Here is a new piece of fiction I am working on. It's new and raw; I have not edited it at ALL, so any errors, spelling or grammatical, will be fixed later on, should I choose to continue on. This is not the one I am working on every day; that one is driving me mad. This one is actually a version of something I wrote in the 7th grade, and started again, with revisions, thanks to an article I found through the woman I want to be my bestest friend on the internet, forever and ever, amen. The article itself was shocking, heartbreaking, inspiring, sickening, strong, weak, awful, and wonderful all at the same time. There are some people who should be saints, seriously, and I cannot imagine going through these challenges daily. Especially with a child so severely impaired, who is not my own. I am not that selfless. I won't apologize for that; I think those who accept these challenges. welcome them even, are beyond special. They are divinity on Earth, and should be treated as such.
The actual article is here. The audio and video to it, which I have not been able to bring myself to watch/listen to, is here. Read (or listen/watch) with your tissues handy and with your heart ready to shatter into a thousand pieces. Seriously, this is the most horrendous case of child neglect you will EVER come across, please be prepared. What I wrote, or will write, is very much NOT this story. This story simply reminded me, in a way, of one I wrote long ago, for a best friend (hello Teresa Kawa) who bet me I could not finish a book. I did, and now I'm looking at it again, mixing things up and changing things, making some things less innocent, and some things more so. I was 12 the first time I wrote the story of a child thrust into a world without a true family unit, going on sheer 12 year old instinct. Now, I am an adult with kids of my own, I know a little better. And this story inspired me, as much with its evil as with it's absolute goodness. So, here you go:
It was putting your coat on that did me in, did you know that? It wasn't the hours I'd spent with you previously, filled with other people. It wasn't the pieces of cookie I'd fed you, the home baked cookies with shapes in the middle meant very little when there were others who'd fed you similar pieces. It wasn't the cup of juice I'd filled; anyone could, and had, done that. Anyone could have played with you, fed you, changed you... and we all did. You were so easy to please, for the most part. It was that coat, and the way no one else could put it on you but me. I will remember that until the day I die, and you will never have any idea how many things I compared to that over the years.
I'd like to think it was personal; that you knew I cared. That in some way you knew I'd taken a job to pay for things to buy, just for you. That maybe you knew you were wanted, even when you were something I was not allowed to want or have. Even though I did both. But, in the end, it doesn't matter that I bought you endless toys, it doesn't matter how it felt when I carried you around and we laughed, just laughed, for no reason. It all comes back to the coat.
I was the one who had to put you in your coat, that large foreign (to me) object of sleeves just perfect for little fingers to grab onto and refuse to budge. I can't, for the life of me, remember the color... how silly, when it seems to matter so much? But, it was for me, and only me, that you would sit without crying and allow yourself to be maneuvered into this piece of clothing. When anyone tried, you cried, I remember that clearly, and reached your arms out. For me. You cried, and when I came to offer help, you stopped, sat, and watched me as I dressed you. And for a second, I understood. That very moment made a lot of decisions for me, as you sat and watched me; looked directly at me. Trusting me, even though we were barely introduced. And I loved you, even as I dressed you, knowing that all those things I'd worked for would never be acknowledged, never be played with, never be yours. Not really. I wasn't allowed to say it, so I knew better, even in a "safe" place. I don't think I knew then how hard it would be, but I remember that I held onto you, even as the horn honked outside, and eyes pleaded with me not to make it harder, God not any harder, than it already was.
What I remember, other than that, was how you reached out to me, crying, as you left. That tore my heart out. I cried too, feeling an ache I had never known. One I wouldn't know again, not for some time. I'd have loved you, regardless, because of some things. What I did not know, until much later, was that I loved you despite it.
So, there you have it. Opinions? Criticisms? Give 'em to me.....