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Seeing Through the Scars, Part 2

            When Charles learned about this power of his, he stopped mentioning it to his parents. When he had first brought it up they had told him about how ‘creative’ and ‘intuitive’ he was to figure out how his father had received the scar. They did take him to see a psychiatrist at one point, but the man had only said his ‘condition’ was just a coping mechanism.

            “Children are rather unique that way. They like having structure in their lives, a way to explain the world. I feel the way Charlie dealt with the issue concerning his friend was very constructive, and healthy even. Other then the trauma she has experienced; he seems like a very well-adjusted little boy. He must be very observant of his surroundings to even figure out how you received your scar,” the old man had explained. He’d been very kind, and to his credit Charles could say the man had at least listened to him. Even if he had not believed him when he said he could ‘see through the scars’ of other people.

            Charles had kept his secret to himself ever since, but he still had days where he would accidentally brush up against someone or touch a hidden scar and ‘see’ how they received it. Perhaps the blessing hidden in disguise was that there was nothing crippling about his condition. It wasn’t like he was burdened with the knowledge of the future, like seeing someone he loved die right before his eyes. He wasn’t Superman living in a world made of cardboard or Batman coping with the death of his parents. Other then the odd vision now and again, he’d led a perfectly normal life.

            When he’d made his decision to go into massage therapy Charles had long considered what that would mean for him. He would be placing his bare hands on strangers almost every day for the rest of his life. The idea of experiencing one of those visions in such clarity like he had with Shelly had terrified him as a child, but as he grew older he decided to use it to his advantage.
            There were limitations to his powers as he came to find out later in life. Charles could only theorize about the matter since he had no one else to relate it too. He’d tried doing research, but nothing had come up other then being able to recognize certain patterns to wounds that were made by objects or people. Charles had done extensive reading in that area, but the material had been depressing. He had briefly considered going for a career in law enforcement, but the thought of getting into a gun fight made him feel ill. He even considered being a doctor, but after seeing how much time and dedication it would take he’d given it up too. He didn’t want to spend the rest of his life paying off student loans.

            He had finally settled on massage therapy as his career. This made sense to him since he’d be working with his hands, and on top of it he could still help people. There had even been times where Charles had been able to show the proper concern to someone he was practicing massaging on and pretend his unusual studies caused him to know how someone had received a scar. He got good at asking the right questions, acting very concerned, and learning to remain silent when the other person was talking. This and more helped him to cope with his unusual condition, and in the process he had been able to help people.

            Charles also started to learn more about his condition. He wasn’t sure, but he theorized the more clearly a person remember how they received their scar the clearer of a ‘vision’ he received when he touched it. There were scars he’d touched where he had only experienced a shadow of what the other person had been feeling at the time. The burn of an open flame simply felt as if a to warm hand had been placed on his arm. The cut on a finger just had the slightest of tingles when he’d shaken hands with one of his teachers.

            This helped him to come to terms with his condition, and in fact helped to make it easier. He didn’t have to worry about having visions that would cripple him mentally when he was doing his job. The experience with Shelly had been so vivid because it had happened so recently, and she’d been scared out of her mind at the time. Charles sighed and shook his head at the memory, trying to dislodge it from his mind as he pulled into his apartment place.

            Charles didn’t hold a lot of stock in cash beyond just using it as he would any other resource, but after living on his own for the last four years he was starting to get an idea of why people could become obsessed with it over time. Money was, in the grand scheme of things, what made the world turn around. Money was exchanged for food, shelter, entertainment, security, and other essentials to surviving. Anything more extravagant beyond the basics cost more money which meant more work, more time spent away from these activities, longer nights up studying…

            The entire concept Charles felt just created a vicious cycle in the long run. People were scrambling to make money, steal money, take money, and whatever else to get that sweet, sweet green. Charles shook his head at the thought and let out a hollow laugh as he pulled into his parking spot. He was tired from a long day’s work, and the last thing he needed was to be focusing on depressing thoughts. The world was screwed up as it was, there was no use for him to be dwelling over the problems of the world.

            Once he was parked Charles got out of his car and locked the doors with two swift clicks of his car keys. He double checked to make sure everything was locked before he made his way to his apartment. He could already hear his neighbors making a ruckus, music to loud, screaming at each other, and he just ignored them. He’d already put in a complain to the landlord several times about his noisy neighbors, but nothing had come of it.

            He felt a soft satisfaction when he opened the door to his small apartment. The air smelled like bacon and potatoes from that morning’s breakfast. He smiled to himself as he let the door shut behind him and he checked to make sure the deadlock was in place. Once he was sure no one would be breaking into his apartment he placed his laptop bag on the couch and flicked the lights on.

            Charles’ apartment was nothing special. He was renting a one bedroom with a tiny kitchen, an even smaller living room, and his bedroom. The bathroom was barely big enough for the tub inside of it and most of the time Charles just settled for taking a shower. He glanced at it, knowing he should jump in for a quick wash before head to bed. His hands still smelled faintly of lavender and other scented oils he’d used that day. No matter how many times he washed his hands or clothes they always seemed to still smell faintly of work.

            He sighed, not wanting to deal with the hassle. His lower back was starting to ache and he just wanted to go to sleep. He left his bag where it was, took off his clothes to throw into the hamper, and put on some shorts for bed. He turned the oven on and tossed a pizza inside to eat for dinner before flicking on the TV to watch the news.

            Charles only stayed up for a few more hours before he headed off to bed. Glad the day had finally come to a close so he could rest his weary mind. The moment his head hit the pillow his mind fell into a dreamless darkness. His thoughts swirling as they chased each other round and round in circles. His thoughts lingered on Shelly right before he took that next descent, wondering what had happened to her. Charles didn’t have the chance to pursue the thought before she two got swept beneath the veil of sleep. 
  “Okay, thank you, have a good day!” He said brightly as the last guest of evening left. He waited until the guest had entered their car and driven off before he closed and locked the sliding glass door. Good God, today had been busy. There had been several guests to the spa that day, and while he was more then happy to help them, he felt at times there should be some kind of rule about locking up early.

            “You already done for the day?” His friend Jazz asked. Charles nodded, walking past the brunette into one of the rooms. Jazz had been nice and already cleaned up the back room and the other massage rooms while Charles had been busy with their last guest. They were both fresh out of college from massage school and working at the ‘Remy’s Remedy’ all day spa. The ‘spa’ was more like two renovated buildings that had originally been a fast food restaurant and staffing agency. The restaurant had been the first to go out of business due to some health code violation and the staffing agency had been bought out. The current owner now, Remy, had bought everything for a song. After that he’d renovated the place heavily and turned it into the hellhole Charles found himself working in now.

            “Yeah, that was the last one. Mrs. Jonas keeps complaining about her back and ankles, but I think she just likes the attention,” Charles explained idly as he double checked each room. While it wasn’t necessary, three years in retail had told him to always double check to make sure no one was lurking in the area. Jazz in the meantime was double checking the parking lot to make sure no one was lurking around. They’d had a break-in last month from some crazy idiots who’d been drunk off their asses. Thankfully the owner had been there and kept a gun on him at all times. A few shots in the air had sent the idiots running and the police called, but nothing had come of it. Ever since Charles had been worried the men might come back and try to get them without Remy around.

