Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Hum (06/06/13)
By Leola Ogle
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When my husband and I finally had an empty nest, I found I loved the quietness that blanketed our home. It was bliss! Not that I didn’t love my children. I did, and do – very much. I used to worry that I would lose purpose when they were all gone. But I’ve discovered I’ve plenty to occupy my time.
Then these pesky people moved in – at my invitation, it seems. At first it was just a few, but more kept coming. They are so demanding of my time and attention, more so than my children ever were. Maybe if I was a different person, I would send them packing. I can’t seem to do that, though, so I took the coward way out. I killed off a few of them, ones that I didn’t really like or need. I’m not heartless. I did grieve a little, and even miss some of them. But I had to do it. Some of you can surely understand.
I really am a nice person. I think most people like me, and I like most people. In fact, there are very few people I don’t like. So I guess it wasn’t that I didn’t like the people I annihilated, they just weren’t as useful as I wanted them to be. It’s all about choice, and what’s best for everyone.
Things have been hectic within our family the past several weeks -- a tragic loss, a few crises, some minor, some not so minor. I haven’t had much time for these other people. The truth is, I haven’t had any time for them. They hate to be ignored. Like I said, they’re so demanding of my time.
The past several mornings as I’ve come down the stairs, the hum of their voices fills my head. I want to scream, “Leave me alone,” but I don’t. I promise them that maybe tomorrow I’ll have time for them. I admit, I do miss them, although they don’t seem to know that.
That’s another thing about all this time and attention they want from me. My husband is really a sweetheart, very kind and understanding. He won’t admit it, but I know he’s a little jealous of these other people in my life. It takes away from time I could be spending with him. Our brains are just wired differently, I guess, so he doesn’t understand why I allow them in my life. He knows I feel frustrated with them at times. “Come, sit with me,” he says. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It depends on exactly how involved I am in my time with these people.
It’s not easy to explain my relationship with these people. Of course, some of my friends do understand. They even understand why I chose to kill off some, why I felt driven to do it. Alas, my poor husband doesn’t get it. I’m grateful he’s as supportive as he is. I don’t take that for granted. Not all spouses would be as gracious.
Today I will devote the whole day to these “I-will-not-be-ignored-any-longer” people. The hum of their voices can’t be stilled. I sit in my comfortable chair and smile. I flip open my laptop and tap the On switch. There’s a faint hum as the computer powers up.
I can’t give my time to all of my characters at once, though, so I’ll have to choose. I click on Documents and scroll down. I have several manuscripts I’m working on. Which shall it be?
Although I haven’t spent any time with my characters, I have listened to their voices. In my mind, I’ve changed a few things, rewritten a few chapters. There’s no need to kill anyone off today, though. Well, it’s not really killing them. I don’t write murder mysteries. A better word is I eliminate or delete. I guess it would be delete, since there’s no eliminate key on the keyboard. I had to get rid of them. It was for the best. They were just incidental characters.
At first I can’t remember all the little nuances of their personalities. Perhaps I shouldn’t ignore them for weeks anymore. No worries, it’s all coming back to me.
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