tidbits and flavors
So, you’re considering counseling or therapy or whatever folks call it nowadays, but you’re really not sure what you should expect, say or do. Like a lot of new things in our lives, this can cause a bunch of anxiety. Below is a checklist of things that you might want to consider before making the first phone call to a mental health professional.
So, you heard me a while ago talking about giving the concept of grace and how to give grace when you just do not feel like it. Well, here I am today to give you an idea of why grace is vital to our well-being. With the way our society has been moving, we think about ourselves quite often. We get mad when someone cuts us off and on the flip side, we believe we have the right to cut some one off in the first place.
It seems like many folks in our society forget to think that they can instantly find themselves on the other side of the street. It doesn't take but a moment to become homeless. It doesn't take but a moment to lose family members. It doesn't take but a moment to realize that everything that you've worked so hard for could be gone. What we often forget to do is put ourselves in somebody else's shoes. The old adage, “treat others how you want to be treated” really has not carried the weight it should in our society. If everybody treated everyone else how they wanted to be treated, we'd have a whole lot more cohesiveness in our society. Sure, I can't guarantee that we won't have serial killers or rapists and all that type of stuff because mental health issues are real and sometimes people are just evil. However, you need to remember, like extending Grace, that everybody has a story. I very often try to push this through to the forefront of people's minds as opposed to the back of their minds. Everybody has a reason for why they do what they do. Of course, that doesn't mean that once you know these reasons it's going to be easy to be around them. It simply means it at least gives you some insight and how you're going to handle them in the future.
Even as a parent, imagine how you would feel if you were the parent of you. How much hovering would you like, how much interjection would you like, overall, how would you like your parents to handle you? Are you somebody who is not a morning person, so maybe when your kid is up in the morning and they don't instantly seem happy or they're a little short? Remember that your children are not going to tell you everything, would you tell your parents everything? Kids should know that you love them and that you are the boss, but they need to know that you are there to foster their well-being even by explaining your point of view and sometimes why you are doing what you do as a parent.
My point is you need to put yourself in somebody else's shoes, you need to think about how your actions are affecting somebody else. True, it's important that you think about your health and your safety you, well-being and your freedom and all the things that garner your well-being and make you a well-rounded individual. However, you cannot, and you should not forget that there are others on this planet, and you have to think of others well beings too. Give of yourself even if it makes you life a little uncomfortable. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes even if they may be a bit big or a bit small, and the least you could do is give a little empathy even when it seems like the opposite thing you should do.
As I mentioned before, I love second hand clothing, so I have been taking time once a week to snap a shot of an outfit mostly put together by going to Goodwill. I have to be good and stop myself from going into Goodwill because I know that I can spend more money than expected. I feel good about what I am not only doing for the environment, but the economy and individuals as well.
What does it mean to be a lady? Does it take fancy clothing, beautiful jewelry, a high-class name from a prominent family or does it mean that you actually have to come from royalty? Good news, it does not take any of the aforementioned things to be a lady. A real lady can come from a poor background, a rich family or can even have had a terrible and sad past. It does not matter what a lady used to be, but what she is and how she lives her life in the present.
2. Extends Grace
Perhaps because of her own history, a real lady extends grace to those who have wronged her, others who seem to be having a bad day, and even to herself. She knows that everyone has a story and reason for why and how they behave. She seeks to release grudges because she knows that she is not perfect herself.
3. Is Educated
A lady is educated, and I am not talking about having earned education with a degree, but a lady takes the advantage to learn when she can. She knows that there is more knowledge to always be gained and seeks to know what is going on around her (state, country or even the world).
4. Takes Care of Her family A lady takes care of her family, which includes not only her husband and children, but other family members as well. This does not mean you have to take your parent in when he/she is diagnosed with dementia, but it does mean that you remain present through the decisions. You know that honoring your mother and father does not mean you give into every demand they have; it means that you pray and contemplate outcomes. When your family needs you, you are there to meet their well-being as long as you have made sure your well-being is good first.
