When Life Give You Lemons Write
*A little piece of fiction I wrote oh so long ago. No judgement needed, I know it is purely awful.
“Next,” I anxiously awaited my turn in line. “Good morning Miss Wallace, and happy birthday!” the attendant gleefully shouted.
I Jennifer Wallace was twenty-five years old; finally, time to renew my driver’s license. Twenty-five years old, I pondered just what I had accomplished in those twenty-five years on earth, thankless mall job, two dogs, single and still living with my mother, I hate waiting in line.
Finally, it was my turn at the terminal; I faked a smile and proceeded on. As I left the DMV I watched the new young drivers going for the test and remember where I was at that age, sixteen was a terrible year for me. I got my driver’s license, had a job but underneath all of that façade, I was dying inside. I really believe that is when my life took a turn for the worst. I trucked on through the rest of the day trying to hide from all of the birthday wishes and excitement, this year I just wanted to be left alone. Once I was off work I decided it was best to turn off my phone. Alone time was hard to come by since I moved back in with my mother.
My mother was a nearly fifty-year-old widow, divorced, single-parent whichever cliché she was claiming this week. Living with my mother were my two younger sisters and their dog Maggie the tom-boy 12-year-old, Shayna the drug induced teen and cherry the overweight Chihuahua. Each night was a battle, constant screaming matches and every now and then a good fist fight, I needed to get out but I was stuck. I was hoping for an empty house but to my dismay when I got home my mother had invited the whole family over for some sort of party. Everyone looked as though they had been waiting for hours and just wanted to go home; I once again faked a smile and went through the motions like some sort of robot, all the “happy birthdays” and the cake seemed pointless just another year for me to fuck up.
Once the party was done I went back to my room and lay down just trying to shut my eyes and not think about the next year of my life. I quickly fell asleep and dreamt of strangers screaming at me for no reason just screaming, this was a very familiar sight in my life. The next few days went on in a sort of haze each one seemingly as pointless as the one before that. At work I had the usual sleazy old men hit on me and the usual punk ass teenagers try to shoplift some $1.99 plastic rings.
My life was nowhere I wanted it to be, I remember graduating high school thinking that the world was my fish bowl and I would be swimming around in it somewhere, instead I am hiding in the castle waiting for something spectacular to happen.
Finally, the weekend approached and I had hoped for some sort of social rescue. I knew I could depend on the weekend to drown my sorrows, I was merely twenty-five and had enough sorrows for any old sailor after a shipwreck, that is exactly what my life was a shipwreck.
It was a little after five when melody called I was so happy to hear she wanted to meet for drinks later that night. Melody was a weird character I could never really figure her out she had just barely turned twenty-one but her soul was already in its forties. Melody had a sort of boyfriend, who drug her through the mud and back and she was still there by his side and ever so faithful, I could never imagine being that involved with someone. I maybe had one or two serious relationships in my life but none of them were ever that involved at least not emotionally. I met up with Melody at ten o’clock at our usual watering hole a dingy, dimly lit bar in the middle of town. This night was just like another other the usual fifty-something’s looking for a sugar baby to take home, the lonely guy in the back watching sports, and the bartender with sorrow in his eyes. We ordered our first round of drinks and Melody began ranting about her day selling hair care products to middle aged house wives, I listened waiting for my turn at bat. I couldn’t wait to divulge in the day that I had, ten shoplifters all under the age of fifteen and a dirty old man who wanted to take me out for a drink, I needed to find a new job. After the second round of beers we decided a shot was in order, we hailed the bartender over and signaled for our usual concoction of poisons. I was really beginning to get annoyed with “usual.”
After another round of beers, we decided to go downtown and see what new man candy we could scope out. I never really like meeting guys in bars or at parties I knew they were on one mission and one mission only to see who could get laid first.
We hit up the first club and it was uncomfortable, barely legal eighteen-year-olds grinding up against douche bags in their thirties toting their overpriced jeans and MMA tees as some sort of trophy. When all hope seemed lost I spotted a twenty something looking almost as bored as I was, I went up to him “good to know I’m not the only one going to die of boredom in this place.” He shrugged his shoulders “It’s not that bad but I’d rather be at home I’ve got work in the morning but it’s my buddy’s bachelor party and he just won’t let up.” I laughed a little, “ let me guess he is the thirty something grinding on that big breasted blonde in the corner,” “ how’d you guess?” we both laughed at the sight of his soon to be married friend getting hot and heavy on the dance floor with some eighteen-year-old college freshman.
