brandi_speaks: (Default)
My day went as most days go for me. The only big difference would be that we decorated our Christmas tree this morning. All in all, it was a good day. Just as I went to leave for work though my father asked a rather strange question that seemed to come out of nowhere; who was in the Christmas spirit? We raised our hands or we didn’t and upon counting only two out of six actually were.

I turned to walk out after saying goodbye to my son and quickly stopped. What had made him ask that? I was curious, so I asked. He shrugged and answered by simply stating that it was because he himself wasn’t feeling it this year. That he hadn’t even really wanted to set up any decorations at all. This was coming from the man who had started watching Christmas movies before Halloween had even passed. The man who normally starts singing Jingle Bells the minute November hits.

I have come to the sad realization that Christmas hasn’t changed but people have. As the years have worn on we have become jaded. We have stopped caring and only seen Christmas as an obligation for our next generation’s sake or some other hassle. I have to wonder, when did Christmas become a hassle or obligation. When did we stop seeing it as a time of togetherness and love? I know that some will say, “Well I don’t need a special occasion to show that I love someone or to show goodwill towards my fellow man… blah, blah, blah.”

It surprises me to say the least. Even my own fiancée and my own family don’t particularly care. Granted, my fiancée will humor me and get into the spirit because he finds my reason for loving it so much to be a very beautiful reason he says but still. I can’t help but start to see why others have been complaining as of late about how materialistic and commercialized Christmas has become.

Speaking of commercializing Christmas; has anyone seen all of those commercials about Christmas and Santa? Talk about commercialized; a mother basically mockingly telling Santa in not so many words that she is better than him; this being of course an ad for all the electronics from Best Buy for under $100. Santa is supposed to be this omnipotent being for children. This person, outside of themselves or their family, that they can believe in. Why are we taking that away? Why are we trying to kill that?

Have we really changed that much as a society that we just don’t get excited about Christmas like we used to? What has happened to us? Now, this is the second time I am writing something along these lines and I’m sure most are wondering why. Well, I guess I can try to explain.

Everyday throughout the year it seems like it is just one stressful situation after another. It could always be worse and I’m sure there are others who do have it worse but it could also be better. There is fighting and drama; there is bad news and troubles all around. Now, granted, there are some good days just as there are bad but any day can go from perfect to crap in a matter seconds. Yes, vice versa as well. It’s just, it seems like people try harder on Christmas. There are less fights and less drama. And those little things that bothered you before just dissipate. Everything just seems better at Christmas.

The other day I went to the store for ricotta cheese, ground cloves, mozzarella cheese, and orange juice, as I was leaving the store I put $3 in the bucket for the Salvation Army. The gentleman ringing the bell said, “Thank you ma’am. Have a happy holiday.” I wished him the same and made some other polite small talk before walking away. Normally, people don’t call each other ma’am and sir in passing. People don’t make small talk.

I have this customer at my work named Mr. Riley. He remembers everything about each worker there; asks me about my son all the time and my other coworkers about their friends and family constantly. You can always count on a kind word from Mr. Riley. You can always count on him to genuinely care. Today, because of the holiday season, I was able to listen to him for once. He usually avoids speaking about himself but not today. Not around the holidays. I know about his wife and mother in law. I know a little more about him and I feel better for that knowledge.

I like how my family gets together for the holidays and my father and aunts all tell the same stories year after year. I love watching how animated everyone gets. I like trying to figure out who each person in our secret Santa has. I like being able to show through gifts, cards, and small acts of kindness just how much each person in my life matters. I love how beautiful the city looks under a blanket of white. No mud or dirt, just a beautiful blanket of white.

We all take each other for granted but not around Christmas time. That is the one time a year that we put just the tiniest bit of thought that show that we care. It’s funny because most days I am so frustrated at work and with my boss that I can hardly stand it. But it seems like come Christmas, he actually says thank you. He shows his appreciation and I feel better somehow just because of that. I have even mended broken friendships on Christmas. Christmas is a time of giving. Christmas is the season for love.

I believe that Christmas does and will make everything better. That all of these bad things that come close to breaking my spirit, will be better. I have to believe that. It has to be true, otherwise… Otherwise, when will it get better? When will everyone see what they do and change it? When will love save everyone if not during the time of love, caring, sharing, and giving? If not at Christmastime, well then, when?
brandi_speaks: (Default)
So, I haven’t written in months. Really, written. I feel as though I have been waiting for something and today… Today, I have that something. I was checking my facebook earlier today and came across a post that my friend had put up. Apparently, a lot of people are not excited about the holidays. His post had more to do with Thanksgiving but then, as the conversation via comments continued between him and a few others, it became directed at Christmas. Many people believe that Christmas has become too commercial. Most people watch Christmas movies and listen to Christmas music with disdain. They are completely reluctant to take part in Christmas at all.

Now, why the reluctance? I personally love Christmas but I guess I can see where everyone is coming from. I guess the same 20 or so songs just remixed and released by different people and repeated every single day for about a month can be irritating. Christmas movies with the same happily ever after ending no matter how bad it gets can be quite annoying. Black Friday for patrons and workers of retail alike can be quite unnerving. The traffic jams, the crowded malls, crowded department stores, the Santa that look nothing like Santa ringing his bell in front of the store, and so much more. These are plenty of reasons to hate Christmas, to mention nothing of how much money we flush down the drain on gifts and such.

