Posts tagged “feelings

Chasing Truth: Chapter 49

Posted on 26/06/2020

Calories in a Glass of Wine

Mari was practically coming out of her seat by the time she and Reese arrived at Julia’s place. She dreaded dancing around the truth with her best friends, but she was excited to be able to bring them in at least a little. She needed their insight.

Her leg bounced restlessly while she waited for Reese to open her door. She hopped down the second he did and just barely restrained herself to keep pace with him. They were walking up the pathway when the door swung open to reveal Leilani. She didn’t come out.

“I knew it was you. I checked out the window and again out the peephole,” she rushed to say since she knew she wasn’t supposed to open the door until Reese was actually at said door.

Reese shook his head. Mari just grinned. Leilani latched onto her arm the moment she was within reach. 

“You can have the living room, Reese. We’re not going to watch TV and this way you’re between us and the door,” Leilani continued as Reese closed the door. “We’ll be in the kitchen.”

“Is anything that comes out of the kitchen going to be edible?” he called after them teasingly.

Leilani turned to stick her tongue out at him but didn’t stop herding Mari to the kitchen. Julia stood at the stove, frying fish when they entered. Leilani let go of Mari to retrieve a wine glass, which she filled generously.

“Okay, spill,” Leilani prompted and handed Mari the glass.

Mari laughed, settling onto the nearest stool and taking a sip. “Well, at least I got wine first.” Leilani’s mock glare made her laugh. “It’s nothing that extreme. Really. Things with Tyler have been…off lately. I don’t really know how to explain it. Things don’t feel the same anymore.”

“Feel the same like how?” Leilani pressed. “Like you  don’t feel the same way about him as you used to or the relationship feels different?”

“I…both? The relationship feels different, distant almost. I think that’s affecting how I feel.”

Julia cut straight to the heart of the matter. “You’re having second thoughts.”

Mari dropped her head to stare into her wine. “Yeah. Maybe it’s just me and I’m imagining things being different, but…” She hated lying to her friends, but this was the closest to the truth she could get. She lifted her gaze. “I was kinda hoping you two could pay attention when he comes back. You know, tell me if I’m just being crazy.”

“I’ve never known you to just be crazy,” Julia said as she laid fish onto a plate.

Leilani glanced toward the doorway before leaning forward. “How much of this maybe has to do with you spending all of this time with Reese?” she whispered.

“I don’t know,” Mari groaned. “That’s part of the whole problem. At first, everything seemed simple. Things with Tyler were great. They changed some even before I met Reese, but when he showed up, things got even more complicated. I wasn’t expecting to interact with him at all. And then when he stayed, I wasn’t expecting to actually enjoy talking to him or anything. I was just planning to put up with him so Blake wouldn’t hassle me.”

“But now it’s more?” It was a statement from Julia, not a question.

Mari opened her mouth to deny it, but there was no point. Julia and Leilani knew her too well. 

“You two have gotten close over the last couple of weeks,” Julia continued. “Nothing that crosses the line, but he fits. You two fit in a way Tyler never did.”

“My life is out of control,” Mari whispered as she buried her face in her hands.

“So take back some control,” Leilani suggested. “End it with Tyler.”

“I can’t just end a relationship with a guy I’ve been seeing for months just because I think another guy is attractive. Reese doesn’t even live here. This wouldn’t even be a discussion if he and I weren’t attached at the hip these last few weeks. He’ll go home and this…this will wear off.”

“You don’t believe that, do you?” Leilani chided softly. “Maybe the closeness got you here faster, but it’s not just going to go away. It’s not like you’ll never see him again. If nothing else, he’d be back whenever your dad visits and there whenever you visit him.”

Mari waved off her words. “He doesn’t even like me that way. He’s here doing a job. That’s it.”

Julia snorted while Leilani rolled her eyes. 

“Oh, please. He totally likes you.”

