No rants today all. Today I’m going to give you all a sneak peak into a book i’ve been toying around with. It’s not finished so deal with it!
I got a new low, I think to myself as I pick through the remains after the fire. Now I know what it really feels like to have nothing. To be without, no home, no family everything is gone, i was the only survivor. I wish I burned like the rest of everything. Everything…. Who am i now? Sure i could go stay with friends and have them ask a boat load of questions I have no answers to at this point. And they’ll sit there with their (i’m sorry for you, but i’m glad it’s not me) looks on their faces, and they’ll tell me i’ll be okay, i’l move past it. But I won’t, not really, what do i have now to make this life worth it. What do i have to look forward to? Nothing, not grandkids, not growing old together, it’s all gone in that fire. I tried to reach all of them, i hear their screams still in my head it’s been four days. Funerals are tomorrow closed caskets of course, my worse fears come true, burying my children. I was prepared for my husband eventually but not so young, this wasn’t their time.
A few weeks later i got a place thanks to insurance policies i didn’t want, thanks to the will my husband made without my knowledge. I still go to their graves everyday, fresh flowers, solar lights around the headstones, toys I leave, transformers, dolls, paint brushes, a rain coat. Weird things that now one ever leaves but it comforts me. I got a new therapist 3 one in 3 weeks, no one understands. It’s normal they tell me, this will pass i will move on, i’m young still full of life, still can create life. But refuse to be happy, why should i be. Just thinking about to identifying the bodies haunt me, barely recognizable, my little boys and the little girl i always wanted. She would’ve been 3 today, the boys were 10 twins, they loved her so much and they loved me. My husband worked so hard to keep us all so happy for what to burn in some stupid fire that no one knows how it got started. I’m over this life i’m ready to die just to see their faces again.
A year passes and things are a bit more bearable, I still wake up every night crying. I still visit the graves everyday, I still drive by the house, our house to see nothing has really changed; I finally got a good job (9 months now) and bought a new home. Baby steps my therapist likes to say. I’ve stopped bring toys, and flowers now I just sit and talk about my day and imagine what they would all look like now, the therapist doesn’t agree with my method but it works for me so fuck him. Today I will go to the art show on 5th, I think to myself as I sit at my desk. Darlene my co-workers keeps bugging me about it anyhow and I do need to get out. She’s talking to me know, and i’m zoned. I do it often not realizing until i get the classic “HELLLOOO are you still listening?”. “Sure Dar, I’ll go to the art show tonight.” This catches her off guard.
“Really, wow, oh good i’m so excited I can’t wait to show the new piece I’ve been working on!” Her eyes are shining with excitement.
“Yeah, sounds like a good time. I haven’t been out in awhile. what should I wear?” I think this out loud not really needing an answer. I wonder what i will wear tonight, my mind spins as i think of the most simple thing clothes. Then I think about her, and how i would dress her in the prettiest dress. Darlene is still talking at this point, when i get up fast to run tot he bathroom as tear pour down my face. When will this pain stop? Darlene follows, “Evy are okay? Did i say something wrong?”
“No Dar it’s fine, what time should i meet you there tonight? I’m going to leave now and get ready, i’m fine really.” and with that I didn’t give her the chance to follow. i left that after noon and went start to the graveyard, I poured my heart out to each headstone looking to the sky occasionally to plead to them. “Please just tell me it’s going to be okay, tell me I’m going to survive this life without you all?”
After an hour of waiting for my answers I give up and turn to my car to go find something to wear for this evenings’ adventure. After rummaging through my closet I finally find an outfit, and proceed with my shower then hair and makeup. I leave with 5 minutes to spare before the opening, casually late is always best right? As I open the door and the air hits me in the face I get the strangest feeling this night will be one to remember. More than once during that car ride I wished to turn around go home and curl up in bed with my books, my escape. I have also forgotten what a pain the ass it is to get parking in the city. After 20 minutes of driving around the same 5 blocks FINALLY something opens up. On my way I pass a few homeless who are snuggled away in the papers I slide a $50 under each of their hands and hope it helps them at least attempt to get back on their feet again. Besides what am i saving money for? The doors to the gallery open as soon as my foot touches the first step and out runs Darlene.
