Literary Bears

For the Love of Books


Leave a comment

Roommates

On Tuesday, Margaret told me she liked the little oranges with the seeds better than the ones I bought. I hated her for that. Margaret was the type of person that LOVED things, not in the way normal people love things. It was more like the way Annie Wilkes from Misery loved things. If Margaret is ever accused of kidnapping her favorite actor, I would not at all be surprised. (I would say her favorite author, but who am I kidding? Margaret can’t read.) As a matter of fact, if Johnny Depp ever goes missing, I’m going to automatically assume it was her. I will just call the police and point the finger. She’s such a psycho, but I digress…

On Monday, Margaret had told me there was something about seedless fruit that just made her want to eat nothing but fruit all day, and that I should buy seedless EVERYTHING because it was just so life-altering. She yapped about this ALL day, until finally I went out to buy some seedless fruit so that she could stuff her face and leave me alone. When I got home with the grocery bags, she looked at me like I was the second-coming of Jesus and said she loved me more than anyone ever could, and she meant it wholeheartedly, I could tell. I told her, “That’s disgusting, please don’t love me. Just stuff your face and shut up.” She ran to the couch with her freshly washed fruit and I did not hear a peep out of her until the next day. So when on Tuesday, she declared that she liked “the little oranges with the seeds” better than the ones I bought, I almost choked her.

Margaret and I had been roommates for 9 months by this point, nine miserable months. I knew she was crazy on my first night there, but it was too late. I had signed the contract saying I would be required to stay one full year, and breach of my contract would result in a lawsuit. I thought that was pretty crazy when I read it, but I would never again find an apartment in this area for this cheap. They claimed the contract was to control who could live there because they wanted to keep excellent tenants, and discourage the kind that “floated from place to place” from even applying for rooms in their house. Of course now I know better.

I’ve learned since signing the document that my landlord is Margaret’s mother who knows exactly the kind of nutjob she gave birth to. She forces tenants to sign a contract in hopes that Margaret will find friends. How sad is that? It’s sad, but then you meet Margaret. Once you meet her, all sympathy goes right out the window.

The night I moved in, I asked Margaret if she wanted to split a pizza for dinner. She thanked me for the offer, but said it was much too soon to be her “bestie”. I thought she misheard, so I repeated that I was only asking if she would like to order pizza for dinner. She told me, she valued my persistence, but now was not the time. On the day after I moved in, I found Margaret sniffing my shoes. I wish I was joking, but I’m really not. When I asked what she was doing, she claimed she dropped something and she swore it had fallen in my shoe, but she guessed she was wrong. On the third day, she started to comment on strange things like the smell of my deodorant, and the smell of my toothpaste. I didn’t feel like my life was in danger, but I thought it was time for me to go. I immediately made an appointment to meet with my landlord. She seemed to already know what it was about, and immediately apologized and made excuses. That’s when I found out she was Margaret’s mother. As sympathetic as she seemed, she was not going to let me out of my contract. I had no choice but to go back to my little loony bin.

It did not get easier to deal with her. She was constanly making strange observations, and was constantly in search of her next obsession. The worst was when she fell in love with a YouTube video about a cat meowing on a loop. Think about it. REALLY think about it. Do you have any idea how annoying waking up at 3am to “meow.meow.meow.meow.meow.meow.meow.meow..” is? And she didn’t just watch it, she created a playlist that would play it on a loop nonstop so that she could hear it every moment she breathed, whether awake or asleep. That lasted for six months. I almost jumped out my window, and I didn’t do it because I calculated the fall would not kill me, it would only break one of my limbs; an arm or a leg depending on how I landed. I decided that a visit to the hospital would not be a long enough vacation from her so I never jumped.

Time has passed, and I have planned a huge party to celebrate my freedom. People may think I was just released from prison, but that’s quite alright. It’s accurate enough. My last day in my cell is 2 weeks from today. Yesterday, I saw a young woman who was interested in renting the room. Before I knew it, I was yelling out to her, “Don’t do it! It’s not worth the cheap rent! They’re crazy! They’re all crazy!” Margaret and her mother did not even blink, they turned to the young lady and said, “that’s the crazy lady you read about on the website. Don’t worry. She’s finally moving out.”  and to me, Margaret said “there you go making up lies again. tsk tsk”

At that point, I decided to start this blog. If you having fallen a victim to that contract, please know you are not alone! If you have managed to survive the year, let’s have a drink! If you are currently under the contract, find strength in knowing many have been through it, and it can be done!! You too can survive this year!


Leave a comment

Book Review on Jefferson’s America

wp-1463932906200.jpg

I am a history nerd, and early America is my favorite era to learn about. Strangely, I never had an interest in the exploration or expansion of the new country. Thanks to this book, that has changed.

I must mention that this is the most accurately titled book I have ever encountered. It is indeed about Jefferson, the effects of the Louisiana Purchase, and the brave explorers who risked their lives for the sake of knowledge. The only explorers I knew about were Lewis and Clark, and even though they were the most popular in their time as well, there were more. The book discussed the experiences of  Dunbar, Hunter, Freeman, Pike, and Lewis and Clark, but also mentioned the failed attempts of previous explorers.

