Hey guys! MZ here and this is my first entry. To be honest, because I've not written anything creative properly in a very long time I found this incredibly hard to write and even harder to start, though I must say I enjoyed the whole process. I initially tried using prompts like how Jerrenn did but that proved to be too difficult for me so I decided to write something completely of my choosing. It's a very simple story but I suppose it's a start. Enjoy! And comments are much appreciated!
Tiny feet approached the room and a tiny head peered in. There he was, in the dark room on the couch, pushing the buttons of his console with his thumbs and his eyes glued to the screen. BANG! BANG! BANG! blared the speakers. She had no choice. Inhale, Jen. Inhale.
Here goes nothing.
“Go away or I’ll tell Mummy you talked to a stranger when you were outside”.
“But I didn’t!!”
“But she won’t know that, will she?”
“I, er, need you to help me clean my fish tank when I’m away at grandma’s place,”
“STUPID CONSOLE, WHY AREN’T YOU…!”
“Argh, can’t you get MOM to do it?! She always does it, doesn’t she?”
“Um…she’ll be away too. You’ll be the only one at home and so you’re the only one who….”
“DIE YOU ZOMBIES! DIE!!!!!”
“IF YOU DON’T CLEAN IT MY FISH WILL DAAAIIII!!!! IN ITS SHEEEEEEET!!!”
The little feet began jumping anxiously.
“Jen, can’t you see I’m a little busy?”
“TAKE THAT YOU HORRIBLE MONSTER! AND THAT! AND…”
It was getting harder to see with the tears blinding her eyes.
“KOR!!! I SAID MY FISH WILL ….!!!”
“And I should care because……….?”
“AHHHHH!!! YOU’RE THE WORST BROTHER EVER!”
“And you stink! HAHA!”
The last thing Jennifer remembers of that incident was the sound of a door slammed in her face. That incident took place years ago when she was 6 and her brother, John, was 10. After the deafening door slam, everything went silent, and I mean everything. Her senses ceased to work momentarily, she was unable to move and the only thing functioning was her brain, and this left room for a quiet, powerful epiphany to form in the little girl’s mind: Did you see the way he treated you? How little he listened? How he DIDN’T listen? How can you deny the brutality of his words? I mean, come on! He's going to let your fish die in its waste!
Right there and then, she saw nothing but an invisible barrier that was built between her and her brother, him being the builder who was evidently incapable of treating her with kindness or respect, much less love. A barrier that she could do nothing about. In fact, it was just as impossible for her to do anything about it as it was for her to knock on the door in front of her or turn the door knob open even if she wanted to.
You see, dear reader, Jennifer was born without arms.
That is why she couldn’t clean the fish tank when she was 6. That is why she still couldn’t clean a fish tank when she was 20. That is why she couldn’t wipe away the salty frustrated tears from her eyes or the snot from her nose with a tissue paper after the shouting match like how people with arms can.
And that, my friends, is why she felt that there may have been some truth when her brother said that she stank. It was for that same reason the epiphany in her head was that her brother couldn’t, and so didn’t, love her.
“Can you PLEEEEEEEEASE hurry up! The match is going to start any time soon! 50 bucks is at stake here, mom!” he impatiently drummed the steering wheel.
“Be patient, John! Your sister’s not decided if she wants the blue or red bag! And it’s her birthday!” Jennifer’s mom shouted just as loudly on the phone, 10 years after the fish tank argument.
“Can’t you just go on Facebook or something while waiting? We’ll look for your car in the parking lot. We’ll be done in 15 minutes! PROMISE! ” Mrs Wong then turned to her chuckling daughter and mouthed “TAKE YOUR TIME!”
“WOMEN!” Mrs Wong heard John exclaim just before she hung up.
“Thanks mom” Jennifer smiled.
“No problem, sweetie. You just decide which bag you want. I’m going to the toilet for a bit and if you’ve not decided by then, I suppose we could get you both bags”.
Mrs Wong winked. “Just don’t tell your dad. It will be our little secret. Will be back soon, honey!”
Jennifer laughed. She’s 16! Finally! It sounds like SUCH a big number! She shoved both the blue and red bag into the shopping basket. It felt like it took eternity for her to be this grown up! Speaking of growing up, maybe her mom wouldn’t mind buying her one of those fountain pens…
“HEY WEIRDO!” someone hollered in her direction.
“What happened to your arms eh?”
“Oh, hi Alex”.
Alex was the captain of the football team of one of the high schools in the area, and yes, he was tall, dark and handsome and yes, Jennifer had a huge crush on him.
“Um, I never had arms, Alex”
“NAWH! That can’t be right! Everyone was born with arms! Come on! Show me where you hid them!”
“Quit it, Alex,” Jennifer’s lips started to quiver.
“HEY EVERYBODY! LOOK AT THIS FREAK!!”
“Alex, stop. Please".
"Hey! Hey! Maybe you could join the circus or something! That would be sooooooooo cool!!"
Then out of nowhere, “HOW’S THIS FOR COOL, YOU LITTLE PUNK!!”
Before she knew it, Alex was on the floor writhing in pain and screaming something about his nose being broken. You should have seen his face, guys. It was bloody.
“YOU STAY OUT OF HER WAY AND YOU NEVER COME CLOSE TO HER AGAIN OR I’LL FIND YOU! YOU UNDERSTAND ME?! YOU DON’T EVER! EVER TALK TO HER LIKE THAT EVER EVER AGAIN, YOU UNDERSTAND ME??!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?! ARE YOU LISTENING!?”
You know how sometimes you can’t sleep because something’s on your mind? Yeah. It was 2AM and Jennifer couldn’t sleep. She kept thinking of her little epiphany when she was 6 and she couldn’t stop replaying what happened in the mall earlier that day. She had never seen John so violent and frankly it scared her a little. She got out of bed.
His room door was open.
“WHAT! I’m trying to sleep here!”
“Thanks for….um, you know”.
“Ee-yer! You stink! Get lost!”.
“Love you too, kor. Love you too”.