Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Everyone could fall victim - The House on Sunset by Lindsay Fischer

Lindsay Fischer was once a high school English teacher with dreams stretching far outside the classroom. When her boyfriend of a year-and-a-half cheated on her, Lindsay found herself alone, looking online for a replacement. His name was Mike. 


Published: July 23rd, 2015

Lindsay Fischer was once a high school English teacher with dreams stretching far outside the classroom. When her boyfriend of a year-and-a-half cheated on her, Lindsay found herself alone, looking online for a replacement. His name was Mike. 

That’s where the nightmare started. 

The House on Sunset is a memoir, a collection of reminiscences, scattering the ashes of two broken homes and putting them to rest. Each chapter offers a different glimpse inside the cycle of intimate partner violence, where honeymoon phases and traumas coexist. 

Everyone could fall victim to abusers. This book bravely displays the reasons a quirky, twenty-something teacher would, and did.


“Our conversations led to daydreams of what he might tell me when the sun fell behind the city’s west side. For the first time in my life, I fantasized about talking to a man. Not being held by him or kissing him, just talking. Already having dumped on him the plagues I’d carried through adolescence into adulthood, I was better able to harness the harsh language and self-justifying behavior I’d grown used to.

Can I call you? he asked the night before we met.

Sure, I said, typing my cell phone number into a message and flirting with the send key.

My memory of David, a true rejection, scared me enough that I needed to shake it off. I paced from the computer into my kitchen and wiped the sweat from my palms onto my thighs, leaving tiny beads of moisture on my jeans. Feeling tingles of adrenaline in my throat and nervous weight in my feet, I bounced a few times to be certain my knees didn’t buckle.

“You can do this, Fina,” I said aloud, staring down my bedroom door from the middle of the kitchen.

I charged the room and fell onto my bed, the mattress pushing back against my stomach and its static clinging to my shirt and the hair that grazed the top of the bed. Reaching for the mouse as the recoil stopped, I clicked send so I wouldn’t talk myself out of it. Flirtation over, commitment engaged.

My phone rang before I sat upright, and I flung myself into a modified plank to spring back into a seated position. My long hair whooshed past my ears and blanketed my cheeks, sticking to the moisture on my lips and entangling itself every which way. I picked up the phone without a greeting, using my fingers as a brush to get the hair out of my face before speaking. As it stood on end, I groomed away the tendrils, licking my hand and wiping the saliva into my hair almost forgetting he was on the line too.

“Sarafina? It’s Mike. Are you there?”

His voice was as strong as his writing and I wrapped it around my body, carefully examining how each limb responded to his calm confidence. Familiarity joined the conversation before I spoke, our emails making me feel like we already knew one another.

“Yes, I’m here.” I twittered away from the receiver, a nervous habit. Yet here I was, acknowledging and hiding it without having to think.

“I hope you’re alright with this,” he said. “I know you haven’t met anyone online before.”

“Have you?” I asked because I was curious. A tinge of judgment must’ve been present.

“Whoa there, chick. Some of us aren’t as adorable as you.”

The embrace I anticipated lasted long into the night. In socks, I danced across the linoleum. The conversation filled every room with thick enjoyment before I headed outside for a needed breath of winter air against my hot lungs.

“I used to do that to, you know,” he said, replying to my story about David.

“You used to cheat on your girlfriends?” I said, attempting to inject little bits of laughter through our mostly serious conversation.

“No, ‘Fina, I used to keep people away by insulting them. It was mostly so I didn’t get more hurt than I already was, but I think you know what you’re doing.”

He was the only man who spoke my language.

“I’m working on it,” I said. “It’s not like I’m proud. I got my mom’s sarcasm and my dad’s dry wit. Couple that with being Italian and I was bred into this crap.”

Breathing and laughing and smiling, the world sparkled that night. The stars reflected off the snow so brightly the ground and sky combined somewhere undetectable. Standing outside, I watched snow flurries float around me, hovering in the night’s magic. Then the temperature lost its significance. This man lit up my insides.”

About the author:
Lindsay Fischer graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in secondary education, English. An avid reader and learner, Lindsay took her passion for words into a classroom before starting a writing career. Life pulled her from the classroom, providing an opportunity to use her voice against domestic violence, blogging under the pseudonym, Sarafina Bianco, since 2009. You can find her words at survivorswillbeheard.com and speak directly to her when she hosts #domesticviolencechat on Twitter. Lindsay hopes to be an advocate for women, men and children who still live inside the nightmare of their abuse. She currently lives with her husband and three dogs, including Watson, in St. Louis, Missouri.

No comments: