Monthly Archives: October 2007

Shoes

Shoes
Written By: Mia L. Hazlett
10/25/07

Click clack, click clack, click clack all the way down the hall. Clip, clip, clip, clip, clip up the stairs. Bup, bup, bup, bup, softly against the carpeted lobby floor. I stand outside the opened double doors and schmooze the best I can. I toss my head with a giggle here, I give my beauty pageant wave there, and nibble at the hor’s devours; careful not to smudge my lipstick. I jump into conversations that are finishing punch-lines to dry jokes. I make sure to find my way to the President and CFO, for without whom; I would have no reason to be here tonight.

It will be my first award ever and nothing can take me off of my cloud. I’m feeling fabulous in my fitted, strapless, black cocktail dress. To be honored in front of all of my colleagues is such a dream come true. People begin to make their way into the hall and find their seats. I decide to dash into the ladies room for one last look, before I stand in front of hundreds. My lipstick remains perfect…maybe a touch more gloss, my hair needs no attention. I turn to see my rival step out of the small stall. It has been a bitter battle between us, but the better person is about to reap the rewards…oh yeah-that’s me, I giggle to myself. I pay her no mind and allow her and company to point and snicker at me all they want. Jealousy is so yesterday. I step into the bathroom stall.

As I pull up my stockings I am appalled at the horrible atrocity that has slipped my attention. WHY!? HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN TO ME? NOT TONIGHT. NOOOO!! I blink to clear my eyes in the hopes I am just seeing things. I pull at my stockings and rush out of the stall. It is still there…this is happening! Okay, okay don’t panic. NO PANIC! OH MY GOD! Please not tonight, just not tonight. There are too many people in that room that I have stepped on to get here. We are a damn shoe design company, for Christ’s sake. My marketing has gotten us the top clients, some of whom are sitting out there right now, some of who backed me on receiving this award.

I walk out to the lobby and except for the late stragglers, everyone is already seated. My table is in the very front with the President and CFO, along with their wives. And then there will be me and my stood-me-up-last-night-with-a-phone-call date. These men…my bosses run the shoe industry. There is no getting in any door if you disappoint…humiliate them. This is bad. This is really, really bad.

I saunter to the front with my painted on fake smile. Strapless and no shawl was a wonderful idea, until my bathroom horror. Now I am sweating bullets and there is absolutely nothing I can do to cover my perspiration. I see the bathroom bitch laugh at me one more time with her stupid little bathroom crew giving me condescending applause. How juvenile of them. How petty. Well damn, if they noticed, everyone else has or will too. AHHH!

I slide right into my seat and into instant conversation. Again I toss my head and giggle, give a few, “Oh Bobs”, and carry on hair conversations with their rehearsed wives. My mind is distracted enough for me to enjoy the chicken cordon bleu, until Bob is called to the podium on stage to “say a few words about tonight’s recipient.” My eyes peruse the audience, only to land on Miss Witchy face and her evil goblins. I give a glare to their snide gestures, but I can’t believe my fashion faux pau. Bob calls me to the stage, so I may receive my award. I stand and wave from my seat and take slow cautious steps. And the moment I’ve been waiting for all my life instantly ceases to exist. Because tonight was not only the night I was going to receive my reward, but it was going to be the premier of our new shoes to our clients. The problem is I wore half of both sets. I clip, clip, clip up the steps, and introduce Bob to my fashion nightmare. “On our left we have Navy and on the right we have Black. Navy and Black, this is Bob, he was my boss.” My entire life was ruined by a pair of shoes.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

That Look

That Look
By: Mia L. Hazlett
Written: 10/22/07

I watched the look of concern sweep across her face as she rushed to be by her lover’s side. She just stood there as if she didn’t even care. Their hands reached out for each other to give them both the sense of security that everything would be alright. I couldn’t even tell if she was touching him or if he even knew she was there. A tear welled in the corner, but was very cautious not to fall. I couldn’t tell if her emotionless expression was to show her strength or to suppress her pain. She caressed his hand to let him know she would not let anything happen to him. How could she just stand there as if nothing had happened?

