Perfection.

I hate relationships. Or rather they hate me because I try so hard to be perfect in them. Because in everything I do, I am a perfectionist. Unfortunately. When I make my first mistake in life, it’s okay. I say to myself, “Well that was interesting. Don’t do that again.”

But when I make the SAME mistake again, not good. Then it’s like I’m slapping myself sideways, exclaiming, “What the hell is wrong with you?! Didn’t you get it the first time???”

I treat my relationships the same way. My first boyfriend was a series of trials and tribulations, a rollercoaster ride lasting two years, so that when it finally failed, I could look back on it knowing what NOT to do next time. My “learning experience,” I like to call it.

After my first relationship, I had become hardened. I told myself I wouldn’t fall in love until it was smart and safe. And as time went by, it seemed as though I didn’t even know what being in love really was or what it felt like. My feelings had dissolved somehow. It was as if I couldn’t connect to anything. And I didn’t have a care in the world. Icy, I would say.

Then I met the Terminator. He was a wonderful person, kind and caring, always thinking of others before himself. He treated me with respect and gentleness. And when I told him that I couldn’t feel anything, he said, “It’s okay,” and held me tightly. Months went by with me analyzing my every move, thought, and feeling as I became closer with the Terminator. I am a firm believer in following my gut, but only after thoroughly thinking through every possible outcome my gut-reaction could create. At some point I realized I really cared about the Terminator and told him I loved him. But it wasn’t being “in love.” I still felt disconnected to that feeling and even admitted that I didn’t think I’d EVER know how to feel that way. Needless to say, our relationship ended quietly and calmly.

Unaffected by the failure of my second relationship, I moved on feeling strong and confident that I was making all the right decisions, that the end of the Terminator and I was the right move. I didn’t make any of the same mistakes that I had with my first boyfriend. It was a good sign. I liked feeling impervious to the sorrows everyone else was dealing with. Feeling nothing actually made me feel happy.

And then I met Mr. Georgia. This older man knew how to have a good time. Unbelievably open with his thoughts and ways he felt about me, answering every complicated question I threw at him, and being romantic in ways I never imagined, needless to say, I got swept off my feet. Literally, if you count the jet plane ride. There was also, deep inside my gut, a twisting sensation I had never felt before. It happened every time I knew I was going to see Mr. Georgia. It made me bouncy and nervous, and I couldn’t get a hold of myself. It was ridiculous. So I analyzed it for months, trying to understand why I felt so strangely. I had a bad feeling. I had a feeling I was falling in love.

This was not a good sign. Because I knew that if I was starting to feel this way, my perfectly constructed wall was crumbling. I kept my mouth shut for the most part, afraid of scaring off Mr. Georgia. It would peek out a few times whenever I said, “I love your hair” or “I love the crease on your cheek” or “I love…THAT…about you,” when I really wanted to shout out, “I love YOU, just you, dammit!!!”Marianne and Willoughby

After thinking about it for a while, imagining all the different outcomes if I told him how I felt, I had decided I had nothing to lose. If I told him, two things would happen: he would feel the same way, OR, he wouldn’t. Either way, I would have my answer. So I did it. I told him and he responded nicely. But he didn’t return the feeling. Although he said some very confusing things. “It was everyday implied but never declared,” Marianne Dashwood said in Sense and Sensibility when Elinor asked if Willoughby ever told Marianne he loved her.

Well, this was my problem. I thought it was safe and I was pretty confident in the way I felt, so I went ahead and let my wall fall. And Mr. Georgia did not feel the same way. That’s the problem with falling in love. You gotta be ready for a broken heart.Willoughby

I thought I did everything right, analyzed my every move, my every thought and feeling, and I still ended up alone. So my perfectionism cannot be perfected…because I can’t seem to control my feelings and I certainly can’t control someone else’s feelings. My friend Marilyn said she was happy I finally let my guard down and allowed myself to fall in love. “It’s a good thing,” she said, “Please don’t let this bring your wall back up.”

It doesn’t feel good though. But so is life. And I’m back to building my wall. It’s amazing how fast it goes up. I guess that’s a good thing. Means I’ve perfected something in my life.

Except that being a perfection is my FIRST mistake. So there’s the rub.

What do people do at four in the morning?

I’m up. Not just up, but wide awake. You would think that after a long, exhausting night at work I would have fallen asleep immediately. Instead, I’m tossing and turning, blowing my drippy nose, coughing, going to the bathroom, drinking some water, pushing my annoying cat out of the way of my face, then finally deciding to take a sleeping pill at around 4am.

After that, I went to the kitchen and got a Klondike bar, cookies and cream, and scarfed it down. Though I couldn’t taste it because I’m sick, so that didn’t really satisfy my craving.

Then, while I wait for the sleeping pill to kick in, I started surfing the web, but…there was nothing really interesting to surf through. So, here I am again, falling back on my blog to write another randomly, self-spilling, thoughtless rant that makes this more like a public diary for the whole world to see.

Not that there are that many people reading this particular blog. I know of only a few…

But seriously, I used to be a great sleeper, but now I find that my brain won’t stop spinning in crazy circles about solving THIS, or fixing THAT. And it won’t let me rest one bit.

So I’m gonna spill all the annoying thoughts on here so that maybe writing about it would help me vent out my brain so I can sleep, for the love of GRAPES! Yes, that is a very irritated and heated sentence. I would also like to point out that I’m writing this without my contacts so I’m relying solely on my fingers to not mess up while typing. Fingers lead the way cause I’m blind as a bat!

