….


When I look to my left I see the home phone’s blinking light, I peek at the tiny screen that lets me know how many messages I have.  28 messages.  Wow, people must really feel bad for me.  Maybe it’d be good to listen to the messages, I mean maybe it’ll help me heal.  So I press the yellow blinking button on the answering machine and brace myself.

“Hey, its Erika, I’m really sorry about what happened.  Call me, everyone is really worried about you.”

Really?  You’re all worried about me?  WHO?  I have no friends anymore.  My old best friend lives in Europe and we’ve been out of touch for years.  No one liked me in school really.  I wasn’t exactly the most popular.  They all care now but they didn’t care when I cried in the bathroom about how I had new foster parents every three months.  About how I wished my mother wanted me.  I cried because no one liked me.  I cried because I wanted someone to finally care.  And now, the only person who ever cared, left me just like everyone else did.  Yeah, he left me in a different way but it hurts just the same.  I can’t even think about his name or say it anymore.  I just don’t want to think about it.

“Hey its Ashley from high school, I hope your okay.  You haven’t been talking much.  I’m really sorry about everything.  Call me back.”

The machine moves on, most of it is just people from high school I was acquaintances with that knew my fiance telling me they’re sorry.  I hope they have good lives, I’m sorta happy I listened to the messages.  I guess it just reminds me that people care.  Almost half of the messages are people just trying to sell stuff.  Its comforting to know that people cared though. 

My stomach grumbles and I realize I haven’t eaten yet.  Or gone out to buy food.  I sigh and rush to my room to take a shower and put on my clothes.  I jump into the car and head out to the local walmart.  Since I live father out it takes me thirty minutes to get into town.  Once I get into the store I realize I really don’t want to be there.  Its a small town here in Wisconson.  We all know each other.  Sympathetic looks, well more stares are all directed toward me.  I distract myself by picking out food to cook with.  I buy raw chicken breast, potatoes, pasta and sweets.  A little girl looks at me with her mother and smiles.  I smile back and realize its the first time I’ve smiled since he died.  When I go to check out I’m relieved and think its the last of the awkwardness.  Of course I’m wrong.  A woman comes up to me, I don’t really recognize her.  She hands me a flyer and when she does, I feel like I’m about to break down.  Its an invitation to his favorite Christian church.  I’m not Christian, I just believe in what I want, but he was.  I didn’t mind that he was, he didn’t mind that I wasn’t.  We were happy together.  Occasionally I’d go to Sunday service but not too frequently.

After the cashier finishes scanning all my groceries I leave as fast as I can.  Maybe I should attend the service, I mean he did love it there.  It could help I guess. 

*Three Days Later*

I forgot what it was like here.  I haven’t been here in so long.  People stare when I enter the church.  No one dares speak to me.  I sit alone eating my breakfast.  I guess its nice to be out of the house.  A woman argues with someone at her table quitely and then walks up to my table and sits down.

“They’re all afraid to talk to you” she says.

I smile, “that’s okay, I don’t know if I want to talk to them either.”

“I think its stupid that they won’t, you’re a human being not a monster.  So, would you like to join me later for dinner?” She asks me. 

Her bright green eyes are so happy.  She has an interesting personality.  I like it.

“Sure, its not like I’ve got anything better to do” I say smiling.

One by one, more people join me.  People I barely know, that seem to want to get to know me.  Obviously they feel bad for me but I’m good with that.  It takes my mind off things.

 

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