Every Friday, I will feature a character from one of my books, both published and unpublished. The character will be presented as if he/she is writing about themselves in a journal entry.
If you looked at my birth certificate, you’d read that my name is Laura Elaine Ashford and that I was born on February 29, 1916 to Elaine Miller Ashford and Charles Ashford. So, why do I go by Lorna? Few people know that my name is actually Laura. Only my best friend since I was a child, Macy Grace Wells, knows my real name. Well, that’s not entirely true now. My parents died in a car accident on June 21, 1937 as they were going out to celebrate their 25th anniversary. I was left to raise my younger brother, Chucky. He was only 13. Chucky knew my real name, but he’s gone now, too, so I guess I don’t really count him anymore. You see, he was drafted in 1942 to serve in the war.
1943 was a crazy year in my life. I’d finally sold my childhood home after Chucky was drafted, getting rid of most of the furniture and other possessions inside it. I burned all the old photographs except the one from my parents’ wedding. I remember looking at that picture, seeing how happy my mom and dad were, as I was helping Mom get ready for her special date with Dad on the night they died. I told myself I was starting over and moved into a new house.
I’d been so used to having only myself as company for years that I was in serious denial about the depth of my grief. I’m not unattractive with my heart-shaped face, dark eyes, and brown, wavy hair, even though I’m not that tall at only 5 feet, 4 inches. But personality-wise, I was ugly. I still don’t know how Macy didn’t give up on me. Thank God she didn’t. Speaking of God, I was angry at him for a long time, blaming him for my parents’ death, thinking he could’ve stopped it if he wanted to.
I had a decent job as a first grade teacher. I had a new house. Surely I could move on and put the past behind me.
I immediately was drawn to my strange neighbor because he had only rocks in his yard and seemed a hermit who was crazy (he talked to himself outside). With Macy’s help, I managed to pull myself out of my depression some after my move. I started painting, although it looked more like splatters of paint on a canvas than anything. I have no artistic ability. I do love to read, however. My favorite books are by B.R. Stevenson. I made a new friend at work, Angela Sunshine. Yes, that really was her name.
All this new positivity gave me the courage to confront my neighbor, Tristan Blake. He was so confusing. He didn’t talk much at first and seemed to have a short temper. He was no doubt hiding more than just his face behind his beard, long hair, and large glasses, but what stood out to me the most was his sadness. He was a widower. His house was stuck in time from when his wife died, like his own tomb. It was like he was the only living thing among death, including his rocks. But before I knew it, I was falling for him. He helped me in many ways, yet he denied his kindness and generosity. He was an enigma.
So, how does our story end? Well, that would be spoiling it. Tristan and I are two of a kind in many ways, both struggling with our grief and afraid to let it go and embrace a new life of love.
Lorna is the protagonist of my unpublished story, Lorna versus Laura. Look for it later this year.
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Also, check out my novel, Hannah’s Rainbow: Every Color Beautiful, now available for only $2.99 on Amazon: Hannah’s Rainbow: Every Color Beautiful