Category Archives: Free Written

5-7-5: Memories

Careful, don’t look back.

Memories will swallow you.

Don’t die in the past.

5-7-5: Flowers

When no flowers came

She grew herself a garden

And died with winter

Figment.

Her name was

well

who cares what her name was.

Knowing won’t help. Just because you have something to call her now, doesn’t mean you knew her any better.

She was one of those people that everyone knew

yet somehow

no one knew at all.

One day she just arrived. You got to class and there she was, sitting in the back by the window.

She was always looking out the window, oblivious it seemed, to everyone and everything else in the room. You thought she was sad, everyone thought she was sad. Sitting there quiet the way she was.

Soon, you just forgot about her, and then all of a sudden she would speak, or smile, or laugh, and you’d stop to admire her.

So beautiful.

Her happiness so overt and genuine, you feel a little bit foolish for ever thinking that someone so obviously content could be sad.

The first time you spoke to her, it was like

like

you two had been friends forever already. And by the end of the conversation, there was a bitter sweet taste in your mouth.

Sweet, because, now you’d broken the ice. You could say hello to her from then on, have more of conversations about nothing really, but they would have been just as good, anyway.

You would have even gone as far as calling her your friend.

But there was still the bitterness because even though you had her now, you resented the time you’d spent intimidated by her, wondering about her, watching her but saying nothing

when it was as easy as just saying hello.

A part of you wanted to immediately go tell everyone else that you spoke to her. You did.

But for a while you kept it to yourself because that way

its was almost like you had her to yourself. And you liked that idea.

Then one day, she just didn’t show up. Really, it was no big deal until the second day, and then everyone really started to wonder on the third. On the fourth day, you asked if anyone had spoken to her

but that was stupid of you to ask because no one ever spoke to her. Just you.

But then this one said he spoke to her about a week ago, and that one said she spoke to her just days before. And another one said he even called her

and as you looked around at all the faces, you could see that everyone else felt the way you felt in that moment.

Disappointed, betrayed even. She’d been friends with them all.

You thought you were so special, having her to yourself, and all along, everyone had a piece of her.

But really, none of you had any of her, because now here she was, seemingly missing, and when everyone tried to figure out where she could have been, when you all tried to remember things she may have said, mentioned, told you that could have given any clues to where she was

or who she was

you all realized that you had absolutely nothing.

They announced her death at an assembly one morning. Suicide.

Sometimes, now, when you think back, you wonder if she ever really existed.

Taboo: Student/Teacher Chronicles pt. 1

He watched her, biting down on her bottom lip as she tapped the eraser of her pencil against the desk’s surface. She was focused on the paper in front of her, the test she’d missed when she hadn’t been in class the week before. He hadn’t planned to let her make it up, either. She’d been in school that day; he’d seen her. Leaning against a row of lockers, smiling widely as she gazed into the eyes of the school’s quarterback. The boy was wooing her, clearly, making her blush and giggle, and playfully nudge his broad chest.

For a moment or so, Robby had simply stood there and watched them. Two students. His students. Kids, practically. Yet, the urge to walk over to them and grab her was so strong he had to curl his fingers into a ball and shove them in his pockets. What was that? Jealousy?  No. Impossible. What was there to be jealous of? The boy was just that; a boy. And her? She was just a girl.

He watched her, though. From his desk, he stared across the room at her. At her bottom lip, gently tucked under her teeth. At her eyes, dancing back and forth across her test. At her hair, falling in thick, wild curls over her shoulder and arm as she rested her head in her hand.

Then, suddenly, her eyes met his.

He quickly averted his gaze. To the door, to the window, then finally down to his desk. A moment later, she was standing in front of him. “Done,” she said, setting it down before him. He nodded without looking up at her. “Thanks for letting me make it up.” He nodded again. He wanted to do more, do something, say something at least, but he was at a complete loss. She was making him nervous. This girl.

Despite his silence, however, she remained there, standing at his desk. Finally, he raised his eyes to her. “Yes?”

“Well, I was just going to wait here for you to grade it. If you don’t mind.”

“Actually—”

“I was really nervous to take it,” she continued, her cheeks turning a soft shade of pink. “I’ve missed so much class this semester, I barely knew what to study.”

Robby leaned forward in his seat. “And why’s that?”

For the first time since she approached his desk, she looked away from him. With a dismissive shrug she replied, “Ah, you know…”

“Would it have anything to do with Justin the Quarterback?”

And there it was again; the flush of her cheeks. The corners of her full lips turned up into a small grin. “You’re going to think it’s stupid if I tell you.”

“What’s stupid?”

“The reason I don’t come to class. You’re going to think it’s trivial, high school bullshit. Immature.”

“I’m not so much older than you, you know. I remember what high school was like.”

