She loved him with a burning passion she had never felt for anyone before. She put her trust in him and she adored him completely. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for him. He knew this and took advantage of it. The late nights and the frequent parties. The fights he picked merely to assess her devotion to him. Responding to women who flirted with him. Fits of rage and jealousy if a man showed any interest in her. One day he pushed her to the breaking point to see how much she loved him. She realized then that she would forever be a slave to his ego. She thought her world would stop turning and she would stop breathing, but she walked out the door without ever looking back. He had put her through a test and he was the one who had failed.
Month: September 2016
This Woman’s Work
She woke at 5 am and went for her morning run. Came home, showered and dressed. Woke the children and got them started on their morning routine. Fresh, healthy lunches for the children and husband were packed and sitting on the pristine countertop. Coffee and bagel at the breakfast bar while watching Good Morning America. Kiss for the husband before he left for work and corralling the children into the car for the ride to school. At the drop off circle she was reminded of the bake sale on Thursday, no home baked goods to avoid food allergies. She called her mother on the way to work then, luckily just as she was about to be lectured, she arrived at the parking lot and had to hang up. Her neatly organized desk had her daily schedule prepared by her assistant. She went about her day, efficient, shrewd, competent. After work she picked the children up from their after-school program and listened patiently and attentively as they described their day. At home she got them started on their homework then started dinner, the ingredients already prepared this morning. When her husband came home she listened to him as he complained about his day at work, not once mentioning her day. And he never asked. After dinner the children played and her husband watched a game on TV while she cleaned the kitchen and prepared for the next day. Then she began the bedtime routine, the children bathed and brushed their teeth, she did the same. She then moved from room to room in the house tidying and straightening until it was clean. By the time she made it to bed her husband had fallen asleep. She sighed as she slipped in between the sheets and turned the lamp off, wondering how much longer she could keep this up façade.
Today I thought about you again. I told myself I wouldn’t but I did. I think, I hope every day I will think of you less than the day before. It’s the grand lie I tell myself to get through the day. To get myself out of bed. To make me function. Because if I give you the power to be more than you are then who am I? People may disagree with my logic and say it doesn’t make sense. My logic is actually illogical. In my head I know it is. But my heart, oh my heart is the grand liar. My heart tells me that you’re the same person you were a year ago when I still loved you. And that’s the biggest lie of all.
I disagree with the life you’re leading and the choices you’re making. You deliberately misrepresented yourself and I fell for the man you pretended to be. How could I know it was all a lie? You should know that you shook my faith in humanity. You made such an impact on my life, I know that was my fault really, but I believed that someone could be such a good person, someone just like you, down deep in their heart, could care so much because that’s what you pretended to do. And me, so gullible and naive, to think any human could care that much about anything or anyone. You shook my faith in humanity. Shame on you. For making me care. For making me believe. Now I see monsters where angels once flew.
“Let’s just agree to disagree.” She threw her coat on the sofa and walked to the cabinet for a wine glass. It was the third time this week their drive home had ended up in an argument. She was beginning to think he was intentionally starting these little fights. She poured the Malbec very close to the top of the glass and took a long sip.
“I’m just saying your friends can be a bit melodramatic.” He poured himself a glass of bourbon, neat and sat on the sofa, pushing her coat aside.
She frowned at him and hung her coat in the closet. “And you can be a little pompous. You’ve never complained about my friends before.” She took the arm chair adjacent to the sofa.
“Maybe I’ve merely kept my opinions to myself to avoid arguments.” He was calm and placid, as if they were talking about the weather. It made her blood boil but she wouldn’t show it.
“Perhaps you should stay home when my friends have dinner parties.” The conversation was taking a more serious tone and she wasn’t sure if she liked the direction it was going.
“That might be a good alternative. It would be better than hearing them prattle on about the trivial subjects they always choose.” Now he was just baiting her.
“I think we should take a break.” It was a bold statement. She could hardly believe she’d had the nerve to say it. And from the open mouthed stare he gave her, he couldn’t believe it either.
“That escalated pretty quickly.”
“Let’s face it, we’ve been fighting all week over trivial things. Soon it will be more serious things then it will get ugly. If we stop now we can avoid the unpleasantries.” She felt a sense of relief as the words tumbled from her mouth.
