Category Archives: My Story

Hugs…Part 6 (long again)

Hugs…Part 5

“Mama won’t you tell me what’s the matter?” Annie said as she tugged repeatedly on her mother’s sleeve that was now covered in snot and tears. “Mama, please stop crying.”

It had been two days since the man came to the house; two days of continuous tears. ‘She had a heart attack. She might be gone already. I might never get to say goodbye,’ Lizzy continued to pour over the news. How could she tell Annie, Annie who loved Miss Ann so much, and had been asking about her constantly? ‘How can I tell my baby girl that her friend has died or is dying?’ I wasn’t permitted to come to the hospital because I wasn’t family but I had been put as Miss Ann’s emergency contact.

“Mama…”

The phone rang interrupting Annie. “Yes, hello,” I answer hoping the news was from the hospital. “I understand, thank you.” Searching for the words, “Annie,” I yelled but forgot she hadn’t left my side, “we have to go see Miss Ann. She is asking for us.”

“Yipee!! I gets to see my friend,” Annie’s little body trembled with excitement and scurried away to get ready.

“Annie, please come back. I need to tell you something about Miss Ann,” I said as Annie came to my side. ‘How do I tell her this?’ “Annie, Miss Ann is…”

Annie excitedly was staring up at her mama anticipating the good news, “Yes, mama!”

I began, but was not able to finish. Annie ran from me, up the stairs, into her room, and slammed the door behind her.

I tried to reason with her but she said, ‘NO!’

“Hello, we are her to see a Miss Ann,” I had convinced Annie to come with me. I told her it might be the last time.

“One moment please,” the nurse at the front desk said as she stepped away to an older man, the doctor, cross the room. They looked at me and started towards us.

“Miss or Mrs…?”

“Miss Elizabeth and my daughter Annie,” I replied back to the doctor who seemed confused.

“Can I talk to you privately, could my nurse take your daughter to the play area and get her a snack?” he said pointing to the area across from the room where a bunch of little kids were.

“Sure,” I said to the doctor, then squatting down to Annie’s level. “You are going to go with this young lady. She is going to take you to the area where the little kids get to play. It’s the special area where you can imagine you are anywhere but here. Please go with her,” pleading with Annie to not make a scene.

“Yes, Mama,” she said without any responsive emotion or warmth. She just followed the woman to the play area, sat in a chair, and started reading a book.

“What’s wrong doctor? Is Ann alright. Can I see her now?”

“I’m sorry mam but someone was supposed to call you again. Miss Ann died about twenty minutes ago. She had another heart attack and she was gone. Mam…”

I must have been fading away; his quizzical expression slowly blurred and was gone.

My eyes fluttered open and I was on a hospital bed with little Annie next to me reading. I hate hospital beds; it reminds me of the scandal.

“Mam, are you back with us?” the same doctor was beside me taking my pulse. “You gave me quite a scare when you began to topple over. Your little girl though jumped the playpen barricade, and was by your side rubbing your head trying to revive you. You’ve got quite a helper there.”

Little Annie’s eyes sparkled a quick second but she did not look up from her book.

“I am sorry I did not brace you for the bad news. And I am sorry I told your daughter as well. After you fell and she was holding you she began yelling at me, and demanding the reason. I am sorry but I don’t like to lie to little kids.”

I looked over at my baby and the sparkle of happiness was gone, only to leave a tear streaming down her face and dripping onto the binding of the book. She still did not look up. I scooped her up into my arms and placed her on the bed with me; she stopped reading and buried her head into my chest and wept. “What now doctor? What happens now?”

“Well since she does not have any other family contacts we wanted to leave her effects with you both. She brought everything with her when the hotel staff called it in.”

As he produced her luggage, the same luggage I made her gather up and take with her when I kicked her out. “Did she say anything when she was conscious?”

“She only kept mumbling, ‘I am sorry…I wish I hadn’t been a coward…I wanted you to be mine…I had hoped to call you both mine.’ “She kept saying those things when she would come back to us. She also said this before she left us,” he was going to start but indicated Annie’s presence.

“It’s fine. She deserves to know what her friend said before she went home to His house.”

He retrieved a note pad, “She was saying too much stuff to me not to write it down so I could tell you everything word for word. She said to me,” ‘Please promise me something. If a young woman and child come to see me and I am already gone, please tell them I am sorry for leaving a second time. I should have stayed and fought to keep the family I wanted. Tell the little girl she is the most beautiful and charming little girl that I am happy to call my best friend.”

Annie’s sobbing silenced as she was listening to the doctor’s words. She squeezed me a little tighter when he had said what Miss Ann said.

He continued, ‘and please tell Lizzy that I never wanted to leave in the beginning. I just was cowardly and didn’t think I would be able to see you in a different family that was not with me. Please give her the folder in my luggage after you tell her these things. Hopefully she will understand.” As he said this he handed me an accordion folder. “Please tell her I still love her just as I did the first day I had to counsel her. I enjoyed the time is spent with them both and I felt a part of a family. A make sure to emphasize to her, I do not blame her for kicking me out. I am just happy I got to explain myself once more to her before I was gone.” He chuckled after the last part.

“What’s so funny,” I asked confused why he would laugh at her words.

“Oh no mam, she also told me that if I did not do as she said and tell you these things that she would haunt me the rest of my life and ruin all encounters of love. She also said that if I did tell you everything exactly as she wanted she would be the cause of my next love encounter. She was a stubborn woman, but I do hope you understood everything I said,” he said making sure I did in fact get everything he had told me; he probably believed that Ann would haunt him.

“You did, but I would still beware. She has a funny way of coming back into your life one way or another,” I said to be funny but it was true.

He chuckled as well, glance at us again and left the room.

The folder sat in my lap. I could quite put my finger on why I knew this folder, like I had seen it once before. ‘Why?’

“What’s wrong mama, aren’t you going to open it? I wonder what it is.”

I wonder too; I just didn’t know if I wanted to know. But it was Miss Ann’s dying wish I opened this folder. So… I opened the flap and found…“Wait really!?!”

