View Full Version : Struggle [a long/short]

December 3rd, 2004, 01:15 AM

I’m 5 years old, playing in my room with my friend, Jon. Downstairs, Jon’s mom sips tea with mine. He’s tall. He’s 13.

Long, swirls of blonde locks cascade over the front of my favorite red dress, the ends tangle into my Playdough. I stretch my tiny legs, trapped in thick, red corduroy stockings. The stockings inch down my hips and hang off my toes. I pull up the thick, stretchy bunches of red corduroy, mash my fingers into a small glob of orange Playdough and mix it with a large glob of pink. I try mixing the dough into peachy skin-tones. My hair falls over my eyes, I blow it out of my way and look at Jon.

“What are… uuum… what are you…um, making, Jon?” I rock back and forth and glance at his messy brown hair.

He looks over his shoulder. “I’m making a rocket.”

I nod and roll my tongue. “I wanna…” I rock and press my thumb into the Playdough “I wanna… ummm… … make… make skin… make skin-face colors.”

“You’re good at that.” Jon punches his Playdough.

I blush. “…yeaaah…”

Jon punches his Playdough harder. “I’m not. I suck at making stuff… I’m good at breaking stuff, cuz I’m strong” He balls the Playdough, rests it on the carpet and smashes his fist into it.

My eyes grow wide. I gasp “Don’t… no… no… don’t do that… it’s bad… it’s… mom says… mom says not to…” I lean forward and try to pull the Playdough out of the carpet; I scratch little clumps out and peel the clumps back onto the ball of dough in my hand. “…mom says… its not… the carpet can’t… it’s stuck… n… and… that’s… it’s…”

“Oh. Forget it. It’ll come out, later.”

“Noo… I have to… ummm…” I dig my nails into the carpet and scratch matted Playdough out “… I have… um… I have to… get it out… now.”

“Leave it. I’ll get it out later. Let’s play another game.”

I scrape dough from the carpet. Dough collects underneath my nails and pushes the skin back. It hurts. I feel the skin beneath my nails bleed. I have to clean the dough before it dries or mom will yell. Mom can’t find out. I’ll don’t wanna get in trouble.

“Come on.” Jon grabs my wrist. “Let’s play!”

“No!” I try to wriggle my wrist free so I can finish getting the dough out of the carpet.

He squeezes hard. I scream. He lifts me off the floor. He squeezes my wrists harder. I push away. He pulls. I squirm. I have to clean the carpet. He’s hurting me. He’s really, really hurting me. This isn’t fun anymore.

“No…” I squirm. Jon squeezes harder and rocks me backwards. I squirm harder. My arms swell red. White clutch marks outline his grip. He strides forward and pushes me on the bed. My heart pounds.

“NOOOOO…what are you doing? NOOOO!” I screech.

He puts my arms above my head. His face, red, shaking, grinning. One hand grips both my wrists, together. I kick and scream. He puts his hand over my mouth. My eyes burn. I scream louder. Dimmed, muffled, gurgling screeches seep through his hand. I cry.

He pulls my wrists forward far enough to grab the end of my dress. Tears blur my sight. His red, smug face hovers over me. Help me. God! Please HELP me! Soft, whimpers slip past my muzzle and tears burn down my face.

The Door opens. Jon’s eyes widen and whip towards the door. My mother gasps, while his mother’s voice pierces the room: “JONATHAN PATRIC PHILLIPS! WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON HERE?”

*** *** ***

Fifteen years later.

I stare at my computer screen. It’s there. Done. The first time I’ve ever let this story escape the constant reruns in my head. I stare at a bold flashing line on clear, white pages. I Remember Jon. What he did broods in my memory, clearly. But I can’t remember much of what happens after.

I guess I chose to forget what happened after, because it bothered me more than the incident.

It’s strange, though. I was saved. You think I’d be relieved. You’d think I’d run to my mom and thank God for saving me.

