I’m taking a “Start Writing Fiction” class at Future Learn, and this is one of the stories I wrote as an exercise.
Prompt was the first line you hear on a radio. it was “People think I walk on water.”
Turn on the radio story:
People think I walk on water, but I don’t. I don’t even swim that well. I mean I like to swim, of course, who doesn’t. With ocean, lakes and pools all around us, and the island so near. But I don’t, walk on water, I’m nothing special. I mean everyone helps people, don’t they? You see a need and you meet it. That’s what my parents did, and their parents too. My dad would be late for dinner, mom would fuss, he’d say, “Now baby, Jim’s wife went into labor and I drove them to the hospital.” The rest of the night was spent making more food to take to Jim, his wife and their children. My grandmother made dresses and gave them away, big ones, little ones, new baby, bride’s even. People would say “Miss Sarah I hate to ask, but.” “No need for that,” Grandmother would say, and she would search through a stack of material for the perfect fabric.”
Grandfather planted more garden than he needed, and would give it all away. Growing up, I thought everyone gave half their sandwich to the next person, it’s just how the world worked.
Then I met Lola in my senior year of high school. I gave her half my sandwich, “Thanks Sam,” She said, and grabbed the second half, stuffed it in her mouth and kept walking. I was in love.
The rest of that year, and all through college, I gave and Lola took. I gave her my heart, she stomped on it. I gave her my car, she wrecked it, after sleeping with Tim Reed in the back seat. Two years after college I gave her a wedding ring and she hocked it, leaving me with twins, three months old. Then Lola had a second accident, lost her mind and her memory.
She ended up in county nursing home, and I visit her every Sunday with the twins, now seven. We take her pudding and cookies and talk to her of her past. Lola doesn’t remember so we fill her in. “You were the best cook in Cornfield,” we say, and Lola smiles. “You took cookies and cakes to all the new mothers.” You are kind, loving and good. Lola smiles. “You won so many swimming awards and you helped others learn.” Lola smiles.
You always went and got grandfather’s vegetables and delivered them to the shut ins. You ran their errands. Lola smiles. You loved to share your sandwiches. At this point, Lola, who is beginning to stuff an entire sandwich in her mouth, will tear it in half and offer it to one of us. We smile and say thank you. We ask her to get better and come home. Lola looks at us like she has never seen us before. She wheels off in her wheel chair and knocks on Mr. Smith’s door. “Who were those people?” she asks, and slips the candy from his bedtable into her pocket.