thou_caffeinated_soul: Sassy Nerd Owl (Default)
A mother sat in front of a fireplace knitting. It was a calm and peaceful Friday night in that old cottage. She had thought her teenage daughter was asleep, but the creaking wooden staircase behind her said otherwise. She turned to see her youngest daughter, the only thing she had left, all done up in the glowing red dress she had gotten for birthday, heels, and a necklace that her mother had never seen before.

"Callie? You look nice!" She said, even though she didn't think the outfit was age appropriate.

"Oh, thanks." That was the only reply she got.

“So, where are you going all dressed up?”

"Out" Callie spoke with a sigh as she adjusted her dress in the hallway mirror.

"Really? Out? And who are you going out with?"

"Just some friends, Mama" She said as she grabbed her jacket from the hanger near the door.

"Well, what are you and these friends planning on doing this late?" She asked cautiously, as not to start an argument.

"I don't know. Since when do you ask so many questions?”

"I...I just thought that maybe...maybe you might stay home tonight." She said casually trying to relieve the tension.

"Why?"

"Oh, you know...I just thought maybe we could do something together for once.”

"I have plans.” Callie stared at her blankly.

"You...you really don't have to leave you know." She was trying not to sound desperate.

"....but I have plans. So I'll see you tomorrow, ok? You don't need to wait up." Callie said as she started out the door, but her mother grabbed her arm.

"You don't have to leave, Callie!" She said almost tears.

"Yes, mother, I do! I have to. Just like Sarah, Jim, and Molly had to. I know you've been depressed since daddy's accident, but what do you expect? Do you want us just to stay here, trapped in this dead town, forever? Goodnight mama."

Then she ran out and slammed the door behind her.
——
Callie stood at the edge of the dirt road and looked at the old cottage she had once called home. There were so many memories here. She remembered running around the yard playing capture the flag with her brother and two sisters when they were children. She remembered getting up before sunrise to help her father feed the chickens each morning and then he would walk her to the school house downtown on his way to work in the coal mines. Callie also remembered the day she came home from school to find her mother in tears. There had been an accident in the mines that day that had killed several men, and her father never came home from work. Since that day, her mother was never the same. The once radiant woman that would hum little tunes as she washed the dishes and greeted her children at the door with a smile each evening no longer existed. She went into a deep depression and spent her days knitting in an old rocking chair by the fireplace that her husband had made for her when they were expecting their first child. Losing him had been hard enough, then she had to watch each of her four children slowly leave her too.

Callie knew it had been hard on her mother, but she never expected this to happen. She was the youngest child and the last to leave her mother. The decision to go wasn’t easy for Callie, but that old town hadn’t been doing well for a long time, and things got only worse after the accident in the mines. She wanted a better future for herself than this, and she was given her chance when she met that young salesman from the city. They had a country wedding at the old church, then left that dead town for good. This was her first time returning to her old home.

Callie’s oldest sibling, Sarah, opened the door for her.

“So, it’s true?” Callie asked her sister.

“I’m afraid so. I know it’s hard to believe.” Replied Sarah.

Without another word, the two walked through the cottage to the kitchen to join their other siblings, Jim and Molly. The room was silent. Callie looked at the faces of her brother and sisters. She couldn’t remember the last time they were all in the same room. None of them knew what to say to each other. Each of them blamed themselves in some way for what their poor mother had done.

“How?” Callie finally managed to utter.

“Daddy’s old pistol.” Answered her brother, Jim. Then he burst into tears and pulled his baby sister into his arms. Sarah and Molly joined the two, now in tears themselves.
thou_caffeinated_soul: Sassy Nerd Owl (Default)
I was the girl with the broken pencil sharpeners.
I hid in my closet, a rendezvous with my razor.
My scars were hidden by my smile.
Nobody knew my mind and my heart were at trial.

I never wanted to stand up and fight.
I thought it best to just keep quiet.
What use would it be to ask for help?
In this battle, it was me against myself.

I heard people say, “It gets better.”, but
I never thought I would escape this dark endeavor.
Then, something changed.
Perhaps with intellect, passion, or only age.

I took a moment to look at all the clouds.
I started to wonder what it was all about.
The sky was gray, but that’s what made it beautiful.
It was a day unlike most others, an original.

I was empowered by that tiny thought.
I stepped back and, for the first time, looked in the mirror with awe.
It took more than just that moment, of course, to get to where I am now
, but I learned that some of the prettiest days begin with a cloud.

Looking at me today, you might have some doubts
given my attitude, my pride, and sometimes my (a little) too big mouth.
That was my past, a part of who I am, and there will always be clouds
, but they are not going to stop me from taking a stand.

April 2017

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