By: Mia L. Hazlett
I wasn’t sure if I showed my utter devastation, but that’s exactly how I felt. I was absolutely devastated by what Kay just told me. But this was so far from being about me. My feelings didn’t matter. My thoughts didn’t matter. Nothing about me mattered right now. I just had to focus on my friend who was weeping in my arms as we stood in the restaurant’s bathroom.
This is exactly the release I needed. The journey was just beginning, but crying in Becky’s arms made this journey possible. Although the stakes are my life on this one, this moment brought me back to junior high. Jason Fegal, my seventh grade “date” to my first dance. He didn’t know he was there with me. We arrived separately and I had never formally asked him or anything. But someone had heard he liked me and they told Becky.
That’s all we needed. We knew the dance was coming up in a week. Our mothers got involved and we were allowed to buy new dresses. Not full make-up, but we were permitted to wear nail polish and lip gloss. You would have thought we were going to the prom the way our mothers carried on that night with all of the pictures. They dropped us off and as soon as we walked into that dance, we were on Jason patrol. He didn’t show up for another hour.
I remember standing around a corner against a wall with Becky, trying to figure out what she was going to say him. Obviously I couldn’t speak with him. Junior high rules: your best friend is in charge of getting the boys you like to like you. I can’t recall what we came up with for her to say, but I can remember them speaking clear as day and the feeling of wanting to die when she pointed at me. He and I caught eyes and I maturely ran into the hallway. Had I stayed, I would have witnessed Becky pushing him to the ground.
We went to the bathroom and she told me he already had a girlfriend that went to another school. I broke into tears and cried my little heart out in her comforting hug. She called him every name she could think of and I couldn’t understand why she was so upset. I later learned about the push and he didn’t have a girlfriend, but had called me ugly.
Now we stood in that same embrace in a little restaurant bathroom. Becky was calling the doctors and biopsy results everything she could think of. And just like that night at the dance, “Don’t worry Kay, we are going to knock this cancer on its ass.”
Conundrum (Part VIII)
By: Mia L. Hazlett
There was a time in my life that I believed in fairy tales. When I met my husband, I was sure there was a happily ever after ending for us. There was an image of us in our rocking chairs on the front porch of the home we had spent a lifetime building together. We’d watch our grandchildren run about the front yard as we sipped on our lemonade and I rocked my youngest grand baby in my arms. I believed in “till death do us part.”
And even as I sat in the very cold corporate mediation conference room, I still couldn’t accept that this was how it was all going to end. I waited alone at the long highly polished dark mahogany table. Every part of my marriage contradicted the fairy tale I carried around in my mind. Because my entire marriage consisted of the very moment I was experiencing right now, being alone. Even in his presence, I was alone. And now we had arrived at the end and I waited alone.
My loneliness was interrupted by the mediator. Formalities and small talk were exchanged as we waited the arrival of the boy. Time ticked on and the small talk dwindled. And finally after twenty minutes, the little boy entered. He appeared polished from head to toe. His light gait carried an arrogance as he seated himself at the head of the table. So much for our rocking chairs on the front porch.
I remained seated after the short ten minutes of complete devastation took place. Nothing. He wanted nothing. He signed everywhere the mediator told him to sign and left. He left with no wife, no kids, no happily ever after, just an agreement for child support. He initialed and signed it all away.
I’m not sure what hit the floor first, my tears or the pictures of our…my…new daughter that he had never met. I don’t know what compelled me to think he would want to see her, but as the mediator placed the pictures back in my hands, I dried my tears. She would be better off not knowing him anyways. Because the man at conception, was not the boy that just left this room.
I wasn’t devastated because my marriage was over. I wasn’t hurt that he didn’t want me anymore. I was hurt because today my children were stripped of their fairy tale. Their happily ever after had been reduced to a 50/50 statistic.
By: Mia L. Hazlett
Lunch with my BFF. Yay! It had been almost a week since I’d seen Kay. I think she is pregnant. She had slipped up in a few conversations over the past couple of months with mention of doctors’ appointments. A few years ago she had a miscarriage, so I respected if she wanted to keep this one little secret under wraps until she felt comfortable telling me. They took about a year off after that, but I knew they’d been trying ever since. I prayed for them all the time. But like she said last night on the phone, she had some news for me. Yay! Finally.
