Snow Moon, No Moon, Story Conclusion by Jamuna Advani

by Matilda Butler on March 12, 2012

StoryMap #8 – Women’s Memoirs, StoryMap: The Neverending Writing PromptTM – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

Women’s Memoirs is Delighted to Bring You Jamuna Advani’s Snow Moon, No Moon Story Conclusion

As you remember, Kendra wrote the first five parts to a story based on our StoryMap of Five Points, Oklahoma. She wove us into the story, of course. We invited everyone to purchase a copy of StoryMap and write a conclusion.

Jamuna was the first to send us the next two parts to Snow Moon, No Moon. Yesterday, we published the first of these and today we are publishing her final installment. If you missed Jamuna’s first part yesterday, then click on this link.

Snow Moon, No Moon, yesterday’s continuation by Jamuna Advani

We again congratulate Jamuna on her well-crafted story.

Don’t remember the first five parts? Here’s a link to Snow Moon, No Moon, Part 1. From there you will find a link to the next part.

Snow Moon, No Moon, Part 1 Read all five parts, if you like, and then return to Jamuna’s concluding installment. Or, if you like, just enjoy Jamuna’s story. Be sure to leave her a note in the Comments section below.

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Snow Moon, No Moon, Part 7
by Jamuna Advani

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

United Flight #432 was right on time. When Jamuna came out of the arrival lounge, she saw Cynthia driving toward the curb, flashing her usual smile and waving. As she had pulled into a No Parking area, they just gave each other a quick hug and threw the small suitcase on the back seat. Jamuna got in the front seat.

Cynthia was slim, 5’6” tall, and had silver gray hair. Even now in her late sixties, she looked elegant. Jamuna always admired her beauty and charm, but also her confidence and poise. She was always a hard working woman.

Widowed at the age 55, Cynthia never wanted to marry again. Her only concern was for her son Alex. She gave him all the support she could. Now with her son posted at the Air Force Command, front line at Afghanistan, she constantly worried about him. Cynthia’s husband, Robert, was also in the army and had sacrificed his life for the country. He died 13 years ago in Somalia at a roadside bomb blast.

Bubbles of joy and excitement led their conversation to one story after another.

“Any news from Alex? I hope he comes back for Christmas and surprises you.”

Cynthia didn’t respond immediately, then after few seconds she said, “I wish it could happen that way.” She heaved a sigh and her eyes already moist with tears blinked and stream of tears trickled down her cheeks.

Jamuna could not come out with a consoling word. She reached across the space betwen them in front seat and just patted on her back. Silence fell inside the car like dust after a dust storm. Five minutes passed, no one spoke.

“What happened to the missing snow globe?” Jamuna tried to change the topic.

Cynthia wiped her tears with her right hand and smiled back feeling a sort of relief from her pent up emotion. “No one can figure it out. I believe a frantic search is still going on.”

“Oh I wonder what will happen if they don’t get it back by in time for the festival”

From the highway Cynthia exited at E Boomer Street. Then at Second Avenue, she turned left. At the corner on the right, the sign board “Curly Kulei’s Steaks” flashed in bold letters.

“See that sign there, Curly Kulei’s Steaks, that’s the best steakhouse in town.” Cynthia said pointing her fingers.

“What else do they have?” Jamuna responded.

“Oh, they have other good items like seafood and chicken too. Everything is good.”

As Cynthia drove further, the image of the sign board disappeared when she slowed and turned left on Sage Blvd. Jamuna watched the rows of houses, single and double story on both sides of the road, while Cynthia continued driving till she brought the car to the drive way of her home: 449 Sage Blvd.

“Here we are.” She turned off the ignition, and the car became silent. She pulled the car key out. Jamuna stretched her legs and back as she got out of the car. Her right knee had been in bad shape for the last two months and hurt even more today after the plane ride.

Cynthia picked up the suitcase and led her friend inside the house. Once inside, Jamuma took off her moss green jacket, and Cynthia grabbed it, hanging it in the hall closet next to the living room. It was warm inside and welcoming after the icy wind they just encountered during the short walk from car to the front door.

Cynthia led Jamuna to the guest room where she put her purse on the bed while Cynthia placed the suitcase on the side table. The room was comfortably arranged and appealing. Jamuna wanted to freshen up after the long flight and proceeded toward the bathroom. The bathroom was large and elegantly appointed with neatly arranged towels of different sizes on the Dakota Mahogany granite counter, a handcrafted bar of soap scented with rosemary and lavender in a pale purple dish that had been placed near the wash basin. An ivy plant in a handmade small white ceramic pot hung by the west-facing window. Jamuna cupped her hand to splash water on her face. As the warm water caressed her face, she felt her energy coming back. After drying with a towel, she pumped a little bit of moisturizer from the bottle standing nearby and rubbed it on her hands. A mixture of lemon and jasmine scent lingered on her hands.

When she came out of the room, the aroma of the freshly ground coffee reached her nose. She inhaled deeply and exclaimed, “Cynthia that coffee I can’t resist, I hope it’s almost ready?”

“Just a few minutes.”

Jamuna stood near the kitchen counter. “Cynthia, I love the granite in the bathroom. Is it Dakota Mahogany?”

“How’d you know?”

I once used it in a kitchen and always found it a wonderful color to be around.”

She watched Cynthia pull something from her kitchen cabinet. It was a packet of almonds and walnuts mixed.

