Emmy Z. Madrigal reminds us why First Times are always memorable, and sometimes very painful, leaving a memory that follows us for life. I was so touched when Emmy told me the story that I begged her to write it down. This is a perfect storm of setting, character, and conflict.
Let’s put aside that the day I was born, “Satin Sheets” by Jeanne Pruett was #1 in the country music charts, the fact that some of the first movies my parents took me to were Rhinestone Cowboy and The Gambler, and how I knew every word to “Playing with the Queen of Hearts.” My parents being big country western music fans meant we went to concerts at county fairs, rodeos, and good ol’ pancake breakfasts, sitting on bales of hay instead of chairs. Still, this over-permeating of yee-haw’s and y'alls wasn’t the thing that pushed me over the edge.
It happened one New Year’s Eve and it’s all Willie Nelson’s fault. Yep, you heard it right, good ol’ two-braided, bandana wearing, guitar strumming, Willie is to blame.
Well, him and my first period.
As I said, it was New Year’s Eve and I was thirteen. I wanted to be at a party, a friend’s house, or pretty much anywhere else besides with my uncool parents. I was grumpy, and moving into my teen years with all the angst and disappointment every teen possesses. I was in pain and blamed it on the fried rice we ate for dinner giving me indigestion. All I really wanted to do was go to bed, cuddle up in my warm comforter, read a book, and mourn my sad existence as a kid with extremely lame parents. But no…my step-father insisted we all gather around the TV for the Willie Nelson New Year’s Eve Special.
My step-father was an over-bearing, abusive jerk who tried to control every aspect of my life, even down to how much I enjoyed a family event. Ever seen Sleeping with the Enemy? Yeah, him. Point being, if I didn’t laugh or smile once every few minutes, I’d get a stern look and if it continued, I’d get hit. Most of the time I played along, pasting on the fake smile and throwing in a phony laugh here and there as a self-defense mechanism. But that night, I wasn’t having it. I didn’t feel well, I was tired, and I just wanted to go to bed.
Willie just couldn’t wait to be “On the Road Again” as a stabbing pain rippled through my abdomen and I felt like I was going to throw up. I jumped up and moved as quickly as I could to the bathroom despite my step-dad’s demanding, “You better hurry up!” call behind me.
If you’re a woman, you’ve been there. “Why the hell am I bleeding? Oh, wait…is this what they were talking about in health class? Ewe, this sucks. What do I do?” Well, of course I called my mother and she was proud and helpful, and all that, but I did not want her to tell my step-father what had happened. It was embarrassing. It was personal. And it definitely did not need to be a topic of discussion during the Willie Nelson New Year’s Eve Special!
Inevitably, she did tell my step-dad and he got a thrill out of embarrassing me throughout the rest of the concert and for days afterward. That was the night a switch went off in my head. I would from that day spurn country music at every turn. Twangs were sneered at, y'alls ignored. You better bet your britches, if I ever meet Willie Nelson, he’s gonna get an earful.
Emmy Z. Madrigal is the author of the Regency novella, Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe. Her previous works include the Sweet Dreams Musical Romance Series and the novelettes Anime Girl and Anime Girl 2. Emmy has been praised for her realistic portrayal of modern female characters and their will to survive in a world of adversity, prejudice, and economic hardship. She writes Contemporary, YA/New Adult, Regency, Horror, and Sweet Romance.
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~Sweet Dreams Series, #3
~YA/New Adult~Sweet Romance
~Jul 24, 2014
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