She’s back up again

Submitted into Contest #38 in response to: Write a story about someone learning how to play an instrument. ... view prompt

54 comments

General

Disclaimer of liability-  

By now, you know I’m not a doctor, therapist or professional on depression, self-harm and other related topics. That being said, please review my disclaimer below:


I am not a licensed medical doctor, therapist or expert. The purpose of my story is to send a message and address a topic, and to offer a little entertainment along the way. 


If you are seeking a professional opinion on how you should proceed to achieve your personal goal. PLEASE CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL.  




She hasn’t laughed in a long time. I remembered when she used to laugh, dance, talk... I was so high off of love that I wasn’t expecting to see anything bad when I looked down. My smile quickly faded and Leah instantly knew what I saw. She desperately tried to cover them with her hands, but I removed them. Dozens of scars were dug into her body. Older ones. Newer ones. There were even some cuts that were fresh. Still puffy, red and bloody. Deep cuts against an unfinished canvas. It wasn't fair. “What are these from?” My voice was shaky every word wobbled. But she didn't have to answer I knew what they were from. “ Why Leah?” She couldn't answer. She couldn't breathe. And she definitely could not look at me.


It breaks my heart to downgrade my expectations of her, but I don't want to end up bitter. “Leah. Why did you do it?” I ask as gently as I could but she wouldn’t answer. I ran a quivering hand through my hair and decide to go out for a cigarette. 


Stars shone as sugar spilt over black marble, glistening in the sun. The night sky was such a welcome sight, appearing like magic at each sunset, promising to return as she faded in dawn’s light.


The wrinkled toxic stick had a slow creeping stench. Within moments its chemicals invaded everything I was, from a sickly yellow film over my skin to the air in my lungs. The cigarette smoke had this entitlement, to be closer to me than some subway creep breathing in my face, touching as if random yet calculated. It was the hope it gave me when fighting for Leah. 


I throw what’s left of the cigarette and make my way up again. My fade and taper haircut was supposed to impress: especially the beard. The beard she hated being bushy and prickly now clean shaven. I gently open the door and embrace myself for what she is doing. She was sat on the bed, in the same position I left her in. She sat with all the grace of a sack of wet cement. Her body seemed to conform to the shape of the easy chair, even her face seemed to slacken and sink as if pulled by invisible strings gently downward.


Our conversation used to be  so much more than words. It is the smiles, the gentle shrugs and the light in our eyes. That we are both elevated by each other's presence is obvious and even the silences are comfortable. Now they are dull, grey, clouded by Leah’s issues. When she looks in the mirror shes see brokenness, anger, hurt, hungry, pain, sorrow and the list goes on and on. When other people look at her all they see is her, her reflection. But that's because they don't see her true self, her inner pain because she hides it from the world. Afraid of what they would think of her.


I settle myself next to her and wrap my arms around her frail frame. “Tomorrow will be a better day.” I whisper in reassurance. “Go to sleep.”

I shut my eyes and hope for a better day.


************************************************************


Once I met someone and they said: ‘if you’re a drummer, then you’re not musically talented. Drummers are just an excuse for musician.’

Firstly, I play the drums... so, apparently, I'm not musically talented? But I also sing, and play guitar, and play piano... so I am or I am not musically talented? Secondly, who made you the expert?


I sit in my music room and begin playing the drums. To me everything was a drum. I  drummed on the kitchen counter and I drummed on the car dashboard, I drummed on upturned pots and pans and I drummed on my thighs when there was nothing else available. Even as an infant I had tapped my feet to the beat of any music playing. I could find the beat in cat sick if it had one.. 


The scuffling of feet from behind me alerts me and I stare into the direction: Leah. 

“How are you lovely?” I ask. 

“Good. Jack I want to learn how to play the drums.” She says.

“That came out of nowhere?” I say taken aback. “Sure.” 

Leah takes a seat next to me. “We’ll start with the basics. Okay.”

“Kay.” She replies. 


Wiping my brow, “First, I’ll teach you how to hold onto the drum sticks.”

She chuckles, “I can hold onto a stick.”

“Yeah but you need to learn it the EXPERT way.” I mock as she nods.

A pause, “So this is the matches grip, basically you hold the stick between your thumb and your index finger… yeah, about there. Then wrap the rest of your fingers around the stick and make sure your hands are facing up and not to the side… well done.”


“Now, go wild!” I slightly raise my voice.

Leah has no knowledge at all but everything she did looked perfect. It overtook the assigned steps to replace them in her perfect version. She then stops bashing and starts playing rhythmically. Her wrist moves swiftly with each movement.

I wait until she stops, “Where did you learn the rhythm from?”

“I copied it from you, I liked the sound of it.” She says as she smiles.   

