26 June 2018


I want this to be one of those positive pieces.  I want say things like "Girl, you're enough" and "You don't need a man to be happy" and "Drink water, do your squats and flourish" but I am honestly not there.  At least, not tonight.

On Friday, I saw a short film about a woman who had been raped and later on, as a doctor, saved her rapist's life.  When he regained consciousness, she asked him why he'd raped her.  He didn't answer.  Throughout the movie, the woman abused pills and was tempted to cut herself, too.  Her rapist was presented as a man dressed in full black, laughing and repeating the words "You know you want to" in the background, as she popped pills and struggled against slicing her wrists.  He'd said those words to her the night he'd raped her in his dorm at university.

Maybe I've been a bit triggered.

Maybe I haven't been able to escape my own shadow since watching the woman who was unable to shake hers.

Maybe I want to swallow pills and draw some blood again. 

Maybe I wish someone would hold me and help me escape this feeling of never being enough by letting me be enough for them.

Maybe since that night years ago, I haven't really felt like a whole person.  But I'm also really really tired of feeling that something has been stripped away.

If I met him ever again, maybe I'd skip over asking "why?" and instead demand that he return what he stole.

But he can't so maybe this 'almost' version of myself is the one I'll forever have to live with.

9 May 2018


I want to use the excuse of being extremely stressed out, having ended my job 48 hours before exiting my apartment of 3 years to live with my friend before moving back to Jamaica days later, to explain why I haven't written.

But there's no excuse for not writing.  Not really.

I like those pictures with odd words that people never use and their definitions.  I've always wanted to do a series of chapters, with a chapter named and themed after each of them.  Hopefully this is the start of that.

This isn't good but it's something.  Let me know what you think & thanks for stopping by ^^


- the delusion of things being more beautiful than they really are.

“So seriously, when we can expect some little ones?” my mother half-teased me and Steven.  “Me and your father not getting any older, Goldie, not at all.”

“I think you mean any younger,” I corrected with a giggle.

“See it there now.”  She nodded, having proven her point.  “I want to be able to remember my grands’ names when you start popping them out.”


Steven chuckled and pressed a kiss to my forehead.  I managed to just shift in my chair.  I knew that he noticed the reaction and I avoided meeting his eyes.  “We’ve been trying to give you and Pops those grands, Mama, I swear,” he insisted.

“Hmph.  Unu go on.  When you want me to babysit I won’t even be able to change their diapers, they way I going to be feeble.  Or dead.”

“Mommy!” I exclaimed once more.

She and Steven laughed it off together but the thought dragged a finger of dread down my spine.  Where would my safe place be if - when - my parents were no longer around?

I headed out onto the veranda as the sun was burning its way behind the hills.  The house was alive with sounds in the background - Daddy’s antics, Mommy scolding him and Steven’s deep laughter from the kitchen as he stirred a huge pot of his best red peas soup.  The scent wafted outside, beckoning me, but I ignored it.  I knew what else those hands were good for.  With a sip of sorrel, I sighed.

Mommy and Daddy, true country parents, had named me “Gold” - after the colour of sunrise and sunset and happiness.  Of course I’d been teased growing up - Moldy Goldie and Cold Gold and all manner of ridiculous rhymes.  But my parents had been adamant in urging me to accept that there was nothing negative in my odd name.  I learned to fake a confidence stronger than I felt and insults ran off my back like water.

During University, I met Steven and we were smitten with each other.  He loved my name and my country-girl spirit.  Steven made everything beautiful - colours were brighter when he was around and whatever he prepared exploded spice and flavour on my tongue.  We dated for three years and upon graduation, we got married and set up a tiny apartment.

Here, I shivered as a chilly breeze swept down from the hills.  Tall grass whispered in the distance. The ancient excuses replayed in my mind.  I all but heard the scratched record which facilitated them.  Here, I wondered where we had gone wrong.

Maybe we had rushed into things.  Maybe we should have dated more.  Maybe I should have run back to the countryside to be with my parents the first time he shook me by the shoulders because I’d forgotten to buy bananas.  I should have gone to my best friend when he started searching my phone after a night out with the girls.  I should have called the Police when he shoved me into the wall because someone had mistakenly called me at two in the morning.

