All written for: Arcadia 100
Title: The Way
It’s the way she looks. Dancing with him. She looks so happy.
She should be dancing with me.
I don’t know what it is about her that makes me so crazy. Why it broke my heart when she betrayed me. I never thought she would be my type. That first day she walked into AP Chem something about her just got under my skin.
Some days I think I should forgive her for what she did. The look in her eyes is so sad. I almost believe she is sorry. But I still don’t understand what made her do it.
Title: God Has a Plan
Characters: Joan and God
“This is SO frustrating!”
“What is, Joan?”
“Join AP Chem, build a boat, be a cheerleader, get a job… what is the point?”
“Are you questioning my plans?”
“Yes I am! Your plans are ruining my life!”
“You think these things are ruining your life, but you should remember the good you’ve done.”
“What good have I done? Wrecked Adam’s art? Made my family go to therapy?”
“You saved Adam’s life. And your father’s. You stopped Ramsey from killing people. You helped Kevin and Luke adjust to life here. There are two sides to every coin, Joan. Don’t forget that.”
Title: Love Blossoming?
“Adam! Wait up!”
Joan caught up to him.
“Are you avoiding me?”
“No, I’m not avoiding you. I have to be somewhere in an hour, that’s all.”
“Oh.” Joan looked dejected.
“Well, it’s such a beautiful spring day that I thought maybe we could go for a walk in the park or something.”
“Oh.” Adam looked uncomfortable. “Um… Jane?”
“Never mind.” He stopped, picked a flower that was in full bloom and handed it to her.
“See you later, Jane.” He crossed the street and walked away.
She sighed, his words a lullabye to her ears.
Title: Please Pass the Milk
Characters: Joan, Helen and God
Joan began to unload the groceries on to the conveyer belt.
“Oh Joan, I forgot to get milk. Could you please run back to the dairy section and get a gallon?”
She weaved her way through the crowded supermarket aisles, frustrated at her mother’s forgetfulness lately.
She reached around a stock boy to grab her gallon of milk.
“Sorry,” she mumbled under her breath, anxious to leave.
“Joan,” the employee stopped her. She rolled her eyes. “What now?”
“Have some patience with your mother. She is dealing with a lot right now. She needs your support.”
Title: She Will Be Loved
He watched her walk across the cafeteria.
He missed her.
Yes, her actions were unforgivable. Or were they? They had been such good friends. She must have had a reason. What, he couldn’t even begin to fathom.
What would she do if he went over and talked to her?
He was startled when she glanced his direction and their eyes met. He quickly looked away, to avoid the sadness in her eyes.
She sat alone.
She will be loved, he promised himself. By me. Maybe not today, but soon. Each day it got a little easier to forgive and forget.
Title: Secret Thoughts
He sat quietly next to the headstone.
No one knew that he came to the cemetery to talk to her. Sometimes he felt ashamed about his visits. He knew that her spirit was not really there. But somehow he felt closer to her.
“Hey mom. There’s this new girl at school this year. She’s in my chemistry class. I think I like her. She’s really pretty and sweet and fun. Her name is Joan, but I call her Jane. I’m not sure how to approach her though. And I can’t ask Dad for advice. I wish you were still here.”
Title: Why Me?
She stared at herself in the mirror.
She examined each of her features carefully, trying to determine if there was something special about her. Anything to prove she wasn’t crazy.
Was it really God that was talking to her? How could she ever really know? She couldn’t talk to anyone about it. They’d just lock her in a padded room.
‘Well,’ she thought to herself as she continued her examination, ‘as long as he doesn’t ask me to do anything illegal, I guess it’ll be okay.’
She shook her head at her reflection. ‘Why me?’ she thought. ‘I’m nothing special.’
Joan sat on her bed in silence as her mother walked out of her room and shut the door.
She had tried to stay strong while her mother was telling her the story of what happened to her in the past. Now that she was alone, she let it all out.
She cried for the innocent young woman her mother had been and the brutal way that innocence had been stolen from her.
“Why would you cause so much sorrow and pain to such a good person?”
God startled her by responding. “It made her the woman she is today.”
Title: Come Back
Joan felt like she was going crazy. Ever since the doctors told her that her illness could cause hallucinations, she questioned all the times she thought she was talking to God. She knew that every one of her “assignments” had resulted in something good happening and they were definitely things she wouldn’t have done on her own.
She had been spending a lot of time in church. She prayed. She begged God to talk to her now that she was cured. But the more days that went by without Him, the less she felt like she could regain her faith.