“Not too much of a snack now. We’re going for dinner at the Curly Kulei’s Steak House tonight. I’m sure you will like it.”

Jamuna didn’t want to tell her that she didn’t eat beef and at the same time didn’t want to make a fuss out of it. She just kept hoping other items like chicken and seafood were good.

Coffee was ready. Just then Cynthia got a call from Brandi, “Hey did you hear the news?”

“No, what?”

“Turn on the TV, you’ll see.”

Both sat down on the dark brown leather sofa with coffee cups in their hands and turned on the TV. To their surprise, the local newscaster was just announcing that the snow globe was now back on the Loblally pine. It seems that it was removed for a final electrical check up before the official countdown. The electrician had been called out of town on a family matter and so no one could trace the globe. Both women were thrilled and delighted. As they sat side by side, with the television muted, Cynthia started talking about the President’s award given to Alex for his bravery in saving the lives of two of his colleagues. That news was announced three days ago on the same local TV news channel.

7 PM, December 23 Curly Kulie’s Steak House

As they sat at the corner table, on the east side of the room making up their minds on what to order, Cynthia noticed Brandi and her group of friends at the far end, already having their dinner.

Jamuna looked around for the waitress and to her surprise she saw Matilda coming inside the restaurant. She waved her hand and Matilda looked toward her, a bit confused and surprised seeing her at that spot. Then she waved back when a flash of recognition dawned on her. She walked toward them and Jamuna got up and gave her a hug, then introduced her to Cynthia..

Two years back Jamuna had taken online classes of Matilda through Story Circle Network and then they got to meet in person in Austin during the last Stories from the Heart conference. It was a quite an unexpected encounter and both were surprised to see each other in Five Points. Matilda didn’t know that Jamuna had become friends with Cynthia at the same writers’ conference.

“Why not join us?” Cynthia suggested and Jamuna also agreed with her. Matilda, with a big smile, obliged. Once they were settled, Matilda shared that the police chief had invited her to the restaurant, but then couldn’t come as she had been called to an urgent meeting with the Snow Moon committee. Kendra, it turns out, could not be at Tulsa as she had to meet a certain commitment for a book deal.

After looking at the menu everyone was ready to order. Jamuna chose chicken salad. Cynthia ordered the steak with “the-works-baked-potato.” Matilda, negotiated a series of side orders with the waiter since she is a gluten-free vegan — a grilled portabella, fresh green beans with a balsamic glaze, and a romaine salad topped with red onions and candied Oklahoma pecans. After the food arrived, all three agreed that it was superb. Cynthia really liked her steak. It was soft and juicy and she said it’s unique flavor was the reason she liked to come to the restaurant. Jamuna loved the honey mustard dressing on her salad, the sweetness of the honey mixed with the tangy and hot flavor of the crushed mustard. It was always her favorite dressing. Matilda’s favorite was the salad as she says she never gets enough of the Oklahoma pecans, always small and flavorful. Later Cynthia and Jamuna shared one mango ice cream for desert while Matilda opted for the artisanal Forest White tea that comes from the east side of Hawaii Island. Matilda, usually a fancier of green tea, commented that she has been wanting to try more white tea but few places have it. Cynthia insisted on paying the bill. After some tussle and arguments, she won.

Five Points Circle, December 24th, 2011

Saturday, the day of festival, Cynthia and Jamuna sat at their allotted seats next to each other. The parade started at noon and now in the late afternoon the celebration at the Five Points Circle was about to start. A podium had been built for the town mayor, Robert Wagner, the chief of the police Mary Awentia, and couple of others dignitaries were supposed to give speeches to the community. Cynthia looked around and saw Matilda at the VIP area. Brandi and her group of friends sat at the west side of the podium at the second row. The Mayor had to take a flight for Washington DC for an important meeting and hence he couldn’t stay. He left just after his speech was delivered. Some more VIPs spoke and last of all Mary Awentia spoke. Just when the darkness covered the sky as the sun set, the snow globe would be lighted by the chief of police. After giving away the prizes for different categories of achievements to the citizens of the town, there was a special announcement from the chief of the police, Mary Awentia.

“We have a special guest today, our town hero Alex Parker.” Then Mary Awentia talked about his achievements and the president’s award that Alex had recently received for his bravery in saving the lives of two of his fellow soldiers. “The whole town is proud to have him here today with us.”

Cynthia couldn’t believe what she just heard and saw. Along with the lighting in the globe there were well-lit bold letters “WELCOME ALEX PARKER, OUR TOWN HERO.” He walked up the steps of the podium and began shaking hands Then on the mike there was call for his mother Cynthia Parker to come up to the podium. Jamuna was overwhelmed with excitement and gestured Cynthia to get up and go. She was a bit hesitant to go to the podium but decided to proceed. She slowly walked toward podium, accompanied by one of the volunteers.

She was dazed and still doubted her son was in front of her eyes. But there he was waiting for her. Mother and son hugged each other long under the snow globe which was by now shining in bold letters WELCOME ALEX PARKER, OUR TOWN HERO. The whole town saw the flashing light of the snow globe shining on the bold letters. Brandi and all her friends stood up, some of them whistled and shouted—- Ahha. Brandi thought to herself, what an interesting topic of discussion it would be the following days at her salon “Brandi’s Curl up and Dye.”

Everyone stood up and applauded. Jamuna, overjoyed, clapped and clapped while the whole town sang in chorus Welcome Home, Alex Parker Our Town Hero.

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