Left Handed Stains

Five.

Five millimeters. That’s all it would take for their hands to be touching. That short amount of space would determine their future together. If only one of them would move their hands.

Five inches. That’s the distance between their faces. So close, stealing a kiss would be quick and easy. Quickly, make a move.

Five feet. Her body from his separated by an automatic door. It would be nearly effortless to run to him.

Five thousand miles. Physically separated but mentally together. When was he coming back?

Six feet. He was even farther away than ever before. Never to be seen again. When was it her turn?

Two hundred feet. That’s all it would take for them to be together again. But why couldn’t she take the leap?

Two thousand miles. The space needed to get over him. To start a new life. Why could she still feel him?

Two hundred feet. So close to the grave. Almost there.

Six feet. Lower. Lower. Almost there.

Five thousand miles. Travels abroad brought her back here. One round trip to the past.

Five feet. Separating them from an eternity together.

Five inches. Barely enough soil to separate the mahogany that held them apart.

Five millimeters. Their wings almost touching. Finally, she’s there. 

Unfinished and Untitled: Part 2

Piles of books crowded the room, creating an elaborate maze leading to a desk with a single red notebook lying out. That notebook held years worth of secrets and desires. Short stories were scattered among the pages. Those stories were the diamonds in the rough, but she just didn’t realize it yet. 

Libby spent a majority of her time with her nose stuck in a book. The books ranged from college textbooks to Marvel comics. From said literature, Libby used the information to simulate human interaction. She pretended to have intellectual conversations with others. Sometimes they talked about physics. Other times it was about Captain America’s escapades. There was always one genre she could never replicate with herself though. Romance. 

Since she never left her apartment unless she needed groceries, Libby didn’t fully understand the necessity of male to female contact. In the books there was a sense of urgency and desire that was unsatisfied until coitus occurred. She understood the need for coitus when repopulating the earth was concerned, but not for pure pleasure. In fact, the thought of another human touching her made her cringe in fear. 

These were the types of secrets she wrote down. Libby wrote about her unnatural fear of human contact, her love of all things Britney Spears, but most of all, she wrote of her desire to be normal. Because she did not understand it, Libby wanted a normal life more than anything. Her hermit ways held her back from so much, especially the ability to fully understand everything. Books could only tell her so much.

Staring out her smudged window that looked over a neighboring park, Libby saw couples scattered throughout the field. Some tossed colorful Frisbees. Others cuddled on a blanket while staring at the pristine clouds. There was even one couple screaming and throwing up their hands in an obvious gesture of disgust. While they might not paint the picture of happiness, there was feeling there that Libby would never know. 

The girl didn’t suffer from any medical illness. She grew up in a house with a mother who never allowed her to go outside, listen to the radio, or make friends. Libby was homeschooled and only went to the library where her father worked. It was there she found friends within the pages of the books she read. Since then, Libby has purchased more books than lingerie like other girls her age did.

Each book held a part of her that could not be replicated with anyone or anything else. For instance, Little Women gave her the understanding of what it would be like to have sisters. She now understood the inside jokes, the unconditional love, and the occasional quarreling that occurred amongst siblings. While reading it, Libby felt as if she was one of the Marsh girls. 

Unfinished and Untitled: Part 1

Piles of books crowded the room, creating an elaborate maze leading to a desk with a single red notebook lying out. That notebook held years worth of secrets and desires. Short stories were scattered among the pages. Those stories were the diamonds in the rough, but she just didn’t realize it yet. 

Libby spent a majority of her time with her nose stuck in a book. The books ranged from college textbooks to Marvel comics. From said literature, Libby used the information to simulate human interaction. She pretended to have intellectual conversations with others. Sometimes they talked about physics. Other times it was about Captain America’s escapades. There was always one genre she could never replicate with herself though. Romance. 

Since she never left her apartment unless she needed groceries, Libby didn’t fully understand the necessity of male to female contact. In the books there was a sense of urgency and desire that was unsatisfied until coitus occurred. She understood the need for coitus when repopulating the earth was concerned, but not for pure pleasure. In fact, the thought of another human touching her made her cringe in fear. 

I’m going to post an unfinished piece since I realized that this blog has been lacking in any sort of material. I would love some feedback!

Questions Unsent

           Thirty minutes had passed before she decided to turn off her phone for good. He obviously wasn’t going to call or text back. Why would he? He didn’t have any obligations to her; they were just friends. Even though she really needed him then, she knew it was pointless to continue staring at her phone screen with a picture of the two of them smiling back at her, or rather taunting her. She wouldn’t hear the soft melody of his special ringtone tonight.

            When they met five years ago, nothing could keep them apart, including significant others and disapproving mothers. Their conversations lasted well into the night, until the sun kissed the horizon good morning and the two realized that they needed some sleep before school that morning. Even when they didn’t get any sleep, the two were always ecstatic to see one another. They talked about everything; no secrets were kept nor told to prying ears.

