One of those.

This was something I wrote one balmy, summer night. I had had a little too much to drink; I was wearing a dress and… And… Well he was there.


 

4 April 2014

I’m not sure how you do it. But you have the remarkable ability to move me with words that are so common-place, it’s almost laughable. I put on my mask, and I smile as if nothing is wrong, my heart isn’t beating a mile a minute, your smile isn’t making me melt into a puddle.

I’m that girl in the flower dress and you’re there with all your friends, smiling and laughing. I smile and laugh with you. Why wouldn’t I? You’re my friend and I love you.

You’re my friend. But I am in love with you.

I walk away. Excuse myself and disappear into the crowd. I can’t stay long there. I falter too much, end up glancing your way too much. I’m never sure of myself when you’re around and so I move away. Self-preservation at its finest.

At the same time, I am a masochist who yearns to be near you. To be just an ordinary friend who can stay by you and laugh, and talk, and commiserate in our shared drunkenness. I take another sip of my beer and move towards you. You have that tipsy smile and I mirror it with my own lips.

You lift up your head and you look at me, pause. Then you shake your head and smile, telling me it’s so unlike me to wear something so feminine. Inside, I can hear myself cringe and shake in embarrassment for being singled out and I fear that you don’t like it. I curse myself for the decision but smile anyway and laugh it off. But then, you start calling me by my name.

And in the year that I’ve known you and fallen for you, I have never heard you say my name. we have nicknames for each other and you call me shortcuts, affectionate pet names, and everything. But the way you said my name felt like I was hearing it for the first time. Its syllables rolled off your tongue like a foreign word and I stopped. My entire being stopped. You said it again and the feeling was still the same; I still felt like I was hearing something else. Not my common-place, run-of-the-mill name. I was hearing a prayer. I was hearing a siren song. I was hearing something completely different, something beautiful and special.

The night ended too soon and you got in your car to drive the others home. They begged me to come with you but I smiled and begged off. I hugged everyone, said my goodbyes and walked to your window. I smiled and bid you a goodnight. You smiled and cracked my world open.

Goodnight.

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“I’m not ready.”

“Why not?”

“Because…”

She paused; took a deep breath that filled up her lungs before exhaling softly.

“Because… I’m afraid.”

“Afraid of what?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I’m afraid of starting again; of leaving this place that I’ve called home for so many years and going to somewhere that seems so unfamiliar now. I’ve made so many memories here. What if I’m a stranger to them when I go back home?

I’m afraid of being lonely; of not finding people who will accept me for who I am. Of finding people who take me for face value; will they even try to look deeper? To see what’s in my head and my heart?

Most of all? I’m afraid of becoming someone that I won’t like in the future; I’m afraid of changing. I’m afraid of turning into someone that I wouldn’t recognize; that you wouldn’t recognize. I’m afraid of losing myself in a place where everyone’s always busy and in a hurry. I’m afraid of forgetting this place and the me that loved this place. ”

“But change is inevitable.”

She shook her head, laughed and shrugged a bit; flustered.

“I know. It’s a bit silly.”

“It’s not silly. You’re being brave.”

She raised a brow in disbelief.

“Haven’t you been listening? I’m not brave at all; I’m terrified.”

“Bravery isn’t about not being afraid. It’s about being so afraid, you shake in your boots but are still able to take that one step forward. It’s continuing on that long and narrow road, regardless of all of your fear.

You’re brave.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

 

 

She looked at me as if I was crazy.
And then she smiled.

 


 

On Mistakes

ImageI don’t know about soul mates.

Are they something real? Or something romantics made up?

I actually had to look up what it meant and Wikipedia’s definition pretty much sums up what I know.

A soulmate (or soul mate) is a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity. This may involve similarity, love, romance, intimacy, sexuality, sexual activity, spirituality, or compatibility and trust.