My fascination with their love was not in their entwined hands, her concerned brow or his instant relief at having her enter the room. It was the look that both of them shared. A look that needed no words. A look that offered comfort in a time of emergency. A look that said, I love you, I love you, I love you….don’t leave me, I need you here by my side. As the nurse forced their departure, that cautious tear finally streamed down her cheek. She let herself look back one more time with that look…that look.

I could tell by her poise, her refusal to look at him, and that he reached for me and not her, that whatever they had was now gone. She offered no love to anyone that came in the room. She stood off to the side allowing people to shuffle through without so much as a glance. I couldn’t tell if he was looking for me or her, but when he called her name, she gave him a look. A look of disgust. A look of why am I even here. A look that said, die, die, just die…I don’t love you or want to be by your side. But as the nurse forced my departure, she gave me that look…that look.

I sat alone in the steel wheeled chair. If not for his brothers, I wouldn’t have been able to take a step. The nonchalant smile of the nurse offered little comfort. His brother’s arms supported me and offered me comfort in my time of need. If only he had come home tonight. If only we had stayed in tonight. We could have talked about our problems and we wouldn’t be here. He would be deep inside me right now and not laying alone. I would tell him that it was going to be alright and we could start over. I could almost feel the rhythmic rocking of his hips, taste his mouth, and feel his breath. But now we may never have that chance. But the reality is I may never touch him again. He may never hold our children again. He may never hold me again. We could lose him forever. I could lose him forever.

How can I go home? How can I go home? What will I tell his family, what will I tell my family, what will I tell our babies; because I don’t know what happened. There is everything there to remind me of him: his clothes carelessly strewn across the floor, our pictures that highlight every room, the smell of him on my sheets. Lord Jesus, give me strength for You are my rock. I want to pray to God to bring him back to me, but then there goes his wife with that look…that look.

That’s right, I’m his wife. I watched her concerned look, their entwined fingers, and that look. I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, couldn’t be; because in the union of he and I, the odd one out was me. In that one moment, I wanted to be her. I wanted that look. I wanted him to know I would make everything alright. I wanted him to see my tears did not have to be cautious. I wanted him to need me there by his side.

His brothers promised to take care of me, but they chose her. In the house of the Lord they smiled at me, but in the streets with the devil they honored her. They left me alone with no ride home. They left me alone and cared for her. They left me alone and didn’t care. But when he asked them to take care of me, that old familiar church smile came back, and they said, “No problem.” But that’s okay; because little did I know He did not leave me alone. He got me a ride home. He took care of me. He carried me through.

That’s right, I’m his mistress. I should be her. I’m the one he really wants to be with. If only she knew who I was, she wouldn’t have so cordially introduced herself and shaken my hand. She would have screamed when I caressed his hands or cried at his relief when I entered the room. She would have crumbled if she knew of our secret love affair. Wouldn’t she? Because no wife would allow the other women to love her husband right in front of her…or would she? Because when she passed me, she gave me that look…that look.

1 Comment

Filed under adultery, betrayal, husband, love, marriage, mistress, wife

Sorry

Sorry
By: Mia L. Hazlett
Written: 10/19/07

The pain slowly seeps to every pore of my being. I cannot rationalize the words the doctor just spoke. He repeats the word, “sorry” with a gentle touch to my mother’s shoulder. Instinctively she pulls away, only to grab his arm for balance. He guides her to the chair that she had popped out of when she saw him appear from behind the “Employees Only” door. I’m not sure when my tears began, but I taste the familiar salty warmth as I slowly rock back and forth in my husband’s arms.

The funny thing about death, it’s final. Everything you wanted to say to that person dies with them. There is no, “I’ll tell them tomorrow” or “It can wait”, it’s just over. I try to tell myself that he already knew everything I was going to tell him, but I fail at suppressing my guilt. Guilt brought on by my own procrastination and lack of prioritization. Being a hypocrite, for the mere reason I have actually had the nerve to tell people they are not promised tomorrow. And I stand here with the guilt of putting a visit to the hospital off until tomorrow.

I finally collect myself enough to go and comfort my mother. She is rocking back and forth with a low moaning sound escaping her mouth. I can’t even fathom how her world just changed with those two words, “We’re sorry.” Those are words that are suppose to offer comfort, give you a sense of peace. They aren’t supposed to take your husband of fifty-five years away. My light rubbing of her back doesn’t take her out of rhythm, it only ceases her moaning and tears begin to roll down her face.

