CAPTURED: MARCIA

This is Part 3 of the CAPTURED Series. Please find Part 1 here: Captured: Noelle and Part 2 here: Captured: Peter

Enjoy and don’t forget to leave a comment afterwards!
– Amowi.

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Call me Marcia.

OK, so here’s a timeline of my life.

When I was 5, my mother left me. Well, technically, she left my dad. My little sister and I were just collateral damage.

When I was 8, I lost my first fight. It was with a girl in my class. She was wearing the same shoes as mine so I stepped on hers. She didn’t like that. She pulled out half my hair. I like my hair.

When I was 10, I won my first fight by shoving a shard of glass into a boy’s arm. He was 16. He touched my ass. He deserved it.

When I was 15, I “accidentally” shot my dad in the chest. Then I cried uncontrollably for a whole 5 minutes before calling for an ambulance. He died on the way to the hospital.

Fuck it. That whole story is crap. I didn’t have a troubled childhood. That’s the excuse people give for all the stupid stuff they do. My mother didn’t leave me. I never killed my dad. That was all rubbish.

I actually had a great childhood. Two parents that loved me and gave me everything. I was an only child. I went to a private boarding school where I made a lot of great friends. I made straight As in all my classes and graduated top of my class. How did I get this way? I got bored. It was so boring being the nice, pretty, sweet girl who did well in school and helped at home and wore pink blouses with Navy skirts. So I quit. I changed. I permed my curly natural hair and added streaks. I started wearing only black. I learnt how to shoot, how to wield a knife. I made some friends on the Internet and they linked me to some guys and suddenly, I was in touch with the right people and I was getting all these deals to do amazing stuff. I can’t begin to tell you how many people I’ve had to kill just on the whims of some randoms I found on the Internet that have enough money to buy Islands.
Anyway, I’m a nice person. A sweetheart actually, once you get to know me. I’m just bored a lot and there’s something about the fear in a victim’s eyes that gets to me. Excites me.
That’s why I took this job. Tom makes us move these different people around and every time we go to pick one up, I see that look of fear in their eyes.
Exciting!

But not this time. This new girl. Noelle. She freaks me out. She reminds me of myself. I don’t know why. I don’t know why she won’t do something about that mess on her head she calls hair. I don’t know why she dresses the way she does. We watched her for a month before we took her. That’s our MO. We watch the target for a while till we know their routine and all their habits. Makes it easier. And she isn’t like me at all. For one, she doesn’t wear any makeup at all. She keeps her hair natural and she doesn’t put any products in it. She wears jeans all the time. Big baggy jeans and huge flower print T shirts that make her look tiny. I don’t understand. Her parents are regular middle class folk. She uses the same route to school every single day. She’s nothing like me. I love to try new things out. I love to experiment and play with clothes and makeup and shoes. I have 6 piercings and more tattoos and I would love to get some more. We are nothing alike.

But she still reminds me of myself. I don’t know why. I’m not sure what exactly it is about her. Maybe it’s her eyes. They are the same shade of blue as mine. As you would see if I didn’t wear contacts all the time. Same shade as my mother’s eyes. Yeah that must be it. She sort of reminds me of my mother, and it’s not just the eyes. It’s the way she acts. Maybe when I’m done prepping the safe house, I’ll double back and take a closer look at her without she or Peter knowing. She won’t be acting so scared if she doesn’t know I’m watching. I scare people. I wonder why.

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Thanks for reading. Feedback is always appreciated so email me at rowiehammond@gmail.com
🙂

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Captured: Noelle

Peter was tired. He was stuck in the void between being slightly frazzled and extremely exhausted. I knew this because I knew Peter. I had not known him long but in the short time since we met, I had studied him so hard that I felt we were one person. Joined somehow by more than the ropes that connected my wrists to his belt. I was tired too, but I was normal tired. His was the kind of that sleep could not cure.

He stopped suddenly in front of me, checking the mapping application on his phone, he looked around us before turning sharply to the right, going deeper into the woods that I thought we were trying to get out of. I was so tired. We had been walking for days, stopping only so Peter could make sure he was on the right path or for bathroom breaks. We hadn’t eaten in 48 hours and we hadn’t slept in more hours than I could count.

Captive. Prisoner. Hostage. That’s what I was.

When Peter and Marcia had arrived at my house 5 days ago and thrown me in the back of their van, I wasn’t expecting to be kidnapped. I thought it was a prank by my friends. I mean, I’m no rich kid. My parents are regular people with regular lives. I hadn’t imagined that I would soon be walking deep in some unknown forest with the man who had asked me to call him Peter.