“Fine, if that’s what you think is best. I think you’re making a huge mistake, but I can’t control your actions.” He stood to leave, crossing the room to the front door where he turned to face her one last time. “When you see how wrong you are don’t come begging for me to take you back.”
As he walked out she took a sip of wine and thought to herself “And he thinks my friends are melodramatic.”
The doorbell rang and Jennifer called out to her son “Answer the door please, I’m up to my elbows in dish soap.” She heard him groan, as he had to abandon his video game, and say something under his breath, some expletives if she had to guess. But he was a teenaged boy and even though she had taught him as best she could, she knew she couldn’t control everything. Being a single mother of a boy wasn’t an easy job. Sometimes she hated her ex-boyfriend for abandoning them. But mostly she tried to ignore him and just live her life.
“Mom, there’s someone at the door for you.” She rolled her eyes. She had deduced that much since Ian wasn’t expecting friends. Sighing she rinsed her hands and dried them with a dish cloth while walking to the front door. A short walk in their small home. When she saw her ex-boyfriend standing in the doorway she nearly fainted. “Mark. What are you doing here?”
Hearing his father’s name, Ian looked up from the television screen. “Is he my father?” The words dripped with contempt and the look on Ian’s face burned with a hatred Jennifer had rarely seen. After fifteen years she never believed this day would come. And now, with no warning, Mark had shown up on her doorstep, unannounced and unwelcomed. And she had no plan. Still, there was unfinished business, if not with her and Mark at least with Ian and Mark.
“Mark, come inside.” She closed the door as her mind raced trying to think of what to say. She had told Ian about his father. In the beginning there were photographs, but as Ian grew old enough to understand the situation, he insisted she take them down. He wanted nothing to do with Mark. A few years earlier Mark began to send birthday cards and Ian responded by burning them without opening them.
Jennifer suddenly wanted a glass of wine. A very large glass of wine. Instead she led Mark to the sofa where Ian continued his game, ignoring the two adults. “Ian honey, you need to quit your game so we can talk.”
“I have nothing to say to him.” Ian’s lips were drawn tight and his eyes never left the screen.
Jennifer took the controller from him, playing a tug-of-war before he finally relented. “Ian, this is your father, Mark. We’ve talked about him before. Why don’t we let Mark tell us why he’s here?” Jennifer was proud that she put the accountability on Mark.
Mark looked down at the floor, avoiding eye contact. “Ian, I left your mom when she needed me the most. And I left you. I let you both down. For years I’ve been avoiding this, avoiding you both, because I couldn’t handle the responsibility.” Mark finally looked up and directly at Ian. “Because I couldn’t handle being a father. I thought you would be better off without me. Then I started sending you birthday cards but you never called. So I decided I would come see you in person to tell you I’m sorry I let you down. Both of you.”
Ian’s eyes were moist with tears, which he tried valiantly to fight back. Mark continued. “I don’t expect you to let me into your life. I just wanted you to know that not a day has gone by that I didn’t think of you, son.” There was a pregnant pause and Mark nodded his head in defeat. He rose to leave. “Thank you both for listening to me. Jennifer, it looks like you’ve done a wonderful job raising Ian. I’m sorry I made you do that alone.” He walked to the door with his shoulders slumped when Ian’s voice came out in a squeak, “Wait.” Mark stopped and turned. “I mean, mom made a whole apple pie for dessert and there’s no way we can eat it all. Do you like apple pie?”
The Lesser of Two
You could see her dilemma. She couldn’t tell him the truth and she couldn’t lie to him. The truth would surely destroy him and his faith in her, ultimately destroying them. She didn’t think she was ready for a life without him. But a lie would eat away at her like a cancer, destroying her conscience until she was ready to beg for absolution for a sin he didn’t know she had committed. So you could see her dilemma. Did she choose the fast, heart-breaking, gut-wrenching loss or the slow, torturous, guilt-ridden loss?
Just for now let’s pretend that it didn’t happen.
We’ll pretend we’re both good people.
We did the right things for the right reasons.
And nobody got hurt, at least that’s what we’ll tell ourselves.
And if our conscience tries to interject – hit it off at the pass.
We did what we had to do to survive.
We did the right things for the right reasons.
And nobody got hurt.
Chest hurts – something is pushing on it, or sitting on it.
Am I crazy? Am I having a heart attack? No, I’m crazy.
