Tag Archives: Stories

Hear Us, Love Us, Rescue Me

America’s greatest holiday and he’s away. Away on vacation with a family of his own? Some may consider it as such others call it his duty and right.

Meanwhile, I lie awake at night tossing and turning. I haven’t heard from him and I don’t expect to not for the next few days at least. You see, we’re on a schedule. Only once a week am I graced with his scruffy quiet voice as he whispers into my ear. But that’s only through an earpiece.

Seeing each other would be catastrophic and not for us but for the family who depends on him. The weight of the world is on his shoulders and I wouldn’t wish that feeling on my worst of enemies. It destroys a being, makes them lose their self. The small glimpses I see of him, I see the struggle.

Secretly, he wants to run away to the coast or to the tippy top of a mountain far from the demands of another. But, his knapsack holds him back. It’s filled with the memories and keepsakes of thousands depending on him.

So, he can’t come at my beck and call. He can’t lay by my side at peace. But, together, on opposite sides of the world, we can stare into the sky looking at the same sun, the same moon where I will pray for the slightest ease of pain that he may feel from a blast only feet away. And he will pray for the silence that the world must beg for.

Maybe together, he’ll come home someday.

Until then, I keep the porch light on and the bed warm so that when he does return, he’s more than welcomed to rest his weary spirit.

© 2017 Jessica Santos

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A Mother Knows

It was the day before her tenth birthday and all the women sat around an old oak table. She listened closely around the corner as they began to mingle and gossip. The oldest talked about the past and hopes for the youth. The youngest shared their pain and hopes for the old.

Story after story was brought up until Mama finally spoke. Her ears strained to listen but she didn’t have to wait long.

“My baby is turning ten tomorrow and it only feels like yesterday I was rocking her to sleep,” Mama said.

“Come now. She’s still your little one,” assured Mama’s sister.

“Yes, but it isn’t long before she goes off to college,” Mama answered with worry in her voice.

“Sshh…child. She takes after her mother and is already following in your foot steps,” Grandmother said softly.

She pulled her ear away and tilted her head. She looked behind her and down at her feet. How did they know she was following Mama’s footsteps? How was that a good thing?

Curious to know the answer, she ran out from her hiding place and into Great Grandmother’s lap.

The little girl looked into each of the women’s eyes and asked, “Why is it a good thing I’m following Mama’s footsteps?”

Great Grandmother chuckled, “Because your mother is a hard worker and has come a long way. She’s doing well for herself. Don’t you want to do well too?”

Squirming under the watch of the women, the little girl nodded her head shyly and probed, “But, why must I follow her footsteps? Why can’t I create my own?”

Shaking her head in good humor, her mother stretched out her hand for her baby. The little girl walked over to her and Mama kissed her atop the head before saying, “She doesn’t mean that you won’t make your own footsteps. You can zig and zag as much as you want. Just don’t forget to come home to these arms, okay?”

The little girl’s eyes shone bright as she nodded her head and kissed Mama on the cheek. But before she ran off, Mama caught a glimpse of the many generations of women in their family and she knew that her baby would be just fine for the years to come.

© 2016 Jessica Santos

Her Little Secret

“Sshh,” she whispered.

Behind her, he paused in the doorway and watched as she bent over her overnight bag whispering softly to it.

He stood there for a bit but eventually shuffled his feet causing the wooden floor boards to creek alerting her to his presence. She hurriedly shut her bag and stowed it away beside his dresser drawer then spun around.

Innocently, she plastered a smile on her face and went to sit on the bed. But, her attempts to draw his attention away failed as he curiously walked over to her things.

He bent down and picked up her bag. He was about to unzip it when she rushed over and took it from him.

With worried eyes, she looked up at him and shook her head hugging her bag close to her heart. He didn’t say anything and instead crawled into bed leaving her to put it back.

When she did, she unzipped it and peered into its contents shaking her head and mumbling under her breath, “No…not tonight, not yet.”

Deciding to give her some privacy and a little bit of trust, he flipped over on his back and shut his eyes. She soon joined him on the bed and shut the light signaling for him to roll over and hold her close.

But, when he did, he felt something small and soft within her arms.

He kissed the back of her neck and whispered softly into the night, “Whose your friend?”

Instantly, he felt her instinctively squeeze whatever it was that she held closer to her. She didn’t say anything and he didn’t push her.

In the morning though, she had flipped over and was resting her head upon his chest with an old stained worn out plush dog resting in her arms. He smiled and chuckled softly to himself before kissing her awake.

She had forgotten about the toy but was soon reminded when he lifted his hand and patted the dog on the head.

Blushing, she hid her face behind her old best friend. But, he gently picked the toy up in his hands and turned it to face her.

Then, softly, he brushed the tip of Snow’s nose along her cheek much like any other dog would.

Years later, as she left the same bedroom one morning with their hungry four year old mutt, he picked up Snow from a chair sitting just within reach. He remembered how she once couldn’t bare to sleep without her and always reminded him of how she always wanted a dog for her own. It was then that she came back into the room and saw her in his hands.

She smiled at her childhood toy and sat beside him on the bed. He instinctively turned Snow to face her and just as he had done the very first day, he brushed her nose along her cheek only this time it was to wipe the tears away.

© 2016 Jessica Santos

More to a Burger

He texted me in the middle of his class. I had just gotten off work and was already feeling pretty beat but the minute I saw his message, I smiled. It wasn’t just a small one either. It was one of those big ear to ear grins where you look up wondering if anyone saw you smiling at your phone. He had texted me asking if I was in the mood to eat a burger.

