I will get my novel, Frost, published.
The other day, standing in the shower, for a brief moment – I seriously started thinking about stomach surgery. Packing up a little car, going for a ride, talking to a doctor, and having surgery to shrink my football stomach down to a lemon.
In that moment, I quit.
I quit wanting to try, wanting to prove people wrong, and wanting to be proud of my weight loss. In that moment I decided that I will never pull the weight off, and that I’ll be obese the rest of my life. (Even if I don’t want to be.) I decided that I was only fooling myself into thinking that I can do it. (Even though a few years ago I was doing it and a few months ago, I was doing it.) I decided that the journey was too long and if I got the surgery that it would help and take away half the battle. I’d go down one hundred pounds so quick that I would have the energy, and the oompth I’m missing out on. I’d probably be taken off some medications and have a different outlook on life.
I got out of the shower and stood in front of the mirror and stared at myself. I looked at all the extra that I have. I lifted my arms and looked at my sides, I turned and looked at my back. I felt tears, but I didn’t cry. I didn’t let the feeling overtake me and I didn’t let the tears win. I dried off, got dressed (in my black t-shirt and black shorts, which I wear all the time because nothing else fits and I cannot afford clothes that fit me), and sat on my bed – in the dark.
I started thinking about life and things I want to see, or accomplish, or feel, or live. I started thinking about complications, and possible outcomes after surgery. I started thinking about that conversation I’d missing out on when someone says, “oh wow, you’ve lost a lot of weight.” I remembered that I always wanted to say, “Thank you, it’s taken a lot, but well worth it.” I think about how the conversation would be different if I have the surgery:
“Oh wow, you’ve lost a lot of weight. You look great!”
“Thank you, but I cheated, I had the surgery knowing damn good && well that I could do it on my own.”
The look on their face will be priceless, their smile would falter and they’d have a look on their face that screamed ‘I’m sorry I asked’.
I’d walk away, hating myself, because deep inside I know I could do it without it.
A few days passed before I ever talked to The Boyfriend about it. We were standing in a gas station, I had just bought three egg rolls out of the hot box, and we were leaving to come home. It was early (my late) and I had just gotten off of work – I was hungry, but I didn’t want to go home and cook. Who wants to do that when you just worked twelve hours and had to get up in six hours to work twelve more?
The cashier had just told us that she and her husband had the surgery. Together. I scanned her face, her arms, body and I sighed. That look flashed through my mind. She’s older than me, but it briefly frightened me. Would I look like that?
On the way to the car I told them boyfriend, “I’ve been thinking about the surgery lately. Maybe it would help.” He was silent at first, like he usually is when it comes to my weight conversations, but then he spoke. He sighed, and told me that if I wanted it he wouldn’t stop me, but he doesn’t want me to have it. He always tells me, but sometimes after doctor visits and they tell me I’ve gained weight since the last visit, if a doctor tells me I have to have it or death will occur, that he would step aside and let it happen. But he doesn’t want me to get it – I understand that.
I told him, once we were sitting down in the car, that maybe if I had the surgery, it would give me the weight loss boost I’m needing (or think I’m needing) to get the rest off. His face fell slightly, and he just stared at me. I know what he was saying without him saying it. It’s not hard to figure out his feelings toward something he doesn’t agree with. I understand – I don’t agree with it, if it’s not the last option. (I don’t think someone that weighs under 250 pounds should have it.)
It’s been a few days since then and it’s been on my mind. The thoughts – the shower – his reaction – his look – that conversation.
What I’ve realized since then is a few things.
One. I know I can pull the weight off by eating better and exercising. I’ve done it before. (Some part of my body seems to start hurting after three months, and I stop, put all the weight plus more back on, and then hate myself.)
Two. I want to be able to tell people that I did it with hard work, determination, and a lot of blood/sweat/tears. (Surgery will not help me do that.)
Three. I think I love myself too much to put myself through it.
So what has all of this thinking made me realize?
I still want to work hard, take years and pull the weight off by myself. Not with help from a surgeon who is out to make a million dollars by fifty. I know it’s going to be hard, a long battle, and it’s going to take a lot of time.
But I can do this. I just have to get my butt in gear and stop making up excuses as to why I can’t, or wont do it.
Zaire stood on the outside of the fence of Quinn’s compound staring through a crack. From where he stood he could see three medium sized guards standing in front of the front door. He knew he’d have to sneak around them; there’s no way he could just bust in and survive. These guys were trained for one purpose: shoot to kill. Normally, someone wouldn’t look at him and think ‘I need to shoot that person’, but since he failed to bring in Josef, everyone was looking for him, not believing that he was killed in the process. Faking his death was completely out of the picture.
But he had a plan. One he was truly hoping wouldn’t fail him now.
First, before putting his plan to action, he had to find the nerve to step foot onto the premises. Where he stood now, outside of the fence, he felt fine, safe – but as soon as he steps inside – all hell will break loose.