Should I tell someone?
I don’t tell anyone.
It’s all in my head. It will go away. Just breathe. Deep breath in.
But I can’t breathe.
Gulping for breaths.
I have to be okay.
Focus on something, anything.
A point in the distance.
A sound in my memory.
Close my eyes.
I can see the heart beats, staccato beats.
Focus on the breath.
Short, in – short, out.
Don’t think about the pain in the chest.
In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.
Heart rate slows.
Notice my fists are clenched at my side.
Open my eyes.
Breathe in and out. In and out.
I made it through another one.
A Contrast in Contradiction
I followed you today, from our old apartment on 78th Street. You stopped at the deli for coffee; black, no sugar, and a chocolate croissant. Your favorite breakfast after our trip to Paris when I insisted that you try mine and you ate the entire thing. But you bought me two more to make up for it. You were always generous and thoughtful that way.
You left the deli and turned right and I instinctively knew you would end up at the park, sitting on our bench, the one where we watched the world rush by while we took our time drinking in the beauty of life. I followed at a safe distance, but close enough to drink in your muscular frame, toned from daily runs, your dark hair that curled slightly at the ends and, when you turned to look at the people around you, your strong jawline, angled nose and dark, thick lashes which were the envy of every woman you met.
At the entrance to the park you stopped and smoothed your hair, pulled your shirt straighter, which I thought was odd. When you started walking again my eyes went to the bench and I saw a woman sitting there, holding a coffee, watching you. My stomach lurched. She was average looking. Dark blonde hair in a chin length bob, basic brown eyes, nondescript face. A cliché really. I think that might have made it even more painful. That you didn’t find someone fantastically beautiful to replace me. You pulled out your chocolate croissant to share with her. Then you both sat and watched the world rush by while I watched you. It was a perfect contrast in contradiction.
The Devil in Disguise
I scanned the hallway as I put my key in the lock and turned the knob, letting myself into my empty apartment. The darkness took me by surprise and my heart rate increased. I always left a light on so it wouldn’t be so dark when I came home late. Maybe a light bulb had just burned out. I went to turn on the nearest light switch, feeling along the wall, when the reading lamp next to my favorite chair suddenly switched on, illuminating the profile of my ex-boyfriend. I jumped and took a sharp intake of breath. My whole body began to shake. “How did you get in?”
“You know I’ve never had any trouble getting what I want when I’m motivated.” His deep voice sent chills up my spine. Suddenly I was the frightened girl in the corner, hands covering her face in self-defense. The girl wearing long sleeves in the summer to hide the bruises. The girl ready with an excuse for anything. I remembered all the terror he had put me through. I froze in place unsure of what to expect next. His voice rose without him moving. “Be a good girl and pour me another drink. We might be a while love.” He lifted the glass in his hand and I could see he had already started drinking, another sign that things might not go my way tonight. My mind frantically raced through my options while my body seemed calm, crossing the room to retrieve his glass, a slight smile of acknowledgment to appease him.
I refilled his glass with whiskey, unsure of why I still kept his favorite brand in my cabinet. My hand shook and I spilled some on the dark wood counter. I stared at the pooled liquid and remembered the previous times I had spilled liquor, the punishment sure to come later for the few precious drops of nectar I had cost him. Unconsciously I wiped the spilled liquor with the sleeve of my sweater then took the drink to him. I began to plan my escape route.
I sat on the sofa across from him as he drank the whiskey, only halfway listening to him prattle on about how we were meant to be together. The fact that he was so calm, so impassive, worked in my favor. “I have to admit love, you definitely stumped me when you left. I thought I had lost you for good. But you just threw me off the trail. You’ll never lose me. Understand, love?” His blue eyes pierced through me and I felt them all the way to my soul. I whimpered and nodded because at that moment I knew I would never escape him.
Ponytails and Sneakers
Daily Prompt – Stylish
I wouldn’t know stylish if it bit me on the ass. As much as I drool over fashion magazines and dream of runway models’ closets, my wardrobe largely consists of yoga pants, t-shirts and jeans. My fancy clothes are slacks, blouses and heels, overdressed three times a week at my part-time job.
When I go to bed and close my eyes I dream I’m a fabulously successful actress at the Oscars, dressed in a couture gown and Christian Louboutins; or a high-powered anything, dressed in a custom-tailored business suit from Milan and Manolo Blahniks. In truth, I stumble in anything with a heel less than two inches high.