Those are all very valid reasons to hate Christmas I guess. But what about all the reasons to love it and treasure it? To hold it to our hearts and live in the spirit all year ‘round? Families coming together, children believing in something bigger than themselves, the way someone’s face lights up when they get a gift that says “I care enough to think of you”, the way that no matter how bad it gets it is all somehow better on Christmas, and the way people smile at each other and wish each other happy holidays just because it is the holiday season. The way that each gift you give expresses just how much you care for the recipient. How much thought goes into everything you do to make it perfect? I get that holidays are stressful and commercialized but the thing about Christmas; all those movies have one general theme. The theme of each movie and song isn’t buy, buy, buy but love each other, cherish each other, cherish the Christmas spirit because nothing is more important than love.

Everything just seems wonderful at Christmas. Everyday music is about broken hearts, sex, drugs, alcohol, money, and so much more. Sure there are a few love songs out there but all about the love between two people. Anyone ever really listen to the lyrics of the Christmas carols out there? I know we all know a lot of them but anyone ever really HEAR them? Hear what they are trying to say? Let’s see if reading at least one will help you see what I mean.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.
Here were are as in olden days,
happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
gather near to us once more.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.
Through the years we all will be together
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

Now, read that a few times and tell me that you still don’t see what I mean. Read that and remember that each time you are watching a Christmas movie and thinking to yourself, “UGH! Again?!” Or think of the joy that Christmas brings to those out there who aren’t all jaded and frustrated by it all. The inevitable joy it brings to the Scrooges out there too. Even the jaded end up smiling at the holidays because someone remembers them or is remembered by them and they make a difference in that person’s life. It is rare to find someone who is truly unhappy at Christmas because if there is even a hint of unhappiness in them, someone else comes along and does everything they can to make it better because it’s Christmas.

So, everyone do me a favor this year. Reflect upon all this before bashing Christmas. If after that you still want to bash it, well then by all means but do it with someone else who feels the same as you and away from those of us still naïve enough to believe in the good in others. To believe that miracles do happen and to believe that no matter how bad it gets, it always just seems better at Christmas. That society is not just a bunch of Scrooges and that there is some qualities still out there that make it worthwhile to be human. That love and Christmas go hand in hand and that we are what make Christmas what it is and what it isn’t. So, if you want it to be commercialized or if you want it to be about love, well the power is yours. Choose and live with your choice
brandi_speaks: (Default)
Some days I feel as though I may as well have stayed married. Video games have become so important to so many people that using that as a reason to get divorced seems pointless now. Hypocritical even. My son who will get upset because he gets so little time with me even now sits there glued to his wii. My boyfriend glued right along beside him. To his credit, at the very least, he did notice that something was wrong. More than my ex-husband would have. But how do you make a point of saying that you enjoy brushing your teeth alongside me and then Kirby becomes so engrossing that you no longer wish to when given an open invitation to? I assume that now, instead of spending the day together, we shall all sit here as my son takes after his father and my boyfriend proves that all men are the same in some way, shape, or form. What makes this worse? Half the time he isn’t playing the game so much as just listening to the music on it or reading the descriptions of each enemy. I mean, he has beaten the game already anyways.

To further argue my case, may I present the case of my best friend and her marriage. She was cheating on her husband for months and why? Because she felt neglected. Now, do two wrongs make a right? No, of course not. But you can’t exactly fault her. She wanted to be loved. To be important to someone and, as far as her marriage was/is concerned, she wasn’t. Because the XBOX became far more important than she had to her husband. Most days she prefers to be at work than at home. This seems to be the case of most relationship I encounter in the technological day and age. Even her best friend is stuck in the same kind of marriage. Why is this the case? Is it at the fault of the woman? Is it at the fault of the guy? Or is it simply the case because it is? Should they share responsibility for this failed relationship? I don’t know. But since I am right back where I started, maybe I can find out just exactly why.

Reasons

Jul. 29th, 2011 01:40 am
brandi_speaks: (Default)
Reasons to go

1) Cheaper there.
2) Get out of Blockbuster
3) Stop being a burden to my family
4) Away from my past and those in it who hurt me
5) Still will be near family
6) Always wanted to live in Arizona
7) Prior blog

Reasons to stay

1) Would miss my friends and family
2) Would miss my co-workers
3) My life is here
4) Julius's life is here
5) Rudy would miss Julius and vice versa
6) Already have a for sure job here
brandi_speaks: (Default)
Everyone needs something in life, be it love, happiness, money, sex, etc. The list of needs in this world are endless. My own list is just as long as anyone else’s, need to be loved, cared for, to be a good mother, to be able to provide for myself and my son, to write, etc. The list for me is just as endless as anyone else’s. Most people won’t admit to certain needs out of embarrassment or for fear of losing what they need when it is within their grasp. No one wants to be needy but he who is not needy is merely lying to himself.

I try to never lie, I may not always offer up every ounce of information or truth but if asked outright, I would never lie. So, here is the truth, besides everything listed prior to this statement now, I need to be needed. More than anything else out of my relationships with others, I need to be needed. Once I feel that I am no longer needed, I slowly cut all ties and walk away. I hate saying that as bluntly as this but it is true. Examples? Well, how much time have you got?

As of this moment, I have two actual friends. Two people that I can actually say are my friends. Sure I have acquaintances and co-workers and other ties that I would not say are quite as strong as those of friends. However, it came to my attention (quite recently as a matter of fact) that those that I call friends don’t need me.

Now, how do I know that? It is quite simple really, I shall explain. The one friend, well she has pretty much been doing without me these past few weeks as I have grown closer with the other friend. Granted she has made comments about this but she has not truly been bothered by it. What did she need me for before? Well, I was the one person that she could tell everything to and would never judge her. However, since she and I have been slowly drifting apart and she is less and less involved in my life and I hers, she has confided in others and they have shown no sign of judgment. The need is gone.

