Posts tagged ‘future’

Few Regrets

by: Rebecca Taylor

Live a life of few regrets

The time for taking chances stands before you

The clock turns slowly but steadily

Outcomes may be unexpected

But attempts for future successes are most important

Leading yourself to your own triumph

Is always a win.

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The Glue

by: Rebecca Taylor

When the glue no longer sticks

And the strength fades away

When what you have in front of you

Is no longer the thing of yesterday

Do you pick up the pieces

And try once again

Do you cling to the past

Or can the future be embraced

Is it possible to have both

Even with new glue

Cracks and creases still remain

A foundation never the same.

Hair dye, who am I?

It mattered, I had tried telling myself that it didn’t and I could move on. But the the truth was, I couldn’t hide from the way I felt about my hair.

The blond dye just wasn’t working for me. I used to have a dark brown hair and I had decided to try out this new color one day. I studied myself in the mirror and then went to apply my mascara, thinking that if my makeup looked good maybe no one would notice my weird hair color.

Who was I kidding? I loved the attention I got for a new hair color. I absolutely soaked them up with cutsie little “thank you’s” and a giddy smile.

Of course, it wasn’t really the hair that I was concerned about. I was worried about who I was and who I wanted to be. I was concerned about my appearance and how I wanted to come across. Maybe I was too focused on what other people thought but I didn’t know how to evaluate myself a different way.

I supposed I did know. I knew that my self-approval needed to come from the inside. It needed to come from the fact that Jesus made me in his image and he loved me more than any person on earth could ever love me. Some days this seemed like an easy task. Jesus loved me and that was all I needed.

But other days I just wanted someone to approve of who I was. I wanted someone on earth to show me their love. I wanted to be successful and famous and yet humble and kind.

I wanted it all.

Yet all I had was a new “do” and some fresh shampoo and conditioner for dyed hair. I finished with my makeup and fluffed my hair.

I looked in the mirror and told myself “Jesus loves you” and then left the room. Maybe this dye would help out after all.

Paintings and People

One day,

I won’t know you anymore

Nothing about me

Will still be familiar

To you…and nothing

About you

Will make me feel better

It simply won’t be

Like it is now

 

That painting on the wall

The one where

Vermeer painted

His hometown

And called it,

“View of Delft”

Yes, the one where

I can look at it

And lose myself

 

That painting

Won’t even remind me

Of how you’d make fun of me

And my “alternate universes”

But even if it does hold

A touch of the memory

It will be more the feelings

Of knowing you

But not the certainty

Of the friendship

We have now

 

Because

Like it or not

One day,

I won’t know you anymore

 

Despite your protests,

I only speak a truth

One I have yet to accept

Because right now,

The painting still

Reminds me of you

And our memories

 

It reminds me of how

I still know you today

But come one day

In the future

I won’t know you anymore

Balancing Act

by: Rebecca Taylor

Three months into first semester at Prospects College in the Police Foundations program Adam Morissey was exhausted.

“Adam, Adam, wake up, don’t fall asleep in the spaghetti,” said his father John.

“Sorry, Dad, I guess I haven’t been sleeping very well lately. I’m busy.

“You’re doing too much. I saw your hockey coach last night. Why didn’t I know about your second job? Boy, why didn’t you tell me that you had this much work to do, you’ve got a very full plate and I don’t know how you do any of it anymore, your mind has got to always be on something else,” said John.

“But…I’ve got to do this, I need the money, the hockey I’ve been doing all my life and the school is my future career. I didn’t want you to worry about me, that’s why I didn’t tell you about working at the hardware store,” answered Adam.

“Son, you’ve got to make some choices. You can’t do it all. Twelve hours a week at O’Dell’s Hardware, your weekends at my storage firm and still you’re playing hockey and going to school, it’s too much for anybody.”

“I’ve got to do it, Dad, it’s my life.”

