Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oral Dilemma: Etched

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 When we last left off with Roxy, she'd just found out that  her fiance' Luke had been killed. This  terrible news came the day her mother was buried, and on the heels of a fallout with her  father. There are times in life that seem overwhelming, like we can't possibly bear another thing. Yet, we go on. Sometimes  it leaves scars, other  times the scars are internal. 
The human condition  leaves us at the mercy of our emotions at times. 

Oral Dilemma: Etched
Ellie Mack

Read Part 1 here
Read Part 2 here
Read Part 4 here
Read part 5 here.  
Read part 6 here.
Read part 7 here.  
Read part 8 here. 
Read part 9 here.
Read part 10 here.  
Read part 11 here.
Read part 12 here 
Read part 13 here

Tara clung to the steering wheel terrified. I hated to do this to her. I wanted to tell her but I could barely manage breath between sobs. I clutched my stomach as I turned to the window, staring blankly out into the night. Trees sped by, I imagined every one to be a part of my life slipping away.
I began seeing bits of my life on each tree. Devon Miller taking Casey Reynolds to a dance. Devon taking Phoebe Yates to the party where I met Chad. Chad using me, lying to me and spreading videos of me doing slutty things that I thought were private. Summers lost in a factory. Training for long hours with Keith. Finding out Chad was cheating on me. Devon leaving for the military. Devon disapproving of my MMA fighting. 
We crossed the river - serene water.  Childhood memories, meeting Luke, training with Luke.
Forested scenery again: Mom. Fight with dad. Dad never there. Luke.
“ Tara, stop the car.” The tears continued but I realized my sister was all I had left in this world and I was being horrible to her.
“ Are you going to be sick?” She asked not turning her head.
“ No, well maybe. Just pull in up here and can you get us a soda or something then we’ll talk.” My lips trembled as I tried to quell the tears. “And get some extra napkins please?”
“ Sure Roxy” She sniffled. It broke my heart even more. While I waited for her to return I thought about what I would say, and how I would say it. Sooner than I expected she was back with two big bags of food and drinks.
She shrugged. “I was hungry”.
“ That’s ok, so am I.” I wasn’t really, but I hadn’t eaten for the past, well it was going on 4 days now. We sat in the car, and ate quietly. Well Tara ate, I picked at mine. I waited until I thought I could begin without crying uncontrollably again.
“Tara, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for yelling at you back there, for screaming at you the way I did. I know this has been hard for you as well. Losing mom and then the deal with dad and Tammy, well I've been really selfish. You’re all I’ve got now, and I don’t want to lose you.”
“What are you talking about Roxy? You’ve got Luke. At least you have a boyfriend. Tony broke up with me two weeks ago.”
I didn’t know. I hadn’t asked. I didn’t even know his name was Tony. I was a horrible sister. I bit my lip. “I didn’t know sis, I’m sorry.”
I sighed, taking a sip of the soda before I went on.
“No, Luke is gone. His funeral is tomorrow. I know you have classes, so you don’t have to go or anything but.” I had to stop, speaking the words out loud stirred up every raw emotion I felt.
“Oh my God! Roxy.” She leaned over and pulled me into a hug. I couldn’t help it, the sobs began again. Uncontrollable chest heaving sobs that wracked my body. She held me close for a long time and just let me cry it out. When I finally pulled back and wiped my eyes, two guys in a car alongside us were gawking.
By the crude gestures they made to us they thought we were making out or something. Tara rolled down the window and told them to “Fuck off assholes, my sister’s fiancee was just killed you morons.”
I chuckled at her frankness. I thought she was so clean cut and innocent, and it was the first time I’d ever heard her use any profanity. My nose red and swollen, with red puffy eyes I smiled at my sister. “We have each other, we’ll get through this.”
I turned in my seat, and took a bite of my burger. It actually tasted good to me. In no time at all I’d eaten the whole thing and scarfed down the fries. “I know this is terrible, but I could eat another one. I’m starved.”
“Yeah, we haven’t eaten much the past few days, have we?” She scrunched up her burger wrapper and tossed it in the bag. You want me to swing around the drive through and grab you another one?”
“Yes! That would be great. And a chocolate shake.” I licked the greasy salt off my fingers.
We’d get through this. I had to for her and I knew she was there for me.
Tara decided to go with me to the funeral. I’m glad, I’m not sure I could have driven. I sat beside his mother, she reached and held my hand while the minister gave the eulogy. The tears flowed and on my right side, Tara held my other hand, squeezing.
It was a closed casket funeral, I never really got to say goodbye. He was just ripped from my life and gone. His little sister ran up to me at the cemetery and hugged my legs crying. I knelt hugging her close. I was invited to join them for the holidays and I reassured her I’d see her again. We didn’t attend the wake, Tara and I drove back to my apartment. Well, to our apartment, that had been Luke’s apartment.
I walked in, it smelled like Luke. I went to the bed and collapsed on it, curled up as the tears flowed silently clutching his pillow and favorite shirt. At some point I’d removed my dress, and put on his shirt, and then his drawstring shorts. Several days had passed and I woke to the realization that I couldn’t smell him anymore.
I was frantic. I opened the drawer and took out another shirt, it was clean laundry not Luke. I searched until I found his jacket, slipping it on over the tee as I lay back down on the bed. I vaguely recalled Tara bringing me food, or urging me to shower. I didn’t go to class, didn’t go out, didn’t go to the gym. I couldn’t manage to leave that room. 
 There was some part of me that knew that if I did he’d be gone forever, and the rational part of me knew he already was. Grief is a strange bird, it makes you do illogical things.
At one point Tara came in to gather soup bowls, and glasses and stopped. She crossed her arms over her chest and scowled at me. “Roxy get up off that bed and go shower. You stink. You look like hell and I’m not waiting on you any more. You said we were here for each other and we’d get through. I need you and you’re not here for me. ”
I didn’t care. I did however make my way to the bathroom and tried to pee. I looked down at myself, creases of wrinkly loose skin hung on my frame. I stared into the mirror and what stared back wasn't me. Was it? In those few days I had aged thirty years or more, sagging skin, sunken eyes, matted hair. In those days I had lost myself, my grief consuming me like a living thing,  like a parasite eating my life away. 
 Tara was right, I looked like hell. She was also right in that I wasn’t there for her. I’d been so absorbed in my own grief I’d given up on myself. I no longer cared about myself but I had a reason to go on; to amend the wrongs against my sister. It wasn’t much but it gave me a purpose. 


  1. so sad Poor Roxie she has been through so much!

  2. Poor woman. I can certainly feel her grief. It rolls from the page. Well done.