Tender is the Night

It was late like it was most nights. But he had just walked in the door. He heard the soft stream of music coming from their living room so he knew she was in one of her moods.

Dropping his things by the door, he took off his shoes and followed the music. He peered in the large room and found a glass of wine half drunk resting on the coffee table and Charles, their dog, sitting up on the rug begging to be carried.

She was swaying to and fro as each rhythmic beat throbbed into her chest. Her cheeks were slightly flushed and her eyes were bright and weary. A glow seemed to cascade around her as he dimmed the lights and joined her on the imaginary dance floor.

He took her hand and spun her slowly as the song gently changed. She pulled in close to him and he held her tight neither wanted to let the other go. But as they swayed and twirled into the night, the candle she lit earlier began to flicker.

They were no longer alone as their shadows danced along beside them. Still, they remained oblivious to the other couple as they began to pull apart and gaze into mirroring eyes.

She tentatively reached up and touched his unshaven cheek. He smiled and watched her eyes begin to droop heavily. He knew that she didn’t want to end their moment, so he turned the music down then bent to pick her up.

He cradled her against his chest and rocked her in his arms then carried her off to bed when her eyes fluttered shut. Charles followed close behind and when she was placed under the covers, he snuck under the comforter and curled up in her arms.

Instinctively, she wrapped her arms around the precious dog and pulled him closer. But before she drifted asleep, she whimpered softly begging for her lover’s arms too.

With the music still playing in the background, he undressed and slipped under the covers. He heaved a satisfactory sigh and slid closer to her warmth.

Comforted by his presence, she pushed herself against his chest to further intoxicate her senses and in response, he kissed her neck and stroked Charles’ sleepily heaving sides.

Back in the living room, the sweet smell of the wine infused with the warm quiet air. The other couple danced their last dance and soon the candle flickered out. The music continued to play gently through the night and somewhere in a dream the first couple continued their night.

© 2017 Jessica Santos

My Shiny, Shiny Little Pebble Drop

Oh, my shiny, shiny little pebble drop
You fell from the sky and into my palm
Sliding over my tough, tough skin
You are so delicate, so fragile
But, in the sun, you shine so bright
You mirror what you see
So, as I stare into you
You stare back at me
Oh, my shiny, shiny little pebble drop
When I let you slip through my fingers
You fall like you fell from the sky and into my palm
But, now you are joined by many, many others
Oh, my shiny, shiny little pebble drop
You fell from the sky and into my palm
And I let you drip into a puddle
Where you glisten ever brighter
So that as the world stares at you
You can mirror the world

–  Jessica Santos

© 2017 Jessica Santos

Reminisce and Resolute

Soon the vast internet will be filled with New Year’s Resolutions about hopes and prayers but for now there are some deep in thought. We are not pondering the future or the present like many would tell us to do. We are reminiscing in the past.

This year has brought many hardships and happy tears. People have moved on to the heavenly skies and others have fell below the cracks. Some have learned how to walk, talk and sulk. Others are struggling to be.

Each and every one of us have experienced those struggles as well as many accomplishments even those who have just been born. They surpassed many obstacles in the womb only for more to be thrown at them. Perhaps they haven’t even left one battle yet. Perhaps they are like those of us who are in a constant battle to survive.

But the fact remains that we have endured this year with all of its death, tears, scratches and bruises.

We need to remember this year, not forget it. And that means we need to remember those who died in battle and all of those who were left forgotten. They showed us how human we are. They helped pave the road towards our humanity and that is our constant war because as we are drinking away the pain, blood and deceit, the road turns into black ice where we slide and eventually crash head first into the metal guard rails. That can’t be our fate.

So instead of raising a glass of bubbly champagne to the new year, I will raise a glass of water to my past and honor what I have learned. I will remember all of the terrible, neglectful and hurtful moments as well as the beauty, the joyful and the cherished moments so that this new year will be like none other.

Happy New Year 2017 and Congratulations 2016 for a year full of rewarding memories.

© 2016 Jessica Santos

2016: A Year for Health

This morning I awoke with the full intent to go to the mall and walk amongst the hundreds of people rushing around. They would think that I was like them doing some last minute christmas shopping but it’s not true. I actually would be there as a method of distraction from my own problems.