“What’s wrong mama?”

“Are you okay mam,” the doctor must have been outside the room.

“I don’t believe it. She wanted me. She wanted me that day I told her I was being adopted. She had come that day to adopt me.” I kept rambling off different phrases trying to understand it all.

“”Yippee Mama, you were always wanted by someone who you loved.”

“Congratulations mam, being adopted is one of the greatest feelings, believe me.”

“Wait there is a second page in here. She updated the papers. She officially adopted me the day after I invited her to stay. I had a mama, for those few short days. Annie, that means you had a grandma for those few days too.”

“Awesome sauce! My best friend and my grandma were the same people.” Annie looked all excited for a moment, but then remembering. “I am sad she is gone though.”

“She isn’t truly gone. She is always with us and if God allows her she might just haunt us through our days. You too doctor sir,” I said with a small chuckle trying to uplift the mood.

“Well since today should be a happy day, for you being adopted and you finding out you had a grandma, I am going to take you too beautiful ladies out for dinner,” the doctor said as he also tried to also lift the mood. “Let me get cleaned up and you,” pointing at Annie, “will decide where we go.” He left the room probably to clock out and finish the last minute things.

I sat there excited for the food, excited for the company, excited for Annie; but also, I felt excited and warmed for me. I had a mama. A mama who fought to keep me. A mama who loved me until the end. A mama who I will remember for forever.

…Epilogue to Continue…

Sleeve

Hugs…Part 5

Hugs…Part 4

‘I don’t think she heard me,’ I said to myself because she hadn’t moved or responded to the great news. “Did you hear me Lizzy, it’s Miss…”

“I heard. I…”

Anticipation rising, I was having trouble controlling my emotions.

“I need you to leave. Leave this house without a word again, and actually keep your promise and never come back,” said without emotion or movements.

I was shocked she would say that; I thought she would be at least willing to understand my side of things. “Lizzy, aren’t you being a little unfair, I just want…”

“You have had forty years to explain. I will call you a cab. You will leave without saying goodbye to my daughter. Gather your stuff up and go.”

Lizzy exited the room towards her daughter, without so much of a tear; she just ended our conversation and began another with Annie.

I sat there a moment longer on the couch that I had thought I might get to stay on through the years. Being here with them gave me something to live for; I was going to attempt to make it to Annie’s adult life, if they would have had me. I stood and gathered my few belongings as a cab pulled up in front of the house. I didn’t want to just leave without saying goodbye; I didn’t want to relive my mistakes again. But I must respect her wishes and just leave. I walked up to the door, I thought I would never have to walk through again, and a second time stepped away from a family I wish I could have been a part of.

My body felt so heavy and my heart was slowly breaking. ‘What’s the point anymore, God? Is it time for me to come home, yet?’ as I plopped my body into the back of the cab as the cabby loaded my belongings.

“Where to Mam?” he said as routinely and generic as possible.

As I looked back towards the house, looking back at me through the living room window was little Annie’s tearful eyes. “Anywhere so crowded that I can’t be bothered by my feelings.”

He started the engine, and started to pull away from now just a memory.

Annie was no longer in the house she was running down the steps towards my leaving car. Stirring up the hard but bearable memory of leaving Lizzy the first time, ‘I don’t think I will live through this time,’ hearing Annie’s pleading cries and seeing her sobbing face. She will haunt me until my dying day.

…-…

We got back to the city back where I started outside the hotel, I had to weave through the bodies without being completely trampled. “Easier said than done, I must say,” I croaked out when I finally entered the flashy, cramped lobby. Booking my room, getting settled, and finally sitting in the slightly comfiest chair in the corner, I wept until I had no tears left. I sat in that chair for hours because I had no more energy for anything.

..-..

“Mam…? Mam,” the cleaning lady outside the door had been knocking for a while. “Mam? I’m coming in, excuse my entrance,” she said as she entered the door.

..-..

“Mama, what happened to the old lady with us? I miss her, and she didn’t even say goodbye. Mama?”

“She had to leave, Annie. Please don’t ask again.” Lizzy said as she stared out the window watching a man walk his grungy, cur-like dog down the street. “What an awful dog.”

“Mama, you okay? You always say what a poor dog and what a poor old man.”

‘How does she know these things,’ Lizzy thought to herself, ‘yes, when did I become so cynical?’ “I’m sorry my darling in just confused. What are you up to today?”

There was a knock at the door, just as Annie began to list off her long To-Do-List, “One minute Annie, let me get the door,” but she continued to ramble off. “Yes, hello,” as she said as she opened the door.

“Are you Elizabeth Kiddman, Mam?” a tall, crisp man standing on the porch said.

“Yes, that’s my legal name. May I ask what this is about? Annie, please stop rambling! Sorry I’m distracted, she is a handful,” Lizzy said as she gave the man her undying attention just as Lizzy latched onto her leg beside her.

“Mam, do you know a Ms. Ann…”

“Yep we do! She is the old lady that had to leave us suddenly,” Annie blurted out before he could finish.

“Annie darling, please go wait for me in the living room,” Lizzy could feel the indescribable tension building inside the man.

“But why…? Okay fine, whatever,” she begrudgingly went as she was told.

“Again, my apologies. Yes, we know of her. What about her?”

Annie was straining to hear her mother, but she only caught her mother whispering out, ‘what…when…how?’ So against all orders she ran back to the front door to protect her mother, but instead she entered just as her mother collapsed to the floor.

…To Be Continued…

Cur

Hugs…Part 4 (a bit longer…)

Hugs…Part 3

“What, Who, How?” I couldn’t seem to get a clear sentence out. “Where…did you get…that?” Finally giving up and gesturing to the laurel.

She quizzically looked down at the wreath of flowers and leaves, “I forgot who told me that’s what it’s called it; I’ve been calling it a wreath for all these years.”

She turned her eyes back to mine and I saw it; the same hidden sadness veiled under a smile, “Lizzy?” Unsure if this was indeed the long remembered child from my past.

