Posted by: Amanda | February 2, 2011

“Real” Writing No. 1: Samantha

Part of the point of this blog is for me to post some of my “real” writing here and not just soak it in useless ramblings. I’ve included January’s post below even though it’s already February. A little background on this story. Crazy characters get into my head sometimes. This particular character’s name is Samantha. Every time I tried to take a shower for about a month straight, she haunted me to the point that I cried when she tried to tell me her story. (Now, you think I’ve really lost it, right? But, hey, 2011 is all about being real. So this is me being real.) I kept putting her off, but I finally let her tell more of her story. I think parts of her story are still in progress somewhat, but the excerpt posted below seems complete enough to share.



The first one happened while I was in the shower. I pumped three squirts of shampoo into my palm and lathered it into my hair, creating a foam wig on top of my head. The water was warm, not too hot, though.

I leaned my head back to rinse. As I squinted my eyes shut, I felt it. An odd cramp in my lower abdomen. It hit hard, but then it went away. Running my fingers through my hair, which had gotten long and unruly, just the way Jack liked it, I kept rinsing. When my hair was clear of avocado-coconut bubbles, I  opened my eyes.

It was the darkness and brightness of the color– all at once–that grabbed my throat. Blood, bright and dark red, swirled in the shower floor. I quickly followed its trail backward, along the curve of my calf, up my leg to my inner thigh. It steadily trickled.

I screamed, but no one heard me. Jack had already left for work. An elementary teacher, I had the summer off. I quickly got out of the shower, the water still running, and grabbed a towel. I tried to wipe the blood from my leg. By the time I ran to my cell phone on my dresser, the blood gushed from inside me, from somewhere deeper inside than I’d ever dreamed existed.

11 weeks, just barely enough to know. I stuck a towel between my legs, fumbling with the numbers, finding the doctor’s emergency number in my contacts list, wondering if I should call Jack first.

The second time it happened, one year to the date later, I was at a party, talking with friends around the cocktail table, not drinking a cocktail like the other 14 or so people. Ginger ale for me with a twist of lime. Everyone giggled.

15 weeks. I’d made it past that ugly 13-week mark, the date that teases just outside, taunting you with sunshine–a safety net waiting to catch you to break the fall. My bladder filled quickly. I excused myself. The gals giggled again. Another mark of my 15-week triumph: frequent pitstops.

I sat my ginger ale with a twist of lime on a black-and-white Eiffel Tower coaster on a  side table and went into the restroom. I pulled my panties down, and it was a faintness this time that sliced my heart. Rusty-colored, not more than a smear, but still blood, it stained the crotch of my Victoria’s Secret panties. They were white bikinis with tiny yellow ducks on them. A cute, sexy mama gift from Jack the day after we found out. I sucked in my breath and denied everything. But I knew.

The third time it happened, I guess I was sort of expecting it. It’s not that I had lost faith, but I felt as if this were my lot in life. Maybe I had lost faith.

I sat in the waiting area at the women’s clinic, a new one for this time around. Dr. Martinez, a specialist for those like me–high-risk. Gray chairs lined up like infantry. The big clock on the wall next to the door stared at me. I heard my name. Samantha. I stood and walked to the door to the smiling, overweight, strawberry-blonde nurse in Froot Loops scrubs.

Quick vitals from the nurse. Blood pressure fine, pulse fine. Before the doctor would see me, she wanted a preliminary ultrasound. I followed her to the dark room. 8 weeks, she said, looking at my chart. You’ll need to undress from the waist down. I did, feeling the table cold on my bare skin.

As the technician slid the ultrasound wand into me, I knew. The whisper was gone. I first heard it the day I dipped the stick in my pee. It was only a whisper, but I heard it. Two weeks ago, the faintest whisper blew away in the wind, and I felt it leave me. The life that might have been.

I’m sorry, I hear. The wand is frantic, moving harder inside me, side to side, sweeping my insides searching for anything, looking for that whisper. But I know it’s gone. I’d heard it leave.

I dream of them sometimes. Sometimes they wear long white dresses. Beautiful, raven-haired girls with Jack’s green eyes. But their skin is thinner than paper. I can see right through them. They hold hands and float through a field of flowers and butterflies. Ghosts.

Sometimes I see their backs, long black hair, tangled with weeds. They turn, and their faces shock me. Their empty eyes, not green,  not really any color, have dark circles under them. The lips are so pale, it’s hard to see them. They don’t smile or frown either. Sadness and loneliness overcomes them. They are holding hands, but they are so alone. Then, sores appear all over their hands, their arms, their faces. The sores ooze a pale blood, thinner than water until they wash away in it.

Other times, they are drowning. The three of them hold hands, wading out into ankle-deep water. I’m sitting on the bank, laughing as they splash. Then, there’s a current, quick and fierce. It grabs them. They struggle, gasping but still holding hands. I jump into the water, but I’m too late. They disappear into the water.




  1. I just reread this, and it’s even better than I remembered.

  2. You are too nice, Craig.

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