- Third Place in Teen Angst Playlist Challenge
Angst Was Riding Shotgun
Growing up, I would have never been considered a very angsty child. I followed the rules and would have definitely been called a teacher’s pet. Okay, on multiple occasions I was called the teacher’s pet. I lived a sheltered life and had very little to feel moody about. But in the summer of 2001, the state of California gave me a little card that said I was allowed to drive. And everything changed. I put on my cargo pants, slid on my Oakley sunglasses, jumped into my mom’s Ford Expedition, and hit the road. I was in the driver’s seat and angst was riding shotgun.
Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 2
Five o’clock in the morning is my time. I was never the biggest morning person, struggling to come alive before eight on a good day, but that changed once I had a child that kept me up all night long. Now, it seems no matter how tired I am at other times, I am always wide awake at five in the morning. So, starting just a few months ago I figured I might as well take the opportunity to get a bit of the pre-pregnancy me back. And I decided running was the best way to do that.
Just Let Me Die Here (A serialized novel)
Prologue This is the absolute best. There is no one else on the trail with me and I stop for a moment to take in the view, and the quiet. The wonderful, delicious, delicate quiet. It hovers, suspended in the air like a thin sheet of ice just waiting to crack. It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced such peace. The view is beautiful, beyond anything I could have imagined when I dreamed of skiing these mountains. The snow-frosted pines stretch on for miles, an endless sea of evergreen glittering in the afternoon sun. The snow beneath my skis is pristine, the groomed path stretching off to the horizon then curving down to the valley below.
Conquering the Peak
What have I gotten myself into? I cling to the side of the mountain as the path narrows and curves up the steep incline. The sun hovers over me and turns my once comforting jacket into a stove.
Austin stared through the neon-illuminated window at the sparsely filled tables inside. Mostly random assortments of families; overly stressed parents staring into the half-eaten burger clenched in their hands while their children squatted in the plastic booths, stuffing handfuls of cold, overly-salted fries into and around their mouths. A few booths of teenagers, each more interested in the electronic device in their hand than their food or company. One woman sat alone in the purple, plastic swivel chair of a small back corner table. Each individual item was arranged neatly on her tray and she took a bite of one after the other in a meticulously ordered pattern. He watched her, trying to imagine her life story. He decided she lived alone. It didn’t take much to see that. She had tried having roommates, but they didn’t suit her nor she them. She had been engaged once, he believed, but the guy had run off a month before the wedding leaving little more than a brief note stating that it wasn’t her it was him and that he just couldn’t go though with it. She had found out a week later that he had moved in with his business partner, a woman ten years his junior, in the next town over and they were planning on marrying in the fall. Maybe they were having a child together too. Austin decided the woman had tried to move on, going on several dates immediately after with men her mother had set her up with, sons of her bingo friends, but nothing went past a first date. She had always hoped they would call, but they never did. Since then she had kept to herself, spending nights at home with her small dog, a Yorkie, maybe a Shih Tzu, and watching obscure mystery dramas on a television she had purchased at the local thrift shop. He decided it was a sad existence. He decided she would probably kill herself before her next birthday. And, finally, he decided that he would gladly trade places with her.
Having a Birth Plan Ruined My Birth Experience
*TW: description of difficult birth I have always been a planner. If there was a checklist to be made, I made it. If there was a schedule to create or an itinerary to prepare, I did it. I was, and still really am, the typical Type A Planner. So, when I got pregnant and heard about this thing called a Birth Plan, I knew it was my time to shine. I talked to everyone I knew who had given birth. I read piles of books on pregnancy and the birthing process. I knew my options and I knew what I wanted. And I definitely knew what I didn’t want. I wrote out my Birth Plan (on the Birth Plan form provided by my doctor) and gave a copy to the hospital, my Ob-Gyn, and my midwife team. I knew exactly how my birth experience was going to play out (If you’ve given birth, please don’t laugh too hard at me here). And this Plan was exactly what ruined the very birth experience I had, well, planned.
The End of Us
*TW: occurrence of miscarriage “This isn’t going to work,” I say, staring at the lanes of traffic in front of us. The harsh drone of the spinning cement mixer on our truck drowns out the bustling city noise and the panic in my head. I’ve been meaning to say it for days, weeks maybe. Mitch lets out a sigh.
She says, “I’m pregnant.” He had been working in the garage, cleaning the drawers of his toolbox. Wrenches and drill bits and a hammer that had been his uncle’s, given to him on the day his father passed away, lay around him, caked in the dust of the far back corner of the garage where his toolbox has sat, unattended, for months. Maybe years. But yesterday, when the handle of the silverware drawer had become just a little too loose he had decided to fix it, and so found himself faced with the task of finding the appropriate tool within the mess of this box. But, while the drawer handle in the kitchen remained just slightly loose, he had set out on the journey to clean out and reorganize the box. And it is at the point that he has reached the far back corner of the bottom section and rubbed out the last little oily spot that she says, “I’m pregnant”. He pauses, first looking at his warped reflection in the polished chrome handle and then up at her. The glow of the yellow garage light casts pale shadows across her face. He searches her eyes for a clue as to what his reaction is supposed to be and comes up blank.