The Origami Cupcake

The Origami Cupcake: Chapter 1


Mother never stayed for long. She always came dressed in her exuberant outfits and never matching high heeled shoes. “Flats are for ordinary women. I’m not an everyday woman,” she would say. Father let her do whatever she wanted. He never said no to her because he was afraid she would leave if he ever did.  He bent to her every whim and once drove from our home in South Jersey to Brooklyn to get her a cheesecake. She only ate Junior’s cheesecake and nothing else. You see mother grew up on the upper east-side of Manhattan. She is the daughter of a very successful and rich broker. You’d think she’d marry to a rich man but to her parents’ and her surprise she married my dad, Henry.  Henry was a server at this Italian restaurant called Vinnies when mother met him. He didn’t have a rich family like she did and had to work two jobs to pay for college.

They met one day in September of 1965. Mother had decided that she would go out to eat with her friends to eat after her last class. Her parents were very over-protective of her. They didn’t want her roaming around the city without a body guard with her. She hated being followed by a steroid using huge dude that scared her more than the strangers her parents were afraid of.

“Sasha, let’s go to Vinnies,” her friend Carmen suggested.

“We can’t go to Brooklyn, dweeb, my mother will freak!” my mother scolded.

“Oh c’mon, Sasha; It’ll be fun,” her other friend, Julia, begged.

“We always have fun at Vinnies. All those cute guys in Brooklyn; you know you want to go,” Carmen teased.

“Ok, ok. I give in,” my mother raised her hands in defeat. They took mother’s limo to Brooklyn. Indeed, she had a fabulous life. She didn’t know that this trip to Brooklyn would change her life forever. When they finally arrived at Vinnies; mother was having second thoughts about breaking her mother’s rules.

“Relax, S” Carmen told my mother.  Vinnies wasn’t an extravagant restaurant. It was pretty low-key but with an old touch feel. Inside it looked like one of those old diners with the tile floors and walls. It was pretty authentic and the cool spot for college kids. Everybody knew about Vinnies.

“Hi, may I take your order?” Henry asked my mother and her friends.  When he saw her he was so hypnotized by her beauty that his hands started to shake. Mother and her friends just stared at him. He was handsome. He had dark brown hair and blue green grey eyes.

“I love your eyes!” Julia gushed at Henry.

“Yes, they are lovely” Sasha told Henry. They looked into each other’s eyes and smiled.

“So, are you just going to stare at me all day or take my order?” Sasha asked Henry with a smirk on her face.

“Can I do both?” Henry responded.  Sasha blushed.  Julia and Carmen ordered chicken salads.

“I’m not a salad type of girl. The only salad you’ll see me eat is on my hamburger” Sasha said to Henry.  “You’re my type of girl, then” he responded. They both blushed this time. It was 12 pm by the time they left Vinnies.  Henry asked Sasha out sometime that evening but she declined.

“Why did you reject him? He was so cute.” Julia asked Sasha.

“What would my parents think?! They would never approve.” Sasha responded. She really did like Henry, but she knew her parents will never let her go out with him. She could picture it now what they would say.

“Absolutely not, you will not go out with that boy!” her father would yell.

“Honey, he’s just not good enough for you.” Her mother would tell her.  They controlled everything in her life, such as, what she ate, who she made friends with, what she wore. She thought that going away to college would lessen their grip but it just got tighter. They had people spy on her.  It was driving her crazy. Once they put a tracking device on her car and she had found it. To teach them a lesson she put it on this hooker’s car. Her mother went crazy when she thought her daughter was in Harlem.  As my mother remembered this she smiled. It was the most fun she’d had in weeks. She didn’t regret coming to Brooklyn and eating at Vinnies. She loved being with her two best friends and meeting her future husband, Henry.

“He was cute…..” mother said to no one in particular. Julia and Carmen looked at each other and smiled. They had never seen their friend Sasha so happy. She smiled all the way back to their dorms at NYU.

