Some time ago, something happened to me and broke me completely,
shredding me into little pieces and leaving ragged holes inside.
I won’t tell you exactly what that was and who caused it,
because I think that is the irrelevant fact in this equation.
So I will just sum it up for you and maybe you’ll understand.
Because what is necessary here is the story itself. What happened to me, was surprising and unexpected and I felt that I didn’t expect such an outcome, the ground opening beneath me and swallowing me up.
Again, that’s how I felt that day. A dark Sunday turning to a Monday,
filled with tears that overflowed me and threaten to sink me whole.
Some would ask... Why the tears? Why the sorrow?
And all I would have to say would be:
A heart can break in so many ways.
No romance really necessary if a friend breaks your trust and disappears... but that wasn’t even it if I had to think about it twice. Just the sudden aspect of it all. I wasn’t ready for such an outcome, I didn’t have time to prepare. Just a blow in the guts and a goodbye. All in pleasant and in such a cultural way. One would say, no one was to blame. Funny though it hurt just the same.
The interesting part was what occurred at the same time. In a different place in the world, but the same place. Here on Prose. One friend wandered away from me, for the reason only known to that person alone. Though I might have a clue or a two. People don’t like when you break their walls and see too much. From one side you see more beauty and deeper meaning. From the other side, lies may fall out without warning. Small ones to be honest but with incredible meaning to the one who bears them... for me these lies didn’t mean much. Don’t we all try to look better in eyes of others? Don’t we all do that at one point in our lives?
I will let you answer that question on your own. You know the best.
But let me get back to this little story. When I was in a dark place, or even a little before, I found a different, amazing soul. We got talking and found out that we share similar broken parts. Similar pains and fears. I was breaking and sinking in my tears... and so was this little soul. Then we got to talk some more. It instantly clicked, our words matching up. Through time and healing words we gave each other the support that was needed to face the world as it left us. We helped each other to make it through.
A silver lining over a dark moon.
Blessed Broken Roads
Secretly, I had wished to die. I did not believe in divorce, except for in cases of infidelity so the months leading up to the day my husband told me he had been unfaithful, I had already resigned to being unhappily married for the rest of my life. He was brutal, you see. Never laying a hand on me but always demeaning me, telling me I was worthless and that he didn’t want to have one of those fat Mexican wives who never got their body back after the baby. Over a period of 5 years, he had managed to strip away all the layers of who I was and constantly manipulated every situation to work in his favor. He was lazy, a narcissist and a liar, a chameleon of sorts with the ability to sway most people in his path. The only reason I had not ended my life was because I could not bear the thought of my baby girl growing up with her father alone. After coming home from work on December 13th, 2012, I knew something was wrong. My husband sat me down with my best friend in the room and he told me of their affair. I don’t remember feeling rage at the time but I do remember very quickly and quietly packing up all of my things along with my baby’s. I think I must’ve been biting my tongue and avoiding eye contact with everyone. My husband followed me around the house trying to get me to say something but he knew it was too late to change my mind and he didn’t want to anyway. He already had what he wanted. The sad part was, my friend’s husband was also there and his unbelief echoed mine as they too had a baby of their own. As soon as I had gathered as many of our things as I could, I took my baby and drove away without direction and ended up in the parking lot of my nearby church where I let myself finally feel something and cried aloud, “How could he do this to me, to us?! We have a 6 month old baby!” My head pounded as a migraine came over me and my broken spirit sought comfort. I called my best friend Michael from work and just cried as I told him everything. He offered to help but I told him I’d manage and we hung up. As I scrolled through my contacts in my phone, I realized I couldn’t call my parents or my sister, at least not yet, because I didn’t want any I-told-you-so’s or even comments on how stupid my husband was for doing this. My cousin Diana and her husband ended up driving 2 hours one-way to come pick us up and after a weekend with them, I called my parents and told them to please come pick me up so my baby and I could move in with them. Months of anger and bitterness followed along with desperate prayers for healing and wholeness. There were even nights of reckless drinking and feeling sorry for myself. I needed to get back to me again so that I could be a good mother to my daughter. Even though she was a baby, she knew I was hurting and she would comfort me like only a baby can while