Past & Present

I walked into Peace & A Cup of Joe with my lady. I was a regular here, but this was her first time in the state, much less the café. The owner, a tall, black man in a Baltimore Ravens jersey and tan khaki shorts waved me over.
“I just wanted to give you a heads up, Sean,” he said softly.
Before he could continue, my lady finished looking at the menu and went to the counter to order. I shrugged at him, then went to her side. She ordered a veggie burger with mushrooms, avocado spread, red onions, bell peppers, dried tomatoes and Field greens. It was called “The Power Plant”. As for me, I’m an omnivore, so I ordered “The MLK”, a grilled sirloin steak sandwich with sautéed red onions, pepper jack cheese, assorted peppers and topped with a chiplotle aiola sauce. We headed upstairs where it would be quieter. My lady was ahead of me, and headed to one of the couches with tables before it.
When I stepped through the door, I stopped. Directly across the door, in my usual spot at a long counter type table in front of a window, was my ex. My sudden stop at the door drew her attention. She flashed a brilliant smile at me, looking for all the world as if we’d just seen each other yesterday, and not over 2 years ago.
My lady was a gorgeous red-head, 5’6″ with a runner’s physique. My ex, could have passed for her physical twin. My lady was a cup size larger, while my ex had a sprinkling of light freckles across her nose and cheeks. These minor differences seemed to make them look even more alike.
My ex sauntered over to me, and gave me a tight hug. “Hi, Sean.” Her smoky voice made love to my ears as it always had.
“Sean?” My lady’s voice cut through my mental fog. “Who’s this?”
“Um,” I paused, swallowed. “Catherine, meet my ex: Catherine.”
The two women stared at each other. Seeing two women that looked like twins, yet were not related, one had dated me, while the other was my girlfriend giving each other dirty looks was too surreal for me. I started laughing. Both turned to look at me.

Christine

In 1999, I was in the US Navy. I was in the best shape of my life. I was 220 lbs of well-developed muscle, full of piss & vinegar. I was in San Diego, on shore leave. I stumbled into a bar around 2230 (10:30PM) with a couple shipmates. We had spent most of the afternoon drinking our asses off. For some reason, I decided it was time to sober up, so I switched to drinking water. We sat at the bar and when I ordered booze for them and water for me, my companions decided to start razzing me. The bartender was a gorgeous redhead, 5 foot nothing, ninety pounds, took pity on me. She handed me a tall glass of water and told them to lay off as she’d given me the biggest drink. They laughed it off, calling bullshit. She said I had pure vodka, swear on her honor. They said that I should chug with them (the fuckers had Mai tais). I was still buzzed, so I said, “Sure.” and took a huge gulp. The shock of the ice-cold water caused me to gasp and choke. The idiots with me cheered. The rest of the night, I sobered up while they got more hammered. I ended up chatting with the bartender and asked her name. She said it was Christine.
We really hit it off and after the Garage (the bar’s name) closed at 0300, she invited me over to her place. Being a guy, 19 and her being an attractive woman who was interested in me, lead me to agreeing. I spent the night, and fell for her. The next morning, she woke me with breakfast in bed and we ended up staying in bed until 1500 when she had to get ready for work. She drove me back to the Navy Yard and I kissed her goodbye, promising to see her again during my next leave which was in six months. That shore leave turned into the end of my first deployment and I ended up living with her for the next six months.
Around the second month, while we were at a club, she started dancing with another guy. I got a bit pissed because he wouldn’t back off after that. Finally, I got pissed off, took the guy outside and kicked his ass. Christine got pissed off with me, telling me she wasn’t my property, slapping me and eventually took off with him. I went back to her place, packed my stuff and punched a hole in the wall when I realized that she had my wallet.
When she got back the next day, we had a huge fight. She told me she hadn’t done anything with the guy, just went to a couple other bars and went to her sister’s and passed out, and what was wrong with me, why didn’t I trust her, ect. After nearly an hour, she brought me around, I forgave her and we had make up sex. Two weeks later, the same thing happened with a different guy. The same thing happened when she came back the next day: an hour and a half of fighting, followed by make up sex and another promise to never do it again.
After the fourth time, I was really heated and called her a fucking whore. She abruptly went calm, and walked into the dining room. I dropped on the couch and held my head in my hands. I was feeling like shit for that because her mother actually had been one. She didn’t know who her father was. I learned Christine had come back into the room when she smashed a ceramic serving platter over the back of my head. I fell to the floor, pretty fucking dazed. She proceeded to kick my ass all over that house. I wound up with thirteen stitches in my head and two black eyes. After she stopped and saw how fucked up I was, she promptly became apologetic, saying she didn’t mean to do it, but I just made her so mad. She drove me to the hospital and I got fixed up, telling the ER staff I had gotten mugged.
She cried the way home, begging me not to leave her, she was sorry, it would never happen again, ect. I agreed to stay with her. That was the first time she beat my ass, but not the last. I was with her for three years. The only reason I left her was because I caught her in the act of cheating on me. But, that’s a story for another time.

