anbwrites

Archive for March 2013

It was just one of those nights.

It was one of those nights where nothing felt right.

It was one of those nights where there was a silent ache inside of my heart, and I felt empty.  I felt alone, no matter how hard I tried to feel otherwise.  I longed for happiness, even though I couldn’t remember what it was like to be truly happy.  Every fiber of my being screamed for me to cry, and was in pain from holding everything in.

But I couldn’t.  I held on to the pain, for it was all I knew anymore.

Advertisements

 

She was everything I had wanted to be, and more.  Her eyes shone with some sort of inner light and happiness.  The light she gave off was beautiful, for lack of a better word.  She was a captivating soul, and her gaze continued to hold me prisoner.  I did not mind, though.  And although I have credited myself with a wild imagination and a gift of exaggeration, I promise that all of these words are simply understatements.

Her name didn’t matter, nor did mine.

For the evening, we were simply two beings meshed into one with the sound of waves softly kissing the shore.  She didn’t say much, and rarely talked about herself, yet I still felt as if I understood her.

“It’s strange, isn’t it?”  She suggested as she lay back on the sand.

I could only nod as I struggled not to stare.

She seemed to know me well, though, and sensed that I wasn’t paying attention.  “Liar,” she mused and nudged my hip with her red-painted toes.

I smiled sheepishly.  “I’m sorry.  I find that I get easily caught up in the sound of your voice and I forget to pay attention to your words.”

“I guess that qualifies as a compliment.”

I shoved my hands into the pockets of my flannel hoodie, my mind fumbling for words while my fingertips tugged at loose thread.  “I would hope so; it was meant as one.”

“Aren’t you just a charmer?”  She flashed a knee-weakening smile, and I felt grateful to have been sitting down.  I shrugged and thought of lying down next to her, but my insecurities sank into my body and my mind like cement, which kept me still.

She’s a gorgeous creature, you dunce cap.  You hardly deserve to be in her presence.  Don’t be an idiot and try anything.  Just try to sound at least somewhat intelligent.

“So, your name is—“

“Look!”  She sat up and grabbed my upper arm as she pointed away from us with her free hand.

I looked around, trying to see what she saw.  “What is it?”

She scooted closer to me, our hips and shoulders touching.  I tried hard to ignore the shivers crawling up my spine, and told myself that I was just being extra sensitive, and that her body next to mine didn’t cause fireworks, or gastrointestinal butterflies like romantic films claim.

“Crabs are crawling out of the sand all over the place!  Look at them!”  She squealed, and a huge smile found its place on my lips.  “Aw, they are so cute!”

She was the cute one, in my humble opinion, not the crustaceans that inhabited the beach.  Regardless, I nodded in agreement.  “Yes, I suppose they are.”

“They look like they’re trying to find each other.  To reunite as friends, or lovers, or something.”  She sighed, and I could sense a feeling of longing radiate from her.  “What do you think?”

She looked up at me with her mesmerizing, doe-like hazel eyes, and I lost all ability to formulate coherent thoughts.  However, I made an attempt to not sound like an idiotic fool.

“You’re pretty,” I blurted out.

Damn it, you’re a lost cause.  Just go home and sink into your bed.  Yep, the one with the sheets that have the periodic table of elements on them.  Grab your towel and leave her alone.  Forget about your dignity; it’s too far buried beneath the sand to be retrieved.

Her giggling only helped to mortify me even more.  “You’re adorkable,” she whispered before brushing her lips against my cheek.

Her statement baffled me.  Not only because I wasn’t entirely sure what “adorkable” meant, but I also wasn’t sure whether or not it was a good thing.  “I’m sorry, what?”

“Adorkable.  You know, you’re an adorable dork.”

Not as bad as being told you’re a loser with impossible hopes of capturing her attention, I thought.

I chuckled nervously, my nails digging into the fabric of my pockets.  “Oh.  Well, thanks.”  I tried to play it off, and to be cool about it, although I was the polar opposite of cool at that point.  My heart felt as if it had been stung by an electric eel, and I could no longer deny the existence of butterflies in my stomach.

“You like me,” she said, and I froze.

“I-I’m sorry, what?”

She giggled again, and I could feel blood rushing to my cheeks.  “You like me.  It’s okay, and it’s not a bad thing.”  Before I could dispute her claim, she carried on.  “You’re a science buff, a math man, and probably a left-brainer.  I’m the opposite.  I’m a right-brained, artistic, free-flowing person that runs on emotion.  You’ve probably felt like kissing me this entire time, but haven’t because you’re stuck in your head and over-analyzing everything.”

I was baffled by this girl beside me.  She was open, raw, and rare.  While I, on the other hand, was reserved, skeptical, and critical.

“That’s highly presumptuous of you, don’t you think?”  I tried to sound confident, but my voice was weak and shook terribly.

