Why Me?

“Hey Mama!” I yell from my chair knowing that, that was the stupidest thing you can do to a hard working mom.

“What Honey? I am busy at the moment.” An exhausted voice exits the hallway to my left. “If you come to me I can help you.”

“Nevermind!” I yell back, because I can hear the strain in her voice. She must be really busy with her task that I don’t want to burden her any more.

Looking back down at my page of homework I ponder how I am going to complete this assignment. Our teacher wants us to explore our names. She wants us to discover why we are the way we are. But why did it have to be six pages long…that just seems ridiculous. You know how when you stare at a pot waiting for it to boil; I feel like that as I stare at this paper. Maybe magically it will be finished.

“Okay Honey, what’s the problem,” mom sits right down next to me. Her eyes are tired and her body hunches over itself, collapsing but still sitting tall. “You’ve been staring at this paper for 15 minutes with a very ugly face.”

I jokingly glare at her.

“I am sorry, but it is true,” she says with a small smirk across her mouth. “I needed a break from the laundry. Maybe your assignment is more interesting.”

“We have to write about ‘Why we are the way we are’.”

“Hmmm…. well you are tall because of your father. You have brown hair because of me. You have hazel eyes because of your grandfather. You have graceful hands because of your grandmother. And you are loud and annoying because of your siblings. Does this help?” Her smile growing with every statement.

“Mom…” jokingly I throw my pencil at her, but she avoids it and is clashes onto the floor. I am not loud or annoying…not really… “But yes, things like that help. But I think another part is towards my qualities.”

“Hmm…well one is… you are extremely competitive. I believe this is because this family likes to be the best of the best. However, for you I think, you truly believe you must earn everything you want in life. You don’t let people win, because they must want it for themselves. You don’t give up too easily, you try until you can’t physically move. I think you might get this from my side of the family. All of my brothers were extremely competitive and still are to this day.” Her eyes mist as her mind wanders back into her childhood…or somewhere which I was never a part of.

“This is great stuff mom. I do see myself as you describe me, but I always saw my competitive side as a weakness…in a way. People don’t like to lose. They tend to not like getting beat or pushed to their limits.  To me I am too competitive sometimes…” I do feel this way a lot. Sometimes friends leave me because I want to do something to the fullest and they just want to breeze through it.

“It is a strength Honey.  And don’t you ever forget it or change for someone. People who understand you know you have them ahead of yourself. You want them to succeed and accomplish it alone so they can be more confident within themselves.  You do what you do because you care.”

Tears are coming…but I can’t cry now. I kiss her on the cheek and then ask the next question. “A big thing is our names. Some people believe that our history behind our names will give a reason to why we are the way we are. Why did you give me my name?”

“Hmmm…. well Jane was for a past relative. Also I have grown to love the name Jane. It flows off your tongue as people call you. You should add in your paper the meanings of your names. Jane means: God is Gracious. Which is true to me, because I have you. Your last name is, of course your father’s name. It means: Peace Ruler.”

“And my other name?”

“Well Emily means: To strive, to excel, or rival. Which fits you perfectly.” She embraces me into a loving hug.

“Thank you, Mama. But why did you choose Emily?” squeezing her right back.

“Actually…I chose Emily because I liked the name. It has no family ties or relations to our ancestors. I guess God knew that the child inside me was an Emily, and he might have guided me to give you this name. You are forever my darling Emily.”

One last squeeze, and then the words flowed from my mind, to the pen, to the paper. A watched paper will not complete itself. Sometimes words from another can help you succeed, but from the beginning you must want it too.

Say Your Name

A Story: Part 7

A Story: Part 6

“Janey….Janey” snickering sound travels to the foreground of my head.

My eyes flutter open. I am sitting once again on the soft smooth material, but this time it is Danny’s blanket. The wind around me is chilled and biting at my skin.  Nothing about this beach scene is like before. My muscles all ache and my legs and arms feel like sandpaper against gravel.  The material is only helping keep the wind off my bare flesh.

There is no beautiful sunset; there is a musky dark hue of clouds engulfing the beach. The ocean looks like it might purposefully cascade along the coast in hopes of drowning me in its current. I feel afraid to be here; every time before, I felt peaceful and calm, but this time I am on edge and terrified.

I can’t remember anything that happened or didn’t happen. Always when I dream of this place I wake up back in my prison room. It now is a prison room, because it seems like I will never be able to leave.  Or that I am forever doomed to dreamless nightmares.

“It’s beautiful isn’t it?” a low voice mixes into the crashing waves.

