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.

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.

Home

Most people think of a house. An apartment. A flat. A place to live that you share with someone special.

For a long time, I thought home was all the way back in California. My current residence in Norfolk, VA has always been temporary. I’ve always thought, “I’ll live here for a few years then move back to California and go to college. I won’t have a ‘home’ until after that, when I’ve settled down.” Somehow, that’s been the plan in my head for a long time.

Recently, though, I’ve been feeling like this is home. Not the place I stay in, but the man I come home to every day. It’s weird to say this nearly four months into a relationship, but I finally feel needed as much as I feel I need him. It’s a ridiculously wonderful feeling, being needed. Being so necessary to the happiness of another person, it’s so amazingly uplifting. Even if I don’t do things for him the way he does for me, I finally feel like a vital piece of the puzzle instead of that random piece that no one really knows where it goes (some part of some sky somewhere that could really be part of any puzzle out there).

Does anyone else feel that way when it comes to love and things like that? That being needed is just as important as needing the person you’re with? And does that feeling make you feel like you’re home when you’re with them?

Days Like Today

I just want to curl up in a ball and cry. Maybe even sleep for a few weeks. I know I’ve mentioned how much my dreams bother me, but even they’re preferable to the way I’m feeling right now.

I think the hardest part for me is knowing that the way I’m feeling is completely irrational. I take slight scoldings and treat them like the end of the world. And, to me, they are. Because if someone has to scold me, I messed up in a miniscule way that I ought to have been able to correct on my own. Instead, someone else has to notice it and tell me to fix it.

And, if there’s one thing I hate, it’s other people telling me how to do things. I love to learn, but I don’t like it when I think I have it down and mess up. Like this morning when I was on watch. I was yelled at for something so small and that I had no way of knowing, but it still hurt me. It hurt me to the point where all my irrational fears and doubts came back up to the surface, the ones I’d been working so hard to get past.

I know I’m better than that. I know I’m a good person who wouldn’t try to do things wrong on purpose. I know there’s no reason for me to feel like shit every time someone tells me I messed up.

But I do.

And it scares me because, if this is how I react in the military, how am I going to behave in the civilian world? How am I going to handle not having a chain of command to help me with everything? Not that they really help me much, but they’re a convenient source of blame.

But, the point is, when I get out, I’ll have no one to blame but myself. And, really, that scares me, too. Because I play the blame game. I don’t like that, but I do. And, if the only person I can blame is myself, then I’m going to blame myself for a lot. Probably more than I actually deserve (because I’m a masochist like that), but I’d be shouldering a lot. And I’m scared that, when that day comes, I might be alone.

I’m not saying there’s trouble in paradise, far from it. Relationship-wise, the only problem I really have is that he’s shouldering a lot of my stress and burdens right now and, even though I know the day will come where he’ll need me to do the same, I feel guilty. They’re my problems. No one else should have to put up with them (Oh, that’s an old wound, isn’t it?).

I should stop now. I’m rambling because I’m tired and have to stay up even longer than I wanted to. I planned to go to bed after dinner, which I skipped to type this up. It’s ok, though, I’m not all that hungry. I had a very big burger for lunch (because I skipped breakfast).

Ok. Rambling’s done. Posting now.

Just Like The Movies

You know how, in older mushy, romantic stories, there’s always that part where the girl realizes that the man who is way out of her league is not only in love with her but willing to do crazy things just to make her smile or something else that just seems silly because it never happens in real life?

Well, I have just been shocked out of my mind. Almost literally.

Actually, let me back up a bit. So, as you may or may not be aware, I just recently came back from a trip to California for my grandmother’s funeral. Adjusting’s been tough, but manageable. Well, last Saturday, I talked to my mom and she informed me that her mother, my other grandmother, was sick and they were scared it was serious. The thing was, I had to wait until Monday because that was when she was going to go to the doctor to get it looked at.

So, I waited. Monday came, no results because the tests that they had to run would take a few days. So, I had to wait some more and, by this time, I was quite worried. The illness they were saying she might have has no cure. In any case, I waited and waited and, today, during lunch at work, I called my mom to see what was going on, if the results had come back, and how they were doing.

What she told me was that the doctors are pretty sure that, yes, it is what they suspected and that they’d have to do a biopsy to confirm. The whole time she was talking, I don’t think it ever registered in my brain what it meant exactly. Like, all the little things that it would mean. I was going to try to get through the day without breaking, but I couldn’t. For the first time ever in my naval career, I was sent home because I could not work through my grief. I couldn’t just “suck it up” and keep going.

Well, this is where the story turns into something out of Hollywood. Almost literally, again.

My boyfriend, who’s almost finished becoming a doctor, himself, is having a friend from a very well-known hospital review my grandmother’s case. The man, according to him, is one of the hospital’s leading specialists. And, while this doesn’t necessarily speak well of the man I am so passionately in love with (yes, I will admit it), he isn’t doing this out of the kindness of his heart out of concern for my grandmother, though I do suspect some of it has to do with something I mentioned to him a while back.

He told me that he is going out of his way to help my grandmother because he can’t stand to see me upset like this. He said that what he gets out of this is seeing me happy again.

Oh, guys, I’m so mixed up about this. It makes me beyond happy not only that someone is looking at her case, but that it’s someone who specializes in cases like hers and is really going to be able to make a difference. Not only that, but it’s such an amazing feeling to know that someone you love cares so much about you that they’re willing to go to all that trouble over you. At the same time, though, it’s something that, with my self esteem issues and inability to accept or ask for help, I’m having trouble processing.

I mean, it’s literally unbelievable. That someone cares about me that much is just… mind-boggling. Add to that the fact that he’s actually able to do something to help and… I don’t know. I don’t know, guys. I think my words are broken.

Past That

There comes a point in a relationship where the giddy wears off. You’re no longer bouncing up and down in your seat just because he replied to your text. Holding his hand while walking or being just plain being together feels so natural you might as well have grown up with him.

In the past, for me, that’s where relationships ended. I was looking for a lasting giddy feeling, someone to make me constantly feel like I was losing my mind because they were just so amazing. I didn’t know what a long-term relationship was supposed to feel like. I didn’t realize that what I really wanted was someone to feel like family.

But I’m past that now.

I’m not saying we’re that level of serious to where being family has been discussed. By no means are we at that point. I’m just saying that I’ve finally realized that is what I want. I want someone that I can hold at the end of the day as a lover, a best friend, and a family member. I actually want that feeling.

You want to know the amazing part?

This is the closest I’ve ever come to that feeling.