Friday, August 07, 2009

My Book. Enough Said.

I made a promise this summer that I would finish at least one chapter of my book so that I could send it off to a publisher this fall. The only way I seem to be able to get any of it done is if I hold myself accountable here. So here come the weekly doses of what I'm working on and bear with me each week as I post a bit of it.

Here goes nothing....

My knees are pulled in so tight to my chest it feels as if I might bruise my ribs. My arms grip my legs and my hands clutch at my ankles as if I am holding on for dear life. The skin on my knuckles is pulled tight and white. I rock on the dorm room floor of my friend Jessica’s room unable to stifle the sobs that sometimes become wails only to then crash into screams. If I were to look into a mirror now I would see my face is a mottled mess and my hair is wild and sticky from my tears. It sticks in hardened clumps to my face and puffs out in snarls in other places. My fingers have twisted and pulled the blond strands into this disarray without my knowledge. After the first hour, no one pays me any mind. They want me to ride it out and let it go. My friends have become uneasy with this much emotion. I have never been one to shy away from how I feel but I can tell that my friends simply do not know what to do with this type of grief or with its sheer cascading magnitude.

When I had left the suite that I shared with seven other girls two hours earlier I had the same optimistic dread that I normally felt as I headed off to my weekly therapy session. I did the five-minute walk to the university’s in-house therapist, ignoring the dining hall crowd just below her office and did not think anything besides what I always thought at 3 p.m. on Friday, “Yes! The weekend is here at last!” When my therapist asked me about my recent Spring Break trip that I had just returned from I said the normal things you tell anyone about a 3-day beach weekend with your college girlfriends. “Oh! It was a blast! We had so much fun!” Except there was that one thing. That thing that Jessica had said to me that last night on the balcony kept replaying in my mind. I decided to bounce it off Marilyn, the therapist.

It was the last night of the trip and Jessica and I were sitting on the hotel balcony looking out at the ocean, the sun was dipping low and the breeze was warm and slight. We were splitting a bottle of Strawberry Boones and drinking it out of the plastic hotel cups. Typical. Our feet were still sandy from a day spent on the beach and we rested them on the rail of the balcony as we discussed the past few days. Jessica had been in a fight with her boyfriend non-stop via phone the whole trip, which then got her into a fight with Sara who was also sharing a room with us on the trip. I stopped Jess mid-sentence and whistfully said, “Wait. Just look. It is so beautiful out there. I miss the ocean so much when we are at school. I wish I was near it all the time. I should call Rob.”

“What?! Why?!”, Jess had asked coughing on her drink, sitting straight up in her chair and slamming her sandy, tanned feet down on the balcony floor. “I don’t get you Vicky. You and Rob broke up a year ago. You broke up with him. Why do you always feel the need to call him? He was such a jerk to you. “

“I know.” I said. “I don’t know. Maybe I am obsessed with him. I haven’t dated anyone else since.”

“Yeah, I noticed. Vicky? Let me ask you something and you have to promise you won’t get mad.” Jessica asked quietly.

“Sure. What is it?” I asked. I looked at Jess and wondered why she had suddenly gotten so quiet and serious.

“Did he ever…hit you? Did Rob hit you?” Jess asked. I couldn’t look at my friend. Instead I looked at my own sand encrusted feet and earnestly began to use the toes on my right foot to scrape the sand off my left foot. It was quiet. I didn’t say a word. Eventually, I looked up at Jess, meeting her eyes and I felt pin pricks of hot pain in the corners of my eyes as I did. Quickly I looked back to the ocean. As my eyes brimmed with tears that I didn’t understand I smiled and said in a soft and small voice, “Of course not. Why would you ever think something like that?”

To be continued next week.....


  1. I'm already drawn in....

  2. Melissa11:31 AM

    So does Jess know that she is in your book. Miss you

  3. Anonymous6:33 PM

    Yea Vicky!!


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