5. Listens Before Speaking
Okay, so a lady wants to help others, and this is great, amazingly great. You want to help people for the shear desire to lift someone up and not for your own gain. Pause here for a moment and let me have your full attention. Ladies listen to others before seeking to find a solution. As a therapist, one of our greatest friends becomes our ears and our ability to keep our mind quiet. It can be difficult because everyone wants to have the right answer, to cure cancer or help someone off the ledge. Yet, we must listen first to actually hear the person or company we are speaking to. What if they biggest way you’re helping is just simply to listen? Think about that for a moment.
6. Admit When They Need Help
So, I admit that I am REALLY bad at this one. I do not like to ask for help and I try not to share my downfalls with very many people. I have a difficulty getting close to people and wonder what their motives truly are. However, I have learned to be honest about what I am feeling and if I am struggling. I do not put on the brave face all the time and allow myself to take in a hug from a loved one or ask for some down time to refresh myself.
7. Does Not Curse or Use Vulgar Language
So, there have been studies that woman and men who curse actually have higher IQs. I am not sure where that study is or where it came from, but for this sake here, a lady does not curse or use vulgar language. Notice, I didn’t say ever. It can happen. A slip of the tongue or a private moment with loved ones can allow for a little sailor speech now and again, but don’t make it a regular habit. No one likes to hear the “F” bomb thrown around all the time…I hope.
8. Does Not Gossip
First and foremost, this is rude and very mean. Ask yourself, “who am I building up” before you start talking about the neighbor whose husband came home late and then you notice that she is not wearing her wedding ring when you saw her at the grocery store. How would you like someone talking about you and speculating about you? Now, I am not talking about catching up on life, but knowingly talking about someone else to make yourself feel better is not lady like at all nor should it be form of entertainment.
9. Has A Sense of Humor
Okay, so I am not saying that a lady has to be funny and slam at a comedy open mic night, but what I mean here is that a lady can laugh at herself. She values a good, clean joke and does not take everything personal. She knows that she is not everyone’s favorite and that things do not go perfect all the time, and she can laugh it off to begin another day.
10. Is Confident, but Still can be Nervous
A lady knows her worth and is confident in her abilities, but that doesn’t mean that every now and again she doesn’t get nervous. Putting on a party for her child or speaking in public can cause little butterflies, and that is okay. A lady knows how to take this nervousness and hone it, allowing her to be humbled and proud.
11. Has Simple and Seemingly “Old-Fashioned” Manners
Okay, so I list these things here because they are important. Common courtesy and common sense does not seem all to common anymore and that is ridiculous. As the author of "Good Manners: A Manual of Etiquette in Good Society" high lights that if you treat others as you would like to be treated then manners, etiquette and common courtesy should never be an issue. This was published in the mid-19th century, but can be a useful manual now, you just have to tweak a few things like how many different outfits one wears throughout the day. Some other manners that make a lady includes not speaking over someone or finishing someone else's sentences. A lady does not put her elbows on the table, sit in a dress without their legs crossed, and by all means, ladies do not speak with food in their mouth. Ick, that last one is just gross. A lady uses "please", "thank you" as well as "no/yes thank you" and "you’re welcome". A lady knows that she should be respectful of her surroundings and other people’s property. If you are wrong, admit you are wrong and apologize. When someone lets you go first through the door, acknowledge this because what a lady knows most of all, is that no one owes them anything.
If you like this post, please check out the link below. Also, check out the "Good Manners Manual" from 1870's for a good read. A lot of the book is funny because they are old customs and manners, but a lot of what is in the book can be useful for today's society.
By golly, people without manners really burst my bubble.
“I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to be mean and exclude them from (fill in the blank for whatever activity that was happening)”.
