my feet were tired

6

gotham characters (posters series)

Oswald: Why didn’t you kill me? I have gone over that night 1,000 times, and it doesn’t make any sense. Why didn’t you kill me? I would’ve killed you in an instant. Answer me!
Fish: Because you’re mine. You were my umbrella boy, remember? You rubbed my feet when they were tired. And now look at you, the terror of Gotham. Everything I’ve done in my life, possibly the best thing was turning Oswald Cobblepot into… the P e n g u i n. I couldn’t destroy that.

GUys. I- I’m crying.

When I started this blog, it was a backlog of prompts for myself when I had no ideas of what to write. Yesterday, at exactly 10:47 pm, I walked home from my 4 hour waitressing job and cried when I opened my phone. Yes, my feet were tired and yes,  I was exhausted from fake smiling and telling people I’d “Be with them in one moment”, to only go to the kitchen and find what seemed like a million dishes- that wasn’t the reason I cried. Walking home and opening Tumblr, I tried to regain some strength as I knew we had visitors at home and I didn’t want to seem impolite. If I had’ve lived closer to London, I’d probably be within the remnants of a car collision by now- basically I stopped walking whilst crossing the road and started to cry :) You did that to me- I COULD’VE DIED. 

Honestly, I’m so grateful for every single one of you, you’re all so incredible and I can’t believe there are people who’ve stuck around for over 2 minutes. I’m not all that great and a little rough around the edges, but I’m trying my hardest and I don’t really think I’d even be around if it weren’t for all your love and support. I’m so grateful and I can’t thank you enough.

So, my beautiful geniuses, I will graciously ask for one last favour- Keep writing. You could start with an idea and end up with a following of 10,000, or you could transform that idea into another form of media. Never stop doing what you love, not for anyone. Your passions will last longer than most things, so please pursue them. If you’ve only just started writing, if you’re 4 books deep or maybe only just learning English- Keep going. One day you’ll get more than you wished for, or (In my case) something you didn’t even wish for. You each deserve every star in the sky, a billion cookies and all the things that make you happy. I’d jump at the chance to meet you all. Thank you so much for being the most talented, admirable, beautiful and lovely following anyone could ever ask for.

I love you all more than you could ever imagine, I’m so lucky to have such a incredible internet family. All my love and thanks and best cookies, Yasmine xox

Ghost Story Time

So we had to leave town at like 3 to get to Lincoln at 430 for dinner to make it to the venue by 530.  Mike wasn’t very excited, he generally doesn’t like going to shows, especially since it was like 982° outside.  We got to the restaurant and Mike was *dramatically* STARVING and couldn’t wait to eat.  So he ate so fast and ended up feeling like garbage, and had to take a whore’s bath bc there was all sorts of food in his beard 🙄 

Once we were done eating we had like 15 minutes to get to the venue like 5 blocks away.  We ran into @fanthem and @papasdeathblossom  Which is hilarious bc no matter what city we see Ghost,  I always manage to see them randomly.  Only this time Kim shouted my name instead of my url, so it wasn’t as funny, but less awkward for the person I was with 🤣

We chatted for a minute and they had to pee, and we had to get to the ticketbooth to check in.  I was freaking out,  and it was just so hot I felt gross.  Obviously I was wearing h2t black, which is super smart.  The ticketbooth lady was a gigantic cunt and said they didn’t have any Ghost stuff yet and I’d have to wait.  So about 15 minutes later the guy came out and checked us in and such.  We brought our stuff back to the car, like 8 blocks away and it was just so hot out.  I’m gonna say that a lot, so get uses to it now 👌

We still had tons of time to kill before we had to be back at the venue so we went to this soda shop thing across the street. It was weird, Mike googled hobby stores hoping for a nerd shop near by and it showed up.  There were like cardboard cutouts and some pop culture nerdy things in the window, but it was a ruse.  It was all soda and like weird candy.  Mike got this cherry soda that resembled cloraseptic spray and I almost puked when I tasted it.  He loved it though, so he’s gross. I really just wanted water bc it was fucking gross outside, but this soda shop literally own sold pop, no water in sight

We had so much time to kill, still,  so we went to the Pinnacle and just kind of people watched for 30 minutes.  We saw this old dude flip out (in a good way) bc he saw some little kid, prob like 7, wearing one of his dad’s old Maiden shirts.  Like this dude was almost in tears because he was so stoked that this little kid was wearing a vintage shirt.  The kid was so happy and the dad was happy, and I was like almost crying bc feelings and such.  It was nice, and one of my favorite parts of the whole night 

I’m gonna backtrack, so after we got our vip merch I wanted to stop by the merch stand to get the Popera shirt to bring back to the car with the other stuff.  While in that line we encountered *that guy.  You know, the guy at every event ever that has no concept of personal boundries,  loves the sound of his own voice more than breathing, and just hates when people are content without talking.  So TG (that guy), grabbed my arm and was looking at my tattoo, which isn’t anything new…people think it’s okay to do that for some reason.  But he asked if I had any other Ghost tattoos, so I showed him my Ghoul elbow and he lost his mind.  Then he was asking if I’ve heard of any of their other bands, so I said yeah,  bc I do?  Idk why I was even engaging in the convo bc I def shouldn’t have. I opened up a goddamn can of worms 😒🔫   

So he’s talking about all the previous ghouls and I was barely stringing along any sort of response.  He started talking about Mauro, but kept saying Mario.  I didn’t want to be a cunt, so I didn’t correct him.   In hindsight I wish I would have bc he was just lingering around for the entirety of the m&g and the annoyingness continued to escalate.  

So we went back to the car, did the soda shop thing, people watched for a bit, and then it was about 5 minutes after we were suppose to meet where we were already standing.  TG shows up and I was just like god.fucking.damn.it. 😬 so he was like saying who was competition and who wasn’t, like that’s a normal thing to do

They took us to where we were doing the m&g, and I ended up stuck in line behind TG, which was a fucking bummer.  Luckily it was cold down there bc I was so swampy and gross from being outside, wearing all black 🖤  so I’m quietly talking to my husband, and everybody is doing the same with whoever they came with or met in line.  *sidenote: there was a guy with skeleton paint on that was  just mowing down on pizza and beer prior to us being taken to the m&g area and I was somehow fascinated with it…as if he was an actual skeleton eating pizza and drinking beer*

Sooo..TG decides it’s just way to quiet for him to be left alone with his thoughts and in a whole room of people just NOT hearing his voice.  So he starts asking those annoying Ghost questions and literally mentions everything that makes me roll my eyes.  He mentions Dave Grohl, Blue Öyster Cult, where is Ghost going, how Meliora is a masterpiece, and all sorts of other shit…and to top it off, he kept saying Opius instead of Opus, and I wanted to die. I mean he pulled his pants down and took a shit on my favorite Ghost album 😠 His friend could see how annoying he was being and how irritated the entire room was so he kind reeled in the crazy.  Then TG made a sad, quiet statement that the room was just too quiet.  Idk man, he was awful and I couldn’t get away bc it was a line and just ugh.  Once Papa came out and went in the little tent thing, TG started taking more.  He turned around and spotted my rosary and asked where I got it.  So I told him I made it and he did one if those hand gestures where his head explodes and just kept saying wow???  It was fucking weird, and Mike looked like he was about to just Mortal Kombat *finish him* bc he hates people like TG,  which we all do so it’s whatever.  Oh my god, then it was FINALLY MY TURN!  I pulled a baggie out of my back pocket with the guitar picks I made for the ghouls, and my heart was beating out of my chest.  I asked George if he could give them to the other guys.  Realizing that it was a rolled up baggie, and it was quite sketchy, I told him that it was guitar picks for each of the Ghouls, and asked if I could give Papa his in the tent.  He said, very unimpressed with the rolled up baggie, “sure I guess so” and I felt like an idiot.  But here’s the thing,  everybody is like just find Billy Vanilla, he’s like the Rafiki of Ghost.  So he’s clearly not a real person bc I’ve been to 4 different shows and I’ve never once seen him.  It’s some sort of elaborate scheme that some of y'all are in on 😂 but whatever, keep the lie alive.  

