Trail of Blood
Part Two of the Paranoia Series
A/N: Although I decided to revise parts of the story, it was written in 2003, so if some of the references seem old, that's the reason why.
I open the door and walk in sluggish. My mind is off in a dream world. Part of me still can't believe he's dead.
Raphael Browne is dead.
I walk pass the living room. My mother and her "man" are sitting on the couch, watching TV.
"How was the funeral, Tia?" she asks.
"Yvette, how do you think it was? It was a funeral, Woman!" Ricky replies.
He looks at me with a mischievous smirk, like he knows something I don't.
She ignores him. "You gonna be alright, Honey?"
"Yeah, Mama. I-I'm just about to go take a shower."
I hike up the stairs and go into my room to drop off my purse, hat, and car keys, and then I head into the bathroom.
I turn on the water and disrobe, but don't get in just yet. My mind goes back to the funeral. To Maya. She is very depressed, yet she has always reminded me of a young child. Like she could be his younger sister instead of his girlfriend.
Her eyes are read and puffy from crying. In my vision of her as a child, she is not sobbing because of her boyfriend's death, but rather like she lost her long-time dog. Her attire doesn't convince me otherwise. A sleeveless black dress with huge red roses covering it, barely touch her knees. Black Mary Jane shoes with black tights. Her braids flow down her face. At the burial she sucks on her black-polished fingernails, and twirls with her hair.
Like a little child.
When I first see her, I have to hug her. Even though she hasn't been very nice to me, she needs it.
The walls in the bathroom are crying with steam. So I put my shower cap on and hop in the shower.
Raphael. I am going to miss him. We weren't close friends, but still he was my buddy. I know Maya thought that we were fucking, but it wasn't even like that. When he and I dated for that month, I knew he was just using me to get back at her. I should have dropped his ass, before he dropped me, running back to her. But I don't.
I later the soap and wash my body. I rinse and see that my legs are hairy. I don't have time that morning to shave them, so I just wore that long dress to cover them. I grab my razor and shaving gel, and begin shaving them.
Shit, I mean "shoot".
I nick myself.
Blood trickles out. It's not a lot, but it's enough for me. I feel nauseous. My worst foe - blood. Yes, I have hematophobia - the fear of blood.
That's it. I'm throwing my razors away, and I'm buying that Nair stuff. It starts to come out even more. I need to get out of there before I faint or have a heart attack.
I practically jump out the shower, put my robe on, and sprint down the stairs.
"Mama! Mama! I cut myself shaving!" I scream.
"Did you cut it badly?" she asks as she stands up from the couch.
"See." I show her my nick. Ricky bursts out with laughter.
"You hollering like somebody killing you. Shit, you need a microscope to see it."
"First off, I wasn't hollering because I cut myself. Blood came out of my leg."
"How much? A drop?"
"Leave her alone, Ricky." Mama grabs a tissue and wipes the blood off. "Now go put some rubbing alcohol on it."
"Okay." I give Ricky a nasty look as head back upstairs.
I promise on my grandmother's grave that I hate that man.
"Hey y'all!" Iroquois screams and pulls down her pants, mooning the car full of boys driving next to us.
"That's a nice mole on your ass," one of the boys yells, and she gives him the finger.
We were in her convertible. Maya is driving; I'm in the passenger's seat; and Iroquois crazy self is in the back. That girl is wild! She had dared Maya and me to moon the boys at first. When she saw we weren't that crazy, she did it herself.
"Now it's your turn to show something, Tia. Why don't you show those huge breasts of yours?"
"I don't think so."
Maya, Iroquois and I are coming from the mall and going to my best friend James summer party. We are all dress alike - purple and gold Lakers jersey dress and all white Air Force Ones gym shoes.
Since Raphael's funeral, I've been hanging out them a lot. It was in a way sad, because it took a tragedy to bring us together.
I am not dumb. I knew all the snob remarks they and the rest of the cheerleaders would say about me. (Yes, Maya and Iroquois are cheerleaders) It hurt me deeply, but I would never let them see me that way. I am on the track team, and the girls said the only reason that I was on it was so that when I ran, the boys could see my breasts bounce.
It is nice to hang out with Maya and Iroquois since I have no female friends. I don't know why the girls hate me so much because I haven't done a damn thing to them. One rumor said that I acted stuck up and thought I was the shit because I have big boobs. Okay, I am anything but stuck up. Many people don't know that I am a quiet and very shy person, and I can't help it that God blessed me with a big chest.
