I am known to scroll through Amazon’s Prime Reading catalog for a good hour and a half, just seeing what’s available and basically take inventory of what I could be interested in after I finish my current book. Everytime I do this, I would always see this book listed in the memoirs section, but I would talk myself out of it because I knew it would pull at my heart strings but one day I told myself to get it because I wasn’t doing very well with the other book.
For some biographies and memoirs, I don’t like to read the synopsis given to you beforehand. I think the description can play with your mind and although I just skimmed at what the book was about, the title alone told me what to expect and you can’t blame me especially when the tagline says “a memoir of escaping Afghanistan”. I didn’t have to know anything too critical to understand that this would be a rough one but I got it anyways!
An emotional and sweeping memoir of love and survival—and of a committed and desperate family uprooted and divided by the violent, changing landscape of Afghanistan in the early 1980s.
Before the Soviet invasion of 1980, Enjeela Ahmadi remembers her home—Kabul, Afghanistan—as peaceful, prosperous, and filled with people from all walks of life. But after her mother, unsettled by growing political unrest, leaves for medical treatment in India, the civil war intensifies, changing young Enjeela’s life forever. Amid the rumble of invading Soviet tanks, Enjeela and her family are thrust into chaos and fear when it becomes clear that her mother will not be coming home.
Thus begins an epic, reckless, and terrifying five-year journey of escape for Enjeela, her siblings, and their father to reconnect with her mother. In navigating the dangers ahead of them, and in looking back at the wilderness of her homeland, Enjeela discovers the spiritual and physical strength to find hope in the most desperate of circumstances.
A heart-stopping memoir of a girl shaken by the brutalities of war and empowered by the will to survive, The Broken Circle brilliantly illustrates that family is not defined by the borders of a country but by the bonds of the heart.
taken from Goodreads.
I want to point out that, Enjeela’s story starts in the late 1970’s and into the early 80’s, so I wasn’t alive during this time. I kind of remember watching various documentaries that were filmed at this time so I remember hearing things about the war going on in Afghanistan but I didn’t know who it was with until everything was mentioned in this story; I thought it was an interesting way to understand the early conflicts there.
At the beginning of the book, it was nice to learn about the beauty of Enjeela’s home in Kabul. The lush earth and ways of modernizes going on in the community. This was another part of history I did know about too. I saw on Twitter years ago of two women in Pakistan wearing skirts and they had their hair down and it was flowing in the wind. They looked happy to have their pictures taken, but the next photograph was of a group of women covered in head to toe with black burkas. I thought it was very sad to see how big of a shift had happened throughout recent history.
As much as I enjoyed learning about her early memories of her elder sister getting married and how their house was furnished in both American and Italian styles of the day. We quickly make our way to some of the new changes of her beloved country. It was somewhat slow of a build up, but once her mother and sisters left, everything really takes things into another tempo. One moment we are told how Enjeela and crumbling family have moved into a smaller house to meeting Masood and officially making their way out of her beloved, but war-torn country.
I thought of a documentary I watched on PBS last year called “For Sama” and it was a documented account of a Syrian journalist living with her husband who was running an open hospital while they were getting bombed from every angle and their baby girl Sama was born in the mix. I saw the humanity side of this war going on, and although it was small it was as frightening to watch, but I knew it was 10x worse for those who lived in it every day and night for a long period of time. To read about a six year old having to walk with her siblings without their parents and on top of that, with a strange man who you would automatically think of the worst possible outcome for all of them. In a span of six months they lived in little villages and were treated like a loved one with everyone they came across, but on the other side of that, those same people were burying their loved ones because they were being killed fighting for their right to live there in their homes.
Everything about it was heartbreaking but they never seem to give up on not just themselves, but the promise her whole family being together again soon. It was a beautiful story, I just wish we were given more information about what happened to the rest of her family at the end. It is my only bad note about the story itself, yes, she told us about what happened to her later on in life but we weren’t given anything about her siblings. They were as present in the book as she was, but we never get told anything more about them.
Have you read this book yet? Are you a fan of memoirs? Do you, by any chance, have a favorite one you’ve read either this year or in the past? Let me know below!
I actually had some issues when it came to putting a title together, I kept second guessing myself with saying either “what” or “where” is my happy place, because for many people out there, that exact place may not even exist. Maybe at one point of time, but it’s not there anymore.
So what is mine? It’s kind of like asking what my ideal day would be, it’s a hard question to answer. For most people, they’d probably say it would either be outside with the cats or sitting in front of my laptop, blogging, tweeting on end and I can’t blame them for automatically assuming those statuses, but it’s far from the truth.