On the first day, I begged and pleaded with them to let me go. I told them I was nobody they wanted. That my parents were not rich. That I was the first born. That my little brother needed me. I begged them not to kill me. On the second day, Marcia left us to ‘prepare’ the place. I was glad. The girl freaked me out, and not only because she had kidnapped me. On the third day, we lost our torchlight. It fell out of his backpack as we run to escape the bees that had been upset by Peter’s cutlass and we weren’t able to go back for it. By the end of the fourth day, we had finished our water. All we had after that were the energy bars Marcia had packed. By the fifth day, I had stopped begging.

Today, Peter had started asking me questions. About my friends, my family, the people I went to class with, what I was interested in, and I answered them truthfully. He seemed to be enjoying himself and I was too. It was nice to have someone to talk to. In a different place, a different time, with a couple of scented candles and some music to set the mood, we would have been on a date. That’s what I told myself as my wrists chaffed from the ropes and my feet hurt from walking all day. I asked him questions too and by the end of the day, I felt more comfortable with Peter than I had ever felt with anyone. He had loosened my ropes and we laughed as we walked side by side through the trees.

As we neared the camp, he pulled me back and held my hands loosely in his.

“I have to tie you up again”

“What?”

“It’s Marcia. She won’t understand. She’ll get mad and when Marcia gets mad….” He was shaking his head slowly with what looked like fear on his face. “I’m sorry, but I have to tie you up. I won’t make it too tight. Just promise you won’t try anything silly.”

I nodded.

“Okay? Promise”

“I promise.”

He kissed me quickly, furtively on the lips. It was so fast I could have imagined it, but I couldn’t have imagined the jolt that went through me with the touch of his lips and the way he held my hand afterward almost as if to steady himself as much as he steadied me.

He tied my wrists back together, and with a set look on his face, he pulled me through the trees into the clearing where the cabin we would use was set.

Belong To Me.

I got some good news this morning and immediately I wanted to share it with you.
I got as far as picking up my phone before I stopped myself.

I read somewhere that people in love always think the other person is too good for them.
That feeling of “What did I do to deserve you?” is what apparently keeps them in love.
Because as long as you think the other person can have better than you, you will do everything you can to keep them by your side and as long as you both feel that way, you’ll be happy. Because you’ll both be trying.
The old me would dismiss this piece of information with a derisive snort. Seriously. I deserve everybody that has ever walked into my life. I am awesome. There is nobody on this planet I do not deserve.
Normally, I don’t apply clichés about love and life to my life. But with us, I feel like everything is a cliché. Like I am living one long joke or story or whatever and you are the punch line. You are the climax. You are the end. I know. I am corny. I was never corny before.

The new me is suddenly finding clichés about love everywhere. She is picking them up like an interesting object you find whilst cleaning out your room. Familiar but long forgotten. She is examining them and looking at them in relation to her life. She is finding that although her mind is telling her that she does not need this object, that she was fine before this thing came along, her heart is telling her that it fits. That even while she shakes her head, her hands are putting it on the shelf in a space made right for it. That this thing is joining all the other things she keeps. It is now a part of her treasure trove. That this weird, different, new me actually likes the clichés. That the clichés are so accurate, they must have been written by me, somewhere in the future, I must have written them and then travelled back in time (because of course time travel exists in the future) to tell them to myself in odd ways. Through books and corny Ben Stiller movies and friends.
And the new me wants to tell you everything.

What stopped me? What made me consciously put my phone down and do something else?

That feeling that I did not deserve you. That you were not – that you ARE not – mine. You do not belong to me. I cannot just tell you everything because you will probably leave for someone better and I will get hurt. I don’t want to be too hurt though so I will not tell you everything. I will wean myself off from you. Gradually in an effort to make my healing easier. I will not belong to you.

The new me knows that the old me would never have gotten herself into this predicament. That the old me would not have even wanted to share anything with you in the first place. Such is life.

Three hours later, after crying through a stack of books and eating a truckload of ice cream I am suddenly realizing that I am still as awesome as I have always been. That the new me and the old me are all just different sides of ME. Like an alternate universe in a star trek episode, I switched from one to the other without realizing that bad Spock and the good Spock are both just different sides of the same Spock. So I am still awesome and even if I don’t deserve him, he doesn’t know it yet and he probably doesn’t deserve me either and that is what is amazing about this world and about clichés and about all love stories and movies that two people who don’t deserve each other, who have no business being together end up with each other.

And I call him and suddenly he is here in my house, sitting with me and talking to me and right in the middle of us discussing Dorian Gray over a glass of cheap wine (isn’t it odd how people always end up having deep conversations when they’re tipsy?), he looks straight at me and asks “what did I do to deserve you?” and I laugh a laugh that is part relief and part intoxication and many parts awesome and answer “I have no idea.”

