Fiction Friday: Lost

The cup of coffee crashed to the ground with a shatter and a splash. She had done it again.  She looked around to see if anyone else had noticed, forgetting that the only other soul in the tiny apartment was her cat. She stared at the broken ceramic pieces that spanned from one end of the galley kitchen to the other, spraying out onto the living room carpet. She held her left hand close to her body, caressing it with her right, as if it would help.

Tears glided gently down her cheeks like the dew on an autumn leaf as she took in this morning’s damage. The last bit of coffee in her barren cabinets was now forming small brown puddles on her kitchen floor. Ben’s favorite coffee mug broken into a thousand tiny pieces, crumbs of colorful ceramic. Her left palm swollen and red from the burn, her fingertips blistering, as her right hand moved to clutch her wrist, isolating the pain from the rest of her body.

As if it would help.

In slow motion she reached into the fridge for a half bag of open corn from the freezer, hoping to cool the burning sensation in her palm. Her heart started racing. He mind dulled. She wanted the pain to disappear. She shuffled out of the kitchen, ignoring the debris on the floor, and sat down on her couch, corn spilling out into the cushion to her right. She looked at her hand. What had she been thinking?

Ben used to make her coffee in the morning.  They had one of those 12 cup pots that made mass quantities of liquid caffeine for the two of them. In any given day, they’d brew at least 2 pots. These days, Karen was lucky to heat one cup of instant coffee in the microwave. And now she was also out of coffee. She knew that there was a crack in the ceramic. But she couldn’t get rid of his mug.

The phone rang and Karen glared at it like an enemy crossing into her territory. In her mind, she kept willing it to hush itself, and in the end, she won. Her mother. Probably. Or her sister. The two of them tried to keep tabs on Karen. But it wasn’t easy. She never answered the phone, and avoided unlocking the door to her apartment on most days.

She wasn’t always like this, though.

Karen used to be bright and shiny. She used to smile. She would drop a scalding hot cup of coffee and clean it up immediately. Her cabinets were full of tasty treats and snacks for surprise guests. Her fridge stocked fresh fruits and vegetables. She did things. She did something. But over the course of time, things drooped. It didn’t happen over night. It was a gradual thing. A gray sky here, a few tears there. No big deal. Until it was a big deal. 

And she didn’t even know it was happening. 

Ben used to try to help. He offered a shoulder to cry on. He made her coffee. He brought her food, even when she wasn’t hungry. He hovered. And she didn’t mind. Because she knew he cared.

Karen looked down at her hand again. The blisters were red and raw. Only a few kernels of corn remained in the bag. Her hand was throbbing, though she wasn’t sure whether it was from the cold of the corn of the sting of the blisters. She dragged herself up and off the couch, walking blindly to the bathroom. She turned on the dimmed light and saw a lipstick note in big red script.

“Depression Lies. Depression Lies. Depression Lies.”

Karen closed her eyes. She squeezed them as tight as she could. And when she reopened them, she screamed as loud as she could, “THEN WHY DO I BELIEVE?!”

Why do I believe that nothing will get better? Why do I believe that I’m alone? Forever? Why do I believe that there’s nothing left? Why do I feel so lost?

And then she cried again.

This post is a part of Fiction Friday Friends and if you’re looking for more fiction, go visit these talented writers!

Fiction Friday June

 

Blog friends, have you ever struggled with depression?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

What? I’m Not Here Today? LIES!

Okay, maybe it’s not a complete lie. I’m guest posting over at It’s a Dome Life today! Lily has been hosting this beautiful Examining the Creative Mind Series, in which she asks several pages worth of questions about artists, their processes and their inspiration.

She’s brilliant I tell you.

So go read my guest post and send Lily some comment love. Because post hosts loooooove comments! And I might host a giveaway next month. And I might cry if you don’t. I’m not above bribery. Or threats.

If you’re stopping by from It’s a Dome Life, might I recommend the following favorite posts…

Adventures with The Bloggess

Because Search Terms Are Funny

Stormageddon: Dark Lord of All

The Tale of Olive Baby

Christmas Music

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Fiction Friday: The Letters

I’m really having a lot of fun writing fiction, but I’m also super insecure about it, because it is quite new to me. Other than some creative writing classes almost a decade ago (in which I mostly wrote non-fiction stories from my life or silly sonnets about Chiclets and poems about my hatred for Snood and such), my experience in fiction is minimal. So if you read this…and like this…PLEASE tell me! 🙂 If you don’t like this…you can tell me that too. Just, you know…be nice about it. No one likes a Debbie Downer.