As you may know, I love both history and music a lot. I do a massive amount of research for both topics on a weekly basis, because I am so interested in them, but not a lot of people know the back stories of them though and why I won’t exactly go to school for either subject, and that’s what I’m going to be discussing in today’s post.
First off, history. I’ve always been into various areas of history since elementary school. I remember learning about Pompeii while I was in third grade, we were given these little magazines and our teacher allowed us to look through and it had dinosaurs in it – this was before scientists were brave enough to tell us kids that they are more related to birds, and so had feathers! Anywho, it also had a section about the burnt bodies of both Pompeii and Herculean. I wasn’t allowed to watch too much gore-y stuff on TV at this time, but something about this was fascinating to me! I cannot tell you how many documentaries I’ve watched over the years about this one event.
I’ve never really been interested in learning American history. In my defense, having to take history classes every year was a little annoying! It was forced down your throat and it never became fun until I hit both of my sophomore and junior years of high school. I had World History and U.S. History, and even though we only had two weeks to learn one section at a time, I actually had pretty good grades in both of those classes!
Now you’re probably wondering how did my obsession for the British royals come about? Well, I like to throw the blame at my mom because she loved Lady Diana Spencer and still hates Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall! Honestly though, I wasn’t really interested in the royals as a kid. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I watched The Other Boleyn Girl and I was really curious about these early royals. At the end of the film, it gives you little pieces of information of what happened next and discusses Queen Elizabeth and it placed an “I” after her name and I did not what that meant and I kind of got curious about who was the second Queen Elizabeth and that’s how it happened!
Now let’s talk about the music part.
I had different family members trying to influence me in some way, but I don’t think anybody wiggled their way through the maze better than my mother! Since she was a teenager in the 1980’s, she was into the early days of hip hop and so I was given N.W.A., The Notorious B.I.G., and Salt n Pepa at a very young age. I was very much into West Coast rap music because of her. She also got me into Mariah Carey and Prince too. So it was a whole array of different music coming and going whenever I was around her.
The runner up of the pack would have been my papaw. I have a lot memories of him listening to his fairly large stereo system in the living room. My nana hated it because he would have the volume up pretty loud, Christmas at my grandparent’s was interesting from time to time because it was sort of a tradition to have a Stan Kenton holiday album playing as everybody was unwrapping their gifts, but towards the early 00’s, his stereo suddenly stopped working altogether. He always said something was broken. He used to have a LOT of records, mostly of Stan Kenton, but he also had some Nat King Cole in there too, which I’ve always found interesting but in his defense, my papaw liked playing the piano so he generally wanted to learn to anybody who was good at that specific instrument.
Once I was in school, I was always influenced by what my friends were listening to, which is probably how I got into the boy bands. I actually don’t remember how I came about the Backstreet Boys. And I usually remember everybody’s origin story if you will, so the fact that I cannot figure it out is weird to me. Anyways, once I hit the end of high school and discovered the joy of rock music, I really dived into the genre as a whole and since I had nobody else, that was really telling me to check these bands out, I really got to do the learning all by myself and in those five years, I can safely say that I respect the pioneers but enjoy the modern rockers and different subgenres.
So these are my happy places, discovering new music for not only myself but for other people, which is one of the reasons why I was so into the idea of adding “music” to my normal routine on here! As for learning and speaking about different parts of history, especially the royal department, I am getting more comfortable about discussing it online but not exactly on here yet. That’s why I enjoy creating different themes with History Of Royal Women, because it’s a place where I can truly be out in the open with myself. They both have ways to keep me happy and distracted at times too!
So this is my first post of 2018, my lovely and somewhat overwhelming list of films, I’d like to see throughout the first six months of the new year! I think this past year has been a really interesting time for me as I watched so many movies. In my wrap up post I published last week, I said I had over 30+ but since I even broke one of my own rules and watched and ended up falling in love with several films that came out in the mid-90’s, I actually had seen probably 50 movies in all!
I definitely put a lot of action, adventure type of films on this list. They’re usually my number one weakness, but since I’m starting to find the joy for drama and romantic comedies again, I’ve added a few of them on here! And you can’t go wrong with a few animated, kid-friendly movies either so I put them throughout the list too!
I like how we start out the end of the first week of January with what looks like a good action packed movie, not to mention that it’s set in London too!
I love these types of movies, if they have any police, SWAT, army themes going on, you know it’s going to be really good! However, I’m unsure what the plot is in the story. I figured they were after some sort of bad guy but it doesn’t give you any other information besides the fact that they could blow up a big section of the city, which isn’t good by any means, but I wish they had showed more about the backstory of Dominic Cooper’s character, but looks like I’m going to have to wait until later to find out.
