Revisions

typerwriter keys

Coming back and finding work that is half way done. Work that I once thought as acceptable, perhaps even good. Work that you took your time to read. Work that I actually shared here! Yikes! Well, I am a little embarrassed. As I read and reread stuff that I thought was good enough, good enough to share. Now, I see it just wasn’t. Too many of the same words, too many times I  said the same name on one page, too many times I said words like, had or actually or finally, over and over again! And I see so many mistakes. And yet, I know I have something. Something that made some of you follow me all the way through, so saying it is not worth my effort to continue is not being very grateful to the many of you that took the time to read this story. Besides, I know that I have a story to tell.

In the course of the first page to right now, I have lived through so many emotions since. I have ridden the proverbial wave and I truly think that my story has evolved. And that I am stronger now. That in my head my story and the reason that I want to tell it has changed. And if I’d tried to finish it back when I thought that I’d written the last page, it never would have had a chance. But now, I really do think that at least in my head and the bones of what lie here, I just might have a story worth telling.

writers trash can

The bones are still there. But now it is more than a story of a young girl, trying to save a young boy and his demons. It is more than a story about first loves and abuse, about mental illness. It is about a woman and her scars that reappear when her own daughter starts dating  and about mid-life crisis and trying to go back and right the wrongs and almost losing everything she holds dear. It is about the young girl, running head on into the older woman she is now.  Past her prime and even  middle age, just now finding her voice. After all of these years she seeks the validation that she lost all those years ago. Just now being allowed to say the things she’d always wanted to say.

Today, we find ourselves inside a world of communication that once was non existent. Where once when we lost touch, a lost love was truly lost except by chance. A lost phone number, a changed address and pouf they were lost. Now through social media, in a click of a key and people are finding each other. It’s crazy. And sometimes if by chance, there was no closure, or the ending was bad, people are trying to right old wrongs, and  personal Pandora’s Boxes have been being opened.

At first my story was about the abuse, how subtly young girls allow it. How difficult it is to admit to someone for so many reasons  that you are in a place that is hard to share. It is the story of many young girls, and I feel it is still worth telling. But I think that I needed this time to go back over the pages, over the bones, and revise just a little. To also tell the end of the story. So I am back to tell it.

To those who have hung in here, to my writing mentors who have lovingly supported me, to my readers who have followed me here. You guys are the best! I’m still here, my story is still being written. Now let the revisions begin!

typed to be continued

 

“Just Kids”

Dear Jack,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Wow. What a blast from the past. I am literally sitting here in disbelief that it is really you. I went on a search site years ago, (probably the one that you mentioned) and goggled a bunch of names. Yours was among them. I am sure. I’ve also wondered about you, I mean even if you were still alive. By the way, there is nothing to forgive; we were just kids back then.

Keri

And she clicked SEND. And immediately felt a sick feeling.

mouse

 

 

 

Why did I say that?! Keri berated herself. All of these years, she wanted the chance to really talk to Jack and tell him how much he hurt her and now she had the chance and relinquished it.

frustrated on computer

 

Keri let out a loud sigh and padded down the stairs to refill her coffee cup. She poured herself another cup and let the aroma envelope her. As she looked out at the gray day. It was spring and everything was green. She watched as a school bus drove by and remembered the mornings of rushing Brynne off to school and felt a familiar twinge pulling at her heart strings and rebuffed it. As she admonished herself to not go there today. She never knew that midlife crisis was really an actual thing or that an empty nest would hurt so much but for a while now, Keri felt stuck. She would not go there today she told herself and then remembered Jack and went up the stairs and found his reply waiting.

Oh my Dearest Keri,

I was so afraid you wouldn’t forgive me. I am not proud of the way I behaved back when we were kids. Or how I treated you. I have learned a lot since those days and hope that I didn’t leave you too damaged and remember the good times as well. I do.

Jack

Keri stared at the screen and noticed how quickly he’d clung to the “just kids” comment. She found it ironic that a few months earlier shortly after Brynne left for school, she began remembering the times in the journal. One morning, when Tim was on another business trip, she was in the shower and the memories came in waves, like flash backs, they hit one after another, as she began to reflect upon her life and those days of abuse she experienced from Jack, she used to believe that most of the times had been emotional and never really allowed herself to focus on the physical part of the abuse. But for some reason that morning it hit her and she collapsed crying in the shower thinking aloud. “You hurt me; you really, really hurt me!” As she recalled the physical part of the pain she cried, whispering in sobs over and over again “You hurt me.”

shower crying

 

The pain was still raw and so she wrote about it. Now, as she remembered that post she realized that on her face book page she shared links to her blog and wondered if when he’d been on her page looking at her pictures, he also might have seen the link to her blog. She frowned and considered everything, asking herself if she even cared. He knew it happened, what could he say? But she did care and panicked a little and it all felt a little too familiar and she said to herself; “Get a grip Keri, you don’t have to ever walk on eggshells again!”

The next Chapters….

