[T] is for Tyranny

Joseph Andrew was born three weeks prematurely on a late summer day. The labour made Marika exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. The little bundle became the centre of her universe. Joe quietly suffered the change in hierarchy. He didn’t protest though and gave his son the privileges. They were a perfect happy family. Even Greta with her two sons visited few times, advising her, sharing secrets of parenting.

   Their daughter Samantha Jane joined them less then a year later and Joe gradually stopped enduring her indifference towards him.  She didn’t see the first slap coming. She felt alone and lost.

L O S T

T in the A to Z challenge.

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[S] is for Sacrifice

Marika took her parents to all the London attractions, Joe unhappily followed. They were not speaking English and he was left on the outskirts of their conversation. She tried to translate as much as was possible but Joe didn’t take the exclusion lightly and was turning grumpier every day. Towards the end, he spent most of his time in the office instead.

   Their visit was over too soon she felt, but Joe was relieved to be back in the normal state of affairs. In retrospect he disapproved of the amount of time she spent with them and the lack of attention to him, rebuked the negligence for the flat and her chores. She had to agree that her parents’ visit was an intrusion and caused disruptions to their life. It must had been so hard for Joe. He needed his regularity,  his routine to relax. He concentrated so hard on achieving continuous progress at work so they could afford a bigger place and their own family one day. She had jeopardized their future.

   They got married next month in a small ceremony. She announced her marital status to her parents over the phone. When she was five months pregnant, they moved to a four bedroom house in Hampstead. She couldn’t be happier. She was starting her own family in a perfect house with a perfect husband.

S in the A to Z challenge.

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[O] is for Obedience

Marika made sure the flat stayed in pristine state, food she cooked was worth a Michelin star, and Joe’s shirts were ironed and crispy white. Day by day. It filled her with pride that her man was so perfect. Her days were spent doing chores or shopping for necessities. She rarely bought anythings for herself, and if only sensible things; she didn’t want to take advantage of Joe’s money. It was December and she was living with him for four months now.

   December was different though. Festive. This time she allowed herself to look for something special, a dress. The office Christmas party was in two weeks and she was going to be Joe’s plus one. She needed to look presentable, worthy of him. The dress was long, strapless and blood red. She felt beautiful and sexy, excited to see Joe’s reaction. She prepared his favourite dinner, lit candles and waited at the door wrapped in silk.

   She returned the dress the next day and exchanged it for a black gown with full sleeves. Joe was right, the red dress was too provocative, it was after all still a business occasion. The party was success. It was the first time she experienced the exclusivity of City life, the elegant people, classy hotel reception, gourmet meals, expensive champagne. She even made a new friend. Mrs Goodman, Greta, the wife of the department director. They had two sons and Greta had never returned back to work from her maternity leave. They agreed to meet once a week for a coffee or a walk in a park. Marika thought she would like to have a child too.

   Christmas was knocking on the door and she was thrilled as her parents were spending the holiday with them. It was the first time she would see them since she left home. Joe was uneasy and worried about their visit. His mother died and he had a difficult relationship with his father. Marika felt sorry for him.

   Her family was to become his.

O in the A to Z challenge.

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[L] is for Love

Marika met Joe in a City bar where she was collecting empty glasses from the tables in exchange for a paycheque. She was in London only three months and her English was still something that needed improving. He didn’t mind the wrong expressions she used and he made an effort to correct her. She was learning a lot just by talking to him. So when Joe asked her to stay after work one day, she didn’t mind.

   They started dating. She was so happy that she found an Englishman for a boyfriend.  The envy and jealousy of her flatmates were obvious (at least that is what she liked to imagine). She lived in an overcrowded three bedroom house in Edgware. She liked some of the co-habitants, some not so much, some she never saw because they were always working. Joe made her life better. He persuaded his boss to give her a job in the office to file documents and enter data to spreadsheets so she didn’t have to work in a place where drunken men were making advances on her. It was a dull assignment but she didn’t argue. She was thrilled to be in the same building as him. Not that they had many chances to be actually together during the working hours. Joe was very busy.

   He suggested she moves in with him after two months. He was worried about the long travel from Edgware to City and dangers she may encounter. His flat in Waterloo was immaculate. Joe had a cleaning lady that came over twice a week but she felt she should do the chores herself. She was the lady of the house now – she would take care of her man. Joe agreed and suggested to her to stay at home; he earned enough.

   They were so happy.

L in the A to Z challenge.

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[F] is for Feeling (insert emotion)

This is how I see it. Signing up to the A to Z challenge was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Having to write a post a day was a daunting prospect however as soon as the calendars changed to 1st April and I was ‘forced’ to produce an entry blog, my perspective has shifted. I have been very busy at work recently and coming home staring at yet another computer screen was the last thing on my mind. I felt unhappy, tired, demotivated.

However this challenge (that felt more like a chore before it even started) has turned out to be a rather pleasant experience. And ‘rather pleasant’ is a textbook example of an absolute understatement. I feel happy, inspired, creative – still tired though as somehow my social life has been derailed and taken bit of a crazy path. I love writing. I am always happy when I write. Even if the things and emotions I write about are not particularly positive. I love words and that you can play with them as if they were Lego bricks; building towers that are sometimes strong and tall and sometimes they tumble down and you have to start connecting the bricks again raising a more solid structure.

Yes, it is challenging to find the time every day and come up with a post that you are not ashamed to share. But truth to be told, I am more worried what I will do when I wake up and the clocks will say 1st May.

F in the A to Z Challenge.

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Fruits of Workshops

I had few attempted starts at writing. All shipwrecked on the shores of isolation. a.k.a. writer’s block. So I enrolled my confused mind to a creative writing course. First thing they tell you is to write. Write. Don’t think about what you are writing. Just write. Write down the first thing that comes to your mind. Describe first thing you see. Who you’ve met. Anything. Nonsense. Let it flow. Don’t think about it. Don’t edit. Don’t judge. And it worked. Something started to emerge from that cloud of meaningless words. An idea. Thought. It was addictive. It still is.

I have joined few workshops since then and there is one group I attend rather regularly. Are you not sure about committing yourself? No worries. One day workshops are synonym to fun and are filled to the brim with complete randomness, such as:

Small wall west of waste

hiding fighting trolls of Wales.

Fudge is smudged and judge is dead

Jet is off, the bets are set.

 

In this particular one we also collectively created a story about a unicorn, a lost lamb arguing with a robin underneath a branch suspended on nothingness and an angel (wearing a suit) stealing apples.

Go and have some fun. Explore. Get inspired. When normal people who happen to be aspiring writers gather in one room, magic ensues. Or madness. Depends how you look at it.