Josef was eager to help as much as he could, which wasn’t much, but it was something. After Zaire walked out of the house, the butler came running after him screaming for him to stop. Josef had decided to send him off with a pistol, two knives, and a first aid kit. Once he found places to put everything, to hide, he made his way, on foot, back to Quinn’s compound.
To wait for the perfect opportunity.
He thought about nightfall, but not only does that make it hard for Quinn, and her people to see, it will be hard for Zaire to see. He tossed that out of the window. His best plan of attack is just to do it. Of course, he wasn’t planning to use the gun or knives; he wanted to do this as clean as he possibly could and shooting, or stabbing someone isn’t doing that.
The more he stood there, the more he wanted to run. He knew if he was going to do this – he needed to do it now. He looked up and down the large, long fence and decided that his best bet was to begin from the back. Her compounds sit on 87 acres, most of which were all trees. He knew that the trees would work in favor of him and against them. During his time of being sick he has lost a lot of weight and can hide behind a tree trunk.
Finding a way into the compound is where he foresees the issue.
Zaire didn’t want to leave anything for chance. He knew he was only getting one shot at this, and if he failed, he pretty much would fail at life. As he ran along the fence trying to find either an opening or a way to jump, his mind ran rampant. He knew there were many ways this could so south, but he wasn’t going to give up.
He needed to fight.
At the top of a small hill the fence turned, taking a corner. At the end of the corner was four tree stumps. It seems as if someone cut them down to build the fence straight, but then changed their mind and went around it instead. He stopped, measuring in his mind whether he could use them to jump the fence – safely.
He carefully stepped up onto the first trunk. Grabbing the top of the fence for balance, he lifted his leg and stepped up, almost a leg and a half of his, and brought his bought up. Before stepping up on the last trunk he paused, peeking over the fence he scanned the property. Looking left he saw the beginning of the trees, if he had gone any further he would have entered through the land that was covered in trees. He glossed over the idea of jumping down and going through them – but would he be able to find another spot with trunks like this? Did it want to risk it?
He scanned the yard in front of him and saw nothing but what looked like burned grass. Looking to the right he saw the building with blacked out windows – he paused, squinting toward the building.
“Are those claw marks? How did I not see them before now?”
His eyes were glued to the building as they darted back and forth – massively large claw marks looked as if it tried to shred the building multiple times. Some marks looked older than the rest. He tilted his head to the side and began wondering, is this why there are so many guards?
The thought was grand, but he didn’t want to risk being shot. He brought his head back, looking straight he saw two guards, approximately 100 feet away, looking in the opposite direction.
Something had their attention.
He knew if he was going to have the opportunity to get in, this was it. This – was his open door and he was going through it. With one quick, swift motion he jumped up onto the last tree trunk, and swung his body over the fence, landing on the other side a little too hard leaving a slight fuzzy feeling in his legs and feet. He stood momentarily, trying to get his bearings. Something caught his attention to the right – a guard.
He needed to get away and fast. He turned to his left and took a run, as fast as he could, to the trees. He found the biggest tree and stopped behind it – catching his breath. Cautiously he peered around the side of the tree. The guard was gone, but the two, who now were in a heated discussion – flinging their arms in all directions, were still over there.
His plan wasn’t working out. He needed a better one. He turned toward the mass number of trees behind him.
If I walk a little further into these trees, and then around the property itself, I might be able to get around those guards.
In his mind the plan seemed perfect. But as he crept further, light beginning to fade into the woods, he wondered if this was such a great idea. A cool chill formed, giving his skin tiny red pimples, and making his hair stand on ends.
The surrounding trees felt like they were going to swallow him whole. Birds no longer chirping, crickets nowhere to be heard – the only noise left for him was the sound of him cracking fallen branches, crunching dead leaves and his heart beat, which was a lot louder than he could remember.
Zaire never stopped moving, attempting to circle around the back of the compound. He still hoped that once he got far enough around he would be able to go around the two guards that stood in place, protecting whatever Quinn hid from the world. But as he continued onward, the forest never ending, he questioned himself on whether he turned too soon, and was now too far into the forest to find his way back out.
He turned around, determining that he should probably find the light. It cannot be too hard, right? He has basically been walking in a straight line, except for the one time where he turned to his right.
Walking back, in what he thought was the way he came from – he looked around and noticed things now that he hadn’t seen before. A wave of panic swept through him and he started zig-zagging through the trees. He wasn’t sure what compelled to do so, but the more he ran, the faster he began. His heart beating hard in his chest – maybe too hard?
What is too hard?
The panic didn’t ease up any when he heard the first crack of thunder. A flash of light caught him off guard and his foot missed a step, tripping over a large root in the ground, he fell to his knees and rolled, head over feet, down a hill and landed hard at the bottom. He didn’t move, a searing pain in his left thigh. Closing his eyes, he grabbed at the pain feeling something wet surrounding something large, and wooden. He cursed, pulling his hand away, he opened his eyes. His hand was now red, and his stomach heaved. He flipped himself over on to his side and vomited on the ground next to his head.
He groaned rolling back onto his back. “This cannot be happening.”
