This is a sample from Four Hundred Sycamore by Jill McClelland, which I voiced, edited, and produced.
Young Adult (18-35)
North American (General)
North American (US General American - GenAM)
Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
gasping. I sit up too quickly and have to lay back down to avoid falling over. It's only 8:36 AM, but at least I got a little bit of sleep. I was never a good sleeper but having my mother die and then six months later walking in on my husband with a seductress named Monica. I've all but given up on a good night's sleep. Monica. The name offends everyone of my senses and I feel nauseated. It's best not to even think of her. I tell myself, I know it is Jared's fault since he was the one to ignore his vows, our vows, but the thought of the other woman always makes me dizzy and sick. The doctor says stress is causing my nightmares and that they will probably stop once I am able to relax. I sat in a cold exam room far from relaxed and wearing only a paper robe when she offered me a sedative. I know what is okay for me to take something many people do, but I was once able to stand on my own and I want to be that strong person again. As usual. I keep replaying my dream over and over until I realized that there is more than the obvious loss and sadness that is bothering me. I replay my dream in my mind recalling as many details as I can muster. My mind catches on the last seen before I bolted awake. I remember my mother inconsolable and clutching a cream colored sweatshirt feeling steadier. I run to the box labeled mom's clothes and dig through the pile inside. Once my fingers touch the worn fabric, I know I have it. I pulled the sweatshirt out and examine it top to bottom. I turn it over in my hands and comb my memory for any hidden glimpse, any small recollection to place this discovery. I think to myself was this old thing really my father's sweatshirt Or am I just putting this detail into my subconscious because it is new to me. I'm sure my mind is just trying to connect dots and make sense of all of the recent changes in my life because there is no way that I remember something. My father were all those years ago. My father died when I was five, That was 25 years ago. Many people have tragic lives, there are stories of starving and being homeless, being abused, never having parents long enough to form a memory and so many other horrible existences. Even so I feel wrecked. My dad died when I was five, my mother when I was 29 and now I am divorced at 30. How can I possibly get through this? I do my best to remember what my doctor advised and I start to list all of the good things I have, I am healthy. I have enough food. I have a job that pays the bills. I have my best friend's Zanna and Emily I will be okay, my breathing calm seas and I decide it's time to forget these dreams and memories and watch tv for a while I wrap up in what I will consider my mom's sweatshirt, breathe in what is left of her scent and try to get comfortable on the couch. It's amazing how I can have so many channels and yet not have anything to watch. Then I cynically remember that it is an early sunny, saturday morning and everyone else is outside being happy. Cheerful families are probably below my window's right now, holding hands and skipping off to the park. This thought makes me certain that I will stay right here on this couch no matter how lumpy it is and not move for a while. This lasts for about five minutes when the sweatshirt just will not cooperate. There is a tiny jab on my right side. Every time I move an inch I give up and move from my cocoon of blankets to see what in the world continues to poke me. I reach into the pocket and find an old yellowed envelope with no writing on the outside. This does not happen. I think to myself, did my mom somehow send a letter from beyond to tell me all of the life lessons I'm supposed to learn. Will she tell me that it will all be okay that I will be happy again that I will stop feeling so lonely. I am a basket of nerves and my hands start to sweat. I opened the envelope so slowly and carefully that it takes me almost three full minutes. I do not want to ruin any other worldly power or luck that I am touching right now. Once I finally loosen the seal, I can see that it's not a letter but a picture. I am so disappointed I'm not even sure who these people are.
Homemaker, Millennial, Real Person, Enthusiastic, Genuine, Inquisitive, Narrator, Soothing, Relatable, Emotional, North American (General), North American (US General American - GenAM)