secrets & roses

United States

everyone has secrets and sometimes they're hard to keep, but sometimes admitting them through poems and stories makes it a little better... at least for me

Message to Readers

Hi everyone! I just wrote this and it's not super great (first draft). HOWEVER, I figured it might be helpful to get base reviews on the story itself. So, let me know what you think! And thanks for taking some time to read this :)

A Stranger's Eye

November 26, 2019


The last time I spoke to my dad, he yelled at me. He wanted me to stop with the drugs, alcohol, and whatever else had me all wrapped up, but I refused. He picked up the bottle I had set on my poured it down the sink while I yelled at him. While I hit him. 

“Dad! Dad! No, stop.” My voice cracked as I started hitting him, trying to grab the bottle from his hands, but it was too late. It was gone. I leaned back and started scratching my arm. “You have no right to come in here and just, just touch my stuff. You have to leave.”

He looked up from the sink at me and shook his head. A groan escaped him as his right hand ran through his hair. “Analise, you are so, so beautiful. But look at this. You’re letting this addiction destroy you.” 

Picking up a piece of my tangled dirty blonde hair, he let out a sigh. I quickly grabbed it back then wrapped my arms around my middle again. “Nothing is ‘destroying’ me, Dad. I’m fine.”

“You’re not fine!” He slammed his hands down onto the sink, making me jump. “You, you’re turning into your mother.”

“I am nothing like Mom.”

“Analise, you’reー”

“No. I am not like her. I will never be like her,” I told him firmly, but an intense need for a drink overwhelmed my system and I had to grip my arm to stop myself. He noticed and tried to step closer, but I stepped away. 

“You need to listen to me, Ana. Because right now, you can’t even tell that you’re exactly the same as her! And you won’t realize it until it’s too late. You’re gonna hide it from everyone and until someone else with a stranger’s eye looks close and says that’s you, you’re gonna get away with it.”

Blood pulsed in my ears, tears filled my eyes, and I glared at him. “You’re wrong. Now, get out.” I stalked over to the door and pulled it open. “Get out!”

With his mouth turned down, he walked out the door. I held it until he reached his car and turned around, then I slammed the door and ran to my refrigerator. 

Days passed, each filled with me drinking and trying to drown out my dad’s words. I don’t have a single memory except the phone call. Which once I realized it was from my dad, I pressed “ignore,” then, with the pain renewed, I proceeded to order more beer and wine from the store. 

Slumping down into the couch, I sipped from my bottle and let the alcohol run through my veins and take my mind elsewhere. But before I blacked out, I noticed the phone light up again. 

Knocking at my door woke me up the next morning from my place on the couch and I shook my head a little at my actions, but attempted to stand. 

“Miss West? I need to speak with you if you have a moment,” a voice said through the small window. With my hand holding onto my head, hoping the pain would subside, I walked to the door. 

“What do you want?” I said, ignoring how the woman flinched when she first saw, possibly smelled, me. Her black suit coat and dark blue jeans, along with her updo, contrasted my wrinkled faded pink t-shirt and grey sweatpants. 

“You’re,” she paused looking over me, “Analise West?”


“Well, I’m sorry to inform you, but your father was killed yesterday afternoon in his shop. Armed robbery. We’re still actively investigating it, butー”

I stopped breathing and grabbed hold of the door frame. “My dad, he’s dead?”

She nodded slowly. 

“Oh my God. He’s…” I looked up at her, then ran into the house and threw up. 

“Miss West, are you okay?” the woman, who I realized at that moment never introduced herself, stepped inside my house and proceeded to take care of me. 

A few days later, I finally made it to see my dad, but I decided I wouldn’t again until the funeral. He was gone. This body had just held his spirit. It was nothing now. It was hard processing that Dad was really gone, but each day I was getting a little used to it. I mean, it didn’t actually stop me from crying though or drinking. The thing that made me stop drinking was the woman who showed up at my house that day. 

I quickly learned that her name was Amanda Barns, also known as Detective Barns, and that had, for some unknown reason, decided I was gonna be her problem. Every day she would call me, talk to me, sometimes show up at my house with food and things from my dad’s shop. Her constant connection drove me to finally understand what Dad meant about the whole stranger’s thing. She recognized alcoholism’s claws in me and worked to open my eyes to it too. 
It was months before I truly realized I needed to go to therapy and work with someone, but I made it there. And little by little my life got better with Amanda’s help. 


See History

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  • Vannah

    This really hit home and has inspired me to live a better life.

    about 1 year ago
  • Bookworm101

    Nice. The start of it really hooks me, and the title as well. Some of the metaphors are beautiful, and so good job! her father's death was a sudden, dramatic plot twist, and it makes me wonder what the call was going to be about. Thanks for sharing! :D

    about 1 year ago
  • secrets & roses

    There is a line in my story from Joseph Bruchac's poem, "Prints."

    "Until someone else with a stranger’s eye looks close and says that’s you"

    about 1 year ago