Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Black Chevelle

"And then, he realized, everyone was looking at one thing only"

The air was thick that night, hot and still. He could still feel the fear running through his veins, pulsating in every part of his body. The neighborhood was quiet; not a single dog barked, not a single child laughed. How could anyone laugh when Belle was missing?

The afternoon's series of events washed over Steven again, sending a wave of nausea through him. Holly was inside putting Aiden to bed. Of everything that needed to be immediately dealt with, Aiden was the most heart wrenching. His eyes were the same as hers. He kept asking for Belle, asking for his baby sister. Where was she? What do you tell a seven year old?

The black Chevelle rolled slowly down the street. No one had noticed that it had already driven by twice, slowing each time in front of the Purta's home, where Belle and Aiden played in the sprinklers. Holly called Aiden in to bring out fresh watermelon--it was something she always did on hot summer days for the kids. Aiden went first to the restroom, and Holly had looked out the front window to see her beautiful five year old girl, expecting to see her waving back, but instead seeing her little legs being pulled into the car. Like her favorite princess, she had left one shoe behind.

Steven held onto her little pink jelly sandal as he crouched on the lawn. And he felt the tears begin to burn through the tough facade he had put up for his family's sake as he imagined his baby girl out there, scared and with only one shoe. He cried for Holly, who saw the shoe fall off her frail little foot. He cried for Aiden, who's youthful innocence was being shattered. And he cried for the fate of his family, for he knew what he would have to do to anyone who hurt his daughter.

That's when the media showed up, along with trails of people holding candles in tow. The dread inside of him only deepened. He could feel their sympathetic energy, their worst expectations for the situation evident by the candles they held. But he stood for the news crew, tears in his eyes still, and answered their questions. He asked for help, for his daughter back.

The street, though filled with people, was suddenly silent. And then, he realized, everyone was looking at one thing only: a black Chevelle rolling slowly towards them.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My most difficult challenge yet...

Here's this week's challenge:
"Songs I'll never listen to again"

This one was REALLY hard for me...I welcome any and all feedback!

The hallway's light was dim, the room at the end dark, except for her face. She was completely white, from her scalp to her lips. I felt the reaper's presence like a blanket, pulling us all under, suffocating us. For a second, I wondered if she was breathing. As if on cue, I saw her blankets gently rise. They seemed heavy on her frail body, crushing what was left of the life inside of her. I'll never forget coming home from my freshman year of high school to a dying mother.

I went in the room and pulled one of the blankets off of her. I saw my three year old sister laying next to her, keeping contact with her, somehow, at all times. I understood. It was as if she lost contact, she'd lose our mother. All we had left of her was the physical.

I'll never forget coming home from my freshman year of high school to a dying mother.

But this isn't about my strong mother who battled cancer, though I wish it was.

What was even more difficult to deal with than seeing her pushed to the brink of death my chemicals injected into her every week was her attitude. I saw other cancer patients joining support groups, helping each other. I saw them changing their lives, being thankful for each treatment available. They fought back. But my mother didn't fight. Though she was incredibly healthy for a cancer patient, she only held on to resentment. When I got sick, she told me, "At least you're not dying". She passed no hope to us. She was not strong.

"You know it's probably genetic, right?" she informed me one morning as she drove me to school, dropping me off late, as usual. I spent first period sobbing in a bathroom.

I saw my baby sister change from a sweet little toddler to a girl who was anxious, terrified of losing her mother. My mother welcomed the pity, and my sister could sense that my mother had no optimism.

But how could I hold it against her? I can't even fathom the suffering she endured.

After a year of being cancer-free, my mother was selfish. She believed that she got a second chance to indulge herself in everything. She didn't go to my swim meets, didn't look at my straight A's, didn't spend time with me. She had gotten a second chance at life, and she was wasting it.

Then one day, we got a phone call. Marilou, a woman she knew who'd had breast cancer, too, had passed away. She'd been clear for five years.

We dressed in black and went to her funeral. Her family walked her in as the music played.

Did you ever know that you're my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
for you are the wind beneath my wings.

I saw my mother crying hysterically, and I knew that she wasn't crying for Marilou. She was crying for herself. She didn't care that Marilou had helped everyone she met, that Marilou had stayed strong for her three daughters. A disappointment so deep ran through my veins. And then, a sadness. Because if my mother ever passed, I would know that she never lived. She never gave compassion to others, never shared her wealth or time with the people who loved her. And when the day came for me to stand up and talk about how amazing and strong my mother was, I'd have nothing to say but lies.

I saw her selfishness and hatred hurt the people around her, and I saw it eat away at her until she found another lump on her breast. She was given a second chance, a chance to relive her life, and she had wasted it on herself.

I never listened to that song again, that song they played at Marilou's funeral. My mother was supposed to be my hero, but instead, she was leading herself to her demise.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Dancing Child

Here's my third writing has been hectic lately, so I haven't been blogging much. Things are slowing down though, so I'll be back t blogging soon.

"It's never too late to be what you might have been"

The Opera House was dark, the silence so thick it was startling. I don't know why I broke in. My five inch stilettos clicked as moved down the isle and ascended the stairs. There it was, just as it always was in my dreams, that beautiful grand piano. And the stage was as magnificent, was still doorway to another world, another life. A life I never lived.

I heard my heels echoing throughout the house, and I remembered the sounds of tap, the movements of ballet, of girls gracefully weaving beauty through the stage. The last time I really danced was over ten years ago, when I was still in grade school. I dance every night now, in cheap, removable clothing on tacky stages in front of disgusting men. I let them rape me with their eyes, and if their wallet is big enough, I let them do whatever they want. But the last time I danced, I looked into the audience and saw no one. The last time I played the piano, there was no one to clap just for me. The house was full, but there were no eyes on me. People applauded, but it wasn't just for me. Now when I dance, all eyes are on me. They all want me.

But it was calling me. The grand piano was magnificent, it's beauty and power made my hands tingle. I zipped my sweater over my dance outfit and sat on the bench. Without thinking, without breathing, my fingers moved over the keyboard as if they'd never been away. Claire de Lune filled the hall, tears filling my eyes.

How many times does your daddy have to miss your recitals before you smoke a cigarette, before you move on to cocaine? How many times does your mother have to tell you you're worthless before you climb into the back of any guys car? How many times do you need to slit your wrists before you bleed all your dreams away? How many times does a little girl's heart break before she becomes a prostitute?

I remember looking into the audience, seeing families wave to their daughters, looking past me. And there was no one waving at me. I remember the first boy who gave me attention, told me I was beautiful. I remember him on top of me in the back of his car. I remember my first line of coke, the euphoric feeling, the numbness. And I remember the piano. I remember being called a prodigy.

For the first time, as I sat and played Debussy, flashes of what I might have been flashed before me. But I stopped, slipped my heels off, and stood to dance to the music in my soul, the part of me I left behind with a broken heart. I couldn't think about what I might've been, because I'll never know. I couldn't get those years back. I'd never be a child prodigy, because I'm not a child anymore.

But the child in my heart kept dancing. Tomorrow I know I'll go back to the club, but right now, I am all that I ever could have been.