Anyway, it’s finally out turn to go in and I’m just trying not to throw up.  It was much more intimidating with Papa in his papal robes and not that stupid suit.  I shook his hand for what seemed like an uncomfortable about of time, but like his black leather gloves are just everything and I didn’t want to let go.  Now y'all know I have a thing for those gloves and it was fucking unreal to touch them irl😵 Then I finally gave him the guitar pick.  I told him I made it and 5 matching ones with corresponding symbols.  So I looked around and realized how dark it was and said “ugh, it’s probably too fucking dark to see it in here though”…so he grabbed it and then sort of held it up and shook his head, then he leaned down to look at it in the purple spot light thing and said “rats” and that’s when I almost died because he’s fucking cute and so adorably dorky.  So if it weren’t for Mike I would have just stood there for the photo.  I was super frozen and had no idea what to do.  Mike then said to Papa “we were wondering if you could bless our baby and he put his hand on my belly and Papa’s eyes lit up and his voice changed from his hokey accent to a more genuine tone and said “of course, congratulations”.  It was so incredible,  I mean he was so genuine and he said congratulations like 9 times.  HE PUT HIS HAND ON MY BELLY and we took the photos.  I almost lost my mind, I mean… Papa’s black, leather gloved hand was touching my belly and I just 😱😱😱 

So the did the two photos and asked if we wanted two more since there were to two of us, and we said no these are fine.  Papa shook our hands again and when he shook mine I did the thing where I out my other hand on top of his and he looked me in the eyes and said in his real voice congratulations again, and then he said “this is fantastic”.  I started to tear up, but I kept my shit together 🙃 

After that we watched the show and it was amazing.  I was one of the only people in my section standing up for their set, and I was sort of bummed bc it wasn’t as fun as it usually is surrounded by people having as much fun as you are.  Anyway, Fire and Air both pointed at me at a few different parts.  It was pretty cool. My crush on Fire intensified the second the show started.  He’s fucking wild y'all.  He’s so fun to watch.  Him and the other two of the trinity have such a connection and stage presence.  They are so good!  It was so amazing and ended far too soon. When the show was over they were bowing and waving bye, Fire kept pointing to this one guy in the audience and doing the smoking a joint gesture at the dude, and then the dude realized he was the guy, Fire did a big cheesey 👍👍 which was adorable, and then I said “have mercy” 100% out loud and I blame @infernalghuleh for that 

Maiden was so good.  I’ve been wanting to see them since I was like 12, which is longer than some of you have been alive, so it was quite the evening.  Bruce is a fucking maniac, and he’s so fun to watch live.  We left after Fear of the Dark, which was a mutual agreement before the show.  That’s our fav song, and I just couldn’t stand anymore.  My feet were swollen and I was so tired.  Which is nuts bc prepregnancy me was never tired at a concert.  I also had to work Monday morning and it was already 11, and we had over an hour long drive home.

Mike talked the entire 1 hour and 20 minutes it took to get home about how much fun he had.  He asked how Olive was doing and I told him she was kicking and moving the entire time, especially when we met Papa and then again when Cirice was playing.  He said it was our first concert as a family and squeezed my hand, and I cried bc I’m a hormonal maniac these days.  

The next morning he texted me at work and said “Thank you so much for challenging my inhibitions and anxieties about going to stuff like that. I will never forget last night. I love you so much!” (Literally just copy & pasted that)😭😻💚

So, I wrote an essay…which is weird bc I’m usually not long winded at all 😎 

If you’ve read this far, thanks for sticking around for my Ghost story, and I hope it entertained you in one way or another 💜

On Penguins in Love

Okay, so this has been bouncing around my skull for a bit, let me see if I can lay it out coherently:

The first time I watched Gotham episode 3x14, I was struck by the moment on the docks when Oswald tells Ed that he was nothing before Oswald came along, just a “jittery loser”.  It felt a little jarring, even given the extreme emotional pressures that Oswald was under…

… but then I realised what it reminded me of.

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Coffee House

I listened to Save Myself by Ed Sheeran, while writing this if you wanted something to listen to. 

Request: Could you write something about Bucky seeing her with a new guy a week after the breakup. (I made it three weeks, but if you want it to be one week it can still be that. I didn’t make it like specifically important for it to be three weeks)

Requested by: @wxnters-rebel 

Warnings; Um yikes not many, just super sad

Word Count; 1486 

Characters; Bucky, Steve, Y/N, Wanda, Alex

Request for a part two!!!


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Mr. Grabs

Mr. Grabs’ house was at the dead end of Alexander Lane. There was nothing weird or off about it from the outside.  All of the haunted houses in movies are dilapidated or covered in cobwebs.  But Mr. Grabs’ house was a typical ranch style suburban eyesore.  The outside was a pale brown.  There were three little plastic gnomes arranged haphazardly in the front yard. A wind chime hung from the gutter. It could have been anyone’s house, but lore dedicated it to Mr. Grabs.

In reality it was probably just some shit hole house that no one wanted.  But that’s not the stories we told as kids.   It must have been passed down from generation to generation, because even my parents knew the story of Mr. Grabs. He was a legend in our little town. No one liked going anywhere near his house.  I had a friend, Ronald, who lived on the same street.  And if we kicked the ball a little too close to the abandoned house we just let it go.  It was his now.  The house was littered with Frisbees, baseballs, and other childhood memorabilia.

This is the Mr. Grabs story: Basically, 100 years ago, a bunch of pedophiles moved into town.  They all lived on Alexander Lane.  The town’s people didn’t like this, and burned all of their houses down (with them inside of course).  But one house didn’t burn.  That house belonged to Mr. Grabs.  He was worst of the bunch.  Not only would he abduct children, but he would also murder them in all sorts of disgusting ways.  Legend has it Mr. Grabs still lives there, haunting the property, and grabbing any child who ventured too close.

Obviously this was a stupid story.  Not only did it make no sense (this house was clearly not built 100 years ago) but no mass migration of pedophiles ever happened to our town.  But it was a good way for us to scare each other as kids. One time we got Ronald to open the door to his house and step inside.  He came out right away squealing with fear and we all ran away.

I grew up and soon had a family of my own.  I had three kids – two boys (Aiden and Preston) and girl (Malia).  I heard the older boys whispering about Mr. Grabs to try and scare Malia.  Apparently in the new stories Mr. Grabs was a vengeful spirit who had to kill little kids to stay alive.  I chided the boys for their lies.  But Malia wasn’t fazed.  She had always been a brave girl.

Malia was seven when she joined Girl Scouts.  She loved being outside and building things with the other girls.  I was the resident den mother (even though I’m a man.)  I took the girls on camping trips and taught them how to make birdhouses.  It was actually really fun.  Aiden and Preston were more interested in video games than scouting, so Malia was the one I spent most of my time with.

But Girl Scouts was not just fun and games.  It was also COOKIES.  I wasn’t looking forward to this.  I knew I would have to become a cookie peddler to my coworkers and family.  But I accepted the inevitability of the situation. Plus it would teach Malia about business and accounting, which I supposed were good skills to have.

It was our first day of cookie selling.  We woke up extra early (her decision) so we could walk around the neighborhood before any of the other girls got there.  I knew we were going to have some grumpy neighbors.  But seeing Malia dressed up in her little sash made it all okay. I mean, who could be angry at an excited seven year old?

We left the house at 6am.  I tried to convince her to let the neighbors sleep a little longer, but she was determined. She was so cute – a tiny little firetruck with big bushy braids.  She told me sternly that I was to wait at the sidewalk.  She would knock on the doors and get the orders.  I was basically her backup.  This was fine with me.  

We went around our street first.  Most people didn’t answer (I could have told her that.)  The few who did were either super chipper and awake, or extremely annoyed but hiding it well.  We got a few orders.  Soon we branched out to neighboring streets.  Malia was having a great time.  Every time she got an order she would do a little dance that nearly broke my heart.  I loved my daughter so much.

It was around 9am when we found ourselves on Alexander Lane.  I was well past the age when I believed in Mr. Grabs, but my tired feet were telling me to go home.  “Mally, let’s head back,” I pleaded.

“No daddy! I need one more order and then I’m at a hundred!”  She gave me a peck on the cheek and it gave me a bit more energy.

We knocked on a bunch of doors but they were all no-answers.  Malia knocked on Ronald’s old house and I could see him peek through the window shades but then disappear.  We made it all the way down to the dead end.  The only house left was Mr. Grabs’.

Malia strode up confidentially.  I grabbed her shoulder instinctively.  She looked at me with a smile.  “You don’t believe in Mr. Grabs, do you daddy?”  She laughed at me.

I smiled kindly.  “No! It’s just that no one lives there.”

“How do you know?”  Malia was very smart.  She gave me her best teacher impression.

“I guess I don’t know.”  I went to tickle her but she danced out of the way.

“Don’t worry daddy, I’ll be fine!”  

Malia skipped up onto the yard.  I had never seen anyone get this close to the house other than that one time as a kid. My childhood creeped up my neck. Even though logically I knew no one was in there, it still felt wrong to see her walk up to the porch.  She pranced up the steps and knocked loudly on the door.  She turned around to flash me a smile.

The door opened.  A long, thin arm reached out, clamped down on Malia’s shoulder, and pulled her into the house.  Then the door slammed shut.

I screamed something and ran up to the house.  My fears be damned, someone had grabbed my daughter!  I burst through the door and yelled for Malia.  There was only silence.  No one was there.

