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 On Days Like This, I Do, #siecher
Jan 18 2018, 08:07 PM

this was different. sierra wearing a slender dress that covered her shoulders and all the way down to her knees clinging to her body like a sleeve. it was so much different than her normal attire which consisted of scrubs, workout clothes or a pair of leggings with an oversized t-shirt, and this night was so much different than her normal saturday night. she was not plopped down in front of the television, catching up on all of the shows she had missed throughout the week. she was sitting amongst others with fake eye lashes on, and the mascara was so thick that it made her eyelids feel heavy. she had been preparing for this event all day, all week, even. she was talking herself into doing this and reminding herself of why she was doing this - it was for her mother. her sweet mother. it had been awhile since she had stood infront of so many faces, ears attentive to what she had to say on a subject matter she had not spoken very publicly on. sierra did not even speak privately about her mom's disease, so this was going to be intense. glancing down at the program with her eyes glued on her name printed in black ink in italics. so many thoughts roamed her mind in that split moment. what if her speech was not that great? she had received positive feedback and even some criticism on some parts, but she was not a writer nor did she feel like an advocate for every single daughter with alzheimer's or anyone with alzheimer's. they were still in the beginning stages of this process, and only time would tell if this experiment would really work on her mother or not.

the bright lights staring back at her were not terribly bright, but boy, did they feel blinding in that moment. all of it did. this sense of terror like something was about to swallow her whole and just breathing became a little more difficult. what was happening to her? this was not her. she did not get in nervous. she had done worse. tripped in front of crowds over her dress. so, this was supposed to be easy for her, but it wasn't. this was the very thing that made sierra feel the most vulnerable. every single word on that page she had written incredibly personal, but she could not focus on anything else. it was one thing to write it, but it was completely different to speak to a room packed with strangers about the one thing she had not fully come to terms with herself. taking a step back unintentionally, she began to blink nervously, her throat felt unfamiliarly dry. another step. and then another. backing away and out of sight. sierra felt like she just needed to breathe, and there was not enough space between her and the stage to do so.

she could hear the clapping and the dizziness soon took effect. she was not going to be able to do this.

tagged for ARCHER KING
Jan 19 2018, 07:05 AM

It had been six months ago when this event for the awareness of Alzheimers had come up on their radar because Sierra had been asked to speak at it, as a daughter of someone who had it, They'd bought their tickets and then for the most part it had been forgotten? It was the middle of August of 2017 and this event was all the way in February of 2018. What was the point of thinking about something like that really. But then things had happened, the fractures in their relationship had become wide chasms and eventually, like everything else in the world, they'd fallen into it. Archer had not talked to nor seen Sierra since that night he had got her home when she was piss drunk and strangely, he was doing pretty well for it. He had been in New York for a while, burying his sorrows in Hattie which was step one in him getting over someone. And then a couple weeks before he had found out Terra was in town and that was step two. Archer had remained friends with all of his exes other than Sierra and his exes were the ones that were helping him get over the girl that had broken his heart.

Because of that last bit, the logical and smart thing for Archer to do would be to lose the ticket that he had to this event. The thing was that this event wasn't about Sierra though (which, might be mind blowing to Sierra since she liked to think that everything was about her) this was something that was about her mom and Archer really liked that lady. It was why he had gone through such lengths to try and help her. He was in a position where he could help her and he wanted to do that. So, in the end, against his better judgement, Archer had gone though it was just to see her mom. Thankfully, since Sierra was doing a speech, she was not with her mom and Archer had a riot of a storm as he caught up with the woman. He sat down at the table besides her, listening to the introductions and speeches and then she came on stage

His breath caught in his throat. He had to look away for a moment.

He was focused on his feelings that it took him a moment to realize that Sierra wasn't saying anything. Prolonged moments passed and he looked over at her mom for a moment before he got up. People were clapping, encouraging her but that damn girl was not saying a word. HIs movements were automatic almost as he headed for the stage.
tagged for siecher
Jan 19 2018, 04:44 PM

Sierra had thought about who was going to be here. She had thought about that one a little too intently - more than she needed to. She thought about all of those people who would hear her speak from the hospital. Who at Tulane would hear her name for the very first time or who even came to support her from the hospital. She did not want to let anyone down. Most importantly, she did not want to let her mother down, but she was standing still like a popsicle and unable to move. Who was it that decided she should say something of all people. She was not the voice of those suffering with Alzhemier’s. Her mother was. Someone who actually suffered and knew how frustrating it really could be. There were voices whispering her mind, and to be honest, they had been whispering for awhile now. But tonight, their whispers were so loud and trying to hush the announcer who said her name once more. But his words fell on deaf ears. Sierra swallowed, with her eyes glancing down at her paper now which had her speech well prepared, and all she had to do was read it outloud. That was it. Opening her mouth with no words coming out, only shallow breaths, and her green eyes fell blankly on the crowd.