We make it to my James's house and park a few houses down. Before we get out the car, we do some last minute touch-ups.
"Why y'all didn't tell me my bow had come out?" Maya says when she sees her reflection in the rearview mirror, and she ties the bow back. Maya has her micro-braids into two ponytails with purple and gold ribbons on them. She is also wearing the jewelry I brought her for her b-day and the bracelet Raphael gave her. My hair is in a flipped short hairdo because I grow tired of the phony ponytail because it is too hot and I want something more natural looking. I apply more lip-gloss to my lips, and Maya asks, "Why do you put so much lip-gloss on?"
"I do, really?"
"Yeah, your lips are shiner than a new trophy."
"Oh." I wipe some of the lip-gloss off. As we stroll up to the house, Iroquois's beads chime as she walks. Her hair is braided into tiny individual braids with several beads at the tip of each braid. She is also wearing Spongebob Squarepants earrings and necklace, which I feel is very uncharacteristic for a sixteen year old who enjoys flashing her bare behind. Earlier I had said, "Spongebob earrings?"
"Don't hate on my man. Plus the gold color goes with the gold in this dress."
"Hey baby girl!" James says when he opens the door and hugs me. James has been my best friend since I first moved to Miami six years ago. He's sixteen, attends the same high school and will be an junior in the upcoming school year like us. He has been my shoulder to cry on when the girls treat me horrible.
"Are we invisible?" Iroquois asks, annoyed.
"Hi Iroquois and Maya." He gives them a shorter hug than he gave me. "Come on in, Lakers girls."
We do, and the place is jumping. The music is banging and the people are grinding on one other like crazy. The ladies are wearing cute outfits (well, some on them), and the fellas ain't looking bad either.
"I know damn well y'all ain't coming in here, representing those busted ass Lakers," Jimmy, another one of my male friends exclaims.
"Well, if the Miami Heat didn't suck so badly, maybe we wouldn't have to rep the Lakers," Maya states.
"Plus, Kobe Bryant is fine!" Iroquois adds.
"Man, whatever." Jimmy looks at me. "I like the way you feel out that dress."
I gently push him. "Shut the hell up, Jimmy."
"Awww, let's leave horny Jimmy alone so he can get his freak on and get some food," Iroquois says and they walk away.
"You do look the best in that dress, baby. A lot better than Eleven."
Eleven - that is our pet name for them, just like their pet name for me is "Big Titty Heifer." (They don't know I am clued in on that.) We call them Eleven for two reasons: one, since they were always together; two, they had no body shape whatsoever. Their body are as straight as an arrow.
"They thought it would be cute if we dressed the same for the party," I start. "And leave them alone! They can't help it if they are pencil thin."
"Just like you can't help that fact that you have big ripe melons in your produce section."
Everyone has to make a joke about my twins.
He laughs. I give him a look, so he says, "I'm just messing with you, Tia. So, y'all best friends now?"
"I wouldn't say all that. We're just hanging out."
"You hang out with the same girls that use to make you cry. I don't trust them two-faced bitches, and I don't want to see you get hurt."
"Look at Jimmy, getting all-emotional," I tease, "but, I know what I'm doing."
"Alright." We hug quickly. "I see you later, baby. I'm about to get some more of these hoes numbers."
I shake my head. He is a wanna-be pimp, Mac Daddy, whatever you want to call it. I decide to go get something to eat, so I make my way to the kitchen.
Iroquois and Maya are talking to Briana in the corner. Briana waves to me, and I wave back. Her outfit is cute. It's a Baby Phat shirt and blue jean shorts set.
The words two-faced come to mind. Jimmy isn't lying when he calls Maya and Iroquois that. For instance, they act nice to Briana in front of her face, but just today at the mall they were talking about her.
"That bitch knows she's ugly. She looks like a damn wolf," Iroquois had said about her.
Maya added, "And her mustache thicker than my daddy's."
I am cool with Briana though. She is one of the only girls in school who didn't talk about me, and in fact although she is a cheerleader along with Maya and Iroquois, she is also on the track team with me. Yes, she does have facial hair, but while I don't feel she is ugly, I have definitely encountered more attractive people. She has a rich brown complexion with medium length hair that features natural cues of brown in it. She is a few inches shorter than me but still taller than Eleven, and she wore black glasses with square shape frame.
