I post a new 100 word story on my Alicia Audrey blog every week. They are based on prompts posted at Julia’s Place. If you haven’t already, please hop on over and read this week’s story. Read, comment, and share!
Posts tagged ‘story’
Yesterday, I was LIVID. Actually, “livid” is too polite-sounding a word for what I was. I was PISSED. STEAMING. I’m talking about the heart pounding out my chest, unable to think clearly type of thing. Fuming. Like, I was actually going insane.
Without going into specifics, I was completely disrespected. I felt like chopped liver or something. I was upset. Ever had something so upsetting happen that you want to cry, yell, and throw things at the same time? No? Just me? Okay, fine.
I sat for a while, pretending that I wasn’t upset. I actually had interior dialogue with myself. I told myself that I wasn’t upset. I tried to convince myself to chill. Meanwhile, things were going on. Things that I did not like. As I sat there, trying to remain calm.
Eventually, I just thought, This is stupid. I have to say something. So I did. I thought I was calm enough, after I pep-talked myself, but I wasn’t. I started off very calmly. Steady voice. Volume controlled. Next thing I knew, I was almost yelling. Then I got a finger up in my face (The one that says, “Hold on a minute.”), and I wasn’t having it. I had things to say. All that I was feeling and trying to not only hide, but DENY, boiled over. I’m talkin’ some real nasty, bubbling olive green, gooey liquid stuff. With chunks in it. It was ugly.
I don’t even know how it happened, but in a flash, I was at the door, jamming my running shoes on. It was time to take FLIGHT. The calm of the person addressing me didn’t help. I think it helped to enrage me. All I was thinking was, Don’t you GET it?! Then came the shushing. People. When I am upset, one of the worst things you can do is SHUSH me. It does not go well. Even if I should realize that a little old lady is sitting right beside us, I see shushing (in that moment) as YOU telling ME that acting cute is more important than clearing things up/expressing myself. No bueno, y’all. I think I said something like, “No! No!” and then left.
Seriously, it’s a good thing I already had clothes on. It wasn’t until I down the street that I looked down at myself. The tiny part of my brain that was still rational probably sighed in relief. I was wearing long yoga pants and a tank. No socks. I skipped the socks. No cap. And my hair. was NOT. done. I could not care less. I walked like a crazy person going to beat someone dowwwwwnnnnn.
At some point, I calmed down enough to sit down on some steps. Once I sat there, I realized that my heart was still POUNDING. It was practically in my throat. I felt hot all over. My breathing was nutty. I had to very intentionally callllmmm myself the heck down. I called my cousin and pretty much said, “I am SO MAD RIGHT NOW!” Then, FINALLY, the tears came. My poor cousin. She was alarmed, and thought she needed to leave work and come get me. I convinced her that I was fine, and she just stayed on the phone with me, telling me to calm down, and that everything would be fine. God love her, the girl always gets the brunt of my crazy.
I should also mention that I called my brother and told him that I’m a psycho, and I’m looking for someone to beat the %^&* out of someone else. And I will NOT be disrespected. He calmly said, “Ok. I’ll call you when I leave work.” Gotta love it. And no, I haven’t made any arrangements of the sort. Yet. Kiddiiiiing. Or not.
The rest of the day went by quietly. I had little, if anything, to say. I had no appetite, so I just sat around. I tried to be productive, but it didn’t work out. I managed to critique one piece of work for someone. Thankfully, I’d already read critiques on my own work and written a new short piece before the drama unfolded, so the day wasn’t a total loss. I fell asleep watching a movie, but woke up in the middle of the night. I was awake for hours, uncomfortable, sad, and wishing I could talk. I just couldn’t. I just wrote.
Today, I’ll be doing some work for my cousin. I think he just needs me to run some errands – bill paying, banking, and fun junk like that. I think it’ll be good for me to focus on something else, and get some fresh air. Hopefully, my mother will bring the car soon. I haaate being on the road in high traffic times. It makes me a very not-fun person, and let’s face it. I don’t need to be any less fun right now.
How about you? How is your week going? What are you doing today? What do you do when you are off-your-rocker crazy mad? Have you ever had someone beat up?
