I’m not like a regular mom, I’m a cool mom…

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Non Fiction / personal

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Santa isn’t the only one coming to town this December

I’m excited to announce to those who don’t follow me on social media that I’m pregnant with a baby boy named Greyson, and I’m due in December! Pregnancy is exciting, terrifying, and beautiful, but everyone experiences something different. A common mistake women make during pregnancy is comparing themselves and the natural changes of motherhood to other women and the changes they go through. Just as every woman differs from the second they enter into this world as a baby girl, every woman has a uniquely special pregnancy. Weight gain, bodily pain, morning sickness, hormonal changes, cravings, and growing babies progress differ from woman to woman. Ladies, don’t compare yourself to other women ever, but especially during pregnancy. You are YOUnique.

Comparing ourselves as women¬†to others and stressing over tiny, unimportant details isn’t our fault. We’ve grown up watching Disney movies and playing with Barbie’s, constantly being told what is expected of us as women. We are expected at a young age to be beautiful, live life-like a princess (unrealistic), and of course, our traditional wedding day should already be drawn out in our minds by age seven…duh. We want a prince, right? We want three kids, right? We want a white picket fence and a gorgeous home, free from stains and messes…right? NO. We all want something different! It’s not a bad thing if you want any of those things, but if you don’t, you’re STILL a woman and you’re never wrong for loving what you love and wanting what you want. During your pregnancy, remember to remain true to yourself.

I’ve been asked by many, how I’m remaining so healthy and happy during my pregnancy. “Lizzie, what’s the secret?”¬†I may have my secrets, but the reasons behind my happiness and health aren’t secretive…

I’m still dancing, eating healthy, and remaining true to who I am as a woman. I still wear pretty clothes (everyone knows I’m a fashion enthusiast), going to work every day, and doing what I love to do. I also surround myself with only positive people and situations, because no pregnant woman needs the added stress. Stress is¬†not only bad for the baby, but it’s bad for you, too. Some women forget to take care of themselves after becoming pregnant, because of course¬†our children will ALWAYS be a top priority, and we discover that truth the second the strip reads positive. But, we still need to take care of our needs and desires. We’re pregnant ladies…not dead.

I get a manicure and pedicure every two weeks, I shop at my favorite stores whenever I can, I write whenever I’m having a lazy day at home, with pretty, scented candles around me, I go on daytrips,¬†and I find beauty everywhere I go. I am living for not only Greyson, but I’m living for me. I want him to know the bohemian, nature obsessed, animal loving, fashion addicted, ballroom dancing, writer that I am. I promise you, your baby wants to get to know the real¬†you, too. He or she will be interested in your life, passions, mistakes, and stories.

Society is a bummer and it thrives off of a woman’s insecurities, especially when we’re pregnant (lucky us). Companies profit off of the way a woman feels at any given time in her life and when we’re pregnant our emotions tend to be intensified. I want you to take a moment to unfollow any account on your social media platforms that make you feel insecure, angry, or stressed. If it’s a person constantly posting negative messages, unfollow them. If it’s a stupid, unrealistic company that makes you doubt yourself, unfollow them. I have zero time for negativity and that is why I continue to glow throughout my pregnancy. I always say, if you litter your trash everywhere you will wake up one morning and realize you’re living a trashy life. Positivity is power, ladies. In a world filled with hate, ignorance, and negativity, be sunshine.

Pregnancy isn’t the time to tone, lose weight, or overdo it. If you’re doing any sort of workout and you cannot hold a conversation while doing so, you need to tone it down. I’ve also¬†been asked about how my pregnancy has affected my ballroom dancing; it hasn’t. I have been a ballroom dancer for two years and was accustomed to dancing two-three times a week, for two years, with¬†lengthy showcases in between,¬†right¬†up until¬†becoming pregnant. I actually danced¬†and scored very well in a¬†showcase a few weeks¬†prior¬†to¬†finding out I was pregnant.¬†I then, continued dancing and I’m currently working with a new instructor and we’re¬†planning for our Fall Showcase. I just cannot¬†stay off of the dance floor; it’s a part of me.¬†You can still do what you love to do during pregnancy, but¬†you have to listen to your body. When you’re pregnant, your body and mind will let you know when you’re comfortable and when you’re in need¬†of a break. Ladies, have fun during your pregnancy. Go for a relaxing walk, spend as much time as you can outdoors, and workout only when it feels right.¬†You’re going to endure physical changes while pregnant, whether¬†they’re minimal or not,¬†and women are incredibly strong. We can carry a child for nine months; we can do anything.¬†If you have insane fitness goals and plans, wait until after the baby is born.

I drink lots and lots of water, which I actually didn’t do enough of before becoming pregnant and I eat as healthy as I possibly¬†can. Ladies, it’s okay to crave chocolate and pizza when you’re pregnant, but you need to also eat healthily. We’re not¬†perfect and some days we’re going to fall short.¬†It’s no different from before you became pregnant! If you have pizza Friday night, that’s fine. You deserve something tasty, but eat healthy, normal, and balanced during the week. I¬†eat¬†a¬†lot of fruit, vegetables, and I just recently became a¬†vegetarian…again. Plain pasta with garlic and vegetables is great, or an omelet and fresh fruit for breakfast. There’s also a healthy¬†way to treat yourself to chocolate¬†and pizza, for example. I LOVE dark chocolate¬†covered blueberries and cranberries (dark chocolate is good for you), and when it comes to a Friday night pizza, a margarita, or white veggie¬†pizza¬†are¬†much healthier than most other toppings.¬†Be smart and creative with¬†your pregnancy food choices. It’s a time to¬†discover colorful, healthy recipes and to cut out anything bad from your diet.¬†For those who’ve asked me about my¬†vitamins during pregnancy, I also¬†take GNC Women’s Biotin and GNC Women’s Prenatal Vitamins, every single day¬†and I’ve been incredibly impressed with GNC.

I’d like to touch on one last thought before I leave you with a new post to read; I have an amazing man by my side and I’m so thankful for him. He’s not only my lover¬†and boyfriend, but he’s also my best friend.¬†I tell him everything and we’re so comfortable with one another. I wish I could¬†fully express¬†to him and all of you reading this, how¬†much he has positively impacted my life, but it’s hard to put into words.¬†With all of¬†that being said,¬†if you’re pregnant and with someone who doesn’t make you happy, or you’re with someone who doesn’t plan on being there for¬†your child, walk away. You are better off¬†going on this journey alone than with someone who makes you miserable. I have never known my biological father because he never wanted to know me. My mother and I were much better off without him. Stepfathers and adoptive fathers, we appreciate you (side note).¬†If you’re single and pregnant…it’s going to be¬†okay. I promise you, you can do this. I have known so many kick-ass single mamas and they make it through with such strength. Find inspiration and support¬†from friends, family, activities, and books.

To all of my pregnant mamas out there I wish you a happy, healthy, and relaxing pregnancy! You can do this. Leave the stress and fear behind you and only look forward. Cheers to new chapters and beautiful beginnings. Xo

 

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Summer Lifestyle by Lizzie

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Fashion / personal

Summer is winding down and with this hot season came new trends, wants, and needs. I am a fall/winter gal, but I appreciate the beauty around me, always. Whether you worked all summer, while taking occasional beach trips, or you were sweating it out at the shore all season, summer is filled with style cravings. I have current obsessions, favorite shopping destinations, and perfect dining spots that I’d love to share with you. Are you ready to shop and sip with me?