We smile together. The first time she’s smiled in a long time; it puts me at rest. 


************************************************************


Over the few weeks, Leah has learnt how to play the drums. I find a flower blossoming inside of her; making her new, fresh and confident. She sees clear on life and why she lives. She knows why others love her and why some help; it’s not because she is vulnerable, it is because everybody wants her to know they are there for her. They want to be apart of her life because she is special and hurting herself degrades herself. She needed to know she is who she is and everybody loves her for that; I do. 


Leah has always had this nag of singing; she’d sing in the shower, whilst trying to sleep, and even during her work at home! It may become annoying to sum, but to me she sounds like an angel at perfection. So we go ahead and plan our first concert of many.


************************************************************


My forehead beads with sweat and the nervousness creeps up my spine. We are only doing a live concert from home, people will see it on there gadgets and gizmos! Why are you so worried Jack! Surprisingly, Leah is calmly reading over her lines. Noticing me, she walks up and hugs me. “You’ll be great, I love you.” She says and rubs my back.

“I love you too.” I say and wipe my forehead. I look down at the gleaming droplets forming across my hand, this is life in front of an audience, except in front of cameras which will then be set up on media platforms which will then be seen by people… who will then praise Leah and laugh at me. No Jack!


“Come on Jack. Do you want a practice run?” Leah asks.

I read her face, she looks so eager to go live now, I might as well. We’ve practised enough… and I’ve been worrying for no reason!

“Do you wanna go live now? You ready?” I offer. 

“Only if you’re ready.” She determinedly says.

“Sure.”


I seat myself in front of my drum kit and flash a thumbs up at Leah who starts recording.

“Hi guys. Jack and me thought we could encourage everyone on singing or playing an instrument. And so we’ve prepared a motivational song for you.” She says.

“Hope you enjoy guys.” I manage to get out.

Leah taps on her phone to get on a prerecorded bass guitar tune and I count us in. Once in, the melody tunes us both together and carries us both on. At last we had finished, coming onto the last tune, Leah and I faced each other and forgot the camera was rolling. I leant forward as my pulse raced. A small lock of hair tumbled in front of Leah’s face, resting just in front of her cheek, but with one swift move, it was brushed out of the way. 


Looking into her eyes I saw deep pools of blue that displayed her soul. My lips touched her cheek. Time stopped. My heart came to a halt. Our fingers locked together similar to puzzle pieces. A grin crept to our faces and her cheeks painted themselves rosy. 


We face the camera and stifle a laugh. Of course it had to be put up on the internet! We couldn’t say anything more but turn off the camera and jump into bowls of laughter. 

This was Leah. Leah was not broken anymore. She had lost hope to harm. But I built her back up again. She was back up again. 


April 21, 2020 13:50

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54 comments

Avani G
19:04 May 03, 2020

Wow! I loved this story, especially the magical play of words you used! I remember when your name used to be Mariam Ghafer, right? Hopefully, I spelled that right, LMAO! So now, Twighlight Bee is your pen name, right? Cool! I've always wanted to have a pen name, but I wasn't sure what to put. Great story, though!

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Yoomi Ari
21:22 May 03, 2020

Yes my name is Mariyam Ghafar. I needed a fresh name! Twilight Bee is the new me. Thank you:D

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Avani G
21:38 May 03, 2020

Yay! I was right about your name, LMAO! I would really love to have a pen name, and maybe I will!

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Yoomi Ari
23:30 May 03, 2020

Here are some choices as a pen name: Bunny Passion, Butterscotch Seven, Blossom Cotton or Cotton Candy! Thank you:D

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Avani G
00:22 May 04, 2020

LOL, thank you so much! However, after thinking through it, I have decided to stick with my name so people can actually know who posts these stories! But thank you! If I am ever thinking about having a pen name, I will definitely choose one of these.

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22:00 May 19, 2020

You are the best author i love your story you used vivid words

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Yoomi Ari
00:35 May 20, 2020

Thank you for your kind words:)

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Roland Aucoin
13:46 May 07, 2020

A sweet, uplifting tale. Nice. it brought a broad smile to me. Not usually a story that I would read. :)

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Yoomi Ari
21:25 May 07, 2020

Thank you for your kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed it and tried a different style... thank you:)

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Ruth Porritt
05:57 May 06, 2020

Dear T.B., This story is simply wonderful. Thanks for writing it, and I am looking forward to reading the rest of your work. Catch you later, Ruth

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Yoomi Ari
10:14 May 06, 2020

Thank you for your nice comment Ruth, Mariyam

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Simon Prathap
16:49 May 04, 2020

Loved the Story ✨ The story was full of hope and positivity, great story!

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Yoomi Ari
18:22 May 04, 2020

🙏🏻 Thank you!

