Friday, January 30, 2015

A Heart like mine

It is FRIDAY! the most celebrated day of the week (correct me if I am wrong). I only go to school Monday-Wednesday, so I don't get excited over Friday any more. 

It was an okay week, I was happy to see friends and be my usual chatting self. 

The story I am posting today, I wrote it when it was raining one day, this is when I  write my best. You will notice if it was raining when I wrote a particular story, Just read hard, you will see. I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Have a fantastic weekend and keep writing!

"I had hoped it would rain again, that violent outburst of liquid spewing from the sky makes me laugh. The trees bow, trying to dodge the lashes, but they are coming from every direction, hitting the leaves and parting the grass from the close rows they once had. There is satisfaction in watching the water rush through my yard while I sip black, rich, bitter coffee from the mug my husband gave me. He would’ve loved this war right now, and although I won’t be seeing him again, the rain brings back the love, and my heart swells with the memory of the first time he held my hand.
The first date is always nerve-wrecking; I toss clothes all over the carpet and scream in frustration. My mother appears at my door, and I hear her chuckle from behind the closed door. I laugh, and I hear the turn of a knob, and see her beaming oval face, with the loose waves falling over her shoulders and covering the scar over her left eye.

“This guy must really be special.”

“He’s the one ma.”

She laughed, because I had only met this guy last week, and already I was writing in the dating book. I chose the red dress that didn’t reveal too much. She gave me a nod of approval and then we sat in the living room waiting for the knock, and the tall, black haired boy with the dark eyes. The ticking of the clock was loud in the silence that enveloped the living Room. I shifted constantly, trying to hope for the best. I tried to keep the image out of my mind that I might just end up in bed with mascara stains on the white pillowcase.

The knock was a nervous one, my mother got up fast while I pretended to be in the bathroom. I heard the conventional introductions, and bit my fingernails, nearly taking my skin with it. She knocked on the door, I took a deep breath and walked slowly towards the boy, he seemed nervous as he guided me to the truck. It was the typical first date, small talk and full stomachs. 

We were walking towards the truck in silence when I felt the first drop of rain. He grabbed my hand, and before we could make it, it came down and soaked us. I felt the squeeze of his hands, and the warmth of his laugh, and as I told my mother, he was the one.

They said we got married too fast, and that it would end. I thought that would happen when we tried for so long, and I woke up countless nights to blood stains on the sheets. He let me cry on the floor, and up to the night when he lay motionless on the hospital bed, there was no part of me he could call his own.

“Marsha,” Pity swirled around in her voice. I’m sure the nurse got tired of seeing me. I didn’t even bother to change my messed up nightgown. My red eyes didn’t concern the doctors anymore, and we sat like zombies, pale and expressionless when they told me my womb was too low. We grew apart for awhile, and kissed each other out of duty. I refused to look at parents and toddlers as I did the grocery shopping. He didn’t like the black I wore, that’s what he told his mother while I listened in the living room.

“But Henry-“she would say, and he would cut her off with the slam of the door. My heart jumped. We finally visited a counselor, and got back into old selves. We tried to adopt, and as cruel as it sounds, I didn’t want children anymore. We grew together, forming wrinkles and frown lines at the same time. We took pleasure in lying on the wet grass while the rain penetrated our skin, and would hold hands in silence and communicate with our thoughts.

It was a normal Sunday evening, the sunset was beautiful, and because he had gone fishing, I was forced to watch it alone. The dinner was getting cold and the darkness permeated through the halls, then I heard the thunder, and prayed, hoping he would come back soon. I called my mother and some relatives when the house shook with rainfall, thunder and lightning, but no one picked up. It was his same old hoarse voicemail when I dialed his number.

Midnight. Still no quiet knock and I accepted the worse. I didn’t sleep. In the morning, I heard a knock, but it wasn’t his. I opened slowly to men in black uniforms and a badge pinned to their breasts. They calmly said, “Ma’am follow us.” I rehearsed saying “yes, that’s his body”, but they turned into a hospital.

