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Abby, a Mistress

I found her.

A person could see her unmistakable long, dark hair from across the grocery store. That’s where I saw her, at least.

My hair- short and blonde. He told me he liked my hair shorter, and when I cut it he told me I had never looked better. That I was even more beautiful that day then I was the day he married me.
There was never a time like the world we lived in when we were newly-weds. Being 7 years ago doesn’t seem like that long ago.
I never dreamed of leaving him, and I definitely never thought it would come to this.
A mistress.
Late nights at work, going to the bar with his friends- he still always had time for me. We had been on many dates as a married couple, several vacations, and countless late nights of talking and swooning. He kissed me goodbye every morning before he went to work, told me he loved me every day, and always made a point to make me feel beautiful and like I am the luckiest girl in the world.
But here I am. In the grocery store that I have been coming to since we moved here 7 years ago. Buying everything that fills our house with holiday aromas and dinner every night. This is where I buy his favorite coffee, no other store in town carries it. I have gone out of my way to come here for him, and today I found her here.
She is beautiful, clearly. He really did pick a good one. And she looks nothing like me, even better for him I’m sure.
I bet she never complains about his dirty clothes laying on the floor, or about how he walks through every room in the house while he’s on the phone, constantly picking things up and moving them around without even realizing it.
I’m sure she is an amazing lover, she probably does more than I ever would for him. “Tough Luck”, I always tell him. She probably has a closet full of lingerie that she wears for my husband, some that he might have paid for, with the money he makes for “our family”, as he calls it.
Should I have done better? Should I have catered to his every want and need and never had an argument? Wear high-heels when I do the dishes? Make myself be his whore every night after his long day at work? I could have ironed all his clothes, picked up all his messes, cleaned for 4 hours every day, wrote him loves stories and day-dreamed about him all day. Did I not do enough, just by loving him and being his home to come to every day?
Oh, please.
I am a human being, just like him. He should have known better, and he should have remembered the love we had for each other every single day.
Not fucking women like her.
I found out about her by accident.
Cleaning the house, no doubt, while he was at work not thinking about me, or her either, I’m sure.
She wrote him a note and he left it in his shorts from 2 weekends ago, when he told me he went to see his old friend from high school that just moved 2 towns away from us. “Sounds fun!” I said. And no, it was not stupid of me to not think he really meant he would be with someone else.
The note said “Think of me tonight while you are with your wife because I will be thinking of you when he comes home. -Abby”. What an amateur, I thought. Did she really think he did his own laundry or cared enough to clean out his pockets at the end of the day? Or did she think he would fold it up and keep it like a trophy of their undefined love? Don’t make me laugh.
I told you, she is nothing like me. I would never dream of sleeping with another man. Even now I can’t imagine, because I remember our wedding and how the basis of our marriage and our love was made that night. I knew then there would never be another man that I could look at the same way as I do him, and I knew that I would never feel the same way about love or how it feels because that night it was truly the best night of my life, where love was redefined.
It was better for him that she doesn’t look like me, but not because she is better or more beautiful, but because it would only make him feel guilty. And honestly, what is the point on cheating on your wife with someone that looks like her?
Abby, however, has no idea what any of that means. I feel sorry for her, truly. Does she think she can find that in my husband since she can’t find it on her own? Please. She has to find a way to stop being so pathetic, and she needs to find that without my husband.
I see her in aisle 9 as I walk by. I stop and stare for a minute, and remember that she is not better than me. Most women might feel that she is, of course, because my husband picked her over me. But actually, he didn’t.

