She should have known that a year ending in 13 would not be a good one. But like every other year, she put all her hopes and dreams into its basket. From day one, she wanted this year to be over and it only got worse from there. So(more) many misfortunes this year for herself, for her family, and for her my friends. So with four days until the start of 2014, all she could say now was: GET LOST 2013! (less)
I MIGHT BE ONE but sometimes one is all it takes to turn things around. One bad apple can spoil the bunch but one good seed can produce a bountiful harvest. Lately, life has knocked me ON MY BACK but one must have a HARD BACK in this thing(more) we call life. Everyone has their UPS & DOWNS, but it is the way people come together in those tough moments that pull us OVER THE TOP. The birds WARBLE: it’s a new day. And though we are sad, we must get back up because the times that are the hardest to REBUILD are the times we need to do it the most. And that’s what makes us the STRONGEST OF ALL. (less)
"And when you're an adult," her mother said, "you'll
want to be a child again."
"No I won't. Because when I'm an adult, no one will tell me when to go to bed. I ca(more)n stay up as late as I want."
Her mother would just smile and finish tucking her into bed. It was the conversation they had every night. And just before her mother would shut the light off and leave the room, she would say, "Sleep tight."
And when the girl was grown, she spent the late night hours thinking about those conversations and how no one told her to sleep tight anymore. (less)
Cody pressed his face against the cold windowpane, watching the rain streak down the glass, blurring the outside world on the other side. In the distance, he could hear her talking.
“You can’t do this to him again, Ian,” her voice said in a quiet whisper that carried(more) over the sound of the running water in the kitchen.
She always did that when she didn’t want him to hear her phone conversations. She would turn on the kitchen sink and lower her voice as if he couldn’t hear her.
“I know you don’t control the weather,” she said. “But he was counting on seeing you. Come up with something else to do with him.”
Cody pushed himself away from the glass, dangling his feet off the window seat. Dad wasn’t coming. He looked at the baseball mitt on his hand. Another empty promise. Shadow jumped from the sofa and rested his head in the glove. Cody stroked his black fur. Shadow had been a present from Dad; Cody had always wanted a black lab and Dad had delivered. That was back when Mom and Dad were still married. Back when Dad still cared.
“You know what,” she said, “do whatever you want.” And with that, she slammed down the phone.
Cody pushed himself off the window seat, locking eyes with her. “He’s not coming, is he?”
She looked at him with a sympathetic stare. “No, buddy,” she said, “he’s not.”
It was her fault he wasn't coming. It was her fault he left in the first place. She was the one who pushed him away when she chose to love someone else. He remembered the night Dad found out. They'd thought he was sleeping but he heard the water running in the kitchen. (less)
Dear Diary… Oh wait, you mean this is the internet and not my diary? Shh, someone might found out! Because lately, I think the message was somehow lost in translation. Somewhere we went from teenagers who used to pass notes in class and spread rumors in the halls to(more) adults who text gossip to one another and vent all — and I do mean all — of our personal feelings on social networking sites. Somewhere we went from individuals looking for appropriate outlets to express our frustrations to a society who airs every personal feeling in this vast place we call cyberspace. (less)
The legs to my folding chair sink into the damp earth. The field stretches before me, but all I can see are the tiny drops of rain clinging to each blade, left behind from the passing shower earlier that afternoon. I can smell it in the air and it takes(more) me back to a different day when the smell of rain lingered in air.
* * *
“Someday I’m going to be a doctor,” Danny had said, running up the driveway and waving his report card. All A’s.
I smiled, leaning forward in the porch swing where I sat.
He smiled back but I saw the fear in his eyes.
“Someday,” I said, “I won’t need a doctor.” It was promise I had no right to make. Not with advanced stage breast cancer.
* * *
“Daniel Russell Harris.” His name echoes across the field where I sit.
Silence falls over the crowd of students in black and white robes. I walk up the stairs to the stage and shake the dean’s hand as he gives me my son’s diploma. My fingers trace the letters of his name as I remember the day the doctor gave me the news that my cancer was gone. The day Danny picked up his cell on the first ring and shared in my excitement as the traffic light turned red (or so the police told me). I heard the sound of crunching metal before his voice broke off.
