The end was closer than the underwire that was stabbing me in my armpit. I had meant to throw the old bra away months ago, it was on my list. That was before things fell apart. Our lives were being held together by a thin string, much like my underclothes, and both were as equally painful.
Two months ago we started this garden, my husband and I, more so for a hobby, something to do with the land we hand, something to build and grow together. We had no idea when we first broke the ground with that shovel that we’d be counting on it for a means of survival in such a short time.
That’s just the way things happen. One week you’re laughing over a beer, the next you’re practically begging for water. Water while it’s pouring down on you in massive hurricane ways.
First it was that injury of his at work, then me losing my job, then the car breaking down, illness… the rain it keeps falling.
He spends his days glued to the want ads and selling everything of value. Me breaking my back, cursing the ground I’m trying to convince to grow us something to eat. My hands resemble some red and brown version of shredded swiss cheese, and I’m positive the dirt will never release itself from under my nails. My sides ache with tremendous pain from the crying, from the hunger, from the work. My feet are swollen and sore, my arms beyond repair. This is all probably beyond worthless, but it’s all I can do. It’s all we have.
Two weeks, the bank said, just two weeks before they’d force us out.
So I dig, I dig and I pray. And I sow and I water. I pray and I cry, and my blood literally is being put into my work. Two weeks isn’t long enough to grow a garden, two weeks isn’t long enough to give us food. But my brain can’t handle anything else, there’s peace in the dirt.
My hand shovel snapped under the weight of the worthless clay soil, snapping my soul with one quick snap. I threw the pieces as far as my trembling arms could throw them. I wiped the sweat from my brow, leaving a trail of dirt across my face, and pulled at my bra strap. I was born overly determined, I’d die being overly determined. I dug my fingers deep into the dirt, pulling away, funneling my hatred for everything straight into the ground.
Pulling and moving, digging and clawing, making way for the only hope we had left. My husband’s shadow towering above me, filling me in on only more despair.
I collapsed next to the bag of seed potatoes waiting for me to plant them, laying my head on top of the burlap, praying for an end, I was done. My eyes fell upon the hole I was so desperately trying to dig, and let me tears roll out. Without much strength I talked to it, “Please don’t fail me, just let this stuff grow.”
The ground sparkled back.
I switched to another angle, the hole still glowed metallic back at me. Knowing now that I had totally lost my mind and dug my hands deeper into my hole, bringing my craziness up to the sunlight. Opening my bleeding fingers to reveal 5 small stones… gold.
If you’re new here or trying to catch up, you can find out what the heck I’m doing with these quick unedited short stories here.