Transitions

quote about looking back

Well, it looks as if I may have some more time on my hands than I expected. I am not sure what God has in store for me but for some reason I am not scared. I think that I am getting the kick in the butt that I need to get some things done in the name of procrastination! My job has been eliminated due to funds so I am going to have to figure out something.

I sure wish that I was the Keri here that had her whole life ahead of her and knew then what I do now!

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The End (Final draft)

Keri felt the air being siphoned from her lungs, swallowing she tried to breathe. Her head pounded as her efforts to filter out the background noise failed. The pain was the stinging kind  you feel when something smacks you in the face. It even made her nose tingle. It was a surprise, so unexpected. The day had started out so great.  She closed her eyes and willed it all to just stop, but the voice booming somewhere in the background was relentless. He was on one of his tirades about the way she’d looked when he’d said something or her tone of voice when she answered. She couldn’t remember. She didn’t even know if she knew. She usually didn’t. She would just apologize and even more recently, just leave. But she couldn’t today. They were in the car, and like so many other times, she just had to take it. And it would probably blow over, and she’d forgive him, and they’d pretend it never happened.  She used to believe with all of her heart it wouldn’t, but now she had no doubt that it would. She pressed her forehead against the cold glass and stared out at all the other cars and wondered why everyone looked so happy.

sad rain on window

At first, she’d yelled back but realized that she couldn’t make him hear her.  There were no blows. Nothing physical about it, except for maybe when he yanked her arm. But that was not the pain she was feeling now. It was the humiliation and the shame. It happened more often, and lasted longer lately, and it exhausted her.

 couple fighting in car

They’d been driving. It was a beautiful rainy morning. The drops tapped lightly above them as they’d lay on the floor reading the Sunday paper and ended up making love right there, on top of the funnies. Jack suggested that they go to Polly’s for breakfast. So they jumped in the car and headed to the beach. They’d just been laughing minutes before. And then like a ball in her face, things turned. Jack’s anger came out of no where.  She’d learned lately that it didn’t have to take much. She used to blame herself because she didn’t know how to help him. She wanted to love him out of his pain. She even tried to make him believe that she loved him more than anyone in her life. She believed it. But, slowly she realized that it was not true. She did love someone more. Though he’d tried with all of his might to make her believe otherwise, she finally knew that she loved herself more. Enough to get out.

women writing at desk

Keri clicked the period. And stared at the screen of the last page of her book.  It was complete. She looked out the window massaging her neck absent mindly staring into space, still back decades, remembering. She’d thought that finishing her novel would feel different but it was anticlimactic. She forced her eyes to focus back on the screen and scrolled to the last chapter and reread it. She sighed. She was satisfied, after a few false endings, it was definitely a wrap.

This book had been a surprise in her life and much harder to write than she’d ever imagined. But she knew that she needed to tell her story.  Not just for all the young girls out there that needed to be educated about abuse, but for her own closure. So much had happened in-between sitting down to write the first page and today. But she had no doubt about what she had to do next..

She found her editor’s address, attached her book, clicked on the file, and pushed SEND.

type the end

Indiscretions

computer instant message

Indiscretions

Like a scent that stills my soul, you come into my life.

You knock upon my door, though I’m someone else’s wife.

My morals have been tempted, as you hold the only key,

slowly giving back pieces of the younger parts of me.

couple riding piggy back

They fall like a puzzle, in a pile at my feet

As I watch a stranger plan with you, how we both will meet.

My life becomes a web of lies, as I crave to smell again,

the scent that led me, into this dangerous lion’s den.

hugging3

We do the dance for months, until I close the door,

telling you I just can’t be this stranger anymore.

And so I return to the life where I feel that I belong.

I ask you to move on and tell you to be strong.

computer man at night

And yet I know you linger, and you are watching me.

Sometimes I wonder, if my heart will ever be set free.

For that scent is on our skin, from all those years ago,

I still smell it every now and then, and  needed you to know.