Chapter 2: The Perfect Happy Family

I just ran and ran as tears ran down my face.  The cold wind was like having somebody smack my face repeatedly. I couldn’t believe James was a gay. I mean I have nothing against homosexuals. I was mainly angry at him for not telling me this little secret of his. We told each other everything, like how he hated playing football. He only joined the team because that’s the only way he could get father’s attention. I was furious with mother. She was cheating on dad again and now with Mr. Quinn. If the neighbors ever got a whiff of my brother’s and mother’s secret it would be the end of us. What a tragedy?  When I got home, Clarisse, our nanny, was waiting for me in the living room. She was so angry that I had left without telling her where I was going.

“Where you’ve been?!” Clarisse screamed at me.

“Out for a run…I needed some air,” I said.

“I was so scared. You should have told me you were going out.” Clarisse responded

“I’m sorry,” I mumbled as I ran up the stairs to my bedroom. I was having a panic attack. My life would be over if the word got out that my brother was a gay and my mother was a home-wrecker. Our family would be shamed and we would lose our place and status. I couldn’t let that happen. I just couldn’t. I had to keep us safe; I had to keep my family’s secrets safe. No one could ever know. Suddenly, I heard a noise coming from outside my window. I went to see what all the ruckus was about. As I peered out my window I saw a tall muscular figure trying to get into the basement. I poked my head out to see better and I saw that it was a woman. Well, it looked like a woman. She had long reddish brown hair and was wearing a red sequin dress and black stiletto heels. She had some huge feet, I thought. Then, I put my hand over my mouth in shock when I saw her face. It was not a she but a he; and that he was my father! He climbed into the left backside window that leads into the basement. I don’t think he saw me, though.  I backed into my room again and threw myself on my queen sized bed.

“Oh my God!” I screamed.  My father is a drag queen! This day couldn’t get any weirder. I bet those were my mother’s shoes. Those must have been her new Manolo Blahniks. He was eying them when she brought them from the store last week. I thought it was weird but didn’t really pay any mind to it. We all have big feet. My mother and father have the same shoe size 12. I couldn’t believe what I had seen tonight. I felt like I was in a twilight zone episode or in a circus.

“Please let this be all a bad dream,” I said to no one in particular.

“Hey, honey,” I heard someone say and I turned to see my father standing by the door with a big smile on his face. He still had some red lipstick on his lips which he failed to completely wipe off. I wondered as I looked at him; how could a guy like him be a drag queen? He drives motorcycles for God’s sake! I still couldn’t believe I just saw my father dressed like a girl.

“Hi, dad,” I smiled.

“What have you been up to dear?” he said.

“Nothing much; just went out for a run.” I responded.

“Good girl,” he smiled.  “Well, I’m beat sweetie. Rough night at the clinic, you know. I’m off to bed. Have a good night, honey.”

“Night, dad,” I said. I heard him walk to his room and close the door. A few minutes’ later mom and James came home. Mom went straight to bed and yelled goodnight to James and I. James came into my room while I was eating my pain by way of a bowl of cookie dough vanilla ice cream drowned in whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

“What’s up?” James asked me. I didn’t even look at him. I just kept stuffing my face with ice cream.

“Hey Lisa, What’s going on?” he questioned.

“I saw you. I saw you with that man.” I responded in a harsh whisper. His eyes shot wide like he had just seen a ghost. Abruptly, he drew closer to me and lowered his face close to mine.

“You can’t tell anybody,” he whispered. He was so scared. I felt so bad for him because if kids at school found out he was a gay his life would be over. They will beat him up or worse.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked James.

“I was going to tell you but I needed to be sure….” His voice wandered off.  He then told me how he had been dating the man I saw him with for five years now and that he thought he was the one.

“Five years, James, Five?!” I screamed. “Where did you meet this guy?” I asked. James went on to tell me that they met at this gay club downtown when he was 14 years old.

“His name is Mark,” James said to me. “I love him, Lisa. Dad can never know about this. He will freak especially when he finds out that I’m dating his protégé.”

“Mark!” I screamed. “You’re dating Mark Beyer?!” Mark Beyer was our father’s main man at the clinic. Mark was father’s assistant. There would be blood if dad found at Mark was sticking it to his son. James and I didn’t speak for a while. We just sat there on my bed. Then out of nowhere James grabbed my arm and said, “We’re getting married, Lisa.”  I fainted.

