by Danielle Bannister
Published: February 7, 2017
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Julie Green was not having a midlife crisis.
Her move across the country from sunny LA to the unsuspecting town of Bucksville, New Hampshire, was not about her being up to her eyeballs in fake people and even faker tits. It was not about hating her job as a temp and it most definitely did not have anything to do with her ex-boyfriend or his wife getting pregnant with kid number three.
No, this move was going to be her chance for a ‘do over.’ A quiet life in a quiet town.
Or, at least, that was the plan.
A case of mistaken identity thrusts her into the public eye, tossing her into a world of flashbulbs and shadows. Not the ideal situation to me her potential Mr. Right, but her newest temporary gig was unlike any she’d ever held. The chance of a lifetime…Will it get to be too much, forcing her to cut and run-or will she find out that love stories aren’t just for the silver screen?
I was not having a mid-life crisis no matter what my friends might have said when they found out I’d left. The decision to pack up and leave everything behind wasn’t irrational. It was going to be the most logical thing I had ever done, in theory.
Everyone has a breaking point, and I had reached mine. Enough was enough. I was done. Done with the commute…done with the smog…done with the crowds. Done with fake people and the even faker tits that basked in the LA sun and I was most definitely done with my former boyfriend, Anthony, and his perfect wife getting pregnant with kid number three.
There it was; the straw that broke the camel’s back.
So, I left. It felt good, too. For once in my life, I was taking charge of my own destiny. At least, that’s what I kept telling my mother’s voice each time she popped into my head during the twenty-three-hour drive across the country.
Julie, honey, what are you running from?
Really bad choices, Ma.
When are you going to settle down and make me some grandbabies?
Maybe you could go back to school and finish your degree this time? It’s so hard to explain to people what it is you do.
Tell them I work in an office. I’m a temp. It’s not that hard.
Why don’t you move back home? I heard Daniel Howards got divorced.
Thanks, Ma, I’ll pass.
Those are the types of questions my mother would ask if I called—which is precisely why I didn’t when I left. I chose to avoid the lectures and reminders that I had failed in life, yet again. I just wanted out.
My mother, of course, had no idea about my affair with Anthony. If she had discovered that I was the other woman she would have gotten down on bended knee and prayed for my soul, even though she hadn’t been to church in years. The fact that her daughter had been sleeping around with a married man for the last three years, however, might be enough to send her back.
I’d send her a text whenever I landed someplace. When it was too late for her to talk me out of it.
The plan had been to end in Maine, the literal farthest away I could get from LA, but I ended up pulling over somewhere in New Hampshire to ask directions from a woman who was putting up a For Rent sign in her yard. We started chatting, and I decided, on the spot, I needed to live in that house.
New Hampshire was just as a good a state as any, as far as I was concerned. Now all that was left to do was unpack. Not that I’d brought much. Only as much stuff that fit in the rented SUV. The rest, I’d left behind, along with a note to my landlord letting him know not to expect a renewal of my lease. But before I began unloading the car to officially start my new life, I needed wine. And maybe some Doritos. Okay, and some ice cream too.
Danielle Bannister lives with her two children in Midcoast Maine along with her precious coffee pot and peppermint mocha creamer. She holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Southern Maine and her Master’s degree in Literary Education from the University of Orono. Her writing includes: a collection of short stories called Short Shorts, The Twin Flames Trilogy: Pulled, Pulled Back, and Pulled Back Again, The ABC’s of Dee, Enigma, and Doppelganger. She is also a contributing writer for the website, Venus Scribe. In addition, her work can also be found in the following anthologies: 2012 Goose River Anthology, 2012 Writeous Anthology, 2013 Maine Writes: Maine National Writing Project Anthology; and, 2013 The Stroke of Midnight: A Supernatural New Year’s Anthology.