I look down and see myself. I am dying. I know I am. The doctors are trying to save me. But I know they will not be able to, and that makes my soul grieve. Not for me but for him. My baby. The only thing that made me clean up my life. And for my soul mate, our son and her were the only reason I knew I had succeeded in staying clean. So if I cleaned up, why am I laying dying on a table at the age of 32? Well follow me as my life flashes through my life, and the answer will show itself. My mistakes, my hopes, my dreams, and my losses brought me here and the journey was a wild ride. Let’s start at the beginning.
I was born on a very cold summer day. It was raining, and I was brought home to a very cold house. My mother didn’t really want a baby, but she wanted my father. He wanted a child. But he worked all the time, so I was left alone with my mother. She ignored me. So I went and learned things out on streets. I only went to school because the city made me go. I was smart, but I didn’t really want to be in school. I was bored. I couldn’t sit still. I was running already with a bad crowd. By the time I was in my early teens I was having sex, doing drugs, drinking, and doing a whole lot of things that I shouldn’t have been doing. My father passed away when I was fourteen. I ran from home. I was not going to be stuck with my mother. I ran to New York.
Within weeks, I knew I had to do something, shoplifting and steeling was only getting me so far. I was still on drugs, my drug of choice being cocaine, and it was expensive. I met a woman one night she told me that as a teen I could make a lot of money as a hooker. So I let her show me the ropes. Soon I had my own apartment; I was making enough money to keep up bills, and to keep up my drug habit. I met a man who ended up becoming my pimp. But I thought he really cared for me. I did what he said, gave him most of my money, and let him feed me even stronger drugs.
By the time I was twenty I had been working on the streets for six years and only the Goddess knows how I didn’t catch something. But I wasn’t going to give it up. It was party all night and sleep all day. The fun seemed to never end. The only part I didn’t like was the sex. I never really felt attracted to men, and here I was sleeping with at least one man a night. A lot of the time it would be more like three on a weekend night. On the slow nights I would go down and strip at a strip club, where I would be able to meet more potential ‘clients’. So I kept up this life, until one fateful night.
I was at this huge house party, some of the other girls and I were ‘rented’ for the night by this frat house. I was watching the party. I looked and saw the girl who was everywhere never wanting to be alone. I saw the girl who drank until she was numb. I saw the drugs, which for so long had been my protection from the nature of the world I chose. I knew that at the age of twenty three that the party was over. But how did I live a life sober, away from the drugs. I never graduated high school. I had no skills. How was I going to have a decent job? I sighed and took a line of blow, and went to the room with another strange man, knowing that I had to break this circle.
I woke up one morning, looked at the pile of money in my dresser. I dumped it out and counted it. Ten thousand dollars. I had ten thousand dollars to start and new life. I packed nothing; I grabbed some of my nicer clothes and grabbed a cab to the airport. I bought a plane ticket on the first flight out. I needed a new life. A clean life. I found a rehab center, and checked in under my real name. I name I hadn’t used since I left my father’s funeral. Within in two weeks there I found out I was pregnant and I knew I wouldn’t be able to give a name to the father. I felt as if I already let down the unborn baby. But I knew with a new life, I would really make an effort to keep clean. And I was excited. For once I had a real chance at a real life.
After my six weeks at rehab the set me up in a halfway house, which helped me find a job, get my GED and really start a life. By the time I was six months pregnant I had gotten my own place, and was taking night classes. And for once I was happy, without the drugs, without the numbing effect the drugs gave me. I didn’t need that party anymore. That party ended and the silence no longer scared me. It no longer spoke a truth I couldn’t hear. I for once could look at myself and love myself. I was going to be a mom, a better mom then I had. I was going tell my baby the wrongs I did. I was going to support my baby no matter what. I was going to have a real life.
My baby was born on a cold summer day, just like I was, on my twenty fourth birthday. I was happy. I got my birthday gift. My gift from the Goddess. I had found a faith that accepted me. I had a good friend that helped me find myself, to discover who I really was, where I was meant to be. And I was happy. I started a new healthy relationship, with someone I never thought I would, with a woman, who was a doctor. She knew my past; she knew everything and still loved me, she was my saving grace, my Krista. And my baby, she loved him as much as I did, whom I named after her, I named him Chris. Not Christopher. Just Chris. And we were a family.