Shopping…

Francesca’s is fun, bohemian, and flirty, which is my true esthetic. I’d rather have flowers in¬†my hair than diamonds around my neck, and if you are the same kind of¬†gal¬†then Francesca’s is your next shopping destination.¬†I was a manager at Francesca’s for a while (one of my favorite jobs of all time)¬†and I will always shop there. Be sure to join their email mailing list to stay up to date on current sales and promotional events¬†in-store & online. Clothes aren’t the only thing you’ll fall in love with at Francesca’s; my apartment is filled with candles, wall d√©cor,¬†& other home d√©cor items from Frans.¬†The environment makes the shopping experience fun and relaxing, with beautifully designed boutiques, filled with wall d√©cor (yes, the wall d√©cor behind the counter is for sale), and creative table displays that are eye catching and colorful. My¬†preferred¬†location: Francesca’s¬†at the Promenade at Sagemore, in Marlton New Jersey.

South Moon Under has a similar feel to Francesca’s,¬†but they are more expensive. I usually¬†buy shoes and jewelry from them, but if you’re willing to spend a little more money, their clothing is high quality. I just bought a gorgeous pair of Sam Edelman flats (on sale) from SMU and they’re perfect. The clothing ranges from bohemian to classic, with great summer¬†pieces that can also be worn at work. The styles are transitional and can be worn throughout the year! Remember, any pretty tank top or summer¬†blouse can be paired with a cardigan, kimono, or blazer to transition into autumn. SMU is also a great store to shop at for gifts! My preferred location: South Moon Under Online, or¬†at The Promenade at Sagemore, in Marlton New Jersey.

Nordstrom has everything you could possibly need from formal wear to everyday essentials. Whether you’re a pregnant mama looking for a new wardrobe, or you’re a young guy/gal looking for an outfit for a¬†night out, Nordstrom has everything.¬†The shoe department will have you drooling and the jewelry cases are hard to ignore.¬†Yes, the designer clothing/accessories¬†are expensive, but it’s a great place to shop every so often for a new accessory, dress, etc. They have an awesome underwear/lingerie department, which includes trendy loungewear. I find that if you fall for one-three designers and only splurge on a pricey piece once in a while, that is the way to go! I spoil myself every season with a new designer item.¬†Nordstrom is entertaining and beautiful. I love big department stores, because they remind me of Christmas time and old movies…a different era.¬†My preferred location: Nordstrom at The Cherry Hill Mall, or online.

Altar’d State has a variety of home d√©cor and gift ideas for any occasion (baby shower, wedding, room makeover, etc.) and the prettiest clothing. The store has a true mission and focuses on looking good while doing good. The boutique is spacious and really, really pretty. There’s also a lot of faith¬†behind Altar’d State’s mission as a company, if that interests you.¬†I was raised Catholic and Jewish, so my religious background is complex, and mostly I believe in nature and animals. But,¬†if you’re religious and God truly means something to you, that is another reason you’ll fall in love with Altar’d State. The store has wall art, books, and even custom, floral bibles that focus on beauty AND God. My preferred location: The Promenade at Sagemore, in Marlton New Jersey,¬†or online.

For furniture and home décor? Shop Target, Marshalls, Wayfair.com, & even Amazon!

Restaurants? I have¬†my favorite¬†dining¬†destinations for this season that I’d love to share with you…

Brio Tuscan Grille at The Promenade at Sagemore, in Marlton New Jersey (try the Grilled Salmon Salad, or stop in for a fabulous brunch)

Redstone American Grill at The Promenade at Sagemore, in Marlton New Jersey (The Redstone Burger is delish)

Pasta Vino in Berlin New Jersey (have their Caprese appetizer and any of their pasta dishes for an entrée)

Riverwinds Restaurant in Deptford New Jersey (try the Eggplant Stack appetizer and The Lobster Ravioli)

Howards Restaurant in Long Beach Island New Jersey (try their salmon blackened with chilled citrus butter)

Bistro 14 in Long Beach Island New Jersey (try The Seafood Linguini and a side of Bistro 14 French Fries)

Filomena’s in Berlin New Jersey (try their fettuccine alfredo)

Fall is just around the corner (I CANNOT WAIT) and summer is coming to an inevitable close, but we have another month to plan ahead for our autumn wardrobe. Now is a time to reflect on our favorites for Summer 2018 and a time to clean out our closets before sweater weather returns.

This summer I was all about boho chic dresses, minimal jewelry, mermaids, a little red white and blue, cute baseball caps, wedges, and pretty lipstick shades (pinks, purples, and taupe).

Get ready to shop & sip with me for back-to-school and fall

Xo

 

 

Kiss me, Kill me

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drama / Fiction / mystery

Chapter Eleven

Lucy was covered in tears and her heart was racing. The moonlight lit up her face as she struggled to stand up. The monster standing in front of her, was Kenny. Kenny was Omisha…she couldn’t face the music. Memories flashed in front of her pained eyes; she could still feel¬†Kenny’s body on hers and the coziness of being wrapped up in his sheets. She thought about all of the late¬†night talks and early¬†morning adventures.¬†They loved each other in a complicated way, but timing was never on their side.¬†Kenny was the man¬†who saved her¬†from the heartache caused by Liam. He was the guy she ran to for affection and friendship whenever her¬†heart began to throb.¬†She realized now, that the acquainted¬†smell of Omisha was¬†the¬†cologne Kenny wore¬†when they were intimate. Lucy used to love laying in Kenny’s bed and smelling that clean, fresh scent. She’d tuck her¬†nose into his pillow and breathe in.¬†Another troubling memory flooded her mind and she blacked out for a long moment, taking herself back in time. A younger, wild Lucy sat on Kenny’s bed eating pizza and drinking beer. Her hair was a beautiful mess¬†of loose curls (sex hair) and she had very little makeup on. She wore nothing¬†but a loose¬†t-shirt and a thong.¬†Kenny kissed her cheek and looked into her reckless eyes, wondering what was next. She had just split¬†up with Liam and she was in the mood for a late¬†night with no sleep.¬†No sleep always meant alcohol and sex for Lucy.

“Lucy, what’re you thinking?” Kenny asked as she laid her head on his chest.

“You smell amazing tonight. What cologne are you wearing?” Lucy asked, tracing his chest with her long nails.

“It’s called Afternoon Rain,” Kenny answered.

“Do me a favor?” She asked with innocent eyes.

“What is it?” He questioned.

“Only wear that cologne for me,” Lucy said.

“Anything for you, but do you know what I want you to always wear for me?” Kenny whispered in her ear.

She cocked her head and looked at him.

“I want you to wear…nothing,” Kenny laughed as he tickled her and kissed her neck. She giggled and smiled at him.

Lucy left the bittersweet memory and returned to the present. Kenny stood beside her and she couldn’t move. Her phone lit up with Luke’s number, but she didn’t answer. She didn’t know what to do next. If she called the police Kenny would be locked up forever, but that was what had to happen. He was dangerous. He was no longer a lover or a friend.

“Lucy, I still love you with every bit of my heart and soul. You’re my beautiful girl. I know we’d never be together and that was reality for me. I wasn’t enough and never could be…you’re like a wild horse, always wanting to bolt. I knew that you’d need more than me and I’m happy you found that with Luke. He’s the one you’re meant to be with,” Kenny explained. She looked at him with confusion and anger.

