Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sincerely Sarah: Set The Course

Anniversaries are often marked with gifts. And the Progressive Story Project is about a gift, the gift of words. So today, on Baking In A Tornado's 4th Blogiversary, I'm honored to have been gifted by a number of my blogging friends with contributions to this, the 4th story of this project.

I'm as excited about this collaboration as I was when I first pitched it to my blogging friends. Not only is it fun to participate in something this unique, but readers tell me often how much they anticipate these stories.

Progressive Story Project: One cohesive piece of fiction written by multiple bloggers, each contributing their voice to the story | brought to you by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #fiction #blogging

If you're new to this blog, let me explain how this goes. Each project is a piece of fiction, broken up into 3 - 5 chapters. Each writer adds their voice, building on what those before her have written. In this way, everyone contributes to but no one controls the story.

Our first Progressive Story Project was written by sixteen bloggers in December of 2014 and called A Holiday Story. It was a fantasy, worthy of the holiday season.

The next piece was completely different, a little darker. Eighteen bloggers wrote Storm Past, which posted in July of 2015.

In December of 2015, fourteen bloggers revisited and added 4 more chapters to the continuation of A Holiday Story

Today I'd like to introduce you to a new story. Once again a group of bloggers will be telling it to you over the next few weeks. We're calling it Sincerely Sarah. 

Sincerely Sarah, a Progressive Story Project: One cohesive piece of fiction written by multiple bloggers, each contributing their voice to the story | brought to you by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #fiction #blogging

As always, I've started the story and passed it along to my friends. The name of each segment's author is to the top left of their contribution. I've added a link to their blog as well, and I highly recommend you click on over and see what else they have to offer.

Chapter One: Set the Course

Karen of Baking In A Tornado

 Anticipation. No, that wasn't right, way to positive for how she was feeling. Expectation? Not that either, by now she knew to close herself off from expectations. Certainly not hope, although she was still closer to hope than to despair. Otherwise she wouldn't be trying again.

But she was, in fact, trying again. Less with optimism this time and more with resignation. She just wasn't ready to give up. She'd know when it was time to stop, wouldn't she? And although she'd certainly considered it, lately quite seriously, she hadn't yet resigned herself to completely walking away.

So with, yes despite herself, a touch of anticipation and expectation. With equal parts resignation and determination and even with a bit of both excitement and dread mixed in, she was trying again. Maybe, one way or another, this would be the last time. But then again, maybe not.

 Dawn of Spatulas on Parade

 Sarah stood and looked at herself in the mirror. "Well, it's time" she thought. "Here I go out the door with expectation and with a little dread and fear". She picked up her coat and purse then headed for the door. At that moment her phone rang, she stopped, looked at the caller ID and shook her head. "I do not have time for this today, I will not answer this call and I will not let this person drag me down one moment longer". She dropped the phone in her purse, grabbed the door handle and propelled herself out the door into the world that was waiting for her.

Once in her car she had to give herself a pep talk. "You can do that, you are strong, you are independent, you are capable, you are fierce. I Am Woman, hear me roar." She laughed at herself then turned the ignition key and she was off down the road.

Pulling into the parking lot she could see that it was very busy. Driving slowly and carefully, she looked around for a spot. Almost at the point of giving up she saw one, breathing a sigh of relief she pulled in and stopped her car. Sarah took a deep breath, checking her hair and makeup in the mirror, grabbed her purse and said, "okay girl, it's now or never, let's do this." Stepping out of the car she knew life was about to change and she was ready, or at least she thought she was.

Lydia of Cluttered Genius

Sarah tucked a dark curl behind her ear, and began the walk toward the revolving door of the office building. As she stepped into the first available section, she sighed in relief that she didn't, once again, catch her heel. The last time, her left shoe had become stuck right as she tried to leave the revolving door, and she'd fallen to the floor. This had caused a catastrophic domino effect of those behind her in the door.

Security had run to her aide, and she'd had to hide her face from the gasps of shock as onlookers both stared and hid their chuckles at the sight of her. She'd been bruised pretty badly and spent a week avoiding references to The Fall Guy or Legends of the Fall.

Today, though, Sarah made it through the door without incident. Her nerves began to dissipate, and her shoulders straightened when she caught the eye of the security guard who nodded in her direction. She gave him a slight smile and turned her attention to the elevator. Two flights up, and she'd be back in the office. Back where it started. Back where it ended. She could do this.

She pressed the up button and waited. She smoothed her skirt. Checked her blouse. Shifted her weight slowly from her left foot to her right. The elevator door opened, and she stepped in. As Sarah turned to face the front of the elevator and press the 3, she saw him.

 Leaning against the wall of the elevator, pretending he didn't see her, Parker felt the prickle of awareness that is always felt when Sarah is around. This feeling was dangerous, because it was drumming up something that should have been buried long ago.

But feelings don't just die.

No, what they shared was so much more. There was passion and fire. Love. For the first time since his divorce, he'd loved someone again. But one miscalculated step and that fire between them was put out with a hiss. It didn't even have a chance to recover. Her walking in and finding him in that precarious situation with his assistant was the end of something so powerful, words couldn't explain it.

