Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Futureless Present

I stared at myself in the long mirror mounted on the wall as I brushed my hair. Cringing, I examined my outlook. It didn't look very good. My eyes showed traces of a sleepless night. Despite my better judgement, I found myself trying to ignore the sensible side of myself. I shouldn't be doing this. I shouldn't even leave the house. I shouldn't be chasing down something that had no hope of lasting. I shouldn't be trying to undermine fate.

But I was already out the door before my rational side had finished spewing that crap load of advice.

My summer dress showed effects of the wind's passage. It was a bright, optimistic day and I was carrying nothing but my phone and my favorite book. 1984 by George Orwell. Yeah it isn't a common favorite among seventeen year old girls. It explored darker themes and unthinkable realities. I didn't rightly know why I liked it so much. Perhaps it was because it kept me grounded and grateful. I liked to think it kept me realistic. 

Dreamers have no place in today's world. 

And when that realization hit, my eyes prickled with fresh tears. Of course. I knew what I was doing today and it wasn't to mindlessly fall prey to the intoxication of undying love. I reached the sand. Another gust of wind swept through the vicinity and with it I smelled the brine of the ocean. I kicked off my flip flops and ventured to the seaside, letting the cool waves touch me. I flipped through the book as I waited for Derek. 

I felt his strong arms around me a few minutes later. He hugged me from behind, pressing his lips to my collarbone. "Hi," he murmured. At the mere sound of his voice, I wanted to forget my worries and just give in to felicity now. 

"Hey," I said, my voice sounding strained. I turned around, preparing to give him the ultimatum I was mentally preparing but his closeness once again melted my defenses. Suddenly his lips were on mine, moving gently but purposefully. I tasted the hunger we both had trouble suppressing and I thought to myself, "No. This has to be right. What could be wrong about this?"

Eventually, I pulled away. Derek pressed his forehead to mine, closing  his eyes. "You have no idea how much I've been missing you," he whispered. 

"We can't do this, Derek," I finally said. 

He opened his eyes and stroked my cheek once. "What do you mean?"

"I mean we can't. Not anymore. We have to end it. Now."

"What're you talking about?" He was serious now but his eyes held an ounce of hurt.

"You know what I'm talking about. You're leaving. You're moving across the country in a  few weeks. And I'm staying here. There's no way we can keep doing this. And your parents practically hate me. Come on..."

He sighed and took my hand. We started walking along the beach, prolonging the inevitable.  "We can. I don't know how but we'll do it."

I shook my head. "I won't hold you back."

"But..."

"But what, Derek? What can you tell me that would make more sense than what I'm saying now?"

"But I love you." And he said it so innocently and simply that it just about broke my heart. I stopped  walking  and he did  too. The waves lapped at our feet again and again, smoothing out the sand we stood on, leaving seashells  behind. 

"Going on doesn't make any sense," I said somberly. 

He leaned in, kissing me again but ever so softly. "Last I checked, love doesn't make sense." 



It was all nonsense, as they both knew it. In reality there was no escape. Even the one plan that was practicable, suicide, they had no intention of carrying out. To hang on from day to day and from week to week, spinning out a present that had no future seemed an unconquerable instinct, just as one's lungs will always draw the next breath so long as there is air available. 
- George Orwell, 1984  



Monday, December 22, 2014

White Christmas

I hate hospitals. That's all I can think as I sit on this bitterly uninviting, pale orange chair in the hospital cafeteria. I eat the sandwich though it goes down tasting like tasteless pudding but with a consistency closer to PVC glue. I shake my head and sigh. I should be used to it by now; I have spent most of this year in the hospital. Not for me but for her. Ashley. How long she has been here I have almost forgotten. But she's getting better and that's what matters... At least I hope she is.

I throw the plastic container that held the sandwich and go to the counter to get a bottle of water. Then I am out of the cafeteria, heading to Ashley's ward. I take a sip of the water then replace the cap. As I walk, I toss it from hand to hand. That's something my mom has always chastened me about. That I do actions like that when I get nervous or uncomfortable. Before I know it, I have to reign all the negativity in because I'm right in front of Ashley's ward.

I push open the door and force a smile though that doesn't really seem necessary. I walk in and put a hand on Peter's shoulder. "Get some food," I say. The exchanges between Peter and me were always short. Usually less than 5 syllables. 

"Okay," he says. 

I take his place and smile at Ashley. Her blond hair looks a little shinier today. Maybe that is the fault of my inaccurate perception. I usually tell her about my day but I think today she wants to hear about something else, something a little more interesting perhaps. 

"Do you remember how we met?" I ask. 

She doesn't answer. 

"Okay. I'll tell you then. It was how most teenagers meet in my opinion. At a party. But this wasn't an ordinary crazy teen drinking and daring type of party. This was a simple, innocent Christmas party at a mutual friend's house. Peter's actually. Yeah. I arrived there late. You know how I'm notorious for being late. By then everyone was watching a Christmas show on one of the movie channels and from the looks of things, the gifts were all unwrapped already. I gave Peter his present then went to get a drink. You were there. You were wearing this white dress and you had a Christmas hat on your head. And I swear you looked so adorable, Ash. I stuttered a hello and you were gracious enough to return one. We went back into the living room and that was it. Not a very interesting meeting, I know. But it matters. And the insignificant things we remember tend to be the most significant when enough time has passed." I pause and look outside. "It's snowing. Just how you like Christmas. It's been a year since we met." 

Peter comes back into the room then and I decide to leave. I go outside of the hospital to take a smoke. The  air is cold and soon I'm practically chilled to the bone. There's nothing too merry about this Christmas. 

I''m standing outside a hospital I visit almost everyday. The hospital with the white walls, white floors and white sheets. I'm standing here trying to deny myself the agonizing love I have been harboring for the girl upstairs who has been in a coma for months. 

"Merry Christmas, Ashley," I mutter almost inaudibly. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Isabelle



Funerals are dreary events that mourning people subject other mourning people to. And the latter party has to go in order to show respect to the recently lifeless man, woman or child. Funerals are filled with the sounds of weeping, of half-hearted courage and unsteady breaths. Funerals are abundant with the scents of flowers and fresh clothes. Funerals consist of black and white people taking slow and steady steps as not to collapse from their own internal agony. Those men in black suits plaster on a stoic expression to temporary conceal their grief so they can console their other halves that are using up packets and packets of tissue. Funerals are saltwater pools. Each memory brought forth regarding the dead person is a small stone that is tossed lightly into the puddle and the ripples are the effects it has on the people. Funerals are unavoidable because everybody dies sometime and you're likely to know and care for a lot of people. I could come up with a million ways to describe this dismal scene, a trillion theories to explain it. And yet I knew for certain that if I opened my mouth, nothing but air would escape from it.

I felt a warm hand on mine. I looked over to see Nicole smiling ruefully. She was smiling the kind of smile that someone might wear to coax a smile out of someone else. There. Another thing funerals had. Fake smiles by real people experiencing real pain. Nicole squeezed my hand in encouragement. I eyed her for a second, forcing myself to take in her intelligent green eyes, blonde wavy hair and little black dress. I saw the pure innocence in those eyes and the sincere concern. Still, I couldn't bear it for long. I pulled my hand back and stuffed it into my pocket because I started to see what she wasn't. She didn't have endless black eyes. She didn't have brown hair.

She wasn't Isabelle.

"I'm so sorry. I know you cared about her," Nicole said quietly. I gave her a nearly imperceptible nod. I didn't bother whether she detected it or not. I felt the blood rushing up to give my face a little bit of color. It felt like it had been pale forever. Yes. I cared about Isabelle.