Hold on to yourself because I am going to write the next paragraph as one big run-on, thought flowing sentence so you can get an idea of how my brain would not SHUT UP! So here we go…

my cat is so cute all snuggly i’m so glad i brought him with me to california but i’d rather him not be in my face all the time when i’m trying to sleep i hate it when he climbs on the pillows while i’m sleeping it makes me think he’s gonna pee on them right on my face man i feel miserable man i hate being sick if my nose drips one more time i’m just gonna let it drip it’ll have to deal with it ugh i hate that feeling do i really have to blow my nose AGAIN yep okay so back to thinking about stuff that can help me fall asleep why hasn’t he called why was he so mean why do i feel this way did i do the right thing nope of course i didn’t i always screw everything up i can never do the right thing i always feel like i cant do the right thing with him i’ve apologized i think more times all together in my life to him than i have to anyone i think could be exaggerating but whatever that’s what it feels like i cant do anything right with him always making mistakes just like i treated chris oh no that’s how i treated chris made him feel like he never did anything right he always felt like he couldn’t do anything right with me which makes it obvious that we weren’t meant to be together but still i feel like i should write him a letter apologize i must be on an apologizing streak no that’s a bad idea let it stay in the past no need to touch it but wouldn’t that be okay wouldn’t it to just say i’m sorry to amend things to make things better yes and no and definitely not right now cause i’m being impulsive which i always am but when i’m impulsive with letters bad things tend to always happen i hate thinking about my ex boy am i lame could i be any lamer sleep sleep cat get off my fucking pillow dammit i hope i’m better tomorrow i wonder if he will call tomorrow i wish i had my best friend i wish i didn’t say anything how did he replace chris i hate saying i love you bad things always happens best to wait until its safe best to not do it thought that would be silly because then i would be a pathetic loser who couldn’t fall in love lame oh well and my period’s started so you would think i could think rationally nope guess not confused as always think i’m gonna close everything off now but still can’t sleep i feel nauseous damn period and stupid tampon i wonder if i’ve got toxic shock syndrome should i ever write chris an apology letter simple i’ve got it all worked out but why so i can be at peace with that but i can be by just letting it go two different states a new beginning a fresh start i can replace everyone and never have to look back again can i do that to him that text was so mean not like him that’s what i do to guys piss them off i really tried hard to focus on what i was saying i’m stupid though go figure leave it to me to say the wrong things i excel at that maybe he meant it as something else maybe he didn’t mean it to be mean always fucking things up over a text go figure i regret everything i shouldn’t have slept with my best friend i shouldn’t have let us get close like that i knew better but as always i think i’m above the norm outside the usual think i can survive it in the end i’m still human that keeps perfecting myself i must perfect myself must make things better with all people except for the ex should let that disappear under all the dust no need to uncover it wouldn’t matter apology wouldn’t matter his reaction would probably piss me off again again and remind me of things i shouldn’t remember holy shit its 4am fuck!

Okay, so there you have. If you were able to read through that entire jumble of pure unadulterated honesty, the window to my brain, then I applaud you. I’m finally feeling the sleeping pill kicking in…and it does feel somewhat better now that I’ve got most of that stuff off my brain. Aw man it’s 530am. You gotta be kidding me!

Wake up and say “I’m beautiful!”

I was watching this TV show with my mom called “My Big Foot” or something like that. I don’t remember exactly. Well it was a little documentary on a woman who had an infected foot that spread up her leg making it nearly impossible to wear pants, shoes, or even walk. The disease she had was very similar to elephantitis, called Lymphedema.

Anyhow, as I watched this show, I felt so horrible for the lady and hoped she could find a way to cure her leg so could live her life normally. Then I looked at my own leg, examining it, and for a moment it was like I had never really LOOKED at my leg before.

Vicki Borkens leg. And I thought cellulite was bad.
Vicki Borken's leg. And I thought cellulite was bad.

Then my mom said, “And you complain about cellulite.”

I grimaced, but she was right. Here I was with perfectly normal and healthy legs, a fit and strong body (I wear a size 3), but I was too obsessed with getting rid of the cellulite that was on my butt and thighs. Whereas, this woman on TV was trying to remove the built up fluid in her leg and foot so that she could walk without a cane and maybe indulge in a stiletto shoe. I hope she can find treatment.

I know that for us girls we have a hard time really accepting our bodies and being content. We constantly strive to look like what is advertised as beautiful, in order to be happy with ourselves, in order to attract others. I am quite guilty of always obsessing over the newest imperfection of my body. First it was my nose, then it was my teeth, then my weight, then my butt, and not all in that order. Instead, I should look in the mirror, see that my legs are intact, I have all four limbs, I have all my teeth, I am in shape, I am healthy, and then say, “I’m beautiful!”

My friend Anthony had to smack me in the face a couple of times to get me to wake up and see that I am beautiful. That I shouldn’t compare myself to others, that I shouldn’t waste my time obsessing over my looks. He told me that there was nothing wrong with me, that every imperfection I saw was a figment of my imagination. Nobody else could see it.

He was right. There’s no point in wasting our time over body imperfections. They aren’t really imperfections at all, rather they are what makes us unique and interesting. And if there is anyone to tell you otherwise…like fixing the cellulite on your butt…fuck them. And then tell them to look in the mirror every morning and say, “I am beautiful!”

That’s what I’m doing and surprisingly it’s working.

