Buy Link Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016FHCIWO
The nightmares didn’t start right away, they started when the screaming stopped.
Start, stop. Start, stop…
Then that’s when the voices took over…
Whispers, whispers…murderer, murderer…
Whispers, whispers…murderer, murderer…
Whispers, whispers…murderer, murderer…
Lavender Nolan was born into this world like everyone else, unaware of what life is about; some of us find our reality sooner than later. Opposition and struggle is all Lavender has ever known in her sixteen years.
There is an ongoing conflict within the Nolan family, they know it, and the small town they live in knows it, all too well.
Lavender’s young mother actively struggles with her own personal demons, emotionally and psychologically. Lavender’s grandmother lives in a constant state of denial about her daughter. Refusing to see Lavender’s mother for who she is and never coming to terms with it even as Lavender watches their lives slip away because of her mother’s bad choices in life. The willful blindness we have regarding people and the situations that are clearly laid out in front of us, mocking, taunting, and torturing our souls.
Were we born with a predisposed destiny or can we dig deep within ourselves to make our own and not repeat the past of others? Alternatively, do we accept the parts, the good and evil that make us who we are?
Are we our own worst enemies, or could we, would we be our own saviors when needed. No one has ever said you have to be the victim in your own circumstances.
The voices that live inside us
When to fight…
When to run…
When to surrender…
And most importantly, when to save ourselves.
Part One: Prologue
Beckley, West Virginia
Beckley General Hospital
I came into this world with a loud voice, “Congratulations! It’s a girl” The young nurse yells out.
“Oh Elizabeth honey, she is healthy and beautiful.”
“She’s got a set of lungs on her.”
“I need drugs for my pain. NOW!”
“Liz, darlin’… Don’t you want to hold your baby girl?”
“Give me some GOD DAMN DRUGS! NOW! NOW MOTHER!”
“Nurse… could you please do as my daughter has requested, she is obviously in a lot of pain.”
“And give her enough to shut her up. Children having children unmarried at seventeen. Can’t even tell us who the father is? My daughter is a drug addicted whore.”
“Hugh… not now, please….”
“Helen, I have been through four years of embarrassment with our daughter, and you want to tell me not now… You just want a second chance at getting this mothering thing right. We both know it. The entire town knows it. So you can keep your not now bullshit to yourself. I’ll be in the cafeteria.”
“Maybe if you wouldn’t have moved us to this Godforsaken place and kept us in Philadelphia we wouldn’t be in this situation….” I hiss at my husband before he turns to leave.
I turn to look at my daughter, who has now been administered drugs, and is calm for the first time in nine months. “Feeling better honey?” stroking my daughter’s forehead. Wondering what type of mother she would be. I wipe a single tear as my daughter looks up at me through heavy drug induced eyes.
“I wanna hold her….Mama.”
“Won’t be long now honey, just hold on.”
Looking at my daughter once again and wonder where I went wrong.
“Okay Elizabeth, they are just cleaning her up a bit. Then you can hold her. It shouldn’t be much longer now. Just a few more minutes,” cooing to my barely seventeen-year-old daughter, wiping her forehead.
“Here she is, all nice and clean, ready for a little breakfast. This little girl fought us for ten hours, she’s gotta be starving.” The nurse states handing off the newest addition to the Nolan family into my daughter’s open arms.
Elizabeth takes her in her arms and rubs her tiny bald pink head, “She ain’t got a single hair, Mama. And she’s so little to be so loud and all.”
We both stare down at the tiny baby girl as she tried to open her eyes. After several attempts, the tiny baby girl has success and we both gasp at the same time. She has my mother’s lavender eyes.
“She’s got Granny’s lavender colored eyes, Mama.” My daughter looks up at me through drugged stained tears.
“Yes, honey… she does. Yes, she does.”
June 3, 1984: Fayetteville, West Virginia
“Lavender June Nolan, come on, get down here and get your special birthday breakfast if you don’t hurry… you’re gonna be late for your last day of school.” Mama screams from the bottom of the stairs.