I stamped around the house threateningly.  “I’ll fucking kill you!”  I had just seen the person grab her, so they had to still be in the house. But I searched the entire place. It was empty.  There was no furniture, no nothing.  Not even any dust.  It was just a vacant shell of a house.

I stood in what must have been the living room.  Frantically I called the police.  

“911, what’s your-”

“Someone took my daughter!”

“Sir, where are you?”

“I’m in Mr. Gr…I’m on Alexander Lane.  The house at the end.”

“Sir, if this is a prank, I have to let you know-”

“It’s not a fucking prank!  Send someone here now!  She’s in trouble!”

I heard sirens in the distance.  Our town isn’t big, the police were there in minutes.  I tried to call my husband Marc but he must have turned off his phone.  I sat on the front step in complete disbelief. Something had taken Malia and I had no idea who, or what it was.

The police took my story.  I explained everything that happened.  They asked if I’d been drinking, which of course I hadn’t been.  They asked if maybe Malia had run off.  I screamed at them that I saw someone take her!  They treated me like I was insane.  Maybe that’s how I sounded.  But I could still see that sickly thin arm reach towards my baby.

While I was being questioned my phone rang.  It was Marc.  I picked up instantly, in tears.

His voice was concerned.  “Whoa, sweetie, calm down.  Tell me what happened.”

“It’s Malia…”

“What about her?”  Marc was always so level headed.  His words were so kind.

“Someone took her, Marc.  Someone grabbed her and now she’s gone.”  I was sobbing into the phone.  I hated myself for losing her.  I knew Marc would hate me too.

But he just paused for a moment.  “Landon…Malia is home with me.”

I choked. “What?”

“Malia is home with me.  She got here a few minutes ago.  She said you two got separated or something?  She says she’s been looking for you for hours.”

I dropped the phone.  The policeman looked at me like I had just shot someone.  I swallowed.  This couldn’t be true.  I had spent the last three hours with Malia.  I looked around for the clipboard with the orders but realized Malia had it when she was grabbed.  I peered up helplessly.  Marc was screaming on his end of phone trying to figure out what was going on.

The policeman drove me home.  I didn’t have words.  He had picked up the phone to speak with Marc.  He tried to question me further but I didn’t say anything.  We drove to the house in silence.  I got out of the car and standing on the porch was Marc in tears.

Malia was peeking out from behind him.

Except that wasn’t Malia.

I froze. Marc came rushing towards me, arms outstretched.  But I was staring at the thing pretending to be my daughter.  It cocked its head at me and then raised a single finger to its lips. “Shhh” it motioned to me.  Marc swept me up in a hug.  But I was far away, watching the thing pretending to be Malia as it bit down on its finger, blood bubbling around its teeth.  Then it turned and went into the house.

Marc shook me.  “What’s going on?”  His face was full of love and fear.

“I don’t know,” I replied despondently.

Marc put me in the shower and tucked me into bed.  It was agreed that I had some sort of mental break.  I just stared at the wall.  Nothing made sense, but I knew for certain that my daughter was not the thing laughing outside my door.

I laid in bed for five days.  Marc tried to tempt me out with my favorite foods.  He did everything he could to make me feel safe and supported.  But nothing worked.  I just stared ahead.  Nothing felt real anymore.  

Once he offered to have the kids come in and cheer me up.  I screamed at him and threw a pillow.  I couldn’t stand to see that mockery wearing Malia’s likeness. Poor Marc.  He suffered through all of this with as much as confusion as me.

On the fifth day I had a visitor.  Marc knocked softly on my door.  He came in, worried.  “Landon, I know you need some space right now.  But there’s someone here to see you.  She said she has some comforting words for you.”

A woman made her way into the bedroom.  I blinked with recognition.  She was Ronald’s mom.  I hadn’t seen her in many years but I remembered her face.  She smiled sadly at me.  “Do you mind if I sit with you?”

I considered it for a second.  I wasn’t particularly close with this woman.  I only knew her as the mother of my childhood friend.  Stiffly I nodded for her to sit.  

Marc’s eye darted to each of us.  “Should I stay?”

“No,” I said curtly.  The woman sat on the edge of the bed.  Marc looked a bit hurt by the whole thing.  He closed the door soundlessly.

Ronald’s mother stopped smiling the minute the door was shut.  She looked me dead in the eye.  Her voice was like a bed of nails.  “Tell me what happened.”

I coughed. Even though my throat felt like sand I knew I needed to answer her.  “Malia knocked on the door of that house, and someone pulled her in.”  I didn’t feel tears this time.  Just a white hot anger.

The woman nodded.  “And how do you explain your daughter being home right now?”

My face felt as though it were made of rock.  “That isn’t my daughter.”

Ronald’s mother inched closer.  Her head was so close to my own I smelled the mint of her toothpaste.  When she spoke her voice oozed hatred.  “The same thing happened to my Ronnie after you kids played your stupid fucking game.  That thing that came home…it wasn’t him.”  She straightened.  

“Ronald…”

“You learn to live with it.  You learn to accept that your child is never coming back.”  She stood up emotionlessly.  “Everyone will call you crazy if you say anything.  You will lose your other children.  Your husband.  Just stay quiet and pretend.”

I got out of the bed desperately.  “But Malia must be out there somewhere!”

“She’s with him now.”  The woman reached into her jacket and produced a note.  “This arrived the day of Ronnie’s 18th birthday.” She grasped the paper tightly and then dropped it on the floor.  Without another word she left.

I looked after her.  My body felt as though it were about to give up.  I knelt down and smoothed out the paper.  It read:

“Hope you enjoy the replacement.  I have been enjoying your son immensely.  Too bad they grow up so fast.  –M.G.”

Dreaming in Silver and Gold

CHAPTER 19, Klaus/Liz, Rated: E

Prologue \ Ch. 1 \ Ch. 2 \ Ch. 3 \ Ch. 4 \ Ch. 5 \ Ch. 6 \ Ch. 7 \ Ch. 8 \ Ch. 9 \ Ch. 10 \ Ch. 11 \ Ch. 12 \ Ch. 13 \ Ch. 14 \ Ch. 15 \ Ch. 16 \ Ch. 17 \ Ch. 18 \ Ch. 19  \ Ch. 20 \ Ch. 21

Demon au requested by @his-beloved-mrs-mikaelson thanks for getting my butt back in gear and giving me awesome prompts. <3

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Cameron Dallas Imagine

“Y/n we need to talk.” Cameron said in a serious tone, that left me uneasy.
“What is it?” I sat down in other end of the couch.
“I… I think we should break up.” Cam spoke in an unemotional tone.
I couldn’t process what was happening. I stood up walked to kitchen. Holding on to the counter so I wouldn’t drown to the floor in tears.
“Y/n did you hear what I said?” Cameron walked inside the kitchen. “I said we should break-“
“Why? Is there someone else?” I cut him off. He stood quiet. “Fucking answer me Cameron!” I said outraged.
“Yes” He said. I felt my heart shatter into a million pieces my breath was stuck in my throat. I felt the need to cry but I was to proud and angry to let any tears fall. I didn’t want him to see me weak.
“I have one question” I paused. “When you said you loved me did you lie? Was all we had for the past three years a lie?”
“No. We grew apart. I’m sorry but it’s not the same.”
“We” I stopped. “We didn’t grow apart. You did. I still love you Cameron. I would never do this to you. But if she makes you happy I’ll leave then.”
I walked upstairs to our shared bedroom. I grabbed a suitcase and started packing everything. Cameron didn’t even bother to come and help me. I left the promise ring he gave me on my nightstand. And walked down the stairs struggling with my suitcase.
As I reached the bottom of the stairs, Cameron was sitting in the couch watching TV. I walked to the door and opened it.
“Goodbye Cameron” I waited for him to say something. That he was wrong and that he loved me and only me. But I got no response he just stared blankly at the TV. I walked out the door finally letting my tears fall.
——————2 WEEKS LATER—————-
This was the fourth day I had woken up with morning sickness. I called my best friend Matt to bring me some pregnancy tests.
“Here you go” he said handing me a bag with at least five different test.
I went into the bathroom and took the tests. I set my phone for 10 minutes and then stepped outside to wait with Matt.
“Are going to tell him?” Matt asked. He was talking about Cameron.
“No. We’ll be a bother to him. He’s finally happy now, I don’t want to ruin that for him.” Just as I said that the timer went off signaling the ten minutes were over.
“Just know that I’ll be here for you” Matt said as we stood up and walked to the restroom.
My biggest fear became true. All five test were positive.
I smiled and then I cried. Matt hugged me and comforted. But all I wanted was for Cameron to be here.
——— SEVEN MONTHS LATER ——-
I walked into Starbucks, my feet were already tired from walking from my car to here. I was eight months pregnant and my belly was huge. It was now October and haven’t talked or seen Cameron in over seven months. Matt has helped me along the way. Helping me get back on my feet and going to doctors appointments with me.
“Can I get a green tea please. Name is y/n.” I said to the cashier. She kindly took my order and told me to wait while my tea was being made.
Once my drink was ready, I got it and started walking out the door before I bumped into a tall figure. Making spill my tea all over me.
“Oh my god, I’m so so-” he paused. “Y/n?” Cameron looked at me and my belly in disbelief.
—————————————————————
A/N: Part 2???