The Perfect Human part 2

Carrie spent the entire day home alone, pondering on the decision she had to make. It was only until seven o’clock when her roommates finally came home. Sarah returned with her usual load of homework and Lyn went directly into her bedroom. Carrie sat at the dinner table with an untouched bowl of spaghetti she had microwaved. She waited for her roommates to settle in, shaking her leg unconsciously.
Sarah came out of her room, load free, and started rummaging through the kitchen for something to eat.
“What a day,” she said. “I’ve got so much homework, I don’t know how I’m gonna do it.”
“Yeah?” Carrie said, turning to face her.
Sarah smiled slightly. “What have you been up to all day?”
“Oh, nothing,” Carrie shrugged. “Just been cleaning around the house. Stuff like that.”
“I wish I could have a day off,” Sarah sighed, slumping into the chair next to Carrie, giving up on the kitchen. “Hey, you eating that?”
Carrie looked down at her untouched food, shook her head no and passed it over to Sarah. Sarah immediately began cramming it down. Lyn came out at that point, silent as always, and made her way into the kitchen.
“Hey, you,” Carrie said lightly, trying to give her best natural smile. “Haven’t seen you in a while.”
Lyn didn’t look in Carrie’s direction, but rather continued to frantically look through the freezer and cupboards, throwing dishes in the washer, grabbing the trash bag that was only half full and pulling it out to be thrown away. It seemed as though Lyn couldn’t find a way to calm down.
“I’ve just been real busy,” she answered finally, looking around the living room for something else to busy herself with.
Carrie glanced at Sarah. Sarah shrugged back. The two girls watched Lyn frantically move from her bedroom, to the living room, to the laundry room, and back. When Lyn finally settled, she sat at her computer inside her bedroom, busying herself with more unnecessary work.
Carrie knocked on her door and walked in. Lyn saw Carrie enter out of the corner of her eye, but didn’t turn.
“Hey, I was thinking,” Carrie said, “maybe we could have a girl’s night.”
Lyn finally acknowledged her. There wasn’t a hint of anger in her expression, rather it was neutral, or tired, or her thoughts preoccupied with something else. She gave a faint smile before answering.
“I would like to,” she said, “but I’m going out tonight with Ben and the boys at ten, so I’ve got to get a lot of stuff done before then. I feel so behind since I haven’t been home.” She shrugged her apology and turned back to her computer.
Carrie stood there for a few seconds, watching Lyn busy herself. Ben was Lyn’s boyfriend and the boys she referred to were their friends, who included Carrie’s ex. Carrie couldn’t spend time with the boys anymore because of her recent break up with Jason. Her insides seemed to grow cold, thinking of how Lyn spends every moment with Ben, and here she was spending the night with him again, on top of going out with the friends Carrie can no longer be with because of Jason. It drove her mad how Lyn drastically went from being her closest friend to a distant stranger just over a few weeks. She wanted to blame it on her overly needy boyfriend, Ben, but Carrie somehow knew it was because of her decision to leave Jason that drove Lyn distant. They and the boys used to be a closely knit group. Then it changed, as things always do, when Carrie realized she and Jason could never work, despite the fact that she did, indeed, love him. It was simply unfortunate that they shared the same group of friends.
A feeling of sadness overcame her and Carrie turned away, seeing Sarah still eating the spaghetti at the dining table.
“What are you doing tonight?” Carrie asked.
Sarah looked, seemingly startled from her eating. “Nothing, really,” she said. “Oh, except I do have a ton of homework. I really have to start working on it. Probably take me all night.”
Carrie nodded, almost absently. She felt the loneliness shift into her chest, forming itself into a tight pain. “I was hoping that we could spend some time together,” Carrie said. “Actually I was hoping all three of us could do something. Like old times.”
The look on Sarah’s face turned pitiful. She cocked her head to the side and Carrie could almost swear that her expression resembled a pouty face. “I would, really, if I had time,” Sarah said. “But I can’t. I’ve got so much to do. I’m sorry.” She gave a very realistic I’m sorry frown, then moved her attention to the spaghetti again.
Carrie stood there, staring at Sarah. Her insides wanted to scream and tell them this may be the last time they’d ever see her, that they didn’t appreciate her as much as they should, that she wanted to be with them, wanted to laugh and drink wine, wanted to share dreams and fantasies like they used to, and not be bogged down with unimportant things, to forgive each other, to love each other. She wanted to see something that might make her stay, that might encourage her decision to decline the most important scientific break through discovered in human history ever.
Carrie let out a sigh. She couldn’t scream and tell. They would think she was crazy, or just trying to grab attention. But maybe that was all they needed to change their minds.
“What if this is the last time you’ll ever see me?” Carrie blurted out.
Sarah looked up and smiled immediately, the smile knowingly recognizing dramatics when she saw it. Lyn, though her bedroom door was open, didn’t respond. “This isn’t going to be the last time I’ll ever see you,” Sarah said, smiling. “Are you really that bored?”
“I’m not bored, I—“
“I really can’t, or else I would,” Sarah interrupted, the smile fading. At that, she got up, placed the spaghetti dish into the sink and went into her room, leaving Carrie standing silently alone in the living room. Eventually, she made her way to her own bedroom and closed the door. She picked up her cell phone, checked to see if she had gotten any texts or calls—nothing. Sinking into her bed, she gripped the phone tightly wondering on who to call. She was tempted to give Jason a try, but every time she thought of it, her stomach wrapped itself into a knot. It was time to consider what was important in her life. Her friends, the only ones she really had, were busy with their own lives. Her family lived in another state, so she never got to visit them nearly as much. She had already graduated school, but wasn’t working her dream job; in fact, she hated it with all her being. And the love interest—the one she used to think of marrying and planned spending the rest of her life with—grew into someone else where happiness between the two of them was a feet that would never be reached. There were times she wanted to sacrifice everything, just to be with him and love him, but it couldn’t work if it was never fully reciprocated. And she knew that.  But she didn’t think Lyn knew that.
Carrie stared at herself in the mirror across from her. The color of her hair seemed dull and her face looked pale and sick in the dim lighting of her room. The depression of leaving Jason and the distance of her friends was dragging her down somewhere she couldn’t escape. Change was something she needed, and here was a huge opportunity right in front of her. But was it worth it to never see her family and friends again?
She called her parents’ house. No one picked up. She called again. She ended up calling three times before her mother finally picked up.
“Hi, Mom,” Carrie said, her voice straining to sound happy.
“It’s past midnight here,” her mom said, her voice cracking with sleep. “What’s going on?”
“Nothing,” Carrie said. “I just wanted to talk to you. Everyone’s busy tonight, so…”
“Baby, it’s past midnight.” Her mom’s voice groaned.
Carrie felt a warm numbing sensation spread through her chest and arms. Her eyes burned slightly as she felt the sadness she had been burying spill over. “I know,” Carrie managed, “I just miss you, that’s all.”
“I miss you too, honey,” her mom said, but Carrie could tell that she was still half asleep.
“Hey, Mom, I have a question,” Carrie said. She waited for a second to see if her mother would respond, but she didn’t, so she continued. “If a huge opportunity came around, a really good one, but it put you in a position where you had to choose one over the other, would you take the opportunity?”
“Baby, are you okay?” her mom said, slowly becoming coherent. “How’s work treating you?”
“Works fine—no, it sucks. I hate it. Mom—“
“What about your roommates? How are Lyn and Sarah?” her mom continued.
“They’re fine,” Carrie sighed, pulling at her left eyelid again. “Just really busy. In fact, I don’t see much of Lyn anymore. Mom—what if the opportunity of a lifetime came my way?”
“What kind of opportunity?”
“Of a lifetime!” Carrie forgot how frustrated she could get with her mother. She was this way no matter if wide awake or half asleep like she was. “And I had to make a choice. Take the opportunity of a lifetime and leave my old life behind, or don’t take the opportunity of a lifetime and stay where I am now.”
There was silence on the other end of the phone.
“Mom, you awake?”
“Yes, honey, I’m just thinking,” her mom answered. After a moment’s pause, her mom said, “Well, I would take the opportunity. You never know when you might have missed your life’s calling, so if it’s being handed to you, take it because you’ll never know when you’ll get another opportunity offered to you again.”
Carrie nodded, staring blankly at herself in the mirror, as though the person on the other side was also giving her advice.
“Baby, I’m going back to bed now,” her mom said. “Your dad and I get up really early, you know.”
“Okay,” Carrie murmured, mesmerized by staring at herself, as though the answer were somewhere within her own eyes.
“Goodnight,” her mom said.
“I love you,” Carrie said, almost too quickly.
“I love you too, sleep well.”
“You too—I miss you—“ But it was too late, her mother had already hung up. Carrie sat there for a couple of seconds with her phone stuck to her ear. Her mother had said it and now Carrie couldn’t believe the decision she was going to make. It was a decision that may change her life forever. Or it might end up being a total gag. Something in the back of her mind convinced her that this wasn’t going to be the last time she ever spoke with her mom. She found it hard to believe that she would be allowed contact with the world, but not with her own family. As far as Carrie was concerned, they wouldn’t be able to stop her if she wanted to see them. And how could they ever find out? Once the experimental program finished out its five weeks, they would be set free again. Wouldn’t they? Or did it matter?
She had decided upon her answer and felt there was one more thing to do. She dialed Jason’s number. She didn’t quite know what she was going to say, but it didn’t matter anymore. Nothing did, except to say something one more time. But he didn’t answer and she was taken to the voicemail. She hesitated, thinking that whatever she was going to say, it had to sound normal.
“Hi, Jason,” she said, her voice surprisingly calm. “I know this might sound a little odd, but—“ Her voice broke for a second. She took a slow breath and concentrated on saying the right thing. “I just wanted to say…that you were a really great boyfriend.” She couldn’t think of saying anything else, so she let the phone slowly close.
Carrie exited her bedroom hoping to see if Sarah or Lyn were up and about. Sarah seemed to still be locked in her room, the light shining from the bottom of her door, and Lyn was gone. Apparently, she had already left to meet up with the boys. Standing in the middle of the living room, Carrie realized what she was about to do. She took in her surrounding, trying to memorize every detail, so that maybe she could remember her last moment with this life. She hoped the new one she was about to venture into would be a good one. If nothing at all, at least she knew where she was going now.