Lunch with Becky. I’d been rehearsing every moment, since I invited her out to the restaurant around the corner from her job. Knowing her, she probably thinks I’m pregnant. I knew I’d slipped up about some of the doctors’ appointments. But I knew her, she was not going to say anything because of my miscarriage. Through all of my rehearsals, I’d found there was no happy positive way to tell your lifelong friend you have cancer. I mean, I hadn’t even accepted it yet, but I needed my BFF to help me. If I didn’t tell her now, I wouldn’t make it through this week.
Look at my girl. She looked so beautiful, a little tired maybe, but beautiful nonetheless. And she was not showing one bit. I always knew she would be one of those skinny pregnant woman. I hated her so much. I’d probably gain all the sympathy weight why she’d lose weight. This was what being best friends was all about, I thought as I sat down at the table and sipped on my ginger ale with no ice and lime wedge that she had ordered me. She knew my drink, while my husband always messed it up.
I had to do my best to keep my tears away as I waved her over to the table. Just by looking at her I could tell she is expecting happy baby news. She didn’t even know I was about to drastically change both of our lives. The thing about being best friends was you feel the joys and pains of each other. You also try and spare each other pain. In this case, I was setting my pride aside and clinging to the only person in this world that would be able to share in my pain. In our lifetime together we had promised we would always use “we” instead of “I” if something happened to one of us. Because we both agreed, if it happened to one of us, it happened to both of us.
I took both of her hands in mine and she postured herself for the baby news. Her smile slowly fell as I finally let my tears flow. “Becky, we have cancer.”
By: Mia L. Hazlett
I couldn’t say anything. Through the dim light and the small slit in my right eye, I saw a lean silhouette approaching me. I wasn’t sure if I turned my head towards her voice, but she was now whispering in my ear, “They’re going to kill us. I think I’ve been here for two or three days, I’m not sure. They got me on Sunday. Do you know what day it is?” I knew I had been brought down here with the dawning of a new day. If it was still the same day right now, then it was Friday. I went to bed Thursday night and they took me Thursday night. Today was Friday.
I don’t know if I told her it was Friday or was just thinking it, but our conversation or my thoughts were interrupted by steps outside of my small dungeon. The clang of the lock set Silhouette into an uncontrollable tremble. Her relentless grasp tortured my arm with a pain, but my mind transferred to that pain, rather than the aching of my ribs. I returned her tremble as the step with the light knock I heard at my house came into earshot, step, knock, step, knock… and then the maniacal laugh. She was right, they were going to kill us.
Silhouette screamed as they tore her from my side. I’m not sure if I reached out to hold her or if she had just not released her grip from my arm. I believed the latter, because she tore my sleeve and I now saw it dangling from her weak fist. She was thrown against the wall opposite me and all I could do was watch as Maniacal slammed his cane across her face. When I tried to turn away from her second blow, I was placed in a choke hold and made to watch as they beat her to death. She was right, they were going to kill us.
Maniacal crawled towards my face as it was thrown back to the ground. His low whisper terrorized more than his laugh, “You thought you could escape me? You thought I was going to never find you? I found you four years ago. How do you like that? I’ve been watching every little thing you do for the past four years. I could of taken you at 6:00 am in the parking lot at the park where you jog every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning. I helped you when you dropped your keys trying to get in your car after you bought your coffee and newspaper like you do every morning on the way to work. You let me come into your house and repair your air conditioner. I’ve been everywhere you go for the past four years. You can’t hide from me. I found you. I’ve got you. And just between you and me, you’re going to die here.” She was right, they were going to kill us.
Conundrum (Part VII)
By: Mia L. Hazlett
The silence enveloped the room as I breastfed my daughter and gently rocked us back and forth in the large maple glider my parents had given me. Her ladybug light casted a soft glow in the corner of the room. I watched her suckle and with each blink caught the flashback of this exact moment with each of her sisters. With my oldest, I had this moment on my bed propped up against my pillows in my small studio apartment. I did the same with my second daughter, but it was in our house with her father next to me. I now sat in the makeshift nursery in my friend’s home alone with nothing but dreams and hopes.
The only recent contact I had with my husband was the divorce papers I was served the other day. I couldn’t get my head around the fact that I actually felt sad. We were coming up on a year of being apart and I couldn’t tell you the last time we even talked or he contacted the kids. So why was this hurting? Why when I had embraced and accepted that I was doing this alone, did I feel like I was losing him all over again? I consistently prayed that God hadn’t forgotten me. Sometimes I believed I was just having a pity party, and the rest of the time I tried to hold onto the faith that He had me in the palm of His hand.
