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Creative Nonfiction Sad

I believe names have power.

Laugh all you want, but sometimes I put people into groups based on their names. Names have colors and personalities that grow to represent the person who is using the name. Although, to be honest, I think names don’t belong to a specific person, they belong to everyone. They're borrowed, from the day we’re born to the day we die. But everyone knows some famous ones: Karens are snobs, Kellys are blonde, Janices are savory.

But our story starts with two names.

Timothy and Kaylee.

I have only ever met one nice Timothy, and the one I am speaking of is not he.

This Timothy was a junior, which in my opinion makes it worse. He had learned the way of the Timothy from his father, Timothy Sr., but Timothy Jr. was worse than him. But I’ll get to that in a bit.

Kaylee didn’t fit the stereotype. She wasn’t blonde and she wasn’t stupid. She was nice, and she would do anything for those she loved. Perhaps Kaylee was too nice, but I’ll let you make that call.

Timothy and Kaylee met in the Air Force. They were both stationed at Carlson Air Force Base in South Carolina. They thought it was love and got married.

Oh, but dear reader, did you notice the key word thought? If not, stop reading. Let this story end happily.

If you did, brace yourself for what's to come.

Not long after Timothy and Kaylee were married, they found out that Kaylee was pregnant with a child. Timothy wanted a boy to carry on the family name, but Kaylee didn’t mind. She would love her baby either way.

When the child was born, the couple were no longer just that, they were the parents of a baby girl. They named her Bailey.

Bailey was bright. The two young parents could see it in her already.

Timothy wasn’t happy about not having a son. He turned to alcohol to drown his problems.

However, Timothy was a terrible alcoholic. He drank too much and would go on tangents, threatening to kill himself, and worst of all, injuring Kaylee.

Kaylee hid the bruises Timothy had given her, because what else could she do? She was afraid to report him, lest he hurt her or the baby.

Kaylee and Timothy moved to California with their daughter. Kaylee was from California, so they moved into her childhood home.

Things got worse with Timothy. Kaylee got a job shelving footwear at a department store to keep the family afloat, as Timothy had no job.

Kaylee was a smart woman. No amount of bruises could change that about her.Β 

She waited for seven years.

She took a stand against her abusive husband. She kicked him out of her home. And when he wouldn’t stay away, she filed a restraining order against him.Β 

Bailey was seven, but she knew what was happening. She could remember nights when she was woken up by the yelling and cruelty of her father.

Timothy rented a house, and Bailey went over for the weekends.

When Bailey was there, he was no better. Timothy still drank, and he smoked a weird green thing that Bailey didn’t know.Β 

Of course, when he drank, he got angry.Β 

Once, Bailey used his phone to call her mother. She stood outside with an umbrella, as it was raining.

Bailey finished the call and went back inside.

The phone started to glitch. Her guess was it had gotten water in it.

Her father got angry. So angry, he threw the phone at her, where it hit the wall behind her and shattered.

Bailey was petrified. Her father’s rage and way of harm had never affected her.

But now it almost had.

She was seven.

While her father marched off to take a shower, Bailey discovered that the phone still worked. She hid under the long tablecloth and called her mother, who promptly picked her up.

From then on, Bailey lived in fear of her father. She walked on eggshells around him.

Another six months went by.

Timothy’s landlord evicted him.

He invited her over for one last weekend.

She didn’t go.Β 

-----

A few weeks later, Kaylee and Bailey drove by the place where Timothy worked.

Kaylee asked if Bailey wanted to go in to see him.

She said yes.

No one knows what was said that day. Only Timothy.

Bailey, to this day, can not remember why she got in her mothers car that day, determined to never see her father again.

We will never know.

-----

Four years came and went. Neither Bailey nor Kaylee heard from Timothy. They had settled into a new normal without him.

Over the years, Bailey had become a writer. She loved to create worlds that were happier than hers that she could escape to when things got rough.

Bailey was twelve.

She had spent a day at the county fair with some of her friends, and for the night, she would work a booth with her grandfather.

Darkness fell, so she put on her people face and got to work.

After about an hour on the job, she was stacking brochures when a woman walked up to her.

