One Way Road: a short story.

Today was like any other day for Samson, except for the fact that today was the day that he had decided to tell Rachel how he really felt about her.

It was around 7 pm, when he decided to drive his old rusty pick up truck over to her apartment. He had pumped himself up for it all day at work, but now that he was executing his plan,  he was starting to have second thoughts.

Talking out loud to himself on the way over, he practiced his lines, “Listen Rachel, there is something I have to tell you,”

Too serious, he thought.

Maybe I should just be blunt, “Rachel, I love you!”

“Yeah, right”, he laughed, “she would flip out.”

Rachel was the type of girl who disapproved of even the word love. There had been a time in her life when she wasn’t so jaded, but heartbreak wore her thin and now she shuttered at the thought.

She was actually engaged once. They were together four years, but after she caught him cheating, the marriage was cancelled. She was never the same.

She would always say, “The only person I will ever love is myself. I’m the only person worth my time.” Samson knew it was just her way of avoiding the potential of  another painful break-up.

Over time she became the mysterious type, never had much of anything positive to say and refused to cloth herself in anything but black. Her explanation was that she felt bright colors to be “camouflage for her dark soul.”

But she wasn’t always this way. There was a time when the light in her eyes shined so brightly it could light up the room. Even now, if one were to look hard enough they would see a tiny glimmer of a spark hiding behind the scars of the past and the fear of moving on.

That is when he first fell for her.

They met through mutual friends in high-school, but never really spent much time getting to know one another. After graduation, she moved out west on a quest to find herself and he stayed behind and hooked up with his first love. She left him broken and bruised. A state he thought he would never recover from.

Until he ran into Rachel some years later. She was back visiting from one of her many adventures and just happened to show up at a party hosted by Sam’s best friend. The moment she walked through the door, he felt something he never thought possible again. How had he not noticed it before…the way her eyes sparkled when she smiled, the warmth that ran through his body when she laughed. Her nearness to him felt like home.

They spent the rest of the night side by side. Sharing stories of the past and all their future plans. She left that Sunday, not to return for another three years, when she considered herself ‘found’ and moved back to the town where it all begin.

It had taken eight years for him to muster up enough courage to tell her how he felt and for how long. He wasn’t sure how she would react, but he had to get it off his chest.

Pulling into the parking lot, his hands began to shake as his loyal mutt, now hanging his head out of the passenger window began barking.

“Gunner hush!” He scorned at the little pup. Gunner gave him a whimper of disapproval and began barking again.

Sam opened his door and took his first step onto the scalding summer pavement. He looked the same as usual, wearing black jeans and a white t-shirt just tight enough to show off his nipple piercings, something he was very proud of! His sleeves were rolled up in order to compliment his muscular arms and to serve as a place to hold his smokes. Rachel always teased him about that, “What? Do you think your as cool as James Dean or something?” she would squawk.

His long black hair was swept up in a tousled bun and a rugged goatee fit itself strategically around the metal skull piercing in his chin. As he opened the door for Gunner, his legs began to shake. This was it, the moment of truth.

He and Gunner walked up the driveway slowly, Sam’s stomach at his feet.

There was a large evergreen tree blocking the view of Rachel’s door until just before you reached it, so he took this time to psyche himself up in case she happened to be outside.

He knocked on the door quietly as to almost avoid her actually answering it, as he heard her yell, “Just a sec Sam!”

When the door finally opened, he found himself speechless.

He wasn’t sure if it was the build up from the ride over or the fact that in just a few moments everything could change, but in that moment she was more beautiful than she had ever been before. She was breathtaking, her long brown hair was pulled back in sheer chaos and the makeup around her eyes looked darker than usual, although her porcelain complexion may have helped to exaggerate it. She was wearing a low cut black tank top and skirt that just barely covered her knee-high army boots.

“Hey Sammy” She said with a monotone grin. “I see you brought Gunner, I swear you never go anywhere without that mutt!”

Samson shrugged and said, “Rachel, we need to talk.”

“Well come in you idiot, I’m not stand’n out here all day!”

Samson gulped, his stomach located a bit more uncomfortably now in his chest. He knew that the next time he walked through this door his life would be changed and the scariest part of it all was that he didn’t know if it would be for the better or for the worse. But he couldn’t keep living in silence anymore, so he put fear aside and followed Rachel inside.