He wasn’t even pale lying on the bed, and his hands were still warm. I cried, not too much, because maybe he could still hear me. I stayed at nights, knitting a sweater for him to wear home. The next day I woke to the machine that tells if your heart was beating or not. I thought of a place to donate the sweater, as they covered him with the sheet. His fingers were warm, and they took them from me.

I told him bye, and I knew he heard me, when his heart was beating, and his eyes were closed."

© Copyright 2014 Renee. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 23, 2015


After I wrote this story and posted in on Writing.Com, many reviewers gave  feedback on how mental Illness can affect many families. I have a relative who was born with issues similar to this. I hope you will enjoy reading one the pieces that actually opened my heart and mind.

"I was meant to be normal, to go to my senior prom and lie on a boy’s shoulder while the sun disappears.But my Brain is messed up, ever since my grandmother left a few years ago.

I always helped with heavy grocery bags, and was the grateful to perform taste tests for her cookies. We shared the same beds many nights, and I found it hard to leave her side. One night I did not hear her snoring, and when I rolled to face her, her chest wasn't moving. I failed to scream, but a chill ran throughout my body and little bumps spread all over my arm. I didn't touch her, because I already knew the answer. I called my parents and we stood in the yard in our pyjamas watching the men cover her with a thin white sheet. I kept expecting her to sit up and laugh, to tell me it was a game, and then we would go back to bed, but she lay still and I knew she was dead.

They tried to make me tell a woman in a grey suit my feelings, but all I could think about was the cookies on her table, they were formed perfectly like my grandmother's. I became angry at my grandmother, and the source that took her, without a warning a special person left me. I began hearing voices, at first she spoke to me, then It changed to deep, hoarse sound, a man, and he is still here, leaving me only a few minutes at a time.


I am standing in a tree. The wind rush beneath my lifted arms and I close my eyes to take in the sound of nature. A voice is whispering in the wind, so small and gentle you have to concentrate to hear to the message. I shake my head up and down, then quickly side to side because I don’t agree with what he says.

“Jump.” The voice says, getting louder, stronger, not like the gentle friend a few minutes ago. I am crying now and shaking the limbs, the leaves fall on my head and into my white v-neck shirt.

“I want tea!” I yell, and the voice starts to laugh. He is slowly disappearing, until he is gone. I am howling, shaking the branches harder, and then I hear a snap. The onset of winter has taken the tree's strength. I feel myself go down, the rush is exhilarating, yet  frightening, but I fall into the embrace of soft, tired flesh.

My eyes are still closed, but I know the path. I hear the gravel crunch under his boots, and my mother whimpering in the background. The dog is breathing heavily. He wags his tail and hits my father’s leg. “Cut it out!” he shouts and almost lets me go.

My eyes are open; I am sipping tea and watching the late afternoon programme. I laugh when the cat hits his head on the wall, and the mouse escapes “Go Jerry!” I cheer, and spill a little of the warm tea down my shirt.

“She is nineteen” My mother was never great at whispering, but she is a pro at crying. I tip toe and peep through the kitchen door. She is biting her lips, which leaves lipstick stains on tip of her teeth.  Grey streaks dance about her auburn bob, my father’s head is hanging, and he constantly strokes his long, thick beard. She starts crying again, and he frowns.  My chest burns, which tells me that I am the fault. The cup is now cold, and the brown liquid stays still, like stagnant water in Rainy May.

I go in my room and sit on the window ledge, my quiet place. The sun is tired, and is making a grand exit. I follow the orange, blazing across the sky and burning the Heavens. I hear voices, and gaze at the young couple walking hand in hand. The boy tickles her side, and she tries to squirm out of his grip. They seem to be my age, but a lot more sensible".

© Copyright 2014 Renee. All rights reserved. 