β€œYour father says hi and he misses you.”

Bailey was truly afraid for the first time in four years.

She went into full on panic mode.

She tried to get her grandfather’s attention.

It didn’t work.

She hid behind a table, silently sobbing and hoping her father couldn’t see her.

Finally, her grandfather took notice.

Soon, her mother and and her stepfather (known affectionately as Possum) were there, and she felt safe again.

Bailey, Kaylee, and Possum made a hasty beeline for the exit of the fairgrounds.

But they were being followed.

Timothy and his girlfriend, Kim, had been following Kaylee and Bailey all night.

Kaylee told Possum to take Bailey towards the gate while she turned against Timothy.

Timothy was scared by the fire in Kaylee’s eyes. He knew she would do anything to protect her daughter from him.

He hid behind his girlfriend, and Kaylee finally saw him for what he was.

A coward.

-----

When wounds heal, the scars will still be there.

This is why I, Bailey, think names are important.Β 

I will always trust Kaylees and Possums.

I will never trust Timothys and Kims.

Too much pain and heartache lays on the road ahead. But what else can I do but meet it and say, β€œHello. My name is Bailey, and I am ready for you.”

I will never back down from fights.

I will never trust anyone named Timothy.

But I will always be grateful for the experiences that have shaped me into who I am today.

β€œMy scars will tell stories until the day I stop breathing.” -A.S. King

January 31, 2021 20:58

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101 comments

Carrie O'Keefe
21:20 Feb 10, 2021

I haven't met a Kim or a Timothy that I liked. It was a great story.

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06:36 Apr 05, 2021

Ok amazing story! I was reading your bio and saw that so many people liked it so i decied to check it out. And it was amazing! I loved this part the most: "I will always trust Kaylees and Possums. I will never trust Timothys and Kims." It's so powerful, steals your breath, and leaves you thinking "What names do I not trust?" I alway love writting the talks about the scars we all have and how they become apart of us. Its so beautiful and yet heartbreaking to think about. Anyways, loved you story! (Hey I'm the 100th comment lol)

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Thank you thank you thank you so much! I'm personally just glad this story went so far. It was a thing I thought of in the middle of the night and I couldn't sleep until it was written. Thank you! (woohoo!)

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18:15 Apr 05, 2021

Ya I've had that. I got the idea for my second story when it was mid night and I had to go to sleep. Its so annoying when your best ideas come when you can't do anything anout them

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Akshaya ✨
07:40 Mar 04, 2021

Hi Carolina! Wow... this story left me speechless. It was so powerful, so impacting, and so well written, that I could feel the fear, the worry, the violence, everything. I agree with you, that names have powerful meanings. My name means 'indestructible', what does your name mean? Great job, really! Everything carried out amazing and the details were great! Keep it up!

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Hi! Wow, I just woke up, and this really made my morning. My real name means waterfall, but Carolina means strong. Thank you!

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Akshaya ✨
15:21 Mar 04, 2021

No problem! :) I didn't know Carolina was your pen name! And also, πŸ§ƒ!

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Yep! I used to live in south Carolina, and when i was struggling to make one i was like, hmmm, Carol, hmmm, Carolina!

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Akshaya ✨
11:13 Mar 09, 2021

That's a really cool choice! How is Carolina?

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oh my gosh, i just realized i never replied to this. so so sorry! πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Its pretty nice, but I've been called Caroline a lot....but i guess thats to be expected lol

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Thom With An H
15:03 Feb 08, 2021

Your tags, creative non-fiction and sad almost scared me away, almost. I read this story afraid. It was so descriptive and yet so subdued. You didn't leave a thing out and yet you left so much for the reader to infer. I too believe that names have meaning and now I know the name Carolina Shaw means fantastic writer. Fantastic storyteller. Thank you for the courage to share. I wrote one this week that was hard to write and very different from what I normally submit. It's called "Him". I'd love to know what you think.

