Angie was sugar and spice and all things nice. She was baked cookies fresh from the oven, Disney movies on a sunny Sunday afternoon and a perfectly kept lawn encircled by white picket fences. She rescued stay and injured animals, she donated regularly to charity and cried at movies based on true stories.
Even the bad movies.
But, that’s what Dan liked about her. Angie wasn’t a push over who would meekly follow him, but she was helpful and kind and so nice that everybody loved her and kept telling him how lucky he was to have her. Dan already knew that, but it was still nice to hear the approval from the family and friends he held so dear.
Dan knew that one day, when he had risen through the ranks of his company a little more and Angie had finished her teaching training and was settled into the education system, that they’d get married. A few years later they’d have children and Angie would be the perfect mother to their kids that would undoubtedly also become perfect.
How could they be anything less with a mother as wonderful and caring as Angie?
The wedding would be beautiful. His brother, Mike, would be best man and would deliver the funniest speech at the reception. Angie’s best friend Charlotte would be chief bridesmaid and would look radiant in whatever pretty dress Angie chose for her.
Dan and Mike were closer than ordinary brothers. Their mother always said that they were twins born in different years as they looked the same, thought the same and acted the same. Angie and Charlotte were completely different from each other, but best friends all the same. Angie was sugar and spice and all things nice, but Charlotte was dark and hidden, and all things forbidden.
And that’s what Dan liked about Charlotte. He knew that it would break Angie’s kind and gentle heart if she knew what Dan and Charlotte did together when Angie was working late. Dan felt guilty about hurting such a pure soul as Angie, but the way Charlotte tugged at his hair and arched beneath him meant that he didn’t feel guilty enough to stop.
I’m going to the beach with my family the week after next. This is the first time in a few years that I’ll be going to the beach as a chubby girl. It’s also one of the first few times I’ll be wearing a bikini in public. Hmm. Doesn’t seem to make sense does it? It doesn’t make sense to me.
Over the past six months to a year, I’ve become okay with my body. It’s been really hard, because I have two gorgeous younger sisters who are both naturally tan and thin due to their ~15 years of dancing. They are also both much taller than me, often causing people to assume that I am the youngest in the family. This is extremely frustrating and a bit demeaning.
Because I am adopted I was not born with my parents’ athleticism, height or skin tone. Also, because I have bipolar disorder I had to experiment with several medications when I was younger, some of which caused me to gain weight. The weight amounted to about 85 pounds in total. I lost about 10 of those pounds between grade school and middle school, and another 15 after high school, but I gained 5-10 back and haven’t really been able to drop them. I am about 20-30 pounds overweight for my height as of right now.
It’s been really hard to be confident about my looks as I’ve grown older and my sisters have grown taller and more beautiful. Part of me feels like I shouldn’t feel confident about myself because it’s so blatantly obvious that I stick out from them as the least attractive in our family. The middle sister is the obvious favorite in our family, and she sometimes makes rude comments about my looks, which doesn’t make it any better.
But alas, somehow I have been able to get excited about this beach trip. I am even going to wear a bathing suit (2 piece!) the whole trip. I think. As of right now I am not going to let them intimidate me.
It feels so weird to not hate myself. I know this is talked about so much, but I just feel like I have been told by everyone and by “society” that I should be skinny and that liking myself as I look right now isn’t okay. It’s just settling. I always felt sorry for fat people who were confident in themselves. Or like they were just pretending. Maybe that’s what I’m doing. Are people going to be looking at me on the beach thinking “She needs to cover that up,” or “Wow look at that cellulite/those rolls”? I have felt for a while that if it wasn’t a cultural standard for me to have to hate my body then I wouldn’t. I don’t like hating myself, and I really don’t think I’m that fat. But I’m not skinny either, so therefore I am an awful person.
It reminds me of an episode of Seinfeld. Jerry is on the subway and falls asleep. When he wakes up, a fat man across the aisle from him has taken all his clothes off and is reading the newspaper. When he meets Jerry’s eyes, which are looking at him in disgust, the man says “I’m not ashamed of *my* body,” to which Jerry replies “That’s your problem. You should be.” But why? Why should anyone be ashamed of his or her body?
I hope I still have this positive attitude a week from now.
Until my words and your eyes meet again,
He had bought the wine in Germany during a stopover on his way home from Iraq just a few weeks before we met.