* * *
Back on the porch, all those years ago, I promised Danny that I wouldn't need a doctor, the one thing he wanted to become. I promised myself that someday I would sit at his graduation.
And when someday comes, the plans that were made dissolve into something different. (less)
Miles stood before the crowd as his karate instructor awarded him the green belt. He scanned the sea of faces; Mom smiled back from behind the camera. Miles sighed. He could have predicted that Dad wouldn’t show. Not that he could see the future like the oracles he always(more) read about in his fantasy books.
He waited for the crowd to cheer, the mass of adults to claim their children, and the room to clear before he made his way toward Mom. She sat in the middle row, surrounded by empty folding chairs.
“Ready to go?” he asked before Mom could say anything.
They took a detour for ice cream on the way home. This kind of pandering had more of an effect on him when he was little; now that he was twelve, Mom’s reasoning behind her treats left a bad taste in his mouth that tainted the hot fudge on his sundae.
“Great job,” she said.
Miles looked at his hands, picking at the skin that had peeled on his fingers. “Can we go home?”
“You didn’t finish your ice cream,” Mom said. But with one glance at Miles, she added, “Fair enough.”
He didn’t wait for Mom to get out of the car when they arrived home. Instead, he pulled his key from his jacket pocket and let himself into the house. A card lay on the table in a colored envelop with a sticker on it. Miles didn’t bother opening it. He didn’t care to read another “Way to Go, Champ” card that Dad’s girlfriend picked out for him.
He marched up the stairs and to the bathroom, slamming the door behind him and washing his hands as hard as he could. Fifteen times. Always fifteen times. (less)
So often, days are measured in the events that took place – the good, the bad, the ugly. Petty things are remembered and grudges carried with the start of another day. We triumph at the moments that bring us success and cry at the disappointments life deals to us.(more) But that’s not how days should be judged. Because in the end, all that matters is that we are all still here. (less)
Tray stood at the edge of the creek, watching the frogs jump along the muddy banks as he settled on a large rock and pulled a beer from his backpack. He lifted his head toward the sky, letting the cool autumn air wash over him as the wind blew(more) through the branches and carried Katherine’s laugh to him.
He closed his eyes, fingering the tattoo on his arm. He could hear her footfalls crunch against the dried leaves that littered the ground with their death.
“Whatcha doin’, Tray?” she asked. He didn’t have to open his eyes to see her rocking on the balls of her feet.
“Just go home.”
He never expected her to follow him.
He had waited for Mom and Dad to leave, let her stay up a whole hour past her bedtime, and checked to make sure she was really asleep before he snuck out. His friends called to him, breaking out the keg. Crystal smiled from across the creek and he knew tonight was his lucky night. He jumped to the other side.
“I had a bad dream,” Katherine said over the rushing water. “I’m scared."
“I am too.”
That’s what he would’ve said if he had the chance now.
He opened his eyes, still sitting on the rock, all his friends and Crystal gone as if they never existed. Five years had passed since he’d abandoned Katherine for that party. He’d paid the price, did his time for neglecting his baby sister, but it would never be enough to save him from the pain of knowing that she drowned looking for him.
And still Katherine came to him by the creek. (less)
Jared paced the room like a caged beast seeking escape. Complaints swam in his head. He was never there. He was driving himself to an early grave. If he didn’t care about himself, why should anyone else?
Good question. Why should he care? Why should they?
If he was really that far gone, then they would’ve been holding an intervention with everyone he knew begging for his redemption. There wouldn’t be just three injured faces looking back at him.
He rubbed his hand along the stumble on his face. What did they want from him? He was doing the best he could. So he liked the occasional drink. Who didn’t? He deserved it after everything he’d been through.
“You’re not the same, Jared,” Jill said. “It’s taking over your life.”
“Oh, and you haven’t enjoyed a drink every now and then?”
“It’s not every now and then,” Marshall said, stepping between Jared and their sister. “It’s every night. It’s the morning. It’s the middle of the day. Man, I can’t even remember the last time I’ve seen you hung-over because you don’t stop drinking long enough to let that happen.”
“I don’t have to stay here and listen to this.” Jared pushed through his brother, breezed past his sister, and left his mom behind him.
“If you don’t care enough to do this for you,” his mother called after him, “then think about Ava.”