I nursed her. Then one day, my perspective changed and I started to see that this was God’s way of leading me out of that miserable marriage. I was still young, being only 24, and I could start my life over! I started taking walks in the park with my baby and I started feeling good about myself again. Even after the divorce was finalized, and my ex-husband married my former best friend, I felt so free and grateful that I had a fresh start. It wasn’t always easy, of course. Being a single parent is all-consuming, especially when you don’t get any help from the other parent but her father had never contributed before so why would he now? He was completely out of our lives now, having moved 20 hours away. About a year after the divorce, a co-worker of mine asked if he could give my number to his best friend because he knew we would hit it off. I reluctantly said yes because he was so persistent and I could always just change my number if his friend ended up being a creep. I had given up on love even though I knew I was strong enough to love again but I had not thought about becoming romantically involved since I had a little girl who needed me first and foremost. A few weeks later on the 4th of July, I got a text from his friend. We texted and talked on the phone for the next 3 weeks and I fell in love with his mind. He was very intelligent and we had many of the same likes, dislikes and beliefs. We had our first date on July 21st, 2014 and it was the beginning of the rest of my life. Today, we are married and are raising my daughter together. He has shown me that a true relationship is one where you learn and evolve together; where you love each other even on days when you feel distant. Love is not some emotion but rather a mutual decision to stick by each other even when the romance is fleeting. We are a real team and together we are so strong and fiercely loyal to each other because of all we have accomplished together. I am now a firm believer that in order to feel the highest highs, you must first feel the lowest lows. My dark days are a distant memory now, only there to remind me of how grateful I am to be where I am now in the presence of those who have truly loved and supported me. God had truly rescued me and restored my hope; He restored me and strengthened me through my struggle. My newfound strength is a gift I can share with others who are going through similar struggles and dark times. It is because of my experience that I can now help others find their own restoration and hope for a brighter future; the true silver lining in the dark cloud of my past.
#divorce #infidelity #restoration #newlove #blessed #lowestlows #highesthighs #strength #testimony #silverlining
Long lost Alice
The old woman sat alone in the dark, the time and date irrelevant, since there was no where to go, and no one to see. Widowed for years, she was, and friendless, but only due to having been predeceased by her two dear friends. The three of them were like sisters.
There was a daughter. Her name was Alice. Long lost Alice. It was the 60′s and peace love and happiness took her away. Where? The old woman never found out. She tried. Almost died trying. Exahusted all her resources. Private Investigators. Several of them.
No trace. The strain took a toll on her marraige and her husband’s health. He died so long ago she could barely conjure up his face in her mind, sometimes getting up in the middle of the night to look at his picture on the mantel.
The day’s mail sat beside her in the dark room on the end table; junk mail, a bill or two and a letter in an unfamiliar handwriting. She had placed it there earlier in the day, intrigued by the unknown correspondent and had forgotten about it when the dryer buzzer pulled her away. As she sat, she couldn’t remember exactly why she was drawn back to her chair in the dark, so she turned on the light hoping it would help her remember.
“Oh yes. The letter.” She croaked to no one. Her underused vocal chords fought against the utterance.
Although she had felt quite tired when she was drawn back to her chair, her heart awakened from years of slumber when she read the following:
Dear Mrs. Perino.
My name is Nancy Frank. Are you the widow of Anthony Perino? An internet search lead me to his obituary and the obituary lead me to you. If you are his widow, can you please call me? I have some vital information for you. My number is 631-444-5332.
“Vital information? Could this possibly be about Alice?”
Wide awake. All night. She wanted to call Nancy Frank right then and there, but as a courteous woman, she held to the old school unspoken rule about not calling someone too late in the evening. She would call in the am, when the clock notified her she would not break the unspoken rule of calling someone too early in the morning.
“Is this Nancy Frank?”
“Yes it is. Can I help you?”
“I don’t know, can you? This is Julie Perino. I received a letter from you?”
“Hello Mrs. Perino. Thanks for calling. So you are the widow of Anthony Perino?”
“Yes I am.”
“Sorry for you loss.”
“Thank you, and about the vital information?”
“Okay, Mrs. Perino. I’m not sure how to unpack all this, so bare with me. Are you sitting down?”
“Yes. Please continue.”
“Did you have a daughter named Alice?”