2

First scene of Saezuru vol 2, with my translation.

After listening to the Saezuru vol 2 drama CD, I found out something I didn’t notice from the manga. Maybe it’s just me, but anyway…

The first page of volume 2 shows Yashiro sitting on his desk, with Doumeki dressed as a police officer by his side. My understanding of this frame was that Yashiro was just taking a cool pose, ordering Doumeki to recite a practiced line like a cosplay.

In the drama CD, Yashiro’s lines were added “I’m tired of teasing it with my feet”, and I realized that he was actually bothering the officer . Although I own both the Tankobon and e-book of volume 2, the color of Yashiro’s shoes and Doumeki’s pants had similar color, I couldn’t catch the details.  I then checked the black and white draft in Saezuru 2 special website at Taiyo Tosho and saw Yashiro was teasing Doumeki’s crotch with his shoes. XD

Another example that Yoneda Sensei puts a lot into her manga, and I discover something every time I reread it. That’s why this work is so addictive to me :)

Mr. Grabs


Mr. Grabs’ house was at the dead end of Alexander Lane. There was nothing weird or off about it from the outside.  All of the haunted houses in movies are dilapidated or covered in cobwebs.  But Mr. Grabs’ house was a typical ranch style suburban eyesore. The outside was a pale brown. There were three little plastic gnomes arranged haphazardly in the front yard.  A wind chime hung from the gutter.  It could have been anyone’s house, but lore dedicated it to Mr. Grabs.

In reality it was probably just some shit hole house that no one wanted.  But that’s not the stories we told as kids.   It must have been passed down from generation to generation, because even my parents knew the story of Mr. Grabs.  He was a legend in our little town.  No one liked going anywhere near his house.  I had a friend, Ronald, who lived on the same street.  And if we kicked the ball a little too close to the abandoned house we just let it go.  It was his now.  The house was littered with Frisbees, baseballs, and other childhood memorabilia.

This is the Mr. Grabs story: Basically, 100 years ago, a bunch of pedophiles moved into town.  They all lived on Alexander Lane.  The town’s people didn’t like this, and burned all of their houses down (with them inside of course).  But one house didn’t burn.  That house belonged to Mr. Grabs.  He was worst of the bunch.  Not only would he abduct children, but he would also murder them in all sorts of disgusting ways.  Legend has it Mr. Grabs still lives there, haunting the property, and grabbing any child who ventured too close.

Obviously this was a stupid story.  Not only did it make no sense (this house was clearly not built 100 years ago) but no mass migration of pedophiles ever happened to our town.  But it was a good way for us to scare each other as kids.  One time we got Ronald to open the door to his house and step inside. He came out right away squealing with fear and we all ran away.

I grew up and soon had a family of my own.  I had three kids – two boys (Aiden and Preston) and girl (Malia).  I heard the older boys whispering about Mr. Grabs to try and scare Malia.  Apparently in the new stories Mr. Grabs was a vengeful spirit who had to kill little kids to stay alive.  I chided the boys for their lies.  But Malia wasn’t fazed.  She had always been a brave girl.

Malia was seven when she joined Girl Scouts.  She loved being outside and building things with the other girls.  I was the resident den mother (even though I’m a man.)  I took the girls on camping trips and taught them how to make birdhouses. It was actually really fun.  Aiden and Preston were more interested in video games than scouting, so Malia was the one I spent most of my time with.

But Girl Scouts was not just fun and games.  It was also COOKIES.  I wasn’t looking forward to this.  I knew I would have to become a cookie peddler to my coworkers and family.  But I accepted the inevitability of the situation.  Plus it would teach Malia about business and accounting, which I supposed were good skills to have.

It was our first day of cookie selling.  We woke up extra early (her decision) so we could walk around the neighborhood before any of the other girls got there.  I knew we were going to have some grumpy neighbors.  But seeing Malia dressed up in her little sash made it all okay.  I mean, who could be angry at an excited seven year old?

We left the house at 6am.  I tried to convince her to let the neighbors sleep a little longer, but she was determined.  She was so cute – a tiny little firetruck with big bushy braids.  She told me sternly that I was to wait at the sidewalk. She would knock on the doors and get the orders.  I was basically her backup.  This was fine with me.  

We went around our street first.  Most people didn’t answer (I could have told her that.) The few who did were either super chipper and awake, or extremely annoyed but hiding it well.  We got a few orders.  Soon we branched out to neighboring streets.  Malia was having a great time.  Every time she got an order she would do a little dance that nearly broke my heart.  I loved my daughter so much.

It was around 9am when we found ourselves on Alexander Lane.  I was well past the age when I believed in Mr. Grabs, but my tired feet were telling me to go home.  “Mally, let’s head back,” I pleaded.

“No daddy!  I need one more order and then I’m at a hundred!”  She gave me a peck on the cheek and it gave me a bit more energy.

We knocked on a bunch of doors but they were all no-answers.  Malia knocked on Ronald’s old house and I could see him peek through the window shades but then disappear.  We made it all the way down to the dead end.  The only house left was Mr. Grabs’.

Malia strode up confidentially.  I grabbed her shoulder instinctively.  She looked at me with a smile.  “You don’t believe in Mr. Grabs, do you daddy?”  She laughed at me.

I smiled kindly.  “No!  It’s just that no one lives there.”

“How do you know?”  Malia was very smart.  She gave me her best teacher impression.

“I guess I don’t know.”  I went to tickle her but she danced out of the way.

“Don’t worry daddy, I’ll be fine!”  

Malia skipped up onto the yard.  I had never seen anyone get this close to the house other than that one time as a kid.  My childhood creeped up my neck.  Even though logically I knew no one was in there, it still felt wrong to see her walk up to the porch.  She pranced up the steps and knocked loudly on the door.  She turned around to flash me a smile.

The door opened.  A long, thin arm reached out, clamped down on Malia’s shoulder, and pulled her into the house.  Then the door slammed shut.

I screamed something and ran up to the house.  My fears be damned, someone had grabbed my daughter!  I burst through the door and yelled for Malia.  There was only silence.  No one was there.

I stamped around the house threateningly.  “I’ll fucking kill you!”  I had just seen the person grab her, so they had to still be in the house.  But I searched the entire place.  It was empty. There was no furniture, no nothing. Not even any dust.  It was just a vacant shell of a house.

I stood in what must have been the living room. Frantically I called the police.  

“911, what’s your-”

“Someone took my daughter!”

“Sir, where are you?”

“I’m in Mr. Gr…I’m on Alexander Lane.  The house at the end.”

“Sir, if this is a prank, I have to let you know-”

“It’s not a fucking prank!  Send someone here now!  She’s in trouble!”

I heard sirens in the distance.  Our town isn’t big, the police were there in minutes.  I tried to call my husband Marc but he must have turned off his phone.  I sat on the front step in complete disbelief.  Something had taken Malia and I had no idea who, or what it was.

The police took my story.  I explained everything that happened.  They asked if I’d been drinking, which of course I hadn’t been. They asked if maybe Malia had run off. I screamed at them that I saw someone take her!  They treated me like I was insane.  Maybe that’s how I sounded.  But I could still see that sickly thin arm reach towards my baby.

While I was being questioned my phone rang.  It was Marc.  I picked up instantly, in tears.

His voice was concerned.  “Whoa, sweetie, calm down.  Tell me what happened.”

“It’s Malia…”

“What about her?”  Marc was always so level headed.  His words were so kind.

“Someone took her, Marc.  Someone grabbed her and now she’s gone.”  I was sobbing into the phone.  I hated myself for losing her.  I knew Marc would hate me too.

But he just paused for a moment.  “Landon…Malia is home with me.”

I choked.  “What?”

“Malia is home with me.  She got here a few minutes ago.  She said you two got separated or something?  She says she’s been looking for you for hours.”

I dropped the phone.  The policeman looked at me like I had just shot someone.  I swallowed.  This couldn’t be true.  I had spent the last three hours with Malia.  I looked around for the clipboard with the orders but realized Malia had it when she was grabbed.  I peered up helplessly.  Marc was screaming on his end of phone trying to figure out what was going on.