Zaire carefully sat up and opened his bag and pulled out the first aid kid that Josef had given him. Did he know what he was going to have to do?
He needed something to bite down on knowing this was going to hurt. He patted around on the ground blindly – but was unable to feel anything except leaves and hard, dead grass. He cracked his knuckles and placed a hand on the end, of what he thinks was a large piece of tree – counted to four and yanked.
The pain seared through his thigh and up into the rest of his body, throwing his upper torso backwards. He lay on his back heaving, his breath coming in spurts – his left leg limp, bleeding all over the ground.
Zaire knew if he didn’t move he was going to lay there and bleed to death. He needed to get up and keep moving. He needed to find shelter – there had to be something. He cracked open the first aid kit and grabbed a white bandage, tape, and Neosporin. He took his shirt off and ripped it in half, his strength surprising to even him, and cleaned off the spot as well as he could. Squeezing the whole tube of Neosporin on the wound he wrapped all the bandage around his thigh, taping it as securely as he could. Just for a good measure he took the other part of his shirt and tied it around the bandage.
Shakily and unsteady, he stood up. He wobbled a bit before he got the feeling back into his feet and began walking.
After a couple minutes he felt rain drops on his face. He closed his eyes and kept walking, his irritation obvious. Thunder rumbled above him, and a flash of lightning flashed before his eyes. His eyes freaked for a second before trying to focus back on the dark surrounding.
The rain began to pick up making it completely impossible for him to see.
He needed to rest, especially since he couldn’t see where he was going anyway. Stopping, he found a large rock nestled closely next to a large tree. The rock was still dry – the tree must have enough leaves yet that it is basically a roof. He slid up, as well as he could, and sat, curling up against the tree and began waiting for the storm to stop.
He knew he hadn’t been sitting there long but it felt like a million years the rain led up a little. It was a crucial moment, he couldn’t stay there forever, so he jumped down off the rock, his sore leg bending slightly off kilter – he fell.
This fall, however, wasn’t as bad as the last and he stood back up. Just as he got completely straight, ready to take his first step – a noise, behind him, got his attention and he paused.
His heart thumping hard in his chest.
A deep growl rumbled around him. He swallowed hard, remembering all those crazy stories his mother used to tell him when he was a kid about things that live in the forest. He slowly turned, wanting to face whatever it is that was behind him.
Whatever it was stood, on his hind legs, another growl flew from his lips. The only thing that Zaire could see in the dark was huge, angry eyes blaring into his soul. His mouth dropped open, and turned as quick as his sore body would let him and sprinted. His feet flying, hopping over tree trunks, and dead plants. Rushing through spiky plants and down through bushes.
A long, loud clap of thunder rumbled through the sky, as streaks of lightning lit up his path. If it doesn’t get worse, he figured he would be able to make it out.
Another flash – blinding him for mere seconds, unbalancing him forcing him to slow down, he struggled, but eventually picking up a stride, getting away from the figure behind him, lightning flashed around him striking the ground. He dodged a strike just as a bolt of lightning flew just passed his face, pushing him over onto his back. He rolled underneath a broken tree and flung himself forward, getting back to his feet and without missing a beat he continued to run. He could feel his heart beat in his toes but pushed forward hoping to escape. But where exactly was he? The scenery around him was all brand new so he couldn’t tell.
He was scared, a feeling he hadn’t felt in a long time, but tonight as he made his way through a forest trying not to trip, he felt it. He didn’t waste time by stopping and looking back to see if he was out running them, or try to find things to hurl at whatever may or may not be behind him. He didn’t like the chase he was in, but he must keep going; had to let it keep following him to get to where he needed to be. The scariest part for him was the lack of knowledge. He had no idea what, who – or even how many were behind him. All he knew is that he had to move faster before it caught up with him.
His breath hitched, and he came to a complete stop as his body encountered a large oak tree. Falling backwards he slammed hard onto the ground, a tiny puff of dirt flying up around him. His head was groggy, but he could see the figure standing above him. It didn’t move, instead it just stood there staring down. He felt the thing’s eyes bore deep into his soul. A small growl rumbled around him as his eyes fluttered shut.
I’m dead. I messed up and died way too soon. It wasn’t even the disease that killed me. I killed me. Now what?
Zaire sat up on a large cot and looked around. IT was dark except for a small light peaking in through the bottom and top of the door, the smell of urine overtaking his senses. He touched his lap making sure it wasn’t him.
Dry. Well, that’s a good sign, he thought.
He looked around the room trying to see through the dark. He couldn’t tell someone why, but when he is in a blacked-out room he attempts to use some ability, he doesn’t have, to see around the room. Is this even a room? He had no idea if he was underground, or on top of the ground. For all he knew he was correct and he was dead, and this is hell.
Someone bandaged my wounds?
His attention was stolen from thoughts of himself to something outside of the door.
Are those… footsteps?
He listened hard, trying to make out anything he could. But his spider senses just weren’t kicking in.