The next whisper in her head coming full force - this is not you - and that was what she kept reminding herself. She did not panic, nor did she freeze up, but here she was, in front of sea of faces doing just that. It was apparent she needed a moment as the man took stage once again and began to speak. Unsure of what he was saying because she was now unsure of what was happening. Damage control? Maybe, but she could not seem to get her feet to move in either or direction. It was like they were glued to that one spot, and she was making a fool of herself, which seemed to be a habit of hers as of late. A taller brunette began to make his way toward the forefront and Sierra thought this was the damage control team and she turned to gather herself once more and doubting herself entirely in being able to do this. All she had to do was read off this page. Instead, her eyes fell on an unexpected face, his brown eyes staring back at her, and as much as she wanted to stare into them. She didn't. She couldn't. Blinking away as she took in a steady breath.

"I - I can't," she choked up, her gaze shying away from his. That feeling of not being able to do something felt foreign to her. Sierra did not have limitations, she challenged them, but here she was, feeling trapped by the very thing that was not supposed to be betray her: her body.

tagged for ARCHER KING
Jan 20 2018, 03:58 PM

This sort of thing wasn't intimidating to Archer. He was a performer. He was someone who knew how to get up on the stage in front of people and command presence. He had given awards speeches, he had performed on stage, stage fright wasn't something that registered in his mind but he did know that it wasn't the same thing with everyone. It clearly, was not the same thing with Sierra. Archer couldn't watch her struggle through that. They might have broken up, he might have been mad as hell at her, but this was... well it was a kind of humiliation that he wouldn't; wish on everyone. More than that this was something that was important, it was more important than Tony award speeches he had given. This was something impactful and meaningful and talking about her experiences to this room was something that was going to help people understand more what it was like to have a parent with Alzheimers. He knew that he didn't know what it was like. He had dated her and he fully didn't understand what it was like. She needed to speak up, and share her experience with those that were there.

"Yes you can," he told her firmly when he finally reached her and she managed to get out those words. "Look at me," he encouraged her, his hands resting on her shoulders as he tried to ground her, to get her to focus on something other than the fact that she was making a room full of people wait. "You can do this," he told her, "Look at your mom, don't look at anyone else, just look at her," he told her, giving her advice that he hoped would help her get over this case of stage fright, "Talk to her, forget everyone else around her." and that was the best way to do it too because that was the way that whatever Sierra said was going to come from the heart. She could have prepared something and he was sure that she had, but if she focused on her mother, every word that came out of her mouth was going to count that much more, it was going to mean that much more and people that were in the audience were going to be able to hear the emotions that were coming from her voice. Which was the entire point.
tagged for siecher
Jan 20 2018, 10:34 PM

A warmth rushed through her at the touch of Archer's palms on her shoulders, they were not heavy in the slightest. They were comforting, and she did not know how she was supposed to feel about the person who was comforting her in that moment. She hated him, and she hated the fact that he was the one making the most sense to her. Her eyes slowly met his, the look of fear of her face and panic was slowly dropping to a small frown. The man was standing behind her, and she did not have to turn around to know the eyes were on her now as they waited on Sierra to make a move and do something. Without thinking much, it was too hard to think about her every movement when she already felt like the spotlight was directed towards her. "I - I I've already messed up," she pointed out to him in full panic mode, her head dipping down reaching out for him as he did for her. It was not like this was a dance competition where a fall would lose her points - at least, she hoped she was not being graded on this performance. If so, she definitely failed. Sucking in a breath as she tried to calm her nerves once more. Sierra just needed to get out of her head. She knew it was dangerous coming here from the start. "I'm I'm trying," she was trying to focus on the one person that all of this was for.

She wanted to do exactly what Archer was telling her, she wanted to turn around and look at her mother and focus on her. She was about the one person who gave her life, taught her to walk, breastfeed her and nurtured her when she was sick. The reason she was now a nurse today. The person she adored and admired most, but there was something stopping her and whatever it was it was like a blackhole. It was swallowing her in whole, and it felt like there was nothing she could do to stop it. "My... my mom," she managed to say her name calmly. An image of her mother was painted in her head: her golden blonde wavy hair, her smile, lightly colored eyes with specs of brown splattered in them. Her grip on Archer still tight as she slowly turned around to search for her mom in the room.

tagged for ARCHER KING

Jan 21 2018, 12:12 PM

She was panicking. He had seen it several times before, both through her and through other people that had just been put on the spot on stage. It wasn't easy, he was used to it, but it wasn't easy. There were no re-dos. You were up there and that was it. Sierra had performed once upon a time but he supposed that was different form giving a speech. Then again she had also done the entire Miss. Teen USA thing so he was baffled as to why she was messing up here. It had more importance to it, a stronger gravity to it, so that could be why. Whatever it was, it didn't matter though. What mattered was getting Sierra back up on that stage so she could tell those people what it was like with her mom. She did a good job, and he was sure that she would do a good job and they'd open their wallets up even more to donate to the cause. This was how things like clinic trials and medications got funded and it was important. But it was also understandable that someone with such a close connection to it would be nervous. He got it, but it also made this that much more important for her to get right.

