Sometimes Life Does

Ray-ray always took extra care when preparing to meet Danny. She used to primp and preen, addressing each curl with precision and care. The dark dreads would stand straight out if she let them. But Danny was worth it. She would apply the hair cream to each strand meticulously. Afterwards, she slicked her full lips using a dark lipstick which she hoped would entice him just so.

She would check her teeth for stray particles before popping a stick of gum in her mouth, because she wanted her breath smelling minty or fruity or cinnamony, not like last night’s tacos. She would smudge dark stain on each eyelid and a thin layer of mascara, each lash carefully attended to.

Danny was worth it. Danny was the light in Ray-ray’s eyes. He didn’t care if her skin was the color of dark mocha. He didn’t care if she was poor. He didn’t care about the size of her house or if she had gas in her car. Danny said he liked her husky voice and the way her lips moved when she talked. They would talk for hours.

He would tell her about work and life at his house. About love past and the future he saw for himself, the future he would make happen. And Ray-ray hung on his every word. Believed every syllable and exclamation point. She danced on his infectious laughter and wrapped her arms around his engaging whispers.

Ray-ray loved Danny more than she ever loved anyone ever. He was the epitome of perfection in her dark brown eyes. Oh, she knew he wasn’t perfect, per se, no, but he was perfect for her. He made mistakes. He could sometimes be distant. But she overlooked the little flaws because they were unimportant to who he really was, inside. Every day, she ached to hold him in her arms. Every day, she ached to know he felt the same way about her.

He didn’t.

Danny cared deeply for Ray-ray, she knew. She was his friend. Probably his best friend. The one who understood him more than any other person on this spinning globe. Danny cared about her, yes, but he did not love her. She knew that he never would. Secretly, when she was alone in the dark, Ray-ray let herself cry quietly. She let herself dream about a day when Danny would speak to her, all emotion flowing: I love you Ray-ray. You’re the only woman I desire, the only one I need, the only one I want… Of course, she knew, in her heart, Danny would never say that. She knew it because she knew him.

Still, she wanted to look her best for him, so that he would see how much he mattered to her, without always saying it verbally. She showed him every way she knew how, that he was important and amazing and talented and intelligent and wonderful and she believed in him and and and…

It wasn’t an act, for her. It wasn’t fake. It was all honest truth. Her truth. Danny was… the best thing that had ever happened in her life. And she wanted to show him how much he meant to her every chance she got.

One day, Ray-ray sat and waited for Danny. She waited all morning. She waited all through lunch. She waited into evening. Danny never came. She worried because Danny had never done anything like this before. In fact, she never heard from him ever again. She still gets ready, at the appropriate time, their time, the time they had always spent together. But he never comes.

Ray-ray doesn’t cry only in the dark anymore.

tara caribou | ©2019-2022 revised

51 Comments on “Sometimes Life Does

  1. Lovely piece, Tara.

    I think one of the reasons why your writing is so evocative is that you obviously put so much thought into every sentence. I can tell that from the way your paragraphs are weighted and the way you structure your writing. I think there is a way (excuse me if I get a little philosophical!) in which the experience of readers mirrors the work that was put in. I believe God chooses to work in that way. So, for instance, a very simple painting might carry a lot of power because the artist laboured over it for many days. It’s not so much the ‘thing in itself’ which has meaning (after all, what is writing except a collection of lines and curly symbols on a page?) but the power is in the interpretation, which is brought about by God working in the minds of readers (or viewers, in the case of visual art) as they come to and interpret a piece.

    Sorry if these reflections seem like a strange and irrelevant ramble, just thinking out loud (don’t block me! 😂) God bless you, Tara, and I hope you’re doing well 🤗❤️✌🏻

    Liked by 4 people

    • That’s it exactly, Steven. It’s why I love art (in many forms) so very much. I do agree with what you’ve explained here. And, that makes me very happy that you could feel something in this piece.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow, I wasn’t expecting that ;o; I miss your writing!! That was very powerful and real. Something so raw about knowing she still gets ready for him…You did a great job!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Why is not just Ray? Why is it Bina-ray. Ha ha ha… see what I did that. Binary… get it.

    *hangs his head in shame*

    I’ll see myself out.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jesus Christ lol! You captured ghosting and its psychological effect in such a nuanced and immersive way. lol you know it’s kind of crazy how we have this insatiable appetite for tragedy lol I think our corner of the universe shares a similar tether. Or maybe it’s just coincidence given our most recent posts lol

    Thing is, you kinda let us see the dynamic clearly early on — and yet, that’s no saving grace from that beautiful ending. It’s like the pain can only continue going deeper. I love it.

    I love the ethos behind this (intentional or otherwise). It’s not a story about escaping reality to a fantasy land. It’s an unabridged reflection of reality itself. The beauty and the dark.

    Um *ahem* More? 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • I guess I was trying to capture ‘reality’ instead of, like you said, fantasy land. To embrace love, however it shows itself, but also acknowledging reality. Often our affections aren’t returned. And that can be okay too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You wrote it very well, I enjoyed it 🙂 . I’ve noticed your story-telling in poetry as well, you’re really good at it.

        Liked by 1 person

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