My head spun and I groaned a little.

Maybe I should stop.  The spiraling thoughts never did any good.  They made me feel lightheaded and distracted and then Steven would pick up on it and then…

But maybe I was safe here, in my family’s home at Christmas.  There was no way he would do anything here.  That made me smile and I splayed my fingers across my tummy and the secret that had begun to breathe inside me.  Yes, I was safe here.  You’re safe here too, my little treasure.  I sent the message down my insides and imagined a tiny, golden spark as my thoughts connected with the equally tiny brain.

“Goldie, hun, what you doing out here?”

Steven threw a cotton jacket across my shoulders and, wrapping his arms around my body from behind, tugged my backside into him.  I shuddered at the contact and he stiffened and squeezed me.

“Why you out here all alone?” he repeated.

God, I wanted to get away.  But if I let my body respond the way it wanted to… I didn’t want to think about what the rest of the night may hold.

“Just getting some air.  I don’t want to lose control and eat aaall the food, but it just smell too good when I’m inside.

He laughed and leaned against the thick, wooden banister beside me.  I relaxed briefly.

“So… Mama and Pops are right, you know,” he started after a few taut moments of silence.  “About the kids.”

I met his eyes - his brown eyes that had once been kind.  These eyes were new.  They were piercing.  They dug deep.

I smiled.  “Yeah.  I hope it happens for us soon.”  I stretched to release the tension I felt whenever Steven started on this path.  Sometimes it was about a new colour he wanted me to paint my nails… sometimes a new car he wanted to blow our savings on… 

Sometimes it was about this.  The life he wanted us to create.

Another breeze whipped down and I tugged his jacket about my shoulders.

“You want a boy or a girl?” he inquired and I smiled and let myself breathe.

“Either one, really, as long as they’re healthy.”


The edge was back and I wondered which sex he was leaning towards today.

“Hmmm… a boy.”

I glanced at my husband’s profile.  His shoulders raised and fell slowly with his long, steady breath and he met my eyes with a smile.  “Me, too.”

Jackpot.  Tonight.

“Lawd, them cute bad.”

“Remember when we were cute like dat, Mama?”

“You saying I’m not cute anymore?”

We all burst out laughing and settled into the chairs with red peas soup.

The flavours exploded, but now they were a tad more bitter that once upon a time.

And even as our group of four chatted, the dusk sky that I usually loved was more ominous and threatening than it was beautiful.

The End.

7 September 2017

2017 Fall Writing Contest.

Hello :)

I entered a writing contest recently and a number of the stories are up for the Readers' Choice Award!  Woo!

Please check out mine and others and vote for your favourite! 

The Last Time.
by: Stephanie Lloyd

2 August 2017


I'm in this place that swallows whole
Where light can't penetrate
I bite and scratch and try to crawl
But I can't find a way

My fingernails are stained with dirt
And blood trickles red between them
I bite and scratch and fight to crawl
But I can't find a way

Then daylight peaks from miles away
But looms forever distant
I bite and scratch and struggle up
But I can't make my way

Then by some brilliant miracle
I creep a little closer
Sunlight warm brushes across my skin
But it dazzles, so I linger

9 July 2017


Every time we talk, it's a guilt trip
You say that it's you, not me
It feels like my heart needs armour
Because how did we get from A to Z?

You say you wanna fix the problem
But nobody knows just what it is
It feels like an uphill battle
But we're stumbling
Yeah, we're stumbling...

I just want my best friend back
My best friend
I just want my best friend back
You were my Valentine
You were my sunshine
I just want my best friend back.

I just want my best friend back
My best friend
I just want my best friend back
I'm tired of crying
I'm tired of fighting
I just want my...

I'm tired of the guilt trips.

5 June 2017


This is more than fighting a dark and painful war.

It's fighting hundreds of mini battles every single day.

It's fighting battles often and from a place of defeat.

You take your stance physically but your mind clouds with

"What's the point?  Wouldn't it better if I lost?"

