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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Expect (07/11/13)

TITLE: They Call Me Annalee (My Life in a Blog)
By Francy Judge
07/18/13


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Today I wore orange socks. I brushed my hair until all the knots got out, well almost. One clump underneath where I can’t reach feels like Mazie Rabbit’s fur balls. But my orange socks glow in the dark, and since I can’t wear shoes, my socks matter. Someone donated socks to Westfield Nursing Home. All neon shades. Even ninety-five- year-old Mr. Rosenbaum wears his neon lime green socks.

*******

I’m not who people expect me to be.

I am small. And built wrong. I’m like the doll that skipped over some important stations on the factory belt. Before I read the Bible, I imagined some angel on the people making assembly line must’ve been daydreaming. He forgot to give me arms and legs before attaching hands and feet. I’m sure my birth mother expected a normal baby. When she saw me, she probably wished I could be returned—she scooted out of that hospital so fast and so far, no one could find her. As if I never happened.

But not everything stinks. I can’t walk, but I can zoom around in my electric wheel chair. I can blog on my laptop. I can talk, yell, sing, and sign my name. Lee, short for Annalee. I like the name chosen by the nurse who found me alone and wailing in the hospital bassinet. I’m almost independent. Don’t need a mom or dad to baby me. But I could use a hug now and then. Lindsy won’t hug me. She won’t hug anyone or touch anyone or look at anyone. At least she looks at me. Some people won’t even look.

*******

About My Roommate…

The first day my roommate moved in to Westfield Nursing Home, I made the mistake most people make when they first meet her. I said hi before she said hi.

“Hi, Lindsy. I’m Lee.”

“Don’t say, hi Lindsy, don’t say hi Lindsy.” Her voice amplified to just short of screaming. “Don’t say hi Lindsy!”

Her mom stroked her hair. “Va bene. Lei è il tuo amico. She won’t say your name first again.” Of course, I wanted to say her name again, but I didn’t.

Then she turned to me. “I’m sorry. Lindsy likes to say hi first once she knows your name. Lindsy, this is Lee. She’ll be your roommate. I’m going to get your suitcase. Be right back.”

“Hi, Lee. I’m Lindsy De Luca. I was born in Italy. We moved here when I was three.” Her eyes wandered in opposite directions, so I focused on her nose. And her short crooked bangs. I’ve got the same haircut.

“Hi, Lindsy. Thanks for the info.”

“You’re very small.”

“That’s me.”


After Lindsy’s mother left, she moaned for a bit like a sad puppy and rocked like she was listening to music I couldn’t hear. I’m sure Mrs. De Luca didn’t expect a baby like Lindsy, but at least she kept her. Did my mother think I was too deformed to have feelings or a brain? I bet she’d be surprised to find out I graduated high school.

Lindsy was dressed in typical something-is-wrong-with-me clothes…her mom must’ve dressed her. What normal twenty-something woman chooses to wear cotton candy pink sweat suits with Hello Kitty dancing on her chest?

*******

I’ve got mail…

People magazine, and a letter in a purple envelope. From Boston, Massachusetts. I don’t know anyone in Boston. I don’t know anyone outside Westfield, period.

“Must be my invitation to the Academy Awards.”

Lindsy tilts her head and squints.

“Kidding, just kidding.”

I peel the envelope open and get a paper cut. A birthday card? Five months late?

********

Dear Annalee,

Happy birthday.

Until recently, I thought you were dead. I’d like to meet you next Saturday.


Warm regards,
Your Brother, Danny Hayes


********

My breath catches, and I make an odd hiccup noise. I tuck the card back in the envelope and lay it down. Then I pick it up, open it, and read it again. Three times.

My first question is to God: “Do I really have a brother?” then…“Does he know what I look like? What does he expect? What about my parents?” My mind rattles off so many questions I don’t notice Lindsy pointing.

“Your juice spilt. Now the floor is sticky.”

*******

Saturday morning…

I pray: “Lord, please let him like me.”

I expected Danny to get that eye-bulging look I’m used to. But some expectations are wrong. Danny hugs me. “You have a brother now.”


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This article has been read 521 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Camille (C D) Swanson 07/18/13
Wow - this was very deep and powerfully moving. It made me feel as if I was sitting in that room and watching the whole thing unfold before my eyes.

My heart went out to both residents, and your descriptions were excellent!

Excellent piece, and brilliant.

God bless~
Theresa Santy 07/18/13
How clever. In a stream of blog posts, you captured the life of Annalee (who, I assume is fictional? It's hard to tell, because the MC is so believable).

I enjoyed this from the beginning, and by the end, I wanted to come and hug Annalee too.
Noel Mitaxa 07/20/13
You've lifted us way past what we expect to be normal and saturated the setting with total credibility and warmth- even touches of humour. Brilliant writing.
Margaret Kearley 07/22/13
This is fantastic! - a captivating story and wonderfully writen. As well as the main account of Annalee's life, through blogs, you have potrayed so many insights into her life by just the odd comment - eg 'Before I read the Bible' or 'I graduated High School'. Intriguing and lovely to read. The ending is just wonderful! Thankyou for this lovely story. (PS Would love to know what Lindsey's Mum says - my Italian is non existent!!)
Tracy Nunes 07/24/13
This was so creative! It's simplicity was engaging and beautiful. Loved it!
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/25/13
Congratulations on EC for a wonderful story. If there could be a place above 1st place, you'd be in it!
Camille (C D) Swanson 07/25/13
Congratulations on your excellent piece!

God bless~
Lillian Rhoades 07/25/13
Beyond excellent! Congratulations.
Nancy Bucca07/25/13
Great story and so well written. Amazing from beginning to end. Congrats on winning 1st place Editor's Choice.
Leola Ogle 07/25/13
Awesome entry and so deserving of a win! Congratulations, Francy! God bless!
Margaret Kearley 07/25/13
Well done Francy, so very very well deserved. Many congratulations.
Bea Edwards 07/25/13
Congratulations on your well deserved EC win with this touching account in the life of someone lost than found.
Noel Mitaxa 07/25/13
Congratulations on your well-deserved win.
Noel Mitaxa 07/25/13
Congratulations on your well-deserved win.
Virgil Youngblood 07/25/13
Outstanding writing, and a well deserved win. Congratulations.
Danielle King 07/26/13
WOW! Amazing, brilliant writing. I was hooked from the first word to the last. A huge congratulations to you.
Ellen Carr 07/26/13
Congratulations on your 1st place win! It is well-deserved for this moving and believable blog-style story. Well done!
Sharon Eastman07/27/13
Excellent story - excellent writing - I am amazed!
Judith Gayle Smith07/28/13
I would love to Mother sweet Annalee. What a poignant, exquisite story. Your writing lifts me up. Thank you. Congratulations!

Praise YHWH. Hebrews 10:26-31, Revelation 12:17
Olawale Ogunsola07/30/13
You really deserve the first place win. Congratulation!
Catrina Bradley 07/30/13
Awesome story, I was thoroughly captivated. Congrats!