• Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 30-Life Goes On

    “Why am I using this damn board to talk to you?!” I ask, waving the board in the air.

    Using her hand, Susan spells out LOL. I giggle before continuing.

    “From what the detective told me, the concierge called security, who went upstairs to the condo. Yelena was lying on the floor where we left her and immediately started talking. That’s when things got interesting.”

    Susan motions for the board.


    I pour her a glass of water. She takes a few sips.

    “You okay?”

    She nods. I continue.

    “Yelena tells the cops that she had an accomplice that was on her way to the condo to help ‘finish the job’. The cops decided that they would hide in the den and wait for the accomplice. Yelena opens the door for the accomplice. Lo and behold, your mother walks in with a very large handbag.”

    Susan takes another sip of water and motions for me to continue. I take a deep breath.

    “She comes into the room and asks Yelena where we are. Yelena panics and tells her that we escaped. Your mother gets pissed, telling Yelena that the plan is ruined, and that they have to find us. The officers, who were hiding in the den, walk into the living room, and start questioning your mother.”


    As I read the board, something clicks.

    “The officer mentioned that your mother kept saying ‘It wasn’t over’. I don’t understand what she meant by that.”

    Susan is frozen. I’m talking quiet as a church mouse, breathing shallow as hell. Before I can say anything, the doctor enters the room.

    “Hello ladies. Susan, I will be discharging you in the next half an hour. You can get dressed.”

    Excited, Susan raises her arms above her head and wiggles her fingers. Grabbing a bag from the closet, I hand Susan a change of clothes. Once I get her dressed, the nurse enters with a wheelchair. While she get Susan into the wheelchair, the doctor comes in with her discharge papers. After going over her at-home care plan, he wishes us well and leaves. The nurse wheels Susan out of the room, while I leave to get the car.

    Meeting them outside, I get Susan into the car, and thank the nurse. Susan motions for the board.


  • Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 21-Sleep Interrupted

    “Home sweet home!” I announce, dropping my bag and rubbing my belly. After a week in the hospital, I couldn’t wait to sleep in the comfy softness of my own bed. Collapsing on the sofa, Ashley closes the door behind us.

    “Have you spoken to your mother since her visit? She appeared to be in a hurry when I showed up,” Ashley asks, her heels clicking on the hardwood floor.

    My right eye twitches. She just won’t let it go. To avoid saying something I’ll regret later, I pause before responding.

    “No and she’s not going to speak to me until I make things right,” I mumble, rolling my eyes.

    Ashley groans.

    “You shouldn’t take this so lightly. I don’t play with Karma.”

    Her voice is shaky. Something is bothering her, but I know better than to ask her when she’s so anxious. I stand up and walk over to hug her. She brushes me away. Yeah…something is definitely weighing on her mind.

    “When you’re ready to talk about whatever is on your mind, I’ll be on the couch.”

    Sitting down with my feet on the ottoman, I reach for my laptop and cell phone from the sofa. Diligently typing away, I’m in the midst of finishing a proposal when my phone vibrates. It’s a text from Yelena. I would block her, but I find her threats quite entertaining.

    You’re going to know how it feels 2 b so close 2 having sumthin…just 2 have it b snatched away.

    I laugh and continue working. Ashley is in the den, participating in a video conference with her fellow video game programmers. That gives me at least two hours of time to work. Nodding off, I put the laptop and phone on the floor and stretch out across the sofa for a nap.

    Ashley’s vibrating phone disrupts my sleep. I get up and grab it from the kitchen counter. It’s a text message…from Nick. Why would Nick text Ashley? Curious, I open the message.

    Just pay her the money Ashley.

  • Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 19-This is a Warning

    “The baby is okay. You had a ruptured ovarian cyst.”

    That voice sounds familiar. Struggling to open my eyes, I can faintly make out my surroundings: hospital room, oxygen tube in my nose, and the the faint smell of vanilla mint. My mother is here. Geez, my mouth is dry. I signal for some water.

    “Here you go honey,” she coos, adjusting the bed position so I’m sitting up.

    Savoring the water, I wait for the coolness to hydrate my mouth.

    “Thank you. It’s nice to see you, but why are you here?”

    Never at a loss for words, my mother sits on the end of my bed. Dressed in a mint green caftan and gladiator sandals, she’s so zen. It’s disgusting, yet perfect for a humanistic psychologist.

    “Ashley called me. Told me that you’re having dreams about miscarrying, Yelena, and blood. I believe Karma, working through your subconscious, is trying to tell you something.”

    I roll my eyes.

    “Exactly what would Karma and my subconscious be trying to tell me?”

    I low key know the answer to this question already. My mother must have sensed it.

    “Have you and Ashley sat down and thought of the ramifications of your actions? What you both have done has affected more people than you think. Then, instead of facing the situation head on, the two of you disappear. Let me tell you something, you can run all you want to, but Karma will always find you. Let that marinate.”

    I open my mouth to speak, but my mother motions for me to remain silent.