She tried to make me give him a flower. It wasn’t fair. I refused. No. I will not give him flowers. That’s stupid.
“He’s your daddy, and he’s being your mommy too.”
Oh, really? And who’s fault is that? Not mine. I’m 10 years old, and all I have is a father. My mother is gone. I hardly ever see her, and it’s his fault. I will not give him flowers. I will not reward him for the pain he has caused me. I refuse.
“Show some appreciation. He does everything for you. Pays your school fees, makes your breakfast, packs your lunch…”
I don’t care. These things happen when you have children. You grow up, and you have to do things that you may not have had to do if you didn’t have them. Moreover, when you drive your children’s mother out of their lives, there are gaps you have to fill in. No. I will not give him flowers. I will not make him feel good about what is he doing. He is doing it because of what he has done.
“Just give him the flowers for Mothers Day. It won’t take anything off you.”
No, it won’t. Because I won’t do it. I will not do the wrong thing. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean I have to listen to you. I will not give my father flowers for his slaps, punches, pushes, angry words, high speed chases, and embarrassing scenes. I will not. You cannot make me.
“You are being ungrateful. Why are you so uncaring?”
This is what happens. This is the result. I got tired of feeling, so I gave myself over to numbness. This is much better. Give me that ginger lily. I’ll give it to him. I will hand it to him like my school bag. Something to carry for me. It’s the least he can do. I carry so much because of him. Not for him. Never for him. But because of him. And when I take the ginger lily back from him, I hope he knows what it means. That I am taking back every care I ever had. I am taking back that unconditional love that children give to their parents. I am taking back my trust. I am taking back that flower. He does not deserve, and he can’t keep it. He can only carry it until I’m ready to take it back.
No, I did not give him the flower. He didn’t deserve it. And neither did I. I didn’t deserve any of it. None of the things he did to me, intentionally or unintentionally. I certainly was not going to do something to myself that I didn’t deserve. I refused to lie. A gift to him would have been a lie. A lie I refused to tell. I kept that ginger lily, hidden away. When he found it, it was dead. Just like everything inside his little girl.
It’s been a while, I know. I’ve had quite a rough time. I would like for it to end. I really thought that Saturday would bring it to a close, and I would go to sleep, and magically, on Sunday morning, all would be right with the world. No.such.luck. I woke up, yes. But nothing was right. I felt out of it. I still had a killer headache. I curled up on the couch and just slept. I read a little, but mostly? I just slept. I woke up when it was past the time that I should have been on the road, on my way to the weekly FamJam. I refused to be early. I didn’t want anyone to talk about it.
I didn’t want to hear how beautiful the service was. I didn’t want anyone to mention how “good” she looked. How good could she look, laying in a box? I mean, there’s no denying that she was a beautiful woman. Beyond beautiful. But don’t insult me. Or her. Don’t say she looked good, laying there, dead, in a really expensive, beautiful box. No. I don’t want to hear it. I didn’t want to hear people tease about how my mother went up with her twin brother to read a responsive prayer, but didn’t actually read anything. I didn’t want anyone to jest about anything. It was a funeral. It was somber. It was a rough time for everyone. There is really no need to rehash it.
I didn’t want anyone to comment on the fact that a lot of dignitaries were present. My uncle is kind of a big deal here, so yes, ministers of the gospel and ministers of government departments were there. I didn’t want people to say how good the Prime Minister looked for a change. Or how nice it was for the Deputy Prime Minister to attend, although he was on crutches. Or how the political divide was absent as the leader of the Opposition was also there. I didn’t want anyone to go on and on about how respected my uncle must be, to have so many people in their uniforms there, in support of him. Or my sister’s coworkers who were also there in a large number, uniformed. Or my mother’s friends who were not in uniform, but were there, nonetheless. They were there to help me from the graveside to the car. To tell me that things would be okay. To remind me to be strong for my mother. To give warm hugs. To assure me that I could call them any time. How kind, to be there for her, and for me too. How kind. What true friends.