My day did not go as planned though. Instead, I went through fits of depression and anxiety. The only time I wasn’t crying was when I buried myself in funny little clips on YouTube. I could only be distracted for a few videos though before I began staring at the clock.

Watching the hands tick by, I was reminded of how slow and how fast time could be. It only seemed like yesterday was January but I blink and see that my phone flashes the code “DEC”. I look at the hour hand though and pray for it to spin around faster.

Meanwhile, there’s a stinging itch and temperature flux as my body reminds me of the ailments that afflict it. I call my doctor for some medication and as soon as we hang up, I burst in tears.

Then, before I know it, my fingers dial a number that is permanently seared into my brain, my mother. She answers and immediately asks, “What’s wrong?” But, all she hears are my quiet sobs as the realization slowly hits me.

At this point, I’m staring at the pill bottles lining my dresser drawer and the calendar on my laptops bright white screen.

Through the tears and desperation, I hear my mom’s clear voice ring out demanding an answer. She’s not the type who coddles or speaks all too kindly to one so damaged. So, I swallow the frog in my throat and as fresh air inflates my lungs, the truth spills out.

It’s a truth that I’ve been holding back afraid that the two closest people would walk away from me. As I pour those words out into the empty space before me, I realize how ridiculous my fear is.

For the entirety of this year, 2016, I have either been sick, in pain or tensed and ready for a new wave. I hardly received a break long enough to relax weary muscles or grow mentally. Even now, I’m fighting for my health.

No one should have to live like this where you can’t even remember the last time you were healthy and not in fear of some crippling recurring pain.

But, I’m not sharing this to gain any wishes or long overdue phone calls. I’m okay. I promise I’m taking my medication and actively seeking a solution. I no longer stare at sharp objects begging for it all to end.

I stare at the mirror now. I hardly recognize myself and I haven’t even started taking the one medication that is life altering. But, I know that I’ll be okay. After all, I have a mother who can be so distant  but when I need her she knows exactly what to do and instantly awakens from her slumber charging at any threat. And, I have my best friend, my partner who is busy working hard but never forgets to give me the constant patience and understanding that I need even in the darkest of storms.

My whole world is far from what I imagined and hoped it would be but nothing always goes as planned. You can fall and cry. You can even get lost and muddy along the way. No matter what though, you can’t stop. You’ve come this far and there’s still a whole lot more that is left unknown. So you’ll be okay and don’t forget those fighting alongside you. They’ve come this far with you too and that must mean something so focus on the road of recovery because they’re not going anywhere and neither should you.

© 2016 Jessica Santos

The Silent Killer is NOT (Just) Cancer

Lurking within me is a beast waiting for the right time. And like its prey, I have little to no warning of when it will emerge. But best be reassured that there is no way of escape. Like Cancer, there is no cure or way for peace; but, few seek a resolution and instead many must suffer.

Little know or have even heard of this thing that will forever control my life. To some, it is considered “the Silent Killer” and to others it is much worse as some, like myself, considered death to be a relief. The pain alone becomes so strong so as to cause one to stare lovingly, longingly at any breakable or sharp object.

Then there is one’s diet. Remember all the foods traditionally savored and enjoyed, like ice cream, cake, cookies, candy, there are even more that one must deny the pleasure of consuming. All are a special case but all crave for a whispering taste of any deliscious morsel.

And I can’t forget one of the most fought for natural right of one’s womenhood. Because if we dare to consider the thought of children, then we must prepare for a long hard battle that many fail to ever win though some do. Yet, it is through many attempts, calculations, drugs and tears that such a feat is obtained.

Do not forget though that often those who are deadly end up become secretly passed along so as many after may suffer through similar difficulties.

A sure sign of such is the taunt and glances of many upon another whose looks are not entirely of the norm. Those, like myself, are all too familiar with the daily battles against one’s own hair as this beast enjoys to lay its tail like a mustache upon our upper lip. Its hair could also be shed upon other parts of our body so as to create an art peice of its own.

But who is this artist? this mastermind? this beast? It is none other than Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

If any knows of its slow death then it is well known that it not only gives physical torment but mental too. For how can one continue with life, when many only offer temporary aid. Is it not better to succomb to the beast’s ultimate wish? Is that the only way for relief?

© 2016 Jessica Santos