Startled, she backed off, “How do you know me? I’ve never met you before.” She had moved to the edge of the sofa and little Annie’s head popped in around the door molding.

“You okay mama?” Annie said for her mother but was looking straight at me. Probably concerned that I had caused her mother to stiffen.

“I’m fine Annie, go back into the room and continue playing; you will have to tell me the whole story later,” her voice was a little settled.

Excited by the idea of explaining the lives of the dolls to her mother, “I’ll go start over and remember everything.” She was gone as quickly as she was there.

Turning my gaze back at the mother, I could see her mind running through perhaps all her memories trying to remember me, or trying to recall me. My greatest hope is that she will remember me and offer another hug; the glorious hug that I have always remembered. Her eyes stopped rummaging and stared at me intently, ‘here it comes’ I thought to myself.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t remember you.”

My heart shattered.

“Did we meet recently? Did you just read about me back a while ago in the scandal? Did you…”

“What scandal?” Trying to rack my brain, but remembering I was living in the middle of nowhere.

She looked at me, “You’re not a reporter right? Here to get an inside scooped some forty odd years later. You don’t look like the typical reporter, but I wouldn’t be surprised.”

Confused by her remark, but answered accordingly, “No, I’m not a reporter; I’ve been living in the country these forty some odd years and I haven’t had access to the modern gossip.”

“Well thank goodness someone who doesn’t know the lies to begin with. Now I wish you were a reporter so I could give you the very elaborate string of events and situations that happened.”

Again checking her surroundings making sure Annie was nowhere in sight. “I was adopted by a very nice and charming family right around the age of twelve. They are the ones that gave me this,” paused a moment, “laurel. Their youngest son was such a sweet heart, he was just under my age, but he seemed to act younger. He was my very best friend. I was with the family for a marvelous three years before it happened.” Tears were coming.

“Since you know nothing you should know, that everyone in the world believe I wish it to happen that I was just trying to have a better life. But if they actually had listen to me they would have known my life was perfect and I didn’t want it to change,” she said as she brushed the tears away.

“We had a family gathering, my family thought it was about time the rest of the family met me. They thought I should meet and intertwine with my many aunts and uncles. I was so excited I didn’t even think to keep my guard up.”

Listening to her talk I am at war with my feelings. I know the story must end badly, but I am so happy for her to have experienced the family lifestyle.

“I was such a naïve child. I had four years of love and kindness that I didn’t even suspect for their extension of the family to be any different. I just went wandering through the crowds of people. I was almost seventeen so I was old enough to introduce myself. But my little brother followed me everywhere. He had some disability that made him believe he was still young; he functioned perfectly but his mind was still innocent. So as I wandered he followed,” she paused only to brush another tear away.

“Any other day, I would have been glad he was always with me, but since that day I have wished every day that he hadn’t been there; because, after that day he became aware. They had one uncle that was not invited but had shown up anyways. I never thought that anything would happen. He kicked out my little brother and took me away.”

I could see the pain and shame; she didn’t have to explain it any farther. I rested my hand on hers and made her look into my eyes. I didn’t want her to relive it again.

She began to sob, trying to collect herself and continue, but she excused herself for a moment and went to the bathroom.

Annie popped her head in and got terrified that he mama wasn’t there. She walked straight up to me with her pointing finger right at my nose, “What happened to my mama!?!”

She had the cutest concerned face ever, if I hadn’t known I would have thought this was Lizzy’s little girl. “She is just using the restroom. How’s the story for the dolls going? Anything exciting happening?” Annie started telling me some of the story and wow she had so many details already thought out and planned. It was amazing. I could sense that someone was watching so I said, “Annie don’t look now, but your mam is spying; she is trying to hear the story now! You better run away and continue working on it so you don’t spoil the ending.”

Annie looked over at her mama in the doorway, scampered off the coach, and ran into the other room. She popped her head in one last time, “no peeking until I say its time,” and she was gone again.

Lizzy was a bit more controlled. She had cleaned her face and her eyes weren’t was teary.

“Sorry about that…I just…”

Thinking the tears might come back, “Your daughter is so adorable. You have quite the story waiting for you when she gets done.”

“Yeah, she makes every day interesting.” She was better now. “My little brother saved my life probably. The moment he got shoved out of the room he wailed and screamed. My family came to his rescue but didn’t know they would be rescuing me too. After the whole ordeal, I had to go to court and have it all reconciled. The uncle kept trying to blame me, and continued to feed the reporters fake news. My family though, stood up for me and defended me; they knew what he was and what his consequences should have been. He ended up going to jail.”

That brought a smile to her face, and I was happy for that too. Even though I thought, if his face had collided with shovel I would have been even happier.

“He also had to pay me 1.2 million dollars.”

My face probably said everything she expected; it felt like my mouth fell off my face.

“Yeah, even though my family wanted it to be closer to two-billion dollars. After the trial, I thought everything would go back to normal, but the courts deemed me unhealthy to be with my family. Because I now had a taste for money that I would continue to repeat what happened to me. My family of course was against the thought and prepared to go to battle with the courts, but they would lose everything. So instead of them losing everything I decided I should. I told them a lie; I told them to leave me and never come back. As heartbroken as I was, they were even more so.

I went back to the orphanage and bought it. I wanted to run it; I wanted to be in charge; I wanted the children to actually have a chance. It slowly dwindle down to no more children. I had made sure they all got into respectable loving homes.”

‘Great now I seem like more of a failure,’ I said to myself. She didn’t just lose her home, she made sure everyone got one except her. Now my failures and fears sound even worse. Because she didn’t get what she wanted, but she continued to fight to give others their dreams.

“I never married. I don’t know if it was because of what happened, but it was probably due to the repercussion of the reporters. They twisted and manipulated my story to make me out to an awful person. Making any respectable man out there stay away, and causing only the bad ones or greedy ones to come; so I gave up on trying. When I found Annie under the bench, she was perfect for my empty heart. She didn’t have a name when I adopted her, so I named her after one woman that seemed to love me…Miss Ann.”

