All she'd been able to do for the last week was eat, sleep, and stare out the window. Ruth's father hadn't shot either of them but he had hit the bench behind them.
She started down the stairs. An ambulance sounded in the distance slowly becoming louder. As she reached the 4th floor she heard a dog barking ferociously so she spread up down the stairs searching for the source. She entered into he second floor and found many others crowded around room 204.
"It's Rory," one woman said.
"Who is that?" asked another.
"I don't know, but she loves her dog. That's all I can say," responded the woman with an aire of arrogance.
Annabelle stared at the woman who quickly noticed and stared right back.
"Really? That's all? This woman in there is hurt and all you can say is that her whole being comes down to her love of a dog?" Annabelle said in astonishment.
"Yeah! She is a loser. I mean who cares if someone like that dies? She ain't doing anything for society anyways."
Annabelle didn't have words to respond with.
After about 30 seconds, Annabelle gave the women a hug and asked if she wanted to go out for coffee.
This woman needed some love. Real love.
Later, Annabelle found out that Rory got hit by a car and died. Time to love the ones in her surroundings because the time might slip away fast.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Annabell sat on the park bench in awe. The storm had made the trees lack their usual grand splendor and made the buildings sway with fragility. The world is so much more powerful than the people living in it.
Suddenly, a black mustang car revved up the street and stopped abruptly in front of her.
“GET OUT, NOW!” came a muffled yell from inside of the car. The owner of the voice displayed a red faced with split flying in all directions.
The passenger door flew open and out came a young girl, about 16. She turned around and slammed the door in response to the following harsh words.
“How does it feel now to have to fend for yourself without the help of your daddy? Huh? Huh? You can rot here with this town!” exclaimed the spitting face again, and off the car left leaving behind a girl with a t-shirt of a rose lifecycle.
The girl’s lifted head held a straight but calm face, lacking the emotion expected. She walked down the sidewalk toward the Rainbow River, ignoring the surrounding stares and silence.
Suddenly, Annabell filled with anger that quickly slid into a pain. Mirror. Tears began sliding down her face. She’d forgotten she still had it in her to cry from the pains in her heart.
Everyone continued to stare, as if Michelangelo, himself, were sculpting her as she walked down the sidewalk, but her disregard for this seemed to leave the bystanders embarrassed instead of herself.
About an hour later, Annabell had found out that the girl, whose name was Ruth, had been picked up by her father from school. She greeted her father and asked about his day. He flipped out, yelling at her. She hadn’t understood it all, but what she did catch that her dad had lost his job, his third in three months after losing his wife, Ruth’s mother, and his two sons, Ruth’s brothers, in a mall shooting.
Annabell and Ruth landed on the same bench Annabell sat on that morning. A peaceful silence followed Ruth’s reveal, tears streaming down both their faces now.
But the moment didn’t last for long. Up came a black mustang and a yelling father telling his daughter to come back.
Ruth’s hesitation prompted her father to pull out a handgun, switching its end between Annabell and Ruth.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
The ground under Annabelle’s running feet shook as the storm surrounding her raged. She was running out of steam from her 10 mile run, so she popped another Gatorade energy jelly into her mouth.
CRASH! This magnitude of the lightning flash startled her to her hands and knees. As she lifted her head, the lightning continued to light up the forest around her and the beauty of the world smacked her in the face with such force she fell onto her back.
All she could do was stare. The rain splashed onto her, but then ran off into the dirt.
All she could think of was the quote her mom had always told her as a young child; “Don’t ever let what you’ve already done define what you do today and tomorrow.”
It was as if rain dripping from her body was taking away her anger, her grief, her frustrations, her hurt. The water was deteriorating the cardboard wall she had set up around herself, freeing her to stretch her arms.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Annabell walked her daily assigned, slow, walk. After 8 weeks of barely making herself broth, tea and laying down, she really enjoyed her daily walks, no matter how ugly the city was. Jamie had bought her groceries and kindly helped her out whenever she needed it. Jamie wasn’t ever a mean person, but he had just been so patient with her despite her rude, entitled self. Yeah, she knew she was like that, but never really felt like changing...well...she hadn’t ever seriously considered.
On her right, Connie's Coffee took her by surprise with it’s beautiful arrangement of flowers. She spotted a Anthurium flower, her mother’s favorite because the petals were shaped like a heart. The flower fit her mother. Why am I so different from mother? Maybe she should try something new. After all, America is supposedly the “new world.”
Hate or love? It should be obvious. Time to call father.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
I miss going for walks. I used to love going with dad and Jaime -- Jamie! Was that a dream that he got punched. Not likely. He stays out of the way, but…
She didn’t want to think anymore. If he did get punched, what could she even do about it anyway? She’d think about it when she returned home. Right now, it was time to not think. She looked around for something to take her mind elsewhere. Spotting a squirrel near by, she quickly took off her heels and dashed after it. She didn’t care that the couple walking on her left stared after her. How could they even tell who she was in the fog and wet, anyway? Annabell’s skirt fluttered in the wind as she darted in and out of trees after the squirrel as fast as she could. What the heck am I doing? But she reminded herself, she wasn’t thinking. The ground was getting softer and softer under her bear feet.
BAM! Her feet has slipped on something slimy on the ground, and she landed flat on her butt, hitting her tailbone on a rock. “FUCK!” She rolled over onto her stomach, clutching her butt with both hands, tears beginning to streaming down her face from the pain. She laid there, with her face in the mud, crying.
Annabell opened her eyes to find a man and a little boy sitting about 3 feet away from her.
