Paying Respects Jermaine walked into the large cathedral downtown. As soon as he walked in he saw two familiar but older faces. It had been 15 years since he last set foot in that city but he remembered every street corner and sign that he passed. Nothing had changed there. Lori and Gwendolyn were talking quietly near the front pew and trying to avoid looking at the casket in the front. Their eyes were as bloodshot as his. They had been crying too. And though they were dressed head to
Help And Protect Jermaine saw Gwendolyn in the hall way and quickly ducked back into the classroom he had come out of. He had not seen her since the night that he had gone with Rafael to her house. He wanted to keep it that way. He did not condone what Raf had done, it was the opposite. He was embarrassed that he had been one of the guys helping Rafael break down her door. He never wanted to hit a woman. He had watched his mother being beaten by
Best Friends Gwendolyn was waiting for Lori outside their next class. It was biology, which bored her, so she did not mind being late. The teacher, Mr. Thomas, did not care as much about tardiness as Mrs. Wiles did so Gwendolyn would waltz in when she felt like it. She checked her phone, which she had managed to sneak past the metal detectors. There were 11 texts from her ex-boyfriend Rafael. She rolled her eyes and deleted them without even reading them. “Hey, you waited for me?” Lori asked her.
Tough Area, Tough Students The bell rang as Lori ran down the hall towards her classroom. She was always late and her first hour teacher hated it. It caused some tension between them at first. Mrs. Wiles was very strict but she had to be in this school. Basically forgotten by the city, Luther High school was run down and filled with the left over inner city kids that no other school would take. It was a tough area with a tough set of students. Lori never really understood why
The Paradox It is funny how you can experience such joy and pride in one aspect of your life – like I did that day when three out of my four presentations went very well. And then there can be near chaos in another aspect of your life – like this woman trying to ease her way into my personal space. What is more magnificent about life is finding people who want to walk the course with you – seeing your flaws but loving you nevertheless – for however long
Why? Why Now? I did not think about my pursuer for a few days since her last message. At least not actively except for asking myself on my 45-minutes drive those early Fall mornings, “Why now?” Trolling the memories that I held of her, I kept asking myself “Why doesn’t she just leave me alone?” My annoyance grew as I recalled opening the new email from her and the sting of her words zapped me in the face. The first thing was her calling me Mrs. McPherson*. Why the hell that
Ghosts From My Past A woman is pursuing me. She will not let up. Try as I may to give her the cold shoulders, she ‘attacks’ from another angle. We met again by chance and although my pulse raced with joy initially, my desire was to take things slowly. She waited for a few months and then she struck. “It’s time to talk,” was the sum of her very public message. Angry that she aired our business so publicly on Facebook and without my consent, I shot back a long
Asking For Help The phone rang in Dr. Shapiro’s office. She answered it on the third ring to hear a shaky voice. “Dr. Shapiro’s office.” “Um… hello, uh… Dr. Shapiro, my name is Adele… I uh, I got your name from a woman who I go to church with and she says you help a lot with family therapy.” Adele began. She was ashamed of what this stranger would soon know about her. She was scared to fall down the rabbit hole any more than she already had. She desperately