Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cassie's Story - Letters To Myself

A little catch up with me; I’ve moved to a different apartment building just up the road, yesterday was my first day settling in and unpacking. I was also sick yesterday with a touch of Pharaoh’s Revenge. So that is why Cassie didn’t make an appearance on schedule. It’s also why there hasn’t been much activity from me on this blog, which I will remedy a bit this week.

I had another lovely review for Letters, which I will share here:

Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Rediscovering HappinessAugust 31, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Letters to Myself (Kindle Edition)
“Letters to Myself” is a story self-rediscovery. It is the account of a woman emotionally trapped in an abusive relationship who needs a little professional help and the encouragement of enduring friendships to find a way out.

Advised to keep a diary of her thoughts, the heroin of this tale, Cassie, keeps a running story of her experiences: a story of her life from endless pains to cherished hopes. And she comes with children.

Sheryl Lee offers such a realistic account of marital abuse—and the way Cassie rediscovers happiness and freedom—that one forgets this is just a novel. Did I say 'just'? Ms. Lee's work would make an exceptionally good study source for discussion in a support setting for women who find themselves, as Cassie, entrapped in a brutish and insensitive marital relationship.

I might be one of few men who have read “Letters to Myself”—and I read primarily non-fiction. But I found myself thinking this reads like a real story of a real person. I kept my emotional fingers crossed that she would rediscover happiness.

A great read!

On Friday we are travelling so expect some foreign blogs – well I know this is a foreign country but to me it’s become more like home, so I don’t think of it that way any more. Next week we will be in the UK, in a cooler climate. The UK is softer, pastel colours in my mind, not the strong bright colours here.

Anyway, here is Cassie, out for dinner with Saffron. This episode will give you an idea of why Saffron will soon have her own book.

I studied the gaudy range of colours in the glass that had just been set down in front of me. It came complete with a slice of melon and a strawberry, anchored with a toothpick and attached in a way that was not immediately clear to a tiny umbrella.  If this drink had been a wild animal I would have said it was either poisonous or venomous, possibly both.

Looking across the table I watched Saffron take an experimental sip of her equally virulent looking drink. Her eyes didn’t cross and she didn’t fall off her chair, signs I took to be encouraging, so I tasted mine. It was far nicer than it looked, but I was sure the combination of potent spirits would be lethal if I drank more than, say, one.

“So, why are we starting our evening with these cocktails?” I raised one eyebrow as I asked, even as I felt the kick of the alcohol start to tangle with my tongue. I really wasn’t good at drinking  spirits, it was why I generally stuck to wine.

Saffron smiled at me over her glass, her eyes shining with a manic gleam I recognized with some concern. It signaled that she was planning on throwing caution and common sense to the winds. I made a mental note to restrict my own drinking – someone had to get us home.

“Why not? It’s been ages since we’ve been out for dinner. It’s been so long since I’ve only had myself to think of that I can’t even remember the last time. I’m always the responsible one in our household.”

There was not a lot I could say to that since it was true. They did seem to have an unequal marriage, with Ben the one to enjoy time with his mates, and time away from his duties as a family man. Even to me, looking in, it appeared as though he was not carrying his weight as a husband and father. Plus of course I knew how lonely Saffron was. And now here she was looking rebellious. My own disaster of a marriage aside, I was pretty sure that if one rebelled from one’s marriage, there was a problem.

I turned over several responses in my mind but none seemed satisfactory. In the end I decided that tonight was a night for solidarity, and raised my glass.

“Bottoms up then,” I said, proceeding to take a cautious sip through the tiny straw provided.

Saffron narrowed her eyes at me, took out her own tiny straw and the umbrella, ate the fruit and then knocked back half her drink. “Ready for another one?”

Her eyes were looking a bit glassy already, unusual for Saffron who could hold her liquor. It made me wonder.

“Saffie, have you eaten today?”

“Nope, wanted to really enjoy dinner.”

“Right, well how about we order our starters now?” Food seemed like an excellent idea.

Saffron shrugged. “If you want, we can order another cocktail while we’re at it. I like the look of this one.” She stabbed her finger at something called a Skittles cocktail. I studied the layers – red, yellow, green and blue. It looked innocuous enough but I was sure it was anything but.  

“OK Saffie, but what would you like to eat? Shall we get herb bread, and perhaps some bruschetta too?” Bread was good for soaking up alcohol wasn’t it?

“Sure, and we’ll get some more drinks.” She finished her drink in two large mouthfuls, then eyed my glass, still half full. “Come on Cassie, you’re going to fall behind.”

“We may as well order the whole meal while we’re at it don’t you think? And maybe some wine with the meal.” My attempt at damage control, wine had less alcohol than those cocktails.

“Good idea. You choose the meals and I’ll choose the wine.” Saffron waved over the drinks waiter and ordered two Skittles cocktails, flirting outrageously with him as she did. She then picked up the wine menu and studied it.

Right then, so getting blind drunk was definitely Saffron’s goal tonight and she was going to pursue it with single minded determination. This should be interesting. 

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