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dotmate · 9 minutes ago
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What is your primary purpose for your Graphic Design Website?
Your graphic design website has a purpose: to help your website traffic (clients/audience/followers) to make a critical decision about why your services matter.
Your website should be your number one revenue generator
Learn how
People and businesses build websites for a variety of reasons:
selling products and services
sharing and gaining knowledge
communicating with each other
If you want to climb up in google searches you should invest in search engine optimization.
How would you do that?
Using low search volume keywords to improve your SEO Research low search volume keywords for your niche.
Map your keywords into a content plan
Create skyscraper content for all your BOFU (Bottom Of the Funnel) keywords and then extend to MOFU (Middle Of the Funnel) keywords.
Integrate higher search volume keywords into your content strategy
Minimize distractions, remove as many links from your pages as possible. Drive to a product page instead of a category page to make the landing page more descriptive.
Each landing page will typically have only one call to action, but it will be repeated many times across the page.
From a business perspective, your website helps you reach a greater customer base without having to invest much money into advertising.
From a customer perspective, your site can give them the information they need to make an informed decision about purchasing from you. Additionally, if you sell digital services or products, your site will provide people with the ability to purchase items instantly.
A good website can be more convenient for most people because they don’t always want to book a call or drive to your physical location.
Read the whole article here
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kreativeroute · 10 minutes ago
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Adobe Photoshop Lesson 01|Kreative Route|Adobe Photoshop Tutorial
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dddribbble · 17 minutes ago
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Japan 3D ui vector app render logo minimal uxdesign uidesign graphic design flat design creative purple color simple clean art abstract 3dart 3d
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knyantrngs · 18 minutes ago
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NEET sans E 🌱٩( ᐛ )و
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the-mirandalorian · 24 minutes ago
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Rin Okumura design now available on Redbubble!
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cam3r4th30ry · 36 minutes ago
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©️ jeff tate - cam3r4th30ry 2021
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naiariddle · 38 minutes ago
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Little, insighful and beautiful Once Upon a Time Moments
Emma is not only warming her body but also her soul. How long she was in that cave, cold, hopeless, alone with a women she didn’t know? But now she is safe again and in the arms of a man who loves her, a man she allowed herself to trust body and soul, and love she is finally resting safe. And Killian who was in despair trying to rescue her, the woman she loves, he is showing us the strengh of his devotion. How long he was kneeling on the floor, boiling in his heavy coat in front of a radiator? But it didn’t mattered to him because Emma was safe and warm in his arm, so his soul was warm again.
Dedicated to @bashful-killian. Send your request please!
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mvaljean525 · 45 minutes ago
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Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight, Make me a child again just for tonight! Mother, come back from the echoless shore, Take me again to your heart as of yore; Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care, Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair; Over my slumbers your loving watch keep;—       Rock me to sleep, mother, – rock me to sleep!
Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years! I am so weary of toil and of tears,—       Toil without recompense, tears all in vain,—   Take them, and give me my childhood again! I have grown weary of dust and decay,—     Weary of flinging my soul-wealth away; Weary of sowing for others to reap;—     Rock me to sleep, mother – rock me to sleep!
Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue, Mother, O mother, my heart calls for you! Many a summer the grass has grown green, Blossomed and faded, our faces between: Yet, with strong yearning and passionate pain, Long I tonight for your presence again. Come from the silence so long and so deep;—     Rock me to sleep, mother, – rock me to sleep!
Over my heart, in the days that are flown, No love like mother-love ever has shone; No other worship abides and endures,—       Faithful, unselfish, and patient like yours: None like a mother can charm away pain From the sick soul and the world-weary brain. Slumber’s soft calms o’er my heavy lids creep;—       Rock me to sleep, mother, – rock me to sleep!
Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold, Fall on your shoulders again as of old; Let it drop over my forehead tonight, Shading my faint eyes away from the light; For with its sunny-edged shadows once more Haply will throng the sweet visions of yore; Lovingly, softly, its bright billows sweep;—     Rock me to sleep, mother, – rock me to sleep!