    “This medical episode that you had is no coincidence. You and Ashley will continue to be plagued with issues until you make things right.”

    Thankfully, the nurse enters the room to give me another round of meds. I watch the liquid flow through the IV as I wait to drift into the clouds. My mother gathers her bag, kisses me on the cheek ,and heads towards the door.

    “This isn’t over Susan. It would be in your best interest to listen to me,” she warns, brushing past Ashley on her way out.

    Eyelids heavy, I drift off to sleep. Finally, some peace.

  • Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 18-Blood, Sirens, and a Text Message

    I run out of the bedroom, towards the living room. Susan is screaming bloody murder, her body stiff as a board.

    “Stop screaming!” I yell, grabbing her shoulders.

    Suddenly quiet, she points down to the sofa cushions. There’s nothing there. I’m confused. I sit Susan down on the sofa and grab a glass of water from the kitchen. I hand her the glass and watch her take a very long sip.

    “I…I…don’t know what’s going on with me. These dreams are really fucking with me. I swear I saw blood on the sofa right after I saw Yelena staring at me.”

    Yelena? Blood? What the hell is she eating before she goes to sleep?I can’t take four more months of this.

    “You’re going to the doctor and I don’t mean the OB-GYN.”

    Susan cocks her head to the side.

    “A head doctor? Really?!?! I’m not crazy! I know what the fuck I…”

    She faints. I elevate her feet and grab her phone to dial 9-1-1. As I speak to the dispatcher, she comes to.

    “Don’t move. An ambulance is on its way,” I instruct.

    Refusing to listen, Susan attempts to sit up. As she puts her left leg on the ground, I notice that there’s blood running down her right leg. With my free hand, I aggressively push her back down on the sofa.

    “Lie down Susan!!! You’re bleeding!!”

    I can hear sirens outside. I call the concierge to let him know that the ambulance is coming. I check on Susan. Her forehead is hot, she’s sweating, and a blood-stained spot  is forming on the sofa cushion. The concierge and paramedics are knocking on the door. Opening the door, I step aside and watch them tend to Susan.

    “Ashley, grab my purse, laptop, and phone,” she instructs with the oxygen mask on her face.

    Ignoring her, I quickly text my mother and Susan’s mother to let them know that we’re going to the hospital. Susan’s not going to be happy, but if she won’t see a stranger, perhaps she’ll talk to her mother.

    “Hello? Did you not hear me?”

    “I have your phone and purse. Work should be the last thing on your mind when your health is at risk.”

    Once Susan get situated on the gurney, everyone heads out towards the emergency elevator. As I follow them down the hall, the notification light on my phone is blinking. It’s a text from Yelena.

    “How’s Susan doing?”

  • Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 17-Karma, is that you?

    For 13 nights in a row, I’ve had a dream that some mystical force enters our home and steals the spirit of our baby, forcing me to miscarry. As soon as I start to bleed, I wake up from the dream. My blood pressure has been elevated every night since that first dream.

    Usually, I just lie awake in the bed but tonight, I decided to get some work done.

    I slip out of the bed and walk into the living room. Stretching out on the sofa, I grab my laptop and start working.

    “I’m making a doctor’s appointment. You’ve been up for the past three days in a row,” she whispers in my ear.

    Scared, I start flailing my arms and legs. I knock over my glass of water and accidentally hit Ashley in the face.

    “Do you have to sneak up on me Silent Ninja? I’m already jumpy as it is.”

    Ashley giggles while rubbing her cheek.

    “I’m sorry love. I rolled over and realized that you weren’t in the bed…again. Is heartburn keeping you up at night?”

    I wish it was heartburn. Guess this would be the time to tell her.

    “I’m having this reoccurring dream that some mystical force steals the spirit of our baby and I miscarry.”

    Ashley just stands there, blinking her eyes in disbelief.

    “I don’t know how to respond. Have you spoken to your parents about it?”

    I sigh. Under no circumstances do I want to tell my Buddhism-practicing parents about this dream.

    “No I haven’t and I don’t intend on telling them,” I respond without looking up from the screen.

    “Fine, don’t tell them. I’m making a doctor’s appointment later,” she says walking back to bed.

    After working for two hours, I start to doze off. I wake up to what feels like the warmth of the sun on my face. I open my eyes and see Yelena, eyes red with rage. I wake up screaming.

    Heart is racing, body is drenched in sweat. I feel something warm trickling down my leg. Upset that I peed on myself, I look back at the sofa. The spot isn’t yellow. It’s red.


  • The Complexities of Life

    Grateful: Karma #XD31

    Golden Budda Temple Phnom Phen Cambodia
    Golden Budda Temple Phnom Phen Cambodia (Photo credit: Captain Kimo)

    Despite all of the snark, karma keeps me centered.  With egoism taking over society,people are so concerned with themselves that they will abort moral standards. Karma is that constant reminder for me that what I put out in the Universe will come back to me. Whether it’s good or bad, it will come back to me.

    Peace amongst chaos.