I must have gasped, but I covered it up by just being an old lady having a hard time breathing. Annie is name after me? That is the sweetest thing I have ever been told, and that she saw me as someone who loved her. Still, I didn’t really want her to find out that Miss Ann had been sitting across from her; not only because she knew my failures, but mostly because she would know that I left her.

“She was the one person in my life I loved talking to about my adventures, my sorrows, or my questions. After I left to live with my family, I never saw her again. I understood I had a family to talk to but she was the person I wanted to see as well. After the scandal and being alone, it would have been wonderful to of had her with me. However, no one could tell me anything; even when I bought the place the woman who was in charge before said she didn’t have a way to contact her, and that she hadn’t been back.  I kept searching for a while, but she just dropped off the face of the planet. I thought I had meant something to her, but I guess I was just another child she had to counsel.” She looked off in the direction of Annie.

‘I didn’t want to. I didn’t!’ I was yelling in my brain. It wouldn’t come out into words, subconsciously I didn’t want her to hate me. Not now. Not when my life would soon end. But I didn’t want her to go another day wondering about me. So… “It’s me Lizzy, its Miss Ann.”

…To be continued…

Elaborate

Hugs…Part 3

Hugs…Part 2

Waking in and out of consciousness is a stressful thing, and it only makes me more stressed so I know I kept falling in and out…I woke to some bread and milk then my body said no and I was asleep again. I woke to a small tickle on my face and a quick larger hand swatting the tickle away, and then I slept…

“Mama, when is she going to wake up? She has been asleep too long. I don’t want her to die on my favorite couch,” tiniest squeak of a voice said in a whisper.

“Hush Annie, she can still hear you. She will be fine; one day soon, when it is finally time, she will come back to us.”

…Unknown number of days…

I have been consistently awake for a few days; I don’t know how many other days I was out of it. The mother is quite sweet; her daughter is too, but I think she still sees me as someone scary or someone who might just drop dead.

The house looks different in the inside. It truly looks like a child took to the walls and colored them however they wanted. With the personality of this little girl, this does not surprise me. The mom did a nice job of hiding away the shadows and blandness of the house. “Have you lived here long?”

The little girl’s mouth gaped open, probably because she thought I lost my voice, due to me being so ancient.

“We have been here since she was three, so almost five years now. You seem to know this house, can I ask you about your past?”

Embarrassed by the question trying to hide my feelings it said, “Oh, I just know about the history of the house. About forty years ago I knew this house very well.” After finishing my sentence I know I must have dazed off because I thought back to the child, the little child that would have changed my… ‘Nope,’ thinking to myself, ‘I won’t live through it again.’

Little Annie must have gotten bored because she skipped away into the kitchen. Probably looking for some mischief she could get muddled in.

“Yes the orphanage; I too knew that place well,” the mother sighed.

The sigh from the mother showed her true stress lines and wrinkles. “If you don’t mind me asking, how old are you?”

She chuckled, “I’m a ripe olé fifty-two almost fifty-three. I know sometimes I don’t look it, but that’s for Annie’s sake.”

She paused for a minute, checking the surroundings, “Annie isn’t mine; she is mine, but I adopted her. It seemed fitting, I grew up in an orphanage and never married, because I was here up until they foreclosed. I bought the place with the money from a horrible lawsuit; so that no one could use this home for an orphanage again. Annie was three when I found her living in a cardboard box down the street. I did all the legal things to find her a home and they kept saying she would be put in the foster system. So instead I took her home with me and she is officially mine. It’s a wonderful feeling being able to give someone the feeling of love that you have been longing for your whole life.”

This is a strong woman sitting before me; she did what I dreamed of, she claimed the little one as her own and she seems stronger for it. Even though I was going to guess she was only thirty-five, not the large amount of fifty-something. Thinking about this woman’s accomplishments stirred up my failures; they just seem to keep coming back. “You have done a marvelous job with this little girl; you have given her, what I wished I had been able to have done way back when. I’m going to bestow my little bit of personal failure on you, because it’s not going away and I feel like I need to talk it out before my time comes.” Looking at the woman hoping I have her full attention.

She was already staring at me intently, but she paused a moment, “Annie, what are you up to? Are you getting into trouble?”

“No mama, I’m just playing with my dolls in the living room!” Her small voice bellowed through the halls to us. “Sorry,” she said as she gave my attention again, “I get paranoid when she is silent.”

When I knew I had her attention, I told her my story and my failures…

I knew my story would hit close to her heart, because an orphan just wants a home. To hear a story from someone who chickened out on giving the child their dream is earthshattering for anyone but especially to an orphan. I couldn’t really read the mother’s expression; she seemed to have heard me but she seemed to be off in a distance.

Abruptly, the mom got up and said, “Excuse me a moment,” and she left the room.

‘I insulted her,’ I thought to myself. I wish I could just croak now so I wouldn’t have to indulge in criticism.

She abruptly came back into the room holding something…the laurel…

Bestow

A Story: Part 11

A Story: Part 10

Warmth…always warmth comes when I drift into my dreamland. This time however, my body lays upon a heated, hard stoned surface; the large stones dig into my spine sending currents of pain through my body.

“This is new. It’s not the normal beach.” mumbling to myself, more curious if my voice would work.

Opening my eyes, cobbles tones arch above me, under me, and behind me. I lay in a window, overlooking the stunning beach. The vast ocean stretches as far as my eyes can see. The wind echoes through the stronghold building attached to the window, tosses up my hair, and travels towards the sea. It intertwines with the palms, stirring up a rustling song in their branches. The sun is still high enough to catch my skin. I am leagues away from the coast. The sea looks like a giant puddle, stilled but vibrant. This time I am wearing a boat-necked dress. It hangs perfectly off my shoulders, the bodice fitted snugly, and the skirt flowing down to the dark hard ground. The gown is orange, like Liam’s eyes.

“Liam?” a squeak leaves my throat. I look around hoping I am alone and no one heard my embarrassing outburst. But yes, my dress begins at vibrant red and trickles downwards into oranges and yellows; I am walking sunset.