What I learned upon reading this book is what truly fearless heroes these explorers were. Because borders were not defined when the Purchase was made, there was a Cold War with Spain who felt that the land was still theirs. The Spaniards were hostile and would send their military to imprison or kill the trespassers. I felt that particularly, Freeman’s mission was a direct threat to his life. I admired the bravery behind his response when warned that 1300 Spanish soldiers awaited him in the distance, “My instructions were to proceed until stopped by a superior force.” and with that gave the Natives traveling with him, the opportunity to turn back. Did he survive? Read the book to find out.

Aside from their bravery, I also love the excerpts describing their experiences with unknown people, animals and plants. In particular, I loved the description of Lewis and Clark’s encounter with Grizzly Bears. I even loved the way they handled hostile Natives who tried to instill fear in them. They were a great team that would not be cowered, and just worked well together. I loved learning a little more about them, and learning all about all these other explorers.

Their experiences all differed, but in particular one interesting shared experience was the suspension of morality and social norms. Finding themselves so far from home, these explorers did things they would never think they could do. Many found it difficult to go back home when their lives had so drastically changed.

These explorers became the new nation’s heroes. They were not people of science, they were ordinary folks. This is the American Dream and the nation loved them for allowing them to dream of becoming the next explorers. Overall, it was a great read, and I would recommend to any history buff. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review, and I am so grateful because I would probably not have picked it up otherwise. 4.5/5.

For more information, please click on the links below.


On Being a Hyphenated-American

I went to visit my parents today, and on my way there I was listening to a radio station “broadcasting live from the Empire State” so naturally, my mind drifted to the Empire State Building, and then to the Twin Towers, and finally 9/11. I still feel like crying when I think about that day. I remember that day vividly, despite it being almost 15 years ago. That was the day I became an American.

I was born and raised in New Jersey, but being the daughter of immigrants, I had a strong tie to their country, El Salvador. I liked to say that I was Salvadorean, even though I was born here. I grew up knowing everything about the culture, the music, the language, and because I was sent to El Salvador on summer vacations, I felt a tie to my family as well. I loved the country, and claimed it as my own. Because I grew up watching futból, I was all about sporting my team’s soccer jersey, the Salvadorean one. When we played the United States, I would often only cheer for El Salvador, but be okay with the result if the US won, which was basically every time.

When the attacks on 9/11 happened, my world was shaken. I cried because it hurt to see something I took for granted, get destroyed. It hurt because so many innocent people were killed, and it hurt because I realized that this was my country and I loved it more than I had ever realized. If I had been old enough to enlist in the army, I would have. I was not scared, I was angry. The anger I felt only further proved how much I loved my country and how much I wanted to do something for it.

From that day on, I only claimed America as my country, and if people got annoyed by it, so be it. Now don’t get me wrong, I still love El Salvador; it gave me my parents, which is what I love most in the world. I am very proud of my heritage, and I will try my best to keep the culture for the younger generation in the family. I’m very proud of my ancestors and where I came from, but ultimately the country that gave me everything I have, is America. I may not have much, but my parents emigrated for the promise of a better life for their children, and that’s what I have.

My parents left their home and everything they knew, at a young age, solely for the promise of a better life. They left the safety of their families, and ventured into a strange land without knowing a word in the foreign language. They might as well be astronauts, settling in to live next door to aliens. Nothing I EVER do will be as great as that. They accomplished more than I ever will, before they even hit 30. I could never leave my family and venture over to a foreign country, but that’s only because I’m not desperate enough to do so. For that, I thank them.

I honor their sacrifice, by making sure everything I do is to make them proud. I think most hyphenated-Americans would agree with me. The pressure is on to be the best person you can be. Our parents suffered so that their children could be dreamers. I often think what my life would be like if I was born in El Salvador. I would not have half of what I have now. I know that. I often dream of my future, and I often pep myself up by telling myself everything I dream of is attainable, I just have to work my ass off. That would not be the case if I did not live here, and I think it’s something we have to always remember. The American Dream is very much alive, and we have to remember many people would give anything to be in our shoes. Make the most of that.

With everything going on in the news today, it makes me sick to hear all the hatred aimed at immigrants. Do you really thing people WANT to go to somewhere where they know they are despised? No one wants to enter somewhere where they are not wanted, but they do so because they are desperate. Cleaning shit off walls is a better opportunity than their options in their home country. That’s sad. This nation was built by immigrants; it would be nothing without them. So before you tell someone to go back to their country, imagine what their life was like. They put up with the likes of you because they have no choice. Our vote is more important now, than ever before.

