The World Above

This is a little something I wrote yesterday (while the internet was down ;^; ) because inspiration struck at the oddest time. I think I may expand upon this world at a later date, but I had to get this out there. Let me know what you think, ok?

Oh, and bonus points if you can guess what inspired most of this.

Summers rained for years in that place. Sundrops fell from the sky as endless tears of joy, covering the land with a sweet ray of hope. Autumn came but once a decade, heralding the coming storm of Winter. Ashen snow fell and the people were filled with despair, fearing their beloved Fathers and Mothers in the sky descended with the frosty flakes. 

Riese spent endless hours staring at the icy burnt remains slowly drifting from the heavens, choking back tears at the thought that her Mother was among those destroyed by the despicable Winter. The pity of her village, Maelstrom, was her constant companion and everlasting shadow. Riese could only content herself with the knowledge that, by next Winter, she would join her Mother in the Upper World, where her tears would be ones of smoldering bliss instead of her frozen anguish here in the World Below.

 

One day, she thought, I will live in a world above pity.

 

With that as her beacon, Riese spent her days gazing at the sky, dreaming of her Mother, the woman whose face she barely recalled and voice was a distant lullaby in a foreign language. When she was a child, Riese heard the villagers say that her Mother would never rise to the Upper World because of her alien heritage and that Riese would be most fortunate to overcome such a genetic setback. In their own way, they wished Riese the greatest blessing they could devise.

 

Yet it was never enough to draw Riese from her thoughts, her self-inflicted isolation. Her heart warmed only with the coming summers in which her Mother’s love fell from the sky. She was sure her Mother was there, monitoring her daughter, waiting for the day when she could bring Riese back into her safe and loving arms.

 

As Winter dredged on, Riese fell into despair. The ashes slowly ceased to come and with their cessation, Riese lost faith in her Mother in the Upper World. Too many nights had her tears frozen to her cheeks and sobs replaced the gentle lullaby of her Mother’s songs.

 

Winter passed, bringing Riese into adulthood and further from dreams of the Upper World and her Mother. She was a practical woman now, and she shed her lonerisms for a husband and children, whom she cherished greatly. In the eyes of Maelstrom, she had overcome her disadvantage. The child wandering in the ashen snow had come home.

 

In the years of Summer rain, Riese became a prominent member of the community. Her research into the scientific causes of the seasons created much heated debate and great admiration from the multitudes. Neighboring chiefs would visit to hear her theories and spread the word to their people. It soon became common knowledge that the sundrops that fell every summer were what caused the trees to bear such delicious fruit and the hogs to grow fat so quickly. Their prosperity was not the whim of Mothers and Fathers who died every fifteen years. It was science.

 

In time, Riese exposed many of the secrets of their world and was renowned as a great Thinker. Her Daughter, who admired her from the moment Riese called her name at birth, branched off from Riese’s research, choosing to investigate the causes of humanity’s spread throughout the world. Riese’s son, however, continued to pray to the Mothers and Fathers in the sky, believing that his mother was not necessarily wrong in her research, but that the Mothers and Fathers were the driving force behind his Mother’s science.

 

The children grew up and Riese grew old. Her hair turned gray and her once bright and lively eyes grew tired and wrinkled. It was Winter again. As she had done in her childhood, Riese wandered the ashen plains, admiring the technological advances of Maelstrom. Her heart swelled with pride to see families warmed by harnessing the power of stored sundrops and eating meals preserved with the extract of evergreen trees. She was pleased with her work.

 

“Maelstra Riese!” called a familiar sweet voice in the distance.

 

Riese turned to face the sound, but there was no one there. Puzzled and, Riese admitted, a bit curious, she followed the source of the sound. It called her through the woods and halfway to Stracatto, the neighboring village, before Riese discovered the speaker.

 

“Maelstra Riese, I’ve been calling you all these years and you never heard me. Why did you stop waiting for me to call you home?”

 

The speaker was a young woman dressed in an ashen white gown that seemed to be made of the very ash they stood on. Her eyes were the soft amber of Autumn and her hair the brilliant gold of sundrops.

 

“You must forgive me, Miss, I was unaware that I was awaiting word from you,” Riese replied, a tad too sarcastically for the speaker’s liking.

 

“You begged me to bring you home when you were a child. Your tears would cling to your face, icy and cold, yet you did not waver. I saw your sorrow and took pity on you. I was going to free you of the World Below as soon as you came of age,” the woman explained. “Yet, when the day came, you had rebuked the Upper World for your science. What has that science done to dry your tears, Maestra Riese?”