The noises stopped, and it was quiet again. His heart rate started to settle just in time for the door to swing open, slamming hard into the wall. His eyes widened at the figure of a woman standing in the doorway illuminated by the lights around her.
“Zaire, did you think it was going to be that easy?”
He sighed – Quinn. Of course, it’s her. Of course, she is the one who would trap him in a small, dank room and cut him off from the world. What would make this any different?
“Did you really think you could just walk back onto my compound and take what’s mine?” Quinn’s voice grew louder, almost heavy. It was if she didn’t care who heard her – that everyone on Earth new what she was up to.
He stood up bracing himself for whatever she was about to throw at him. His body hurt, but a part of him knew it was going to come down to this. Her and him.
He took a step backwards putting more room in between them.
“You should have known how this would end. You fail with the mission and then you try to get back onto my property. Did you really think you’d get the cure from underneath my nose?”
“I had to try.”
She scoffed. “You had to try. Bravo Zaire, bravo! You try and fail. Do you try and fail at everything in life? Or am I just seeing the special guy in front of me?”
“I told you to begin with this isn’t how I wanted to do things. I didn’t want to do this.” He waved his hands around in the air. “I just wanted to be left alone in my house to die. I didn’t want to come here. I didn’t want to be another one of your puppets.”
Quinn took a step into the room, just as Zaire took another step backwards – his back touching the wall. “You have nowhere to go, Zaire – you’re trapped.”
“If you’re going to kill me, just get it over with.”
“Oh Zaire, no, no, no. You don’t understand how all of this works.” She took a couple more steps toward him before dropping her head, almost in thought, and putting her hands behind her back. “I had no plans of ever killing you. I had hoped you’d kill my Uncle, so I wouldn’t have to. But I guess it’s time I just do it myself.”
“Yes, Quinn.” A deep authoritative voice behind her startled her. “Yes, I think it’s about time you finally just come at me yourself.”
Quinn didn’t turn around, “Josef, Uncle, it’s nice to see you. It’s been too long.”
“I’m sick of the games Quinn, your mother wouldn’t want this for you.”
“She also wouldn’t want my only Uncle, her only brother, to treat her niece like this.”
Josef shook his head and flicked a cigarette onto the floor, stepping on it. “How am I treating you? I offered you many positions to work with me. TO help me. To live with me. But you turned them all down saying you shouldn’t have to work. I should just give you stuff for free.”
She turned to face Josef, a light lit up her face – anger in her eyes. “I shouldn’t! I should just be loved by you enough that you would just give me things. You were supposed to give me the world. Don’t you remember that when I was younger?”
“I still want to give you the world, but not like this. Not the way you want it. You cannot just kill me and pretend that I never existed and attempt to take over my world.” He stopped, his voice dropped to almost a whisper, sad, “You cannot be me.”
Quinn was quick, probably too quick. Before Zaire had noticed she was across the room at Josef. She grabbed a pipe that was beside the door and swung, connecting with his face. Josef wobbled slightly before gaining his composure. She took another step toward him and kicked his calf, knocking his feet out from underneath him.
Josef fell landing on his stomach. He stood and looked down at Quinn. “I’m not going to do this. I’m not going to fight you.”
“Then I guess you’re going to die.” Quinn jumped, swinging her right leg up colliding with Josef’s face. His head jerked, unbalancing him, until his whole body slammed into a wall.
“Quinn, stop!” Zaire heard the words escape his mouth, but he had no idea why. Why does he care what happens between these two if it didn’t involve him? If Josef killed Quinn, he would be safe and would be able to go home. If Quinn killed Josef, she would finally get what he wanted all along and maybe, possibly she’d let him go.
So why is he telling her to stop?
Quinn looked back eyeing Zaire, “stay out of this Zaire, no need for you to get hurt because of it.”
Just as Quinn turned back around to face Josef, he was gone. She looked behind her, her head turning back and forth, and then in front. Without realizing it, Josef was standing behind her brandishing a gun pushing it into her back.
“I’m sick of this. Do you hear me, Quinn – I’m tired of your games and you thinking you can get away with all of this.” Josef spoke quickly, the words tumbling out of his mouth.
“Uncle, you wouldn’t be able to live with yourself if you shot me.”
“Quinn, you don’t know me. You don’t know what I’m capable of doing.”
Zaire spotted the gun and backed himself up into a corner. Now he absolutely didn’t want to be a part of this family drama. When guns get involved, he tends to get out of the way and away from the whole thing. Sadly, for him, tonight, he cannot do that.
Quinn elbowed Josef in the stomach, turning, she grabbed his hand that held the gun. They wrestled for a moment before Quinn shook his hand. He lost grip and dropped the loaded gun onto the floor. It hit just hard enough it fired.
They both stopped.
I knew I was going to die, Zaire thought to himself. But I always figured it would be because of the illness, not because of careless, heartless people. Both Josef and Quinn have no idea what they’re doing to the people around them and probably never will. As for me, I’m kind of glad it happened like this. At least I know that I was taken out by accident rather than purpose. I’m not sorry that I didn’t kill Josef when I went to his house and I’m glad that Quinn wasn’t able to remove his life. She doesn’t deserve anything – ever.