            “I think she likes you. Maybe you should date her, she’s rich, right? You could be her pretty boy,” Jazz teased. Charles rolled his eyes and threw one of the sweat rags at him as he grabbed his laptop bag and headed outside. Even though he and Jazz were best friends from college, there were times Charles often considered the other man a nuisance.

            “No thanks, I’m not interested. She’s way out of my league. Way to pretty,” Charles stated with a wave of his hand. Mrs. Jonas, to be fair, was only around sixty years old, but with nearly a forty-year age difference that relationship would never work out.

            “You wanna head out for drinks? Today was hectic, and I know Sarah will be working tomorrow too. She’s nice,” Jazz stated idly. Charles unlocked the doors and let his friend out before he headed out with him. They were usually the last two people leave since they were the most senior members. The spa had only been opened for two years, but since it was the only place close to his house and paid decently Charles had jumped on board. Now he owned a slightly less shittier apartment. At least this one didn’t have cockroaches.

            “Nah, I’m trying to save some cash. I don’t want to be spending money I don’t have. I had to make sure I filled the gas tank this morning before I checked my bank account. I nearly had a heart attack,” Charles explained. Jazz scoffed, but didn’t press the issue.

            “If it’s not one thing it’s another, right?”

            “Yeah man, ain’t that the truth? See you tomorrow, don’t stay up to late,” Charles called. Jazz wished him a good night before they each got into their respective cars and drove off in different directions.

            Charles in the downtown area of Richmond. The area wasn’t horrible by any means, but there was usually some sort of drama going on in his apartment place. Drug deals going down, some person’s boyfriend or girlfriend cheating on them, children screaming at every hour of the day, and once Charles had even been forced to call the cops when a group of guys tried to break into his house. Well, okay, maybe he was being a little to kind. He lived in the shittier part of town, didn’t he?

            That was the thing with coastal towns, Charles thought idly. They were always a little to crowded, a little too noisy. Everyone was on top of each other vying to get out on top. The rent was too high, the pay to low, and the people worked to the bone. Charles himself knew it all to well, being from house to house throughout his childhood. His father had never been cruel to him by any means, but neither had he been supportive either.

            “My job is to be your father first and your friend second,” Charles imagined his old man saying. “That means making you as perfect as possible.”

            He’d have a heart attack if he saw me now, Charles thought as he stopped at a red light. He could already see a few prostitutes coming to stand outside. Some of them Charles thought were pretty decent looking. Jazz would often tease him he should ask what their rates were, but he wasn’t that kind of guy. He’d never pay for sex…or for companionship for that matter.

            Jazz thought Charles was a hardcore bachelor. And while Charles didn’t dissuade the notion, he also didn’t confirm it. The truth was, he actually had a pretty damn good reason for keeping people at a distance. He didn’t like to be touched and growing up and never even let a friend or teacher hug him. Even his own mother, the rare times he would see her, assumed he was being cruel when he didn’t do more then allow her to pat him on the back.

            The reason was due to the face when he touched a scar, he could see how that person got it.

            Charles had been around seven or eight when he’d first learned he had this power. When he was a little boy he would often play pretend with his toy dinosaurs with other kids his age. There was one girl he’d played with a lot, named Shelly, who had lived across the street from him. He could look back now and recognize the problems, but as a child he’d been unaware of what was going on. Shelly had always been nice to him, but during the night he could always hear arguing going on at her house. One time his dad had cold the cops demanding they do something about the problem parents, but Charles remembered nothing ever being done.

            Shelly had come over to play one day and Charles was happily pretending his parasaur was beating a T-rex in battle to defend its friend. He made bashing and roaring sounds with his mouth to make the battle more epic, but he stopped when he noticed a long scar along the back of Shelly’s leg. The scar had to be a year or more old, and looked like a fat worm had been shoved up underneath the skin. Charles stopped playing with his dinosaur toys, staring at the scar with a rabid fascination.

            “Shelly, what’s that?” Charles asked her. Shelly turned to face him, having been busy organizing a group of trikes into formation for a parade with a brontosaurus.

            “Oh, I cut myself by accident. Isn’t it big?” Shelly asked him with a bright laugh. Charles blinked, not understanding the humor as he pointed at the scar again.

            “It looks like a worm, it’s gross!” He declared with all the audacity of an eight-year-old boy. Shelly puffed her chest out as she extended her leg, pointing to it.

            “You wanna touch it?” She teased him. “I bet you’re not brave enough. It feels weird, I can’t feel anything, even when people pinch it,” Shelly bragged. Charles frowned as he gazed down at the scar. He hated anything that looked like a worm, it made him squeamish. Staring at the scar he imagined a big, fat, slimy worm coming out from underneath her skin and falling into the grass with a soft ‘plop’.

            “Okay,” Charles said uneasily. His voice shook as Shelly stretched her leg out for him to pinch it. Charles hesitated, his fingers shaking as he imagined the wormy scar twisting just beneath her skin. He laid his fingers on it gently to stroke it, the skin shockingly smooth beneath his hand. The skin looked as if it has been stretched thing underneath the scar, the tissue very tight and shiny beneath his fingers.

            When it happened Charles felt a strange sensation of seeing two pictures at once. It wasn’t like seeing a picture in his mind’s eye when he was imagining dinosaurs really having an epic battle. The only way his older self would describe it later on would be experiencing two planes of existence. The one where he was sitting in his front yard with Shelly stroking her scar, and the second one where he was experiencing the sensation of receiving the scar.

            He recognized Shelly’s father standing above him, yelling incoherently. He could smell the alcohol on the man’s breath and feel fury radiating off of him. Charles felt his legs trembling as he burst into tears, not understanding the anger or why it as directed at him.

            He’s not angry at me, he’s angry at her, Charles realized with a mild shock. In this instance he had become Shelly as he watched his, no HER father, pick up a knife and come towards her.

            He could hear Shelly’s mother screeching for her father to put the knife down, to leave their baby girl alone. It wasn’t her fault, she didn’t mean it, how could she know…? Shelly’s self-preservation seemed to finally snap, getting her to stand up as she continued to cry. Her little legs racing to hide in her close, the small crawl space the perfect hideaway when daddy turned into a monster.

            Charles felt the sting of the knife as if it was cutter into his own skin. The warm splash of blood down Shelly’s leg as her mom screamed even louder, screeching now as red stained the carpet. Crimson everywhere, dyeing her socks bright red like Santa’s suit. When the cut had come it didn’t even hurt, it just stung horribly. He felt Shelly turning her head to stare at the new gaping wound in her leg, saw the white gleam of bone as her mother came swooping down. Wrapping the wound up in thick sheets as she screamed for her husband to dial 911…

            “Charlie? Charlie, why are you crying?” Shelly was asking him. Charles had burst into tears on the front lawn, yanking his hand back from Shelly’s scar as he bawled his eyes out. He cried and cried until his dad came out to ask him what was wrong. Eventually asking Shelly to head home so he could bring Charles inside. He was put to bed that night with is favorite toy dinosaur and told to rest, they would see the doctor in the morning. His father asking over and over if Shelly had done something wrong or said anything mean.