She shook her head and turned to face me.  Her tiny hands took mine and held them gently.  “Look me in the eye, Logan, and tell me that you feel nothing.  Tell me, honestly, that you don’t have the urge to kiss me.”

My gaze dipped to her lips and lingered there for a few moments.  Her lips were full and rosy, and looked incredibly soft.  “I… I don’t,” I whispered as her hands reached to touch my cheeks.

“Liar,” she whispered back.  She moved her lips and began to speak, but I captured her words with my mouth, and all of my thoughts vanished.  I had kissed a handful of girls before her, yet the kisses lacked emotion and were completely robotic.

I wrapped my arms around her frame and my hands proceeded to get lost in her hair.  Rational thought and reason flew out the window as our lips moved together.  All I knew was that I was perfectly content with thought of spending the rest of my night kissing this intriguing and tempting girl named Faith.  In a way that no made sense, I no longer felt the weight of the world and its many puzzling questions tugging on my shoulders.

Faith had a way of making me feel free.

     “These memories keep haunting me,” she whispered, her arms wrapped tightly around her knees.  “I can go a long time without thinking about it once, but when something triggers me strongly enough, it’s all over.”

     He nodded as he took thoughtful notes on his legal pad.  “Tell me about this trigger you had, Samantha.”

     “There was an old guy, with a beard,” she rubbed her eyes as they began to fill with tears.  “He had on a USMC hat, and a flannel jacket.  It looked just like him, Dr. Schorr.  I could’ve sworn…  Some part of me thought it was him, and I wanted it to be.  I’m always hoping he’ll be there in his chair, drinking coffee, and watching Nascar when I come home, but he’s never there.”

     “Samantha, your dad died a year ago.  He isn’t coming back, and it’s best that you realize this and move forward with the grieving process.”

     She shook her head.  “I can’t!  I can’t grieve him or mourn him; that isn’t what he wanted!  I can’t feel sad, and I’m told that I should just be happy that he was here for 18 years when some people don’t even have a dad for one, but I can’t help it!  It’s like, seriously, I’m sorry that you never had a dad that was around for whatever reason, but I did, and just because you didn’t have one doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to miss mine!”  She stood up and pushed over the coffee table that was between their chairs.  “I’m losing my mind!  I feel like he just died yesterday, that he is still alive today, and that he never even existed all at once!  I have this raw ache in my chest that I can’t fill back up.  I don’t care about the whole God thing and Him supposedly being the only thing that can fill this hole in my chest, because it doesn’t work!

     I don’t want God, I don’t want a fucking psychiatrist and mom up my ass 24/7, and I don’t want people saying ‘I’m sorry,’!  I know you’re fucking sorry, but guess what, sorry doesn’t do anything!  Do you know what I do want, doctor?  I want my dad back.  I want my dad, I want my damn father back, alive, well, happy, healthy, and I want him here to hug me and make us pancakes and bacon on Sunday morning, and I just want him back!  I-I need him, I can’t keep living without my daddy…”

   Image

     It all began with Bruce Coville.

     God bless that wonderful man. Bruce Coville, the fantastic author of The Unicorn Chronicles and many others, was the one who got the ball rolling, in my case. I originally read The Unicorn Chronicles when I was in 6th grade, yet that book stayed with me through the pain (and disbelief) of my dad being diagnosed with cancer for the first time when I was in 7th grade. I remember posting on his guestbook on his website (which I dug through earlier and found, and I’m horrified at my grammar and writing, dear heavens…), and also writing him a letter. Now, of course, I didn’t expect a response from this man. He, after all, was this incredible author and creator of amazing and wonderful worlds and characters, and I was just a girl in middle school with dreams of being an author. But, he did respond, and it wasn’t one of those automated responses that lacked personality or care. He was sincere in his response and in his answers to my questions (and there were several of them). The main thing I remember from his letter is that no matter what, I need to keep writing. I’m going to order The Unicorn Chronicles online today and re-read them all. I posted on his guestbook this morning (I really hope he doesn’t believe I’m some crazy stalker), and I’m hoping for another response. There are certain moments in life that can never be erased, both good and bad. Most of these moments either hold you back, or propel you forward. In this case, Bruce Coville’s wonderful works of fiction, and his caring replies to his fans, were the canon that launched me into the passion I now have for both reading and writing. I swear, and mark my words, please, if I ever become a published author, his name is going in the dedication section. I can see it now:

 

To Bruce Coville, the man who began my love of reading, which then transferred to writing. A man who took the time to respond to me when I was a mere 12 year-old dreamer, and told me that no matter what, I mustn’t stop writing.