It is such a good feeling to belong to someone.

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Just a couple of housekeeping announcements, I may not be posting as much on here ( sorry. or not) but you can still read stuff from me and other amazing writers on thersvpshow.com just click Authors at the top and find me-Rowie Hammond – in the list of authors.
Second, i am looking for a guest writer to help me with a couple of things. So if you’re interested, you can email me at rowiehammond@gmail.com and also, i am forever answering your questions, about my blog, about writing or even personal questions about my life. I will put them on here or just shoot you an email at your request. So you can also email me.

And as always, feedback is greatly appreciated so if you have the time or are super busy, try to leave a comment.

Peace & Love in the motherland.
Rowie.

For my daughter.

She is six and I have her seated on the floor between my legs as I try to tame her unruly curls into a braid suitable for school. She winces as I tug and I give her a book to read. To take her mind off the pain.

She is ten. Boys are mean and pull her hair. I am her best friend and her other best friend lives in Rio. They write long letters with pink gel pens and decorate them with a million stickers.

She is sitting on my bed trying on jewelry. At fourteen, boys are interesting and the books and movies have taught her everything she needs to know about life. I am still her best friend but I sense that it is changing.

She slams the door shut on her way out. She says she hates me and will never talk to me again. I sigh gently, she used to be my best friend. She has a boyfriend. He wears black all the time and holds her hand. I pray at night that it is all he holds. She is sixteen.

She is crying into my arms. I tell her heartbreak won’t kill her. That it will make her stronger. Teach her more about life. About herself. That it is good to cry. She Says she will never love again. I smile as I remember where my heart was at eighteen.

She has a fierce love for God. I am jealous of it sometimes and other times I am just so happy it hurts my cheeks. She reads all the time and she sends me funny voice notes at odd times of the day. She has a friend she wants me to meet. She tells me I will like him. I remind her that she promised me she will never love again. She laughs. She remembers. She is twenty-three.

She is the most beautiful woman in the world today. I am so proud. In the church, I whisper a prayer of thanks to God for the gift of my baby. She smiles at me as he walks her down the aisle. There are tears in her eyes. “I love you” is what I whisper to her when I hug her outside. She hugs me back tightly. I will miss her so much. Twenty-five is too young.

She calls me at 3 am. I am going to be a grandmother. I feel so old. She is excited. She can’t stop giggling. I put the phone on the table and go back to bed. Through the veil of sleep I can hear them at the other end of the phone. Making plans.

I pray for her every night. I pray that she is strong. I ask God to keep her safe. To help her be more than I could ever be. I talk to her all the time. She is no longer my baby.

I pray for her all the time.
She will always be my baby.

She gives me a card on her fiftieth birthday. In it there is an old photograph: I am sitting on a chair on the front porch. She is on the floor between my legs. There is a book lying open in front of her. She is half-turned looking up at me. I have a comb in my right hand. I am looking down at her.

We are laughing.

The Blue Butterfly Pt. 3

Hey guys, Read Part 1 and Part 2 of the Blue Butterfly.
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She was 17 when it happened; when he came the first time. She saw him from across the street, as he looked up at the studio from his fancy car. She wasn’t in the mood for chatting with visitors today… especially rich guys in their dad’s flashy cars, so she used the back entrance to the studio and changed quickly in the dressing room hoping that if Miss Maria came to meet her stretching and warming up she wouldn’t pick her to be tour guide for the day. She was lucky. She wasn’t picked to be tour guide. Miss Maria gave the tour herself which was weird but Elise didn’t really care. She was trying to learn a new dance routine and it didn’t involve ass-kissing. He came back the next week and walked into the studio like he owned it. Elise and Marc were dancing then, Marc had lifted her up, and was spinning her above his head and when he dropped her, she landed squarely in front of the stranger. He smiled at her and she smiled back before turning back to Marc.

She didn’t act like it but at that moment if Marc hadn’t been holding her, she would have fallen. Her feet couldn’t hold her up. The stranger’s smile had changed her life, and it was just the beginning.

Three days later, she saw him on her way to the studio with Louisa. He was sitting in Miss Maria’s office and Louisa remarked that she had seen him there the day before too “sitting behind Miss Maria’s desk! Can you imagine the impudence?!!” but really Elise didn’t care. He was just another guy.
An extremely handsome guy, yes. A guy who made her heart skip a beat, yes. But still, a guy. She had too much to think about.
Her mother was sick as usual and there had been no money for a while. Elise had been working after dance class and on her off days to pay the rent but she was getting exhausted easily and it was taking a toll on her. She couldn’t go to school, dance and work at the same time. Something would have to go. If only she could get her mother well enough to work. Everything would be all right.

