The Shine Journal

Exceptional Flash, Poetry, Art and Photography!

 Two from Sarah Lemanski



I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive myself. That house. That disgusting, dirty, smelly house. There wasn’t even electricity. Why did I even want to be there? So many men, only wanting two things. Money, or sex. It really makes me sick. I sat there for days. I didn’t care that I hadn’t eaten, brushed my teeth or showered. I smelled so gross, looked even worse. How can it not bother me? I finally missed my boyfriend, and my family. Please, someone just take me home.  After six days I got in the car, and was on my way to get some food, take a shower, and finally sleep. Wait, where are we going, this isn’t the right way! I’m so scared I beg, please, I don’t want to die. The next four days I live in shame and fear, waiting for it to all just end. Now I want to die, I just want it to stop. Freedom— it comes, finally, but I don’t know where I am. I run, and run. It seems like forever until I stop. I’m so tired— someone, please just help me. My life is miserable   now. I hate myself, will I ever forget? Can I ever get over it? God, I hope I never make a mistake like that again. How could I have been so stupid?


My Father

I know I’ve always loved him. My mom kept pictures of him and me together when I was a baby. He looked at me as though he loved me and wanted why did he leave for so long? This question still runs through my head over and over, day after day. How could a parent just leave one day and never come back? What is so important or powerful that could make someone abandon his own child? I thought it was because of me, that I did something wrong as I grew up. My mother tried so hard to help me and make me understand that it wasn’t me, it was just how he was. Now I am 23 years old and have a child of my own, and the tables have turned. The parent I could never forgive and never understand is the person I have become today. Addiction, I’ve learned, is so powerful, it makes people— even parents— do things they would otherwise never do, like abandoning their own child. I hate this disease. I hate the person it made my father, and I hate the person it made me. Recovery is the only solution. My father never wanted it, but I do. Someday I’ll hold my child in my arms and never let go. Someday I will be a good mother. Someday I will live a life I’m happy with, and that will be one thing I know I will never regret.

Motivation: As part of a VFI workshop, writers are encouraged by a safe, confidential environment to take the risk of self-expression.  Through the camaraderie of the group, participants find a common understanding and a mutuality of respect and forgiveness.

Bio: Sarah Lemanski is from Westfield, Massachusetts. She has a beautiful son named Logan who inspires her writing and every other aspect of her life. She enjoys writing the most about personal experiences.

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Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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