A slight chill surges through me; the smallest hairs on my legs spring to life causing static with the fabric. I need more warmth. Looking down there lies Danny’s blanket. The worn comforting brown material folded perfectly next to the window. As I lift the fabric and open it for a welcoming embrace, the wind swiftly takes it up and sends it soaring out the window towards the sea.

“No! Danny…” the next moments were a blur, but I find myself dashing through the palm trees after the blanket. The wind stops suddenly and the blanket drops to the sand inches from being completely submerged in the ocean break. Bending over I see the dress. It is no longer beautiful, it looks to be an old, moldy rag. The lovely sunset colors are no longer there. The reminisce of Liam is no longer evident. I stand disheveled and small. My hands shaking in fear, but grasping the half wet blanket.

The sun has set and the wind is bitter. The blanket, I desperately wished to protect, can do nothing for me now. I am alone again on this beach…

“David? Are you there?” I whisper into the void.

Even if he kills me, I can’t be alone anymore. My dreams are depressing and heartbreaking. At least with David I can have a chance to see someone.

“DAVID!! I know you are out there. You never would leave me. David!” I scream into the void. I don’t care anymore; I can’t be alone. “David!?!”

Only silence. Bitter awful silence. I fall to the freezing sand and sob into the drenched brown blanket. I’m alone…I’m alone…alone…

A Story: Part 10

A Story: Part 9

Sun…the brightest sun yet pierces my eyelids. The beach again; I had wished I might dream about the forest. Strange…I know that day was reality and not a dream; I can feel the stabbing splinters in my knees from the mulch. Also, I have had many dreams of the sky and I have never imagined it so blue. There were small hints pink, purple, and yellow hues hinted through the sky. The soft white clouds seemed to float aimlessly through the breeze without a care. It was peaceful; it was adventure. Instead, I know I am back on that stupid nightmare beach; again, probably to be tortured by my mind, David, or both.

Blaring heat surges through my body, and I press my body deeper into the cloth beneath me; it must be Danny’s.  “Danny…” tears whirl up inside me as I think about that little boy who didn’t know there was a reality beyond that evil red door. He never experienced the sky, birds, or sounds of peace. He lives inside me, but never free…just like me.

Far off steps come towards me; slow and softly, trying to sneak towards me. “David…” my body tightens and I grip the material beneath me and my palms begin sweating. They said my neck was from someone powerful; could David be this powerful? “Is that why he lives in my brain, but still lingers in the foreground never surrendering?” The pain and worry stir my head into chaos.

The steps keep coming, and I can no longer take the suspense. My eye open and I lunge up and prepare…

“David…” his mangled but strong body comes towards me. He looks to be alive but dead in all senses. He looks strong though in this ugly state. And he continues towards me not faltering or stumbling this time, but slow and steady towards his prey.

“David? What do you want?” my body is wavering, so I dig my feet deeper into the sand. That will hold me for a while. “David!?!”

He is about ten feet away and he stops. His dead eyes travel up to mine and they stare deep inside me. His arms tense and he bring his hands up level with my neck and his hands tense into talons. Then he continues towards me.

My mind is blurring and my limbs are wavering, but I hold my ground. “David! Stop. Talk to me.”

He stops. His eyes flicker a moment before continuing his march…

“David?” this human who has tried to kill me several times, and been the cause of other’s deaths…I step towards him.

He stops suddenly and his face contorts to an expression of…fear. He steps back once too, to regain his balance. His eyes spark life and they search my face. His body is tense and looks to be in a state of fight or flight.

“David?” I keep moving towards him. Small enough steps to keep a distance just in case, but I continue to close the gap. “David…” what was that…The smallest of tears ran down his face before he whisked it away from my sight.  “David?” and I extend my palm towards him.

He stands stilled in his tensed perch; he looks to be at war with himself. I am only a few steps away and I can hear the raspy whisper of his breath. I can see the blood and mud smeared skin. I can smell the many smells he has been covered with. “How long has he been like this? Is this what it is like in my dreams for the many essences in my mind…? Danny…?” my mind beginning to fog.

My palm touches David’s jawline, and he face is cold and rough. He looks old and worn this close, and his eyes show a hint of sadness. There is a track in the mud upon his face where the tear scurried down. My face inches from his…his body begins to shake…either fear or…

“David? Speak to me…” I say in the softest voice, not wanting to scare or change his mood.

“J…J…Jan…”

“JANE!” an invisible hand grasps my shoulder and pulls me back into reality.

My eyes open instantly and I am back in that dampened tree trunk room. A pair of hands still shaking my shoulders to awaken me.

“Stop it!” and I shove the hands away without thinking.

The body falls of the bed, and onto the floor.

A thud is all I hear. “David?” I think before anything else…why did I have to come back now…

“Are you all right?” the voice, from the body still sitting on the floor asks.

The voice brings me back into reality, the voice…Liam.

I swing my body towards his form and produce my chest over the ledge of the bed, just above him. He sits there collapsed on the floor, head down with his long locks cascading around his face.

Liam… “Umm…uh…”

His head jolts up and his eyes look directly into mine, like he can see through me. His hair falls down around his neck and he sits there without noise looking at me.

Without know why I fling my body back away from him, his eyes seemed to pierce my soul. No one has ever look as intently and focused at me before. It made my chest well up inside, but also with a mixed in feeling of fear.  I sit holding my knees frantically in the middle of the bed, trying to calm myself.

Liam’s body moves, and he stands before me. His body towers next to me, and it seems like if he were to extend a little more he would hit his head on the ceiling. He stands there awkwardly a moment before sitting on the edge of the bed next to me.

Every movement he makes I notice…the way his hand places itself within inches of my foot to brace his body. How as he releases a long breath his back slumps and relaxes ever so slightly. How when he breaths his hair flutters from his breath. How his eyes search my face then the room, before focusing again on me.

“Liam…” I say and his eyes jump to mine, his eyes alive and excited. But more like and excited fear.

