Neighbor

odriscollphoto.photoshelter.com

odriscollphoto.photoshelter.com

It was if time froze and the silence was chilling as she stepped through those church doors and began walking down the aisle, her pace was slow and deliberate, she held her head low, sneaking looks as she passed by each pew. She was all dressed in black, a long laced transparent gown with a small trail, an equally long sheer chiffon veil, but she wore bright red lipstick. It was if she was dressed for a funeral, considering her “life style” maybe she was, ours.

All prayers, the choir singing hymns, the organist, the priest, just stopped to watch her as she finally approached the alter, knelt, and seemingly mumbled what was some sort of prayer, the question was was it a prayer or some sort of curse. After “reciting” a brief prayer she performed the usual ritual of crossing her heart, she turned around facing the congregation and gave a shy smile, or was it a smirk.

She walked just as slow and purposeful up the aisle as she did walking down. All eyes focused upon her movements as she paraded up the aisle and out those church doors.

 

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The Yearbook

commons.wikimedia.org

commons.wikimedia.org

She thought she was slick. She somehow managed to hide it among the stack of books we were giving away to Goodwill. She was so glad to find an organization that accepted used/slightly used books, we had so many books, how did this collection become so massive, it was as if our small house was a library. Despite the many boxes of books, our collection was still quite abundant.

The guy came to pick up the donation, he decided to go through the pile, he thought he claim a few before bringing the books to the site. As he was combing through he managed to find it, nestled somewhere in the middle, making it hard to find, my mother’s yearbook. “I don’t think you mean to get rid of this,” he said. I looked at him then at my mother who just shied away. He gave me the yearbook. “I’m sure it was a mistake, we were just gathering a lot of books we no longer read or needed.” I eyed my mother as she was avoiding eye contact. The guy gather the donations, his selections, and made his way to his continue his delivery assignments.

“You tried to give away your yearbook?”

“It was mistakenly put into that pile.” She walked away, but I knew better.

After I graduated from middle school, I understood the reason she wanted to get “rid” of her middle school yearbook. I’m sure she hated middle school just as much as I did. I was bullied in elementary school and foolishly thought it would get better once I graduated to middle school, it did not, it got worse. My middle school years were the worse, I was bullied everyday, I dreaded school, I could not wait for the day to be over and it seemed like the days just became longer and longer, I was so glad to get home, but I knew this moment of “happiness” was short-lived because the next morning, it was starting again, the bullying.

Year after year did not get better, it seemed that the years got worse, but I have to admit the third year of middle school was not quite as bad, but nevertheless, I probably was the only person (maybe not) that was looking forward to high school. Even though I hated my middle school my mother “made” me purchase a yearbook. “Why should we spend money on a year book on a school I really hated, so that I could be cursed for the rest of my life?” “No for the memories, you had some good memories of middle school, didn’t you?” I did not understand my mother, she held on to her year books as if they were cherished memories but she treated “them” as if they were curses. In many ways I’m sure they were (as they probably were for many people) I wonder how many times she wanted to burn those books as I tried to burn my middle school year book and almost burned down the house.

My mother and I moved a few times in our life time carrying the curses with us, now that my mother have passed I have her curses and mine too. Maybe I will be invited to a bonfire one day and I will carry a few presents for the fire.

 

This post is in response to the first week assignment of Writing 201 finding your angle. That element that makes your story unique, different, fresh. I’m not sure if I successfully succeeded with this assignment, but the writing process is a learning game and I’m sure I need more practice, more tweaking.