There are so many thoughts going through my head right now as I scan familiar faces in the waiting room. People trying to offer each other comfort after the morose news. I’m not saddened by my father’s departure. My father is…was…seventy eight years-old, so age compounded with his eight month battle with lung cancer doesn’t take you by surprise. It just hurts to know the only man you have known your entire life is gone. He was the first man in my life to love me unconditionally. The first man to fight for me. The only man that I can say I trust…trusted. And now he is gone.

My mother stands and slides her arm through mine with an unexpected strength. She wipes a strangling tear, smiles at me and tells me to take her home. My husband stays and does all the paperwork and my mother and I enjoy a silent ride home together. I don’t know what memories she is thinking about, but she occasionally lets out a small chuckle. We get home and I walk her into their…her… house. How can she be so strong, I wonder to myself. I straighten up the house and fall asleep on the couch. When I’m sure she is asleep I return to my home and join my husband in bed.

Being an only child, I try to figure out how I am going to take care of my mother. It’s not as though we didn’t help out with my parents occasionally, but they did have each other. But now that she is by herself, maybe she needs to move in with us. I ponder how I am going to ask her the question as I enter her side door. I call out to her and get no response. I tiptoe down the hall because if she is asleep, I don’t want to wake her. I peak through the door and see her tiny form confined to her side of the bed. I try to imagine what her first night alone must have felt like. As I continue to watch her, I notice something is missing: the rise and fall of the bedspread.

This can’t be happening! I rush to my mother’s side and try to stir her to consciousness, but her eyes are already open. She has a slight smirk to her mouth and a peace in her forever stare. I want to cry. But I am overwhelmed by the answer to my question. She couldn’t make it through her first night without my father.

Leave a comment

Filed under death, family, love, parents

Precious Glory

Precious Glory
By: Mia L. Hazlett
Written: 4/27/07

It wasn’t her silence or her lifeless eyes that caught my attention. Nor was it her frail skeleton body frozen in the fetal position that tore my heart. It was the absence of her mother that brought me to tears. There were no hands to swat away the flies that danced around her eyes and crept along her weak body. Instead of a nipple leaking milk into her hungry mouth, a faint circle of dirt outlined her lips. Although my boss told me we were there only to take pictures, my God told me He had sent this child as a blessing, if not to her mother, than to this world.

Without taking a picture, I placed my camera on the ground next to the feces of some animal, and walked to the child. I knelt next to the tiny form and swatted away the buzzing insects. I removed my white linen shirt and spread it on the ground next to the tiny baby girl. Risking only disease and my job, I gently picked up God’s blessing and wrapped her in my shirt.

A small noise escaped from her lips and I kissed her forehead and whispered, “You’re welcome.” I’ve never been pregnant or even thought about it for that matter, but I will say I know how a mother feels the first time she holds her baby. I didn’t know how long I would have with this precious glory, but I knew I would not let her go until I absolutely had to.

I took her back to my tent under a small tree on the dead grass. In this third world country, I had no means to feed this child. There were no corner stores with overpriced formula, and I wasn’t at all eager to find the mother who had proven they didn’t want her. I took out a clean cloth from my backpack and soaked it with water. I placed it to her lips and gave a gently squeeze. The water leaked across my fingers and her mouth took on the natural sucking motion of a newborn as it latched onto the drenched cloth.

I don’t know why God brought me to Precious Glory’s side, but I can say she was held, kissed, fed, and loved before she died in my arms later that day.

Leave a comment

Filed under children, death, fiction, love, poverty

Macy: Part II

Macy: Part II
By: Mia L. Hazlett
10/19/07

“Well darkie, wool-head, coon-face, nigga-baby, here’s $3.4 million for ya.” How ironic is that statement? It could only be made from Macy Grant Johnson from beyond the grave. A woman who has never positively acknowledged my existence is now leaving me her fortune….not to mention the 27 instant enemies. I mean I guess they have never really liked me and now they have 3.4 million reasons to add to their list. As if the will wasn’t enough, before I could leave the room the attorney gave me a small white envelope with my initials neatly printed across the front.

I was able to escape the room with my life. I think it was my mother’s glare that warned everyone there would be no drama today. What did this damn thing say? I want to open it on my way to the car, but there are some non-well wishers following us. My only fear is I will wait to the car and find out the note says, “Psych!” and these stragglers are waiting to take a picture of my reaction. I can’t put it past that woman. She would do something like that.