Carrie spent the entire day home alone, pondering on the decision she had to make. It was only until seven o’clock when her roommates finally came home. Sarah returned with her usual load of homework and Lyn went directly into her bedroom. Carrie sat at the dinner table with an untouched bowl of spaghetti she had microwaved. She waited for her roommates to settle in, shaking her leg unconsciously.

Sarah came out of her room, load free, and started rummaging through the kitchen for something to eat.

“What a day,” she said. “I’ve got so much homework, I don’t know how I’m gonna do it.”

“Yeah?” Carrie said, turning to face her.

Sarah smiled slightly. “What have you been up to all day?”

“Oh, nothing,” Carrie shrugged. “Just been cleaning around the house. Stuff like that.”

“I wish I could have a day off,” Sarah sighed, slumping into the chair next to Carrie, giving up on the kitchen. “Hey, you eating that?”

Carrie looked down at her untouched food, shook her head no and passed it over to Sarah. Sarah immediately began cramming it down. Lyn came out at that point, silent as always, and made her way into the kitchen.

“Hey, you,” Carrie said lightly, trying to give her best natural smile. “Haven’t seen you in a while.”

Lyn didn’t look in Carrie’s direction, but rather continued to frantically look through the freezer and cupboards, throwing dishes in the washer, grabbing the trash bag that was only half full and pulling it out to be thrown away. It seemed as though Lyn couldn’t find a way to calm down.

“I’ve just been real busy,” she answered finally, looking around the living room for something else to busy herself with.

Carrie glanced at Sarah. Sarah shrugged back. The two girls watched Lyn frantically move from her bedroom, to the living room, to the laundry room, and back. When Lyn finally settled, she sat at her computer inside her bedroom, busying herself with more unnecessary work.

Carrie knocked on her door and walked in. Lyn saw Carrie enter out of the corner of her eye, but didn’t turn.

“Hey, I was thinking,” Carrie said, “maybe we could have a girl’s night.”

Lyn finally acknowledged her. There wasn’t a hint of anger in her expression, rather it was neutral, or tired, or her thoughts preoccupied with something else. She gave a faint smile before answering.

“I would like to,” she said, “but I’m going out tonight with Ben and the boys at ten, so I’ve got to get a lot of stuff done before then. I feel so behind since I haven’t been home.” She shrugged her apology and turned back to her computer.

Carrie stood there for a few seconds, watching Lyn busy herself. Ben was Lyn’s boyfriend and the boys she referred to were their friends, who included Carrie’s ex. Carrie couldn’t spend time with the boys anymore because of her recent break up with Jason. Her insides seemed to grow cold, thinking of how Lyn spends every moment with Ben, and here she was spending the night with him again, on top of going out with the friends Carrie can no longer be with because of Jason. It drove her mad how Lyn drastically went from being her closest friend to a distant stranger just over a few weeks. She wanted to blame it on her overly needy boyfriend, Ben, but Carrie somehow knew it was because of her decision to leave Jason that drove Lyn distant. They and the boys used to be a closely knit group. Then it changed, as things always do, when Carrie realized she and Jason could never work, despite the fact that she did, indeed, love him. It was simply unfortunate that they shared the same group of friends.

A feeling of sadness overcame her and Carrie turned away, seeing Sarah still eating the spaghetti at the dining table.

“What are you doing tonight?” Carrie asked.

