In the first scene of Jamie’s Choice, I have ten-year-old Jamie squatting beside Rachel’s prize tulips. He’s busy cutting them. Catching Jamie in the act, Rachel raps on the window and then runs to the front door to scold him.
She’s too late. He’s already disappeared.
When I was writing this story I pictured a cute little boy, with a pair of scissors in his hand, methodically snipping the flowers and laying them in a pile on the sidewalk.
I could also picture a woman doing a slow burn as she witnessed her beautiful flowers being severed.
Where did I get the idea?
I remembered being Jamie’s age. When my friend and I were walking home from school, we spotted some gorgeous flowers in a front yard. We really liked them and my friend suggested we pick them.
I said, “No, we can’t. We’ll get into trouble.”
She replied, “No we won’t. I’m the mayor’s daughter.” (And indeed she was.)
It sounded like a good reason to me so I blithely helped her snap the flowers from their stocks, until each of us had a huge bouquet.
I took them home and when my mother asked where I got them, I replied, “Anna (not her real name) and I picked them.”
“From where?” My mother frowned.
“From a flower bed.” It all seemed perfectly logical to me. Where else would I get flowers?
Mom eyeballed me. “Did you have permission?”
“Oh, no,” I replied. “We didn’t need permission. Anna said it was okay because she’s the mayor’s daughter and wouldn’t get into trouble.”
My mom crossed her arms over her chest. “Well, young lady, you are not the mayor’s daughter and you are in trouble.”