Stepping On Shadows

(For those who are interested in Part 1 and Part 2, click the links.)

Stepping on Shadows
(aka Mayumi’s Story, Part III)
by Miles Rost

A business card with a number written on the back.

Mayumi found it on her counter, and she never noticed it before. She looked at it and twirled the card and the number around in her mind, thinking of where it may have come from.

In the intervening week between her emotional breakdown and the current time, she was able to get her mind back in order and was focused on moving on. She was pleased, but she knew that there was a lot of work to be repaired within her soul, her psyche. She refocused her efforts on developing her life away from the addiction to her ex. She felt as though things were finally starting to get level.

Saturday morning came quickly for her. More than a week after dealing with all those feelings, she felt like she was on solid ground. Which meant only one thing: Time to clean the house. She washed the dishes, cleaned the living room, and started cleaning off the stand-alone counter where she would have her mail and her dinner.

The card dropped from a stack of mail. Hidden among the junk mail was a business card for a garage that she used to take her vehicle when she was dating the idiot. She looked at the back of it and saw a number.

I wonder where this came from? I don’t remember asking for a card from the garage the last time, she thought to herself.

For a long time, she just sat at the bar and twirled the piece of paper over and over in her hand, debating about whether she should call the number and see what was at the other end, or whether she shouldn’t push it. The battle raged inside her head for a while, but eventually, her curiosity got the best of her logic, and she grabbed the house phone. She dialed the number on the card, and just waited nervously. After about three rings, the phone picked up.

“Hello? Who’s this?”

The voice was unmistakable. The annoyance found in the voice was immediately recognizeable.

She had mistakenly called the idiot in Western Australia.

She immediately hung up the phone and started to panic.

“I can’t believe it…WHAT the hell just happened?!?!” she shouted into the air.

She stood up and started to pace, figuring out how she was able to contact the idiot. She had been trying to get rid of him, and now all of a sudden, he was back…even for a moment.

Mayumi unplugged the phone from the wall socket, then walked over to the couch in the living room. She sat down, feeling incredibly nauseated by what just happened. She felt disturbed by it in a way she never felt before, and it was turning her in knots.

She laid down on the couch, the right sleeve of her sweatshirt covering her forehead, absorbing the sweat and the feelings of nausea rising off her head. In the few minutes that it took for her to blank her mind and do some cleaning in her head, she turned her head and looked next to her.

“Lord, ah don’t know what to do. I wanted to keep it away, but ah didn’t throw the card away. I kept it, and explored it.”

She looked back up at her ceiling, and shook her head. She asked for forgiveness in her mind, trying to ease the feeling of self-betrayal in her. As the minutes turned into hours, she felt her gut slowly become calm and her spirit start to rest. She felt a wave of peace come over her, as one thought crossed her mind.

It’s not the end, and not a start over. It’s a mere stumbling block, and you’ve gone past it. Keep running.

As her eyes slowly closed, taking Mayumi into dreamland, she realized that even with this problem, she would be able to still continue and survive. She could bank on that.

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Changing Tides

Changing Tides
(aka Mayumi’s Story, Part II)
by Miles Rost

The old pangs were just like torture.

The old desires, the old needs, all of them were trying to drop Mayumi in her tracks. And damn if she was going to let it.

It had been nearly three weeks since her ex-boyfriend was sent packing across the Outback on his motorcycle, with her hoping he’d never return. She examined herself fully to see how she was, and for the first couple of weeks, it seemed to be alright. She was getting by on her work at the radio station, spending lots of time working radio traffic during the week and hitting up the 7-10 shift at Shine FM on the weekends. With one day off on Mondays, it was a nice job to have, especially dealing with all the stuff she had to deal with.

What she didn’t expect was those old pangs coming back. The feelings that she had still stuck around, the residual mess that was left to be cleaned up.

The pangs were slow to creep up on her. Just a little reminder of the way her boyfriend used to hold her, at a time when she was vulnerable; or a little reminder of the gentle kiss that he’d give her while they watched wrestling on TV. Small things like these kept popping into her mind as the days progressed.