Diane Reed

2014©

girl staring at computer screen

Closure

Over the first few weeks they exchanged a few random messages still on her face book page. But eventually moved to emails mainly because she just didn’t think that everyone that viewed her page needed to read their messages. Not because they had anything to hide. They’d been keeping the messages short and sweet and pretty stiff. Though, joking here and there. His corny sense of humor  made her smile when he’d shyly kid with her about something. She tried to picture him as he typed back  and the feelings caught her off guard and confused her but she felt that she was just feeling natural curiosity and feeling the relief of forgiveness after feeling the anger for so long.

 

computer man looking

When Tim came home later that week, Keri told him about the contact and he didn’t seem too concerned. Keri was the jealous one. Tim had never done anything to ever cause her to be the least bit jealous but she couldn’t help it. She’d always attributed her insecurities to her experiences with Jack, and Tim jokingly said he found it flattering and ridiculous when she’d pout about “something mainly all in your head.” He’d point out. Keri knew that Tim was faithful and Tim never had a reason to ever doubt Keri because she’d always been so disgusted with cheaters. So the news about Jack’s recent contact did not seem to distress him in the least, and he didn’t mention it again and neither did Keri as she snuggled next to him and watched his favorite shows with him.

older couple snuggling

Tim’s news of another business trip made Keri groan a bit but she was used to them and ever since Brynne moved out to go to school, Keri planned as many visits down South as possible and Tim would try to join her as much as his work allowed, he always tried to make it to all of his daughter’s performances. They’d planned a trip down South to visit her that next week, she was performing in a show that following weekend at her school. Usually they’d stay in a hotel or if Tim didn’t go too, she stayed at her best friend Jamie’s house who was Keri’s confidant; they’d known each other since before Brynne was born and she was like an Aunt to her. Sometimes Brynne would also stay over and the three of them would stay up late talking and laughing all night long. “So I guess you are going to miss next Saturday night?” Keri asked. “What’s Saturday Tim asked absent mindedly as he clicked the keys on his laptop trying to read a new email that had just beeped him. He looked up and seemed to remember and said, “Oh yeah hon, sorry I guess I will.” Keri sighed. She was disappointed but excited to see her baby and looking forward to some “girl time” knowing that they’d have a good time catching up at Jamie’s.

man on laptop2

Saturday night after a successful performance, they were all lying around, eating munchies and chatting when Keri said light heartedly, “You guys are never going to believe who Friend Requested me on face book. Both Brynne and Jamie looked up and asked “who?” “Jack!” Keri answered, waiting for their shock. Brynne was the first to respond, “Jack? The guy in the journal?” She looked horrified. Before Keri had a chance to reply she asked “Does Dad knooow?” “Yes, of course your dad knows.” Keri said quickly. He’s fine with it and he trusts me. He has always known I never got closure.” Brynne jumped up and turned on her laptop that she’d brought with her. “What’s your password?” she asked as Keri typed it in, Brynne pulled up her mom’s face book page and read the recent exchange between her and Jack. Keri knew that the conversations on her Face book page were all pretty generic and mostly just catching up. They’d just talked about their families and careers. Keri knew that everything that her daughter was reading was perfectly benign. Or at least she thought. “It sure doesn’t look like he is looking for closure mom.” Brynne said looking incredulous.

girl on laptop

The Friend Request

Jack? Jack! Her heart pounded. She sat still and reread the message over and over. She remembered when she used to imagine what it would be like if she ran into him. In the beginning she’d penned a few scripts in her head about how she’d tell him off. But then a few months right after they’d broken up, she and Laurie ran into him at the mall after a modeling job she’d just come from. She knew that she looked good and Jack looked so sad when they spoke. She never said any of the cruel things she’s planned. Perhaps it was because of how sad he looked, and for a split second, she felt as if she might even weaken and give up her resolve. Or maybe it was because Laurie was there and she’d come so far moving on, she stuck to her guns and remained strong as they shared a polite generic exchange, never giving him any encouragement for more, not even a hug. She turned to watch him walk away as she fought back the tears. So much emotion filled her at that moment. She wanted to run after him but she stayed stoic, wiping a tear from her cheek with her sleeve. Laurie asked “You okay?” She remembered just nodding; afraid if she tried to talk she would burst into tears. And that was the last time she’d ever seen Jack.