I think soulmates are people (yes more than one) in your life who know you better than you know yourself. They take the desires that you hide from the rest of the world (because they’re too vain, too selfish, too anything) and show you how beautiful it can be, held up in a different light. Soulmates are a messy business, however. They break you open, and end up hurting you (most of the time) to show you what you need to know (and not just want you want to know). They take you apart and put you back together again, not always the same way as you started (and not always the right way, either). They come in to your life, sweep you away in a maelstrom of emotions, and feelings and leave you feeling intensely over everything. They come in to teach you something, to break you open and force you to learn whatever they need you to see (whatever you need you to see) and disappear again, as suddenly as they appeared.

Some soulmates are the best things to happen to you. They shed light on dark areas of the world and let you see things clearer, let you see how beautiful the world can be and all the possibilities that are out there. They give you hope, and love, and light.

And then there are some that are mistakes. Some that take you apart, fix you up, just to take you apart again. They let you feel the most riveting of emotions. Happiness, passion, love, disappointment, hurt… So much hurt. That by the time they leave, you’re a mess. A mess that feels only the hurt. And all you want is for them to come back and make you feel blissful again. Your eyes are affixed on them, refusing to see how much hurt they leave you in after. Like a junkie, all you look forward to is the now. The high that comes with their presence. Damn the future.

Later on, when the high has subsided and you’re left alone in the mess you’ve made for yourself, you realize just how much of a mistake it was to continue. But then you reach for them again, because you can’t help yourself. You’re a junkie. A junkie for a mistake.

What’s your favorite mistake?

Ice Cream

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? -Day 10

Note: Not another blog post. Another fiction-y type post. Enjoy! 🙂

He was like ice cream.

Cool and refreshing on a warm, summer day. He made me laugh during my worst hours; always a smile on his handsome face. During my bleakest and loneliest of moments, he was like summer and he was marvelous.

He was like ice cream.

Smooth as milk; he had the ability to charm even the grumpiest of old ladies. With just a smile and a kind word from him, they’d blush and titter like school girls. He had that effect on everyone. He had that effect on me.

He was like ice cream.

Sweet like sugar that melted on your tongue; he was as slick as honey, as satisfying as any treat. It seemed sinful to want him too much; it seemed wrong to feel too much for one thing. As if desiring him, yearning for him would make me sick.

He was like ice cream.

Every other flavor couldn’t hold a candle to him. He wasn’t plain as vanilla, as sinful as chocolate. He was a character all his own. I had tried so many different flavors– coffee, mint chip, strawberry… But I’d always come back to him.

He was my favorite flavor.

He was like ice cream.

Cold and irritating when I wasn’t prepared for his intensity. He had the ability to hurt me; to cause me pain and to numb my senses all in the same excruciating moment. It would start dull and then reverberate into a cacophony of things I can’t even begin to describe.  But it hurt me because he hurt me. Even when I didn’t expect it, he’d end up numbing my heart with his bluntness… Breaking it without even trying.

He was like ice cream.

Transient. Fleeting. Time had no control over his ways. And when the moment came, he’d melt and disappear; evaporate into the atmosphere. Nothing would remain but remnants of the flavors of him; of his sweetness, and of his smoothness, and of his coldness. Nothing but a memory of what it was like to have him and to hold him. To love him.

He was like ice cream.

He was my ice cream.

PS: My real favorite flavor of ice cream is vanilla as lame as that sounds. Sometimes I go out of my comfort zone and get peanut butter cup, chocolate chip cookie dough, and mint chocolate chip, but vanilla will always be my love. 😉

What Are You Afraid Of?

Day 9: You’re locked in a room with your greatest fear. Describe what’s in the room.

NOTE: I wrote this as a short story instead of a blog post for today; I was so inspired by this prompt that I couldn’t help myself. This is fictional, btw. Enjoy! 🙂

 

Knock knock.

“Hello? Is anyone in there?” She stood on her tiptoes, trying her best to peer through the tiny peephole that was probably built for giants and not petite 5 foot nothing girls like her. She knocked on the door again, a bit perplexed.

“I’m sure I got the address right…” She muttered softly as she reached into her sweater pocket for a scrap of paper. Unfolding it, she looked at the words typed in miniscule Times New Roman.