Her apartment was as dark and dreary as usual, the radio playing some Gothic medley in the background and he noticed that Rachel seemed a bit edgy.

“What’s your problem Sam? Your making me nervous. Hit this and chill out,” she said as she playfully glared at him and handed him a freshly packed bowl.

Smoking pot was Rachel’s answer to everything. She considered it the cure for any ailment big or small and she exercised her beliefs daily!

Samson took the pipe and began lighting it. Wondering if it was still a good idea, he filled the chamber and cleared it. As he exhaled, he reminded himself that he would have to say something soon, before the drug took hold of his courage.

“Rachel, we have known each other for a long time right?”

“Are you trying to get to something Sam, cause you’re sure taking forever!”

“Just hush and lemme say this, smoke another and chill out.”

Rachel glared at him with her big green eyes, fiddled with the black choker around her neck for a minute and cashed out the pipe. “Okay, I’m waiting!”

“Would you just stop? I’m tryin’ to tell you something important! Why do you always have to be such a bitch?!”

“Screw you Sammy, you have no right to say that. You’re the one being an idiot. I don’t really give shit what you have to say!”

“Yeah well, I don’t have anything to say now, I was mistaken!”

“No one could love a self-centered bitch like you anyway, forget it”, he muttered.

“What did you say? Please tell me you didn’t use the L word in my presence. You know I hate that shit.”

“Well forget I said anything! I didn’t mean it anyway! It’s the pot talking”.

“No, you said something alright. What the hell are you tryin’ to say?”

And before he could stop himself, he blurted, “I love you Rachel! I always have, but I can see now that it is not even worth it”.

Rachel put her head down and began fiddling with her necklace again. “Ugh, you are so dramatic. I need a cigarette!” she huffed.

“Well then I’m leaving, good-bye Rachel!” Samson yelled and stormed towards the door. Gunner followed, but the door slammed before he could make it through.

Rachel dropped her head and covered her face with her hands.

Then suddenly, something inside of her snapped, the levy broke. Emotions she had fought for years to keep buried deep within her soul began rushing to the surface! The bricks and mortar she had pieced together around her heart, crumbled at her knees.

Not sure what to do, she peeled her hands from her face and looked up to see Gunner staring up at her. She smiled.

“Come on Gunner, let’s go after him!”

The amount of enthusiasm in her voice startled the dog, but once the door was open, he was outside faster than Rachel could move out of the way! Spinning backwards to avoid him, she laughed and turned to close the door.

She walked down the driveway slowly, her stomach at her feet.

Thinking she was quite clever, as she passed the evergreen she yelled, “Sam! You forgot your damn dog!

But it was too late. He was already gone. It was just Gunner, sitting in the tire tracks he left behind.

She knew he’d be back eventually. It wasn’t like this was the first time they had argued.

Besides, she thought to herself, he loves me! She smiled, and…I love him.

“Come on Gunner! Let’s go call that goofball and tell him he forgot you!” She laughed.

She didn’t know it then, but this very moment would be the one that defined the rest of her life. It would be the moment that changed her. The one she would come to lean on for comfort in the days to come.

It would be the day she learned to love again, but it would also be the day she lost the love of her life.

When Sam stormed out of the apartment that day, all he could think about was getting as far away from Rachel as fast as possible. Far away from the rejection, the disappointment and the embarrassment of the last few minutes. Tears rolled down his face, his foot pressing harder and harder on the gas pedal with every sob. He drove and drove and drove until he was clear across town.

It was getting dark now and the familiarity of his surroundings was fading. He had no idea where he was going, but it was away from her so it was fine with him.

And then he realized, he forgot Gunner!

“Damn it!” he yelled as he hit the steering wheel with his fist. “I am going to have to go back and see her.

The tears started again…but…I want to see her again. There is nothing else I want more. What the hell? He thought as he laughed at himself.

Turning the car around now, he decided he would find the nearest interstate, drive back to her as fast as he could and demand she hear him out!

It was raining now and there was construction everywhere! Where was he? How long had he been driving? And then he spotted it!

Through the glaring lights of oncoming traffic, there it was, the sign for I75!

