Surrounded and Alone

We began in church. Our church is small, and doesn’t have very many people. After church, Jake, Lia, Marshall and I got in Lia’s car with the promise to meet everyone from church down in Traverse City. Going from our church was: us, Uncle Tom, my Aunt Lucinda, and a few others whose names I was unaware of. WE stopped at McDonalds for lunch, considering it was noon, and began our journey. As we drove, I admired the greenness of the trees and fields surrounding us.
Lia has red hair and she is twenty years old. She’s a strong church-goer and her father died on her birthday. She loves the taste of chocolate milkshakes from McDonalds. She also always gets one for our youth minister, Matt. She can be such a brownnoser. It is not very becoming. She smells like an old person all the time. The sounds associable to her: an alarm clock buzzing like crazy as it goes off. When she touches you, you only want her to let go. You want her to stop touching you. Only she will not stop; she just keeps on touching you, like she owns you. She loves to talk about God, but she contradicts herself when she does. She nags a lot and she thinks we are all supposed to be the same, love God the same, and worship the same.
Marshall likes wearing skinny jeans; skinny jeans are all he ever wears. His hair is long, reddish, and greasy. He is really easy to get along with and very funny. He can make you laugh in any mood. He likes the taste of green tea and Monster energy drinks. He wears a lot of cologne all the time, so that’s the smell most associable. He likes dancing to hip hop so, when I see him, hip hop beats take over my mind. When you touch him, his hands are soft and gentle. You can feel the spirit, his spirit, gently splashing you as though it were water. He and Lia are together.
Jake has dark black hair, and electrifying green eyes. He loves wearing black jeans, and dark colored shirts. He’s my boyfriend, and we’ve been together for four years. He’s so sweet and funny. No matter how I feel, he always makes me smile. He never looks or talks to any girls, even though I said he could. He likes drinking AMP Overload. He never wears cologne, and he always smells like the woods. He loves listening to country or rock music, so that’s what I always hear. His hands are rough and callused. I can feel his laughter, and when he holds it down I know it’s there.
On the way down, we listened to music, and talked. Idle chatter, nothing that any of us would remember when we got home. I rested my head on Jakes shoulder, and let him play with my hair. I still felt alone. I hadn’t been a hundred percent on wanting to go, and I still wasn’t. I was beginning to regret my choice.
On the way down we decided we wanted to stop at the mall and go to Hot Topic, among other places. So we did. The mall was just as full as ever. The aroma from the food in the food court, although we’d just eaten, made all our mouths water. Lia said Hot Topic would wait, and instantly got in line to buy a bunch of sesame chicken from the Chinese place.
After devouring our food as quick as possible, we went to Hot Topic. It smelled like new. Just like new. New car, new clothes, you name it, it smelled it. We went to several other shops as well for no reason other than wanting to buy stuff. We didn’t even know what was in half of them! Marshall bought some jeans in a store, and Lia bought some earrings. I bought shoes, and some makeup. Jake bought me a really pretty diamond teardrop necklace. It was clear, and I fell in love with it upon the sight of it. I just couldn’t live without it!
Lia and Marshall soon became really mad because they had forgotten their cell phones in the car. Jake pulled out my cell phone and I panicked, because we were supposed to have been there ten minutes ago! It was time for EVERYONE to be there right now! I told Marshall and Lia, and they too panicked.
We left the mall in a hurry, and made it to the picnic about ten minutes late. My Uncle Tom walked up to us, and asked us why we were late. We looked at each other guiltily, since WE were supposed to have actually been there about ten minutes early when Uncle Tom had gotten there, so we were actually twenty minutes late by this time. He laughed, smiled, and said we’d talk about it later. We shrugged it off, and walked farther into the park. We lost Marshall to basketball, Jake went to play with a little girl at my request because she was begging him, and Lia went off with some little kids that acted a lot more like badgers! I smelled the woods, and knew my uncle was behind me again. I sat down, and attempted to ignore him, pretending I didn’t know he was there. He knew that was what I was doing though. He always could see right through me. I never got away with anything around him. His daughter and I were great friends, and we loved to try to pull things over on him. We always got in trouble, but we definitely didn’t let that deter us. It was always try, try, try again with us. When he got mad, we counted it as a win, because what we had done had bothered him.
Uncle Tom was my uncle through marriage, and actually he’s my cousin. As long as I have known him, he’s always been nice. He loves to talk to people and never yells. He’s a very calm and patient man. His personality is one that calms many people because he’s so easy to get along with. He has soft, strong hands. He looks like a man in his late-twenties, but is a man of fifty. He likes the taste of strawberries a lot. He always smells of aftershave and woods. When I’m around him, it’s easy to imagine you’re in the woods. Nothing can hurt you. Church bells and the sound that they make fill my head, drowning out everything around me. That’s the sounds easily associated with him. His hair is grayish in color, and he smiles almost all the time. He doesn’t yell at people……at least not in the sense some people do. I’ve only ever heard him yell when he’s preaching. He’s a tall, thin man, but he’s really strong. When he touches you, it’s easy to feel the restrained strength.