“Why? Why’d you do all of this?” Lucy asked.

“There was something satisfying and thrilling about being in control of something as wild and beautiful as you. You drove me mad, Lucy. You’re so deep in¬†the darkness of my mind; you burrowed inside of me, like a drug. I may be crazy, but I’m crazier because you entered into my life,” Kenny responded.

“There’s no logic behind what you’ve done to me. You hospitalized yourself and put yourself behind bars to draw attention away from you,” Lucy whined.

“Logic doesn’t exist in my world, Lucy. You should thank me, though,” Kenny stated.

“Why the hell would I thank you?” She screeched.

“I’ve made you so strong. You are the fiercest woman I’ve ever known. You came here tonight to meet your enemy, with no fear. You’re amazing,” Kenny exclaimed.

“I will never thank you. You betrayed me and who we were to each other. I don’t even know you,” Lucy cried.

“Why did you kill Liam?”

“He hurt you. No one hurts you, unless it’s me.” Kenny replied.

“Do you want me to turn myself in, or do you want to call Detective Jones? I promised you I would end this and you know that¬†I keep my word,” Kenny remarked.

“You do it. Take responsibility for the pain and harm you’ve caused,” Lucy said.

Kenny called Detective Jones and confessed. He told him he was with Lucy and sent the location via text. An army of policemen and Detective Jones arrived at the abandoned liquor store and Kenny walked outside, hands in the air. Detective Jones hated himself for never suspecting Kenny. He wanted to spit on him, but his main concern was making sure Lucy was safe. She still sat inside, feeling broken and lost. Detective Jones brought her outside and Luke met them there. He held his wife tightly and stroked her hair. She cried on his shoulder and wrapped her arms around him. They followed Detective Jones to the police station and sat in a room, waiting for something. Lucy didn’t even know what she was waiting for, but she wanted to wake up from the nightmare she found herself in, once again. Kenny was arrested for the murder of Liam and all of the stalking and¬†damage brought upon Lucy. He would await trial and Detective Jones wasn’t going to make his wait comfortable or easy.

“Lucy, I know this is painful and confusing, but it’s over. Kenny will never hurt you again. I talked to Kenny and I thought you might want to listen to his recording,” Detective Jones said.

Luke held her hand and she stared at the ground as Kenny’s voice played softly in the background.

“I know you’re all wondering why I did what I did, but you don’t know what it’s like to be close enough to touch Lucy, but at the same time knowing you’ll never have her…not the¬†way Luke does, or the way Liam did at a time.¬†I was never enough for her and I never will be.¬†She’s unlike any other woman in this world. I wake up seeing her face and I fall asleep smelling her sweet perfume, which lingers all night long. It physically hurts me.¬†Everyone has their obsessions and weaknesses…she’s mine. I’m a mad man, Detective Jones. There’s no reason I could give you that is black and white, or that would satisfy Lucy’s troubled mind. She just needs to know that I love her and I always will. I’ve always been crazy, but I was a different person when I was with her. She was my addiction and I’ll never recover. Lucy, if you hear this…I don’t need you to forgive me and I am okay with you hating me. I’m sorry, but I don’t want you to forget our memories and who we were. I was never faking it or pretending with you. It was real. I always cared about you, I always had your back, and I was always your friend.” Kenny’s recording ended and Luke was speechless, as was Lucy.

“Kenny is right, Lucy. He’s mad. He’s mentally unstable and there will never be a response that satisfies you¬†and your tangled mind, but you have to be able to move forward,” Detective Jones told her. She nodded but her eyes were distant.

Luke took his love home and she went into the nursery to hold her son. Her¬†mom didn’t know what to say, but she knew her daughter was in immense pain. Lucy sat up all night thinking and crying. She looked out the window at the night sky, while Kenny sat in a cell, staring at concrete. It was all over and yet, it felt as though it was just the beginning. She wanted to call Kenny and tell him she needed him, but then she remembered he was Omisha. He was the reason for her pain. Kenny was dead. Omisha was the only one who existed from that moment on. She looked over at Luke who was fast asleep and she thought about her beautiful, baby boy who was sleeping in the room next to her. She was happy and her life was more than she could’ve ever asked or wished for, but she had no idea when she would feel okay again. Luke woke up and pulled her back into the bed. He kissed her entire body and held her closely, whispering in her ear¬†how much he loved her. She held his face in her soft hands and kissed him, seductively. He was her entire world.

A blinding sun slipped through the curtains and warmed Lucy’s bare skin. She was tangled up in a sheet next to Luke. She kissed his cheek and slipped out of bed, wrapped in just a sheet. She sat in the nursery holding her son closely to her heart. He looked into her eyes and she smiled at him. Luke wandered into the room and sat down next to his family. In that room everything was perfect and simple. Luke surprised Lucy with a trip to the mountains and they were leaving that night.

Lucy packed a suitcase and a bag of essentials for Caleb, while listening to country music. She sang along to a love ballot and danced around her bedroom, feeling her feet touch the cold hardwood floor. As she was pulling pajamas out of a drawer she found a note. She swallowed hard. She knew that perfect handwriting anywhere. She had no idea how Kenny managed to get a letter to her, because he was seconds away from trial, but she wasn’t questioning it. Luke called up to his wife; it was time to leave for their vacation. She sat down on the bed and yelled down, “One minute baby”. She opened the letter and took a deep breath. She smelled Afternoon Rain and wanted to cry, but she held back the tears. She bit down on her ruby red lips and read.

“Dear Lucy,

I needed to write to you one last time, because I’ll never see you again. I’m looking at a dark and lonely road ahead of me, but I’m not worried about myself. The game is over, but it was fun while it lasted.¬†I know I broke your heart, but you’re going to be okay. Remember, you’re the strongest woman I’ve ever known and no one will ever take that away from you.¬†Omisha couldn’t even take away your bravery¬†and strength.¬†I did some sick, messed up bullshit to you and¬†all of it was wrong.¬†I’m mentally ill, Lucy. I always was, but with you I was able to experience love, passion, and happiness, although it meant something different to me than it did to you. I deserve where I’ve ended up, but as long as you’re safe and happy that’s all that matters. I hope you have the most beautiful life with Luke and Caleb, and don’t worry, I’ll never wear Afternoon Rain for anyone else. I love you, pretty girl. I’m your shadow and I’ll never leave you.”

Lucy wiped a tear away and stood up, letting her baby blue maxi dress collect on the floor. She draped her wavy hair behind her shoulders and tucked the letter away. She left with her family and tried to distract her mind. Meanwhile, Kenny was sent far away, to a facility for the criminally insane. He looked out the window of a dank and depressing holding area and smiled, thinking about Lucy. He heard her laugh and tasted her lips, but then he realized he’d never hear, feel, or see her again. She was gone. He lost her. He screamed and bashed his head into the cement wall; security guards ran in and sedated him.