My days went by quickly. But they were good, I watched our son grow up, and I fell more in love with the woman who was there for me through all my choices I have made once I choose a new life. I had just graduated with a degree in psychology and I wanted to help out as a therapist at the rehab center. My own had helped me, and I wanted to help others. We had planned a family vacation; we needed one after all the legal paperwork we had just done to make sure if anything happened to me, then Krista would get Chris. I had to stay late at the rehab center, as I was an intern, and was going to meet them at them at the campground we had chosen.
I had come home first to drop off some work stuff; and when I turned on the light there was a man with a gun pointed at me. My past had found me. I knew that one day he would find me. I had made him a lot of money. “How did you find me, Louis?” I asked trying not to show my fear.
“My darling, Darla, you didn’t think I wouldn’t find you?” Louis asked in a voice so cold.
“My name is not Darla, it is Rachel. I have a new life. You are not welcomed here. Leave.”
“Yes I see, a lovely woman, and a handsome son. Will they really mourn the loss of a former slut?” He asked in a sneer.
“She knows my past. She loves me no matter what. Do you want money?”
“No.” Is all he said then he pointed the gun back at me and pulled the trigger. “You took Darla’s life, so I will take yours.” He stated as he walked through my blood.
“Darla was never alive…” I stated, but I knew I was going to die. I don’t know who called the paramedics or the cops, but someone did. I was aware of how they loaded my body, my soul crying, and I was begging the Goddess to let me live. I wasn’t ready.
“I don’t think she will make it…” I heard someone say.
“NOOOOO!!!!!” I heard Krista cry out. She was holding Chris, he was crying into her shoulder.
I looked at them, wanting to tell them not to cry. I was fighting. I would fight as long as the Goddess let me. I wanted to keep my focus on them, but soon I was in a room at the local hospital. The doctors trying to do everything they could. Tears in their eyes. All friends wanting to save my life. And again I begged the Goddess to let me stay with them. To let me have this chance at peace on Earth. I knew it might not happen but it didn’t stop me from fighting.
“They got him. He tried to board a plane. He went down shooting. He is dead.” Someone yelled into the room. “The man who tried to kill Rachel is dead. How is she?”
“Not good, but thank God for small favors. The piece of scum should burn in hell.” One of the doctors stated, his eyes never leaving my open wounds. “My Lord please, Jesus please, Krista and Rachel deserve a chance. They have been through so much in life. They were happy. Please Lord please let me save her. My sister needs her.” My brother-in-law, James, was working on me. I knew it was against the rules, but I had to smile. It made me fight harder.
I don’t know how long I fought, but I heard them close me up, I heard them saying that if I lived through the night it would be a good sign, but it was in heaven’s hands. I heard James, tell Krista that I was a fighter. That there was a good chance. I heard Krista talk to him in a bunch of clinical terms. Mostly she was afraid to say my name, because she knew my chances were less than one percent.
But I fought. I counted their breaths as I fought. As a begged, as I cried for my chance at a normal life not to be taken from me this early, I didn’t want Krista and Chris to feel this grief. I knew what grief could do. I didn’t want to think of the pain, but I knew that if I focused on the pain then I might get a chance. Soon the cold I was feeling was going away. I didn’t know why. I thought the Goddess was taking me, and I was crying out, begging to say. Then I felt a flash of pain and I screamed out. I screamed out! It woke Krista.
“Rach, honey, can you hear me?”
I opened my eyes and smiled, through all the pain I smiled. The Goddess wasn’t taking me; she was going to give me my wish. “I love you.”
“I love you.” She stated bending down and giving me a kiss, the sweetest thing in the world was her kiss.
I smiled and looked into her eyes and I knew that I was really going to get my chance. I was really going to have a life to lead. No matter the cost, no matter the pain, I knew life with my Krista and Chris would be worth it. No matter the past, that no longer mattered, no matter the future, which was to worry about tomorrow, all that mattered at that moment was I was loved. All that mattered was I was alive. Nothing but the present mattered. And I was going to seize the day, and fill it with nothing but love. Every day for the rest of my life, I would work to stomp out hate, and replace it with love. “I love you.” I stated one more time and then I just held on to her as I thanked the Goddess for love, and prayed that everyone in the world was loved. I closed my eyes, letting my body rest, knowing that our love was why I was alive. I was alive because of love, and I smiled.