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My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Beyond my Walls (An excerpt)

I was placing the baking sheet with cookies in the oven, and a light bulb went off. I remembered a story I wrote a few years back (maybe two), and felt an excitement that crawled from my toes into my Brain, that sent shivers, jolting my whole being (too much?). 

Most of my stories include memories or events from my life, especially those that stand out in my Mind. I created a sad character, and she developed into a person I can't even understand. I don't know what will become of her and her mother, as the story is not yet finished, but open your hearts and minds as you read.

Synopsis: A girl tries desperately to understand why her mother has become so distant and strange. She has no one to speak to at home, so she often listens to the family who resides beside them.

"Everything became unusually silent; I waited for her to pass, but felt or heard no movements. I grew stiff, afraid and suddenly everything felt still. Slowly I moved my heavy legs to the door and cracked the door. She stood by the light, wanting to blow, but it was as though she was lost in her thoughts. She stood stiff with a slight pose, bending her head towards the heat. I watched with anticipation for her to jerk, but she just stood and then the tear rolled down her cheek and onto the flame, it crackled, but was still alive, then went another and darkness engulfed us before I could exhale.

She frightened me, for I have never seen her cry. I slowly retreated to the bed, sinking with my load of thoughts and questions. I searched for the sheets with my feet in the dark, as security to bury my head and hide from everything. The family beyond my wall had just finish dinner. I could hear them scraping food from the plates into the stomach of meagre dogs. The voices sounded monotonous tonight that I found no enjoyment from hearing them. I just wanted to close my eyes and leave what I saw behind tonight.

When I woke the following morning, the room felt cool. This was a contrast to the typical warm summer mornings. I felt the silky caress of the curtains against my cheek. A ray of sunlight moved past me and settled on the burnt out candle on my night table.

Voices grew louder on the other side. The raspy voice of the seldom seen father rose significantly above the mother’s until her voice became a tiny, desperate whisper without much strength to go on. I removed the navy blue uniform from its hanger and laid it on the bed. I smoothed the fabric, traced the A-line with my eyes, the white shirt scrubbed clean by her slender arms, and the neatly embroidered crest bearing the  motto ‘I can, I will’, the words were clear and the meaning was clearer, but the required action was the foggy part in my mind. 

Showering had always been the best part of my morning, stepping out into the cold and feeling the light fresh air against my skin. Nature communicating and the peace I felt when I was truly alone. There was no need to pretend out here, or the pity I forced myself to feel when I saw my mother. The way she enjoyed the dark and sighed constantly, how she never shares her thoughts or how strange her voice sounded when she finally decides to speak. I sat in the metal bath and ran the cool water lightly over my skin. I did this until I heard the sounds of pots and dishes, her way of announcing breakfast. 

We sat and ate in the silence until one of us had the courage to move. We will head out in the same silence, turning to our own directions, departing with the mumbled “goodbyes”. There is always this strange urge to turn back and hug my mother, to wrap my arms around her slender waist and feel how silky and warm her skin was beneath the fabrics, for her to respond with a smile and tickle my sides to let go, to hear how her laugh sounded, for it has been years. I wanted my mother’s love".

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"Happiness can exist only in acceptance".

Friday, January 9, 2015

Annie John (Book Review)

TGIF! I hope everyone is doing well, and enjoying the New Year so far.  I decided to write a review on one of my favourite West Indian Novels, Annie John. I was introduced to this novel in High school as it was a prescribed text for my Literature class. I love reading, so I don't toss my books aside after I matriculate to another class or school. I read them over to get inspiration and for mere enjoyment.

Title: Annie John

Author: Jamaica Kincaid

Country: Antigua

Main Characters: Annie John, Her mother, Gwen(her friend)

Type of Novel: Bildungs Roman

Time period: British-Colonial

Synopsis: The fictitious novel tells the story of Annie John and her life until she becomes a young adult. It portrays a riveting tale of a girl growing up in the Caribbean country of Antigua with her parents, special attention given to the close relationship between Annie and her mother, which later breaks apart and leaves Annie resentful. She is a smart girl, but has quick lips and is often the "ring leader" which gets her into trouble. Annie rebels against authority, and cultural traditions, which rules out how a young lady should behave.