Mother, dear mother, the years have been long Since I last listened your lullaby song: Sing, then, and unto my soul it shall seem Womanhood’s years have been only a dream. Clasped to your heart in a loving embrace, With your light lashes just sweeping my face, Never hereafter to wake or to weep;—       Rock me to sleep, mother, – rock me to sleep!
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Rock Me to Sleep
Elizabeth Akers Allen  1832-1911
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Graphic - Anne-François-Louis Janmot  1814–1892
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Video:
Marc Mero's Emotional Mother's Day Story
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goodvibesrph · 45 minutes ago
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friendly reminder i’m still running my combo pack sale atm to help pay for my car insurance   &   my adhd meds this month.
you can buy 1   ,   get 1 free on all psds   &   templates.
psd combo pack includes all 25 premium psds for only $15 usd   (   original value of $125   ).
template combo pack includes all 35 premium templates for only $25 usd   (   original value of $175   ).
big combo pack includes all 25 premium psds   +   all 35 premium templates   +   my 2 exclusive template packs   (   extra 10 templates total   ) for only $40 usd   (   original value of $330   ).
*   bonus:   if you purchase the big combo pack this week   ,   you’ll get my 2 new templates which are not included in the original packs for free.  offer also extends to my patreon members   ,   join   &   you’ll receive the new set of 2 templates free as a thank you   ,   as well as a premium template of your choice for free   (   just message me either on here or patreon to claim your gift   ).
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bradypnoea · an hour ago
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Adelia | Jyserai | (62/62) - 167k | August-September 2017
Note: (In honour of the impending release of the Loki miniseries and my sceptical optimism for it, I'm highlighting a few canon-adjacent Loki works that can pass the time between new episodes or, if you're like me, distract from new content long enough to miss the first wave of inevitable Discourse.) Adelia takes just about every element commonly found across Loki stories and uses them to build something of an incredibly detailed epic. Almost more interesting however is the data accompanying its publication. Jyserai posted nearly 170k words (absent a summary) within 40 days which, anyone familiar with AO3 will know, meant the story was quickly buried by new works. Though it appears Adelia was well received, Jyserai all but disappeared after posting its final chapter. One bookmark was saved in 2018 but no other works have been posted since. As I've been unable to find any trace of their work outside of AO3, I'd recommend downloading Adelia in case of deletion.
Del had her back turned to the rest of the shop as she gently placed one of the newest additions to her master’s book collection on the shelf. She loved the way the ancient tome felt in her hands. The weight of it was striking; she was impressed by the amount of wisdom such a manuscript would contain, and the thick, strong, smooth leather cover protectively guarded it all. After she wedged it in its proper place, she looked down the row at its neighbors. One day she hoped to have the time and freedom to peruse them all thoroughly.
The bell over the entrance rang as the wooden door of the shop swung open. Before she could turn and properly greet the newcomer, likely a customer, she was roughly shoved sideways towards the tall broom cupboard a few feet to her left.
“Get inside,” the gruff voice of her master commanded with hints of uncertainty and panic breaking through his usually intimidating demeanor. “Quickly! Stay quiet!”
She obeyed without question. The door of the cupboard was swiftly closed merely inches from her face, and darkness swallowed her.
Del heard the voice of her master pretentiously welcoming the guest into his bookshop. Anyone else would be fooled into thinking he was a courteous man, but she knew better. He was nervous. He never received visitors with such energy and attention. She wondered who on earth it could be.
Continue reading on AO3...
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farahhh · an hour ago
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shapes & lines 🔺⚫️✔️
You can check out more of my work on instagram: @farahgraphicz
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dear-miss-everglot · an hour ago
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Seven Days Until Corpse Bride Appreciation Week 2021!
To get reading for the week, I’m going to ask a series of questions. Today‘s question is: What day or prompt are you the most excitement about?
Feel free to reply to this post or send me an ask!
You can find the prompts and rules: here.
I can’t wait to hear from you and Happy Mother’s Day!