The Commuter – Liam Nesson, Vera Farmiga, Sam Neill (January 12)
This was interesting to me. Now I will say, I’ve never seen the Taken series, so I’m unfamiliar with Liam Nesson’s greatness, but I felt like in a way this looked like some of those movies. I mean, he’s always saving somebody else. The only difference is that he’s on a damn train and where anybody on it could be a bad guy. So that part has me intrigued a little bit.
Proud Mary – Taraji P. Henson, Danny Glover, Billy Brown (January 12)
I’ve been seeing this everywhere, especially during the three back-to-back games on Christmas. I don’t want what I have to say about this movie to be taken the wrong way so I’m trying to be delicate with my words.
We don’t see African-Americans being secret assassins or cops that much. They don’t look so cool as they did in the 90’s with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, so to see Taraji P. Henson, who is both black and a woman, as a strong assassin is really interesting! At first the trailer that I kept seeing was kind of cryptic in a way because the young boy could be her son, but then I found out that he wasn’t and the story’s wrapped around the two of them and I think that’s even better. So I’m looking forward into watching this one.
The Post – Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Sarah Paulson (January 12)
This is another one that I’ve been seeing everywhere! It originally came out last month for a limited release, but it will come on the 12th for a wider release and that’s the reason why I’m putting it on here.
I’m very curious about this one, apparently this is about the Pentagon Papers written by the journalists of both The New York Post and The Washington Post, about the involvement of the U.S. government during the Vietnam war. It looks like a really good film especially with Tom and Meryl as the big dogs in it!
12 Strong – Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Austin Stowell (January 19)
I saw this trailer on Facebook back in November; it popped up on an advertisement and I actually liked it. I’ve been tempted to look up if the story itself is true, because it’s set after 9/11, and I really like seeing the soldier’s point of view and how we as a country reacted to it all. It seems that it is, since they’ve clearly stated on the trailer itself that it’s a “declassified” true story. I am really happy that both Chris Hemsworth and his wife Elsa Pataky are doing a movie together, and they even play husband and wife too! Awww!
The Leisure Seeker – Donald Sutherland, Helen Mirren (January 19)
I am getting into my drama side with this one! At first I thought it would be a cute, funny story between these characters and then I found out it has a serious tone to it. Donald Sutherland’s role has a problem with remembering different things such as family members and his wife played by the lovely Helen Mirren is taking him on a journey to try to help him. I already know it’ll make me cry and remember my papaw, but I honestly still want to watch it anyways.
Den of Thieves – Gerard Butler, 50 Cent, O’Shea Jackson Jr (January 19)
I love Gerard Butler and yes, he was the main reason why I wanted to see this movie. I think it’s going to be awesome, even though I am already confused. Who are the bad guys? I didn’t understand that line in the trailer so if somebody wanted to help a girl out that would be nice! After watching Straight Outta Compton, I’m really glad that O’Shea Jackson Jr. is in another action packed movie. He’s other reason why I’m kind of pumped to watch this too.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure – Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster (January 26)
Now I have to say, I have yet to see the second Maze Runner movie. I have the actual DVD somewhere, and even though the first film confused the crap out of me, I still want to see it and then eventually this one as well. Funny story, this was the only trailer I didn’t watch because I didn’t want it to ruin anything!
Peter Rabbit – James Corden, Margot Robbie, Rose Bryne (February 9)
This just looks so freaking cute!
Funnily enough, I don’t remember Peter Rabbit ever being that big between my sister and I when we were kids, it’s only after when I got older that I started learning about this little guy and Beatrix Potter too. I do remember on Jeopardy last year where Beatrix and Peter Rabbit were the question to their infamous Final Jeopardy. And what was weirder, I thought it was her before they went to commercial and put up the category on the screen, which was even crazier for me!
Permission – Rebecca Hall, Dan Stevens, Morgan Spector (February 9)
This was probably the most random one of the bunch. I am getting further down the drama hole, so in a way I wasn’t necessarily that shocked by the contents of the trailer. I wouldn’t mind if it’s one of the last ones I watch in 2018 if I’m being honest. It’s not THAT racy, but it’s enough.
Black Panther – Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o (February 16)
This is the last Marvel film to come out before Avengers: Infinity War in April. We got a nice look of the character Black Panther in the third Captain America movie. I thought he was an interesting add to that movie, even though not going to lie, still not happy he was on Iron Man’s side.
I am excited to see more of his backstory though. I want to see what made T’Challa turn into the Black Panther in the first place, I mean we get a snippet in Civil War but thankfully for this, we will get to see more of him as a full character.