Overall Inpression: I can relate to the setting and many elements of the story as I am from the Caribbean myself. The novel offers excitement and insight to Annie's mind. Annie's bold and fierce attitude presents a strong point in the novel, which is heightened by the Writer's auto-biographical style.

 Using the first person point of view allowed readers (me) to understand  how Annie's thoughts about her life and her views of the world. This type of narrative is effective for the type of novel, as it gives an interesting insight to the complex world of a rebellious teenager in time period where gender expectations were constantly reinforced.

What I liked most: The novel is very detailed from  Annie's physical features to the colour of a Flower, yet it never gets overwhelming. Each chapter is filled with humorous stories of Annie's life, most of which entail the trials of growing up and trying to discover oneself. 

I could easily visualize as the setting is similar to my Home country, dialogues were easy to read and understand. Every part flowed, and transitions were smooth..

Low Point: The ending was the low point, without giving away any spoilers, I will only say that it is like the start of another story. Nevertheless, It did not leave me hanging, and did not present a major problem,
On that note there is nothing I would change about this Novel, It holds a special place on my bookshelf, and is one of the most memorable Novels in my possession.

To wet your appetites, here is my favourite quote from the Novel:

"In the year I turned fifteen,I felt more unhappy than I ever imagined anyone could be......My Unhappiness was something deep inside me, and when I closed my eyes I could even see it..." (Kincaid,J p.85).

If you are interested, the Novel is available for purchase from  Amazon

Friday, January 2, 2015

Skyline in all It's glory (St. Andrew, Jamaica)

Happy New year!!!
You have a book to write, so fill it with good memories that are worth reading, for those who want to make 2015 a year to put away the smart devices and enjoy the world, then Skyline, Jamaica is a place you should include in your travel book.

 The sun is bowing, orange lines permeate  the sky, and casts light on the city below, alive with the sound of cars and busy travellers.  When the sky is dark and the pale moon light is insufficient, the artificial lights of the city guide the feet and cars to the live portrait. Many testify to sitting quietly for hours, watching the  lights run like ants in their colony. 

The place is known as the “view point,” in Skyline, Jack’s Hill, a quiet semi-rural community located in the hills of East St.Andrew,Jamaica,  in close proximity to Papine and Barbican. Homes in this region require a substantial income.  Those who can afford choose this place as their home for its beauty and tranquillity.

The view is “breath-taking,” and the atmosphere of cool Jack’s Hill adds to the experience, as the gentle breeze tickles the skin, lifting the hairs on hands and neck. It is captivating and cherished by residents and visitors alike. It is one of those places that give persons a chance to watch the busyness below without having to be a part of it. 

One by one the lights are turned on, resembling a doll's house. The viewer can feel like a giant, watching the small world below, and no one sees, no one disturbs. Everyone respects the silence and observes the reverence. The light casts a glow on the sea as it ripples and relaxes, a scene that can be seen  faraway. In this world, one can’t stay too late, so visitors snap a photo, storing it in the memory of technology, possibly to look back one day to remember serenity, or to share with others what many believe is a fine, rare taste of Heaven.

The soft crunch of shoes on gravel can be heard; many sit on the cool stone wall and listen to the faint sound of horns or music wafting from an unknown location. The grass sway slowly to the obedience of the wind, and one might hear the occasional shuffle of a stray animal, lost in the long arms of the rich, green grass, fed frequently from water from the skies. Lovers join hands, press close to each other and gaze on end at the other world. If observed carefully, then a viewer might realize that the scenery below is outlined like the shape of the Jamaican map.

The drive to the top of the hills is worth a visit.  Skyline offers a rich experience to those who wish to take a moment from their busy lives to simply breathe. It does not matter the social status or economic standing of the visitor, as it is one of God’s gifts that is free to man.