Something else

How often must the crumpled Christmas tree paint its portrait in my mind

when the rings from the glasses of cola vodka are still evident on the top of the cheap black table. You always loved your damn coasters. 

I sat with shallow breath as you told me of all the things I never needed to know. 

I sat unmoving as your something else rang in my head and the daisies stood upside down in the corner upstairs. 

I sat with shallow breath

             and the ringing shook my bones

as you told me of all the things I never needed to know. 

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It’s 2016

I can’t believe it’s 2016 for crying out loud…

It warms my heart to have wonderingred to look back on. I have grown so immensely- it’s kind of hard to believe. I have recently become inspired to add to wonderingred again. Just for me- I highly doubt I will overtly share my posts with others ever again. I just have a desire to share myself with the world, and if people want to check it out, they’re welcome to 🙂

One Lost Letter- A Short Story

This is my first attempt at creative writing, and it isn’t yet edited to perfection, so please, be kind.

One Lost Letter
Melissa Davis

She just couldn’t wait. Though she knew it would get to him only days before he would be on the flight back to the States, she needed to talk to him, and this was the only way. She put on his favorite T-shirt, snuggled up with a cup of tea and a box of tissues, collected her strength using the magical power of a few deep breaths, and resolved to appear strong through her writing:

August 17th, 2008
Dear John,

            I can’t put into words how deeply you’re missed here. I’ve been keeping busy, just as I said I would, but the time is dragging. Days go quickly, but the nights just go on and on… From the moment I return home, until I’m finally able to close my eyes and find some rest, I swear a lifetime passes right beneath my nose. The days don’t get crossed off my calendar nearly as quickly as I pray they would. (Yes, if you can believe it, I’ve begun praying since you’ve been gone…many times…daily…) Everyone told me it’d go by quick; I told myself it’d go by quick, but it sure does seem to be taking forever for me to find myself in your embrace again.

            Remember when you left for training, for just those two weeks, and our puppy grew up so much? You should see the little mutt now, John! She still doesn’t listen to me as enthusiastically as she listens to you, and she waits at the garage door for you to come home every single night. But she adores her training class, and she’s one of the smartest there; you would be proud to see her.

            Everything seems so slow to me most days. I know that’s pathetic, but all I can think about is your safe return. My entire future is planned around you, my sweet John, and everything seems to be put on hold. It’s not just me waiting for your return, it’s my entire world. Everything I do, I do for you, for us. Our life together will blossom; it will burst into a glorious garden, as soon as you arrive home to me, my John.

            John, when we started out, so young, so blissful, I never thought I could handle being away from you. It just wasn’t supposed to happen. But, John, my heart is full of faith. I am filled with joy to be your girl, though it requires this strain, this absence. I am here, John, with smiles on my face and a heart overflowing with love. I am nothing if not dedicated to you, I’ve committed myself to you, and nothing makes me happier than dreaming of our future, the life we will finally create together upon your return.

            I can’t wait to hear your stories. You are gaining a wealth of experience and knowledge while you are away that could never have been learned here. I know this will change you, but I have faith that you will remain you, my John, whom I know and love so well. I’m changing too, but don’t fret, it’s not bad change; I’ve merely grown up, gained insight, compassion, and independence. I too have learned so much, and I know you’ll love me just the same once your back. The changes we’ll endure during this absence from each other will only strengthen our love. Pressure makes diamonds, my sweet. Remember this.

(And though I tease, I won’t cut my long hair… I know you love running your fingers through it at night, probably just as much as I do…)

Remember when we got the news, John? We almost gave up. We were both so scared… We hardly knew how to handle ourselves. You’ve been let down by the great loves of your past, just as I have, my sweet John. Stay faithful. I am more committed to you than I know how to express in words. My heart and soul are filled with faith; share these feelings with me, my sweet John, and we will flourish! A love like ours can’t be broken by one year; there are too many years we’ve yet to experience that will make up for this one! We’ll graduate, buy our house, and really get our lives started. Finally, finally.

Here’s a surprise my sweet John! I’ve enrolled in an evening cooking class. I know, I know, you can’t believe it. Well, it’s true. You’ve cooked far too many fantastic meals for me my talented, sweet John! It’ll finally be your turn to do the dishes! Ha!

I wish I could share every single moment with you my sweet, but it’s time to call it a night… I pray you’re doing well and laughing often. The countdown continues. Five weeks and three days until I’m finally driving to the airport. Oh, my heart explodes just thinking about it!

I love you to the end of the Earth, my John.
-Your Courtney

She reread her letter at least five times before slipping it into an envelope and sealing it for good. Though it comforted her to write to him, she could never make it through without crying; she had learned, after many smudged adorations past, to take special care not to let her tears ruin the thick black ink. She didn’t want him to think this time away was too much for her to bear. She faked her strength, not with any intention of fooling him, but to fool herself.