Now, the second? Well, this one is quite painful to admit but this is about the truth and about my need to walk away now. So, here goes nothing. He had seemed to need a friend. I don’t know why but he had seemed to have this loneliness in him. Not the kind that is caused by lack of friends or lack of those who care. The kind that is caused by hiding who you are inside. Maybe not all of you but parts of you. Why was I able to see this when others didn’t? Because I knew how it felt to be lonely like that. I knew how hard it was to hide parts of yourself from those who were closest to you. No matter the reason, it hurts.

I wanted nothing more than to help. To cure that loneliness in him. I am still not sure if I did that though. I do know that I came to need him more than I have ever needed anyone else in my life. But that wasn’t how this was supposed to work. I needed to be needed and instead I needed him. My problems have always been my own. Now, here I was pouring out my heart and soul to him every night for hours at a time. I have fixed more in my life in the time that I have known him than I have ever thought was possible. Why? Him. Simple. I needed to prove myself in a way known only to me. For reasons I myself wasn’t even certain of.

This should be a good thing but it isn’t. I don’t need people because everyone goes away in the end. So I choose to never need anyone and always go away first. Or give the other person a reason to walk away. This time, well this time seems to be quite different. I can usually start the process by distancing myself slowly. Yet I find myself making plans with this person as often as possible. Losing sleep talking to them almost every night and never minding that.

So, what do I do now? Eventually I will have to walk away for one reason or another. So, wouldn’t it be better to do it sooner rather than later? And why not now? He doesn’t need me, he never truly did. I did no good, or bad for that matter, in his life. That loneliness I saw in him was and is still there but it is something he handles on his own. He doesn’t allow others to help him. So, here is the real reason I am writing this.

I am trying to decide if I should move. And I am not talking, move to another house a little farther away. I am considering a new state altogether. This is not my only reason of course. However, this is a factor. I have many reasons to want to leave. Most of them are because I am running from my past; which I do know is impossible to do entirely. I do know that your past always catches up with you no matter how far you may run. So, with that argument, how can I count that as a reason to go? I can’t and I don’t. In all honesty, if I must be honest, I am running. Running from the one person that I can’t walk away from. That I can’t let go of and can’t help but need.

Is this my sole reason? No, but it is one of the main reasons and honestly it overrides any reason to stay. Now, could I be wrong in the choice to run? Yes, there is the possibility of that. Maybe he does need me and that would change things but, from what I can tell based off of his actions, he doesn’t. I know for a fact that no one else needs me and I have always been ok with that so long as one person needs me. Honestly, even if a million people needed me, it would not change the fact that the one person who has become more important than all of them does not.

I need to be needed and I am no longer needed here. Not by him or anyone else. Maybe somewhere else I will find others who need me and forget…

Past

Jul. 25th, 2011 02:04 am
brandi_speaks: (Default)
"When you start to run away or hide your heart to avoid getting hurt, remember that a ship in the harbor is safe but that is not what ships are built for. Sail free, but keep tides and currents in mind. Live life, Brandi."

I had to laugh upon finding this again. I had dated this guy who used to write his name Toe Knee. He had “borrowed” my journal and had censored and edited it immensely. He had also written this for me because he thought that I was far too depressed for my own good. That I was scared of getting hurt. The funny part of this is that one of the reasons I was so scared to let anyone in was him.

I had let him in and he had hurt me immensely. He controlled everything about me from the clothes I wore to the music I listened to. I couldn’t listen to Tool or Perfect Circle. I couldn’t wear skirts or dresses. Shorts were ok if they were capris. If I refused to try recreational drugs he would get mad. I couldn’t read about Charles Manson because I “couldn’t possibly understand the genius that was Charles.”

I pose this question now, mostly to myself, how could someone give advice to not run away or hide your heart when their actions showed you how hazardous it was to open yourself up to someone? Every guy I have ever dated has taught me something and this one believed he taught me how to be strong. How to be an intelligent, strong woman. You know what though? All he taught me was that I’d be a fool to let someone into my heart again. That I would be a fool to ever trust again. And so, that is what I have been doing since him. Not trusting, not letting anyone know all of me. Until…

Everyone has a weakness. Everyone has that one person in their life that they can’t completely close themselves off from and recently I have found mine. So, I am beginning to wonder if Toe Knee knew that a day would come when I would find this journal and read this advice and realize that after all this time, it was finally relevant. That maybe it was finally safe to let that someone in, to let them see all of me, and be completely open and honest with them in every way possible.

The only problem is, I don’t think I know how and I am not quite sure that I could just forget twelve years of pain and betrayal. I’m not sure that anyone could ever get past that. I will admit that I can forgive anyone anything but deep down, where it truly counts, I never really do. On the outside I’m ok. I’m this strong person who is friends with everyone and has gotten past all the pain but inside I’m dying little by little.

I’m starting to think that all of that is changing though. That, whether I like it or not, I’m changing and I’m afraid of what may come of it. I’m also afraid of what may happen after this all goes away again. After I am betrayed once more or after the other shoe drops so to speak. I think that that is what I shall do, let myself change but all the while wait for the bad. It always comes. Because the stronger I get, the more I push away the people who have hurt me in the past. But what happens when this great influence in my life goes away? Or what happens when I have to willingly walk away? Who will I have then? What will I have to show for it all?
brandi_speaks: (Default)
Though the sun was bright, clouds soon threatened to overtake it. There is always a calm before the storm. I entered the building cautiously. He sat in the only chair. His briefcase sat on a makeshift desk that was once two crates of oranges. However, even in the empty environment, he still had an air of superiority about him.

I leaned heavily against the door as I hung up my cell phone. He closed his phone simultaneously. He watched me as I stood there. “I won’t bite. Unless you want me to that is.”

I crossed my arms behind my back and continued to watch him. He leaned back in the chair with his hands behind his head. A smug smile touches his lips. “Afraid Isa? You do still owe me. What was it? 4?” He never stands, just sits and watches.