Soulmate: noun. A person ideally suited to another as a close friend or romantic partner.
People are given two soulmates in their lifetime.
The one person who opens your heart to a whole new world and wonder no one can give you. A single touch electrifies you. Intensity. Love. Honesty. Affection. Spiritually.
A best friend.
Someone to spend life with that doesn’t hate you, scar you, && is always there to help && protect you. Love. Honesty. Spiritually.
You can love many people in a single lifetime. Some stay, but most leave. Boyfriends. Girlfriend. Friends. Co-workers. Life hands you hundred’s of people in your life but the ones who matter never leave. You may not talk daily, or see each other often – but you know, deep inside, they are there forever.
Growing up I always said, and believed, that a person can only have one soulmate until I realized that’s not exactly true and funnily enough, I realized this while watching One Tree Hill. I will always believe you can only be “in love” with one person in your lifetime. I don’t believe you can feel something THAT strong for multiple people. (You can love as many as you want. Big difference between loving someone && being in love with someone.)
But sometimes I forget about best friends. That one person you meet and you simply think to yourself this person, I like this person, they will be mine forever. &&& it’s true, you may not see them on a daily basis, or even monthly basis. But you know, &&& they know, &&& everyone knows – they are your person.
Everyone needs that person too. You need the one person in your life who isn’t going to tear you down, or make you feel inferior to everyone else. Someone who doesn’t crumple your spirit, or squeeze you like an orange if you want to believe in rainbows and unicorns. Someone who will not get mad when you trip them into the mud, or lock them out of the car on a rainy night.
Reading that you started thinking about your wife or husband. Boyfriend or girlfriend. But do you think of your best friend. The person you met in elementary school or junior high. Possibly high school or college. Or if you lacked social skills and didn’t develop much until adulthood, maybe you’re thinking about a person at work. A girl or a guy that makes your life a little less stressful and enjoyable. Life is hard enough trying to maneuver your way around it – it’s even harder when you’re alone – that’s why God gave you people. Two people. The two people that will get you through life without too much struggle, or too much pain, heartbreak, or sorrow.
Those two people.
Your best friend.
Your soul mates.
…I’m not well read enough.
The one thing all authors tell you when you ask about writing books is to read. &&& read often. Other than of course writing. &&& writing often.
I find myself jotting down sentences to paragraphs all the time. I have a notebook that I keep in my bag (work bag) that has writing all over it. A sentence, or paragraph, words or names, or even ideas for a story. Some of it is something I read in books, or something I thought of while sleeping. I keep notebooks beside my bed, and in my purse. There are some in my car, and in my dresser. &&&& to make sure I write at least once a month I am still contributing to a work newsletter where I put a few pages and write on a story for months. I just finished on, The Cure (which the last part will be uploaded here soon.) I’m about to start another once I figure out what I want to happen in it.
But what I have been lacking a lot of lately is reading. I got into a slump a while back and just never finished books that I started or even series. I told myself this year, 2018, I want to read at least 50 books. That’s approximately four-ish books a month. I’m sadly not on part with that, but I’ll get there. I hope. I am keeping up with my totals on Goodreads so I know how many I read and how many more I have to go.
As of today, February 8, 2018, I have read two and never finished another. It tally’s the book I never finished because I left a review for it so according to it I have read three. I have been wanting to read a series that has been out for about a year, I am reading the first one right now, but I don’t have the other two and cannot find reason to purchase them when I have at least fifty books at home, right now, that I Haven’t read.
But that’s my goal. That’s my thing this year. I plan to read this year and hopefully it can help me with my writing. I also plan to continue wiring for the work thing and hopefully soon I can pick back up Frost (which I think I’ve decided to rewrite it, yes, again.)
So I’ll keep that up and keep this updated on how my progress is going. But one thing is for sure – I need to get to reading. Because I still have 48 books to go which is approximately 4 books a month (still) leaving me with 8 more to go. Yup! I’m behind. I sadly don’t want to finish “The Raven” by Sylvain Reynard because I have read all of the other books I own by him and I don’t have “The Shadow” or “The Roman”.
But that’s okay. I have a few others laying around on book shelves that I need to finish. The Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day and a few by Christina Lauren.
I’m rambling now.
Have a good evening.
I’ll talk soon.
Last minute thought. I am also putting in a goal to write in this more often. If I cannot seem to write stories I can at least write in this blog daily. Most days. Maybe not everyday. I don’t have that much going on in my life. But a couple times a week. More than once every three months.
A while back I began sharing a story that I was writing monthly, however, I got sidetracked and never finished it. But recently, I picked the story back up and wanted to finish sharing it.