"That's okay, everyone in this room gets how hard this is," he reassured her. She messed up but she was going to get right back out there and she was going to finish it. Because that was what she had come here to do. She just needed to calm down, and focus on what mattered. Which, Archer understood was not as easy as it sounded. The probably had about a minute. before these people moved onto the next thing though and Archer knew that Sierra would beat herself up for months over this if she didn't do it. "Your mom,' he repeated, his hands rubbing her arms in a reassuring way. "She's right there," he said as he pointed out where he had just come from, "And she's waiting to hear her daughter speak," he urged Sierra.

She could do this. She had to do this and Archer believed that she could. Because the thing was that Sierra struggled with this and she struggled alone. But then she expected everyone else to understand where she was coming from without having her explain it. This was where she had a platform where she could talk and explain to people what it was like and how it impacted her life.
tagged for siecher
Jan 21 2018, 11:53 PM

Sierra was not used to these type of events, she never had to worry about getting funding or what it was even like. She would have never even been in this type of situation if it were not for the boy... man standing in front of her. She knew what she had to do but why was she not doing it? Why was her brain and mouth not in a strong connection with one another, why did it feel like she was a baby with a limited vocabulary and could not speak in full sentences or comprehend what others were telling her. She had to snap out of it, there was a warm sensation rushing through her like a melting of an ice cap when Archer mentioned her mother. All she had to do was look at her mom, and as simple as those words were, she could not bring herself to do it before. She did not have the same support coming in here tonight as she did in this second with Archer's thumbs moving over her upper arms, encouraging her, and providing her emotional support. No one else got it, and she did not know if anyone really got it, but she felt like Archer got her. Enough to know this was important to her that if she was the reason the funding did not go through? She would blame herself forever.

She moved, peeling her eyes away from Archer and to the direction he was pointing, taking one step forward after taking so many away from the stage. The gray haired man, who was clearly cradling the fence on if he were excited for Sierra to speak now or if he should take the mic once again. But he stood there, clapping for her instead, as did the crowd as her body fully turned towards the crowd. "Okay, I'm going to do this," she told herself as she moved and could have easily froze up again. She could hear her breaths catching into the mic and that there were so many faces staring at her that she wondered if she were going to hurl or run off stage. Almost forgetting the very thing Archer told her to do before she caught her mother's gaze right in time. It seemed to give her enough courage to speak instead of standing there like someone who was unable to speak. "Hi..." she leaned forward into the mic anxiously. "My name is Sierra..." she told the crowd like her name was not written in their programs for them to follow. "If you see me any other day of the week, you might find me in a pair of royal blue scrubs, my hair up in a messy pony tail, and I will be trying to count my steps on my fitbit to see how many steps I've gotten in at the hospital today. Which I can tell you is a lot. I am a nurse, but I am also a daughter of a wonderful woman who just so happens to be a victim to this wretched disease, Alzheimer's." she paused as she stared at the crowd able to let her gaze drift momentarily away from her mother, an uneasy feeling began to stir in the pit of her stomach. How a room full of unknown, but rich people, were going to listen to her story. "May 2012 our family received the diagnosis that changed our lives forever."

She talked a lot after that, and she spoke about the kind of person her mother was, the kind of person her father was and why she deserved this chance. Not Sierra, but her mother, it was hard to speak of some of the memories because they included the one person who could not be there tonight. Her father. She had done enough damage control because people were clapping, and she had a moment to reflect on the kind of person her mother was before the word hospital bills came into their every day conversation, medications, and appointments. Worry. Pain. Fear. She smiled at her mother and did not care if that was the way to exit a stage or not - she walked over to her mom and gave her the world's longest hug and kissed her on the cheek.