How many times have you heard this or how many times have you thought this yourself? You don't want to be truthful because you don't want to hurt somebody/anybody's feelings. All too often everybody gets this mixed up, that in order to “be nice” we have to squash down our own thoughts and feelings. I'm here to let you know that being a people-pleaser is not the same as being nice. Being a people-pleaser means that you don't want to cause any conflict that seeing someone hurt means that you are being the bad guy, the mean guy or gal. I understand the need for not wanting to hurt anybody's feelings, but unfortunately we cannot please everybody. People-pleasing can get you in trouble especially in the long run because you end up getting so frustrated, stressed and overwhelmed that you have to say something. This can leave whoever it is that you originally did not want to hurt, feeling confused and well, hurt.
As I mentioned previously, we cannot please everybody. It's impossible because there are way too many people in the world. Now, I am not saying to be the inverse and that you have to be cruel, considering other people’s feelings is good.
So let me give you an example:
You are having a get-together with someone that you don't get to see very often. You are looking forward to the get together because it's going to be just the two of you. Then as you're talking about this "get-together:, somebody else mentions that they would like to come along. So because you don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, you decide that it won't be an issue. Well, then that person invites another person and asks (while the other person is standing right there) if they can come along. It puts you on the spot (feel bad 1) and instead of saying what you mean and feel (feel bad 2) you decide that it won’t be too big of a deal if they come along. All of this is no big deal, right? After all, it’s not like you don’t like the other person, you just didn’t want a group of people at your gathering. See, people-pleasers often minimize their own thoughts and feelings in order to justify the invite or change of heart. Being kind is a wonderful thing. Extending your heart, time and friendship is great, but it does not mean that you have to say yes all the time or any time.
There is no reason why you would have to say yes to this situation, you are allowed to have alone time with your friend or family member whether you seem them all the time or once in a while. There is nothing wrong with being truthful. True, it might hurt someone’s feelings and they might feel left out. You could set up another activity or visit that does include everyone, something that would satisfy everyone’s time and feelings.
Saying, “I would enjoy spending time with you, but this time it’s just going to be the 2 of us.” or “Maybe another time you could come along, but I would like to spend some alone time with so and so.” None of these things means that you are not nice. You are being honest, and it will likely be a bummer for the other person, but it is not the end of the world. A lot of nice people are faced with conflict in their lives. A lot of nice people are still not liked by everyone. That's a part of life. Being honest from the beginning is always the best option for maintaining peace even if it's simply your own peace of mind.
If you like this post, check out others like it via the link below.
Oh no, it’s that time again, time to make a decision. If you are an indecisive person, this means that you are likely becoming anxious and scared. You might feel sweaty and depressed at the thought of having to make a decision. How do you make the right decisions? Which, job do you take, this one or that one? Should you buy a new car? There are so many questions to be answered and so many different choices.
Believe me, I have absolutely been in your shoes. All of us have to make decisions every single day, whether or not we're going to wake up on time, what clothes we’re going to wear, what foods to eat for breakfast, if you're going to eat anything at all. Sadly, some of us have to make the big decisions like whether or not we're going to take our mother in and care for her while she struggles and loses her mind to dementia and then making the decision to find an open yet best choice for a nursing home.
Making decisions does not have to be scary and here's a few tips that can help make decisions a little less stressful.
Change can be difficult, but rewarding. Some choices we make are magnificent. Some decisions lead us down paths we’ve never dreamt would be possible. Then, some choices we make were supposed to be great, but end up stinking...bad. Maybe our options were not that great to begin with, but we continue to do the best we can with what we have. Life is full of ups and downs. More often than not, our decisions are not going to be life or death. Breathe and know that you have the power to control how you react to making decisions. Make a choice, right now, to take control of your thought process and body, removing the power from fear and anxiety.