I wanted to hear no talk of the beautiful solos. That lady really sang. She saaang. Like there would be no tomorrow. The words she sand penetrated my body, and seemed to fight to get out of my system, but they were trapped, and my body shook. I didn’t want anyone to bring it to my recollection. I didn’t want to think about it, or experience it again. The way I cried with no control. I didn’t want to hear, even in my mind’s ear, the sounds that escaped my mouth. Knowing that I’ve never cried like that before. Not at a funeral. I’m accustomed to crying quietly. No one around me would ever know I was crying unless they saw my tear-stained face. But not that day. That day, people saw the vibrations of pain and grief move my body, beyond my control. People heard the sounds of anguish and struggle exit my mouth, surprising even me. When that lady sang the second solo, I could have curled up and died. Great is thy faithfulness? Who’s faithfulness? Who was more faithful than my Grammy? WHO?! GOD?! God has been faithful in watching and letting us suffer through her illness with her, and taking her away from us, leaving us to continue to suffer without her. Yes, she’s out of it now. But only after immense pain. Maybe she was holding on for us? I don’t know… Maybe His faithfulness is great. I just know that hearing her sing about it… It was almost too much for me to take. I saw my mother, two rows ahead of me, shake, similar to the way that I shook. I saw my father wipe his face with a handkerchief. I remembered that Great is Thy Faithfulness was my grandfather’s (his father’s) favourite song. A priest sang it at his funeral. And the church became a forest of waterfalls.
I didn’t want to fall victim to looks of pity. Or questions like, “How are you doing?” Especially knowing that it was written on my face. My swollen, red eyes told the story of my day. My constant squinting was evidence of the seemingly eternal headache. My tight mouth was an indication of the fight I was in, against myself, to keep from crying. My nose, red and chapped… My hair, unkempt. My dress, unthought of. My legs, unlotioned. How was I doing? As well as a pauper on the street, perhaps?
For all those reasons and more, I refused to go early. I ate in a rush and left the table. Avoiding all conversation. All questions. All eyes. I left. I curled myself up on the couch, and mindlessly watched television. Dragons Den came on. I was pleased. Something that I could watch with the right amount of thoughtfulness and the right amount of thoughtlessness. I watched two episodes. Then there was nothing. I moved into the room without a television. I curled up on the couch with my new nook and read a little. My mother’s friends came to visit her. How nice! I wondered to myself, Will I ever have friends like hers? (Can you tell? I don’t have many friends. At all. There are just a few. I figure I have a lot of family, so no need to pile my life up with useless people. I choose friends carefully.) They drove all this way (my great-grandmother’s house is rather far) to come and see her. They brought her one of those giant greeting cards. Everyone from work signed it, along with nice little messages, telling her they missed her, and hoped to see her back to work soon, and that she needed to get well soon. (This card was not one of sympathy, but a Get Well Soon card, from she was out sick.) Along with the card came a letter-sized envelope. Cash. They took up a collection. I didn’t count it, and at the point, I don’t think she had either. Maybe they told her how much it was. After greeting them, I didn’t pay attention to their conversation. But I’m sure it’s enough to cover her next round of medication. Blessings. Finally. A reason to smile. A little less stress for her. And for me.
I was ready to go home long before it was time. I left my laundry in the washer. I couldn’t take it any more. I was ready.to.go. I got about halfway home before the tears started coming. I found myself intrigued by the way the tears dripped and dropped. Down the sides of my nose, around my mouth, and then DROP. Right onto my chest. They didn’t roll down my chin, down my neck to my chest. They just dropped. Like a jumper off of a cliff. That’s the way I wished my emotions would act. Just jump off of a cliff, never to be seen again. Over the edge, to the point of no return. Instead, they stuck around. Possibly driving me to the edge. Lord knows that if I take the plunge, there won’t be any return. I see the edge. It’s in sight. But I just.can’t.go.there. There would be no turning back.
I hope everyone is having a great week so far. I’m working at keeping busy. Lots going on at work. I haven’t been able to read any blogs. WP wouldn’t let them load. Lots of catching up to do. Those of you who miss my comments, I have not abandoned or unfollowed you. WP has been punishing me. I’ll be back. If you’ve seen any cool/fun/funny posts that I may have missed, please leave links. I could really use some good reads for my spare time. Many thanks!
