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The Bright Side of Surffering, short story

Updated on November 25, 2009

short story, dark


Finally, I am out of work. I can't stand working in that place. The smell of rancid human waste coats every surface in that place only comparable to hell on Earth. Those old, rotting people wanting to touch me and breath on me. If another old ass touches me I will vomit right there. The only thing keeping me from leaving that place is my daughter. My dear Chelsea.

I work in an old TB clinic that is now an old person's home. The only problem with that, is that all of those patients happen to all have a mental disorder of some sort. Whether it is some ninety year old man who forgot his son's name, or some person with a severe case of Down's Syndrome who managed to get past the age of forty and live all the way to sixty; of course outliving both of their parents. My favorite are the people who are just completely crazy, no other explanation needed, just crazy. Don't get me wrong, there are some medical terms to explain why they sit in the corner yelling to themselves, I have just grown to care less and less.

The only patient I can stand to be near is the woman who sits in the middle of the hallway just rocking in her old as dirt rocking chair. You can see the pain her family felt in that chair. The chair is the same shade of brown as soil and it missing many posts in the back. If she didn't curl up in a dilapidated ball with her leg sticking straight in the air moving to rock herself, she would slip right through the back and land directly on the floor. The only reason I can be near her without shuddering, is because all she does is stare off into space and rock. All day, just staring and rocking...barely even alive.

If the only way that made us alive, was that people actually knew we existed, or God forbid cared that we were living, most of these people in this old, broken building would have been dead years and years ago. Not a single person visits their "loved one" more than once, if they ever come besides commiting them. These people could have never existed to most people, and now they are my burden.

I work as a CNA here along with thirty other miserable nurses of all sorts. We just sit, covered in feces, and pray for another life. Please, Lord, bring me a new reason to live. Please, Lord, give me reason to not shoot myself in the face when I get home. Supposedly denitist have the highest suicide rate, but those statistic writers have never been here. They have never set foot inside Lewis's Retired Mental Stability Home. That is what they like to call this hell hole, this taker of life.

After grabbing my left overs from lunch, Chelsea loves cold Taco Bell, I change into my spare clothes and head for the door. In case you were wondering, I always have a spare change of clothes because today's scrubs are covered in urine, feces, vomit, and God knows what else. The spare clothes are strictly to prevent the stench of Lewis's out of your car and definately out of your house. I also have to drench myself in half a bottle of perfume. I smell like the female equivalent to those brain-dead macho men walking around trying to pick up girls after taking a shower in Axe Body Spray. You know, the guys you can smell from one thousand feet away...upfield.

I absolutely cannot wait to see Chelsea. It has probably been nearly three days since I have physically seen her. A person has no idea how hard it is to be a single parent in Southern California, until they are working two full time jobs just trying to pay the rent on their crappy, worn down apartment. Half the time, I still come up short on monthly bills and end up sleeping with my 57 year old landlord just to keep a roof over my daughter's head.

Not a day goes by, that I wish my ex-husband would get out of prison and actually start paying child support. That real waste of space decided to turn into his real self and snap after we got married and was pregnant. All of our time together before that was a complete lie, and he will tell you that if you just ask him. He laughs at the thought of me struggling to provide our daughter.

He was the perfect prince charming when I first met him. We were the "it" couple when we were younger. Each beautiful on their own, but together, simply breathtaking. We were young, beautiful, and rich. He came from a wealthy family living in Orange County and was living on a huge trust fund. We met in college and hit it off from the moment we met. What was not to like about this guy...He was gorgeous, rich, smart, and studying to become a laywer. He was perfect, and would only become more perfect later one...or so I thought.

We got married and bought a beachhouse together and started to plan a family, after convincing me to drop out of college. I was four months pregnant when the FBI come pounding on my door looking for him. They stomped down the door and was looking for an extremely dangerous man. I was frightened and confused. What was a dangerous man doing near my house, and thank God the FBI came to help. That was my thought, until they started yelling at me and asking me where my husband was. There I was, in this huge and perfect house, having my life ripped away from me.

He decided to go and rape young girls that he met online. He was posing as a young girl hoping to meet some new friends online to pull them in. He would then rape those young girls, then torture them, and brutally murder them. That piece of shit was actually on the FBI's most wanted list, and I was married to him. He was thrown in prison so soon that not even his trust fund could save him.

When the divorce was finalized, I had already lost our house, gone bankrupt, and had a baby girl to care for. So there I was, homeless, divorced, jobless, and without a college degree. I quickly srung into action and got a job and aparment.

Now, here I am, driving home in a rusted 1988 Honda Civic that never passes the smog inspection, on my way to that same apartment I have had for nine years. I am still working the same two jobs and caring for my now nine year old little girl. I have the same furniture from the divorce, and the same old woman watching my daughter while I am at work...which is most of the time.

I pull into the parking lot and see an unfamiliar car in my space. It never gets old having all those Mexicans letting their cousin's park in my place. I whip out my cell phone- which is the same from when I was married still- and dial 911 to have the car towed. Once that is done, I find the closest parking space and walk two blocks to my apartment. I hate this life; I wish I had more for us, Chelsea and me, she deserves more.

Walking past my windows, I see that nearly all the lights are on including the television and music is blaring loudly. I have never known Chelsea or the babysitter to do that, but everyday is something new when you have a child. I reach to unlock the door but it's cracked. It's dark outside, so Chelsea should not be outside playing, especially since I did not see her while walking up. I push the door and see the world flip upside down again.

I can't catch a breath of air while I walk into a puddle of blood. There lays Chlesea, lifeless and naked. My baby girl! I cannot believe it! I have to do something! Looking over to the couch, I see Mrs. Lawson tied down with a ball gag in her mouth, lifeless as well. Trying to find the strength to kneel next to my daughter, the bathroom door opens and there he stands, laughing loudly. I say the only thing I can to my husband fresh out of prison, "OH MY GOD TONY! What did you do?" He continues to laugh when he slowly walks over to me. Towering over me, he is still tall, dark, and handsome. With a smile on his face, he pulls a handgun from his back pocket.


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