Trouble in Paradise

Stories We Tell

A Fictional Series

It’s not necessarily a good thing when the people you love think too highly of you. Dizzy always did, but that kind of changed the night of the spin the bottle game – when I broke down and told her that I had just as many fears as she did.

Maybe my fears looked differently than hers, but they were fears nonetheless. Even after that, Dizzy still kept me up on this unstable pedestal. And if that unstable pedestal is where a person wants you to be, you have to work twice as hard than you normally would – just to keep from falling off.

Once Martin and I started seeing each other, he did the same thing. I was either the coolest chick ever, the bravest woman he knew, or the prettiest girl in the room. At first I loved it, of course. What girl doesn’t want to hear those things from the man that she loves?

Before I go on, I should tell you that Martin and I never married. We talked about it, but neither one of us was in a rush. We were so young! We wanted to be together, however, so I moved in with him – into his tiny studio near the college.

While he studied engineering, I pursued my dream and ended up with one of the coolest jobs ever – working as an assistant to a somewhat famous fashion designer. I got pregnant not long after, and Martin really wanted to get married – but I needed time to think.

Our relationship was… well… the best relationship ever, but we agreed to wait until Delilah was born before talking about the big “M” again. It wasn’t until Martin told me that I’d be ‘the best mother in the world’ that I began to feel the pressure.

“What if I’m not??”

That was the question that I faced, and that was when fears that I’d never even known existed came rushing in to threaten my sense of security – and most certainly my position on the rickety old pedestal.

It felt like one of those giant boa constrictors had wrapped itself around my entire body – and every day it would squeeze me just a little bit tighter. And as much as I love my daughter, which is beyond words, Delilah was not an easy child.

Martin and I stopped talking about tying the knot after she was born. Honestly, I think that we were just too tired. But Martin still believed I could do no wrong.

When Delilah was about three or four, Martin took her to the grocery store. He came home all sweaty and freaked out. Apparently, Delilah had gotten out of the cart when he had his back turned. Then he couldn’t find her.

Once he settled down, he told me about how he’d heard a voice over the loudspeaker saying that they needed assistance in the produce section for a child without a parent. When he rounded the corner, there was Delilah – balancing on the orange display.

“She could have fallen!” He exclaimed. “That rickety old thing was so unstable it could barely hold her up!”

“I know just what you mean.” I said.

A Note From Me

I wanted to post this tonight, especially since I was able to use the Word of the Day Challenge: Display, but I’ve really had trouble with the end.

That being said, I posted it anyway – haha! I know what Levi was getting at, but I’m not sure I found the best way for her to make her point in that last sentence of dialogue. Anyway, it’s out there now… and soon we’ll learn more about the couple and this ‘pedestal issue’.

The illustration was a blast; I really enjoyed making a child. And her quirky behavior reminds me of one of my grandsons – the one who climbed a ladder to my son’s roof when nobody was looking -who was about the same age at the time. Scary! He survived though!

Anyway, I think that’s about all for now. I’m going to do a little more with this series, but I’m also looking forward to a new set of characters in another realm. I think I veered from my ‘different perspectives’ goal a little because the story is expanding so rapidly – so I want to get back to focusing on that.

Thank you for reading… I hope you enjoyed tonight’s addition and the image of sweet Delilah.

Until later,

Richer Stories

Stories We Tell

A Fictional Series

Having two brothers who were not much younger than many of my friend’s parents, it stands to reason that I had a niece and nephew before I graduated from junior high.

It was pretty cool to call myself an aunt, because it was like some weird rite of passage. With a delayed puberty, and no real love life in sight, I figured that it was as good as I could get.

When Delilah was born, on the other hand, it was mind blowing. I wasn’t just the aunt of my brother’s child, I was the aunt of my best friend’s daughter. 

If you add in the fact that Levi was my ‘first crush’, it almost sounds like we were members of one of those incestous clans from the south – or wherever they lived. But it wasn’t like that at all.

For a time, I decided that being remotely related to my best friend – via her daughter’s genes, was enough for me. I didn’t need to have a child of my own – or a love life for that matter – I could just be there to help Levi and Martin raise Delilah. 

Of course, all of that changed when I met my soulmate, who is now my husband. David wanted a two-story house in the burbs with a white picket fence, and he wanted to fill that house with a large family. Sadly, after two years of trying, we learned that I was unable to conceive. 

