something between them

My eyes were still heavy as I came out of my room fully dressed and ready for school. My hair was down and covering my shoulders. I was wearing my lucky jeans and favorite blue and black bird sweater. Finding brown hair stuck to whites and yellows made me crazy, so I only would wear darker colors. I saw my dad sitting at the table, eating cereal and reading a magazine. I walked by him and saw pictures of train sets.
“Plotting out a new collection?” I asked as I grabbed the box of cranberry, almond granola.
“I’m researching buying an entire collection of model train sets. Historically accurate setups, pretty impressive, but I’m unsure of the value.”
“We don’t have room for that here,” I said as I poured chocolate milk overtop the cereal.
My dad saw this and shook his head, “I honestly can’t stand watching you eat certain things,” he said.
“It goes awesome together.” I sat down across from him as I said this.
“I see you found me online,” he said with an embarrassed smile.
“Yeah, well Stevie told me of course.” I took a bite of my favorite breakfast. The days started with a little bit of chocolate are always better.
“Yeah, well I wasn’t exactly hiding it,” he explained, “I’ve been finding out about a lot of cool toy shows I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. I’m hoping to find that last robot soon. It’s always fun to close out a collection.
Ignoring this and changing the subject I said, “I didn’t know you liked cats so much.” I had accepted that my dad and I wouldn’t have long talks about the future. I wished that I could talk to him about what I was experiencing, but I knew he wasn’t taking it well. He didn’t want to talk or think about it, so I left the subject alone. But, I had to dig into the cat thing.
“Oh, yeah you know I do. I had two awesome cats growing up.”
“Why don’t we have a cat?”
“Oh, well your mother is highly allergic to cats.”
“She’s not here, now. You should get a cat.” I was thinking especially since I would be leaving soon.
“Well, she’s gonna be back eventually,” dad said this not seeming certain at all.
“Is she? Do even want her to?” I didn’t talk to my dad like that regularly. Anytime I said anything negative about mom; he would jump on it and put an immediate stop to it. I always wished that he would have done that when I was young, and my mom would get on me during her off moments. He never did anything, and I never knew how I felt about that. I think I chose to ignore it because that was easiest.
My eye’s looked far away. For a moment, he didn’t speak. Just as I was about to say something to break the silence he said simply, “I suppose I’d honestly answer probably not to both of those.”

***

I crossed the street as I made my way to the bus stop. Benny was standing there wearing a smile and holding a paper coffee cup. As I approached him, I realized the coffee was for me. The sky was bright, even though the air was chilly, I could tell it was going to be a beautiful day—proof it would be May soon.
“One caramel latter as promised,” Benny said as he handed me the green and white paper cup. “Sorry it took awhile, I honestly forgot about it.”
“Thank you,” I said, feeling awkward.
“Sure thing,” Benny said looking over my shoulder. I followed his gaze, to find Stevie and Pike walking toward us.
“Pike, a rare treat,” I joked.
“My parents are at one of my mom’s conferences for a few days,” Stevie said partially blushing.
“Oh yeah, that’s right,” I said remembering Stevie saying something about that.
“Hey man,” Benny said to Pike, they bumped fists, “What do you have in store for the students of Roosevelt High this weekend?” He asked.
“That’s what I needed to talk to these ladies about it. It’s only Tuesday, my Monday felt like most of the week, so it’s for sure time to distract myself with planning. My parents want me to be a doctor, but I’m like guys just let me take pictures.” He shook his head.
“Me too,” I added. “Let’s do some list item craziness. Something, major,” I said taking a sip from my latte. It was a really good one, but probably party because Benny got it for me.
“Seriously Sam, you couldn’t have gotten me one?” Stevie scowled.
I just smiled at her.
“But, yes, I agree let’s rock the list,” she said pulling it out of her pocket.
“I’ve heard mention of a list many times but I’m not quite sure I understand the magnitude of it. The rollerblading in the dark was on the alleged list, right?” Benny smoothly crossed his arms in front his chest. He was was wearing a brown sweatshirt that said, I AM ASLEEP, in large, white capital letters.
“And the tattoos,” I added.
“Sam and I have a list of things we need to do before we head to New York. In part because it’s a fun distraction and in part because it matters to us in this strange, unexplainable way.” I smiled, “It’s one of those snowball effect type things, I guess.”
“Sounds like my bag,” he smiled. Benny seemed to always be smiling in some compactly or another.
“What is next on the list?” I asked Stevie who was studying it like it was in a client treasure map. She was wearing a trucker her hat today; it had a big hot dog on the front. Her hair was loose under it.
“Well, the next thing is our ten-mile low tide hike, but we need extreme low tides to go that far. That needs to be one the last thing we do before me leave,” Stevie said all this as her eyes stayed stuck to the crumpled notebook paper. “But, we have a three-day weekend coming up. We should do the Leavenworth weekend. I bet we could totally find a place near there for parachuting!”
“Maybe we can even pull off staying up forty-eight hours during,” I added starting to get really excited.
“Yes, we can leave on Friday,” Pike chimed in, “That is plenty of time to get all the needed ducks in a row.”
“Can I tag along?” Benny asked, looking directly at me.
Without a hint of hesitation, I said, “For sure.”
He smiled at me as the bus finally hissed toward us.
Steve clapped her hands together, “This is gonna rock!”
“It will, but we have lots to do first,” Pike said starting to get serious.
And, we were off planning for the ultimate weekend as we piled onto the bus. At that moment, everything else washed away, and my world felt tiny and safe and almost perfect.