As the night continued we talked about movies, books, favorite politicians it seemed as though this man could do no wrong. At about two in the morning Melody came frantically looking for me, her man had called and he needed her home now! I really did not want the evening to end so soon but as luck would have it the twenty-something asked for my phone number and I obliged. He gave me a peck on the cheek and Melody and I were out.
The next day I anticipated a call from my man of the night but did not expect to hear from him for another three days. A week went by and I never heard from the twenty-something, I was ready to give up on dating altogether.
By some twist of fate the twenty-something just happened to be in the mall while I was on my lunch break while sitting alone in the food court he came up to me and apologized for not calling. He arranged for a date the next night and re-introduced himself as Brad, I had missed his name the first few times he said that alcohol filtered night.
The next day Brad and I met up at this quaint coffee shop just down the street from his place, I offered to meet him there instead of having him find out I still lived with my mother. We walked into the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans and college students tapping away at their laptops. Once we reached the counter I ordered some exotic tea and Brad took the lesser of two evils with a non-fat latte. We searched for a seat but decided the patio was less intimidating. That night the stars outshined the city lights and the air smelt of a very refreshing rain.
Over our mediocre priced beverages Brad reviewed his life as though some sports caster going over play-by-play points of a game. Brad was born June 7, 1984, he was twenty-seven working for a law firm owned by his uncle and grandfather, never been married but longed for a partner in crime. Brad seemed as genuine as the last five failed relationships.
After coffee, Brad offered wine and movies at his place and I reluctantly followed. For a lawyer, Brad lived in a low-income apartment complex surround by thugs and families of ten living in a single room. We walked up to his apartment and I felt very tense and uneasy.
The moment I stepped inside I was even more uncomfortable than before, in the Livingroom was only a small 19” tv, a standing lamp and a folding chair, the rest of the apartment felt just as empty as the living room. Brad could feel my unease “I just moved in a few days ago the rest of my things are at my parent’s house, why don’t you take a seat and I’ll grab the wine.” I sat on the cold steel folding chair as Brad vanished into the dark kitchen to search for the bottle of wine. He grabbed two paper cups and poured us each a glass. Slowly I could feel my stomach gurgling with nerves. Brad handed me one of the paper cups and toasted my cup with his, I drank almost all of my glass and then began to fill dizzy.
I awoke the next morning naked and lying on the floor in an empty room. I had no idea where I was or how I had gotten there. I heard some rustling around outside the door and hurriedly looked for my clothes. I gathered my belongings getting dressed fast in fear of what was on the other side of the door. Just then the door opened.
“Where are you off to this morning?” It was a naked Brad holding two coffee cups. “I’ve got to get to work and I need to check on my dogs.” I could see a disappointed look on his sullen face. “Well promise me you will call me later?” I nodded my head and ran to the door.
I got home and my mother looked at me in disgust, “where the hell were you last night? You know I had to work and your sisters had to stay all alone in this house!” I could not handle her nonsense this morning and went straight to my room and locked the door. I was tired, tired of taking care of my sisters, tired of my life, tired from last night and I had to get ready for work. I contemplated calling Brad later on but decided I needed time to figure out just what the hell had happened last night.
I called Melody needing someone to vent to but all she could talk about was Alex her ill-tempered boyfriend. When I finally got off work I turned my phone on to four messages from Brad, all of them saying what an amazing night he had and how he would love to meet with me again. I deleted all of the messages, I did not want to see him again I just wanted to figure out what happened.
The next few days went by and I felt like a turtle not wanting to come out of my shell. I tried hiding out in the back of my store not talking to customers, trying to become a void. Unfortunately, Brad would not have me ignoring him and came up to my store. He found me in the back pretending to clean some shelves. “Hey, Stranger! I’ve been trying to call you for days now, what is the deal?” I just kept cleaning “I’ve been working long hours lately and I’m just really tired.” He kept trying to convince me to go on another date with him and out of annoyance I said yes. This time I told myself I would not go to his place no matter what.
We met later on that night at a small Thai restaurant up the street from the mall. We always had so much to talk about and I really did enjoy spending time with him but I felt so uncomfortable about the other night, I had to ask. “So I hope this doesn’t offend you, but what exactly happened the other night?” Dumfounded, he replied “you don’t remember? Well you were a little tipsy but I’m not sure how that happened we didn’t even finish the bottle, you said you should stay the night and we went to the bedroom we made love and it was beautiful and you fell fast asleep.” I knew it, something had to have happened. “Well, that explains waking up naked.” I tried to laugh it off.
A few weeks went by and we had a few more dates, I never did let myself go back to his place and I could tell he was upset with the way things were going. After about a month of dating, he decided to call it quits. This would have been great news had I not been feeling terrible, I had some sort of stomach virus. For at least three days in a row I was constantly getting sick and when I came home from work all I wanted to do was sleep. I did not think twice about my symptoms until that fateful day, I was “late”.