I think the glasses look adorable on her, but Iroquois states that they make her look as lame as she is.
I grab a paper plate, and get some chicken wings, potato salad, spaghetti, and some fruit. I guarantee this food will be gone from my plate in a matter of seconds.
I look back to see James's girlfriend Tiffany. "Tiffany Mc Shane."
"How are you, Tia?"
"Fine, and yourself?"
People who call me stuck up haven't met Ms. Tiffany Mc Shane. That is one stuck one bitch! I don't like to call females bitches, (actually I don't like to curse or using derogatory terms much anyway) but that is exactly what she is. I still can't believe James has been with her or about half a year now. Her parents are wealthy, so naturally she is spoil and expects every man she's with to spoil her too.
My dawg James spoils her too.
I study her. Her dyed blonde hair reaches an inch or so past her shoulders, and wears her blue contacts. She has on glittery lip-gloss, geometry shaped earrings and necklace, and a white bra-like shirt, white pants, and white sandals.
She presses her peach colored fingernail to her lips. She is light skin, very pretty, and had a nice figure. Her only beauty flaw is the mole on her chin. Notice I say "beauty flaw," because this girl thinks she is above everyone, acts fake as hell, and like Maya thought I was after Raphael, she thinks I'm after James.
No thanks. I have my own man.
Tiffany has even on occasion, tried to break our friendship up, but I'll be damned if I let some spoiled brat come between my friendship with my best friend.
"That dress is cute." I can't tell if she's for real or not. I'm also one of the people she turns her nose and looks down at. It's ironic because my five feet nine frame literally looks down at her five feet two frame.
Nevertheless, I say, "Thank you." She grabs a plate and takes the food she wants. I pour a glass of soda for myself.
"Boy, you want everyone to know your name is Tia." She is referring to my "Tia" chain. I trace my big hoop earrings and smile weakly. I want to punch her in that pretty little face of hers. I go into the living room and sit in the sofa. She follows and sits adjacent to me.
Taking a bite of her chicken wing she says, "You need to quit trying to get with my man."
She has to go there again.
I sigh. "Tiffany, for the millionth time, I'm not trying to get with James. We're just friends." I take a sip of my soda.
She sucks on her teeth. "Whatever, I don't by that 'just friends' bullshit. I know you what him."
"Tiffany, if I wanted James, I could have him."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Exactly how it sounds."
She glares at me evilly. "Fight! Fight!" a boy who is standing next to us chants.
"She's not worth my time," I mumble and eat a forkful of spaghetti.
Tiffany rolls her eyes. "I'm about to go get some soda, but this ain't over, Tia." She stands up and walks away. I notice there is something red on the butt of her pants. I glance at the spot she was sitting, and realize that it is blood. She had started her period!
"Hell nawl! That girl started her period!" that same boy who chanted "fight" shouts. People come gather around and see the pool of blood. The boy who obviously didn't know who Tiffany is explains to the people that she has all white all.
"Oh, that was that stuck up bitch, Tiffany!" Iroquois tells them, and they laugh.
I can't look at the blood, and the aroma of it is making me sick and nauseous. I stand up and try to get away. It's so many people gather around, it takes my forever to get through. I feel myself gagging, and once I finally get pass the group of people, I vomit on the floor.
"So, I'll see you soon baby."
"Love you, Tia."
"Love you too, Daddy."
I hang up the phone. I just got done talking to my daddy. I am going to visit him in three days, and spend two weeks with him.
I was born and lived in St. Louis, Missouri until I was ten. My parents were happily married, well at least I thought. One day I guess my mom got tired of being married to my dad, so she had an affair with her now boyfriend, Ricky, and divorced my dad.
We moved down here to Miami, Florida because Ricky wanted to live in a warmer climate. Now they have been together for six years, and aren't even married. I don't even think Ricky has intentions of marrying my mom. Why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free?
I had a lot of hatred for my mom after that. I was not only mad that she split my dad and I apart, but that she hurt my dad. Daddy had loved Mama with all of his heart, and she had damaged him beyond repair.
This throws out the theory that only men cheat.
Daddy is a good man. He never hated or held a grunge against Mama like I did. Over the years, my mom and my relationship has gotten better, but it can still be improved upon. Once each season I make my way back to my hometown and see my daddy. I am very exciting about seeing him again on Tuesday.