            “Her daddy cut her with a knife!” Charles shrieked, his terror making him bawl even harder. His father had grown quiet at that, only to tell him he would have a talk with her daddy.

            The next morning Charles saw police cars outside Shelly’s house. He saw her taken away in a vehicle and her daddy put in handcuffs. There was more screaming and crying from her mother, but after that he never saw her again. It wasn’t until he’d touched a small scar on his father’s arm and seen him cut himself with the can opener and asked him about it did Charles begin to realize something more was going on with him. 

Cherry Blossoms (Short X-Men Fanfic)

Cherry Blossoms
I had to leave him.

Five years, and he’s still alive. I dunno whether to laugh or cry at that fact. With all the shit I put him through; the way I treated him when we first met. It makes me wonder what he sees in me. I wonder why he smiles every time he comes back from a heist as if he’s been thinkin’ of me the entire time he’s been gone. Each time I’ve left, lost control of myself, he’s always been there; waitin’ for me to come back.

I’ve gotta hand it to you, Rims, you got heart. A pure heart and one I ain’t deservin’ of. Sides, I knew when I came back that night, I couldn’t do it anymore. Told Scott I was quittin the X-Men. I was done playing superhero after he hooked up with Emma. As if Jean had never existed and he had never loved her. Replacin’ her with someone who had tried to turn against us at every turn.
That’s why I told you to forget about me. Why I lied, said what you and I had was fun, but it was about time you moved on. Found someone worthy of having that heart of yours. You irritate the hell out of me but still… I still love... I think about you all the time.

Don’t tease me. I’m not one for sappy poetry.

Seein’ as I’m out of the job, I decided to go to Tokyo. Got a few friends here who’ll help me find work. Hell, they may even put me in the same line of work you’re in. Seein’ as you’re the professional, let’s hope I learned a thing or two from you.
It’s been two weeks now since last I saw you and I’m staying at a hotel that overlooks the city. I see cars passin’ by below me like lighting bugs flittin’ about. What strikes me most is some of the crazy stuff kids are willing to wear these days. I swear I saw one girl who had managed to dye her hair seven different shades of pink. Nowadays, there isn’t just one color but different “shades” of everything.

“Nice to see you back, Logan-san.” I heard her long before I saw her. I could smell her a mile off though. Caught it on the wind as she was coming up. She knows there’s no sneaking up on me unless I’m half dead.

I turned around to see her. Yukio. She and I go way back; before I ever met you. Before I joined the X-Men I would visit Tokyo often. Mostly to visit Mariko’s grave, let her know I still love her. Still think of her all the time, actually. When I run into Yukio it’s usually because she wants me to help her with somethin’. To save a client, complete a job, whatever you want to call it. Afterward if I’m interested, she’ll invite me back to her place for a tumble.

I wondered if I wouldn’t take her up on the offer if it came up. I’ve worked with her from time to time since I met you. Stopped takin’ her up on those adventures between the sheets though after you and I got together, Rims.

“Can’t say the same for you, Yukio. You want somethin’?” I asked her. She gave me one of her cat-ate-the-canary smiles and sauntered towards me, swaying her hips. Can’t say I didn’t take one look before my eyes focused back on her face. Been a long time since I’ve been with an actual woman. Though, thinkin’ of you, Rims, always gets me hot under the collar like no woman ever has. But that’s getting into somethin’ I shouldn’t be thinkin’ about. I left you. You deserve better than me.

Yukio raised an eyebrow and reached up, running her long fingers over my stubble. I forgot to shave since I’d come to Tokyo. So I know I was beginnin’ to look more like the wild man people claim I am every day. At times I feel like one, have all my life ever since I can remember. To her credit, Yukio and I have always had an understandin’ between each other. Neither of us gets too close to the other. I don’t think she would be interested in me, anyway. I’m not exactly one of those pretty boys she likes.

“I saw you coming in a little while ago. Thought I might drop in and keep you company. Tomorrow I have a job to do with some ninja boys. If you’re going to be here a while…” She trailed off; throwing an arm around my neck and rubbing her leg between mine none to subtly. As open an invitation if I ever needed one. I was about to wrap my arm around her, say yes, and take her to the unmade hotel bed with me.

Then thoughts of you flooded my mind. Of you pressing your cigarette against my cigar because you don’t have a lighter. Standing framed in the doorway talkin’ to me post-battle about how I’m too reckless. Completely ignoring the fact you have at least a dozen cuts all over your body that are still bleeding while I’m perfectly healed. That one night you brought me back authentic Cuban cigars you had filtched from a target’s house because you knew I’d been wantin’ them for a long time. Of the first time you came to my room in the middle of the night. The first time we made love…

I gently pushed Yukio away. She frowned at this; her brow drawing down and wrinkling her face. She’s a beautiful woman, Yukio. Known for her wily ways and even crazier love making. She can also drop thirty ninjas in hiding in less than thirty seconds. Ten if they all fly at her at once. Jet black hair and sublime legs, she doesn’t look a day over twenty-five. Soft cheeks and even prettier eyes; she’s every man’s wet dream. That night, though, she wasn’t in mine.

“Thanks, babe, but not tonight. I ain’t in the mood.” I told her. She raised an eyebrow at that. I’ve never really refused her before so this was new. Even for me.

“Who’s the lucky lady? Anyone I know?” She teased, brushing her fingernails lightly down my arm. It sent a shiver down my spine, but I brushed her away. She doesn’t know how to do what you do.

“No. Doubt you ever heard of them. I came here to think, Yukio, nothin’ more. Maybe if I’m looking for some exercise I’ll come see you tomorrow.” I said, my smile coming easily. Yukio’s frown deepens as she shakes her head, giving me a pitiful look. As if I’m a dog who needs pettin’.

“I know a few stretches you could try. Help you relax so you can calm those thoughts in your head. A man like you has needs, Logan-san. You shouldn’t deny them when you have a chance for release.” She said, reaching up to stroke my cheek one last time. Then just like that, a second later, she was gone. She’d vaulted over the railing and was no doubt already scaling down the side of the building.

I sighed and turned back to studying the city. Eventually, I took out a cigar, not a Cuban unfortunately, lit it and blew the smoke into the wind. Watched it carry it away across the city wondering if it’ll carry across the ocean. Manage to get to the Xavier Institute where you are, pass through an open window, and you’d smell it. A faint scent on the wind. I wonder if you’ll know it’s me who blew that smoke when you catch the scent. Try to follow it to wherever I’m at. But by then I’ll be long gone.
I stayed out on the balcony until I couldn’t smoke my cigar any longer. I ground it out on the railing, tossing it over the edge. I left the sliding glass door open to let a cool breeze in from outside, stripping down to my boxers and falling into bed. I hoped to stop thinking of you for a few hours.

I slept good for the most part. At first I thought I was dreaming because I smelled your scent. It’s always been a balm to me ever since I began to realize how I felt about you. When you started to become more to me than my teammate. Tobacco and cinnamon lingering on my tongue like a candy before melting away. When I wake up I’m thinking it’s a ghost scent lingering in my nostrils because it hasn’t gone away.