“I didn’t know if you would remember or not,” his voice is different from before, deeper but more like a whisper.

Silence fills this little room. Even with another person to gain so much more info I feel like I can and cannot trust him. I want to know more, but I do not want to be lied to by him. “Liam? Why did you pull me out of my dreams?” The only thing I can think of to ask…

His face changes slightly, “Sorry for the harsh awakening. I tried to wake you but you didn’t respond and I was worried you were gone. The only way I could think of was to wake you was with force. Are you alright?”

So he didn’t wake me because of my dream, but because I did not wake. Strange it seemed like he was pulling me out of my dream by force to end it. Realizing I hadn’t answered him, “I am fine, I just wanted to finish my dream…” never knew I would ever say that about my nightmare beach…

“Was it a good dream? I am sorry to take you out of your peace.” His eyes clouded with sadness.

“It was an interesting one. Just an experience I wanted to know how it would end…but it’s fine, really.” Trying to end this conversation, because I don’t want to have to lie to him about anymore dreams.

Silence again creeps into the room. I feel content with the silence, because I don’t want to start another conversation and Liam seems to be a war with his mind. Instead, I watch his eyes change. They go from a sadness, to excitement, to fear, to determination, to nothing in seconds. His eyes are still the beautiful orange color. With every different emotion the ablaze in his eyes liquefies and switches to another. They seem to dance and spark with his emotions. His body lets out another breath and his eyes focus again on mine.

However, my eyes were already staring into his so when his eyes meet mine they show excitement and a hint of fear at once, making the flames sparkle. We sit there in silence pouring into each other’s eyes. Trying to discern anything without speaking.

“Jane…” he says…

“Liam…what are you doing?” a voice enters the atmosphere and our bodies tense. Liam turns to face to voice, as he does his body reveals the small girl from before standing in the door frame. She is holding a bowl of water and a towel over her arm. A small whiff of honey and peaches seeps into the room.

“Penny…” Liam says without thought…and he sharply turns towards me. The small girl of honey and peaches, drops the bowl, sloshing the water all over the ground, and the bowl clatters unbroken. Liam’s body is over me. His eyes dance with fear. “Jane…you must not say you know her name. Please, don’t call her by name!”

The voice of the old man comes into the room as Liam pulls his body away from mine. The old man is just that an old man. But his body suggest much pain and war, but it also shows his strong nature and stubbornness. His arms and legs are scarred and beaten. But he still looks strong enough to kill if need be. “Child are you alright?” he asks the small fragile girl, as she stand carelessly stilled and frozen with fear.

She cannot or will not answer him. The man’s eyes travel from hers, to Liam’s, to mine. His eyes are dark blue, with a hint of brown. But mostly darkness produces from his eyes, and they tear into mine in search of a reason.  I look away, because I don’t want him to know anything about me, I don’t trust his eyes.

Liam is the first to speak, “I am sorry for the commotion. She,” gesturing to Penny, “did not expect me to be in here. She was startled by my presence and so she dropped the bowl.”

Liam said that quite effectively and without wavering. He is an excellent liar…The old man seemed to buy the story and his body relaxed a small amount. His eyes still lingered over my body and I could feel his glare barring down into me. However, he turned back to Penny.

She was not a good liar, her body was still shaking with fear and she seemed to be about to burst into tears…

“So, who are you?” my voice breaks before her sobs do. Liam’s body stiffens and Penny’s face contorts to fear, but it silences her sobs.

The old man turns back to me, and I prepare my eyes for his intensive gaze. His eyes drill into me; his expression telling me I will not know this answer. He steps towards me and the room seems to shrink in size. He is larger than he looked and as he came forward his body straighten to almost match Liam’s height. Liam still stands beside my bed, but his body tries to stay firm in this man’s way; however, as the old man nears Liam moves to give way to the man’s destination.

I feel so small on this bed, as the old man towers over me. Liam is no longer able to be seen around this massive body, and Penny is silent. The man hesitates slightly before racing out a hand to clasp my shoulder.

All my strength is gone, but I can feel everything. A whirling fire soars through my body. It’s like a current of pain reaching ever crevasse of my figure. It feels like a snake is slithering through my veins in search of something. I lose all sense of sight and I fall into darkness, but I am still conscious. My essence falls into my subconscious and, “What…?”

There in my mind stands an apparition of the old man. He is wandering into my thoughts searching for something. “How is this possible?” I think to myself hoping he is not able to hear my thoughts. Every step the man takes I can feel. I can feel his eyes drill into my memories. However, I close off the tunnel to my dreams. Those are mine. I stand from afar watching him. He aimlessly wanders, but he is determined…

“This must be strange for you?”

“That voice… David,” and David’s body metalizes beside me. I feel fear, anger, and sadness towards him. “How…why…?”

He just looks at me, and I know he won’t answer. “How do you like someone else wandering inside your brain who is alive still?”

True. All the lives inside my brain are there because I put them there, this man is here because he put himself here. “David,”

He doesn’t acknowledge me, but he does smile a wicked smile in the old man’s direction. Without moving David vanishes and appears behind the old man.

“DON’T!” My voice cuts across to the old man and he vanishes before David’s hands clasp his throat. All around me is fading and all I see is David’s body bowing towards me like, he is commending his action for me in some way. Again darkness fills my mind and I lay alone in blackness.

“What happened?” Liam’s voice enters the void. “Are you alright?”

A scuffle and noises come too as my eyesight returns. There in the chair next to bed is the old man. But he looks smaller and fragile; he looks to be fifty years older. Liam is next to him trying to revive him. Penny is across the room getting more water. She returns to place a wet cloth on his forehead and she mumbles something and the old man surrenders to the cold water. His body relaxes and sinks into the chair.

I am flat on my back laying on the bed. I lift my head to see better, and Liam sees my movement. He quickly moves to my side and whispers in my ear, his breath warm, “lay quietly, do not stir until we move him…I will come back.” He lifts his head and his eyes find mine; he is telling the truth. I close my eyes and lay stilled upon the bed. But my eyes stay sharp listening to my surroundings.