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Mango Chutney
23:12 Feb 07, 2021

Well Written.. Now I am convinced that " Names are important..!" Good Read :D

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Coco Longstaff
22:27 Feb 05, 2021

Haaa OMG wowww This is so pure and meaningful The names in here were amazing, and you described the character really well! My name means (in Japanese cause I’m half) The nice scent of your heart, so apparently I’m supposed to be amazing at making people happy, but i dont know about that.....what about you? Anyway, REALLY NICE!!

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well, it depends on which name it is, but my real name means waterfall or pool, but Carolina means freeman, song of joy, or strong. thank you, im glad you enjoyed it!

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Radhika Diksha
17:18 Feb 05, 2021

Shout out writer IVY HATHERALL https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/ivy-hatherall/ FRANCES https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/frances/ Shout out story https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/contests/78/submissions/52220/ {This story is amazing. A must read} This week's list. Please do read their stories and give them feedback. It will boost their confidence and give them a nice moral support

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Nainika Gupta
16:14 Feb 04, 2021

NEW STORY COLLAB WITH MAYA EMMERSON!

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Nainika Gupta
16:24 Feb 04, 2021

:):):)

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Nainika Gupta
17:30 Feb 07, 2021

ANOTHER ONE!! :D new story, not collab XD

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. .
21:47 Jan 31, 2021

THIS WAS SO GREAT!!!! I would like to point out to you that if you engage the reader like you do in the beginning, make sure you consistently continue it to its extent, because people will be like "where has that narrator gone to?" OTHERWISE GREAT JOB CAROLINA NEVER A DULL MOMENT :)

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. .
22:06 Jan 31, 2021

:))))))

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This story was hard to write, but at the same time, easy. Names were changed, of course, but this is a true story. I haven't had an actual face to face conversation with my father in five years. I saw these prompts, and decided to give y'all a peak into my past. I couldn't resist, I actually couldn't sleep last night until I had written half of this story. I promise, Heroes of Asgard Part two will come out next. Have a good day and I hope you enjoyed this story.

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Nainika Gupta
00:33 Feb 01, 2021

you....wow. Honestly, just wow. I loved this story, Carolina, and thought you did a wonderful job with the details and the characterization! I agree with what Luke said, about keeping the reader engaged, but other than that..amazing job!

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Nainika Gupta
00:40 Feb 01, 2021

yeah! np :D

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Annette Lovewind
04:57 Mar 06, 2021

This was really good!

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Aman Fatima
07:43 Mar 03, 2021

It's a well written story. I believe in this line to the fullest "I believe names have power". Names have meaning and power and your story captured that so well. Loved the story!!!

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TJ Squared
16:36 Feb 17, 2021

I liked this story! But...I think you might be hurting some good Timothy's out there (like my brother). If you want to know more about him, you can read my story called "A Brother and a Sister". But, I like you believe that names are important. My name is Tiffany, and my parents named me for who they wanted me to be, 'manifestation of God', I think I've lived up to it. Anyway, great story, and I like the details!

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TJ Squared
16:47 Feb 17, 2021

yea.

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Maya -
19:11 Feb 12, 2021

If you want to play Skribble at 3:30 EST I'll put the link at the bottom of my bio. :)

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Maya -
17:55 Feb 08, 2021

We're playing Skribble again at 3:30 EST, and if you want to join the link will be at the bottom of my bio. :)))

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Maya -
17:31 Feb 06, 2021

If you want to be in my reedsy-cast series could you fill out this form? https://forms.gle/1eqV6vdmhWomPXoBA

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Maya -
15:39 Feb 08, 2021

Thanks!!! :)

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Carolyn McBride
02:55 Feb 06, 2021

That was a really powerful piece and very well done.

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Coco Longstaff
22:27 Feb 05, 2021

Haaa OMG wowww This is so pure and meaningful The names in here were amazing, and you described the character really well! My name means (in Japanese cause I’m half) The nice scent of your heart, so apparently I’m supposed to be amazing at making people happy, but i dont know about that.....what about you? Anyway, REALLY NICE!!

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The Cold Ice
03:55 Feb 05, 2021

Wonderl poem Keep writing.

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Maya -
22:32 Feb 04, 2021

The skribbls now have a doc for chatting (kinda like Aerin's doc) and if you want to be on it the link is in my bio! :)

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