Sigh, I never thought that I would be doing this, but I want to be honest. I want to live an open and free life, a task that is not easy. I can admit this now in writing and to the public. I hate the way that I look. I have never been real secure with how I look (well, maybe when I was younger), but now I cringe when I look in the mirror. I was a skinny little girl once. Even after giving birth to two children, I was only 125 lbs, a weight that I would love to get back to. Now, this is not a story about weight, it is not a tale of how we should all be skinny individuals and that this is the only way we can begin to feel good about ourselves.
This story is about a woman who is not who she wants to be and this includes weight, energy level, fitness and skin. I use to be such a vivacious woman. When my husband was taking an ax to a massive tree root, I was there with him. When my husband was cutting and clearing wood for our pole barn, I was there on mother's day, hauling wood. When my husband dug a hole to find our water bladder, I was there with him, digging a hold. We would walk here and walk there, and I loved every minute of it. After, a spinal nerve block procedure before a significant surgery, we went hiking in Pennsylvania. This still remains my absolute favorite vacation before of the time we spend hiking and admiring the outdoors. Since October 11, 2015 my life has been different. This feeling of disgust and anger that I have for my body is not because of the birth of my 4 children, but a car accident that left me struggling many days, wishing I was no longer alive because I could barely pull myself up to do household chores let alone workout.
So, here is where I wish I could provide you with a list of ways to motivate yourself to get into the gym, but I cannot make that list yet. I am still trying to figure out how to get back into working out after a decent 3 months not touching gym equipment. After having an epiphany, I realized that I have been needing to make changes in my life. It is tough to feel motivated to get into the gym and work out when I am physically exhausted. I have been working to get photos of the GWS outfits that I wear to work and out being a mommy, and when I look at the photos I just feel mad. Not only do I feel mad because I look the total opposite to how I want to look, but because the woman I was had a whole lot more energy before. I think the one thing that gets me through the most difficult days, when I feel real down about my looks, is knowing I have an amazing husband, kids, friends, and that I am smart, dedicated and own my own (co-director) company already.
I know that I am not the ugliest girl around, but the main thing for me is the issue not feeling good in my own skin. I worry about not being able to get out bike this summer and going on a 4+ mile bike with my kids or going on hikes with the family. I have graduation coming up and on my off time, I hope to site see in Virginia on my off time. This generally means a lot of walking up and down hills or bending a twisting an awful lot and I want to feel good while doing all of these things.
I hope to come back to all of you in a month and give you insight into how I have been able to make the significant changes that I need in my life. Living with chronic pain and narcolepsy is always an adventure, one that I hope to be the best that I can be throughout.
If you like this post, please check out the link below for posts like it. Also, keep track of where this journey brings us. Maybe you can share with me some of your own up hill journeys.
So, if anyone knows me, I love second hand clothing. If I could win a shopping spree, I would want it to be to Goodwill. I cannot go into that store without coming out with something, a lot of somethings. At our local stores, we earn points for the money we spend, which can be used to purchase items later on down the road. As a professional and even as a mom, I never run to the fancy stores for my clothing. Besides which, the idea of perfectly good clothing going to waste makes me upset. There are so many people who need clothing and food, and I cannot turn down a unique find. Oh, my purse is from Goodwill too, a bright and vibrant orange bag.
I suppose growing up with little money meant that second hand clothing was the way to go, and honestly, I NEVER minded as a kid. Wearing my second hand clothing got me voted "Most Unique" in high school, a title I appreciate to this day. I love pops of color and the adventure of what I can find. I love shoes and all the uniqueness that I can find at the various Goodwill stores (GWS) around town. I found boots that still gets me compliment after compliment and shocked looks when I tell them, I got them at Goodwill for eight bucks. I thought, "why not document my outfits?" These are the clothes I wore to graduate classes, clothing I would wear out to dinner and clothing I would wear in the office with a client. Take a look at the outfits below, so many more to come...my whole closet belongs to GWS.
The pictures will detail what has come from GWS. Most of these outfits cost around $10 for the whole outfit, with the shoes.