“Yes. You said have a daughter. Is she alive? I’ve been searching for her for 36 years. What do you know about my Alice? Tell me NOW!”
“I’m so sorry to inform you Mrs. Perino. Alice has been dead for probably close to the 36 years you’ve been searching, but before she died she gave birth to a daughter named Star. Star was born in a commune, and when Alice died, she was raised from infancy by the commune members. When Star was old enough, she booked it out of there and for years was trying to find her biolgical family. Ancestry.com lead her to a distant cousin of your husband’s, and the cousin lead her to the obituary.”
“I don’t understand? Why isn’t Star contacting me?”
“Mrs. Perino. I’m so sorry to inform you that Star and her husband were killed in a plane crash. She had planned to contact you as soon as she got back from her vacation. I am her best friend and felt compelled to follow through with her wishes. Her daughter was staying with me while her parents were away. She’s six years old and is going through a very difficult time. Her paternal grandparents died in a fire a few years back. As far as I know you are the only living blood relative of Star and just your great grandaughter now. Mrs. Perino, your great grandaughter is named Alice. The people that raised Star told her stories about Alice, about her dreams to reach nirvana and how she was a beautiful feral soul that slept outside each night under the stars.”
“Stop right there. I want you to know that Mr. Perino and I were good parents. We raised her as a proper Christian and loved her. I suspected she was running off with one of those hocus pocus Harry Krishna type groups right after her high school graduation. We tried to rescue her and exactly what we warned her about, oh my God, it happened. I knew it, I felt her death in my bones. Do you know if her death was reported?”
“There was nothing to report until now. Perhaps you would like to pass this information along to the authorities. I’ll help you any way I can. Star knew nothing other than her mother’s first name and the commune disbanded around the time she left. She was living on the streets and truly was an admirable success story. Got her GED, a career and family. And now this. So sorry Mrs. Perino. We don’t know each other, but I can’t imagine the pain you must feel right now. Let me give you some good news. Alice knows about you and she really wants to see you. We are only about a two hour drive from where you are. Would you like to meet her? Star had written a letter before she went away giving me legal guardianship in case of an accident. Who would have thought it would actually happen?”
“So tragic! But would I! Of course! When?”
“You come whenever you like, as early as tomorrow. My address is on the return envelop. Call me when you are on your way.”
Mrs. Perino sat perfectly still. As still as the night air on the night her only child took her last breath many moons ago. She reached over, turned off the light and began to cry tears that had dried up eons ago.
And then she got up, walked over to the mantel and didn’t have to turn on the light to look at Alice’s picture, because the memory of her only daughter was crystal clear. She stood there before Anthony’s picture, even though the darkened room blurred his features and spoke to him as if he was in the room.
“The search is over my darling. Who would have thought your death, your obituary would have been a blessing in disguise? We can rest now my love. Alice is home.”
Friends since long ago,
Holding on to life,
Telling each other not to go,
Helping end the strife.
Then I got a call,
Raced to the bridge,
Couldn't catch the fall.
Down you went,
Then up you flew,
I felt spent,
Holding on to you.
Tears filled the sky,
I went to our spot,
To sit down and cry.
There you had tucked,
A fortune for me,
And wished me luck,
Because you are free.
Clutching the money,
The light paper bills,
I hugged myself close,
And sat very still.
You are gone,
But you left me,
All that we live for,
It's not funny.
"F*** A Silver Lining."
As a seventeen year old boy, Charlie Jackson expected his life to be full of adolescent fun. Never did he suspect that anything tremendouly devastating would happen to him. He was raised in a quite wealthy family, and was given lots of freedom to experience life as he pleased.
Unfortunately, as you probably concocted a prediction from the first couple of sentences, something went wrong. I cannot say that he went into this problem unknowingly, because that would be somewhat false, but I can tell you he was not expecting things to turn out this way.
On a chilly November night, right after a football game in which Charlie scored a couple touchdowns at, he made love to a fifteen year old girl in the locker room. Of course he knew it was not the best place nor time to, but what happened did.
Three months later, Rose Keller, the fifteen year old freshman, went to his house.
"What's up?" Charlie said, opening the door.
"We need to talk." she frowned.
As she explained to him and his parents the quite unfortunate situation she was in, Charlie could feel his heart pounding in his chest with fear. His parents were in tears with anger and disappointment.