He cranked the wheel, slammed on the gas and in an instant, he was gone.

When the news came, it was from Rachel’s sister, Sarah. She and Sam’s best friend married a few years after the party where Sam first fell for Rachel. Sarah always knew how Sam felt and she also knew that Rachel felt the same way about him, though she would never admit it.

Sarah also knew that this was the kind of news you deliver in person and she worried that this may be something of which Rachel would never recover.

And although it did not break her fully, there was a certainly a piece of Rachel that died along side him that day.

However, what he left her with was so much more. It was not just the courage to love again, but the knowledge that tomorrow is not promised to any of us.

Had it not been for fear, the two of them may have had a love story like none other or maybe not.

Her greatest loss was that now, she will never know.

 

 

“If we deny love that is given to us, if we refuse to give love because we fear pain or loss, then our lives will be empty, our loss greater.” – Oprah Winfrey

 

 

 

Advertisements

Funny Life Moment!

Funniest thing happened to me today. I have a trip coming up and I wanted to use a certain credit card to cover the cost, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I have been keeping my eye out for it for weeks, but this weekend I decided to do a more thorough search. I looked everywhere, all my bags, purses, drawers, you name it and nothing! I checked to see if it had been used and nope, not since I used it last. I knew it had to be somewhere in the house.

I decided to stop looking yesterday evening. I figured I would put it out of my mind until today  and if it didn’t turn up, then I would request a new card. I leave in two weeks, so it should be enough time. I put a request out into the universe for the card to turn up to avoid the hassle, but it would be fine either way.

This morning, when I was getting ready for work, I realized the jeans I had planned to wear were dirty. I grabbed another pair and guess what was in the pocket?! Yup!

I literally held the card in the air and said “Thank you!”

And then, yet another twist , The card expires tomorrow…. Something I probably would not have realized had I not been on the hunt for the card. Usually they send you a new one, but nothing yet. Seeing as my trip is 2 weeks away, I guess I will still be requesting a new card…lol

At least I am not finding out in the middle of paying for something!

Oh how I love life’s little twists 🙂

A Trip of a Life Time

As many of you know I have been working on the second book in my memoir series and I have been using my many journals of the past to refresh my memory a bit. In going through one of them I stumbled across this entry from a trip of a life time I took to Guatemala and Belize in December of 2012. It’s funny, as I was reading it I realized that I had completely forgotten about some rather funny details of its beginning. I thought it would be nice to share 🙂

Guatemala Trip (day one)                                                                                2/17/2012

Adella took us to the bus station to catch the Van Galder to Chicago. Our flight was at 2am and our plan was to get there a few hours early so we can have a sweet dinner & some cocktails!!

We board the bus on time and just as we are pulling out Steve realizes that he doesn’t have his cell phone! Mini Heart attack!! He runs to the front of the bus and asks the driver to stop. He does and luckily it was on the floor of Della’s car.

We are on our way again!

Heading up to the airport, we are all really excited. I can’t stop thinking about every detail (as usual), my mind is racing…some good, some bad , some fear, some sad…thought after thought, so fast it was impossible to focus on only one for more than a second. My heart was pounding a mile a minute!

We made it to the airport by a little after 9pm, but we had to wait to check in until 10:30pm.

Once 10:30 finally rolled around, we whipped thru security (1st time I got to experience that new x-ray machine thing; weird).

Sadly enough, once we made it to our terminal, our plans to booze it up & fill our tummies were failed. Due to an extensive remodel, all restaurants & bars were non existent 😦

We hit up the only kiosk available and purchased $9.00 sandwiches & salads. As hungry as I was, I really didn’t care. We camped out for 2 hours watching the movie, 28 Days Later waiting for our flight.

The flight started out pretty neat. The plane had individual monitors on the back of every seat with TV shows, music, movies, & games. The drinks were complimentary & they even served us breakfast!

The only bad part of the trip was just how long it was from bus to flight. By the second leg, all three of us were ready for it to be over. We all had something that ached and there was this sort of delusional feeling that took over after a while. But it was all worth it when we heard the announcement that we were landing in Guatemala City!

We had a slight debacle with the rental car… When we arrived at the kiosk as instructed, there was no one there and a layer of dust covering the counter. What!?!