That’s when I felt something warm pressing against my arm. My instincts kicked in and I rolled away off the bed, shooting to my feet. Popped the claws with a snikt, raising them above my head. A war cry already in my throat.

Only to see you sleeping there on my bed. Yukio stood there calmly, giving me a disapproving glare, a sword at your throat. For a moment my mind went completely blank, shocked to see you here in Tokyo. You were still fully clothed, even with your boots on. You were laying on top of the sheets, your head facing the side of the bed I had been sleeping on. Clearly you must have fallen asleep as soon as you found me. Completely passed out. Helpless.

“I was going to kill him when I saw him climb through your window.” Yukio explained, nodding towards the open balcony doors. It was still dark out, but I could see the sky beginning to turn a deep navy blue rather than black. Morning was coming.
“But then once he got in he just staggered over to the bed and got in next to you. I didn’t know whether to laugh or if this was some kind of nutcase.”

I clenched my fists; my claws itching to dig into something. Seeing the blade pressed against your throat didn’t help me to check my rage. You must have been out of it to not have noticed you had a tail. Seeing the look on my face, Yukio lifted her blade from your neck and put it away. Probably thinkin’ I wanted to end your life instead of her. Or wake you up and interrogate you. The thought crossed my mind to do that; to wake you up, demand to know how you found me.

I came around to your side of the bed and leaned over to study you. First thing I noticed were the bags under your eyes. You must have been up the past couple of nights with little to no sleep. By the way you were restin’ on the bed; I bet you probably did skip on sleep while lookin’ for me. You had lost a bit of weight since I had last seen you, too. I sighed, straightening up to look at Yukio.

“He’s with me, Yukio. I know this guy.” I tell her. Yukio looked even more surprised that I’m not more outraged. Finding a man in my bed in the middle of the night would usually because enough for a bit of an outrage on my part. Instead I glared at you, but couldn’t bring myself to wake you. You could at least sleep soundly for a while before I tried to wake you up.

“Really? You never struck me for the type, Logan-san. You know how to pick a pretty one, that’s for sure.” Yukio said, admiring you sleeping on the bed. I felt a flash of jealously that she would do such a thing. It must have shown on my face because she let out a chuckle, shaking her head.

“He must have been drunk to pick you, though. Or not right in the head I think. You don’t look like his type.” Yukio said to me. I snorted, shaking my head while still keeping an eye on you. My senses told me you were still deep in sleep.

“You don’t even know the half of it.” I told her. Yukio wished me good-bye before disappearing into the dawn.

I couldn’t really think of what to do now that we’re here. A part of me was happy to see you. Glad to know you still care, but another part of me isn’t so sure. A coward in me who wanted to sneak away while your eyes were still closed. Go hide in a cave somewhere so you can never find me.

You didn’t wake until late afternoon. That entire time all you did was shift over onto your side. I managed to take your boots off and set them next to my own by the door. A habit I picked up ever since Mariko even though there’s really no need for it now. I could toss them into a corner if I wanted to, but small things like that have just stuck with me.

You didn’t wake up all at once. I could tell you were awake, but you pulled the pillow down over your head to block out the light. After about ten minutes, you let out a sigh and stretched your legs. Your feet pressed against my hip, almost pushing me off the bed. Feeling me seemed to wake you up more and you pushed the pillow away; sitting up and staring at me.

Your hair was a mess. A nest for birds to lay their eggs in. I never understood why you insisted on keeping it long, but it just compliments your looks. Can’t remember how many times I woke up nearly choking on it when you slept with your back to me and I was stupid enough press up against you. Your red-on-black eyes were bright, now fully aware I was there.

I expected you to curse at me. Maybe to demand why I left. But instead you just stared at me as if surprised to see me. As if you had thought to wake up and find me gone.

Mon glutton?” You said in one breath. I couldn’t take it. I stood up and turn my back to you walk out to the balcony. I hadn’t heard that nickname in two weeks. You’re the only person who’s ever called me that.

“Don’t.” I growled out, refusing to look at you. Refusing to turn around because I knew I’d break.

“Don’t you dare, Remy. I told you to stay there. We’re over. Why can’t you understand that?”

I heard you get up off the bed and walk towards me. I growled when I heard you come closer. You stopped, only three feet behind me. Damn, your scent was still in my nostrils. Driving me crazy close to the edge where I don’t need to be.

“I dare, cher, because I can.” You said. I was surprised. You usually don’t talk like that.

“How did you find me?” I asked to cover up my raw wounds. The ones opening up in my heart and beginning to tear at me on the inside.

“Followed your trail, cher, not that you left much of one. Remy got lucky when he came to the airport. One of the personnel had seen your photo. Been chasing after you for three days straight non-stop to catch up with you. Could barely see straight when he finally found you here.” You said this last part with no doubt a self-satisfied grin on your face. I refused to look at you, but I could hear the expression in your voice. I know you so well I can almost finish your sentences by now.

“You didn’t sleep at all?” I asked despite myself. At this you gave a tired laugh as if I was being stupid. Which, at the moment, I probably was.

Non, mon glutton, not one wink of sleep for de Gambit. He had a valuable quarry he had t’ chase down, did he not? Now dat he’s here t’ough an’ has you in his grasp, what d’you plan t’ do next?” You asked, sauntering up close to me. I fixed my gaze on the horizon, curling my fists.

I didn’t give you a warning. No quarter to defend yourself as I spun around, already aiming to punch you in the gut. Next to clock you in the head so you’d be knocked out cold. But you’ve always trained with me. Been my partner in battle even when I never wanted you there. You saw my punch coming a mile away and blocked it, taking a step back as I swung my other fist. It met nothing more than open air.

I came after you charging, letting out a roar of defiance as I popped the claws. You continued to give ground until you were in the middle of the room. Right then, you stood stalk still, watching me come at you unflinchingly. I swung my left fist up, claws whistling through the air. Still you did nothing. They came closer, I was going slow to give you time to strike back. To send me flying over the edge of the balcony, plummeting twenty stories below.

Instead you stepped into the punch, reached up and caught my fist. Each finger delicately placed between the claws. I push, but I don’t put much strength into it. With you in front of me, I never really throw my full strength into those punches. You’re tough as nails, just like I am, but I spoil you in that way. You know I hold back, but you’ve never called me out on it. Just went along with it, knowing you were still learning despite me going easy on you.

You leaned forward and kissed me under the chin. Just like our first one, the one you stole for me. At that I cursed, withdrew my claws and yanked my fist out of your hand. Took a step back as you continued to stand there studying me. It was my one weakness with you. Something only you know. That kiss under the chin always melts me. I can be pissed as hell at you and all you have to do is give me that kiss. And all the anger will fade away, leaving me glaring at you and knowing I can’t do shit about it.
“What?” You said, pretending to sound innocent when you ain’t. I could practically see your inner self cackling at how easily you have control over me.

“You fought dirty, Rims.”

Non, Remy fought fair!”

“You cheated.”

“How did he cheat?”

Kissing in the middle of a fistfight?!”

“Well, cher, when the snikt sounds all bets are off.”