 

Five years had passed since Kenny’s confession,¬†and Lucy was still happily married to Luke, Caleb was five and his mother was his whole planet, and she was pregnant with a baby girl. She¬†stood in the same¬†kitchen, looking just¬†as good as she did five years earlier, cooking a¬†delicious¬†breakfast for her family; Luke leaned her up against the refrigerator and kissed her. She walked out onto the back porch to let their new puppy outside, but something stopped her dead in her tracks. She made a face and her eyes widened. She smelled Afternoon Rain…

 

 

 

Kiss me, Kill me

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drama / Fiction / mystery

Chapter Ten

A beautiful, yet exhausted Lucy held Caleb in her arms for the first time. Luke snuggled up next to his wife and newborn baby with the proudest smile on his face. Lucy¬†was tired and her messy beach hair flowed down her bust,¬†but her eyes were bright with happiness. Caleb was amazing and such a strong baby boy, with Luke’s personality and Lucy’s looks. He entered into an unknown world and Lucy’s ferocity grew as soon as she gave birth to her first child. She was determined to destroy Omisha, regardless of how long and bloody the fight would be. Caleb deserved a world filled with beauty and safety, not the frightening¬†world Lucy and Luke found themselves in.

Lucy sat in a cozy, grey rocking chair holding Caleb and feeding him. Luke sat across from his perfect, little family with a sports article in front of him. The new mother wore a loose, low-cut, yellow maxi dress and her hair was¬†pulled back in a ponytail.¬†The animals welcomed their new, human sibling into their household and became permanent protectors of the newborn. Detective Jones stopped by with flowers, wine, and a stuffed animal for Caleb. Lucy didn’t want to talk to the detective, though. She wanted to spend time with her son and ignore the chaos around her.¬†Detective Jones¬†wanted to keep the two policemen at her home, but he was also¬†stationing another cop at the end of her road. Luke made sure all security cameras were functioning properly, but the night Lucy’s wrist had been sliced open, there was nothing detected on the cameras. Caleb made a noise as Detective Jones wandered around the nursery. Kenny stopped by with gifts and food, of course. Serena had been over the night before with a wine gift basket, and Lucy’s parents were coming and going.

Detective Jones patted Kenny on the shoulder and Kenny made a face. He had a serious bruise on his shoulder, which Lucy hadn’t noticed earlier. Kenny clearly had a story to follow up with the injury.

“What happened to your shoulder Kenny?” Lucy asked. Caleb shifted in her arms and she whispered to him.

“I didn’t want to bother you guys with this, because Caleb is more important, but I was jumped the other night…in my own driveway,” Kenny explained. Lucy gasped and Luke looked at his wife with worry. Detective Jones stepped closer to Kenny.

“Kenny, you should’ve called me! You’ve been Omisha’s punching bag since the beginning. What did the attacker look like?” Detective Jones barked.

“I saw nothing. I hit the pavement and by the time I stood up the person was long gone,” Kenny told him.

“Omisha is becoming tired,” Lucy said.

“We can only hope. I’m not sure of what knocking you over the other night accomplished,” Detective Jones wondered.

“Well, my wallet is missing,” Kenny said.

“You’re going to be played as a suspect in Omisha’s next crime scene,” Lucy exclaimed. Luke nodded.

Lucy walked to the mailbox to get the mail as her long, bubblegum colored, pink slip dragged behind her. She ripped open an envelope from her brother, which appeared to have already been opened. A note from Omisha fell out. The note read:

“My dear Lucy,

Congratulations on the birth of your handsome son, Caleb. I know you’re already the most incredible mother. You look beautiful, too. You’re smarter than anyone else I know, Lucy.¬†You know that I’m getting¬†tired. I want to end this. Please meet me and come alone, Friday at 8pm at the old, abandoned liquor store on Rose Street. I look forward to seeing you.”

Lucy’s jaw dropped. She knew she couldn’t tell anyone, because if she did, Omisha wouldn’t show up. She¬†called Luke and told him she was going to¬†her first dance session after having the baby, Friday night, and¬†her mom would watch Caleb until he came home from work. She hid the letter from Omisha in her lingerie chest and made sure Caleb was still asleep. Luke returned home from work early to Lucy cooking the family a pasta dinner and he felt so,¬†unbelievably lucky. She was amazing…despite all of the heartache. Lucy kept their lives together like a pair of bookends and Luke was grateful for her.¬†Caleb was still sleeping, so Luke pulled his wife onto the couch and lifted up her dress. She was finally able to enjoy sex again after delivering Caleb, and she had really missed being intimate with Luke. Of course, they had found ways to be sexy with each other without having sex, but Luke missed laying her down. He powerfully made love to her and she moaned, feeling her stomach flood with butterflies. She loved the fact that he could still give her butterflies and cover her skin¬†with goose bumps.

Friday night arrived quickly and Luke called frequently to check in on Lucy and Caleb. Her mother came over with new toys and dinner, but Lucy was dressed for “dance” and ready to leave. Her mom held Caleb closely¬†and told Lucy she looked beautiful. She was wearing a short, grey, sequined dress, which she would normally wear to¬†a dance session and grey, studded¬†kitten heels. She straightened her hair and wore little makeup, but her lips were lush with pink lip gloss. Caleb made silly noises and Lucy smiled at her son, feeling as though there would finally be peace in their lives and true¬†security. She kissed Caleb on the forehead as he grabbed for her and headed out.

As she drove to the abandoned liquor store she felt fierce. She was no longer afraid. She wanted to put an end to the madness once and for all, and she prayed she wasn’t walking into a trap. She was nervous to discover who her devoted tormenter was and the closer she became to the building the more her stomach ached. Her head filled with ideas regarding who it could be, but it was a true mystery. Kenny called her and she hit ignore, and then her mother called her. They needed to think she was at dance, dancing her heart out. Surprisingly, she hadn’t heard from Luke which was unlike him. She was almost positive he had left work and was on his way home.

She parked behind the abandoned liquor store which was overgrown with creepy, twisted vines. The back windows were broken in and there was a porch, partially caving in with a sliding glass door. She had no clue if that was the entrance Omisha went through or if it was safe. The night was cold and dank but the sky was bright with moonlight; she crept carefully over debri and trash in a moss covered parking lot. She looked back at her sports car, thinking she could simply leave. The porch was a few feet away and there was a stray cat meowing to the right of her. Lucy grinned at the cat and felt a little less alone, but entering the building changed her feelings. As she walked through the back of the building she looked everywhere for a sign of Omisha, but then she saw candles lining the hallway and lighting her path. Omisha was there. The flashlight on her phone was also a source of light, but some parts of the building were a black hole. There was no sign of her enemy but she did smell that same, familiar scent. It drifted through the building like a breeze and although Lucy didn’t see Omisha, she knew she wasn’t alone. She sat down on a barrel and waited. The liquor store was empty besides shelving and old tables. Towards the front of the building the floor was caving in though, which concerned her.

A noise echoed from the storage room behind her and before she could stand up, a masked figure appeared in front of her. She rose up cautiously and stared at the person for what felt like hours. Omisha stepped a little closer to Lucy but neither one had yet spoken a word. There was something comfortable and familiar about Omisha, and Lucy didn’t feel scared. She felt as though she was standing next to a loved one or a friend, but then she remembered how dangerous the stalker was.

“Omisha, I was brave enough to come here alone for answers and to end this. Now, you have to be brave enough to tell me who you are, and to show me your face,” Lucy stated.

Omisha was proud of Lucy for how strong, brave, and determined she was. She was a force to be reckoned with, like a beautiful tsunami.

“I will show you my face and my torment and stalking will end. I promise you that, but this isn’t over my dear. You will leave here feeling confused, hurt, and shocked. I will always be with you,” Omisha spoke. The monster’s voice was severely muffled.