Here is the Fifth Part:
Zaire stared in disbelief at the front of a large house – almost mansion like, but not quite. It was painted a light maroon with large windows covered in black blinds. The sky was a bit darker than it normally was around six in the evening. A shiver crawled up his spine knowing this wasn’t going to end well for him. He knew he had two options: one, say no and be killed or two, do this and ultimately be killed. He took a deep breath and felt a sigh escape his lips. All he wanted to do was turn around and go home and pretend none of this happened. Forget he ever met Quinn.
Quinn – a growl escaped his lips.
His life would have been just fine if he had never run into her. The trip across the ocean to a tiny deserted island covered in Tesla Coils. He felt stupid thinking back to what the island looked like when he stood on the beach by the water. He knew everything seemed weird to him and now that he was standing in this spot – at this time – he knew everything was wrong. This isn’t how his life was supposed to end up.
He only agreed to this trip for the exposure. Something new that he hadn’t witnessed before. But this has turned into a complete nightmare. A nightmare that he cannot wake up from; something, no matter how hard he tried, he will not be able to come back from.
He had been dropped off and left to his own devices. They drove him to the middle of nowhere, pushed him out of a nearly moving vehicle, and left – like his life doesn’t matter; giving him the option to either kill or be killed.
The worse part?
He was facing death alone – still. No one wants to die alone – that’s half his issue with the disease. He has been facing death for years and has had no one around to face it with. Hand in hand – buddies. There is so many people in that compound, she could have sent one other person with him. Maybe, with two people, this could actually happen.
But no, he was facing this alone.
Zaire looked to his left and noticed a large tree and decided he wanted to take a brief sit down and do some writing. He had some thoughts he wanted to get down before his train of thought was taken away, leaving something behind in his wake. The leaves blew gently around him as he sat, getting comfortable, in the grass. He opened his knapsack and pulled out his tiny worn notebook and pulled the pen out of the binds. He leaned his back against the tree and began writing:
I’m going to die today and it’s not exactly what I had in mind. Death. I have given a lot of thought, lately, to how I would succumb to death and this was not what I had imagined. I never thought that I would be sitting underneath a tree in a complete stranger’s yard trying to decide how I will kill him. That’s it though; I’m not going to kill him. I refuse to kill someone when no one will tell me why they deserve to die. Does he deserve to die because he wants to be a dictator? Dictator for what – potato land? There isn’t anything around here to be the dictator of. We live in the United States of America – we have a president – and there is no way he is going to be able to overrun the White House and take America. It’s not possible; I’m not very versed in History, but I’m pretty sure someone, somewhere has already tried – and failed. What makes this man, of all men, think he is going to be any different than the rest?
I don’t want to die.
I want to live my life.
I want to write my stories.
I want to share them with the world.
But now, apparently, people have my life mapped out and I will not come out on top. It’s heartbreaking, really, to know that my life isn’t important enough for other people that they’d just throw me to the lions and hope for the best. But my life – to me – it’s perfect – it’s mine. No, it’s not what I thought my life would be at this point. But I can accomplish so much in the years to come.
But… here I sit. Preparing for my death.
He sighed to himself before closing the notebook. He glanced around the property. It was beautiful; so much green surrounded him. He had a line of weeping willow trees lined from his mailbox to his front door. Flower boxes lined every window with blooming yellow, orange, and red flowers. A pond, far off into the distance, had a large dock surrounding it. His yard was clean, almost too clean, and his house, itself, was almost too perfect.
Life of a fake dictator, he thought.
He knew, these last few days, he has spent enough time acting and feeling like what he would think a complete girl would feel. He decided to stomp on those feelings and he stuffed his notebook back into his knapsack and decided to storm into the house and take his life by the reigns.
“Man up, Zaire, if anything in your life is important I’m pretty sure this is.”
He began his walk up the side walk that lead to a large, red front door and pushed the doorbell which ran throughout the whole property. He chuckled to himself once he realized that it also rang outside. He would have to remember that when he finally gets to go home – if; his head dropped just as the door opened.
Yes, this is exactly how I will storm into this property.
A short stocky man with greying hair stood before him, “May I help you?”
“Uh, yes.” Zaire coughed slightly afraid, “I’m looking for someone who apparently looks like me?” He chose his words slowly, mostly because he was scared that this man was going to eat him.
The short guy titled his head to the side and chuckled darkly, “You do resemble Mr. Aguilar a little. Are you related to him?”
“Negative, but I need to speak with him, it’s urgent.”
The stocky guy lifted an eyebrow, questioning his motive, “Do you have an appointment with him?”
Zaire shook his head, “No, I do not, but if I don’t talk to him soon – something bad is going to happen.”
The stocky guy’s face fell, almost as if he knew why Zaire was standing there, “It’s always life or death. Please wait here, I will go get Master Aguilar.”
It felt like million or more years before the man reappeared escorting him inside the house and into a large, half decorated living room, “Please sit, Mr. Aguilar will be with you soon.”
Zaire sat but felt a little weird as he looked up above the mantle and finally saw his first glimpse of Josef Aguilar. There, attached to the rocks that decorated the wall above the fireplace, hung the largest self-portrait he had ever seen; he blinked a couple times trying to get his eyes to focus and realize that the portrait was in fact, not of himself. He stood up and took a few steps toward it, his eyes large with alarm.