“Coming, Mama,” I yell as I try to tame my frizzy mess of blonde hair into a ponytail. My mama’s frizzy blonde hair. I give myself a look in the mirror. Today is my thirteenth birthday and my last day of eighth grade. I skipped the sixth and seventh grade because I tested higher than my age. Eighth grade was easy. Therefore, I will be a ninth grader or a freshman thirteen-year-old. I love school, I have a photographic or eidetic memory. Once I start high school, they may even give me tenth-grade classes or maybe even eleventh. I view school and my smarts as my ticket out of this small town. If I can get out, I will never come back. I want to see the world I’m always reading about in the books that line my shelves.
I already have little boobs and started my period four months ago now. I generally think I’m pretty, five-foot-five and still growing, blonde hair and my great-grandmother’s lavender eyes. And from what I have read is less than one percent of the world population. Grandmom always jokes with me and tells me I’m related to Elizabeth Taylor. The only thing I know is, it’s a rare genetic condition that is passed down every few generations. And I’m cool with that. Nothing wrong with being different.
Mama wasn’t very creative with my name, I wasn’t named after my great-grandmother, and I was named after her eye color and the month I was born. Not Adalia, which I am happy about, what kinda name, is Adalia anyway?
I’m teased in school because of the skipping the grade thing and my mama is the bartender at the only beer joint in our small town. On top of that, Mama has a loose reputation. I have studied all the men in my town of less than two thousand to see if I can figure out who my daddy could possibly be… Mama says she doesn’t know who my daddy is, maybe some guy she had met at a party from a few towns over. Not that it matters. I’m just curious.
“Lavender June… Now!” Mama yells again.
I grab my books and I’m off down the stairs.
I round the corner of the stairs, “Grandmom why are you in here and not having breakfast?” I call my grandmother Grandmom because she basically raised me.
Mama took off when I was six months old saying she needed to be free and live her life, then showed up six years later, pregnant with some random guy in tow. I can’t even remember his name anymore, or most of her overnight guests.
Mama gave birth to my brother who was stillborn. After she had given birth to a dead baby, she took off for another three years. Said she couldn’t be here, reminded her of her dead baby.
“Your mother had company again last night. I just can’t be bothered with that today. Here.” Grandmom hands me a small, neatly wrapped gift. “Happy Birthday, my beautiful little June bug.”
I sat down on the chair beside her, her in her wheelchair. Grandmom lost her leg to diabetes a few years ago. Ever since Granddaddy passed five years ago, her health has been declining, rapidly.
Granddaddy had a heart attack from the intense heat while down in one of the coal mines that was under construction. He never should have been down in the mine that day, some type of emergency inspection. He was brought down from Philadelphia to West Virginia to be the head lawyer and mediator between the railways and the coal mines. Hugh Nolan was well respected by the big city corporate honchos and the local coal miners as well. The church was standing room only and had crowds gathered outside waiting to pay their respects when he passed away.
Why Grandmom stayed here and didn’t pack up and go back to Philadelphia, where she was born and raised and to be with her family, no one could figure it out. Her family begged and begged… Grandmom always respectfully and gracefully declined. I believe to this day it was because Mama was gone and no one knew where she was, dead or alive or when she might show back up. I think Grandmom didn’t want to leave her only child behind. Or maybe she just wanted Mama to know she always had a home to come back to.
When Mama finally showed up, she didn’t even know about her own father’s passing, two years after he was dead and buried. Grandmom never has forgiven her for that. Not that she would ever say anything that would make Mama feel guilty, she always turns a blind eye when it concerns Mama.
Nevertheless, Mama has stuck around since all that. I woke up every day for almost a year and was surprised she hadn’t vanished into the night while I was sleeping.
I lean over giving Grandmom a kiss on her cheek before I start carefully untying the beautiful present. I wrap the ribbon around my wrist before opening the box. I gasp, “It's beautiful… it is so beautiful.” I look over and see tears streaming down her face.
“Your grandfather gave that to me the night he passed the law board exams. He had been studying non-stop for months and was afraid I would take another suitor. He said I could always look at the amethyst beads and think of my mother. I wore that necklace every day for more than thirty years. I took it off the day he left this world. Now I want you to have it, to remind you of your grandfather, my mother, and me.” Grandmom now is wiping tears from her old withered cheeks as I run my fingers along the sparkling amethyst beads.
