Saturday, September 4, 2010

Destynee_Cullen Post 3: The Note

The Note

I felt him pull my hand and put a note inside it. I looked up at him wondering what he was up to. “Leo. What is this?” I asked gripping the note. He just smiled at looked at the note and walked to his class. I smiled to myself, he had been giving me notes since sixth grade. I had to hurry to my next class before the next bell rang.

I opened up the note as soon as I sat down. It read:

“Meet me at the old field after school. You know the one, where you kicked Georgia's ass in sixth grade. ;)”

I laughed out loud and quickly stifled it as everyone turned to see what I was laughing about. The teacher gave me a pointed look but I just pointed to the book and said, “Someone drew a cartoon. Sorry for the interruption.” The teacher sighed and continued with the lecture.

I had to stay after school to help with my study group. Once we were done I rushed to the field. I smiled widely as all the memories of Leo and I playing there as kids. The day that Georgia tried to take my kickball was the day I learned what a true friend was.

Georgia came up to Leo and I as we were just casually kicking the ball back in forth. She took the ball and was walking away with it. Leo grabbed her and pulled the ball back from her. “The ball isn’t yours!” He shouted at her. Thats when she pulled back her fist and hit him square in the nose.

I was so mad all I wanted to do was punch her. And thats exactly what I did. She was screaming and yelling, trying to pull my hair. Leo had to finally pull me off of her. She never messed with Leo again, or me for that matter. Before I knew it I was in the field. The sun was just over the horizon maybe ten minutes from setting. Then I saw Leo with his back to me and I couldn’t resist sneaking up on him.

I walked slowly behind him trying to imitate a ninja. Right before I moved to jump on his back he said, “You realize you hum secret agent music when you try to sneak up on me right?” I could hear the smile in his voice. I could have sworn that the music was only in my head.

He laughed and turned around and he had a big smile on his face. I saw that he had a notebook with him with a few pages ripped out. I turned my head to the side to read what one of them said and he pulled it away from my sight. I smirked at him, “Love letters to Elaine?” Elaine was the popular girl in school it wouldn’t surprise me if Leo was after her too. The rumor around school was that she loved poems and love letters. I just wanted to gag when ever she spoke.

He smiled again and I was getting suspicious. I glanced around making sure this wasn’t another start of a prank war between us. He chuckled realizing what I was doing and he took my hand in his and pulled me down to the soft grass. His touch was so tender it shocked me I couldn’t even think of a smart-ass remark.

“Julie I bet your wondering why I asked you to meet me here.” He looked into my eyes and I saw the little boy I defended in sixth grade. I just nodded. “I have something for you.” He reached into the notebook and pulled out a folded piece of paper. He looked over at the setting sun before he looked at me and put it in my hand.

I looked at him and he was looking down at me waiting for me to open it. I was shocked by the butterflies in my stomach. I unfolded it and smiled as it had a few words and two boxes. It read:

“Will you go out with me?
Yes or No”

There was a box next to yes and no. I looked up at him and I smiled. I pulled close to his ear and whispered “Do you have a pencil?” He laughed and reached into his pocket and handed it to me. I took it and pulled the note to the side where he couldn’t see what I was going to choose.

“What are you doing over there Julie? It doesn’t take that long to check a box.” He said with a smile. I looked at him over my shoulder, “Patience Leo, patience.” He growled and I smiled. I took my time coloring in the box I wanted and finally handed it back to him after a few minutes.

He opened it with haste and he smiled, “That wasn’t one of the choices.” I leaned on his chest. “No but it was a better one.” I felt him lean down and felt his breath on my ear. “Hell yeah?” I could hear a laugh waiting to come out. I turned to face him our lips inches apart I whispered, “Hell yeah I will go out with you Leo.” He smiled and closed the distance between our lips.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

SnappleApple450 Post 5: Stupid Love Ruins Everything

Stupid Love Ruins Everything

"Liz, I neeeeeed you... call me back please? Bye." I hung my phone up and laid back on my bed. Once again, Liz failed to answer her phone.

"Twenty bucks says she's with her new boyfriend," I mumbled darkly to myself.

I hated Derik. He was stuck-up and loud. Not saying Liz and I were quiet people but geez there's a reason people go to the library. It's quiet. I never thought we'd be kicked out of a library before. That was my place of worship. It used to be Liz's too until she met the new football teams quarterback.

I don't even know what she saw in him. I mean, sure he was hot but come on. Knowing Lizzie, she could find a smart hot guy. I just hoped he was a passing phase so Liz would come back to spending her Friday nights with me on the couch and a bowl of popcorn.

My phone rang and I immediately answered it. "Liz! God, where have you been?!"

"Um...actually it's Paul."

I groaned. Paul was my pathetic lab partner. Not to say anything bad about him, but he was a little too nerdy for me. Always drooling over the latest comic books. I didn't know they still made those.

"What do you want Paul?" I huffed, angrier at Liz for not being the one to call.

He cleared his throat and I could have sworn I heard paper being rustled on the other end. "Dear Sam."

I stopped him. "Dear? Dude what do you want to say? I'm waiting for another phone call!"

He stuttered on the phone. "I-I-I just wanted to know if y-you had any plans tonight."

I internally cursed Liz even more now. Was I so desperate for entertainment that I would go out with Paul? The answer was no way in Hell.

"I'm sorry...Paul but actually I have plans."

He sighed for the longest time, making a big awkward bubble through the phone. "Alright then... I'll see you in school Monday."