But not my life. Or will to live. Or sanity. Or self-respect. None of me. I’ll let them have none of me. The violation was enough.
I was robbed. Last night. It was so fast. And crazy. And quite the shock. I reacted so quickly. Yet slowly. I couldn’t tell how time was moving. It seemed pretty fast. Those guys weren’t that fast. I could have chased them down. I didn’t. I didn’t care that much. I was appreciative of the fact that I was still breathing. Able to walk. Unharmed. Not stabbed. Or shot. Or raped. Alive. And well. Just less one little thing. One of my favourite things, but a THING. So it’s no big deal.
It’s so weird the way things happen. Something out of the ordinary has to happen before we can really appreciate the way that life unfolds. A sequence of events. Each one dependent, in some way, on the one before it. Choices. Decisions. The roads we take. The ways we turn. The speed with which we move.
This is what I mean:
- I spent the weekend at Babe’s. The plan was to get a drive back to my place on Monday night. I had a lot of things to transport back to my apartment. My ride fell through. Ended up staying over at Babe’s. Which was fine.
- On Tuesday morning, I rode to work on Babe’s bike, Kiwi. Tatum (my bike) was, and still is, at my place. Got to work and realized that I left my keys at Babe’s. Decided to ride back there after to work to get the keys, then head back to my place.
- Got to Babe’s around 5:45 on Tuesday evening. Cooled off. Drank some water. Called my sister to see if she was still at work and could pick me up, but got no answer. (Later, she told me she was at my grandmother’s and left the phone in the car.) Played word games. We had cereal. At about 7:30, we decided it was a good time to leave. The sun sets shortly after 8pm, and it would take me about 30 minutes to get to my place.
- Walked up the hill (Babe lives at the bottom of one), then rode about 15 seconds before I realized I didn’t have my cellphone. I should mention that a lady said, “Good evening,” and when I responded, she said, “Nice bike!” I thanked her. That made me smile. Anyway, I rode down the hill back to Babe. Got the phone, and walked the bike back up the hill. The same lady said, “Oh. Looks like fun!” It was hilarious. I said, “No, I just forgot something.” She clearly thought I was walking up and coasting down the hill repeatedly for fun. I shared this with Babe later, and we both had a good laugh.
- Where I work is the halfway mark between Babe’s place and my place. I got a bit beyond there when I realized something was wrong with the bike. Something must have come loose. The handlebar was no longer lined up with the front wheel. No matter how I steered, the wheel was going it’s own way. I stopped. I couldn’t fix it without tools. I got my cellphone out of my backpack and called Babe to explain the situation.
- We decided it made sense for me to walk the bike to my grandmother’s (about 5 minutes driving distance from my work). Now, this isn’t the best area to be on. Particularly as a young woman, walking alone, wheeling a bicycle along. *sighs* I didn’t really have a choice. I didn’t know anyone in the area with a truck or SUV that could carry the bicycle. It was faster to just walk. I talked with Babe as I walked.
- Just as I was wrapping up the conversation with her, I heard two very loud thuds/footsteps (the last steps of the two guys that ran up behind me, and felt impact on my right ear. One of the guys was snatching the phone out of my hand. [I have to say, I HATE that people do this to people they know as a joke. This has happened to me several times, and I have given black eyes and sucker punches to friends. After making a few "mistakes" like that, I've made great effort to freeze and just wait for the person to identify him/herself since it's more likely (SADLY) for a known person to do it that an attacker.] After being hailed about 3 times that evening, I just froze and waited, but no one’s hand covered my eyes, and no voice said, “Guess who?” in 5 seconds, so I suddenly expected a hand around my throat. I turned, saw the guys, realized what was happening, and I screeeamed. Twice. They ran off. I stood in shock for about 5 seconds. Then decided to get moving. I was literally 5 steps away from the corner, and diagonally across the street was a laundromat. I was heading there to use a phone to tell Babe that I was alive. I figured my scream was heard.
