• Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 26-Fade to Black

    Why is it taking my mother so long to respond to this text?! It would be my luck that in my moment of crisis, my mother is off fixing someone else’s fuck up. A chilly gust of wind dances around me. I pull the jacket’s hood over my head as my phone vibrates. Finally, my mother responds.

    I told Susan about the tumor.

    Oh. My. Damn. Heat rises from the pit of my stomach. After taking some very deep breaths, I call my mother. The phone barely rings once before she picks up.

    “Now before you start screaming…”

    I’m so livid I throw manners to the wind.


    Silence. I’m pretty sure Mom is carefully crafting her next sentence.

    “Susan called me to express concern over your recent change in behavior. She’s worried about you, but you’re too busy forcing me to keep promises to give a shit!”

    I hate when she’s right.

    “I’m sorry Mom. I’ll talk to you later. I need to check on Susan.”

    “Okay sweetie. I love you.”

    “Love you too.”

    I place my phone in my pocket and go back into the building. It feels like it’s taking forever for the elevator to come down. Good grief. On the way to the 22nd floor, I check my work email. All good feedback about the video game. With a smile on my face, I get off the elevator, walk down the hall, and insert the key into the lock.

    Pushing the door open, I see Susan down on the ground. She isn’t moving and a small pool of blood is next to her. As I rush to her aid, I feel a sharp blow to my head and I fall down. I reach for Susan’s hand before everything fades to black.


  • Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 22-She Knows

    Video conference is finally over. I quietly do a happy dance, while stretching my aching body. Between Susan’s proposal and the launch of this new video game, I can’t wait for the next couple of months to end. Hopefully, we’ll be able to slow down and prepare for the baby’s arrival. There are classes, shopping trips, and books to read. Just thinking about it all is making me ravenous.

    I head into the kitchen to make my specialty: brown sugar ham and white cheddar sandwich on honey wheat bread. Yummy!  Happy that I’m feeding the beast, I take generous bites while blindly reaching for my phone on the counter. The phone isn’t there. I guess I left it in the living room. Tiptoeing through the room in search of my phone, I see one phone is on the coffee table. The other is rising and falling on Susan’s stomach.

    I grab the phone and walk back to the kitchen. Activating the phone’s home screen, I realize that I have Susan’s phone. I have no idea what we were thinking when we brought identical phones after the coming out fiasco. Way too confusing. I get up and swap Susan’s phone with the one that’s on her stomach. Why it’s there, I have no idea. She probably thought it was her phone.

    Walking back into the kitchen, I activate the phone’s home screen. I check my text messages looking for feedback from the meeting. Nothing received from my coworkers, but I notice a recent text from Nick.

    Just pay her the money Ashley.

    I don’t remember reading this message before. The message came in while I was in my meeting. I didn’t have my phone in the den with me. If I didn’t read it, then it was Susan who read it. Shit, shit, shit!!!!

    She knows.

  • 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.

  • The Complexities of Life

    Thankful: F-less State of Mind #XD31

    I am a former people pleaser. I would go out of my way to do whatever I could to make others happy. Always being available when others needed me but in my time of need no one was around.

    The moment I realized that I was no longer going to give a f@*# about those who didn’t care about me was one of the best days of my life.

    Why waste the time and energy on undeserving people?