 

Riese was speechless. Not once in her adult life did she dare to dream that the Upper World was real, that such a thing could exist. Her heart clenched tight and her eyes stung with the heat of her tears. For the first time since the Winter of her youth, Riese’s tears froze to her cheeks and she dropped to her knees in the ashes.

 

“Maestra Riese, my child, do not cry,” whispered the woman. “Please, my Daughter, do not cry any more. My heart cannot bear it.”

 

Riese lifted her head in disbelief. It was impossible that this young woman was her Mother, the woman who had left her for the Upper World so many years ago. It simply could not be.

 

“I must be losing my hearing, Miss,” Riese said carefully. “You see, I thought you had called me your Daughter and, well,” Riese looked herself over, “as you can see, I am likely old enough to be your Mother instead.”

 

The woman merely smiled and began to sing an old tune. Riese knew it well, for her mother had sung it to her to get her to sleep when she was very small and afraid of Winter. The melody recalled memories of summers, swimming in the lake and falling in love with the young carpenter of Maelstrom. Most of all, though, it reminded Riese of the hope she once had, the faith that someone from the Upper World would scoop her up and away from the pity of the villagers.

 

“My Daughter, please accept my kindness now,” the woman pleaded and Riese saw the desperation in her eyes. It was the same desperation she felt when her own Daughter had decided to leave Maelstrom in search of her own answers. Riese had begged her Daughter to remain in Maelstrom until her Mother passed away of old age. She would be free to roam the world afterward, but Riese could not imagine losing her beloved Daughter. In that moment, Riese realized the truth of the woman’s words.

 

“Mother, I’m so sorry. I’ve abandoned you like I feared my Daughter would abandon me,” Riese wept. “Yet, what would you have me do now? Leave my love, my work, my children for the dreams of a child who missed her Mother? I cannot. I will not leave their side, not now. They need me, Mother.”

 

Riese’s Mother smiled. Though her heart was broken at her Daughter’s choice, she was proud of the woman Riese had become. She had found her light, her purpose, and accepted it gracefully. And, despite what she had said, she would accept her Mother’s last gift with as much grace and dignity.

 

The sky above opened up and sunlight that rivaled that of Summer shone down on Riese and her Mother. Its warmth engulfed Riese and her frozen tears melted away. She closed her eyes and let the light swallow her whole. It embraced her fully and, for the first time in her life, Riese felt free.

 

She was living in a world above pity.

The Title “Fiancé”

Goodness, it’s been a long time since I wrote anything here. In fact, it’s been a long time since I wrote in general. A good deal has happened since my last post and, as I am writing this on my iPhone, I’ll probably miss something.

Firstly, I am now unofficially engaged. R and I are wonderfully happy together and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. He’s the one person who, when I want to break and push everyone away, stays and keeps me sane. Well, relatively speaking, anyway.

Speaking of my sanity levels, I am also currently going through therapy for depression and anxiety. I broke down about a month ago right before I was supposed to stand an armed watch. When I realized that I was afraid to arm up because of the things I was thinking, I checked into the hospital and started getting help. I’m not better, even though everyone seems to think I am. I’m afraid that may be a big hurdle for me in terms of getting treatment. I’m doing better at work because I’m finally doing something I enjoy. But my chain of command only really sees me at work, so they don’t know about the way I break down over little things like almost spilling a drink or jokes R sometimes makes (ones that, depending on my mood, I am actually ok with). They don’t know that the other half of me, the real me, is still very broken inside and needs help.

Best news of the day, though, is that I am no longer DCPO. My turnover is done and over with and my relief now does the maintenance. I can now focus on being a technician and my new workout routine.

Which, of course, leads me to my next topic. I plan to work out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This is more because I need to pass my fitness test than anything else. I need to pass it so I can rank up. I don’t particularly want the rank, but it has its benefits. Like, for example, being able to afford an apartment off base that I would be able to go home to my fiancé almost every night and know that we’re the only ones who live there.

Random thought here (interrupting a fairly organized post), but saying fiancé feels weird. Like, on one hand, I’m shocked the phrase can be applied to me and my life. I never thought I’d ever get past the phase where I liked someone and was kinda seeing them. I never once imagined I’d find someone I’d feel I couldn’t live without. Someone I would love so dearly that I would say yes to a proposal before it ever actually happened and without a second thought.

On the other hand, though, I’m ecstatic. I can’t wait to have my last name change and not have anyone be able to tell me we aren’t allowed to be together. I can’t wait to have the world know that I’m his and he’s mine. I need the world to know that I am the luckiest woman in the world.

And the only thing that could make me happier is the day that “fiancé” becomes “husband.”

