Running On Empty, chapter 2

Running On Empty, chapter 2

A Chapter by Sharon Kim
"

Jase goes home in search of answers

"

I headed south on the 5 toward San Diego.  I drove past the exit to my condo. I’d made up my mind and I was not giving myself the chance to back out.  About 45 minutes later I was pulling into my mother’s driveway. I hadn’t been home in about 5 years.  Rotten son, I know.  I did call… occasionally. 

It was the same small, white ranch that I remembered.  Mom kept the flowerbeds neat and the grass looked like a carpet.  I knew she was home because her red Ford Fiesta was parked in the driveway. 

My hands gripped the steering wheel, my knuckles turned white and I took a deep slow breath and shook my head.  My hand reached for the ignition and I was just about to turn it when I stopped myself.  I muttered under my breath, “Chicken s**t!”  Slamming my palm on the steering wheel, I heaved the door open and swung my legs out.  I walked to the front door thinking about the last time I was here.  It was for my grandmother’s funeral.  Not a lot of fun times associated with this place.

I had just raised my hand to knock on the door when my mom walked past the screen door.  She saw me and dropped the laundry basket she’d been carrying.  “Jason, is that you?”  She pulled open the door and yanked me inside.  Enveloped in her hug, I muttered, “Mom, it’s Jase now.”  She swatted me on the arm and told me she’d given birth to me and she’d call me whatever she liked.  I let myself be satisfied that it wasn’t some stupid name like Pookie Bear.

She caught my arm and dragged me down the hall toward the kitchen.  She pushed me down into a chair at the scarred wooden table and bustled about getting coffee and cookies.  I let her do her thing.  I needed the time to gather my thoughts and figure out just what I hoped to accomplish here.

She kept up a constant stream of chatter but I wasn’t really following.  I nodded or mm-hmm’d occasionally.  The whole time I was thinking about what had brought me back here.  I had to figure out what had happened all those years ago.  A lot of it was just a blank page in my memories. 

I do remember Mom taking me home from the police station.  The 10 minute ride felt like an eternity.  She kept looking over at me with this strange mix of concern, sadness, disgust and fear.  I couldn’t grasp why she was looking at me like that.  After we got home, she left me alone for a while, waiting for me to come and talk to her.  When a week went by with me just sitting around the house, catatonic, she started pushing me to get back to school, eat, shower…  When that didn’t work, she begged me to see a shrink.  Personally, I was hoping I’d just close my eyes and not wake up.  It never happened.  I loved my Mom and as she sat there imploring me to go, I came out of my daze enough to see that she was losing it, she was looking haggard.  It had just been my Mom and I since I was about 6 and my Dad didn’t make it back from the war.  My Mom had always been there for me, so I did it for her.

Let’s just say it didn’t go well.

 I’d blocked out everything.   Doc started in on the small talk and I grunted short responses back at him.  I went, but I didn’t putting any effort into it.  Then Doc did his “magic” and I eventually began to open myself to the memories.  

They came back in flashes.  As though I was sitting in a dark room and the television flashed on for two seconds and then turned off again, leaving the after image burned on my eyes.  It would always fade just as I started to make sense of it.  I remember there had been a boy, someone I knew.  He had been covered in blood.  Everytime I left my sessions, mom would ask me how it went.  Of course, I lied.  “Great mom!  Doc’s really helping me.”  I can’t believe she swallowed that bullshit.



© 2014 Sharon Kim


Author's Note

Sharon Kim
Any and all comments welcome. This is the second chapter in my story Running on Empty

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On the 5- I-5 (I hate that highway, small factoid, throughout the country these roads are referred to as interstates or highways, for some damn reason we call it a freeway.)

I drove past the exit to my condo. I’d made up my mind and I was not giving myself the chance to back out. About 45 minutes later I was pulling into my mother’s driveway. I hadn’t been home in about 5 years. Rotten son, I know. I did call… occasionally.

I drove passed my exit. I made up my mind; I was not going to give myself a chance to back-out. Forty-five minutes later, I was pulling into my mother’s driveway. Rotten son, I did call . . . occasionally.
(You rarely want to speak to the reader, it breaks immersion. When do so, you’re reminding the reader, that they are indeed reading a story, rather than being engrossed.)

It was the same small, white ranch that I remembered. (insert house otherwise you’re implying the ranch it self is white.)

I knew she was home, (because) her red Ford Fiesta was parked in the driveway.

My hands gripped the steering wheel, my knuckles turned white (and) I took a deep slow breath and shook my head. My hand reached for the ignition (what else would you reach with? I reached for the ignition)

(and) I was just about to turn it when I stopped myself. I muttered under my breath, “Chicken s**t!”
I had just raised my hand to knock on the door (what else would you knock with?) I went to knock when mom walked passed the screen door. (Or some other phrasing)

dropped the laundry basket (she’d been carrying). (If she dropped it she was obviously carrying it.)
She swatted me on the arm and told me she’d given birth to me and she’d call me whatever she liked. (Show this)

She swatted me on the arm, “I gave birth to you, and I’ll call you by your name.”

I grunted short responses back at him. (Just, I gave him short responses. He sounds like a lunatic if he’s grunting at the man.)

I like the fact that you’re telling this story as if from your character’s reflection of the events. The anger, repressed memories, internal and external isolation; but, you are indeed ‘telling’ me. Which can be done, but it’s a fine line to walk. I hope this helps some. If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me.


Posted 7 Years Ago



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Added on August 16, 2014
Last Updated on August 16, 2014
Tags: home, journey, truth, past, gangs


Author

Sharon Kim
Sharon Kim

Methuen, MA



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