Body and Mind

Hey guys, its been a long time since I posted anything at all. I
thought I would give something a little more serious (not fappy)
a chance.

Was trying hard to come up with something with a little more originality.
So I hope you enjoy. Feel free to comment good or bad, I’m open
to opinions, one way or the other.

…Body and Mind…

Carolyn clutched the adjoined rings with her left hand. A habit
she’d picked up whenever she was nervous. The cold steel, or
whatever the rings were made of, felt good between her fingers.
Her index finger slowing slipping in and out of the holes, while
her other fingers ran against the grainy exterior, feeling all
the little bumps that made up the lettering engraved on the
outside. The sigh and deep breath that followed was brief, but

She crumpled the notice, shoved it in a half empty (or half
full if she’d been in a better mood) bottle of Mt. Dew, and
tossed it with a thud into the dinky black garbage can next to
her computer.

“I’ve got this… right?” She playfully asked Izzy. Izzy, of
course offered no real reply other than to look up and smile at
her mommy. “Well, at least you’re happy with me.” Carolyn
sighed again, reaching up once more to fidget with her necklace
with her worn rings dangling from the bottom.

It had been a harder year than she’d expected. But who ever
knew how a year was going to go before it had past? It wasn’t
like she’d given up trying. No, in fact, she’d busted her ass
this year to make sure they both had everything they needed.
Sure, they could live in a nicer house. Sure, they could eat
fancier meals. And sure, she could drive a nicer car. But she
felt, no, she just knew that she was doing great. Everything
had fallen apart at once, and putting things back together
was not something that happened overnight. Besides, at twenty
three years old, she had the rest of her life to put things
back together.

“Let’s grab a bath booger.” she said, already slipping both
hands under Izabella arms, and making her way to the bathroom.
“Getting heavy eh? Can’t wait till you’re capable of taking your
own bath. I could use one with bubbles and wine…” She stood
Izzy up on the bathroom floor, and began the arduous task of
undressing an almost two year old.

“You need bubbles?” She asked, quickly stripping herself.
“Or are we…”

“Yep!” was exclaimed before anything else had a chance to leave
her mouth.

Carolyn sat in the tub, calmly washing Izzy, allowing the
stress from earlier to seep back into her mind. “I’m falling
apart Izzy, and I don’t know what to do.” Izzy’s turned to face
her mother, her curly wet hair blocked her eyes, but not the
smile she always wore.

The all too familiar blood rushed feeling began to warm her
face. That slight burning behind her eyes. She fought for a
moment, realized it was a losing battle, and allowed the tears to
flow. Not wanting Izzy to know she was upset, she stifled the
sobs and huffs. The hitching in her chest between taking in and
letting out air was impossible to disguise though, and Izzy pushed
the hair out from her eyes, curled up next to her mother’s neck,
and begin to fidget with the necklace herself. “Don’t cry mommy.”
Izzy whispered, hugging her mom.

As if she’d asked her to cry harder, Carolyn broke down into a
sob-fest. “I’m… okay baby…” She tried to say, fighting once
more the catch in her chest. “Mommies… sometimes they have to
cry too…”

“What I did?” Izzy asked gently, with a sound of guilt in her

“No baby, never you… Never ever you…” This conversation
would surely add more to Carolyns already full plate. The last
thing she needed was her one source of happiness in this world
feeling guilty for watching her mother cry. “You’re my everything
baby. Never forget I love you.”

“I love you mommy.”

She’d laid Izzy down for bed a full hour ago. Since then she’d
been trying to get comfortable in her own bed without all these
thoughts drifting through her head. Didn’t seem to matter how
laid out the sheets were, how fluffy her pillow seemed, whether
the fan was blowing on her, or just on and circulating the air
in the room around. She was going to be rolling around in bed
with no real chance of rest in the forseeable future.