Sessions

“I don’t know what to do, Doc.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, I’m stuck. Let me go back to the beginning.”

“That would be helpful.”

“Remember me telling you about Stacy?”

“The young woman in the abusive marriage that you’ve fallen in love with.”

“Right. Well, she’s recently told me that she’s not going to look for a way out right now.”

“Did she say why?”

“She says she’s not strong enough to leave. She has small kids, remember.”

“I’m not following. Wouldn’t that give her more cause to leave, not less?”

“You’d think so, wouldn’t you, Doc. She thinks if she were to check into a shelter, all she’d be able to do is sit on the bed and cry. She says she wouldn’t be able to take care of her babies.”

“Alright. She seems to have made her decision. There’s not more you can do.”

“I’m afraid that’s not the issue.”

“What is the issue, then?”

“You know I told you she always says she wants to make sure no one gets hurt?”

“I do. You said that Stacy doesn’t want to leave her abuser because she doesn’t want to take a chance on her being wrong about the abuse, and she doesn’t want to hurt you because she loves you.”

“Right. Well, last night, I pointed out the corner she’s painted herself into…”

“Go on.”

“Doc, I told her she’s going to have to choose sooner, or later, how is more important to her: The guy that she’s terrified of, or the guy that she says makes her happier than she’s ever been.”

“…”

“And then, I said, ‘I’m not sure I want to wait much longer.'”

“Oh, no. You gave her an ultimatum.”

“Yeah.”

“Take one of these tissues, and wipe your eyes.”

“Thanks. What do I do, Doc?”

“What do you think you should do?”

“I don’t know. That’s why I’m here.”

“Well, the way I see it, you have only one option.”

“Just one? What is it?”

“You love her, right?”

“Of course I do. She’s the most important person in the world to me.”

“Then decide if you really meant your words, or if they were a misguided attempt to spur Stacy to action.”

“And if I did mean them, Doc?”

“Then you have to walk away.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re not making things easier for this poor woman. You’re making them worse.”

“But she says I’m not.”

“Tell me something: If this young woman is in an abusive relationship with a controlling man-”

Boy. A man wouldn’t abuse a woman.”

“Boy, then. If she’s in a controlling relationship, then do you really think that giving her an ultimatum is helpful?”

“No.”

“Lift your head, and take some time to think things over. Choose which path you’re going to do down. Remember, if you really love Stacy, you’ll choose the path that makes things easier on her.”

“Alright, Doc. Thanks.”

“Same time next week?”

“…Yeah…sure.”

“Good. See you next Tuesday at 3.”

“Right. Goodbye.”

Know Me Better II

So, here we go again. Another 5 questions from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. This week’s questions are:


What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
What is most memorable about your high school years?
Have you ever gotten up early for a “black Friday sale”?
Were you named after anyone?
Would you bungee jump, skydive or something similar?

Let’s get to them, eh?

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?

The kindest thing anyone has ever done for me? Wow. There have been a few, so, I’ll go with the most recent. Earlier in the month, I traveled to Tampa, Florida. A friend’s friend (an I think love interest) allowed me to crash at his place while I was there to hang out with my friends. If he reads this, Thanks again, Anthony.

What is most memorable about your high school years?

There were a few, but I’ll go with my most favorite memory: Graduation. I absolutely hated high school. You know, I think school is the only place where it is a bad thing to be intelligent.

Have you ever gotten up early for a “black Friday sale”?

Heh. No. I don’t like shopping. I’m certainly not gonna get up early to take part in a holiday dedicated to it.

