February 2020 Point Place Writer’s Group

Drabble — Spontaneous and Duplicate

In the few years leading up to my daughter’s birth, I was an ambitious artist. Group and solo shows, creative projects — I conquered it all. It felt amazing, but the spontaneous road trips that occasionally followed a show created some of my favorite memories with my husband. 

After a show in Chicago, we ended up spending the night in the UP. We took a walk on the beach and it was snowing these beautiful, fat flakes. We once drove to Niagara Falls after a show in Cleveland. It was never planned and we usually bought toothbrushes at a gas station. I long for that sense of adventure again.

There have been so many times where I’ve wished to duplicate those memories but now we are creating new, equally awesome memories with our daughter.

Writing Prompt – Your fingers tensed around the object in your pocket, ready to pull it out at a moment’s notice.

She was always there — staring, watching, lurking. I was never alone. Coming to work was torture. It’s my dream job but I was on the verge of quitting.

I work in the mental health field as well as struggle with a mental illness myself. I personally understand what it’s like to be symptomatic and I’m empathetic with the clients I work with.

But this one was different.

There comes a point where a mental health worker must consider their own safety and well being and I was definitely there. The client was banned from our program and I haven’t seen her since.

I am still licking my wounds. My optimism and trust in people are waning. I’m anxious and hypervigilant. When I walk to my car, my fingers are tensed around my small bottle of pepper spray, ready to pull it out at a moment’s notice.

I will never be the same.

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