We found it while unpacking old boxes just a few weeks before the end. We spent a pleasant few hours together in the kitchen that night, with me washing dishes and asking questions while he researched the wine. Ice wine, made from frozen grapes, and Trockenbeeren-Auslese, made from grapes shriveled and sweeted by “noble rot” are both served chilled, so we placed the bottles in the fridge, where they stayed until the night before I left him.
All week, we had worked together sorting our mingled possessions - the material evidence of our mingled life - and packing my things. We joked, we laughed, we talked, and we (mostly I) cried. That last afternoon, a Sunday, I remarked rather sadly that I had been looking forward to sharing that wine with him. It was one of many things.
He offered to open the bottles that night, when we returned from seeing a movie together, and I was grateful and hopeful.
“If we’re getting divorced,” I quipped, “We’re doing it with some class.”
He filled our glasses with the sweet, tawny-hued Trockenbeeren-Auslese, and we drank a toast, “to old friendships and new starts.” The ice wine came next, and he gave a toast; I’ve forgotten his exact words, except for something about “not staying in Arkansas,” which seemed like a kind wish. We drank the sweet German wine as we packed boxes and carried them to the waiting Uhaul trailer.
I left in the morning with the sweetness of the wine and his last kiss still on my lips.
It is possible to be sunburnt and drenched in the same day, all-be-it that damp clothes clinging to sunburn isn’t the pleasantest of things.
It is true that things can change in one day, drastically change so that just like that things will never quite go back to how they were before.
There is always the latest craze that supposedly makes you that bit cooler if you buy into it. The latest ones I’ve noticed are floral prints, smart phones and songs with the word ‘young’ in them; oh and the meerkat thing’s still going strong.
Memories contort and combine over time until we can never be positive exactly how a certain event spanned out. All we have to rely on is pictures, videos and written words, which don’t necessarily show us the truth.
Do some people really spend their life-time waiting for something that doesn’t exist or do they secretly know it isn’t truly real yet they still choose to keep waiting?
Can change be good or is it too open to suspicion and criticism that we don’t allow to see if it is for the best, we only see the negatives?
Is there a reason for everything we do like it’s a dot-to-do that takes us our whole lives to complete and do fate and karma really exist? What-comes-around-goes-around and there’s a reason for everything, do these clichés really ring true?
I believe that ghosts exist, it’s good to think and love doesn’t make sense but who’s to say I’ll always think like this, my thoughts may change over time, or contort and twist inside my mind.
Most of us have a story to tell.
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Daniel watched the blinking lights in the forest and marked their positions on the map. The bushes stirred, and Rose crept up.
She kissed him, excited. “Let’s go,” she whispered. The pair made their way into the forest. The lights disappeared for several minutes, and then came back, moving through the trees.
Daniel glanced at Rose. It had been the best three months of his life, being with her. They met when they were both researching the lights. Rose was infectious, passionate about life, and about the lights. He loved her. “Be careful,” he whispered.
Straight ahead, the lights gleamed through the trees. Rose and Daniel got closer, and peaked around a tree.
Creatures, ghosts or phantoms made of light, circled about the clearing. They had faces, semi-human, and floated over the ground. Rose gasped. Daniel put up a finger to silence her, but it was too late. A large, blue-ish phantom saw her and came towards them. It grabbed Rose’s arm and pulled her into the clearing. The other creatures made hissing sounds and surrounded her.
Rose’s legs shook, but she managed to keep standing. She was fascinated, almost giddy. She had dreamed of this moment. “I’m Rose,” she murmured, and then said it louder. “I’m Rose.” This seemed to please them, and the hissing whispers continued.
Daniel watched in fascination and horror as the leader offered his hand to Rose. She took it. There was a flash, and the clearing was empty. No phantoms, and no Rose.
Daniel searched for her all night, and watched every night after for her to return. But she never did, at least not in human form. He did begin to see a new phantom, not blue, but rose red, which moved in the forest among the trees. Sometimes he dreamed that it was right outside his window, dancing and laughing in the night.
This week what has really annoyed me is goldfish. Now I have nothing against goldfish, I actually really like them and I remember how I used to study the goldfish tank in the dentist’s waiting-room intently when I was a child.
My problem at the moment with goldfish is that I didn’t buy them. I promised my son when we moved into a house and he got his own room I’d let him pick out two goldfish and pick ornaments and coloured stones for the tank.