Sarah looked, seemingly startled from her eating. “Nothing, really,” she said. “Oh, except I do have a ton of homework. I really have to start working on it. Probably take me all night.”

Carrie nodded, almost absently. She felt the loneliness shift into her chest, forming itself into a tight pain. “I was hoping that we could spend some time together,” Carrie said. “Actually I was hoping all three of us could do something. Like old times.”

The look on Sarah’s face turned pitiful. She cocked her head to the side and Carrie could almost swear that her expression resembled a pouty face. “I would, really, if I had time,” Sarah said. “But I can’t. I’ve got so much to do. I’m sorry.” She gave a very realistic I’m sorry frown, then moved her attention to the spaghetti again.

Carrie stood there, staring at Sarah. Her insides wanted to scream and tell them this may be the last time they’d ever see her, that they didn’t appreciate her as much as they should, that she wanted to be with them, wanted to laugh and drink wine, wanted to share dreams and fantasies like they used to, and not be bogged down with unimportant things, to forgive each other, to love each other. She wanted to see something that might make her stay, that might encourage her decision to decline the most important scientific break through discovered in human history ever.

Carrie let out a sigh. She couldn’t scream and tell. They would think she was crazy, or just trying to grab attention. But maybe that was all they needed to change their minds.

“What if this is the last time you’ll ever see me?” Carrie blurted out.

Sarah looked up and smiled immediately, the smile knowingly recognizing dramatics when she saw it. Lyn, though her bedroom door was open, didn’t respond. “This isn’t going to be the last time I’ll ever see you,” Sarah said, smiling. “Are you really that bored?”

“I’m not bored, I—“

“I really can’t, or else I would,” Sarah interrupted, the smile fading. At that, she got up, placed the spaghetti dish into the sink and went into her room, leaving Carrie standing silently alone in the living room. Eventually, she made her way to her own bedroom and closed the door. She picked up her cell phone, checked to see if she had gotten any texts or calls—nothing. Sinking into her bed, she gripped the phone tightly wondering on who to call. She was tempted to give Jason a try, but every time she thought of it, her stomach wrapped itself into a knot. It was time to consider what was important in her life. Her friends, the only ones she really had, were busy with their own lives. Her family lived in another state, so she never got to visit them nearly as much. She had already graduated school, but wasn’t working her dream job; in fact, she hated it with all her being. And the love interest—the one she used to think of marrying and planned spending the rest of her life with—grew into someone else where happiness between the two of them was a feet that would never be reached. There were times she wanted to sacrifice everything, just to be with him and love him, but it couldn’t work if it was never fully reciprocated. And she knew that.  But she didn’t think Lyn knew that.

Carrie stared at herself in the mirror across from her. The color of her hair seemed dull and her face looked pale and sick in the dim lighting of her room. The depression of leaving Jason and the distance of her friends was dragging her down somewhere she couldn’t escape. Change was something she needed, and here was a huge opportunity right in front of her. But was it worth it to never see her family and friends again?

She called her parents’ house. No one picked up. She called again. She ended up calling three times before her mother finally picked up.

“Hi, Mom,” Carrie said, her voice straining to sound happy.

“It’s past midnight here,” her mom said, her voice cracking with sleep. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing,” Carrie said. “I just wanted to talk to you. Everyone’s busy tonight, so…”

“Baby, it’s past midnight.” Her mom’s voice groaned.

Carrie felt a warm numbing sensation spread through her chest and arms. Her eyes burned slightly as she felt the sadness she had been burying spill over. “I know,” Carrie managed, “I just miss you, that’s all.”

“I miss you too, honey,” her mom said, but Carrie could tell that she was still half asleep.

“Hey, Mom, I have a question,” Carrie said. She waited for a second to see if her mother would respond, but she didn’t, so she continued. “If a huge opportunity came around, a really good one, but it put you in a position where you had to choose one over the other, would you take the opportunity?”

“Baby, are you okay?” her mom said, slowly becoming coherent. “How’s work treating you?”

“Works fine—no, it sucks. I hate it. Mom—“

“What about your roommates? How are Lyn and Sarah?” her mom continued.

“They’re fine,” Carrie sighed, pulling at her left eyelid again. “Just really busy. In fact, I don’t see much of Lyn anymore. Mom—what if the opportunity of a lifetime came my way?”

“What kind of opportunity?”

“Of a lifetime!” Carrie forgot how frustrated she could get with her mother. She was this way no matter if wide awake or half asleep like she was. “And I had to make a choice. Take the opportunity of a lifetime and leave my old life behind, or don’t take the opportunity of a lifetime and stay where I am now.”

There was silence on the other end of the phone.

“Mom, you awake?”

“Yes, honey, I’m just thinking,” her mom answered. After a moment’s pause, her mom said, “Well, I would take the opportunity. You never know when you might have missed your life’s calling, so if it’s being handed to you, take it because you’ll never know when you’ll get another opportunity offered to you again.”

Carrie nodded, staring blankly at herself in the mirror, as though the person on the other side was also giving her advice.

“Baby, I’m going back to bed now,” her mom said. “Your dad and I get up really early, you know.”

“Okay,” Carrie murmured, mesmerized by staring at herself, as though the answer were somewhere within her own eyes.

“Goodnight,” her mom said.

“I love you,” Carrie said, almost too quickly.

“I love you too, sleep well.”

“You too—I miss you—“ But it was too late, her mother had already hung up. Carrie sat there for a couple of seconds with her phone stuck to her ear. Her mother had said it and now Carrie couldn’t believe the decision she was going to make. It was a decision that may change her life forever. Or it might end up being a total gag. Something in the back of her mind convinced her that this wasn’t going to be the last time she ever spoke with her mom. She found it hard to believe that she would be allowed contact with the world, but not with her own family. As far as Carrie was concerned, they wouldn’t be able to stop her if she wanted to see them. And how could they ever find out? Once the experimental program finished out its five weeks, they would be set free again. Wouldn’t they? Or did it matter?

She had decided upon her answer and felt there was one more thing to do. She dialed Jason’s number. She didn’t quite know what she was going to say, but it didn’t matter anymore. Nothing did, except to say something one more time. But he didn’t answer and she was taken to the voicemail. She hesitated, thinking that whatever she was going to say, it had to sound normal.