He found her, at a bar I’m sure, and it was fun for one night. And then he thought maybe this was the life he wanted, being her play toy on nights they can both ditch their spouses and be together. Does that sound like a relationship to you, Abby? Pathetic. It sounds pathetic to me.
He didn’t find me at a bar on a drunken night like he did you. We met at a luncheon for a company we both were applying for 8 years ago. We talked all night and he took me on dates for several weeks before we slept together, which I’m sure wasn’t the case with you.
Perhaps it has been fun, running around with a woman who looks like she hit puberty about 5 years ago. Her body is rockin’, I’m sure, and she makes him feel young again, I bet. She looks nothing like me, as I said. What I mean by that is I look better. Funny, isn’t it? He still makes love me right after making love to you. Is that petty sex, you think? Doubtful. The sex with you is fun and meaningless, but my body is where his home is, and its the only place he has ever made real love to a woman.
So, Abby, have fun, you pretty little thing. I could honestly not care less. Anything he’s ever told you about his feelings for you, or feelings he may have for me, they are all a lie. An adult would know that, so surely you could use that explanation.
We’ll fight about it later, I’m sure, at my own timing and with my full control. No, it’s not over. However, I may decide that it should be, later on my own terms.
I’ll get what I want, out of both of you, when the time comes. And I promise you this, I won’t be the one feeling stupid when it’s all over.

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Chapter Excerpt #6, “My Son is Missing”

Extreme Bipolar Mania
The tendency to have mood swings that turn to violence.

My husband sent me here because I kept forgetting what I was doing, to him and myself, and it caused to much pain for him to handle anymore.
I don’t care about his pain.

What he doesn’t know is that i never actually forgot the things I did to him.

Once, in the beginning, I was driving myself and my son to the grocery story a few miles away. I wanted to make a nice dinner for him when he got home from work, back when I still cared about his wants and needs.

I put our son in his carseat in the back, buckled him up and shut the door. When I got myself inside and started the truck, I saw her. She was right outside our house. She looked at our house as if she had stolen it as well as my husband, as if everything in my life is hers instead.

She stood there with her hands clenching her over-priced handbag. It seemed like she was waiting on something, like maybe she thought he was going to come outside to meet her. I thought to myself, “You stupid bitch, he’s at work, only his wife and child are home. It’s the middle of the fucking day”. How stupid of her to make herself so noticeable, although I already knew about her.

As I look at her through my rearview mirror, with my foot on the brake to move the truck in gear, our eyes meet. I realized then that she wasn’t here to see him, she’s here to see me. We stared at each other for several moments and I think she must feel guilty for stealing my husband. But why would she? Do women like her every really feel guilty for destroying a marriage and a family? Well, it isn’t destroyed yet I guess, since he doesn’t know I know. But she does. Women always know.

“Well honey, he’s yours now”, I think to myself. He hasn’t been the man I married in a long time. Her standing there with puppy-dog eyes makes me almost feel sorry for her, but not quite. She looked so pathetic, and disappointed. Well, I’ve been disappointed myself lately.

I continue to put the truck in gear and back out of the driveway, my driveway, with my son, and drive off. I see her walk off past the house from my side mirror, and that’s when I decided it was finally over between us, our marriage is finished. This is where it all began.

Our fights went from me crying all alone, to me tearing things off the walls and throwing them at his face. From me feeling defeated and pathetic to taking action and making him pay for what he did to me- to our family.

This is when he started telling me that I was crazy, that I was making things up and was just paranoid. Well, maybe I am crazy. But I don’t care. He deserved it. I was angry that he did this to us, and I wasn’t going to let him get away with it.

He kept lying to me. Every single day was a lie. He’s been selling pharmaceuticals for 10 years, and never has he been needed to stay late as often as he has the last 10 weeks, and definitely not every Monday Wednesday and Thursday. He thought I was stupid, that it was something I wouldn’t notice. I stay at home all day taking care of our son and waiting for my husband to come home, how could I not notice that he was gone on such a timely schedule? He can accuse me of being irrational, and angry, and paranoid, and even crazy, but it started with him, and that woman, and now they expect me to sit here in the hospital alone while they have my son.

Well, it’s not going to be like this forever, trust me, I’ll be out of here soon, and I will have my son back.

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Read Like a Writer

I recently was asked what it means to read like a writer. This question enticed me to do some digging. Being a book-blogger, how I read a book and how I choose to write about it all depends on how the book speaks to its readers and how I can interpret that into a text for my readers.

When I read for leisure, even as a fellow writer, I drive into the story and see where it takes me. I spend little time dwelling on the structure of the text and more on the entertainment it provides me. The books I enjoy are ones that leave me turning pages because of character and plot development, and the sensibility the words bring to the story.

