On Hold Considering My Familiar

“I wasn’t sure if you were going to come?” A young woman spoke. Her lips a wide and grateful grin. Her hazel eyes pierce him in the near dark world they were now in.

“I said I’d meet you here,” his voice trailing seconds slower than he intended. A shock and awe of being there in front of her shook him more than he imagined.

“I’ve been waiting for twenty-one years,” she says tugging at the ends of her dark curls, surprised at how reserved she’s behaving. Night after night while sleeping in the passage between the lights, granting wishes and hoping for freedom she pictured what it would be like when he was ready for their journey. Waiting is frowned upon, but she didn’t really have a choice. A destiny that is chosen and a destiny that is picked are two different adventures entirely. No, she knew what she wanted, and that’s how it would be. It didn’t matter how she had to wait.

“Well did you really want me to come any earlier?” His smile made everything snap into perspective as a lens whipped clean

“Well, no, I suppose not.” She picked at her badly chipped red-lacquered nails. “It’s been cold.”

He touches her face. “I’ve missed you terribly. It’s been too long since I’ve gotten to see your freckles.”

“My freckles? That’s what you miss?” Her nose wrinkled in a playful nature.

“I’ve missed a lot of things. Your freckles were the hook. They have a special meaning to me.” His hands are holding hers now. The last moments before seeing each other again fade into the nothing they always were. The ‘now’ and the ‘then’ weren’t thoughts that crossed their minds.

Different things matter where they were now.

A welcomed parade of stars chase their kings in the sky close enough to touch.

“Well, I guess we should get moving?” She glances at the road beyond the stars to the far left of the gully. Thousands of lavender plants grow wild causing the air to be thick this it’s calming sweetness. A bitter taste touches their tongues. Joy and sorrow meet in a line near the river but not past the mountains of the north.

“Where will we go first?” His whole face widens with excitement and wonder.

Guilt in her satisfaction tugged at her toes. “First we must go to the Forrest of Truths.”

“What happens there?”

“I don’t know. I’ve been here this whole time.”

 

An Ending

The sun slowly transformed into a dim orange circle about to illuminate another part of the world. The comforting feeling of night began to fold around us like a soft blanket—perhaps one forgotten in the car, but better than nothing. The ground was shifting under our feet. The impending change was so close that I could smell the uncertainty when the breeze picked up. The same when we could smell cookies who’s trained. The world so over developed, each building built was bigger, better, and nicer. The new structures loomed over their inferior and recent ancestors.

“Everyday can be anything,” he said to me. His eyes looked at the sky, as mine just did. “Some days are just as I planned them, but other’s, the train is off the rails the second I get out of bed. Sometimes before,” Zack continued.

His words held more meaning behind them; I knew that I was just attempting to figure out what they were. Then, after a minute perhaps too long, I said, “That’s life. I realized recently that each day is an opportunity to exist forever,” I pause for a moment taking him in, wishing he would look at me.
“How can a day exist forever?”
He finally looks at me. His brown eyes still care, I can tell. He furrows his eyebrows, and with his lips in a flat line he says, “How can a day exist forever?”
“In the same was a story in a book can. Once something belongs to the imagination, it is infinite.”
He smiles. “Stories can be any size, but they always matter to someone,” Zack added. “Focusing can be hard for me. Life moves all around, and at times need to step away so I can create other lived, factious ones but the decline to do this is how I live.” Zack explains this to me not even close to the first time, but I feel like he’s taking to himself, this time, more than me..
“I’ve must of heard the expression, time heals all wounds, a hundred times. And, it’s true. I see that now. But, not in the sense that our pain goes away. I don’t believe it ever truly does. The pain isn’t always in a the state of raw emotion and mountains of incredible size surrounding you. Human’s adapt. That’s what we do, so when we lose someone that absence and the pain that come with it becomes part of our life,” I said this then looked away, focusing on the sky, something bigger than me, which brings some comfort.
“Transitions,” is all he said.
“It’s called living,” I added.
“Is that your way telling me to accept this?” The hurt in his voice convinces me.
“Pretty much.” I took a step back then, getting ready to leave, to put this small little reality away for now.

