One Silver Lining

(Based on true events* – Trigger Warning for possible distress)

bed blanket female girl

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

 

Susan is about to leave her daughter’s bedroom after bringing in a load of clean laundry when Chrissie speaks. Her voice trembles.

“Mom, can I tell you something important?”

Susan turns. Chrissie has been quieter than usual. She resisted going to basketball practice and tried to stay home from school. “Sure, Chrissie. You know you can tell me anything.”

“Coach Kevin hurt me.”

Susan frowns in confusion. “Hurt you how?”

“He cornered me in the locker room and he pushed me onto the ground and he tried to get my clothes off and I told him no but he didn’t listen and when I tried to scream he put his hand over my mouth and nose and I couldn’t breathe and I thought I was going to die.” The words tumble out and Chrissie begins to sob.

Her mother remains standing as if rooted to the floor. “When?”

“Last week.”

“Last week?!” Susan crosses her arms over her chest. “How come you didn’t say something right away?”

“I was scared. I was confused. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to think about it. I…I didn’t want it to be true.”

“Did you call the police?”

“No.”

“Did you tell the principal?”

“No.”

“Did you tell anyone?”

“I told my friend, Hannah, yesterday.” Chrissie’s voice shakes. “She told me to tell you.”

“You didn’t even tell your best friend right away?!” Susan raises an eyebrow.

“No.”

“Well,” Susan shakes her head, “so maybe it didn’t happen.”

Chrissie wraps her blanket tightly around herself. “It did happen! I’m telling you it did!”

“Coach Kevin is a nice man. Are you sure it was him?”

“Mom! I know him. His face was two inches from mine. Of course I’m sure it was him!”

“I don’t know. I’ve seen Coach Kevin many times and he never tried to do this to me. I never heard anyone say anything like this about him. Also, he goes to church.” Susan pulls her phone out of her pocket. She swipes her finger over the small screen. “Kevin? Susan. Got a minute?” She walks out of the room and returns a couple of minutes later. “Well, Chrissie, I don’t know what’s going on here, but I just talked to Coach Kevin and he says he didn’t do anything of the sort. Are you trying to destroy him? It is nasty to make things up this way.”

Chrissie sobs. “I’m not making it up, Mom. It really happened. It is why I didn’t want to go to school. I didn’t want … to see him and he does the carpool …”

Susan eyes linger on her daughter. “Well, maybe something happened, but I don’t believe it was him.”

“It was him! I’m telling you it was him.”

Susan narrows her eyes. “How can you be sure it was him?”

“I am a 100% sure. I saw him like I’m seeing you.”

“Hmm. I think you’re wrong.”

Chrissie pulls the covers over her head. The blankets shake.

“No need for hysterics. As you can see, I am believing you that something happened. I just don’t think it was him. Actually, I think you should apologize to Coach Kevin for saying he did this to you. He says he didn’t do it and I believe him.”

Chrissie freezes. She turns slowly toward her mother. “Apologize to him?! Mom, he’s lying!”

“I don’t know. You have proof it was him?”

Chrissie starts to shake her head but then sits up. She looks up at her mother. “Maybe. There are cameras in the hallway by the locker rooms. Can we ask the school to get the cameras from outside the locker room? They’ll show him going into the girls’ locker room when I was there by myself. They’ll show me leaving in tears and him leaving after me.”

Chrissie’s mother rolls her eyes. “That’s not necessary. He said he didn’t do it. That’s all I need to know.”

Chrissie stares incredulously before turning away from her mother and facing the wall.

Susan shrugs. “Well, that settles it. I’ll tell Kevin you are sorry. He’s up for promotion, you know. Head coach. There’s a party at his place on Sunday. We’ll stop by. You should write a card. The one silver lining that can come out of this is that if someone assaults you, you now know you can come and tell me about it.”

§ § §

 

*a link to a ‘one silver lining‘ statement that ‘inspired’ this piece.

 

Pink Strong

Pink AtaraKatz

Photo: Atara Katz

 

Underneath the soft plumage

And pretty colors

Afield,

Resides a strength to protect

From those who violence

Wield.

Underneath the pink top

The hat of power

Revealed,

Live truths of how both

Softness and thorns

Are required

To be healed.

 

 

For the Sunday Stills Challenge: Make mine pink

 

 

The Interview

The Broadmoor in Crowthorne Berkshire "opened in 1863 as the first building in England built as an asylum for the criminally insane." Today it houses dangerous criminals including the Yorkshire Ripper and the Suffolk Strangler.  There is now talk of turning this building into a luxury hotel.

 

“How did I get here? Too many times of the world painting life in bleak pain and despair,” her wrinkled hand passed over a face lined with history and sorrow.

I looked down at my own hands, fingers marked with blots of ink. I never managed to learn how to hold writing implements far enough from the tip.