Were you named after anyone?

Technically, I was named after everyone born before me. Think on that for a few seconds. Okay, non-smartass answer: My mom named me for two of her best friends.

Would you bungee jump, skydive or something similar?

You’re asking a guy with acrophobia if he’d skydive, or bungee jump. Are you out of your fecking mind?! Wait, what do you mean, I promised? Oh. Right. Yeah, I promised someone important to me that I would skydive with her.

*******

I invite you to share your answers to these questions as well. You can share them as a comment on this post or share them on your own blog and link up to this post. If you are posting on your blog you can grab the linky to include with your post if you would like to do so.

Ya Between The Lines
CMash Reads
Book Fever
Bookshelf
Spiced Latte Reads
My Head Is Full of Books
For the Love of Film & Novels
Diantha
Smoking Hot Books
Princess Paperback
Vonnie’s Reading Corner
Happy Little Worker
Everything Ella
Christian Novels
Paranormal Sisters
Shelfspace Needed
Hilda
Romance With A Book
Closkot
Gjam

Update: Looks like a lot of my fellow authors are also afraid of heights. I wonder if they’re connected…

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In The End

The tears in my beloved’s eyes was enough to get me heated. The people seated across from her were already on my shit list. They may have produced her, and watched her grow up, but as far as I was concerned, that didn’t make them her parents. Parents are supposed to protect and care for their offspring. I bit down on my ire and vowed to get answers first.
“Hey, my love. What’s going on? Why’re you crying?”
“Nothing, Stan. I’m okay.”
“Little One, please don’t lie to me.”
Her mother spoke up. “It’s not your business, but we where asking why we can’t see our grand children. Stay out of it.”
My head whipped around so quick, my neck crackled. “Stay out? I don’t think so.” I felt Ann’s hand on my wrist. I glanced down to her.
“Please, Stan. This is under control.”
I sighed, then sat beside her. Ann wrapped my right arm in both of hers, and twined her fingers with mine. She kissed my cheek, and glanced at her parents.”As long as Steven is in your house, my kids will not be.”
“You have no right to keep our grandkids from us,” her mother said, “Nor from their father. We’ve done nothing wrong.”
I started to sit up with a growl, but Ann’s grip on my arm tightened a bit. I subsided and waited for her lead.
“You did nothing wrong? What about letting Steven yell and scream at me for over 10 years, or constantly blame me for everything that went wrong? What about staying silent when I came to your house with a bruise on my face?”
“You made him mad, Ann. Had you not been so selfish, and self-centered all the time, you wouldn’t have deser-”
I shook Ann’s arms off me and lunged to my feet. I dropped my clenched fists to the table, causing it to jump, and glasses of tea to spill. “Are you fucking kidding me? How dare you blame her for that piece of shit’s treatment of her?”
Ann tugged on my shoulder. I turned, reluctantly. She cupped my cheek. I turned my face into her palm and kissed her hand. “Look at me, Stan.” I met her eyes. “I got this.” I growled in the back of my throat. “You trust me, right?”
“Dirty fighter.” She smiled, and waited. “Of course I do.”
“Thank you.” She turned to her mom. “I did not deserve anything Steven did, nor said. I deserved to be treated with love, honor, respect and dignity. Stan always tells me I am a good person. It took me five years to believe. If it wasn’t for him, I’d probably still be in that hell. Stan is a real man. Maybe one day, Steven will grow up. Until then, he doesn’t get to see my girls. As long as he lives with you, the only way you can is if you come for a visit. Please go now.”
Her mother opened her mouth. I glared at her balefully. She rose and walked to the door. “C’mon, Murphy. We’re not welcome here.” Murphy rose to his feet, eyes wet. He seemed about to speak. “Let’s go, Murphy!”
Ann’s parents left without another word.

Know Me Better 1

I found this a on blog called, I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. I follow it via e-mail. Each week, five questions are posted for bloggers to answer. This week’s questions are:

What was the last thing that made you cry?
What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
What is your favorite form of exercise?
What is your current desktop picture?
You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?

What was the last thing that made you cry?

A couple of scenes in Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. They were familiar to me. Look for my review later in the week. I’m gonna re-read it.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Almost all of them. I’m inherently lazy. But the one that is currently tops for me is filling out job applications.