- Holy coincidence/luck/divine intervention. At the corner, about to turn, was a family friend. Jimmy. Good ol’ Jimmy! He said, “Hi,” and stuff. All I managed to say was, “Jimmy, can you do me a favour? Take me to my Grammy?” He said he could, he just needed to make a stop to pick someone up. As he loaded Kiwi onto the truck, I told him what happened, ever-so-briefly, RIGHT before he got there. He was PISSED. He hopped in that truck and was ready to go on a manhunt. I wasn’t quite so enthusiastic. I wanted to leave it alone. He picked up two people, and we rode around the general area, looking for the guys. Finally, I convinced him to give it up. A cellphone really isn’t worth getting killed over.
- The moment I caught my breath, after getting into the truck, I asked Jimmy to use his phone. I called Babe. I felt terrible. Babe sounded so distraught. Already, a friend was there to help look for me. I said I was okay, and would head back there instead of going to Gram’s and alarming people. Jimmy took me there, took the bike down, and gave me his card. Sidenote: He has a trucking service, so I guess that’s a good backup for moving in two weeks!
- I got to Babe’s place around 8:45pm. We spent the rest of the night debriefing, talking it out, cuddling, consoling each other, etc. It was rough. It was a small thing, but a big thing. For Babe, to feel so helpless and out of control. For me, to be so completely unsafe in this crime-ridden country, and to know that I gave such a scare. I felt guilty. I still do, kinda. One thing Babe said that’s stuck in my head is, “We can’t be reckless any more.” Bike riding, walking… Doing whatever because we think it’s okay. I don’t want to live in fear, but we can’t live stupidly either. *sighs*
- I think it was a good thing that I was on the cellphone. Babe knew right away that something was wrong. If something worse happened, SOMEone in the world would have some sort of idea of what happened and where I was. And it was easy for them to grab. That way, there was no need to engage me. I was wearing a BACKPACK. Imagine me trying to get that off in a panic. Imagine them, in their hurry, getting annoyed at me taking forever to get my backpack off. And YES, they WOULD have engaged me. A woman was walking in the same area earlier that day, and got her handbag snatched. Apparently, it was on the 7pm news (which I did not watch).
- My cousin was able to give me (and all my ish) a ride to my place on Monday night, provided that I had the bag with the keys with me.
- My brother didn’t have a crazy car that I feel bad about asking him to use to rescue me.
- I didn’t forget my keys.
- My sister was still at work or in the car and answered my call, and gave me a ride.
- I got my keys and left right away.
- I didn’t forget my cellphone.
- I didn’t turn back for my cellphone.
- The bike didn’t go out of whack.
- I stayed my bum at Babe’s place.
- I have life, and nothing is more precious.
- It’s important to be very vigilant.
- The jury is still out on whether or not one should talk on a cellphone when walking alone in the semi-dark.
- DISCRETION is important. Maybe I shouldn’t have left Babe’s.
- Pay attention to the signs that are everywhere. I forgot my keys at Babe’s, I couldn’t reach anyone to give me a ride, I forgot my cellphone… The universe or God or whatever/whoever was clearly trying to convey a message. I probably should have stayed at Babe’s.
- Remember that it’s all “small stuff.” My cellphone is gone. It’s a BlackBerry and I really liked it. It sucks. More than that, I had pictures, video, notes, etc. saved in the phone. That sucks more. BUT. It doesn’t suck more than physical harm.
- We never know what situation our current situation is preventing. Who’s to say that those guys didn’t save me from something worse? Maybe there were worse people further down the road that would have done something worse. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to make it to my house for some reason. Maybe it wasn’t a good night to get my mom to drive me home when she was already home (at Grams’ house). I don’t know what that occurrence saved me from, but I am thankful. Regardless.
- There are little angels everywhere. Even in the most unlikely places. In the most unlikely people. And there are no coincidences. We are all in specific places at specific times for specific (divine) purposes. Whether we realize it or not.
Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful. -Buddhist Quote
Honestly, I’m not feeling particularly thankful. I’m actually in a not-so-great mood. It’s not fun. You know… When your mood sucks. I’d rather be happy. I knooow, [mocking tone] haaappiness is a decisionnn. It’s just a decision I don’t feel like making right now. I’m gonna play King of Sorrow by Sade, allow myself to have a moment, and THEN, if I FEEL like it, I’ll decide to be happy. And thankful. Wait right here while I go do that, k?