The minutes dragged and each passing second was harder. I tried to keep my emotions at bay but they were threatening to overflow, to pummel me, to leave me breathless and insignificant as rubble. Was this finally it?

"Spencer Chase?" A voice snapped me out of my abstraction. "Young man? Would you like to say a few words to honor Isabelle? I understand she was close to you." This was true. Everyone knew Isabelle and I were best friends. I rose unsteadily and trudged to the front. I stopped by her coffin and mustered the courage to peer inside. Most people would think that they prefer not to see their loved one still, lifeless and cold because they wouldn't want that to be their last memory of the person. But for me, I had to see her. I had to see her alabaster skin even paler; so pale it looked translucent. I had to see her eyes shut and never opening again. I had to see so I could tell myself that this was real. Because I could never imagine such an image. Having this image in my head kept me holding onto reality. I couldn't help thinking that she looked so kind and beautiful even in death.

"Spencer?" I barely heard it. The collective whispers of the crowd seemed to fade into something farther than the background as well. There was just Isabelle and me. Then there was just me and my agony.

The next thing I knew? I was running fast, pushing my lungs and limbs far beyond what they should be capable of executing. I ran several blocks without pausing to take a breather. I ran until my heart felt like it would burst through my chest and land on the pavement. I loosened the tie around my neck and undid the first button. I kept running as if I could outrun the tragedy. When I stopped I was in an alley. My inhalations were shallow and my vision, blurry. My brain was fogged, my memory numb. A different kind of pain shot through my body, originating from my heart. I pressed my back against the wall and slowly sank to the ground. Here is good, I thought. Nobody would see me break down in here. I felt the tears trickle calmly down my cheeks. There was one thing nobody there knew about Isabelle. She was my girlfriend. She loved me. I loved her.

And then there in that alley there was just my agony. Because it had swallowed every part of me.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Human Race

Beads of perspiration descend.
I am in a forsaken race,
desperate to meet the finish line.
The earsplitting gunshot
echoed throughout the hollow caverns
and the people are off
with energy they bought.

The ground is harsh and hard,
those that fall sustain bruises and grazes,
upon the skin, upon the heart.

We all wear similar roadrunner garments
tromp upon the earth
to glorify or vilify forefathers and fathers.
The race is governed by fools.
Infuse your bloodstream with chemicals.
There are no rules.

What we all cling onto
is the childish hope
that the riches are reward enough,
a golden trophy doused with age.
But there is no first place.
And we are all running,
running to run, running to survive.
Because being abandoned
to camouflage in dust is unthinkable.

We all have to play
with our innocence dying slowly
day by day.
In the end,
with madness we all contend.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Indebted to a Postcard

I was driving around town on a Sunday. The town of Riverton to be exact. I had just moved here a few weeks ago with my uncle. I was really glad that he had picked this place. It was quaint and quirky as most small towns are. This one had an aura of sophistication mixed in with the pure innocence it emitted. I found that fascinating. I drove past a large structure at the edge of town. I immediately recognized it as the aquarium that Riverton was famous for. A few mornings ago when I was at the convenient store near the harbor, I had seen numerous post cards for visitors to take back so they could spread the word of tiny little Riverton. A lot of those post cards had the name and picture of this aquarium. I glanced at my watch and inferred that I had enough time to go in and walk around a little. Besides, I didn't have much else to do besides get home in time to cook dinner for Uncle Brady. 

I initiated a U-turn and drove back the way I came until I found the turn that would lead me into the aquarium parking lot. I found a parking spot quickly because the lot was mostly empty. Slow day, probably. I got out of my old but functional car and walked towards the entrance. I stepped through the double doors and let my eyes roam over the place and adjust to the difference in lighting. Outside, the sun was shining relentlessly but in here, it was as dark as dusk and tinged with blue. I supposed they wanted to mimic the color and feel of being underwater. I liked that. I started walking around, scanning through the little bits of information they provide below each tank and then just watching the fish. I appreciated the vivid colors of the coral put at the bottom of the tanks.


"Hey," a voice sounded behind me, making me jump.


I turned around and saw a dark haired boy in a light blue T-shirt. On the T-shirt was the name of the aquarium and a small picture of a clownfish. "Hi," I said.


"Liking the angelfish?" He asked, gesturing to the tank I had been staring at for a while now.


"Yeah, they're beautiful. You work here?"


"I volunteer," the boy answered.


"Wow! That's cool. You're likely to win best summer job at school," I said, smiling. 


He laughed. "Yeah. I like it here. It's peaceful and more rewarding then printing receipts at a convenient store. I'm Mark by the way."


"Stacy."


"Are you new in town? Or just visiting? I've never seen you around here before."


"I just moved in a couple of weeks ago actually. My uncle wanted to leave the city and get started on the whole 'small town life' thing."


"So, you liking what you see?" He asked, running a hand through his hair.


I was silent for a while.


He flushed. "I mean the town."


I laughed to dissolve the awkwardness. "I know. It's great. The people are really nice," I offered as I involuntarily fingered the side of my sundress. 


"I'm uh... about to feed them. Do you want to come with?" He asked, gesturing to the tank again.


"Is that okay?" I wondered.


"You're not going in; just watching. It's fine." 


"All right," I agreed, smiling. I followed him down couple of hallways and up a flight of stairs. He told me to stay put while he got into the gear. I saw the tops of all the tanks. From here they looked like swimming pools. Mark came back a second later, dressed in black scuba gear. The mask and flippers and everything. He took out the mask and grinned. "Like the outfit?"


"Dashing." I chuckled. I watched as he did his job. I began to notice little things about Mark. For instance, he motions were all very gentle. Not too rushed, not impulsive. He seemed like one of those rare people who actually had it all together and like never lost their temper. I was oddly envious. I was also conscious of his smile. He had a really wonderful smile, the type I would never get tired of looking at. After he finished his duties, he changed back into casual attire.


"So this is how it's done," he said, gesturing to the fish after he finished the feeding. 


"Cool."


"Am I boring you?" He fretted.


"No, no!" I said quickly. "It's really intriguing."


"Hey, you wanna grab lunch?"


I deliberated in silence for a moment.


"Come on, if you say no, I'll just be eating my lousy peanut butter sandwich I brought in a Ziploc bag. But if you say yes, I'll have an excuse to have good food," he said, laughing. 


I laughed along. "I don't know. I might have to get home."


"No...Seriously, come on. Have you been to the restaurant by the harbor? They serve the best fish sticks in the entire country. I do not kid, Stacy. I do not kid."


I looked at his pleading expression a little longer then I nodded. "Okay." 


We drove together in his car to the restaurant. The meal was great and I really had to admit to myself that I enjoyed talking to him. He was an optimistic person who had his own views on the world. His was a refreshing personality. I found myself quickly growing addicted to his laugh, his bad jokes and spoken fun facts about sea creatures.


"Did you know that the correct collective noun for jellyfish is a smack?"


"What? Really? A smack of jellyfish?"


"Yep! Weird right? So tell me something about yourself."


"What do you want to know?"


"Anything."


I'm uh... going to study psychology?"


"Cool! You can read minds, then."


"Why does everyone say that?" I responded. "You know, psychologists don't actually read minds. They study behavior and expressions and body language then they draw plausible conclusions."


"So…basically, in summary, they read minds."


I rolled my eyes and smiled. "You? Are you only filled with fun facts regarding sea creatures?"


"Hah! You wish!" He said as he picked up a fish stick. "I know about land animals too. Kangaroos use their tails for balance so if you hold a kangaroo’s tail, it can't hop."


I blinked. "Really?"


"Also, if a croc has clamped onto you, push your thumb into its eyeball. It'll let you go immediately."