We immediately grabbed the first person in sight to ask them what were supposed to do and were told to go outside the airport. We were hesitate to do this because there was a mob of people out there and we had absolutely no idea where we were going.What if we couldn’t get back in?

Steve called the rental company and they told him the same thing, go outside. No further instructions given.

I was eventually able to find someone who spoke a small amount of English and together we Spanglished it out. The woman I spoke with told me that only ticketed passengers are allowed in the airport and further explained that a representative from the car rental agency would be waiting outside with a sign.

Sure enough, we walked outside and there he was to shuttle us in the very car we would be renting back to the rental office. Whew.

Driving in Guatemala was terrifying to put it mildly! We realized very quickly that the traffic rules here were merely suggestive and there were absolutely no regulations on emissions. If it runs, you can drive it and they did! Black smoke streamed out of almost every car on the road and motorcyclists weaved in and out of traffic like speed racer! Steve caught on rather quickly and I was so glad I wasn’t driving. I sat in the back seat and just took it all in.

Before we knew it we were in Antigua. The city was saturated with culture. It was comprised of long corridors of colorful stucco and cobble stone streets filled with locals. Guatemalan children swarmed us in the square, Parque de Central, trying to sell us homemade jewelry and walking tours of the city. I was completely overwhelmed…in a good way. Even the most run down villa vibrated with history and emotion. It was absolutely life changing.

One of the locals guided us to a restaurant just off the square where we ordered an authentic Guatemalan soup and the national beer of Guatemala, Gallo. The waiter was fun and friendly. We asked him what the best tequila in the house was and he pointed to a tall cobalt blue bottle on a high shelf.

“We’ll take that!”

Quinta Penas Tequila

That was the beginning to a trip that was truly once in a life time 🙂

I hope you enjoyed!

Also noteworthy…

Next to this journal entry was a quote,”Make a lasting impact on every life you touch!”

Not sure where I heard it, but it sums up my highest hopes for this life.

Thank you for reading!

 

 

The Alley Nook – A Short Story

It is amazing how much a few short years can diverge you from a path that once seemed so destined. After so much time I was back in the same town that had changed my life so long ago.

I used to take this alley home from work everyday.

The smell of garbage still filled the front entrance. Its over powering stench had not changed.

I walked further, in the same footsteps where I had walked once before. Over the musty old hill I found the place of peace I used to share with the love of my life just years before. The small little nook in the wall was still as we had left it. I stepped upon the old concrete steps as though I was stepping into the past.

Streams of memories engulfed my mind, as I looked over this place in present time.

It was nothing special, an old stone stairwell set back in an alley. Large green vines, battling against the elements to stay alive, still covered the outer wall. The stairs were made of stone and were now worn and covered in soot. Tiny pieces of cement were beginning to loosen themselves from the concrete slabs where he and I used to sit.

Just above the steps was a small wooden door that always raised a question in my mind. I had never seen anyone enter or exit through this door, yet it always contained so much life. The vines had moved there way up the fragile wood and walls. The place really hadn’t changed much except for the love that we shared within it.

Staring there now, I could almost visualized the two of us so long ago. We were so in love.

He always used to tell me, “Our love keeps these flowers alive, and where there is no love there is no life.” He always had a way with words and a way of making me feel them so intently.

We would make our getaway at least once a week and journey down to this little nook in the wall. It is strange how much power a place can have over you even after several years of not giving it a thought.

The breeze was cold as it hit the back of my neck, making the hairs stand up on end.

I closed my eyes for a moment, taking in the fresh smell of dirt and grim and the immense feeling of heartbreak. So long ago we shared this place full of beauty and life and now it is all I have left to remember the man who swept me off my feet. He has been gone three years now but somehow I can still feel him near me. I can almost hear his voice calling me to come home.

Its amazing how much nature can stand still, preserving memories in the beauty of its environment.

Taking one last breath, I stood up and began to detach myself from the emotional memories that were beginning to flurry in. As I took one last moment to remember the feeling of love and the overwhelming power of pain, a small red flower caught my eye. It was growing on the vines that had engulfed the door behind me.

One single flower, its leaves ripped and petals worn and bruised. I picked it up gently and placed it in my bag.

Looking up at the sky, all I could think to say was “good night sweetheart”