“I know it’s your life, and I want you to get a chance to enjoy it. You’re only twenty-one, you have to live boy, now is the time for exploring the world. You’ll only end up working yourself ragged if you keep it up like this. You deserve better for yourself; you need to take more time for you. If you want, you can stop working with me on the weekends. I know that the pay isn’t great.”

“Dad, you know I can’t do that, you need me and someone else is going to want to be paid more. I’ve been there six years; I know what I’m doing.”

“I know you know what you’re doing but I also think that someone else, maybe a student who is looking for some extra cash would be willing to take over the job.”

“I need the money, Dad, school is expensive, and I’m just scraping by even with my job at the hardware store.”

“I’ll give you the money you’d be making working with me, you’ve just got to stop working so hard.”

“We can’t afford that, and you know it.”

“Let me worry about that,” answered John.

“No, we’re a family. Ever since you and Mom got divorced, we’ve been making the decisions together. Six years we’ve worked together and made decisions together, we’re a team, Dad.”

“Yes, we are, Son, but teams don’t keep things from each other and you kept working at O’Dell’s from me for three months. How you did it, I don’t know because I was bound to run into someone who’d seen you there.

“I work there early in the morning before it’s open, restocking the shelves, getting the bank deposit ready and stuff with Mrs. O’Dell, I don’t work there when it’s open and people can see me.”

“All this time, and I’ve thought you were working out at the rink and spending too much time on hockey, maybe you need to cut back on hockey, after all you’ve always said you only do it for fun, a lot of the other guys on your team are very serious about it.”

“Yes, they are, but I release the pressures of my life by playing hockey. Leaving school isn’t an option, I want to be a police officer, and make the world a safer place. I don’t see any options, Dad, but to do what I have been doing.”

“You’re going to have to figure out your priorities, Adam, I’m not going to tell you what to do, but when you’re falling asleep in your supper, there is a problem. You need to eat, have time to relax, go to school and work, but you can’t overdo it. You’re working more hours a week than I am with all your activities and I don’t think it is healthy for you. There has to be too much stress in your life. I don’t like it.”

“Right now, I don’t see any other options. What do you want me to do, I’m doing my best.”

“Slow down, Son, don’t regret your youth.”

“I’ll work it out, Dad, just let it be.”

“Okay, but you know I’m always here for you if you need to talk.”

“I know.”

Four months into the semester and his hockey coach was on his back.

“Adam, you’re not into it like you used to be, I don’t think you have the time for hockey anymore like you used to. You know that this team is a commitment,” said Coach Ryan Hayden.

“I know, Coach, I’m giving it as much time as I can. I come to practices and I play at games.”

“How much other ice time are you giving it right now?”

“None, unfortunately, I don’t have the time with school and work.”

“That’s exactly it, Adam, you don’t have the time, why you were practically falling asleep on the ice. You can’t keep this up. You need to think about what’s more important, your health, or hockey.”

“My health, but I’ve played hockey since I was eight years old, I’ve been doing this for thirteen years, and you can’t just expect me to stop.”

“No, Adam, you shouldn’t stop doing it, but I think you need to take a break, maybe join a more recreational team, not one like ours. This team is big league competitive, you don’t fit into the scheme of things here anymore; you have better things ahead of you in life. You’re working two jobs and going to school. You’re going to make a great police officer but you have to live through nine semesters. You’re only in your first one. Think about it, Adam, I don’t think you’ll regret taking time for you.”

“Fine, Coach, I’ll think about it, but for now, I’m going to keep playing.”

“Then find the time to practice your techniques and skating, you have to keep up your hockey stamina.”

Another two weeks went by; Adam was preparing himself for midterms, when Vera O’Dell, his boss at the hardware store approached him.

“How much sleep did you get last night, Adam?”

“I got to bed around one,” answered Adam.

“And you started working here at six this morning. That means you only got five hours of sleep last night. Your body needs more than that,” answered Vera.

“I know but I was studying for midterms.”