 

 

Minerva Rapter’s Leprechaun

I lay in my bed, in the dark, twisting and turning because my back was causing me so much pain. I guess, I pulled a muscle or something. Finally, around one in the morning, I fell asleep. A loud noise woke me up two hours later. It was so dark and cold. My back still hurt and I heard a tiny squeaky voice laughing. It seemed like it was coming from my living room. I thought it might be a kid, but why would a kid be in my living room? I wondered. I wasn’t married, I didn’t have a kid, and I didn’t have any siblings. My parents were on their annual vacation to the Bahamas and I was left here at home all by myself. They had asked me to go with them, but I had just started my new job, at a trendy boutique, called Foals Perk, so I couldn’t go with them.evil_leprechaun-untruenews.com

I heard more noise and that squeaky laughter again. As I pulled myself out of bed, the cold floor shocked me like lighting running through my veins. I didn’t really want to move any further, but I knew I had too. There was someone in my house. I grabbed my metal baseball bat and slowly opened my bedroom door. I peered to see if I could spot the intruder but I couldn’t see anybody. I realized that it had become very quiet; a very scary silence that seriously gave me goosebumps down my spine. However, I took hold of my bat with all the courage I could muster and stepped into the hallway. Slowly, I walked towards my living room taking in consideration of my surroundings. When I got to the living room I was flabbergasted to see that it was in complete chaos. Everything was over-turned and thrown everywhere. I turned on the light and that’s when I really got scared. Our Italian leather couch was slashed like it had been devoured by a wild animal. Our coffee table lay broken in half and magazines ripped about and scattered everywhere. I felt the hairs on my neck cringe and I knew somebody was behind me, but I couldn’t see them in my peripheral vision.

“Who’s there!”, I yelled. Then the lights went out. I heard that squeaky scary laugh again. I have a weapon, I said.

“That’s no match for me”, someone responded in a squeaky harsh voice. Then something grabbed my leg and pulled me down. “AAAAAAAAAh!”, I heard myself scream. I saw a small figure looming a few feet away from me laughing in that same high-pitched voice. “What do you want?!” I yelled. The shrill laughter grew louder and my heart was beating so fast I thought it would explode. The figure started walking towards me and I couldn’t move. By its size, you’d think it was a small child, but when it grabbed my leg I knew it wasn’t a child. It was strong. I just lay there frozen as it got closer. It had something in its hands. It looked like a small pouch. It opened the bag, and a golden light erupted from it. I screamed in horror as I got a look at the face of the intruder. Its face was so gross. It was like somebody had thrown acid on its face. It was wearing a red square-cut coat, richly laced with gold, and cocked hat, shoes and buckles. It had green eyes; they had evil in them. When it saw my disgusted expression, it smiled and I saw its rotten sharp black teeth.

“Get out!” I yelled at it.

“Now, Sarah, I can’t do that,” it responded. It knew my name.

“How do you know my name?” I asked.

“No matter, No matter” it said. You must help me find me gold it said.

“Why would I help you?” I screamed

“You want to see ye parents again, you will help me find me gold!” it scolded.

“What did you do to my parents?!” I yelled at it. It laughed, but this time it was harsher and colder. Suddenly, to my surprise it ambushed me and dug very sharp nails into my arms.

“You will help me find me gold or I’ll kill everyone you love” it growled at me, and before I could speak it disappeared in a dark mist. I woke up the next morning hoping it was all a bad dream. The horror of last night was vivid in my mind and I kept seeing its face. “You will help me find me gold”, played in my ear like a broken record and I wondered why it specifically wanted me to help it find its gold. My parents! What did it do to my parents?! It wasn’t a dream. I looked at my arms and there were the scars from when it had dug its nails into my arms.

Short Story 4: Beauty of the Breakdown

officeromanceBeauty of the Breakdown

 

I fall once again on my already bruised knees. “Why do you cry?” he asks me with his hazel eyes piercing into my eyes. I try not to seem bitter when I respond to his facetious remark. “I’m alright, bloody hell-I’m a mess,” I say with a smile on my face.  He didn’t seem to hear what I said and just walked away. How could he deny me so vehemently? I wonder. I got tired of fighting the tears and left myself be unrestrained.  Somehow, I thought I would completely fall apart or even actually go insane but it was genuinely peaceful. 