As lunch/dinner got done, we smelled it, and it was like no other smell I had smelled before. It was amazing! When I took a bite, my mouth exploded in passion. That was when I realized it was pain; I’d bit my lip and was bleeding. Ouch! Uncle Tom walked up. He laughed when he saw my look of horror.
“What’d you do?” I could tell he was only barely holding back laughter to ask that.
When I wouldn’t tell him, he only laughed harder. I think he knew. I almost ALWAYS knew what I was thinking and feeling. He sat down and ate beside me.
When dinner was over, he had to go tell Aunt Lucinda that the games were beginning.
When they did finally begin, I was sitting at the table, drawing on my hand. Things like, “Jesus Loves Me”, and “I’m God’s favorite”. I was, and I knew it. I also drew hearts, flowers/stems, and other things all the way up my arm.
Uncle Tom walked up, and sat down across from me. He asked me what I was doing, and I held out my arm for him to see for himself. He looked, and though the look on his face was disapproval, he told me that I was a good artist. I told him only when it came time to draw something no one was comparing something else to. He asked me why I wasn’t playing the games. I told him that I didn’t want to. When he walked away, I began to daydream. Then my thoughts transferred to the horrifying fact that, although I was surrounded by people, I felt so alone. I didn’t know why I was alone. There are plenty of people trying to talk to me. I was related to the pastors after all. I was special. I didn’t want to talk to them. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that in a place so big, with more that fifty people, I could feel so alone.
A little girl came and talked me into pushing her and her friends on the tire swing. I walked towards it, carrying her. Her leg was broken, and I imagined it was hard for her to run. She kept begging me to push her on the tire swing because I pushed her higher than her dad did. If I decided to stop for a minute she would begin to badger me to come push her some more. She was adorable with really blond hair that went down to her waist and bright green eyes. She was a short six-year-old, and was very articulate. She wore a dark blue sundress and no shoes.
As I pushed the tire swing as high as I could, her dad walked up to us, and laughed.
“So, I see she’s got you pushing her now.”
When I nodded breathlessly, he laughed so hard he almost choked.
I soon learned that he was very funny. I renamed him dude, because until I did I didn’t know his name. He had dark hair, and green eyes. You could tell he loved both his daughters, and both girls obviously loved him. We pushed the girls together, scaring them half to death. We kept surprising them with new tricks.
“Hi,” he said. I answered in kind, and smiled at him. He looked worn out, and I felt bad for him. I knew he was married, so I asked him where his wife was. As soon as I asked, he began talking to me as though I were trained in therapy. I didn’t mind, I am good at counseling as long as you don’t want advice. I can listen, I can say what I would do, but after that you’re on your own.
I found out that he and his wife were undergoing a divorce, and although they still lived together for now, she’d gotten quite violent towards him in the last month. Today, he’d wanted to take the kids to the park, and she had wanted them to stay home. His wife wants him to take the kids, and he’s just fine with that.
As he left, I smiled. My uncle came up behind me and started massaging my shoulders. It felt nice, but it always did when he did it. His hands were so strong; he could make anyone tell him anything while he was doing that. He was amazing like that.
“You did well.” I could hear the smile in his voice, accompanied by pride when he said that. It made me so happy to be able to win his approval. Instead of acting or saying something that I would later determine was stupid, though, I just told him thanks, and sat down at a nearby table. He came over and sat beside me, and smiled.
“All right, tell me why you were late.” I said I’d be honest, but he couldn’t yell at us. He agreed, and I told him we were shopping. He laughed. “That’s what you guys were so scared to tell me!?”
I nodded, sheepishly. Then I smiled. I should have known that he wouldn’t get mad. I’d been stupid, and irrational. He’d never yelled before, so why would he start now? It was pure irrationality on my part.
About a half hour later, I went looking for my boyfriend, found him, and proceeded to sit on his lap. We shared a few kissed, and then I rested my head against his.
When the day was over, I got hugged by Uncle Tom, and he smiled at me as he squeezed my arm.
“I knew there was a reason you are my favorite niece,” he said. I smiled.
“I knew there was a reason pastors shouldn’t be insane,” I tossed back.
“I’m allowed to be insane in my off hours. I’m a dad and an uncle.”
“There’s never off hours in the mind of God.”
“Ah, hush.”
He blushed since, as the person who daydreamed a LOT in church, I had just thrown his own words back at him. I laughed, and smiled angelically. MY face said, ‘I can’t do anything wrong. Not me.’
Eventually, Marshall, Lia, Jake and I got around to leaving. We stopped at a gas station for some energy drinks and gum, and then drove slowly home.
As we drove home, the sky grew darker, and I grew more tired. We all did. We’d had a long day. I was tired, but I’d had fun. Nine hours earlier, we’d begun our trip, and now I was home. We were back in East Jordan, where I felt most comfortable. My Aunt drove me home, and I walked into my house still living the memories from the amazing day I’d had.
I fell into bed at ten o’clock, after getting home at nine. Then got up at midnight, remembering I had homework. I did that, and just stayed up. I watched some TV, and played around on Facebook talking to my aunt that was in Arizona. All in all, it was a GREAT day.
The next day I went to school, and put that day away in my mind with my other favorite memories. I would think about it, but it wouldn’t cause me to daydream. No way!





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