September 4, 2009


[Non]Fiction Friday!!!!

Alrighty, introducing the first of five themes I have come up with. This one is called, as I mentioned above, [Non]Fiction Friday. Friday posts will contain an excerpt from a piece of fiction or non-fiction. The excerpt will either be something by me or by some other famous (or obscure) author.

I won't necessarily post something every Friday, but I think this is a fun theme, so I'll try. I won't be writing everyday, most likely, but eventually you'll learn what each theme is. The basic idea of the themes is to give me something specific to talk about, thus (haha, thus) making it more likely for me to write more frequently.

I'll still do general life updates on the weekends for those of you who care to know what I'm doing with my life.

Now, without further ado, I give you [Non]Fiction Friday:

What's in a Name?
by Me

Sometimes I think back to the day, one year ago, when I left.


It was one of those hot summer nights where the only comfortable place to be was sitting out in your front yard. At that time, I was stuck with my mother, who spent so much time on our couch she sometimes blended in with its cushions.

She called herself a homebody; always told me it was nice to stay at home because everything was familiar. I was always the one who went out to the grocery store, the Laundromat, or to pay the bills that could not be sent by mail. She always said, “It’s easier for me to get things done around this house if I don’t have to go off running crazy errands.”

If you ask me, or anyone, the real reason was not convenience. She would not step a foot outside our door because her previous years of drugs use made her paranoid—her paranoia turned into agoraphobia.

The night I left is still so vivid in my mind—it’s almost as if it happened just yesterday. I came home from school a bit later than usual, but before I could explain, my mom was on me about not being around to get the food she needed for dinner.

When I finally got a word in, I told her I was late because I was in a meeting with my school principal and English teacher. An essay I had written for class won a contest and I had been invited to the winners’ reception in California. Before I could give any more details, she cut me off.

“No! We can’t afford it.”

I told her that everything was taken care of, food, hotel and airfare costs.

“Well…you’re just too young to fly halfway across the country.”

I argued with her. I argued that she never let me experience anything, never let me go anywhere worthwhile or participate in life.

“What’s wrong with your life here? You feel like you have to pack up and leave?”

I told her that I would only be gone for four days and again, that everything was free for us. I even pointed out that my principal and teacher would be there to chaperone.

“Its four days now. But next time it will be a week, then a month and then you’ll be gone and I’ll only see you when you come visit me for four days!”

I stared at her, unmoving, silent. I realized then that she never wanted me to leave. She wanted me to stay and be trapped inside that house, like her, forever. I looked at her face again; her forehead was wrinkled with worry and her eyes were glazed with tears; she was expecting a heartbreaking argument from her only child.

I knew if I gave in, I would become a lifer. I would be one of those girls who forgoes college and a career to work at the corner market and marry the son of some well-off townie.

It broke my heart to think that my mother had become so dependent upon me. Instead of arguing, I hugged her and went up to my room. I lied on my bed, stared at the ceiling and waited.

I waited until I heard her shut off the television and close her bedroom door. I waited until I thought she was sound asleep and when I figured she was, I grabbed a duffle bag, packed some essentials and snuck out the house.

As I walked down the street, I tried my hardest not to look back. It was tough though, I kept thinking about my mother’s face—how it looked earlier that night and how it would look when she realized I had gone AWOL. It upset me to picture her face when she figured it out.

I wondered what would clue her into it. When I didn’t walk through the door on time, would she go to my room and discover the random pictures missing? Would she see that I took the good luck charm she gave me on my seventh birthday from its resting place? Maybe the fact that I made my bed that night would be the first thing to confirm it for her.

Yes, it pained me so much to think of how she would react. Her only child gone—disappeared like a faint dream. The probability of her dropping dead upon realization was high. However, as selfish as it sounds, it pained me more to think of “living” in Bleecher, Oklahoma for the rest of my life.

My mom moved us to this town so I could avoid all of the temptations that she couldn’t. When I was younger, during a school break, my mom took me to see a play in the city. I fell in love with how fast paced and big everything was. For days, all I could talk about was going back. My mom saw the hunger in my eyes—we didn’t ever go back to the city, she wanted to keep me away from it as long as she possibly could.

I never was a small town girl, we both knew it, but knowing that didn’t make my leaving any easier—for either of us.

Well, there's about the first half of the story. Hope it didn't bore you, and if it can suck it. I'm mostly kidding ;)

Hopefully you guys enjoyed the first [Non]Fiction Friday. Stay tuned for the next themed blog: Moral Monday. I will be talking about a life lesson I'll be sure to teach my child (if I ever have (and by 'have', I mean adopt) one).

Stay tuned.


scribblesofdreams said...

I love the end where you had to double parenthesis that last sentence. :)

Themed blogs are fun. It does at least give you a focus for what you're writing about, other than the every day sort of things.

This piece reminds me of how my own mother likes to keep me close to home and control me. Goddamn. Anyways, I thought you laid out the dynamics of the daughter and mother really clearly. And it was neat how you didn't use any proper names in this little segment. I think I might've used a name-drop at one point, because for me it's a little hard to go so long without doing that.

Alessa said...

Wow, it's been a long time since I have read a blog this long from you. I like all these themed blogs... I might do one sometime... but probably not more than one of two.

I agree with Zaida, I like the double parenthesis... it made me laugh. The parenthesis, not the subject.

I think this is the first piece I have read of yours. I really like your writing style. I like how you picked Oklahoma... Anyway, I would like to read more.

Also, because I didn't see you yesterday CONGRATS!!!!! On making the cast! WAHOO!

Oh, and the word verification today is "cooki" no joke. It says "cooki" :)

Bryan said...

Jamika, I really like your story. I want to read the rest! The last paragraph made me think of 'don't stop believin', and then i thought of glee. you are totally not a small town girl :)

and, by the way, i care about your life, so you should keep posting things about your life as well!

Brittany Dalberg said...

I agree, I do care about your life, too. But I'm interested in where this story is gonna go. It's good thus far (haha, thus--I loved that).
I'm also excited for MORAL MONDAY WHOOT!