Coming soon from eFitzgerald... available in print and in eformat

Hello and welcome to our book's blog. How David Met Sarah is the story of a young man with Down Syndrome who falls in love with a young woman with autism. What makes How David Met Sarah different from any of my previous work is that I wrote the book for my youngest brother. He is 36 and has Down Syndrome.
I wrote How David Met Sarah with two goals in mind: to give my brother a story he could read and enjoy on his own, as well as one that had a hero with which he could identify. Like the main character in the story, my brother lives at home with his parents, works in a mail room and has even been in love.
I didn't intend to publish the story at first. My brother loved the initial chapters, and that was enough to encourage me to complete it. But one day I needed a sample manuscript to use at a writing workshop. The only work in progress I had to share was this one. I used the opening chapters in the workshop, and the response was so positive, I was encouraged to share the story with everyone.
How David Met Sarah is a story that is not only accessible to those with developmental disabilities, but also offers insight into what it's like to live with such a disability. My brother and I hope everyone enjoys it. Thanks for stopping by....Annie Kelleher (and David Kelly)

How David Met Sarah - Chapter Two

Chapter Two

David likes his job.  David’s work takes him to every floor and office in the company sooner or later.  He knows everyone unless they are new.   
Most people are glad to see him and greet him with a smile. 
Some even have a piece or two of his favorite candy waiting.    
Today all he sees are the photographs on every desk and wall.  Everyone is surrounded by smiling faces. 
Some people have lots of little pictures.  Some people have only one or two large photographs.  Some people have them scattered all around their cubicles.  Some people have them arranged around their computer monitors.
Today David notices that even Teddy Wilcox in IT who is frequently angry for reasons David doesn’t understand has a picture of his cat and new kittens rolling across his screen saver. 
David does not have a desk or a wall or a screen saver.  David has a locker and a large table at which he and the other mail clerks sort the mail first thing in the morning, and eat lunch at in the middle of the day.  Inside his locker, David keeps a few items.  There is a comb, a bottle of lotion to keep his hands clean, and a box of Band-Aids.  But there are no pictures, no photographs and nothing to remind David of the people he loves. 
Except, of course, for the shirt.     
One morning soon after David started to work for the company, Mother gave David a bag with the shirt his aunt Effie sent him for his birthday a couple years ago.   According to Mother, the color is not quite “right.”  However, Effie’s feelings would be hurt if they asked her to return it.  For a long time, it hung on a hanger in the back of David’s closet and David hardly ever thought of Effie.  
Now he sees the shirt every day and he thinks about Effie a lot.  Pop says Effie is a “sad case” but every time David talks to Effie on the telephone, she sounds very happy. 
Every so often David wonders what is not “right” about the shirt's color.  He is sure he has seen plenty of oranges in the supermarket the very same shade.  Whenever he asks his mother about this, she explains the color is not right “for him.”  He tries to reassure her that the color is just fine for him, but the shirt stays at work. 
Today, however, David takes his bright green shirt off as soon as he gets to work.  He folds it up as neatly as he can, and puts on Effie's bright orange shirt.  But when he starts his rounds, everyone asks him, "Hey, David, aren't you wearing the wrong color?"    
By the time his route takes him to Lillian, the receptionist, just about everyone has mentioned the wrong color of his shirt.  In fact, it's the first thing Lillian asks him.  "David, how come you're wearing the wrong color today?"
David explains about the egg.  Lillian explains that on St. Patrick's Day, most people wear green, not orange. 
David points to a statue of a leprachaun on Lillian's desk.  The funny little man is holding a flag.  It is green, white and orange.  "There's orange in the flag!"
Lillian looks at the flag and laughs.  "My goodness, David…you're right!"  She holds out a photograph album.  "Would you like to see some pictures from Sallie's wedding?"   