“Come quickly!” Liam calls out and feet shuffle down the stairs and many new bodies enter the room. “Take him to his own room,” Liam says, as his body slowly moves out of the room.

I feel alone again. Grunts and winces sound next to me as I can sense many men lift the old man to carry him from the room. I lay as perfectly still as possible.  But before the forms move away one says, “She is beautiful.” I wonder to whom he was speaking…

The bodies carefully leave the room and climb the stairs; I hear them until they are too far and I am again left in silence. I am unsure if I am alone so I stay laying, eyes closed, and alone in this room until Liam returns.

I hear a shuffle of steps across the room, but without knowing who I lay stilled and frozen.  I am terrified, because I don’t want to die. Steps continue towards me and a hand places itself caringly over my mouth. My eyes open and there is Liam, suppressing my mouth to tell me to be quiet. His eyes are glazed over; I cannot read his feelings. He removes the hand and he collapses onto the bed again beside me. This time, however, his body hunches over and he rests his head between his knees to slow his breathing. I resituate myself into a more upright position so I can witness everything. My head swirls slightly. Penny comes through the doorway with another bowl and she carries it to table beside me. She places one wet towel on Liam’s neck, and then she sponges way my sweat from my brow and chest. She sits there in silence eyes cast downward wiping away. Liam’s breathing slows and his backs cracks releasing tension, but stays hunched over.

Penny drapes a new wet cloth over his neck and he sighs deeply. She seems better than before but her baby blue eyes seem sad and vacant. No one says anything, and it seems like they will not. I try to sit content that they came back but I cannot. My emotions will not let me, and my boil begins to boil. “What happened just now?”

My question cuts through the moment of peace and stillness. I feel like I just poked the belly of the beast. Liam’s back lifts and sits up straight; holding a breathing, stretching his muscles, and then releasing it his body slumps once again before turning to me. Penny seems to bow out and she leaves the room. Liam’s eyes are vibrant once again, but filled with fear and anger.

I cannot discern if the emotions are directed for me of at me. He looks straight into my eyes and his flame seems to ooze into my soul. He stares down into me, and I feel my body pulling away, but before I can his hands clasp my shoulders and pull me towards him. I am inches from his face and his breath soaks into my flesh…

“What did you just do?” Liam says point blank at me, furiously.

“What!?!…” I about to speak…

Liam’s hands grip tighter and he shoves me against the bed frame, and my back digs into the metal bars. He is strong, stronger than I imagined. I cannot move. His face inches from mine. His lips move, but I hear nothing. Penny is next to us and she is mouthing something. Liam falls away from me, and my mind fogs. Penny handles my body back onto the bed. I drift away into darkness with a lingering smell of honey and peaches.

A Story: Part 9

A Story: Part 8

“You can’t put all your faith into this girl!”

A voice harshly says with a slight squeak bringing me up out of my dreamless state. The voice is the same from my other dream. The voice that told the blue haze to wait. That was a strange dream I had; I think I prefer the beach scenes, but without David. My new dreams seem like I am watching a television show, and I am the new staring character.

“You don’t trust anyone. It seems like you want our home to be just that, our home.”

That was the blue haze voice. Don’t they know that I am here, and I could be possibly listening to their conversation. Either they are just stupid to be talking near me, or they want me to hear. I don’t mind, this way I can discover more about my surroundings. Keep talking voices…the voices continued…

The older voice, “I just want you to be guarded around her; she is a wild card. You saw the marks on her neck didn’t you?”

A small scuffle noise interrupted the stillness, it was the sound as if someone awkwardly changed positions.

“You did.” The old voice again, “She did not have those when I found her. I was not the monster to give them to her.”

It seemed like he was convincing himself more than the blue haze. I wonder…

“I know you did not give them to her. They appeared as Amy was healing her. They grew darker by the second. Whomever gave those to her is powerful…”

David…David is powerful? But he is locked away in my subconscious…why is my mind swirling…

I must have made a noise; because the voices stopped and their bodies moved as if to end the conversation. Bothersome…I wanted to know more. But I don’t know if my mind can take it; it is swirling in circles not ready to stop anytime soon. Sleep and actual dreams are calling to me.

Like as if the dreams could talk, “Leave the show behind. Come and see your imagination come to life.”

That scared me more than to just stay in this alternate reality…but I slept.

Sun beams burning softly into my skin…the beach…

This time my eyes flutter open and again my body is expanded over Danny’s blanket. The dark brown material has soaked up so much sun, that I must have been here for hours. My hand crawls towards the sand, and the small rocks waterfall through my expanded fingers toppling onto themselves again. The wind blows the waterfall sand into new places, giving the tiny grains a new adventure. That’s what I want. A new beginning. I want all these voices to be gone. I want my mind to live in reality. I want the small flower, at the moment stilled, to disappear. I want anything and everything to be my choice.

Bracing my body, I prop up onto my elbows and glance out at my surroundings. Yes, I am on that beach, and yes, I am alone. Strange…being alone is almost my most calming sense. The wind stirs into my hair; the long curls swirl blocking my eye line; I smell honey and peach vapors. The wind abruptly stops and my hair falls off my face.

“No…” David stands before me.

“No, you are not real. You only exist in my head. You’re not real!” I scream at him, confused, scared, and agitated all at once. This beach is no longer my beautiful escape, it is my deadly nightmare.

David does not say anything, but he drunkenly wanders towards me. Tripping himself and stumbling every few steps. His eyes say nothing, but his hands say everything. His hands are the only things that look alive; they are stiff and angered. His fingers like talons coming to capture my neck as its prey.

My body is limp, even the flower is still. But David’s form just continues towards me, never faltering his stare. I feel glued to the blanket. My hands and feet immovable. There is no noise except David’s crunching steps beneath his feet; I can hear my whimpers break the silence. Only my voice works…

“HELP ME!!” I scream into the void. Nothing happens, and David continues his approach. “HELP ME!!”