            So what had changed? The obvious answer was college. Since they had attended different schools, communication wasn’t always a priority. Still, they continued their conversations at least once a week. However, those talks usually lasted a mere five minutes. She never thought much of it, thinking that summer would bring them the quality time they so desperately needed.

            Of course she knew that she had romanticized their summer together, imagining long talks, days together where nothing else mattered but each other. Their platonic relationship always seemed like more in the eyes of others, but she attributed that to their naturally flirty behavior. Maybe, just maybe, there was actually something more to their story. Her plan for the summer was to figure out where they actually stood with each other, since the last time their relationship was addressed they were juniors. It was then decided that their friendship was more important than what would have been a whirlwind relationship without any hope of saving their friendship.

            The few times they had seen each other during their freshmen year of college, things were different. Conversations were reserved and structured to remain cordial. Their actions on the other hand seemed to say more than their words. New habits came into play, the stroking of the hair, kissing on the forehead, and long meaningful looks were doing the talking for them. But what had they been saying? Their meanings confused her and made her wonder if these were just used for every girl that catches his eye.   

            The looks on his face when he first laid eyes on her said differently. Not only did they detach from the outside world, they also made her realize that he could see inside her soul where her deepest feelings hid. That realization scared her. No one needed to see those dusty corners. There was pain, betrayal, and the love she tried to hide in there. These feelings were her burden to bear, not his to see and use within their friendship. What was she to do now that their friendship appeared to be dissolving with every text and every attempted invite?

            As soon as she walked away from her cell phone, she realized that it probably wasn’t the best thing to do, considering that she was always receiving texts and calls from family members. The moment her phone sprang to life, sporting the Sprint logo, that familiar melody played, signaling that a text message had arrived. Not only did her heart race, but her stomach filled with the butterflies that hadn’t plagued her in months. Even though this wasn’t the usual reaction to a message from him, she knew how severe the consequences would be had she let them affect her next move. What would her next move be? Would she reply back with a disappointed undertone? Or would she fake the usual happiness she felt when she was talking to him. She could never fake the anticipation that welled in her stomach before the opening of the message nor could she fake the relief that her friend hadn’t abandoned their friendship for something less stable and more interesting as she had feared.

            Before she could figure out how to react, opening the message was kind of crucial. It wasn’t like she asked a life altering question, but it would change everything they had built in the past several years. As she took a deep breath, her index finger hovered over his name, ready to read his reply. Was she ready? Was she right in questioning him? It didn’t matter what the answers were to her questions. Only his answer mattered now. It was his move and it would either end the game or change it into a whole new one that had never been played by them before.   

Lose Yourself

She awoke with a start. “Shit. What the hell kind of nightmare was that,” Anna said as she rubbed the sleep out of her eye clumsily with her hand, feeling all sorts of pins and needles as the blood returned to it. These nightmares were a constant in her life. Each one worse than the last.

            This time she dreamt of war and was forced to watch and participate in the brutal murders of several innocent children. None of whom she had ever seen before. “Of course I’ve seen them,” she thought. “It’s impossible for a brain to create a new face on its own.”

            As she prepared herself mentally to get out of bed, Anna heard a rustling next to her. Christian, her “friend” of three years was peacefully asleep next to her. He never seemed to know what she went through each night. Then again, each time he came over nowadays it wasn’t to discuss anything, unless it was where they were going to have sex next. Anna didn’t know when their friendship had become one with certain benefits, but that’s all it seemed to be anymore.

            When they first became friends, Anna and Christian couldn’t stop talking. They had a lot in common. Their conversations ranged from sports, literature, and of course food. Not only were they both food bloggers, they just happened to be each other’s sworn enemy. Because of this, everything was a competition between them, even sex. This wasn’t a bad arrangement; it just wasn’t what Anna wanted for much longer.

            As she pondered this, Anna walked to her bathroom so she could wash away the horrible scenes from last night with scalding water and her favorite loofah. Right when she started the shower, she heard the bed creak and knew what was coming next. “Hey sweets, is there room for another,” asked Christian. “Isn’t there always,” Anna replied. Today though, there wasn’t. The shower was filled by her thoughts and her next scheme to rid herself of these terrible dreams.

            She had tried everything. A purple and blue dream catcher hung above her bed and sparkled as the light hit it just right. Anna read every night and focused her thoughts on pleasant things, like the next restaurant she was reviewing; this time it was an upscale Moroccan place that had just opened a month ago. More recently, her thoughts were consumed by the figure who was now stealing all the hot water from her.

            “Babe, you need to move over. I’m freezing over here.” Christian looked at her and smiled that slow smile that got her into bed that first night. “Why don’t you come over and share with me,” he questioned. Knowing that was exactly what she shouldn’t do, Anna shuffled to his end of the shower and prepared for the one thing she knew she could lose herself in. 

In the Arms of the Ocean

She felt herself spiraling down. Farther down than she had ever gone before. Lucille realized that this was the end. The surface was never to be seen again. The one place that had always been safe was now going to kill her. Who knew that the ocean could be so dangerous?

As her oxygen tank’s supply quickly depleted, Lucille went over her options. Continue fighting against the rope that held her to the ocean floor or just wait for the inevitable? Either way she was going to die.