It was a Friday afternoon, and as she got home, that she felt the old feeling of loneliness and desire pop back into her life. The indicators were there before, however.

——

12:45PM, Friday

The papers were all stacked up on her desk. Inputs for commercials and liners were ready to be processed. She picked up one of the requests and started to write on the page. As the pen ran across the sheet of wood pulp, her knuckle started to ache. It was a small ache at first. As she processed each request, the ache got worse and her emotions started to run a bit higher. After a half an hour, she sat back and rubbed her hands across her face, ending with one going through her sandy-gray hair.

“Hey, Mayumi. You okay?”

Mayumi looked at her deskmate, Kelsey. A fresh-faced Sydney graduate, buxom and smart, Kelsey seemed to have a second sense to when problems were about to start.

“Yeah, Kel. Ah just have a lot on m’plate. That’s all.”

Kelsey looked at her through strands of her dark chocolate brown hair, and squinted.

“I don’t believe that for a second. In a half an hour, you can get through a stack like that on your desk. You’ve only gotten through half. What’s going on?”

Mayumi sighed, as she continued to process the paperwork.

“Ah’m just still dealing with my ex.”

“I see. Still haven’t been able to let him go, have ya?”

“Ah let him go. It’s just hard to let the memories fade, y’know.”

Kelsey pursed her lips, as she thought carefully. The brunette scratched her hair with a pencil, while she thought.

“It was two weeks ago, right? And how long were you together.”

“Yeah. And we were “together” for over 8 years. High school sweethearts and all that junk.”

“Ow,” Kelsey grimaced, a slight twinge of pain going through her face.

Mayumi sighed and looked at her friend.

“What’s bad is that ah know when my emotions are overwhelming me. The aching in my knuckle tells me.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, ever since ah had this depressive episode back in ’06. Whenever ah have too much emotion, and ah’m about ready to cry or needing to release, it screams at me.”

“Maybe you should take the rest of the day off. I mean, you haven’t taken a day in the year I’ve been here, and you are probably going through some major league withdrawal if it was that bad.”

Mayumi thought about it for a few moments, and looked at her paperwork. She did get part of it done already, but she didn’t want to leave until she finished her work.

Kelsey looked at her again, and sighing audibly, she put her hands out. She told her, without words, ‘Give them to me. You need rest’.

After a few moments of writing the last page on her desk, she gave the stack of papers to her sympathetic comrade and registered her sick leave request with the manager. Getting it approved. she popped into her vehicle and raced home.

—-

She was already into the apartment when she dropped her keys on the floor. She didn’t even notice them, as she stumbled into her ornately decorated bedroom. Falling upon the bed, she grabbed a full length pillow and hugged it tightly. Tears started to flow down her face, dropping it’s salty emotion onto the sleeve of her light silk blouse. She held onto the pillow for dear life, as her mind raced through the emotions that were bombarding her from all direction.

She cried as she recounted the feeling of his touch on her skin, the longing of wanting that touch on her body. The warmth of his hands on each of her shoulders was still firm in her mind.

Mayumi’s mind was in agony as she went through all sorts of memories. She didn’t know what to do with all of them, with all the extra energy that she had without directing so much of it toward her idiot ex. The “good memories” were the ones that caused her the grief she was experiencing, though at times the bad memories came surging upward, forcing a scream into her pillow as she recounted the numerous numbers of abusive barbs.

You’re not worth the time, Yumi.

That was the one that hurt the most for her. It was one of the last things that the idiot said to her the night before he left for parts unknown. 8 long years, and she had her time wasted.

She screamed out curses at his name, at the memories as the tears poured down her face like a mini-waterfall. Her blouse was becoming soaked with her tears, just like the pillow she held onto.

All of the desire that she had, the lust of her heart, the pain and memories, flowed out of her. The pain in her finger throbbed at all the emotion coming from her.

The culmination of the three weeks of stress and all the old feelings had burst forth from it’s prison. As she sank into what would be called a deep sleep, in the last vestige of her consciousness, she saw a vision of an old tree chopped into firewood, and a hole filled with dirt.

Finally, she was facing all those emotions head on. And the healing would begin in earnest.

