Story #40

“I had quite the party life when I was your age,” Lucille told Hannah while sipping a hot cup of lemon tea.

“Really, grandma? You never talked about it in the past,” Hannah retorted.

“In the past, you were too young to hear my stories, darling. How old are you again: 25, 26…?” Lucille’s voice trailed off as she froze, lost in her own thoughts.

“I’m 27 now, grandma. Are you okay?” Hannah placed a loving hand on her grandma’s shoulder, a concerned look painting her worn out face.

Lucille snapped out of her trance and pet her granddaughter’s hand. “I’m fine, darling. So 27! That’s a great age. When I was 27, I was bouncing in and out of nightclubs with my friends. Oh we had the best time! My signature drink was basically anything with tequila. Back then I had no limitations or obligations. I was just free to live.” Lucille shook her head and stared at Hannah. “Hannah, I’m worried about you.”

Hannah quizzically stared at Lucille, then chuckled. “Why are you worried about me? My life is wonderful. I have a stable relationship, a career, and on the way to buying a new house with the love of my life. I’m great.” She gave a faint smile that said otherwise.

“I don’t want you to have the life I lived,” Lucille said.

“But I’m not. My life sounds like the complete opposite of yours at 27! I rarely, if ever, go out. I have too much to do. It’s not easy being this amazing AND this young in 2090.” Hannah grinned at Lucille. “You should be proud of me.”

Lucille scrunched up her face. “Of course I’m proud of you! And I meant that I want you to have at least a glimpse of the life I had. It was so much fun! You look exhausted, darling. You deserve a dose or two of fun, doctor’s orders.”

Hannah looked up at the giant clock across the room. “I’m having fun being successful, but on that note, I have to go. I have an appointment at…”

“Just leave,” Lucille interjected. She turned her head and looked out into the garden, which was projected on a giant screen that had the word tranquility written in black cursive towards the top of the screen, or “sky”.

Hannah robotically stood up and hugged Lucille, who did not reciprocate the gesture. “I love you,  grandma. Tell me some stories the next time I visit, okay? See you in a couple of days.” She bent down and kissed Lucille on the cheek.

Once Hannah was out of sight, Lucille blinked away a few tears. She thought about how her life really was at 27 and how it actually changed her. She also had a career, along with a flame of a relationship that dimmed her shine. Her granddaughter’s life was a splitting image of hers, and that made her feel sorry for Hannah. She was anxious to see Hannah blossom the way she didn’t have the courage to at her age. At Hannah’s age, she felt trapped. There were endless limitations and infinite obligations.

A nurse suddenly appeared in front of Lucille.”Ms. Lucille, it’s time for your medicine. Look into the light.” Lucille did as instructed, not even blinking when the blinding flash illumimated the room. After a few minutes, her eyes adjusted and everything looked bright again. “How do you feel,” the nurse asked.

“Like I’m 27 again,” Lucille replied, allowing a single tear to fall from one of her eyes.

Only a month of school left. I shall write more stories on the regular again pretty soon.

Story #39

“Why do we kill ourselves for love,” Ashley asked.

Jennifer, her best friend, shrugged and continued stuffing her mouth with kung pao chicken. “All I know is that I’m in love with this Chinese food, dude.”

“Seriously, though! I didn’t even realize until 4 years into my last relationship that I was dying. I was LITERALLY dying,” Ashley exclaimed.

“Come on, Ash. You knew what was coming when you signed up for a relationship. I, on the other hand, avoid thos with a 9 foot pole.” Jennifer burped and rubbed her belly. “That hit the spot.”

Jennifer was painstakingly gorgeous. She was a bit of a slob, but she could have any person she wanted if she signed up for a relationship. Ashley was opposite though.

Fortunately, thanks to new laws and changes within society, you could now sign up to be in a relationship. A company called Life Partners set you up with someone of similar interests and you both signed a contract stating that you would be devoted to your life partner. There was a catch though: you and your partner would also die together and at a faster rate than normal.

“I realized that I don’t even miss Brock. He was handsome and sweet, but also really boring. Also, a bit daft. We were going to die together! Can you imagine dying with someone who makes paint drying seem like a sport?!”