It's fighting battles often and all alone.

Friends say "Run to me"

And you smile and promise to call when you need a soldier.

But in a strange way you'd rather fight alone.  But not really.

But really.

Honestly, who drags their loved ones through war?

And who would join a bloody war?

Who would stand for the scarring without a cringe?

Who would stay by your side for those midnight battles forever?

You wonder

And you wander towards the blade.

You want to fight, but

It's been so long

And you still don't know how.

16 January 2017

Just Friends.

"You can't be serious!" James exploded.

I cringed and held the sleek, pink phone away from my ear.  "Why the hell not?" I demanded after a moment, throwing a new swimsuit into my luggage.

"Do I have to say it?"

"Considering I don't know what it is..."

"He's gay, Sammy," he answered flatly.

I rolled my eyes.  "This shit again?"

"He's prettier than you are, with all those curls.  Ask Amira!"

"NO!  You guys are just scheming."  I twisted my mouth to the side and eyed two beach towels while James swore at a careless driver.  I chuckled.  "Should I take my Dragon Ball Z beach towel or the cute sunset one?"

"Neither.  You shouldn't be packing anything.  Actually, do what you want.  Do whatever you want."

"That's exactly what I'm doing."

"Then you shouldn't need my input for this dumb as fuck idea of yours.  How much is your ticket anyway?"

I giggled and rolled up the anime-influenced option to be packed.  "No idea.  He covered it."


"You know I hate when you say that!"

"You know I hate when you lead on gay men!"

"He's not gay and I'm not leading him on!"

"One sec, I'm parking."

James' car beep beep beeped in the background of our call and I had a few seconds to consider how our friendship had arrived here.

He was my ex-boyfriend twice over.  We were extremely close - maybe too close, if that were a thing.  Knowing that one more break up would have ruined us forever, we'd made a pact to be friends.  We went on a bar-hopping night out, pinky swore over our new status and never looked back.  Our relationship was probably in the best place it had ever been.

There were still moments, but...

But right now, he was annoying me.

"So is your young man also-"

"Oh my God, J, so he's like a full eleven months younger than me.  Use his name."

He chuckled and finally relented, his car door slamming shut with my purple cosmetics case.  "Fine.  Ryan.  So Ryan paid for your ticket?  You're sure it's a return trip?"

I laughed.  "Yes it is and yeah he did.  Shit."  I shook the now empty box of tampons that Amira, my best friend and apartment mate, and I shared.  "J, where are you exactly?"

"At Sov, grabbing some dinner.  What's wrong?"

"I need tampons."

"Jesus, Sammy."




"I don't remember this being in our terms."

"It falls under 'emergencies'.  Come on, James, don't be an asshole tonight.  You have to come over to say goodbye to me tonight, anyway."

"Isn't your flight on Saturday morning?"  I heard a gentle ding and the familiar pop music of the pharmacy.  He was such a good friend.  My tummy warmed in a very non-friendly fashion.

"Yeah, but from Mo Bay.  I'm leaving work a little early tomorrow to get the bus down.  Up.  Whatever."

We shared a laugh at that.  "What size do you need?  God I can't believe I'm doing this shit."

"It's a pink box that says 'super' and has a lady playing tennis on the side."

"These are expensive!"

"I'll bring you back something really nice from the Bahamas."

"If the young Mr. Brown doesn't suddenly go crazy and do something unfortunate, then yes, you'd better."

"You're so dark."

"Tampons are really expensive.  Please pay me as soon as I get to your place.  I can't afford it if he's a killer."

"He's not a killer!"

"You met on Tinder!"

"You know, you're on Tinder too."

"Yeah but I'm not inviting girls from around the Caribbean to visit me for the weekend."

"Because you're poor."

"I will be, from buying all these tampons."

"Oh God, suck it up.  What are you having for dinner?"

He groaned.  "I'll just get the big family deal from KFC.  Text Amira."

"Reasons we're friends."

"Tell the guard I'll be there soon."