Her faith carried her through the months, and although she cried at least every evening, she was very pleased with the strength she was able to muster. She never thought she would be capable. But it was completely worth it. She took the deployment as an opportunity to grow into the perfect woman for him; he deserved nothing less. She cooked, she cleaned, and she organized. She obsessed over keeping her hair just the way he liked it, and she worked out regularly for the first time in her life. She was his girl. He defined her.

 

His whole world crashed around him once he learned he had to fight for his country. Everything he knew of his future was no longer. His priorities shifted immediately. Everything he thought he knew changed so suddenly; no one could possibly understand the utter shock he lived with. He knew she would be here, but he didn’t understand why on earth any woman would put herself through that. Really, he was nothing special. Nothing worth waiting for.

He received her letter thirteen days after its post date. Though it was heart wrenching, he read it the whole way through. Twice. Then a third time. He had a moment of regret for what he had done, but it didn’t last long. He’d done what he had to do. He wondered when his letter would reach her.

 

August 15th, 2008

Courtney,

            There isn’t much longer until I’m home… I don’t think this is a good way to go about this, but there’s no good way to do this…

            We’re not going to work, Courtney, and I know you’ve been waiting for me, but free yourself. I know I’m hurting you by doing this, but both of our lives will be better this way. Maybe we can see what will happen later on, after some time passes… But I’m moving out once I’m back…

            Don’t come to the airport. My mom will pick me up after my flight, and soon after we’ll arrange a time to move my things from your house. Like I said, we can see what happens in the future…

            I’m sorry to let you down after you’ve been waiting so long. I loved you, I really did. I know you’ll forgive me someday, though…

-John

He didn’t want it to be this way, but he didn’t want to risk it. He knew she was waiting for him; he never once doubted her loyalty. But he knew everything would be different after this. How could a couple survive a year, together or apart, without anything changing between them? It just wasn’t logical, and he had learned to think with his head as soon as he became a soldier. He had friends who would return to their wives, sure, but this was different. They weren’t married, they were young, and she was naïve to stop her life for him. He assured himself that she’d be alright; in the end, time would heal her.

 

She was jumping out of her skin on the way to the airport. Finally, finally! A whole year had gone by, the never ending year, the year that lasted a lifetime. She never thought this day would come, and now that it had, her joy overwhelmed her.

Upon seeing her joyful face, he knew something had gone terribly wrong. She hadn’t received the letter. How is that possible? Of all the letters sent throughout this year, the single most fateful one hadn’t made its way to her? 

She jumped into his arms and he timidly held her close. Despite everything, all at once, he felt at home for the first time in over a year, and all it took was her sweet embrace. He made a quick decision. The letter would never exist. No one would be the wiser. What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.

His mother almost gave him away. “What are you doing here, Courtney?”

John gently pushed Courtney away and went to hug his mother. His apprehensive whisper was almost impossible to hear, “I guess she didn’t get the letter, Ma. But I think this is exactly what was meant to happen. Please, Ma, never tell her about it.” He felt her slowly nod. She was just as confused as he was.

 

On the way to their home, Courtney was a bundle of energy, asking question after question, leaving hardly any time for a response before bursting into expressions of adoration. She was so thrilled to share her life with him again; to have him home each night, right where he belonged.

Exhausted, they crawled into bed and held each other close. Neither was able to sleep; they cherished the simple joy of having their entire world back in the circle of their embrace. He couldn’t believe he had almost thrown this away, yet he wondered if he had made the right decision in the end. Only time could tell.

But for now, he was complete.

strength of honesty

A man told me today that he sees a great strength of honesty in me. This compliment shook me- it’s not often that this trait of mine is appreciated. I had resolved to live openly and honestly many months ago, and struggled at first. It becomes easy to drown out people’s judgments as you grow in your strength and let go of your fear.

I stopped trying to please everyone; stopped trying to be everyone’s favorite. It was getting far too exhausting! My priorities changed- it became worthless for me to put so much energy into attempting to form other people’s opinions- it’s impossible to win at that game. The more attention I gave to other’s opinions of me, the less I gave to my own opinion of me.

I realized that by hiding myself I was wasting my time. Not to mention, I was (essentially) lying to others about who I am.

It was freeing to let my fear go. I didn’t hold back anymore. I went all out and let everyone see who I am, confident that people would enjoy me much more this way. I didn’t give a second thought to people who were intimidated by my boldness. I focused on making myself happy by my actions- I stopped caring about people who didn’t agree with me.

Naturally, this caused me to drift away from some people I thought I was close to. It was hard to realize that these people never really enjoyed me. It doesn’t take long to find people who do enjoy you, though. Once I did, it was easy to see that the people that I lost really weren’t so great in the first place.

(Actually… they turned out to be a huge waste of time.)

Twenty fourth.

“Something you’ve learned”

Recent events have taught me a ridiculous amount about life. Everything I thought I knew has been questioned and completely reevaluated. I’ve learned so much in just the past four days, it’s overwhelming.