I shook my head slowly. 


"Elephants undergo menopause."


"What?" I choked on the lemonade.


"It's true!" 


"No way."


"Really. I know. I'm like a fun fact dispenser."


"Wow..." I muttered. "What are you going to study? Later I mean."


"Eventually I'll make it to one of those bigger schools to study oceanography. Right now, I'm pretty content here. Also, I'm still saving up. All's good."


"Awesome."


"So, what do you think of this place? Riverton."


I thought about it. "I keep thinking it's like a dream. It's so quiet that it's almost magical."


He nodded thoughtfully. The rest of the afternoon was so harmless and hopeful. Mark was a great person and before we said goodbye, I already knew I wanted to see him again. I remember thinking to myself that it really was dreamlike. And if it was a dream, I'd be fine with not waking up. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

I despise people who deliberately make things harder for other people. Life is hard enough as it is. Wholly unnecessary judgments and destructive lashes do not better the world. To those people, why are you even here?

"What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?"
-George Elliot 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Someone Just Like Me

I always believed that chance and luck dictated most of our lives. The way I saw it, so much of what defines our lives is because of chance and luck. For instance, a talented man was recognized because he was lucky. He was lucky that someone had recognized his talent at an early stage. He was lucky people nurtured him and helped him grow. Well, we aren't all lucky. Some of us get our loved ones ripped away.

“Anna.” My mom's voice snapped me out of my daydreams again. No, not mom, step-mom. “I just want to remind you that we are doing this in your best interest.”
“Got it.” I mumbled in a voice that sounded dead and detached even in my own ears. I sounded empty, lifeless and aimless.

I shrugged off the self-pity and forced myself to toughen up. I knew this was coming. I wasn't surprised when my step-mom came in my room to talk to me about it a few nights ago. She explained how this was necessary due to my behavior. In layman's terms, I was basically asking for it. I didn't seriously think that all my actions would be forgiven and forgotten, but part of me still was confused at how it all led to this.
We arrived at the cold, dark and ominous place before the sunset. Boarding school. Yeah, that's what they called it. I knew that this was not an ordinary school though. It was a cross between a boarding school and a mental institution. Of course, they didn't put it like that. They made it sound all flowery so my guardian would buy into it. This would be my personal hell. I was sure of it before I even got my bags out of the car.
I was showed to my room. I assumed we would all have roommates but I didn't have one. That should be nice. I didn't enjoy having to make small talk, though I had perfected it. I thought about all the other things I had tried to perfect over the years. Seeming normal, pretending to be like everybody else. I wondered if I had really ever pulled this off. Another thing, hiding my pain. That was something I always worked on. The pain that lived inside me was something no one could ever take away. That's how it felt to me. All the therapy and counseling in the world that I was put through didn't make it go away completely. Why is it that my stepmother and Nana had put me here in this sick place? Last month, the first anniversary of my parents' death, I had attempted suicide.

I didn't want to think about it anymore. It was too agonizing to bear. Even with all that time, I still felt so wrong inside. I felt so alone. I felt that no one truly understood me. Time heals all wounds. 'What a joke!' I thought to myself as I exited my room and went to walk around the vast campus. The buildings were grey and dull but I had to admit that aside from those boring buildings, the place was actually quite beautiful. There was beautiful green grass and there were trees and flowers. The sunshine touched the grass and the leaves in the trees making the scene almost bearable for me. I glared up at the summer sky and then bundled up my long waves of hair and quickly tied a messy bun. I found the biggest tree on campus and began to climb. It was something I always did. It had become a habit of mine. I liked tall places. I had never been afraid of heights. My depression and anger pushed me higher. I was really high up in the tree when I finally decided to stop climbing. I sighed heavily and carefully found a safe spot to sit.

“Hey. Get your own tree.” A hostile voice startled me. I looked around me and spotted a boy about my age sitting on the same tree. His voice was hostile but his face was polite. I thought I saw a trace of humor somewhere in his expression.
“I'm sorry. I didn't know your name was engraved on this one.” I said sarcastically.
He chuckled at my response. “Chill. I was kidding. I like to kid once in a while.”
“Oh.” I said not knowing what else to say.
“You're new here aren't you?”
“Just enrolled.” I noted that my voice sounded somber.
“What's your name?”
“Annabelle. Call me Anna.”
“Cool. Annabelle. Pretty name.”
“Thanks. Aren't you going to tell me your name?”
“Matthew. Call me Matt.”
“Cool.” I copied his response just as he had copied mine.
“What are you doing up here?”
“I like it. What are you doing up here?”
“I always come here.”
“Why?”
He shrugged. “When I'm all the way up here, and I look down, everything down there seems simpler. And I see things a little more clearly than I would if I were on the ground.” He smiled slightly but it wasn't a happy smile.
I was stunned into silence. My eyes fell on his face. I wanted to drop my gaze but I couldn't seem to for a minute.
“What?” He asked.
“That's exactly why I go up to high places.” I confessed.
“What are the odds? I found someone just like me.” His voice was lighter now. His reply somehow made me relax a little. I felt pretty weightless. I hadn't felt that way in a long time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"We humans, I realized, are stupid. But we are all stupid together."

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Bookworms

My friend, Kristen and I visited a giant book clearance sale last month. The sale was a big deal and hosted it in only a few states every year. I was so ecstatic that they picked Ohio.

"Oh my gosh!! Chloe, will you look at this?!" Kristen almost screamed. 


I was standing right behind her, reading the back of a book. The tittle of the book was "Article 5". But I let go of it at once because I knew better than to keep Kristen waiting. I turned around and said, "What?"


"Look!!" She squealed. I did and I couldn't hold back my enthusiasm. I understood why she was so exuberant now. She was gazing at a section filled with the books of the series we both loved. Kristen had read the entire series but she didn't have her own copies. She borrowed the books from one of her friends and since then, had wanted to get her own copies to keep on her overflowing bookshelf. I on the other hand, wanted to cross it off my ginormous list of books to buy and read before I turned 18.


"We are so getting these!!!" I said.

"Duh!" Kristen said, already grabbing two of each book from the series. 


"Oh my gosh! They are in perfect condition too! This is insane!"


"I know!!!" Kristen almost screamed. 


A few people were turning to stare. This big balding man wore a disdainful expression on his leathery face. I tried shushing Kristen but we both ended up laughing. We both had a small stack of books now and I suggested that we try stuffing them into our bags before moving on. The thing about this sale was that everything was so ridiculously cheap that instead of using boxes or plastic bags, serious book enthusiasts brought gigantic luggage bags. Like the kind people used to go for vacation in Japan. Kristen and I each brought one in addition to the backpacks hanging our shoulders. I unzipped my luggage and felt my jaw drop. "There is no way these'll fit," I told Kristen. 


"Gosh mine's full as well," she said. "Maybe our backpacks."


So we slung our backpacks around and opened them up. There was some space left. We had to shift a few things around but by the time we stood up, all the books were safely inside. "Now to get more," I said, cheerily. But I knew we couldn't go too far because we didn't have any room left.


We ventured into the Humor section. There were quite a number of interesting books there. We were looking though a book that contained the most useless facts on earth when they came up to us. Two guys about our age. One had auburn hair and the other had dark hair that was very close to black. The one with the auburn hair spoke first. 


"Is it hot in here or is it just you girls?" He said with a wide grin on his face. Kristen and I looked at each other than looked back at them. 


"That is the worst pickup line in the history of the world," Kristen said.


I laughed. "When she's right, she's right."


The guy with the auburn hair looked away then jabbed the dark haired one in the arm. "Thank you for that, asshole."