I hung up without saying goodbye. His Eeyore-ness was bringing me down even more than I already was. I never did this to Liz, so why would she do it to me? It was unfair! We were weekend borders! We made a silent pact never to dump the other over a boy.

I growled, picking up my phone again. I dialed her cell phone one last time. Miraculously, she answered. "Uh...hello?" She sounded distracted.

"Liz! You answered!" I screamed happily.

"Yeah, that's what you do when the phone rings, genius." Her sarcasm was heard even through the music on her end.

"Where are you?" I covered my other ear so I could hear better.

"I'm at this club!" She screamed over the loud noise. "Hang on, I'll go outside!"

I waited patiently until the music died down. Finally it was quiet and she exhaled. "Hey babe, what's up?"

My mouth dropped. "What do you mean 'what's up?' Dude it's Friday night!"

She had a bubbly laugh. "Yeah I know! Derik took me to this club! I used a fake ID and everything! Whoo!" She screamed out before laughing again.

I pinched the bridge of my noise. "I meant, what about our plans? You were coming over to my house and we were gonna stay up all night making out with Ben and Jerry!"

"I've got something way better than Ben and Jerry and he's a wayyy better kisser too," she laughed to herself.

"Liz, this isn't you. What happened to you and me spending the weekends together? Now you're out at the club?!" I was ranting, letting all my anger pour out. She stayed silently listening so I continued. "You know what, me when my best friend's back." Click.

I laid in bed for half an hour, eating the two pints of Ben and Jerry's by myself. Usually I would get New York Super Fudge Chunks and she'd get Boston Cream Pie. We were taking over American cities, one spoonful at a time. I bit my spoon and reached over to my stereo, turning up my music. Lonely love songs were playing. I felt like I'd gone through a breakup. My best friend finally dumps me for a boyfriend. I was kicked to the curb.

I started singing along to the songs. "AND I'M THINKIN TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE!!!"

I heard clapping at my door and fell off the bed. Peaking over the side of my bed, I saw Liz standing with a bag and an apologetic smile. "Your mom let me in...."

I stood up, picking up the empty cartons of ice cream and throwing them away. "Soooo..." I said awkwardly, rubbing my arm where I fell.

She lifted up the bag. "I brought Chinese food and more Ben and Jerry's. I kinda knew you'd eat them both in one sitting alone..."

I chuckled, looking at the floor. I was embarrassed at how I acted on the phone. Liz put the food down and hugged me. "I'm sorry for ditching you!"

I hugged her back. "I'm sorry for being jealous!"

"Let's just forget it ever happened!" She smiled, pulling her shoes off. She grabbed a little box of noodles and chopsticks and jumped on my bed. I pulled apart some chopsticks and stole some noodles from her container.

"Get your own, bitch!" She laughed.

"Why when I can steal yours?" She rolled her eyes, handing me the noodles as she got another container. We sat on my bed, laughing and joking around, singing along to stupid love songs together all night. Finally passing out around 5 in the morning with chocolate stains on our faces from the ice cream.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Newmoonaholic Post 3: Quiet Reflections

Quiet Reflections

Quiet Reflections

I have been waiting a while now for the earth to wake up. The fresh morning air, thick with dew, feels almost heavy in my lungs as it cleanses and helps awaken my senses. Nearby, the forest is slowly coming to life as the faintest hint of light bleeds across the sky. The squirrels are dancing through the trees, leaping and scurrying. Their quick, jerky movements seem too chaotic amid the morning’s calm. But the sweet chirping and singing of the birds is a soothing, natural antidote to the antics of the squirrels. On the horizon, brilliant pinks and oranges are heralding trumpets, announcing the arrival of the sun, and foretelling of a new day.

When Jacob had asked me to come along on this heritage journey, I had no idea how much I needed to be here. I won’t lie, the thought of spending three weeks wearing native tribal garb, sleeping in teepees, and getting in touch with a culture that was not my own seemed completely ridiculous. But now that I was here, I could not be more grateful. I had no idea how much the stress of my life was affecting me, or how blind I had been about some things.

I had loved Edward with my whole being. He was my world, my sun, and my moon. And when he left me, he took all the light with him. I wandered alone in the dark for months, unable to sleep, eat, or even think. It hurt to open my eyes everyday, and breathing brought the agony of expanding the wound in my chest where my heart used to be. But as I fill my lungs with yet another breath of a new day, I can open my eyes fully to the beauty that surrounds me, and draw strength from the earth itself. Jacob taught me that. He taught me how to draw energy from my environment. That the elements flow through us and work for us. He taught me how to heal.

This has become my favorite time of day. It’s the only time the camp is quiet. There are ten teepees in all, set in a circular pattern, and giving a wide berth to the large fire pit in the center. Jacob and his tribal brothers are never satisfied unless the evening bonfire is at least eight feet high, which is five feet higher than I’m comfortable with, but their childlike joy in their nightly accomplishment is too endearing to complain. In this secluded location, it is easy to see how the innate pride in their lineage flows through them like water through the mountain.

Water. So tranquil in the trickling steam, yet it holds the power to carve the earth. It has created great gorges, washes the land, and gives life to all creatures. In the distance, I can hear the river as it flows. It’s gentle caress, slowly smoothing and shaping the rocks as it has done for centuries.

A light breeze kisses my cheeks, as the air bids me good morning. I breathe deeply again, allowing it to consume, and heal me inside. The air has the power to crush a mighty tree, and sting the skin with bitterness. But it can also lightly stroke the flower and hold the bird in its gentle hand. It surrounds us constantly, sometimes a heavy presence, and sometimes an invisible friend. It feeds the fire, moves the water, and hugs the earth.