The policeman drove me home.  I didn’t have words.  He had picked up the phone to speak with Marc.  He tried to question me further but I didn’t say anything.  We drove to the house in silence.  I got out of the car and standing on the porch was Marc in tears.

Malia was peeking out from behind him.

Except that wasn’t Malia.

I froze.  Marc came rushing towards me, arms outstretched.  But I was staring at the thing pretending to be my daughter. It cocked its head at me and then raised a single finger to its lips.  “Shhh” it motioned to me.  Marc swept me up in a hug.  But I was far away, watching the thing pretending to be Malia as it bit down on its finger, blood bubbling around its teeth.  Then it turned and went into the house.

Marc shook me.  “What’s going on?”  His face was full of love and fear.

“I don’t know,” I replied despondently.

Marc put me in the shower and tucked me into bed.  It was agreed that I had some sort of mental break.  I just stared at the wall.  Nothing made sense, but I knew for certain that my daughter was not the thing laughing outside my door.

I laid in bed for five days.  Marc tried to tempt me out with my favorite foods.  He did everything he could to make me feel safe and supported.  But nothing worked.  I just stared ahead.  Nothing felt real anymore.  

Once he offered to have the kids come in and cheer me up.  I screamed at him and threw a pillow.  I couldn’t stand to see that mockery wearing Malia’s likeness.  Poor Marc.  He suffered through all of this with as much as confusion as me.

On the fifth day I had a visitor.  Marc knocked softly on my door.  He came in, worried.  “Landon, I know you need some space right now.  But there’s someone here to see you.  She said she has some comforting words for you.”

A woman made her way into the bedroom.  I blinked with recognition.  She was Ronald’s mom.  I hadn’t seen her in many years but I remembered her face.  She smiled sadly at me.  “Do you mind if I sit with you?”

I considered it for a second.  I wasn’t particularly close with this woman.  I only knew her as the mother of my childhood friend.  Stiffly I nodded for her to sit.  

Marc’s eye darted to each of us.  “Should I stay?”

“No,” I said curtly.  The woman sat on the edge of the bed.  Marc looked a bit hurt by the whole thing.  He closed the door soundlessly.

Ronald’s mother stopped smiling the minute the door was shut.  She looked me dead in the eye.  Her voice was like a bed of nails.  “Tell me what happened.”

I coughed.  Even though my throat felt like sand I knew I needed to answer her.  “Malia knocked on the door of that house, and someone pulled her in.”  I didn’t feel tears this time.  Just a white hot anger.

The woman nodded.  “And how do you explain your daughter being home right now?”

My face felt as though it were made of rock.  “That isn’t my daughter.”

Ronald’s mother inched closer.  Her head was so close to my own I smelled the mint of her toothpaste.  When she spoke her voice oozed hatred.  “The same thing happened to my Ronnie after you kids played your stupid fucking game. That thing that came home…it wasn’t him.”  She straightened.  

“Ronald…”

“You learn to live with it.  You learn to accept that your child is never coming back.” She stood up emotionlessly.  “Everyone will call you crazy if you say anything. You will lose your other children. Your husband.  Just stay quiet and pretend.”

I got out of the bed desperately.  “But Malia must be out there somewhere!”

“She’s with him now.”  The woman reached into her jacket and produced a note.  “This arrived the day of Ronnie’s 18th birthday.”  She grasped the paper tightly and then dropped it on the floor.  Without another word she left.

I looked after her.  My body felt as though it were about to give up.  I knelt down and smoothed out the paper.  It read:

“Hope you enjoy the replacement.  I have been enjoying your son immensely.  Too bad they grow up so fast.  –M.G.”

Meeting Finn

Okay. so i’ve already posted a bit on here about meeting Finn yesterday but i wanted to posted the full story. 

*gets out notes, clears throat* okay. first of all. shout out to Wizard World…they were super nice! super Organized, very helpful & i thought it was super cool that they let anyone who had photo opp with Finn to go in early so we can get in line and checked in. so yay to them! 

now…onto the story. me and my roommate Amy were about 10 people back from the front of line…which was fine. While we were waiting we were all just talking goofing off & at one point someone starting playing his theme song and about 20 of us did the arms up motion. At one point Finn walked by us and we all started cheering and chanting “Finn…finn…finn” and his cheeks turned bright red and had a big smile on his face. So after waiting about 10 more mins my time finally came to get the picture…my roommate walked in first and stood to the right of him and he had this confused look on his face but once he saw my balor shirt he goes “oh! i gotcha!” so we stood next to him and he goes “hello ladies! how are you?” and we both answered we were doing great and after the group shot picture i got my own picture with him…and the photographer goes “whos doing the solo shot” and all 3 of us looked at each other and finn goes “i’ll step out of the way if you want me to” hahaha! but once my roommate left i stood closer to him and wrapped my arm around him (he smells so freaking good!) and he goes “lets do the too sweet pose yeah?” and i go “oh hell yes!” after the picture i looked at him and i go “thanks ferg!” he smiled really big & gave me a side hug and goes “oh you’re very welcome sweetie!” and i walked off happily with a massive smile on my face. 

Now onto the autograph. after waiting about 20 minutes for him to finish up with the pictures he showed up waved to all of us and we went through. he was very sweet. talking to all of us for about 2-3 mins each..he didnt rush it. when i got up to the table he looked up and me and goes “why hello! long time no see!” we both laughed i go “yeah its been forever! how’ve you been?” he smiled and goes “eh…not bad!” haha! then he signed my picture and goes “i hope i spelled it right..i didnt want to spell it wrong” and i go “yeah you’d be surprised on how many people spell it wrong…” he laughed going “yeah well with a name like fergal i totally understand” I then handed him a gift bag and he goes “oh is that for me?” I nodded. he peeks inside and goes “Oh! you got me a stuffed giraffe?” i laughed and i go “and legos!” he smiled really big and goes “a girl after my own heart” *I died* after he handed me back my picture he goes “thank you so much sweetie!” i nodded and go “cant wait to see you back in the ring & you’re parents are adorable!” he blushed and goes “yeah they’re the best…and i cant wait to be back” we then did the ‘too sweet’ together and laughed. I go “see ya later ferg” and he smiled and goes “see you later sweetie!” 

Whew…that was long! HAHA! but seriously he was the best. super sweet & super kind to everyone in line during the photos & autographs. i didnt go to his panel though, i was to tired and my feet were killing me. it was also my first wizard world and i will be going back again. 

that feeling | these eyes

note: a little something I wrote as a prequel to something else… maybe, maybeeee. let me know what you guys think. please click the link at the end and let the emotions rain down. thankyou, bye.

-

you’d say, I’m sorry, believe me, I love you…

I chewed my lip as I took a step, then another and another. My arms extended out on either side of me as I increased my pace. “Heel, toe, heel, toe.” I murmured in between steps. I could hear the thunder roaring outside and it only acted as distraction. It annoyed me instead of comforting me like it usually did. Summer storms were my favorite but right now it was a nuisance. A nuisance and a distraction, but I said that already.

I pivoted, turning and smiled when I didn’t plant my face into my wood floor. “Heel, toe, heel, toe.” My chant was faster, as were my steps. I looked down, annoyed by my quivering ankles. At what point did this shit get easy? I’d been practicing for days now and to be honest there hadn’t been much improvement. Well, at least I hadn’t fallen this time, I thought, remembering how disastrous my other trials had been.

I didn’t understand women. The makeup, the tight clothes… the high heels. It was all so uncomfortable, yet some women did it with ease. Some women even wore all three at one time! But not me. I failed when it came to most things considered to be lady-like. Makeup made my face itch, tight clothes were just a no and heels – I looked down at my feet – I was sure they would be the death of me.

My feet felt like they were being held captive by chambers designed to bring discomfort. The pinching and squeezing was excessive, not to mention the four and a half inches that made my calves burn. I was more of a Doc Marten girl but my mom though it would be fitting for me to wear heels to my graduation. I was graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors from NYU and she wanted to torture me by making me accept my diploma in heels.

My fear of breaking my face while trying to obtain my degree was a fear that planted itself deeper and deeper into my belly with each step. I wasn’t cut out for this.

My eyes drifted over to the sliding doors that led to my balcony and a huff barreled from my mouth. That balcony had been the reason I’d rented this apartment. I’d always wanted one. In fact, I wanted one badly enough to sacrifice an extra bedroom and pay a hundred dollars over budget in rent. My mom flipped when I told her my reasoning for choosing this unit over the larger and bigger one that she’s seen with me. Her dramatics meant nothing to me, I wanted an apartment with a balcony, so I got one.

Again I glanced wistfully as the doors, watching as lightening ripped the dark sky in half. I would have much rather been out there, lounging on my expensive patio chair from CB2 while smoking a spliff and letting the warm mist kiss my bare skin. But no, I was inside, partaking in masochistic activities while completely sober. This was a perfect Saturday night.