“Grandmom, I love it…. I will treasure it always. I will think of you when I wear it.” I stand up, bend down and give her a tight squeeze. The love I have for her fills my soul. I stand up and place the necklace around my neck, walking over to look in the mirror. “I love it. Thank you.”
“Now would you please hand me my medication? And I would like breakfast in here today. Would you mind terribly bringing it to me? I’m not in the mood for one of your mother’s visitors this early.” Grandmom is struggling to roll herself over to her bureau to gather the many pills she takes a day.
“Grandmom, stay where you are. I’ll get them for ya.”
“Get them for you, Lavender, not ya.”
“Yes, ma’am… sorry.” I say, handing Grandmom the old cigar box she keeps her medication in. “Let me go get you your breakfast and insulin shot.” handing her a glass of water from her bedside table.
“Thank you dear.”
The smell of country ham makes my stomach rumble. I enter the kitchen to find my mother on the lap of her latest guest. I clear my throat to announce my entry. I get no reaction from the face sucking they are doing, so I slam my books down on the table, “Lavie ... Happy Birthday, Baby!” Mama wiggles her way off the guest’s lap and closes her robe, covering her exposed boobs, beer gut, and the bush between her legs that is on display. She walks over to give me a birthday hug and kiss, “Your mama has made a special breakfast for ya this mornin’. Country ham and fried eggs. Your favorite!” Mama’s booze stench is especially rank this morning. She also has a hint of what I assume is sour sex sweat smell. Gag. I hate it that I can hear them, the loud squeaks for her bed and her gross moans.
“I’m going to fix Grandmom a plate quick, and then I’ll come back and eat,” I announce twisting my way out of my mother’s stinky embrace.
“Okay shug, I’ll have your plate ready for ya.”
I take Grandmom her plate and insulin shot, making sure she has everything she needs before I return to the kitchen.
I am not surprised she and the guest are sucking face again. “So who are you?” I ask the guest, picking up a slice of ham and taking a bite. “I’ll be gone in a few minutes can y’all wait till I leave for school… geez.” I say plopping down in my chair. I have lost my appetite watching these two make out before eight a.m. I’m ready to go to school and get out of here and away from this gross display of groping that is or has been going on. So Gross.
“Lavie… honey ... don’t be rude. This is Duane.” Mama stands up, putting her hands on his shoulders and starts massaging them. “We dated when we were your age. He was yer mama’s first kiss. Won’t ya honey?” Mama states, leaning around him as she started sucking on his bottom lip. “You were so shy and backwards, weren't ya baby? We was so young and innocent then.” Mama says, giving him a kiss on his dirt ringed neck.
“Not so innocent anymore after last night… huh… sugar britches.” Duane announces while taking a very familiar grab of Mama’s backside making her giggle.
I look over at Duane sitting at the breakfast table in a white stained tank top and his dark stained gap tooth mouth; add the long greasy sideburns and full bushy mustache. Along with the green garage style tattoos, and sarcastically think, Mama sure knows how to pick the winners.
I can’t deal with this gross display any longer, push my chair back, and put what was left on my plate between two slices of bread. “Okay… Mama, have a good day... be safe at the bar tonight. I need to go. I’m going to be late,” walking over, giving her a kiss on the cheek, holding my breath as I do so.
“No, no, no… Lavender honey… I took the night off so we could spend your birthday together. I’m going to cook you some pork chops and make you a cake and everything. So make sure you come straight home after school… okay.”
“Yes, Mama, straight home, a nice family dinner, just you, me and Grandmom.” I look at Mama and smile.
“Well... honey, Duane will be here as my guest... he is only in town for a few days… okay.” Mama pulls me in for a hug again. I hold my breath.
“Joy…” I say oozing with sarcasm.
Mama releases me, I grab my sandwich and throw Duane stank eye on my way out. “Lavie ... hold on,” Mama catches up with me as I step down from the porch. “Honey don’t you want to invite some friends over tonight? To celebrate your birthday and all?” Mama is trying to sound concerned about me.
I turn and look at my mother standing on the porch, cigarette in hand, make-up and hair from last night, robe half open… and what I think to be a hickey starting to form on her neck.
“Nah, I’m good.” I pick up my bike and start on my mile long journey to school.
Mama yells after me, “Don’tcha want me to give you a ride?”
I just ignore her and peddle faster.