I know he will wait for me to come to him. He always does. He knows that I will come to him eventually. I always do. It’s like gravity. Undeniable. Uncontrollable. I wouldn’t have it any other way. “Not scared, no. Cautious? Always.”

The satin of my dress runs along my feet as I shift my weight. The neck plunges just a bit lower than is needed but it serves its purpose as his eyes run from my head to my toes and back again. I see the fury then. His mind grasps the reality of my state of dress. “I thought you went to the engagement party with him? Or did you decide not to?”

He is hopeful now. His trust in me is undeniable; it’s my ex-husband that he is not a fan of. “I went. This is what I wore. It was a very nice get-together. If I do say so myself.” I run a hand through my silken locks. The longest layer reaches to the top of my dress. I smile as I smooth my hands over my body. “You don’t like it?”

His eyes glaze over as he watches in utter silence. In my mind the laughter begins as we watch each other. I am fighting a losing battle here as I know he can outstare me. I hate it when he does that too. Though, to be fair, he has had much more practice than I. His hands clasp as he rests his elbows on the arms of the chair. He raises his right leg to rest on the makeshift desk. His eyes never falter, never drop.

I crumble under the scrutiny. I begin to pace the office, every roundabout bringing me just that much closer to him. My arms cross over my chest as I continue my way back and forth. He has this effect on me that is completely inexplicable. No one has ever bested me even half as much as he does. “I happen to like this dress thank you very much. It is not fair making me feel bad for wanting to look good.” I stop my pacing and turn to face him. I am within reach of him now and can’t quite bring myself to back away.

His silence drags on. I quietly contemplate flipping his chair and walking out. Watching his feet go up and hearing his surprise. The door closing behind me as the breeze catches my hair and dress. Making both items dance around me.

That thought leaps out of my mind as I place my hands on either armrest. I stare into his eyes as he continues to silently debate whatever it is he does at these moments. “Say something. Anything. Please.” I raise my right hand to rest on his cheek. A smile touches my lips as the feel of him comforts me.

“You hate the dress.” It had been meant as a question but came out as a statement of fact. It is clear by the displeasure on his face that he hated it. Every fiber of my being regretted my wardrobe choice at this moment but there was no going back now. I begin to move away from him. My right hand drops slowly, running down his cheek and falling onto his chest. His slow heartbeat only adding to my displeasure. My ex-husband had responded better to the dress than Gabriel did at this moment.

I stand upright, gathering my composure and what is left of my dignity. I turn and raise my right foot to step away from him. From my love. His sudden movement catches me off guard as I fall into his lap. His hand having caught my wrist and pulled ever so slightly, leaving me unbalanced. I look up into his eyes, just as cold and dead as before.

“I love the dress, Isa. Just as you meant me to. What I wonder though is just how much Roberto\ loved it. You know I hate when we are apart and you know that I hate when you’re with him.” His eyes remain the same. His face is unreadable. Though his words are everything I was hoping; actions always speak louder than words.

I disentangle myself from him and begin to rise as his legs capture mine. His arms become steel as he locks his limbs around me. I just started a fight that I definitely could not finish. I look him in the eyes and open my mouth to speak the very words that could be my undoing.

“What if I don’t know that baby? What if I don’t know anything for sure anymore? Just last week I asked you to commit to me. Marry me. Do you remember what you said? Why an engagement was out of the question? I do. We have been together for two years now and it feels like eight. Yet here we sit. You still stalling and I am still the same fool, just older.”

His arms loosen just enough for me to twist free. The bottom of my dress catches under his shoe and the seam begins to rip. The dress now split up to my thigh and my dignity just as shredded.

“What is it you want from me? Wait! Don’t tell me. Patience? One day at a time? Well, I am sick and tired of this fear of yours. This,” I gesture to my body, “means nothing to you. This is never enough for you. You’re afraid that planning will cause you to lose me? Well, I am sorry to say this but that pal was not the cause. I hope your fear is just as warm as I was.”

I hadn’t come here with this in mind but two years was a long time. Especially for me. His fear was smothering me. It had taken hold of every aspect of my life now and I had absolutely nothing to show for it. As I neared the door I stopped suddenly. Never turning to him, my voice cracks. “I just need to know, did you ever love me Gabriel? Or was this all just one more hypothetical situation to you?”

“Isa…” His voice falters, he pauses for half a minute, and I have my answer.

“That’s what I thought baby. Take care of yourself Gabriel.”

My eyes begin to burn as my pain searches for an outlet. I need air, my body is shutting down as it becomes too much for me. My right hand closes into a fist as I shove the door open. My body shudders as the wind whips through me. A downpour starts and I am grateful. I begin to sob. The tears masquerading as rain, the rain taking pity on me. My pace picks up as I run for my car. My heel catches a puddle and I slip for a moment, catching myself quickly.

I reach for my car door as my left hand hits the button to unlock the doors. That tiny beep, my salvation. The car door is open and I never look back as I make my way inside. The engine roars to life as I turn the key. My mind never registering my actions. I pull away quickly and pray for a safe return home.

Never noticing the man in the rearview mirror, I depart. My sobbing continues as my vision is blurred by both my tears and the rain. I regret not turning on my radio as that ring tone begins. How can I decide what’s right? When you’re clouding up my mind. I can’t win your losing fight all the time. The screen is now consumed by his crooked half smile that I have grown to love over the years. The wind outside cuts me to the bone as I open the window just enough to rid myself of him. The phone shatters as it hits the pavement.

