So April Michelle McClendon is my name and I’m 24 years old. I have the same almond-brown skin tone as my beautiful mother. I’m even tall and skinny like her, if you think that 5’8” is tall. I do because I am taller than other girls I hang out with. Plus my mommy says that we are tall and she is never wrong.
Speaking of my mommy, where is she at? I don’t want to be in this attic all day. I have things to do; I can’t remember what they are, but I know that I have things to do. I don’t know if I even told my mommy I was going to explore in the attic. But she should know because it’s one of my favorite places to go. While I wait for her to find me, I will keep looking around. First, let me finish looking at all the pretty pictures.
I think I hear someone outside of the door. “Is that you, Mommy?” I ask. “Hello, can you hear me?” I’m practically screaming and banging on the door but they still don’t seem to hear me. “Mommy, I’m in here!” I yell one more time hoping that she will hear me.
I can’t understand why she doesn’t hear me because I can hear her. Maybe it’s because she is talking to someone. I do hear other voices with her. It sounds like a lady and a man. What could she possibly be doing? Maybe she reported me missing. I think she did report me missing that one time; she got to me before the search party did. It could have been more than once because I seem to go missing a lot.
Getting back to the pictures, I come across one with a young woman dressed up in an Army uniform. The woman is me. I do remember my four long years in the Army. I couldn’t get out fast enough! I joined before I even graduated from high school, and left for boot camp in Fort Jackson, SC immediately after graduation. During those four long years, I managed to get deployed for two and a half of those years; twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan.
I can remember some things going wrong during my second deployment, which made it worse when I deployed for the third and final time. People tell me all the time that I should talk about what happened, talk about my feelings. But those same people would not understand if I did decide to tell them. I think people tell you to talk to them because they are nosey. Then the professionals seem to give the same speeches, so I don’t think they really care either. My mommy tries to listen, but I don’t like the hurt I see on her face when I tell her some of the things I went through and some of the thoughts I still have.
What do I do instead? I drink my feelings away. If I’m not drinking, I’m probably high off some of the many prescription pills I get from the Veteran Affairs hospital. They like to give you grocery bags full of narcotics that keep you numb but fix nothing. There are times when I may overdo it. Then my mommy will nurse me back to health. She is such a great mommy!
People tell me all the time that I should talk about what happened, talk about my feelings. Click To Tweet
Written by Dani Powell, RM Entertainment Original Story Contributor