For all my loyal readers…. (Reading Girl especially – smile) I am sharing my next few chapters…. I’d love to hear how you feel about the transition from Keri’s journal to the third person telling it again, and your thoughts on it… I really felt that I left you guys hanging and just wanted to share!  Remember read this first:

http://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/would-anyone-read-this-chapter-one/

so it makes more sense

xoxo

k

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

mom readinglistening to mom reading

By the time she finished reading, the fire had died down to a flicker and two hours, maybe more had passed. Keri closed the book and looked up at Brynne “Oh mama” she cried, “It is all just so sad.” Keri overwhelmed by the moment, got up and walked over to her daughter and hugged her tight as tears filled her eyes. “I shared this with you because I want to spare you some of the pain that I experienced as a young girl, and for you to just always be aware. “NOW I understand why you wanted me to add SLOW TO ANGER to my list that you made me make.” Brynne said with genuine empathy and tears in her own eyes. Keri nodded and held the closed  journal to her chest; she didn’t have any second thoughts. She knew that sharing this with Brynne would be a memory she would carry with her forever. She prayed that this knowledge would be like a little extra tool for her, that most young girls aren’t aware of.

Keri counted the years since those journal days and sighed. Looking into the fire she said, “Time sure flies.”  “Do you know where he is now?” Brynne asked curiously. Keri shook her head. “No, “I’m not even sure if he’s still alive.”  Brynne was filled with questions. “What about Larry?” she asked. Keri realized that she was not going to get off as easy as she thought and cleared her throat to continue. “We ended up dating for a while,” “YOU DID?! Brynne looked surprised and Keri laughed, “Yeah, he even asked me to marry him.” Brynne’s eyes grew wide. “Reeeeally?”  “Yeah, but I don’t even know why I went out with him. I kind of knew it was wrong but I was so hurt just how quickly Jack seemed to move on and well, Larry really was very good-looking.” she chuckled and then continued more seriously, “but then, he knew it and I never loved him, so I said no.” She said it so matter of factly  that it almost seemed as if she was realizing it all for the first time.  “I don’t think that I really ever got over Jack. I just let my hurt turn into anger and have pretty much stayed angry with him all of these years later. I never really let anyone back into my heart for a long time.”  Keri smiled at her daughter. She looked dumbfounded at meeting this side of her mom and wanted to know everything. “I dated for over a year or so and then I met your dad and that was that.”

Waaaaait a minute.” Brynne demanded, motioning for her mom to sit back down, Keri sighed inwardly realizing that Brynne was not going to let her off the hook that fast and had many more questions. So with much filtering, Keri shared what came after Jack and in-between her dad which was a time that entailed a lot of things she did due to her broken heart, things that she was not very proud of. And that was how Keri told her daughter about Jack. It had been time. Tim already knew about him. He knew about Keri’s walls and what happened and that her first relationship was behind a lot of their issues. But he was very patient with her. When they’d first met, it was evident that Keri had been very hurt and did not trust easily. Their marriage had its issues but it was solid for the most part and Tim offered that one trait that Keri deemed so important; he was slow to anger.

“Okay Keri said, lets finish up with the boxes in the attic.” Brynne followed her mom up the stairs as they began sorting and throwing out things. Keri continued to answer her daughter’s questions as they worked together, and made a big dent clearing  everything out that day.

 

attic office emptybook casescomputercomputer2

Keri’s writing studio was finished and she loved it up there. The wood floors were rich and off set the wall to wall built-in bookcases that lined both sides of the room and reminded Keri of her Grandma’s craftsman style house in Seattle.  On one side of the room there was a beautiful little window seat where she could take her laptop and write. The view was most inspiring there. At the front of the house,  they’d built-in  a craftsman style desk and drawers overlooking the little window on the opposite side of the room. It all turned out just the way she’d imagined. Tim worked on it a lot as time allowed, but just like her father,  he traveled a lot for his job and Keri grew impatient over how long it was taking to complete. “I have a book that I need to write, and I really want to start it and finish it up in my study.” She’d pressed and so he hired Brian, a contractor to finish some of the details.

For a while, Brian and Tim worked together with Keri to create the charm she envisioned. Even the stairs that led up to the attic were recreated exactly the way she’d imagined with the brown and white steps she remembered from her grandma’s house . Several months after all of the construction was complete, Tim surprised Keri with a fireplace that she’d seen on-line and thought that he’d forgotten about. One night in bed, when Tim was working on his laptop, Keri urged him to go to that page with the photo of the exact fireplace she’d chosen. She knew it exceeded the budget they’d set aside for the studio but told him that “Someday waaay down the line she’d love to have one just like it.” Never dreaming she’d get it so soon.

Tim  installed  it a year later while she was in LA visiting Brynne for her birthday.  She squealed with delight and hugged her husband’s neck, feeling very spoiled. She loved to turn it on in the mornings with a mug of coffee and write her blog and or work on her book.  Brynne had been away at school for a little over a year and the house just seemed so empty. She wished Tim didn’t have to be away so often but she tried to be a good sport about it and understand and was growing more and more used to being alone. Her studio was her refuge. When she wrote, she didn’t feel so lonely. One day as she took a break from writing, she checked her blog comments and then wandered over to her Face book page and found a message from a name that caused her to choke as she sipped on her coffee. The message was short and generic. Keri set her mug down still sputtering and held her breath as she read;

Hi Keri,                                                                                                  

I’ve been looking for you for a long time. It looks as if you are well. I am glad to see that you are still writing… I wasn’t sure if you’d remember me, but I’ve wanted to find you for a while now. I look forward to your reply,

Jack