Loneliness

Ever feel so alone, so broken, that your chest physically hurts? Like, it feels like your heart is literally falling and you’d be lucky if it actually hit the ground because the feeling of falling is just so much more frightening?

This is multiple times a day for me. I don’t know how to stop it, how to go back to the way things were before Tuesday, when I went to the hospital. I wish I’d never snapped. I wish I’d just kept it all in, never let anyone see just how bad it all hurts. I wish I could keep my heart from falling.

It feels like I’ve broken everything. Everything that was good in my life just hurts. And I know I need help. I’m not going to do anything stupid. I just want it all to go back to the way it was.

I can’t keep living like this and I don’t have a choice but to keep going forward.

I just want time to stop for a while…

My Boyfriend Wears Prada

And, frankly, I don’t know how to feel about it.

On one hand, it makes me nervous. I mean, clearly he comes from a very well-off family like he says, but… I have so many issues with spending that much money on clothes. Big expenditures to me are gaming systems and tablets and stuff like that. Not one shirt for $300. Granted, he looks absolutely gorgeous in it, but that’s not the point.

On the other hand, I have this strange feeling that I don’t know how to identify. It’s like I’m glad because, if everything works out between the two of us, and I really do think it will, I won’t have to be scared of how I’d live. I wouldn’t have to be afraid that we don’t know if we’re going to make it to the end of the month or we can’t provide for the family we plan to have in the (far) future. And that’s been a very massive fear for me when it comes to having kids. I know what it’s like to go without, to have to find ways to help out, to be the adult. It is such a huge relief to know that I won’t have to struggle for years to put together enough money to comfortably raise a child.

But it still bothers me every time I see that shirt in our closet.

What Love Really Is

Gosh, it’s been a while since I was here. So much has happened and I’ve grown considerably as a human being. As a woman.

I spend just about every day at my boyfriend’s place now. I’m not being that crazy, obsessed girlfriend, I swear. But we’ve both been talking a lot and, the more we talk, the more I realize that I have never been more right about someone than I have with him.

If you recall, I once mentioned that there are no perfect people in the world. There are no perfect relationships and everything is about how much you’re willing to compromise. I also mentioned that, if that was the case, this man is the closest to perfect for me as I can get.

I had no idea at the time just how right I was. We’ve been talking about our future, about five to ten years in the future. He wants me to be a part of his life that far in the future and, you know what? I want to be in his life that long, too. It’s such a strange realization, wanting not only a future, but wanting one to share with another person, potentially for the rest of my life. And, in the past, that’s been terrifying.

But I want this. I have gotten to the point where he is the only one who can tell me we can’t be together anymore. I’m not saying we don’t fight and I don’t want to call it quits sometimes, but he has proven to me time and again that he will stand by me no matter what, no matter the things that I have done or been through that I’m ashamed of and can’t tell anyone.

It’s weird for me, though. I’m so used to being independent, to holding myself up alone (despite all the wonderful friends I have, I’ve always chosen to be self-reliant) and now there’s someone that, when things get unbearable, there he is. I don’t want to make anyone my savior, but if there is one person to save me from myself, it’s him.

The crazy thing is that I’m starting to like that idea.

Happy Homemaker vs. Independent Woman

It’s been a while since I had an update of a semi-professional sort. I’ve been using this blog as a means to vent (which was the whole reason I actually got a blog), but I’ve been thinking a lot about a new story idea.

It’s a lot less adventure-y and more of a statement about the expectations of the world and how women cope (with, of course, a bunch of mushy, romance-y stuff). There’s a massive stigma among women, from what I’ve seen personally, regarding being a mother and homemaker. More specifically, women are being raised now to believe that they should work hard to be independent workers and the professional equal of men. Which, of course, women who wish to develop a steady career should strive for.

But there are women out there who really just want to spend their lives raising children and taking care of their families. And it is extremely difficult to be a woman like that in today’s society.

Other women who want to prove themselves look down on the housewife, painting her as weak or incompetent, when, really, to stand up and say that, yes, she would love to be responsible for a defenseless child, an infant, takes just as much courage as being a woman who decides to join the military and carry a gun, knowing that, should she have to, she must make the split-second decision to fire that weapon.

There is constant doubt in her mind about the path she feels inclined to take. She fears that, upon finding out that all she wants is to have kids and settle down, no man would want her. With a strong sense of balance and equality, she fears that being a housewife would make her dependent and not a true contributor to the household, even if she is the one who keeps the house clean and manages to keep the children from running wild and makes all three meals every day and is always there to lend a helping hand. Even if she is the foundation the household sits upon, she fears it will not be enough because she does not financially contribute.