Tag Archives: work

A Frigidly Cold Shower

Beep! Beep! Smack! It was five in the morning. Too early for any college student to wake up but Jenny had a special reason. She had the amazing job of tending to the school’s special pony, Gypsy.

Rubbing her eyes, the hum of the heater came on but not too far away she could hear the incessant knocks on the stall door. Gypsy wanted breakfast and Gypsy wanted it now. But as far as Jenny was concerned, breakfast would have to wait until after her shower.

Scurrying into the bathroom, she turned the knob until a jet stream of frigidly cold water came blasting forth. She didn’t bother waiting for it to get warm and instead stripped down and aloud the rush of water over her ears drown out the noise from downstairs. She just wanted a minute to herself and she used that minute to try and jolt herself awake. After all, they say that a cold shower in the morning can do wonders to the body and mind. And so, it has become her ritual. But, she doesn’t linger too long just enough to perk up her eyes. If she prolonged Gypsy’s breakfast too much, he would probably bang open the stall door and amble up the stairs into the loft only to continue pounding on her bedroom door and her minute of peace.

It’s not to say that she didn’t love that little rascal but sometimes she dreamed of a day where he would learn to get his own oats and honey and not gobble down the whole tub. Someday her dream would come true but today Gypsy wasn’t about to grant her that wish.

© 2018 Jessica Santos

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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

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

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

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