Jennifer nearly spit out her drink from laughing so hard. “The good news is you’re out of that awful contract now.”

Ashley gave a nervous laugh. “Haha, yeah.” She stuck her hand out to grab her drink, and noticed the aging spots on her hand. “Oh, no! Not much time left, now,” Ashley thought to herself.

Story #38

Ellen stared at him as a he stared at his phone. They had been up for awhile, but barely spoken. Michael barely moved a muscle. His eyes focused on the small, lit screen. Five minutes passed before he even noticed Ellen staring at him.

“Are you okay? You look upset,” Michael said, trying to keep his voice even. He already knew what was wrong.

“I do? Nope, I’m fine.” Ellen turned to face the wall.

Michael replied, “Okay,” and went back to whatever was grabbing his attention on his cell phone.

Ellen sighed. Her body language screamed, “OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING IS WRONG AND I WANT YOU TO CONSOLE ME,” but she said nothing.

Warm, salty tears began to stream down Ellen’s cheeks. Before she knew it, she began shaking with uncontrollable anger. Michael sighed, set down his phone, and leaned over to hug Ellen.

“Don’t touch me,” Ellen yelled between sobs.

Michael asked, “What’s happening right now?”

In a matter of seconds, Ellen leaped from the bed and ran out the room. Michael chased her and found her sitting down, frantically stabbing her arms, nearly carving most of the skin off of one of them. Blood splatters covered the kitchen floor. 

“What the fuck?” Michael raced to Ellen’s side to grab the knife from her sweaty palms. She looked up and smiled. Black mass covered her eye sockets. She began laughing like a wild woman. Michael slowly backed up. “This isn’t funny, Ellen. Please stop!”

Ellen stopped laughing and dropped the knife. It looked as if she stood up amd levitated towards Michael.

“You’re pathetic,” the deep voice said. It was no longer Ellen. “You look at your stupid fucking phone all day. You ignore her, and stare at your shitty devices. How do you think she feels, Michael? Hmmm?” The voice coming from Ellen sounded demonic. Ellen began laughing again and grabbed Michael’s neck and squeezed. Michael, thrown off by her sudden strength, clawed at her bloody arms and hands.

“I’m…so…sorry,” Michael managed to say.

Ellen immediately let him go. She tumbled to the floor and gasped for air. She looked down to see blood streaks covering her arms. With desperation in her voice, she asked, “What did you do to me?”
The end. Lesson learned.

Story #36

He gently slid his rough, masculine hand down the same face that he punched the night before. The same mouth that constantly belittled Joy kissed the old bruises on her neck.

“We can finally become a real family,” he whispered, rubbing his hand on her belly. 

A few days ago, Joy had found out that she was pregnant. Her heart had sank and she planned on taking care of it…but there wasn’t any place to hide the test or the wrapper. She had stuffed them both under tissue in the bathroom trashcan, the only place she could think of. When Ben had come home from the bar that evening, he stumbled over the trashcan in the bathroom. His blurred vision focused on a plastic unlike the tissue around it. There, in the pile of desperate hope, laid the wrapper and the test. His eyes lit up.
Unfortunately, his happiness had faded as quick as his anger had rushed in. “JOY!” The woman, trembling with fear, ran into the bathroom. “Yes, honey,” she asked. “Pick this shit up. All of it.” Without a second thought she dove to the ground, frantically picking up the tissue. Her thin, shaky hands threw the tissue, wrapper, and test in the trashcan. “Is it mine,” his slurred voice asked. She nodded and he grabbed her, whisking her off her feet. She flinched and nearly collapsed back to the floor. He had kissed her and said, “I’m going to be a daddy. I love you.” Instantly, she had cried, knowing that it was too late to take care of business. The rest of the night was peaceful.

Ben had a short temper, but anyone that knew him thought that he was an angel. He even fooled Joy sometimes. It was only 3 days after he found out about the pregnancy, that he hit Joy again. She was convinced that things would change with him because it had been so long since he hurt her. She was wrong. The mistake this time was serving him cold dinner.

He touched the chicken on the plate. “What the hell is this,” he inquired in the softest tone Joy had ever heard.

