Lions, Tigers, and Bears

Onya hated the zoo.

So naturally, Sam was confused when she called him sounding really erratic and asking him to meet her at the train station so they could go to the zoo. Not to mention, the fact that Spring’s blossoms were still snuggled up in their buds which were fighting the left over frost of winter. When Sam got to the parking lot, he got out of the car and squinted up at the train platform. There she was. Pacing back and forth with a cigarette meticulously perched in a makeshift divot in her hot pink and violet mitten. She knitted the matching beret and scarf as well.

But in true Onya fashion she was wearing a bright yellow coat which completely contrasted her accessories.

Or maybe not.

Maybe they were just what was needed to seduce Spring out of hiding.

Onya was a master of seduction, Sam thought as his lips twisted into a smirk. He chuckled sending a puff of winter breath floating into the air.

It was at point Onya noticed him.

Sam saw the whip of her head in his direction and started to wave until he saw her frown, flick the cigarette butt onto the track below, and turn her back to the parking lot.

Fuck! He thought to himself. It’s gonna be a bad day. She is in one of her moods. She has to be.

 

He picked up his pace as he entered the station and purchased a ticket.

 

Sam didn’t know what was going on with Onya. They had been together for a while. Two years actually. The first year everything was great. Onya was a replica of her winter ensemble.

Bright.

Cheerful.

Attractive.

But the last four months or so of their relationship, she became angry, combative and cold. Sam couldn’t even touch her because she would shrug him away.

And sex?

Sex was confusing.

It seemed she only wanted the sex when she wanted it. And when she wanted it, it was aggressive to the point it was almost abusive. At first Sam was kind of turned on by it all, but after she had asked him to bite her and break the skin. He became weary of her, and created a barrier between them.

A barrier Onya broke any chance she could.

She would show up at his job with lunch.

At his mothers’ for Sunday dinner.

And Sam couldn’t really say anything because, after all, she was his girlfriend, and everyone knew it.

Knew she was sweet.

Bright.

Cheerful.

And that she loved Sam with all of her heart.

 

When Sam pushed the door open to the platform, the cold air smacked him in his face, so he looked menacing.

“You know you’re not supposed to smoke on the platform.”

Onya, who was walking towards him, lighting another cigarette, paused slightly as if she were startled by his expression.

“I am not mad at you; It’s the wind, Babe.”

“Oh,” Onya replied taking a long drag off of her Newport before embracing him. She held on to that embrace for a really long time. Then kissed Sam softly on the lips and smiled up at him.

“Hey how are you?”

A quizzical look came over Sam’s face.

I’m not gonna question it. She seems happy, and that’s a good thing.

“I’m okay; you okay?

Onya smiled and took another drag of her cigarette.

“I will be, “she said, “After I visit the lions.”

I spoke too soon. Here she goes. What the fuck was she talking about?!

As if she could read his mind, she whipped around and shouted with excitement.

“Yes!! The lions!! I need to see them!!! They were so sad.”

She continued her rant as she spun around and brought Sam’s arms through hers. She threw the half smoked cigarette onto the track.

“They had them in those little cages. They were like boxes. And they paced back and forth, just looking for a way out. They couldn’t get out. They wanted to be free. So they would start harming themselves. Running into the glass.

Trying to break free.

So they drugged them.

And then they just laid in their cages, lethargic.

Sleepy.

Lifeless.”

Onya whipped around again, this time she hugged Sam by putting her hands in his coat pockets. She began kissing his chin again as she was talking,

“But now, Sam, now they built them their own miniature safari where they can run, roam, jump, and be free. Free to pounce. To play. To be themselves.” So I wanted to go see them.”

The train’s horn interrupted Onya. She smiled, kissed Sam as passionately as she could and took a large step back.

“But I would just be jealous.”

Sam was really confused.

The horn sounded again as the train approached the station.

“This had nothing to do with you, please believe me.”

With that Onya took three large steps back, ran then leapt in front of the train.

******

After he was questioned and the police and coroner left, Sam sat in his car for hours just staring up at the platform. He leaned over and opened the glove compartment looking for cigarettes. But he must have smoked the last of his emergency pack. When he slammed the glove compartment shut that’s when Onya’s pack fell out of his pocket along with her lighted and two pieces of paper.

One was a prescription.

The other a note.

Sam,

If you are reading this, I meant what I said.

This had nothing to do with you, and I should have never put you through this. But you seemed to be the only one who accepted me at my worst. I had to let somebody know why because no one understood.

When we first got together, I was sooooo happy, but I also seemed to be flight and spacy. It wasn’t related to us; it just was. And I didn’t understand it. I would forget to do important things all the time. It got to the point where I needed so many Post-It notes. When I started to forget to write Post-It notes, I went to my doctor.

It seems I have an inoperable brain tumor. I didn’t tell a soul until now. But the tumor, as you may have noticed, affected my mood and behavior.

I noticed it too.

So I went back to the doctor.

I was given more meds.

The meds made me numb.

Trapped.

Like the lions.

But there wasn’t ever going to be a space for me here.

No one was going to build a place where I could be me again.

I could never be free again.

So I freed myself.

Please forgive me.

I Love you.

Onya

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2 comments on “Lions, Tigers, and Bears

  1. The first word I have is wow…just wow.

    This story was immersive despite just meeting the characters for such a short time. That is the true mark of an amazing piece or an equally amazing writer.

    I wondered as I read Onya’ s fate if that was how you felt at times. The honesty of her and her situation not only made blame connect with her but I made me uncomfortable almost as if she were a real person.

    Is there more? Please tell me that there is.

    • Um when I first started my medication, I didn’t like the fact that I slept all the time. I felt like I was wasting my second chance at life. But now that the dr changed the times of my meds, I am MUCH better…the difference between Onya and I is my aneurysms were repaired and seem to be healing well…thank the Lord, and I WILL eventually get better…it will just take time

      And no, that’s it…LOL it was a really short story

      Thank you for reading.

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