What is your favorite form of exercise?

Sex. What? It counts. You burn calories. Okay, fine: Jumping rope. Yes, jumping rope. Feck off.

What is your current desktop picture?

It is a collage of characters from 80’s cartoons.

You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?

Even though I just got back Thursday night, I’d go to Tampa, Florida. This time, I’m not sure I’d return though…

I invite you to share your answers to these questions as well. You can share them as a comment on this post or share them on your own blog and link up to this post.

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Check these out, too while you’re at it.

danielleheartsbooks

writingchristiannovels.blogspot.com

whateveryoucanstillbetray.blogspot.com

smoking-hot-books

bookfever11

wall-to-wall-books

www.happylittleworker.com

http://www.diantha-jones.com

shelfspaceneeded

yabetweenthelines

The Women Who Shaped Me

I’m only gonna name the ones I met in person, and not all the women I’ve had contact with. I’d be here forever otherwise. This was inspired by Sweet Mother’s post.

My Mom: Of course I’d start with her. She’s a big influence on my life. From the first six years, it was just she, and me. Mom taught me to love and cherish women. Also, never to hit them, no matter what. This is important for later on.

Becky: She was my baby sitter for a while. She was also my first sexual partner. Before you cry bullshit, let me finish: It wasn’t like any Penthouse forum letter, nor a porno: I was 9 and she was 18. Yeah.

Christine: Wow. Where do I start with this one. She was the single biggest female influence in my life. From her, I learned how much pain I could take, what kind of ass kicking, too. I also learned that women were terrible, terrifying creatures that cracked your skull for serving the eggs prepared incorrectly, or back-handed you in the jewels for looking at another woman, or break your arm for giving her gay sister a back rub when her girlfriend left her. Oh, and let’s not forget the joys of being smacked in the mouth with a glass Pepsi bottle for telling her there’s no way for you to be cheating with her sister because her sister wasn’t into men. Let me tell you: A 5′ redhead is a scary sight when she is pissed. It doesn’t matter if you are a foot taller and 120 lbs heavier.

Victoria: This wonderful woman was the second biggest influence on my life. She helped me begin the process of healing after I got the courage to leave Christine. She taught me that all women were not like Christine. Some were like me: Scarred. I learned it was okay to begin loving women again, not all were out to inflict “punishment” on me if I stepped “out of line.” She also encouraged me to volunteer in women’s shelters.

Elise: This poor woman taught me that I can’t save everyone. Sometimes, there really is nothing that you can do. I wish I could have done more for her nonetheless. Rest in Peace, dear one.

Fabiola: This amazing lady has taught me that my words can be inspiring. That sometimes, what I’m going through isn’t as bad as I think. She’s reminded me that all isn’t lost no matter how low I get. If she can get through her day with a smile, there is no reason I can’t.

Which brings us to

Jen: A truly inspiring young woman. She gives me hope for the future. The short time I got to spend in her presence was like being in warm sunshine after weeks of cold, dreary wet days. With what she goes through on a near daily basis, and is still able to smile & laugh, humbles me. All I can really off to try to explain how she is, is “Outstanding.”

An Excerpt From Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A. (raw)