“Hi, Jason,” she said, her voice surprisingly calm. “I know this might sound a little odd, but—“ Her voice broke for a second. She took a slow breath and concentrated on saying the right thing. “I just wanted to say…that you were a really great boyfriend.” She couldn’t think of saying anything else, so she let the phone slowly close.

Carrie exited her bedroom hoping to see if Sarah or Lyn were up and about. Sarah seemed to still be locked in her room, the light shining from the bottom of her door, and Lyn was gone. Apparently, she had already left to meet up with the boys. Standing in the middle of the living room, Carrie realized what she was about to do. She took in her surrounding, trying to memorize every detail, so that maybe she could remember her last moment with this life. She hoped the new one she was about to venture into would be a good one. If nothing at all, at least she knew where she was going now.

The Perfect Human part 1

Carrie Goldwater dipped her finger into her contact case, gently pulling out the left eye contact. It felt like slimy softness between her fingertips as she readied it to her eye. A silent pop and it was on, like a suction cup to a glass window, making her horrible vision somewhat clear again—but not quite 20/20. What an ordeal it was to get ready in the morning. It was bad enough Carrie wasn’t a morning person, but it was worse when waking to a blurry mass of objects which, in turn, tricked her mind into thinking she was still asleep. And, yet, she knew better than that—oh that tricky, tricky brain.
Splashing lukewarm water on her face, she lathered—rinsed—shoved a Crest covered toothbrush into her mouth, brushed hard—spit—rinsed—pulled a brush through her long blonde hair—highlighted of course—dusted her cheeks with pink blush, dabbed her eyes with the slightest bit of mascara—breathed, or sighed—and done.
Looking at herself in the mirror, she frowned. Was it really the same thing every day? Yes, it was, she thought. Carrie grabbed one of her sweaters and pulled it over her loose pajamas that she hadn’t yet changed out of, and made her way into the kitchen. Her two other roommates were gone again, leaving her alone in their humble apartment. Sarah was off at school early, while Lyn was probably still at her boyfriend’s house. Lyn and Carrie had been growing silently apart, ever since Carrie’s recent break up with her own boyfriend, Jason, of two and a half years. Carrie didn’t quite understand the distance between the two of them, but neither did she understand the failure of her own relationship.
As she poured the coffee grounds into the filter and pressed the brew button, she remained standing in the kitchen, watching the coffee drip into the pot, rubbing her left eye. Her gaze drifted to the cabinet of food, realized she didn’t have the stomach for it—glanced towards Lyn’s bedroom—the door was open—and finally rested her gaze on the window, or rather outside of it. She continued to stare through the window, focusing on a tree, its limbs gently bending in the wind, the leaves flashing green from the morning sunlight, the sun’s light pushing into the living room but never reaching the darkened kitchen. Must change, she thought. Maybe cut my hair—pedicure—dye hair brown…
She jumped. A loud knock on the front door startled her out of her daze. Fluffing her hair and pulling at her left eyelid to adjust the bothersome contact, Carrie made her way to the door. She wasn’t expecting anyone in particular and she knew there wasn’t any maintenance needed in the apartment. She peered outside the peep hole and saw two tall men in suits standing outside the door.
She paused before opening the door. She definitely wasn’t expecting any men in suits. Carrie slowly opened the door and gave her most polite smile—which also could have been read as who the hell are you and what do you want. Funny how it works that way.
“Ms. Carrie Goldwater,” the right one said.
Carrie hesitated but nodded, a little taken aback that he knew her name, which meant they were definitely here for a very specific purpose.
“We would like to speak with you,” the right one said again. The left one didn’t seem to have anything to contribute at the moment, but the two of them did pull out FBI badges in order calm Carrie’s nerves down.
But it didn’t do much help. She was already dreaming up scenarios of either Sarah or Lyn being dead or kidnapped, maybe something bad had happened to Jason—maybe her parents!
“Ms. Goldwater, may we come inside?” Right said.
“Of course,” she managed, clearing her throat nervously. “I’m sorry.” Carrie ushered the two agents inside and slowly closed the door behind them. She stood there awkwardly, not knowing what to do next. The two men glanced around then focused on her, expecting her to say something. When she did not, Right gestured to the couches.
“May we sit down?” he said.
“Oh yeah,” Carrie said, a little more flustered than she wanted to be. “Please sit down.” Carrie made her way to one of the couches and sat, the other two men sitting on the opposite couch.
“So is this something really bad?” she asked nervously. “Do I really need to hold on to something or get ready for some bad news?”
“Ms. Goldwater, we are here to inquire if you would like to be a participant in a very specialized government program supported by the US military and funded by Americor Science and Research,” Right said.
Carrie sat in silence, staring blankly at them. All her fears were replaced by pure surprise. She wasn’t sure how long the three of them sat there in silence. To her, it felt like time had frozen and she was stuck in surprise-mode. Finally, she spoke.
“I’m sorry, but I’m really confused,” she said. “I thought you were here to tell me some really bad news.”
“That was not our intention,” Right said. Left just sat there.
“I guess I just don’t see why FBI agents would be asking me to be apart of some program,” Carrie responded.
“The program is specialized for people within their mid-twenties and especially for those who are physically fit and rarely sick,” Right continued, ignoring Carrie’s question. “We need willing participants who will go through a steady and rigorous training of exercise and diet for five weeks. After that, we conduct the experiment. Out of the criteria, we randomly chose a select group of people, and you were one of them.”
Carrie sat there for another silent second and attempted to absorb all of this.
“Wait,” she finally said, “this is a bit much. I’m not even sure what’s going on here. You’re asking me to participate in a program. I’m not even sure what this program is about?—other than all that other stuff you just told me.”
“It’s technically an experiment on the human body,” Right said.
Carrie smiled slowly, finding the entire situation to be ridiculous and almost humorous.
“Okay,” she said, nodding in appreciation to the bluntness of the answer. “Why is the government conducting this program, slash, experiment?”
“That is top secret,” Right said.
“But you’re openly telling me a bunch of stuff about it. What if I were to say no and then go blab to other people that the government is conducting a secret experiment on human bodies?”
That’s when Left smiled. It was one of those calm smiles that somehow radiated creepiness at the same time.
“You could do that,” Right said. “But who would believe you without proof? Besides, it wouldn’t really matter what you would spread if you decided not to be a participant. And you have every right to decline. We are only here because you were one the selectees that was picked by a computer randomizer. And we, among other government officials, have said the same thing that we are saying to you now.”
Carrie nodded, forcing herself to take this seriously, and something inside of her told her that it was very serious. Maybe it was the way Left smile that made her stomach turn.
“Alright, I’m listening,” she said. “So what happens after the five weeks are over? Do I just come back home?”
Right hesitated for the first time and that made her more curious, if not more concerned.
“If you decide to be a participant within this program, you can no longer have contact with your friends or family. Not during the five weeks, or after. To them, you will have simply disappeared.”
The room suddenly seemed to turn cold despite the sunlight filling the room.
Carrie didn’t say anything. She didn’t know what to say. Her insides screamed hell no, but something else held her interest—her curiosity. What program or experiment could be so important, or dangerous, that one would be cut off from family forever? It couldn’t be forever, could it?
“That’s a little extreme,” Carrie managed to say.
Neither Right nor Left said a word.
So Carrie said, “How can I make a decision like that? Especially when I practically know nothing about what you’re talking about.”
“Other people have declined because of the severity of the situation. But there are those who have agreed,” Right shrugged. “It’s really up to you.”
“Well, I—“
“This is the chance of a lifetime,” Left said, and it almost surprised Carrie enough to jump. “There are so many others that will not have this opportunity given to them. We cannot tell you why you must be cut off from your family and friends, and we cannot tell you anymore about the program than we already have. All we can tell you now is that this may be the most important scientific break through discovered in human history ever.”
“At least, so far,” Right said.
“Yes, of course, without saying,” Left responded.
Carrie blinked. She wasn’t sure how to react or think. The whole situation sounded absurd and she wasn’t sure if she could believe them. And even if they were telling the truth—and why wouldn’t they be—should she really drop everything to become apart of something she knows nothing about, except exercise and diet?
“Is it dangerous?” she asked.
“Every precaution is taken,” Right said.
“Would I have any contact with the outside world at all?”
“Yes,” Right said.
It didn’t make sense. She wouldn’t be allowed to have contact with her family or friends, but she could have contact with the rest of the world?
“Do I have to decide now?” Carrie asked.
“No, you can be allowed twenty-four hours,” Right answered.
Carrie nodded. She was wringing her hands in anxiety. Twenty-four hours. That would give her enough time to contemplate her answer and perhaps spend as much time with the people around her as possible—call up her parents and grandparents, make sure Lyn was coming home this time and maybe they could have girl-time along with Sarah—maybe call Jason.
As she walked the two government officials to the door, she was thinking all this. There was so much information cluttering her thoughts and teasing her curiosity, she couldn’t bring herself together. As the two men exited the apartment, Right mentioned that they would return the next day. Carrie nodded absentmindedly, closed the door and double locked it. It wasn’t that she was afraid of them breaking in, but it was the simple state of shock that she was in.
As she slowly, mechanically moved her way into the kitchen, she grabbed a mug from a shelf and poured herself a cup of coffee, something that she had been missing this whole time. Maybe if she had her coffee, things would clear her fogged up head. She had to think. She had all day to think. And she couldn’t believe that she was even considering it at all. How could she leave everything behind, but for something that might be the most important scientific break through discovered in human history ever? Carrie definitely needed to think!

