Chapter FiveA Chapter by Cre8nFrmWithn
Zen's unhappiness leads to unhappy situations.
"Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!" (Psalm 27:14)
Zen finally exhausted her stash of energy. Her feet and heart were wearied. As she headed home, she thought of the days when she and Darren were without children. Back when the only concerns were of the world " and those were the good worries.
Darren used to walk every evening with her. They had an apartment off of Hampton and Jamieson Avenue, a quiet area. They visited the park and fed the geese. There were two ponds and a walking trail that was perfect for couples like themselves to explore and talk.
He used to sing in her ear when they cuddled in bed. His singing left much to be desired as far as carrying a tune went but he was the only man who’d ever sang to her. She loved every minute of it. It was so romantic. It was Darren.
“Will we ever love like we did back then?” She knew full well that it would never be the same. Those days were long gone. And quite possibly, so was their love. Long gone.
Back at the house she stood on her doorstep, wondering if she was ready to go in. Were they ready to have her back? Did they miss her when she was gone or just go on as usual…silly, happy and with lack of interest in her. No time like the present she thought…
Inside, she dropped her keys in the bowl that sat on the oak, foyer table. She slipped out of her shoes and walked into the living room. It was empty, just like her marriage.
Further into the living room gave view of their small dining area. It too was deserted. In the kitchen to find the dishes had been washed by hand and put in the dish rack! What was going on here?
Standing by the stairway in the kitchen, she listened but caught no sounds, although there were floorboard creaks from above. They were definitely up there.
Back in the hallway, she walked down towards the staircase and stopped on the landing of the second floor. Huh? Were those giggles behind the bathroom door? What were they doing in the bathroom together?
She stepped closer and eavesdropped to hear water splashing and mumbled talk but nothing more. Darned these solid, wooden doors!
Zenolyn opened the door and found Darren on his knees by the tub. Inside were the twins, laughing at one another. Daddy had made lots of bubbles and was giving them fizzy, bubbly hair-do’s.
Okay, what was really going on?
“Hi Mommy”, the twins chimed in unison.
Zen was in such shock she didn’t even realize she’d responded. “Uh,…huh. What’s going on?”
“Daddy is playing Bubble Bath with us!”
“Yeah”, explained Damon. He was always a follower.
“But why is Daddy giving you two a bubble bath?” She looked at Darren questioningly.
“Well, I thought it was time for me to help out around here. When I’m home, simple things like this shouldn’t be a problem.”
Darren smiled, his adorable toothy grin at his wife. He was proud and thought she’d have loved the idea of him taking the initiative and doing something helpful. He waited, staring at Zen, wondering what her response would be.
“Oh”, was all she could say. She smiled and began shutting the door. “Carry on.”
She went into her master bathroom and shrugged out of her clothes in surprise. Darren had taken care of the dinner dishes and had given the babies a bath. Darren actually helped out. Could this actually be sinking in- finally? What would be next?
“Well, it definitely wasn’t the cleaning of the gutters!” Zenolyn thought to herself as she climbed the ladder to tackle one of the items on the home’s To Do List.
She’d hoped Darren would climb up early in the morn and get it done but he was still asleep and it was almost nine. Figures. Darren was never one to pay attention to the home: inside or out.
At the top, she slipped on her garden gloves and began pulling the leaves, sticks and other items from her gutters. While chucking the debris, she made a mental note to buy those gutter grates she’d seen on tv. They seemed to keep out the yuck and make a chore like this much easier to manage. Months worth of dead leaves, sticks, trash that miraculously floated to the roofs of homes and water made for a nasty mix.
She became lost in thought, thinking of how miserable she was. All she wanted was someone who completed her. She wished for her best friend back. Why was Darren so hard to get along with these days? It was like he didn’t even like them- her anymore. Yeah, he bathed the kids last night but what about them. What about them?
Sometimes, when she really felt bad for herself and her situation, she thought back to when she wasn’t married. When she was out and about, dating occasionally with no luck. She dwelled on times when she met a guy who made her feel as thought the universe was all about her and the stars aligned and all that junk! How it made her feel powerful.