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astroboots · an hour ago
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Versus: Chapter One
FRANKIE MORALES X F!READER
Warnings: angst, graphic violence, murder, guns swearing (more warnings in the tags)
Word count: 4.9k words
Dedications: This is wholly dedicated to my actual co-writer @thirstworldproblemss, who's co-written, brainstormed, beta-read and held my hand throughout. I'm just a dummy clown but I love you ever so much. 📲 🤡 is the highlight of my day, every day. 🤡 💖 🤡 > 🚁🍆 & 🤡 💖 🤡 > 🍤 In fact 🤡 💖 🤡 ∞ until we're both 👵🏻 💖 👵🏻
Thanks to @songsformonkeys for beta-reading. & @loversandantiheroes brilliant analysis of Dave/Frankie that gave me this idea in the first place.
Summary: Dave York and Francisco Morales are probably more similar than either would like to admit if they ever were to meet. Both of them served, killed and retired from the military, with difficulties adjusting to a civilian life that did not welcome them back with open arms. But when Dave is assigned with a name on his list to take care of, one that hits a bit too close to home for Frankie, you, it forces him to tap into a part of him that was supposed to be a closed chapter of his life.
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Photo by Mariana Beltrán on Unsplash
It’s dark outside with no visibility ahead as he drives on a small dirt road leading up to the wetlands. The only sounds, the slosh against the tires; The rain pelting the windows; The occasional thumping sound accompanied by muffled screams from the trunk. After so many hours of driving, he has learned to treat it as white noise to the backdrop of the audiobook he was trying to listen to. A pulpy crime thriller for his wife’s book club about a P.I. hunting down a contract killer that is out to assassinate the president. Convoluted and contrived, which means at some point Gerard Butler is probably going to be cast in the straight to DVD film adaption.
The work of a contract killer is simpler and more straightforward than one would think.
They give him a name on a piece of paper.
The work of a contract killer is simpler and more straightforward than one would think.
They give him a name on a piece of paper.
The way it works, there is no digital trail. He is handed a manila folder, sparse in details, just enough for him to correctly identify the target, but not enough to connect anyone to anything if any of them were stupid enough to slip up and let an outsider see the contents of the folder. It's for him to fill in the blanks.
It is his job to put one and one together. The target’s occupation. If you were the name on his list, the first thing he’d find out is the name of your spouse, your parents, your children. Your daily schedules and habits. Little pieces that form who you are, where you will be, and when you were at your most vulnerable and exposed.
The people on his list don’t always deserve to be there. Sometimes they’re just unfortunate. Like a 22 year old banker that ends up with a price tag of $150,000, because one of the bank’s clients held money in their account that didn’t belong to them.
The reason doesn’t matter. He didn’t go to law school, he isn’t a judge, and he isn’t being asked to deliberate if it is fair or unfair for someone’s name to end up on his list. A lifetime in the Marines had trained him to take orders, not to question them.
But here is what he knows: If he said no. Someone else would say yes.
The way he views it, assassins don’t kill people just as guns don’t kill people. Spoons don’t make people fat and pens don’t misspell words. They’re just tools used to achieve a goal and like any tool can be thrown away and easily replaced. The job still gets done either way.
The view of the road recedes in the rearview mirror as the thicket of trees begins to surround the car on all sides. The rising water eats into the muddy road. Any further and he might actually have difficulties reversing the car out afterwards.
He stops the car, grabbing the flashlight from the glove box and the rifle from the passenger seat. Stepping out of the car, his boots squelch against the wet mud underneath. He points the flashlight to the back of the car and opens the trunk. Inside, a man in his early twenties is lying on his side, clad only in boxers and sweat-stained dress shirt, hands tied to his back. The kid wiggles further inside, as if this is Narnia and if he crawled far enough into the car’s trunk he'd somehow end up in a different realm.
“Ple-please, you don’t have to do this.”
They always beg. In fairness, people probably don’t have much of an idea of what the right thing to say is, in circumstances like these. That’s probably why they always sound like a stock character from a bad movie. Because it’s their only frame of reference. And so people will beg. They will try to negotiate.
The kid does exactly that, blubbers and begs. Plump cheeks slick with tears and runny snot. An absolute mess. “My family has money, they’ll pay you.”