It is hard for me to let go of things or people. I’m still yearning for that connection that we lost a long time ago. He found somebody new and parades her around the office like the lead monkey in a circus. Many people advised me that it was foolish to fall for a guy at work, but as the rebel that I am-I did not listen to the warnings. When it blew in my face there was nobody to put out the fire in my heart. I acted like I didn’t care that he cheated on me with a younger woman. Nevertheless, everyone knew I was going to break sooner or later. They wondered. They stalked me with their eyes and haunted me in the bathroom. It was longer than I thought. Months passed and still I kept up appearances.

My roommate Stacy would liquor me up every night. “Drink up baby now-numb the pain,” she would tell me. I would adhere to her request and drink shot after shot of tequila. After getting wasted, I would jump in the pool and think what a tragedy my life was. These mess-ups keep happening like I don’t know what I’m doing. Sixteen years of dating and I have nothing to show for it. Have I not learned anything?! Am I not worthy of love? The pain he caused ran deep like a knife through my skin. I wished I could carve out my heart so it wouldn’t hurt me no more.

One day at the beach, I lay in the sand contemplating my assassination by way of drowning at sea. Obviously, I wasn’t going to go through with it. Suddenly, an epiphany, my realization was vivid. Everything that I had been holding in since that horrific day came out my mouth in screams. I screamed so much that I literally lost my voice and then it started to rain. After the rain stopped, the sun came out and I looked to the sky to see a newly formed rainbow. I hadn’t seen a rainbow in such a long time. It was magnificent. I had to comply with its beauty. I was so afraid of my feelings but that day I learned that there is a beauty in a breakdown.

Hello world and Welcome to the Daily Tales Of Minerva Rapter!

Short story 1: Loveless in New Jersey
People come. People go. I’ve come to make up excuses for the lack of a social life. Some people may categorize me as being just shy. I’m not really shy. I am perfectly able to articulate and express my thoughts. However, sometimes I just get these severe panic attacks or get really excited for no apparent reason. It just gets so awkward and frustrating when I get that way. I hate to blush so I get all mad when I think a guy is cute because I can’t and don’t take rejection well. Then, of course, this pet peeve of mine backfires and then guys think I’m mean.

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High school was a nightmare but I guess thousands maybe millions of people will agree with my sentiments. I never felt like I belonged because I was so different. I didn’t have money to keep up with the latest trends, so obviously I wasn’t “cool.” I had acquaintances not friends. Guys didn’t find me attractive and reminded me of it every day. They called me “ugly, monster, monkey, he-she”, and many other cruel names. I’ve always been insecure though. All the guys I’ve ever liked since my first crush in 4th grade have rejected me. Sad, right? I’m 21 and never been on a date or had a boyfriend. Infinite humiliation, pain, and anger that weighs my heart down like an elephant on a string. I can blame it on my father who never let me hang out with boys; hence my inability to interact with them and understand them. I can blame myself for letting myself be influenced by his ignorance.
I should have, I would have, I could have but I never did anything. I let myself be socially oppressed by the ignorant beliefs of my father. I don’t even talk to my father; he’s a stranger to me. I know that he was just trying to be a good father and keep me out of trouble, but the consequences of his strict discipline emotionally scarred me. I don’t let anybody in because I’ve been hurt too many times. I have no real good friends so I have to hang out with my sixteen year old sister. How pathetic?! I cry about it all the time. Many times I have contemplated suicide only to realize my own cowardice. I haven’t changed much since becoming a young adult; I think I’ve gotten more unfavorable.
I get mad at myself for liking a guy because the fear of humiliation and rejection torments me. There are contacts on my phone but they rarely call me. I’m the fool always calling hoping for an invitation to party, movies, something… People come and go out our lives everyday. Some we cherish, others we forget, and some just linger. Many people have come and gone out my life and I have yet to cherish one. Loveless in New Jersey-that’s my headline. I got troubled thoughts and the low self-esteem to match. What a catch.