You said this smugly, smirking at me and knowing you had won. I cursed, going to turn away from you to grab my stuff. Intending to leave whether you liked it or not.

You grabbed my arm and it was like a vice. Even though I could easily yank away from your grasp, I didn’t. But I still refused to look at you even as you took a step closer. Your voice grew softer as you talked to me.

“Logan, please, don’t leave.” I gritted my teeth, trying to resist. To hold back.

“You can at least face me like man, Logan!” You yelled this. One of the few times in a while you’ve been angry at me. Angry enough to vent your frustration at me when I’m the cause of it. I sighed, turning to face you.

“What do you want me to say, Rims? Want me to say I’m sorry? Look, I can’t stand it anymore. Just because I left doesn’t mean-“
“Remy quit too. Or, well, was retired early.” You said as an afterthought. I blinked, confused now as you said this.

“What? You liked working for the X-Men, Rims! Why would you quit? You bring a lot to the team.” Now you had my full attention. You let go of my arm as I turned to fully face you as I spoke.

“Dis was long befo’e Remy even knew ya meant t’ quit, cher. It was buggin’ him, what Scott was doin’. It was as if… He lost sight of the true purpose of the X-Men. Besides, he never liked de Gambit anyway. Even less so when he was wit’ you.” You told me with raised eyebrows. You were telling the truth. Scott had always been harder on you than he really should have been. I knew it wasn’t your fault all those mutants died. You were tricked and ever since have been trying to redeem yourself. I’ve come close to driving my claws through Scott’s thick skull more than a couple of times for the ways he treated you. If you ask me, you’ve more than redeemed yourself for what happened. Not like me, a man who can never be saved.

“So, what? After I left you just decided to show yourself out the door?” You shrugged your shoulders like it’s nothing.

“Not at first, no. Spent de first couple of days just trainin’ in de Danger Room, tryin’ t’ work out my anger. Figure out where it all went wrong. Den Remy made up his mind and told Scott he was leaving. Hank didn’t want yo’ Cajun t’ leave, and neither did Nightcrawler. Storm took it harder than de others, but wished him luck.” You explained this to me all so calmly. I wasn’t quite sure what to say. After a minute, I shook my head.

“Rims, let me show you something first. There’s a different reason why I came here.” I told you. You raised an eyebrow at this, but nodded your head all the same. Trusting me like you always had. Letting me take the lead when I know you could do so much better.

“Then maybe you’ll think twice about staying with me.” I said. You said nothing as I shrugged on my jacket, laced up my boots, and pretty soon we were on the curb. I was surprised when you talked to one of those street punks you see out on the street with the crazy hair colors. He walked around the corner and returned a minute later, wheeling a bike. I frowned and glared at you. You were smiling like there would be no tomorrow.

“Really?”

“What? You don’t want t’ ride wit’ Remy?”

Thankfully I acquired my own bike when I came to Tokyo. We rode out together, managing to avoid most of the traffic. We had the roads to ourselves and we sped down a highway together, me in the lead. You follow not too far behind me. A couple of times you speed up to ride alongside me, not saying anything. We stayed like that for a few minutes, not saying anything but rather letting the roar of our bikes say it all. Then you dropped back behind me loyally following me even though I didn’t deserve it.

About an hour out of the city, I pulled up alongside a graveyard. It’s empty, of living people anyway, the gates reaching up to the bright blue sky. I parked and got off my bike, you coming to a stop only a few seconds behind me. You said nothing as I went into the graveyard towards a headstone. I already knew where it was, have known for a long time. I come here when I can. I knew you were curious, but you said nothing. Asked no questions of me, knowing without me saying anything it was important. I was showing you a piece of me no one else knew about. A weakness I at times can’t even admit to myself.

It didn’t take long before we could see it. A tall obsidian stone set apart from the others. I took a deep breath and walked towards it, my heart pounding. You followed me, a hush falling over the world as we approached. As if she knew I’d brought a visitor. As if she too had been waiting for this moment.

Mariko.

Mariko was my wife once. A woman whom I loved with all my heart and soul. Gave everything to before she was killed. Because she had fallen in love with me. For daring to know a man who was more beast than anything. Gave in to his animal side far too many times to count to kill other men. Some of those men with wives of their own. Children at home who no longer had their fathers.

I pushed the thoughts out of my head as I stopped in front of her grave. I bowed my head for a moment, not sure if I meant to pray or not. You stepped up beside me. Closed your eyes and bowed your head as well. I saw your lips move before you raised your eyes. They were immediately drawn to a picture behind glass set in the black stone.

I reached up and brushed my fingers over the picture. Felt the tears burn at the corners of my eyes, but I didn’t let them fall. I saw you watching me, your eyes turning to stare again at the picture. Studying it as I began to talk.

“This is Mariko. She was my wife.” I said. I took a breath in order to say more. You said nothing just standing there waiting for me to continue.

“I loved her. Loved her more than life itself. When I was with her I questioned how I had become so lucky. What had I done to deserve such happiness.” You nodded, knowing how painful it was for me to say those words. I could see it in your eyes.

“What happened?” The only question you dared ask in a hushed whisper. I took a shuddering breath as I looked you in the eyes as I said the last part.

“She was killed because of me. One of my enemies came after her, killed her and our unborn child. I was too late.” I said quietly. Understanding dawned over your face as you glanced at the picture once again. Then you focused back on me as I looked at Mariko once again.

“Rims, whenever it became too much for me I would think of her. Of our time together. I’ve gone over again and again in my mind why it had to end in blood. Thinking maybe I should have stopped it before it ever began. But, everytime, when I lost myself I would come to her. Find the man I once was. The one that made her smile.”

I closed my eyes for the last part. I didn’t want to see the disgust on your face when I uttered it.

“Now, though, since being with you… I think of you when I lose myself. When I need to come back from the brink. You’ve made me the happiest I’ve been since Mariko.” The words hurt when they came out, but only for a second. A warm feeling of peace descended over me as I  admitted it.

When I opened my eyes again, there was no look of disgust. Instead there was a look of sadness on your face. At first I wondered if it was because of what I said. If you felt sorry for me now that you knew the truth. Instead, you reached up and caressed my cheek, leaning forward. Your thumb brushed lightly over the stubble I still needed to shave. Pressing your forehead against mine as you talked so I couldn’t look away this time.

“Thank you, Logan.” That’s all you said. Then you pulled away, dropping your hand from my cheek. It felt cold now that your hand was no longer there. You turned towards the gravestone and bow to it. I was surprised, wondering what you were up to.
“Mariko, Remy never had de pleasure of meetin’ you in life. He knows, though, you were a good person. Someone who died before deir time. You brought a rare light to dis world few can accomplish and for dat he thanks you. But now he asks somethin’ of you.” You reached up and gently touched the picture as if she was really there. As if you were truly speaking to the woman I once loved. Perhaps you were. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was listening to you from wherever it is she moved on to.

“With your blessin’, cher, let me love dis man whom you once called yo’ husband. He’s a good man, Logan is, even if he can be frustratin’, bullheaded, and drink enough to knock out a full grown elephant at times. Allow me t’ spoil him, watch him smile, make him laugh, but most of all, let me make him happy.”