42 Hibbard Road. Room 33. 3rd Floor.

She glanced at the large 33 emblazoned on the door. Her long dark hair fell in fat curls over her shoulder as she tilted her head in confusion, wondering if knocking on the door for a third time would be considered rude. She was in no hurry, but she had been asked to come and she just wanted to get the whole thing over with. Huffing softly in irritation, she raised her fist to knock on the door one last time when it suddenly opened.

“O-oh!” She said, green eyes widening in surprise as she stepped into the room.

“Is anyone there?”

It was completely empty; the walls and ceilings were painted a soft grey that was easy on the eyes. The door closed behind her with a soft thud but she was too perplexed at the fact that she was alone to really notice that she was shut in. The room seemed bright because of the white fluorescent light that hung overhead. She made a circle around the room, noticing that there were no windows, pictures on the walls, or even furniture.

The back wall was shadowed from her view because of its distance. Curiosity got the better of her and she walked towards it, still wondering why anyone would leave a room so bare. Why would anyone bring her to a place like this? A chill ran down her spine when she realized that she was alone in the room. How did the door open when no one was inside? It was locked, right?

Right?

She approached the wall, seeing something looming before her. The frame was ornate and gilded; it seemed to glow in the emptiness of the room and she took another step forward. She saw familiar dark hair and she frowned; bright green eyes and fine eyebrows that were scrunched together in a tight line as she peered at the reflection in the mirror. Everything she saw was so familiar that it seemed strange, distorted somehow. There was something different. Something she couldn’t quite put her finger on; everything looked so the same.

Suddenly, her voice rang out in the silence; sharply reverberating across the room. Her scream was real; one that was full of terror. Pure, unadulterated fear.

And even as she fell back and staggered away, her reflection remained in the gilded mirror. Teeth sparkling, eyes brightly gazing at her.

Lips curled into a feral smile.

Fear.

Day 8

(I didn’t post a Day 7– the one on Helplessness, because I decided to take part in the Weekly Writing Challenge. 😀 )

Teacher’s pet
Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?
Teacher’s pet.


It always sounds like something offensive. An insult for those kiss-ass students who suck up to their teachers and give them apples (does that still happen?).


A lot of people would say I was a teacher’s pet growing up. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I was. Since I was young, I could just relate to teachers. I respected that they taught me things (most of them patiently) and that because of them I was more learned. As I was thinking about what to write for this post, I couldn’t even narrow it down to one teacher that had changed my life so significantly because if I thought about it (and I mean really thought about it), all the teachers I’ve had growing up, have been responsible (in one way or another) for making me the person that I am today.


When I got older, I considered most teachers as my personal friends. In high school and college, I hung out with my teachers outside the school setting. Maybe I was just blessed with really cool teachers but most of the time I never had a problem with them. I’ve always preferred older friends; I have a hard time to relating to people my age (my dad says I have an old soul).


That isn’t to say that I haven’t had my share of horrible teachers. Some of them were so full of ego that every time you disagreed with something they said, you’d be treated with suspicion and bias. Some of them were good people (nice and kind, etc) but just weren’t made to teach; they were so intelligent that teaching the same thing over and over again (for different classes, for example) bored them to death and they didn’t try anymore. There were teachers who made me want to stop school. There were teachers who needed (and still need to!) to be punched in the face.


And even those awful teachers have helped me become who I am today (for better or for worse, haha!). Though I wouldn’t really like to meet some of them again, I do want to thank all of them for being a catalyst in my life; they’ve taught me how to think, how to see the world, how to act, how to stand up for myself and for others…


And a bunch of other unimportant things like swearing, and good places to get breakfasts for the hungover. Ahahaha.

WWC: Cliffhanger – Drunk Calling at its Finest

Tonight was probably going to be one of the most embarrassing nights of his life. Not only did he get incredibly drunk (almost to the point of passing out) but he was here, in a bathroom stall. Hiding like a coward and a fool.

He pushed his dark hair from his damp forehead; his cool hand felt good against his feverish skin.

Okay. This was it.

