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Courtney Hatcher

Writer and Graduate Student

Lancaster, United States

I am a recent Magna Cum Laude graduate from Winthrop University who earned her BA in English. During my time in the English major program, I took a variety of creative writing classes such as creative nonfiction, writing trends, and advanced fiction, and presented original works from these courses at multiple creative writing showcases. Most of my creative pieces are inspired by art, historical events, and songs. I was also the social media intern for the Winthrop Creative Writing Program and now run my own book account @courtneythefangirl on Instagram.

Interests

Illicit Affair

May 01, 2024 1 month ago

On most days, Ronan Russo would consider himself to be a good man. He was married to his high school sweetheart, Camilla, and had three beautiful children. He had a well-paying job at Bank of America and enjoyed hiking through the Whiteface Mountains. He thanked God every night for the blessings he'd provided to his family. But now, as Ronan pressed his knees into the red, velvet carpet of an eighteenth-century Catholic cathedral in lower Manhattan, he recognized that in the variety of days where he was good, there was one where he was bad. One might say that everyone made mistakes and all they could do was take it as a life-lesson and move on. On the day that Ronan was a bad man, however, he didn't step away. Seven months ago, Jasmine Young joined the Bank of America team as a new marketing agent. Her office was across from his, and on her first day of work, he looked up to find her wearing a white turtleneck with a long, pastel yellow skirt that had daisies. She had straight, black hair and medium-tanned skin, her eyes a dazzling shade of green. She was obviously gorgeous, and any thirty-eight year old man would notice her. But when Ronan went to introduce himself, Jasmine didn't ask about his job or family, but what his favorite novel was. The question had taken him by surprise. Everything that first came to mind were Magic Tree House and Rainbow Magic, stories he read to his children at night. He couldn't remember the last time he'd read for his own pleasure, the last time he'd done anything for himself. But Jasmine was a reminder that Ronan deserved to live just like everyone else. They got drinks together after work and played beer bong, roamed through bookstores and read snippets of cheesy romance novels, sat side-by-side during meetings and slid random thoughts on pieces of paper to each other. And it felt so good to just be Ronan that he wanted to succumb himself to the feeling forever. Ronan looked up. The ceiling depicted a fresco of a gathering in heaven: angels knelt before Jesus Christ, who sat on a golden throne and wore a crown of thorns, and their glistening wings flew gleefully behind them as they raised their hands in praise. But, despite the glory that was in front of Jesus, he appeared distant, staring into the towering, gilded gates as if he were afraid that no one would come home to him, that the messages he'd preached on earth hadn't been enough to convince humanity to always be good Samaritans. He rubbed the back of his neck. Why was he here? He shouldn't feel guilty for feeling alive. Yet the weight of Jesus's stare pressed into his chest like when he gave his children piggyback rides on hikes, when his wife wrapped her arm around his shoulders at dinner. That was meant to be his completion, his satisfaction. “I cheated on my wife,” he confessed. “Last month, our office had a holiday party and Jasmine and I were in charge of cleanup. As I was sweeping the floor, I glanced over at her at the same time she looked at me, and it was like there was some kind of invisible string drawing us to one another. We kissed and I went home with her, and we knew I was married, but we still let it happen. That's not the real sin, though; the fact that I don't regret doing it is. I was only existing until I met Jasmine. Camilla prefers quietness, but when we first got married we went on road trips and partied in the West Village until dawn because we were excited to start our lives together. But then we had children and had to balance family and work, so we willingly chose quietness. But in that, we stopped living as our own individuals, and while I feel like myself with Jasmine, I'm still Camilla's husband and broke a vow.” Jesus looked at him, his fingers reaching out to the gates as if he would pull Ronan in and forgive him. But did Ronan deserve that? This mountain he walked on was an illicit affair: he wanted to reach the top for wholeness, but he was being weighed down by commitment. “I don't know what to do,” Ronan whispered. And in his entire existence, Jesus didn't know, either.

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