In all honesty, I wasn’t too surprised. Before we were married, I never had the kinds of visions that David had. Maybe it was some sort of premonition – not like something that I saw, but something that I didn’t see. 

Looking back on all of this, I see how similar David and Levi are, and why it is that I love them so much. They both have a knack for what I call ‘making do’. Like the time that Levi came to my Senior dance, even though she had nothing formal to wear. Did she complain? Not at all. And now, her story is so much richer because of it.

Likewise, if it rains on David’s parade, he sees it as an opportunity to try out his new umbrella, or to test his new galoshes in the puddle in our backyard – the same puddle that threatens to flood our lower level den whenever it rains more than a couple of days.

“We’ll turn it into a fishpond!” He said one year as the water began to seep in – nearly reaching our ankles.

With the same level of enthusiasm, David handled my infertility like a champ. He came up with a few ideas, and we oscillated between them for over a year. Once the decision was made, we were all in, and David couldn’t wait to share the news.

“Dizzy and I are going to foster a child – or two – or three!” He said with joy. “And if all goes as planned, we will adopt. One day our house will be ringing with the sound of children!”

That was quite a few years ago. And now, all I can say is that our story is not only richer… it’s more precious than gold.

A Note From Me

I don’t have much to say. Imagine that! I’ve been dog sitting part-time for the past three days and I’m worn out! Not just one or two dogs, but… like ten or eleven. Only for a couple of hours, but it’s still been stressful. I think it’s more of an emotional tired, because I worry about them when I leave (like did I accidentally lock one of them out of the house when I left?!?) Yikes!

Anyway, I hope you liked tonight’s addition to the story. I wrote the bulk of it while I was on the couch with one of the dogs. That being said, I had no time for an illustration, so I decided to use typography instead. So much quicker.

That’s about all for tonight.

Until later,
Peace & Love!

Word of the Day Challenge: Oscillating

Daily Spur Word Prompt: Foster

Circle of Life

Stories We Tell

A Fictional Series

Having a child is the ultimate game changer. No matter how crazy or mixed up life may be, it finally starts to make sense, and you’re able to grasp a hold of this concrete, unwavering sense of the reason you exist – to keep your child safe.

When I gave birth to my daughter, a wide array of feelings swirled around inside of me, both emotionally and physically. It was hard to believe that she was just one child, because it felt as though I’d swallowed an entire orchestra.

I experienced excitement, anticipation, worry… and pain. Sitting there on the hospital bed, finally understanding what labor really felt like, I was lost inside of my breathing, the whiteness of the room, and the smell of antiseptic.

Once she made her way out, however, the room transformed into a theater of brilliant spinning colors, and my baby was the star.

Harry was beside us, his eyes wet with tears, and he ran his fingers through her curly red hair.

“We shall call her Lavinia,” he declared.

While that was not the name that we had talked about months prior, I suddenly felt sad for Harry – that he hadn’t been able to feel her birth from the same mysterious and maternal perspective that I had – so I enthusiastically agreed.

Shortly after starting the second grade, Lavinia began to protest.

“I hate my name!” She would cry.

We tried explaining it to her – the story behind her name and what it meant to her father – but she would have no part of it.

Finally, when she was in the fourth grade, Lavinia came home from school and presented us with a card. The front consisted of a drawing she had made of herself, recognizable only by the red crayon hair, and on the inside she had handwritten a message:

“From this day forward, you shall call me Levi.”

We were impressed by her vocabulary more than anything else, but we were also acutely aware of her persistence – perhaps because she was our only child. So, Levi it was.

And now, some twenty years later, my baby is going to have a baby of her own, and I am over the moon excited for her.

The circle of life is a magnificent wonder, and like the brilliant colors that I imagined when she was born… around and around it goes.

A Note From Me

I can see that my images are becoming less cartoonish for this story – plus this one took far less time so I’m happy that I could hit ‘publish’ before midnight.

I’m also sensing that my story is being influenced by the show that I’m currently watching. I’m reminded of one of my favorite graphic design instructors who told us “Nothing is really original. We see things, we get inspired, and we borrow them – just be sure to make it your own.”

The show travels back and forth through time, which is the ‘borrowed’ idea. But the stories being told from different perspectives is my own.

Anyway, I started this segment out with the intention of Levi giving birth, but once I got started it seemed like it would be more interesting to go back to her own birth – before moving on to the modern era.

That’s about all I think.

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed the new addition – and the image!

Word of the Day Challenge: Orchestra