Kicking Sandcastles

She hated optimists.  Maybe because she was a realist, but probably because she was utterly jealous of them.  She tried to be optimistic, bit it never worked.  The stress would hit her, then the anxiety, finally the depression.

Jordan was an eternal optimist.  IT was a quality that rewarded him handsomely.  He even got her for a brief amount of time.  That was until his optimism started to infuriate her, and her realism started to deflate him.

She’d been dating a basketball player at their community college.  He was her usual type of guy: not too bright but hot, tall, athletic, and of course a complete asshole.  He’d been cheating on her, and she knew it.  To save face she pretended that she didn’t, but no one believed her.  Once he gave her another girl’s lip gloss, thinking that it was hers.  He’d even fucked her best friend…twice…and she was embarrassed to admit how she’d found out about that one.

She pretended not to know, and then he dumped her.

She had been talking about it to one of her classmates in Speech Com when Jordan hopped the desk and plopped himself right next to her.  He asked her if she wanted to go with him to get his tattoo worked on that weekend.  She looked him up and down.  He was good looking, but not her type at all.  He was wearing ripped converse, jeans, and a Warped Tour t-shirt.  All of the guys she’d ever dated wore basketball shorts and Nike flip flops with socks.

Fuck it.

She shrugged and agreed, mentioning that she’d been wanting to get a tattoo she’d drawn done on her foot.  Maybe if his artist did well, she’d hire him.

*****

     After the tattoo appointment, he looked over at her and grinned.  They were in his truck because she had a D.U.I. and couldn’t drive.

     “Hungry?” he asked.

     “Starving! Wait…if I go out to eat with you, does that mean I got tricked into going on a date with you?”

     He grinned from ear to ear, “I wouldn’t use the word, tricked.  I just kinda throw things out there and hope for the best.  Like when I asked you to come with me today.”

     And for the most part, that’s really how he did everything.  He just tried and hoped for the best.  Sometimes it drove her crazy.  Couldn’t he see that life didn’t work that way?  You had to plan, and prepare for the worst.  Half of the time, he didn’t even have a plan, he just knew what he wanted and assumed he was going to get it.

*****

     “I miss my El Co,” she sighed one day while laying on his chest as he played with her hair, “it was bad ass. 383 stroker engine, true dual exhaust, masterflow, holly double pumper carb, that baby even had a NOS setup.”

     “You’ll get a new one some day,” he assured her.  She laughed at him rudely.

     “Um no. I won’t, Jordan.  Do you even realize how expensive that thin was? Not just the car itself, not even the money I put in working on it, but just the gas alone was ridiculous.  It’s an impractical car to have and I was young ad stupid for owning it.”

     “Sorry.  Just trying to be positive.”

     “Please don’t,” she mumbled, thoroughly irritated.

     “Maybe I’ll buy you one with the money I make in the S.E.A.L.S,” he offered.  She let out a groan.

     “Jordan. How many times have I told you that I’m not going to wait on you while you go off on a ship for five years? That’s absolutely insane! Second, I already said I was never going to own another one because they’re impractical cars.  Finally, you will never become a S.E.A.L. because you’re color blind.”

     “I’m gonna study for the color test,” he insisted, sounding like a pouting child.  She sat up to roll her eyes at him, but caught herself when she saw his hurt expression. Still, she couldn’t let it go.

     “What do you see here?” she asked, pulling up a test.

     “It’s a circle made up of a bunch of other circles.  This is stupid.  I’ll pass.”

     “You just failed, though. There’s the number two in that circle.  You can’t study for a color blindness test,” she threw her phone down in exasperation, but he just shrugged and let her fume.

*****

     Looking back, she shouldn’t have fought him on the subject.  She felt like the kid who came and kicked over his sandcastle.  He never did join the Navy, but he did find a girl just as optimistic as he.  She was bubbly and blonde, and she was nothing like Nina.

The High School Sweeheart

She sat in his truck.  Silently taking the verbal abuse. She was drunk, and so was he.  Not that it mattered.  He acted like this regardless, but she loved him so she took it.  She knew that he would apologize after, stroking her bruises and telling her he loved her.

“You’re so lucky you’re a girl,” he screamed at her, punching everything in the truck that was near her. She almost flinched as a fist landed on the seat next to her head.  He was mad at her for smoking a cigarette when she’d promised him she’d quit.  That’s how he always was: controlling.  She hadn’t seen her family in weeks because, as he said, “you don’t need them. You have me.”

She also had no friends because he hated all of her friends, and she wasn’t allowed to hang out with his friends unless he was there.

“I just wanna punch you in the face.  No.  I wanna open this truck door and push you down this cliff.  I wanna go home, let’s go.”

He started the truck.

“Cody. You can’t drive. You’re drunk. Maybe Tina can drive us,” she begged. She knew that Tina didn’t have a license, but Cody had multiple charges: possession with intent to distribute, violation of parole…

Tina couldn’t get the truck to drive. It was too old. She was stuck in hell for the rest of the night.

“Ima beat the shit out of you bitch. Tonight,” he said as her sister left the truck.

She braced herself for yet another assault, already thinking of explinations for why she was bruised.

