Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Story

If you know me, then you'll know most of my life is just about writing. It's my passion, it's a big part of me, it's practically an addiction. I started writing creatively when I was about 11, when I didn't like the ending of a story I had read. Plus before that, my 4th grade teacher had wanted to be a writer and that combined, got me started.

Anyways, while I was away in Florida, I didn't do any writing. I mean, I think I wrote like two or maybe three pages of one story I was writing on, but that was it. It was RIDICULOUS. I've started and finished stories in that 4 month lifespan. Honest. So to do nothing, it kind of hurt. I mean, I just wasn't feeling it.

It took me another week to get home and all before starting anything. I did an exercise that my writing buddy, an online "pen pal" (coolest people ever kinda gal), had given me. She gave me a song, and while it played, I had to write. And write. And keep writing.

Anyways, "Chapter 3" is what came out. But I wanted to add something more and give my story a little more depth. So I had a few pieces before that and thus, I had a short story. I don't know if anyone will like it, but I do. I don't know if I'll do anything with it, anyways. But I like to write. And I don't care what others think of it. Actually, it might even be better if no one says anything, I don't know.

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My knees shake beneath me, unsteady on this desolate landscape so lost to the world. Lost to all but me and my weak memory. Bloody fingers scratching my skin, I shudder and pull my hands away from my scabs.

          “Ry-Ryan?” My voice quivers as I reach the top, past all the trees and rocks. It’s bright out now, a brand new day waiting with possibilities. Except it’s ruined the only one I was hoping for, the only one I needed.

          Our little rock is still there, where I left it for him. Our little truce that I broke, not having thought I could be that na├»ve. What had I been thinking? It’s not like he would always put up with me the way I’ve been.

          Dropping onto my knees, I crawl breathlessly to the edge, looking down. A breeze pulls back my hair so I can see clearly below. His voice seems to beckon me over the edge, tugging me into the unknown. It’s not supposed to be like though- it should be the other way around. It always was.

          The pebble rolls around in my palm, red and sticky with my blood.

          Sorry won’t fix it, sorry won’t fix you.

          Are those the last words I am to ever hear from him? Is this my punishment? It seems too cruel and yet when I think back and roll through my memories; it’s the least of what I deserve.

          Like all else, the wind turns against me. Sharp and cold, it stings my cheeks and I shudder for I have no protection against the pain. Collapsing against a dead tree stump, I try to breathe and see if there is another ridge for me to walk, a pathway to lead me on.

          I can’t seem to find one now, now that I am all alone.

          I see him in the distance, laughing and smiling as though he held the sun in his hands and all it did was tickle him. That’s how it always was. The happy one, the golden boy who loved everything and everything loved him.

          Even I, who swore I never loved a thing, loved him.

          That was the first truth I knew in my life. At six years old, I loved Ryan McConnell, the golden boy. That dusty red hair that sparkled in the sunlight, the perfectly white teeth that gleamed in his lopsided grin, those hazel eyes that saw everything good in the world.

          He made me believe that there was even some good in me.

          The moment I saw him, I knew I had to make him mine. I had walked over and stared at him, trying to find something to say. After all, I was the shadow without a voice- no one could make me talk for anything. I never had anything to say.

          When Ryan came around, he made me want to sing. “Hi, I’m Ryan. You’re Penelope, aren’t you?” I could only nod; just when I knew what I could say, it wouldn’t even come out. He laughed, but he wasn’t laughing at me. Instead, he held out the dandelions he had been collecting. “These would look pretty in your hair, darling.”

          That day, after he gave me those silly dandelions, I claimed him as mine and he let me hang on. Our relationship was strange and everyone knew it, including the two of us. I want to smile at our silliness but to see where it has brought us now, I can’t.

          He said it was my pride. And every time it got too much, he had to walk away. When I thought I wanted to be alone, I left and he understood. So this was our place. Our silent place, where we didn’t talk or argue or even think.

          We came here to the ocean to simply be.

          That pebble would mean we were ready for a truce, to forget anything ever happened.
          He was supposed to take it, and wait for me here. Instead, he never even arrived. Ryan really didn’t leave. I wait here all night, my heart heavy and my breath shallow just in case I can hear him coming.

          But his timing was always impeccable. Of course, deep down I always knew. There was no way I could possibly win this, I never stood a chance. I never really had Ryan.


          It was stupid, that’s what I had decided. All the crap we put up with and then they want to control our futures? That’s just ridiculous. I grew up burdened with things a child shouldn’t even understand or think about. So for strangers to take over the last of my freedom was not about to happen.

          He never understood, mostly because I didn’t tell him the secrets.

          I think, though, deep inside, he knew. He saw the scars and he saw the tears. He saw me wounded in a way words could never describe and though Ryan never said a word, he didn’t leave me either. I thought that would be enough for eternity, to keep us bound.

          Maybe it was, but I chose to break our ties anyways. After all we went through, after the fun and frustration, after I had held onto him for so many years. After everything, it’s like I gave up, I’m the one who ruined everything.

          There used to be more color in my world.

          He taught me how to make the sun shine brighter during the day and how to make stars sparkle in the night heavens. My scars would fade and when I opened my eyes with his hand in mine, we were always someplace new and transformed.

          “Then let’s go,” he promised. “We can get away. No one to watch us, to tell us what to do. No one to hurt us- either of us.” The last part is a guarantee for me, his constant promise. The promise that kept me grounded so I wouldn’t fade away in the wind or die away in the storms.

          The summer promised us luck and a stupid freedom we couldn’t turn away from. So we took his car and found the desert. We found places, people, adventures, and even a spark of hope.