Carrie Goldwater dipped her finger into her contact case, gently pulling out the left eye contact. It felt like slimy softness between her fingertips as she readied it to her eye. A silent pop and it was on, like a suction cup to a glass window, making her horrible vision somewhat clear again—but not quite 20/20. What an ordeal it was to get ready in the morning. It was bad enough Carrie wasn’t a morning person, but it was worse when waking to a blurry mass of objects which, in turn, tricked her mind into thinking she was still asleep. And, yet, she knew better than that—oh that tricky, tricky brain.

Splashing lukewarm water on her face, she lathered—rinsed—shoved a Crest covered toothbrush into her mouth, brushed hard—spit—rinsed—pulled a brush through her long blonde hair—highlighted of course—dusted her cheeks with pink blush, dabbed her eyes with the slightest bit of mascara—breathed, or sighed—and done.

Looking at herself in the mirror, she frowned. Was it really the same thing every day? Yes, it was, she thought. Carrie grabbed one of her sweaters and pulled it over her loose pajamas that she hadn’t yet changed out of, and made her way into the kitchen. Her two other roommates were gone again, leaving her alone in their humble apartment. Sarah was off at school early, while Lyn was probably still at her boyfriend’s house. Lyn and Carrie had been growing silently apart, ever since Carrie’s recent break up with her own boyfriend, Jason, of two and a half years. Carrie didn’t quite understand the distance between the two of them, but neither did she understand the failure of her own relationship.

As she poured the coffee grounds into the filter and pressed the brew button, she remained standing in the kitchen, watching the coffee drip into the pot, rubbing her left eye. Her gaze drifted to the cabinet of food, realized she didn’t have the stomach for it—glanced towards Lyn’s bedroom—the door was open—and finally rested her gaze on the window, or rather outside of it. She continued to stare through the window, focusing on a tree, its limbs gently bending in the wind, the leaves flashing green from the morning sunlight, the sun’s light pushing into the living room but never reaching the darkened kitchen. Must change, she thought. Maybe cut my hair—pedicure—dye hair brown…

She jumped. A loud knock on the front door startled her out of her daze. Fluffing her hair and pulling at her left eyelid to adjust the bothersome contact, Carrie made her way to the door. She wasn’t expecting anyone in particular and she knew there wasn’t any maintenance needed in the apartment. She peered outside the peep hole and saw two tall men in suits standing outside the door.

She paused before opening the door. She definitely wasn’t expecting any men in suits. Carrie slowly opened the door and gave her most polite smile—which also could have been read as who the hell are you and what do you want. Funny how it works that way.

“Ms. Carrie Goldwater,” the right one said.