Lucy stepped closer and awaited the reveal. Omisha pulled the mask off slowly, and although the building was dark, the person’s¬†face was clear. Lucy fell to the ground and began to cry. She had never felt more pain in her entire life and she screamed. Omisha looked down at her and offered her a hand. She slapped Omisha’s hand away and cried harder. She pictured Liam being brutally killed by the person standing in front of her¬†and the tears stung like bee stings.

“It can’t be you…PLEASE, tell me this isn’t real. Do you have any idea how much I’ve always loved you?” Lucy cried hysterically.

To be continued…

 

Kiss me, Kill me

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drama / Fiction / mystery

Chapter Nine

A knock at the door startled Lucy, who was watching a movie on the couch. Luke was working late and she was feeling uncomfortable and lonely. She opened the front door, cautiously and there was Kenny, standing on the porch holding a hot bag of Chinese food. The smell wafted through the doorframe and Lucy hugged Kenny tightly.

“How did you know I was craving Chinese food?” She asked as they made their way into the kitchen.

“Well, I texted Luke, just checking in on you and he told me to feed you. He said he’d be working late tonight¬†and that you’re bored, feeling super pregnant, and lonely. Chinese food and a good movie can cure anything,” Kenny said with a grin.

“Thank you…you’re the best,” she exclaimed. Her eyes were sparkling beneath shimmery eye shadow and her lips were a soft shade of mauve.

They watched old movies, ate Chinese food, and talked about the latest news in Lucy’s life. She played with her hair, which was wavy and loose. Lucy was similar to a¬†drama television show, or an old, Hollywood movie¬†filled with intrigue.¬†She told Kenny she was having a boy, Luke was working harder (and later) than ever, there were always two policemen posted up at her house, and Omisha wasn’t backing down.¬†Detective¬†Jones was working night¬†and¬†day on the case but was angry over the lack of results.¬†Kenny was horrified to hear about the fall and was overwhelmed with emotions. Lucy ate a piece of broccoli but suddenly lost her appetite. She couldn’t even talk about Omisha without becoming nauseous. She held her baby bump and thought about the baby boy inside of her; she knew her job was now to protect her child, above anything else. Luke returned home around midnight and Kenny was asleep on the couch. He had put Lucy to bed hours earlier, but it didn’t feel right leaving until Luke was home. Luke woke him up and thanked him for being there for Lucy, and for feeding her dinner. Kenny smiled and shook his hand.

Luke crawled into bed with the love of his life and wrapped his arms around her. He placed his hand on her belly and kissed her shoulder. In the middle of the night, Lucy awoke from a terrifying nightmare, waking Luke. He held her until she was able to fall back asleep, but the gruesome images from her sleepy mind lingered. The nightmare was of their baby being born, Lucy waking up to feed him, and finding that both him and Luke were gone. She found a bloody hallway, but no sign of her loved ones. It was impossible to shake the negative feelings from her gut. The active baby boy inside of her kicked and she jumped. Luke held her stomach and eventually, Lucy drifted off into a normal sleep.

The next night Luke didn’t work as late, but Lucy wasn’t feeling well. She was in her third trimester and the baby’s arrival was fast approaching. She took pain medication¬†approved by her doctor and laid down on the couch. The Titanic was playing loudly in the background and someone was at the front door, knocking. Lucy assumed Luke was already home, but he wasn’t. She was too dizzy to stand up and the medication made her drowsy; she fell asleep. Before she passed out she smelled a scent which was all too familiar…the same scent that always linked her mind to Omisha. Luke returned home to the front door being slightly opened, which immediately panicked him. He barged inside and the animals were both asleep on the couch. He called for his wife, but there was no reply; Luke walked upstairs and noticed the light to their bedroom was on. As he entered the room he could feel the air change around him, as if he was entering into a dark space. The color left his skin when he found Lucy lying on the floor next to the bed, covered in¬†blood. Her wrist was cut open and she was unconscious. Luke found a piece of metal on the floor beside her, but the thought of his pregnant wife slitting her own wrist baffled and alarmed¬†him. He called for an ambulance and held her in his lap until the paramedics arrived. The policemen who were¬†posted up at the house rushed inside and Luke wanted to choke them both¬†with his bare hands. They said the night had been quiet and they heard nothing. Luke shook his head and took a deep breath.

The paramedics rushed Lucy and Luke to the hospital, and Detective Jones was meeting them there. Lucy didn’t wake up until hours later, but luckily the baby was safe. She appeared at first sight¬†to have lost more blood than she¬†actually did,¬†but her husband had returned home just in time.¬†If he had worked later, like usual, she could’ve bled out.¬†She was crying uncontrollably and Luke was trying desperately to comfort her. She looked confused and scared. Detective Jones sat beside them, needing to question Lucy.

“Lucy, my dear, what happened?” Detective Jones asked. Luke sat there quietly, listening.

“I was in a lot of pain today, so I took medication¬†approved by my doctor. The medicine makes me tired and I’ve already been dealing with dizziness from the pregnancy. I laid down on the couch and fell asleep, but the last thing I remember is a knock at the door. I never answered it because I thought Luke had already come home,” Lucy told Detective Jones. Luke looked concerned.

“A knock at the door? What time did you hear a knock?” Detective Jones asked.

“It was around seven thirty. I remember smelling that scent again, the one that reminds me of Omisha. I fell asleep and I don’t know what happened after that,” Lucy replied.

“Babe, are you sure you heard a knock?” Luke questioned.

“Yes, I’m sure. It was loud and the animals reacted to it,” she said firmly.

“The men on duty tonight at your house heard nothing and they saw no one. Lucy, the medication knocked you out. I know this is hard, but were you feeling overwhelmed or depressed today?” Detective Jones pursued.

“No, I wasn’t depressed. I was in a good mood. Why are you asking me if I was depressed?” She snapped.

“There was a metal piece on the floor beside you, where Luke found you. Your wrist had been sliced open Lucy. You could’ve died and the baby is very lucky to still be alive due to the trauma you endured tonight,” Detective Jones remarked.

“Listen, I have been through more pain than anyone I know. I didn’t cut my own wrist and lay there, ready to die. This baby is my son and I would never do anything to jeopardize this pregnancy or his fragile life. Omisha has taken so much from me and to think you’re even a little shocked as to what happened tonight disturbs me,” Lucy yelled.

“Lucy, I love you and I know you as a person. I know our son is important to you and you’re the strongest person I know, but tonight was odd and what happened was concerning. No one is mad at you or blaming you for anything. You’ve been through way too much and that is why Detective Jones thought you may have hurt yourself, while dosed with the medication,” Luke explained. She was furious but her eyes were tired.

“I didn’t hurt myself. I know I didn’t. Oh, and the baby’s name is Caleb. I decided on the name this morning,” Lucy told Luke and Detective Jones before locking herself in the bathroom. Tears poured out of her eyes.

Luke knew she was beyond upset and he felt bad for even thinking she’d hurt herself. Detective Jones sat there, puzzled. The cops had heard nothing, but Omisha always went undetected. There was never a trace left behind, which was the most frustrating part of the investigation. Lucy returned to her hospital bed and Luke took her hand in his. He gazed into her eyes and knew she was telling the truth. He apologized for doubting her, even for a second, but he was scared of losing her and the baby. She understood, but she was exhausted and angry. Lucy’s doctor walked into the room and glared at Detective Jones.