“Oh my god you really did come!!! I thought for sure you’d rather stay at home after what happen today,” arch here it comes the questions, ” we all have our days I suppose I’m so happy you’re here come in, come in.”
And this is when I really started to concede Darlene my friend, a real friend. Not like the ones I used to have that finally after months of my deep depression turned their back on me because they just could take it anymore. “It’s just no healthy for you to be around the kids.” That’s what they told me so I stopped calling, or answering months later. Probably after they realized what douche bags they were being. Oh well, fuck it.
Darlene and I weaved in and out of the crowds to her paintings that had a crowd of their own. When i looked up to see all the painting my mouth dropped. They were all of me, not in the sexual way or of an obsessed psycho but of an artist capturing my different stages of pain. There were even a few of me smiling. But the main one was of me crying as I held the picture of my family at my desk. I was always careful she didn’t see the picture or my tears, I guess i was careless. But i didn’t feel exposed or betrayed in anyway, I felt relief. Maybe i didn’t need to hope all this sadness in any longer, maybe I had a true friend to help me through this fog. As I looked to my right I saw her watching me biting her nails and fidgeting, ” Dar, these are amazing.”
“Really?! I wasn’t sure how you’d feel about me painting you, I didn’t want you to feel like i was invading your privacy or anything. I just find it interesting that you bottle all your emotions up so tightly but sometimes they escape, and they are all so beautiful. Because those little releases I catch here and there are signs that you will get through whatever you are going through.” She turns red and tilts her head down after she says this gauging what my reaction will be.
“No one has ever said that to me before. No one has ever said anything to be like that since…. oh never mind. they are amazing and what you said makes them even more amazing.” And with that I was quiet because as I went to excuse my self for the bathroom I turned fast and slammed right into a guy calling Darlene’s name. Now I was embarrassed, not just because I slammed into him but because I finally realized that at this point everyone was staring at me. “OH i’m sorry excuse me.” the words finally came out as i rushed to the bathroom.
As I sat on the toilet in the bathroom thinking about what i should do next i heard a small knock. Go away I thought to myself, “occupied” I yelled out.
“I just wanted to say that I’m sorry for my stupid brother being directly behind you screaming out my name. You didn’t hurt him, do you need me to get you anything?”
“No i’m okay Dar, i’ll be out in a minute” Would i be out in a minute. Guess I have to be now, argh and it wouldn’t be so bad if that guy, Darlene’s brother, didn’t remind me so much of my late husband. How was i going to go out there and face that? Slowly i got enough courage to move format he bathroom to the bar to get a drink. Sitting there at the bar gave me time to think of my next move, maybe Darlene would get sick of waiting for me and forget I was here and move on to her other friends. But the more I thought about it the more I knew that wouldn’t be the case. She’d find me eventually and bring him for introductions.
“There you are, we thought maybe this was too much and you left. I’m glad you’re still here at the bar. This is my brother Micah, Micah, Evelyn, Evelyn, Micah. Now that the introductions are finish maybe now would be a good time for Micah to apologize for being a Neanderthal.
“Oh don’t be silly Dar, it’s fine really. Besides I ran into him.”
“Well if he wasn’t yelling like wild animal, you still be there. i’m sure he startled you and you just wanted to get away, right?”
“Actually I just had to use the bathroom. Like I said it’s really okay.”
“Well, how are you, Evelyn, My sister has been talking about you and painting you for the past 7 months. I feel like you’re a part of the family,” he says this as he chuckles “she’s a weird one, that Darlene. But i see she see’s something special in you. Her new project.”
I wasn’t sure how to take that really, so i just shrugged it off and moved on. “Oh really, well I’m sorry if it was boring, because really i’m not that special. But the paintings are amazing! My boy was a …… never mind. Anyway, This was lovely coming out but I think i’m going to have to go and sleep, I had a long day and am pretty tired.” As went to get up from the stool, his hand reached out to my arm and I felt a shock.
“Oh please don’t go, I was just getting to really know you.” he leans in to say the rest in my ear, ” besides running will get you nowhere, the pain will still follow” and he pulled away with a serious look that last about 5 seconds and was replaced with a smile. Who is this guy and what does he think he knows what i need and what pain I can or can’t escape. At this point i’m getting angry that my friends BROTHER won’t let me go home and sleep. The he turns and I see it, his ear is burnt almost completely off. I turn my eyes and say to darlene that i’m feeling under the weather and i should go. After a few pleads to stay she finally gives up and i’m on my way. As soon as I lay in bed I’m asleep. This is the first night i go without a single nightmare.