Red Sparrow – Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Egerton, Matthias Schoenaerts (March 2)
I don’t really know the synopsis of this movie. All I have learned about it is that it’s about spies and Jennifer Lawrence seduces people to get information from officers and then apparently kills them. And somehow in the middle of all that, she becomes a double agent. It looks like a good movie, and I do like these types of movies since I think it would help me with research for my project, plus Jennifer Lawrence is in it! And she looks damn sexy in the trailer too!
This looked too adorable! Technically this will be the first out of two movies about garden gnomes. The other one you’ll learn more about further down the list. I think it will be very cute and hilarious in parts, at least I’m hoping so!
A Wrinkle In Time – Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey (March 9)
This one I went back and forth with, because I don’t necessarily like movies like this. I think because it will be mostly made up of CGI and as much as I enjoyed Tomorrowland I am still nervous about it. I do think it will be a fun movie for kids and teenagers, especially ones who have read the book beforehand. We’ll just have to see about this one.
Tomb Raider – Alicia Vikander, Kristin Scott Thomas, Dominic West (March 16)
I will admit, I haven’t watched the other Lara Croft films with Angelina Jolie, mostly because I think the special effects in the early 00’s sucked, everytime I have tried to watch them I end up stopping after twenty minutes and deleting it. So I’m curious about how I will get on with this reboot. I am happy that Alicia Vikander has taken up the role of a younger Lara Croft though. I want to see more films of Alicia getting physical roles. She’s kind of like Mila Kunis, I feel like they don’t do a lot of action, adventure based movies so I’m hoping this works out well for her!
Sherlock Gnomes – Emily Blunt, James McAvoy, Johnny Depp (March 23)
For this one, it’s the second film of Gnomeo & Juliet and you have both James McAvoy and Emily Blunt in their normal roles. I do enjoy the fact that they are playing on different tales as little garden gnomes. I didn’t really watch much of the first one, but in the scenes I did see I liked it. I will have to record it again when it appears on Freeform and watch it all the way through before seeing the sequel.
Midnight Sun – Bella Throne, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Quinn Shephard (March 23)
I feel like this is another version of Everything, Everything but instead of being allergic to everything in sight, the main character can’t be out in the sun. So she’s a night owl and she, of course, meets a guy and they fall in love. I am trying to be as open about it as I possibly can, but it’s a damn romantic movie and you’re asking a lot out of me to find the good in it. I do enjoy Bella Throne, so that’s the main reason why I wanted to try it out, so we’ll see what happens with it.
Ready Player One – Tye Sheridan, Ben Mendelsohn, Simon Pegg (March 30)
This one was interesting. I am still hesitant about it, mostly because it’ll have a lot of CGI in it and I’ve seen virtual reality googles and a DeLorean from Back To The Future films, so I was all confused! However, it looks exciting and fun but I don’t know how much of it, I’ll really enjoy. I think it might be one that my brother-in-law would like a lot since he plays a lot of games and he might think some of the elements will be cool in it. He might watch it before me and after he’s seen it, I’ll make my decision from there!
I thought this was a very interesting concept. A lot of people are not going to like it all that much because this basically comes out and says that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had some type of relationship that wasn’t necessarily mentioned in the Bible. I’ve watched a few specials about whether or not Jesus had a child and/or was married while he was alive, and of course I read The Da Vinci Code last year so I am leaning into this outlook, even though the book itself was purely fictional, it does make you wonder if there isn’t even a hint of truth in it.
Rampage – Dawayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Joe Manganiello (April 20)
I keep going back and forth on this one, mostly because it is giving me Mighty Joe Young feels and I loved/hated that movie. One thing that I liked about it was the fact that Joe actually looked real, even in his larger state. In this movie, the ape looks too animated but I wonder if it’s because the chimp itself is white than black? I don’t know so I’m a bit worried about it. It also makes me think of the first Jurassic World film too, as the humans are trying to save the animals but also save mankind from a rampage, so it has a lot of similarities to other movies that will be hard to keep an open mind while watching it, but I’ll try it out anyways!
Avengers: Infinity War – Robert Downey Jr. Josh Brolin, Chris Evans (May 4)
This is probably going to make you really sad, especially if you know my love of superheros, but I didn’t enjoy the trailer when it first came out. I showed it to my dad and he wasn’t even impressed but in my defense I did show him the newest Jurassic World trailer beforehand so he was a bit distracted about that.
I don’t know why I didn’t like it both times I watched it, but I didn’t necessarily like Age of Ultron either. I’ve become very hard to please lately. I am excited that we will have ALL of the Marvel characters from Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange joining the ever amazing cast of Avengers, but yeah, a little nervous about going into this film.