At that moment, a strong wind picked up. It made your hair whip away from your face as you stepped back from grave. That’s when we both saw them. Cherry blossoms coming down from the trees to fall around us like snow. They landed on your hair, your shoulders, and they got all over me. There was a look of complete surprise on your face and mine as well.
All the trees had closed blooms. There were no cherry blossom petals to come off of them.

You turned to me then, the blossoms still falling around us. I didn’t wait. I started to grin like a fool even as I reached out and drew you closer. I kissed you.

I kissed you deep. Drank you in as if you’re life itself. A warm essence I can never get enough of, can’t live on without. Afterwards we both pulled back and stared at each other. I glanced again at the picture and I swear the smile in the picture had grown just a touch bigger. As if she heard what Remy said. As if she too was glad to see me happy.

We lingered a while longer at the grave. Gathered up a few of the cherry blossoms and put them on the grave before we left. As we did, I glanced at you, the red eyed man by my side. Cherry blossoms still in your hair. You hadn’t noticed yet. I didn’t bother to tell you about it.

“Hey Rims, wanna grab a cold one?” I asked you. You lauged, shoving me lightly with you’re shoulder as we headed towards our bikes.

“Only if you start a barfight, mon glutton.”

“You know I’m good for it. Oh, and Rims?”

“Yes, Logan?”

“I love you.”

It's Been a Long Time

I'm really shocked by how long it's been.

I was just reading my last post to this "blog" I keep (I honestly started it to help with my fan fiction writing) and I'm really surprised by how much time has past.

As I'm writing this I actually have an article I'm working on in another window. I actually did it. I made it. I'm a professional writer now and I do make a comfortable living from what I do.

I'm happy. I made it. Looking back on all the SHIT my parents put me through, trashing my writing, telling me I wouldn't make it, lying, deceiving, and just...so much bullshit. It's still a big blow to me that I accomplished what I set out to do without any help from them.

The funny thing is, my writing up to this point has opened new doors and opportunities for me unlike anything else. There was a fanfic I wrote a while back that got spotted by someone who would end up becoming my lifelong friend. We ended up talking to each other, and now I'm going to be moving in with him in a few months. We're both a little nervous about the move, but otherwise he's confident it will all work out. I'm still nervous since it will be the next step in to truly claiming back my life.

I haven't spoken nor called my parents in several years now. I don't regret that decision (well they kicked me out and told me to stay out, so what else could I do?) and then kicked up a fuss after I was gone. I mean, what did they expect? I'm not exactly going to walk up to the door when all my shit was on the front lawn and say, "Golly jee, how did that stuff get there?" When my father actually had my younger brothers put my stuff out on the front lawn. He still claims I left even though he made it pretty clear he wanted me gone so...dadception? Psh.

My mom pulled something similar. She texted me saying she no longer wanted me under her roof, so I got my stuff and left. After that, she started complaining that I had "left" (why do they do this? Her and my dad both, I swear!) and that wasn't fun to deal with.

I'm much happier with the decisions I've made. This year I finally knuckled down and decided to really get my life together. Mundane things like getting my credit in order, saving up for a car, moving, all this has been going through my mind. By this time next year I'll be out of the state and really starting my new (and own) life.

Official Writer

On July 19th, 2014 is the day I became an OFFICIAL writer! Why? I received payment for something I wrote. No, seriously, I did.

It was only $55, but that payment was MINE. It was something I WROTE on MY computer. I honestly felt like crying when I got the payment. It's been a long, hard road, but I'm doing it. I'm DOING IT!!!

So many things went through my mind when I got the payment. How my parents told me I would own up to nothing. How my father told me I would never own up to nothing more then living on the streets. Then to finally reach a goal I thought impossible.....it's a huge blow. Regardless of what people said about me in the past all that has happened in my life has made me stronger. From being thrown out on my ass for no other crime than just trying to make the right decisions in my life to just being myself......it's all finally starting to pay off.

I'm so glad. Happy. Proud. Grateful. Words can't describe it. I still have a long way to go. I still need to remember to be humble. I believe I'm a good writer, but I don't want to believe my own hype. I know I still have a long ways to go to improve my writing. I've met many other writers who are better then I am. But I managed to hit one of the major milestones I've been going for ever since I picked up that first notebook and began to write my first stories.

I can even remember what first sparked my writing curiosity. My mom had given me a new notebook with an extra plastic flip over cover. I thought it was the coolest thing. I couldn't have been older then ten or eleven I think. In a book I was reading I came across a writing prompt that suggested I write about what I wanted to happen during the school year and what I expected.

I remember opening that nifty notebook and writing down what I thought. How I hope during the school year I would make new friends. How I wished I would be able to finally heal from my grandma dying. I can't remember exactly what I wrote, but after I was done I had filled up almost the entire page. And you know what?

After I got done writing that whole page of my thoughts and feelings I felt better. This was during the time after my grandma had died no more then a year or two ago. She and I had been very close. For a long time I had been hurting after she had passed away. I felt physically ill most days. Others I didn't even want to leave the house. I wasn't even twelve at the time if I remember correctly. Anyway, after I got done writing that one page I realized something.

For the twenty minutes it too me to write out that whole page I had stopped hurting. I had not missed my grandma that whole time. The pain was still there, of course, but for just those twenty minutes I had escaped it. When the pain came back I felt just a little bit stronger. I was able to face another day at school. Despite all the bullying I had to face, and being put down. I managed to make it through the year. When the next year rolled around I was fully engaged in keeping my own journal. I also began to write poetry. Towards middle school I switched over to story writing, and stuck with it ever since.

Weird how life has turned out for me. Right now I'm standing on the very edge of fully defining my own life. Looking at the person I was then and the person I am now I'm glad I can write. For me, my writing has provided an escape. A source of strength. A source of inspiration to face the world. It's also what has allowed me to set my soul free. To soar above all the pain and cruelty I had to face growing up. Writing even helped me to make some long life friends who have helped me even to this day.

I'm grateful to the people who have helped me make it this far. Not only my friends, but the people who I worked with, or provided a kind word. Even the reviewers who took the time to read my writing and give me some advice on how to improve it. It's all come together for me to take a step down the path I've been wanting to go down for such a long time....

So, to anyone who reads this, thank you. 

End of the Rope

There's something that's been bothering me about my parents. But then, what doesn't?

When I lived with my father a fear years ago he always made it out I was fighting with him. There were times that I, yes, talked with him but it was never out of disrespect. What frustrated me the most was when I would come to my father. Tell him the truth about the problem I was dealing with or concerns. Only to have it thrown back in my face with him screaming at me. Naturally this just made me want to talk to him less and eventually I shut down. There was no communication going on what so ever. It was as if every time I opened my mouth my father reacted as if he were shocked I was a human being with my own thoughts and feelings.

One of the main reasons living with my father was so bad was because he simply pushed me to my limit. Mentally and emotionally I became a disaster zone. I can't remember the last time I felt such a way. I did in fact want to commit suicide about six months after living with him. I could not even write during my year living with him which made it even worse. Each time I sat down to try and put my emotions to paper to deal with the pain my father would fly into a rage. Calling my writing a hobby and putting it down. To this day he pisses me off. He lies that he encouraged me to write when he did no such thing. In fact, he wanted me to STOP.