Stay tuned for the next outfits.
It was a dog hot day. To an inth degree Samuel Rogers was satisfied, a hot yet sticky satisfied. He looked around the lake, looking at not one but two tempting, very able bodied females who lay, skin dripping with tanning lotion and sweat. Then she popped into his vision, that girl who everyone desired to talk to; to be able to touch just once, if only to make sure she was real. She was the second daughter to the Grays. Eliza had eyes of blue fire burning in the night; they stood out against her tan skin even on a bright sunny day. And there she stood, looking at him. He swore those eyes were barreling deep into his chest from across the beach. Burning hot sand forced him into the shade, but she walked, a strap of her white terrycloth dress dangling down her left shoulder. Her swimsuit was hot pink; the dark hair on her head was like a bushel of curls, bouncing on her head as she walked, weaving through people on the beach. She moved closer and closer to him, walking with her head bent away from the scorching sun.
Eliza lived across the street. He saw her often, watching as she made her way to and fro. They were in seventh grade when she moved into the Tudor house across the street. He relished in this, especially when fellow classmates commented about her, how pretty she was. Eliza was and will remain that pretty little thing everyone thought about, but never had the guts to talk to. She was the girl elected to homecoming court every year since they entered into high school. She was the girl who could stare into space or right at you with a smile, mocking and beckoning you at the same time. He loved it, wasn't in love, but something welled in his chest every time he saw her.
She talked to no one and no one talked to her as she made her way out of the hot sun. He saw a bead of sweat drip down her skin as she got close to him. He counted the seconds until one drop disappeared into the terrycloth...one...two...three...four...five, rolling down from the nape of her neck to the line of clothe above her chest, disappearing into the crease between her breast.
Then she was gone.
He scanned the beach again, forgetting the reason he was even there. A hot day for swimming, a perfect day for a dip in the water, but he felt inclined to go back home. He felt the need to bask in the glow of the sun through his bedroom window where he could recline in air conditioning.
The town seemed vast as he walked home, but truth be told, it was really very small, moreover, it was intimate. The separation of six degrees could have been cut in half; everyone was connected in some way or the other. Somehow everyone knew everyone else’s story, about his uncles' cousins drinking problem, which of course lead to the conception of someone’s little sister. Yet for some reason, Samuel was the last to learn anything. It had been the way since he could remember. No one made a move to change this, not his best friends nor his mother or his father, who decided that he was going to leave after fourteen years marriage.
I thought you knew things weren't going well, said his father.
Nope, guess you hid things pretty well, he’d answer.
Sam, I'm sorry, but I have to go. I can't stay here anymore. Your mother and I just...well, we're just not compatible.
Yep, could have fooled him. Apparently not his little sister or his older brother, who stood in his bedroom, telling him all the signs that he missed. Perhaps it was him and not the lack of others ability to fill him in on the latest news. So he may suppose, he was just not very good at perceiving things.
This he dwelled on as he walked down the none-to-shaded sidewalk to his house a few blocks away from the local, little watering hole. There she was, coming towards him. Eliza Gray. There was a glow about her; she was walking again with her head down. It was like that, she was getting closer and he was breathing heavy, partly from the sun, but mostly from the very sight of her.
"Hello Eliza," he said.
She stopped, looked right at him. Truthfully, she looked so deep into his eyes that a chill washed over his body. It seemed as if she wanted to ask, are you talking to me? However, she didn't say anything, not at first. She did smile though, sweetly and calmly although it seemed to mask something.
"Heading back to the beach?" he asked. Didn’t he just see her?
"I forgot something," she answered, looking rather surprised that he would utter anything to her in the first place. "Couldn’t find it."
Odd, the tone of her voice as she said that last part. She turned her body as to walk beside him; her shoulders were turned out, pronouncing her collar bone. Again she smiled, sweetly and oddly. Not odd as in he didn't recognize the type of smile it was, seductive with a hint of ah ha. Whatever that meant, he wasn't so sure.