The next morning I wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day. The phones rings as I get out of the shower, ” Oh hey Dar, i don’t know if i feel up to a shopping day? Okay some other day i guess talk to you at work, bye.” As i hangup i instantly regret my decision, guess i’ll just go to the grave yard again. It’s been so long since I put anything on the graves that i stop by the local florist and get a dozen roses to divvy them up at the sites. I pull my car up to the spot that I always use and that blue car that is always parked right in front of mine. i never see who the person is that drives the car but i assume they don’t’ want to be bothered so i never go out of my way to look for them. I get out and prepare myself for the walk, it’s not far at all really it’s just painful.
“ahhhh I was wondering why you decided to stop dropping things off that their graves,” I turn quickly startled by the sound of the same voice from last night. ” I stopped for a while too but it seems like today was a good day for flowers”
“Are you following me?” Is all I could get out, it felt like there was a large rock in my throat.
“Hardly, I come here daily, same time as you actually, 4 head stones down. I can’t believe you never noticed me, but really i’m not surprised i was like that also when i lost my family 5 years ago.”
“But you made it sound like you didn’t know me last night, that that was the first time meeting me, does darlene know, you’ve known me all along?”
“Well, yes and no, Darlene is weird, she has these dreams and told me about 4 years ago I would meet someone, someone to help me move on after this,” he points to the headstones 3 to be exact, ” I just never knew it would be someone as fucked up as I am, hopeless.”
“Thanks, I wouldn’t say i’m fucked up. Broken maybe, but i’m moving on. Why did you never tell her, especially after she starting painting all those paintings of me?” I feel like running, selling my house and moving to another country at this point.
“Because i couldn’t give her the satisfaction of being right again. After all her dreams told her this was going to happen,” he points again to his family’s headstones,” But what was truly weird is she told me that would happen also 3 years ago to the day.” he points to my family’s headstones.”
And with that I ran, so fast not to my car but throughout the graveyard. i didn’t stop until i could no longer breathe, Micah trailing behind me.
After a night of restless dreams. wait, let me rephrase that, a night of hellish nightmares. A house engulfed in flames, Micah in the window screaming my name. Darlene dead on the ground. I decided it was time for my monthly visit to the therapist. Of course this was a haul for me, 20 minutes with no traffic. Of course twenty minutes in the city equals 45 minutes to an hour, today i decided to ride my bike. I never really appreciated the city for all it’s beauty. The buildings wide and tall, made of glass, brick and metal, rising like a competition to see who can reach the sky first. You’d think they were trees trying to get the most sun. I’ll think of anything at this point to get my mind off what happened the night before. What was he thinking? Who in their right mind who come up to a person (the first time they meet) and say such things? And that is exactly what I said to my therapist.
“Why do you think he would say those things?” she asked
“I have no idea, I don’t’ think i should speak to him again. He’s obviously insane.”
“Why would you say that? Maybe that’s the feeling you gave him? Maybe he was just expressing himself?” she said
“Everything you say is a question. I should get more, friends, I can’t talk to Darlene about this. He is her brother! You’re no help to me with this matter, you’re the one with the PHD and you’re asking me why I would think this man is crazy when he spouts off things about ‘waiting for me’ he obviously stalking me.”
And with that i got up and walked out. I never returned, my time was over in that office. I truly believed I was healed. Time to move on. Back at home I couldn’t get Micah out of my head. His eyes, so familiar, filled with sorrow, hope, regret, kindness. Why did i run away?
That day I did all the mundane things I normally do, grave yard visit (Micah wasn’t there), food shopping for another dinner alone, and a quick walk by the clothing store to see if anything new came in. One thing was different though…. I was definitely feeling followed. I picked up my pace a bit and turned a corner leading to an alley that i was unfamiliar with. The alley appeared to never end. I was power walking now. Once i started to tire after what felt like 15 minutes of power walking, I spun around to be greeting with the impossible.