He knows there is a saying that there is another person, somewhere, that looks like you. But his common sense told him that it’s not true. That there is no way there could be another person that would have his traits, his looks, or even his thoughts, unless he had a twin. However, staring up at the picture he can tell that Josef is much older than he is.
“So freaky,” He said out loud to no one in particular.”
“The resemblance is pretty uncanny. It’s… a little off putting, actually.”
Zaire jumped slightly, his heart racing, “Oh… hi, are you… Josef Aguilar?”
A man stood before Zaire, straight faced with a five o’clock shadow, his features were sad, “Unless there are three of us, I would assume so. So, let me guess, Quinn sent you here because we look an awful a lot like one another?”
“Quinn.” He repeated the words without taking his eyes off of Josef.
Zaire was confused. How does anyone here know about Quinn? His heart beat hard, trying to beat out of his chest – did he just walk into a position he didn’t want to be in?
“You’re not the first person who has showed up out of the blue attempting to kill me, however, you are the first person to knock on my front door.” A small chuckle rattled his chest. “Lots of courage, perhaps?”
Zaire didn’t say anything. If they didn’t knock, how’d they enter his house? Was he really this far out of the loop of things? And why would he think he has courage?
Josef walked calmly, with his hands clasped behind his back head down, into the living area and sat down in a large dark reclining chair. On the small table resting beside him sat a pack of cigarettes, the man grabbed it before Zaire had noticed slipping one out and between his lips. His eyes were determined; fixated on the lighter as it clicked to a small bright flame. Zaire watched, speechless, as he stuck the cigarette into the flame and inhaled deeply. He has known many people who smoke but no one seemed quite as passionate as Josef did. Almost as if he were a perfectionist when it came to smoking; as straight as Zaire is, he felt a small amount of attraction to the man sitting before him. What made it worse? The fact that the guy who sat in front of him could be his twin brother.
“Mental note, take up smoking if you get out of this alive,” Zaire said, moving his fingers like he was typing on a typewriter.
“Smoking is a horrible habit, you shouldn’t. Stick to writing – I’m sure one day you’ll get a big hit.”
Zaire’s forehead crinkled in confusion, “How do you know I am a writer?”
Josef smiled, “If I didn’t know things like that, I wouldn’t be who I am. There are reasons why I am who I am and why I do what I do.”
“Not to sound like an idiot, but why do you do what you do, that makes you who you are?”
“Power, my dear Zaire. Don’t you wish you had power and authority in life?”
Zaire chuckled, “I just wish I had the power to control my own destiny. Control when I die and how. Not like this.”
“She apparently didn’t know you too well, Zaire, when she chose you to do this.”
“Why do you say that?”
Josef stood up and waved his hands in the air, “I’m still standing here in one piece without any wounds.”
“Don’t you see Zaire, you’re the only person who has had the nerve to just walk up to my front door and ring the doorbell. I could have killed you in that moment but instead I wanted to bring you in.” He smiled, “Get to know you a little bit better.”
“Before you kill me?”
Josef laughed, “Who said anything about me killing you, not everyone is obsessed with killing. Just because I’m her Uncle doesn’t mean I’m anything like Quinn, or she’s anything like me. You see, Zaire, the biggest difference between her and me is that I have accepted what I want in life and I’ll tell people. She, on the other hand, won’t admit that the reason she wants me gone, is not because she’s afraid of what I may or may not do, but because she wants to be me.”
Zaire scratched his nose with the back of his hand. “I’m not sure I’m following. She wants to be a dictator?”
“You cannot honestly be that stupid. She has poisoned many people in hopes that they’ll do her dirty work and come after me because, why? You all think she has the cure for the disease that she has infected you with. No, Zaire, open your eyes. She doesn’t have the cure, that’s why all those men and women are still sick and dying.”
“Then why am I here?”
“You are doing her dirty work.”
“So, no matter what I do, I’m destined to die?”
Josef shrugged, “Zaire, my dear boy, I wish I had better news. But she is the one that infected you all, and I’m pretty sure she is the only one who can – uninfected all of you.”
Zaire has heard many people say sometimes one plus one doesn’t equal two, but until now he never really understood the saying. How can someone murder so many people just to find someone that will murder her Uncle? If she really wanted to be him, and have everything he has – then why doesn’t she just do it herself?
“You’re trying to figure out why she won’t do it herself, aren’t you?”
Zaire blinked, “I guess I just don’t understand why she needs lackeys if she is the one that is going to reap the rewards.”
“But that’s just it, Zaire, she isn’t going to reap any rewards. She is going to get nothing. When I die, my estate, money, and anything else that belongs to me will be given away. Sold to the highest buyer – she will get nothing.”
Zaire sat down, but more in a falling fashion on a large chair. He sighed and looked at Josef who was lighting up another cigarette, “So, what now? What do I do? Leave here and die?”