I reach down and scoop up a handful of soil, allowing it to trickle through my fingers. Mother Earth. Our home, our origin, our destination. Rich soil brings life sustaining nutrients, and the land provides all we need to build shelter. It shakes when it is angry, yet loves us enough to provide us with what we need to survive when the air, the fire, and the water are vexed. The pure smell of this iron rich soil combines with the raw, woodsy scent of surrounding forest, to clear my mind and pacify my soul.

Before I came here, the only element I recognized was fire. It ran through my veins, blinding me with such pain that all I wanted was an end. I wanted it to devour me, turn me to ash and allow the wind to carry me away. It assaulted me day after terrible day, controlling my thoughts and rendering me useless in my darkness.

But I was not meant to burn, and Jacob squelched the flames with his noble heart and gentle ways. He was my compass, guiding me through the dark until our journey brought me the dawn of a new day, and a new life. I understand now that I was following an unnatural path before. I had allowed myself to become so wrapped up in someone who could never give me what I needed to survive. Instead, he bled me until I was dry and flammable, and then he lit the match. But I no longer fear the fire. I understand that it has a very sensible purpose. It guides us, sometimes gently and sometimes harshly, away from those things which are bad for us. And it also cleanses us, allowing us to rise anew like a phoenix; stronger than before, and more wise.

I raise my eyes to the east and greet the sun as it peeks above the mountains, bathing my face with its tender warmth and embracing me as an old friend. I missed my friend in the darkness. Though he knocked many times, the fire had melted the locks on my prison door sealing me in. I shudder slightly at the memory, but am instantly soothed by the breath of the wind in my hair, the tenderness of the sun on my cheeks, the song of the river, and the embrace of the earth below me. And as I hear Jacob’s tender voice, thick with sleep, offer me a simple “Mornin’, Beautiful,” I can’t help the small smile that plays on my lips. His warm embrace envelopes me from behind, and I am instantly filled with the joy and peace that comes from knowing that I now walk my natural path.

This was written for my dear friend Hev99, and is being posted in honor of her birthday. The world was irrevocably changed for the better when Bob entered the world. She is as bright a light as the noonday sun in the lives of all who know her, and I, for one, could not feel more blessed to have her in my life. I love you, Bob! Happy Birthday!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Snappleapple450 Post 4: On This Road We'll Travel

Picture 1:

Picture 2:

On This Road We'll Traveled

I stood in the middle of the road, staring into the setting sun. It seemed so far away now, where it used to look within arms reach before. Before everything went wrong. Before everything got complicated. Before reality had touched us.

We had a world of our own gazing into the horizon. Reality didn't exist for us. Nick and I would sit right here in the middle of the road and talk about our plans while he played his old guitar. He'd make me sing along with him and we'd end up falling over laughing.

"One day, we're gonna see the end of this road," Nick said pointing to the horizon.

My head was resting on his chest as we watched the sun set. "I hope this road never ends. I want to travel with you forever."

Nick kissed the top of my head. "Soon we will....

I closed my eyes against the tears that came with the memories. If only he kept his promises. We'd both still be happy and together. If only he didn't let reality get to him the way I let it get to me. We were happy in our own little world. Why did it all have to change?

I blamed myself for it all though. If I hadn't left without him. If I hadn't yelled at him. If I was there for him.

The ifs could go on as long as this road. They never stopped in my head. I knelled down into a fetal position as the memories came. I couldn't understand why I came here again. What was my reason for coming here? I couldn't remember...

"Where are you going?" He asked confused when he saw my packed bags.

I lifted my head, keeping the tears at bay. "I have to leave for a little while."

"I don't understand..." he didn't want to understand is what he meant.

"I got a letter of acceptance into an all-girl school in California. I'm going," I said firmly. I was hoping I could get out of here before he saw me. I was going to leave a letter for him, explaining.

"Kat... why?" was all he could say.

The only words coming to mind. Kat why. Why couldn't I answer him. Kat why. I cleared my throat. "We can't stay here forever."

"We never planned to!" He raised his voice.

My defiant side came out against my will. I raised my voice to match his. "We never planned for any of this to happen! Our plans never happened Nick! We need to move on."

His eyes were wide and his mouth hung open in shock. "So that's it? No warning, no working it out? You're leaving me?"

I hesitated on my answer. He made it sound so bad. He made it sound so real. Slowly, I nodded, picking up my jacket and suitcase. "Good bye Nicholas. I promise we'll see each other again someday..." I reached out to touch his face but he pulled away.

"Don't be so sure." He stormed out of the house, leaving me with my tears.

I was still sitting in the road, wiping my eyes. I never meant to be gone for so long. I only meant to be gone a year or two. Not five long fucking years. I hit my fist against the black concrete, screaming out in the pain, not from my bleeding hand, but from my heart.

I was so selfish to leave him. I still loved him -that was never a question- but I couldn't wait for him anymore. I couldn't stay there, it was killing me. I was suffocating in this small town. So I left.

My mom would write me, keeping me updated on what was happening with everyone. Everything seemed okay for a couple weeks after I left. I knew Nick was upset. My mom knew it too. Her letters became less and less about her and my family and more about Nick. Or maybe that's the only part that would stick out for me. I remembered so vividly the letter she wrote telling me about Nick's drug problem...

Since I'd been gone, he went into a depression and turned to drugs. When I heard about that I very nearly flew back to him, but I knew... I was too late. I'd been gone six months already. the last words he spoke to me were words of hate and sadness. I was the reason for the way he was. It was all my fault.