I head to the bathroom to take a shower. I am going out this Saturday evening with my boyfriend, Dexter Gray, to celebrate over six-week anniversary.
I turn on the water, undress, and hop in the shower. I lather myself with the last of my Victoria's Secret Champagne and Strawberry soap. I rinse off, and apply Nair to my legs and underarms. Yeah, I had finally thrown out my razor and brought some Nair.
Last Saturday, after I throw up at the party, Maya decides to take me home and return to the party. On the drive to my house, I inform them about my fear of blood, stating that if I see, smell, or sense blood, I get sick, nauseous, or even throw up like I did that night. Maya tells me about how afraid of water she was and that Raphael had help her overcome that fear. Then she went on to say that she will never get in the ocean or any other form of water after what happened to Raphael. I didn't blame her. Guess I have more in common with Maya then I thought.
I am on a date with Dexter the day I saw Maya and crew at the beach.. My mom owns a small bookstore, and I work there after schools and now during the summer. I meet him because he had come in there a few times to buy books, and one day he asks me out.
Dexter is about six feet tall, with a slim frame. Although he is not extremely built, equipped with a six-pack, he did have some definition in his muscles. He is very articulate and well dressed, most of the time in business causal attire. He is my complexion, wears glasses, and has a clean haircut.
Dexter is twenty-one, and he didn't realize that I am only sixteen until we go out on our first date. I find out I really like him. He is a junior at Florida A&M University, majoring accounting. He is from Northern Florida, but decided to stay Miami for the summer in order to work and attend summer school. He is also a member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated.
After much hesitation, I revel that I am only sixteen years old. He is nervous about this, but I reassure him that everything would be okay and he had nothing to worry about.
I test an area on my skin to see if the hair removes like the directions say, and the hair removes easily. I rinse the rest of my body off, and see that the Nair only removed half of the hair on my leg. I put some more Nair on my leg and wait I few more minutes. I rinse my legs and armpits off again, and the results were better, but one hundred percent of the hair still didn't come off.
Oh, well. Maybe I'll wax next time. It might hurt like hell, but it beats getting nicked and bleeding.
When I finish showering, I brush my teeth and return back to my room. I oil myself up with the strawberries and champagne lotion. I clothe myself in this short red dress and red sandals and apply matching the lipstick. I put on my dangling earrings with the red beads and the corresponding necklace on.
I am feeling sexy. Early in the day I go to the beauty salon to have my hair wash, condition, and place back in the short flipped hairdo with a red rinse added. I also get a fill-in for my nails and a retouch on my pedicure.
I grab my Coach purse, cell phone, and sunglasses and go downstairs, anticipating my date will be arrive shortly. When I reach the bottom platform, Ricky is sitting on the sofa, dress in a Akademiks shirt and shorts, and is drinking a beer.
I do not understand what Mama sees in Ricky whatsoever. He is forty years old and tries to dress like a twenty year old - the urban gear, sagging pants, etc. He wears this fake diamond stud, and claims he is going to grow his hair out for cornrows. The only problem is balding in some areas of his scalp! He acts immature and lazy. He speaks in a crude and disrespectful manner Daddy is nothing like this, and I will never understand why she ever left him for that jerk. While Ricky is employed at Burger King, acting as manager for two different stores, Daddy is a successful computer analyst.
"You going out with that on, looking like a cheap whore."
"Where's Mama?" I ask, ignoring his comment.
"She went out with some friends." I walk to the window, and peer out to see if Dexter had arrived. I feel a sharp pain on my butt.
"Don't smack me on my ass!" I yell, as I partially blush at the same time.
He laughs. "You know you like it, Tia. That's why you are turning red." He looks me up and down. "It may be a hoe dress, but you do look good in it."
When we first moved down here, I can tell Ricky didn't like me very much. I don't care because I hated him too. Within the last few years, once I start developing, he starts talking to me; however, it isn't a typical father-figure/daughter talk. Rather, he says sexual things to me, and as of recently he even touches me - fondling my breasts, smacking me on my butt, kissing me, etc. He tells me I am beautiful and describes the crude things he would do to me in bed. I will never go that far with him. Once I unwillingly let him finger me, and that is far enough. I don't know I why I don't tell anyone. In a way I am scared. Once I overhear him tell Mama that if she ever left him, he would kill her, which isn't surprising because he is very emotional and verbal abusive towards my mother. It is only a matter of time because he become physical and I guess I am scared that if I told on him he would do something to us. If he harms my mother , I will never forgive myself.