Mrs. Glendale leaned forward and her hand touched my knee. The attendant didn’t flinch but I held my breath and wondered, again, what made me choose the asylum for the criminally insane for my project.

“Whatever happens, child,” she whispered, “remember it is best for your heart to brandish hope, not revenge.”

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt

 

May We Be the Adults Kids Need

The link below is to an article by Dawn Haney (thank you, Jenny, for sending it to me). It is very well done and immensely relevant.

Take a moment to read it, and perhaps a few more to allow your realities and reactions to have the room they require and deserve. If you are so inclined, leave a comment below and share your thoughts about the article, of the things you’ve found to be helpful, and the realities of balancing activism with self-care.

In these times of rampant overwhelm and maddening injustice — especially if you carry your own wounds and trauma history — may you find the support you need, the awareness you seek, and the way to provide aid to the vulnerable in the pace and manner you can manage.

And may we all, indeed, be the adults kids need.

May We Be the Adults Kids Need: Healing practices to avoid burnout

From the article. Photo by Brooke Anderson.

 

Vanquish Voracity

 

cross2 OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

May the eager seek the good

More than they crave

The rush of

Harming.

May the powerful remember

How no honor lies

In deliberately

Alarming.

Let satiety be reached

Not by cruelty

But with love.

So that children can sleep safely

In the arms of those

They love.

 

 

Merriam-Webster’s word for June 21, 2018:

Voracity

This post continues the blogging challenge in which Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day, serves as inspiration a-la the “Daily Prompt.”

Want to join me? Feel free to link to this post on your blog, and/or post a link to your blogpost in the comment section below so others can enjoy it, too. Poetry, photography, short stories, anecdotes: Go for it!

For more visibility, tag your post with #WordOfDayNY, so your post can be searchable.

“Follow” me if you want to receive future prompts, or just pop in when you’re looking for inspiration. Here’s to the fun of writing and our ever-evolving blogging community!

 

 

 

Balmy Times

desert walk AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

May the scorch of

Arid hearts

And blazing sun,

Make way for kinder, saner

Passage

To lead humanity through

Balmy times.

 

Merriam-Webster’s word for June 20, 2018:

Balmy

This post continues the blogging challenge in which Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day, serves as inspiration a-la the “Daily Prompt.”

Want to join me? Feel free to link to this post on your blog, and/or post a link to your blogpost in the comment section below so others can enjoy it, too. Poetry, photography, short stories, anecdotes: Go for it!

For more visibility, tag your post with #WordOfDayNY, so your post can be searchable.

“Follow” me if you want to receive future prompts, or just pop in when you’re looking for inspiration. Here’s to the fun of writing and our ever-evolving blogging community!

 

 

Do Not Quail

hold on

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

When powerful

Pound podiums

With rabid lies

To sow mistrust,

Don’t falter

From the facts

Of what is wrong

And what is right.

Don’t quail before

Deep cruelty

That shreds your heart

To cries.

Step forth

For those who have no voice,

Be brave

And mobilize.

 

 

Merriam-Webster’s word for June 19, 2018:

Quail

This post continues the blogging challenge in which Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day, serves as inspiration a-la the “Daily Prompt.”

Want to join me? Feel free to link to this post on your blog, and/or post a link to your blogpost in the comment section below so others can enjoy it, too. Poetry, photography, short stories, anecdotes: Go for it!

For more visibility, tag your post with #WordOfDayNY, so your post can be searchable.

“Follow” me if you want to receive future prompts, or just pop in when you’re looking for inspiration. Here’s to the fun of writing and our ever-evolving blogging community!

 

 

Wrong Tracks

 

Never Again5 OfirAsif (2)

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

There is harm in the air

Infants caged

Children scammed,

There are guards

Bearing guns

Tearing babies from arms.

Those before us who fought

For the hunted, the hurt

Weep in graves

As the country they served

Mutates to enact

Inhumane acts

On the wrong tracks.

 

 

For Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Trains and Tracks

 

“Make Me Disappear”

underground river SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

“Make me disappear,” she said,

As her eyes pleaded to be seen.

“I don’t care anymore,” she said,

As her voice begged to be heard.

The bruises on her skin long faded

But the wounding in her heart remained

Unhealed

Unchanged.

“I want to not be anymore,” she said.

But it was pain and the isolating loss of shame

She needed to erase,

Not life itself.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

For The Long Haul

Ethiopia6 DvoraFreedman

Photo: Dvora Freedman

 

In places too many

On this one blue-green ball,

Children haul

More than the weight of firewood

On their backs,

Big or small.

Sorrow, loss, illness, agony

Needs unmet

Unheard calls …

Yet they are all

Our children,

Their pain is our

Shortfall.

They are worthy of better:

In the now

For the future

For humanity’s long haul.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post