"Smooth," he commented, holding back laughter. "Hey. I'm Dominic. That one's Jake. So, bookworms don't blush?"


"What?" I asked.


"Jake isn't used to comebacks, just some swooning and blushing. That's what most girls give him," Dominic said.


"Okay that's not true. Look that wasn't my idea okay. He dared me to do it!" The who was evidently Jake insisted. 


"I'm trying to sell you as a lady killer," Dominic whispered too loudly. 


"Is that all?" Kristen asked. She could be really cold and critical if she wanted to. She had like this death stare that could make even the manliest guys run for the hills. I coughed to hide a laugh.


"Uh... Wait tell us your names." Dominic said.


"Why?" Kristen asked.


They didn't seem to know either. I stepped in. "Listen. Chip, Dale, we're not 'most girls' so I suggest you better find some other paper people to bother." They looked confused.


"Bye," Kristen said angelically.


We strode quickly away from them. When we were out of earshot, Kristen and I burst out laughing.
"Did you seriously just use our paper potato term? They won't get something like that!"

"Yes! First thing that popped into my head!" I said, laughing. "We are so awesome." 


"Yeah!"


"Okay I think we're about done here. Number 1, we can't carry anymore. Number 2, we don't have a million bucks."


"Right. Okay let's go." We made our way to the long line. This was going to be a long wait. Kristen and I didn't do much while waiting in line besides take a few photos. Eventually the two counters were free. I went to the one on the left while Kristen took the one on the right. The people at the counter unpacked all our books, counted them then put them back neatly. Kristen and I simultaneously got out our purses. Then a tall guy stepped deliberately in front of me. "Hey!" I said angrily. He glanced at me and smiled. I was taken aback. He was one of the guys from the duo we met earlier. Jake. I shot a glance at Kristen and saw Dominic in front of Kristen. "What do you think you're doing?" I asked him. 


He didn't answer. I watched what he was doing. He was handing the cashier money. For my books. He was paying for my books? He looked at me and said, "So this is how to make bookworms blush?" He asked.


I cleared my throat and said, "I'm gonna pay you back."


"No way," he said innocently stuffing his hands into his pockets. He helped me carry most of my books as well, ignoring when I protested. We met up with Dominic and Kristen. I didn't expect them to be this clever. Even Kristen was kind if flabbergasted now. 


"So... If you want to repay us... Let's all grab a coffee. There's a café down the road," Dominic said. 


"Uh... Sure?" I said, trying to see if that was what Kristen wanted as well.


“Yeah. Okay,” she said. She seemed impressed. I was too. 


They took the lead, carrying most of our books again. 

I shot a glance at Kristen. 

She shrugged and laughed once. “This’ll make a good story one day, you know?”


Friday, July 25, 2014

Those 3 Words

I didn't know what to say. In that moment, what I felt couldn't be expressed in those 3 common words that we humans use to convey affection. I was at a loss for words but a part of me insisted that the silence said more than words could. So I just stared at her, watching her smile as the wind ruffled her hair, memorizing the way her face looked when it was flushed. I noticed how there was a light in her eyes that I rarely saw in other people. She wore a small smile that made me a little frustrated inside. I wondered what she was thinking. Was she remembering something funny? Planning a practical joke on her friend? I wanted to ask but I didn't want the magical silence to leave right away.

"What are you thinking about?" She asked me, turning to look at me suddenly. I looked away, feeling my face warm up. It felt like she had caught me spying on her.

"You." I answered honestly.

She grinned then turned back to the lake. "It's beautiful, isn't it?"

I wanted to say not as beautiful as her but it sounded too common and cheesy. "Yeah."

"John?"

"Yeah?"

"Do you ever think about tomorrow? Like the near future?"

"Not really." I tended to live as much in the present as possible. Thinking too much about things I had no control over made me depressed.

She was quiet for a second. Then she looked at me and inched closer. She leaned on my shoulder seeming a little hesitant. "What do you see yourself doing? Like in 5 years?"

I shrugged. "The same thing. Waiting tables."

"What about me?"

"What about you?"

"Am I a part of your future?"

She silenced me for a moment. I didn't really think about it. Because whenever I did try to picture a future with her, it would always be too perfect to be believable.

"Am I?"

"That depends on you, doesn't it?" I mumbled, turning my head so she couldn't see my face even if she looked up. She did. I felt her head leave my shoulder. I continued. "Do you want to be a part of it?"

"Of course. I love you." She put her head back on my shoulder.

"I love you too," I said, pressing my lips to her hair.

I sincerely hoped that this would be enough to shield us from whatever obstacles that the universe would put in our way.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Skylar

            
            “Hi,” I said boldly.
            “Hi,” she replied.
            “So…” I began awkwardly. I was mentally scrolling through all the other scenarios of how I had asked girls out before. But something in me knew that navigating the waters with Skylar would be different. I was at a loss for words.
            “So?” She prompted. “Still hoping to know more about me?”
            “You want to tell me?”
            “Not really,” she said.
            “So where’re ya from?” I asked, trying to sound conversational.
            She looked at me again, her expression quizzical. “Everywhere.”
            “You move a lot?”
            “Sure.”
            “Where was the last place you lived?” I asked.
            “New York,” she answered.
            “Wow. Busy city. I went there to visit my Aunt one Christmas. It’s happening even at night.”
            “Sure is,” she agreed.
            “Why did you come here?”
            She bit her lip lightly, probably thinking what to answer. Or she could be wondering if I was a serial killer who wanted to know her personal details. She was hard to read. That was the difference between her and other girls. I knew my way around the average girl. But Skylar – her expressions and her curt replies. She was something else.
            “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to pry. It’s just that this town is less exciting than New York. Most people here want to go to places like that. Like New York,” I explained. Her expression smoothened a little, understanding coloring her eyes.
            “I have a relative here. My uncle.” She said cautiously as if afraid to reveal too much.
            “So, you liking Johanna High?”
            “Is this some sort of interrogation?” She asked suddenly.
            “Uh… no.” I glanced behind me and saw Troy and Matthew laughing. I gave them what I liked to call a death glare then turned back to Skylar. She had her lips pursed.
            “I was wondering if you’re free on Saturday night. There’s this party – a”
            “Now you’re asking me out, Jason Hunter?” She looked annoyed but I thought I saw a trace of humor somewhere in those hazel eyes.
            “Just being friendly.” I muttered.
            She laughed then, unexpectedly.
            “Something funny?”
            She ignored that. “I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that there’s something else you want to know.”
            I kept silent but felt my eyes tighten.
            “You’ve been asking me a lot of meaningless, generic questions really, really quickly and trying to have a conversation or ask me out or whatever. But there’s something else you’re curious about, aren’t you?”
            “Fine,” I allowed. “I’m curious. Why the first impression nonsense on the first day?” Truth is, I had been wondering about that since she spoke it.
            She shrugged. “To introduce myself was to assuage you that I was not an outsider. I thought it’d be cooler to prolong the mystery.”
            I thought about it for a moment. “Okay.”
            “So what did you think about me? When you first saw me.” I saw the curiosity in her eyes.
            “Beautiful. Exceptionally so,” I said easily. “Uh… different. Hard to please. Talented.” I said. 
            She considered. “Hmm.”
            “So are you going to tell me your first impression of me?”
            “I was right. I made sure of it,” she said.  I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. I realized that her opinion mattered to me. I wanted her to like me as a person.
            “Well, what was it?”
            She sat a little straighter, squared her shoulders. “Shallow. Jock. Ignorant. A little haughty. Brash. Tactless. Average.” I couldn’t find one good quality in the truckload of words she used to describe me.
            I reacted defensively. “You don’t know me.”
            “Numerous pranks last year including graffiti in the teachers’ bathroom, cheating in tests, terrorizing other students. Only friends: football team and basketball team. Cheerleaders as girlfriends. Sounds about right to me, Hunter.
            I felt my ears go hot. “I’m not some ignorant bastard. I have goals. Like…. Well and, do you realize I said great things about you and you said nothing nice about me?”
            “I thought we were being honest,” she said, her eyes wide with innocence. My fists clenched. She was wrong. She made me sound like a jerk. Surely I wasn’t a jerk.
            “Am I wrong?” She asked.
            “Not entirely,” I admitted, feeling the sudden anger leave my system.
            After a while, she said, “For what it’s worth, you’re wrong about me.” Before I could ask, she continued talking. “I assume this conversation isn’t what your friends pictured you’d be getting. They look edgy.”
            “Yeah I guess I should get back to them,” I muttered, feeling deflated. I stood and pushed the chair in. Surprisingly, she rose too. She walked right up to me.
            “Something for you.” She smirked.
            Before I could ask her what she meant, she grabbed the collar of my shirt with both hands and kissed me. On the lips. I felt her tongue caress my lower lip and her warm breath in my mouth. My lips moved with hers automatically. Like my lips were created specifically so I could kiss Skylar Breanne Robinson. Her right hand moved to the back of my head and my hand was on her forearm. The kiss was so perfectly packed with life that what must have been 5 seconds, seemed indefinite to me.
            When it was over, she smirked again, grabbed her untouched sandwich and left the cafeteria. She left the perfume of her presence to confuse me further.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Blizzards