I was half-grateful. I did thank God for stopping him, but I wasn’t relieved. I was mad at God. God influenced everything, knew everything and was a part of everything. That’s what I believed, then.

I was livid. Why did God send my mom? Does God hate me? What does God think of me? I was mad at myself. I thought, ‘Why did my Mom have to see it? Why did she have to see me?’ I was ashamed.

I didn’t understand why I couldn’t fight harder or manage to stay away from a position like that. I didn’t want mom to see me, on my bed, crying, covering myself up. I didn’t want her to think ‘I encouraged him’ or that I was responsible.

I felt responsible. I felt naked. I felt more exposed, vulnerable and bare then I ever felt before.

I shivered and whimpered in the corner. I pretended like everything was okay. I rubbed my fists against my swollen, red eyes to stop the tears. I wished I were invisible. I didn’t want anyone to look at me. I wanted to fade away.

I blink, stare at the screen, push my fingers into the keys and continue typing.

*** *** ***

Jon’s back blocks my view. “It’s fine! It’s fine! We were just playing, it’s fine!” His gray and black sweater bleeds into a hazy image.

Jon’s mom pushes him away and reaches for me. “Diana! Diana! Are you okay? Diana! Are you okay?”

He laughs.

I can’t see anything real, just blotchy smudges of reds and yellows. I sniff and nod my head. Tears trickle down my face and collect around my lashes. I rub my eyes harder. More tears blur my vision. I can’t see anyone.

“We were just playing.” Jon’s voice squeaks. “Nothing happened!”

“Shut up, Jon.”

“Duh! Nothing happened mom. She’s just crying because I took her Playdough. Nothing happened, right Diana? Right. Look she said ‘yes’. See? Nothing happened!”

Someone reaches for my shoulder and brushes my hair out of my face.

I cringe and violently shrug away. “I-I—I’m okay. I’m fine.” I hate the feel of clammy skin pressing against mine. I don’t want anyone to touch me. I want them to leave. Why won’t they just go away?

“Yeah. We were just playing! It’s fine!”

I pull at my dress. I feel my mom’s eyes all over my skin. Just go away! Go away! Why can’t everyone just go away?

*** *** ***

I exhale, stop typing and bring my hands to my head. I rub my forehead. I stare at the screen for an hour. I rub my dry eyes, shake my head and turn off my laptop. Dim, blue light pours through my window. Great. Another night without sleep. I brush my teeth, wash my face, change my clothes and grab my glasses and car keys. Monday. I sigh. It’s going to be a long day!

After Science and Writing class, my friend Marie and I walk towards the South Building cafeteria.

“You showed our prof which story? The one with the poem in front of it?” Marie squints.

“No.” I laugh. “That one’s awful. You haven’t read this story, yet. It’s about something… well, something I never told anybody… ever, before. It’s kind of something… personal. He told me to show it to my mother. But I really, really don’t want to.”

“So, sounds like a good idea.” Marie shrugs. “Why don’t you show your mom?”

“Well…The problem is… I don’t know… keeping it inside for so long, then finally bringing it out? It’s so weird… it just… It all feels like a lie.”

Marie buys soup, grabs some salt and leads us to a table. “What do you mean?”

“I mean…” I eye the table, the wall, the ceiling. “Well… I guess… It’s just that… I haven’t told anyone this before. It happened so long ago. I never talked about it, Hell… I’m sure I’m the only person who even remembers this thing.”

“So? All the better to tell her and make her remember, right?”

“What good would it do? Nothing happened. I’m fine. Besides...” I play with my fingers and inspect my nails. “I’m afraid that… I’m afraid if I show it to her, she’ll go ‘Vhat this? This neiver happened. Why you write such lies?’ and I don’t want her to think of me or look at me… … that… way.” I squirm. “I… I just don’t see the point. I don’t think it’s a good idea. I don’t want her… judging me.”

“So.” Marie opens a pack of salt. “She always judges you, anyway.”

