Sick and Tired

When I started my blog, I wanted to share my life journey.  I also wanted a place to share my other writing as well. I haven’t done that yet, but I am going to do that today. I recently joined a new writing site and each week we write to a prompt. My post today is a fiction piece (based on a bit of truth). The prompt for this post is “Weary.”

SICK AND TIRED

She looked at the ugly drab green chairs in the waiting area. She wondered why anyone would make a chair that color, let alone buy them. The walls were a depressing shade of what must have once been white. Posters hung on the walls instead of beautiful artwork or paintings. The old fluorescent lights shining through dead bugs and accumulated dust inside the panels completed the dismal room.

A woman with two children sat across from her. The baby cried and squirmed in her arms while she tried to quiet the hyperactive toddler. Jessie found it hard to believe so many people needed help and even harder to believe she was one of them.

It was finally her turn to go into the row of cubicles. The caseworker looked at her paperwork never raising her eyes to look at Jessie. Jessie shuffled in her chair waiting for the inevitable questions. She wondered why you had to fill out all the paperwork if they were just going to ask you the same questions. But, she needed help and if this were what it took, she would comply.

She wondered how she ever come to a place where she would be need to apply for government assistance? The caseworker finished the paperwork and said it would be thirty days before she would receive her food stamps. She handed Jessie a flyer about some programs at a church just around the block. They usually had hot meals and bags of groceries. Jessie felt even more defeated and alone. A church was the last place she wanted to go.

She had given up on praying. If God was there, He certainly didn’t hear or care about her prayers. She remembered the stories from Sunday school. Wonderful stories about God taking care of everyone. They said God took care of the birds, so we knew God took care of us. We never needed to worry about anything because God was watching over us. So where was He now when she so desperately needed help?

She started making her way to the church. It was snowing again and her threadbare sweatshirt was little protection from the bitter cold. She had a few dollars left and stopped at the liquor store. She bought two bottles of the cheapest vodka. Back outside, she opened one and took a long drink. She shoved the bottles into her backpack and kept walking.

An older woman greeted her and showed her the way to the food line. The woman reminded Jessie of her mother. She had been unprepared for her mother’s death last year. She remembered the call from the hospital. She wondered how it went from “your mother has been in a car accident” to “your mother passed away.” She didn’t remember much about the days that followed. She did everything on autopilot, calling the Pastor, picking the casket, and then the funeral. Drinking helped her forget.

“Hi, my name’s Pat. Mind if I sit with you?”

“If you want.”

“I saw you as you came out of the liquor store.” I live just down the street.”

Jessie looked down at her food. She kept eating and didn’t respond.

“I used to go there myself. I had a real problem with drinking but I’ve been sober for two years now.”

“So why are you telling me your little life story?” Jessie snapped.

“I just wondered if you might want to talk someone who understands.”

“Understands? Understands what? You don’t know anything about me.”

“I may understand more than you think. I understand what it means to be sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Jessie looked at her for the first time. How could this woman possibly know how she felt? She felt the tears begin to roll down her cheeks.

“Yeah. I am so tired of everything. Tired of feeling like this. Tired of trying to pray. Tired of…” Jessie stopped before she said the words.

“Tired of living like this?” Pat asked.

“Yeah.” It was all Jessie could say.

Pat put her arms out and gave a Jessie a hug. “Why don’t you come back to my apartment? We can talk. I’ll tell you my ‘little life story’ and how I found a solution.”

Jessie walked with Pat back to her apartment. She wondered if maybe, just maybe, God had heard her after all.
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I love feedback so would love to hear from you. Do you have any other genres of writing you have thought about sharing?

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

 

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31 responses

  1. nice twelve step story 🙂 keep going..:)

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  2. wonder story. the details are so vivid, the emotions so raw.

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  3. OUr world would be so much better if we weren’t scared to reach out like that to one another.

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  4. You did a good job of using details to paint an exterior world that matches Jessie interior one. I’m interested to see where you go with this.

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  5. Love this, Cathy. I can tell it comes from a place deep within you, and those are the stories that resonate most with me. I can feel this one going longer–is it part of a bigger story (ha, so many ways to answer that question, huh?)? We should get together one of these days for a writing/critiquing session!

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    1. Yes we need to get together for sure. Actually this is part of the story I wrote for NanoWriMo in November. This is an edited chopped up piece. LOL I don’t know if it is harder to create a character with many of your experiences and characteristics or to create one totally outside your world of experience. That is what I am playing with right now.

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      1. There are challenges with both, I’m sure! My characters usually have little in common with me, except maybe that they can be sarcastic asses, haha! 😀

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  6. Fiction writing with a sprinkle of truth always sounds so easy to achieve but I find it the hardest. Taking a character, or setting, or situation and describing it accurately within a fictional prose is much harder than it looks. You have a good foundation and I hope you keep working at this!

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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  7. Fine details and good emotions. Like the pace too. Feels like the beginning of a bigger story. Would love to hear more. Erin

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  8. Fabulous post. I could feel her emotions coming through while I was reading. Very vivid and real!

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  9. Great post, I definitely want to hear the rest of the story!

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  10. Aw, what a nice story! Or I should say, a happy ending. 🙂

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  11. Great first fiction that you’ve shared!

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    1. Thank you so much.

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  12. My heart dropped when I read your character would have to wait 30 days for assistance.

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  13. Vanessa, I would in the field and that is how long it typically takes if not longer at times. There are some exceptions for the most desperate cases. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  14. Having been in a similar place before, what seems like lifetimes ago, this was a hauntingly accurate portrayal of the pain and fear and just plain done-ness. You painted a picture of hopelessness that felt so real I could taste it.
    Great job!

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    1. Thank you for reading and your comment. Glad you aren’t in that place anymore.

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  15. Very nice. I hope there is a sequel. 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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  16. Definitely think it’s a nice start. Curious to see where it goes.

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  17. Pats are out there…sometimes we lose sight of that. But they are out there just waiting to reach out and help.

    Great start and very apt response to the prompt. 🙂

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    1. Thanks Katie.

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  18. I’m hooked – I would love to read more!

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    1. Thanks. I hope you do too. 🙂

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  19. Boy can I relate: “So where was He now when she so desperately needed help?”
    good job.

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  20. Lovely and hopeful story. Thank you.

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  21. Hey there, You’ve done a great job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this web site.

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  22. Super-Duper blog! I am loving it!! Will come back again. I am taking your feeds also

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  23. […] you know most of my posts are about living in my world.  I have shared a couple of fiction posts here and here.  I have an overactive and creative  imagination.    It is a tremendous asset for […]

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  24. […] you know most of my posts are about living in my world.  I have shared a couple of fiction posts here and here.  I have an overactive and creative  imagination.    It is a tremendous asset for […]

    Like

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