First, I suppose I’ve learned to always, always stick to your guns. If something isn’t right, don’t doubt yourself. When I know what is right, from now on, I will do all that I can to defend that. I will not be spineless, I will stand up and act according to what I feel is right. My instinct has never let me down, unless I chose not to act according to it. The biggest mistakes I’ve ever made were when I DID know better. People will tell you, “You should’ve known better.” I think this statement is irrelevant. We almost always know better…
Follow your gut, stick to your guns, stand up for what you believe.

Next, I’ve learned to HONOR your life, your potential. We are placed here in a life with no concrete explanation of why. It’s hard to cherish this fact each moment, but it’s detrimental to. We are all given amazing amounts of potential. When our potential is ignored, or doubted, we will find ourselves in a hole of unhappiness and confusion. If you wake up each day with determination to honor your potential, your life will become something beautiful. I’m SO certain of this. You have to honor each moment, each breath. Marvel at each miracle you witness, and remember, every breath you take is a miracle in itself.

Finally, I’ve learned that no matter who you are, many people hold you dearly in their hearts. It is tragic to take this for granted. It is often that we feel alone, or misunderstood, or judged. These feelings are created by YOU. If you open your eyes and reach out, there will be dozens of people who will take you close to them and care for you. To think otherwise is to be wildly mistaken. I lived for a long time not believing I had very close ties with many people. I realize now that this not only hurt me, but it hurt them. As I said, it’s tragic.

These lessons are beautiful, and I hope they are learned easier for those close to me than they were for me.

 

Twenty third.

“Favorite movies and TV shows and why”

Favorite thriller of ALL TIME: The Silence of the Lambs.

Favorite comedy of ALL TIME: Burn After Reading
For this reason, and many others, I LOVE this movie. Watch it!

I don’t watch much TV, but there are some shows that I enjoy:


^ Don’t judge me. But I find Jersey Shore hilarious.

Twenty second.

“What do you want your future to be like?”

I’ve already gone far for my age… I hope I never stop. I’ve accomplished many things, but I’ve also made many mistakes. I hope that as I grow out of this crap known as adolescence, the mistakes I make become less and less retarded…(lol?)

I plan to go far with my education. I want to study people and their minds for as long as I live. Psychology is always changing and gaining new insights and it just fascinates me. I want to talk to people from every walk and learn their story. I hope to help people share their stories. I especially hope to have children. And with that, I hope my children don’t make these same retarded mistakes I’ve made! I don’t think I could handle it the way my mother has! I really hope to live for a long time. I want to help people, I want to do all I can to make others’ lives a little easier, give them a little insight, a friend, a shoulder… I want to do all that I can to make sure the people near me don’t repeat my bad moves. It’s been proven to me that I’ve been placed right where I am for something, and I will not live another day without taking steps forward toward a brighter life for myself, the people I love, and my future family.

Mortality is terrifying and immensely important to recognize.

Nineteenth, Twentieth, Twenty first.

“Things you want to say to an ex.”

There isn’t much that I feel like I didn’t get to say to any of my ex’s. Nothing from the past. However, I believe I’m pretty up to date with just about all of their lives, and if I had the chance, I suppose I would tell them some things!

I’m happy that you’re happy! You seem so comfortable where you are, and after such a rough adolescence, I’m so glad you’ve found your peace!

What I thought I knew about your current life was wrong. I was deeply saddened to see that I was mistaken. However, just because I was wrong doesn’t mean you aren’t enjoying where you are right now. I hope it was all for the right reasons, and I hope it is working better for you! I’m confident that you will live a long and fulfilled life if you continue to follow your heart- it’s brought you amazing things thus far!=)

When I see you now, I’m sad. I wish so badly that you could be happy with yourself. You have many pieces of yourself that have been scattered around, and you need to take the time to pick them up to lift yourself to a higher place. Last I heard, you were very depressed. I hope this is turning around, because when you are shining, you’re BRIGHT.

It’s so crazy to me to see where these people who I was so close with years ago have ended up. Life is strange, but so beautiful!

“Something you wonder ‘What if…’ about.”

Live and let live! I try so hard to live in the moment that I find myself in. There are many things… it’s hard not to wonder! Wondering can cause a mess of confusion though. Any slight change in any situation could drastically change the outcome! I’ve recently been dealing with many “What if?” questions, and it’s almost too much for me to be thinking about. It’s pathetic. I made a seriously stupid mistake, and when I think of the millions of ways I could have changed the outcome, I just want to bury myself. I’ve tried to stop myself from asking these things. It’s much more worth my time to move forward with the situation I have created. Asking these questions takes a person away from reality. I suppose it can be comforting… There are some things, however, that you have to face head on in order to change and come out strong and shining. I feel like I’ve just rambled for this whole topic, but it made me feel better=)

“Something you’re proud of.”

Well geeze. It’s a bad week to ask me this question…

I’m proud of my sister. My family in general. We have come very far as a unit. I can’t elaborate right now. Lame…