He gingerly pulled out his phone and unlocked it slowly; it was a good thing that he still had the dexterity to maneuver the little touch screen without dropping it into the toilet. Taking a deep breath, he dialed her number– 11 digits that he had memorized by heart. He pushed send and put the phone to his ear, thinking about how he could be at home right now instead of in a bathroom stall, drunk-calling a girl he barely knew.

It was her fault he was here anyway; raucous parties and copious amounts of alcohol weren’t really his sort of thing after all. But his best friend, Chris, had insisted. Chris had stormed into his apartment unannounced, picked out a dark blue button down for him to change into; saying something silly like it matched his eyes and that they had to go out. When he had asked why he had said (with a roll of his eyes), “Because Jade (Chris’ girlfriend) said that Ella would be there.”

Ella.

Even the thought of her name gave him butterflies. He had met her through Jade a few weeks prior at a dinner party and he had not stopped thinking about her since then. Once they had been introduced, she had smilingly reached for his hand to shake it; green eyes sparkling in mirth, her long hair forming a sort of fiery halo of red and gold around her. It made her already pale complexion glow in the dim lights of the restaurant. She had asked for his name and had laughed in delight when he introduced himself as Tom.

“Tom. I like it; it suits you.” She had said.

The whole night had seemed to go by like a dream as they talked and spent the entire time laughing and getting to know each other.

As the night slowly faded to a close, she discreetly slipped him her number, scribbled in her neat handwriting. Ella had smiled winsomely at him, imploring him to call her before they paid their bill and stood to leave.

And then it all went to hell.

They had walked towards the door together, still talking and laughing. Upon reaching the entrance, she had looked towards the street and her smile fell slack from her beautiful mouth. It didn’t hit him straight away that something was wrong; he had been so caught up in the moment, so blinded by her beauty and charm. Ella marched up to a handsome man across the street who was leaning against a dark sedan; it was clear from the way she gestured at him that she was upset.

“Ella you’re my girlfriend! You can’t just storm off and disappear when you don’t get what you want!” Tom wasn’t sure what happened next. All he could feel then was numbness; as if the sky had suddenly dumped ice cold water all over him. He had swiftly turned and walked away, not wanting to hear more.

You’re my girlfriend. The guy had said. And those three words continued to replay in his head as he went home that night. Tom could not even muster up the courage to call her or to ask for an explanation.

Until now.

He had, after all, come to this party because Jade had insisted that Ella would be there, and maybe he could get the answers to all the questions that had plagued his waking moments for days.

The phone continued its monotonous ringing and he blew out his breath in agitation.

He had waited for her to arrive at the club for a couple of hours; nervously downing whatever he could get his hands on just to steady the shake in his hands and to calm himself down. In the end, she had not shown up and he had drank too much tequila.

Tom wondered why he was even trying to contact her now; there was no hope. Things never worked out for him anyway. After all, he had met the girl he thought would be the one and after convincing himself that she was indeed perfect, he discovered that she was also incredibly unavailable.

Just his fucking luck.

“The subscriber you are calling is currently…”

Tom let out a soft groan of disappointment and cancelled the call, feeling drunk and defeated. This was it. He was giving up. It just wasn’t worth it; he had tried and failed. He was going to get out of the cramped bathroom stall, go home and pass out. Sighing, he unlocked the stall door and shuffled towards the sink when suddenly…

His phone rang.

NOTE: I wrote this for the Weekly Writing Challenge; but I will not be posting a part two; 1, because I’m lazy and 2, because I like where it ends. You can go ahead and make up your own ending and decide how it goes for poor Tom. Cheers! 🙂

Weekly Writing Challenge

Unrequited

UNREQUITED
by Caitlyn S.