I’m a simple girl meant for ponytails and sneakers. But I can dream of French twists and stilettos.
Hey! Its’ Interjection
I love Sheryl’s writing suggestions!
When I’m writing conversation I try to make it flow and express emotion the situation clearly. Conversation is not meant to be filler, nor should it ever be. It must be part of the story, what keeps it moving forward while developing characters and their relationships.
I have learned that a simple statement can be read out of context very easily(I’ve experienced this). The reader isn’t necessarily on the same page as I am, and cant possibly be on the same page if I don’t make my writing and intent clear. This leaves the reader to jump to voicing conclusions and set the tone themselves. This can be influenced by their own mood. You hope that they get it right in their minds voice, that it sounds appropriate. Chances are, if you’re hoping and they’re guessing, it will be wrong. This can lead to a frustrated reader when they find out you meant something different than what they interoperated…
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The Black Cat Blue Sea Award
I was nominated for the Black Cat Blue Sea award by the amazing and talented Sheryl. She has a wonderful blog worth following at https://biaatlas.wordpress.com/author/biaatlas/
This is an award given and received by fellow bloggers and is meant to be fun. If any nominees are not interested in participating you don’t have to, I wont be offended.
The rules are as follows:
The questions I was asked to answer:
1 What has blogging done for you as a writer?
Blogging has given me focus and the drive to write every day. Before I started my blog I wrote only when I thought I had an idea. Now I push myself a little harder – not forced, just a gentle nudge.
2 What are your 5 top favorite movies and or books?
I love both and think they’re a great form of communication so from 5 – 1:
Movies: Apollo 13, Bull Durham, The Princess Bride, Joshua (2002), Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Books: No Exit, The Giving Tree, Mister God This Is Anna, The Alchemist, The Little Prince
3 What/who inspires you to write?
Inspiration is sometimes a personal thing but I do have a few friends who supported me as I began my journey as a writer. They were my cheerleaders when I wanted to quit. When I get stuck I always think of them.
My seven nominees are:
Live, Laugh, Love Writing
Second Time Blogger
Beyond The Garden
Questions for my nominees:
1) Why did you start blogging?
2) What do you do when you need to unplug and relax?
3) Name 3 people you admire and one of the qualities you admire in them.
Thank you Sheryl for this award. It was very fun!!
Daily Prompt – Silence
I sat in the darkness of the still room.
My eyes adjusting to the pitch black.
My voice cried out “Why?”
And the silence screamed back.
Let’s Play Ball
Daily Prompt – Hike
I sat in the bleachers, laptop perched on my knees, finalizing some paperwork for my client. As a sports agent, and the child of a major league baseball player, I was a natural for the job. The only problem – I was a female in a male dominated world so I had trouble being taken seriously. I looked up at my pitcher on the mound. He was giving a final pre-draft workout. “Great job Ryan!” I clapped my hands in support as he tipped his ball cap at me.
I had focused back on my laptop when I heard a commotion on the field. Ryan was arguing with the coaches at home plate as the catcher walked to the dugout. I quickly made my way down to the field.
“What seems to be the problem gentlemen?” I looked at the men around me, their eyes boring down on me, scowls on their faces intended to intimidate me. “Our catcher’s got a cramp. Can’t get down in a squat. Sorry, Jessie, we’ll have to cut the tryout short. I’m sure everyone got a good enough look at your guy.” Like hell. He had only been on the mound for fifteen minutes. This had nothing to do with my client and everything to do with his female agent.
I stood firm and crossed my hands in front of my chest. “Then get another catcher. You’re a baseball club, I know you have more than one catcher.” I could see by the looks on their faces they were formulating the next lie to stall me and prevent Ryan from throwing anymore today. I wasn’t going to let that happen. “Never mind.” I said, grabbing a catcher’s mitt and pulling on a chest protector. “You can’t do that Jessie.” I turned to them with a determined look on my face. “Watch me.” I strode to home plate, kicked off my heels, hiked up my skirt and squatted behind the plate. “Okay Ryan, lemme see the curve.”