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.

A Break Up Without A Beginning (using dialogue to work out character voice and plots)

I have been trying to get a deeper feel for the backstory of my two main characters for this YA project I’m in the early stages of. I was tinkering will different tones by replaying a scene that happened in Molly’s past. I had fun with this exercise.

“I can’t with you anymore. Get back to your party,” he says with a flat tone. Kyle starts walking to his car. My heart sinks down to my feet.

“Don’t just walk away, Kyle.” I say this in tears. My arms hang at my sides in defeat.

He stopped but didn’t turn around. Kyle shrugged his shoulders as he began to walk again.

I said nothing else for there wasn’t nothing else to say. He was done. I wouldn’t beg, certainly not for something I was uncertain I even wanted. Pride was a real thing. I was mad at him for being fed up with me. Anger that he turned out to be a jerk boiled in my veins. When I was mad it took over my whole being. I wasn’t just finding it out then of course. This was something I had known for a good three months before that night at Tanner’s party.

Tears built up quickly in my eyes. I mean, of course they did. I stood their (feeling a little helpless) and watched him leave. I didn’t say, “Don’t go. I want to make this work. You mean a lot to me.”

Nope. I said nothing. I was hurt and angry.

When his obnoxious muffler roared down the street I took a seat on the front steps of my house. The chorus of drunken laughter fades further into the background. I wasn’t ready to go inside and face questions and opinions. I needed to stew in my sadness.

There are few feelings like being dumped by someone I was instantly crazy about. Sure, I learned things. We weren’t really a fit, not really. But, that didn’t matter. No, at that moment my world was crumbled and crack. He just walked away from me. I wished I did a million things I didn’t do.

stepping too far without a handle (A Story Unwritten)

“Where are you going?” His eyes squinted down with concern.

My heart hung heavy in my chest. Was this really happening? Did I screw all of this up? Without fight my eyes flew to the large, white clock in the center of the otherwise uneventful wall. It was almost five. Dillion was going to start wondering what was taking me so long.

“Is he waiting for you?” Peter’s voice came out soft and smooth. He knows me so well. How easy was can forget what we know so well. The air conditions everywhere are forced to work way too hard and nowhere is truly cool, except the movie theatre. I didn’t want to go meet Dillion. I wasn’t ready to leave with alternate world I’ve found. The garden beyond the gate.

Want to go to the movies with me?” I ask with a smiling forming on my lips. “Let’s stay here a little longer, okay?” I reach out and grab his hand. With relief he doesn’t pull away.

Peter smiles. My stomach knots loosen slightly. “What movie?” He asks with his voice held with same softness.

Listening to Taking Back Sunday

The lights were dimmed and even though it was on purpose it was still alluring. Everything about this moment added to the excitement. Our fingers were intertwined; our hands rested between our legs. My eyes were glued to the music video but my mind was on him. There are moments were I could just explode with anticipation. So it seems for exactly like a moment like this. The noise from downstairs travels toward us and reminds me aren’t alone. We are friends. My mind has been cruel lately. He sees me as the girl across the street that used to ride baseball cards with. This isn’t that situation anymore. The thing about trouble is that it finds other trouble.

But this….

No this feels right.  I’ll stay here for awhile.

inspired by you (A Story Unwritten)

“I was nervous, there was no way around it.” -Molly

“You make the choice about who you are.” -Peter

There are two characters that have been popping up during free writing session for some time now. Small glimpses would pass by in a rush but always leave a new clue behind. I’ve been paying attention though because they felt felt important. A wave of realization hit me a few weeks ago and now I’m knee deep and half way through the first draft of the outline.

Molly dreams in possibilities and Peter is a lost cause to everyone but Molly.

“Truth is in what happens.” I said to him. His hand was in my hair. Losing myself feels like the best and worst thing to do.

A Story Unwritten Continued

“She closed her eyes and brought her arms to the sky. “Live in the moment or parish,” she whispered to herself. Taking flight is only for the brave but she is the bravest, at least today.”

The sound of footsteps behind me pulled me out of the clouds. I gently closed the notebook. I knew it was Peter. We meet at Cherry Park when we cant find each other. It’s where first met. It’s where we can be only us. The world grows silent here.