Chapter 1: Laura 

Laura had always loved the fresh clean air of Washington; growing up in California near big cities, she never realized the difference until moving there. “There's just something about the vibes here”, she would say. She loved the way it made her feel at least for the time being. 

 It was an impulsive decision you see- to move. Laura has never been the best at making decisions or feeling grounded in some way. 

“There has to be something better” she would tell herself after feeling discouraged on most days. She never finished college, she would start classes, finish some, drop out of others. Each time it would be a different major, different hobby, different idea of her future. 

Indecisiveness, restlessness, and unfulfilled were some of her flaws as some would say. 

Between you and I, deep down I think her problem is she thinks way too much, more than anyone should about anything. 

It comes down to the idea of endless outcomes in every decision. She would have to know the outcome of something and if the outcome was one that made her happy it would be the right decision (In her mind). 

You see these “right” decisions never got her anywhere, she’s 23 so far and is still sitting on these dreams without ever taking any actions always working different jobs. She pays her bills but never manages to save money, too busy spending it on these “right” decisions if you ask me. I decided to invite her back home to California. I’ve convinced her that as her brother this is better for her to be with her family who just wants what’s best for her. Hopefully, this will remind her of her roots, that she still has some of her left here. 

Chapter 2: Dreams 

It was 102 degrees today in Sacramento, way too hot for anyone to do anything. I don’t understand how other people can function in the heat, I get that it’s an environment thing but still hot is hot. I don’t truly know why I came back here, I guess I just needed a change. My brother is convinced that I need to be here, to ground myself.

I love the fresh air in Washington, I love the trees- the way they dance in the wind as if they were singing. Yes, California has trees too but these trees sang differently, the air is sweet, fresh, new. California’s air feels stale, recycled, thin. 

I guess I’m just tired of making things work here. I moved here because I thought I’d be happier, more stable. I’ve always been a creative person but never knew how to make a living from it. I’m mediocre at a lot of things I try. I’m good at playing the guitar, not terrible, not great, just good. I use to sing all the time but stopped because what's the point I’m never gonna be singer, my aunt is a singer and musician, she always said I have potential but what I got from it was that I  wasn’t a natural and to be somewhat good I need to devote everything to it but I don't want to. I’m convinced that as being a mediocre individual that I deserve a mediocre life but I refuse to accept that. I have dreams, just not enough faith to pursue them.

 This world I fear is too big for me and It can crush me at any moment. Everything I find too difficult I think it’s better to end it instead of forcing it- is that wrong? Some might say it’s just me giving up but for me, it’s reinventing and trying again until I get it right. I don’t want to do the same thing for the rest of my life but also don’t want my life to be a big cycle, start something, change, repeat. 

Chapter 3: The Beginning

This morning, waking up in my childhood bedroom, I could feel something here. It might have been the fresh soft sheets my mom prepared for me with the lovely lavender-scented detergent or the way the light flowed through the blinds. It was a peaceful home, always has been a peaceful environment it's just hard for me to keep it that way. I tend to let my emotions get the best of me and that includes lashing out on those that care about me most. I don’t want to be this way but don’t know how to fix it. Do I have a victim complex? Maybe? Eh, I really don’t know anymore. I need to stop reading things online and actually talk to people. 

The internet is so toxic. It causes me to want a life I think I should be living. It’s a way for me to pass time when I’m bored or down. I try to be productive with my free time but lately, I just want to sleep. I think I’d rather sleep then go outside hopeful and get disappointed. I’m so over the disappointment. 

Chapter 4: The past

I finally did it. After the two years spent from hiding inside myself to please him. I left. His stench lingered in our room and I hated it. I got rid of everything that was his or reminded me of it. The past two years of my life was a chaotic black canvas- here I was trying to paint white over it. The mask of lies, telling myself things were ok, fell off and I was free. All I wanted to do was scream in his face; to tell him everything he did wrong in our relationship. Everything he did that made me hate myself, my body, my mind. Instead, I let him go on his way. Sometimes I regret not yelling but either way, he’s gone now and the mess he left would go away eventually. 

It was a few days after I thought to myself, “What a waste”, I told my friend Lenny as we were drinking at a coffee shop near my house. “I can’t believe I wasted two years of my life putting up with Austin, I could have done so much during that time.” 

Lenny looked at me- pondering, I already knew what she was going to say. 

“You can’t see it that way” she insisted,

 “you learned a lot during that time and now you know what to avoid”, she said with an expression that made her proud of her statement. 

However, I knew I shouldn’t see it that way, but I still felt stupid for letting my relationship with him go as long as it did. 

After some talking after, I left. I then went home to go sulk some more. I had so much hatred inside, I felt even more hatred when it seemed no one else shared in my anger. Why didn't they see how unhappy I was? How can they just go on their day and not see how horrible he was to me.

I was so angry because… I guess I could say he was verbally abusive to me in his own way. It wasn’t your typical verbal abuse but it was a tiresome battle- as if to earn his love. Nothing I ever did was good enough for him. I spent more time being there for him then I did putting my life in order. It was an unhealthy obsession- to chase affection. 