The engine stops as I have reached my destination. My pain driving me here. My need to feel something more than nothing. I look to my right and sigh as my body grows weary. My car recognizable to him as he comes to meet me. The pain clear on my face. The redness around my eyes making me look like a raccoon. His arms slide under my body as he easily lifts me out and into the rain once more. I cuddle closer to him as his body is the only warmth within reach. Sleep overcomes me.

I wake to find red satin sheets that were once home to me. Robert is yelling in the other room. I assume that it is the phone that has angered him as he responds to silence. “You will never see her again if I have any say in it. You have no idea what she was like when she arrived here. Her temperature was easily 102 and she was shivering. She sobbed in her sleep and screamed about not being enough. Your name seemed to always be the cause of more pain for her. You will have nothing to fucking do with her. You hear me? Fucking nothing you bastard!”

I heard the phone hit the wall. I tried not to move as reality kicked in. He had let me walk away. He had promised to never let me walk away and yet it had happened. He didn’t love me. Not enough to stop me anyways. So, why had I come here? Then it hit me. I had come home.

Robert was an asshole. Robert was not good for me but he was always here. My one constant and he had defended me entirely. My eyes drifted to the clock as a knock intruded into my thoughts. “Are you awake Isa?” I contemplated not answering but what kind of person would that make me?

“Yes Robert, I am up. I am so sorry for all of this I just didn’t know where else to go.” I sit up and smile weakly, trying to reassure him of my safety. He sits beside me and faces where I sit. His hands come to rest on my shoulders. His presence makes me very aware of my clothing. He had obviously changed me as I slept and though it had been for the best, I couldn’t help but be a bit angry. The black nightie barely reached the middle of my thigh and the neck dropped too low. I pulled the sheet up to cover myself and save some of my dignity.

“Isa, you don’t have to apologize. You never have to apologize. I wouldn’t want you to have gone anywhere else. I would ask one thing in return.” Fear hits as I wait for what he wants in return. Money? Sex? “Can you please tell me what happened?” I sigh. Not a horrible request; could have been worse.

I open my mouth to speak and no words escape. My body is suddenly weary once more. My head becomes dizzy as I yawn. “Isa, get some sleep.” I try to speak but it is a struggle to even move my lips. “At least…tell me…how long?” I turn to crawl back to the pillow as he whispers the answer. I am not too sure but it sounded like four days.

No dreams invade. My sleep is peaceful. Only the faint rise and fall of my chest is discernable at this point. No sound, no movement, it is as if I had died.

I wake. Fear overtakes me as I can not quite recall where I am. Everything seems dreamlike. As though I no longer truly existed outside of my mind. I start suddenly as the bed beside me moves. A moan and some more movement causes me to jump from the bed. A mirror on the headboard alerts me to my appearance. My state of dress only frightens me more. Not to mention the collar.

“Isa? Baby, what’s wrong?” Robert’s voice drags me back to reality. To the here and now.

“No, no. This…it’s not. We didn’t, did we? Oh, I think I am going to be sick. For fuck’s sake Bob!” I ran for the bathroom and was thoroughly sick. My throat burned and my head throbbed. My hand found the collar once more. It was studded and the perfect size. Almost as if he had been waiting for this moment.

“Isa! I have to go to work. Don’t try to leave while I am gone either. I will find out if you do and I really would rather not have to come and fetch you. Besides, who else do you have anyways? Your little rebound broke your heart; you don’t want to have to go to mommy and daddy a failure once more; who else is there?”

He was right. I hated to admit it but he was right. He had alienated me from everyone while we were married. I had barely started rebuilding my life when I met Nick. Now, that that was done, what else was there? Who else? The door slams as I am sure he is gone now. I didn’t know what Robert did now but I was sure that whatever it was, it wasn’t legal.

I slowly walked back out of the bathroom. I was about to sit back on the bed when a knock came at the door. “Robert?” I am sure that he forgot his keys once more. He always used to when we were married. I always figured he did that on purpose. I couldn’t go anywhere then, he’d need me here to let him in. That was how he always worked. Cautious.

I open the front door and it wasn’t Robert. Nick stared back at me. Silent. Patient. Underneath it all, I knew. He wanted an explanation. Did I have one was the million dollar question. I am in my ex-husband’s house, in a nightie, collar around my neck; I know how it looks.

“Okay I know how this must look but let me explain. I was upset and I don’t know why I came here but I couldn’t be alone. That much I knew. I mean, you pretty much said you never loved me. I mean, why else would you have acted that way? Hmmm? You paused Nick. You paused and then when you spoke, your voice cracked. How would you react if I did that?”

I begin twirling my hair as the narrow doorway prevents any form of pacing. My stomach jumps as I wait for him to say something. Silence. Unending silence. “Please say something. Yell at me, something, anything Nicholas please. Nothing happened. At least, nothing I know of. I just needed to be around someone. To feel cared for, loved, safe. I know that this is not the ideal place and that he is definitely not the ideal person but who else is there? You were my everything and in moments, you were gone. You don’t want to commit to me? That’s fine, then don’t. Just don’t expect me to wait around for the day after never. I have waited two fucking years. For what? I was ready to commit from the very beginning. You were everything I could ever want and more. You made me a better person. Completed me. I had never known happiness or love until you and yet; you never saw me that way. I wasn’t your other half. I wasn’t what you were waiting for. Why wasn’t I Nicholas?”

Tears begin to form at the corners of my eyes. I shut my eyelids as tight as possible. “All I ever wanted was you. All I still want is you. Nothing happened here. Nothing. How could anything when you have my heart, my soul, my very essence Nick?” Words never come. No sound, no movement. I could swear this was just a bad dream but I would never be that lucky.

He turns away then, never says a thing, just turns and walks away. I had promised before to never touch him at these moments, to just let him go. Though it pained me, I did just that. My body wouldn’t move, couldn’t move. No matter how I urged it, my heart was gone. My will had been destroyed.