I can understand motivating someone to go further. My father pushed me to get a job while I attended high school. Now, I'm not complaining. Getting that first job actually has benefited me a lot due to my experience there down the road. It allowed me to pay for my own driving lessons in order to get my driver's license. I began to have some problems managing my money. Nothing bad, but there were times I wasn't sure what to buy or where my priorities should lie.

Yes, weird as that sounds it's true. I'd NEVER had a job previous to moving in with my dad. I was never really taught growing up (nope not even my mom) how to manage money properly. So I learned a lot of things the hard way. One of the biggest things was my Dad demanded I move out on my own after I graduated. He was also pushing me to get a car despite the fact it was unrealistic given my current situation. I didn't have enough money to at the time to buy a car. Besides, I had taught myself to use the bus system so there was no real need of it. Getting a car at the time would have drained the very little money I had. Even my co-workers agreed with me who had cars of their own.

So, having no choice I began to make plans to inevitably move out. I tried to talk to my father about giving me a little more time. I was scared and didn't think I could find a good place to move out too in the six months he gave me. My Dad told me straight to my face the matter was set in stone. And nothing I could say would change his mind. So I let the matter drop and did the best I could.

Since I didn't have a car I decided to go with my second best option. I decided getting a bike would help me be a bit more mobile. I was already used to walking everywhere, but there were certain parts of town I could easily reach by riding my bike there rather then taking the bus all the time. One of my co-workers was kind enough to give me his old bike. I fixed the bike up, got it cleaned, and even made a down payment on a room I was going to be moving into. Considering how I had started out I had actually gone a long way. I was in the process of finding a second part-time job and even wanting to save up to set aside money for college.

Then it all came crashing down. I had a bad fight with my dad the night before I graduated. I mean, a REALLY bad fight. Sad thing it all the fight was about was what I was wearing to my college graduation. Which really didn't matter since I would be dressed in a cap and gown the entire time. So no one would see my outfit anyway since I would probably need to go home and change. I spent a day or two with my mom. I came back home to find my dad had dumped all my stuff on the front lawn of the house. So I grabbed my clothes, packed them up, and left.

You know, if someone is able to go any further due to FINANCIAL reasons they deserve to be given a break. I honestly had nothing against getting a car when living with my father. But since I didn't have a decent job I felt it would be best if I waited until I was in a more stable position. My dad continued to threaten to kick me out and put me out on the streets the entire time I was living there. I was terrified. 

Dreams on the Horizon

It's been quite some time.

I've been writing for a little over a decade now. I remember how my love for writing came about as well. At first I just did it to comfort myself. My grandma had died and she and I were very close. To this day she inspires me. I have a picture of her sitting on my desk that I look at from time to time. To remind me of why I write and continue to do so.

For the longest time I've always just seen my writing as many things. Something that has saved my life through the years. Gave me a means to deal with the world around me. Having to swallow my fears, sorrows, and all the words I could not say. I could put them paper and speak my mind without anyone knowing for the better. To them, I was just writing a story. For me, it was my way of expression how I felt deep down. I remember bringing my writing to other writers far more talented then I asking for advice. Now it comes as a shock to me when I'm the one on the receiving end with people asking me for advice.

Now after all those hours, days, weeks, months, and years of typing my dreams have finally started to come true. It's a shock to see my writing published on a website. I turn in short stories and I'm currently waiting to hear back from the literary magazines I submitted too. Which should start happening by the end of April or early May at the latest. But there's one thing I don't usually share about my writing.

Before hand, I truly don't think I ever had a future in writing. When I was a young child and my grandma died I grieved for her deeply. I did not find out until years later that my grandma had a love for writing as well. I do not know if she was ever published, but I do know she had a passion for it. It is my strong belief that when she died she gave me her writing talent. Perhaps she foresaw the hard road I had ahead of me and knew I would need something to arm myself against it. A secret haven I could retreat too and bring along with me no matter where I went.

Now my writing has become as natural to me as breathing. My favorite time of day is when I wake up early in the morning. I make my cup of coffee, plug in my flash drive, and begin to type. It's the most relaxing time of the day for me. Depending how things go I can type from 3,000-10,000 words on any given day. At others I'm lucky if I can get 500 out. Regardless, I aim to write a little bit every day. Usually having several projects going at once to keep me occupied.

I've also been looking into re-writing one of my fan fictions into an original novel. I even have the publishing company picked out that I plan on submitting my novel too once I'm done. Even though I still type fan fiction, I've begun to wind down on it. I've only picked out two fics to continue to work on and finish. While at the same time limiting myself to them as I work on my other projects.

I sincerely doubt I will ever stop writing fan fiction. Over the years it has slowed down considerably, but maybe one day I will only update from time to time. As I begin to make my own characters and construct my own worlds the world around me has begun to expand in reality. My amazement at seeing my dreams take shape and beginning to become a reality is a shock. I always dreamed about it happening, but never really thought it would actually happen.

The day one of my books will be published will only be the beginning. I can hardly wait to see what else the future has in store. 

Things I still don't get about my parents

There's a lot I don't get about my parents. Even now as an adult I can't help but feel inadequate compared to them. As if the handbook for adulthood were passed over me. Then all of a sudden I'm yanked out of what I know and thrown into life without hardly a clue about WHAT is going on. And both my parents insistently demanding I "grow up" when I have no clue what in the world is going on. When I ask a question I might as well have put it in big neon letters for all the good it did me.

Not only my father, but my mother as well continue to insist that 1) Them kicking me out was MY fault. (Despite the fact I had tried to talk with them sincerely about the major problems but was brushed off. And now they both point the finger at me when I tell people the truth and deny they ever kicked me out.) 2) Insist I was being unruly. 3) Claim I was being lazy/not listening to what they had to say. And those are just the major ones. Now allow me to proceed to explain them in order.

1) When I lived with my Dad for a year I had no clue what to do. I seriously, honestly, had no freaking clue. The only thing I had experience with was being behind the wheel of a car. Which I could just barely drive. Despite me telling them multiple times not to yell me my father still insisted upon doing it. And before anyone goes saying I was being an unruly teenager, just listen for a minute.

The reason I didn't want my parents yelling at me is because I have PTSD when it does. This is due to the fact I was screamed at as a child. When I'm screamed at I go into a traumatized state and I can't think clearly. It's incredibly hard for me to comprehend what is going on around me. My brain will automatically kick into a "oh shit" panic mode and bye-bye sanity. My father would sneer and claim I was being over-dramatic when this happened. Nope. It was the real deal.

2) The most unruly thing I ever did was talk back. Which, granted, I deserved to get smacked for. I'll admit that part. I would smack me too for the things I said. BUT, on the other hand I also enjoyed reading. It allowed me to relax and shut down for a period of time. I didn't watch TV. I got tired of waiting for the commercials to end and felt as if I were wasting my time.