“Lucy is as stable as they come, Detective. I sent her blood work out for testing, but she is not someone who would harm herself or her unborn child. Please, go easy on her. She is too far along in her pregnancy to feel high anxiety, because that could lead to serious complications,” her doctor said to Detective Jones, with intense force. Lucy sat there feeling protected and honored. She was in good hands. Luke looked at Lucy and smiled. He believed her, always.

“Doctor, I know she is your patient and in your constant care,¬†but I am in charge of an ongoing investigation and I’m trying really hard to save Lucy’s life.”

“In all due respect Detective Jones, stressing Lucy out at this stage isn’t saving her life or helping your investigation,” her doctor responded.

“I understand and I will check in on Lucy tomorrow, when she’s home. I’m sorry for upsetting you Lucy,” Detective Jones said before leaving.

The doctor hugged Lucy and told her to rest; she could go home in the morning. Luke curled up with a blanket in one of the hospital chairs, like he had before and dreamt of a world without Omisha. Lucy awoke in the morning and her husband was reading the paper. He kissed her and gave her a cozy hug.

“Lucy, I am so sorry. I know you’re stable and would never harm yourself. Omisha is responsible for this, but we need to figure out how,” Luke spoke.

“The last thing Omisha wrote to me made it clear that I would end up looking like the crazy one, and that I’d look hot in a straight jacket,” Lucy sighed.

“Omisha must’ve snuck by the police…I told Detective Jones the door was left open,” Luke responded.

“I feel an end coming. I think Omisha is running out of steam,” Lucy said.

“God, I hope so. I need you and our¬†Caleb to be safe.”

Lucy returned home and for the first time in a long time she was no longer scared…she was determined. She was going to find out who Omisha was, no¬†matter how painful the journey. She knew it was someone who was a little too close for comfort, and Detective Jones was becoming irritated and mentally exhausted. The established detective had finally met¬†a criminal he wasn’t smarter than.¬†Lucy sat up late at night pouring through text messages, photographs, and searching for cologne/perfume brands that could possibly connect to Omisha’s scent. She read every note left by Omisha and compared¬†them to famous writers, movie quotes, and messages from people she was close with. She began thinking further and harder than she had before, and tracking Omisha from the beginning. Something set Omisha off and placed Lucy on the monster’s game board.

She thought back to the death of Liam, Kenny’s arrest, and everything else that occurred. She met Luke and the love she felt for him definitely increased Omisha’s intensity and attacks. But, Omisha never killed Luke…only Liam. Did the killer have a certain level of respect for Luke? As Lucy looked through likes on her¬†social media sites her stomach tightened up. She stood up to go to the bathroom and then, her water broke…

She yelled for Luke and although excited for Caleb’s arrival, she wasn’t nervous. She took a moment to get changed, curl her hair, and grab extra hospital essentials. Luke was frantic, naturally and incredibly excited. His son was coming! They headed to the hospital and Luke held her hand the entire way there.

“I’m so excited to meet you, baby boy,” Lucy whispered as they pulled into the hospital parking lot.

Kiss me, Kill me

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drama / Fiction / mystery

Chapter Eight 

A red maxi dress draped over Lucy‚Äôs baby bump and flowed down to the hardwood beneath her bare feet. She stood in the kitchen with her hair half up, half down. A large spoon, covered in whipped cream in one hand, and a bowl filled with a sweet mixture in the other. She smiled with cherry red lips as Luke walked through the back door. The house smelled of grilled salmon and garlic mashed potatoes. Her sensual perfume clung to him as he pulled his beautiful wife in for a kiss. She¬†placed the dessert she was concocting down on the counter, as Luke kissed her neck. He picked her up and sat her down on the edge of the sink; his firm hands slipped under her dress and she moaned. They made love on the kitchen counter, and Lucy looked into Luke‚Äôs eyes with intense passion. She remembered looking into his eyes for the first time and knowing it was “him”. Her¬†heart whispered, “Don’t let him get away”.

They sat at the dining room table, enhanced by candle light and bit into a colorful meal. Luke noticed that Lucy looked distracted, but he knew she was also feeling quite exhausted from the pregnancy. She drifted off, falling deep into her own thoughts, before Luke broke her spell.

“Sweetheart, what’s on your mind?”¬†Luke asked.

“I’m worried, Luke. I didn’t want to tell you, because everything has been quiet, but I was shopping with Serena today and something happened,” Lucy began. Luke dropped his fork to the ceramic plate, which created¬†a dramatic noise.

“What happened?” He questioned, sounding tenser than before.

“I bought a dress today,¬†and when I was trying it on in the fitting room¬†I found a message taped to the mirror. It warned me of losing our baby,” Lucy whined.

“Lucy, I don’t want you talking to any of your friends until we figure out who Omisha is,” Luke said with force.

“I know this is terrifying and frustrating, but how can I possibly cut everyone off?”¬†Lucy questioned.

“You answer their calls and texts, but I don’t want you going out with anyone without me there. I’m not going to risk anything happening to you,” Luke exclaimed.

“Okay, babe. You’re right,” she agreed.

The house had a startling stillness to it at night, which never used to bother Lucy, but after Omisha arrived in her life every feeling changed. The home she lived in was a gift from her parents and it was her sanctuary. It was a cozy, two story¬†Cape Cod with a white exterior and taupe shutters. The yard was lush and filled with trees and gorgeous flowers.¬†When Luke moved in it felt even more like¬†home, but¬†every noise worried them; Omisha was everywhere and¬†nowhere, which was a scary battle to face.¬†Lucy wasn’t sleeping through the night with her growing baby keeping her awake, but Luke didn’t always hear his wife sneak out of bed. Usually, she’d sit on the couch in the living room and watch a favorite movie, or some nights she’d even sit on the back¬†deck and read. Reading has a way of calming the mind. Chloe, her cat and Luna, her bouncy, Golden Retriever followed her down the steps and into the kitchen. The house was dark, but there was a glow from the moon lighting up sections.

The baby kicked and Lucy held her stomach while she poured herself a glass of lemonade. She wrapped herself in a grey, knitted¬†blanket and opened up the back door to let Luna outside. Chloe meowed from the countertop, wanting food.¬†A few minutes passed and Lucy realized Luna wasn’t leaving the back deck. She was whining. It was very unusual for Luna to need company while going outside, but Lucy walked out onto the porch, looking up at the shimmery moon. The night was beautiful and the air smelled inviting. Luna barked as Lucy approached the porch steps. Luna sat at the top of the steps, shuffling anxiously. Lucy began walking down the steps, urging her dog to follow, but before she could call Luna once more, an invisible object tripped her. She tumbled down the steps and crashed onto the patio brick below. Her hair collected in the foliage beside¬†her.¬†A scream echoed through the yard and woke Luke immediately. He heard Luna barking and crying from outside; a terrified dog and husband fell to Lucy’s unconscious side, and Luke picked her up off of the ground.¬†She didn’t land on her stomach, but any fall during pregnancy can be life threatening to the baby and mother. Luke buckled her into his pickup truck and sped to the hospital, frantically calling her doctor.