I walked to her house after work. I didn't know what I was thinking actually. I didn't know where I got the nerve to walk to her house at night, knowing that her fiancé might be the one opening the door. The thought of that made me sick and I almost turned around. Almost. The air was cold and uninviting. It was snowing but only very slightly. Flecks of white drifted down from the sky but before hitting the ground, got carried someplace else by the wind. I thought back to the time when I could find a scene like this beautiful. A time when snowfalls made me want to be better for her. It always shocked me how much things had changed in a few short years. Now every snowfall was like a blizzard. I caught myself walking down memory lane again. Then I had to exit that place because even now, my heart wasn't whole enough to bear the atrocities.

I walked right up to her door and knocked it twice. Part of me was hoping she wasn't home so I would have to force myself to leave. I took several steps back not trusting myself. I had just mustered the courage to leave when I heard the door open. She stood in the frame with her lips pursed. Her green eyes were unmistakable to my heart but the better, more rational side of me told me that she wasn't who she used to be. People change.

I stood there, with my hands shoved into the pockets of my jeans, not sure what to do now.
She glanced behind her for a second as if checking if anyone was there. Maybe Brandon, her fiancé, really was at home. I thought she would close the door and pretend she didn't see me but after a minute, she came out and met me by the edge of the porch. I hated the way I still found her so beautiful. I hated the way that even her unsmiling face set my heart beating faster than normal.

"Lucas," she said. "You shouldn't be here."

The words stung but I ignored it. "I just wanted to wish you a happy wedding. You'll make a breathtaking bride, you know? I would love to see you there but… I really don’t think I’ll be welcome…so…" I trailed off, feeling stupid. This was pathetic.

"Are you okay?" She asked and I wondered what I looked like through her eyes.

"Of course." I lied. "You know me. Anyway, you need to promise me something, Julie. Just be happy. Promise you'll be happy with Brandon. Just please. Promise me."

"S-sure," she stuttered.

I wanted to give her an acceptable parting gesture but nothing came to me and the silence lengthened. Finally, I awkwardly held out my hand for a handshake.

She stared at my outstretched hand for a moment, deliberating. I had the feeling that she would reject it. Unexpectedly, she took a step towards me. Then, she wrapped her arms around me, pressing her cheek against my chest. She used to hug me this way, years ago. She had said that hearing my heartbeat reminded her that the world was a lot less complicated than she thought.


And I suppose she was right. The world is not complicated. It's just unfair. Because how could this be justified? I watched her walk back into the house before I turned to leave realizing that this would be the last time I'd see her.

It was like watching her walk out of my life. Again.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dylan

After an hour, I decided I couldn't stay there anymore. I stealthily left. You would think that a good girl like me has never even considered leaving without permission. Well, we can't all be saints. I ducked out of the window and climbed down the trellis quickly. The night air was nice, refreshing and peaceful. I slung my bag over my shoulder and made it out of there without being caught. In my bag was a few items. My cell phone, several books, money of course and pepper spray. I wasn't sure where to go. It was pretty late. I settled for a boring old cafe. I ordered hot chocolate and sipped it slowly while reading the book that was apparently selling like crazy. It centered on vampires that lived among us. Throughout the time I was there, I took notice of young man that looked at me too often to be coincidental. Feeling uneasy, I quickly finished my drink, paid and got the hell out of there. I headed home quickly. It wasn't very far. I walked because I knew if I took my car, my parents would find out. I thought it was ridiculous that I still had a curfew as if I was 17 years of age. My mother was like that. My thoughts were interrupted by the sound of fast approaching footsteps that came from behind me. I turned and saw the man that had his eyes on me in that cafe.

“Hey beautiful.” He said.
“What do you want?” I asked keeping my tone light and fearless.
“You.” He laughed. “You look lonely. I thought I'd join you.”
“I'm fine. Thanks for your concern.” I turned away from him and walked faster.
He grabbed my wrist.
“Let go of me.” I said evenly. With my other hand, I reached into my bag and wrapped my fingers around the can of pepper spray.
He smirked and came closer until our faces were inches away. His breath blew into my face. Alcohol. Definitely. He was going to kiss me. I felt my stomach curl into a ball as the fear registered.
Keeping my calm, I pulled out the pepper spray and pressed on the nozzle aiming at his eyes.
He cussed and cried out in pain. “Damn it!”
I immediately shook off his hand and ran like crazy. I didn't pay attention to where I was going, just what I was running from. I ran for several minutes. I glanced behind me periodically to make sure he wasn't following. Just then, I bumped, or more like crashed into somebody. “I am so sorry.” I said quickly and started running again.
“Wait!” The person I knocked down called.
I didn't wait. I just kept running.
He caught up with me easily. He ran next to me. “Who are we running from?” He asked.
“What? What do you think you're doing?” I asked shocked.
“Why are you running?” He asked me back.
“Why are you running with me?”
“Who's chasing you?” He asked stubbornly refusing to answer any of my questions.
I groaned and stopped running when I thought we were in the clear. I didn't know where we were now. All I knew was that we were behind some building near the main road. I panted trying to catch my breath. He did the same.
“Well?” He asked after a while.
I looked up to study him. He had brown hair that was a mess due to all the running. Somehow, it still looked good. He was dressed in a dark blue long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves pushed up slightly and jeans that were designed to look torn and faded. What prevented me from responding was his eyes. They were blue I realized. They looked warm and kind.
“Hello? Anybody in there?” He asked.
I flushed and said, “Some guy was chasing me.”
“Some guy?”
“He was harassing me. I murdered his eyes with pepper spray.” I said showing off the can of pepper spray.
“Tough.” He commented smiling. Then, he was serious. “Are you alright?”
I nodded. “Yeah, I think so.”
“Cause if you aren't, I'd be happy to go back to that guy and punch his teeth out.”
“Why?” I asked confused. “You don't know me.”
“I despise guys who treat women like that.” He shrugged and leaned against the cinder wall of the building we were behind.
“Ah... I see.”
“What's your name?”
“Lilliane.”
“Pretty name.”
“Thanks.” I smiled.
“You should go home.” He told me. “Around here, if you're this beautiful,” He said gesturing to me making me blush, “you shouldn't be around here. It's not really safe, you know?” He smiled. “Oh I almost forgot.” He said reaching into his pocket and pulling out a small silver object. He handed it to me. “It fell out of your bag when we bumped into each other.” He smiled again.
“Thanks so much. Actually, I bumped into you.” I reminded him.
“Right. You were trying to run backwards. My advice: Get eyes on the back of your head.” He smirked.
I scowled. Then I asked, “Did I hurt you? I think you cushioned my fall.” My face and tone was sheepish.
He looked at his elbows that were slightly grazed. “Not much. I'll live.” He said.
“Sorry. I really didn't mean to.”
“It's alright. Go on home now. Need me to call a cab for you? You don't seem very capable.” He teased.
“I'll walk. My house isn't far.”
“Are you kidding? After that experience you still want to walk?”
“I'm not supposed to be out.” I said biting my lip. “If I call a cab and all, the headlights, the sound of the car, I don't know. I'm afraid my parents will wake up.”
“Alrighty then. I'll walk you. If I leave you alone now, and you get bothered by some guy again, it'll be partially my fault.”
“That's a strange excuse.” I commented. “What the hell?” I said shrugging.
“So what're you doing out this late?” He asked as we started walking.
“Clearing my head.”
He snorted. “Bet it didn't work.”
“Nope.” I admitted.
“Want to tell me what's going on?”
“I don't think so.” I said warily giving him a wry smile.
“Right. Sorry. I guess it's too much to tell to someone you barely met.” He replied understandingly.
“So, you never told me your name.” I said when we were a block away from my house.
“Dylan.” He smiled. I realized that he had a very nice smile. It was the kind of smile that could brighten anybody's day no matter how crappy the day was.
“Well, thank you for your help tonight, Dylan.”
“It was my genuine pleasure.” He mimicked my formal tone. His eyes danced playfully.
“Alright. I should... get inside.” I said regretfully. Why did I sound so rueful?
“Okay. I'll be seeing ya, Lil.” He smiled at me one last time then he was gone.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I Hope You'll See My Love