“Who is that? Show yourself?” I have no knowledge of where the voice is coming from. No idea if it is even true.

“Yes, Janey. I am real, and for some glorious reason I am here with you.” And David materializes out of the smog and into view.

“Dav..id?” words escape me. How is he here. I…I…ended him…

“Yes, Janey, you did end me. But I believe I have been given a great chance. Every sleepless nights I have been trapped in your head I have wished to be given a chance to express my feelings in person to you…” his last word lingers in stillness.

“But…how? And huh?” I speak these pitiful words to him, but then in my head questions keep swirling. “How can he hear my thoughts? How is he here? Is he a figment of my imagination?” Unconcerned about my surroundings I do not notice his quick action, as he wraps his long real fingers around my neck and squeezes for his heart’s desires.

“I am real! I am here with you! And now I can end you just like you ended me!” His hands tighten with every sentence.

His hands are strong. He is here in my dream world. I am no longer safe anywhere. His hands tighten more and I have no energy to fight back. My subconscious wounds have constricted me to just accept this fate and be ended.

He feels my body go limp and he shoves me to the ground.  His small body towers over mine digging my back into the blanket deeper into the sand. His face is all contorted, into a wicked, wicked smile.

“How can he hate me so much…How…c..o…” no more thoughts come to mind as I leave this world staring at the stars. At least I was able to die under stars even if they are truly fake. My last thought…”goodbye…”

“Hello? Hey wake up!”

Why can’t I die in peace. Why must there be always someone trying to pull me back into this pointless world…I just want to die.

“HEY! Snap out of it! Wake up!”

A slicing pain develops across my cheek. It burns! My eyes jolt open…

I only see black. Everything is black, but it seems lighter.

“Good…you are alive…” a low mumble twists into the darkness. “Hey, she is awake.”

What? The air around me turns to the color of a dark brown. The same as Danny’s blanket…Danny… Danny’s face comes to my mind and I know he is gone. Tears well-up in my eyes but do not escape because I have no energy to cry. “Why can’t this just be over,” maybe my thought will come true…

Still all I see is a dark brown color. I can now smell and hint of blood and smoke…am I to be eaten…is that my fate…

“Look at her neck. How did she get those bruises…? She didn’t have them earlier…” voices keep pouring into my mind.

What is real…what is fake…what..is…r..e..a..l…

And then I’m gone.

Let’s Not…

“You knew you had to do this. It was listed in your job description,” she said plainly and actually quite harshly.

“Shut up. I know it was, but I was hoping I could take myself out of having to in the end. I was hoping I could dump all of my part onto my assistant. That’s what he is for!…to do the things I don’t want to, without hesitation,” than with an afterthought I knew that is ridiculous and untrue…

“You know that’s not what…”

“I know, I just thought the same thing. But I was just speaking it hoping it would magically come true.”

“So, have you planned out what you are gonna do? Or are you just going to wing it?” she said with a hint of humor. Probably because she knows me so well.

“Are you kidding me. I have prepared several different things to say, and I have many flash cards with reminders so I don’t look like an idiot up there. I am jealous though that my assistant will be sitting in the audience just smiling up at me making me feel more uncomfortable. I know he does that just because I hate it.”

“Oh, I know he does. He tells me he sits front a center just to humiliate you.  He also says that when you are extremely nervous you turn the color of a ripe tomato. I wish I could see it, because that is actually my favorite color!” She says with a loud chuckle.

“Well, you are not allowed to come. I already am nervous enough. You could just have drinks with me afterwards to drink away my misery and shame.”

“I am all for that job, and the first round is on me!”

“Thank you.” Gathering up my belongings, bracing myself to stand up. “Well, here I go to make a complete fool out of myself. It wouldn’t be so bad, except their parents will also be in the audience. So they will be staring at me, with their judgement filled eyes, and will be debating if I am suited to coach their children.”

“You made your athletes way faster than the year before. They should only be proud of you, because some of those kids might swim in college. Just be brave, and believe in yourself.”

“Thanks Sis. See ya in about two hours for that drink.” I stand up and exit.

“And Cut!” the director calls.

 

Naked with Black Socks

 

“What did you do?…I went…”

Entry #1

The year is 2007. I am excited for high school. I have prepared every day of my existence through junior high to be the most successful student.  I worked my butt off to be the person with the highest grade, and I will be the person in the year book labeled as, “The Most Successful”…that is my true dream. The moment I came into the classroom I took the front and center desk in front of the teacher. I wanted the teacher to know I was serious about my studies. This is going to be the best year ever!