All of my symptoms made sense. I drove to the drugstore and bought a pregnancy test. As soon as I got home I peed on the stick waited two minutes and broke down into tears, it was positive. I fell to the floor and lay my head on the cold tile of the bathroom floor, I did not know what I was going to do and I couldn’t tell anyone. I knew that I had to tell Brad. I picked myself off of the floor and started dialing, the phone rang twice and he seemed almost happy to hear from me. “Hey you, I’ve missed you. Glad you called, so what’s up?” I hesitated a minute,” Brad I need to tell you something…I’m, I’m PREGNANT!” I could hear a long pause on the other side. I began to cry uncontrollably, “I’m sorry but it’s true I took a test and it was positive.” Finally, Brad gathered his thoughts “well I just simply cannot have a kid it’s not what I want and it’s not what I want with you. You have to get rid of it, I’ll pay half just set it up,” and then I heard a click.
I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders; I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Brad seemed to have the right idea, neither one of us wanted children or anything from the fling we had.
I got up the nerve to call the women’s clinic and get some information on abortions. An elderly woman answered the phone and got all of my information it was going to be $500 and it was going to be done in three weeks. I knew the next three weeks of my life would be a living nightmare.
I called Brad to let him know but he did not pick up so as uncomfortable as it was I left the details on his voicemail. I felt numb I had finally reached the lowest point in my life. I was single, pregnant, dumped by the man whose child I had growing inside of me, I just wanted to die. I tried to keep myself preoccupied for the next few weeks until my doomsday. I worked overtime, ate everything in the house and went for long walks alone. I shut everyone out of my life even my mother noticed my erratic behavior.
My mother gave me a number to a therapist, I knew deep down inside she had to care about my well-being she just did not know how to display it.
Finally, my doomsday had arrived, I was instructed to arrive early and ignore the protesters outside. When I reached the women’s clinic Brad was there to hand me the other half of the money, he gave me a quick hug and he retreated to his car. I felt so alone. I met with the office out front and he scratched my name off of a piece of paper and escorted me inside.
Once inside I searched the room for some sort of comfort and all I found were 20 other women there with my same problem. I watched carefully as each woman filled out her paper work and was called to the back for an assessment and to pay up. When it was my turn a young nurse could tell I was uneasy. The nurse tried to comfort me as much as possible, reminding me that today was my decision and reading me some pamphlets on birth control.
I walked back into the waiting area and waited some more. My name was called and I walked down a dimly lit hallway with a nurse not a year older than me and we sat in a room. She had me put on a hospital gown and take off my underwear. I then lay down on a cold table and the nurse put some petroleum jelly on my belly to do the sonogram. I held my head back from looking at the picture I did not want to see what Brad and I had created. Next, an older man in his sixties came in and asked if I was ready, he was the surgeon, I nodded my head and he began the procedure.
After what felt like days he was done and left the room. I felt woozy and was unable to keep my head up the nurse walked me into a waiting room and gave me crackers and a drink. I was able to go home after an hour or so. Once I got back into my bed at home all I could do was cry. I felt as though a little piece of my soul had been left in that hospital room.
For the next few days, I continued to sulk and refrain from eating. Melody had called a few times over the course of the past few weeks but I blew her off, I decided I needed to get out of the house and could really use a friend. Melody and I made plans to hit up a few bars and have a girl’s night. We met outside the Hanger which was a local hang out for the hipster crowd. I felt loose and limber and wanted nothing more than a drink. We went up to the bar and ordered our first round with our beers I decided I needed a shot to top it off. The night got crazier as it went on, at each bar I had at least three beers and kept throwing back shots, trying to make up for what I had done earlier that week.
By closing time I could barely comprehend sentences. Melody called a cab for me but I vanished into the bathroom. I took my keys out of my purse and tried to walk a straight line out the door I managed to make it to my car. Once inside my car, I could hear my conscience tell me it wasn’t a good night to drive, I put the key in the ignition anyway.
I began driving and looked at the time realizing it was getting late I did not want to deal with my mother yelling at me for being out I began to speed. At one point I topped 80mph, I began losing grip of the wheel just as I took my hands off of the wheel I could feel the car turn. The next thing I knew the car was flying through the air doing flips as if it were some circus trapeze act. The car went flying down with a loud thud and I knew this was the end. I watched as my life flashed before my eyes I saw all of the mistakes, a few happy times and I felt at ease for the first time in my life.
My eyes slowly began to droop and I could feel the blood run from my head down to my arms, then everything went black, I was gone.