Ricky sniffs me. "You smell good enough to eat." He grabs me, trying to kiss me. "Just gimme a little kiss."
"No! Stop!" I try to pull away from him. He tries to force his tongue in my mouth, and I give up letting him through. He kisses me, almost jamming his tongue with his hands stroking my butt. I push away from him to see Dexter pulling up.
"Have a nice time on your date," he tells me, sitting back on the sofa.
I open the door to my house and ease in quietly. It's twelve thirty, thirty minutes after my curfew. I was hoping Mama would give me a break.
My date with Dexter couldn't have gone even better. He takes me to this Italian restaurant, Lombardi's Ristorante, where he lets me order anything I want on the menu. Most girls who had that opportunity to do that would order the most expensive thing on the menu. I am not that ignorant, and I order a moderate price meal. I give him an anniversary present. It's an outfit - gold button down top with brown slacks, the colors of his fraternity.
"Thank you, Baby," he says and kisses me. He then hands me a gift bag. I open it to see it's a Coach hat, shoes, and a belt. They match the pattern on the Coach purse I am carrying. I am in shock because Coach is not inexpensive, because my purse, a gift from my mother, costs $128. In addition to the Coach, he gives me a colorful bouquet of tulips.
After dinner we walk along the beach, and we make out. He then takes me to his apartment. Things really get hot and heavy in his bed, but I still not ready to take the ultimate step.
"What's wrong, Tia?" he asks me as I stop kissing and fondling him.
"Well." he lifts his body off of mine. "Dexter, I'm not ready yet. I care about you, but not yet. Not tonight."
"It's okay, Baby. I won't rush you into things." He kisses me, and we cuddle for a while until he takes me home.
I smell my tulips as tiptoe in. "You're late!"
I jump. "Ricky?"
"Don't 'Ricky' me. You're late. It's twelve thirty. You know your curfew is midnight."
"I'm sorry, dang." Ricky is on the sofa, watching the Godfather DVD for the umpteen time. "Were you waiting for me to come home? Where's Mama?"
Ricky gets off the sofa and moves toward me. He had only his boxers on. "Yvette hasn't made it home yet." He snatches the bag out of my hand and peers inside. "That nigga bought you Coach. Now I know you must be giving up something for him to buy you this."
My mama and Ricky know that I am dating an older man, but I lied to then and told then that he was eighteen instead of twenty-one. My mama was hesitant to let me date him thinking he's eighteen, and I know if she knew he was twenty one she wouldn't let me be with him.
"If you're indicating that I'm sleeping with him, you're wrong." I snatch the bag back.
"An eighteen year old only wants one thing from a sixteen year old. You know as well as I do what that thing is."
"Nope, I sure don't." I head into the kitchen to put my flowers in a vase. Ricky is right on my tail.
"Are you fucking him?" he asks as I get a vase from the cabinet.
"I told you no," face winkling up from his crude manner. I walk to the sink and put water into the vase. "And even if I was, what would you do about it?"
He suddenly grabs me, almost causing me to drop the vase. "Don't get smart with me, bitch!" He strokes my cheek, staring me in the face. "You is too fine, Tia," he whispers to me, his English skills lacking. "Let's go upstairs into the bedroom and make love." He tries to kiss me, but I yang away from him, set the vase on the counter, and seize a butcher knife.
"I'm sick of your sexual advances. Get the fuck away from me before I slice and dice your ass!"
He laughs at me, destroying my false bravado. "You're so cute when you try to act tough," he teases. "You ain't gonna do shit."
He tries to take the knife from me, but I won't let him. As we struggle, he eventually wrestles the knife away from me. I sigh in defeat.
"That's a good girl," he patronizes, setting the knife on floor away from my reach. He buries his face into my neck and inhales. "I wasn't lying when I said you smell good enough to eat." He lifts his head away from my neck and we make eye contact. His eyes are dark with desire, and embarrass I turn away.
I sense that he is lowering his body while I feel his hands reaching up my dress. He pulls my panties down and places his face in my most imitate area.