So to all my hyphenated-Americans, I say, make your parents proud. Make sure you live a better life than they had, and make sure your children have a better life than the one you have. That’s the best way to honor all the sacrifices made. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. If you didn’t go to college, make sure your kids do, and make sure their children do as well. We were given the wonderful opportunity of being born with an American passport, make it count for something, and once you do, stay humble and always remember your roots. Make sure everyone knows that all the sacrifices made were not in vain.

Make sure to always remember who you are. Like the famous scene in the movie Selena we hyphenated-Americans have to be “more Mexicans than the Mexicans, and more Americans than the Americans”. We’re not all Mexicans, so please substitute your own nationality, but the sentiment will be the same. Us hyphenated-Americans will never truly fit in to either side, but that’s why we create our own little Hyphenated-World. The odds are stacked against us, but we have to fight like our parents did. We have to stick together and rise above the statistics that tell us we will fail. Just because the teachers claim we will never amount to anything, it does not make it true. Prove them wrong, and help your friends prove them wrong too.

Now when I’m asked where I’m from (and I always get asked because I’m not American enough for the Americans) I make sure to say, ” I was born here, but my parents are from El Salvador. BOOM! Everyone’s happy! Cheers to all the hyphenated-Americans, especially the minority youth.


2 Comments

Little Brother

I was trying my best not to lose my temper, but sometimes it seems like Charlie’s main goal in life is to make me angry,to make me lose my cool. He’s been doing this for years, starting with the time he was born.

On that May 1st, I was 4 years old and my parents decided to take me to Disney World; they wanted to bond with me before stupid Charlie was born. They felt I might feel neglected or jealous once the new baby was born, so they wanted to make the most of the time we had as a happy little family of three. Going to Disney World was my biggest wish come true, so I remember it vividly. I made sure to watch all the movies right before our trip, and I made sure Mom packed ALL of my princess costumes. I had it all planned out, I would change twice a day, to attract as many princesses as possible. I remember thinking that they would offer me a job there because I would look just like a princess, and I would stay and live in the castle forever.

On our drive to Disney, we played all of my favorite songs, and all three of us sang along to them. It was so much fun, and I thought nothing could ruin my day. Just then, Mom started feeling uncomfortable and asked my dad to pull over so she could walk a bit, and get some fresh air. I remember being mortified because my mom had “an accident” in her pants. When my parents rushed back to the car, I assumed we were rushing back so that Mom could change her pants before someone saw her. An hour later, I found myself at a hospital because stupid Charlie decided to be born 5 weeks before he was expected, effectively ruining my Disney World trip. Typical Charlie.

Let’s fast forward to my Sweet 16 birthday party. Charlie decided to get me “the perfect gift” by spray painting “Happy Birthday, Pee Nelson!” on the city water tower. Mom and Dad have always called me Sweet Pea, stupid Charlie has called me Pea for short all his life. Apparently, he thought it would be hilarious to write Pea as Pee. As if that wasn’t enough, he got caught and was arrested for it. My parents had to leave my party early to go get him. Lucky for him, that was his first offense and they dismissed it. Good for him, but I missed my chance to dance with my Dad at my party, but at least I would have my chance at my wedding.

Sixteen more years passed before my wedding day. In the years between my sweet 16 and my wedding, there were countless fights, countless screaming matches, and countless tears. Stupid Charlie and I would never get along. I truly believed that his goal in life was to anger me. Nothing could convince me otherwise, and my parents were relieved when I left to college and never moved back.

I met the man who would eventually become my husband at a restaurant. My best friend and I made plans to meet at this restaurant one day, she text me she was running late, so I decided to order myself a drink at the bar while I waited for her. A handsome man, named David, struck conversation with me. He said he was also waiting for a friend who was running late. Finally my best friend arrived, but she walked in with stupid Charlie, and I was confused. He had a huge smile on his face as he yelled “Hi Pea!!” and hugged me. Just then David stepped up and asked “you two know each other?” My handsome man was there to meet stupid Charlie, who turned out to be his old college buddy.

Despite his poor judgement in friends, I agreed to go out with David. We fell in love, and two years later he proposed, I said yes, and we started planning our wedding. To my horror, he picked stupid Charlie as his best man. I explained to him that we weren’t at all close, and he did not have to pick him just because he was my brother. David responded that we were all family now, and he knew they would be best friends forever. I knew Charlie would ruin my wedding day, just like he ruined every event in my life since he was born.

On my wedding day, I braced myself for his speech. I was mortified when he brought out all the baby pictures, but he brought everyone to tears as he spoke about growing up with me as his big sister. He remembered everything about my childhood a lot differently than I did. In his speech, he talked about always trying to impress his big sister, and how his goal in life was to make me happy, but he always managed to screw up instead. The guests laughed hysterically as he recapped how for my 16th birthday, he had written Pee instead of Pea, because the other 12 year olds with him convinced him that was obviously the correct way to spell it. Even I laughed when he discussed the voting process that went into it.