        What had she accomplished in the past five years since graduating from college? She hadn’t become the lawyer her parents pushed her to be; instead, she was a scuba instructor in California with a tiny apartment and a dinky bike. Otherwise known as “living like a hippie” if you asked her parents. Lucille wasn’t married nor did she even have options to establish a love life. Her last boyfriend made sure of that.

        Years of abuse tore her apart and made trusting anyone impossible. Running away from her quaint house in Maine to California seemed like the only option. She had to get away from her ex Mark and the world of despair he created for her. His grasp was so tight. It was a wonder that Lucille even made it past the front door without so much as one of his signature blows to the ribs.

        Once she got to the California coast, the ocean became her savior. It became the arms she could run to, the only safe haven she had. When underwater, nothing could harm her. She was at peace with its inhabitants. They worked around each other. The fish didn’t shove her out of their way. The sharks didn’t snarl at her when she moved too suddenly. It was beautiful. The cold water washed over her bruises and scars gently, like a mother caressing her daughter’s cheek after a long night of crying.

Lucille’s own mother was coarse and cold to anything but success. Tears were just another form of weakness in her eyes. Not once could Lucille remember her mother embracing her and telling her everything would be alright. Her father was just like his wife. His eyes pierced her heart every time she did something wrong. The day she came home crying when Mark first hit her was the last time Lucille ever tried to go to her parents for help. Her father dismissed her tears and shut his office door in her face. Her mother told Lucille that Mark probably had good reason for striking her.

As she looked to the murky light above her, Lucille obtained a sense of peace. No longer did she feel scared. She had felt death come upon her several times before during some of Mark’s huge fits of anger. Unfortunately, the Grim Reaper never took her away from the pain of her harsh reality. He left her there to endure more. This time, he was coming for her and he was not going to let her suffer anymore. The pain in her lungs and nose from the salt water faded. Her eyes no longer stung. Now her eyelids slowly drifted down, allowing her to head into a peaceful sleep called death.

Her last thoughts were not filled with sorrow or fear. They were filled with acceptance and happiness. The last six months were the greatest she had ever experienced. The cheap Mexican food, the economical apartment that kept her cozy during the nights when she had nightmares, and of course, the ocean’s cold but welcoming embrace were what kept her sane. That’s what kept her smiling during those final moments. No longer could anyone hurt her. She was safe now. Now and forever. 

The Manual

            Izabelle had a past. One with deep wounds that she believed would never heal. She could never escape it, for the manual that was supposed to help build relationships was tainted with the details that could ruin any semblance of a relationship by the first page.

            As she roamed the aisles of her favorite bookstore, Grimm’s, Izabelle noticed a mysterious, blonde-haired, boy lurking around the corner, his green eyes locked on her. He must have been new to town, meaning a new manual for people to read. A manual Izabelle now wanted to dive into.

            The boy’s eyes widened when he realized he had been spotted. He couldn’t have been too surprised. His hiding spot wasn’t exactly the best and his staring wasn’t stealthy in the slightest. As his cheeks flushed with embarrassment, he shoved the dusty book that he pretended to read back in its proper place on the shelf. Sweat formed on his palms as Lucas Adams shuffled over to where Izabelle had been standing for the past hour.

            “Hello, my name is Lucas. What’s yours?” he asked. Startled at the manliness of his voice, Izabelle nervously responded with a squeaky, “Izabelle, with a z.” The pair shifted awkwardly, until they finally realized what had to come next. “Do you want a copy of my manual?”  they blurted in unison. Giggling, Izabelle pulled out a neat copy of her manual, while Lucas dug for a crumpled booklet in the deep pockets of his backpack. Finally, coming up with the invention of some guy who was too lazy to get to know someone, Lucas sheepishly handed over his destroyed manual.

            “Sorry for the crappy condition,” he mumbled with a small smirk. Izabelle gazed in awe at the person who appeared to be everything her abusive mother never allowed her to be. Messy, unorganized, and most of all, happy. Izabelle finally made eye contact with Lucas, eyes filling with tears, because she knew what terrible things he would find.

            Her manual contained every punch, every kick, and every obscenity thrown her way by the person who was supposed to love her unconditionally. It was the law that everything must be recorded for future reference in the manuals so that there were no surprises. After she had been removed from her abusive household, Izabelle found herself at her aunt’s, spending the nights crying and wondering when her mother will find her. She spent the days working in order to purchase more books at Grimm’s, the only place she felt at home.

            Lucas looked into Izabelle’s eyes with pure concern, wanting to pull the crying girl into his arms and stroke her hair until the tears stopped. Obviously, this girl had an intense manual. Instead, he shifted his position and asked if she wanted to go get a cup of coffee at the Grounds across the street. “Do you want to get to know each other the old fashioned way? Ya know, by actually talking and asking questions,” he inquired. As Izabelle raised her eyebrows in shock, she began to smile and reach for Lucas’ hand to begin the journey of a friendship, like the ones she had read about in the dusty books at Grimm’s.