Puppy love

A first love at the age of nine.

Bronson.

He was Fonzie in a world of Potsies. I was his Pinky Tuscadero with a recurring role.

We really liked Happy Days.

He was sweet, funny and proud of his Italian roots; raised by a loving and gentle single father. He appreciated me for who I was. He was the only one who didn’t make fun of my impossible to pronounce name when I arrived in Virginia.

We were simply in love.

He took me on my first date, at the age of ten. Valentine’s Day dinner at Uno’s with his father and girlfriend. He arrived early in the day to give me my gift.

A ruby ring, my birthstone. Set in gold and way to big for my fingers. I don’t know if it was real or not, but it doesn’t matter. Never has, never will. It came in a velvet ring box and the gem shined like crystallized blood in the light; deep and dark. I remember my heart catching in my throat as we sat on my bed while I gingerly took the wrapping off, our parents watching with smiling faces from the door way. My face flushed with embarrassment at what I would have liked to have been a private moment. It was a bittersweet moment, we knew his time in our little world was running out. By the summer, he’d be gone. But we sat on the bed as I whispered words of gratitude to him.

After several moments that, in my memory, stretch out longer than a lifetime, his father collected him up to get ready for our date. When he returned to pick me up later that night, the ring was secured around my finger with sizers to insure it wouldn’t fall off. 13 years later, however, I’ve no idea what happened to it, lost in one move or another. I still will look through drawers from time to time when I go to my parents house, positive I would know it when I see it.

A reminder of the boy who taught  me what love is.Prompt: A memory of the color red without using the word “red”

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Waiting

Waiting for your…
Call I’m sick, call I’m angry
Call I’m desperate for your voice…

The car stereo sings softly as I wait in the emptying parking lot of the Best Buy where I work. The glow of the dashboard illuminate my face as I sit patiently, watching my friends and co-workers filter out in their blue, yellow and white shirts. They smile and wave to me as they pass by, sometimes stopping by the window to invite me to join a small group of them for drinks and burgers at someone’s house.

Nah, it’s late and I’m going home soon, I was just enjoying some last minute peace.

They don’t argue. They smile and say “maybe next time.”

Maybe indeed, but probably not. Social settings give me anxiety and sweaty palms, so I wave goodbye to them and promise to consider it next time.

The parking lot empties until there is only a scattering of cars. Two or three in the vast space, I’m beginning to look increasingly oddly placed. Finally, the last two employees walk out as I begin to grow weary of waiting any longer and debate leaving.

He spots me and walks up to my car before I can change gears to get away. Immediately, I regret waiting so long.

There is nothing spectacular about him. He’s 30 to my 19, shorter than me by an inch and kind of mean to me. To this day, I don’t know why I waited. But I did.

“Wanna go get coffee?” he asks. He tries twice to get me to enjoy it, but I don’t. I never drink coffee again. He takes me to see movies I’ve mentioned I wanted to see, we go to Border’s on our days off and sit in the cafe reading. In the afternoons, we head out to eat something before saying goodbye. He 30 to my 19. He’s also married.

This passes without incident for two months. I get tired of hearing his complaints about his wife. I get tired of feeling like a little child when we’re together. He gets fired for sexual harassment, but we continue these meetings for another 2 months.

Chris starts working while my life is consumed by men I can’t stand. A boy I just broke up with won’t leave me alone; my ex who I gave a second chance after he joined the Marines, which turned out to be another mistake; and him. After he is fired, Chris and I begin to talk more. More flirting. More laughing. Just more.

I turn 20 and he insists on seeing me. I go, knowing I’m wasting my time, it’ll be the same thing it always is. I get frustrated. I leave. A week later he calls me, expecting me to want to see him. I have plans, I tell him, and it’s true. I don’t talk to him again. He calls and texts me for days afterwords, proclaiming love and desire to be with me. They go unanswered.

December of 2008, a year and a half later, I’m noticeably pregnant while Christmas shopping with my husband when I see him, walking behind us into a store. Our eyes connect for a brief moment before his dart down to my expanding stomach. He walks away without a word.

Stripped and polished
I am new, I am fresh
I am feeling so ambitious
You and me, flesh to flesh

Two more years pass, the car stereo sings softly as I sit in a crowded parking lot waiting. Two babes too impatient to wait any longer scream in the back seat as the Spring sun begins it’s descent into the horizon. I watch as people filter out of the store and make their way to their cars. I debate gathering up the kids and taking them inside to stop the crying, but he sees me before I can turn off the ignition. He loads the bags into the back before joining me in the front. We start to discuss meal plans for the week as he puts the car in drive and we head home.

He is nothing spectacular. He’s 4 months younger than me, several inches taller, and can sometimes have a mean streak. But he is mine and I’ll always wait for him.

Prompt: A sound or smell that takes us back
Mine is the song “Your call” by Secondhand Serenade

The home that built me

Set against a backdrop of the Potomac River, three houses in a triangle pattern. Woods on the right, a building on the left; close enough to be visible, but far enough that the people going in and out never bothered us. Across the street was the base library, a large, looming building where I would go to sit and enjoy some privacy. The house was backwards, a chain-link fence surrounding the front area, which was technically the backyard, of the house while the driveway created a loop around the house. The front yard (which was actually the back of the house) faced hills of yard and the ever changing river. I would walk down the sloping grass to fish or just sit by the water from time to time. As the years passed, the other two houses would be emptied of residents and torn down. A fate we came to understand ours would face once we were moved out as well.

Yet, we never took many pictures.

The inside was large and we never wanted for space. Three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a beautiful living room, dining room, sun room and a maid’s quarters in the kitchen, which was converted into a bedroom and then a playroom and finally an office.

