2013 © Jacqueline Hopper
smoked when stressed—Jared gnawed pencils. He’d just rid himself
of his last casualty but, in light of Keren’s question, his
fingers inched toward the top desk drawer where he kept a cupful
of sharpened pencils. However, he caught himself before he
allowed his nerves to rule his actions.
Why had he
called the main character of The Gingerbread House Kizzy?
At the time,
when he’d been writing down ideas for the Gingerbread House
script, the name Kizzy seemed appropriate for the precocious
star of his play.
Keren said, giving her head a quick shake, backhanding the air
as if to cancel the question. “It’s none of my business."
raised your curiosity,” he said, pointing out the obvious. He
watched as she rubbed her cheekbone, a trait he’d forever
associate with the girl he’d known years ago.
see…” She swallowed and then smiled, as if to cover her
nervousness. “That was the nickname my best friend gave me a
long time ago. Kizzy.” She repeated it, sounding puzzled. “In
fact, a lot of things about this room remind me...”
his breath as she glanced about his office. He didn’t need to
look around to know what she’d see—things like the model train
set. It was the same one she’d helped him put together one
Christmas, and now it sat on the shelf beneath his window. The
alphabetized bug collection they’d spent one summer garnering
bumps and scrapes to assemble. He still carried the scar on his
elbow from the time she’d dared him to net what turned out to be
purple and pink polka-dotted safari hat. Not even Peggie touched
that last item—no matter how much she pleaded.
settled on his face again, her china-blue eyes wide with shock,
before she reached for the pile of business cards resting on the
desk between them. She took one, read it, and then returned it.
The only change in her face was her color. She’d paled. Her
freckles stood out in stark contrast to the white of her
changed your last name.” It wasn’t a question.
first started writing the script, he’d imagined the different
ways she might react to his pet project.
built a shrine to the one moment in time that had driven a wedge
so completely and thoroughly between them. The agony of the
memory made him catch his breath every time he thought about it.
anticipated her initial hostility, and then, later, tears of
regret that they’d lost touch. However, shadows shifted through
her blue eyes. Her remote and stony coldness hadn’t been on the
list of probabilities. The Kizzy he’d known never reacted with
anything less than raw emotion.
Jared Oath,” she said in a tone he’d heard only once before—and
back then it’d felt like a punch in the gut. “Aren’t you going
to give me a tour of your theatre?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hopper wrote her first literary masterpiece in grade four;
something about clouds, which the teacher read to the class.
This was all it took to spark Jacqueline's interest in writing.
realizing it wasn’t enough just to have the desire to write—that
conclusion coming after her first rejection by a publishing
house—she decided to hone her skills.
step towards publishing success began by enrolling in a
correspondent writing course. She went on to see her first short
story, Listening to Crows, featured in the Nov/Dec 2000 issue of
The Hearing Health Magazine.