Carrie hesitated but nodded, a little taken aback that he knew her name, which meant they were definitely here for a very specific purpose.

“We would like to speak with you,” the right one said again. The left one didn’t seem to have anything to contribute at the moment, but the two of them did pull out FBI badges in order calm Carrie’s nerves down.

But it didn’t do much help. She was already dreaming up scenarios of either Sarah or Lyn being dead or kidnapped, maybe something bad had happened to Jason—maybe her parents!

“Ms. Goldwater, may we come inside?” Right said.

“Of course,” she managed, clearing her throat nervously. “I’m sorry.” Carrie ushered the two agents inside and slowly closed the door behind them. She stood there awkwardly, not knowing what to do next. The two men glanced around then focused on her, expecting her to say something. When she did not, Right gestured to the couches.

“May we sit down?” he said.

“Oh yeah,” Carrie said, a little more flustered than she wanted to be. “Please sit down.” Carrie made her way to one of the couches and sat, the other two men sitting on the opposite couch.

“So is this something really bad?” she asked nervously. “Do I really need to hold on to something or get ready for some bad news?”

“Ms. Goldwater, we are here to inquire if you would like to be a participant in a very specialized government program supported by the US military and funded by Americor Science and Research,” Right said.

Carrie sat in silence, staring blankly at them. All her fears were replaced by pure surprise. She wasn’t sure how long the three of them sat there in silence. To her, it felt like time had frozen and she was stuck in surprise-mode. Finally, she spoke.

“I’m sorry, but I’m really confused,” she said. “I thought you were here to tell me some really bad news.”

“That was not our intention,” Right said. Left just sat there.

“I guess I just don’t see why FBI agents would be asking me to be apart of some program,” Carrie responded.

“The program is specialized for people within their mid-twenties and especially for those who are physically fit and rarely sick,” Right continued, ignoring Carrie’s question. “We need willing participants who will go through a steady and rigorous training of exercise and diet for five weeks. After that, we conduct the experiment. Out of the criteria, we randomly chose a select group of people, and you were one of them.”

Carrie sat there for another silent second and attempted to absorb all of this.

“Wait,” she finally said, “this is a bit much. I’m not even sure what’s going on here. You’re asking me to participate in a program. I’m not even sure what this program is about?—other than all that other stuff you just told me.”

“It’s technically an experiment on the human body,” Right said.

Carrie smiled slowly, finding the entire situation to be ridiculous and almost humorous.

“Okay,” she said, nodding in appreciation to the bluntness of the answer. “Why is the government conducting this program, slash, experiment?”

“That is top secret,” Right said.

“But you’re openly telling me a bunch of stuff about it. What if I were to say no and then go blab to other people that the government is conducting a secret experiment on human bodies?”

That’s when Left smiled. It was one of those calm smiles that somehow radiated creepiness at the same time.

“You could do that,” Right said. “But who would believe you without proof? Besides, it wouldn’t really matter what you would spread if you decided not to be a participant. And you have every right to decline. We are only here because you were one the selectees that was picked by a computer randomizer. And we, among other government officials, have said the same thing that we are saying to you now.”

Carrie nodded, forcing herself to take this seriously, and something inside of her told her that it was very serious. Maybe it was the way Left smile that made her stomach turn.

“Alright, I’m listening,” she said. “So what happens after the five weeks are over? Do I just come back home?”

Right hesitated for the first time and that made her more curious, if not more concerned.

“If you decide to be a participant within this program, you can no longer have contact with your friends or family. Not during the five weeks, or after. To them, you will have simply disappeared.”

The room suddenly seemed to turn cold despite the sunlight filling the room.

Carrie didn’t say anything. She didn’t know what to say. Her insides screamed hell no, but something else held her interest—her curiosity. What program or experiment could be so important, or dangerous, that one would be cut off from family forever? It couldn’t be forever, could it?

“That’s a little extreme,” Carrie managed to say.

Neither Right nor Left said a word.

So Carrie said, “How can I make a decision like that? Especially when I practically know nothing about what you’re talking about.”

“Other people have declined because of the severity of the situation. But there are those who have agreed,” Right shrugged. “It’s really up to you.”

“Well, I—“

“This is the chance of a lifetime,” Left said, and it almost surprised Carrie enough to jump. “There are so many others that will not have this opportunity given to them. We cannot tell you why you must be cut off from your family and friends, and we cannot tell you anymore about the program than we already have. All we can tell you now is that this may be the most important scientific break through discovered in human history ever.”

“At least, so far,” Right said.

“Yes, of course, without saying,” Left responded.

Carrie blinked. She wasn’t sure how to react or think. The whole situation sounded absurd and she wasn’t sure if she could believe them. And even if they were telling the truth—and why wouldn’t they be—should she really drop everything to become apart of something she knows nothing about, except exercise and diet?

“Is it dangerous?” she asked.

“Every precaution is taken,” Right said.

“Would I have any contact with the outside world at all?”

“Yes,” Right said.

It didn’t make sense. She wouldn’t be allowed to have contact with her family or friends, but she could have contact with the rest of the world?

“Do I have to decide now?” Carrie asked.

“No, you can be allowed twenty-four hours,” Right answered.

Carrie nodded. She was wringing her hands in anxiety. Twenty-four hours. That would give her enough time to contemplate her answer and perhaps spend as much time with the people around her as possible—call up her parents and grandparents, make sure Lyn was coming home this time and maybe they could have girl-time along with Sarah—maybe call Jason.

As she walked the two government officials to the door, she was thinking all this. There was so much information cluttering her thoughts and teasing her curiosity, she couldn’t bring herself together. As the two men exited the apartment, Right mentioned that they would return the next day. Carrie nodded absentmindedly, closed the door and double locked it. It wasn’t that she was afraid of them breaking in, but it was the simple state of shock that she was in.

As she slowly, mechanically moved her way into the kitchen, she grabbed a mug from a shelf and poured herself a cup of coffee, something that she had been missing this whole time. Maybe if she had her coffee, things would clear her fogged up head. She had to think. She had all day to think. And she couldn’t believe that she was even considering it at all. How could she leave everything behind, but for something that might be the most important scientific break through discovered in human history ever? Carrie definitely needed to think!