A shadow leaps over me, and my mind surges back into reality.

“Calm yourself,” the sweet voice from before.

I can’t do as she asks, and she needs to stop saying this to me; it just annoys me more. My body is a flamed and a ringing noise splits into my skull. “Why won’t it stop? Why can’t I just die? Make it stop!!”

“Calm yourse…”

“SHUT UP!” I scream out not knowing the voice or who it belongs to. “SHUT UP!” My body keeps flinging about, wanting to be ripped apart and put out of misery. “END ME, PLEASE…MAKE the pain stop…” and with that a small soothing electrical current soars through my blood, easing it back into a calm state. The amount of care I feel in my body allows me to open my eyes and I see the face hovering beside me.

A pair of soft baby blue eyes look back at me, “Is that better?”

The eyes belong to a girl; a small girl, but probably my age. Her voice is sweet like honey and her breath smells of peaches. Her skin radiates like the sun warming my own skin without even touching me. She has a small flower drawn into the side of her face; almost entrapping her eye to stay where it is. Her smile is kind, and inviting. I feel calm and at ease next to her. My flower begins to pulse, and hers changes color.

“Are you calm?” she asks in the most beautiful voice I have ever heard.

“Yes.” I answer without hesitation. My eyes trust her…strange…

“Would you like to sit up?” she maneuvers the pillows beneath me, without waiting for a response, to make it possible for me.

I don’t know if I will be able to support myself to do as she wants. I brace my arms to hold my body, and I can. My body feels light, the lightest it has ever felt. I can easily lift my body and brace my back against the pillow. My head swirls ever so slightly before resting into simplicity.

My surroundings are new; completely different than the house of screams. There is still a hint of cedar in the air, and the smoke from before must have come from the fire on the opposite side of the room. There are cupboards, shelves with books, a small table with two chairs, the bed I am upon, and the chair with the small girl beside me. “Where am I?”

The blue eyes shift from my gaze, ever so slightly, before returning. Her eyes are vibrant, but now have a sense of fear. “You are…”

“Don’t answer. You were about to lie to me, so I won’t believe you even if you answer.” Eyes don’t lie.

Her face contorts into a sad and angry expression. She is hurt by my outburst, but she is still fighting with herself, trying to discern if she can trust me. The problem with me is when my trust is broken, it can take a long while until I trust the person again. Which is why I stopped her from saying anything, because I feel like I want to trust her in the future.

I can hear voices above me, and voices echoing around me, but there is no other life seen. “What’s your name?” If she lies to me about this, I will know if I can trust that where I am is safe.

Again the blue eyes drift from my face. She looks to the opposite side of the room, and I see the doorway hidden from view. Her face is at war with herself. She does not answer me, but as she turns her head back to me she does not make eye contact. She only says, “Would you like some water? You look thirsty.” She moves away to a small sink to get me water.

“Can I move? Can I get up” I ask myself in my head…can I run? I don’t know any of these answers, but I do know I can’t trust where I am. I look off to where the girl with blue eyes is and she is still filing the cup. My body is tingling and I feel a new current soar through my veins…determination. I don’t know how but I swipe the covers back, and lunge for the doorway.

“No… come back,” the blue eyed girl’s sweet voice calls to me, with a hint of desperation in her voice, mixed with fear.

I can’t. I need answers, but more than that, I need to be free. Through the doorway leads to stairs. It seems to spiral upwards, and seems like forever, but the pulsing flower surges with heat and urges me on. Each step I take I feel better and better; stronger and stronger; like I have been newly made. Last couple steps…and there is a big red door. Exactly the same as the home I was in before. The same as that hallway of screams had that would lead to reality. The same that made me who I am…

I take the knob and shove it open…

Light. Air. And chirping. Sight, smell, and sounds I have not heard except in dreams. Surrounding me are trees of many kinds. The air is sweet and fresh. The chirping noises are from birds perched on branches or birds soaring through the blue sky…the sky. It seems bigger now than it was in my dreams. It seems to extend upwards forever, and continue on even though I can’t see it. A breeze picks up around me sending a beautiful chill down my back. I know it is real because of the new sensation I am feeling. I almost forget why I am here…then…

“Jane. I need you to come back inside.”

The voice comes from behind me, I can’t see the face, but I know the voice. It belongs to the blue haze. I don’t move. I want to stay in this world forever; I want this place to be my new adventure like the sand. I want to see this habitation more, and if I go back inside I might never see it again.

“Jane…”

The voice is pleading so softly that I know something must be wrong…I turn towards the voice and I see him. He is nothing what I expected. His body looks tortured, his arms are sagging with weakness, his hair is so long it almost covers his eyes…his eyes are vibrant orange. But not just orange, they are almost like a fire ablaze captured in a small space.  Only his eyes seem to be strong. He is closer to me than I thought. I can hear his breathing, and I can see the years on pain in his limbs.

“Jane…please…” his eyes show fear, care, confusion. He turns and stretches his arm out towards the door. This side of the door is brown. It has been constructed into the trunk of the large tree. “You have to go first.”

How do I trust him, how can I trust any of them? I trust his eyes; they seem to telling the truth. My body does not move; not only because it is afraid, but also I have lost all energy. I step towards him, but my feet falter and I collapse to the ground. My knees dig into the mulch below me stabbing into my flesh. My body feels heavy and I know I will not be going back willingly, but unconsciously. But before that I need to know…

I look up, and the blue haze’s body is towering over me. But as my face turned up, his eyes are right above mine. He has kneeled beside me, next to the place I collapsed. I can feel his breath on my cheek. I can see right into his eyes and deeper into his soul. This is my chance…” What’s your name?”

His eyes don’t turn away; he continues to stare back into mine. His eyes stay strong, “Liam.” Without hesitation, and without flickering in his eyes; this my first truth. His eyes didn’t lie. My body collapsed into his embrace. His body stiffens suddenly, but I feel at ease. My mind is drifting, but I feel safe for the first time. “Liam…” I try to say, but then I am gone.