That evening, on her way home from work, she bumped into him in front of the café by her apartment block. He was with a young woman and he stopped when he saw her and smiled warmly. Elise smiled back at him and he introduced her to the woman as his friend, Joan and Elise saw her smile tighten as he said ‘friend’ and took note. There was history there. He hid it well but poor Joan was obviously not past it; whatever it was. And that night, as she prepared for bed, Elise thought about how handsome guys like him were always oblivious of the attention women gave them. If I was beautiful like her, Elise thought, I would look for a guy slightly less handsome so he would worship me. He must know he doesn’t deserve me. And even though her chest hurt with the memory of his hand around Joan’s waist, Elise was determined not to let any man near her heart. After all, love was a conscious decision. Wasn’t it?

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The Fed – Up Therapist.

“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”

I’m watching him calmly as he tears up my office. It’s one of those days when all my patients are in foul moods and I can’t do anything about it. Except listen. I can listen to them and sometimes that’s all they need. Somebody to listen. Much of my time is spent sitting still and listening to people go on and on about their lives. Sometimes, I go off somewhere in my head and think about my own life while they rattle on. My life. I have had a good life. My father gave me everything I ever wanted and my mother, well, my mother talked a lot, rest her soul. I guess that’s why I chose this profession. Because I had a lot of practice from listening to my mother pour out her troubles. Years later, even before I started training as a therapist, I realized that it had been the wrong thing to do, to burden a child with all that information and all that worry but at the time, I didn’t not seen it as a burden. No. My mother needed someone to talk to and I was always there, ready to listen.

Like I am listening now to Mr. Dean, patient number 4 for today. Mr. Dean who has a wife and two sons and is cheating on his wife with his secretary who is dating his first son. Mr. Dean has troubles. That’s why he comes to me to talk because he can’t tell anyone about it and I can’t either. My patient has privileges that allow me to just listen. My job is to help him understand why he can’t stop sleeping with other women although he knows it’s the wrong thing to do. That’s my job. Not to judge him or tell him to stop, or call his wife, or his son. Just to help him understand. Mr. Dean also pays for his secretary’s therapy sessions. He doesn’t know she comes to me same as she doesn’t know Mr. Dean comes to me. She thinks he goes to a more expensive therapist and it annoys her that he sends her to a cheap therapist while he goes to the expensive one. She’s also ignorant about how much he pays.

Eventually, he stops screaming and throwing things around and calms down in time for me to end the session only 5 minutes late. In time for him to go back to work and pretend this never happened.

I get tired sometimes. Tired of listening to people like Joseph Dean rant about the injustice of life when they are causing all their own grief. But he’s just one of the bad patients. There are good patients. Like little Maria whose parents bring her to me because she doesn’t talk to them. Hasn’t spoken to them in 5 years. Since she was 7. They don’t know why she won’t talk. She talks in class at school so they know she’s not dumb but she won’t talk to them and she won’t talk to her doctor. She talks to me though and that’s a good thing. Not too much and nothing really important but she talks. About flowers and puppies and butterflies and what she sees in school or on her way to come see me. We have never spoken about her not talking to her parents because she doesn’t want to talk about that. She never mentions them. Refers to them as ‘they’ and ‘them’, and only in passing. Never as a subject on their own.

I worry for patients like Maria. The innocent ones. She saw something 5 years ago. Or something happened to her that she can’t talk about. I remember the one time she referred to ‘the incident’ as she called it.
It was during the early days, when we had just met and she had only been talking to me for about a month and then one day she was telling me about a cat she found near her home. “it had grey and red fur, like a tiger and it has really long whiskers! I think I saw a tiger like that once, on tv the day that…” *silence*I noticed immediately that something was wrong. She was hugging her knees and shaking like a leaf so I tried to talk to her about it. “What day Maria? What day was it?” she looked at me quietly and pushed her glasses up on her nose. “The day of the incident.” And she went straight back to talking about the cat like nothing had happened.

It’s the innocent ones that worry me. The ones like Maria.

Then there’s my third patient Silvia, this girl is out of her mind worrying about her boyfriend. Teenagers are… well, teenagers. Silvia thinks her boyfriend Mike doesn’t love her, and instead of just asking him about it she’s telling me about it. Last month, Silvia was complaining to me about wanting to break up with Mike but not knowing how to do it. The week before that, she was breaking up with George for Mike. I know, these are silly teenage issues that don’t need a therapist. But Silvia’s dad started paying for her to come to me three months after her parents got divorced and a month after she started cutting herself. Typical teenager.