It wasn’t until that day that I found out Charlie was the mastermind between David and I meeting. He overheard my mom ask me over the phone about my plans, and later asked her what I said. My mom didn’t think twice about the question, and wouldn’t have mentioned it to me anyway since she knew I didn’t get along with Charlie. In his Best Man speech, Charlie told everyone he knew me so well, he knew that David would be my soul mate. He asked David to meet him at that restaurant. The fact that my best friend also ran late was just a happy accident. He was so overjoyed to see that we had met on our own that he hugged me at the restaurant. He told David that I was also his Sweet Pea, not just my parents’ and that he knew that the person he adored most in the world would be well taken care of forever.

That night, I finally got my dance with my dad. I also danced with my little brother. I guess some people can’t help being annoying. He is no longer Stupid Charlie, he is now my little brother, Charlie.

Today’s prompt was: “I was trying my best not to lose my temper, but sometimes it seems like Charlie’s main goal in life is to make me angry,to make me lose my cool. He’s been doing this for years,starting with the time…” I really didn’t know where it was going except that Charlie would be a sibling. Instead of making it a story about fighting, I made it a story about reconciliation. Life is too short to hate your siblings.


Leave a comment

Book Review for Raising Cubby

I was so excited to receive Raising Cubby: A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives by John Elder Robison in the mail last week!

Autism awareness has grown significantly over recent years, and most people know someone on the spectrum. There are many things we do not know yet, but research is ongoing, and there is a lot of support for the Autism community. This has not always been the case, and I think that Raising Cubby did an excellent job at reminding or informing us how far we’ve come as a society in regards to Autism awareness and support.

Raising Cubby is John Robison’s memoir. He discusses his struggles growing up “different” in a world where he was labeled as “lazy” and “stupid” for having Asperger Syndrome. He grew up believing that he was stupid, and because he struggled in school, he dropped out once he got to high school. Robison would prove to everyone that he was not stupid by successfully making a career out of electronics. He and Mary AKA Little Bear were married young, and from the union, Jack was born, or Cubby as he was nicknamed.

It wasn’t until well into adulthood, that Robison was diagnosed as having Asperger’s. He had trouble accepting it, but once he analyzed all the traits, he recognized that it all fit. His denial soon turned to relief as he found that he finally had a label for what caused him so much grief earlier in his life. Although, this did not help seeing the signs that Cubby was also autistic. Cubby was not formally diagnosed until he was 17.

There was one thing that bothered me in this book, and this was the sexist portrayal of women. Robison claimed Little Bear had a certain role to play because she was the woman and was required to do most of the hard and dirty work involved with raising a child. While he, being King of the House, was only responsible for the fun stuff. Women were not described in a good light, but then I read a line that made me feel better. Robison wrote,

One of the key markers of Asperger’s and autism in general is blindness to the non-verbal signals of others. One of the ways that manifests itself is in self-centeredness. Folks on the autism spectrum don’t behave in a self-centered way to be mean or take advantage; they do it because they don’t “get” the signals others are sending. This trait has caused me a lot of trouble in life, and it looked like it was affecting my son the same way.

Upon reading this, I understand this is his perception of what life is. He doesn’t mean to come across as rude. It made me slightly less angry.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this, and I greatly appreciate all he and Cubby do for the Autism community. They give hope to everyone on the spectrum, as well as the family and friends that love them. It was a very enjoyable read, and I would recommend to anyone who would like to learn a bit more about Asperger’s and Autism in general.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. I would like to clarify that even though I did receive this book for free, it was only done for an honest review. If you would like more information on the book or author, please use the links below.


Leave a comment

Moving Day

Today’s the big day! Today is the day I finally leave my crazy mother. I still feel guilty saying that, but sometimes you have to call it like you see it. My mother is insane, and there is no amount of sugarcoating that will change the fact. You may be judging me right now because you were probably brought up to love your mother above anything in the world, and believe me, I WANT to be one of those people. My mother makes it an impossibility.

Liz (my mother) is an only child. I feel that I’ve said enough, but let me just take you down memory lane so that you can see what I’m dealing with. As a child, I was the only child never invited to birthday parties, not because the kids didn’t want me there, but because no one wanted to be around my mother. I was hated by association. Liz was what you would call a pathological liar. To add to this, she was also a kleptomaniac. Things would go missing everywhere we went, and she would always lie about it. It was embarrassing, and understandably, no one wanted us around.

As a child, making friends was easy, it was just keeping them that was the problem. In my neighborhood, it was hard for children to be only “school friends”. The mothers in my neighborhood were very involved in their children’s lives, and they always scheduled play dates with one another. My mother did nothing to try to help out her only child. She thought it worked out even better because we would be able to spend all of our time together without interruptions. I have to admit she was very creative, and she made up all kinds of games for us to play. I thought it was the least she could do since she was effectively ruining my childhood, but I learned to get over it.