Josef inhaled his cigarette before putting it out in his ashtray. “I wish I could help you more than I have, but sadly Zaire, I cannot. I will say this, if her compound is still full of people, then she isn’t going to kill you herself.”
Zaire felt deflated and placed his face into his palms. His mind raced – another mental note for himself, don’t go on adventures with complete strangers.
Josef stood up, “You know, Zaire, you could probably just help yourself.”
“What do you mean?” His voice cracked.
“All you have to do is find the cure. I’m pretty sure, since she spends so much time in that compound, the cure is in it – if there is one. Don’t let me get your hopes up, she may not actually have it. But if she does, you can probably find it yourself before she ever figured out what you were up to.”
“How? She has it guarded like no other. Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a prison but guarded better. How am I supposed to snoop around if I can’t leave my room?”
Josef smiled, “I guess that’s something you’ll have to figure out.”
Zaire stood up and threw his arms up in the air. “It isn’t going to matter anyway! It’s not like she isn’t going to kill me when I return.”
“Then don’t return. If I’m still alive, that means you failed, and probably means you’re dead. Zaire – be dead. Go get your cure and live your life. Write that book that is inside of you, publish it and please, when it happens, send me a signed copy.”
Zaire didn’t move for a couple minutes as he watched Josef exit the room, almost floating out; way too perfect to be human. He thought about what he was told and wondered if it was possible. Could he possibly fake his own death and no one realize it? Could he sneak into that building and snoop around without Quinn ever finding out? The biggest question he had, of course, does she actually have the cure stored inside of that building and could he figure out how to replicate it and save all of those people?
He shrugged before letting himself out.
What’s the worst thing that can happen?
I’ve been feeling weird the last few months. && the one thing that has plagued my mind the most is whether or not I’m just an average cliché or not. I know it’s silly to think of yourself like but it’s there. Floating around in my brain.
Since I was about eighteen I have been trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. What is it that I WANT to be – to do. I can always remember being younger and wanting to be in the medical field, help people – but once I lost my mother my mood shifted and I didn’t want to deal with the pain of telling their loved ones that I lost their person. So I’ve been trying to figure it out ever since.
But now I feel as if I may just be another cliché.
I can always remember having the love for writing – which isn’t a big secret if you know me. I remember writing my very first poem in school then spending years writing poems (I no longer have any of them, which is probably a good thing) before I slowly moved into writing short stories and then began my first novel.
But why is that making me feel like I do?
I’ve noticed lately that EVERYONE is a writer. If they don’t have a career path, any idea what they want out of life, or are stay-at-home mom’s – they are automatically a writer. They keep blogs, posting daily, write stories that they share with people, and self-publish novels that they write in about a week.
If they are not “writers” they are ‘chefs’ or ‘photographers’. *SIDE NOTE: I’m not bashing writers, chefs or photographers &&& you’ll see why as you read on.*
My second love is cooking and secretly, deep down inside, I would love to open a restaurant. Third love – photography. I even bought an EOS Rebel 35 MM camera when I was eighteen thinking that I will become a photographer. I even looked into photography schools to learn how to be better and develop film myself.
But just like when it comes to ‘writers’, a lot of people say they are photographer or chefs because they don’t know what to do with their lives. When I was looking into the photography idea I noticed just how many people do that themselves and I thought ‘if everyone is a photographer then what am I doing? I cannot compete with the whole state of Oklahoma.” (I’ll always have a soft spot for photography and any chance I get I take pictures for people.) But unfortunately, most of the people in my life call the other “photographers” around to do their photos. Or… they use their phone and take their own. That’s fine, whatever.
But am I just like the rest of people trying to do something with my life that EVERYONE seems to be doing? I will always have a love for writing, but am I being ridiculous in thinking that I will be published?
I just turned 30. I am 30 years old. I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything in my life. Sitting here thinking about my writing and I realize that I have never finished a full story. Even Frost, the novel I’ve been working on since November of 2012 – I’m still not finished with it. I actually decided to “rewrite” it. Now I’m sitting here with a half finished novel and I honestly think it’s complete crap. I wonder sometimes if that’s why I haven’t finished it. I even try to tell myself that Stephen King threw away Carrie – he hated that story. Threw it in the trash.
When it comes to cooking I’m perfectly find just cooking with the family or for them and friends. I can live my life doing that. It’s fine. One day I might open a restaurant, but I won’t be bummed if I never open one.
Photography is a very slow dying out occupation because of cell phone cameras and small pocket sized digital cameras. Why pay someone to do something your sister can do?
Writing. I have had a love for that since I was ten or eleven. (No, I didn’t start writing when I was four – that’s dumb.) In 2012 I told myself I’d be finished and published by 30 – but here I am. With neither crossed off my list.
I guess what I’m trying to figure out is what do I want to be doing for the rest of my life? I know for a fact that it’s not my job right now. I do NOT want to make it a career because I barely like it. (No offense to the job itself.) Honestly, I know the answer, but does it make me a cliché knowing that I don’t like my job, don’t really have any future plans but I want to be a published author?