The challenge for this post: Each sentence must contain a word with a double letter. The double letter in each sentence will begin the following sentence. So, if a sentence were to contain the word “paddle,” the next sentence would begin with the letter “d.”
Lu stared at the bowl of fruit for ten minutes before removing an apple and a mango. Paul would never understand her need for things to be equal, for everything to balance. Everything, even fruit, had to be presented to her in even numbers; odd numbers made her anxious. Daring as he was, Paul often attempted to upset the balance she worked so hard to create. There were times Lu would spend hours ridding their house of its odd numbers: pruning a plant so it had 12 leaves rather than 13, drinking two cans of soda at once so there were four left in the fridge instead of five. Despite her efforts, Paul worked against her, hoping to cure her of her fixation. From time to time, he brought her bouquets of seven flowers or he would serve her 15 French fries when it was his turn to prepare dinner. Nothing angered her more than his interfering with her obsession. She knew, though, that he did it out of love, and that eventually she would have to embrace the fact that life wasn’t meant to be balanced.
Liberation came on the day she started a new job as an administrative assistant. She was handed a stack of documents and asked to make three copies of each. Encouragement for such a task took half the afternoon, which Lu spent crying in the bathroom as she panicked over the awful things that might result from the instability she was about to cause. Only after her supervisor threatened to fire her for slacking off did she muster up the courage to make the copies.
Fingers shaking, Lu entered the number of copies and pushed the teal button on the copier. The machine spit out the documents and Lu watched with horror as they bundled up in uneven piles. One, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three. Each second that passed caused her heart to beat faster, caused her to imagine the world’s axis tilting and spewing people into the depths of space. She was close to screaming when the hum of the copier came to a lull as the last few pages emerged from inside the machine. Life was continuing as normal, Lu realized, and nothing bad had happened. Perhaps—just perhaps—her obsession with even numbers had become unhealthy. She grasped the warm pile of papers in her hands and returned to her desk, where she realized what she had truly attained. Throughout the 28 years since her birth, she had never felt as alive as she had during the moment that had just passed at the copier.
She gathered her things to go home for the day and took a deep breath as she traveled toward the stairs. Of course she was not cured; she would continue to wear two rings on each hand and eat two waffles each morning for breakfast. For the first time, however, she had overcome her greatest fear, and she couldn’t wait for the next inevitable circumstance that would challenge her way of life.