Feeling a new wave of courage, I decided to move my pageant strut over to my kitchen. I’d been pacing back and forth between my couch and TV for the past half hour. The balls of my feet were tired but I assumed that’s what came with the territory when you strapped designer stilts to your ankles.

My movements were slow and steady and as soon as I was within reach, I grabbed at the corner of my kitchen island with a sigh. “This shit is for the birds.” I groaned, leaning tiredly against the kitchen structure. My graduation was three days away and I was no closer to mastering the art of high heels. I could rattle of the entire periodic table but I couldn’t walk two feet without limping in heels. Frustration wasn’t even the word.

A large part of me wanted to tell my mother sit and spin – mentally of course- but there was a small part of me that actually wanted to look pretty and feminine on my grad day. Mainly because no one would expect it. I’d always gone against the grain when it came to my fashion choices. I wouldn’t call myself a tomboy but I definitely preferred a more comfortable aesthetic. Okay, I was a total tomboy.

I could recall many moments where my mother grew frustrated with me venturing over to the males section while she stood in the juniors section with skirts in her hands and hope in her eyes. For years she thought I was a lesbian, which I found to be hilarious. She would often assume that the boyfriends I had were merely cover-ups. It took years for her to grasp the fact that I simply preferred flannels over florals – actually, I liked floral prints, just not on dresses.

Ready to call it quits, I kneeled down to unstrap the shoes, only to be disrupted by the harsh bang at my door. I huffed and straightened, knowing it could only be one person banging at my door like this at – I glanced at the clock – 1:23 in the morning.

I moved towards the door on unsteady ankles. My movements were a mixture of a skip, drag and a limp. I could only imagine how foolish I looked. I yanked the door open and sighed, taking in his towering frame.

“I swear, I about to go nuts!” He blurted dramatically as he rushed into my apartment. With a sigh, I shut and locked the door upon facing him and taking in his lanky figure. Water darkened the material of his grey sweatshirt and a few drops maintained their shape on his arms and neck.

“Hello Frankie, how are you?” I chewed my lip watching him.

“I’m sorry baby,” He murmured, smiling meekly. He paced over to me and dropped a moist kiss onto my temple. “How are you?” His eyes were genuine but instead of giving a verbal answer, I found myself shrugging. “You got on heels?” He quizzed in surprise as his eyes trailed down my bare legs and to my feet. I shifted, straightening my feet, even as my knees wobbled. I was mildly offended by the astonishment in his tone and even more peeved by the laugh that followed.

“Fuck off.” I gritted, bending over to take the retched shoes off. Once they were gone and thrown haphazardly in the corner of my living room, I sighed, relishing in the feel of my bare feet on the cool wood.

With contentment in my joints, I faced him. His head was tilted and his eyes were glued on me. The question in them was blatant and a small smirk curled his lips. “For my graduation.” I supplied weakly. He knew of my hate for all things that were feminine and uncomfortable. It just so happened that those two things usually went hand in hand.

“Mmph.” The sound came from his throat and was followed by a smile. “You cute.”

I couldn’t help the roll of my eyes. “What are you doing here this late?”

“I just come.”

“You’re lying.”

I knew him and I knew him well. He was always welcome but he never came over without a heads-up call or text prior. The fact that he’d also come in ranting about what ever had his briefs in a bunch didn’t go over my head either. Something was bothering him and I wanted to know what.

“I am.” He shrugged. The movement pulled my eyes to his shoulders and I noticed the backpack for the first time. His eyes followed mine. “I stay.” It wasn’t a question but I found myself nodding anyway.

“You’re wet, go change into something dry.”

“Yes mama.” He chucked before trudging back towards my bedroom. I fell onto the couch with a sigh, happy to be off my feet. Even with the heels gone my feet still ached.

I eyed the ashtray and the spliff I had intentions of flaming earlier before looking out towards my balcony. Without a seconds delay, I stood, grabbed my weed and moved outside. The muggy summer air was thick and swallowed me whole. The mist from the rain kissed my skin and I knew that if I wore anything more than the old biker shorts and tank top that I would be uncomfortable right now.

Falling onto my lounge, I sighed. Today had been entirely too long. We’d been short staffed at the restaurant I worked for, leaving me with way too many tables. Somehow I’d managed to juggle all of them while maintaining my sanity. My manager hadn’t been empathetic about the situation which only added onto the many reasons why I hated her. My tips were great though, which made it slightly worth it but it didn’t take away from the fact that I was beat. To add fire to my already painful day I had to come home and torture my already sore feet with high heels.

I kept telling myself that soon it would all be better. I would no longer have to work my dead-end, too demanding and not rewarding enough job. Graduation and all of the bullshit that came with it would be over. And I would start my summer Internship with LVMH that just so happened to be paid. Life would be great, soon. But right now everything way shitty. I was spreading myself way too thin and clearly it was affecting my mental and physical health.

I had a nasty habit of lifting weights my shoulders couldn’t support. I took on school full time, I worked, I tutored, I catered to my mom’s every damn need and as I watched Larry walk out onto the patio I realized that I nurtured. And I had no problem with it, any of it actually, but there came a point when I asked, if I had everyone’s back then who had mine.

I was sure I’d worked myself to a level where everyone thought I was some type of machine. I managed so much that the concept of me being a droid seemed more plausible than me being a living, breathing, warm-blooded human. I’d always strived for perfection. It started in middle school. I knew I had to work hard and pass all my tests to get into an amazing high school to strengthen my chances of going to an amazing college. In high school I had to work even harder to put myself in the candidate pool for scholarships because my mom couldn’t afford to fund my education completely. Once I made it to college I had to work hard to keep my scholarships and impress my professors so that I could nab the good internships. I could go on and on about my cycle of hard work and sleepless nights but that would be a bore.

I was nearly to a point where I didn’t have to work as hard. It felt great but I didn’t know what to do with the extra time, the extra hours to sleep, the ability to actually have a social life. What I had been working so hard towards was finally in my line of sight and I didn’t even know how to breathe and bask in its glory. So instead of tending to myself with my extra time, I tended to others. I listened, and advised, and lifted, and pulled, and carried. And I did it all without a second thought.

“Get up for a minute.” He murmured, toying with one of his frazzled twists. I stood with a sigh and watched as he laid out on the chaise. He then grabbed my hand and pulled me down so that I was lying between his splayed legs. My back rested against his chest and my forearms splayed across his thighs.

His heart was a steady thump under my head and I found immediate comfort in the throb alone. His body was warm and though he was hard and lean, I felt cozier relaxing on him than I did on my plush couch.

I wasted no time in lighting the spliff. The glow from the lighter illuminated the dark space before me and I used the opportunity to trail Larry’s arms which were covered in tattoos. I often teased him, saying he was addicted to pain since he was always adding something to the already elaborate sleeve and claiming he wasn’t done yet. I didn’t have tattoos and though I didn’t see anything wrong with them I would probably never get one. The pain and the whole permanent thing just didn’t seem appealing to me. But they were appealing on Larry. They looked amazing on him.

Smoke slithered from the tip of my joint and the roll paper sizzled under the heat of the flame. Grinning in satisfaction, I sat the lighter to the side and inhaled, ready to let go of all the stress I’d acquired today. However, I stopped midway up to my lips, remembering how dramatically Larry had entered my apartment.

“Here,” I reached back, handing it to him, knowing he probably needed it more. My lips curled in distasted and a little bit of anticipation as his fingers grazed mine to accept the joint. My chin hefted towards the sky as I tilted my head back, gaining a view of him. His eyes found mine and he smirked.

There was nothing I enjoyed more than watching Larry smoke. He was one of the few people on the Earth that did everything with passion. He always seemed so alive and animated, making his every movement captivating – smoking was not the exception. His fingers curved around the blunt with a firmness that planted it in place as well as a delicateness as not to rupture the fragile wrap.

I watched with bated breath as he brought the joint up to his lips. He knew I enjoyed watching him smoke, so he paid me no mind as his lips pursed around the tip and his cheeks hollowed in an inhale. His eyes fluttered shut as his lungs filled with clouds. I used the opportunity to release the breath I’d been holding onto since my eyes landed on him. I shuddered when the smoke barreled from his pillowy lips and grinned when he opened his eyes, peering at me. His eyes were already low.

Watching Larry smoke was like watching performance art. I wasn’t sure if he realized but he was a fucking masterpiece. Watching him was like a party for my senses. My eyes were blessed with the sight of him and would often water due to my lack of blinking. The mixture of the weed and his warm, sweet cologne was literally something I wanted to bottle up and carry with me for the rest of eternity. His breaths were always drawn out when he smoked and sometimes he would groan which did nothing but amp up my nerves and heat up my belly. And maybe I’m being dramatic but I could swear his sugary lips left the tip a little bit sweeter, making the experience all the more tantalizing.