I'm not sure where along the lines it started, but quite suddenly I found myself being accused of doing drugs, having sex, and sneaking out to house parties late at night. The strongest drug I've ever taken was Aleve and drinking coffee in the morning. The closest I've come to sex is what I read in a novel. And the only thing I do in the middle of the night was either read a book because I was upset or look something up on my computer. Even today despite physical proof I am a (mostly) sane human being my parents still continue to insist there's something drastically wrong with me. At one point I just gave up trying to prove to them I wasn't breaking the law or going out with some random guy to be frisky in a back alley. If they wanted to think of their daughter as some crazy hoodlum who shoots up drugs and blows guys for extra cash, fine. I will happily go to the library and spend my entire day in literary bliss.

3) Before I start, this is partially true and not true. The first part being true in that I had no freakin clue what it was they wanted me to do. The second part being I would do EXACTLY what was asked of me. Only to be yelled at later for not taking initiative. Allow me to explain.

Okay, a good example is the fact my Dad wanted me to clear off the patio. I said OKAY. We were having guests coming over later that night. I wasn't going to participate in the activities since I had work, homework, and had a novel I had to read. I asked him, "Do you need me to do anything else?" He said, "No, just move the boxes." Me: "Okay." So I moved the boxes to the other side of the patio so our guests could sit down. We had a lot of stuff, and quite frankly not a lot of room. I thought nothing of it.

Two hours later, I hear my dad screaming at the top of his lungs. He starts yelling my name, and automatically what begins to run through my mind is something is wrong. So I go out into the living room to see what it is. There is my dad, huffing and puffing like he's about to blow me away. My blood runs cold because it's obvious I did something wrong. Like checking for an unpaid bill I begin to automatically flip through the pages of my mind. Going over a mental checklist to see if I had missed anything. Only to be subjected to my dad screaming at me why I "Didn't take initiative" in sweeping the perfectly clean patio. I just stared at him in complete shock. I then asked him why he hadn't just said anything over the phone and he said he shouldn't have too.

I really, really have no freaking clue why my parents were angry half the time. What they took for me staring at them with wide eyes was me being stupid. It was the opposite. I had no idea why they were angry. When I asked, I might as well have been talking to the wall for all the good it did me. 

Sad Memories and Musing over my pets

I found myself thinking about my past. And the pets I've had over the years who have touched my life and still continue to do so despite their passing.

One of them was my dog named Lady. She was a collie and german shepherd mix my mom adopted from the SPCA. Originally, we weren't going to get Lady right away. However I told my mom I had fallen in love with the dog. Then the next day I returned home from school to find Lady in the laundry room waiting for me. I can't remember the last time I had ever been so happy.

I loved Lady dearly. To me she was the sister I never had. While I do adore my brothers I have always wished to have another "girl" to share my thoughts and passions with. Despite the fact that she was a dog, and was supposed to be a family pet, Lady soon became my dog. I was always the one to take her for her walks. I gave her the baths, fed her in the morning, and made sure she had plenty of water. At times tending to Lady's needs more than my own.

I had Lady for a little over five years I believe. Quite honestly it's hard for me to remember. I was in Middle School when Lady began to become ill. For some reason my healthy dog suddenly began to deteriorate. She could not control her bladder and would often have bouts of diarrhea and vomiting in the house. I cleaned these up as best I could. She had a dog bed which me and my mom placed in her room. We would sit on the edge of the bed and watch over Lady while she slept in case she passed away in the night.

We did everything we could for Lady. Took her to the vet, gave her extra liquids, and still it did not help. At the time me and my mom were living in a small, two roomed apartment on the second floor. I would carry Lady down the steps in my arms and set her down in the grass so she could go pee. At this point all she could keep down was water. Despite our efforts and her own failing body Lady continued to grow worse. Finally, mom asked me what it was I wanted to do.

Did she want me to wait and see if Lady would get better? Or did I want to put her to sleep?

This was the hardest choice I ever had to make. At that time in my life I was already going through my own depression. In school I had next to no friends and was often bullied. There were days I came home and Lady was the only reason I would keep going. When I realized the choice I had to make I cried. It felt as if my soul had shattered and there was no one else to pick up the pieces.

We took Lady to the vet for the final time. A friend of my mom's came along with us. She offered to stay in the room with Lady while she was put to sleep. My mom argued with me about staying by Lady while this happened. This is the only time I can ever remember arguing with my mother vehemently. Refusing to leave Lady. I had made a promise to my sister. I would stand by her to the very end no matter what. To me, Lady was family. She deserved the best I could offer her especially at a time like this. I would see this through to the end with her.

I remember sitting in the room as we waited for the vet. I petted Lady's hair and talked to her soothingly. As the vet injected Lady I finally broke down and started sobbing. Lady did thrash for a second, but her eyes widened and I saw the light go out of her eyes. I don't think she felt any pain. The vet left the room silently as I sat there feeling utterly alone. My mom's friend sitting there beside me as I petted my dog's body and talked to her. Finally, I rubbed Lady's ear. Whispered that I loved her and we left. Another blow came when my black cat, Einstein, was poisoned and died not a month later. He was two years old when he passed away. He had been close to Lady and loved her as much as I did. I remember coming home one day and finding him outside of the apartment building not looking to good. At school I was called to the office after my mom had taken Einstein to the vet. I was devastated yet again when mom broke the news to me yet another family member had passed away.

I still cry when I think of them. At times I feel as if I had failed them. Other times I wondered why I allowed myself to grow so close to my pets. Then at the same time I'm glad I did have them to love. Most of my childhood seemed to center around loss, not living up to expectations, and waking up to a harsh reality I'm only now comprehending.

When I think of Lady and Einstein I'm reminded of how much I truly value my humanity. Of how caring I can become towards any creature. Heck, I almost burst into tears a few months ago when I thought one of my beta fish, Opal, was dying. It turned out he had only got his fin stuck and was perfectly fine. But it reminded me of how compassionate I am for my pets.

I wish people would understand pets are not objects you simply take into your home on a whim. They are living, breathing creatures who depend on you for everything. By taking them in you are making them apart of your family. I don't care if it's a fish, a snake, cat, dog, lizard, or any other type of animal. They deserve to be happy. And to be loved. 

An Opportunity came along...

I was so happy today. I finally began to live my dream.

I feel as if I managed to finally step in the direction I've been wanting to go for a long, long time. I managed to snag a writing gig for a website. While the position doesn't pay, it has the potential too depending on how many views my articles get. I even have a deadline as well. One article per week! Now isn't that something?

I decided to finally start taking my writing seriously. While I have been working on a novel I felt as if some part of me was missing. While I do still write fan fiction I wondered if I would ever be able to go past it. Now that I'm finally starting my career as a writer I don't know what to think. I even submitted one of my favorite short stories to another magazine in hopes of getting published. So now not only are articles on my table but so are short stories.

I really had no idea what to think. I felt as if my life has completely changed for the better. It was obvious even to my boyfriend I was extremely happy. And to top it all off I do, now, actually have to play WoW in order to write my articles. Along with other PC gaming related news I can come across since that's what I'm focused on writing. So now not only do I get to write about something I love to play in my spare time, but also have a reason to sit at my computer for hours and hours and hours.....

But yeah, I'm going to continue going down the path I'm going. Let's see where I go, shall we?