After what seemed an eternity, I shut the door. Desperation hit as the clock read fifteen minutes after two. If I was right, Robert would be leaving work soon. He would be here by three. I remove the collar and rush to find the dress I had worn when I had arrived here. The dress was easier to locate than my car keys and purse. Not impossible as I ran for the door. 2:45. I would make it! I bolted once I was outdoors. The sun stung my eyes as they struggled to adjust.

My car seat was dry but the interior smelled awful. Robert had obviously opted to not leave me alone unless absolutely necessary. Drying out my car, or maintaining it rather, obviously was not a necessity. The engine did not stall or sputter as I was afraid it would. It roared to life and I was soon on my way home. I remembered why I had left Robert in the first place.

I knew he would come after me; I just had to be ready. I made it there in a record time of five minutes. Running every red light and stop sign. Praying that there were no cops out today. I ran inside and prepared. Locked every door and window, changed into jeans and a t-shirt, and threw on some gym shoes.

He never came. He would wait until I least expected it. Wait until I was out at night, alone. I would be. Alone. Always. Nick would forever see me as he did this day. I was sure of nothing else more than that fact.
brandi_speaks: (Default)
Though the sun was bright, clouds soon threatened to overtake it. There is always a calm before the storm. I enter the building cautiously. He sits in the only chair. His briefcase sits on a makeshift desk that was once two crates of oranges. However, even in the empty environment, he still has an air of superiority about him.

I lean heavily against the door as I hang up my cell phone. He watches me as I stand there. “I won’t bite. Unless you want me to that is.”

I cross my arms behind my back and continue to watch him. He leans back in the chair with his hands behind his head. A smug smile touches his lips. “Afraid Isa? You do still owe me. What was it? 4?” He never stands, just sits and waits.

I know he will wait for me to come to him. He always does. He knows that I will come to him eventually. I always do. It’s like gravity. Undeniable. Uncontrollable. I wouldn’t have it any other way. “Not scared, no. Cautious? Always.”

The satin of my dress runs along my feet as I shift my weight. The neck plunges just a bit lower than is needed but it serves its purpose as his eyes run from my head to my toes and back again. I see the fury then. “I thought you went to the engagement party with him? Or did you decide not to?”

He is hopeful now. His trust in me is undeniable; it’s my ex-husband that he is not a fan of. “I went. This is what I wore. It was a very nice get-together.” I run a hand through my silken locks. The longest layer reaches to the top of my dress. “You don’t like it?”

His eyes glaze over as he watches in utter silence. In my mind, the laughter begins as we watch each other. I am fighting a losing battle here as I know he can outstare me. I hate it when he does that too. Though, to be fair, he has had much more practice than I. His hands clasp as he rests his elbows on the arms of the chair. He raises his right leg to rest on the makeshift desk. His eyes never falter, never drop.

I crumble under the scrutiny. I begin to pace the office, every roundabout bringing me just that much closer to him. My arms cross over my chest as I continue my way back and forth. He has this effect on me that is completely inexplicable. No one has ever bested me even half as much as he does. “I happen to like this dress thank you very much. It is not fair making me feel bad about it.” I stop my pacing and turn to face him. I am within reach of him now and can’t quite bring myself to back away.

His silence drags on. I quietly contemplate flipping his chair and walking out. Watching his feet go up and hearing his surprise. The door closing behind me as the breeze catches my hair and dress. Both items dancing around me.

That thought leaps out of my mind as I place my hands on either armrest. I stare into his eyes as he continues to silently debate whatever it is he does at these moments. “Say something. Please.” I raise my right hand to rest on his cheek. A smile touches my lips as the feel of him comforts me.

“You hate the dress.” It had been meant as a question but came out as a statement of fact. It is clear by the displeasure on his face that he hated it. Every fiber of my being regretted my wardrobe choice at this moment. I begin to move away from him. My right hand drops slowly, running down his cheek and falling onto his chest. His slow heartbeat only adding to my displeasure. My ex-husband had responded better to the dress than Nicholas did at this moment.

I stand upright, gathering my composure and what is left of my dignity. I turn and raise my right foot to step away from him. His sudden movement catches me off guard as I fall into his lap. His hand catches my wrist and turns me ever so slightly as he pulls me down to him. I look into his eyes, just as cold and dead as before. I am now trapped in between his legs as he closes them just enough to squeeze my thighs together. His hands hold me so that I am bent over him very uncomfortably.

“I love the dress, Isa. Just as you meant me to. What I wonder though is just how much Robert loved it. You know I hate when we are apart and you know that I hate when you’re with him.” His eyes remain the same. His face is unreadable. Though his words are everything I was hoping for; actions always speak louder than words.

I disentangle myself from him and begin to rise as his legs capture mine. His arms become steel as he locks his limbs around me. I just started a fight that I definitely could not finish. I look him in the eyes and open my mouth to speak the very words that could be my undoing.

“What if I don’t know that? What if I don’t know anything for sure anymore? Just last week I asked you to commit to me. Marry me. Do you remember what you said? Why an engagement was out of the question? I do. We have been together for two years now and it feels like we’ve known each other a lifetime. Yet here we sit. You still stalling and I am still the same fool.”

His arms loosen just enough for me to twist free. The bottom of my dress catches under his shoe and the seam begins to rip. The dress now split up to my thigh and my dignity just as shredded.

“What is it you want from me? Wait! Don’t tell me. Patience? One day at a time? Well, I am sick and tired of this fear of yours. This,” I gesture to my body, “means nothing to you. This is never enough for you. You’re afraid that planning will cause you to lose me? Well, I am sorry to say this but that was not the cause.”

