It started with old shortening, Crisco to be exact. She never even knew Crisco could become old- however, apparently it can. She should have known the way it smelled like vinegar, but because she doesn’t eat it, she had no idea that vinegar smelling shortening is a bad thing. She only realized it when her husband took a bite of the pie and spat it out.
Any normal person would have felt bad, however, on this occasion it was the topping on the cake. She felt awful. Obviously, it wasn’t the bad apple pie as much as it was the other things going on in her life, however, somehow the apple pie is what brought on the brunt of her emotions. It’s been a month and she’s been down ever since.
She sat at the table, not saying a word, but staring off in space as she usually does. The kids were arguing over some Wii game and she didn’t even pay any attention to it. She was lost in her head. A long time ago, she was a verbal and outspoken person, however, as of late she doesn’t know where that person went. She found her mind to be much more interesting and far less revealing.
Often times she rendered it necessary to stay within her own mind because most people don’t think the way she does. This is not a good or bad thing, just factual. She’s a dreamer, but she’s also smart- that is a fact most people don’t understand about her. Many look at her as a flake, due to her inability to form the right words at the proper times, or due to her giggly nature. However, as flaky as she appears on the outside, is as smart as she is on the inside. She’s able to make things work and to construct ideas that others don’t typically think of. She’s definitely a creative type, however, with that comes the quirkiness that doesn’t appeal to others.
Regardless of all that nonsense, she just found it easier to think and then map it out on paper at a later time. That was her style. She sat at the table winding the spaghetti on her fork over and over again. Her husband, sensing the depths of her thoughts says to her, “Maybe we should get a divorce.”
She didn’t even look up at him. She sat there, twirling the spaghetti. Her mind was wildly at work. Her face didn’t flinch, but her mind was on overdrive. She thought about the reasoning behind her funk as of late. She realized she’s experienced far too many deaths. There have been at least 6 in the past three months. She took a deep breath. She’s never dealt well with death.
Most wouldn’t assume the deaths she’s felt would have impacted her as profoundly as they did. Sure, you meet people here and there and they die. However, she’s a person that allows people to impact her deeply. She believes every life matters and each person touches another, metaphorically speaking, as she’s not the “touchy feely” type. Typically, though she’s quite quirky, most people warm up well to her and her to them. So when death happens, she hurts in her soul more than the average person.
Her mind was thinking harder. It dawned on her that somewhere in the distance her best friend said something about divorce. She absentmindedly pulled off her wedding band, feeling the cool metal touch the wrong hand as she placed it next to her plate on the table. She remembered getting that thing. It wasn’t a large expensive ring, the type all of her friends doted on and on about. Hers was small but beautiful. Hers meant something. It came from a place when he was making just over minimum wage while he was in college. It took him almost everything he had to pay for that ring. She thought about the meaning behind it and her throat quivered.
She then thought about how far she’s come from her past. She was 21 when she got her ring, and just a few short years before that, she had overcome the most intense pain one could ever face. She remembers the knives and the gun and the vomit mixed with blood. She remembered screaming and praying, hoping to survive. The man, dark and cruel, devoured her lustfully. She would never sleep the same way the rest of her life, however, that was not important. Her mind traveled to the place where she didn’t allow it to go very often. It only went there when she was in a terrible funk, the funk that she was feeling today. She allowed her head to remember her deepest pain because it helped her with any other pain that could possibly follow. She was a survivor and remembering this allowed her to cross any road block that ever came at her.
The bleak and horrible pain she’s endured gave her the courage she never knew she had. If it wasn’t for that gruesome scene, she would have never been able to be the mother she is today. She takes pride in raising her children with love. Additionally, if it wasn’t for her pain, she would have never continued her education. She would have just been a high school graduate her entire life. Instead she was a USC grad and even though that doesn’t mean much to the naïve people living in West Michigan, she knows in her mind what an honor that truly is. That was just proof that she was indeed intelligent.
One tear fell down her check as she sat at the table. One. It paused by her lips and as she squeezed her mouth together, she could taste its salt reminding her that it was there. She took a deep breath, knowing that whatever pain she has to deal with in the future, she could handle, based off her past alone. She picked her ring up off the table and slipped it onto her finger.
She glanced up at her husband, smiling just a little. “Thank you.” She said.
“Feel better?” He asked her, gently holding her hand.
“Much.” She took a deep breath and excused herself from the table. He followed her to the kitchen as she took care of her plate. He grabbed ahold of her and pulled her head into his chest.
“I love you, you know.”
“I know.” She said, adding, “You’re my best friend.”
He kissed her softly and said, “Get some rest. You need it.”
She went upstairs to bed, thanking God for allowing her to be understood so beautifully by her husband. He reminded her that things could get worse and that is exactly what she needed. She yawned heartily as she pulled the blankets up to her neck. She was ready to take on the world after a good night’s sleep.