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Archive for the ‘The Red Dress Club’ Category

The steps leading onto the towering yellow bus seemed huge compared to my twelve-year-old body. I stretched to take one stair at a time and was nervous to find a seat with a friend. I could feel the butterflies dancing in my stomach and wasn’t sure if it was from excitement or the anxiety of the unknown.

The voices of my peers spilled out of the windows as we made our way down the highway, trading lunches, seat hopping, and eagerly anticipating our arrival at the Science Centre.

My stomach turned somersaults.

Outside the rain created puddles, perfect for jumping in, and the line up to get off of the bus lagged while my classmates took their time splashing around, ignoring the huge buildings looming overhead and the big city we had just arrived in.

I needed to get off of the bus.

The butterflies flew up from the bottom of my stomach and reached for my throat, and as they lunged forward so did I. Pushing my peers to the side I sprang for the stairs to fresh air but it was too late, the excitement, anxiety, and butterflies inside wanted out!

With my body now out of my control I threw up in front of all of my classmates.

I felt one of my friends mothers take my shoulders, brush my hair back, and lead me to a bathroom. She played the role of my mother all day, while her child participated in the activities and I couldn’t leave the bathroom.

The ride home was a blur.

Exhausted, pale, and embarrassed I closed my eyes and prayed that we arrived back at the school quickly. I missed my mother madly and wanted to go to bed.

I wanted to escape the sounds of my squealing friends, the stories of fun, and everything I missed.

I felt cheated.

And I haven’t been back to the Science Centre ever since.

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Since having a baby I’ve been privy to some of the most horrendous birth stories there are. We mothers do that to one another, we terrorize each other with stories of endless labour, epidurals gone wrong, episiotomies that wouldn’t heal, and doctors with no bedside manner.

We try to out do our friends with tales of popped blood vessels in our eyes, loss of bowel control, pulling arms off in the delivery room, and squeezing out 20lb babies.

Women see a pregnant woman and the gloves come off.

So when it was my turn I was prepared for the worst.

I was ready for my head to swell with each contraction, for the pits of hell to open up and the devil himself to appear and offer me a pain-free delivery in exchange for my soul.

None of this happened.

*I’d like to give a shout out to the drugs!

The first time I gave birth (and the only time so far) I relished in the vacation that was the hospital stay!

My delivery was uneventful, I mean, there was a baby and she was/is perfect in every way. We created a miracle so that was pretty awesome! But other than the miracle part – uneventful.

But after…sigh.

I laid in a bed, a bed that was all mine, and cuddled with my new baby. She only asked that I feed her, cuddle her, and stare at her.

Nurses came in and changed her, bathed her, and cooed at her. They let me sleep and woke me up when it was time to feed her each time.

My meals were brought to me, the TV was set on the station I wanted, and I had someone to help me go to the bathroom and shower me.

It was heaven.

Heaven at the hospital.

I miss it and I think about it, probably more often than I should.

If only they sold time shares.

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Let's BEE Friends

*SLAM*

"I HATE YOU!"

My bedroom door hit its frame so hard I can see where the wood has split with my anger.

My blood boils.

Stupid house. Stupid rules.

I hate it here.

Throwing my body face first into my pillow I let out my frustration, my confusion, and my teenage angst. I cry because I can't go to the party I so badly want to attend and because my parents don't understand me. I scream because they don't care.

My tears choke me, they're fast and hard.

My head hurts.

Then I hear a knock.

"Go away!"

My voice is cracked, hoarse from screaming and I'm still angry.

I feel my dad's weight beside me on the bed.

"Don't get wound up."

Is all he says.

And then he puts his hand in mine and gives a tug.

I spring up and wrap my arms around him, close my eyes and bury my head in the comfort that is my father, and cry.

And we sit that way, together, father and daughter, a quiet understanding; a forgiveness, until I am calm.

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Sweet Spring

The first warm day of spring flirted with my senses when I stepped out the door. The smell of sunshine bouncing off the wet grass, fog lifting, and blossoms dancing in the breeze surrounding me.

Summer was on its way and the bleak days of winter were finally over. As though a dark sheet had been lifted off of the plants and trees the lawn and fields shone with a new energy.

This bright day would bring big smiles, windows down, and coats traded for t-shirts. It was the beginning of lunch break walks, summer plans, sleeveless shirts, and sandals.

Lunches would be outside, coffee breaks would be longer, smoke breaks sweeter.