A note from the author: Abuse is never to be tolerated. If you or someone you love is being physically, verbally, or otherwise abused. Please report it. Only you can break the cycle. 

Bulliet and BDSM

He came to her broken.  She was broken too, but he was more broken than her.  She answered the door naked as he’d demanded.  He was still in his work uniform, all black, and holding a bottle of Bulliet.  He followed her to her room, and grabbed the shot glasses from her TV tray that had been there since Halloween.

Shot after shot, and suddenly he snapped.  He shoved her onto the bed.

Hard

Then he started choking her until she could barely breathe.  She didn’t care.  She loved it.  This was the shit that she lived for.  It took the pain away.  But this time it was different than she was used to.  He was being rougher than usual, and she could tell that this was one of the times that required rest and recovery afterwards.

“I need a little break,” she gasped after an hour.  She could already feel the bruises forming.

He snapped again.

He jumped off the bed and yanked on his clothes. He was wasted.  Utterly trashed.  He nearly fell onto his face trying t step into his boxers.

Once he managed to get dressed, he stormed out the front door.  It was then that she realized what was going on.  He was leaving.  Not that she really cared, but he was wasted and she lived in downtown.  The last thing he needed was a D.U.I.  so she chased after him.  His car was already running and he was trying to drive away.  She got into the passenger seat and turned to face him.

“What the fuck is your problem?!? All I said is that I needed a break”

“I don’t give a fuck, Bitch. I don’t need you.  I got court tomorrow, I just got dumped over this shit. I don’t need these problems. I. Don’t. Need. You.”

“Michael, you are drunk as fuck,and I live in downtown. Just turn off your car and sleep here for the night.  You really don’t need a DUI after everything you’re already facing” she pleaded with him.

He screamed in her face.  It was a frustrated, wordless scream and it terrified her, but she held her ground and kept her face void of emotion.  Then he got out of the car, leaving it running, and walked toward her house.  She tried to turn off his car. Fucking piece of shit BMWs.  She could never figure out how to work them, but the truth of the matter was she was shaking too much to even attempt to free his keys.

“Michael,” she screamed at him as she got out of the car and chased after him for the second time that night, “Your car is still running.”

He shoved her to the side, and proceeded to turn off his car.  Then he walked into her house and passed out on her bed.

Chameleon

About 85% of the time she got what she wanted.  Sure, it probably had a little to do with the fact that she was attractive and had a nice body.  It was also because she was stubborn, but mostly it was because she understood people.  Be it a man or a woman, she could usually figure out what it was that they wanted, twist herself to fit that, and then give it to them so that they would give her what she wanted.

The other 15% of the time.  The times that she didn’t get what she wanted.  It was usually a person who was so out of left field that she couldn’t even begin to understand them.

And, unfortunately for her, she found people like that absolutely irresistible.

Spiraling

“All of these things that you are telling me lead me to believe that you’ve been misdiagnosed,” Leila said as she leaned back against her chair.  Nina rolled her eyes and let out a sigh.

“The OCPD, the anxiety and depression, or the borderline personality disorder?” She asked in a tone dripping with sarcasm. Leila laughed, she knew that the sarcasm was aimed at the girl’s previous therapists rather than at herself.

“Well, all of them really, but it makes perfect sense that you’ve been misdiagnosed so many times.  What you really have is Bipolar II disorder.  It’s a tough one to diagnose because it is a less severe form of the disorder.  Your manic episodes are subtle, but your depressive episodes are severe which explains the previous diagnosis of anxiety and depression.  And your substance abuse was making the bipolar worse, which explains the borderline personality disorder diagnosis.  The OCPD is your subconscious attempt to control the mood swings.  I recommend that you start a combination of antidepressant and mood stabilizer.”

As Leila was explaining all of this it hit her.  This constant battle of spiraling out of control then fighting to regain it was permanent.  It would never end.

The Prayer

She sat on the steps of her front porch and lit a cigarette.  She inhaled greedily and raised her eyes to the starless sky.  Sometimes she missed stars.  The price you pay to live in the city.

“God,” she began in a soft shaky voice that was slurred with whiskey, “What the fuck am I doing? I’m 25 years old, a fuckin bartender, no kids, no man.  I have three degrees I can’t do shit with.  I’m a god damned alcoholic.  I cant keep doing this but”

Tears began to slide down her cheeks as she choked on her words

“I don’t know what to do. Please. Help me. I don’t know what the fuck to do.”

She wiped away her tears and finished her cigarette.  Then she stumbled to her room, poured herself another shot, and cried herself to sleep.

Eighth Grade

The sting of the slap punctured the darkness of her sleep and her eyes flew open.  He was just a figure in the darkness, standing beside her bed.

“What the hell, Dad?!?”

She knew full well that she had just asked the wrong question, and immediately braced herself as a second slap burned across her face.  He was always so calm when he was like this.  It was almost as if he had already justified his craziness to himself.

“You’re a slut, just like your mother,” he shouted at her before storming out of the room.  She laid in the dark. Face burning, fighting back tears.

Here’s to another night of fear induced insomnia.

 

A note from the author: Abuse should never be tolerated.  If you or someone you love is suffering from Physical, Verbal, or any other form of abuse PLEASE report it! It will never end unless you take a stand.