The darkness of the night enveloped me in its chilly embrace while the moon smiled down as I walked.  I had taken the same route home from work on a nightly basis for a few months now, ever since my car died on me.  I was a creature of habit, and stubborn as a bull.  I paid attention to my surroundings, I stayed in well-lit areas, and I did what everyone is told to do when they’re in school: don’t talk to strangers.  It was a 30 minute walk from Stacey’s Pub to my apartment on East 45th Street, and I never ran into any trouble.  I tugged my jacket zipper up to protect myself from the cold.  Everything felt normal, somewhat, until I heard footsteps behind me.  Usually, nobody else was on the sidewalk at 2AM, unless it was Billy the Homeless Guy, who I befriended with a sandwich and a bottle of Gatorade.

It’s probably just someone else walking home from work, I told myself.

“Hey, sweet cheeks,” a man’s voice called from behind me, and my heart sank into my stomach.

I dug around in the deep pockets of my jacket for my pepper spray, ready to do damage if this guy tried to hurt me, but I couldn’t find it.  Panic swept through my veins, and my senses moved into a state of high alert.  “Sorry, babe, I snuck that pesky pepper stuff out of your coat while you were working.  I couldn’t let it get in the way of our time together.”

My instinct told me to not even bother looking back, so I didn’t.  Instead, I started screaming and I propelled myself forward.  With adrenaline pumping its way through my body, I quickened to a sprinting pace, hell-bent on getting away from whoever was behind me.  I swung my arms by my sides to make me go faster, yet went tumbling down onto the harsh pavement after something hit me between the shoulder blades.  I yelped as my body convulsed, as if I had been electrocuted.  “G-Get away from me!  Help!”  I struggled to scream as my attacker knelt down above me with his hand cupping my chin, his fingertips pressing deeply into my cheeks.

“Shh, nobody is out this late at night.  I’ve been watching you for quite some time now, Alex.”

Tears streamed down my cheeks as he pinned my arms down by my head.  “Take my money, take my purse, just let me go!”  I tried kicking my feet, and attempted a few times to knee him in the groin, yet to no avail.  “Let me go!  Don’t kill me!”

Kill you?  What do you think I am, some kind of murderer?”  He laughed and shook his head while his knees dug themselves into my thighs.  “I don’t want your money, Alex.  I want something that money can’t buy.”  He held both of my wrists tightly against the ground as his free hand dug in his pocket and retrieved a knife.  It glowed brightly as he dug it through the flesh of his forearm, making him hiss.  He then used the blade to cut an intricate pattern on the inside of my wrist.  I continued to cry and beg for him to stop, because not only did the knife cut me, but it felt like it was burning my skin.

“Alex, you will thank me later for this,” he smiled as he switched hands and pressed his forearm, oozing black blood, onto my wrist.  For a moment, I felt nothing, and then my eyes rolled back into my head as I began to convulse.  I couldn’t see what was happening anymore, but I could still hear, and I could feel.  I felt ice and fire burning through my body, and this gnawing pain in my chest.  I also no longer felt the weight of his body on me anymore.

“Samael, you think you’re such a sneaky bastard, don’t you?”  Another voice, one I thought I had heard before but wasn’t sure, growled.  I heard some scuffing around, and some pained cries, before the sound of bones breaking.  “This will be the last human you harm, and once you regain the strength to travel, you can send that message to your boss for me.”

I finally began to go numb, until I felt a hand caress my cheek and I heard a sigh.  “Alex, fight it.  I’m going to take some of it away, but the rest of the poison is going to stay inside you.  Just hold on, okay?”  If I could’ve moved, I would’ve nodded.  I felt the same hand, which was slightly rough, touch the cuts on my wrist.  The numbness slowly transformed into a comforting warmth, as if I was sitting beside a fireplace.  Eventually, I was able to open my eyes again, and found myself looking at Billy the Homeless Guy.

“Billy?”  My voice sounded incredibly dazed as I noted his features; the ice blue eyes and the long brown hair, the tan skin and the beard.

He smiled.  “Actually, the name’s Gabriel, and I’m an angel.  You haven’t done much right in your life, Alex, but the day you fed me was the day you gained a guardian.”

I haven’t had much experience, when it comes to physical intimacy.  Sure, I’ve kissed maybe four guys, and made out with a few, but it was never quite… There.  That spark wasn’t there, and those butterflies that I’m told I should feel were basically dead in the pit of my stomach.  All I would think about when kissing these guys would be anything but them.  I’d think about lunch, how I chipped my nail polish too much and needed to make plans to repaint them, etc.  I wasn’t drawn to them in any way, shape, or form.  But him?  

He’s a different story.  Whenever we kissed, the previously deceased butterflies were resurrected and fluttered through every vein in my body.  It was like my mind was no longer in control of my actions, and I was simply running on this raw need and hunger to kiss him until we somehow melted into each other on those hot summer nights.

I never considered myself to be a particularly rebellious person.  In fact, I always thought I was rather innocent.  But with him, it’s going to be pretty hard to play by the rules.