 The Letters

She waited patiently at the airport gate. Home. I’m going home. She hadn’t been home in years. She worked so hard to get here. The person she was as a teenager was long gone. The girl she was before Sam…Who? I don’t even remember her. He will. He’ll want me to be her. He’s married. Admitting them for the first time, even in her head, the words hit her like a ton of bricks.

She heard over the loud speakers, Boarding flight 1-9-2-5. Last call for boarding flight 1-9-2-5. Mel stood and walked toward the gate. Home.

She had written two letters last week. Two carefully penned letters. Two very different
letters to Jack.

Jack,

It’s been so long, I hardly know where to begin. I know that I left abruptly. I’m so sorry. I fucked up. I got into some trouble and I didn’t want you to know. I spent a year in a juvenile detention center for the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.

I graduated with honors, though, and went on to a community college. I worked so
hard, Jack. Just like you. Just like you always thought I would. You would have been so proud of me, I know it. After I got my associate’s degree, I found a really great job. I was working for a generous and patient guy, who taught me everything there is to know about restaurant management.

And then I fucked up again, Jack. My boss, Michael, was something of a player. He only hit on me once, and I told him that a better use of his time was to teach me the how to run a restaurant or seven. I thought of how proud you would be. He admired my aspirations and drive, so he never tried anything again. But he had a little brother…who learned from the master of players.

When Michael lost the manager of one of his restaurants, he gave me the position. I
trained officially with his brother, Ben. I think I fell in love, Jack. But Ben was bad news. I just…I didn’t know it then.

I’m sorry; I’ve gotten away with my thoughts. I’m coming home. I really want to see you, Jack. I miss you.

Mel

There was so much more that she could say. Jack, I’m trying so hard to make you proud of me. I didn’t want to come home until I was worthy of your pedestal. I’m pregnant with an asshole’s child. A lying, cheating asshole who wanted to pay me off to “get rid of it?” The same guy who got me fired from the only job I was ever really good at? I have nothing and no one, so now I need you? Help me. Jack, I want to be amazing, but the only thing I’m great at is fucking up?

But she did not. She could not. She would never even send the first letter. Let alone add more to it. How do I tell my best friend that I’m not even close to the girl that he thinks I am? I always wanted to be that girl. But I couldn’t. I’m not. That’s why I left. Maybe I shouldn’t go home. There’s nothing there but an empty house and a broken heart. NO. I have to go. I WANT to go. Maybe he’ll still be there. For me. I need a friend. Desperately. 

So she wrote a shorter letter. She wrote the words that she needed to write. She told him. That’s all she needed to say.

For now.

Jack,

There is so much that I want to tell you. I know that I’ve been gone for a long time, but I’m coming home.

I really want to see you, Jack. I miss you.

Mel

************************************************************************
The second is the letter that found its way to Jack. Three sentences. Three dangerous
sentences. Three.

She is coming home. Home. Jack paused for a minute before he could breathe again. Why now? He tried so hard to keep her out of his thoughts. But sometimes, he just couldn’t. She was there. And she would be home soon.

************************************************************************

The story continues with The Rock.

I hope you’re enjoying the story so far. Now, go visit my fiction writing friends, The Fearless Fiction Femmes:

The Fiction Writing Prompt

Invent a / your character (who) has two personality traits that are completely incompatible, that don’t fit together at all. For example: this character is incredibly messy and is also a total perfectionist. Or: this character is a pacifist and also has a really explosive temper. Or: this character believes in strict, traditional family values but is promiscuous by nature. You decide. Then think of a situation in which these two sides of your character would be in direct conflict with each other. Write the story.
Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Fiction Friday: Broken

This was one of the hardest things I’ve done for my blog. After reading some of the beautifully created fiction pieces by some of my blogging buddies, I was inspired…and invited to join them in their Fiction Friday Challenge.

I’ve never been a good fiction writer. Real life? No problem. Make stuff up? WAY harder. I admire the people who can create whole worlds away from our own (Yes, even Stephanie Meyer has a place in my heart for taking vamps to their very own new level of her creation…)

So how does Fiction Friday work? Molly Field, the brainchild behind Fiction Friday, provided us with the same prompt on Wednesday night. Using the prompt, each of us has come up with our own interpretation and transformed it into fiction. I’ll post the prompt at the end of the post and link to my fellow fiction writers.