Yanking the hysterical younger man by the lapel of his oversized shirt, he hauls him out of the trunk.
He points in the direction of the bayou. “Walk towards the water”
The kid stands in front of him, bowl-legged and shaky, unable to support his own weight. “Straight ahead...”
Watery blue eyes look up at him in wide-eyed panic, as they dart left and right.
The idiot runs. They always try to run. This is going to be a pain. Shooting him on land means that he is going to have to wade into the bayou to drag the body down there himself. But he’s in no mood to run after the kid and try to tackle him into the wet mud like some redneck hillbilly either.
Raising the rifle to take aim, he steadies the underside of the barrel with his left hand. The bullet lodges into the back of the kid’s head and the body slumps down against the ground with a heavy thud.
It’s a five hour drive home, and if he starts now he’ll be back right around 03:20.
That means another audiobook. It means he has to switch to the pristine family car at the warehouse and a fresh change of clothes that aren’t wet with swamp water, before he sets foot on the front doormat that says “home sweet home”.
Dragging the lifeless body by the ankles, the cold muddy waters come up to his knees and flood the inside of his boots. He grits his teeth. This is taking much longer than he would have preferred.
At home, his wife will be waiting. The kids will be fast asleep, but his wife usually tries to stay up to welcome him home in person whenever he’s been out of town on a business trip. 03:20 might be pushing his luck though.
Chances are that tonight she’ll have fallen asleep on the sofa, one leg kicked up like a funny-looking heron. He’ll have to either wake her and shepherd her up the stairs to their bedroom, or if she won’t wake, carry her upstairs as best as he can without banging her into a corner. It’s far easier to drag a corpse into a bayou because he couldn’t care less about how a dead man’s body would fare.
Putting weight behind his kick, he rolls the body away from the bank and watches as it easily sinks into the water. Eyeing his wristwatch, he watches one minute rolls over to two and eventually five. When the body doesn’t reappear above the surface, he climbs back up onto slippery muddy land, gets back into the car then reverses back until the car reaches the main road.
It should take three or four days before the body floats back up the surface, and with a little luck, it will be another day or two before it’s discovered, unless some random jogger happens by.
When he finally steps through his front door it’s 03:26. The family cat, Mr. Belvedere, slinks by and wraps itself around his legs. There’s only the small table lamp still glowing from the living room when he walks in.
His wife is still awake, fighting sleep on the couch. She smiles at the sight of him and greets him with a sleep-laced, “welcome home, Dave”.
It’s good to be home.
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There is a scrappy-looking piece of paper hiding away in Frankie’s sock drawer. On it are 15 digits right of the decimal points scribbled down in Will’s neat handwriting that pinpoint the location of a ravine in Peru where $250 million is buried.
It was given to him by Santi after their failed reconnaissance mission in Colombia with an apology that was too little too late. “I shouldn’t have forced your hand to come,” he had said. “I owe you the choice this time.” He left again two days later. The two of them don’t speak anymore.
The note has been sitting there ever since, tucked underneath rolled up socks so Frankie doesn’t have to look at it every time he opens the drawer.
It’s also why he skipped packing spare socks this morning, despite the warnings of the weather forecast. The drawer was running low, and he didn’t want to see that note first thing in the morning before work. Now he’s sitting in his car, boots and socks drenched, water dripping down his bare neck, after ending a 12 hour shift that was only meant to last 8. It meant he was four hours late in picking up his daughter, and traffic is crawling at such a pace that time itself seems to have stopped moving altogether.
He shouldn’t complain. Things could be worse for him.
They’re certainly not ideal. Being a divorced single dad, with a revoked pilot licence because he tested positive for coke was never in the plans. Neither was working as an aircraft maintenance technician and having to stand outside on the landing strip during the middle of the rainy season in Florida.
But things could be worse.
At least he gets to have Mireya on the weekends now. Not a monitored visit, with a social worker hovering over his shoulders, dissecting his every interaction with his own daughter for evidence of poor parenting.