Reading like a writer requires the attention to the technique of the writing and if the message of the story is effective or not. I sometimes wonder if the technique and structure the writer has used would be the same way I would choose to tell my story. I think about a specific instance in the story and study it. I try to experience the story most a reader but as a writer by applying my story with the same technique and ask myself if it would lead my reader tot he most valuable outcome of the text I am forming.

I spend a lot of time looking for an error in the text when I read like a writer. To me reading what doesn’t work in a text helps to remove error in other texts. If I see something in a story that doesn’t make sense or doesn’t lead to a clear answer, I make a short list in my mind as a reference in my own writing.

Reading like a writer helps me when I write my story when I think about what the reader is going to receive from my story. Based on what I receive from a story I read helps me discover with my own story that my reader may receive something entirely different.

As a college graduate with a BA in English Literature, I know that reading like a reader, reading like a writer and reading like a scholar are three different types of reading. Analyzing a text in a literature classroom or as a stand-alone scholar is different than how a writer would read the same text. A scholar will spend a lot of the time examining the text next to the other texts of it’s time, history books and critic pieces to entirely examine the work and make a scholarly interpretation of it.

Writing my own book requires as much help and as much reading-experience I can possibly get. I could read 100 books a month and still not have learned everything there is to know how to write a book that is effective, clear and a pleasure to read.

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New Year’s Resolutions

Hello Friends!

2018 is going to be my year!

How many people have you heard say that already?

Well, for me, it’s true.

2017 brought me amazing insight into my career as a writer. I have had this blog up and running since 2013 when I took a digital media class my sophomore year of college. But it really wasn’t until the last half of 2017 that I learned writing this blog really can mean something special for me, that writing it could be the career I always wanted but didn’t know how to achieve.

Since I was a sophomore in high school, I knew I wanted to be a writer. For about 6 years I was determined I was going to be a journalist, where I would chase a story, find a great lead, and stay up late to meet deadlines to make the next day’s publication. That life sounded so exciting to me until I took a creative writing course in college.

I think it was actually called “Creative Writing 101”, as serious and fulfilling as that sounds, it really effected my career and writing path.

Fast forward 3 years, and I had written virtually nothing.

At this point, I was totally confused. I changed my major from Journalism to English Literature, with still no idea what I was going to do with that degree.

Finally, year 5 of college with 1 semester left to graduate, I decided I wanted to write, again, that I would go to Graduate school and earn a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and English. Even then, still, I had written basically nothing.

The summer after graduation (summer 2017) was a real learning experience. I started to wonder into freelance writing, where I spent several hours online studying how to make money writing. I dove into website building, email copywriting, book reviews and freelance journal writing. Through this, I have found out that I want to all of it.

Reading has been one of my favorite hobbies ever since I was about 10 years old. All those years I mentioned earlier when I had barely written anything, well, I certainly did a lot of reading.

When ever people asked me what I wanted to do with my major, if I wanted to be a teacher is what they usually asked. When I told them I wasn’t sure, which is still pretty much what I say to people today, they ask “Well why are you studying that?”, and I would say “Well, I know that I really love to read.” Which, to some people that made sense, but to others they may have said something like “Well you can’t make money by reading books,” and maybe they laughed at the thought.

Well, the joke is on them, because I certainly do enjoy this job. It’s funny how that worked out.

Blog writing, advertising my novel as I continue to write it, becoming personal with my readers as we all try to reach similar goals is just perfect. I have never felt more sure about doing anything than I do about writing these posts and learning that the sky is the limit here at readforthesouls.com

Furthermore, I say that 2018 is going to be my year because this is going to be the year I find my place in the writing community.

I’m going to finish my first draft of my first novel,

blog to my readers continuously, and

read 10 million books so I can write fantastic book reviews (and enjoy every second of it).

 

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Chapter Excerpt 3, “My Son is Missing”

“You’ll never get me to tell you where he is.”

Finally, I made it. I found him. I know he is here. I know she took him. I always knew. Why would no one help me?