Dark Cloud Go Away
Daily Prompt – Passionate
I lay in my bed for the fourth day in a row, remote control at my bedside. At least today I had showered and put on fresh pajamas before crawling back into the safe shelter of my down comforter. I stared blankly at the television, unsure of which program was airing at this time of the afternoon. My thoughts briefly strayed and I wondered about the last time I had been happy. I honestly could not remember. There had been days when the sadness wasn’t overwhelming. But a day with a glimmer of happiness, that memory escaped me. I closed my eyes and tried to conjure up tears, but they wouldn’t come. Ironic that I was so depressed I was beyond crying. Or maybe I was just out of tears. I had met my yearly quota. I let out a deep sigh and wished that I could feel passionately about something, anything again. But I knew that was hopeless. Opening my eyes again I stared vacantly at the television.
Daily Prompt – Together
Do you remember that weekend at the beach right after graduation? We drove from the city and stayed at the house Lisa’s parents used to own. Suntans, bikinis and boys in the surf and sand during the day and beer, seafood and more boys under a blanket of stars at night. Six girls set loose on the world. We sat up at night planning our lives. We were gonna have it all and do it all together. I remember driving away that last day, looking back at the ocean; the waves crashing against the shore as if we had never been there. That’s the funny thing about the ocean, it goes on without you, waves crashing again and again. That weekend was the last time we were all together.
Reblogging “A few lessons I’ve learned the hard way”…
In honor of “hump day,” and the many challenges we, as women, have to overcome in order to reach our purpose & destiny, today I’m sharing a some of my hardest lessons learned. This is not by far the sum total of all of them. Admittedly, I can be very stubborn and hard-headed, so I’ve had to learn many things the hard way. But this is a great start, and I’d love for this post to become a “collection of lessons” that we can share with each other as well as pass on to future generations.
Here are just a few of mine. I’d love to hear yours as well!
- Be careful what you think
I used to think that as long as I didn’t say or act on my thoughts, it was okay. I’ve learned that what I allow myself to think about, ultimately – even if ever so subtly –…
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I’m very excited right now. Today marks my 100th post! This is a huge milestone for me. I didn’t start writing until February of this year and it took months before I considered myself a “writer”. I almost quit too many times to count.
I started off writing short story fanfiction and then later I started this blog. I love my daily word posts but I miss writing the longer, complex stories so I’m now going to focus on those other projects as well.
Thanks to everyone who has dropped by to read and especially those who have generously shared their thoughts with me. One of my goals as a writer is to touch the lives of others. I hope to keep doing that.
Daily Prompt – Fragile
I stood over the incubator, my hand pressed against the hard plastic, helplessly looking at my newborn daughter struggle to breathe. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. A car accident had sent me into labor 9 weeks early. I was alone – my husband Matthew was still deployed and none of my family had arrived yet. As much physical pain as I was in, the emotional turmoil I felt was so much more deep. My heart ached looking down at the tiny, fragile body with tubes and wires seeming to be everywhere. An alarm sounded nearby jarring me from my thoughts and sending my heart racing. A nurse rushed to a nearby incubator and I sighed a breath of relief. Then the tears started to fall. What if the next alarm was mine? I looked down at my tiny baby girl. She didn’t even have a name yet. We still had six names on the list. She was such a fragile little thing. Please God, please let me keep her long enough to give her a name.
A Boy and His Dog
Daily Prompt – Slog
The rain had picked up and I pulled my hood tighter around my face, ducking my head from the wind. I slogged through the muddy trail looking for the right spot. I was close, I could feel it. I desperately wanted to call out, but I knew there would be no answer. Finally I saw it, an old wooden cross worn by a few years of exposure to the weather and animals. A simple name was etched onto the cross beam. BAXTER. Our dog, the only family we had.
Kneeling in front of the cross, I brushed off the moss and laid the wildflowers on the ground in front of it. I touched the wood gently, as if I was touching Baxter himself. “Hey boy, it’s been a while. God I miss you like crazy.” I paused as my eyes filled with tears, which mixed with the raindrops slipping down my face.
“Chris never got over you. Neither of us did. We tried to get another dog but we just couldn’t. We could never find another dog like you.” I bowed my head and closed my eyes, choking back the sobs. “He’s gone Bax. Chris is dead. Did you run into him yet? I know he’s up there looking for you. It would be the first thing he would do.”
Finally I let the sobs come and my whole body shook with grief and pain, with fear and shock. Until there was nothing left. I touched the cross again. “Take good care of him Baxter. My two boys are together again.”