Luke went to his dad’s on Saturday night which had me all stressed-out because he only has him once every ten-weeks. He works in Africa for seven-weeks and the three-weeks he’s back his girlfriend usually has a packed schedule planned. Then I find out he’s taken Luke to pick goldfish. Not only is this the only thing other than a cheap magazine he has brought him in years but the fact he did it without asking me first makes it even worse. I know it’s petty to get this worked-up over fish and I know he only did it to make me mad but exes are really frustrating when they feel the need to play games.
I think it’s all very well seeing your child once every few months and acting like dad-of-the-year but there is a lot more to being a parent than just turning up occasionally and being fun.
I know I just need to grit my teeth and ignore anything my ex may do to score points because Luke knows I will always be here for him, even if I do tell him off, don’t let him drink fizzy drinks and didn’t buy him goldfish.
Well, this certainly wasn’t what I expected. My night ended up being a major catastrophe! My husband had asked if I would make him some brownies, and thinking this might put a spark back into our marriage, I decided to oblige. But what what was suppose to be a perfect dinner, with that special dessert, turned out to be a major disaster.
First off, he hated the Chile Verde I made, although he was okay with the cheese and onion corn muffins.
Then, the brownies… Let’s just say, the oven decided to overheat and go up in flames! I had to finish the brownies in the microwave oven, which led them to be way to moist and greasy. Nasty!
So while the house survived my oven’s bad timing, I’m very sure the neighbors were panicking as the smoke seeped out the doors and windows. Thankfully this house came equipped with a mini fire extinguisher, otherwise I might have had to call our local guys from the fire department out. Hmmm. I wonder if I could have requested them to strike a pose without their gear and show the husband the photos. After all, it would be for a good cause! Wonder if he would notice me then! HA!
So in closing, I leave you with my attempted look for the day.
P.S. I did get to the library! Lots to tell soon!
P.P.S I had to go outside to write this because of the mad house inside, and the bugs are biting. At least someone thinks I’m sweet!
I regain consciousness. I open my eyes slowly. The strangers are still here, all of them look exhausted. The woman in white, who I think is a doctor, gives me a glass of water.
“Does your head still hurt?” she says.
“No, not anymore. Wait… who are you people? Why am I here?” I say.
She doesn’t answer. She just shakes her head and gestures the woman. The woman slowly walks towards me and sits next to the bed.
“Justin. You had an accident and you’re now experiencing severe head trauma that caused you Amnesia. I am your mother,” she says.
She is crying now.
I don’t know this woman but when I see her crying I feel like a knife is stabbing my chest, over and over.
“Justin? I’m Justin? What happened to me? H-h-how? I’m so confused! I can’t remember anything. Please tell me everything!” I say.
I am now hysterical. I try pulling the needles from my arm but I’m too weak.
“Please tell me everything” I say weakly.
I start crying. I feel empty. The woman or my “mother” hugs me. It feels nice even though she is a stranger to me.
“Ssshh my baby, you’ll never be hurt again. I won’t allow anyone to hurt you again,” she says. I dont understand the “be hurt again part”.
I close my eyes and wrap my arms around her. I feel secure despite of the emptiness in me. I am calm now.
She starts telling me everything. But there is a part that confuses me the most, she asks me If I want to remember some things that happened before the accident. She says she doesn’t want to lie to me and she doesn’t want me to be hurt again.
Jared gripped the bouquet tighter. He was finally going to meet her. They had talked, of course, but that was only over the phone and online. Today he was going to meet Sarah in person. He rocked back and forth. He hadn’t been so nervous or excited in a long time.
The waiter came over. “Can I get you something to drink, sir?”
“Yes. No. Umm, just a water, please.” Get it together, Jared told himself.
They had met on a dating site, just chatting at first. But chats turned into conversations, and conversations got deeper. He asked Sarah if he could call her, and to his relief, she said yes.
He had never met anyone like her. She was part sweet, part serious, and part silly, all covered by blond hair and a petite frame. And she was different. Her story was different, and he couldn’t help feeling admiration for this courageous young lady.
“Here’s your water, sir. Would you like anything else right now?”
“No thanks. My date should be here soon.” The waiter nodded and walked away.
Sarah was hesitant to meet at first. She thought he might not like her as much if he saw her in real life, and he might only want to be friends. Jared didn’t buy it. He had seen the pictures, and he didn’t care. They only lived a couple of hours away from each other, so she finally agreed to meet him.
The door opened. Sarah came in, looking just like she did in her pictures: blond, petite, and sitting in her wheelchair. Jared stood up. Sarah came over, smiling with just a hint of shyness, and reached out her hand. Jared took it, and offered her the flowers.
“Hi,” she said.