She awoke as Luke was carrying her into the hospital, but she was confused. ¬†Sirens and flashing lights blurred beyond the beauty. She kept saying “baby” over and over again, and Luke wished he knew whether or not their baby was okay. She was placed on a gurney and wheeled into a room.¬†They waited nervously for her doctor to arrive.¬†Luke sat next to her bed, shifting back and forth in his seat. He held her hand and kissed her arm. She looked at him with tired eyes¬†and said, “I love you”. He smiled and kissed her lips, answering “I love you more than anything”. Hours passed and the doctor checked on the baby, took her vitals, and sent her¬†for several X-rays. The baby was safe and sound, but Lucy suffered from minor trauma. She was lucky the fall didn’t produce more damage.¬†The doctor ordered Lucy to remain on bed rest until the next ultra sound, to ensure everything was truly fine. The doctor patted Luke on the back and left them alone for a moment.

“Babe, I’m so glad that you and our baby are safe, but I have to ask you…how did you fall? You’re not a clumsy person, by any means,” Luke stated. She was a dancer, after all.

“Luna refused to go out into the yard. Something was making her nervous, so I walked down the steps to encourage her to follow, but she didn’t. I don’t know what tripped me, but something latched onto my leg¬†and I fell,” Lucy explained.

“I’ll look when we get home. The doctor wants you to stay overnight for observation, and I’m not leaving you,” Luke told her. She reached for him and smiled, feeling exhausted. He kissed her sweetly and she looked into his loving eyes with affection.

The doctor came in and smiled; he had exciting news. Lucy had taken a blood test weeks prior, which included finding out the sex of the baby, before the next ultra sound. Lucy initially didn’t want to know¬†the sex, but decided it would be fun to find out.

“Lucy, Luke, are you finally ready to know the sex of your baby?” The doctor asked.

They both smiled and nodded.

“You’re having a boy, Lucy. Congratulations to you both!”

Luke almost fell over. He was going to have a son. Lucy started to cry when she saw how excited her husband was, and although she wanted a little girl to follow in her sparkly footsteps, she already loved her baby boy so much. She looked at Luke and they both laughed, knowing their lives were about to change in such an adventurous way.

They returned home the next morning, and Luke made his wife breakfast in bed. She wasn’t happy about bed rest, but she knew it was what she needed after the fall. Luna and Chloe accompanied her in bed with Vogue magazine and the morning news. The smell of eggs and waffles drifted through the house, making Lucy’s stomach growl. She was starving and yet, had no appetite. The fall traumatized her in more ways than one; she felt as though somehow, it was her fault. Luna had tried warning Lucy, but the signs were unclear. While Lucy caught up on current fashion trends and chatted on the phone with her mom, Luke went outside with Luna.

He noticed a thin, clear wire attached to a thin, metal rod on either side of the steps. Part of the setup had been derailed when Lucy fell, but that was clearly the intention. Luke knew Omisha had set up the wire, and there’s no way Lucy could’ve seen the clear wire below her, especially in the dark. Luke decided to set up expensive cameras in the backyard and the front yard, which they had attempted to do before, but Omisha had a way of sneaking in from any angle.¬†Luke called a security company to come and install security cameras inside, which was costing a small fortune altogether. Luke was so angry; he couldn’t take the threats, or the¬†harm anymore. His wife and child needed optimum protection. He told Lucy about Omisha’s invisible wire, and she then realized the warning on the fitting room mirror was real. She felt foolish for not doing more to prevent the fall, but Omisha was relentless. Lucy was tired and Luke was feeling powerless.

Detective Jones agreed that cameras were smart, but he knew Omisha was smarter. He hired two men to post up at Lucy’s house, for the second time.¬†Lucy was uncomfortable with¬†watchdogs skulking through her flowers, but Luke told her¬†they were essential.¬†Detective¬†Jones¬†knew the psycho was someone close to Lucy, but the lack of DNA left behind at any of the crime scenes, or any true link to a real, physical person¬†made the case infuriating. Omisha’s mind was sick, but it was also exceptionally smart.

“I want to live a normal life again, and I want my son to have a normal life,” Lucy sighed.

“A psycho can only go for so long without becoming mentally exhausted. When someone becomes mentally exhausted they make mistakes; they become sloppy. We’ll catch Omisha, Lucy. I wish I could do more than I’m already doing, but this stalker is one of a kind,” Detective Jones replied.

“I guess I should be flattered that I have such a determined stalker, who has boggled the minds of law enforcement,” Lucy said with a smirk.

“Lucy,¬†I know we’ve talked before, but we know this person¬†is someone close to you. This enemy has been in your home, in your mind, and maybe even in your bed. Scorned lovers often make the scariest opponents, because they feel as though they’ve lost something that belongs to them. Stalking is about possession and power,” Detective Jones explained.

“I think about it every day. I feel as though Omisha is a woman, but I could be wrong,” Lucy remarked.

“Why?” Detective Jones asked.

“The way Omisha writes, follows my every move, as if this person truly understands the way a woman’s mind works, even after becoming pregnant…I don’t know, and again I could be completely wrong, but we both know how smart and cruel some women can be,” Lucy exhaled.

“Serena?” He questioned, as he pulled out files on everyone¬†who attended¬†Lucy’s wedding.

“She has been my¬†best friend for so long, but she doesn’t know me as well as you’d think. She’s a great person, but reserved. She doesn’t get me the way Omisha does,” she responded.

“Do you view Omisha as more than just a stalker? Do you view Omisha as a person in your life who maybe, knows you better than anyone else, including yourself?” Detective Jones wondered.

“I sometimes view Omisha as a part of myself, as if that psycho lives in my head, but then Omisha kills someone I love, or severely¬†harms me, and I realize this person is very¬†real. This person loves and hates me, and yet, this person does in fact know me better than anyone. I don’t even recognize a person in my every day life who understands me, my secrets, and my desires the way this unknown person does,” Lucy cried. Detective Jones handed her a tissue and gave her a moment. He knew it was painful, but the more she thought about it the more they’d both discover.

“You’re beautiful, smart, driven, and many people adore you. I’m sure you’ve been with men, even before Luke, and before Liam that would’ve done anything for you. Are there any old boyfriends that could still be hanging around, feeling resentment?” Detective Jones continued.

“I was only ever really serious with Liam, and now Luke. I was with Liam for so long and I was so young and na√Įve when we met. I’ve slept with and gone out with guys since Liam and before him, but none of them were anything serious. None of them knew my mind or my secrets. They were just normal guys,” she explained with¬†pretty eyes.

“Well, I hate to break it to you, but no guy is normal. They all have secrets, a past, and thoughts that would bother you. Most of them aren’t lunatics, but someone in your life sure as hell is. Do you remember telling me awhile back¬†that when you were kidnapped, something smelled familiar to you?” He interviewed.

“Yes, I do. I smelled something that made me think I had been very, very¬†close to my kidnapper before. I don’t know what the smell was from, but that wasn’t the only time I’ve smelled it. Sometimes, I think I smell that same smell while I’m grocery shopping, or even¬†at home. But, then it fades away.¬†It could be Omisha’s cologne, or perfume,” she murmured.

“What does it smell like?”

“It smells like the air after a rainstorm…it’s¬†a heavy scent, too. I know you were looking for an easier explanation, but that’s what it smells like, a breeze after the rain has passed,” she breathed.

“I used to go for jogs every morning, and when it would rain it would leave the earth smelling fresh and renewed. It was a calming smell,” he remembered.

“Yes, exactly,” she smiled.