Now, when he shows up at his former home to pick up Mireya for the weekend, it doesn’t hurt him to breathe when there’s eye contact with his wife ex-wife. With you.
Most of the time when he shows up now, you both manage to politely smile at each other and make awkward small talk like you’re distant acquaintances.
The familiar outline of the small wedge blue house comes into view. The lights are still on from the kitchen window and it makes for the picture of a cozy dollhouse when he parks the car on the driveway. It doesn’t matter how many times he’s done this each week, when he stands on the front steps, the split second instinct is still to reach into his pockets for his own keys. Instead, he knocks on your front door, which is no longer his.
There’s no shelter on the front steps and the rain is pouring down his collar and onto his bare skin. He tries not to squirm, ignore the prickling discomfort under his skin as he waits for the door to open. Trying to ward off the memory, smelling of wet soil, and decaying plants that’s trying to drag him under.
The lock unlatches as the door slides wide open, and amber light filters through from inside the house. You look soft and warm, a perfect contrast to what he is right now.
“Sorry, Mireya fell asleep watching Lion King again. Just give me a minute to wake her up.”
Frankie frowns, he was hoping that he’d be able to make it before she fell asleep. “No, don’t wake her. It’s my fault I’m late. I’ll come back and pick her up in the morning instead.”
“Frankie, I’m not making you drive all the way back just to drive down again at the crack of dawn. She’ll fall right asleep in the car anyhow. Let me wake her up for you.”
You half-turn go back inside but stop to eye him and then the pouring rain behind him. “Do you want to come in and wait?”
“I don’t want to get the floor wet.”
“It’s fine.”
You gesture for him to come inside, and Frankie takes off his wet boots, leaving them by the hallway so as to not track in rain and wet mud. But with every step, his socks are leaving an incriminating trail of water against the clean wooden floor.
You hand him a towel and then head into Mireya’s bedroom.
He stands around awkwardly in what used to be his old home. Nothing’s changed, all the furniture remained the same. The sofa even carried the same indentation from wear.
Last time he stood in this living room by himself was three years ago when he came back from Colombia to an empty home, greeted by a process server and divorce papers instead of his wife and daughter.
Not that he didn’t deserve it.
You don’t leave your wife of 14 years with an 8 month old baby on her own because your former military buddies decided to play team Rambo in the middle of Colombia and rob a drug lord, and expect everything to be fine.
Instead of being gone for a week like he promised, he was gone for a month, and three weeks out of those four, he wasn’t even able to contact you. Worst of all, there was not even any money to show for it when all was dusted and done. In their “brilliant” escape, they had to dump the better part of 250 million dollars down a ravine somewhere between Peru and Colombia. In the end, the only thing he got in return for squandering your life together was $17,000, and the divorce lawyers ate into that in the blink of an eye.
The door to Mireya’s bedroom is ajar, and he can hear your voice spilling through. “Possum, daddy’s here.”
There’s a pause and another rustle of the quilts, before he hears the quiet whine. “But I’m sleepy.”
“Mireya, daddy drove all this way to pick you up.”
“Sleepy.”
Your voice comes out sterner now, curt. Not cajoling anymore. “Mireya.”
A frustrated whine sounds out.
He can’t blame her. He’d be pretty crabby too if someone tried to kick him out of bed when he was sound asleep.
There are more hushed whispers and negotiation, then silence, but ultimately you come back out into the living room defeated.
“I’m sorry. Let’s give her a few minutes, and I’ll try again… If not, we can always just carry her to the car.”
In your arms, you’re holding a stack of clothes. At first he mistakes it for your laundry until you’re shoving it at him, and he realizes he’s staring at his own clothes. He’s not sure what he’s more surprised by, that you’re offering him clothes so he can be more comfortable or that you’ve kept some of his old things around.
“You’re soaked, you’ll catch a cold if you stand around like that.”
“Thanks.”
You stand rooted on the spot, and Frankie’s not sure if you’re expecting him to go use the bathroom, or unbutton his shirt and peel off his shirt in front of you. He looks at your face, drawing his eyes to the items of clothes and back up again, and then it clicks for you.