“It’s chicken, babe. I made your favorite.” Joy smiled lovingly.

“HOT chicken is my favorite, not cold,” he replied. Ben calmly set down his fork and knife.

“Okay…I’ll heat it up for you.”

Joy stood up and just as she grabbed his plate, he stabbed her hand with the knife. Blood drained from her hand as she screamed. Ben started laughing.

“It’s just a little blood,” he chimed. Joy ran to the sink to run water over her hand. She continued to scream as large tears streamed down her face.

Ben stopped laughing. “Stop it, Joy. You’ll wake the neighbors.” Joy continued crying loudly. Ben stood up and yelled, “Stop crying!” Joy tried to suck in her breaths, but she couldn’t stop. Suddenly, Ben took two swift steps towards the sink and punched Joy in the face. “Snap out of it and stop crying,” his deep voice bellowed.

Joy fell back, stunned and terrified. She reflexively put one hand over her face and held the bloody one up as a shield. Ben stormed out the kitchen into the living room. “Clean that blood up and bring me a beer when you’re done,” he hissed.

The next day, Joy woke up to a room full of roses. At first she thought she had died and gone to Heaven. When she sat up, she saw Ben sitting on the small love seat next to the bed, scrolling through his phone. He looked up and smiled radiantly. “Good morning, mommy-to-be. I’ve been waiting for you to get up.” Joy slowly sat up, her face still sore from the blow. “What is all this,” she asked.

“A sneak peek to what I have in store for you today.” It was as if all memory of the prior evening had faded. He was absolutely insane. Joy mustered up a faint smile. “I’m so excited,” she said.

The day was a blur of dining out, going shopping, and getting a makeover. “My girl was robbed and beaten last night,” Ben told the cosmetologist. “So I wanted to spoil her and make her feel good again.” The cosmetologist beamed. “Well aren’t you lucky to have a boyfriend so sweet,” she asked while goving Joy a little squeeze on the shoulder. Joy looked at Ben and said, “So lucky.”

That evening Ben checked them into a fancy hotel. He placed the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door handle. As soon as the door closed, he began kissing her. It took everything in Joy to stop herself from backing away from him. “I have one more surprise for you,” Ben whispered.

He got down on one knee and pulled out a small, black box. “Joy, will you do the honor of making me the luckiest man alive?”

Joy broke down. Angry tears streamed from her eyes and fell down her cheeks. She was mad, but more than anything, she was afraid. If she said no, what would he do to her? She shook her head yes and he slid the ring on her finger.

“We can finally become a real family.” Ben lovingly rubbed her belly. He hugged her tight, nearly squeezing the air from her lungs. She realized in that moment that she had made the biggest mistake of her life.

Story #34

The sound of gun shots and helicopters boomed from Howard’s room. He furiously tapped the buttons on his controller. His mom walked in and turned down the sound.

“Mom! I’m playing,” he yelled.

His mom put a hand on her hip and said, “Do you have any homework?”

“No, I did it in class.” He maneuvered his head around to focus on the game. His mom stood directly in front of the tv.

“Where’s your report card, Howard?”

Howard paused his game. “We don’t get them until Friday, mom. Now can I keep playing the game?”

His mom threw her hands up in the air. “Fine, but bedtime is in 30 minutes, young man.” She walked out his room and shut the door behind her.

Howard pressed START on the controller and turned up the sound to drown out the sound of him unzipping his backpack. He took out a crumpled envelope that said TO THE PARENTS OF HOWARD LEWIS. He took out the report card with the note attached. Before he could rip it up, his mom walked in without knocking.

“Hey, I was wondering if…wait, what is that?”

Howard quickly put the paper behind his back. “It’s just homework. I was looking over it again.”

His mom grabbed the paper and stared at the note and grades. She read the part about him possibly being held back out loud. She glanced back at Howard whose head was down. Without saying a word, she unplugged his XBOX One and threw it on the ground.

“Mom, no!” The console instantly broke into three large pieces. She unplugged the TV and put it in the garage. “You only have 9 weeks left before this school year is over and you’re going to eat, sleep, and BREATHE school! No more video games, computer, TV, or anything. No sleep overs, no playing outside, no NOTHING, so don’t ask!” Howard teared up and shook his head up and down.