As ridiculous as that sounds to smile at, I feel no sense of embarrassment. You see, I barely ever indulge in something juicy and fatty, but the minute he offers, I am the first to tag along. Yet, truth be told, that day wasn’t a day for indulgence. It was a day to curl up and listen to him whisper sweet nothings.

But, what a woman wants translates differently. This could be because there aren’t many of us who follow the rule of being direct. No matter, on that particular day, I had mentioned to him how I wanted to curl up in bed with him.

Obviously though, he twisted it to mean something a little differently. Perhaps a guys way of solving those bouts of neediness is through food.

Either way, I could be completely wrong but at least I didn’t have to cook. Instead, I was able to sit back, eat, talk and NOT think about cleaning up afterwards.

When we had finished, I knew he was going to head home; but before he did, he took me by the hand and led me into the bedroom. He began to take off his shoes and belt before checking his phone. I took that as my cue to hang my own belt and turn on the lamp.

Not bothering to check my phone, I set it aside and crawled atop the bed. I laid like that for a second before my needs clawed to the surface and I reached out and pulled him down beside me. He could check his phone while holding me after all.

But, he was a smart one.

Immediately, he shut the screen off, set it beside mine and pulled me closer to him.

Like a puppy, I found the perfect spot in the crook of his arm and rested my eyes as we began to whisper back and forth. We didn’t stay like that for long but as I’m thinking back to that moment, I can’t help but consider the fact that he did more than answer my want.

He answered my need.

© 2016 Jessica Santos

Midnight Surprises

Its midnight and high above is a full moon. Since its summer time, the windows are rolled down allowing the cool night air wisp into the car and surround my sun kissed skin. Although I’m not driving, I can feel the change of gears as my driver encourages the Aston to go even faster.

There are no cops to stop us and most wouldn’t even bother to try. We’re going to fast for anyone to catch up but speed is not the purpose for this drive. I wanted to get out and have some fun. He wanted to feel my enticing vibes. So before we knew what we were getting into, the engine was revving and my hair was billowing out behind me.

But I’m not afraid; I’m far from it. I feel invincible. I am invincible. No harsh words or cruel acts can turn me away. I am full throttle in motion.

Smiling I glance out to the ocean side and my gaze is met with an astonishing sight. With the moon high in the sky and the bright lining shining below, the ocean looks like a bluish tinged glass. Calm waters and a quiet sea lap upon the shore inviting me in for a dip but for now I refuse.

This is not my destination. Not yet.

Turning my gaze into the car, I look upon my driver. He’s handsome, sweet, generous and he knows how to make an engine purr. Who wouldn’t want to be sitting next to a guy like him? I know his stories, his fears, his hopes and dreams but the one thing I’m unsure about is his plan.

I got into the car without saying where to take me and he drove without whispering a word on location. What a pair we are. Silently he knows what I need and curiously I watch for clues. Slowly, I see signs pass by me but with every knowledgeable white post we pass, the more and more I become confused.

Where are we going?

Since my curiosity can’t stay quiet any longer I break our silence and ask but I’m met with a grin and offered more silence. Knowing he will not budge, I take what I can get and resume my cat-like position waiting for more white posts.

As time ticks by, my eyes slowly droop and I slip down into my seat. Curling up, I find warmth nestled against the back of my seat and begin to fall asleep until suddenly I feel the gears shift downwards and we begin to decelerate. Excited I jump back up and look around.

Nothing. Not a single light or even the sight of an ocean.

The rustling of leaves draws my attention to the right of the car but swiftly a breeze caresses my hair and I soon watch as my driver parks the car. The headlights are off but somehow he knows exactly what to do.

Watching him, I at last realize the fear that he holds deep within him. I don’t know what he has to fear but if such a great man is in fear then naturally I feel the same as well. Alert, I steadily listen to every rustle of leaves, breath exhaled and bodily movement. My driver soon gets out of the car and beckons me to stay put. Without a fight, I remain in the car as he jogs up to my door and opens it for me.

Shocked, I take a moment to look into his caring brown eyes before I collect my loosely knit white cardigan and swing my legs out to the side of the car to step out. Grass tickles the edges of my feet as I walk around the door pulling the cardigan on. As soon as I’m away from the door, he softly shuts it behind me and guides me to a path.

Leaning into me slightly, he whispers sweet nothings in my ear before he kisses the left temple of my forehead. Then he holds me close and together we follow the path. The more we walk, the more I can feel my driver becoming confident. But just when I thought he had nothing to fear, I see a house in the distance.

All is still except a dim flicker of light that bounces off the walls and out through a window to the right of the house. Thinking that someone is inside and we’re trespassing, I come to a halt but my driver insists that I move forward. So I take a few more steps more until I’m a couple feet away from the stairs leading to the front porch and beyond that the big French double doors.

Scared, I stop again and begin to wonder about ghosts, witches and evil spirits. After all, it’s the perfect place and perfect set up. Once more I look to my driver, but all I see is kindness and trust in his eyes which leads me to sink further against his comforting side. He feels my uneasiness and kisses the top of my head as he holds me closer and gently pushes me along.

Climbing the stairs, I hear muffled laughter. Clinging closer to my driver I cautiously approach the door. As he reaches out to unlock the door with a small silver shiny key, I slowly shrink away deeper into his side. Then, right when the door lock was released, he swung the door open. Immediately, lights flare on and a number of people, whom I quickly recognized, jumped up screaming and shouting, “Happy Birthday!”

© 2014 Jessica Santos