Her stress, well most of it anyway, had started shortly after
high school. Her family life was always hopeless. Her mother
was a drunk, whom she would have nothing to do with anymore. Her
father had never been around, and when he was, he was just as
plastered as her mother. He died shortly after Carolyn had moved
out. Carolyn had attended the funeral, but really hadn’t cried
much. It wasn’t as if she was happy about it, but its hard to
find an emotional attachment to someone or anyone who spent more
time hugging a bottle than his own daughter. Besides, she’d
already lost someone that year.

The only person she ever really had any attachment to in her
family had been her Grandfather. He lived in Eastern China her
entire life, and she’d only ever met him once. She was about eight
years old, and he’d come in to visit his son before embarking on
what he called “Hopefully, the most memorable trip of my life.”
He only stayed for about a week, but spent every moment he was at
their home with Carolyn. It was the most attention she’d ever
gotten from any adult. After he had left, he made sure to send
Carolyn a letter a month, talking about where he’d gone, where he’d
be going, what he’d learned, and where she could send a reply if
she wanted to. She always sent a reply when she knew he would get
it. Their relationship stayed this way, always through letters,
until she recieved a letter from a lawyer saying she was to come
to his office to collect what he had left for her. No warning,
no funeral, just a letter from a lawyer. The one person she’d
really felt close to, even though he was never near, had just
dropped off the face of the earth. That was two nights after her
graduation from high school, and a week before she moved out from
her parents house…

Her trip to the lawyer had been mostly uneventful, albeit an
overly emotional one. She was the only one he had left anything
to, so it was just her in the receptionist’s office, waiting and
crying for what felt like hours. When the lawyer called her back
he seemed ready to get this day over with, and hardly had any
patience for her sobbing. He simply handed her an envelope, one
of those big bubble wrap manilla ones, and a stack of papers.
He quickly told her that all the paperwork had been filled out,
all she had to do was sign at the end of the contract, and that
everything else he would take care of.

“What is all this?” She’d asked through the tissue she’d been
using to clear her eyes…

“Bob, your grandfather, left his entire inheritance to you. He
didn’t own much more than the clothes on his back, and the rings
in the envelope. But he did have quite a sum of money that has
been collecting intrest since he left for China.”

“How did he die? Do you know? Nobody has told me anything…”
She pulled her scrambled blonde hair back behind her ears, and
tried to compose herself a little better.

The lawyer huffed a bit, and sat back in his chair, realizing
this wasn’t going to be a quick conversation or an in and out visit.
“He hasn’t actually been ‘found dead’ so to speak. But he was
supposed to meet with a group of travelers at the end of long trek,
and never showed.”

“So he may still be out there somewhere?” Carolyn’s voice raised,
enthusiasm for the first time since she recieved this rude lawyer’s
letter in the mail. “Why call me in if he is still alive?”

“Carolyn was it?” The lawyer looked at her gravely for a moment,
and she nodded her head in response. “Carolyn, he was supposed to
meet with them over two months ago… The forest he was traveling
through was and is far from fully explored, and he wouldn’t be
the first person to ever vanish traveling through it.”

Her head hung, “I’m sorry, it was stupid of me to ask, I wouldn’t
be here at all if you thought there was a chance… would I?”

“No mam, I’m sorry… If you’ll just sign the papers, I’ll take
care of the bank and trust that he has set up for you.” The lawyer
pushed the paperwork closer to her as he spoke.

Carolyn picked up the pen, scratched her name over the dotted line,
and pushed the papers back to him. “How much did he leave me

“In acordance to his will, you are to recieve one-thousand dollars
a month until you reach the age of thirty, at which point you will
recieve the entire inheritance of five hundred and thirty four
thousand dollars.” The lawyer had smiled when he started the
sentence, but by the end it was clear he was jealous, as his
teeth had begun to clinch.