Note : I did NOT write this. But I love this. Hope you guys will too.

I have so many things to say,
But I cannot find my voice
Because you take my breath away.

I hope my eyes will speak for you to notice
As I wait in silence for you to notice.
That a craving soul has something to impart.

I am in turmoil awaiting your glance,
Yet again trying to appear normal.
While my heart flutters its loving dance.

Each day I endure as it passes
And maybe then you will see me
Until then I'll try to keep my feelings at bay.

I desperately want to place you
Between the pages of my book
And keep you forever, I really do. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The TMI Tag =)

1. What are you wearing?
A shirt that says "Dear Santa, I want it all" and shorts.

2. Ever been in love?
Yes with people, places and things. For example, pizza and TV.

3. Ever had a terrible break up?
Sure. About to experience another one soon. My laptop has been diagnosed with I Keep Crashing Syndrome. It's fatal.

4. How tall are you?
5" 1 (FOR NOW)

5. How much do you weigh?
43 kg

6. Any tattoos?
I would be slaughtered if I had one.

7. Any piercings?
Ears? I have cute owl earrings just FYI.

8. OTP?
Fictional charcters count? Hazel Grace and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars.

9. Favorite show?
Once Upon a Time, Switched at Birth, Criminal Minds. I like TV so there's a lot.

10. Favorite bands?
Big Time Rush! One Direction, Coldplay, One Republic.

11. Something you miss?
The United States of America!

12. Favorite song?
Way too many but I'll give you a few. All Too Well by Taylor Swift. Fireflies by Owl City, Sailboats by Sky Sailing. Invisible by Big Time Rush. Champagne by Cassadee Pope.

13. How old are you?
Sixteen.

14. Zodiac sign?
Sagittarius.

15. Quality you look for in a partner?
Honest? Understanding, kind, loving. Yeah basically.

16. Favorite quote?
"The only way out of the labyrinth of sufering is to forgive." by John Green

17. Favorite actor?
Way too many but I'll give you a few again. Channing Tatum. James Franco. Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Taylor Lautner.

18. Favorite color?
Navy Blue.

19. Loud music or soft?
Both. But at different times.

20. Where do you go when you're sad?
Bookstores or libraries.

21. How long does it take for you to shower?
15 minutes?

22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
10 years. LOL

23. Ever been in a physical fight?
Sure. Everyday with Alycia, the calligrapher. :P

24. Turn on?
your brain.

25. Turn off?
the sun.

26. The reason I joined blogger?
To express myself.

27. Fears?
People.

28. Last thing that made you cry?
My laptop.

29. Last time you said you loved someone?
5 seconds ago to my laptop when I was begging it to stay alive.

30. Meaning behind your blogger name?
Skywriting. It represents my goal in writing. I want to create something meaningful that everyone can see.

31. Last book you read?
The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom

32. The book you are currently reading?
My history textbook.....

33. Last show you watched?
Glee

34. Last person you talked to?
 Kristen.

35. The relationship between you and the last person you texted?
Clement who is kind of like my son.

36. Favorite food?
Don't make me choose! Oreos, pizza, bacon, etc

37. Place you want to visit?
Owatonna, Minnesota!!!

38. Last place you were?
Living room in front of the TV.

39. Do you have a crush?
NO.

40. Last time you kissed someone?
Earlier today. My killer whale plushy. Haha.

41. Last time you were insulted?
An hour ago. Clement made fun of my height.

42. Favorite flavor of sweet?
Cola

43. What instruments do you play?
Piano. (you didn't ask if I play correctly or well)

44. Favorite piece of jewelry?
My charm bracelet.

45. Last sport you played?
Tennis. Sometime last week after school.

46. Last song you sang?
Arms by Christina Perri.

47. Favorite chat up line?
HEY. HEY. HEY. HEY. HEY. HEY.

48. Have you ever used it?
The chat up line? Sure all the time.

49. Last time you hung out with someone?
Last Thursday. With Alycia and Clement.

50. Who should answer these questions next?
Clement aka MadCat.
   

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Once Upon a Time


I paced around the vast place, appreciating the fact that we had a decent library in town. There were some new books that I wanted to borrow but I wasn't sure where they were. I could ask the librarian but I found that boring. There was something about looking for the book yourself that intrigued me, increased my interest. There was the new mystery book that everyone in the book club at school were talking about. That seemed good. I decided to look for that.
"Gotcha." I thought to myself as I reached for it. "That's funny." I muttered. It seemed stuck. It was budging but I couldn't remove it from the shelf. I flushed when I realized the cause. I pulled my hand back immediately, letting the person on the other side get the book then, peaked through the opening to apologize. The apology lodged in my throat as I saw who stood there. Grayson or whatever his name was, the new student at my school.

"I'm sorry." He said before I got the words out. "You can have it."

"No, no." I said quickly. "It's fine. You take it. I don't need it right away."

"Are you sure?" He asked, sounding uncertain.

"Positive."

He smiled. "Thanks." He walked around the structure supporting the books and stood a few feet from me. He was even more beautiful up close. He wore a black V-neck that showed more of him than was absolutely needed. But, he didn't seem visibly thrilled about that fact. Flames, the jock at my high school would puff out his chest whenever conversing. Grayson was taller than I had estimated. Probably 6"2', I decided. My 5"5' was unsatisfactory. His brown eyes were indescribably gentle. I struggled to maintain an acceptable level of composure. I racked my brain for common, predictable questions to ask a stranger.

"Haven't I seen you around Jackson High?"