I was being dramatic… and ridiculous. But the fact that watching him do something so simple affected me so immensely was slightly bothersome and annoying. And here I was, affected, bothered and annoyed.

I tore my eyes away and looked out into the night. Light glowed in the distance and the sound of tires gliding over the wet streets played as the soundtrack of the night. The air was thick and muggy due to the rain showers that poured onto the city throughout the day. I looked at the banister, finding it covered with fat water droplets that added texture to the smooth metal surface. Seconds later the rain started again, pouring onto the streets in thick sheets. We remained dry and warm under the cloak of the balcony above us. I grinned at the victory.

“Here,” Larry called, pulling my attention back to him with a tap on my thigh. I shifted against him and took the tightly rolled joint, bringing it up to my lips immediately. As soon as I inhaled I threw my head back on Larry’s hard chest with a whimper. Relief swirled through my chest, marrying with the clouds that would soon subdue my nerves.

“Long day?” Larry quizzed. He chuckled and his chest vibrated under my head. His fingers moved to my curly mane where stroked and tugged the unruly ringlets, further cementing me in nirvana.

A synopsis of my terrible day played like a slideshow in my head. I thought about the way my feet cried as I moved from table to table. I remembered the phone call from my mother urging me to go back home to Trinidad to see my ailing grandfather even though I couldn’t afford a flight right now. I thought about the B I’d received on my Ethics paper when I clearly deserved no less than an A. “Nothing I can’t handle,”

I hated to complain. Verbally or mentally. It was something that annoyed me immensely, coming from myself or anyone else. I believed you either put up with whatever was going on or you just let the shit go. It was a simple philosophy and it worked. I, however did have my days where I hated everything and I did actually complain in front of my MacBook camera. I would then re-watch the video, dissect my issues, plan to fix them and then delete the video. It always worked. Sometimes I just needed to be heard and to me there was no better way to rant than to rant to the one person who could actually fix the issues – myself.

I believed in secrets. I believed in having parts of me that only I knew about. It was the way I held onto my sanity. In today’s world we shared too much – too damn much. If we weren’t crying to friends, we were ranting on the internet. It was excessive and unnecessary. Don’t get me wrong, I had my moments and I needed my friends, namely the very being I rested on. Ironically enough he – the way I felt about him – was my biggest secret and it would remain just that, a secret.

At times I found myself growing overwhelmed with the many things I internalized. It was a daunting task to keep so much of me contained and those around me hated it. My mom often warned me that I would go crazy from keeping everything bottled in and my sister urged me to let more people in but it was difficult.

People were exhausting, to be frank. Their expectations and assumptions alone were nearly debilitating. I preferred my own company. I was content with myself, I knew myself and I enjoyed myself. It was when I was alone that I could truly be me. I didn’t have to act or throw a contrived smile on my face. I didn’t have to be aware of people watching my every move and dissecting me piece by piece.

The times that I did actually go out usually led to me swearing I would never go out again. I often got called stuck-up or personality-less because of my demeanor. It didn’t bother me. But at the same time it did. I wanted to be more outgoing and approachable but it was difficult. For years I’d been in a shell that I only let very few peek into. I’d been in a world that revolved around my education and only those who truly cared about me stuck around. Larry was one of those people, in addition to a few family members. He was my partner, my ride-or-die, my one true friend and I loved him. I was in love with him.

“You can’t handle everything Frankie.” He spoke, fingering the hem of my shorts. I froze as smoke barreled from my lips. I wasn’t sure if it was his words or his touch that rendered me motionless but I quickly brushed it off.

“What’s going on with you Nicky?” I quizzed, using the nickname he hated. I passed the blunt back and he took it with a scoff.

“I hate that name,”

“I know.”

“Then why you use it?” His fingers were still lumbering across my skin.

“It’s not my job to make your life easier.” I shrugged and then smiled when he kissed his teeth. The smoke that eased out of his mouth blew past the side of my head, blurring my line of vision before dissipating into thin air.

“Then you like every other woman… make shit hard.” Lightening tore through the sky following his words and the loud crack of thundered roared seconds later.

“Natalie?” I quizzed, already knowing the reason behind his frustration.

“Yeah,” He murmured.

Natalie, what could I say about her? She was a nice girl and was the first of Larry’s girlfriends that didn’t seem threatened by my presence or influence. In fact, she was nowhere near bothered when it came to the time Larry and I spent and how he regarded me. Unlike the other girls she didn’t seem worried and that was mildly offensive. It was as if she knew I could never score a guy like Larry.

She was everything I wasn’t. She was tall and curvy and perfectly put together. Her hair was always in place, her makeup always flawless and her nails always manicured. Her wardrobe was impeccable and only added to the list of many things that made her flawless. I was pretty sure I’d never seen her wear the same thing more than once. It was ridiculous! The girl always looked fresh off of an editorial page. 

We were always cordial when we crossed paths. Small talk was all that was had between us and even that was a hassle. We had nothing in common. Well, except Larry. He was the only common factor we shared other than being breathing females. He was the magnet that forced two very different types of metal to bind together. Funny thing was, we knew him in completely different ways. She knew him intimately and well, I knew him in every other way. Larry was a perfect portrayal of what I described earlier about expectations and assumptions – he acted like a good boyfriend and lived up to all of hers. Even if it meant stepping outside of his comfort zone. Even if it meant not being true to himself. It irked me and it was one of the reasons I didn’t care for Natalie. But in actually it wasn’t her fault for his lack of his consistency through and through. It was his fault but because I was blinded by the glare of love, lust and infatuation, I blamed her. And resented him.

I was pretty sure the changes Larry made were the reason he was often so unhappy when it came to Natalie. She was like the epitome of perfection and one would think that their relationship would be as unflawed as her makeup but that was the furthest thing from the truth. From the outside looking in it seemed like Larry could never do enough to please her. He bent over backwards time and time again for her and she was never satisfied. If it wasn’t his unruly hair, it was his broken English or excessive accessories. She was trying to change him and mold him into her perfect world. But to me he was already perfect. Beyond actually.

I knew it bothered him but he never really spoke on it. I didn’t know whether he was insecure about actually changing for a woman or if he were completely oblivious to the small evolution that had taken place. I mean, he hadn’t done a complete 360 but there were small things that I noticed. He talked differently around her. He wore plain shirts instead of the graphic ones with witty or inappropriate imagery that he loved so much. He wore his hair in twists more, leaving his majestic fro in the dust.

I knew changes came when one engaged in a romantic relationship but he wasn’t simply watching the Lifetime channel because she wanted to, he was morphing into a man she and her elitist parents would approve of. It was annoying to watch.

“You wanna talk about it?” I asked meekly as I accepted the joint from his fingers. The tip was moist as it always was with him. I didn’t mind, I was used to it. However, wet tips were the sole reason I didn’t smoke with others.

“I do everything for make her happy and she never happy,” He huffed. I could hear in irritation all in his voice. His accent danced over the words and I grinned, happy that he hadn’t taken Natalie up on her request to take English lessons. I could remember him ranting as we sat in a bar like yesterday. ‘I do this English shit good, fuck I take lesson for?’, he said, watching as I threw back a tequila shot after a long day of finals.

“What does she want now?”

“She ask me to cut my hair, Frank… before we visit her parents in Michigan. Can you believe that?!” My frown was immediate. “I so sick of change for her. I no like that curly hair last month she wear but I say nothing. The shit ugly too but she love it so I love it.” I chuckled, remembering the poodle-esque hair she’d had sewn in.

“Well, what did you say?” I went against jumping all over her with rude comments and mean words. Larry didn’t need that right now. It wasn’t my job to rally against her. It was my job to support him.

“I say no and she going on about compromise and looking my age and polished.” I chewed my lip to stifle my words. It worked” I can’t understand her. She used to like my hair.”

“Women are difficult, Larry,” I breathed, searching for a way to bring him comfort. His frame was stiff underneath mine and it bothered me. I did notice that he loosened up a bit since taking a few pulls but the fact that he was this tightly wound was annoying in itself.

“You not,” He muttered, curving his arm around my waist and resting his chin atop the crown of my head. “Why all girls not like you?” I swallowed.

“How am I?”

“Amazing, intelligent, trustworthy, funny… perfect.”

“I’m not perfect Nicky.”

“To me you are,” The blunt was at my lips but instead of taking a hit I passed it back with a sigh.

“Finish it.” He took it without a word as I relished on his words. I appreciated them, they made me feel good and special but it wasn’t quite what I wanted to hear. I wanted to be called beautiful, sexy, irresistible… words a man said to a woman he was interested in. And it crushed me to know that I would never hear them… not from his lips.