She left the lawyer’s office no happier than she had come in.
Carolyn had never been interested in money. Although, knowing she
didn’t have to worry about money ever again was relieving, she’d
much rather have a letter from her grandfather in the mail. On her
way home, she opened the envelope. Inside was the last letter she’d
ever read from her Grandfather.

“I hope you’re doing well sweet-pea. Where I’m going I next
I can’t be sure I’ll get out alright. So I’ve written this
as a ‘just in case.’ You know, these things are a lot more
difficult to write than you’d think. You want to make sure
you say everything you can, but when it comes right down to
it, you can’t think of a thing to say.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you’re reading this
I know you aren’t taking my death with a grain of salt.
I’m so sorry that we didn’t get more time together, but I want
you to know that every step I take out here doesn’t hit the
ground without a thought of you in my head.
I had no idea what I was missing till I had come back and met
you. I’m sure you’ve grown into a beautiful young lady, and I
know that you’ll be going places in your life. I hope and wish
that I get to see you again.
Carolyn, these rings have always been special to me. I found
them in one of the many abandoned temples that we’ve wandered
through on our journeys here. They are said to bring the body
and mind together, and are strengthened by the happiness
that the wearer possesses. If you ever find yourself in a
darkness you can’t find the light for, please, close your
eyes and find me in your heart.”

Her tears stained the letter, smearing the last line of her
grandfather’s beautiful note to her. She tried to wipe them off
of the letter, but only managed to smudge the ink further. Rather
than ruin it more, she folded it back and tried to slide it back
in the envelope. The paper stuck about mid way down, and she
remembered the rings that were inside.

Carolyn tilted the envelope, allowing the rings to fall into
her cupped hand. The shine off of both of them was what surprised
her to begin with. Carolyn was sure they would be old and rusted,
but the sun glinting off of them was almost like a mirror. She
rolled them around in her hand for a moment, and realized they were
interlocked together. She tucked her purse under her arm, and tried
to pull them apart, as if it were some kind of magic trick she
could just undo. Seeing this was in effort in futility, she stopped
and stared at the inscriptions instead. The rings were circled
with what she could only assume was some form of chinese, but she
could tell the lettering was different from one ring to the other.

Carolyn unsnapped the less than fancy necklace she had worn to
the lawyers office from around her neck, and looped the rings through
it. She would take a better look at them when she got home, and
wasn’t so upset.

Her pain over her grandfather’s passing of course healed with
time. But its always hardest to let go of someone or something
when things can’t seem to fall into place afterwards. Her mother,
having found out about the money that was left to Carolyn, tried
to take her to court. She failed to recieve any kind of portion
of it herself, but managed to put a greater distance between her
daughter and herself. This episode of Carolyn’s life showed her
what ‘people who love you’ would do when it came to making their
lives easier, and Carolyn’s relationships with everyone else,
friends included, suffered due to her newly untrusting nature.
It wasn’t Carolyn’s fault, she’d been put aside her whole life,
found someone worth a damn, and they too had been snatched away
from her.

Carolyn forced herself to open up a bit more when she realized
how lonely life really can be by a year or two later. She’d finally
reconnected with the friends she had disassociated with, and all
at once, things seemed to be getting better.

Carolyn had spent most of her school life feeling like she was
worth less than nothing. So she hadn’t gotten out to date much.
Crushes were still a part of her life, hell, no one got through
middle school or high school without crushing on someone. The
idea that she was worth a single guy she thought about was out of
the questiong though. Needless to say, when she finally found
someone who smiled at her, she fell hard and fast for him.

She’d been so hopelessly in love. Of course, that seemed a
lifetime ago. In fact, it had been, Izabella’s lifetime ago. His
name was Mark, “Marks are always so cute!” she remembered telling
a friend when she’d first met him. He was sweet, sincere, and
always had something romantic planned. She just knew they would
spend the rest of their lives together.