“You’re too busy, Adam; you’re not spending enough time on you. You have too much going on in your life. Life is full of decisions; you need to make some. You aren’t any good to anyone especially yourself like this. You put the six-inch nails in with the five-inch ones yesterday morning and I had to spend all morning fixing them up. You can barely keep your head up. You’re going to be tired all day at school. Come on into the back with me. I’m going to get you a cup of coffee and something to eat. The next time you come to work, I want you alert and on the ball. I like you, Adam, you’re smart, respectful, honest, and destined to go a long way but not like this. You have to decide what is most important to you.”

“Okay, Mrs. O’Dell, Christmas break is next week, I’ll figure out what to do then, please don’t fire me. I promise I’ll get some sleep today.”

“Okay, Adam, but remember what I said.”

It just wasn’t Adam’s day because at lunch the head of his program and professor, Jason Allister approached him.

“Adam, you’re doing good work, but you’re also falling asleep in class. This isn’t the first time this has happened either. I know what kind of a course load you have and that you work two jobs and play hockey but that is no excuse. It is time to figure out your life.”

“You can save the lecture, Mrs. O’Dell, already gave me one today and before that it was my hockey coach and my father. I know I have to take care of my health, get my sleep, and slow down. I need to make a decision about my priorities because I can’t keep up this balancing act. I’m going to figure it out during Christmas holidays.”

“Very good, Adam, I just wanted you to be aware of what you’re doing to yourself but I can see you already are.”

Adam just smiled and nodded, he was certainly aware of the situation. What am I going to do, he wondered, I have to stick with school and I need to work. I guess the only thing I can do is take a break from hockey until I have my education and then I can join a recreational league and just have fun. I don’t see as how I have any other choice. Sometimes life is hard and I have to act like a man and take the consequences. There are no other options. I’ll tell Mr. Hayden after the big game next Friday, I’ll be on break by then and be able to relax a little.

The Mountain Muskrats won the big game and after the victory party, Adam approached Ryan Hayden.

“Good job, out there, Adam, your scoring was great. You must have slept well last night.”

“I did, no homework on Christmas break. I made a decision, I need to leave this team and spend more time on me. I need to pursue my studies and work without hockey getting in the way. I just don’t have time for it anymore. Maybe someday I’ll be able to get back to it on a recreational league like you suggested.”

“I think that is a very good decision, Adam, and you were man enough to admit that you can’t do it all anymore. I hope that you can come see the home games once in a while. You can even sit on the sidelines with the players if you want.”

“Thanks coach that means a lot to me. As much as I love to play hockey, I know that I can’t do it all and have to accept that. It isn’t the end of the world,” and so with a few final parting words Adam left the hockey team and found more time in his life to pursue his education to his full potential and work. Not having to play hockey anymore meant that he was able to work the evening shift at O’Dell’s Hardware and sleep easier not having to worry about missing work in the mornings after a few late nights of studying.

Dreams Come True

     

I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want this. I stared at the dead mouse at the foot of my bed. I’d been staring at it all morning, hoping it was only my imagination, but I was beginning to believe that it was real.

A knock sounded on my door, and it opened to reveal my best friend’s face. “Cammie, you’re not even out of bed. Aren’t we going to the mall today?”

“I just…” I couldn’t give a relevant answer.

“What’s wrong?” Miranda entered and sat on the edge of my bed. Her dark hair framed her confused face.

“I had a dream a few nights ago,” I started. “a dream that a mouse died in my room and I had to set traps.”

“Your house has never had mice.”

“You’re missing the point. I never remember my dreams.”

“I forgot about that.”

I pointed at the end of my bed, she leaned to see and then shrieked. “Then that appeared this morning.”

“Why didn’t you start with that?” She looked as though she was about to scream again when she must have seen my pale face. “Why has this worried you so much? You could have slept walked, and seen the mouse in your sleep and only believed it was a dream.”

I shook my head. “I know what I saw. This is the third time this has happened.” At her worried frown, I explained. “Last week was the first dream. I thought I dreamt that Ma was busy with laundry and burnt her chili. The next evening, I came home and the whole house reeked like burned chili. She claimed she was distracted by the laundry.”

