Pollen spreads, planting the seeds.
Innocent buds grow in a garden of youth.
A baby screams, screeching its greeting to the world,
Bright eyes open, embracing the wonders life has to offer.
Yellow petals yawn, blossoming into bright colors.
Thin petals stretch, face greeting the looming sun.
A young child sighs, the passage of puberty assaulting her senses.
Hormones rage, growth increases, personality blooms.
Dark clouds eat away at the light, casting shadows over a tender garden.
Insects loom, assassinating hope and life in their wake.
The beeping of a monitor now replaces childlike sounds,
Laughter is silenced, romance ended, innocence tainted.
Petal by petal,Leaf by leaf,
Each tiny piece now scattered on the floor.
Strand by strand, curl by curl,
Each distinguished lock replaced by subtle smoothness.
Doctor by doctor,Nurse by nurse,
Each diagnosis bringing as dim as the last.
Needles and shots,Chemo and pills,
Each medication performing it’s part.
Petalless flower, Hairless head,
Identity stolen, wonder lost.
Drooping stem, silent sounds,
Empty garden, laden tomb.
this is literally college just so you know
Rain harassed the sealed windows of a house that was once full of life, laughter, and love. While deep scarlet curtains were drawn shut, the woman facing them knew what world waiting beyond them would look like. She could picture the angry clouds rioting above her tiny cottage, their depressing tears staining the vibrant yellow window ledges decorating the front of her home. She could almost feel the wind as it attempted to rip away the wood surrounding her windows and their ledges. With each gust, each forlorn scream from the storm outside, she felt a piece of her soul float away. While she mourned in silence, the storm beyond her windows voiced her contempt and hurt.
She could feel the translucent hair on her arms rise as he approached her. His presence always sent chills through her body. Her heart began to race as she felt his hands slide around her waist and pull her body to close to his. As an audible sigh escape his lips, she pressed her back against him, pulling his arms tighter around her. She wanted to feel his grip pulled as firmly around her as possible. For this moment, this fleeting moment in time, she wanted to feel secure in his arms.
“I was worried when I awoke next to empty space.” his voice sounded as if years of smoking had stripped away its youth, leaving nothing but the brittle, broken remains. His tone, however, was a different story. His tone was similar to that of a child that had misplaced a favorite toy. He seemed confused, frustrated, and perhaps even angry. His grip around her shifted from secure to suffocating, his arms constricting tighter until a stifled whimper escaped his victims throat. As a frown began to creep its way onto his face, he spoke again. “You know it upsets me when I don’t know where you are.” He whispered to her, each word sending sharp pangs of fear through her core.
“The storm woke me up, and I didn’t want to disturb you.” She whimpered, her voice resembling that of a beggars. “I was going to make you breakfa-” She was cut off as he shoved her fragile body away from him. The sudden movement caught her off guard, causing her to lose her balance and fall. An audible thud cut through the silence as her body met the stark red wood beneath her. She turned her head to a looked up at him and was finally able to see his face as he glared down at her. “You know, when I first met you, you were something special. I remember the look on every man’s face as you sat down at my table, a smile on your face. I was once proud to call you mine. I had a woman that knew what she wanted and went for it, a woman that didn’t care about other people’s opinions. What happened?!” He was snarling now, his voice full of a vile disdain as he glared at the pitiful creature at his feet. “The day you accepted my proposal, I couldn’t have been happier. I was clearly wrong. You turned out to be full of lies! LIES! Ever since the day we married, you’ve done nothing but embarrass me and expose the true woman you are… A weak, useless coward!” His face had begun to turn red with rage, but the anger was seceding to disgust. “You look repulsive. Normally, I would just leave you here to sulk in your shame, but the boys are coming over. I don’t care how much make-up you have to cake on, but dammit you’re going to look presentable. I refuse to let them see how far you’ve dragged me down.” With one final look at the woman on the floor beneath him, he turned on his heels and returned to the room he’d awoken in.
The woman watched his figure disappear into a dark room, cringing as the heavy door concealing it met its frame. She remembered the day they met as well. She could still see him lounging effortlessly in an iron chair. His blue eyes wouldn’t leave hers as she made her way across a brick walkway to his table. The restaurant he’d chosen to waste his time at had been her ultimate destination as well, so why sit alone when she could attain the company of such a debonair man? Since her wedding day, she’d regretted her bold decision. Since her wedding night, she’d realized what kind of monster she’d given herself to.
The sound of thunder brought her back to the present, her body cringing at the violent sound. Her movements were robotic as she rose from the floor and silently made her way towards the bathroom. As she moved along, she found that everything she passed had a negative memory attached to it. She could still picture the carnage left behind by his most recent tantrum, carnage consisting of detailed vases, iron picture frames, and her dignity. As she moved, she ran her hand along the wall framing her pathway. The feel of wood, rough and gnarled beneath her hands, seemed to help her focus on the present task at hand instead of the oppressing thoughts running rampant in her mind. She could feel the smooth, polished wood flooring beneath her, its cool temperature sending miniscule bumps running along her skin. The door knob she grabbed had been a bright gold in its youth, but countless assaults had turned it into a dented, scratched thing. The lock she’d used to restrict him was now useless, its audible click serving no purpose other than comforting the woman that now stood on the other side of it.
Finally inside the sanctity of the bathroom, she finally allowed hot tears to escape her eyes. By the time she’d drawn her bath and removed her clothes, her tears had begun to run dry. The sting of the hot water she’d lowered herself into caused them to gather again, but sheer willpower contained them. With tender care, she scrubbed at her once flawless skin, attempting to clean off the stark purples and fading yellows along her mid-section and legs. With a resigned sigh, she rose, wrapped her defeated body in a towel, and watched as her efforts disappeared down the drain with the soiled water.
As she seated herself at her vanity table, she allowed her towel to slip off and finally drank in the grim sight that created her reflection. Her fingertips lightly kissed her skin as she traced the bruises along her chest and stomach. She could still see the light pink outline of fingers around her neck. So far, everything she’d found could be covered with clothes or makeup. Everything on the surface would heal, but her reflection illuminated more than physical scars. The woman that stared back at her was lifeless. Brown eyes no longer contained a sparking fire. Ivory skin that had been dewy and soft in her prime had been replaced with a clammy, washed out counterpart. Her reflection moved in time with her, identical hands running fingers through dull red hair. Curls that had been tamed now danced freely about her face, cascading into twisted tangles just below her shoulders.
He’d stolen so much from her, but in a way she’d let him. She’d allowed her love and his affections to cloud her judgment. She’d known of his temper from the beginning, but she’d never feared him. As the bondage of marriage began to constrict more than her finger, she’d been exposed to the true beast he had been becoming. She could feel what was left of her soul crying out to her, pleading with her.
The reflection that now stared back at her was now primed for exposure. She’d highlighted her features, restrained her curls, and hidden any signs of distress. As her past stared back at her, she felt a resilient strength build up inside her. Anger flushed her cheeks and a spark lit up her eyes. She jumped to her feet, knocking her chair to the checkered marble flooring beneath her. She would no longer allow him to raise his hand in fury at her. She would stand strong.
“Woman!” His voice shook through her, shattering like glass the thin layer of confidence she’d built inside her chest. One day she would leave. One day she would fight back. That day would not be today.