The Beginning of Something New (aka “Supernova”)

The Beginning of Something New
(aka
Supernova)
By Miles Rost

New feelings were always so hard to understand.

Coming out of a mentally abusive relationship was not one of the plans that Mayumi Shiomi had in mind for the weekend. She hoped to have done that earlier in the week, so she could heal over the weekend and not have to deal with the crying she would ultimately do at work.

The 22-year old was finally able to say goodbye to the abuse she took. Seeing her old boyfriend leave on his motorcycle for the other side of Australia was a relief for her. Now that the hound was away, “The Fox” was likely ready to play.

She looked at herself in the mirror quickly, but after a few moments looking away from the mirror, she decided to take an inventory.

Ah need to do this, she thought, Since the old baka won’t be back in West Penfield, Ah have to see what’s left.

The large bathroom allowed her the comfort of being able to walk around and not worry about being in an enclosed space. She made sure of that when she bought the new townhouse. With all the room , she would be able to get a good view of what she looked like now.

The young woman looked at herself in the full length mirror, hung delicately on the wall close to the shower. She ran her hand through the short, incredibly light brown hair that she wore. It was a good look on her, seeing as she kept it since the middle of high school. It also helped her when she had to deal with drinking a bit much, as having too much hair would mean vomit smell constantly.

She gazed at her reflection, the face that people called a “Kitsune” face. She didn’t care much for her nickname of “The Fox”, but she was willing to live with it as it did adequately describe her normal, everyday look. At least, what the look used to be before she was involved with the baka. She did have beautifully colored hazel eyes, but they rarely were seen as she had a constant squint to her eyes. It was part of “The Fox” charm that people knew.

She analyzed the rest of her visage, noting that her body still had the curves that she inherited from her Australian mother’s side of the family. She was definitely a beauty, and she knew it. She knew that guys would look at her and immediately fall at her feet, even knowing that her reputation kept pointing to the phrase “Dangerous Curves Ahead”. She did a slight wiggle, and smiled.

Yep, ah still got it!

She drew a breath, as she pulled a chair to her. As she sat down, she looked in the mirror, directly into her own eyes.

The hardest part of her analysis was about to come.

She was fine on the outside, but she needed to take an inventory of her inside. She needed to look at her mind, her spirit, and the wholeness of her being on the inside of the beautiful shell.

“Alright, Mayumi, how’re ya doing?”

She looked at herself as she waited for her spirit to answer, while her heart blazed a thousand words a second describing how good it was that she was free of the bastard that hurt her. She snickered that her heart would be the first one to send off the signals of relief. Her spirit would be the one that she would need to focus on, as her relationship had gone on for very long time.

“Are ya ready to get movin’ on with life?”

Somewhere within her spirit, a peace that was indescribable finally appeared to her. It was like it was saying, “You will be healed, be free.”

Her mind, however, was the one that raced through a million possibilities about why things would go wrong. Her mind, the one part of her being that just would never shut up. It was where the biggest attack on her would come from, and she knew this was a possibility.

She looked at herself in the mirror again, leaning forward in the chair to get a closer look at her face. She knew she didn’t need the baka, but everytime she tried to quit him, she’d always go looking for him again. She never realized that a lot of her problems surrounding him were less about her and more about a part of her past that had since been rectified. She realized this, and said the only thing that she could.

“Lord, ah think it’s time for me to get livin’. Ah need your help to get through this.”

It was the best prayer she could think of, seeing as she was now able to be restored to a condition that would be perfect for her.

She was about to continue analyzing herself when she heard a loud buzzing sound. She forgot about her phone, and the alarm that was set for 5PM. She had two hours to get over to Shine FM, a relatively new radio station broadcasting to the suburbs of Sydney, including West Penfield. The job she held, for such a long time, was one of the saving graces that helped her in the dealings with her baka boyfriend.

“Time for this girl to get herself on the air,” she said to the mirror, putting on a smile that would show that “The Fox” was back on the stalk.

Today was the first day of her new life, a new air of freedom. She would never go back to that baka again, and she would most certainly spend a lot more time on the things that she loved.

“Lookout, world. Ahm back!” She said, giving her reflection a wink.