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Chloe Alistar
05:04 May 03, 2020

You're writing is breath taking. I keep rereading your words over because it's fantastic. Also, the disclaimer at the beginning really was a wonderful way to let the audience know that your story was emotional. I look forward to reading more of your work! :)

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Yoomi Ari
13:08 May 03, 2020

Thank you for your beautiful, kind words. :D💝

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Hawwa Yusuf
17:27 May 02, 2020

the words are i'm speechless in a good way its amazing wow better then me i wish i could be a good writer like you!

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Yoomi Ari
18:06 May 02, 2020

Thank you! One thing I’d tell you is writing about what you love. I write on things I dream or imagine about so maybe give that a go. Writing is art:) I look forward to reading your stories!

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Hawwa Yusuf
18:56 May 02, 2020

this speech made me almost cry i don't know why? so write about things you image and dream and love thanks i hope it helps!

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Hawwa Yusuf
19:19 May 02, 2020

and the book i will write wont be a dream cause its a bully book and i don't want to bully! but thx

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Yoomi Ari
20:53 May 02, 2020

Definitely do not be a bully: maybe the dream idea can be filtered for some stuff! 😬 But keep on writing and thank you! :D

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Hawwa Yusuf
21:38 May 02, 2020

thanks that helped the story is based on my school life that happened this year!!!!!!!it was sad i also got bullied in 3rd grade and it was really bad i had no friends it was horrible but now i. have so many awesome kind friends!!

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Hawwa Yusuf
17:24 May 02, 2020

great story love it

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Yoomi Ari
18:02 May 02, 2020

Thanks, glad you like it :)

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17:03 May 02, 2020

"The stars shone like spilt sugar over black marble." I like that imagery.

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Yoomi Ari
18:02 May 02, 2020

Thank you!

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Jeanne Marceau
07:38 Apr 22, 2020

"Deep cuts against an unfinished canvas" I'm speechless, this is amazing. I really don't have the words to describe how much I love this and how well this is written.

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Yoomi Ari
10:33 Apr 22, 2020

Thank you Jeanne! I’m glad you enjoyed reading this! :)

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Cheri Jalbert
10:28 Jul 10, 2020

Inspiring and heartwarming. Strong characters that keep the reader invested in the story. Very nice work.

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Yoomi Ari
22:43 Jul 10, 2020

Thank you so much Cheri:D I appreciate your words!

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💗💗💗💗 Amazing story! Especially the ending, " But I built her back up again. She was back up again." Great share! ^^

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Yoomi Ari
18:21 May 04, 2020

Thank you!!:D ❤️

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No problem! :)

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Roland Aucoin
12:44 May 02, 2020

A sweet and gentle story. I read it slowly to let the words paint pictures in my mind. Truly lovely.

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Yoomi Ari
14:42 May 02, 2020

😊 Thank you so much:D

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Leila Adams
10:06 May 01, 2020

Beautifully written

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Yoomi Ari
16:20 May 01, 2020

Thank you! Love your profile pic: cute!

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Tina Laing
00:53 Apr 29, 2020

Your story is nice and I like reAding it. Keep up the good work

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Yoomi Ari
13:19 Apr 29, 2020

Thank you so much!:)

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14:00 Apr 28, 2020

Great job on the story as always. I love the new name. Cool change!

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Yoomi Ari
14:42 Apr 28, 2020

Thanks Abigail. My name was getting too old!:)

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Maggie Deese
18:58 Apr 27, 2020

This was a fantastic story, Mariyam! Lovely descriptions and details throughout. The imagery showcased so much passion, as well. You are such a talented writer, I really enjoyed this! Would you be willing to read a story of mine and give me feedback on it? It is called "Awake"! Thank you so much!

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Yoomi Ari
21:20 Apr 27, 2020

Thank you! Such a nice comment, made me smile:) I would be over the moon to read your story! Thank you so much!

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Maggie Deese
21:32 Apr 27, 2020

You are so welcome! :)

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Yoomi Ari
21:49 Apr 27, 2020

:)

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Cynthia Scott
02:15 Apr 26, 2020

I loved this!!! You did an awesome job on it. So much passion and imagery throughout. I enjoyed reading it 😊

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Yoomi Ari
10:52 Apr 26, 2020

Thank you! :)

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Ujiro Asagbra
14:43 Apr 24, 2020

Amazing. loved the story. Would you take some time to read mine and let me know what you think and how i can improve. Thank you.

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Yoomi Ari
18:31 Apr 24, 2020

Thank you for your comment! And yes, I’ll look at your story😀

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Riddhi S.
20:27 Apr 28, 2020

Exceptional story, as always...hope you check out mine! :D

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Yoomi Ari
21:12 Apr 28, 2020

Thank you! Will do:)

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