There was always room switching. Someone would leave, another would come back in. The rotating door my parents kept was the only consistent thing. I can’t recall how many times I switched rooms, but I lived in them all (minus the master’s). I started in the maid’s quarter’s and ended in the second biggest after a hurricane took out the roof of mine one year. I refused to give it up after that.

This was my home. From sixth grade until we moved when I turned 18. This is a rarity in military families, a blemish on the average military life. But it was my life, my home.

It created many aspects of who I am today. I discovered much about life within those walls. My nieces and nephews came home to that place. It was a refuge for my family when times were hard. It built me, it built all of us.

Today’s prompt: The home that built me

Me-ow

Chris and I are sitting on the couch watching Cathouse this week. It feeds into our inherent for trashy, naked women and disgusting visuals.

We drink it in like a glass of cold water.

Some serious bondage bonding time happens while watching these type of shows, it’s really the only type of show that both of us eagerly agree upon.

The women? Are horrendous. I mean, a lot of them are porn stars, but they are just…really indescribable. Watching them is not conducive to getting laid, mind you, but my god do they make money. If I was to be a hooker, I’d totally want to be a brothel hooker.

Anyway, Chris and I are watching Cathouse. The women live in the house during while they work there, coming and going as they please. They make good money, they have everything they may want or need provided to them (of course they pay for some of it out of their “earnings”), sex lessons (yes, they do) and I assume they have a pretty decent security detail making sure none of the clients get rough. I may be completely wrong on that last one, but if I was running a whore house, I would definitely hire some bouncers for my ladies.

All these perks makes me question however, do they have normal work place advantages? Like, is there a health insurance plan they can sign up for? Or what about worker’s comp? Those heels are pretty effing high, and a lot of times too small for their feet. There is also a pole so I can only assume they is an injury or two happening in the house. Or what about the girls’ monthly visitor? Are they still expected to have customers? Do they still have to fill out W-4s or just I-9s? There are too many unanswered questions.

Unfortunately, when you google “Does the Moonlite Bunny Ranch provide health insurance?” you don’t come up with any answers.

I need a hooker I can interview. Do they even like being called hookers??

The stronger one

You forgive too easily…

His words, dripping with absolute bitterness and anger, cut me deep. Sixteen-years-old, blossoming from a girl into a young woman, I was unaware that this was a bad thing. Is it?

Yes, you’re naive. You’ll believe any promise thrown at you.

He didn’t mean to sound so mean. He was hurt, we were both betrayed by the same person. My boyfriend. His best friend. We sat under the midnight moon, exchanging words of resentment and hurt, and I forgave his cruelty with the knowledge that this wasn’t truly my dear friend. It was a man who finally found someone he cared about, only to have her hurt him.

We were in it together, the outsiders, the forsaken. Laughing stocks of our little fish pond where news of the cheating bastards spread like a wild fire.

He thought I left him in a lurch when I forgave my boyfriend and came to him that night with the intention on urging him to move forward.

This was my role in life. The one who forgives. The one who extends the hand of friendship over and over again, only to have it spit in. The one who finds it easier to hold a grudge, so I push myself to forgive. Everyone deserves a second chance, and so I give those who need one that chance. Sometimes that gets abused into three or four chances. In the case with this boyfriend, it was a total of two and a half years worth of chances.

There are few people in  my life that I don’t have the strength to forgive. People who have a pack-like mentality and picked me as their target. Those people I keep at arms length, privy to how they play these games in life, expectant of the changing tide when it’s convenient to them. Perhaps I’ll forgive some of them one day, but truthfully, I’m happier since I haven’t. It makes it easier to keep them out of my life as much as possible, and when encounters are unavoidable, easier to keep my guard up.

On this particular night, seven long years ago, I pressured my friend to forgive the trespasses taken against him. If not so it makes Monday easier, but because it’s something they didn’t deserve, therefor making him the better person.

He listened, he forgave his friend, but not the girl. They became closer, he and I drifted apart when the friend and I broke up. It’s been five years since then, and he’s cut me out of his life. Attempts made to connect again have gone ignored; his actions slice through me like knives.

But it’s okay, I forgive him. And let it go.

Fortune cookies

“A family reunion in the coming months will be a tremendous success”

Night-time mouth breather

FACT: I haven’t slept next to my husband since Saturday night. The stuffed-up nose of our smallest member apparently prevents him from getting a good night’s sleep. It “drives him crazy” he tells me.

So, for three nights, he has tucked me and the baby in and then went and made himself comfortable on the pull out couch. And then in the morning he complains that he didn’t sleep well because he isn’t used to not sleeping next to me.

FACT: My husband is, in fact, a mouth breather at night. Do you know what a night-time mouth breather produces? The most ungodly, inhuman, loud, obnoxious snores in the universe. He has the capability to awaken people in the next room with his snoring. It’s often a miracle if he survives the night because I tend to get so sleep deprived I want to smother him with a pillow.

Needless to say, when he makes claims of it being impossible to sleep with Kinley in the bed/room while he is sick because of the hollowness of his breathing, I can’t help but laugh insanely as I stretch myself out across the bed making claim to all of it.

Even if I’m waking up more often, I’m not struggling to fall back asleep, so we’re all getting better sleep. Plus, there is no blood red rage building up in me during the night, so Chris’ life isn’t in harm’s way. Which is just a good thing for all of us.

Kinley’s cold is clearing up day by day, however, so eventually I will be rejoined in bed. But I think I might be able to stretch this out for maybe the end of the week.

I need this. Chris is worth more to me alive than dead.

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