Once I was older, I no longer needed play dates to meet up with friends. I made many new friends and spent most of my free time at their houses, much to my mother’s dismay. My mother is very possessive and was really mean to my friends. She would belittle them just so that they would stop hanging out with me, and I would be forced to spend time with her. That was her plan, and it would have worked if it were not for Jim. When the guys met up to discuss kicking me out of the group, Jim was the only person to stand up for me. He reminded the guys that I was their friend, and that I was not responsible for my crazy and cruel mother. Jim convinced them to give me another chance, and in exchange we would spend all our time in his own home. That was a true sacrifice. Everyone loved Jim’s house. He had the best games, but unfortunately, we left a mess and Jim would be forced to clean up for hours once his mom saw what we had done. It wasn’t until much later in life, that I found out the extent of Jim’s loyalty.

Jim has become a huge part of my life throughout the years, and my truest friend. He is the brother I always wanted. When I told him that I wanted to move out of my mother’s house, he congratulated me and told me it was about time. If only breaking the news to my mother had been just as easy.

My mother burst into tears and asked me why I hated her so much. She told me I was all she has ever had and that she would end her life if I left her. She pulled the mental disorder card, and told me that her kleptomania would only worsen and I would be to blame. What I always forgot was that my mother was a pathological liar, and knew exactly what to say to manipulate me. It worked though, and I postponed my search for a new apartment. When I told Jim why I had to postpone my move, he told me to stand my ground and not let my mother manipulate me the way she has all my life. I knew he was right, but she’s my mother and watching her cry was a bit more than I could handle.

The day I snapped was the day she told my girlfriend, that she had to go away forever because I was all she had left and she was not going to stand around and let a stupid little girl take her baby away. When I heard this, all the built up anger exploded. I told her I had had enough of her childish behavior and I was leaving. As expected, she broke out in tears and told me how her mother had died, and she doesn’t have any other relatives because my paternal grandmother also died. (My father was a married man, so I doubt my paternal grandmother would have wanted anything to do with her, but I did not say so) I told her I was very sorry, but I had to save my own sanity. She threw herself on the floor, and I ran away. I’m not proud to admit it, but I knew that if I hung around, I’d be sucked right in again. I just promised myself I would call her later to make sure she was okay, and she was. She just bid her time until she figured out a new tactic to make me move back, but this time I meant it. I was not moving back.

I ran over to Jim’s house, and stayed with him while I found my own place. It did not take long. Jim is a mailman, and he knew of an apartment for rent right next to a very special lady. He told me all about this older woman, Ava. Ava was like another grandmother to Jim and he was very fond of her. He told me that if I moved there, I would finally have an idea of what a real mother-son relationship was like. He knew that is what I really wanted. Call it mommy issues, I don’t care.

My application for the apartment was approved, and today is the big day! Will took the day off to help me move. I didn’t own much so we were done moving around noon. Which was perfect timing as that is when we saw Ava come out of her house. I can’t really explain it, but I felt a surge of love for her that made me feel as if I had known her all my life. She was every bit pleasant and kind as Jim had said. She must have allergies because I noticed her eyes were watery, but she smiled and looked healthy so I really don’t think she’s sick. She smiled at me and welcomed me to the neighborhood. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m home.

 

I’d like to start off by saying my mother is a saint, and I have a very healthy relationship with her. No mommy issues here. Did the characters sound familiar to you? If they don’t please Click Here and you’ll see how this is Will’s version of the story An Answered Prayer. I couldn’t come up with new stories, but I also realized the ones I had are not complete. So I decided to explore my first story a bit more. Stay tuned for another website change to include book reviews!


Leave a comment

My Best Friend, Luke

wp-1460306611156.jpg

Luke and I are best friends. We met right before he started walking. I remember this vividly because he was practicing his first steps when I first saw him. I happened to be walking past a park when he smiled and waved. His mom looked up at me with a confused expression, but appeared not to see me. I was used to that. Most people look past me as if I don’t exist. Luke waved at me so I walked over to him and we started playing, becoming immediate best friends.

Luke and I had so much fun that day, he asked his mom if I could come home with them so that we could keep playing. His mom smiled at him and replied in a strange language I didn’t understand. I asked Luke what she said and he told me he had no clue. She appeared to not speak our language, but we were sure she would catch on soon. Since she smiled, we took that as a positive reply, and she did not oppose when I started to climb into the car. That’s how I ended up being a part of Luke’s family.

I never had a family of my own, and I actually don’t even remember much about my life before the day I met Luke. All I remember is wandering around streets waiting for someone to acknowledge me, but no one did until Luke saw me.

Luke and I are inseparable. He has grown, and we are finally the same height. I love playing with him in front of mirrors because we really look like brothers, more like twins actually. I’ve come to realize that only Luke can see me. Our favorite game to play is one where we have to chase each other everywhere until one taps the other. Now that Luke can run fast, we usually play outside so that he doesn’t get in trouble when I knock something over. I never get in trouble, not even when Luke tells them I did it, and I know it’s because they can’t see me.

Some time ago, Luke taught me to speak in Mom and Dad’s language, and he no longer speaks my language. When I try to speak to him in my language, he laughs and calls me a baby. That’s a bad thing, so I only speak in his language now.