Lies in my head

Short Story 3: Lies in My head

I am sorry. I have been regretful for the most part of my life. Constantly dreading what tomorrow will bring because I don’t know what’s going to happen. Sometimes I feel like my life is a reception of lies where the truth seems to lay hidden in maze. I can’t seem to find my way back to that time when I knew who I was. Nevertheless, I got to hither and yon in search for an answer to my many questions.

My insecurities keep me perplexed and oppressed while I stare at myself in the mirror. I ponder why I haven’t met the right guy. Why can’t I be the beautiful one instead of the hot girl’s friend? I just want to be in love with somebody. People tell me to be myself and I’ll find somebody, but I’m 21 and never been on date, never been kissed, and never had a boyfriend. In my head, the word, ugly, swarms my mind causing my heart to explode with pain. The tears run down my face like waterfalls and I fall to my knees like in a dramatic scene in a love flick. I’m not a drinker but when I get like this the two Bacardi Mojito wine coolers sit nicely in my stomach, warm.lies
Passed out in my bed, I wake up to the sound of pots in the kitchen. Mother must be making dinner about now. This depression has me confined to filthy clothes, messy dry hair, and ghastly breath. I spend most of my time in my head rambling on about the many things that are wrong with my life. I seriously need to get out of my head! I get these sick thoughts in my mind like thinking somebody is monitoring my every move so that they could manipulate me. I am crazy, right?! Late at night, when hormones are at their climax I fantasize about an unidentified man in my head. In my dreams, I dance with the devil and drink with the demons. They tell me, “just be pretty but naïve and anything you hear is what you believe.”

Black circles around my eyes because I can no longer sleep. My mind keeps haunting me with the lies that keep me a prisoner in the unknown. I grind my teeth and try to fight this corruption with a twist of my tongue, I challenge my mind. I find myself again looking at myself in the mirror but I don’t recognize the person looking back at me. It’s the coming before the storm and death lies in my bed undressed and says, “Just be pretty but naïve and anything you hear is what you believe.” So begrudgingly, I succumb to the lies in my head.

The Perfect Happy Family

hpShort Story 2: The Perfect Happy Family

People in my town assume that we are this perfect happy family because my father is this big shot doctor who married a supermodel and had two beautiful, popular, and smart children. However, things are never what they seem. We might be the “Joneses” but we are definitely not this perfect happy family.
Father may be this successful doctor who’s married to a former supermodel, but at night he dresses like a woman and smokes pot. Mother is a former supermodel who walked the catwalks of France, London, Italy, and New York. She also graced the cover of numerous fashion magazines. Now she cheats on her husband with various men from our neighborhood, which can be presumed to be also married. My brother, the popular football captain, is secretly a homosexual. He sneaks out to gay clubs on Friday nights to have sex with other men and also do drugs. He can never tell my parents because they will disown him and kick him out. If people knew what he was; his life would be over. I’m the normal one, I suppose. I mean I have my secrets but nothing overly-dramatic.
I know my family’s secrets but they are oblivious to each other. They keep up appearances, as do I, because we can’t afford to unveil our disguise. Smiles pasted on our faces like dummies we greet the neighbors and share neighborhood gossip. We buy and stay up with the latest trends. We drive expensive cars, use high-tech phones, and wear designer clothes. Nevertheless, behind closed doors each of us falls into our own darkness. My parents haven’t slept in the same room since I was 9. I’m 17 now.
Come Christmas time, we will throw our annual Christmas party with all its glamour. Father will joke around with the other suburban fathers; while planning to borrow my mother’s Manolo Blahniks for tonight’s rendezvous. Mother would be gossiping to the other suburban housewives about the latest neighborhood scandal; while contemplating whose husband she would have sex with tonight. My brother would be making out with an unidentified man in his room and nobody would know. That is if no one yet again wants to praise him for winning the championship game. A picture will be taken of us together with our pasted dummy smiles while the other families envy my “perfect happy family.” The camera man aims and we say, “Cheese!”