"I can't take care of the baby. You need to. If you don't, my parents will file a case against you and they will destroy you and your family." she spoke as if she was playing a recording from her parents through her mouth.
A couple minutes later, she left the house with her head low and her heart lower. She did not feel affection or love for the baby, but pure hate, as it was produced partly by a boy she thought took advantage of her.
The next couple of months were a blur. She went to her doctor's appointments and he tried to ignore the fact that his baby was coming and continued improving on football.
Mid- August, right before the fall semester started again, Charlie got a phone call from Rose's mother saying that she was going into labor. He didn't care.
A week later, Rose bought the beautiful baby girl home. She kissed her cheek, and left.
He hired a nanny to take care of the baby all day when he was at school. Every single day was awkward. Everybody would stare and talk about how he was irresponsible and a failure.
He still had not named her, and he didn't want to. He did not listen to his parents when they would ask him to pay attention to her, and show her love.
At about 8 o'clock one day, she started crying hysterically in her crib. The nanny was trying to soothe her, but nothing seemed to be working. Charlie was in his room at the time studying for a test he had the next day. He kept listening for the wails to stop, but they didn't. He tried to block out the noise, but it kept bothering him. Angrily, he stood up and stormed to the nursery.
"Julie, what the hell? I can't even listen to myself think!" he shouted.
"I'm sorry sir. She won't keep quiet. I tried picking her up, but she won't stop." she humbly said.
He thought to himself for a minute. Her skin was like caramel, and her hair was beautiful brown curls, just like his. She had chubby cheeks and short plumpy limbs, which Charlie always thought was funny and cute.
"Give her to me." he said. The nanny handed the baby to Charlie. He rocked her in his arms for a few moments, and her cries eventually stopped. The nanny stared in astonishment, as this was the first time he had touched her since she was born.
"Well?" he snapped. "You can leave."
She left the room. He sat in a rocking chair on the other side of the room and held the baby to his chest.
"You're actually not that bad. I can't wait till you can catch a football. Do babies even understand us? You know, because of you, everyone stopped talking to me at school. I don't even have friends anymore. Even the football coach keeps asking me if I knocked up anymore girls." She looked up and him and sucked her thumb. He smiled back.
"You're adorable man. I always thought babies were kinda gross. All they do is poop and stuff." he laughed. She sneezed, and it made him laugh even more. Watching babies sneeze is hilarious.
She placed her head back on his chest, and he could feel her heart beat on his own skin.
"Your mom is named after a flower. I think it's a little weird, but she was really hot, so I didn't say no. Wouldn't it be cool if I named you after a flower too? Like Daisy or something? Okay, wait. Daisy Duck. So no."
He thought about it for a while.
"What about Jasmine? It sounds exotic and pretty, just like you." he touched her nose. She was asleep, so he didn't know if she liked that or not.
"Oh well, I like Jasmine, so that's your name I guess."
He fell asleep in the chair with his baby on his chest, and he finally felt relief.
BREAKDOWN. GO AHEAD GIVE IT TO ME
Stoicism is a prison
Though I break out
Though I break down
Through the pull of a merciful act
Then I’m old and too weak to hold back
I can imagine a troubled
Panicked angel tangled double;
One cat caught in a grate
A girl unfair in a wheelchair
Nears and dares her balance, her endurance, her tolerance
Strains all of her weight
Shows the pain that she’s used to on her face
Then relief, and they’re both free
She and the cat both refuse to
Like those that might see.
The crash was sudden and before it happened I never could have imagined the possibilities. I hadn’t spoken to my mom in years, although I remembered the last conversation in great detail, the stark brightness of the memory almost hurt. And I never dreamed that I would talk to my mom after that fateful day. I remember sitting next to her and my dad on our couch where we had so many memories of laughter and movies and sleepless nights and I created a memory that would erase the rest of them. I had so many ways that I could tell them mapped out in my head but in the end I decided on simple.
“Mom, dad,” I had said, my voice shaking with nerves. “I’m gay.“
My mom had started crying and my dad hadn’t even waited for her to process. I don’t remember his exact words, just screaming and the imense fear that I thought I would never be able to shake. The next thing I knew I was on the street where I lived for a while, before finding a home for youth like me and moving on with my life. I’ve come to terms with all of it, with never speaking to my parents again. Even when my dad died some five years ago, I read his memior in the newspaper without even a word from my mother. And the few moments after I read the news stretched into years and now I rarely think about it.