[King of Sorrow plays as I sing some parts, and just cry during others. Then a few minutes of silence as I get myself together. Wash my face. Drink some water. Clean my glasses. Put them on for the first time today. Look back at the task at hand. Take deeeep breath. Sip more water. Choose to be happy. Think of all the things I should be thankful for, even if I'm not in this moment. Until I AM.]
Okay. I’m ready. It’s another Thankful Thursday, so you know a list is coming, right? Here are things I’m thankful for today:
- Life. My life, although I haven’t managed to like every single minute of it, is not too shabby. I breathe without labour. I have food to eat when I’m hungry. I have clean water to drink, cook, and shower. I have family and friends, and they’re real.
- Healthcare. My grandmother is in the hospital. For the first time in her life (aside from giving birth to her children). Two days ago, she felt very ill. Heart racing, feeling weak, etc. Yesterday morning was worse. The decision was made to call the ambulance. Her blood sugar level was almost 5x what it should have been. I visited her last night. She looked good. She was calm, relaxed, and well-taken care of by the hospital staff, and her children.
- Lunch. Babe made spaghetti last night. I wasn’t hungry by the time I got home, so I didn’t eat. Still, Babe made enough meat sauce for me to have some for lunch today. I just made some noodles this morning, and BAM! Lunch. (I love bringing lunch from home, and very much dislike buying lunch. Especially since the places around here are: hot dog vendors, the worst Chinese food ever, and a sandwich/pasta deli with super salty food.)
- Internet. Keeps me entertained at work, connects me with friends AND new people, keeps me in touch with Babe while we’re apart, loads of information at my fingertips… It’s just great.
- Grams’ humor. My grandmother is super funny. And good-natured. And positive. It cracks me up a lot. Here’s a bit of the exchange I had with her:
HAPPY THANKFUL THURSDAY!
On Saturday afternoon, my sister picked me up from work. I usually bike to and from work, but it’d been a while (no real reason why) since we’d seen each other and really spent time together. We managed to jam my bike in the back of her Grand Cherokee Jeep. That meant putting the backseat down, so my two niece ended up sitting on the back of the (folded down) backseat.
Saturday is my sister’s day to do all of the randomness she has to do. First, we picked up our nephew (special request from our other sister). We went grocery shopping which meant going to three different stores. (I’m a fan of a one-stop shop, except for fruit, veggies, and bread.) We went to the regular grocery store (pictures 5 of us, hanging around 1 grocery cart for 30 minutes) for most items, then another store for meat, and a third place for chips. From there, we went home to offload the grocery. We relaxed for a bit until we realized that the other sister wasn’t home to take nephew to his friend’s house. We went and made that run too. I got off at 5:30pm, and at this point, it’s about 9pm.
It was time to get me home. Stopped to Wendy’s for a lil din-din for me. Everyone else was having Chinese, after I was dropped off. While on the Wendy’s drive-thru, my niece decided to share a random dream of her. Apparently, she woke up in a panic, possibly crying, from this dream.
Keirra (niece) was at a hotel with her mom and her mom’s new (nonexistent in real life) baby. At some point, they exited the hotel, and Taylor (Keirra’s mom) told Keirra to wait outside for her, she’d be right back. Keirra waited and waited, but her mom never returned. The next thing she knew, people put her in a line with other children. Eventually, the children were all loaded onto buses. There were about 4 different buses. She kept looking around for her mom, waiting for her to come running and tell the people that it was all just a big mistake. When seated on the bus, she asked the girl next to her where they were going. This is when she was informed that they were on an “Adoption Bus!” She kept looking out the window, and finally spotted her mom! Walking AWAY from the bus WITHOUT her, just “strolling the baby along.” At this point she thought, “This EVIL WOMAN!”
And that’s how my niece found out that her mother would probably put her up for adoption if she ever let her leave her alone outside of a hotel. Parrr-TIC-u-lar-ly if her mom has a new baby. And there are 400 children and 4 “Adoption Buses” in the area.