Friday, April 8, 2011

Joy - Stolen

You stole my joy...

Such a beautiful face - your olive skin, hazel eyes, charming smile,  you drew me in.  When you returned my interest, I was thrilled.  Our dinners in Manhattan, our weekend trips to the Cape, our walks in Central Park.

I was in heaven.  So happy.  My joy, the size of a glowing, effervescent sun, I could barely contain it.

A few months later we were rushing down the aisle of the old chapel down in Princeton - Mr. and Mrs.   I gripped your arm tightly as you held mine.

"You're mine's," you whispered, softly, seductively in my ear.  I shivered in anticipation.  I couldn't wait for that night.

Days later, lying on the bright white beach staring at sparkling turquoise blue water was divine.  My joy spread as wide as the bright horizon before me.  All was perfect in our little world.

And when we moved into our new old Victorian home with the wide steps off the front porch,
my joy pulsated.  I was the luckiest woman in the world.

Until rage like a fiery whirlwind appeared out of nowhere, your face a contorted mask.   I would see that face often.  It would stun me and bring tears to my eyes.

Each fist on my skin would pierce a hole in my joy and bring disillusionment.  The punches to my stomach, the shoves into doors, the bruises marking my pale skin, the blood on the floor.

Stinging pain followed after along with my muffled cries.   I didn't want to make you angry again.

After the tenth trip to the emergency room, I left you and my joy behind.  

The time with my parents afterwards at their comforting home was a balm to my emotional wounds yet depression overtook me, as the tears flowed.  Angry, I wanted my joy back.

So I threw myself into building the career that would make me happy -  got that job I worked with great passion for.  A little brightness like a spark flared through my darkness but the tears still flowed.

I took that dream cruise to the Caribbean with my best friends.  Spent days walking the white sandy beaches and nights relaxing to the sounds of steel drums.  Laughed a bit, but deep within me, the sadness still settled.

Months later,  I went after a life long goal and made the climb up Denali.  Majestic, breathtaking.  My first smile in a long time appeared on my lips.  But that night underneath the glittering stars a tear or two still made an appearance, though the throbbing in my heart began to slow to a dull ache.

Then one Saturday morning, while I sat on my window seat staring out at the trees across from my home,  I picked up a pen and started to write.  About all the things you did to me and all the hurts and pains I endured while with you and even a few of the good memories.  The tears rushed out and became deep, gut-wrenching sobs.  This writing and this crying went on until late in the evening until I truly let you go from my heart.

I wake the next day - today - pack a picnic basket and take off to the mountains near my home.  I sit by that spot I love near the rushing water of the creek surrounded by the  omnipresent Rocky Mountains.  I breathe in the clear air, pick up my pen and notebook and start to write.  I smile as my eyes tear up.

It's been almost two years.

Finally, I've found my joy.

This piece of fiction is based on a writing prompt from The Red Dress Club which asks to write about a treasure that was stolen from you or your character, and what you did about it.

Concrit welcomed.


  1. Wow. This was just, wow. You said it was fiction but it felt so real. I could feel the build up in the beginning with all the past tense references to joy and them bam.
    This is powerful imagery: "Each fist on my skin would pierce a hole in my joy and bring disillusionment."
    Visiting from TRDC

  2. Oh, this was intense. I was on pins and needles until I read it was fiction. And then I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

    I agree--the imagery was powerful. Loved, loved, loved when she climbed Denali.

  3. WOW. This is a powerful piece. It's hard to believe that you haven't been there.

  4. I was hoping all the way through this was fiction, but it read very raw and real. Writing has such amazing healing power, and you portrayed that well.

    One thing: "You're mine's." Should that be "You're mine"?

  5. Cheryl,

    Yes, it should be "You're mine." Good catch. Thanks!

  6. "Each fist on my skin would pierce a hole in my joy and bring disillusionment."

    I love this sentence--it conjures up the image of your joy as a balloon being deflated. Very intense.

  7. Anton Chekhov would be proud. Not only was the story concise, but you showed us what man (humankind) looks like. It was one of his goals to do that with every tale.

    YOU GO GURL!!!


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