He was here, in this house, with this woman. This is where he has been all this time.

I knew it was her. She took my husband too. Who does she think she is?

“He left you, Susan. He left you and took your son with him. You are too sick to take care of them, you can’t even take care of yourself. What did you expect?”

I don’t know what she’s talking about. I don’t remember anything. How does she know my real name? I haven’t been Susan in a long time.

I have seen her with them, with the doctors. I never understood who she was, and why she was holding my son.

Kevin left me? How could that be? We were married. We made vows, for better or for worse. I don’t remember what happened.

How worthless. What’s the point of marrying someone, making a commitment to love them forever, and choosing to leave anyway? Especially with my son!

This lady is nobody. She doesn’t know anything about Kevin or my son, and she definitely doesn’t know me.

“Where is he? Where is my son? Why did you take him from me?” I ask, wielding the bat at her.

“I won’t tell you. You will have to kill me first.”

Well, that’s do-able.

“My name is Sam!”

She sits there with a confused look on her face.

“I didn’t take him from you. You lost him, remember? You left him that day, and then they sent you to the psych ward.”

She’s lying. I would never leave my son. She took him. She took my son and my husband.

“I didn’t take anybody. You left your son. He was lost, and when Kevin found him, he decided then to take you to the hospital to keep your son safe.”

I take the bat and hit her over the right side of the head, making her fall over and hit her head on the hardwood floor, wailing.

“Shut up! You’re lying! Just shut up!”

She lays there for a few seconds before sitting back up, out of breath and bleeding from her nose. I can’t help but laugh. She has hurt me all this time; now it’s my turn to hurt her. She deserves it.

“If you don’t remember any of that, then what do you remember Susan? Do you remember the police showing up to the hospital and charging you with child endangerment? Do you remember taking your son to the park and leaving him there, because you thought he was still at home? You forgot you had taken him with you, Susan. Then you sat down and thought he was at home, and you left him there. He was alone for hours. Do you remember being served divorce papers in your hospital bed, restrained so you wouldn’t hurt yourself or any of your visitors?”

What she’s saying can’t be true. I do remember going to the park with my son, then after that only the hospital. I don’t know why I was sent there. Was I sick? Was there an accident? Kevin didn’t send me there; he wouldn’t.

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Chapter Excerpt #1, “My Son is Missing”

I have started my journey of novel writing.

I just started my first year (and first term) of Graduate School, where I will be earning my Masters of Arts in English and Creative Writing.

I am thrilled!

And I am inspired. I have started writing my first novel.

It’s working title is “My Son is Missing,” and I’m going to be sharing its excerpts with my readers.

I hope you’re one of them!

woman standing among old ruins looking outside,illustration painting

Prologue Excerpt 1

I want to tell you how I lost my son.

I should have been watching, but I wasn’t. That lady found him long after I had misplaced him, and myself. She is his mother now; I am not a mother. She took my husband many days before that, I think, my son was only a baby. I don’t remember either of their names.

That lady found him long after I had misplaced him, and myself. She is his mother now; I am not a mother. She took my husband many days before that, I think, my son was only a baby. I don’t remember either of their names.

Why would she do that?

They weren’t hers to take home. She didn’t win them in a raffle, where she could just walk off with them in a box with a prize-winning bow. That lady I knew once; she was my neighbor. She was so lovely back before I heard the voices.

……

They said she deserved it, so why am I here?

I can’t remember the last time I saw them, these people whom the voices say were my family. I only remember my son; they said he was real and she took him. They said I am no longer a mother, because of her.

The doctors say he isn’t mine anymore, and she has him now. The only people that I knew were real are gone now. That man that says he’s my husband is still here, but he can’t be real, the voices say so. The doctors never talk about him; they say we aren’t supposed to.

……

I want to tell you how I lost my son.

I should have been watching, but I wasn’t. I

I don’t remember his name, but I know she took him.

That lady must be near me, but the doctors say she isn’t.

The doctors aren’t real, but I am.

I should look for him, my son, but I don’t know where I am.

How did I get here? What did I do? Can I ever leave?