to celebrate national novel writing month (or the unfortunately nicknamed "NaNoWriMo") this year i will spare myself the white-hair-inducing effects of writing 50,000 words in the month of November by writing a story a day.

these stories will be of any length and veer into any territory i wish. the idea is for me to write one a day for every day of november. these will be first drafts with minimal editing.

if you are into any of it. please comment below! perhaps you can help me figure out if there's ANYthing in these stories worth adapting or polishing into something awesome.

story 20.  the friend of my friend is not my friend  (by jenny yang. saturday, november 23, 2013)

“i’m an essential oils kinda gal. it is just so, so good for you. oregano for a stuffy nose...eucalyptus oil for mental fatigue...peppermint oil for a tension headache...jasmine for a mood boost…oh i could go on…”

please don’t.

cara twirled herself into a huge plop in the middle of the quadruple pillow top bed. she chirped on like she was a cheerleader for aromatherapy. or some hippie dimension snow white who called in nature to do her work like the animals of the enchanted forest. the word “so” seems to be her favorite word.

it was bachelorette weekend for our mutual friend tracey and i got the luck of the room sharing draw.

“well i hope you don’t mind the scent of eucalyptus because i simply must have it everywhere i sleep. it just does not feel like home without it.” she started to dab her neck and spray into the bathroom.

“here’s the thing, cara.” i had to say something. “come.” i waved her over to sit down facing me in the narrow aisle between our beds.

i took her two hands in the only condescending way that i knew and said, “i am sure your essential oils do wonders for you. but i’m agnostic on this matter and would rather refrain from fully bowing down at the altar of the oil gods. you seem like a positive and worthy missionary for the cause, but i like to leave a low footprint of the scents, gases and liquids that naturally emanate from me and my things and i hope that you can too. we’re gonna be spending a long weekend together at this quite resort. i’d prefer that we keep the whole ‘who we are as people’ to ourselves. i know that we are both friends of tracey and i’m sure you are a fine person. but a friend of a friend is not my friend. we are strangers. and right now, i just don’t have room in my life to get to know another human being.” then, i squeezed her hands and gave her a great big smile.

of course, cara’s eyes started welling up. i tried to let go of her hands but she grabbed onto mine and wouldn’t let go.

“i am so, so, sorry,” she said while looking deep into my eyes. and...yup...that’s right. her lower lip was trembling.

“i am so sorry that you don’t feel like you have enough space in your life to know another person.”

her cheeks were streaked with tears at this point. i don’t think her foundation and blush was waterproof.

she would not let go. i was trapped in her photon ray of concern.  her hands were gripped on my elbows at this point.

“i thought i was just making polite conversation with you about my love for oils but it’s now clear that you are someone who really needs your space. you are a strong, strong woman, aren’t you. oh yes. i really admire that in you. you have the eyes of a warrior..”

why did tears start to fill my eyes…

“...and it is a person like you who really makes things happen in this world and i respect that so, so much.”

was i visibly sobbing? yes. i was visibly sobbing at this point.

“oh dear. you are such a sweetheart. i just know you are.” cara kept her grip on me and hopped over next to me to give me the tightest side hug her pale skinny arms could manage.

she broke me. cara broke me.

“i am broken.” i sputtered through my tear-soiled lips.

“oh, sweetie. you are not. you just need a little pick me up juice in your life. everybody needs a little pick me up juice every now and then. c’mon. let’s get you cleaned up and ready for cocktails.” she stroked my arm like my mom used to do.

i missed my mom.

cara kissed the top of my head and handed me a tissue.

i’m a horrible person.

the end.