rebecca yesterday. She was staying with her grandparents but was anxious to come home.

Natalie had spent the bulk of her summer close to home helping out at the diner and helping out with the household chores. She looked forward to her lazy afternoons at the river with Johnny. They spent the morning’s playing card games with Danny but he had become accustomed to spending the hazy afternoons in his bedroom watching television or playing racing games but Johnny came by each day to make sure he got out in the sunshine. One rainy day he came by with an array of permanent markers and they tried to outdo each other drawing murals on Danny’s cast. His mom often packed them a picnic lunch to eat by the river. They filled those summer afternoons with swimming, sunning and they often stopped by the diner on the way home and Aunt Blanche made them chocolate milkshakes.

This particular sunny afternoon Natalie was reading from a collection of short stories while Johnny splashed around the river. She couldn’t help but appreciate his fine form. The sun had kissed him right to the tips of his toes and his sandy hair was streaked with blonde. He popped out of the water and smoothed his wet hair back out of his eyes. “Hey Bookworm why don’t you come for a dip?”

“I’m waiting until I’m so hot I can’t stand it” Natalie yelled back.

Johnny ducked under the water and swam towards her. He popped up and threw her book unto the rocks and pulled her into the water “you’re so hot I can’t stand it.”

Even in the cool water his body felt warm against hers. She looked up into his soulful blue eyes that always seemed to see right through her. This teenage boy who had so quickly become one of her best friends was about to kiss her. Her lips swelled and her pulse quickened at the very thought of it. He had been the star of many a late night fantasy.

He pulled her closer and touched her face ever so gently. His hand on the small of her back pushed her so close to him that she could feel the breath on his face. His body seemed to stiffen at once and he eased his hold on her, “Natalie stay right where you are,” he ordered.

Natalie, perplexed, did as she was told.

Johnny swam to the water’s edge and seemed to be fumbling frantically through his backpack. Obviously finding what he was looking for he swam back towards her.

“Close your eyes Natalie”

Natalie again did as she was told. She felt a quick, sudden pinch on her back.

“What the heck?” she yelled at him.

He was treading water with a jackknife in one hand, “You had a tick burrowing into your back. Don’t worry I got it. Those pesky things can be dangerous if you don’t get them right away.” He informed.

She recalled when she was a child her grandparents dog Duchess had gotten really ill from an infection resulting from a tick that had burrowed into her skin.

She wrapped her towel around her, “Well thanks.” She said sullenly. Obviously she was happy that there was no longer an awful tick burrowing into her skin but she felt like a child whose ice cream just fell off the cone.

Johnny dried off carefully and pulled his black t-shirt over his head, “you want to pop by the diner?’

“No I’m good,” Natalie said, forcing a smile for good measure, “I’m just going to go home and shower.” She turned to leave before he could see the disappointment in her eyes.

“Hold up a sec Nat,” he yelled after her, “let me give you a quick look over.”

He carefully lifted her hair rubbing his hands across her neck. He brushed her back off. He turned around and winked at her “you look good, TICK FREE!’

“Thanks, “she muttered and ran off before her feet refused to move.




Natalie had a restless sleep that evening. The soft moan of the ceiling fan irritated her and the air it circulated was little relief in the stifling room. She flitted around the double bed until the bed sheets sat in a hump on the bedroom floor.

She was embarrassed that she acted like a spoiled child yesterday. Johnny must be glad that he never kissed her. It would have been her first kiss. She’d played spin the bottle at Missy Gould’s end of school party but those slobbery, awkward pecks she endured by the dorks in her junior high class didn’t count. Now she could hardly look him in the eye and he was one of her best friends. The rest of the summer would be excruciating without his company. In her adolescent mind this felt like the end of the world. Sometime in the early hours of the morning Natalie drifted off into a dreamless sleep.




Natalie woke late to a loud knock on her bedroom door. She pulled her robe on and opened her door a crack. It was Johnny looking as devilishly handsome as always. “Are you sick or something?”

“No .Why?” she asked leaning against the door jamb.

“It’s almost noon. You’re usually up with the sun.” he teased.

“I had a terrible sleep last night,’ Natalie groaned, conscious of her bed head and fuzzy blue robe.

“I bet you dreamed of ticks crawling all over you.’ He said, reaching inside to tickle and poke at her.”

Laughing she backed away and closed the bedroom door, locking it behind her.

“I’ll be out in fifteen minutes.” She yelled.

Natalie had a super quick shower, pulled her dark hair into a sleek  pony tail and slid into a simple summer dress. She brushed strawberry lip gloss on and winked at herself in the mirror. She was thankful that things were back to normal with Johnny; in fact he was his normally annoying self. She’d tortured herself unnecessarily. After one more quick survey of herself in the mirror she put on some sandals and headed outside. To her surprise Danny was sitting on a lounge chair enjoying the sunshine while Johnny barbecued burgers.

“Hey sis,” he yelled, “have some lemonade.”

Natalie filled a tall glass full of lemonade and sat down a t the picnic table. She smiled to herself when she realized that Johnny had Aunt Blanches ‘kiss the cook’ apron on. He turned around just in time to catch her smiling. He lifted his sunglasses up to wink at her. Her cheeks flamed at the thought that he realizes how badly she wanted to kiss the cook.

“Put cheese on mine.” Danny ordered.

“Me too please, “Natalie added.

“These burgers are delicious.” Natalie told Johnny as he sat down to join her at the picnic table.

“I’ll second that,” Danny added, “if you don’t mind I’ll have another.”

“I got it.” Natalie said as she jumped up to dress her brother burger the way he liked it.

“You’re in awfully good cheer today,” she noted, passing him his cheeseburger.

“I know I’ve spent a lot of the summer moping around feeling sorry for myself but I just broke my leg, it’s not the end of the world.”

They all tapped their lemonade glasses together in a mock cheer.

“I’ll drink to that,” Johnny toasted, “now care to tell us the real reason you are in such a good mood?’

Danny smiled sheepishly, “Amy’s back from her vacation and she’s coming to visit later. Feel free to make yourselves scarce.”

Amy was a cute blonde who worked at the diner part time. Danny had a crush on her for at least two years and the pair had been playing a game of cat and mouse for way too long. In traditional macho style Danny would never break down and just ask her out.

“Well I guess we know where we’re not wanted.” Natalie sighed jokingly as she gathered up the lunch plates and took them inside.

Johnny followed her inside to help her tidy up. “I’m driving Mom to Grams this afternoon in WeirsBeach why don’t you come up for the drive?”

“Thanks Johnny,” Natalie started, “but I think Aunt Blanche has some chores for me to do around the diner this afternoon.”

“I cleared it with Blanche already. She says you’ve been doing plenty around the house picking up after Danny. Amy is bringing over supper from the diner and your Aunt is going to the movies with a friend.” He stated matter of factly.

She looked up at him with her hands on her hips, in his baggy jean shorts and Led Zeppelin t-shirt, his hair lighted by the sun and his cool blue eyes masked by sunglasses, “You’ve certainly made it impossible for me to say no!”

To be continued……