Friends In The Park

“I’d like to think so,” I said, my voice trailing off. My mind went back to Jared. On the way to the warehouse, I was thinking how good things had gotten between us and I didn’t even have a clue about how bad they were.
“I can tell she thinks the world of you; that’s special. People like that don’t grow on trees,” Benny said, his voice was a strange mix of distance and warmth.
“That’s the truth,” I nodded.
We followed the path to the right of our apartment building. The air was bitter. I slid my hands into my pockets. Benny noticed this, “Are you cold?” He asked.
I honestly couldn’t help but to smile a little. “A little, but I’m fine.”
“My uncle is a real mean guy, always has been. I think being mean comes from somewhere deep enough that it is close impossible to extract once inside. My mom, before she died was so upset when her sister, my aunt, married this guy. He treats her like shit. It makes her sad, but she doesn’t do anything, she just takes it. My uncle tried that shit with me a little after I moved in with them. I beat him down, and he leaves me alone. He’s easier on my aunt when I’m around. I worry about her once I’m gone. But, I have to leave. There isn’t a place for me here; I know it’s somewhere else.”
“Why are telling me this?” I asked.
“Because, you will get treated badly if you allow it,” Benny said, keeping his voice kind. We both let his words hang in the air between us.
“I will admit to ignoring stuff but I found out about a lot I didn’t know tonight, “ I said. It felt good to hear my own words acknowledged it out loud. “I hear you about the needing to leave. I realized I needed to be away from my family to be healthy and find a place I belonged.”
“What are you doing about it?” He asked. Benny was now walking closer to me than he was.

Walking Together A While Longer

Anticipation can be a toxic distraction. Imagining what something might be like before it happens is just that, imaginary, not real. I spent years picturing the moment my dreams and goals were realized. I imagined it so hard. It was the motivation that got me through the late night cram sessions and extra classes. It was the comfort when I wanted to be anywhere but home. I found the danger in relying so heavily on something that hasn’t happened yet to be great.
I sat there at the foot of my bed as Stevie read the letter out loud. By the third word I knew I was in and by the second paragraph I knew my hard work paid off, and I got the scholarship I needed. Stevie’s voice cracked as she read it, she was so happy and proud. Pike stood there awkwardly next to her as Jared and my father sunk slowly into their own personal holes as my success was being recited. I saw this and felt the weight of what I’ve wanted so long to know for certain. I wasn’t sad or happy. I wasn’t anything. I was completely numb. I looked up at Stevie, who was quite possibly happy enough for the both of us. She threw herself at me with hugs and emotions, and I sat there stunned. My dad and Jared didn’t say anything for awhile.
Once the letter was slid back in its envelope and laid on my desk, my dad said, “I guess it’s finally happening, you are finally getting away.” His voice was so low and solemn. It made me sad. Jared looked at me, sighed, then said, “Now you know. You did it.” I nodded at this, but my mind had already begun to drift into a cloudy and very uncertain future. I didn’t feel accomplished at all; I felt completely unprepared.
In my daze of my acceptance, Pike somehow talks us into double dating in celebration. If I weren’t so distracted, I would have fought it. Jared didn’t seem quite able to figure me out and went along with it too. Stevie thought it was a great idea at first until now. Now, we were sitting in a family-friendly, Mexican restaurant near the high school and I could feel Jared boiling over next to me in the too hard booth. Everything suddenly felt so out of control. Stevie had stopped trying to carry on a conversation with Jared—and Jared’s unmistakable bad mood seemed to be rubbing off on Pike, who had barely said three words since they came over. A sour feeling settled in my stomach, and a bad taste lingered on my tongue. Nothing about this night felt right. I couldn’t stop worrying about my lack of excitement.
“You dipped the chip twice,” Jared said looking at me as a popped the rest of the tortilla chip in my mouth. This was our third basket of chips and salsa. Apparently the restaurant was experiencing a challenging understaffed, shift, and we weren’t exactly being helped yet.
I shrugged,” I didn’t realize.”
“That’s gross,” Jared said curling his lip.
“That’s rude,” Stevie snapped.
Jared met Stevie’s eyes with an unenthusiastic glare. She Lifted her shoulders and puckered her lips. Their inability to get along drove me crazy.
“I don’t know why you hate me so much,” Jared shook his head. He had to have known why.
“I don’t hate you,” Stevie said smoothly crossing her arms in front of her untouched napkin.
“Okay, whatever,” Jared’s voice was rushed. He picked up his diet coke, took a sip, then placed the glass back down. He looked at me then back at Stevie. “After this dinner wraps up, let’s get back on out regular scheduled programming.”
I nodded, uncomfortable.
Stevie let out an aggregated scoff. “Can wait to ditch us?”
“No, it’s not that, I just had a night with Samantha all planned out. As you probably know, we haven’t been hanging out much.”
“I know, I’d think you’d be taking advantage of your time with her,” Stevie said this, then instantly looked regretful.
Jared looked away for a minute, then ran his hand through his hair, “You’re right,” he said. I felt his hand squeezed my thigh under the table.
Stevie mouthed sorry.
“It sucks to think about,” Pike added.
The three of us looked at him, I think surprised he finally talked. It took me a second to realize Pike meant it sucks to think about Stevie leaving in response to Jared admitting he should benefit from the time we have together.
Stevie looked down at her soda. There the four of state, each next to our own elements of similar meaning. This was all just phase and it was hard to ignore and tricky to handle. I wasn’t sure if I should I fight the inevitable or just start by giving into it.
“I’m sorry,” Jared said, “I shouldn’t feel bad for my loss, and I should celebrate your achievements,” he said. I was surprised at first, then not so much. He had the amazing ability to seem like a magnificent boyfriend, even though he wasn’t. Jared had could sense the right thing to say at the perfect time to say it.
The dark brown walls of the restraint added the tenseness of the conversation. I felt like we were in a cave a million of miles away from the reality. I focused on Jared’s hand, his touch was distracting, I felt like it was telling me something…or I wanted it to say something, to mean something.
“It’s nice that we finally all get dinner together before we all go our separate ways,” Jared said plainly. Stevie’s eyes grow rounder somehow, I could tell this sentence hurt her. The truth behind was hard to deny. Even Stevie and I would be different, I was relaxing. We would be in New York but in different schools, which for all I knew meant whole different worlds—which just had to be partly the case. There was so much that would be different. The relation of the immensity of New York started digging a hole underneath of me. We all looked at each other, unsure of what to say next. The truth was there sitting in the middle of the table.