I couldn't help the butterflies.  We hung up and I called the guard house to inform them that he'd be coming.  After texting Amira that James was coming with dinner, I circled my room, reminding myself of all the conditions behind my and James' friendship.

We could never date each other ever again.  We could never be friends with benefits, even in extremely desperate times.  We could never kiss, no matter how drunk we got on our once monthly night outs.  We were required to be entirely honest about everything all the time.

Except jealousy over each others' future significant others.  Absolute honesty in every area but that one.

The pinky swear bound us.

I sighed deeply.  I was mostly fine with the arrangement.  In fact, we hadn't worked so well in years.  Bro-ship really had been the best move.  But every now and then... I couldn't help the feelings.  Over a five year period, James and I had dated, been official and then argued and fought our way to breaking up twice.  We tried being friends in between but that had proven impossible.  We cut each other off but Jamaica was small and we had such a strong bond.  So now we were... this.

Just friends.

My phone dinged with a message from Ryan.  Can't wait to see you, babe :)

He was sweet where James was sharp.  Soft where James was covered with jagged edges.  Simple where James was complicated.  Ryan laughed instead of making comebacks.  Even his sarcasm was gentle.

He didn't thrill me, but he was good for me.  I was 30 years old.  Maybe 'good for me' had to be enough now.

Same here, sweetie :) I typed back.  I'm done packing now and planning to get an early night.

Sleep tight, honey <3

I texted back good night at the same moment that the doorbell rang.  "Use your key!" I yelled from my bed.

"Open the door, Sammy, I have KFC and tampons!"

"James!" I shrieked and dashed to the door.  "That was mortifying, ass!"

"You know me, though, so you should have opened the door or expected it.  Move."

I rolled my eyes and stepped aside to let him in.  We bantered over dinner until Amira got home.

"Amira, you have to help me talk her out of this," he pleaded as she joined us at the table.

Amira laughed and shrugged.  "I tried, J, trust me.  But it is a free trip to the Bahamas."


"But he could end up being one of those split personality people!"

"He is not!  I know crazy men when I meet them."  I narrowed my gaze at him and he glared back.

"You've only actually met him once.  And if I remember correctly, you were very drunk."

"You remember wrong because you were off rubbing up on that girl with the cheap wig."

"Is that jealousy I detect?"

"It's disgust at her wig."

"You guys need to just shut up or get married and leave me in peace.  I can't live like this!  I'm legit just trying to enjoy this free KFC."

James and I exchanged one last, harsh glance and then he ended with "The chicken is on me, just don't forget the tampons money."

Amira's eyes popped open with her "What?!"

It was nearly midnight when I walked James out to his car.  Amira was snoring on my bed, where the three of us had watched a movie over dessert and a few drinks.

The July night was warm and sang with harmless insects.  Escorting James out sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, made me nostalgic for our days as a couple.  The good days, anyway.  Not the ones when he yelled at me from the car or I threw his shirts at his head.

There was so much history.

And so much drama.

"Seriously, Sammy," he said gravely when we got to his car.  He turned to face me and waited until I met his serious gaze.  "Be careful.  You've known this guy for, what, a few months?"

"Half a year, J," I murmured and focused on the blades of grass between our feet.

"Yeah well...  Stay in touch."

"It's just for the weekend and -"

"Jesus, why are you so stubborn?!"

"Why are you so controlling?" I shot back.  Our eyes met again and sparks zinged, heating the space between our faces.  He grunted and I stepped back.  "Thanks for dinner and stuff."

"And tampons, you mean?"

I shoved his shoulder and we laughed.  It could only be more tense and awkward if I slipped and fell on top of him.

"What do you like about him, Sammy?" he asked quietly after a few moments.

The question surprised me, but it shouldn't have.  Honesty.

"He's easy."  I barely heard my own voice but I knew he caught the low words.  "He makes things so easy, J."

James' eyes landed on mine again and we drank each other in.  Unspoken words jumbled between us, but  I wasn't sure what either of us was trying to say.

"I'll text you," I promised.

"Yeah, you do that."  He got into his car and drove off.  I blew out a long breath and turned to go back in.