“Can I provide you with your prophecy?” the old man said in a quite, mysterious voice.
Annabell looked at him with a blank stare, utterly startled.
“WHAT THE HELL MAN! I’m sitting here crying my eyes out from pain and you’re asking me if I want a prophecy? What is wrong with you! No, I don’t fucking what a prophecy,” she yelled with such anger in her blood, she forgot about her pain until she tried to roll over to face the man.
“Ahhhhh!!!” The pain seemed to be sneaking up her spine.
“Your prophecy will help you heal,” he responded with the calmest tone. He paused, “The truth with all its power lives inside you.”
Again, Annabell stared at him simply stunned at his response.
“WHAT? I think that is actually your own prophecy because the truth right now is that I am hurt and I need help because this pain is becoming worse by the second and all you are doing is sitting there acting like you’re simply commenting on how good your food is but that is not what is happening. FUCKING CALL 911!!!” She responded with all her might because the pain was overwhelming her. Her vision began to blur.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Again, Annabell stared out an open door, but 30 seconds later Jamie returned to shut the door after himself.
"Sorry," he mumbled.
Alone again. Behind a closed door.
What an odd day. A gun and a long lost step-brother.
Why does everything always come back to England. I need some air.
“I’m glad a lack of water doesn’t stop the drinks from coming!” She said through her giggles as if it was the funniest thing she’d ever said. The alcohol was working well to distract her from her father, from her mother, from Lucas.
The man next to her stared with a smile on his face.
"I hope you don't mind my saying, but your eyes are beautiful,” he said.
Despite the alcohol's strengthening whirr, her mind grounded itself a bit. She shot him her glare, one that normally convinced people to leave her alone, gulped down the rest of her martini, and threw down a 20 on the bar counter. This time her stride wasn’t so swift as she headed for the door. Last time someone said that to her, it was Lucas.
“Leave me alone!” She opened her mouth to repeat herself but instead a ball of throw up came out. The man caught her just before stumbling into her own vomit.
“We need to take you home. Where do you live? or would you prefer me to call someone to pick you up?”
Annabell just stared at him. Another one was coming.
“Ok, then. We’ll just sit here awhile,” he said while leading her to the nearby concrete steps.
They sat there in silence except for the occasional vomit session and the scarce passerbyer.
Tears started running down her face.
I’m a mess. Lucas can’t continue to control my life anymore. I’m in America now. I’m away...Why did mother have to die? Why? Why did father have to become such a jerk after mothers death? Why? Why did Lucas have to have so much power over me? Why?
As she raised her head, a wave if comfort fell over her if she looked up from her vomit covered self.
“Jamie! Jamie!” Annabell yelled.
Jamie looked away from the woman to his side.
He hesitated, noticing her vomit. “Anna!...you ok?”
“Don’t be daft, Jamie! I’m just a little tipsy. Come on, take me home instead of that girl.”
He just stared at her. First, with a blood red face from embarrassment and then anger hit his face.
Suddenly, he turned to the girl next to him. “Sasha, this is my step-sister Annabell who just moved to America. Annabell is an expert at ruining my fun, so I’m so sorry to say this but I am going to have to bail on you tonight. I promise you, I’ll make it up to you.” He gave her a kiss on the cheek and stared into her eyes for a long second.
“I’m not that bad, Jamie!” She said smiling at him, oblivious to his frustration.
“Let’s get you home before you hurt yourself.”
Monday, October 10, 2016
She checks herself in the mirror as she walks to the door. Heavens! She quickly applies mascara.
She opens the door to find a tall woman dressed surprisingly well.
“Good day. How may I help you?” She couldn’t hide her thick English accent.
“Oh, how exciting! Your English?” the woman responded.
“Yes.” The woman put her on edge. “And who, may I ask, are you?”
“Oh, I’m so sorry. My name is Beth Roberts, and I am working on an article for a magazine called 'Southern Living'. You may have heard of it. Would you mind if I asked you some questions?”
That was forward. Annabell really didn’t want to, but she didn’t dare sound rude.
“Of course, please come in,” She directed Beth to the small living room with her two small arm chairs. “May I offer you some tea?”
“That would be wonderful, thank you.”
As Annabell assembled the tea, she watched Beth out of the corner of her eye investigate her living room.
“From where and when did you move here?”
“I moved here from Leeds, England about three weeks ago.” She didn’t dare expand.
“I don’t mean any rudeness, but why move here? It’s a dump.”
Why did I let this lady come in?
“It’s no dump here! I’m gobsmacked by the beautiful river. You wouldn’t believe your eyes if you walked it at dusk.”
Golly, that was a daft response.
Obviously unsatisfied with Annabells response, Beth looked at the family picture on the side table.
“Who is this?”
Why? Why? Why?
“It was a family portrait we took when I was 13: My mother, father, little brother, and me.”
In the following silence, Annabell struggled to stop tears from escaping her eyes. She couldn’t bare looking at the picture. Her aunt had taken it three weeks before her mother was killed in the car accident. Three weeks before she began leading a very different life.
Suddenly, someone in the hall yelled “Out! Reporters, out!” and shot a gun.
“If you are a resident. Don’t move. If you are a reporter, come out into the hall. Don’t make me cock this trigger another time! Do you understand? Either leave peacefully, or not. Either way, you will be gone by the time I make it back to this floor.”
The guilt and sadness left Annabell at once. “Bloody hell! She’s lost her mind! Americans and their guns!”
Without even a goodbye, Beth bolted out of her apartment, leaving Annabell to look out her wide open door.