Another flash fiction challenge from Chuck Wendig. This time, we had to write a story of our choosing separated into 10 chapters (or entries in my case) to practice pacing and arrangement. I added an additional challenge and didn’t outline this story before I wrote it. This piece is inspired by the writing style of Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series. So in a 1,000 words or less, I give you:
March 3, 2014
This is my entry.
I feel so much better now.
March 11, 2014
According to Dr. Anne, I’m expected to bitch about something in this diary “to help with the healing process.” Process. Like there is some magic instruction booklet that’s going to put the pieces back together perfectly.
I hate her so much. I know she’s just trying to do her job. But when her job involves her stating that “thousands, maybe even millions of people have gone through the same things as you, Lexi,” I want to throw something at her. Preferably my fist.
March 20, 2014
Started my fifth week of visiting Dr. Anne today.
Dr. Anne. As if Dr. Reinke won’t allow her to connect to her patients on a personal level.
Today, she asked if I wanted to talk about the way it happened. The way she covertly tries to lead the conversation back to him is laughable. Like a little kid who has the mentality “she can’t see me if I can’t see her.” So I humored her for a while. But she got so excited that she said his name. That ended that conversation pretty quickly.
March 29, 2014
Dr. Anne was persistent today. She kept asking me what I was going to do next week. And I kept returning the question back to her. Turns out, she doesn’t like it when someone asks her the same thing over and over again either.
What I didn’t tell her is that I don’t want to face the next week. That I have a hard enough time sleeping in the same bed. That I don’t want to be in the house. That I miss him and I don’t understand why I’m still here and he’s gone. That the idea of facing his birthday without him is unthinkable. That maybe, I don’t even want to be here anymore.
In the end, I told her I’ll be fine.
April 14, 2014
Came back home today. My father-in-law and mother-in-law, Rick and Lisa, have moved into the downstairs guest bedroom. I don’t want them here. Especially Rick.
Josh looks just like Rick. But it was this or stay in the hospital. Dr. Anne’s orders.
I’m not sure which is worst.
April 20, 2014
Lisa yelled at me today. Told me that he wouldn’t have wanted me to be like this. I tell her once she loses a husband, healthy and laughing one day, dead with a hemorrhage in the brain the next, she may earn the right to speak to me like that again. But even then, I doubt she could understand. She has children and grandchildren, sisters and brothers, hell, her mom is even still alive. She has so many people.
All I had was
Dr. Anne says that they love me and just want me what’s best for me. I expected her to say that. What I didn’t expect was Dr. Anne to talk to me about her own mother-in-law horror stories. Can psychiatrists do that, talk about their own lives? Regardless, it was nice to not have to live in my life for a while.
April 31, 2014
I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately. As long as I’m careful to avoid romances, it usually gives me the two hour escape I need. Today, Rick asked if I wanted to watch Pulp Fiction. I nearly said no. But I sat down and watched it with him, careful to concentrate only on the movie, only on the plot. I was doing well, until I looked over at Rick during a particularly morbid scene. The one with the car and the guy’s head.
I saw him crying.
I almost left. I stood up from the couch and everything. But I only walked over to the coffee table and brought back a box of tissues. I sat down again. He didn’t say anything. We finished the movie.
Pulp Fiction was one of Josh’s favorite movies.
May 11, 2014
My in-laws moved back home today. They promised they’ll come back every weekend. Lisa I’m less sorry to leave. Rick I’ll miss.
It’s funny how that works.
May 20, 2014
It started with me realizing the grass had gotten too long.
I don’t mow. Or at least I didn’t. That was always his job. I do inside stuff, he did outside stuff. And I was really tempted to hire somebody to do it for me. Or to call Rick. But I decided to do it myself. When I was half-way finished, I had to run to my appointment with Dr. Anne with my grass-stained shoes and pollen filled clothes. She noted my eyes were red. I told her it was allergies.
She told me she had my medical file and that I had no recorded allergies.
And then I started crying. I hadn’t even realized I had done it while mowing. And for the first time since I started to see Dr. Anne, I finally said his name. And how much I missed him. That it wasn’t fair that me, the nobody going nowhere, got left behind when the somebody, my somebody, going some where got taken. I know it doesn’t work like that, but I felt like God had cheated. That he took the wrong one. And that it should have been me.
Then Dr. Anne said something today that I never even considered. What if that was the case? What if God did in fact chose me to die? But Josh, being the wonderful man he was, demanded that he go in my place? She said it all hypothetical, obviously appealing to my neurosis, but it made me cry all the harder. Because that is exactly what Josh would do.
I felt embarrassed. I felt lighter. I went home and finished mowing the grass.
May 29, 2014
This is my entry.
I really do feel better now.