Julia checked the doorway before approaching the island. “There are things he does because he’s here to keep you safe, but there are things he does that don’t fall into that. He almost always brings you your food, even when we’re just in the house. When he calls you Ellie, it’s not because he’s trying to come off as a close friend. He caters to you in ways that have nothing to do with protecting you.”

“We were talking about Tyler,” Mari protested weakly.

“And now we’re talking about Reese,” Leilani returned without hesitation. “Allie really likes him. She told mom Raoul does too and that you guys had a great time camping.”

“They like him because he’s keeping me safe and they know that,” she pointed out.

“Mari, stop being deliberately blind. He would have been perfectly capable of coming here and pretending to be a friend without ever getting as close to you and people that matter to you as he has. We’ll pay attention when Tyler comes back. You know all you had to do was ask. You’re not going to be able to sort out things with Tyler if you can’t be honest with yourself about what’s happening between you and Reese though. Start there.”

Wisdom imparted, Julia turned back to the stove to finish preparing dinner. Even Leilani found nothing else to add.

Be honest about what was happening between her and Reese? Now that the girls laid it out, it was harder to ignore. It had already been hard enough to dismiss before today. 

Mari drained the rest of her glass. It was going to be a long night.

<< Chapter 48

Boarding School

Posted on 30/11/2015


Primary school was tougher for some than most; I was among the ‘some’ that found primary school challenging. For one, I preferred to draw and write short stories along the binding of my notebook rather than work on multiplication tables.

My primary 4 math teacher, Mr. Allison, was patient with me, though he too must’ve wondered about my future.

Graduating primary school by eight, it was time to consider secondary school options. We took our exams and I did okay.  Then came the choice to go to the Navy Secondary School as a day or boarding student. All around, my classmates gushed in anticipation to attend boarding school. Kings college was in popular demand at the time.

The only thing I knew about boarding school was what I’d seen in American movies. Students would wear matching pinafores and sing songs while jumping on high bunk beds with their countless friends. In my eight-year-old mind, it would be a fun adventure and I couldn’t wait.

So when I got home that afternoon, I announced to my parents that I would be attending the Navy school as a boarding student.

My parents weren’t as excited as I was; in fact, they glanced once at each other and then back at me. “You sure?” my mother asked. I nodded emphatically. What could be more fun that boarding school, especially if it was anything like the American movie version.

With great reluctance, my parents relented and soon I was accepted into the Navy Seconday School. From that day on, I bragged to my siblings and all my church friends, telling them of the grand adventure I was about to embark on.

Then one day, my mom took me and my two brothers to the barber. At first, I was confused since the salon was on the other side of the neighborhood. She told me to sit on a chair while my brothers were getting their haircuts. Now, mind you, my mother made sure me and my sisters’ hair was in top-notch condition. We visited the salon every two weeks for a fresh perm, our locks healthy and long. At eight, my hair covered my shoulders and skimmed my back though at the moment, it was in a careless ponytail that brushed my neck.

I sat down to read a book with pictures while we waited for my brothers’ to be done with their haircuts, when I heard a strange buzzing sound at my left ear. Then I felt it. A lightness I hadn’t known before. My eyes caught the movement over my shoulder and that’s when I saw it; my long thick hair sliding down the nylon sheet onto the floor.

I jerked in my seat to look at the culprit, a dark-skinned man with a razor to my head. I felt sick to my stomach. “Mommy!”

She came to me and I could see tears brimming her eyes. I was taken back in shock that all my hair was on the floor and that my mom was crying.

On the way back, I numbly asked why. She said in boarding school, all the girls cut their hair.

“But I look like a boy!” I protested, vowing to despise the barber for the rest of my life.

As my brothers raced across the compound to our front door, my mom put an arm around my shoulder. “It’ll grow…” she said weakly, and I chose to believe her.

Besides, if losing my hair was the worst that could happen, I could handle it. Or so I thought…

(to be continued)

What about you?

Did you go to boarding school growing up? What was the first few days before going to school like for you? Traumatic? Exciting?

Let me know in the comments below and let’s commiserate together. 😉

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