This week I noticed that he doesn’t always answer my questions even though I only speak in his language, not mine. At first I didn’t notice a change, but then I realized Luke hasn’t been playing with me as much even when I follow him around and tap him. Right before bedtime, Luke acts surprised to see me and asks where I have been all day. This makes me sad. I realize I’m fading, and somehow I know very soon he’ll be like the rest of the world and not see me anymore.

Today, I went out for a walk by myself. I was very upset. When I looked in the mirror to see our reflection, I realized I’m almost completely faded. I was barely able to see myself, and Luke didn’t even hear me when I told him I was going out for a walk.

While out on my walk, I met Ivy. She told me my time on Earth was almost up. She told me I would soon be in a better place where I will always have many friends to play with, and many grown-ups to take care of me. She told me I did an excellent job watching over Luke, but that it was time to say Goodbye. I was the saddest I’ve ever been, but she told me not to worry. Luke and I would always be best friends and that even when Luke forgets all about me, his parents will remind him about me. She said parents always remember and that they pass along all the memories they have of Luke’s “imaginary friend” Ivy told me that is what my name is on Earth. She bent down to hug me and kissed my forehead. She told me to go say bye to Luke because I would be leaving with her tonight.

I went back to Luke’s room and waited for bedtime because that seemed to be the only time he saw me. I started to tell him that I would no longer be around, but I noticed he couldn’t hear me. He was falling asleep without me having the chance to say goodbye. I tried nudging him, but he did not wake up. I cried and told him he would always be my best friend, even if he couldn’t hear me. Then I went to say bye to mom and dad. They were watching TV and even though I knew they wouldn’t feel it, I hugged them and thanked them for being my mom and dad for all those years. As I walked past the mirror in the hallway on my way out, I did not see my reflection at all. Just then I overheard Mom tell Dad that she had felt very warm a moment ago, and asked if she should turn up the AC. Dad said he also felt warm, and I knew they had felt my hug.


1 Comment

Shortcuts

Here’s a #TBT post. It was the first short story I ever wrote. I wrote it as a stress reliever when I was planning our wedding. The story is dated May 14,2014.  The prompt was: “Write about missing a plane”

Jerry looked at his watch. This time it was 7:15 am. His cab should have been here 45 minutes ago. He tried calling the cab service, but they kept saying the same thing, “your cab is on its way.” He tried calling another company, but they were all booked. Just his luck. THIS is exactly what happens for traveling to the middle of nowhere; this would never happen in New York. He was silently cursing out this miserable town and all the cab drivers when he saw a car approaching. He dragged his luggage towards the car anxious to hop in and finally get to the airport.

The car pulled right up to Jerry, and a very young man ran out of the car and took his luggage. He could tell the boy was sweating profusely and decided not to be too hard on the boy who was obviously sorry he was running so late. Jerry cut the boy off mid-way through his apology and told him he was forgiven, and instructed him: “Step on it! I have a plane to catch!” The boy was obviously trying to appease his upset customer, nodded and assured Jerry they would arrive at the airport in no time. He told Jerry, “You’re in luck my friend, I know these roads like I know my own home. I know ALL the shortcuts, we will make it on time, do not fret!” Jerry wondered why he was late in the first place if he was such a great navigator.

While the boy rambled on about the roads unknown to even the most adventurous residents, Jerry looked at his watch and calculated how much time he had before his plane started boarding. 1 hour 45 minutes. We can still make it he thought to himself.

Jerry looked out his window at the scenery. There was absolutely nothing he would miss about this old fashioned town. There was no service for his cell phone, no wi-fi, no technology, no fun. When he first arrived at his “hotel” he had stared blankly at the rotary phone they expected him to use.

When he snapped out of his self-imposed flashback, he realized the boy had stopped talking and had resumed sweating profusely despite the cool temperature. Jerry asked the boy if all was okay, and the boy quietly answered, “I may have took the wrong turn, but all is well. I know a shortcut.” After some more turns, Jerry looked at his watch, 1 hour left. He really didn’t want to lose his temper on this poor boy, so he restrained himself as best he could and asked “How much longer?” The boy said “Ten…maybe Fifteen more minutes. We’re almost there!” as he attempted to smile through the rear-view mirror.

Jerry looked at his watch: 40 minutes to go. He looked at the boy and calmly informed him that he HAD to step on the gas. He could not miss his flight. The boy literally slammed on the the gas, and after a few turns, they found themselves on a highway. FINALLY! Civilization!! Jerry thought as he checked his watch: half hour left. Jerry quickly pulled out his cell phone and turned on his GPS. He could have killed the boy after seeing his screen: they were driving in the opposite direction!

He proceeded to give the boy directions,”Quick! Make this left!” The boy obeyed. Jerry looked at his watch: 20 minutes. They were only five minutes away according to the GPS. “Make the next left… a left… go on the left lane.. the left… THE LEFT!!!!” and the boy took a right. “RECALCULATING” the GPS stated. “GODDAMNIT!! I SAID A FUCKING LEFT!!! A LEFT!! WHAT PART OF LEFT DID YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?!” The boy was visibly shaking. Deep breaths, take deep breaths Jerry thought to himself.