When I woke I found myself in an unfamiliar place. the walls were avocado with gold trim, the paintings hung crooked and the room smelled of mold. Where was I? And most importantly would I be leaving alive? Apparently when fell I hit my head pretty hard because someone bandaged me, that and it felt someone was trying to open my skull with a dull knife. I got up slowly holding onto what was available, when i finally made it to the door i turned the know expecting it to be locked. It wasn’t, I opened the door slowly and stepped out into the hallway. There was an erie calm to the house, old yet new. Beautiful white frames lined the hallway filled with faces young and old, from different time periods all looking very similar to one another. As my mind raced with all the possibilities i imagined this was a house or inbreeds and they need an outsider to fix their family of misfits. I imagined I travelled time an space and was brought to a far off place that no one has heard of. This was an act of God to clear my mind. Silly thoughts I quickly realized maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to write off my therapist.
“Right this way Evy, we’ve been waiting for you to wake.” An elder woman said calmly to me as she hooked her arm around my own and guided me down the long hallway. We arrived at a solid oak door with carvings around the frame that looked as if you touched them you’d be surrounded by magic. I heard her whisper something under her breath in a language I was unfamiliar with, and the door disappeared.
The comfort feeling I got in the room as I walked in was like nothing I have ever felt before yet I felt like I was at home. Draped in early French design, the plush yellow flowered couch sat in the middle of the room, along with two chairs facing the huge stone fireplace. The curtains were blue and thick with roman shades behind each set. The wood was dark cherry and the rugs were pastel with various beautiful flowers. A huge crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling right above our heads. It was like i was in a dream that I dreamt throughout my life. A dream i tried to recreate in my own home years ago but couldn’t quite do it right because money was so tight. The walls were painted light tan with fixtures that had the grace of an old opera house. It was magnificent, “Right this way, Evy, look familiar to you?”
“Yes, actually very familiar. I wonder if I have been here before. Impossible though, maybe only in my dreams.” I said quietly.
“Well, you should never discredit a feeling. If you feel you’ve been somewhere chances are you have. My teacher always told me that. By the way Maxine is my name, I’ll be helping you through this transition while you get back into the swing of things around here.”
What is she talking about, getting back into the ‘swing of things’? Am I now a prisoner here, am I still dreaming? “Excuse me? Am I requested to stay here. Did I have a break down or something, is my therapist here?”
“No Evelyn this is your home, it’s always been your home. These are all of your things, it has been this way for centuries. Your sons are down the hall, they have been waiting for your arrival. Your daughter is in the garden. She’s planted flowers just for your arrival. And your Husband is working in his office, keeping all the records straight.”
“What?! Is this some kind of joke? If it is it’s not funny at all, my family is dead. They died in a fire. I saw their bodies. I heard their screams. I relive it EVERY SINGLE NIGHT!” I was screaming now, wondering when they would come in and take me away. I slowly backed away ready to bolt if I felt anymore uncomfortable. As I was backing up I felt a presence behind me but brushed the feeling away and kept going. The world seemed to fade away. The sound lost all I could do was back up. Until I hit something, soft, human. I turned slightly and out of the corner of my eye I saw him, my husband.
I never imagined this day possible, though I dreamt of it nightly. I always thought the feeling I had of them not really being dead was just part of the grief, that I wasn’t accepting their fate. I guess now’s the time to start listening to Maxine, I don’t know what’s going on but if I feel something I’m going to go with it from now on. Still I stood there motionless, not knowing what to do next. He looked so perfect, and young, really young, exactly as he did on our wedding day. June 19th…. but, I can’t remember the year. Something was happening my mind was a jumble, memories were beginning to disappear replaced by other memories I swore were only dreams.
Yet there he stood, like nothing ever happened. He was wearing the old band t-shirt we got back in 1996. Splattered with paint, grease stains and holes. His Jeans worn, I thought they said he was working? It’s just like him to do what he wants, whenever he wants including wearing whatever he wants to an office. He was his own boss before I guess some habits die, hard. His face, however, was painted with worry. Not knowing my reaction, the same face he’d have when he knew he’d gone to far. When he knew I would scream. And, the same as any other time I did just that. Only this time he let me without any interruption.