Smoke breaks sweeter.

Warm weather made smoking that much sweeter.

Standing outside with the sun shining down, hot on my skin. Coffee clasp casually in one hand, cigarette held loosely in the other. Laughing.

While I burned away working hours inhaling smoke.

Exhaling smoke.

While I burned away my life inhaling smoke.

Exhaling smoke.

Leighann

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Buried

The sun is warm on my back and I stretch my arms out as far as they will go, I can feel the warm sand underneath me and I dig my hands into its cool depths, weaving my fingers in and out. I dig until I can’t see them, the soft grain covers my arms up to my elbows, promising to pull me underneath.

Next I wiggle my toes, burrowing them inch by inch into the smooth crumbs and feeling the strong rays burn into my back.

I want to bury myself.

To live under the sand.

I can feel pieces creeping into my swim suit and my hair as I sink further into my carefully carved out cave. I lay still and listen.

There is laughter.

My brother yelling for me to come and swim.

I relish in the cool silence the sand offers me.

Just a few more seconds.

And then.

Throwing my hands, feet, and head up at the same time I bust out of my sand prison and race to the dock.  I feel the heat of the sun dancing on my heals and I taught it as I take one last look back at my sandy home.

Before jumping off the end and into the cool water.

Leighann

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Mine.

Her legs hold tight around the woman’s small waist and she looks up at her with adoration. Her chicklet smile bursting hearts as she fills her chubby hands with fistfuls of hair.

The woman wraps her hand around the girls small fingers, playfully telling her no and tickling her dangling toes. They giggle together, whisper secrets, and are lost in a secret world.

Jealousy overwhelms me. I can taste its bitter bubbles on the back of my tongue as it boils in my throat.

Those giggles should be mine.

Those secrets should be whispered to me.

I should be apart of the secret world.

That is my daughter.

Each morning she happily goes to her daycare teacher with outstretched arms and a wide grin, waving goodbye for the day.

Learning her ABC’s, peek-a-boo, patty cake.

Things I should be teaching her.

I hate that she loves her daycare.

I love that she loves her daycare.

And as much as she adores her teacher she doesn’t hesitate to push her aside each evening when she sees me arrive at the entrance to pick her up.

Arms reaching, squeals of joy echoing across the playground, and recently the sound of “mom, mom, mom” swelling my heart.


Leighann

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Why?

“I don’t want to be your friend anymore.”

I couldn’t believe I was hearing her say these words.

The past weeks behaviour all began to make sense to me now. Her lack of contact, avoiding my calls, no time to hang out, and short blunt answers when we did talk.

I felt my face heat up as confusion swirled around in my head. What had I done wrong?

Why was she saying this to me in such a public forum? She didn’t even play baseball, she had no business being here if she didn’t want to be my friend.

I was so hot.

I looked at her, trying to search her face for a sign of the friend I knew. The friend I trusted and loved.

She avoided my eyes and leaned into her car taking a drag off of her cigarette.

“Why?” I barely squeaked the words out, my voice cracking and tears beginning to well.

“You know why.” She said, flicking her cigarette into the dirt and beginning to walk away.

But I didn’t know why.

She was my best friend. We were best friends.

When people spoke about us they used our name in unison because we were a team.

We faced every obstacle and triumph together.

Dating.

Breakups.

Rumours.

Fights with parents.

New jobs.

Celebrations.

I had opened my home to her when she needed a place to stay, helped her find a job, and my parents had paid to fix her car.

We supported and encouraged each other.

I was her biggest fan.

And now my friend was turning her back on me with no explanation.

Anger boiled inside of me and I was filled with hurt.

“After everything I’ve done for you, everything my parents have done for you! You just don’t want to be my friend anymore?”

My hands were shaking and forming into fists, my fingernails slicing into my palms.

I walked closer to her, begging her with my eyes to reconsider. To take back what she had said.

“I don’t want to talk to you.” She barked,  looking away.

My heart broke.

I gathered my glove and water bottle and walked quickly to my car, the realization that this had just occurred in front of my whole team bringing me to tears.

My car provided a quiet bubble where I could gather my thoughts.

I don’t want to be your friend anymore.

Her words replaying over and over in my mind.

————————————————————————————————————————

Close to 6 years later and I still hear her words.

Even though we’ve attempted to mend the friendship that day weighs heavily on my heart.

And the question of why remains unanswered.

Leighann

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