Animal Crackers – Danny DeVito, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt (May 4)
Here is another what looks like a cute family friendly movie! And it’s the only one coming out in May that I thought I’d like too. I really like the concept, it seems really fun and I wish I was a kid so I can get by watching this without feeling guilty. Thank god, I’ll have a niece or nephew so by the time it comes out on DVD I can have little nugget watching it with me! I think people who would like animals to be out of the circus forever, would love this because even though it does have these “animals” featured doing notable tricks and stuff like that, it’s all animated.
Deadpool 2 – Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller (June 1)
DEADPOOL! I still need to show my dad this trailer because I doubt he’s seen it yet. Last year, when I put up my mini rating/review of the movies I had seen in 2016, I think I gave it a 7 or 8, I’m not too sure about it. I liked it, but I mean it did seem a bit weird for the normal superhero films. And I know, Deadpool isn’t the good guy but still, I went back and forth on what I liked about it. Dad liked it though so that works too!
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum (June 22)
Yes, last one of the first six months and of course it’s the new Jurassic World movie. I actually enjoy watching specials about Dinosaurs but I will admit, these movies scare the living shit out of me! I definitely can’t watch it at night, I’d never be able to sleep later on. It does look really good though, and like I said above, my dad seemed to enjoy the trailer so I know he’ll like it.
Out of all of these movies I’ve listed, what are you the most excited about seeing this year?
When I was in school, during my junior year I was taking US History and at the beginning of second semester, we were talking about World War II and the Vietnam war and I had this major war kick going on that I literally read two different books about each wars and I watched different movies, we watched Saving Private Ryan in class, but I watched the movie Stop-Loss on my own. That’s where I figured out how good of an actor both Channing Tatum and Joseph Leavitt-Gordon was because of their roles in the film. That same year I made up a little story of my own. I still remember the outline of it and the characters’ personalities. I even remember the title I was planning on calling it, I got my inspiration for it after Saving Abel’s song “18 Days” So I’m drawing some inspiration out of one of the characters, the female character whose I am forgetting at the moment, so I’m renaming her Claire in this part. Enjoy!
It was the middle of summer, well for some it was the “end” of it. After the celebration of Fourth of July, there would be one more fair coming into town and that was it, another summer gone. For Claire, summer was no longer fun. I spent her time going to school throughout the year and wondering about her father and older brother being overseas, fighting for her family’s freedom, just like the rest of the soldiers out there fighting along with them. She and her little family stayed behind in their small town watching the people in town float on by and talking about the smallest things, not even caring about what she and other families were going through right now. Claire was old enough to know that her father and older brother Zak loved what they did, but missed being around too. Especially since there was a little Zak around the house, learning how to crawl and hearing about his brave grandpa and daddy from his mama, Brittany, Zak’s wife. Claire couldn’t help being sad that they were missing what they were seeing everyday.
Since the guys left eighteen months ago, Brittany and little Zak moved into the family house. Claire saw the joy of her new nephew being born, but the sorrow of Brittany having to raise him for her own for now. Claire’s mother Mary worked at Claire’s school as a lunch lady, she loved her job, but only because it kept her occupied during the day, but since it was the summertime she was without a job. So Claire took over providing food and shelter for mom and sister-in-law for the whole summer. Claire was fine with that, it kept her out of her head for a few hours. She struggled with finding peace that her family was safe and that her loved ones would make it out fine. She hoped that her dad and Zak would get to come home soon; she was to start her final year in high school in the fall. In a way, she hoped that maybe Zak get to come home one part and maybe her dad get to come home in the next half of the year. As much as she believed in God, once her dad’s friends started to pass away and families were to fade away, she questioned everything positive in her life.
Claire sat in the car, with the air conditioning turned all the way up in the backseat. She sat with little Zak sleeping in his car seat, dreaming of what babies would probably dream of, endless supply of milk and disgusting baby food. His little eyes flutter slightly and his body twitches and Aunt Claire can’t help but feel envious of this little creature’s pleasant dreams. Brittany stood outside the passenger door waiting for her mother-in-law to quit talking to the lady that was selling fruit; she already paid for her things and wanted to get out of the heat. Brittany groaned when Mary looked over to the car and then walked away towards the other side of the stall with the owner. “Zak is going to wake up soon, why does she have to take so long?” Brittany muttered to herself, at least Claire thought she was. Within ten minutes later, the owner’s husband walked over with a nice trey of two glasses with some pink drink in them full of nice cubes of ice. “Thought you ladies might appreciate a nice cold drink.” He said in a sweet tone, Claire rolled down her window and let the nice cool air out of the car to grab the glass from the nice gentleman. “Thank you sir.” Claire said just before taking a few good swigs of the raspberry lemonade. Not too sweet yet not too tart either!