"Yeah. I just enrolled a couple weeks ago. I just moved here actually. Name's Grayson Brents."

"Savannah. Mills." I replied.

"Pleasure to make your acquaintance. And if I may be so blunt, you're very beautiful."

My cheeks and ears grew hot. I looked everywhere but at him.

"I think we're in French together." He said, turning around to face the desk he was sitting at a while ago. He pulled out his class schedule that he had wedged in between two books. "Yup. French and Algebra."

"Oh, that's cool. I hate Algebra though. Still a little behind on that one." I was under-exaggerating. By little, I meant getting Ds.

He smiled. "That's easy. French is the real monster out of those two."

"parlez-vous français?"

"Um... You too." He muttered.

I bit my lip and looked away, trying to keep from laughing. "You do suck."

"Okay. That's not fair."

I suppressed a smile.

"How about this: I tutor you in Algebra and you help me with French."

"What? Like exchanging archery lessons with trident lessons?"

He looked confused.

"Catching Fire?"

Still nothing.

"The Hunger Games!" I almost screamed. Somebody shushed me.

He grinned. "Right."

"You've never read the books?"

"Never seen the movies either, really."

"Interesting." I muttered, studying him openly now. I looked him up and down like how a carver might eye a block of material before creating a pattern or sculpture.

He raised an eyebrow. "So was that a yes or a no?"

"Sure." I agreed too quickly. My cheeks colored.

After a few moments of silence, he spoke again. "So, you're sure you don't need this?" He held up the book.

"No. I don't need it."

"I was thinking... I should at least make up for taking it then. Can I buy you a drink? There's a coffee place a few blocks from here, I think."

I thought about it.

He misread my wary expression. "I'm not going to stuff you in my trunk and dismember you in my barn if that's what you're worried about." He smiled.

I laughed aloud and someone shushed me yet again. "Oh no. I'm sure you don't have a barn."

"That's the piece of information that stuck?"

I shrugged. "That was the only part that I was sure about."

He smiled wider now. "So how about it, Savannah?" I liked how he said my name. His husky tone made it more beautiful somehow.

I glanced at my watch. It was 2 in the afternoon. I wasn't due home until 5. I thought about all the romance novels I had read before. Then I looked back to Grayson. His eyes seemed to play with my train of thought. Do fairytale stories ever begin in libraries? Only one way to find out, I thought.
"Meet you at the entrance in 5 minutes." I told him.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Snow Globe People

"Wow." Christina whispered, staring at the snow covered scene. "It looks so much like the inside of a snow globe." I realized it was true. However, instead of recognizable buildings or statues though, it was a dock and a frozen lake.
"I know." I said, intertwining my fingers through hers and towing her towards the dock.

We had a great time. First, we had a snowball fight of sorts. Then we tried to build a snowman. And failed. All we could come up with were these lopsided chunks. Then when we stacked them on top of each other, it started to look like melting scoops of ice cream.
It was about lunch time when I opened the giant bag she brought. There was a quilt, a picnic basket, a tiny first-aid kit and a bunch of other stuff that I would grow old before naming. I chuckled and pulled out the picnic basket, trying not to disturb the arrangement of the other items. I peered in the basket and really laughed. There was huge flask containing soup I guess, another flask probably containing a drink, sandwiches, chocolate covered strawberries, marshmallows and sausages. "Are you headed to Africa after this?"
She looked confused.
"You have enough food to save all those starving kids."
Now, she laughed. "You left me in charge of provisions."

We ate some sandwiches. Then we drank he soup because we thought it probably wouldn't last long in the cold. We also sipped a cup of hot chocolate each. Then we left the rest for later.

In the afternoon, we curled up on the dock. I pulled off my scarf and put it around her. She looked so beautiful even though she was bundled up in layers. I kissed her temple then she shifted so her head was on my shoulder. After awhile, I heard the change in the breathing. She had fallen asleep. I moved her head carefully so it rested on my lap. I didn't want her neck to be strained later. I stroked her hair gently and stared at the frozen lake and the trees adorned with white specks from yesterday's snowfall.

I thought about what she had said about the snow globe earlier. I thought about how sometimes in snow globes, there are tiny perfect people there who are watching it snow or skiing or something. I found myself wondering if we could be like those snow globe people... if we could be always be happy with watching it snow or building retarded snowmen. I looked at her and thought maybe we could. I compared myself now to who I was a few months ago. The differences were staggering. I had been a bitter pessimist and now, I was hoping for a bright future like an optimist did. I was so grateful for her presence, for her warmth and for the light she brought into my life. And though I had never been much of a believer before, I found myself praying that she would always stay with me.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Diary of a Marionette

Be the careful wind
that steers the naive sailboat,
the realist
that keeps the dreamer breathing.

I'll turn my head to you
like a sunflower in the sunstruck valley
worshiping the sun
till the fall of her petals.

I'll be the violin
and you'll be the bow.
I'll be the dusty keys
while you'll be the pianist.

I'll let you fiddle
with the colored wires,
trusting you'll know
which ones to slash.

I'll let you command my strings,
hoping your intents
are only to bring forth
thunderous applause.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Some things are better left unknown or as enigmatic as possible.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Illusions

Witnessing the passage
of tired apparitions
fabricated by these eyes.

Breaths of perfume
of the twilight's primrose,
reaped by the will to capture its scent.

Taste of a drop
of golden honey
created by the wish to taste.

And the kiss
of winter wind departing,
a desired, gentle touch.

I run deadening races
with ephemeral illusions
and short-lived signatures
conjured by these frail fingers.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Fireflies

I'd always loved the woods. I loved it for its sounds, its scents, its colors and its profoundness. I loved it for the way the slippery earth held onto the roots of tall life and vice versa. It seemed like cooperation and understanding. I loved the inclines and the valleys. I loved the sensation of entering another dimension, the lack of souls that resulted in a comfortable silence. You see, it was always quiet but not too quiet. Birdsong still resonated throughout the area. I also found it fascinating that the leaves could cast shadows on the green carpet or mud trail below. What I didn't have much patience for was the gigantic backpack that hung on my shoulders. It held the necessary items like canteens, changes of clothes, matches, bandages and other first aid related things, binoculars, a sleeping bag, some food and yeah I can go on.
I shrugged uncomfortably, feeling the weight. I was probably just tired but the thing felt like it weighed several tons.

"Hurry up, Rose!" Jamie called. She flicked her bouncy, red curls slightly annoyed at my slow pace. It wasn't the angry type of annoyance. It was more towards the affectionate type that a best friend might use. And that she was.

I glared at her. "I'm carrying two elephants over here." I reached back to pat my enormous backpack. "You take a turn. There's some of your stuff in here too." I said.

"Emmett!" She hollered. Emmett was her steady, unwavering boyfriend. The boy came barreling toward us. He kissed Jamie on the cheek and smiled at me. Jamie gestured to me and told him, "Rose needs help."

"Matt! Logan! Give us a second!" Emmett called loudly to the boys ahead. "Alright, give it to me." He snatched the bag from off my shoulders. I didn't know how he would manage it because he had his own backpack to carry as well.

"You don't have to-" I began.

He cut me off. "Oh relax." He laughed. He shifted some things around. "Okay, there." He said, satisfied. I shook my head, half in awe and half in disbelief. He stomped ahead, breaking a perceptible path through the underbrush. I heard him chortling with the boys ahead.

We got moving too. I nudged Jamie and she blushed. "You should keep him."

"I'll think about it." She said jokingly. "I'm on the fence."

"I heard that!" Emmett called.