I hadn’t come here with this in mind but two years was a long time. Especially for me. His fear was smothering me. It had taken hold of every aspect of my life now and I had absolutely nothing to show for it. As I neared the door I stopped suddenly. Never turning to him, my voice cracks. “I just need to know, did you ever love me Nick? Or was this all just one more hypothetical situation to you?”

“Isa…” His voice falters, he pauses for half a minute, and I have my answer.

“That’s what I thought. Take care of yourself Nick.”

My eyes begin to burn as my pain searches for an outlet. I need air, my body is shutting down as it becomes too much for me. My right hand closes into a fist as I shove the door open. My body shudders as the wind whips through me. A downpour starts and I am grateful. I begin to sob. The tears masquerading as rain, the rain taking pity on me. My pace picks up as I run for my car. My heel catches a puddle and I slip for a moment, catching myself quickly.

I reach for my car door as my left hand hits the button to unlock the doors. That tiny beep, my salvation. The car door is open and I never look back as I make my way inside. The engine roars to life as I turn the key. My mind never registering my actions. I pull away quickly and pray for a safe return home.

Never noticing the man in the rearview mirror, I depart. My sobbing continues as my vision is blurred by both my tears and the rain. I regret not turning on my radio as that ring tone begins. How can I decide what’s right? When you’re clouding up my mind. I can’t win your losing fight all the time. The screen is now consumed by his crooked half smile that I have grown to love over the years. The wind outside cuts me to the bone as I open the window just enough to rid myself of him.

I had walked away from him. I was tired of waiting. We were constantly arguing about the same thing. Our future together. I was sick of it. I wanted to plan. I understood why he didn’t want to but understanding and agreeing were two very different things. I couldn’t agree to this. I couldn’t commit to spending the rest of my life not committing to this man. I knew and I had always known. He was it for me. Now, the trick was convincing him of that and getting him to do something about it.
brandi_speaks: (Default)
She smiled silently to herself as she waited for him to arrive. She had hurt him deeply for many years and it had taken a lot for her to see what she was doing. The pain was indescribable and now that she knew he had fucked her, she finally understood how he had felt for all that time. The difference was that she would do something about it this time. This time would be the last time that she felt like this because of him. The last time she woke up nauseous, last time she spent most of the night thinking of him writhing in a naked passion with someone else, and the last time she died a little inside.

The sound of his footsteps approaching made her smile. Her eyes were a perfect reflection of the numbness that she now held inside in order to survive this newest betrayal. She felt that she must have been a glutton for punishment because it never failed, she set herself up to get hurt by him time and time again. The footsteps stopped and the tips of his shoes were within her line of vision. She sat on the only park bench that hadn’t been shit on by a number of birds or written on by rebellious youths. This was a now or never moment. She could say what she had come here to say and end this charade that caused her so much agony or she could suffer.

“It’s funny Jesse, I never thought you would figure out where I was. But I forget sometimes how well you know me.”

“It wasn’t hard Isa, I just had to remember where you said you kept going after everything went bad with us the last time.”

“Did you have to call then? I mean, if you knew for certain where I was then why call? Did you doubt yourself? Because to be honest, at this point, I don’t blame you if you did.”

“If you were just going to fight with me when I got here, you could have left before I arrived.”

“And let you off easy? Now, why would I do such a stupid thing?”

“I know I’ve hurt you. Not fighting about it is not letting me off easy, it’s truly not. I hate myself and feel guilty enough without this.”

“Do you have it in your head that you have some kind of control in this situation?”

Her eyes finally drift upwards towards his face. Their whole conversation to this point had been from her to his shoes and him to the top of her head. She laughed then, quite amused at his self-righteousness. He genuinely felt that he had some kind of right to be upset with her for being upset with him. And to think, some people think that there is nothing truly funny anymore. That it is all just played out. Boy were they wrong.

“I almost forgot how funny you are Jesse. You genuinely think that you have any rights at this point to make statements such as that. You know what though? You don’t. I may have done this exact thing to you time and again but you allowed it to happen. You never said a word about how you felt about it. Do you know why? Because you’re a coward. You are afraid to admit that you have any type of feelings at all. That you have any thoughts deeper than alcohol, cigarettes, and fucking. Well, that was your mistake but it definitely won’t be mine.”

“That may have been my mistake but I did that because I loved you. Still do to a point.”

“Well, not enough. But you know what? That’s ok because I already knew that. And you know what? I already knew that you would fuck her. That was why she wanted to hang out. She wanted to get laid and she could count on you to take care of that for her. Just like last time. She fucked you, borrowed money, and then mostly disappeared until she needed you again. Funny thing is, you and she are exactly the same. The only difference is that you do care a little. Just, I hate to sound redundant but, not enough.”

“That’s not what it’s like at all!”

“Then what is it like? Is this the part where you tell me that that isn’t how it happened? Is this the part where you tell me just how much she does care? Then answer me this, how often did you guys talk between the last time she used you and this time? Outside of work. Where she actually made an effort to call. Or when was the last time she told you just how much she cared outside of each instance? Funny thing is, I don’t need you to answer any of those questions, I know the answers already.”

“Isa…”

“I’m not done. I’m truly not and whether you want to have a serious conversation or not, whether you want to argue or not, this is happening.”

“No it isn’t. We weren’t dating, aren’t dating. Yes, I care about you. I do love you but that’s it. I never wanted to be with you again. I never agreed to try again. I…”

“If you let me finish, then you’d know that I agree with all of that. We aren’t together. We are fucking and we are friends. I had gotten confused along the way but I finally figured out why. You were the only one fucking other people. You were the only one completely emotionally detached from this whole situation. That was my mistake.”