—-> Rob strode down the green carpeted hallway, trying to figure out why the hell Jennifer wasn’t responding to her cell. He knew she’d returned because (ops co-ordinator’s name goes here) had filled him in as per protocol. ‘What the fuck did Mary do to her?’
—-> The founder of the F.S.I.A. was doomed to not learn the reason. He took another step forward, then an explosion rocked him. As he pulled a one-handed back handspring, drawing his gun from the back holster, he glimpsed a silvery blur rolling through the gaping new hole in the wall. Rob Went to his right knee and emptied his clip at the newcomer. As he dropped his clip and tossed in another, the silvery being deflected every round with an ebony blade. There was only one being he knew of that could do a trick like that.
—-> “Robilar, hold!” The thundering voice was familiar.
—-> The fog of combat lifted, and he saw it was the Walker of Worlds. “Carter! What the fuck?” He rose to his feet and hurried to his friend. “You’ve never ripped through the universes like that. What’s going on?” He held his hand out.
—-> The larger man took the offered hand and rose painfully to his feet. Rob’s eyes widened to see a flow of crimson oozing down Carter’s side.
—-> “Nicodemus has fallen, Robilar. Lucas has the Fist, the Lamp, and the Eye.”
—-> The Fist of Ra was capable of summoning gods. The Lamp of Allah-ad-din granted wishes at the cost of the user’s life, and the Eye of Odin, well, that one he didn’t know anything about, but it couldn’t be good.
—-> Robilar swallowed hard. “S-shit. Wha-What are we gonna do?”
—-> The Walker cocked his head to the right. His friend standing stiffly, and turned away. “What do you think we’re going to do? We’re going to stop him. I need your help. Snap out of it!” He slapped the Chronomancer across the face.
—-> Rob’s eyes blazed, then his jaw went hard, and he gave his oldest friend a curt nod. “Yes. We will.” He resumed striding down the hall. “Come with me. I need my sword. Speaking of, where did you get the black one?”
—-> Carter sheathed his longsword. “I liberated it from Lucas. He called it, ‘Ferrum Letale Internecinum’.
—-> “Iron Sword of Deadly Extermination? Redundant much?”
—-> The larger man grinned. “I don’t know where he got it, but it can cut through my armor with ease.” He gestured to his wound. “Not even Belial’s sword could do that.”
—-> Rob smiled. “Remember how we freaked Dearbhaile out with our stunt?”
—-> Carter stumbled to a halt. ‘Shit. How do I tell him? She was his big sister.’

Robilar’s Data Sheet

Name: Robilar, alias “Robert Worthington”
Age: appears 32, is actually much older
Birthday: declares it to be August 16. Unknown, as he’s not from our world.
Physical Description: 5’11”, 200 lbs, muscular, sable hair, coffee-colored eyes, a thin, white scar runs from just beneath his hair, down over his right eye to his cheek bone
Personality Description: easy-going & fun loving outside of battle, in battle the fucker is batshit insane (like Kenpachi Zaraki from Bleach)
Hometown: Baltimore, Md. (declared), Rivorei City, The Realm
Type of Neighborhood/Description of Home: a small 2 story number on Dover St.
Father’s Name: Lance Worthington III (not real)
Father’s Background and Occupation: working class/ BCFD (deceased)
Mother’s Name: Valerie Worthington (not real)
Mother’s Background and Occupation: middle class/ BPD (deceased)
Friends: Carter Blake, Jennifer Steel, Danijela Amarovic, Drake Lunasta
Enemies: Lilith, Lucas Rumpff, Death, himself
Influential Person or Event: Jennifer wishing she had never met him. This made him change the way he approached events, especially where she is concerned.
Favorite Foods: pepperoni pineapple pizza with either beer (relaxing), or Dr. Pepper (working)
Hobbies: Sleeping, painting, writing, reading tvtropes.org
Dress Style: Black jeans and t-shirt
Religion: None. He knows gods are real (his friend polices them), he merely chooses not to worship any.
Attitude Toward Religion: Ignores it.
Leader or Follower: Both. He leads the less experienced, tends to follow the Walker of Worlds
Ambitions: To keep his world safe, to keep Jennifer Steel safe, and to ensure his line continues
Strongest Positive Personality Trait: Loyal
Strongest Negative Personality Trait: Some say he’s overly playful
Temperament: Usually laid back. When driven to battle, if personal, he’s a blood knight.
Consideration for Others: Yes, especially those he cares about.
How Other People See Him/Her: Implacable Man, great friend, kind of goofy, loyal
Opinion of Self: Determinator

Yesterday’s Post

This is something I wrote on the 27th. It was how I felt then. With the exception of feeling like I’m not going to continue (which *has* dropped to 70-30 against), I don’t feel the same as I did then. I still hate what I did, but I’m not actively beating myself up over it. She forgave me (mind-boggling, I know, but that’s how she rolls).
As for not continuing, I’ve stopped because my drive to write is gone. With the exception of these two posts, and a writing excercise, I’ve not written in about 3 weeks. I have no desire to, and I can’t “see” anything. I visualize something, and write what I “see”. No visuals, no writing. And you know what? I’m okay with that.
So, relax: I’m not beating myself up, and I’m not punishing myself. The urge is gone. Let’s move on?

One more thing: I find it disturbing that everything I’ve heard about that event has largely been about my writing. That’s disappointing.