Brittany declined her drink, but asked if the man had any straws so she could give Zak a sip or two. Claire thought that would for sure crank him up for the rest of the trip home if she actually got that straw. The man said that they rarely ever have straws, as they don’t have any grandchildren. Brittany nodded in annoyance. She was not yet used to the Texas heat. Quite frankly neither was Claire; she missed the other five places she used to live in. Since Claire was born, she had lived in five different states and surprising none of them ever had hot weather like this before. The coldest she had ever been around was when her father was transferred over in Sweden. The one year they moved there, they would have a gnarly winter full of ice and snow. As much as she hated the fact that her father’s job transferred their family to different places, she was pretty content with the whole process of traveling. She had a high case of wonderlust. Brittany had only moved once and she was not feeling Texas at all. Mary invited her out as she could have help if she needed some when she first had little Zak. Claire’s brother thought it would be a good idea as she lived in Vermont for two years and knew only the families on the base there. They were willing to do things for her, but she still felt alone without Zak being by her side. Seven months after giving birth, they moved out and the season changed to spring, but it felt like summer and Brittany felt like it was smothering her.
Finally after about thirty minutes or more, Mary came walking towards the car, passing the nice man with one full glass of lemonade and the other with only light pink melting ice cubes, he said something to her and she smiled back but kept towards us. Brittany quickly opened her door and climbed in, immediately waking up Zak from dreamland. He stretched out his little arms and legs and twisted around to face the window and closed his eyes again. Mary opened her door and sat down, turning on the engine which kicked off the nice cool air flow from the backseat for a second before working again. Claire rolled up her window, ready to watch the trees fly by as they drive down the long road again. She ignored her mom and Brittany arguing in the front seat and focused on the tops of the trees and wondering how it would feel like if she stood on top, could she see her father again. Two hours later, they pulled up to their driveway and the car stopped and Claire began to hear the noise from the ladies still passing words to each other. She opened her door and grabbed her small bag plus a few of the pieces of fruit and vegetables she purchased and went inside the nice cool house.
Mary and Claire put all of the fresh fruit and vegetables on the sink counter. Brittany came walking in last with the diaper bag in one arm and little Zak on her chest, still passed out. Lucky kid. Claire stood against the sink, washing each one while Mary looked around for her pots and pans, still quiet from the car ride. Claire decided to break the silence first, “Chuck makes mean raspberry lemonade, you know?” Mary put her pot on one of the stove tops and turned on the heat, Claire was still trying to figure out what she was going to make for supper. As there were tomato, cucumber, carrots, and some herbs. She could make anything really but when she went into the fridge and grabbed onions and celery and a knife from the drawer, she cut them up but talked to her daughter. “Is that what was in that cup? I love it when he makes that flavor.” Mary said while she was peeling the carrots. “Yeah, it was definitely what I needed.” Claire said with a half smile on her face. “I know I’m sorry I was taking such a long time but Helen said she heard some good news from the guys though.” Mary said in a chipper tone. Helen’s son Charlie was in the same barigade as her father and Zak.
“What did she say?” Claire said eagerly, “Well, according to Helen, Charlie and Zak might be coming home soon.” Another let down. Claire was happy that her brother was coming home but she wanted both of them home. “Since Britt was being an ass in the car, I never got the chance to tell her. So I have no idea if she even knows that they are or not.” Mary said as she put down her knife and piled all of the diced vegetables into her red pot, “How reliable is Helen’s word though?” Claire said as she finished cleaning and drying the fruit and vegetables and put them in the pantry. “Well, Helen is an old board but when she hears something especially about her son and his whereabouts, I think I should believe her.” Claire was concerned about getting too excited about Charlie and Zak’s homecoming just in case they were all wrong. “Did she say they might come back? Like the date?” Claire said now standing up against the kitchen sink. “I think she said the fourth, which is convent in a way, coming home on Fourth of July and be celebrated for fighting our freedom and being around family. I mean, we could go out to the park and fireworks…” Mary kept carrying on what kind of plans they could do together, but in Claire’s mind she was back to her sad self again.
Back from a young age, Claire and her father Jack have always had a great relationship. The best friendship a father and a daughter could have. They did everything together. Claire was always compared as Jack’s twin. Even though between Claire and Zak, they looked their father, but Claire took after her father’s personality the most. Zak got married and had a child young and then enlisted into the army. Claire was raised by country boy at heart, she loved her farm animals, to go mudding, and of course country music. She kept most of her father’s army stuff in her room, on top of her dresser that some part of him was close to her. After they got the news that Zak and Jack were being set off together, they were stunned. Claire’s whole world was just about to get a whole lot bigger and happier, got turned into hell again. She honestly wanted to move again, maybe closer to the rest of her family. They lived in North Carolina, she only saw them on Skype and text her cousins as much as she could, but it wasn’t enough for her. She missed them. She wanted a stable environment and being a daughter of an army sergeant just wasn’t cutting it anymore.