Meet the Neighbor
Daily Prompt – Perplexed
Walking up the stairs to my apartment, I saw the package sitting on my doorstep. I was perplexed. Nobody knew I lived here except Kim. I looked down at the box at my feet. No markings from the post office or package delivery service. Odd. I cocked my head to the side and bent at the knees, investigating further. In black marker only one word – Neighbor. I gingerly lifted the box to my ear. No ticking or other noise from within. Satisfied I stood and tucked the box under my arm, unlocking my door and dropping my briefcase, dry cleaning and the box on the kitchen table.
I poured myself a glass of wine, took a long sip and let out a deep breath, walking back to the table. I faced the box squarely and pulled off the wrapper, still half expecting the thing to blow up and kill me instantly. Maybe I watched too much television. Slowly pulling off the lid, I peeked inside and found a box of Rice-a-Roni, a loaf of sourdough bread, a very good amount of Ghirardelli chocolate, and two tickets to the 49ers game on Sunday along with a note. “Welcome neighbor. 5B here, Ryan Bates. I noticed your plates are from Illinois. I thought I’d start you off with a taste of San Francisco. And maybe take you to the game Sunday? Show you how football is really played.” I smiled and pulled off a hunk of bread to go with my wine. What the hell. Locking my apartment, I headed for 5B to meet my neighbor and explain how the Bears play the game right.
A Date with Destiny
Daily Prompt – Radical
I stared at my reflection and barely recognized the dull, lifeless eyes looking back. When had my life become so monotonous? When had I stopped living and begun to merely exist? I thought back to the days when he and I were together. Everything had a certain shine to it, colors seemed brighter, noises sounded sharper. After he left everything slowly changed. Now I needed something new. A radical, life-altering, no turning back change. Smiling, I pivoted on my toes and went to the bedroom to pack.
Three hours later I had two suitcases in the backseat of my Mustang. I threw my arms around her neck. “Kimmy, I’m gonna miss you so much.” I fought back the tears. “I still can’t believe I’m doing this. You’re sure you can take care of the movers and selling this old place for me?”
My best friend hugged me even tighter. “Of course I can. I’ve got you covered. Honey I’m so happy you decided to do this. You’ve always wanted to move to San Francisco. Mark only held you back. It’s your turn now. Go and shine.”
I climbed into my car and turned the ignition over, the engine roaring to life. With the top down and the radio blaring I made my way down the road, majestically into the sunset as I waved goodbye to Kim and left my old life behind, driving forward toward my new destiny.
I am not me.
I don’t know who I am anymore.
I’m not even a shell of someone I used to be.
To the nth degree.
Today I quit you for good. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. All of the pictures, which I had taken down and put in drawers but secretly taken out every now and again to stare at and dream and wish, are stored in boxes, taped shut for protection. From the weather, from me.
The well worn t-shirts that still smell like you and fit as snugly as your arms encircling me are in a box in the garage labeled for Goodwill. Along with a few of the gifts you gave me which now bring me to tears just looking at.
I don’t listen to my iPod because all the songs remind me of you, even the old jazz tunes by Ella Fitzgerald that you claimed to hate but I would catch you humming when you thought I wasn’t listening. Music was my refuge, now it offered me no hope.
My life is a shell now, a painful reminder of what I used to have, the fullness of life with you in it. I’m a ghost in my own empty life. But now that I’ve quit you for good maybe I can start to patch up the pieces. Find all the little bits that have been shed during your leaving and finally put them back together again. Maybe not into the same person, but a more deserving person.
I think I can finally find the peace I need to move on without you. Because loving you was good. And wishing you would come back was oh so hopeful. But moving on – moving on is right.
“It’s lonely when you have an opinion.” I heard her voice before I saw her, sitting on the park bench, shoulders slumped in surrender. I glanced around and realized she was talking to me. Without making eye contact, staring at the ground, she continued, “they say they want you to tell the truth but they don’t, really. They don’t want to know how you really feel. But still, they tell you they want the truth.”
I sat on the farthest end of the bench and quietly spoke, “Who wants the truth?”
She looked at me, eyes opened wide, and her gaze penetrated my soul. “Everyone.”