“Yeah. But… I dunno. This is different. I just… don’t want to. I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“Up to you.” Marie pours the pack of salt onto her chicken chowder, plunks her plastic spoon in and stirs. “Ew! Oh my god, it’s so thick. This is disgusting, Diana! I don’t think I want to eat this now.”

I smile. “Ok, Marie. I have to go to the gym. I’ll talk to you later, ok?”

She nods.

After a long day of classes, I come home around 10:30 pm and give my mom a hug. She sits in front of the television and asks me to rub her back. I pull my fingers around her neck and kneed her aches away.

“Mmmmm… so good.” Mom purrs. “How did day go?”

“Ok…”. I take a deep breath … this is it. I tell her about my conversation with Marie, and tell her I wrote a story… about my past.

“Oh. It must be good! Show me story!”

I wince. “I don’t know.”

“Why no? Is it because I did something bad?”

“No. No, mum, I love you. It’s not about you.”

“Then why you not show me?” she pouts. “What I do? What I do bad?”

“Nothing.” I groan. “Mum… I- I just don’t want you to see… because… I don’t want you to… IT happened long ago. You probably don’t even remember it, you’ll think I’m lying and yell but it did happen. I swear, I remember it. And I just don’t want to talk about it.”

“Oh?” mum frowns “What is about? What I do bad?”

“Nothing. Mom. It’s NOT about you!”

“Why? What I do wrong? Everything I do is wrong! Is because I mother. That why.”

“FINE!” I roll my eyes. “I’ll show you.”

Mom smiles.

“No. Wait. No. I can’t.” I shake my head.

“Ohhh, no!” Mom whines. “Why? Show me! Why I so wrong?”

I reluctantly print my mother a copy. I hand her the work, wince, quiver and keep interrupting her. I keep changing my mind and trying to snatch the copy from her hands.

She finishes reading. Exhales deeply. Swallows hard and blinks a few times. She stares at the television. “So. This Jon… Jon… what was his last name?”

I shrug. “I don’t know… I… I’m not even sure his name was Jon.” I clear my throat, force a smile and try to hide my trembling jaw and hands. “ Its just what I remember his name being. Everything else, I pretty much remember perfectly.”

“Oh.” She nods.

I’m quiet. She’s quiet. I shiver. “…Mom?”

“Yes?” her eyes glance at me. I look down. Her gaze returns to sheets of layered papers resting in her hands “Oh. Well… … What was name… what was name?” she mutters. “Jon… Jon… Jon …could be Chris?”

I feel her eyes over me. I want to hide. “What? No… I don’t think so… you… You’re not mad… at me?”

“…whh—a…?” Mom squints, looks up and blinks. “No. No… Diana. I never be mad.” She shakes her head. “Actually…” she stares at the paper and nods. “I think… I think I remember this… but… you not four here… you were five.”

Oh. “Are you sure? I remember four.”

“No.” mom shakes her head. “FIVE!”

“Fine. Fine. I remember four, but maybe I’m wrong. I’ll change it to five.”

Hours later, mum keeps trying to get me to remember his name. I don’t see the point in that, I just want to roll into some blankets and hide. I run back upstairs and stare at words typed on a page.

I blink and absorb the shape of them. Bold, solid, loopy lines trying to find direction. I poise my fingers over the keys and try to find some way to say something I don’t think I can. I wanted to end the story after Jon’s mom barges in. The ****ing idiot professor wants more. Deeper! More! ****ing Hollywood. This is hard enough as it is… I close my eyes and rub my forehead. Now, This is frustrating.

December 6th, 2004, 02:57 PM
wow..... if you have more of this story you have to keep writing it.... I really like it. you're descriptions are vivid, I can see it all in my head. you've got talent... keep it up.


December 6th, 2004, 11:53 PM
wow..... if you have more of this story you have to keep writing it.... I really like it. you're descriptions are vivid, I can see it all in my head. you've got talent... keep it up.


awww... thank you!!!