Friday, August 10, 2007

Story Time

She is alone, or is she? Sleep's the only freedom that she knows, but even that has abandoned her. Hard to say then, whether she was sleeping or not when a childhood friend comes to visit and turns her life around.

Shay O’Neal plunged herself into her worn-out, yet, comfortable sofa. The warm California sun eased its way out of another day. It was D-day for her—the first day after the divorce was final. She was alone, or so it seemed. Was she the only one who had failed so miserably at a marriage, not to mention the embarrassing attempts to win him back? And the questions that now haunted her were setting her up for another defeat.

Can I raise two teenage sons alone? Will they let me? What will we eat? Where will we live? Will I be alone forever? Who would want me now, anyway? One of the songs her husband wrote played over and over in her mind. A voice she didn’t want to remember.

I’ve given all that I can give
Now I’m down on my knees . . .
Hello sadness, I see we meet again.
Hello madness, my old friend.

She switched the off button on and thought candidly of her life. For the last fifteen years (her career sacrificed for her family) she had been a stay-at-home mom. Now she was desperate to find a job. But the working world had passed her by. Her qualifications simply did not meet the requirements anywhere. Shay O’Neal, single mom, longed to escape after a day filled with rejections.

She heard her sons argue. “Ask next time!”

"I’m home!" she hollered. Should she try to stop them now before it came to the usual full-blown battle, or let them work things out? Even the effort of having to make that decision added to her exhaustion.

Her sons’ angry words blurred in and out of earshot. “You never ask me! You take whatever you want!”

She decided to let it go. No point in a defenseless person entering the battlefield. The old sofa held her frailty for a few more minutes. The fighting continued.

Glancing around the living room Shay realized her early morning attempt at cleaning had failed. She leaned back, pulled her knees to her chin and embraced them with her tired arms.

By eight o’clock her children had worked out their differences, as best they could. Each found sanctuary in their respective rooms with their own choice of music. Both of which was noise to her ears. She drifted for another hour and thought, another day, almost over.

Shuffling through the kitchen door she found dinner dishes screaming with an unclean vengeance. The floor begged for a mopping. Who’s to know? The tiles are fading anyhow. Nonetheless, she picked up the mop and began to clean. The small of her back tensed up and she wondered if all those perfect wives with their wonderful husbands and well-behaved children were cleaning house at nine in the evening.

When the clock struck midnight she granted herself much needed sleep. But sleep evaded her as all the worries of her future, and those of her sons’, loomed heavy on her heart. The emotions flowed with silent tears and flooded her complete being. If only she could escape. She knew, of course, there was none.

Then, in the darkness of the early morning, a voice whispered.


Lady G~ said...

Lady Gatekeeper, is this your writing? It tugged at my heart. My eyes welled up with tears.

I know what being lost feels like. I thought I was living, but I was really just going through the motions. All that changed when He came into my life.

I look forward to reading... the rest of the story.

The Gatekeeper said...

Hi Lady G. Yes, this is my writing. Click on the link on the bottom to read the rest. Thanks for all your encouragement.