When I finished I slumped into the nearest chair. “ I don’t know how much more excitement I can handle today?” Exhausted I got up and slowly walked out of the room and didn’t stop until I heard laughing. Children’s laughter, it seems like there were at least six. Wondering why there were so many children in such a strange formal place I followed the laughter. I could tell within the 5 minutes of walking around that I could easily get lost in here if I wasn’t sure of my way. The strange thing was I knew exactly where I was going. When I entered the room my eyes scanned nervously. Hoping it was true and they were still alive, and yet hoping none of this was real at the same time. Where normal people could deal with certain situations with the way this world is, I can not. Finally my eyes stopped scanning, they were here, as perfect as the morning before the fire. And as I looked at them their eyes met mine, and as soon as I could blink they surrounded me and smothered me in hugs and kisses. Like any other mother would, I hugged them both is everything I had, and I cried as I did the day they died.
“Finally you’ve come back, they told us this was the cycle for our people. Too dramatic if you ask me, I would have rather just up and moved in the middle of the night rather than turning our home into a bonfire.” Devon, the eldest of the twins said. “Marilyn is quite a handful, from what everyone is telling me she’s exactly like you were as a child.”
“As I was as a child? Who has been telling you these things? How are you here? Where is your sister, she’s only a toddler, they told me she was out planting flowers.”
“Yeah, she’s out there with Victoria, her nanny. They didn’t’ explain anything to you did they?” Tyler, the other twin snapped. He was always protective of me even as a small boy. “ Wait until I have a word with Maxine, she needs to learn how to do the one tasks she was assigned to do!”
“Calm down Tyler, I’m not clear on what is going on around here, but my questions aren’t as trivial as most. How are you all still alive? Why am I here? Why is this house always in my dreams? And why do I know my way around this place so well? Can you answers those questions? Or am I to figure them out on my own?”
No response came form his lips, just a knowing stare. The stare you get from someone who knows this is exactly what is supposed to happen. Even my child knows, and me the parent does not. I should be mad about this entire situation but I’m not, somewhere in my soul I know this is what is meant to be, this is what happens in our world. Our world….who’s world, what am I, what are we? “Can we just sit for a minute, I just want to look at you both. It’s been so long, I’ve missed you so much.”
We sat on the high backed couch against the wall of what looked like the playroom. The walls were fills with various drawings. Much more elaborate then anything I’ve seen from children at this age. Swords hung in between the art, along with gadgets I have never seen before. There were three more children in the room, I had never seen them before in my life, why were they here? Something in my gut was telling me these kids tied in somewhere, they played a part in this world, where ever this world is?
“Oh we are still on earth Mommy”, Marilyn said as she skipped over to me,” We are just better than the rest.” She jumped into my lap and laid her on my chest. “ I was worried you’d never find your way home. I’m 4 now you missed my party, did you bring me a present?”
“I did get you a present but I’m afraid it was left behind when I was brought here, I was going to put it …. Oh never mind it doesn’t matter anymore, what matters is my family is still alive and right here in front of me. Will you all stay here and play while I go find your father. I have a few questions I think he might be able to answer.” They all nodded and I was on my way. And the best part was I knew exactly where to go.
I hesitated as I arrived at the huge dark brown door. After a few minutes of staring at it not knowing what to say when I did eventually go in, I knocked. As soon as my fist touched the door it opened. “I was wondering when you were going to knock, you stood out there for a very long time. Where you putting together the string of questions you are about to throw at me?” He said gently, I’m not sure when it happened but somewhere in between me waling into the room and him talking he was face to face with me, like he flew over his desk. Things were really strange around here, but I felt at easy with everything. Like this was normal, then it happened….
The memory flash felt like an eternity but in reality it lasted a mere 20 seconds at most. Running I was running through a garden, flowers blooming everywhere, everywhere I ran a new flower would bloom, whatever flower I was thinking bloomed. And he was behind me, like always, following me. He was always there since I was a toddler. he finally caught me, looked directly into my eyes and kissed me, our first kiss, I was 12 he was 13.
“No, no questions. Just this,” and I kissed him exactly how he kissed me that day in the garden. The garden I can see out the window, my garden, my house, my life. “ the questions in my head I realize I will have to answer on my own. It will come back to me, it always does doesn’t it?”
“Yes my love it always does.”
Good Day to you all