Categorized | Love & Relationships

an excerpt: a day while you were gone

Posted on 11 January 2010 by Liza Mae V.

I was going to write a novel for Nanowrimo but I wasn’t successful but here is an excerpt from the 10,000+ words that I did manage to write which is a detailed story of one of my routine Mondays while he was away.


My phone alarm goes off and I’ve been trying to find many ways to turn it off.  “I wake up this morning, I got myself a gun …”  The Sopranos theme song is repeating, over and over.  For some reason I don’t know why it keeps going when I am constantly pressing end.  My blackberry has been on the constant fritz due to my constant usage.  STOP damn it!  STOP!  Finally I decide to take out the battery but it still doesn’t stop.  I think I’m going crazy … then I wake up.

The reality is that my alarm kept going off but I was stuck between reality and dream.  I stared at my phone and it has been going off for the past fourteen minutes.  I click the Dismiss button and I was relieved that I am not crazy, it was just a dream.  Laughing at myself I stare at my bedroom ceiling, not wanting to get up to another mundane Monday.  I miss him dearly.  I check my messages and there is no sign of him.  I flip open my Macbook and he left me a few messages on my Yahoo messanger, looking for me at 5:55am.  Why is he contacting me so early?  Was it something important?

I pick up my cordless phone and scrummage for my phone card.  Dial the local number, then the pin, then his Shanghai phone number.  The ring tone is so different, it is music playing with a Chinese lady speaking in Mandarin.  “Knee how?” etc.  I’m not too sure what the rest means but she says a bunch of stuff which I do not understand.  He finally picks.
“Hey Babe, why’d you write me so early?”
“Ohh I forgot you turned the clocks over there, they don’t do that here.”

We have this routine since he left to sign online every morning, Eastern Time, which is his evening.  We are living in time lines of twelve hour but now thirteen hour difference.  It is so opposite that our schedules conflict between the hours of 12 and 7 because that is when I am sleeping or vice versa.  Those are 7 hours of time where we are just unreachable.  So we schedule morning talks or early evenings.  The sound of his voice in the morning is typically soothing.  He calms my last nerve like the sound of the ocean. We are an ocean and continent away and it drives me nuts.  I miss him so much I would depart my life to be with him.  I just can’t leave right now.

I throw on my hair straightener and remain on the phone with him chatting about his day.  He is not happy in Shanghai because his students are more than normal brats.  It has to do with the one child policy that they have.  The parents treat them like prince or princess’ because the parents fear getting in bad terms with their kids, which makes so much sense.  Parents fear is ‘who is going to take care of us when we get old?’, ‘Our Child’.  So parents have to treat their kids like they are on a pedestal and it manifests in to the brats which my boyfriend has to teach.  Everyone questioned why he wanted to go there in the first place and it had to do with him learning Mandarin and the opportunity just sprung up.  In a matter of days I was sending him on his way and here I am.

I look at the clocks and I don’t know if I should trust them since I haven’t changed my clocks back.  So I look at my blackberry and I’m running late, as usual.  So I hung up on him and threw on my brown pants and my white argyle sweater with a hole in the armpit.  I know I won’t be lifting my arm all day, so screw it I’ll wear it anyway.  I throw some stuff in my lunch bag and yell to my mother to get ready to get going.  I run to my 1997 Mazda Protege, at its last days or months.  I need to warm up that junk before I go because that is what my Uncle Herman said to do.  So I run back to the house and grab my gym bag, lunch bag, and purse.  I am out the door.

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About Liza Mae

I am a twenty-somethings female photographer in search of love, the meaning of life, and adventure. I am passionate about anything photography from the snap to the click.


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