 

Entry #2

The year is still 2007, but it is now half way through the semester. High school is so much harder than junior high. There are so much extra homework. There are several clubs, that you can join if you want to succeed, which I do. So I signed up for every club. However, I want to be the best, so I must keep up my studies and work harder then ever…

 

Entry #3

The year is…I don’t care…

 

Entry #4

Why?…WHY?!?

 

Entry #5

I don’t know why I am even keeping this journal anymore. There is no point to recording my progress if it won’t matter anyways….Oh, right, now I remember why I am keep this…so that I can write a list of people I hate!

Mom

Dad

Sisters

Brothers

Teachers

Friends

Doctors

EVERYONE!

 

Entry #6

The year is 2012. All I feel is pain. My head is swimming, and my eyes are dull. Crying seems to take even more energy from me than I normally have. There is no point in crying…crying won’t solve anything. I am no longer in high school and I have no path I desire to attempt. I just want to curl up into a ball and live forever in my bed. But, even that carefree dream is impossible.

Entry #7

The year is 2013. I have decided to try; there is no point in waiting for something that might not come. I should live life and experience everything and anything. Now I will use this journal for a new purpose. It will contain my bucket-list. 1) skydiving 2) ride on motorcycle 3) go to Paris 4) visit Hawaii 5) own my dream car 6) sing in public 7) volunteer for something important 8) help build a house for someone 9)…I will continue to write down things I want to do…

 

Entry #8

The year is 2014. Today was not a great day. I went skydiving for the first time and I thought I would die. I wanted to die as I stood on the edge of that plane, the gust of winds kept pushing my body towards the inside. I should listened to the wind and not have jumped. But I did…It was exhilarating and amazing, but I am good only doing it once. Next thing here I come….

 

Entry #9

The year is 2016. I have done almost everything on my list. However, all I have is visit Hawaii and sing in public. However, I was told today I would not be permitted to travel anymore. My days have gotten shorter and I sleep more and more. I feel like I am again in the plane and the wind is knocking me over with way more force. So Hawaii is not happening yet, but maybe in the future.

 

Entry #10

The year is 2017. I am ready to finish my list. I want to experience every moment like it is a roller coaster, swinging me in every direction without knowing what will happen next. Whether I will climb up farther, or I will drop down to a point I can’t survive without a scream of fear.  So I only have left is to sing. Which is my greatest fear. I will go out somewhere tomorrow,where I know nobody and feel accomplished for a moment.

 

Entry #11

Same year. I choose today, because it is November 20th, 2017. Today is my birthday, and I am turning 24 years old. I know I am being selfish, that I want my birthday this year all to myself, but I won’t get another chance to sing on my birthday as a 24 year old. I told my family we would celebrate together tomorrow, but that I wanted to sing to an audience that didn’t know me. I chose one of my favorite country songs, Live Like You Are Dying, by Tim McGraw.

 

Entry #12

My performance was okay I guess. Everyone cheered and there was not a dry eye by the end. I have completed what I set out to do. I am sitting at the back table writing in my journal. I began this journal excited and hoping to be successful…which I have been. I called up my family and told them what I did and how great I feel that I completed something. They all wish me a Happy Birthday. I can hear the love and caring in their voices. “I love you guys so much!” I yell into the phone before hanging up. I collect my belongings to exit back into reality of life. Sitting in that booth against the back wall I recall what I have done so far… I may not have been a wealthy person, I might have not been successful in the eyes of others, but I lived life. Just like the lyrics I just sang a moment ago. This is the last thing I will write in my journal before leaving…I LOVE EVERYONE…including myself.

 

Entry #13

To whomever reads this journal?

The year is 2018. My darling little girl kept this journal a secret from us. I only discovered it that day at the karaoke bar. I am so proud of my daughter; I don’t regret anything that has happened in her life, as well as mine. If you have finished every entry up until this one you have a clear understanding of who my darling was. She was brave, honest, caring, loving, and outgoing. When the doctor told us she wouldn’t live past her 25th birthday everyone’s lives paused. Hers more than anyone. We supported her best we could but she decided one day to just live. The song she sang that night will always be my anthem. I will live life as if there is no tomorrow. I miss her terribly; her whole family does. However, we are still able to give her that missing piece, even as she rests in heaven. Her essence lives forever in us, and as we walk through Hawaii’s landscapes she will experience it too. I give the gift of completion; she will live eternally, even though I can’t see her, I know it’s true.

Love,

Mom

This Is Your Song