Now, all Zen felt was powerless. She’d wished for a cave to hibernate in. She’d wished for a hole to climb into and to even become invisible. None of those wishes ever came true. Just like her wish to have her husband back. She was struck with the dreaded epiphany; her life stank. She hated it. It was unfair and crappy and she wanted out.
“WHAT?” Zen snapped back into reality when she felt the ladder lean to the left. The motion caused her to snap a quick hold to the roof and look down. No one was there.
Her heart beat about twice the legal limit as she searched the ground her. What could have caused such a jolt?
After minutes of looking about her to see if anyone was about, causing mischief and finding no one, she resumed her dirty work. She began thinking about what she could do to get away from Darren and when she felt another jolt on her ladder.
She threw one hand on the roof to steady herself and the other on the rail of the ladder, heart resuming its rib-aching pound.
After her reaction to the pull settled, she turned and looked down and was startled. Darian stood at the base of the ladder. She wasn’t trying to climb up thank God. Had she shaken the ladder to frighten her, or worse…make her mommy fall?
“Darian, what are you doing?” She asked in annoyance with a touch of fear.
“I was calling you and you didn’t answer me Mommy. What are you doing up there?”
“Oh, okay that’s understandable”, Zen thought to herself. Whenever Zen zoned out, Darian had always resorted to poking, shaking or in cases with Damon, smacking to get attention.
“I’m cleaning the gutters.”
“Yeah”, she answered in her high pithed, little voice with her head cocked to the left. Her beautiful eyes were squinted, as though she was gazing into the sun.
Zen wondered how to explain. “Gutters are tubes that are attached to a homes. They keep water and other stuff from staying on the roofs of people’s houses. Too much stuff on the roof can cause the roof to get a hole or fall in.”
“Like on the people?” Her neck was getting tired from looking up at her mom. She began walking around the ladder, kicking at rocks and the dead leaves to ease the pain.
“Yes baby. If the roof fell in, it could land on us.” Zen got back to pulling leaves out and dropping them to the ground below, away from her daughter’s head.
While she tugged on a stick, wedged in the gutter she continued to explain. “Some houses get so much stuff stuck on their roofs that the shingles and all rot and make a hole.”
While Darian kept on about he gutters and rotten roofs, Darian went back into the house. She had a short attention span; Darian was headed back in the house, watching cartoons.
“You understand Darian?” No response. “Darian?” She looked down and saw that her daughter had left. “Figures.”
She pulled with all of her might on the tree branch, not noticing that as she tugged, she was using enough force in both arms to project her backwards.
When the stick freed, dirty, rotten leafy water flew into her face, temporarily shocking her. She reacted with a yelp and more of a jerk backwards, taking her away from the roof and out into the open air. Not good.
Once her mind processed she was no longer leaning against the house but instead falling away, her eyes flashed with fear!
“No”, she thought in raw fear.
She watched the roof of her home rise above her at an angle. The bluish-gray sky moved upwards and then away. She was falling.
“Darian”, she thought. “Is she safe? God, please don’t let her see me land.”
She tried to scream but didn’t have the guts to sound like a fool. All that came out was a weak, sigh-like “Huuu!” and then as quick as she felt a force drive in to her, her vision went dark.
The sounds. That’s what I noticed first. I heard cicadas, crickets and the wind rustling through the leaves of trees overhead. It was like a forest symphony, quiet and calming.
Next, I noticed how bright it was. My eyes were closed but I could feel the intensity of the sunrays penetrating my lids. It sorta hurt. With a moan, I raised my arms over my head to shield my face.
My body ached. My arms, back, legs and shoulders felt like I’d been beaten into unconsciousness. I didn’t feel like I had real pain, just aches.
Slowly I pried my eyes open to see where I was. I knew I was prone. I’d fallen. As I tried to see, I sought for whatever I’d fallen from.
I blinked rapidly, trying to see but the light hurt too much. I shut them and sighed. It felt nice to be on the ground. If I didn’t move, I didn’t hurt.
