The early morning sun creeps through the trees in the park. The sounds of the birds in the trees waking up and singing their songs; perhaps gossiping about one thing or another. A lone man walks smoking a cigarette while holding onto the leash of his best friend who is smelling a fire hydrant. This block is filled with houses – some one family and some multi-family dwellings. Down the block is a building and on the fourth floor of that building there is a lady who is warming up water and waiting, impatiently for it to boil.

Life is filled with victories and defeats – to Sara it feels like she has sabotaged her life over and over into never ending spiral song.

Her name is Sara and she is 32 years old, divorced with two children. Her children are 6 and 8 – both girls – she shares custody with her ex-husband, Hank, who takes them on the weekends to his home, two blocks north of where she is.

Sara stands by the kettle and whispers, “Come on already,” as if her urging will incite the water to hit the temperature which will cause the water to boil when she will then pour that water into the cup with the instant coffee, one packet of sugar and milk already in place waiting to be forever united as her first cup in the morning.

In the other room she hears her youngest brushing her teeth while her other daughter closes the door to her room so she can undress to get dressed.

The bus drives them away and Sara returns to the building, takes the elevator to the 4th floor and opens the door to apartment 4D. The door slams behind her as she falls into the couch in the living room and lays down. She knows it’s a mistake, she knows she should know better and questions whether she is being self-destructive. She knows that once she lets down her guard she will break down and what good would that do for anyone?

She lays down and she contemplates how she had once pictured her life. Three or four kids, a nice house and a future filled with promise. But for some reason she inhaled and once she inhaled she enjoyed it. This led to drinking and then to pill popping.

It all began after her second child was born and she fell quickly into a depression. It felt to her as if she had stepped off the roof of the twin towers while it was engulfed in flames and just kept falling, falling and falling. In a forever fall that left her unable to find her balance or see anything in focus. So she inhaled, drank and popped the pills until one day she woke up in the bed of her husbands best friend. She jumped up and  somehow walked home the fourteen blocks or so and found him waiting for her in the livingroom.

“What should I do, Sara?” He asked her.

“If I was you I would take the kids and leave. But I don’t want you to…” She broke down and cried; he held her and smelled his friend’s cologne on her.

“Were you with Michael?” He asked.

“What? Who? No. Michael?” She was falling, stumbling and tripping over her words which betrayed her.

He stood up and he looked at her.

“You were not only with another man, Sara, you were with someone who I considered a brother. You managed, somehow, to destroy…” He walked up the stairs, went into their room, closed the door behind him. She continued to cry and fell asleep on the couch.

The next morning he stayed in and  told her that she should move out and that until she found help and was ready; would not spend time with the girls. She protested but she also knew that he was right and she had totally burned any sense of defense to the ground.

Michael didn’t mean anything to her, he just supplied the cocaine that they shared. They had become friendly during her marriage with Hank – there was always a flirtation but that was it. She didn’t even find him attractive physically; it was his independence and his wealth that was intriguing. Hank loved him like a brother – but sometimes brothers can be deceitful.

He approached Michael and Michael at first denied anything had happened. It was after Hank told him that Sara had confessed that Michael apologized profusely only to be met with a punch in the face and a kick in the balls.

Despite all of that it was Hank who had been kicked in the balls and it felt as if he was being kicked over and over each time he thought about either Michael or Sara; not to mention Michael and Sara.

He had the responsibility of being their for the girls; when he told them that their mother was sick and that she would be in the hospital for a while they cried for around five minutes. The fact that they would be able to speak with her on the phone or visit her once in awhile placated them.

One year later; Sara took the apartment where she lives now and the girls moved in with her. Each weekend and any time that he wished; he was able to be with the girls. Any relapse and Sara would lose custody instantly.

She didn’t miss the drugs or the booze; she missed her old life and the dreams that her and Hank once shared. Several times he had come over for dinner and several times she had come to him. But lips nor hands had touched and they remained parents of their children.

There are times when he wants her but then he feels the pain in his gut and knows that it can never be the same again.

There are times when she cries and prays for their reunion only to be met with silence and rejections.

The early morning sun creeps through the trees in the park. The sounds of the birds in the trees waking up and singing their songs; perhaps gossiping about one thing or another. A lone man walks smoking a cigarette while holding onto the leash of his best friend who is smelling a fire hydrant. This block is filled with houses – some one family and some multi-family dwellings. Down the block is a building and on the fourth floor of that building there is a lady who is warming up water and waiting, impatiently for it to boil.

No one knows what the day will bring or how the night will come and end. All one can do is to keep on being strong with the faith that, one day, some little victory will change the spiral song into a song of flight.

 

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