I was 19 when I finally stopped opening the door for unrequited love.
I was 20 when I first learned that
courage tasted like bitter wine and metal. Like blood and honey.
When I told you I loved you,
I screamed it. I let it rip
it’s way out of my throat, and
it felt so good that I cried.
The other day, you walked by me
with your friends and I could feel the pity in your stare.
Don’t you do that.
Don’t you look at what I had for you and call it weak.
Not when you were the one afraid of it.
I stood there with my hands open,
my mouth bruised tender with supplication.
Don’t you dare treat me like a victim of my own emotions, like being
moved to my knees by love
was a mistake that I regret.
I will go to my grave with the memory
of the bravery in my bones.
I am not ashamed of any of it.
Not the closed door in my face
or the static silence of my phone
for weeks after.
I was not afraid.
I am still not afraid.
I will never be afraid again.
Bring in the beasts with teeth
like tree branches.
Bring in all the men who will never love me.
Bring in the monsters with
faces carved out of stone.
I am not afraid.
They can eat me alive.
I am not afraid.
I will cut my way out of their bellies.
I am not afraid.
Never again.

Day 6

I decided to postpone Day 5 for another day and moved on to Day 6.

Is that considered cheating?

I’m not one to follow the rules too closely anyway. Oops (Raaaaahh! What a rebel!)

Anyway.

Day 6 asks about a favorite person and how long I’ve spent apart from them.

I was attracted to this one particularly because it made me pause to consider things. Like who is my favorite person? Snap-second decision would have me answering my dad, or my best friend, or maybe even my cat (This requires an entirely separate post altogether but we’ll get to Johnny in due time). How do you decide if that person is your favorite anyway? Is there like a checklist? Or do you just feel it deep down in your bones? A gut feeling?

I feel like I’m over-thinking this now (I probably most definitely am, right?).

I think deciding on a favorite (especially if it’s a person) isn’t as black and white as people think it is. Off the top of my head, I could already name more than 5 people I’d consider my favorite; all for different reasons, different stories, different qualities that I love about them. They don’t fit a specific checklist and some of them are as different from the other as night and day.

But just to finish this ramble, let me name one.

My grandmother is one of my most favorite people in the world. When I was very little and my parents were still new at the whole parenting thing, she’d stay up late to hold me till I slept, and I never cried when I was in her arms. She always smelled like flowery perfume and baby powder and she hated my cats (except Johnny, of course). I’d sneak into her room in the middle of the night to play my video games and she was the only person I’d watch horror movies with. When my parents would yell at me, I’d run to her and she’d always take my side; she’d glare at my dad and demand to know what he did to make me cry. I fucking loved her.

She passed away when I was 15, 6 years ago and I’ll never forget the day she died. I woke up and my dad was whispering to me that she had passed in her sleep and I cried until I couldn’t anymore.

If I was to answer the prompt, then I’d say that I was apart from her the moment she died (6 years ago), but if I think further then it’s not really that true. Though she’s no longer physically with me, she’s still a constant presence in my thoughts and in my heart. All the memories that I had with her continue to prevail and as long as I remember her, and other people remember her, then she’s not really very far away.

I think we determine the time we spend apart from someone. If we really didn’t want to be apart, then we’d find a way to be close to them, to be with them again. Even if it’s through a phone call, or just keeping them on our mind. People are only as far apart as they allow themselves to be.

Day 5

“(I do not know what it is about you that closes

and opens; only something in me understands

the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)

Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands”

– Somewhere I have never traveled, e. e. cummings

I think I fell in love with this poem the day I first heard it in English Lit, 5 years ago. I didn’t even remotely understand what it was supposed to mean then. Sometimes, I read this poem even now and still feel like there are parts of it that are difficult to fully understand. But I knew it was beautiful the first moment I heard it.

Does that make sense?

Knowing something is beautiful, even when you don’t know why it is so? Even when I couldn’t fully comprehend it’s meaning, I knew that I was supposed to feel something when I heard it for the first time and I did. It had sounded so sad and so hauntingly beautiful even when I wasn’t quite sure why I felt those things.

I think the best kind of beautiful things have that effect on us. We’re not really sure what sets them apart from the mundane day to day things we have surrounded ourselves with. We’re not sure why they affect us so but they do anyway. Sometimes we don’t even notice how different they are from the normal, until that one striking moment of clarity and boom. It changes you.

Your eyes are a little brighter, you look at the world and see possibilities, you feel more, you urge yourself to do more. Beautiful things like poetry, like words you can’t quite understand… They do this.

Or maybe it’s just all the coffee.