Her face reddened even more, she rolled her eyes and shook her head as if disapproving her own embarrassing, childish ways. “Well,” she said, fingering the end of a strand of hair resting on her breast. Robby’s eyes fell on her fingers, wrapped around the small curl, her pink fingernails shining even in the dim light of the classroom. “I sort of have— had— a little bit of a crush on you, Mr. Simon.” She let out a nervous chuckle and shook her head. “It’s stupid. Nothing serious. Just a stupid crush. When you came in on the first day, I mentioned it— jokingly, of course— to Justin, and he took it serious. I guess because you’re so much younger than all of the other teachers.” She looked up at him and her eyes widened. “Not saying that that means anything. I mean, I know you wouldn’t try to… You’re my teacher, nonetheless—” She sucked in a sharp breath and bit down on her lip again, her face impossibly red.

Robby watched her, the same nerves he’d been harboring so apparent on her flushed face, and smiled. “I don’t think it’s stupid,” he replied.

She shook her head. “Anyway, whenever Justin wants to cut class, it always happens to be this one. So, sorry about that. I’ll work on it, alright?”

“Please do,” Robby said with a nod.

She smiled. “Well, I guess you don’t have to grade it now. I’ll just get it in class tomorrow?”

“I look forward to seeing you,” he replied, and he’d never meant anything more sincerely in his life.

Two young lovers sitting side by side.

Untouching. Staring straight ahead. Their mouths are closed but their hearts are screaming.

Love.

She ran from it.

The thing. The growling, snarling beast that chased her, hungry for her heart. She remembered what it had been like in the beginning, when it first lured her in; beautiful, gentle, kind.

Manipulative. Deceitful.

And now she ran from it.

It hunted her, screamed her name through the darkness, and sometimes, she slowed down to listen. Sometimes, it sounded like the thing it had been before it showed her its true self. The warm, soft thing that had fooled her.

But now she knew the truth. She saw the beast for what it really was. And she ran from it.

Once upon a time, there was a place where only they existed.

It burned down in an arson fire. The flames left nothing but memories.

He came and kissed her lips.

Then walked away and left her heart bleeding.

She’s still holding on to the person he’s become.

Because she can’t let go of the person he was.

She Loves Him

She loves him in a way that a dope addict loves cocaine.

In a way that won’t allow her to hate him like she wants to. Like she needs to. She loves him in a way that makes her stomach restrict when she sees him, and though all the alarms guarding her heart are sounding, she opens her arms to him, her soul to him, lets him inside of her physically, mentally, emotionally. He’s home inside of her. Comfortable there, as if he owns her body, her thoughts, her happiness and her sadness and her anger.

She loves him in a way that consumes her. Is it him that reeks havoc on her emotions, or is it just the love itself that torments her? Crushes hurt a little. Infatuation is rapture. But love? Love is deceitful and manipulative. It’s discreet at first; easy and blissful and natural and right. And then it swells and develops into this thing inside of you— deep inside of you, in the places you can’t reach, the places you didn’t know existed— and cultivates into some force you can no longer understand, and haven’t the power, nor the will to control. Love exploits happiness, but it breeds pain. A new kind of unheard of, inexplicable, unbearable pain. She feels that pain. Sometimes it’s almost physical. Like nausea, or a kick in the gut, or a blow to the chest that often leaves her breathless.

She loves him in a way that seizes her by her thoughts and doesn’t let go. She dwells on everything he’s ever said to her, everything he’s ever done to her. Remember that time he made you cry? Remember when you realized he stopped caring? Remember when all you wanted from your whole life that moment was to hear his voice but he didn’t call? Yes, of course she remembers. Her mind lingers in those places every hour of every day, every second of every night. Until the moment he’s there, of course. And then how quickly she forgets. Suddenly, she only remembers how much his smile provokes her own. How the scent of him leaves her blissfully lightheaded. How the sensation of his hands on her warms her from her skin all the way to her soul. Remember that jokes that made you laugh whenever he said it? Remember when you used to fall asleep in his arms, feeling happy and safe? Remember the sincerity in his voice the first time he told you he loves you?

She loves him in a way that steals her willpower. Of course she shouldn’t answer his calls, of course she shouldn’t agree to meet him. But she does anyway, because she is literally incapable of depriving herself of him. She knows once it’s all said and done, she’ll regret it. It’s almost as if he’s giving her a knife, but she’s cutting herself. Inflicting her own wounds. Welcoming the pain with open arms. But the happiness always seems so worth it; talking to him, being with him, having him for just a little while again provides the shortest, but the most heartening of reliefs.

She loves him a way that ruins her. She’s grown into the person for him. Now who will want her? Who else will accept her flaws as he had, who else will appreciate her strengths as he had? Or at least as she thought he had. As it turns out, it was all just a lie. She knows it was because he would still care if it hadn’t been. He’d still love her. He wouldn’t be hurting her in such a way. She loves him in a real way, but what way had he loved her? And what about all the hims after him? How will they love her? How can she love them?

She loves him in a way that teaches her. Now maybe she won’t fall so easily next time. Maybe she’ll have a better grip on her own emotions. Maybe she won’t play house, maybe she won’t give so much and accept nothing in return. Maybe next time she’ll be better equipped to recognize what’s real and isn’t. And then maybe next time, she’ll be love in a way that’s better.