“You need to rest, but I do have to ask…do you think Luke is in any way involved in the stalking? I know you met Luke rather recently, compared to many, but maybe you in fact met him in the past?” Detective Jones pursued.

“No, I would’ve remembered meeting Luke in my very, complicated past. He has something special that sets him apart from anyone I’ve ever met, and I know he’d never hurt me. He‚Äôs everything,‚ÄĚ she said with a sincere smile.

 

Lucy crept out of bed, waiting for Luke to come home and wandered out to the mailbox. The sun faded into a dark, stormy evening and she thought she smelled that same, familiar scent, Omisha’s scent. She pulled envelope after envelope out of the mailbox, holding the end of her long, lace nightgown in her hand. Her baby boy kicked and she made a face as she continued to shuffle through mail. The last envelope was from Omisha. The man posted up in her driveway looked at her, as her facial expression changed. She shook her head and read the note to herself.

‚ÄĚLucy, I know you may be going crazy, stuck in bed and unable to leave the house, but I‚Äôll show you what crazy really feels like. You‚Äôd look hot in a straight jacket.‚ÄĚ

 

Dancing Queen

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Dance / Fashion / Non Fiction


I entered into the beautiful world of dance when I was a little girl, by diving into ballet. I was a driven, little ballerina until I left my favorite private school (I attended a few) just before entering into fourth grade. I then danced a little longer at another private school, but when I started middle school and my pre-teen years, I was more concerned with applying makeup, crushing on boys, and dodging bullies than pursuing dance. I loved buying ballet slippers and sparkly tutus, but I never thought at age twenty one I’d fall for another realm of dance…ballroom dancing. I’ll never forget what my ballet instructor said to me before one of our recitals; I was in the¬†first grade, and she looked over at me while I applied a layer of lip gloss (I was such a diva) and said, “Although I think you’re going to pursue other things, you’ll always be a dancer.” I looked at her with a doe eyed expression and smiled, not at all understanding what my wonderful teacher meant at the time. She was right. I pursued writing, photography, graphic design,¬†fashion, retail, horseback riding, working with animals, etc., but my heart never left the dance floor.

I walked into Arthur Murray Marlton on February 14th, 2017 for their Valentines Day party. I accompanied my mom, but I was in no mood to mingle. I was going through a heartache unlike any other and I had recently left a fashion-retail job I loved for what I thought would be a great opportunity, but I was wrong. It was a time of immense change in my life and walking into that studio felt overwhelming. My mom had started dancing there a few months before I did, and she loved it; she told one of the dance instructors to introduce himself to me, because we’d be a good match. I was in a bratty, “I hate the world” kind of mood, but I faked a smile and shook his hand. He was bubbly and a lot of fun, but I was so upset I couldn’t even dance.

I sat there on the sidelines, cuddled in a taupe colored sweater, sulking and thinking. I looked into the other, distant¬†ballroom and watched as two instructors danced the American Tango together and I fell head over heels, just like that. I thought to myself, “I’m going to become a ballroom dancer and learn the American Tango.” Not only was the American Tango one of the first dances I learned at Arthur Murray, but it also flowed like no other. It came so natural to me that my instructor turned to me and said, “That is your dance.” I quickly fell for Argentine Tango, as well. The movement and passion within the Tango is mesmerizing and sensual. Dance is a language, and usually I dance simply to escape from the madness around me.

I learned Rumba, Salsa, Waltz, Foxtrot, and Hustle, of course within a year, graduating to a Bronze II level.¬†I’ve learned¬†a little Swing (and West Coast Swing)¬†as I¬†continue to grow¬†through Bronze II with my other concentrations. I’ve received high scorings in all of my dances, especially Argentine Tango & Rumba by incredible judges at showcases. I’ve learned so much and have fallen hard for ballroom dancing, thanks to Arthur Murray and Franddy (the best partner in crime a gal could ever ask for). I am a ballroom dancer not because of the desire to compete, but because I have to dance. Ballroom dancing isn’t about being perfect…it’s about passion and heart. If you need to be there, dancing and growing, then it’s a part of who you are. I will compete when time and money align, but my goals revolve around teaching & one day owning a dance studio. I know it may be years and years before that dream becomes a reality, but that’s okay.

Whenever I tell people I ballroom dance they always look at me with amazement and usually reply with, “That’s awesome! Just like Dancing with the Stars?” I smile and say, “When you’re not being filmed for a well-known television show it’s very different, but yes I wear a lot of sparkle and I dance the same dances.” I don’t do what I do for the flicker of camera bulbs or to earn loads of money (lol, not even close).¬†You don’t dance to earn an income; you dance to do what you love.¬†Ballroom dancing is an addictive, alluring, and expensive world filled with beautiful people, and some pretty intense individuals. I’ve watched women mess up just slightly and leave the floor crying. I’ve seen many stop showing up because the money and, or the nerves were too much. I’ve been asked after doing thirteen dances at a showcase, “How do you go out there and not feel nervous?” I always laugh and say, “I embrace the butterflies!” I still get nervous and I make mistakes, but when one of the judges tells me how beautiful I am to watch, the butterflies fade away. The amount of time I’ve put¬†into dance shocks some people, and¬† I know that being a part of the ballroom dancing world does make personal relationships challenging. I’ve been at the¬†studio late at night numerous times, or there may be an event/showcase that takes up a block of time (the weekend). I’ve often joked that I would sell an organ to keep dancing, but in many ways I’m being honest. It takes a lot of soul and drive to continue with ballroom dancing and to digest the critiques, because everyone has off days. It’s a beautiful sport and one hell of a workout, despite the sexy outfits and high heels.

I owe everything I’ve accomplished and the girl I’ve become to Franddy, my first and forever favorite dance partner (and instructor). I met Franddy at a fragile point in my life, but he reminded me of how strong I am, no matter what I‚Äôm dealing with. He showed me that I’m a storm and a force to be reckoned with, and he was right.¬†Dance is art, but when you dance with someone else you create more than just art…you create a feeling and a bond. We are both embarking on journeys that may take us away from each other and the dance floor at the moment, but dance forever connected us. I‚Äôm thankful for the laughs and for being able to dance through¬†the tears with the absolute best partner. Thank you for always believing in¬†me, for dipping me down low, and for continuing to teach me (even if our moments are few and far between now). Franddy, you took my life and shook it up, in the best possible way. Thank you for creating¬†a sparkly,¬†driven¬†monster (so much love,¬†xo).

I also want to thank all of the other instructors at Arthur Murray, and some who are no longer there (we miss you!). To Brandon and Nick,¬†who are two incredibly talented¬†dancers, who went on to pursue other things, you¬†both taught me so much. Brandon, thank you for showing me that dance is about having fun and being yourself, and that nothing else matters if you’re remaining true to yourself.¬†Nick,¬†thank you for always putting up with me (haha) and for¬†being just as sarcastic as I am. Also, thank you for the brief and truly amazing¬†country two step lessons.¬†Jarrod, I am excited to be working with you currently and I appreciate everything you teach me during our sessions. Thank you for helping me fall further in love with Waltz.

Arthur Murray Marlton is more than just a dance studio for me; it’s my second home. I walk in and I feel as though I can breathe again.¬†The Arthur Murray family is very real¬†and I am so¬†thankful for those¬†I’ve met¬†through ballroom dancing.¬†No matter where life takes me, that studio will always be one of the biggest parts of me.