There was something I was doing, right? What was I doing?
Again, I shielded my eyes and opened them once again…and again…and then after about ten attempts, I looked at the palm of my hand. Hello. What’s this?
Something was wrong. It looked different but I couldn’t figure out why. I didn’t have a clue to where I was.
I sat up, still squinting, taking in my surroundings. I was in the middle of what appeared to be a field; a field of wheat or something like it! It was golden and beautiful as it swayed in the light breeze. It was about me for miles and there wasn’t another person in sight!
“Hello?” I called lightly. I wasn’t sure if I should call too loudly, just in case I was trespassing. Was there anyone around?
When I got no reply, I stood on wobbly legs. I was wearing a very long dress. “So unlike me”, I thought.
As I dusted myself off, I ignored the throbbing of my body. Then I noticed another feeling- this one odd. My body felt a different sort of pain. I touched my face and it felt like it was on fire! I dropped my fingertips to my neck and chest and noticed that I’d gotten sunburned.
My skin was red from soaking in the rays. I touched my forearm, pressing lightly until the pain was unbearable and moved my hand away. My fingers left pale spots before returning to an aching red. That was bad and later I was going to peel like a snake. And I knew this, …how?
I brushed the loose, fiery tresses from my face and tucked them behind my ears. I noticed the rest of my hair fell down my back in a long braid. It hung to the middle of my back. Huh, long, red hair. Okay.
Nothing felt right to me. It was like, like I didn’t belong. I wasn’t where I was supposed to be, but here I was. I thought about this thought and realized that I didn’t have a clue what I was thinking. You have one of those days before?
Well, dusted myself off and stood straight, prepared for a mission. I had to find somewhere to go; I had to get out of the sun before I wound up looking like a lobster! Since the sun was directly above me, I figured that it was about noon but couldn’t figure out which direction was east, west, north or south. After little debate, I followed instinct. I just began walking.
A tune popped into my head. A song that went something like:
What if I just can’t find my way back home?
What about all the things I just don’t know?
What if I just can’t find my way back home?
Would you be there to show me where to go?
As I walked, I noticed I was wearing soft, leather shoes " homemade! They were cute against my skin and they felt comfortable. My toes were sweating. Yuck!
My ankle length skirt was brown as well, with an apron over it. I wore a peasant-like blouse that held a pair of large breasts- and nothing more. Speaking of which, I had no true under garments either. What had happened to my undies?
The skirt was way too long for me; as I walked through the wheat, I kept stumbling on the hem. This was coming off as soon as I found out where I was going! My three quarter-sleeved blouse was slightly off shoulder and I could see the serious redness of my pale skin, the sunburn was killer!
After about ten minutes of walking with no reprieve in sight, I began to think I’d made a mistake. There was nothing before me. I stopped and listened, trying to almost feel through the field for any indication that I was headed in a good direction, towards people.
Nothing. I got nothing and didn’t know what to do. I began walking again. The dumbest thing I could do was turn about and head backwards. That would be such a waste of distance. Ultimately, it would give me a loss of sunlight. Not knowing where I was located could determine my safety or lack of.
Just when it seemed I was walking forever when I spotted a horse in the distance. A horse means a rider, yeah? I quickly squatted around to case the area. It was very odd to see a beautiful beast with no rider.
Was I on someone’s property? Was I a trespasser? I had no clue but I spied no owner in sight. I waited for a few minutes and checked my wrist wa-…I saw my bare wrist. Was something supposed to be there?
I had no idea what the heck I was doing so I slowly stood up and called out, “Hello to the owner of this horse!”
The ears of the horse perked and it turned its head towards me. And…
It began walking to me! The horse was huge and beautiful. And terrifying, I’d never ridden a horse before but knew they could be jumpy with the inexperienced. I didn’t want the thing coming up, getting startled and trampling me to death!
When it stopped before me, I stood still; I wondered about my actions as it leaned its strong neck down and nudged me. With my eyes, I glanced around. I still saw no one but the thing acted like it wanted something from me. It watched me as if it knew me.