Knowing that, I too, went into a depression. I couldn't stand being without him. I thought I wanted freedom more but in fact, he was my freedom. He was my air, my world, my everything I thought I didn't have. Suddenly I found myself without it and I couldn't live. I started failing my classes in the school and they kicked me out.

That's when I met Ralph. I had no where to go, no way to get home -as if I was even welcome there anymore- and no money for food. Ralph took me in and gave me a place to stay. Eventually we started going out. My love for Ralph was nothing like my love for Nick. Ralph was purely a physical relationship. I didn't connect with him in any other way.

A few weeks into it, I found out he was an abusive alcoholic. I wanted to get out -get away- but I couldn't. I had no where to go. So I'd stay. And I'd cover up my black eyes with make-up.

My mom continued to send me letters but I stopped writing back. What was I supposed to tell her? That I quit school and was living with a guy? I couldn't do that to her. One day, she just stopped writing altogether. I lost connection with my family, but more importantly, I lost my connection to Nick.

I didn't think about him anymore, I couldn't imagine what he was doing with his life. I wanted to remember the happy times, but it was getting harder to remember anything.

Two years passed and I was feeling tired of the pain. A friend of mine from the school saw me in the store one day and saw what happened to me. She knew instantly as soon as I mentioned I had a boyfriend. I didn't deny it either, I was tired of denying it. She gave me her number and told me to call her when Ralph wasn't home. I was confused but took her number.

I later found out why. I had called her as soon as he left for the bar with some friends and she came over with a couple of my old friends. They immediately started packing my belongings and helping me get out. They said they knew about a place I could go where I would be safe from Ralph. It sounded nice especially after dealing with another beating from him from the night before.

They took me to a shelter for abused women. I never thought of myself as an abused woman. I guess it never clicked. The place helped me get back on my feet though. They gave me food and a place to sleep. I never saw Ralph again.

I eventually grew to be a strong woman, helping other abused women get through their problems. I started working for the shelter instead of using it. I even started writing to my family again. No one mentioned Nick, for which I was thankful. He was just a painful memory. Something I blamed myself for.

And then, I got a postcard.

It was so simple but it meant so much. "You think you deserve that pain but you don't." I knew who it was from as soon as I saw the name "Kat". Only Nick called me that. Everyone else called me Katherine or Kathy. Tears poured from my eyes as I read the eight simple words.

He forgave me. He was telling me it's okay that I left. He was telling me to quit beating myself up about what he became. He was telling me it wasn't my fault. I cried and cried for days, so happy. I felt like a burden had been lifted. I didn't realize how much it bothered me, how much it tortured me inside. And then to hear him tell me it's okay. I could breathe again.

I knew what I had to do. I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to go home. I wanted to see Nick again. And I finally felt like I could do that now. I bought a one-way ticket and packed my bags.

I was going home.

That's when I got there and everything changed. I went straight home and saw all my family waiting for me. I had let them know I was coming home. I walked in the front door and no one looked up. No one would make eye contact with me. It was like a dark cloud loomed over the house.

"W-where's Nick?" I suddenly feared to ask.

No one answered. My mom came over to comfort me but I backed away, shaking my head.

"No," I whispered.

"Baby, he...overdosed. He... he died last night..." My dad explained.

I backed towards the door. "No!" I ran out of the house, heading to his house. I had to see him. They were lying. They all were lying. Halfway to his house I stopped. I was at our spot. I recognized it easily, even after all these years.

I walked to the middle of the road, staring into the setting sun. It seemed so far away now, where it used to look within arms reach before.... Kat why? Why did it all have to go so wrong?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Destynee_Cullen Post 2: I Just Wanted to See the Unicorn

I Just Wanted To See The Unicorn

The glass was cold. I could feel it against the palm of my hands. Raindrops stuck to the window like tiny little beads. Some running into others and creating bigger ones that were too heavy and would fall to the city below. The sky was the color of white, no break in the smooth sheet of cloud. It looked as if it went on and on forever but I knew without a doubt, it was sunny somewhere. There had to be some kid out there basking in the sunlight. Maybe in Africa. I had heard my teacher say it hardly ever rains there.

"Sweetie, get away from the window." My mom led me away. "Come on, get your coat on."

She helped me into my favorite purple jacket and took my hand. We walked down the long hallway towards the elevators. We were in my dad's workplace. We decided to surprise him with a visit on our way to go shopping. Tomorrow is my 8th birthday. I couldn't wait. My mom was taking me to find nice clothes to wear.

The elevator dinged and we got in next to a man. I stared up at him, curiously. He was tapping his finger against his leg in a rhythm no one but him could hear. He looked nervous like he was waiting for something. His hair was messy and I wondered if he had brushed it this morning. Even his clothes looked messy. Maybe he didn't have a mom to wash his clothes or brush his hair for him like I did. He looked down at me and I looked quickly away, embarrassed at being caught. My mom was watching the numbers on the elevator, not paying attention to the man. 6...5...4...3...2...1... It dinged again and all three of us exited the small room.

My mom held tight to my hand as we walked out into the wet street. The rain had stopped about an hour ago but raindrops were still falling from higher places it clinged to. I looked up into the sky at the tall building we were just in. I couldn't tell which window I had been looking out of earlier. There were too many.

"Come on, baby. Keep up." My mom tugged on my arm and I focused on where we were walking.

We went to the big place with lots of stores inside. My mom said it was the mall. My eyes lit up with fascination at all the lights and pretty things in the windows. We walked into one of the stores, maneuvering through the people. I found some pretty pink dresses and shiny black shoes to wear with them. When I tried them on I felt like a princess. I twirled around in the dress and it spun out around me. I tripped over my feet and tumbled to the ground, giggling. When I looked up to see if anyone noticed, I saw that man again. He was standing off in the distance, behind a rack of clothes, watching me.