computer screen frustration

Now she sat in front of her lap top frozen, with her heart in her throat. She read his message over and over again. It was early in the morning. Tim was on another business trip and her daughter, now at school was four hours away. She pictured Jack at twenty two and felt like she was nineteen all over again.  Thinking,this is all so surreal. She felt her heart pounding in her ears and without even thinking, she replied;

Dear Jack,                                                                                                                                                                          

Hi yourself.                                                                                                                                                                                        

 Of course I remember you! HOW the heck are you?                                                                                                           

Keri

Dear Keri,

I am good. I’ve been attending a Men’s Mentoring Group through my church and one of the things we are supposed to do is ask for forgiveness. I immediately thought of you and have looked for you over the years. I didn’t have a last name to go by until your name just popped up in a Classmates website. I immediately looked for you and found you on Face book and saw the pictures there and knew you were the same Keri. You are still beautiful.

Jack

#61 I’m NOT Mowing Your Lawn Anymore!

Dear Journal,

I guess I am in what you might call melancholy mode. I really want to try to document this because I always seem to go back. I almost softened one last time when Jack made me come and pick up something he was going to throw out if I didn’t come and get it. I knew that it was his way of seeing me again but I went anyway. And I didn’t bother mentioning that I was going over there to anyone.  I was glad to see that no-one was home next door when I arrived. I mean there was no danger of us getting back together NOW that I have told everyone why we broke up. He really made it kind of hard not to involve other people since we had a huge party planned on the night I left or actually the night he KICKED me out. And I am tired of protecting him so I just told everyone the truth. “I am tired of the abuse.”

boxes3

When I walked in and saw all the boxes, I have to admit that it took my breath away. I mean, it was like seeing all of our dreams taped up in boxes. They were the same boxes that we used to move in, still with my writing on each one and it made me pretty sad. He begged me to take my ring back. He said that even if we weren’t together, he couldn’t stand having it. I told him I couldn’t either and so he said he would throw it in the ocean and so I took it. We sat down on the bed and he tried to kiss me and asked for one more time just for old time’s sake. He said that he knew it was over but he needed me and to just give him this one last time. He looked so sad. And in a weak moment my mind went blank and I couldn’t think and relented. I am not sure what I was thinking. I guess I was not! I’m sorry but even though I really do know that it wasn’t the smartest thing to do, it is just so hard to let go. That is until he started talking and ruined the moment.

making love 70s pic

I am not sure how it came up but he told me that he’d called an old girlfriend and that she said that he needed to go back to Keri because all he did was talk about me. I remembered how he talked a lot about Maddie when we were first together and all of a sudden I thought : I AM NOT DOING THIS! And I pushed him off of me and jumped up. I think that he was thinking that he was telling me something that would help his case, that I should be happy that he was so in love with me that he couldn’t even stop talking about me when he was out on a date! But how stupid! He was OUT on a date!!!! That totally broke the mood when I found out. What did he want me to say?? “Ooooh how sweet?!”  Even if we were broken up, I have to admit it made me jealous that he was already calling girls. Though, I didn’t tell him that Larry called me a few times. He has. Of course, I didn’t go out with him or call him back! He keeps calling though.

walking out the door

I guess that I am really glad that he told me. It made me realize that his heart is in a different place than mine. Maybe I was playing house like he accused me of doing so many times. But I  realized that day that we clearly wanted different things. I am not sure why he even gave me a ring or gave me that beautiful speech when he did. Or why he made me believe in all the dreams we talked about. When we first broke up, I went back and forth to hating him and then feeling sorry for him and trying to forgive him because of his childhood. I still believe that he was the kid with the story no one would believe. And I really did want to give him a better “rest of his life” thinking that I could fix everything I really believed that I could, or at least try to. I remembered promising him forever and that I would NEVER leave. But you can’t force loyalty on someone who just doesn’t appreciate it or can barely grasp the concept of real love. And after the last fight, I didn’t want to die trying anymore because I knew that it was just a matter or time when he might really hurt more than just my heart and my pride.  That last day when I walked down the pathway and out the gate. I wasn’t crying anymore. I’m not sure what I thought but I remember thinking… “He really needs to mow the lawn.”