When they finally made it to the airport, Jerry threw some cash at the boy and ran inside to check his luggage.

“I’m sorry, the plane just took off.”

“YOU GOTTA BE FUCKING KIDDING ME!!!” Jerry thought, but what he really said was, “When does the next flight leave?”

“The next flight will take off in two hours.” That’s not too bad, Jerry thought.

“Please accept our apologies and allow us to buy you breakfast at the finest restaurant in the area.”

“That would be great. Thank you. I’ve had a rough morning, and haven’t even had coffee yet.”

“Sure. We’ll even pay for your transportation to the restaurant.”

As Jerry was escorted out of the airport, a sweaty young man runs up to him and grabs his luggage. “I know every short-cut there is! We’ll be there in no time!”

You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me was all Jerry could think.

 


Leave a comment

First Impressions

“I have died many times my darling, and I’ve always ended up back with you. A different version of you maybe, but you all the same”

Those were seriously the first words my husband ever spoke to me. I did what any sane person would do, I ran for the hills… in my head of course. I was not about to jeopardize my life by insulting a person who was no doubt a psychopath, especially not to his face. What I really did was plaster on a fake smile and said, “okaaaay… I’ll see you later. I have an exam to study for.” THEN I ran for the hills. I had no intention of ever seeing him again.

I had completely forgotten about The Creep when I spotted him at one of those “End of Semester” parties I avoided like the plague. I could have killed the friend that dragged me to this party once I spotted The Creep. I tried to sneak out of the party without being spotted, but stealth was never my forte. In my quest to get out as fast as possible, I managed to run right into some girl and spill her drink all over her date. Needless to say, I failed at my mission and was immediately spotted.

From here on, we’ll shorten The Creep’s name to TC, both because it’s easier and because TC hates being referred to as The Creep.

Okay, back to the story: TC walked right over to me, and casually asked if he had come off too strong during our first encounter. “Uh, yeah” I mumbled as I continued to try to leave the party. Either he was a psychopath serial killer, or he was clueless. Lucky for me, he was just clueless. He actually followed me around as I tried to find an exit, which made me panic more. Somehow I managed to lose him, and made it home that night safe and sound.

Now that the semester was over, I was free to go back home and not have to worry about TC all summer. However, as fate would have it, I ran right into him at the gas station as I was leaving to go back home. He yelled out to me “I know you’re playing hard to get!” This was probably the worst thing he could have said to me. I walked over to his car and told him “I am not one of those girls that enjoy playing games. I expect men to respect my feelings, so I do not play with theirs. It’s called mutual respect. The fact that I keep walking away from you, is NOT an invitation to play a game. It’s an invitation to take a hike. I’m NOT interested!” as I began to stomp away, I heard him say “I know” so I looked back at him, and he was smiling shyly at me so I glared at him. He explained, “I can take a hint, but I really wanted you to talk to me instead of avoiding me. Can I just have your email? I promise I do much better in writing than I do talking. Please? Just one shot, and I will leave you alone.” Then he added quickly, “you don’t even have to write back!”

I weighed this over. The worst that could happen is he would know my name, but I wasn’t sure he didn’t already know this. I mean, I did know him as The Creep. He already knew what school I went to, so what damage could be done by giving him my school email? I didn’t have to write back, and he would leave me alone. As far as I was concerned, this was a win-win situation. I made a decision to give him my email, and sealed my fate that day.

When I got home 3 hours later, I had dinner with my family and avoided the dreaded “so.. any-boyfriends-yet?” conversation. They knew I’d die a spinster, I don’t know why they even bothered with me. I ran up to my room that was slowly turning into a storage room. Don’t think I didn’t notice, MOM! I had to squeeze and shimmy over to my desk to turn on my computer. I had to research what displays the museum was running right now. I hadn’t been to the museum in months, thanks to the endless homework that semester. I saw that the History museum was running a new exhibit on Pterosaurs! How fascinating! I made plans to go over first thing the next day.

Once at the museum, I found myself looking for TC. I mean, if this was a movie he’d show up, ruin my day, follow me home, and then kill me in my sleep. But this wasn’t a movie and he didn’t show up. The exhibit was phenomenal, so why was I disappointed? I was annoyed at my realization that I expected to run into TC, so I went home and checked my school email. There were a couple school reminders, but there was also an email from Travis Cairo. I was too intrigued to laugh at the moment that his initials were indeed TC, but I would laugh about it for years to come.