She suffered from depression after they left, but she didn’t go off the deep end until her uncle from her mom’s side died after being caught in a blast. She wanted to kill herself several times, but knew she would be dishonoring her family if she gave into temptation. Since her faith was already fading, she didn’t rely on a God or anybody to make her feel better about herself. That’s why she always had to be kept busy. She worked two jobs; one in the fall was at the nearby Starbucks. It paid great, but it also got pretty boring! In the summertime, she loved to read outside so she got a job at the library and always came home with a new book. If she read about somebody else’s troubles she wouldn’t feel too bad about herself and always saw the other side of life. At night, things were different. She was alone with her thoughts, the dark thought lingered deep inside her mind, telling her lies and showing unthinkable images of things she wished would just go away. She cried after each nightmare but remembered how her father cradled in his arms when she’d have a bad dream when she was little, her tears dried and she’d start to smile and go back to sleep.
Claire sat in the living room, didn’t watch any TV though. She had gone into her room after a second after her mom stopped talking about Charlie and Zak to grab her book. She sat on the massive brown couch facing away from her mom who was turned to the other side cooking away. Brittany walked into the living room with the newly dressed Zak, “do you think he looks adorable?” She said in peppy voice, Claire looked up in a glare and Mary turned her head for a peak but quickly looked back to keep stirring the pot of homemade spaghetti sauce for tomorrow‘s dinner. “Aww, look how cute you are Zakky!” Mary said in a cheery tone! She loved being a grandma, little Zak looked like his daddy but sadly had the same attitude as his momma which Mary hated. He was spoiled rotten and not by his grandma, Brittany did everything for this kid. He wasn’t even a year old yet and she was dressing him like she was going to put him in kid pageant. “I know! I saw it in that new store down in main town. I think it’s called Rachel’s Trunk and I thought it would be perfect for next week!” Brittany said as she stood him on his feet, the poor kid even had red and blue sneakers on. Little Zak looked annoyed. Claire went back to her book and ignored the nice chat.
Claire looked over at her clock as it went off, it was seven thirty. It was time to get ready to go to work. Claire sat up and went into her closet, picked out her outfit. It was a white t-shirt with pink, orange, and green streaks through it. She wore her short Capri’s and put her hair up in a ponytail before grabbing her phone off the charger and heading out the door. It was now quarter to eight, she had only five minutes to grab her normal morning coffee and scone (a habit she picked up while living in Sweden) and get to the library. Claire wasn’t good at getting up and getting everything done early enough where she didn’t have to worry about anything. After picking up her coffee and strawberry scone, she raced to the library trying to eat, drink at the same time. Surprisingly, this time she didn’t make that big of a mess in her car. She looked decent and when she walked over to the door, it dawned on her. It was Sunday! She forgets to turn off her alarm the night before and now that everything was actually going her way, she was off for the entire day.
She got back into her car, instead of just driving back home to where her mother and sister-in-law would be getting ready to head over to church. She started up her car and backed out to cruise around the city. She put her phone on silent so when her mom went to text her if she wanted to go to church, she wouldn’t get it. Claire was used to the quiet; she actually preferred it that way. She found a vacate lot nearby the church where she knew her mom would be at, and pulled in and parked it. She switched her radio on and found an actual easy channel where she could read to and not be interrupted by the ads or disc jockeys. She only had a little bit to go before she officially finished it. She was relaxed and comfortable, until she heard a tap on her window and was amazed to see the person on the other side. Thankfully, she screamed while she was still in the car. It was the week of the fourth of July, and there was Zak and Helen’s son and Claire’s Charlie still in their uniforms but happy to see a familiar face.
“What are you guys doing here?” Claire said as she was trying to wipe away her tears. “I thought you were coming home on the fourth?” She said to them, still wiping. The boys looked at each other, “who told you that?” Zak’s deep voice sounded just like their father’s, which made her kind of sad to now see that he wasn’t going to be with them for the holidays. “Helen told mom and she told me.” Claire said as she looked at Charlie, who was now rolling his eyes. “I swear that woman is phsyic or something.” Charlie said in a sarcastic voice. “I talked to her once this month and made sure not to say anything. How the hell did she figure it out?” Zak had a big grin on his face, knowing how much their mother didn’t like surprises that much, but surprising neither did Brittany! They were going to kill him. “You must’ve had a different tone or something and figured something was up.” Zak said looking back between Claire and Charlie. “What are you doing sitting in your car, reading what does not look like a Bible, in dressy clothes?” Charlie said with a mischievous grin on his face. Zak had his arms folded, “I thought I had to work this morning. I forgot it was Sunday.” Claire said in a soft voice, the boys chuckled at her.