I stood up and dusted myself off, trying to ignore him. My mom came up and took me back to the dressing room to get dressed into my old clothes. She bought the dresses and handed me the bags. I was happy to carry them. It made it feel like it was my own.

"Can we pleeeeeaaaasse go to the toy store?" I begged her.

She looked a little hesitent so I jumped up and down, pulling on her arm.

"Please please please please please please please please pleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaasssee?!"

She laughed and started walking to the toy store. I smiled happily. The store was huge. My mouth hung open as I took it all in. A big robot clown was moving in the corner, waving at children. Airplanes tied to string on the cieling were flying in circles above my head. I heard talking dolls and rawring dinosaurs. This was amazing!

"Can I go look around please?" I bounced around.

My mom chuckled at me and let go of my hand. "Go pick something out. It will be your early birthday gift from me."

I cheered as I ran off into the store, looking at all the wonderful toys displayed around me. I could never be able to pick just one thing. Pink unicorns sparkled in a row, little blonde dolls dressed up sat smiling at me, everything was so much fun!

I grabbed a unicorn and petted its mane, she was so cute and fluffy. Her horn sparkled from the lighting up above. "I'll call you Lisa!" I hugged the unicorn tightly. I would get this for my gift.

"Do you like unicorns?" I heard a man ask.

I turned around and saw the man from earlier. He grinned down at me, his breath smelled bad and his teeth were yellow. I didn't want to be rude so I nodded. He chuckled to himself like there was some kind of joke.

"Do you want to see my unicorn?" He continued.

My eyed widened. "You have a unicorn?" I asked in disbelief.

He laughed again. "Yes, a real life unicorn. Do you want to see it?"

My mouth fell open. "You mean its here?!" I looked around seeing if I could find it.

He looked around quickly, his black eyes flicking to all the faces before turning back to me. "Yeah it's outside waiting for you. Come on, I'll show you." He held his hand out for me to take it.

I looked around suddenly scared. Maybe I should ask my mom first... He seemed to know what I was thinking. "If you go now, you can tell her ALL about it when you get back," he grinned. "She won't even miss you."

I hesitated, looking down at the unicorn. Without another thought I took his hand and his smile got wider. He led me to the back of the store where there was a door. He looked around quickly and walked right through. It was dark and cold as he led me to another door leading outside.

"Where is it?" I asked, looking through all the parked cars.

"We're almost there," he assured me.

He got to a dark black car and opened the trunk. How did he fit the unicorn in there? He pulled me around to look into the car. "I don't see it," I said, slightly disappointed.

"Are you sure? Climb in there. He wayyy back there."

Determined to see the unicorn, I climbed into the car and started searching. "I don't see i--" The man then slammed the trunk door and everything turned dark. I was silent, confused at what just happened. "Hello?" I whispered, crawling back to where the man had just been a moment ago.

I heard the car start and a loud screeching noise. The car lurched forward, slamming me into the side of the tiny space. I screamed trying to find something to hold onto. The car turned left and right, going really fast. I was scared of what was happening. I didn't understand it. No tears came, my brain was too confused to know if this was a reason to cry. Everytime he made a turn and I rolled to the other side of the car, I screamed. I wanted my mom to come save me.

Suddenly it stopped, the car died and I heard a door slam. A whimper escaped my lips as I waited for what would happen next. I made a promise to myself, I will never leave my mom again. She must be worried to death about me. I hoped I could get back in time for my birthday. I hoped I could get back at all. I heard gravel crunch under someone's shoes. The man unlocked the trunk and opened the door. I squinted against the sudden light. It wasn't bright, I think it was a garage. My eyes adjusted and I stared around. I couldn't think straight. All I knew was I was scared. I was scared of the man. I was scared of this mysterious place. I was scared of that grin he had. Like he was hungry.

"I want to go home." Tears finally fell as I cried.

He grabbed my arm and yanked me out of the car and into the dirty house. His shirt was now unbuttoned and he looked even scarier in the dark house. He threw me into the corner and I just laid there and cried. He locked the door and closed the windows, sitting on the ground across from me. I stared at him through terror-stricken eyes. He was so laid back and relaxed. I wiped my nose on the back of my hand and quieted myself. He pulled a stick out and lit it on fire, putting it in his mouth and blowing smoke out. I'd seen people do this before. The house smelled awful, worse than the man.

After a long silence, he looked up at me with those hungry eyes. Tossing the thing from his mouth he stood up, coming towards me grinning. "I'm not going to hurt you." He assured me, but I instantly knew he was lying. "That's a pretty coat you have on."

I backed farther into the corner, whimpering as he closed in on me. I knew then that I wasn't going to be home for my birthday.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Snappleapple450 Post 3: Where'd All The Good People Go?

Where'd All The Good People Go?

"I promise I'll be home for Christmas, mom. Don't worry about me. ....No I'm staying here for a while. ...Just until I get my life straightened out. I love you too.... bye."

I hung up with my mom and sighed. After my fiance cheated on me with my best friend, I moved away to Chicago, taking a job as a writer for the Chicago Times. I didn't want to stay in that small town in New Mexico anyway. Sure the people were nice, real friendly. My best friend, Leslie, and I grew up together, we shared everything... including guys too, apparently. I just needed to get away from it all. I was a laughing stock to the whole town.

At least here, I was a stranger. Starting new in a new place. Nobody knew me nor cared to know me.

