Tag Archives: fiction

Her Story (Part I)

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[Disclaimer: This post has material that may be sensitive for some individuals. Parental discretion advised for younger ages.]

 

She wakes up in a fog, lurching out of the iridescent colors of her dreams into the pre-dawn haze of reality.

Not. Again. Jesus.

The clock on her windowsill reads 4:18 am. With a sigh, she rolls to her side and reaches for the glass pipe on the floor beside her bed. Bowl already packed, lighter poised right beside. Just like usual. Funny how it always seems to happen around 4:20.

I didn’t ask for this.

She flicks the lighter and inhales, already dreading the next half-hour or so. As if overwhelming nausea wasn’t bad enough, the herb didn’t help much until the initial inevitable dry-heaving was over. Though she exhales the smoke slowly and carefully, nausea catches in her throat and she starts coughing violently, her insides rattling like skeleton bones in the wind.

Here we go.

By this point, she knows exactly when to start hustling to the bathroom to make it to the toilet. Tiptoeing out her bedroom door, she gazes wearily at the ever-messy kitchen area. The festering pile of dirty dishes certainly didn’t need the addition of her bile. Not that much of the dishevelment (such a big word for this time of morning) was hers – she was pretty good at cleaning up after herself. Even more so these days, now that she barely leaves the apartment.

Again. Not my choice.

After painfully ridding her body of some extra stomach fluid, she hobbled back to her room. The clocked blinked 4:45, reminding her of how absurdly early it was. With another sigh – what a negative use of breath – she slides back under the twisted sheets. Though her gut feels slightly less mutinous, she knows better than to just attempt to sleep again.

Thank goodness for Mary Jane.

With each toke, her mental and physical pain subside slightly. She doesn’t care what doctors would say – it was her body, and besides, she didn’t ask them. Not like it really mattered.

It.

The only name it would ever have. So far, she’s done her best to avoid (or flat out refuse) seeing it – the unknown growing inside her body – as actual life. She felt callous, murderous even, but she’d made her choice from the beginning. As a young, single college student with little support from home, the choice wasn’t insanely hard.

“I don’t want any grandchildren right now…”

Her mother’s voice rang through her head every time she looked at her not-yet-swollen stomach.

You couldn’t blame her for keeping it a secret.

Why did the word abortion bring such a harsh reaction within her own mind? She couldn’t dream of telling her friends the true reason for her “illness” – if she reacted so strongly to the word, what could be expected from those unattached to her situation? Disgust, judgment, ridicule, possibly even exclusion? Maybe that’s the consequence for keeping people at arms’ length; when you get to a point where you’re falling apart, their fingertips remain just too far away to reach. The father (of what? of a failed idea? a soon-to-be-extinct form?) was friendly enough, but the situation was more frightening to him than anything. She didn’t resent him for staying distant. If she were in his position, she would have bolted as soon as possible. But, as it were, she couldn’t.

The way she saw it, abortion was the path of least suffering – both for her and for the unborn. Why carry an unwanted life form for nine months, fighting hate and resentment while her body goes through unspeakable hormonal changes? She’s not delusional – it would be almost impossible to give the child loving energy while it grew inside her body. No part of her wanted it. If she had it, if she actually birthed the human life inside her, then what? Eighteen years of regret and loneliness? If it didn’t run away before then. What child would thrive in that environment? People say that abortion is selfish, that it’s the “easy way out”. Out of what? Of fighting pure misery while attempting to care for a helpless, innocent being?

No. She wouldn’t let that happen. No child deserved to be born into an environment like that. No child should have a mother that resented its existence. She wouldn’t let herself become another token welfare mother, nor the unborn a stereotypical fatherless child. It wasn’t right. But she couldn’t very well tell people that. They might pretend to understand, they might nod in agreement, but she didn’t trust that anyone would actually see her point of view. It was never that easy.

The clock caught her attention again. 5:32. Sunrise was on its way; she could just see the first glimmers of light beyond the trees outside her window. Wearily, she reaches for her herb jar. She feels heavy today, her mind is rushing too much. After packing the pipe again, she turns to face the window. Next time she wakes up, the sun will be shining – hopefully the warm rays will also brighten her train of thought. She could use a break from this night-tide consciousness.

 

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Words Between Generations

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Daily Post Writing Challenge: Give and Take

Focus today’s post on the contrast between two things. The twist? Write the post in the form of a dialogue.

 

GIllian shifted her weight, settling into the cushioned wicker chair. Her usually smiling mouth stiffened into a rigid line as she stared into her glass of iced lemonade. The comforts of her impeccably decorated screened-in porch seemed stale today.

Why does it always have to be so awkward?

Being around her 11-year old grandson was never easy, even though she had been taking care of him every Saturday for almost 6 months now. Even though Ry didn’t know it, his very presence reminded GIllian of how much she had failed to bond with his father, her only child. It didn’t help that he was so very ecstatic to see her. Gillian wasn’t sure where the hostility stemmed from, though she secretly suspected that Ry’s ex-junkie mother, Sindie, had something to do with it. Sindie was less than fond of her ex-husband, and probably blamed Gillian for, well, god knows what. Darren. Even now, his name bore a pit in the base of her stomach. How she wished…

“So, Ry, what would you like to do today?” GIllian posed the question in her “fake cheery” voice, feeling a twinge of guilt as she did. Did she really think today would be different?

The dark haired boy looked up briefly from his gaming device and scowled.

“C’mon, bud, it’s a beautiful spring day…how about we go get some fresh air?” Her heart sank as she felt her tone of voice rise. Why can’t I break this pattern? She could basically predict his response by now.

“Don’t wanna.” This time, Ry didn’t even bother to glance up.

Gillian rose from her chair with a sigh and escaped into her kitchen. Of all the questions clouding her psyche, one stuck out with burning ferocity.

Why can’t I fix this?! C’mon, Gil. There’s gotta be something he’ll respond to.

With new resolve, Gillian headed back out to the porch. She stood in the doorway, silently raising the courage to try to break through through her grandson’s looming walls.

“Ya don’t have to pretend, ya know.”

Ry’s muttered statement almost knocked the wind out of her.

“How…what do you mean by that, Ry?”

The boy looked up and scowled. Wrong answer, Gil. She took a deep breath and tried again.

“Okay, you’re right. I’m sorry.”

To her surprise, the boy broke away from the death glare he was giving his device, peering questioningly as his grandmother.

“You are?”

“Yes, Ry. I haven’t been treating you fairly – you’re much more mature than I give you credit for.” Gillian hoped with everything that this would work.

Ry squirmed in his seat, unsettled by his grandmother’s new approach. The gaming device, now lying discarded in his lap, continued to beep and flash like an insistent one-sided conversation.

“Oh.” The one-word reply spoke volumes, for his tone had shifted from its usual surly defiance to one that hinted at a hidden vulnerability.

Gillian smiled warmly at her grandson and stepped back into the kitchen to grab the lemonade pitcher. After refilling Ry’s glass, she decided to splurge and add a little gin to her own. Why not celebrate a bit for achieving such a monumental victory? That one word, one sound at that, had changed the course of her entire day…maybe even the entirety of her relationship with Ry. No matter what happened today, Gillian had broken through to her grandson like she had never been able to with Darren. Maybe this would be her second chance.