“Sorry. Do you want me to—” You gesture behind you. Already taking a step back.
“Or I can go.”
“I’ll go.”
You both speak over each other, then laugh quietly, as if you’re both in on the joke of how awkward you are. In normal situations that should be enough to break the tension. But the icebreaker doesn’t take and the claustrophobic quiet returns.
He sticks his hands into his pockets.
You shift your weight from one foot to the other.
He looks at you, and when your eyes meet his, you look away.
“Bathroom’s down the hall,” you tell him.
Frankie bites down the instinctual I know. But you save his restraint by quickly correcting yourself. “You obviously know that.”
Closing the bathroom door behind him, Frankie takes a deep frustrated sigh, scrubbing a hand over his face. What the hell is wrong with the two of you that you can never spend more than 60 seconds in a room by yourselves?
Undressing quickly, he strips off the clammy fabric and pulls on the clean clothes. Despite the fact that he hadn’t worn them for three years, it didn’t have that musty in-the-back-of-the-wardrobe smell. It still smells fresh, like your fabric softener. The same one he still uses for his own laundry because it reminds him of home. If he didn’t know better he’d think they were newly washed.
Standing with his hand hovering over the handle of the door, anxiety gnaws at him at having to go back out there, not knowing what the hell to say to you.
His therapist had asked him in the early days, what he’d found to be the most difficult adjustment after the divorce. The answer was simple. Losing your friendship. Because you hadn’t just been his wife. You were also the person he would stay up late at night watching reruns of Columbo with when nightmares kept him up. The person he had so many stupid inside jokes with that other people used to assume the two of you were speaking in code.
Frankie has other friends. Close friends. The kind that were forged while submerged in wet cold mud surrounded by the smell of napalm burning in the air. But no one's ever come close to the friendship he had with you. Even now, when he spends most of your time together standing there awkwardly without anything to say, you're still the person he feels the closest to.
When he comes back out, you’re smiling at him in the polite way one would at an acquaintance. “Are you coming to Molly’s housewarming next Saturday?” you ask.
“Probably not.”
“Why not?”
“I won’t really know anyone there besides Benny.”
“Neither do Molly or I. That’s the purpose of a housewarming party.”
He doesn’t know why you seem so irritated at him. It’s become an unspoken rule between the two of you. You got Tess’ graduation. Frankie got Will’s going away party. The only event you’ve attended together in the last three years was Tom’s funeral.
It’s one of the things no one ever tells you about divorcing, that you’ll end up having to share custody of your friends.
“Molly’s things are yours. I shouldn’t crash it.”
“We don’t have to do that anymore, Frankie. It’s been long enough hasn’t it?”
This time it’s his turn to look away. There’s another stilted silence that drags on the ground like a limp leg with an open wound. With each passing second and step, the infection seems to be getting worse. Frankie’s racking his brain for something, anything to end the excruciating silence.
“The Kuchen for the bake sale you made were really good.”
“Thanks?” You shift your feet pointed away from him. “They were your mom’s recipe.”
You open your mouth then close it again. He half expects you to make a teasing jab that those cookies are meant for the bake sale not for him, like you would have done before. You don’t.
“I think I still have your tupperware at my place,” Frankie says.
“That’s ok.”
Frankie lets it end there, giving up. The more he pushes this conversation the worse it gets.
You fiddle with your now bare ring finger. A nervous habit when you were uncomfortable.
“Oh,” you pipe up, as if you finally thought of a topic, “Do you have any old socks?”
Frankie blinks, confused by your question. The two of you sound like you’re two people in different rooms having two entirely separate conversations. Is this how two humans talk?
“They’re asking for donations at Mireya’s school to make sock puppets for a play,” you clarify.
“I should have some at home, I’ll check tonight.”
You nod, an almost relieved expression on your face. But as silence settles in for the fourth time in the timespan of ten minutes, he can see you dying inside. Or maybe he’s superimposing his own discomfort.
“I’ll try to wake her again,” you offer.
“I can do it.”