I went down to my car and grabbed the last two boxes, juggling them on top of each other. I could barely see over the top of the boxes, just enough to not hit any walls. The only apartment I could afford and it was run down and nasty. I swear one of the rooms in the building had a dead body hidden in it, and another had five little children always running through the hallways.


I reached the old elevator and extended my index finger to hit the button. Just as I almost could touch it, the box on top started to sway. I cursed as it hit the ground, my pictures and books scattering the hallway.

"Oh let me get that for you!"

I set the other box down and started grabbing my belongings. "No, thank you, I can handle it," I said, not looking up.

The man bent down and reached for my favorite book; I tried to get it before him but he already had it. "Thank you, but I've got it." I said more firmly, meeting his gaze.

He looked about my age, dark hair and a natural tan. His eyes were almost black and he had that bright white smile you only see in movies. By the looks of him, he had Hispanic features. Any other girl would be head over heels with his smile and muscular chest like that, but I just wanted to get up to my room.

He chuckled slightly, looking down at the book. "The Scarlet Letter?" He asked, looking back up at me.

I tucked my hair behind my ears and nodded. "Yeah, what about it?"

He smirked, handing it back to me. "I remember reading it in school, but I didn't think people actually read it on their own free will."

I glared, grabbing the rest of my stuff and shoving it in the box. "If you don't mind, I'd like to get up to my room. It was nice meeting you."

He stood up, still smiling like he had an inside joke. "I'm Jose, by the way. I live in apartment 2C." He stuck his hand out towards me.

I stared at him, picking up the two boxes. "I don't care." The elevator doors opened and I walked inside.

"I'll see you again soon!" He called as the doors closed.

I rolled my eyes, leaning against the wall. I got up to my room and dropped the boxes on the floor. A picture laid on top of the books and I picked it up. It was a picture of John, Melissa, and me by the lake on a summer afternoon. I was smiling and had my arm around him and Melissa.

I threw the picture across the room and the frame shattered against the wall. I slid down onto the floor and curled into a ball, crying. I cried for the first time since I found out John had cheated. I remembered thinking that maybe, just maybe he was joking. I waited to hear the punch line, to hear him laugh and say 'I'm just kidding' but that never happened. His face was so serious, he reached his hand out to comfort me, but I batted it away. The joke was on me. I was the punch line.

I wiped my eyes and just sat there, looking around the empty apartment. It was so bare and void of life. ...Unless you counted the mouse droppings along the back wall. This was my new home and I would live it to the fullest.

After I unloaded everything and put things in their places, I gathered all my pictures and stacked them in a pile on the middle of the floor in the living room. I took my lighter and lit the pictures, the fire spread, melting and blending the colors into a blur. The smoke surrounded me as I watched John's face burn in the fire.

Suddenly my door flew open and the man from earlier burst through with a fire extinguisher. White foam covered the stack of pictures and me included. I couldn't move, reality hadn't caught up yet. Once Jose was satisfied that the fire was out he dropped the red container.

Slowly, I stood up and looked down at myself. "What...the WRONG WITH YOU?!" I screamed at him.

He gave my foam-covered body one look and died laughing. "I'm sorry!" He choked out between laughs. "I smelled smoke and came to help you!"

I glared at him, so furious I couldn't even speak.

"Come on, I'll help you get cleaned up." He reached for my arm, but I pulled away. A natural reaction when I remembered John, reaching to comfort me. Jose didn't back down. He grabbed me by the elbow and led me down to his apartment. My mind still wouldn't function right, all that smoke I inhaled couldn't be good.

Once we got to his apartment, he took me into the bathroom and had me stand in his bathtub while he grabbed the detachable hose. "It might be cold at first but it'll warm up." He turned the water on and started at my feet.

As soon as the cold water hit me, I snapped back into reality. "What are you doing?!"

He chuckled, continuing to hose me down. "I'm helping you."

I reached for the hose, but he pulled away, squirting me in the stomach. I glared at him, jumping out of the tub. He soaked me down and I screamed. It wasn't a scream in anger, but in delight. I reached for the hose again and he dodged me. Finally I tripped him and he fell into the tub. I squirted him in the face and he wiped his eyes, running his hands through his hair, slicking it back. I continued to soak him, his clothes getting wet and sticking to his body. By the time we were done, we were both soaked and laughing. I had fallen into the tub beside him and he reached up and turned the water off.

We lay there for a few moments, laughing at ourselves. "So why were you burning pictures in your living room?" He finally asked.

I sobered up quick. "Burning memories."

He looked over at me. "What memories are so bad you'd want to forget them?"

I got out of the tub and reached for a towel. "I heard it's good therapy." I shrugged, wanting to change the subject.

I handed him a towel and helped him out of the bathtub. We dried off and attempted to dry the bathroom walls too.

"Don't worry about it. We still have to clean the foam from your apartment. Sorry about that."

I shook my head. "Don't worry about it. I guess you were just worried about--"

"Letting you burn in your apartment?" He laughed.

I chuckled. "I guess..."

"Do you want to stay for dinner? I'm cooking." He grinned his toothy smile and headed for the kitchen. I followed him.

"You cook?" I wondered around his apartment, looking at the different pictures and paintings.

"Cook, clean, and when I'm not being completely gay..." He chuckled with me. "I take pictures. I'm a professional photographer."

I turned the corner and came into one room with light bulbs dangling from the ceiling in the form of a canopy. It was very strange but oddly mesmerizing and beautiful. Jose appeared and grinned. "I was just working on this for a new photo shoot. What do you think?"

"What's it supposed to be for?" I asked, looking up.