I read something online about a new drug that puts humans to sleep for a long time. You don’t die, just go to bed for a really long time. Your body goes into a kind of hibernation and you can wake yourself up when you want to with an injection. It’s still in testing stages but it seems to be working so I’m going to try it. By the time you find this I should be asleep on the bed in my apartment. The wake-up drug is by my bed. Wake me up when humans are better. Wake me up when we get there.

Sincerely,
A Fed up therapist.

:(

Two things I can’t forget; the look on his face, the pain in her eyes. They haunt me, those eyes. Every night since then. Every day since then. Every single time I close my eyes, I see her eyes. It wasn’t just pain in them. It was almost as if she knew.

“It wasn’t my fault really. I know I shouldn’t be saying this now. It’s too late. And I definitely shouldn’t be saying it here but honestly, it wasn’t my fault.”

Right now her eyes are closed to me. Closed to the world. She’s lying as the nurse left her. With her hands at her sides. I pick one of her hands and cradle it in mine. I wish I can pull her out of the coma the way I used to wake her up in school, back when we were roomies and everything was “a-o-kay” as she used to say. I would just play with her fingers, pulling on them gently, drawing circles in her palm and she would wake up slowly, turning to smile at me. I wish I could wake her up. I wish everything was “a-o-kay”.

“Will you please open your eyes and look at me? Can you stop this? Please?! End this for both of us now. You know I can’t deal with this without you. You know it’s not going to work if you’re not here with me. And I don’t mean just here. I mean here in every sense of the word. I need you.”

He comes to stand at the door, looking in at us. I can’t stand to be in the same room with him anymore and that’s funny because a couple of weeks ago I thought he was my world. I was ready to do anything for him. Even that.

“This will make you smile, remember that one time when we were in grade school and we wanted to run away? Remember how we decided we would take loads of shoes? We thought we were the smartest couple of girls back then. “All the homeless people don’t have shoes” you said. “We’ll be the only homeless people in the world with shoes!” we were so smart and so stupid. That’s how I feel about it. I was so smart and so stupid. I thought I had it all figured out.”

Why did I do this? He’s still standing at the door, looking directly at me now. I look him in the eyes and suddenly, I know why I did it. It was worth it. I think. I feel like one of those girls in the movies, not sure what to do and in my opinion, doing all the wrong things. If I was watching my character in a movie right now, I’d probably be screaming at the tv. “Don’t make that mistake girl! He’s not worth it!” but he is. He so is worth it. I turn back to her…

“Forget what I said earlier about it not being my fault. It was. It still is. I’m responsible for my actions and I did what I did cos I wanted to. Given the chance to redo life, I’d do it all over again. Maybe I’d tell you from the beginning and save us both the trouble but if I had to choose between this and not having him, I’d choose this. He’s worth it. I look at him now, and I remember the first time you met him. I should have spoken up then. Let you know that I already knew him, that we were more than friends. That we were ‘trying things’. That’s what he called it. I should have. There are so many things I regret. I regret what you did to yourself. Yes. What YOU did, I didn’t do this to you. He didn’t do this to you. You took the blade and cut. Your. Own. Wrists. I’m looking at you now, at the bandages on your hand and I’m wondering when it all went wrong.”

Slowly, he walks into the room and comes to sit by me. I’m angry now, angry and hurt. I think he was listening to me all this time. I’m glad he’s here. He pulls my free hand into his and squeezes gently and now I’m doing all I can to hold back the tears. But I have to finish before I break down. I need to finish.

“What I’ve been trying to say all this while…” deep breath, you can do this. “what I’m saying is this is your  fault. It’s true. You thought you loved him, you thought he loved you but he didn’t.” I turn to look at him and he’s crying now. I feel the tears on my own cheeks and I realize I’m crying too, I turn back to her. “Oh who am I kidding? He loves you. He loves you so much. Just not that way. We love you. That’s why we’re here. That’s why we still haven’t let them pull the plug even though the doctor thinks they should. We love you totally. You know I love you. You’ve been my sister since forever. You didn’t need to do this to get our attention. The world did not end that day. It did not. I don’t know what else to say, just that I’m sorry for your pain and I forgive you. I hope you forgive me too.”

I start to pull on her fingers gently, thumb, forefinger, right down to her pinkie and then I start drawing circles in her palm. Little circles, big circles, clockwise, anti-clockwise, and even as I draw the circles I feel her going cold. She’s leaving me. She’s going. He feels it too and he pulls me into his arms as the sobs takeover”