You hold up the door for him and he walks through. The nursery is about the only thing in the house that seems to have changed. There are still similarities. The walls were still the same pale lavender you’d chosen and he’d painted.
On the toddler bed, the quilts are drawn all the way over her head to form a Mireya shaped burrito. Hunching down by the low bed, he lays a hand on her shoulder rousing her from sleep. “Hi princesa, sorry to have to wake you.”
Mireya whines, shuffling further up the bed, and Frankie feels terrible. It’s his fault he’s this late from work.
“If you’re sleepy I can come back in the morning instead,” he says.
The movement stops. Then a mop of chaotic brown curls pops up from under the covers, along with his eyes and your cheeks. Mireya considers Frankie for a second, eyes bleary with sleep, then shakes her head and stretches her arms out for him. “Daddy, carry me.”
Her hands come around his neck and Frankie wraps his arm around her much smaller body, hugging her close to his chest as he stands up. He carries her through the living room to the outside, where it’s finally stopped raining, thank god.
Then he looks back and you’re standing by the threshold with a soft smile. The light from inside the house glowing behind you. It looks so inviting and nostalgic, his brain glitches for just a millisecond, and it feels like you’re welcoming him home instead of seeing him off.
“You should come next Saturday. If nothing else, you can return my tupperware.”
“I’ll think about it.”
Your smile is still there for him, and he looks back for longer than he should, before it sets in that you’re probably smiling at Mireya, not him.
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Mireya falls asleep even before Frankie’s managed to buckle up her seatbelt, so it’s a quiet ride home instead of their usual ritual of car karaoke and her nose squished up against the window, on the lookout for that one house where they never take down their Christmas decorations.
He might only be a weekend dad, but Frankie has Mireya’s nighttime routine down to a science. Brush her teeth, quiet time – read a book, tell a story, sing a song, cuddles. Get into bed, kiss goodnight - Mireya convincing him she needs more bedtime stories. It’s the highlight of his week normally.
Tonight, he only makes her wake up long enough to brush her teeth. The moment he lays her down in the canopy bed, she’s already fast asleep.
Flicking the light to his own bedroom, Frankie opens his sock drawer and rummages around for worn out pairs. If he didn’t find some socks to donate now, he’d probably forget it later. His stomach drops when a bit of starched white against the brown wood catches his eye, and he feels like he can't fucking breathe.
God fucking damn it all to hell.
He picks up the note and stares at it, chest tightening.
Slowly he reaches into the back corner of the drawer to pull out the one pair of colorful socks he owns. It’s a rainbow polkadot pair you had bought him as a gag gift so many years ago. He used to pull them out and wear them periodically, relishing your surprised laughter when you caught sight of them peeking out from under the hem of his pants. Frankie doesn't wear them any more.
He stands there, chest aching, the note in one hand and the socks in his other. The representation of what he used to have and what he threw it all away for. Then he deliberately folds the note, pushes it into the colorful sock roll, and carefully tucks the whole thing back into the farthest corner of the drawer. He doesn't want to come across them accidentally again. Can't bear to think about it or to remember what he's lost. He just... He can't.
Sliding the drawer shut, he lies down on his bed and stares up into the ceiling. He doesn’t know why he keeps that fucking paper. He doesn’t even want the money. Frankie’s done chasing after wild promises of a fortune buried in the jungle. If he had his choice, he knows exactly what he would have wanted.
He wants to still be married to you.
If he could choose again, he would remain steadfast, sticking with the “no” he gave Pope when the man said he needed a pilot, instead of caving in to the misguided belief that if he was there he could keep his teammates safe. God knows it did nothing in the end.
Given the chance to go back, he’d never sign up to the military in the first place. He would choose to be saddled with student loans into his fifties, instead of the life debts he owes for all the people he’s killed in the course of paying Uncle Sam back for sponsoring his college tuition. People whose names he never knew but faces he’d never forget.
What he wants is to unlearn the part of himself that can field strip and re-assemble a rifle in 50 seconds flat, even in the dark.
To spend a lifetime rewriting the things he learnt in the military, or the habit of scanning every individual whenever he enters a room, the ability to compartmentalise just about anything, the rigorous training, the exact gasping noise a man makes when his lungs are collapsing, the kil—
“Daddy?”