She laughed, glowing. She practically skipped through the forest. And she had reason enough to be that happy. Emmett was caring and protective, her knight in shining armor. I had to admit, I was a little envious of their bond. They had been together since the first grade. The love at first sight garbage was disconcerting, hard to comprehend. Though, that could have been because it hadn't happened to me. I wasn't jealous of their years. What irked me was their devotion, compatibility and just plain easiness. It was hard to picture someone ever loving me that way. Jamie interrupted my thoughts. "I can't believe your mom let you do this."

"What? Camping?"

"Yeah."

"Ah well. She knows that dad used to take me. She knows it means a lot to me."

"So she lets you get eaten by bears but freaks out if you go to a little party?" Her tone was skeptical.

"We won't find bears here and those little parties are insanely wild. I never mind missing them."

"You gotta learn to live a little. Getting a little tipsy isn't a bad thing."

I ignored her words as I held a mesh of plants to one side, letting her pass.
"You can't stay cooped up in your room all day, reading."

"I don't do that." I said, miffed.

"Yes you do."

"Okay, fine but I like it that way. Butt out."

She ignored me. "What about dating?"

"It's been a while." I confessed. "Look, you don't have to play therapist. I'm fine."

"What about Logan? He's pretty hot."

"Jamie!" I groaned. I pushed past her and trudged on ahead.

I heard her chuckling behind me. I was irritated. For some reason, dating was especially difficult for me. Mr. Right seemed a million miles away.

When we finally arrived at the lake, we were all exhausted. The boys set up the tents while Jamie and I arranged a good meal. Tuna sandwiches, chips and soda. The group dispersed after lunch. Everyone just started to drift off in different directions. The lanky red-haired boy, Logan went to skip rocks. Soon, his best friend, Matt joined him for a 'friendly' game of wrestling. Their playful sounds gave the forest a cheery atmosphere. I didn't even want to imagine what Jamie and Emmett were doing. All I knew was that they had left our little campsite with a thick quilt. I pulled out the book I was halfway through reading and leaned against a rough tree trunk. I was content to lose myself fin the book, easily picturing the impossibilities it suggested. It required a lot less effort to do so in the timberland. My dad always said that there is quiet magic in between the trees. I didn't know how long I sat there but the sun was already slowly disappearing behind the clouds. I started when someone snatched my book away.

"Hey! Jamie! I was on the last page!"

"Okay, Emmett." She said.

Her boyfriend swooped in, picked me up as if I weighed five pounds and ran for the lake.

I screamed, "Guys! No!"

It was too late. He threw me into the lake. I came up gasping and shivering as the chill found me. "Emmett!"

He laughed then dumped Jamie in as well. Jamie giggled and came toward me. "I told you to stop reading, didn't I?"

The boys jumped in soon after and we frolicked in the water like children for a good two hours. It brought back a thousand childhood memories. When the sun finally set, we all cleaned up and put on some dry clothes. Soon enough, we were all huddled together by the blaze, drinking warmth.

"This is a complete cliche. I can't believe you packed marshmallows, Rose." Matt said to me, eying the marshmallow on his skewer.

I reached for it. "If you don't want it, I'll take it back."

He chuckled and popped it in his mouth. "I'll live." He smirked.
We played a board game that Matt had thought to bring then went to bed. I ignored the rough nylon surface and closed my eyes.

The whoosh of wind brought me back to consciousness. I sat up and rubbed my eyes, still half in dreams. There was a flicker of something in me. It was a dying flame of a candle maybe. It was ephemeral warmth. My heart rate was a little faster, my palms were slick. I quickly straightened out the mess that was my tangled locks then grabbed my coat from the tent floor. Jamie was fast asleep, snoring softly. I didn't know why I stepped out into the night. Perhaps it was the mild claustrophobia I felt or the restlessness that suddenly occupied my body. I was too wired to go back to sleep. The lake looked mysterious and sleek in the light of the moon. A part of my mind was aware of my lack of concern regarding my safety. I didn't take so much as a stick with me as I ventured into the forest, east of the lake. There was no telling what time it was. The sky held no clue. The stars however were glorious. I hugged myself as the cold breeze blew past me and rustled the leaves. The trees seemed to accept me as one of their own. Oddly, the roots that were all but invisible in the night seemed easier to avoid. It was easier than the hike I experienced earlier that day. I didn't question what I was doing, not really. There was no reason to. I would have wandered anyway. I followed a little lightning bug through the trees.

Before long, before I found my sanity, I stumbled upon a meadow. It was easily the most spectacular thing I had seen in the forest since I entered its depths. There weren't many striking flowers, just a lot of tall grass. Now and again though, I spotted puffs of color that upon closer examination, proved to be blooms of some sort. I picked one and sniffed at it. The scent wasn't cloying or bitter. It had the scent of sweet innocence. Without comprehending why, I took several more steps forward, freeing myself from the clutches of the trees. My heart skipped a beat when I spotted the backpacker walking deliberately into the area. When he saw me, he stopped short. He looked confused. I didn't know what expression was on my face. In the minute we stood unmoving, we examined each other. He was young, tall, had dark hair and a harmless stance. I didn't know if I should have been a afraid. Eventually we walked toward each other. I ignored the rational part of my mind that instructed me to stay away.

"Hi." He said when we were close enough. "I didn't expect to bump into anyone so far from the trails or so deep into the woods."

I felt as though I should explain. "My friends and I are camping out here."

He nodded. "Oh so. What are you doing out here?"

"What? I thought I just told you." I looked at him, puzzled.

He grinned. "I meant what are you doing out in the night at," He paused to check his watch. The light from the watch gave his face an eerily beautiful, emerald glow. "at three in the morning?"

"I couldn't sleep." I said.

"Why not?"

I didn't want to get into the whole odd tale so I just said, "The sounds."

He was taken aback. "The sounds are resplendent."

"Maybe that's why I'm up." I mumbled, feeling a little awkward. I quickly changed the subject. "What about you?"

"I like the forest at night." He said.

"Oh." I looked down at the pristine flower I was twirling around.

My heart rate stuttered when his hand brushed mine. He took the flower and pushed a lock of hair behind my right ear. The boy carefully placed the wildflower in my hair. "There. Perfect."

I blushed. "I should be going."I told him. I turned, planning to head back the way I came but his voice stopped me.

"Do you have to leave? Don't you want to see them?"

"See who?"

He smiled and folded himself on the ground. He patted the grass beside him, asking me to sit. I sat across from him. His expression was amused as he opened his backpack and pulled out a mason jar. I stared at it, confused. He gestured for me to wait. Then, I heard him flick the glass. Suddenly, there was something in there. There were lights, floating lights. My eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

"Lightning bugs." I said finally.

"I prefer fireflies." He sounded content and thoroughly absorbed. There was not a trace of sadness in his tone. I liked that.

"Isn't that mean? Keeping them in there... they don't have any place to fly to."

He stroke the glass as he thought. "Yeah I suppose you're right."

"Where did they come from?" I asked.

"Turn around, slowly."

I did. Fireflies were everywhere. Their lights made the scene so incredibly, astoundingly magnificent. I turned to the sound of him unscrewing the lid of the jar. The three bugs inside took to the sky.

"You never told me your name."

"Roselyn." I said quietly. "And yours?"

"Connor." He told me as he slyly took my hand.

I didn't pull away. I watched the fireflies bring light to the darkness of night in the most enchanting way possible. They sprinkled stardust as they danced. I sat happily with an alluring boy I barely knew. Dad had been right all along. The forest really was magic. I owe a lot to the little creatures.

Years have gone by like rainbows and sunshine and people still ask us how we met. When they do, I gaze into his spellbinding eyes and say "Fireflies."