Characters: Joan and Helen
“Joan, talk to me. You haven’t been the same since you got out of the hospital.”
“Mom, I don’t know how to explain what I’m going through. I just started to have faith in myself and now I don’t know if everything I’ve experienced in the last year was real or some hallucination. Nothing makes sense anymore!”
"Faith is not about making sense. It's about believing in something and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. You’ve changed your life for the better since we came to Arcadia. You need to continue on the path you’ve created.”
“Adam you are so strong.”
He looked at her with a puzzled look on his face.
“I thought we were studying, Jane. What are you talking about?”
“You’ve had so many bad things happen to you in your life. But you still manage to carry on and become a better person. How do you do it?”
"We decide what our lives are going to be. Things happen to us; it's our reactions that matter.”
Joan looked at Adam in amazement.
“What if you don’t know how to react?”
He shrugged. “It’s not something you choose, it’s just something you do.”
Title: Thinking Outside the Box
Characters: Joan and God
“You want me to do what?” Joan practically screamed, attracting a lot of attention.
God, appearing before Joan in the first image she had spoken to him in, gave her the look she had come to despise since he first started talking to her. The look that meant he wasn’t going to give her any more information and that she was on her own to figure out her mission.
"You have a very limited and uncreative way of looking at the situation, Joan." He started to walk away, but turned back and added, “It’s time to think outside the box.”
Title: Life Lessons
“What is the most important lesson you can learn in life? Ms. Girardi?”
“The art of forgiveness will carry you far in life,” she replied with a sideways glance at Adam.
The teacher nodded. “Good answer, but not quite right. Mr. Rove?”
Adam thought for a minute before responding. "The greatest thing you can ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."
“Exactly!” he proclaimed as the bell rang.
Joan looked at Adam in amazement as they gathered their books.
“Where did that come from?”
He gave her a wry smile. “Remember when we watched Moulin Rouge?”
Title: A New Beginning
Joan looked around her brand new bedroom. In her mind, she was arranging her furniture and her pictures. She was still a little angry about starting over in a new town , but looking at her new room made her remember all the possibilities she had. She would make new friends and maybe, just maybe, finally find a boyfriend.
In her mind, she added a cute boy sitting at her desk, girlfriends in sleeping bags on the floor painting their nails, herself - laying on her bed, chatting on the phone.
Yes, she decided, Arcadia might not be so bad.
He dreams in color.
They are the same dreams he has always had. But they were always in black and white before.
He dreams of great works of art, built by his hands. He dreams of critical acclaim in the art world, of having a gallery show, of making a living, a good living, from his art. He dreams of a life away from Arcadia.
He always attributed the dreams to the angels. The muses. The ones who inspired him. He still thinks that’s where they come from.
But since Jane came into his life, his dreams were in color.
She dreams in color.
They are dreams unlike any other she’s ever had before in her life. They are good dreams, not like the koala bears dreams of her youth.
She dreams of peace and love and understanding. She dreams of angels and saints. She dreams that some day, maybe soon, the world will be a safe place, a place where children don’t have to be afraid of anything, not even koala bears in hats.
She assumes the dreams come from God. Another way for him to communicate His will to her.
She hasn’t had a bad dream in Arcadia.
Characters: Joan and God
Take another chance
to find a distant sanity
Joan took one last glance over her shoulder at the receding figure in the courduroy jacket and began slowly walking home.
Deep down in her heart, she knew that he was who he said he was. She knew that crazy camp and all the psychobabble she went through there was just that - babble. She knew she wasn’t crazy. She knew that she hadn’t had hallucinations caused by lyme disease.
God really had been talking to her. She still didn’t understand why he abandoned her when she needed him the most, but she was grateful that he had come back.
Title: Missing Jane
Adam felt like he had lost something very special.
He missed his Jane. He couldn’t keep up with the supposedly new and improved Joan. She had a different personality every day and none of them were nearly as sweet and loveable as the slightly neurotic girl he fell in love with.
But he didn’t want to give up on their relationship. He knew that somewhere beneath the surface still lurked his Jane. And he was going to do everything in his power to resurrect her.
Even if it meant believing that she had been talking to God all last year.
Title: God’s Challenge
Characters: Joan and Helen
Joan was startled to see the light seeping through her curtains. She glanced at her watch and realized she had been up all night because of this latest assignment from God. It was going to be a rough day.
Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she made her way to the bathroom to scrub the ink from her hands. Her mother stopped her.
“Joan, have you been up all night?” She asked, assessing her daughter’s appearance.
“Yes,” she replied.
“What on earth possessed you to stay up all night?”
“I have to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.”