He stood inches in front of me, staring into my eyes. "The man and woman are going to stand under here... I want to capture that exact moment before the kiss."

He leaned in and I backed away. "Um I think I'll just go back to my apartment. I need to start cleaning anyway. Thanks for...well... bye." I headed for the door when Jose beat me to it.

His grin was almost taunting. "I never learned your name."

I cleared my throat again, handing him his towel. "My name is Lynn. Now please," I pushed him out of the way, opening the door. "I have to go."

He stepped away from the door and I left quickly, getting back to my room. Everything was foam covered. God he couldn't aim, could he? After an hour of cleaning, my back hurt and my hands smelled of chemicals. I threw the remains of photos in the trash where they belonged and went to shower.

I tied my hair up in the towel and got into my nightshirt. I didn't have a bed but I bought an air mattress the day I bought the apartment. I could live without things for a while, at least until I started getting a weekly paycheck again. My stomach growled and I regretted not taking Jose up on his offer for dinner.

Why did it matter if I had dinner with him? He seemed nice enough. No harm in being civilized with him. My hatred for all men shouldn't affect him. I could be nice. I brushed my hair out and pulled my thin blanket up over me, falling asleep.

The next morning I got ready, starting a ritual. I'd have to grab a coffee on the way to work since my fridge was empty. I grabbed my purse and headed for the elevator.

"Hey wait up!" Jose yelled from down the hallway. He ran into the elevator and I closed the doors. He smiled at me and said good morning. I nodded and smiled back.

"Nice outfit, it suits you. You don't look like you belong in this apartment building," he complimented.

The elevator doors opened and I walked out with Jose beside me, the morning sun was coming up over the buildings.

"Lynn?" I froze mid-step.

Jose looked behind me and tapped my shoulder. I took a deep breath and turned around to face him.

I put on a fake smile. "John."

Jose looked between my stiff figure and John's apologetic stance. "Your mom told me where I could find you.... I thought you'd be alone." He glanced at Jose quickly, then back to me.

I opened my mouth to speak, but I lost my voice. He caught me off guard. I didn't think I'd ever have to see him again. Especially like this. Jose suddenly wrapped his arm around me, and smiled at John.

"Hi, I'm Jose. Are you a friend of Lynn? She never mentions you..." Jose shook John's hand.

John was just as confused as me. "Uh actually I'm her fiance."

I snapped and was suddenly angry. "Excuse me?"

"Lynn, I came to apologize. I made a stupid mistake and I want you back."

I stiffened and my expression grew cold. "Well I'm not coming back if that's what you're thinking."

John reached for my arm and Jose's grip tightened defensively. "That's exactly what I'm thinking. Lynn, everyone misses you. Your mom and dad...Melissa--"

"That bitch can go suck your dick for all I care. I'm done with you." Jose rubbed my arm soothingly to calm me down. "Good bye John," I finished.

He sighed and got back into the waiting cab without another word. After he drove off, Jose released me. I turned to face him.

"Why'd you do that?" I asked.

Jose smiled. "I didn't want him thinking you were lonely." He winked at me and walked off, whistling a tune.

I stared after him, silently. Maybe not all guys are bad...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Emmettslover Post 1: Spring Love

Spring Love

It was spring break and I had to go to my Grandmothers house. I was furious. Not because I didn’t love Gran. No that wasn’t it. It was because I was supposed to go to California with my group of girlfriends. Visit the beaches and find hot single guys. Mother smashed those plans when she wanted to show Gran how well we’ve been doing since Dad left.

The trees where whipping past in the window. My iPod was on full blast tuning out my mother’s orders of not telling Gran that she hasn’t found another man since dad left five years ago. I rolled my eyes and nodded. The car slowed down when we pulled up to Gran’s house.

Gran lives out in the middle of nowhere. The only good part about visiting Gran is she has acres of land surrounded by woods on three sides. She has this field thats just filled with grass and past that is a beach. Not one of those beaches you see in California, more like the coast in Maine. I haven’t been here since I was twelve. I doubt any of my old friends were still around. Gran popped out of the house smiling pulling me out of the car.

“Oh I missed you Aliea! Your mom tells me that you didn’t have any plans for spring break. A pretty girl like you should have gone with her friends somewhere.” I shot my mom a look before hugging Gran. “I’ve missed you too Gran. It has been too long.”

“Mom, how long did you want us to stay here?” My mom asked pushing us into the house. She knew me too well, if she left me outside alone I’d take the car and drive it all the way to California. “As long as you want dear. I’ve been worried about you since Bill left you.” My moms face fell for a second before plastering on a fake smile.

“You don’t have to Mom. Aliea and I are doing well.” Gran smiled at this. “If you’re doing so well, why don’t you come live with me?” My mom was stunned by this. Her mouth was open to decline the offer.

But then I saw it.

The moment of hesitation.

She was thinking about how much easier it would be. Less bills, less calls from the school saying I was skipping class and smoking in the bathrooms. Gran saw this and tried to use it to her advantage.

“I only have Anthony, the boy next door, to help me around the yard,” She smirked at me when she said Anthony. I cringed internally, she's going to try to hook me up with him. “And old lady could use her granddaughter around here too. Someone needs to learn the family recipes.” She smiled. My mother glanced over at me with an apology.

“You can finish the rest of your junior year at your school now. But this summer we are moving over here Aliea. There will be no exceptions.” She said with a finality.

I wouldn’t be able to get out of this. I groaned and said I was going to go for a walk. They couldn’t deny me that. I was walking around the many acres kicking rocks and screaming when I found the place where I would always lay and watch the clouds.