He stared at the back of her head, longing to reach out ans caress that curly mess that just looked so damn sexy because it was untamable. Just like Sarah. Oh, she seemed like she was demure and reserved, but in reality she was outspoken and unguarded. Her blue eyes had a mischievous glint to them and she wore a devil's smile when she was up to something.

If he were being completely honest with himself, he was still madly, wildly in love with her. But he couldn't act on it. Not now, when she was putting the shattered pieces of her life back together. The supposed affair and the devastating loss we shared ripped her world, and heart, to shreds. Seeing her standing there, her spine a steel rod of pure strength, he admired her in a new way. She truly was the strongest person he'd ever met, ever known.

His heart knew it before his head had a chance to catch up. He knew what he had to do, what he NEEDED to do.

He had to make her his once again.

 The elevator doors opened and they both walked out into the law office. The office where they had met. The office where they had fallen in love. The office where their story had been written. The office where their story had so abruptly ended.

Sarah hurried off towards her personal office, stopping to talk with her assistant, while Parker watched quietly from near the door of his own office. He watched as her expression turned from flustered to determined. Alexa must be telling her about the latest development with the Danielson prosecution. He had found out earlier, and tried to call and tell her himself, but of course she had not taken his call. She had not taken any of his calls in the previous weeks, since she had seen him with Danica.

If only she had not seen that. If only she had let him explain that she had not actually seen what she thought she had seen. If only she understood that it was Danica coming on to him, and him not returning her advances, and then Danica trying to physically force matters, and him trying to politely decline. he is sure things looked quite differently to her when she walked into his office that night.

He had hoped that when she found out he had immediately terminated Danica's employment, that would help to smooth things over, and possibly open lines of communication, but it had only made things worse.

Just then he snapped out of his thoughts as he watched Declan approach Sarah and Alexa. He felt anger start to burn inside him as he watched a smile spread across Sarah's face. The hardest part of not being able to be by Sarah's side the past few weeks was watching the firm's new partner Declan be by her side. Slowly becoming closer and closer to her.

Yes, he had to do something. Sarah was his. he knew it. He just needed to remind her.

 Jenniy of Climaxed

 Sarah was determined to reinvent herself. For as long as she could remember, she had been involved with a man, swept up in being a half of a whole instead of on being her true self. She really had no idea who her true self even was. She had one boyfriend all throughout high school and college and had stayed faithful, going home every weekend instead of going to Frat parties. Then she found out he was sleeping with her childhood best friend. She married the next guy she dated, learning to hunt and fish with him on the weekends and giving up any dreams she had about becoming a partner in her law firm, instead focusing more on being a good wife and trying to become a mother.

Sarah couldn't have children though, and when she learned that fact her husband ended up leaving her for a woman he worked with at his own law firm - a law firm where he was a partner. Of course.

When she started dating Parker, she repeated those same old patterns. She stopped focusing on her own ambition. She took on his hobbies - hockey and comic book movies. At no time during their relationship did she ever try to focus on her own goals and dreams and interests. There were no girls' nights out, no push to get promoted at the firm. She focused solely on their relationship, on building Parker up and compromising to keep things going.

When she saw him with Danica she was hurt. Who wouldn't be? It sucker-punched her straight in the solar plexus stealing her breath and making her eyes tear up. She ran from the office, cried into a bottle (or few) of wine, and wondered for days where she went wrong, why this kept happening to her.

Clarity finally reached through her self-pitying fog, though. Nothing was happening to her. She was doing it to herself. She never respected herself enough to stand on her own, to be her own person. How could she expect anyone else to show her something she never bothered to give her own self? After a few days, breaking free of Parker looked like freedom. So when Danica sent her an email explaining exactly what had happened and apologizing for what she had done, Sarah never thought twice about it.

She sent the email straight to the trash bin and pretended like she had never gotten it. 

 She was over it, over him, and over men altogether for the forseeable future. She was going to just do her and nobody else for a change. She was finally going to figure out what she wanted out of life. She was going to prove to herself that she could make it on her own. Not only make it, but kill it.

~ ~ ~ Be sure to stop by next week for Chapter Two of Sincerely Sarah ~ ~ ~

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  1. Replies
    1. I know, I do too. So much talent all coming together!

  2. Oh, you split the story up..? I have to wait for another week? Cruel!
    Happy Blogiversary again, Karen! πŸΎπŸŽ‚πŸŽ‰

    1. Yes, the story's too long for one post. It's 4 chapters that will post separately.
      Thanks for the blogiversary good wishes!

  3. Happy Blogiversary!!!!!!

    I love these!!! I always read them with new eyes, once they post. I cannot wait for part two!!!

    1. Thank you. And thank you for being a part of these. So much talent coming together.

  4. Happy Blogiversary! We love you so much and it's always so fun to work with you on these projects!

  5. Happy Blogiversary!!!

    Hot DAMN you know some talented folks! ;)

  6. So wish I'd had time to contribute to this one. So much fun!


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