"Can I walk with you?" she asked.
She pushed a brown, fallen curl behind her ear. "Going home?"
"Yeah to bask in the air conditioning."
She laughed. "Can I come?"
"Ah," he paused though he wasn't sure why. "Yeah, you can come. It's just going to be me though."
"Okay, I don't mind."
They walked together, and for a second it felt as if he should take her hand. He felt an insatiable need to keep her within his reach, to hold her like he had never held another human being before. There was electricity floating between them as they were silent, idling conversations to be had.
Her house sat silent in the summer sun, buzzing in the distance was the cicadas. The hot summer sun made his face beat, pulsing once then twice, and it only got worse once he was in the air conditioning. The home was silent. His mother was working late that evening, a second summer job that took most of her time, but he didn't really mind. His little sister was away with friends, a camping trip up north. His older brother had gone off to college nearly two years ago and was rarely around for anything let alone for his younger siblings. The house was cold, bitter cold and it took a while for his skin to adjust to the new temperature.
She walked close behind him, waiting to be taken anywhere or so it seemed. Although having her in his house was foreign, it felt normal as they made their way to his bedroom, seemingly squeezing down the narrow hallway.
"I like it," she said as she entered his bedroom, a gray blue on the walls, and sports memorabilia on the shelves beside and above his bed. "It's you, very much you."
She complimented him once more, something about reading and books. He wasn't much for reading, but did have a few treasured favorites. The Catcher and the Rye caught her attention, striking his mind as odd that she would find him fascinating at all. She sat down on his bed, her tan legs outstretched before her, and she moved like she knew his eyes were on her skin, looking her over. If this was her assumption, she was right. He was looking at her, stealing glimpses of her as he kicked a few things around the floor, clothing that he had thrown there the night before.
"I don't care about the clothes," she said.
He took that into full consideration and sat down beside her. This was the first time they had ever been together, ever. Something clicked in his brain as they talked about everything and then nothing, talking about plans for after high school. They were close to graduating and yet so far from anything important at all. She kept moving in her way, saying this and that. He touched her and she touched him on the arm with her elbow, in his side as she teased him.
"Have you thought about me very much?" She asked.
He didn't understand at first.
"You have, haven't you?" She prodded.
He felt sick, a lump in his throat, keeping him from nearly vomiting. Had he done this before? That was a lie; this was the first time he had felt this way about a girl. Looking at her there, in his room, he wasn't so sure any woman had ever existed before. Her skin barely touched his and he smelled her sweet scent between them. This was the first time. It was the first time he had kissed her, touched her or made any attempt to care about anything but her.
"Show me," she said in the pause between breaths, in the time she should have gone for air. "I want to see it. I want to see everything you've ever dreamed of with me."
He felt such a heavy feeling in his chest as she sat beside him. "Eliza," he said.
“Yes?" she answered, her voice sounding tired, like she was about to doze off. She sat beside him, her head resting on the wall.
"What did you leave at the beach?"
"To get my book,” she answered, her eyes looked heavy. “That’s all...nothing important,”
He followed suit and rested his head against the wall, closing his eyes. He took solace in hearing her breath. She sat beside him, the cold air wafting into his room.
Suddenly he woke in a cold sweat, feeling sick, terribly sick. Quickly he ran to the bathroom. It was morning, already? His body ached and he felt chills all over. He began to cry, falling in front of the toilet, hugging it with both arms. Why was this feeling coming over him, such sickness? He thought of Eliza, feeling sad and sick all over again. He thought of her in his arms like it had happened just a few seconds ago.
There was a sound above him, his brother was there. What the hell was Patrick doing home, he was rarely ever home? He said something, asking about something though he wasn't so sure exactly what his brother had said. He felt sick again and lunged into the toilet, but nothing came out, it was only a dry heave.
