Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Goodbye, America!

Can I be more excited? Tomorrow afternoon at this time I will be on a plane to Germany! From there, I will zigzag to Austria and Switzerland! This is my first time out of the country, and I cannot wait. I've been packed for a week and have looked up all my destinations. I'm going to try to blog, but it just depends on my level of exhaustion and if I have access to Wi-fi. However, stay in tuned. There will be pictures and a recap of my amazing adventures!!

Friday, June 6, 2014

I'm sitting here watching Pretty In Pink. I love 80s movies, but I have a confession. I wouldn't love them if it weren't for one of my favorite people in the whole wide world.
Three years ago, I had major surgery on my wrist that involved cadaver bone, screws, a plate, and rotating the bone 360 degrees...just to give you an idea. Sounds like fun, right? Well, in a full armed splint for three weeks and quieted by the drugs, I didn't really have anywhere to go. My best friend had just moved away, and I mean, it was one was really in town. But then there was my youth pastor--a woman that had become like an older sister to me. Being an only child and living a significant ways away from any family, you kind of make your own local family. But anyway, I digress.
My youth pastor, a mirror image of myself in some odd years, came over for a movie marathon. My mom naturally needed a break from being my caretaker. So with Mom gone and a couple movies, an 80's marathon was definitely what I needed. For the life of me, I cannot remember the first movie we watched...all I remember was that it had Freddie Prinze Jr. in it. But then we watched Pretty in Pink. She was astounded that I'd never seen this apparently monumental movie! I mean, come on--it's Pretty in Pink!! So we watched it and I loved it. We talked, but I still watched it and fell in love. Then I watched it again after she left. And I watched it again that night when I had restless leg. I watched it again the next night when I had restless leg yet again.
To her, it was just a movie night. I'm sure she remembers it, but it's no bright memory in her past. But to me, it meant and still means so much. I mean, sure she introduced me to one of John Hughes' best films. But she sat with me for maybe five hours...talked to me in my drugged state, laughed with me at Duckie and mourned with me when Blane started acting like a jerk.
Now, she's leaving. I mean, it's not far...30 minutes at most. But I'm going to college an hour and a half a way which means it's more like two hours. No more movie nights or afternoon pedicures or just hanging out in her office that could possibly be the place where all missing items in the world end up. (Missing some shoes? They might be under her desk.)
I leave for Europe in a week, and when I return, she won't be preaching in the pulpit. Her office will be filled by a new pastor. I won't have anymore Wednesday Bible Studies at my favorite coffee shop with her. Life's changing so fast, and I'm not quite sure how to deal with it. I know she's the one leaving, but don't they say sometimes it's harder for the people that are left behind? Maybe it will be easier once I'm at college, experiencing new things, making new friends, gaining new knowledge. But for now, I'm gonna miss her. And I don't care what anybody says, I'm still gonna call her.

But now I can't watch Pretty in Pink without thinking of that rainy July day, talking, being introduced to the brilliance that is John Hughes' mind. I challenge everyone to think of their Pretty in Pink moment and remember it for always. You never know when that memory will be all you have.

Monday, June 2, 2014


Here is my first short short story to be posted. I hope you enjoy! Let me know what you think!

Bullied: By Hannah Rials

Suddenly, Marie was in a corner, portfolio clasped tightly against her chest as she glanced furtively from left to right. Had they followed her? Was she safe? She could see her art classroom, just a few feet away—a sanctuary in a school of torture. When no one appeared around the corner, she allowed herself to relax, to take a deep breath. Instead of sucking in her flabby stomach, she let the muscles go, her shoulders falling with them. The knots in her back uncoiled, and she slowly loosened her tight fists.
She could feel heavy tears weighing down in the corners of her eyes. She blinked away the forming drops and bit her quivering bottom lip. She could still feel the spot on her head that no longer has hair. They’d torn it right out. Quick as a prowling cat, she only realized what had happened when she looked down and saw a chunk of her greasy, unwashed hair in the girl’s hand.
“Try showering,” they’d hissed, giggling as they threw her hair into the trash.
They’d circled her like a flock of vultures, waiting for her to cry, to crack like she had countless times before. Marie had continued walking through the crowded halls, her eyes down, staring at the spotted floor tiles. A jab to the back. A nail clawing into her arm. Someone stepping on the back of her worn in converse. Then her portfolio was gone , pulled right out of her callused hands. She heard their piercing giggles high above the chatter of the hall. Then the one sound she dreaded most—“RIPPPPPP!” Then another, another, and another…
…She looked down into the portfolio—only one painting left. How to explain this to her teacher?…
…They’d danced through the crowd of students, pulling her hair, whispering names in her ear, names she dare not remember. Her ruddy face grew even redder—red as the blood on her scalp…
…She gently touched the hairless spot, now coated in dried blood, covered by the rest of her greasy, dirt-brown hair…
…Then she’d walked right into them, waiting for her, cruel girlish smiles on their perfectly plastic faces. She couldn’t go back, and she couldn’t go forward. So she stopped, parting the sea of students like Moses, except they weren’t opening her escape; they were opening her to torture.
The girls took slow, calculated steps. Marie tensed, ready to sprint if they touched her, except she didn’t get the chance. All at once, they converged on her, knocking her to the ground, ripping at her hand-me-down clothes, scratching her bare skin, calling her those horrible names, giggling all the while, .
They were prepared for her tears and her futile attempts at escape. However, they never once expected her to scream. Why would they? For all they knew, she was mute. So when she did—when she let that terrible, unparalleled scream rip through the empty hallway—they leapt back in fear, not of her, but of the awful sound. 
This gave her a window of opportunity. She snatched her nearly empty portfolio out of one hand then sprinted down the hall, not turning back to see if they’d followed…
…She glanced down at her now broken watch just as they turned the corner, their piercing sights set on her. No one else was in the hallway. They were closer to the art room than she was. She was a deer in headlights, frozen in place and time. One girl giggled. The others just stared silently like sirens, willing Marie to crumble and fall to her demise. She sunk her teeth into her bottom lip and closed her eyes waiting for what was sure to come.
Then…the bell rang. The sound of their high-heeled footsteps stopped. Her eyes remained closed. When the heels clicked again, she cringed, except, she realized, they were growing fainter until they disappeared all together. Only then did she open her eyes, warily glancing down the hall, the sound of their giggles echoing in her ears. 
The door to the art room opened and her teacher stepped out, looking at Marie ignorantly, waving her into the room. Once, just once, she looked back over her shoulder after the girls.

She was safe…for now.