Sierra knew she was not in this on her own, her aunt was staying with her, and Archer's family - for unknown reasons - was still willing to help pay for this clinical trial for her mother. So, she knew what she had to do once it was said and done. She had to talk to Archer. Meeting up with him was easy after he made it his sole responsibility to be there for her tonight, and she did not have a touch of hate running through her veins. At least, not tonight. "Hey," she greeted him in an uncharacteristic sheepish manner; Sierra knew Archer, they were not strangers. Not even close. Nothing about this tonight was her. "Thanks for saving my ass up there tonight," she told him, gesturing towards the stage with a smile beginning to form.

tagged for ARCHER KING
Jan 23 2018, 08:12 PM

Finally, she was moving and going up there and Archer relaxed. He hadn't realized that he had been holding tension in his shoulders, a certain amount of nervousness for her until that moment. Which was strange. Archer couldn't say that he didn't care about Sierra because that would be a lie and eh knew it. He did care about her, he was just learning to fall out of love with her because she had hurt him deeply and on some level he understood that he was never going to understand it. Sierra had. a lot of shit that she needed to work through and the thing was, Archer didn't want a project. He wanted a wife, a mother, someone to spend the rest of his life with. He wasn't looking for someone to fix or who needed self discovery and that was his own mistake. He had got so caught up in how easy and simple things with Sierra were, he had started to believe that was the way that things were supposed to be. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. All he knew was that for them it hadn't worked and it had ended worse than any other relationship he had been in.

He zoned out. He probably should feel bad about that but he didn't. He was just relieved that she was up there and talking, he looked at the crowd and they seemed to be listening and enjoying it and so that was all that mattered. Finally, his eyes moved towards her mother and for the first time Archer started to see, really see what Sierra had never been able to explain to him. What she went through, why she couldn't decide on kids. Maybe it hadn't been about him or her, maybe it had been about the potential of condemning life to a life like her mothers. It was a shame she had never managed to really explain it to him. Too late now. He made his way back towards her mother, listening to the tail end of her speech and clapping at the appropriate moment at the end and Archer was one of the first to give her a standing ovation.

Things started to settle down and Archer fully intended on leaving as soon as he was done making a couple rounds and then making sure that her mom was back and safe with Sierra. But she found him first. "Hey," he replied, a small smile on his face as he nodded his head, "No problem," he said. It wasn't. She didn't deserve that and he knew that she could make a really impactful change or impression on the people in this room. Which, would obviously mean more donations. "You did great," he said as he gestured around at people, a couple who were buzzing and indicating Sierra in their conversations. She had certainly given people something to talk about.
tagged for siecher
Jan 24 2018, 10:08 PM

"come on, don't do that." it took a lot for sierra to swallow her pride during this, but archer really did save her ass tonight. she may have been angry with him and hurt by him, but he saved her ass up there tonight. she needed him to know if he were not there - she could not imagine what she would have done. "you did not have to save my ass you could have let me drown up there." she did not want to crash and burn, but she would have. so yeah, it was a little significant to her. if she would have fell flat on her face in front of this crowd and backed out of this in front of not only this crowd but her own mother? sierra would have never forgiven herself. her mom would have smiled at her and told her it was fine, but sierra would have known it was not fine. the brain was a complex organ and the most important, if sierra could have done something and froze up at the opportunity? she would have never forgiven herself for it.

however, the compliment made her breath feel like her breath was caught in her throat. it was hard to say, but she did not know how to react around him. that girl on stage had not been her so now that she was sober minded. it was harder. "thanks." she replied with her palm moving to her other arm, covering her elbow. it was, however, relieving to hear that he thought she had done well. out of all of the people in the room, even with their pocket books, she doubted they were as opinionated as her ex-boyfriend. she had dated him, and listened to his thoughts during each and every episode of the bachelor, especially during their sob story. she knew just how critical he could be. "are your parents here?" she wondered because she could see the kings coming since they were the ones funding this in the first place. if they would have never jumped on board then she highly doubted there would be a room full of people here for her and her family. probably for another family who needed some mercy and grace. glancing over his shoulder to see if she could potentially spot them. she felt like they would have been standing with one of the big wigs in the room, and she would have liked to have seen them tonight. she had bought his family some gifts, but considering their current situation, sierra did not feel comfortable in giving it to them. she thought about reopening them and returning the presents, but that option did not feel right to her, either.

getting through this made sierra feel like a rockstar. for the longest time, she had been on the side lines, even through this whole process. she was the one who was seen as the bad guy for being skeptical of just getting her hopes up. now, she saw hope, and she really felt it. she believed every single word she said up there, and they were not giving more years to her mom, but they could potentially give more years to every single mom and every single dad. every single person who could fall ill to this hungry disease. as a nurse, she wanted to end. as a daughter, she wanted it to end. and to hear people talking about her speech around her, it tickled her ear and made her smile. she felt like she had done some good and that was all sierra wanted to do.

tagged for ARCHER KING