"Jesus Sammy, you should get back to bed,” his brother said then leaned on the door jam.
Why? He couldn't sleep, not with such pains in his stomach, a thumping pain right where his heart was. It was just the other day when he had felt Eliza beside him, sleeping as she sat beside him. She was in his arms, right? This feeling in his stomach was real, and the memory of her beside him was gone almost made up.
"You should get back to bed Sammy. I mean really, this is affecting you bad. You should get back to bed and sleep it off."
"Sleep...sleep what off?"
He felt his brother's gaze on his back, burning into the middle of his spine. If it had been any stronger he might never have moved again, becoming paralyzed by his brother's intense look of question. He felt a bead of sweat roll down his forehead as he turned just slightly, struggling to see his brother. There was a look in his brown eyes, eyes of their father. The contrast, he had the look of their mother, sympathetic to a degree and dreadful to another. News, there was something that needed to be said. Patrick looked like his mother before she had told that their father wouldn't be coming around nearly as much anymore. It was a look of regret. I'm regretful in informing you that- Ah huh, that's the look just before he was told what everyone else had already known.
"I came down when I heard about Eliza,” Patrick said, grabbing the hand towel and handing it to him, the rolled cuffs of his shirt sliding down from the crease of his elbows. “I thought you might need a big brother to lean on. God knows dad won't be coming by. He's in Vegas with Laura. You remember Laura don’t you, dad's latest girlfriend?
He nodded. Yeah, he knew. But Eliza, what the hell?
"Mom said you've been like this since Monday when you found out.” His brother ran a hand through his neatly quiff hair. “I didn't see it coming that's for sure. She said you two were "cute and happy" whatever that's supposed to mean. Really, I don't know what mom means half of the time."
His brother was rambling. Just shut up for a second or two, at least a second. He felt his brother's hand on his shoulder and he felt sick again, lunging forward in another dry heave. His face must have been beat red, most of the blood felt like it had rushed to his cheeks.
"What about Eliza?" he asked. "What about her?"
He felt that burn again. It stared in the middle of his back as his brother answered. "She's dead, has been since Monday."
"I was just with her."
"Yeah, mom said you two went to the beach on Saturday and that afternoon she saw you two sleeping in your bed. You've been with her all summer. Don't you remember anything? Don't you remember-she committed suicide that her mother found her Monday morning before school."
Ah that was it wasn't it? She was a dead girl, his dead girl. His head hit something hard, the toilet perhaps. He felt his brother lunge forward, grabbing him by the shoulders so he could lift him back up. He apologized for something, probably for seeming insensitive. Now he remembered the truth about Eliza. He had remembered learning from Mrs. Gray that she had found her daughter dead in the bathtub with both her wrist slit, bleeding into the water around her. That memory, the first time they had been together and that last time they were together melted and merged in his brain. He felt like crying or vomiting or maybe screaming. He was angry or maybe that was the insatiable need to see her again, it was taking over his body. What had he missed, some tears or extra bouts of sadness. He saw none of it.
It was hot. He stood; he was sure of that, feeling his brother hands on his forearms.
"Yes," she answered, her voice sounding tired, like she was about to doze off.
"Why did you leave at the beach?"
"To get my book...that's all...nothing important."
He went to his room to find that book, to hold on to something that belonged to her. It wasn't love, but if it wasn't then why did he hurt so much? The first time with her and the last time with her seemed distant yet so close that he was sure it had happened not at the beginning of the summer, but yesterday.
On his bed he gripped the thin stock of paper, a little novel by Steinbeck, a little memory of how she was his for a brief moment. He gripped it tight, feeling the book bend in his hands. A million minutes away Eliza had been there, she had looked at him like it was some surprise that he dare speak to her.
"Show me." This was what she had said in his ear the very first day as she paused between breaths, in the time she should have gone for air. "I need to see. I need to see everything you've ever dreamed of with me."
And so it was done. He gave her everything, in vain.