My Hubby recently got me a new book. 642 Things To Write About by The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. I actually sat that same night and read all 642 writing prompts in the book. I had a stack of index cards that I kept grabbing from to mark pages that had prompts on I was drawn to. I have decided I want to make this more interactive than having you just read what I write. I want you to join in. I will put my post up on Monday’s with a way for you to link up your post throughout the week. I can’t wait to read different perspectives based off of the same starting point.
This week it is:
A strange girl who hides herself under layers & layers of clothing.
She was wearing baggy jeans, a t-shirt and an oversized gray hoodie. Everything just hung off her petite frame. Her hair hung down, straggly, half covering her face. She had barely managed to pull this on as she dragged herself out of bed.
The phone startled her as it rang. She reluctantly answered it to hear her friends bubbly voice on the other end. “Hey Lucy! It’s such a lovely day today. I wanted to see if you would like to meet at that cute little cafe on the far side of the park for some lunch” Her stomach churned into knots at the thought. It had been so long since she had seen her dear friend, she just couldn’t allow her to see her this way. “I’m sorry Beth, I just can’t today. I have an interview.” She hated lying to her friend, the alternative of the truth just wasn’t an option. The heartbreak she felt at the response was unbearable. “That’s wonderful, Lucy! I’m sure you are going to nail it and then we can meet up to celebrate soon! Good luck, not that you’ll need it.”
She retreated to the chair by the window overlooking the park. She curled her body up into a tight ball, ignoring yet embracing the pain she felt at the same time. Her cat came & climbed up into her lap seeking attention. She pet her by instinct, although she felt nothing. She watched as moms helped their little ones onto the swings & pushed then into the air, their hair flowing in the wind. A man with a dog tossed a ball & waited for the waggy tailed friend to bound back to him, happily.
As the sun shifted throughout the day, the shadows danced where the leaves twisted in the breeze.
All of this joy around her, yet she felt none of it. Nothing. Emptiness & sadness enveloped her.
The clock struck the hour. It was almost time. She needed to collect herself & her thoughts. She made her way into the bathroom to attempt to fix her hair & put on a bit of makeup to give herself the appearance of liveliness. She opened the drawer & there it was. The small case that hid her secret. She had promised herself that she wouldn’t anymore. That was yesterday. Today she just couldn’t stop herself. Again.
Before she knew it, she had to rush out the door. She got to the school just in time, still looking disheveled. She was greeted by the teacher and held small talk, apologizing for her appearance. She explained how she had had been so involved in cleaning out the attic all day she nearly didn’t get out of the house in time. Wait? Did the teacher know they don’t even have an attic? It didn’t matter. She could no longer keep her excuses straight. She didn’t have the energy to bother to try. All this was training on her already fragile mental state. Just then her daughter came skipping across the room in her brightly colored, ruffled dress with a smile that lit up the room.
All the way home her daughter chatted on and on about the days events. What her friends wore, what they played, what they learned. She nodded & gave empty responses to her. Thankfully, her daughter was so filled with joy she didn’t notice that her mom was not present.
When they got home little Jane ran off to play in her room while Lucy prepared dinner. Her husband came in right on que & Jane ran to him. “Daddy, daddy! Today in school….” Lucy watched as Sam soaked in every word their daughter said and interacted with her. She was jealous of what they had.
As the evening went on they tucked Jane into bed after her bath. Sam left to go on his evening run and Lucy said she was going to get ready to for bed a bit early. It started to rain so Sam turned home early. He quietly made his way down the hall past Janes room peeking in to see that she was sound asleep. As he entered the master bedroom the bathroom door was ajar & he could hear water running in the tub. As he neared the door to let Lucy know he had returned early, he saw her. She was sitting on the floor, curled up in a ball, crying, holding a towel on her arm. He saw the scars. He turned away, went downstairs and sat on the couch with his hands in his head. How could he not know? He never noticed the scars before. She kept them well hidden under those layers of clothes. What had he done wrong? How was he going to fix this? How could he fix her?