“Well, do you want to join us in our little scheme?” Zak said leaning up against her door. “Depends, what are you planning to do?” Claire said now with her arms crossed. “We’re going to go up to the church and surprise the shit out of everybody in there.” Charlie said with a huge smile on his face. “Well, if you’re going to do that, you might want to stop cussing or Reverend Burns might throw holy water on you.” Claire said and Zak looked at his buddy Charlie, who was now looking down on the ground. “I’m not going to make any promises but I’ll try.” “Do you think you can give us a lift?” Zak said to his younger sister. “You do realize the church is like right there?” Claire said back to him. “Yeah, but we don’t want anybody seeing us and spoiling the surprise.” Zak said in his sarcastic voice. “Yeah no, standing out here for ten minutes plus another two minutes while you two bicker back and forth is any better.” Charlie said which stopped both Claire and Zak in their tracks. “You shut up Charlie, or I’ll let Claire kick your ass.” Zak said to him in response. “Oh, she won’t kick my ass, she’s had her chance before and she didn’t take it then.” Charlie said while he glared up at Claire, Zak looked confused but thought about not even asking what the hell that meant. “Will you just give us a ride?” Zak said, Claire turned to him and nodded, “but Charlie sits in the back.” Ouch!
When they pulled into the parking lot, it was an hour and a half into the service. The boys got out of the car first and Claire climbed out to fix herself, as she thought she still had crumbs on her pants. “How are we doing this?” Claire said, as she turned to face them. “Go in and walked down the aisle and holler that you found some strangers that need some blessings.” Zak said, looks like he had been thinking about this for a while. “Okay, I’ll do that. Wish me luck that Reverend Burns doesn’t throw me out first!” Claire said as she entered inside the church first, followed behind her were the guys who stood by the doors to go inside the service hall. She walked like she was walking down the runaway for the fashion show. “Excuse me Reverend Burns, but I’m going to stop you right there, because we have two strangers that need blessings.” Claire shouted with all might, everybody in the room turned around facing her. Mary looked like she was about to explode in horror as her only daughter just interrupted the pastor. All of a sudden cheers came from the back and both Brittany and Mary stood up, to see Zak and Charlie walking down the aisle in their army uniforms. Nothing like half of the town being in one church, screaming and cheering for two of their own soldiers. Mary, Helen, and Brittany walked out of the pew and hugged the guys tightly. Claire was full of glee of seeing her family happy that Zak was home and seeing Charlie with his parents as well. She stood next to the pastor and leaned over and told him that she was sorry for interrupting his sermon, but he looked over at her and said “not as sorry as this though.”
Claire looked over at him and in the back part of the church doors where the pastor lives was a very tall and decorated male and even more cheers came from the church. It’s one thing to find her brother home, but to see that there was a God and that he had answered her prayers. Jack stood up and walked down towards his daughter, who was now on the ground trying to find a balance between gravity. The tears she felt earlier when Zak and Charlie scared her, found her once again but this time she didn’t try and stop them. He leaned over and pulled her up to her feet, she clutched him tightly and a second later Mary came over to hug her husband. “What are you doing here?” Mary said with her puffy eyes and tears still streaming down her face. “Oh, I thought I’d join the boys on their homecoming and spend my freedom with my family.” Jack said to her. “Hey, pops!” Zak said as he was wiping away his tears while holding his son in his arms. Brittany came over to Jack and patted him on the back and he kissed her on the forehead. “Hey, son, this was a good idea to do you know that?” Jack said to him with a chuckle. “I told you.” Zak said as he wrapped his arms around his family and watched the crowd of people still standing and clapping for their services. This was what Claire wanted on this imperfect Sunday.
What it’s all about: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week: MISUNDERSTANDING
Nothing was a mistake or a misunderstanding to her.
She knew the truth, it was obvious since nobody bothered to really check the lies that they spoke of.
The rain poured down on their kingdom as she smiled onward as the gods were agreeing with her; they should be punished for their wrong doings.
As they faced judgement day, pleaded with the gods to show them mercy, they were forgetting the most important person they should be apologizing to, but all they saw of her was a witch, the more they ignored her and threatened exile, the gods showed their real powers.
Their castle was slowly crumbling, the plaque had killed most of the people in the surrounding villages, once they realized the gods were on her side, they begged for their mercy, but all she could say was, “you had your chance” and in came the war and destruction.