Side note: I mostly scroll on when I see long posts (sorry) but I’m really glad that I stopped to read this.
I still remember the day I stopped believing in God. It was a night just like this, seemed chaotic and obscene. The stars never gleamed as if they knew what had happened and were in mourning. I was in the bed with my wife until we saw the police lights and dread spread through our bodies. We heard the knocks and at first we didn’t want to go down. We didn’t want to face the reality of what was about to happened. My wife started to cry before we even left the room but I put on my pants and went anyway. My feet were heavy and my arms were just limbs. My harsh breath was the only sound in the house, I tried to be strong. I opened the doors and my wife soft hands came to my growing abdomen.
We knew before they even said a sound. Pity marked their eyes and there was this sense of melancholy wrapped around their fading souls. I broke down as the syllables that would mark my life thereafter fell to our ears. My wife and I just held each other as if were two sailboats lost at sea and we had only each other. The cops just watched as we cried with a remorse written in their face, and then told us we needed to identify the body. Just to make sure they said, as if wanting not to give us hope.
Everything after that was just a blur. The identification, the cause and the funeral. It was like as if life was meshing and the colors had gone. My wife would cry every day and lock herself up in my daughter’s room. I would stay in our room left with nothing but memories and charades of a life that seemed long ago. There was this monotone colored sheet that fell between my eyes and I knew no more of what transpired. They told us she was with friends and they were hit by a drunk driver. Killed her on impact they said. I still remember the curve of my wife’s cheek as she wailed and cursed all.
I would go out every day after that leaving my wife to grief alone because I couldn’t bear the thought that I could do nothing. I was a fifty year old man with a job I hated and now the only anchor I had was gone, my wife as good as dead. She never touched again after that as if afraid that I too might leave her alone. No one understands the loss of a child, how fundamentally you are shaken into merciless lullabies. All your friends pity you but they are secretly happy it didn’t happen to them. There is this intricate balance you never knew there was in your marriage and when it is hit so hard, it breaks even without you wanting it to.
The sudden loss of my daughter made me reevaluate my life but as I analyzed I realize how much I hated it. Never did what I truly wanted and now my marriage was hanging on by single thread. That is when I found solace from this pain in a bottle.
Every day after I came from work I wouldn’t even look at wife, I would head straight for the whiskey. I would drink until I couldn’t stand up straight and then I would go to her room. I would cry as if the devil himself had put me on fire.
“Amelia why did you leave? Your mother and I still need you. You were supposed to grow up and get married. Bother your mother with recipes that you could cook and tell me that you were happy. Then we would grow and we would die, not the other way around!” I wailed myself to sleep that day, cursing everything. I slept in front of the picture we took when you graduate, your red flaming hair and your bright smile.
I never knew how indulgent I had grown in life. Never questioning what was to come only knowing the pleasure of life that I had never stopped to thank. In one of my drunken stupors my wife came to me asking me to stop. It had been two years and she told me that I had to move on. It wasn’t healthy to drink myself into oblivion. Until one day she just had enough of me, I had lost my job that month. I think that was the last straw.
“William, I can’t do this anymore… I just can’t. You can’t let her death define you.” She told me weeping.
“She was our daughter how can you tell me to forget her!” I screamed at her, rage pouring through my body.
“I know but this has gotten out of hand. You are letting her death define you. You never use to drink, you lost your job and you don’t event touch me anymore. Have I lost my appeal that much?” She whispered the last words to me.
I still remembered when we got married, her hair a vibrant red brown color, her eyes held the future. Her lips the only water I ever needed. Now she just looked tired, her hair was dull and she had eyes-bags that painted a story of sleepless nights and endless tears. I looked at the door and saw her suit-cases, I broke. I shattered because I was being left alone now by the only being that shared my pain. She could still smell the whiskey from last night and the river stains in my cheeks. She caressed my face one last time.
“I’m sorry William but I can’t take this anymore. The papers will come tomorrow, I am divorcing you.” She said is so softly I thought I must have heard wrong.
For the next few months I lived on food stamps, my once grand house was empty and foreclosed. My soul was bleak and the world was just this monochrome glass that was hazy and not mine. That’s how I began to understand nostalgia, how my memories would sustain me but they could for only so long. The day I was set to die with the gun of my father’s father. The whiskey was right beside me, my faith on the floor and the gun in my mouth. As I try to squeeze the trigger I freeze. For the first time since that fateful day I could have sworn I heard my daughter’s laughter.