Jared froze with his hand on the screen door. Ava sat on the front porch, her angelic face looking up at him; her eyes bright and innocent, not yet darkened by the hands of time. “Swear you’ll stop, Daddy.” (less)
It all started with “You’re fired.” Life didn’t come to an end and I didn’t ask myself what I should have done to try harder. I was on my best behavior. I did everything that was asked of me. But I can’t complain. Things couldn’t stay this good forever.(more) In this economy, how can anyone get up in the morning and still expect to have a job when they return home that evening?
I still get up in the morning. Still run the shower; still shove my feet into my shoes. I go to the kitchen in search of something to eat. Only, now, the fridge is empty. My shoes are worn. The water is so dirty and cold. And my mornings are filled with worry over how I am going to pay the rent instead of which client will be waiting for me when I arrive at the office.
And even as I write this, worry creeps into my head. This was supposed to be my work log that the unemployment office gave me. Only, there is no work to log so I use it to track the progression of life after employment. But if I don’t stop writing and leave soon, all the good spots will be taken. I stare at the sign across the room and know that duty calls. Another day of standing beside the road with my job qualifications posted on a cardboard sign. (less)
I press the nametag to my chest - one of those cheap labels that doesn’t want to stay on my dress - and try to ignore the person looking at me from across the restaurant, framed beneath the banner that welcomes back the Class of 1991.
(more) But there is something vaguely familiar about her brilliant smile, her sparkling gaze, the way her dark hair falls to her shoulders. Who is she?
Her eyes stare through me, and for a brief moment, I can almost recognize her.
She is the one who always sees the glass half full. She is that girl who sees the beauty in everything around her, the one who goes out of her way to extend a helping hand, to show love in a cold dark world.
She is the girl I left behind.
I am that person who doesn’t pay the glass any attention because I know something as trivial as a cup doesn’t matter (unless it has alcohol in it – and then it’s glass all gone). I am the product of the harshness of the world. I am the creation of yesterday’s wonder smashed to pieces.
I move across the crowded room through classmates long forgotten. And still the girl continues to stare at me from behind the glass where her portrait is framed on the table. And I wonder if that girl I was back then is asking the same question of me.
Who is that?
All these years, all this time, made me the person I am. But I am not her, and she is not me.
She held the wilted rose in her hand, trying not to remember the occasion for which it had been given to her. Her mom had told her she was alright now, but she was wrong. She had loved him, still loved, always would love him. For, unconditional love never(more) faded, even if it had ended in heartbreak.
She tried not to think about all the ways he made her happy. She tried to forget the sight of him dressed in his tux, handing her that beer in a bottle.
“You’re first,” he had said just before she took that swig, adjusting the wrist corsage that got in the way.
She had wanted to drive but he convinced her that she had more to drink than he did. But she wasn’t too drunk to know that he’d had more beer.
“What can I say,” he said with that smile that melted her heart, “you’re a lightweight.”
So she let him drive.
He thought he was so cool when the other car drove up beside them, his best friend at the wheel.
He rolled down his window and shouted to the other driver, “Ready, set, go!”
The last thing she remembered was their car barreling down the winding road in a drag race towards the woods.
“You’re alright now,” her mom said, wrapping her arms around her and cradling her against her chest as she sat on the ER gurney waiting for news about Eric.
News that would eventually lead her to this place with the wilted rose that had once been her wrist corsage. She placed it on the coffin before her prom date was lowered into the ground. (less)
Is anyone ever “the one”? Is there really just one person out there that we are all meant to be with? If so, then why do so many marriages end in divorce? Is it because they just didn’t find the one? Did they walk down the aisle on their(more) wedding day knowing they were heading toward a place holder until they found their true love? Or did they realize that finding that soul mate was like finding a needle in a haystack?
In my life, I’ve learned that you should never answer a question with a question. So maybe the only answer I can provide is this:
I have a friend who says everyone is her soul mate and maybe she is right. Maybe everyone we meet, in one way or another, is connected to us in some important way. There is not just one person we are meant to be with because we are the sum existence of the people we have met in our lifetime. Who would I be without my mother, my father, my brothers and sisters, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, cousins and friends, neighbors and co-workers?