It didn’t take me long to get over him though. It’s much easier getting over someone you hate but it was harder to put the pieces of myself back together. I sacrificed a lot for him. Now, I was focusing on myself- I felt ecstatic. I finally went back to school after dropping out to “take care of him”. I was going out dancing…He never took me dancing. Dancing is probably my favorite thing to do! All of this gave me hope- I am in control of my life now. 

Chapter 5: Hope

It was on a Monday when I attended my English class at my college for the first time. I didn’t know what to expect from my teacher- my classmates, but I knew I wanted to make friends. I sat in the back so I could see everyone that walked in. I like to think I can see through people but then again I just came out of a bad relationship. I wasn’t going to make that mistake again. Eventually, I befriended this guy, he was really nice and we hit it off and before I knew it he was my best friend. We talked for hours over the phone at night. We were friends and that was it. It was nice to have a friend that accepted me for who I was. I didn’t have to do anything to gain affection.

I was in denial. I didn’t want to go through a relationship again. I was finally free- I was my own obsession but, he made me so happy. The first time we kissed was like..like it felt right. I didn’t want it to feel right, I wanted to hate it-to end things but I liked it.

The way he looked at me- he stood inside of me- he felt me with his eyes and I felt him back. I never felt a connection like that and neither did he. His lips just knew where mine was going, his hands knew what I wanted. 

But my most favorite was the way he smelled. His cologne, covering the musk of cannabis, the raw surface of his skin. It was amazing to me. It lingered on my clothes that I couldn’t help but wear- it was addictive. He was addictive. 

I wasn’t sure how things would work in the future or even if it would at all- I still kissed him. 

The connection felt so strong at first- we had so much fun together. 

What is the catch? I ask myself. I ask myself too many questions about him. Is he right for me, is this the path I want to take?

The light in me began to fade along with trust. My eyes started to ache at the thought of him getting tired of me. I couldn’t sleep that much anymore- always waited by my phone for him to message me-My obsession. I fell behind on homework to spend time with him. 

 He didn’t have time for me that much anymore, he stopped texting back right away. He knew I was vulnerable and took advantage of that- I realized I wasted time again. Gosh I need a hobby 

Chapter 6: The Present

Laura doesn’t know it yet but her ex is going to be a part of our sister’s wedding. Not AT her wedding but IN her wedding. They didn’t talk to her about it yet, as her brother I suggested they should do it soon or at least ask how she feels. I don’t know, I feel that she can be overlooked sometimes not because our family doesn’t care but we all know she’s going through things all the time and doesn’t want to stress her out but still she should know. I feel that she’s still angry inside from the whole situation. She’s finally back home but I think she needs to feel that her family is on her side of things but the truth is they never stopped loving Austin. They still talk to him, encourage him and it drives Laura crazy. “Why don’t you get it?” she would yell at them. It was so easy for her to get over him-to hate him. 

Our family is a forgiving one and they always say to do this but it only made my sister angry. “I have”, as she would say it multiple times to them. I think all she wants is her parents to feel the same hurt and anger she did. If one doesn't match her energy there’s no point in conversing with them. 

Chapter 6: The News

“I’m sorry...WHAT?” Laura exclaimed

“Laura, He was an important part of our life,” said Laura’s engaged sister calmly

“And what about my life? You're my sister, how could you do this to me?

The conversation did not end on the best terms, my sister was only telling her the news but not once asked how she felt or her permission. The decision was already made it was simply informing her of the news so she “would not make a scene”. 

Laura retreated upstairs and stayed their tempted to lash out further in some way, instead she cried. She felt betrayed. She is the second eldest. Our sister that’s engaged is the oldest and chose our younger sister to be the maid of honor. This also made Laura upset. “Just because I’m not here all the time does not ex out all the times I was there for you.” I can tell laura is tired, mostly emotionally. Crying takes a lot out of someone. I was just happy she got some rest at least she didn't wake up till noon the next morning.  

Chapter 7: The future

This morning when I woke up again in my old bedroom. The room felt different. The sun hurt my eyes, my head was foggy trying to purge all the bad feelings out. This only left me feeling empty and numb. I have to see the one person that sent me into this life spiral in the first place. 

How can I  be a better person than when he last saw me. I could lose weight, get a better job, go back to school. I just want to feel that I made something of myself but what good is that? To better yourself for another person that did more harm than good. No instead I’m going to fight. I’m going to take all this hurt from my family, relationships and leave somewhere for a fresh start. Really be better for me and no one else. I don't need to prove anything. I don’t need to prove that I’m the better sister, that I’m the one that got away, that I’m making money moves. I just want to be happy for me. That is what I will do. 

At the wedding, I could tell my sister was anxious. I think she even bought a flask for the occasion. I’m proud of her though, she’s doing this ought of love for her sister. That’s all I want for Laura, to feel loved. She may not feel it but we all love her, I know she’ll find her way. 


August 23, 2019 05:22

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.