I slowly raised my hand and it quickly raised its head up and down before bringing it back down to me. I placed my hand, open palmed onto it’s neck and rubbed. It was friendly.
I stole a peek past the belly and saw that ‘it’ was a ‘he’ so I spoke gently to him. He was a deep, chocolate brown with a tuft of white from the poll down between his eyes and stopped about three inches from his muzzle. I noticed he wasn’t wearing a saddle either.
He had to belong to someone. Were horses like dogs? Did they just walk up to strangers and allow themselves to be petted in this area? I had to admit, though he didn’t belong to me, he seemed to like me. At least I had company on my journey. The horse was coming with me.
While walking with the big guy at my side, I wondered where I was going; I wondered where I was. The scenery was unbelievable. The sky was an amazing blue with wispy clouds. The wheat field came to an end, leaving me in a field of lush green grass. There were dandelions everywhere, and a soft, warm wind. The sun radiated warmth that would have been pleasant, had I not been burned from the enormous soaking of rays. I needed shade! What was I going to do if I didn’t find shelter?
About two miles further up were a bunch of trees, like a mini forest. I decided to make my way towards them and take a break. I needed something to drink to.
Between the heat and the long distance trek I was taking, I would dehydrate in a matter of hours. I needed to find someone to help me but from the look of things, I was going to be out of luck. I didn’t see anything- no shack, house or farm.
I stopped under a thick, shady oak and plopped. Big Guy, his name since that’s what he was, stood nearby and grazed. I closed my eyes for a brief moment when I heard something behind me. Well not quite behind me but near me all the same. I held my breath and listened.
There it was again, like someone was sneaking up on me. I opened my eyes but saw no one.
Someone was walking very slowly, trying to creep me. I decided to pretend I didn’t hear and walk towards Big Guy so I could turn on them. With any luck, I could catch them.
As soon as I stood up, there was a squeal of delight that frightened me. I jumped around instead of the sneaky spin I had planned to catch the culprit with. And there he was... a little boy.
I was shocked at how cute he was. His eyes were the deepest green, like cat eyes. His nose was sprinkled with freckles, standing out against his pale skin…kinda like me. But that didn’t seem right.
The little boy grinned from ear to ear. He appeared to be four or five in age and wore pants that looked to be made from a potato sack. His shirt was a dingy, eggshell color and had a ‘v’ cut at the neck that was laced with thin, braided string. He looked a tad on the impoverished side but didn’t seem to mind. He was very happy; his grin gave away the joy he was feeling.
“Mommy, you scared me”, he said in a low, musical voice. What tha-
Did he just call me Mommy? Well that wasn’t right! Do I have kids? Could he be mine? Could I have a redheaded little boy, this little boy?
I stared at him in my confusion and realized that the title seemed to feel right but I didn’t understand it. Was he my son? “Well duh, he called you Mommy”, I fussed.
“Uh, what’s your name?” I asked. If he were my child, surely he’d tell me his name. He didn’t. He just kept on grinning and staring at me.
I decided on something else. “Are you my son? Am I your, your Mommy?”
I squatted down to eye level with the boy. His smile never faltered as he raised his left arm and pointed off to the west.
Great, exactly where the sun was falling. I’d have to face it the entire way to…to home I guess.
I looked back at him. “Can you go with me? To our home?”
The little boy shook his head, red curls flopping here and there. Then he walked to me, placed his tiny hand in mine and led the way. He sure didn’t talk much.
Why was he out here alone? For that matter, does this explain why I woke up in the middle of a wheat field? Was this field mine? Somebody had a lot of explaining to do!
© 2012 Cre8nFrmWithn
Added on March 14, 2012
Last Updated on April 5, 2012
A Life Of Zen - Chapter One
AboutMy name is Alyssa and I am a Domestic Homeschool Engineer. I like to write, leaving some details to the reader's imagination. I describe but do not wish to over-indulge. Many things are best when l.. more..