Small town girl. Joins Navy. Sees the world. Flies in planes. Hunts submarines. Gets out of military and has 3 kids.


A compilation of stories and lessons learned

Friday, November 9, 2012

Beginnings & Endings

The following was written as a prompt from Write on Edge:  New

Rain fell on that northern summer morning.  It cleansed the air but cast a dark gloom.  It was the kind of rain that allowed for a lazy summer afternoon indoors, without the guilt and expectations a beautiful day will bring.

            We sat in silence during the hour-long ride to the bus stop.  If a word had been spoken, it was irrelevant, and quickly cast aside.  Everyone’s minds were preoccupied with a shared sensation of the expected loss that was about to come.  Any beginning requires an end- a loss.

            After an eternity, the car came to a halt. 

“Well, this is the place,” my father said. 

            I’d never been to a bus stop before, and this one seemed lonely.  Why was I doing this again?  I could turn around so easily right now.  Everything would be much easier- and safer.  But would I really happy?

I said goodbye to my baby sisters. They stood vulnerable on that cold morning.  Did they think I was abandoning them?  For the first time I was unable to shelter them.  I felt selfish when I thought of the burdens that they were to bear in the future.  I could only hope that someday they’d forgive me.

            It was his cry that paralyzed me.  My father.  He had always kept the monsters away.  And now he cried.

            “If it’s about the money- we’ll find a way to pay for college.” 

            “No dad.” It wasn’t the money.  He would’ve offered me the world in that moment.  But I couldn’t stay. 

I wanted to go home to curl up in my warm bed. But I couldn’t.  I had to go.  I wanted to see the world.  I wanted to fly.  I wanted to “save” the world. I had to jump and look later.

            So I turned away.  Quick, like ripping off a band-aid.  I climbed onto the bus and pressed my face to the window- swallowing to keep back the tears.  This wasn’t the place to cry- not right now.  I watched my family until the very last second- until they were too far away.

And then I panicked.  I just wanted one more look- but it was too late.

14 comments:

  1. nice, has me wanting more. Where were you going off to? you got me hooked

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  2. Thanks- good to hear! Headed off to bootcamp! :/ (bitter-sweet)

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  3. great piece! i'm still left wondering where exactly she's venturing off to...!

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    1. Thanks!! Maybe I'll have to post the part 2. :)

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  4. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. My heart was breaking, wondering if I'd done the right thing by encouraging you to go ...I was so scared for you. My first baby. My first to leave. My best friend. We ALL cried all the way home. And it's had a great ending and many beginnings! So proud of you! Mom

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    1. Aw :( Thanks mom! And thank you for always being my greatest supporter in everything I've done. I'll never forget that you wrote to me EVERY single day in bootcamp.

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  5. Oh, so sad. I loved this line: "And then I panicked. I just wanted one more look- but it was too late." WOW. Love your writing.

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you stopped by!

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  6. Great opening. I wondered if the father was a threat to the littler siblings, but after he cried, now i am not so sure! Potentially, your main character is simply a sensitive soul who loves his/her family... but then why run?

    Yep. I'm hooked.


    - barbara @ de rebus
    www(dot)barbaragildea(dot)com

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    1. Good question, Barbara. You know those huge decisions that completely tear you apart? That was one of them.

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  7. I admit, I placed this as memoir, based on what I've read here before. I very much got that sense of a turning/tipping point, the moment when needing to do something becomes actually doing something. You capture that sense of responsibility and flight and transition so gracefully.

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    1. Thank you so much Cameron. I always love your comments and writing advice!

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  8. Oh, this brings out the truth that "new" often equals "scary." Nicely done.

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