Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Losing It

This week’s GBE 2 writing prompt is, “Pick a line from a book and write from there.” I chose the book, the perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. 
Then, I turned around and walked to my room and closed my door and put my head under my pillow and let the quiet put things where they are supposed to be.
There was no thought of my husband or children.  I blocked the shock and bewilderment on their faces and concentrated instead on the cool linen against my cheek; my breath warm and moist in contrast, escaping under the pillow with me.  In, out, in, out, as I tried to empty my head of the day.  I raised and lowered my eyelids in the dim light, fixating on the singular sensation as one small portion of my lash brushed the pillow edge. 
In seeped the quiet, pushing out the echoing shatter of the dirty dinner plates, the half full gravy boat and the serving platter that still held a few remaining pieces of meatloaf.  What pieces hadn’t broken against the wall, fractured on impact with the ceramic tile. 
I’d just “lost it” as the kids would say, right in the middle of the daily dinner banter.  The last thing I remembered was Jessica mentioning that the French class was planning a trip to Paris during spring break.
Slowly, steadily the heavy pounding of my heart eased with each measured breath and then a sob, deep from my gut, bringing with it an equal amount of uncontrollable laughter and tears.  I pulled the pillow tighter over my face, rocking on the bed, muffling the noise. 
Oh God, it felt good to let go.  To be angry and scream and throw things and walk away. 
Finally, spent, I lay there as it got dark outside, sounds of our daily life slowly filtering into my thoughts.   The low, short groan of the dishwasher as it made its final rinse, the hum of the television in the family room, Jason on the phone in his room. 
Sweet Jesus, how to tell them it’s back.  That there are no more treatment options.   How to fit a lifetime into the next few months when we all felt sure I'd made it through?  I LOOKED fine.    
Graduations, weddings and unborn grandchildren fly through my mind.  Anniversaries, birthdays and holidays, all missed.  Dammit, it wasn’t fair.  I’d done it all. Stayed the steady course and kept a positive attitude through the rounds of surgery and chemotherapy. 
They’d all done their part as well, paid their dues so we’d come out the other side with a future.  Now our “family squared” as we call ourselves would become the “family trio”.
I’d believed in the good prognosis Dr. Lawrence talked about.  Entered the aggressive treatment with all I had in me.  Today was supposed to be my “all clear” visit. I hadn’t told anyone about the appointment, choosing to surprise them instead.  I knew the moment he walked into the exam room I wouldn’t need the double chocolate layer cake I’d made that morning.   
A soft knock on the door announced Bob as he peeked his head in.    
“Hey darlin’”, he says quietly.  “Want some company”?
He lies on the bed next to me, pulling me gently across his chest as he wraps his arms around me.  I feel it radiating off him.  He knows.
“Love you,” he whispers and I feel his hard swallow.  I look up and in his eyes, find my answer.  We fit what we can into the lifetime that is left. 

26 comments:

  1. wow. well done. Imcredible what a single prompt can pull out of a writer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pull is right - this was ridiculously hard to get started, but once I did, then the rest flew pretty well. Thanks Sandra!

      Delete
  2. Beautifully crafted. Heart-tuggingly warm and real. ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very kind of you to say Jo - thank you.

      Delete
  3. Oh my goodness. I am awed! I am a new member of GBE 2 and awed by all the talent around me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well it's wonderful to have you aboard Ritu! Look forward to seeing some of your work.

      Delete
  4. Oh wow-- this was a powerful write-- so emotional and so real!! Well done!! Cheers, Jenn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jenn and thanks so much for the "likes" on the facebook pages. :)

      Delete
  5. WOW, this is amazing!! Absolutely brilliant! You so ROCKED this challenge.

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy, how sweet of you to say - thanks. I really had a horrible time getting started,(just could not decide on the line to start with!)but once I got past the first paragraph, it went pretty quickly.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Took a quick peek at Frizzy Hooking - your work is lovely! Never did get eh hang of working with yarn and would never be able to rise to your caliber, that's for sure!

      Delete
  7. This is a gorgeous piece. Rich and emotional, it made me a ache a little at its sadness and beauty. You have a wonderful talent, Amy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That means a great deal to read. Thank you. There's certainly been some great pieces to this challenge that I've really enjoyed!

      Delete
  8. So well done, Amy. I didn't guess what was going on until you chose to reveal it, and that's masterful. It's powerful and has a heart-tugging ending. Your last line could inspire another round of blogging!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that's a fun idea - using the last line. Maybe a weperate blog or short story for me in the future there as well! Thank you for your comments - they always mean so much to me. :)

      Delete
  9. Wow! Powerful piece of fiction.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Joyce. It's spurred a couple of other ideas as well, so it's a fruitful piece!

      Delete
  10. OMG...GREAT...RIGHT BEFORE BED..I AM BAWLING..THIS went right to the core..amazing write..((hugs))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you again and also for letting me know about the broken link.

      Delete
  11. Wow! So beautifully crafted. You are an artist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My, what a nice compliment to start my day with. So kind of you to say so. This group has without a doubt helped me greatly.

      Delete
  12. Well done and especially the conclusion.

    ReplyDelete