At home that evening I finally muster up enough courage to open the envelope. I gently tear the envelope open and take out the tri-folded piece of white-lined paper. I shut my eyes and pray to God for strength, “Please Lord don’t let this be a joke.” I unfold the 8 ½” x 11” paper and read the four words, “Because I owe you.” What does that mean? And leave it to her to be dead, so I can’t ask her. This cannot be a good thing. Not from a woman like her. I mean there is so much I could do with $3.4 million, but it just doesn’t feel Christian to take money from someone I don’t like. Still don’t like the woman and she’s dead. I guess walking around hating dead people isn’t exactly Christian either, but something inside is telling me not to sign for that check tomorrow. No good will come from it.

I decide to sleep on it and see how I feel in the morning. I wake with the same feelings, still hate her, still don’t want her money. I could just give it to my mother, but I can hear her now, “if she wanted me to have it, she would have left it for me and not you.” There is something so unsettling about this. My stomach flutters the whole drive to the attorney’s office. I don’t shut my car off immediately as I sit in the three-space parking lot. I could very easily leave and not come back, but $3.4 million is a lot to just walk…drive… away from. I turn my car off and say a quick prayer before getting out and making my way to the front steps of the office building.

The receptionist gives me a cheery hello and smile. I sit in the leather armchair and think to myself that I still have time to leave. Time to get away and never be found again by anyone in this family. Well that’s an impossible dream, because I would have to stay in touch with my mother and counting on her to keep her mouth shut to my whereabouts is useless. So I walk into the attorney’s small office when he calls my name. We share quick small talk and then he drags a large white cardboard box from out of the corner. Maybe I’m getting cash.

Instead of a wad of crisp green bills, he pulls out a stack of envelopes. My name…her name…is neatly printed across the front in blue ink. A weak stretched elastic is barely holding together the stack he has thrown on the end of his desk. I am beginning to assume that I am not here to sign for a check today. I am beginning to think that the first letter is going to hold the “psych” I have been waiting for. I think to myself that I still have a chance to bolt out of here and never look back, but I have to know what these letters say. They most likely hold the answer to, “I owe you.”

(to be continued)

Leave a comment

Filed under Macy

Monster

Monster
By: Mia L. Hazlett

My bottom lip trembled as a bead of sweat slowly crawled down my terrified brow. The blackness that surrounded me would not give way to the noise that had stirred me only minutes before. I was too petrified to call out or even move. My alarm clock that usually sent its reddish glow across my nightstand let me know there was no power in my house. I tried to scan my bedroom for a glimpse of an outline of something familiar, but it was too late when I discovered my open door.

Suddenly as I muscled up the courage to scream, I was dangling in midair. There was a crushing vise squeezing my nose and mouth…then a piercing pain driving itself through my lower left side. I know I was screaming, but not even the hint of a whisper was heard in my pitch dark room. My legs kicked frantically to find some sort of footing, but they failed miserably to the massive strength that held me hostage.

The pain seared throughout my entire body as I crashed into my solid maple antique bureau. I landed on my back and gasped for a much needed breath of air. Before I could catch a full breath and gain any focus, the monster was on me again. I clawed wildly in hopes of letting it know I wasn’t going to go down without a fight. I was useless against its power. My headboard stopped my hurling body. As my face tried to recover from the crushing impact, a grip handcuffed my ankles and pulled me violently to the floor. My head hammered the floor and drove my tooth through my bottom lip.

But as suddenly and violently as it had begun, it was over. I heard the retreating footsteps down the stairs, and lay motionless on my bedroom floor. I wasn’t sure if it was my front or back door, but I heard the familiar slamming sound. Before I could move, I was blinded by light and a blaring cacophony of noise, as all my radios and stereo blasted at full volume throughout my house.

My broken bloodied body brought itself to its knees. I knew with the loud music, someone must have called the police by now. But whatever had just happened, it was over now. I had lived through a malicious nightmare. I slowly eased myself off of my knees and faced my mirror. I screamed in terror at the smiling face behind me. One monster was still here.

1 Comment

Filed under fear, fiction, horror, Monster, violence