That being said, this is my first public work of fiction, so don’t be too harsh. (Also I had some formatting issues that I’m working on, but if the type is a little jacked, I promise I’m working on it!) Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Broken

He walked out of the room with purpose. The letter fluttered to the ground. Confusion, agony, hope, and memories flooded him like a tidal wave. Why now?

Mel had left him standing there. 15 years had gone by. Fifteen slow, long years. He wished that he could say he had forgotten her. But he hadn’t. Of course, he had moved on. He had to. He met Claire. He loved Claire. Claire was his wife. His love. His best friend. She was his everything. But before her was Mel. Melanie Jane McDaniels. His once best friend. The girl he thought he would love forever. The girl that ran away.

Down the stairs, out the door, and into the car, he calmly navigated himself through his daily motions. It was days like these that he wished he didn’t work the overnights. The long and painful shifts that seemed to drag for hours longer than they should have. The world was quiet at night. He needed sound. He needed energy. He needed to not be alone.

He got to work, his thoughts racing, and he went about his nightly routine. Where did she go all those years ago? Not a word. Not a letter. Not a phone call. Nothing. She just. Disappeared. Her image kept popping into his mind. The way her long brown hair fell past her shoulders in a tangled mess. Her blue-grey eyes gazing at him as they talked about life and their futures.  I loved her. She was my first love. For years, no woman could compare to Melanie. But then I met Claire. Claire. No one could ever understand me better than Claire. She loves me unconditionally. Her patience. Her kindness. Her determination. She’s strong. So much stronger than me.

Melanie was never strong. That’s why we were so great together. We understood each other. We braved the world together. But she couldn’t stay. She just. Left.

*************************************************************************************

The muffled tone had made its way into his dreams.  He awoke to the sound of his phone ringing. What time is it? 2? 4? What’s that noise? Oh. Right. Phone. He looked at the number… 542-611-3754.542-611-3754. 542-611-3754. I know that number. How do I know that number? 542-611-3754.

As he stared at the number he recognized from the days of landlines and memorized phone numbers, the ringing stopped suddenly. It’s her. Well, it was her, anyways . Immediately, he knew that he had to call her back. He looked at the clock. It was 11 AM. Can I handle this on 3 hours of sleep? As if on autopilot, his hands were already pushing the call back button.

“Hello?” a quiet feminine voice pushed through the speaker.

“Mel.”

“I need…help,” she whispered softly.

“Really? With what?” Out of nowhere, anger sparked in him. Anger from the lonely little boy she left in the dust. Anger from having to do it all alone. Without her. Having to finish high school. Having to go on to college. To get a job and start a life…All without her by his side.

“I’m going through something right now, and it would be nice to have someone to talk to. I miss you.” The words she spoke were the last that he expected from her.

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

“I just need a friend, Jack.”

“You disappeared. You left. You never said where you were going. You never called. You DIS-A-FUCKING-PEARED! And now you want help? You want a friend?” His voice echoed through the house he shared with Claire.

“Yes.”

“Is that it? Is that all you have to say? 15 years and you can’t even start with some semblance of a greeting. Just a request for help…you can’t even tell me what’s wrong?”

“You sound so angry. ”

“Yes. I’m angry. ”

“You never used to get angry. You were always such a sweetheart.” She sounded wistful, as if she was longing for the days past to return.

“Well, I get angry now. It’s been 15 years. Things have changed. I have changed. But you wouldn’t know that, because you weren’t there. You left, Mel.  You left. You. Not me.”

Jack heard Mel’s stifled tears through the phone. He knew that he had made her cry…and he was…glad. He felt. Better.

“Look, Mel. If you want to talk to me, you need to understand that you broke me. You changed me. I am the person that I am partially because of you. I’m not the same guy you left standing in your front yard. I’m not the same, dammit. I’m just…not. So, if I’m not rolling out the welcome mat, you’ve got to understand why. You hurt me all those years ago. That doesn’t just go away.”

“Jack…I’m…Just listen…I…” Melanie broke off into heavy sobs. “I’m so sorry Jack. I’m…so…sorry.”

“Melanie, why don’t you breath for a minute and just tell me your fucking problem.”

“I’m all alone, Jack.” she cried into the phone. “I’m all alone and I’m pregnant.”

*************************************************************************************

The Story Continues Here.

Now that you’ve read my fiction piece, you can find some truly amazing writers by checking out the rest of the Fiction Friday Challengers:

Oh! I promised you the prompt: Years later, the character’s first love shows up on his or her doorstep again. Both your character and his/her first love are surprised at how the other person has changed (How?) This encounter causes a disruption in your character’s life (How? What does your character do about it?) Write the story.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!