I signed the papers and sent them in the return envelope. It was against my faith, but I had to let go. Would God forgive me for giving up? I had continually asked myself this question since I mailed my vows away. But unfortunately my time in prayer had to be spent praying for my strength to support this family and thank my friend for her patience with my situation. I didn’t know if God was going to answer my prayers. I guess part of faith was hope, and I hoped God heard my prayers.
So in the dim glow of the makeshift nursery in my friend’s house, I said a single line to a prayer I had always rehearsed in its entirety, “Thy will be done.” I kissed my daughter and placed her in her tiny bassinet. “Thy will be done.”
Filed under blessings, children, Christian, Conundrum, daughters, faith, family, fiction, friends, friendship, God, motherhood, parents, patience, praise, Uncategorized
By: Mia L. Hazlett
My best friend, Rebecca. I loved that woman. She was the only person that could complete my sentences, go to the store a month after me and buy the same exact dress and not know I already have it, and most of all she knew my heart and protected it better than I did at times. I couldn’t think of the past 28 years being any different. She was the love of my life, the only person outside my family, that had known me almost my whole life and still wanted to be my friend.
The history that Becky and I shared was something that my husband couldn’t seem to get passed. Well maybe not just my husband, but Becky’s husband too. I will say at the very least Becky’s husband reached out and became my friend. So while he hated the fact that I knew everything about his life, he also understood that I wasn’t going anywhere and my advice didn’t always work in my friend’s favor.
I guess the problem I had was that my husband really didn’t do any outreach to Becky. He felt the same way her husband felt about our relationship, but I’m not sure that he could get passed his jealousy to reach out to my friend. One of the pacts Becky and I made in our childhood was that boys stink. As we got approached our teens, there was a boy that liked both of us. He got us to stop calling each other for a whole three days. From that point on, we promised no boy was more important than our friendship. Those three days will be held as the longest we’ve gone without speaking to each other.
The other promise we swore to each other was to never keep a secret. I think we both tried and failed at achieving any sort of promise to ourselves or others. Most people who told us not to tell anyone, would always receive my honesty that I would most likely tell Becky. Some shared, some didn’t, but at least they knew not even their deepest darkest secret would make me break my promise to my BFF.
Now I sat in my bedroom wondering how I had gone a week and at least six phone conversations without sharing the news of what my doctor told me three days ago. This was one time in their lives that my husband and Becky had reversed roles in my life. My husband has been there for me the past month as I’ve gone through all these tests. And now I think he was understanding why he didn’t want to be my best friend. It was a huge responsibility. He continued to ask me if I told Becky yet. I told him I wanted to wait for the results. And now, three days ago-the results, and I still hadn’t told her. How could I tell her I have cancer?
By: Mia L. Hazlett
My best friend was my soul mate. Odd? Not really. I laughed when people made that claim about their spouses. It just wasn’t true. Ask any person if they tell their spouse everything…and I mean everything. I myself was married. But unlike my best friend, my husband wasn’t there when I was in elementary school. He didn’t experience my first kiss when I played spin-the-bottle at Jerry Cartright’s party when I was twelve. He didn’t try to get my first crush to talk to me by hanging out at his locker after third period everyday for a week, when I was fourteen. And he’s never told me that I look fat. He doesn’t even know what colors make me look fat, nevermind tell me the truth when I try wear them. And he sure the hell wasn’t there to assist me in writing the worst love email of my life. My soul mate, Kay, she’s been there through it all and because of her, yellow and baby blue are sworn out of my wardrobe.
I actually thought my husband’s jealousy over our relationship proved my case even more. Because my soul mate could not care less how he felt about her. He couldn’t understand why he couldn’t be my best friend. There was no comprehension in the difference in my relationship with Kay and with him. I couldn’t marry her. I couldn’t start a family with her. The whole live together thing had never happened. And I prefer to sleep with men, not women. She can’t be him and he can’t be her.
But now since my life partner and BFF learned they both loved me, things were backfiring on me. They liked each other. Meaning, they had each other’s cell and work numbers. And get this, my BFF took his side sometimes. For the first time in our lifetime of friendship she was telling me I was wrong. As jealous as my stupid husband got, he didn’t realize that my BFF had been the glue in our relationship at times. She was a wonderful mediator and had the peace of my soul in her best interest. So in my six years of marriage and my lifetime friendship, I was able to comfortably co-exist with my two favorite people. My life was happy and it was all mine.