Lillian’s daughter, Sallie, is very beautiful.  She has creamy coffee-colored skin and enormous brown eyes.  Lillian has invited David and his mother to hear Sallie sing with their church choir many times.  
David thinks Sallie sings like an angel.  He thinks she looks like an angel in her beautiful white wedding dress.    Her new husband, Henry, is a very handsome man and they look very happy standing together surrounded by all their friends and family.   
David remembers how beautiful Sallie sounds when she sings.  He remembers closing his eyes, letting the beautiful sound pour over him like the maple syrup Mother warms in the microwave.  David looks at the pictures while Lillian talks.  Lillian talks very fast. 
David says “Uh-huh” as if he were talking to Mother while Lillian points and talks.  Lillian looks happy in the pictures.  She sounds happy talking about them, too. 
On Lillian’s desk, beside her computer screen, is a picture of her husband, Hack.  Hack died a few years ago.  In one of the photographs in the album, there is a picture of Sallie in her wedding dress and Lillian on either side of a large picture of Hack. 
Looking at Hack makes David sad.  “I miss Hack,” says David.  And he does, suddenly, in a way that makes his heart hurt.  Hack always greeted him with a hug and a smile.  Hack sang in the choir too.   When Hack sang, his voice sounded just the way David imagines God’s voice must sound .  
Lillian gets up and gives him a hug.  “We all do,  honey.”
“He was a good friend,” David says. 
“He loved you, David.”  Lillian gives him a tissue and holds out the cupcake.  “And you know what?  He still loves you… we all felt him at Sallie’s wedding.  Just because we can’t see him any more doesn’t mean he isn’t there.”
“I know,” replies David with a deep sigh.  He blows his nose and takes the cupcake.  He feels very sad, but he has to move on, and finish his morning rounds. 
“Take care of yourself, sweetheart,” says Lillian.  “Sallie said to say hello.  She’ll be back from her honeymoon next Thursday.   Come hear her sing some Sunday .  She’d love that.”
As David gets into the elevator, he imagines sitting in the church, watching Sallie sing.  He imagines sitting in the warm sunlight surrounded by her beautiful voice.  He imagines Sallie standing in front of the altar, her hands clasped in front of her, singing just for him.
For the rest of the day, David imagines himself sitting in a church pew, the hard wooden seat and back against his shoulders and under his butt.  He imagines staring up at Sallie, beautiful Sallie in her white wedding dress.  She smiles as she sings and looks down at him, only him.   The church is filled with beautiful music.    
The more mail he delivers, the more David imagines.  Finally he imagines that he is listening to a Sallie who stands in a wide shaft of gold sunlight, surrounded by huge pink-petaled flowers that perfume the air.    
Irene, David's job coach, says David makes a lot of mistakes that afternoon. 
At the end of the day, Irene shakes her head.  “You have to pay closer attention, David,” she says with a deep sigh that reminds him of Mother.        
In the locker room, David puts on his jacket.   A few lockers down, Tom the cook is getting ready to leave too.  Before Tom slams his locker shut, David sees how the inside of Tom’s locker is lined with pictures of his wife and three children.  “Hey, Tom,” says David.  “Good potato salad today.”  He holds up his thumb. 
Tom smiles broadly.  “It’s my wife’s recipe.  I’ll tell her you liked it.”
David remembers Tom’s wife.  She has long dark curly hair and a big smile.  Sometimes she brings Tom ingredients the suppliers sometimes forget.  “Peggy,” he says. 
Tom looks surprised.  “Yes, that’s her – you remember her?  It’s not like you see her every day.  I’ll tell her you liked her recipe…she’ll be tickled.”
He walks out of the building with Tom.  Tom punches David’s shoulder gently.  “See you tomorrow, buddy.”
David walks to the bus stop at the end of the street.  It is 1:30 in the afternoon.  No one else is waiting.  
Soon the bus pulls up to the curb with a loud hiss.  As David sits down behind the driver, he notices there are photographs clipped to the visor on the windshield.  The photographs show a smiling woman with dark hair holding a baby in a blue blanket.     
Otherwise, the bus is empty. 
The bus rumbles through a traffic light.  David sees a big sign on the side of a building.  The big sign advertises a movie.  It shows the faces of a smiling girl and two not-quite smiling boys behind her.  The girl has red hair like the girl with the long braid. 
As the bus glides past the sign, David wishes he could be one of those boys.