By: Michelle Turner
Copyright 2012 Michelle Turner
Cover photo by Stephanie Mooney
Edited by Jaidis Shaw
: I can’t th
nk you all enough for putting up with me while I was writing. You all supported me and encouraged me every step of the way.
And I will never forget that.
Coconut: Thank you for putting up with cranky Mommy when I was in my writing mode and I promise we’ll play SpongeBob Monopoly now that it’s done. Mommy loves you more than the moon and the stars in the sky.
Gary Michael: You’ve showed me support and understanding through this whole process. Even when it involved you fixing dinner or eating take out because I couldn’t pry myself away from writing.
I’m blessed to call you my husband. I love you Monkey Butt.
Chapter 1- Bloom
~ I’m going to count the tearless days as small victories against the aching hole in my chest ~
I slowly pr
my eyes open
to stare at the stars stuck to my ceiling
They’ve been there since I was a kid.
helped me stick them up
over a 1000 little glow in the dark stars. They
re my form of a night light. Seeing them brings back the memories just lik
e everything else in this house, memories I can’t face without crying.
I pull the cover back over my head determined to go back to sleep.
w I need to face t
and I w
, but knowing that
since I lost him ma
it harder. There
days I wake up and just wish I could lay back down and sleep
s one of those days.
Michael Daniels was my
and he was also
my best friend
always a hard worker
even when he was exhausted and knew he needed to rest he
would still agree to work over. That’s
what eventually killed him. The police
he fell asleep behind the wheel
off the road
, right into a tree
. He had just go
off working a double for the third day in a row
at the local factory
I tried to blame myself for the accident
I was determined he hadn’t fallen asleep
that it was my car
e had been driving it to te
st out my brakes, but the sheriff explained that there wasn’t even a sign he tried to brake. He drove full speed right off the road
and out of my life
s the one who named me Bloom
he was the only parent I had.
Even though he worked way too hard he always found time for me. He never missed a school event
when I was growing up
and he regularly took me fishing at
. I know I probably should’ve missed
having my mother but I never felt that way. I loved having my
and I ha
been around I would’ve turned out completely different
and not in a good way
. Plus you can’t miss someone you don’t even remember.
The woman people refer to as my mom
left us when I was a day old
I have no memory of her, except what people have tried to tell me
Her name was Rose and
pparently she told the nurses at the hospital she wanted to take a walk and never came back.
later found a note at the house from her stating she felt trapped and wasn’t ready to
be what we needed. From what my
’s friends have
told me he took it hard, but
he held it in and
stop him from caring for me.
With a little bit of help from
found a way to care for his new born while his heart was broken
(his heart never really healed)
I think he always thought she’d come back. He didn’t even get rid of the things she had left behind. He kept them in his closet until I was old enough to start asking questions and then he moved them to
so I wouldn’t have to see them.
When I turned 13
gave me a necklace
a little white gold cross that was encrusted with diamonds. I loved it until I found out it had
belonged to Rose
. I know now that he just wanted me to have something that belonged to her, but at the time I was furious. I was convinced he was trying to turn me into her, which was the last thing I wanted. It was the first big fight we had. I didn’t speak to him for almost a week. I wish now I could have that week back and tell him
realize what he was trying to do with that necklace. But I’
ll never get the
Everyone has always told me I look mor
clone than her child, though I never consider myself “her child
In my opinion s
s only the sur
rogate that brought me to my
But that doesn’t change the fact that I
shaped face and
butterscotch blonde hair that falls half way do
wn my back.
I stand around five foot seven just like
I’ve been told she did
. The only thing I received from my
in the looks department
was his hazel eyes. Which happen
to be my favorite feature and they’re a small reminder of him every time I look in a mirror. But still
constant reminder to him growing up of the woman that w
alked out. He loved me anyways and never once compared me to her
, no matter what my crazy 13
old self thought
. I kn
w he wouldn’t want me to have ill feelings toward her; he never once spoke badly about her.
interested in the woman that could do that to my
The woman that
uld walk out on her only child and never look back.
been gone I’
stuck mostly to
work and the house. I still live in
the house my
built for Rose
little two be
cabin that s
the woods of southern Ohio.
seem like much with its tiny porch and dirt drive way, but to me it
aven. I ha
no neighbors for at least a mile so I
the peace and quiet I crave, plus I
sit out on
my porch swing in my pj’s and
worry about anyone seeing me.
get a visit from a wild animal trying to get into my strawberry patch
and me started planting it when I was seven)
and at least once a week one of
’s old friends
by to chat.
They like to check up on me since he’
answering the door when they
family left since
and as far as I kn
w I d
n’t have any distant family either
was an only child
(just like me)
the same year
I was born
Pap passed away when I was 10
n’t know if I ha
any relatives left from Rose’s side. Apparently the Aunt she lived with skipped town not long after she did and
had never met any other relatives
though he said she spoke of family in Tennessee
Feeling the sun pour through my window
I decide it
s time to drag myself out of bed.
I push the cover off me,
climb out and head over to the closet. I grab
my favorite pair of worn jeans
and a simple white tank top then
walk to the bathroom to take a shower
determined not to spend the day in my pj’s.
I ought a
drag my behind into work while I
at it so my boss Billy
shown up for my shift in days
hoped the warm water rolling over my skin would help to wash away some of my sadness, but no luck. I stayed in long enough that the water turned ice cold then climbed out to towel dry. Thankfully the mirror
so I d
n’t have to see my eyes while I brush my teeth. As much as I love the
m and the reminder of
hanging on by a thread. I need to get through t
without crying. That
my new goal. I’
count the tearless days as small victories against th
in my chest.
I contemplated fixing breakfast but settled for an apple. I doubt my stomach
handle much more, I’
probably get on a crying fit sometime
in the day
all come back up anyways. I sp
out loud correcting myself, “No Bloom, stay positive. You will not cry today!”
ossing the core in the trash I turn
grab my keys and
bag off the counter and
head for the door. It
s almost noon and the lunch rush
ould be starting. Billy w
be so happy to have help that he might forgive me for not showing up the last