Lol this story sucked. My excuse is that I’m hanging out with my little cousin.

Story #33

I stared at my bowl of salad while my friends engulfed large slices of pepperoni pizza. Grease covered their hands and dribbled from their lips. They looked like they were in heaven. I looked down at my leafy lunch choice and sighed. This was only day three of my diet.

“Oh, man, I’m stuffed. Does anyone want the last slice,” Bert asked. Everyone shook their head no. “Mari? You didn’t eat much. Take the last slice.”

Before I could refuse, he placed the slice in a to-go container. “Thanks, B.” I gave a half-hearted smile. In my head I was cursing myself for not being more restrained.

When I got home, I sprinkled more cheese on the slice of pizza and drenched it in ranch dressing. The slice was gone within seconds. Ranch dribbled down my stuffed mouth. I sighed and looked in the fridge. I knew I should at least drink water, but I went for the unfinished Dr. Pepper instead. Day three was ruined.

I walked to the bathroom, peeled off my tight clothes, and stared at my naked body. Rolls and folds of fat covered my sides. My arms were the size of a chunky teenager’s thighs. Cellulite sprinkled my arms and covered my legs. They were the battle scars from the food wars I lost over the years. My stomach. Oh, God, my stomach. It was a massive chunk of fat. There was enough fat in there to keep all of Alaska fed and warm. My blubber.

I stood on my scale and attempted to look at the number. My stomach blocked the view so much that I had to grab my phone and take pictures of number. 396.7 lbs. Tears rolled down my chubby cheeks and made their way to my chins. Once the crying stopped, I threw on some clothes to exercise in. One day, I’ll be 185 lbs – my goal weight. Until then, I couldn’t give up.

This was easy to write. I went out drinking with friends yesterday and one of them bought pizza. I hadn’t had pizza in awhile, but I broke down and  ate TWO slices. I felt gross. My wonderfully thin friend ate around 4 slices & had some wings. *sigh* Weight is an ongoing battle for me. I don’t   look like Mari from my story, but the possibility is there. Fortunately my sweet puppy keeps me active these days.♡

Story #32

The marriage was over before the love ran out.
We were in our early 20s and madly on love. In all honesty our love was just that: mad. We went on 3 dates before we decided that marriage was the right answer.

The first one was typical.
We were nervous and anxious all at once — two separate things. We did the typical dinner & a movie. The dinner was just okay and the movie was great, maybe because there were no expectations in the dark. An hour into the movienwe held hands. It was sweet.

The second date was a group one.
We were with mutual friends at a karaoke bar. He always said that he knew I was the one when I sang T. Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” song. The irony in that is beyond measure.

The third date was a picnic.
The weather was somehow perfect. It was right after a few days of rain, but right before the biggest storm in history. The day basically represented whatever we had. We talked for hours outdoors.

Not too soon after that he asked me to marry him, and I accepted the offer. We were in love or something very close to it. We were young. We felt invincible. Our respective families disagreed, but we didn’t care. We thought it was the only choice that made sense.

The marriage was over before the love ran out.
We were destined to fail from the start. He was a bartender at the hippest club in town and I was a waitress at the local diner. Our schedules didn’t match. We ignored the coincidence. I quit my job to spend more time with him. He thought he could cover everything on his own.

The marriage was over before the love ran out.
We argued over money and made up over sex. We were convinced that our love would keep us above water. Love doesn’t pay the bills. He resented me for unemployment so I got a job at his club. We had to play single in front of customers for more tips. It was fun…for awhile.

The marriage was over before the love ran out.
We still argued. Neither one of us understood the other. Go figure. We tried many things to spice up our marriage even though we had only been married for 6 months. We just needed another element, right?

The marriage was.over before the love ran out.
The day I was served, I was 4 months pregnant and we hadn’t even been married a year. My husband was basically nonexistent in our marriage. I constantly tried to reason why this happened or how, but it was clear. We were never in love. We just wanted to be in love. There was none.

At the age of 22, I was divorced with a child. There was no love. There was barely a marriage. We were young and foolish, fallen madly for the thought of love.

Yup. Til tomorrow.