Miranda shrugged slowly. “So… you have future telling dreams. Maybe you can make yourself dream of wonderful things, and then they’ll happen to you.”

“I don’t think it works that way anyway.” I flopped backwards on my bed. I did not ask for this. Suddenly the phone rang. “Mom’s out. I better get that.” Eager for the distraction from the dreams and the dead mouse, I bounded downstairs to the landline phone.

“Hello?”

After a quick and mutual introduction, the voice on the other end of the line explained himself. “I’m calling concerning the application you filed for our company, Express Shipping.”

I held my breath. I’d applied for that job a few weeks ago, and right now I could go for some extra cash. Renting my own apartment would be a good use of any paycheck I could get.

“If you’re still interested, we’d love to offer you a job as a customer service attendant.”

He explained that my job would be to help people in line to deliver packages. I would weigh packages, attach postage, and ring up the order. I managed to breath and answer that yes, I was definitely interested, and I would indeed like to start tomorrow. I hung up the phone and rushed back upstairs to tell Miranda.

That was the end of the beginning.

                                                                 Two Weeks Later

Seven-thirty always rolled around earlier than I expected, but I was beginning not to mind. Pulling into the Express parking lot every morning gave me a sense of independence I’d never felt before. My dreams were becoming more frequent – one almost every night now, but the job served as a wonderful distraction.

At my lunch break that afternoon, my boss Seymour came to sit at my table in the break room.

Though quite burly with his large beard and mustache, Seymour was the type of man who appeared to be ominous but was a teddy bear at heart. He’d done wonders in trying to make me feel part of the team. After some brief small talk, Seymour said, “I had this dream last night that I could fly. Aren’t dreams just the craziest things?”

If only you knew. But I only replied, “They never make any sense.”

“What do you dream about?”

I swallowed the bite of my ham sandwich. “Well, last night I dreamt that a bad storm hit.” Thunder rumbled, and I glanced upwards.

Seymour leaned back in his chair and nodded nonchalantly. “Does that happen often?”

“Thunder? Happens all the time.”

“The dreams that turn out to be true, does that happen a lot?”

I frowned, feeling slightly guarded now. “It’s happened a few times before.”

“Do me a favor will you? Tell me next time you have a dream. Doesn’t matter what it is, but it might help us.” I stared at him. “For example, if you’d known it was going to rain today, I could have called earlier about that leaky roof.” He stood up and turned towards the door. “Just remember to tell me, whatever it’s about.” He grinned at me, like his request was completely normal; as if everyone told their employers what they dreamed of every night. No further explanation came, and he walked out. I finished my ham sandwich in a confused silence.

That night, I had yet another dream. A middle-aged man was walking down the sidewalk. He was wearing plaid, and he looked furtively before he crossed the street.  The adjacent street sign read 10th Ave. and Wildwood Street. A church bell rang in the distance, and I counted 12 chimes. Why did I dream of a man in plaid?

I walked in to work that morning and I already had a customer in line. Seymour was in his office, and I was the only other employee who had come in yet.

“What can I help you with?” I asked.

He couldn’t have been much older than me. I expected that he simply wanted to ship a package.

“You need to quit this job.”

“Excuse me?”

“Look, I know things. It’s not safe for you here.”

I stared. “Maybe you’re right. I can call security.”

He put his hands up in the air, acting innocent. “It’s not what you might think. I’m Adam, and I’m supposed to be your mentor. Every dreamer gets one. Usually I get more time to develop trust with the dreamer, but this situation is escalating faster than I expected.”

“A dreamer?”

Adam nodded solemnly. “That’s right. I know about your gift.”

“Um… my gift?” I didn’t know if I’d call it that.

He sighed. “Don’t believe me? Your first ever dream was that your mom burned soup, and it turned out to be true. You dreamt about little every day stuff like that for a bit, but last night’s is the first of the more important ones. Last night it was the guy in plaid taking a walk at noon, right?”

I had told no one of that. “I need you to leave now,” I said coldy.