Imperfect Moments

I stepped onto the front porch. Logan closed the door behind us; his eyes stayed on his feet. He is holding his shoulders higher and more forward than usual. He’s mad. His dark brown eyes found mine.

“You have this life that I don’t fit into,” he said finally.

“I don’t remember seeing you try to fit into it,” I answer him. The night sky is darker than usual. The clouds that blocked the sun all day hung around to block the moon. A damp breeze takes my hair up into its grasp, then let go as quickly as it held on.

“Are you cheating on me with him?” Logan gestured his chin toward the house.

“I don’t know what’s going on between Adam and me,” I say honestly. Lying at this point in our relationship doesn’t have any rational backing.

“…But, it is something,” his voice trailed off.

I shrug. “Nothing’s happened.”

“I’m gonna go Molly.” Logan’s eyes squinted down into straight lines.

“Are we done?” I ask.

“I think, this a stopping point for us. I’m sorry. I wanted to be here for you, but it’s more than I signed up for.”

“I get it. We aren’t in that kind of relationship. You and I were never going to last forever,”

“I suppose not.” He reached out to touch my arm, then stopped himself. My heart. Unfortunately, we are all just human—guaranteed imperfect.

Talking to the Shadows

“I’ve been thinking about perspective quite a bit,” she said looking to the night sky.

“Be aware,” he whispered. His shadow danced on the brick wall beside her.

“Of what, in particular should I be aware of?” The girl asks, her voice only a whisper.

“The spiraling effect of ripples,” he says.

“Ripples are caused by everything.”

“Stone throwing should never be don’t without care.”

“What if I kick one in by accident?” She says this, then kicks a loose pebble by her foot.

“Then, there will be accidental ripples.” He responds plainly.

The wind rushed passed her face. Everything went dark for moment, then she could see the rough outline of the mysterious being again. She wasn’t quite sure how long they had been talking for but she was certain nothing of any good was happening.

“What happens when you come to the end of the river?” A small brown rabbit looked up at the clouds.

“It never comes. This river goes on indefinitely.” The wind spoke quietly between breaths.

“How is that possible?” The rabbit asks.

“How could something that great possibly end,” said the wind.