Travis was indeed better at writing than he was at speaking. His email was a beautiful letter too personal to go in too much depth, but he won my heart with it. He explained he was awkward and a dork, but he felt he knew me from a past life. He told me that I was beautiful, but that was not why he was drawn to me. He said there was an inexplicable attraction to me that he had never felt before, and that he knew all he could ask for was one chance to prove he was much more than a guy with a horrible first impression. He asked me out on a date. I replied back that I would go on a lunch date, but that I would not accept a marriage proposal so he needed to tone it down. He had a great sense of humor and knew I was joking. The rest was history, my friends. Lesson learned: don’t be so quick to shut down the awkward dork. Many of them make great husbands.

 

 

Okay, that was today’s work of fiction. That is NOT how the Bears met, and Mr.Bear is not an awkward dork who can be mistaken for a serial killer… or is he? DunDunDun.. Just kidding. Oh, and today’s prompt was,”I have died many times my darling, and I’ve always ended up back with you. A different version of you maybe, but you all the same” I could have made this a horror short story, but I don’t know that I want to try horror yet. I might give myself nightmares, and I’m not ready for therapy yet. Happy Saturday!

 


2 Comments

Destiny

Today’s prompt is: “On everybody’s 18th birthday, they wake up with a tattoo of what their soulmate will first say to them.”

If you asked Eliza to describe herself in one word, she would immediately respond, “bibliophile” She was the kind of girl who preferred to stay home with a good book while her friends were out at parties. She would much rather prefer the company of a good book to someone her own age any day.

She remembered reading in history books about how people used to celebrate their 18th birthday in the past. She read about many of them looking forward to owning a car, and going off to college; how bizarre that their future was not immediately known to them. In Eliza’s world, at 12, you already knew what your career would be and what colleges would accept you once you turned 14. Once you turned 18, you were already well on your way to starting in your field of work. People no longer had distractions stopping them from excelling in their careers or field of study, even soulmates were revealed. No one had to waste their time dating around, like grandparents did when they were young.

On the morning of a person’s 18th birthday, the person would wake up with a tattoo on their wrist detailing the exact first words their soulmate would speak to them. As Eliza’s 18th birthday approached, people would not let her forget that she would soon receive her tattoo, and possibly know who her soulmate was. Because of the excitement behind her 18th birthday, Eliza would often find herself imagining what her tattoo would say. Perhaps times hadn’t changed much after all, everyone would always look forward to their 18th birthday.

Eliza would often daydream about what her tattoo would say. Naturally, she imagined it would be someone who knew a little about her, he would walk up to her and say Mr.Darcy’s “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” Or maybe he would ask Romeo’s “Did my heart love til now?” upon seeing her for the first time. She would often think of the very moment they might meet.

Nothing would have prepared her for what she found upon waking up on her 18th morning. She could not believe her eyes when she read her tattoo: “Reading is a waste of time, just watch the movie.” There was no way this could happen to her. Soulmates were assigned to be 100% scientifically compatible. It was scientific! There has never been a mistake, but surely this had to the first mistake ever. Who would she even talk to? Everyone who saw it thought it was hilarious and true. No one was horrified the way she was.

Eliza began to avoid places where she could meet non-readers. She hid in the library and in her room as much as possible. In order to transport in between locations, she would make sure to arrive at the shuttle spot right before it would take off in order to keep contact with non-readers to a minimum. She kept this lifestyle for years. She knew she was smart enough to beat the system. She would never be happy with someone who didn’t appreciate literature as much as she did. If anyone was determined enough to beat the system, it was her.

Years turned into decades, and Eliza lived alone with her thousands of books. Because of her old age, she had to hire someone to check on her daily. She made sure to only hire young people who could never fall in love with an old lady like her. She had replaced several aides, as they all moved on to bigger and better jobs. She had excellent judgment and never had a poor assistant. They were all punctual, and thank goodness for that. One day as she climbed the ladder to reach a long forgotten book, she lost her balance and fell. She thought to herself, something must be broken, but could not get up to call for help. She knew her assistant would be in soon, so all she had to do was hang tight. Within minutes, her assistant entered the room and immediately called for help.

At the hospital, she was told she needed surgery. At the thought of surgery, her old panic of meeting non-readers was quickly replaced by the panic of possibly dying of complications. Before she knew it, surgery was over and she woke up to a lovely young nurse asking if she would like ice chips for her thirst. The nurse was so lovely, she said yes and asked for a book to read. The nurse smiled and responded, “Of course. You’re assistant has brought them in and they’re waiting for you in your recovery room.”  She was relieved simply knowing that her books were waiting for her.

Once she was placed in a much bigger and brighter room, she was relieved to find that her roommate, Tim, was another book lover. They discussed the many books they were currently reading, and Eliza suddenly realized how much she had missed out on life by hiding from her soulmate. This sudden realization made her sad so she turned away from her new friend and turned to her old one, but she soon noticed that she had been reading the same line over and over again. A handsome doctor approached her and said “Reading is a waste of time, just watch the movie.” Eliza could not believe it. She responded, “Please tell me you’re joking.” The doctor laughed and apologized. He explained that he loved to annoy Tim by saying something negative about reading every day. That’s when Eliza noticed his tattoo, “Please tell me you’re joking.” She could not beat the system after all.