I smiled over looking the grass. It use to be so green and cut short but with only my Gran and that boy helping her she couldn’t keep it up. I didn’t mind, it was still mine. No one knew I would sneak out here to just be alone. Not even my old friend Lucien. He was my best friend, we did everything together.

I smiled and laid down in the weeds looking up at the sky, remembering all of our adventures. I closed my eyes and frowned thinking that I wouldn’t be able to live in the middle of nowhere. I need to try to get out of this somehow. Maybe if Lucien was still here it would be bearable but Mom told me that he moved away years ago.

I heard my cell phone ring and I patted my chest not remembering if I put in my bra. Nope, not there. I continued patting down my body to my hips. Not there either, damn it of course it would be in my ass pocket. I lifted my hips to get my phone out and answered it. “Hello?” I asked annoyed that someone was interrupting my evil plans to get out of this hell hole. “Aleia? It’s Gran, Anthony is going to be here any minute and I wanted you to meet him.” She said this with a hint of something in her voice, she was up to something.

“Gran,” I said sounding whiney, “why do I have to meet him right now? I’m trying to come to terms with me starting my senior year at a new high school.” I was throwing a fit I knew this, but I new Gran was trying to set me up with him and I didn’t need this right now. “Aliea, I expect you in the house in ten minutes.”

“But Gran!” I stared at the phone. Gran had hung up on me. I groaned get up dusting off my shorts. I had to run back to the house to be there within ten minutes.” I heard people talking, I recognized Gran and Mom but there was another voice. I sounded familiar but also foreign. Intrigued I opened the door and walked into the kitchen. Anthony’s back was towards me and all I could see was a tall boy looked around my age with a black head of hair and a defined body. You could tell he took care of himself, you don’t get that figure by sitting around playing video games. Gran looked over his shoulder to me and he turned.

I gasped.

His hazel eyes turned to mine and he smiled. “Ali?”

I couldn’t believe it was him! It was Lucien! And boy did he grow up! I remember him being awkward and lanky.

He walked up to me and grabbed me in a huge hug and spun me around. I couldn’t help but giggle. He set me back down and took a step back to look me over with a smile on his face.

“You grew up Ali!” he smirked at me. I laughed again. “You did too Lucien! I thought you moved to New York?” He nodded. “My mom took me up there but decided that she liked it here better and I’ve been helping your grandmother ever since.”

I turned my head to the side in confusion, “Wait. You’ve been helping Gran?” He nodded. I turned to look at Gran. This is what she was up to the whole time. “Then who is Anthony?” I asked to Gran and Lucien. “It’s my middle name. Your grandmother loves to call me it instead of Lucien.”

I laughed. I couldn’t believe everything changed in such a small amount of time. I remember old times with Lucien. We played tricks on Old Man Jenson up the road and we even had our first kiss together. I was going to show him my secret place but that was the day my mom shipped us out as far away as possible.

My old feelings for Lucien sparked right back up. But it was something more, he was older and he was even helping Gran. “Are you going to Clearwater High next year?” I asked as I pulled Lucien outside, away from prying eyes. “Yep, I’m going to be a senior. What about you, you haven’t graduated already have you? You were always smarter than me.” I smiled, “No I haven’t graduated yet I’m going to be a senior at Clearwater high next year too.”

His whole face lit up at this. “Ali, are you serious? That is great!” He pulled me into a hug again and I pulled my arms around him tight. He smelled wonderful I never wanted to let him go. He pulled back and looked nervous. “What’s wrong Lucien?” He ran his hand through his hair trying to find the right words.

“You probably didn’t want to live here. Well...I mean leaving everything, your friends and boyfriend.” He wouldn’t look me in the eye. I pulled his chin down to look at me. “I don’t have a boyfriend Lucien. In fact I didn’t want to live here,” He looked away and I jerked his chin so he would make eye contact again. “I didn’t want to live here unless you were here. You make everything better Lucien. We’ve been best friends since we could walk!” He smiled at this and pulled me into his arms.

“What about you? I’m sure you have a girlfriend. You sure did fill out,” I said looking him over for the thousandth time. He laughed, “No girlfriend. If you remember the girls who actually live here, they are the same annoying brats that we played pranks on. The only difference is they grew boobs.” I let go of a breath I didn’t know I was holding. I’ve known I liked Lucien since I was twelve. That day came to the front of my memory and I smiled.

“Lucien. I want to show you something,” I pulled him toward the woods. He smiled as he trailed behind me. I came into the clearing for the second time today and this feeling beat that out of the water. I was finally sharing my secret place with someone. “I’ve never shown this to anyone before. It’s my secret place, my place to come and think.” I glanced at him. He looked down and me and grabbed one arm around my waist and instinctively I wrapped my arms around his neck, and he twirled me around before losing his balance and I fell on top of him.

I couldn’t stop my giggling. It just came pouring out of me. I couldn’t remember the last time I laughed like this. After my laughing fit I realized that I was straddling his hips and his hands were planted on my waist. I leaned forward and kissed his nose before falling over to the side.

“Aliea?” he whispered in my ear as I threw my arm across his chest. I looked up into his hazel eyes and smiled, “Yeah, Lucien?” “I’m glad you shared this with me. We’ve been best friends since I can remember. But, I think I want to be something more with you. Your beautiful, smart, funny, devious. Everything I want.” I closed my eyes listening to him as the wind blew softly around us. “Lucy,” he smiled at my old nickname of his. “I’d love to be something more with you.” I giggled again but this time he stopped it with a heart-stopping kiss.