When he darts his tongue inside me, I gasp. He commences to eat me out. An act that both Iroquois and Maya explain to me as blissful and heavenly made me feel dirty and mortified. As he moans and makes other nauseating noises, I stare blankly at the kitchen clock. Frustrated at my reaction, he digs his sharp, short jagged nails into my soft thighs.
"Tell me you love it, love me."
I clench my eyes shut as I grit out, "I love it. I love you too, Ricky."
This isn't the first time he has made me say I love him. During numerous forced make-out sessions and the forced finger penetration, he demands I create a fairy tale where I actually love him and the contact is mutual and enjoying for both parties.
A simple teardrop falls from my right eye, and this signifies I need to end this assault. When I reopen my eyes, I notice the vase on the counter.
To distract him as a reach from my potential weapon, I moan, "Yes, baby. This feels so good. Eat it." My right hand is forcing his face into me while my left hand grabs hold of the vase. I lift it over my head, smashing it against his bald dome.
He screams in pain as his body crashes to the floor, and I seize the opportunity to escape. Clumsily, however, I slip on the broken glass and water, and mirrors fall and impact to the floor.
"You stupid ass, fucking hoe!" He screams, grabs a piece of broken glass, and impales it into my left foot. I wail out, and two callous hands grab my ankles and drag me along the kitchen floor.
He turns me on my back, kneeling with both of his knees in between my legs. "Why did you have to ruin a perfect moment?" he asks sweetly, caressing my cheek, demonstrating his Jekyll and Hyde personality trait because right after he states this the same hand that is touching me tenderly slaps me across the face.
I sob uncontrollably.
Sensitive Ricky: "Don't cry, baby. I'm sorry. Let's just get you can ice pack and clean this mess up before your mother comes home."
I stare at this bizarre man, seeing the blood from the cuts on his head gush out. I feel queasy and mutter out, "I'm going to throw up." I scramble up from the floor carefully and dart up the stairs to the bathroom, wincing from the pain in my foot.
I don't throw up though, and I feel I push from my behind. I fly sideways and hit the tub.
Mr. Sensitive has left because Ricky says, "You're gonna fuck me, bitch, whether you like it or not." He drops his pants and drawers. Blood is still streaming down from dome down his face and onto the floor. "But first you need to return the favor."
"Please, Ricky. Don't do this," I cry. I am paralyzed because I am scared out of my mind. The drenching blood doesn't help because if I throw up, it would make the situation ten times worse.
He moves closer to me, clutches my head, and forces his penis in my mouth. He pushes his hips so that his penis goes in and out of my mouth. He groans in pleasure, and I am gagging.
I mat not live to tell what I do next.
I bite his penis, and he screams out in pain. I slip between his legs, escaping to the door. He tries to capture me, but he slips in the blood on the floor, hitting his head and knocking him unconscious. I don't know if he's dead, but quite frankly I don't care.
I run down the stairs screaming hysterically. I see the trail of blood coming from the kitchen, leading into the bathroom. Just as I reach the front door, Mama enters.
"My goodness, Tia, what happened?"
"Ricky…he…he…" I am too overcome, and I break down crying on Mama.
The only words Mama can comprehend from my babble are "Call the police NOW!" Confused, she complies and after then, I am somewhat calm enough to tell her what is taking place.
Ricky isn't dead.
He stays unconscious until the police come, and even when the paramedics wheel him away he's half-awake. I retell my story to the police, eventually he is charged with attempted rape, sexual contact with a minor, aggravated battery, etc.
In the hospital while the doctors examine and clean me, I confess to Mama the hell I have endured with Ricky for the last couple of years. We just hold each other and cry, with Mama repeating how sorry she is.
In spite of all this, I still go to visit my dad in St. Louis. He is angry and threatens to go to Miami and "teach that asshole a thing or two." I convince my Daddy not too, and I try to have a good time with him.
I inform Maya, Briana, and Iroquois when I return home and they counsel me, causing me to believe that our friendship could be authentic. I tell Dexter, James, and Jimmy also, and they do the same. My relationship with Dexter continues to move a very slow, but comfortable pace. Mama and my relationship gets better, me reveling the dire impact the divorce has on me.
As for my fear of blood, well, it is not as strong as it was. I can shave and nick myself without being freaked out, but still I wouldn't become a doctor or anything. Plus I realize that if it was for the trail of blood that Ricky slipped on, who knows where I might be at today.