Take a Gander at Girls, Gossip & the Daily Grind Gone Astray
An Excerpt from young adult author Mark Koning’s novel:
Chronicles of a Girl
Sundays were laundry day and both Chloe and Sally would spend most of the day in the small laundry room that was beside the small kitchen. It was quiet and the two girls could go over the week’s events in peace. So she and Sally stuck to the laundry room to sort and talk, fold and talk, and in between loads they would sit around and talk. They would gossip about the latest Sally overheard from work or daydream with smiles on their faces. They would go over lessons that Sally was teaching the girl or Chloe would demonstrate and practice some of her latest techniques in the art of combat. She moved and contorted her body with such stealth and grace and power that Sally came to believe the young, beautiful lady that stood before her had become a very secret and lethal weapon.
“Guess what Sally?” The girl stopped what she was doing and got a look on her face as if she had the biggest surprise that she had almost forgotten to share.
“I give up.”
“You haven’t even tried.”
“I know, but I give up anyway. Something tells me I’ll never guess.”
“You are probably right. I met a cute boy that I like.”
“Really?” She was happy for her but also wanted to tease her about it a little. “Sixteen years old and I don’t think I have ever heard you talk about liking a boy. The only person that you have ever mentioned outside of this family is Braddick. It’s not him, is it?”
“No it’s not; and by the way, yuck!”
“That’s not nice, Chloe. He is kind of cute.”
“For a gray haired old man I guess.”
“He can’t be that old. I mean he is in good shape. He’s probably in his mid thirties.”
“Yeah, well, he’s married.”
“I know that, he told me once.”
The girl looked at her strangely.
“We have talked you know? He’s a nice guy to do for you what he does.”
She nodded to agree. “Well, it’s not him.”
“Glad to hear it, and it is about time.” She ended with a smile.
“I know.” The girl bowed her head in embarrassment and showed a shy grin.
“Well, what is his name? Where did you meet him?”
Normally Chloe would have kept this to herself, except she looked forward to sharing things with Sally and seeing her reaction and getting her advice. It was similar to when she first wanted to learn karate. She knew that she should keep the thought to herself but she wanted, and in some ways needed, to share with the older girl. The two had many secrets and each one felt comfortable talking to the other. In fact, Chloe almost felt as if she were obligated to tell Sally.
“His name is Derek. He works at the clinic with my dad. I see him there sometimes.”
“Wow, that’s great! Have you talked to him?”
“Dad introduced us, but other than that we haven’t talked much.”
“Dad is always around.”
“And?” Sally knew the girl too well.
“Well, He’s kind of a little too old, I think.”
Sally showed a look of concern, now being an overly protective aunt instead of the usually friendly sister.
The girl hesitated. “He is twenty-four.”
Sally sat back against the wall of the washing machine and folded her arms.
“I know, but he is so nice and so cute. And he is a doctor, like Peter.”
Sally couldn’t help but smile, which excited Chloe even more than she already was.
“Sometimes I dream about kissing him.”
“Really?” She raised a curious eyebrow and laughed.
“He’s not Braddick old, but do you think it’s still too much?”
“Maybe; a little. But nice guys are hard to find around here.”
“Then you think it is okay?’
“Well, you’re not dating him, and I can’t really prevent you from liking someone and thinking they are cute.”
“So is it okay to think about kissing him?”
“Thinking for now is fine. I’d hold off on anything else though.”
The girl looked a little deflated. “Is it okay to at least talk to him?
“Are you planning on talking to him? And I don’t mean just being introduced or something.”
“Look Chloe, I’m not going to dictate to you what boy you can like. Just remember that you are still only sixteen, although you may act older sometimes; okay?”
“Okay.” The girl’s smile came back. “I have never kissed a boy before.”
Sally smiled and closed her eyes as she sat back. “It can be nice. And usually, the boy does most of the work.”
Sally knew it would be a hard sell to a girl who wanted to do it all on her own. “I don’t know really, they just do. The man that I’m seeing did.”
Chloe frowned and scrunched her nose. “I love you Sally and I’m happy for you, but I’m not going to let some boy or man do all the work. I am going to do what I want to do!”
Sally laughed. “I expect nothing less.”
Both of them smiled at one another and Sally jumped to the ground from her seated position. The washer had buzzed and a new load was ready to go in. Sally emptied the towels into the neighbouring dryer, and as the washing machine became free, Chloe threw the clothes that belonged to Randy inside. She picked out a pair of pants that seemed heavy, reached in the pocket and pulled out a gun.
Be sure to join Mark at the JUZDIZRTS Author Event this afternoon to hear him read from the first book in his trilogy at On The Bean coffee shop in Aurora, starting at 3pm.