They hadn’t been dating for even three months when he asked
if they should get a place together. Knowing he was the perfect
guy, she didn’t hesitate to say yes. Their house was small, but
it was perfect for the two of them. In her mind, it was the dream
house. The one car they shared was hers from before they got
together. He didn’t work, but had been trying hard to find a place
that would cover all the bills that her inheritance didn’t take
care of. “Besides,” he told her, “I don’t want to rely on your money
to take care of us forever.”

They spent their summer enjoying themselves at a little beach
spot they had found in a vacation guide together. She had been
putting away plenty of money from her Grandfather’s gift from month
to month, and had quite a hefty sum put away at this point. So
she paid for everything out of her account. One night, they had
both had quite a few drinks, something Carolyn didn’t normally do
as it reminded her far too much of her parents. And Mark wanted
to grab another bottle of wine from the store across from the condo
they’d been staying at. She threw her bank card at him, and told
him the pin code. They had been going out for about 10 months, and
that was the last time she’d ever see him again.

She stayed an extra day at the beach, a part of her hoping that
he was just involved in some kind of accident, or kidnapped.
Anything other than the thought that he could have run. In tears
the next morning, she called a cab to take her back home. Everything
was gone when she’d gotten out of the cab and back to their dream
house. The television, all their dvds, but most importantly, all
her money. Everything she’d saved up, gone in an instant. She
kept kicking herself, “How could I be so STUPID!”

She started over from scratch, she still had her job, a meek little
print shop that she attended the front of as their receptionist. It
didn’t pay much, but it didn’t need to. But she decided to move
out of the house they had gotten together. Well, the house she
had gotten for them. Her car was gone with him, so she picked up
a little used one for the time being, telling herself that she
would get something better after she had some time to save again.
She closed her bank account, and started a new one, making sure
that the jerk lawyer from years ago put everything in the right
order again to have the money direct deposited into the new one.
It wasn’t long after she got everything organized and back in order
that she started getting sick in the mornings, and the afternoons,
and at night…

She decided on Izabella, it was the first ‘sweet’ name that popped
into her heart. Her Grandfather had always told her to go with
the first thing she thought of, it tended to be the better decision.
Although, she clearly thought more about things with a larger impact
on her life now. But Izabella felt right, and she couldn’t shy
away from that name after she’d thought about it.

She was born perfectly healthy, with only a handful of friends in
the waiting room, and no family at all. Carolyn felt truly happy
for the first time in her adult life. Nothing could take away the
feeling of elation she had deep within her.

Crying in the other room woke her from her thoughts. She rustled
with the sheets, practically throwing them off of her and the bed,
and made her way down the hall with a sippy cup of juice.

“Shhh… What is it Izzy?” She whispered as she cracked the door.

Standing in her bed, pointing into her closet, was Izabella. Her
sobbing began to relent as she eyed her mother. Her arms by
instinct went up, wanting to be held. Carolyn obliged with renewed
vigor, tired of being alone to her thoughts anyway.

“Izzy baby… calm down…” she spoke softly walking to the closet,
“there is nothing to be afraid of.” Closing the closet door all the
way, she walked back to the bed and sat down, holding Izzy against
her chest. Izabella’s crying died down, and soon became heavy breathing.
When Carolyn was sure that Izzy was back to sleep, she slipped her
hand behind her head, and laid her back into her bed.

“How nice it must be to be upset and still fall asleep…” she
sighed, grasping her rings. “I need to let this go. I can’t change
the past, and there is no way to relive it differently.” She squeezed
the rings once more, heard the clink of them tapping one another,
and let them hang once more around her neck.

Carefully cracking the bedroom door as she left, not wanting her to
wake again, and made her way back to her bedroom. Carolyn threw the
sheets back over herself and put her head down. “Lets give this another
try…” and closed her eyes. Carolyn pictured a brick wall, and
started to count the bricks. Just before passing out that night
her hand went back to her necklace, she played with the space between
the ring and the necklace. Not noticing that there was only one
around her neck now…