“I’ll  be back later in case you have a change of heart. Whatever happens, don’t ever tell Seymour about your dreams.”

I decided to humor him. “And why not?”

“A life is in the balance.” A pause. “The business here is shady,” he continued in a low voice. “It’s not what anyone thinks. I’ll explain more next time.”

Seymour was making his way towards my counter, and Adam disappeared out the door as quickly as he’d come in.

A few hours later, my grey-haired co-worker Leonard waltzed in.

“You look chipper this morning,” I said with a smile as I filled some paperwork at the front counter.

“Special delivery day is always a great day,” he said with glittering eyes.

“Oh? I didn’t know we had one today. When do you leave?”

“Don’t know. Boss hasn’t told me the details yet. Odd,” he commented, squinting. “He usually knows those things by now.” He shrugged. “But it’s bound to be a good one.”

“Know what you’re delivering?” I asked out of curiousity.

“Oh, you know – “ His face fell when he realized I didn’t know. “I forgot you’re the new kid. Ask Seymour.”

I sighed. Why such a complicated morning? I’d rather forget about the dreams and the secrets and get on with apartment searching. That’s all I wanted. My own place away from odd distractions.

The morning was so busy I hadn’t even thought of telling Seymour about my dream. My lunch break came, but this time I decided to eat outside. I hadn’t decided what to do if Seymour asked me more questions.

I stepped outside and sat down at the park bench outside the store window. I had no sooner unwrapped my sandwich when a figure appeared and Adam was sitting next to me.

“I see you didn’t tell Seymour about the plaid guy.”

“You were waiting for me?” Oddly, he didn’t scare me that much now. If he’d wanted to cause me harm, he’d have done it already. “How do you know I didn’t tell him?”

“The guy in plaid is still alive, that’s how I know.”

I set my sandwich down, suddenly not hungry. “I don’t even know what that means.”

“You saved his life, Cammie.” He stopped talking as a customer walked past us and into the store. “Most of the things they ship at Express is legit. There may be only a tiny bit of illegal activity, but it’s very dark stuff. Every week, Express is available for the hire of one special package.”

“What’s in it?”

“Doesn’t matter what’s in it. It’s the deliverer who’s lethal.”

I stared. “You mean…”

He nodded. “They’re hit men.”

My mind was spinning:  the special delivery, Leonard, the general secrecy, and my dreams. “And the man in plaid?”

“He embezzled money from his construction company for years. His boss just found out and ordered a hit. He was today’s target. He’s going to get picked up today for his embezzlement. He’ll go to jail, but he’ll be alive.”

I sat for a long time.

“What’re you thinking?”

“This is crazy.”

“You have an alternative. You could work for me.”

I cocked my head. “And that’s not crazy? I don’t even know you.”

“Look, I’m part of detective team. We work on cases to find and catch serial killers, working with police forces worldwide. My people are working to shut down this dark place right now.” He motioned towards the Express building behind us. “Someone with your skills could be a real asset to our cases.”

I struggled to process. “So you don’t have… the gift?”

He shook his head. “I’m only in connection with someone else who does. That’s how I know so much about you and your dreams.”

“How would I be an asset?”

“Dreamers dream about whatever their confident needs to see. You were going to tell Seymour about your dreams, and thus you found out things that would only be helpful to him and his company. The same sort of thing would happen if you worked for me.”

The store door opened and Seymour stuck his head outside. “Sorry to cut your break short. I’m swamped; I need you in here, Cammie.”

I turned quickly to Adam, and mouthed, “Wait.” I followed Seymour back inside. “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something,” I said. “I don’t think this – ”

“I’m sure it can wait,” Seymour interrupted. “Oh, I’d like to know if it’s going to storm anytime soon. Have any dreams last night?” He winked at me I followed him to the counters.

“Nope.” I paused. “And Seymour? This isn’t going to work out for me. I quit.”

I walked out, leaving Seymour staring, but I returned to Adam, where a new job awaited me.

I didn’t ask for this. It didn’t mean I couldn’t make something great out of it.

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