That is, I didn’t think about it until the crash. Until I got that phone call, my mom was in the hospital, her memory completely wiped - she was helpless turns out I was her last living relative. And so I came to get her at the hospital and the next thing I knew I was taking care of her in my appartment the way she used to take care of me.
Fast foward two weeks - I couldn’t shake the sense of deja vu as we sat down on my small couch in my tiny appartment, it felt the same even though everything had changed.
”Mom,” I said, trying to keep that same old tremor out of my voic, “I’m gay.”
”Wonderful!” She exclaimed. She arose with a small laugh. “We’re out of milk, want to run out and get some with me?” She gave me a kiss on the head as she rose.
“Yeah, I’d love to. Thanks, Mom”
The simple word - ‘mom’, had never felt so amazing to say.
When he rips me off...
my name is penny and i work as an air hostess
i fly to all the countries but keep one boyfriend
his name is tommy and he works as a chef
oh, yes, chef, we met when i was flying to hong kong
we met briefly at a cafeteria and he was getting late
we bumped into each other and since then
we have been texting each other, calling each other
dating each other and staying in the same room
but i was the one paying for the apartment
i was the one who was buying the groceries
i was the one paying for his phone calls
i was the one who bought all the drinks
i was the one who bought all his fancy clothes
i was the one who bought his fancy truck
one day as i cleaned the room as he was in
the shower, singing, i found a message
it was in bold, “Tell her to give you a laptop,
i want to put our entwined bodies as its desktop,
love you, just use her more and dump her,
i cannot live without your musky scent anymore!
crazy in your love, your soulmate, Tiffiny!”
i didnt say anything. i felt too numb, attacked
attacked by the same man i have slept with for
over a year and half, given him access to my money
given him my heart and soul and all he does is
cheat on me, rips me off and calls another his soulmate
i stayed silent as he comes out of the shower
i made hot chocolate for him and me, he has the
nerves to come to me, kiss me smoothly on my cheeks
and say to me, “Honey, can i get a laptop in your
next pay. i need it for putting up my chef ads. i know
you will not deny me this time too!” he smiled
he grinned his sexy smile and i all but spit on him
vibrant energy burst inside of me and i slapped him
i go to his phone and show him the text message
i only say to him, “Pack your bags and go. just go!
you can keep the truck. can give plenty of rides to
your other soulmate...just go!” i didnt cry. my mama
always used to cry after my daddy left her for gambling
as it turned out i had a brief meeting with my childhood
sweetheart, who still loved me. i was saved and its not
necessary that i use my childhood sweetheart but i will
of course meet him and discuss that my breakup was
indeed a blessing in disguise! i closed the door behind him!
The Cloud Above London
The thick smoke hung in the air. The last licks of flames chased after each other. The fire department hung in a batch as a few tried to extinguish the last fires. Littering the city were scars. What was factories and homes was now piled of ash and wood. Families hugged each other as they mourned the lost ones, and their homes. A young mother clutched an empty pile of rags as she hugged three children to her side. Tears streamed down her face. As she looked up, all she saw was a cloud. A dark cloud, that stunk with the stench of death. She set the rags on a pile of ash and bones with scraps of clothing. The bones were tiny. Fifteen other people were ash and bones around the city, and thousands of homes were ash. On the bright side, the next fire stopped at the edge of the city. The young mother saw it too. She clutched her new bundle of rags close, this time with a baby inside. The losses made the city safe. That was the last smoke cloud above London.
I was 6 when
I was diagnosed with allergies
Each one popular in foods
Each one could kill me
I didn't have the normal childhood
Of poptarts, of cookies
Of candy and chocolate
Later on, I realized
I was the healthiest kid ever
I lived on salad and chicken
Thrived on pork and corn
I grew well known for my gluten free baking
and famous for my vegan recipes
My friends asked me
"Don't you miss it?"
Not the throwing up late at night
Not the stunted growth
Not the waxy skin, and black circles on my eyes
I'm healthy now
That's all that matters.