The voice of his daughter snaps him out of it. Pulls him from the familiar endless spiral of anxious thoughts that so often consumes him.
“Mireya, what are you doing up?”
“Can I sleep with you, daddy?
Stomping towards the bed, she climbs onto the mattress. Chubby leg hiked high before pulling herself up by her arms the rest of the way like a little monkey.
“Come here, princesa,” Frankie grabs her under her arms to drag her further up the bed and settles her against his chest.
“Read me a bedtime story.”
“Ok, but it has to be a short one, it’s late.”
She immediately climbs over him, nearly kneeing him in the groin in her excitement to get a book from the shack on the window sill.
With a beaming smile, she shoves it in his face. It’s The Little Prince, which takes him two hours to read from beginning to end. Given the option, Mireya will always push her luck.
“That’s a really long one, baby.”
She hugs the blue book close to her chest, all big brown eyes, unwilling to give it up. “I woke up to be with you.”
Chalk it up to guilt over the divorce and not getting to spend nearly as much time with her as he’d like, but he always lets himself get tricked into at least one more story, every time.
“Just one chapter.”
Her head bounces with excitement, before she crawls over and settles herself, ear pressed to his chest for a pillow. Surprising to no one, Frankie ends up reading more than one chapter.
Mireya likes him to do voices for each character, squeaky for the rose, rumbly for the fox. If Frankie does the voices wrong she will let him know, giving him firm commands with the visionary of Alfred Hitchcock. “He’s happy daddy. You have to sound more happy.”
By the time they’ve gotten to her favourite part, his throat is scratchy from reading for an hour straight.
“Daddy?”
Pausing, he hums questioningly in reply.
“Te extrañé.” {I missed you}
His heart blows out at that, smiling so widely that it stings his cheeks. Maybe she’s simply saying that because they’re nearing the end of a chapter and she’s trying to butter him up for another, but he doesn’t even mind.
“Yo también te extrañé, princesa.” {I missed you too princess}. Frankie squeezes her to him a little closer and presses his lips to her forehead. “Te quiero mucho, mucho.”
She rubs her button nose into his shirt, then whispers into his chest with a sly smile. “Keep reading.”
“Goodbye, said the fox.”
Mireya shakes her head, disapprovingly. “More sad, daddy,”
“More sad?”
She nods.
Clearing his throat, Frankie tries again in the most dour tone he can manage. “Goodbye, said the fox.”
Tilting his chin to check for approval, it’s only when his girl smiles and nods that he keeps going.
“Here is my secret. It’s quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes. It’s the time you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important. People have forgotten this truth. But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose... ‘I’m responsible for my rose’, the little prince repeated in order to remember.”
There’s a tiny wheezing sound filling the room, and Frankie closes the book. Mireya’s asleep. Chubby cheeks tucked to his chest. She snores like a little pig and is slobbering drool on his shirt.
And he realizes that he’s happy. Not, happy enough. He’s just happy. Without qualifiers or limitations.
In the small safe space of his bedroom, something clicks inside him. It’s like his brain’s been trapped in an equation that he’s starting to be able to make sense of. Variables and fractions finally slotting into place. Frankie carefully slides his baby daughter off his chest and onto the mattress, slipping out of bed and walking toward his dresser.
Taking care in being quiet when he slides open the drawer, not wanting to wake Mireya, it doesn’t take him long to find the rainbow dotted socks and the lighter in an adjacent drawer. His fingers slide inside the fabric, pulling out the note that he knows would be there,
Then he holds it up in front of the lighter, flicking his thumb on the jagged sparkwheel and with a tiny spark, watches the tiny orange flame light up, consume and erase the 15 digits from existence.
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garadinervi · an hour ago
Photo
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Otl Aicher, Walter Jens – Ende und Anfang. Die Antike und die Kultur des 20. Jahrhunderts, Kurs dienstags, Ulmer Volkshochschule, Ulm, 1951 [Museum für Gestaltung Zürich]
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