          I could open my eyes and I could almost see something up ahead. “If you squint hard enough into the sun, you can see the future. Your future, our future.” His grandfather had told him this as a kid and we would blind ourselves, praying we would find something good and wondrous.

          With Ryan, there was hope, inspiration, and even love. We had something different but we still thought it was special. We had created something out of nothing and two lonely hearts had found one another in the big world so it seemed like quite the miracle. Maybe it could have been destiny. He was my darling and I was his.

          “You have to learn to live,” he would tell me.

          “And what have I been doing for the last several years?” I would look at those hazel eyes, curious but there would be a smile because I always knew he would have an amusing answer, something to lighten the mood. He was my sun.

          “I don’t know,” he would say, and make something up. “A mummy?” We would smile like it was an inside joke, and then that’s when the car windows would roll down simultaneously to feel the wind in our hair and we would scream into the wind. He was the inspiration that kept me alive for so long, he was my reason to be here.

          I don’t leave for hours. The sun comes and soon it’s gone. I don’t really pay attention. But when I blink, the stars are blinking angrily down at me, as though they are threatening my very existence.

          It turns the knife more sharply into my heart. Every muscle inside this hollow body of mine aches, wishing I would stop. There used to be a reason for everywhere I went and suddenly, there is none. Stumbling down the hill, I find myself back onto the road, an unfriendly and lonely pavement. The yellow paint seems to scream at me as I limp my way down from the cliff.

          This wasn’t supposed to happen. Just another mistake that should have been fixable. The car trip should have never ended, maybe, but we returned to town because it’s always pulled us back. We were never able to escape, not for long.

          Or maybe, it’s just chained me down. He’s in the wind now, far gone.

          Memories dance like an angry whirl pool inside my mind, splashing around in the empty cavity of my heart. Hollow now, since he took it and crushed it. Ryan probably didn’t mean it. The golden boy can’t go bad, can he? He’s only human, and eventually he had to let go of me. Everyone does.

          “Ignore them.” His arm wraps around my waist and I try to ignore the voices, the calls, the annoying grit of their primal existence. His grip tightens when I try to slip away but I give into him, because I’m too tired to fight.

          Instead, I take the keys because I want to drive. It’s a rare occasion seeing as I’m not licensed but to feel the power of the metal, it helps me breathe. Taking on the speed of a cheetah without a sweat is such a fascinating experience, one I don’t take often.

          He lets me, because he always does.

          Cranky and restless, I cannot stop and I cannot remain calm. Our conversation does not grow any better the farther we get from town. Blood boils beneath my skin, ready to burst from my veins. Fire pumps my heart and it seems to force the vehicle faster down the road. Peace is nonexistent as we fight for ourselves as well as each other, louder and louder.

          It’s a sharp bend and I miss.

          We collide.            

          The fog rolls in and can feel the mist sinking into my skin, chilling me to the bone. Shivering, I reach our place. This is empty, too. Turning on the shower, I slip in, bare to the bone. A warmer vapor fills up the room, like a poisonous steam that I wish would bite me. Sliding beneath the water, I pretend I’m dying. It doesn’t feel much different.

          It’s a thick fog here when my eyes finally open again to the world, still very much alive. My skin turns red but I’m still cold, I still shiver.

          Soon, I give up. Wrapping a towel around my weak and pathetic body, I slowly make my way to the bed. They told me to sleep, that it would get better then. They live their lives full of lives, and I wonder if it hurts them as much as it hurts me.

          “Ryan? Ryan!”

          I scream but it’s not a hand over my mouth, it’s something else- something poisonous. My eyes open to a blurry, harsh world. Unfriendly ghouls wander before me, pulling every good thing apart until there is nothing left.

          “He’s gone. No pulse. Time of death-”

          They lie.


I stare out at the ocean, confused and lost. There’s a boat over on the horizon and I almost feel like I belong there. Trailing around without direction, surrounded by the blue, trapped by my actions and my fate.

The wind is cold and damp and I wrap my jacket tighter around myself but it doesn’t seem to help.   Almost like a message from the heavens, tugging me this way and that just to taunt me once more. I close my eyes as I stagger up onto my feet, tired of waiting.

Darling, I loved you and I lost you.

Was it my fault? Could I have done something, anything to fix it? To change it, at least?

We all know the truth, though they all deny it. I won’t, not anymore. I ruined this, Ryan, I ruined us. The wind grows stronger as I drop my jacket, giving in. I stand in front of the sun, where you belonged. You belonged everywhere for me, darling. I take a step and I lose you all over again. It hurts just to breathe. My heart is breaking, pushing against my ribs to fight free to curl up and never beat again. Time has failed me and I have failed you.

In the end, we couldn’t win. Like we were destined to be like Romeo and Juliet, our stars were fated since the very beginning. You were more than the golden boy, I was just scared to believe in us.

So why am I the one still here? Shouldn’t I be with you?

Another step away from the world and a step closer to you, I pray.

My eyes find the boat again, drifting aimlessly and hopelessly. My lips are chapped as I swallow hard and drop my arms to my side. My body is ready, tired of fighting. I’ve lost you for too long, my love is done sitting on the shelf.

I need you.

Another step and I pause at the cold. The water is chillier than I had imagined- but that’s okay. I don’t stop. I won’t stop, because this is for you, darling.

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So that's all I have been able to write lately (which isn't much), but it's a good start. It's choppy and all, but I like it.

(If you couldn't tell, the italics were past occurences, etc)

Ummm but yeah. I mean, you're supposed to share your talents and "not hide them under a bushel" so I figured here was as good as anywhere to share a little. People were always just wanting my inspirational poems that I could write on a dime, but... I've sort of progressed into something else for a while now. I don't know what it is, but it's intriguing.

Thanks for reading, whoever's there!

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