She paused to prepare herself for what she was about to say. This was hard for her to do but she knew it had to be done. She knew that this was the only way to keep some part of what they had and to stop hurting as often as she was. This was the only solution. That was probably the saddest part of this whole situation too. She would have to regress and accept that the person she was before was just who she would have to always be in some aspects of her life to some degree.

“I would like to continue sleeping together because you are the only one who can make me feel the way that you do. The only one who kisses me like he could drown in the taste of me. But I will be sleeping with other people as well. That will keep me from getting attached to just one person. It will keep me from feeling this way again. You have been fucking me and fucking others. So, what is good for you is good for me. That is how this situation will work. The only way it will work.”

He opened his mouth to speak and she stood suddenly then. Her hand came to rest on his lips to silence him.

“I would still like us to hang out as friends. I am not saying that that is all we will be to each other. I’m saying that we keep our situation the only way that we can. Able and willing to possibly sleep together when we hang out but never being an obligation. We don’t have to and won’t do it each time but we will when we want to. Though it will change in one way. We won’t be shy about saying that that is what we want. No more beating around the bush or pretenses to go somewhere alone. Just honesty.”

“No.”

“I’m sorry did you think this was up for debate? You lost that right when you stuck your dick in her knowing full well what it would do to me. Now, I’m not going to force you to sleep with me but I figure that if you can be on call for her then why not for me? You get the same courtesy. You get to fuck me without any of those messy emotions to fuck everything up. And the best part, you also get to fuck any and every other person that you want to. I do believe that is one hell of a deal.”

“It isn’t.”

“Why is that? Look, the only part that is really negotiable at this point is whether or not we tell each other when we fuck someone else. Now, we can either go for full disclosure and honesty here. Or we can set up some kind of code. Very much like you did last time. ‘I’m out.’ I believe that is what you said at the time. So, we can do that. Just say that we are out and the other knows what is happening. Or we can just hide it from one another. I am more a fan of full disclosure but I would like you to weigh in on this one. Mind you, the rest of this particular agreement is non-negotiable so just let all of that go. Don’t even bother saying what you think other than to agree. This will save us both from emotional attachment and distress.”

He opened his mouth to speak and she silenced him once more.

“Now, I know that you are thinking of still arguing that we just stop fucking altogether or that we stop being friends in general but that won’t work. I don’t want to lose you as a friend. Truly I don’t. But if we stay friends, which we will once we get past this little speed bump, we will end up sleeping together at one point or another. Now, I am sorry if you took offense at the ‘on call’ comment but that isn’t meant to be taken the way you took it. I’m not going to hang out with you with only that on my mind. But let’s be honest, we have said time and again that we should stop sleeping together and yet we keep doing it. And I don’t want to stop kissing you either. So, let’s not lie to ourselves this time and say that we won’t fuck again ok?

Besides, it’s not like I’m asking for exclusivity again. I’m not that insane. I am merely saying that we acknowledge that we will almost always end up sleeping together at some point whether we say we will stop or not. So, we may as well not lie to ourselves. However, I am making sure that I guard myself from any pain that you may cause me by allowing myself to accept the freedom that you offer. Sleep together but be able to sleep with others without pain or recompense.”
brandi_speaks: (Default)
So, a friend asked me the other day why I don’t date. Well, maybe not that question in particular, but more so why I don’t go certain places or try certain sites to find a mate. I informed him that it was not a lack of prospective partners but more a lack of effort on my part. I would get to know the guys, I would say all the right things, and they would be interested enough to stick around and try to make something work. I just wouldn’t take that necessary step forward that would put us at relationship level.

I wish the reason were something as simple as them just not being my type or only wanting one thing from me but this is not the case. Granted, there are those few who want only that but I show them the door in no uncertain terms. However, there have been those few good guys. A teacher, a camera man, a paralegal. They have all been very sweet to me and never pushed too hard. They have also been very patient with me about my schedule and how often I put off seeing them.

The real question is why should I need to have a boyfriend right now? They won’t just be dating me but dating my life and my son as well. Could I ever truly trust someone enough to allow them into my life or my son’s life completely? And could I trust myself after that?

My friends have this view of me as a man-eater of sorts. They believe that I get bored with people and move on quickly. That I have too short of an attention span to be with someone. This is not the case. My last relationship was not ruined by boredom. I was scared. Scared of opening myself up to the possibility of love.

You see, my first relationship changed me. I wanted so badly to be everything for him. Everything that he could ever want and I did as I was told and when I didn’t I was punished. I kept my mouth shut about his treatment of me because I thought that all of it was my own fault. I thought that if I kept my mouth shut it would not only keep others safe but me as well. Besides, who would really believe me?

So, what I wonder is why in the world would I be good for anyone? Yes, I have learned from my mistakes and I don’t ever want to hurt anyone the way I did before. It’s just, how do you know that you won’t? The same fears are still there. Nothing else has changed except for me realizing what I was doing.

Besides, even if I have changed, do I want to be one of those moms? Who parade different men in and out of their child’s lives? Who, instead of being home with their child, go out every night or every other night? Time is precious and my time with my son is the most precious. I wouldn’t do anything to take even a second more away from that.

Lastly, if I was to date and I haven’t changed, where does that leave my son? How does that affect him? All he will ever know is unhealthy relationships and he will only be able to have unhealthy relationships as a result. He has been through enough with my divorce and our yo-yoing in and out of our family with his father. My two exes besides him. He has already lost two people that he connected with and he doesn’t have his father around as much as he would like. How many more does he need? How much more dysfunction must I subject him to to find my own happiness? It wouldn’t be fair. I won’t do that to him. I will wait until he is old enough to understand or he is off on his own in the world. Until then, I do have great friends and I do have a family that loves me in whatever way they can. That will just have to be enough.
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