Daily Prompt – Stump
I went to the woods, where we used to go when we were young, to escape our tragic teenaged lives. I found the rock we used to sit on, talking about our dreams, about our futures, planning and scheming what our futures would be. Walking further, I looked for the tree where we carved our initials, SRM + SAR. I’m sure if anybody passed they assumed it was for lovers, but we were best friends since middle school. When we were still innocent and impressionable. We clung to one another out of necessity, borne of exclusion into the popular crowd.
Then in our junior year of high school, you became one of the anointed few. A popular boy took a shine to you and your stock soared, taking you to new heights we had previously mocked. Of course you couldn’t take me with you. That’s not the way it works. So I watched as you became the person we always mocked. But this time I didn’t have anyone to taunt with. You were generous enough to walk by me without commenting, a small favor for such trivial times. I resented you but I was thankful that you left me alone. As sad as I was that you had left me behind.
I finally found our tree, what was left of it anyway, chopped down and now just a stump. It was in the clearing, marked with the stones we left in the ground. Unmistakable to anyone but you or me. I brushed away the moss from the base of the tree and thought of all the conversations that took place here, all the dreams, all the plans. A sad smile crossed my face and I fought back the tears. “I’ll always love you Sara.” I said as I touched the tree stump. I stood and made my way back to my car. I had a memorial service to attend.
Of Hiking and Zen
Daily Prompt – Recharge
My shoes were caked in mud, sweat beads ran in rivulets between my breasts and down my back, and I could hardly catch my breath as I struggled up the rocky path. Beth told me it was an easy hike. Served me right for listening to a Zumba instructor. My best friend was 50 feet ahead of me and chirping away breathlessly about the beauty of nature or some shit like that. I fought the urge to hurl a rock at her head. Just a small rock.
Trying to sigh through my breathlessness, I did find it touching that she was trying to keep my mind off of Kevin. He’d left for a new job in Chicago and had promised we would try and make our relationship work. He had only called once, the day he arrived in the new city, and promised he would call again as soon as he was settled in at work and moved into his new apartment. That had been a week ago.
“The great thing about hiking is you’re not only releasing those endorphins but you’re taking in the energy of the Earth.” Beth turned around on the path and spread her head and arms out to the sky. I am ashamed to say that I could no longer take her positive outlook so I hurled a smallish pinecone at her head. (It did far less damage than the rock, plus my aim was off and it only struck her on the shoulder.)
“What was that?” She shrieked at me. “I’m trying to help you. You need to be in a Zen place right now. You need to find a place of peace.” Her hands went to her hips and she pouted out her lips, clearly not in a Zen place herself.
“I need cell reception!” I screamed at her, waving my useless phone in the air. I had been secretly pressing buttons since the beginning of our little morning excursion and the battery was now down to single digits. “How am I supposed to answer his call if I’m in a freaking forest?” Beth could sense my frustration level was on overload and gave up on trying to calm me. “Alright, let’s get you home.” Her shoulders drooped in failure.
As soon as we were home I ran up the stairs and plugged my cell phone in to recharge the battery. Sitting on the edge of the bed, I stared at the screen waiting for the phone to come to life. I was certain he had called while we were gone. It was Saturday. He had just been busy during the week – too busy to call me. I was certain of that. Now that it was the weekend he had time to call and reassure me. If my phone would just cooperate.
Finally, there was enough juice to turn it back on. I watched as the logo played across the screen, my legs dancing up and down in anticipation. The home screen lit up. No missed calls. My breath caught in my throat. I pushed some buttons, scrolling through screens. No missed calls, no missed texts. Nothing. Damn. I swallowed back my tears and called downstairs. “Beth, I’m sorry I pegged you in the shoulder with a pinecone.”
mySestina’s blogging secrets
Could I share my secrets for the stats in the picture above?
Could you please share this post as much as possible in order to help the existing members and the new comers to the blogging community.
I complete 4 months in the blogging world today and believe me, I have relished every second of my time that I spent on WordPress.
As a newcomer, we all have our questions, hesitations and we strive to learn, to grow, to have more followers, to have more likes and visibililty for our blogs.
Let me share my understanding of how to achieve a little extra on your blog.
- Enjoy blogging. Writing must only be done when you enjoy it to the core. We must not write forcefully as the forced writing has no charm and beauty in it.
- Speak your heart out and let the world know how you feel through your…
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