I threw away the gun and go to the storage room where I had put all her belongings. Everything that was ever hers and everything that would always fracture me. I searched for her, tears streaming through my face. My heart hurting as if it were reliving the day of her death. In a ray of light was her picture, her smiling beautiful face. I went to my knees and wailed like a newborn. It hat moment I knew what I was look for, forgiveness. Complete and total sorrow ripped through my throat that I could not speak for days after. Until the next day I woke up lying in the middle of boxes that contained her. I looked at the ceiling and knew that I had found peace someway, somehow.
That day I found my will to live again.
Prompt: a man has a mid-life crisis after his daughter dies, he becomes an alcoholic and loses his job… his name is William. —ian-the-recluse
Sunny’s Note: I love the metaphor use, it is not overused. This is a beautifully written piece.
My feet are beginning to hurt.
And it’s weird, because it’s not like I don’t go barefoot a lot. Quite frequently, I lose my shoes for a weeks or months and just have to go without. Once, a long time ago, I threw them out because I thought I’d outgrown them. When I came across them many years later, I realized my mistake and saw just how awesome they are and swore I’d take better care to not lose sight of them again.
But lately, they had been pinching a little, and I was getting annoyed with their fit. You see, that’s the thing about shoes we love—even if they’re a bit uncomfortable, we are often willing to sacrifice comfort for style. We’ll suffer through the pain because we adore them so much. Well, these were really starting to hurt, and I made the decision to take them off and put them away for a while. Let my feet air out a bit and reconnect with the earth below.
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking that I should just go get a new pair, but I tell you, it’s not that easy. These are my favorite shoes of all time, and they are out of production; I would never find any just the same.
I am simply not willing to get used to any others. They are cuter than hell (and what girl doesn’t love cute shoes?) and they make me feel pretty. They are soft and warm inside, and wrap themselves around my soles so nicely. They provide a protective layer between me and the uneven surfaces I tread, and I can just be myself in them. They accept the rough roads I travel, and never criticize the direction or route I choose. They are getting a bit worn out from the wear and tear of life, but I see so much beauty in them. I don’t think I could bear living without them.
But I simply had to take them off and go barefoot for a while. I’m not regretting this decision, but I have begun to realize the important role my shoes play in my life. They may be a bit beat up, but I still love them. I’m thinking about how I can learn to deal with the occasional discomfort I feel in them, because I don’t want to get rid of them. I can’t change their fit, but perhaps I can redirect my focus from their flaws back to all those reasons why I fell in love with them in the first place. And there are plenty.
Side note: Stunning. This piece moved me, a new favourite of mine from Kecia.
The salty streak of water slid down her cheeks ruining what was left of her makeup she so painstakingly applied every morning. Her ethereal chest rattled like a single penny in a can. Her hiccuped breaths got caught in her throat. She sat in the dark like this for hours. Tears rolling down her face, chest violently heaving, she never thought a he could hurt her this way. It was inconceivable, unbelievable, wrong. Who was he to announce such hateful things? Twenty year stranger was who they were.
your lips feel like sandpaper, as they graze against the layers of my heart. they are like tiny little abrasions, sending corrosions through the soft pelts of my skin. they chip me like old paint, and remove small pieces of my enamel — my blood and tears, falling into your beautiful mouth. my lips thrashing against yours - a sponge, for all the tight places stored inside of you.
Side note: Beautiful. I’ve never felt anything like it but this piece makes me want to.
it’s easy to drown out the world, with you by my side. hearing your laughter ringing in my ears, and passing into the deep abyss of my heart, is my happiness. honey, you fill me up — when all the love in my body is drained. i am made up of the words you pour into me, from the way you kiss me and whisper delicate things to my soul. i glow from the light you leave on me. but, all i need is the warmth of your fingers linked into mine — your pulsing hand pulling me towards the future. no promises are necessary, i understand forever is what we want it to be. you reverberate through me.
you are me.
Side Note: How and when do you get over someone? How long does it take? How much pain must you endure?
I can’t overcome, but I can’t give in—it’s a paradoxical peril. Others would find something else to distract them, a new focus. Maybe I’ve tried, but the more I’ve tried the more I’ve realized I don’t want to find something new. I just want you, because nothing else is quite like you; nothing else is or ever will be as good and fulfilling as you. And really, I don’t feel complete without you. I feel broken and lost.
Staff: Something about the usage of words.
Blank slate was the re-occurring fate to me. It was the redundancy of starting new that, ironically, got old. I wanted nothing more than to be comfortable in my own mind, but those damned ghosts wouldn’t let up. To be a mockingbird in these jeans was the fate for me, a decision not made out of worries but paranoia. I’ve never been a boy too healthy.