I’d met Larry years ago after my older brother took a liking to him and his twin brother, Laurent. They were the tall, cute boys from Paris who moved to Brooklyn, earning them attention from every which way – especially from the girls. He was 16 and I 13. He was in high school while I thrived through middle school. My brother, Fuad was a lot closer to Laurent but the twins were sort of a package deal so Larry was always around. I could always count on coming home and finding Larry, Lau and Fuad laid out, keeping up noise and eating all the food. Soon enough the twins became a constant fixture in our house. It was almost as though they lived with us and oddly, my mom didn’t mind. In fact, our mothers loved each other, both being women from the West Indies and all.

I hated their presence. Our usually quiet house would always turn chaotic as soon as they arrived. Dinners that used to be mild and contained turned into Broadway shows when they were around. It was impossible to watch TV in peace because of the noise they kept up. And playing music was completely out of the question because they danced to everything no matter what genre or tempo. My family, including my older sister Sasha, who hated everyone, was impressed with them – I wasn’t.

At some point I began to complain to my mom about their presence and she brushed me off. I even tried to pull Sasha onto my team but she and Lau had this weird ilikeyouandyoulikemebutwedateotherpeopletomakeeachotherjealous ass relationship going on so she too brushed me off. I was left in the dark by my own family for two bushy head negros who could barely spoke English.

I could remember sitting in the sunroom day after day just to escape the madness. It became my spot. I did my homework, I listened to my music – with headphones on for obvious reasons and I read. I did everything that had been hindered by the havoc they caused in the brightly lit room that my momma used for storage. It was my spot – mine, until one of the bush babies tried to overthrow me. I had been furious when Larry popped his head in one summer day. I wasted no time in ripping his head off, yelling at him in a mixture of English, French and Patois, demanding that he leave my spot. He surrendered instantly, claiming he just wanted a quiet spot to wind down. He rambled on and on about how my brother and his were loud and how he just wanted peace. My first thought was to suggest that he carry his skinny ass home but I didn’t do that. Instead, I sat, handing him one of my earbuds. And soon enough my spot became ours.

I liked him way better than his twin who often teased me along with my brother, calling me butch and a dike. I was still wary of his presence though, he was still a boy after all and all boys were assholes. It wasn’t until Fuad and Lau teased me to a point of tears and Larry came to my defense that I really saw him. We became inseparable after that, forming a bond that only we could understand.

Larry was my homie, my bestfriend, my other half. He was the one I told damn near everything to and vice versa. He always listened and then advised. He was an amazing person and so much more than I pegged him as immediately. And as years passed I began to see more and more of him. I saw him grow from a boy to a man. I saw him succeed and make mistakes. I saw him steal hearts and then break them. I saw everything.

We evolved together, never falling out, never fighting – we were like two peas in a pod. And then one day I woke up and realized I was truly, madly, deeply, crazy in love with my best friend.

At first I distanced myself from him, figuring it would go away but it didn’t. My distance not only confused him but hurt his feelings and I made up an elaborate lie about how I didn’t want to distract him from his goals since he was on the brink of graduating college then. He believed me and we fell into our old habits, me staying at his place all the time to escape my shitty roommate Eunice, us going to art galleries and dance battles, me babying him and doing his hair, him using me as a decoy to ward off girls. It was like old times all over again with the addition of an erratic heartbeat and millions of butterflies.

I hid my yearning from him well. It was easy seeing as though I was difficult to read and well I wasn’t all blatant with my shit. My feelings weren’t something I was necessarily proud of and I had no intentions of acting on them ever. I was smart enough to know that friends turned lovers hardly ever worked and I knew Larry enough to know that I wasn’t his type. I didn’t have ass or titties or even hips. He loved those things – curvy girls – and I wasn’t one of them. His type was the complete opposite of me actually – it was almost hilarious. Almost. I knew my lane and I was staying in it.

And three years later here I was, still coasting down my lane, careful not to veer too far to the right. For years now, I’d watched Larry have girlfriend after girlfriend, fling after fling, wishing I was them. Wishing he could see in me what he saw in them. But he never did and he never would. And I accepted that but my heart hadn’t. My heart still throbbed for him, longed for him despite my efforts to dead the sensation of love.

“Can I ask you something?” He asked, his voice blaring through the silence.

“Sup?” My voice was husky from the smoke.

“Why you never say how you feel about Natalie?”

“What do you mean?” My eyes widened and I was grateful that he could only see the back of my head. He chin moved from atop my head and his cheek pressed against my temple.

“I been with her for over a year, we fight a lot, I complain to you and you hate when people complain but you never say nothing bad for her,” He shrugged. “Everyone else do. Lau… my mami, Fuad but not you. Why?”

“It’s not my place.” I shrugged. What he said was true, everyone close to us hated his girlfriend.

“What that mean Frank?” He huffed, using the arm that was wrapped around my waist to hoist me onto his left thigh. The change in positions left him with a view of my face and I cringed, knowing I had to work twice as hard to school my features.

“It’s not my place to judge her, she’s your girlfriend, not mine and if you like her – love her, then she’s cool in my book I guess. I’m happy when you’re happy.” My words were honest and judging by the nod of his head he knew. I watched him as he chewed his lips, looking out into the night sky. He blinked and his thin lashes brushed his cheek.

“What if she don’t make me happy?”

I swallowed at the question. “Then leave her,” I murmured. “If that’s what makes you happy.” I quickly added.

“You think I should leave her?” His brows furrowed as his eyes scrolled down my face then trailed back up. I instantly felt insecure. I regretted not going to get my brows threaded this week and failing to at least grab some lip balm before coming out here. I didn’t like being this close, feeling this open right now. Larry’s eyes were like lasers, tracing over my every feature.

“I think you should do what makes you happy Nicky,” I threw the nickname in to annoy him, to distract him, to force his attention elsewhere but the gesture failed.

“I’m asking your opinion Francesca,” I groaned at the use of my full name and cut my eyes at him.

“If you’re unhappy, then yes I think you should end things with her.”

“So you want me to?”

“What the fuck, Larry?” I rolled my eyes. He was fucking up my high. “It’s not about what I want.”

“It is,” He insisted. “Your opinion mean a lot to me.”

“Why?”

“It just do. It always has. I hold you high in my head and I take your thoughts of me very seriously. Over the years I see how you look at every other girl but you don’t do for Natalie and I’m just curious.”

“She’s different from your other girlfriends,” I shrugged, looking away from him.

“Different better or different worse?”

“I don’t know. She’s the only one who doesn’t have a problem with me,” I shrugged. “And you’ve been with her for the longest.” He made a sound in his throat. “Why Nicky, you thinking about proposing? You think she’s the one?” I quizzed joking, though the words burned my throat on the way out.

“Nah,” He shook his head. “She not the one.”

Silence consumed us as I slid down his thigh, resting my head on his shoulder. The rain fell harder and the force sent mist droplets onto our bare legs. I rolled my eyes finding Larry’s big ass foot stretching my Nike socks to capacity. I opened my mouth to say something, to chastise him for wearing my socks but his voice beat me to the punch.

“You believe in the one.”

“Like a soulmate?” I quizzed, brows curled, lips twisted.

“Nah, soulmate don’t have to be romantic Frankie. You my soulmate.” He hugged me to him and I gasped inwardly. “I mean the one… you believe there’s somebody for everybody… like God made some woman who is only for me?” I blinked, staring at him wordlessly, digesting his words, trying to control my wildly beating heart. “Frankie?” He called, pinching the tip of my nose when I said nothing. A smile curved his lips upward and his eyes glowed in amusement as he eyed me.

“Yeah, I do.” I rasped, finally. My stomach twisted into a million knots and my lungs constricted and I imagined myself telling him that he was the one for me.

“You do?” His brows rose.

“Yes.” I answered tersely. “Why’d you say it like that?”

“Because,” He smiled then shrugged. “You never talk to me about stuff so, I don’t know.”

“Well, for years you thought I liked girls.” I chuckled. Although he never teased me like his brother and mine when we were younger, he like everyone else was sure that I was a lady lover.

“I think you try to steal my girlfriends.” He laughed and yelped when I pinched him. “But now I don’t worry for that!”

“Whatever dude,” I rolled my eyes.

“Why you never talk to me about your boyfriends?”

“Because I don’t have one.” I muttered awkwardly.

“You have before.”

“Yeah, and you and Fuad beat him up.”

His frown was immediate. “That’s cause he was on top of you and his hand in you pants.” He snapped with a scowl.

“Yeah, cause we were gonna fuck.” I spoke bluntly much to Larry’s dismay. I remembered the day like yesterday. I was in bed with my then boyfriend Dave when dumb and dumber tore down my door, ripped Dave off of me – just as I was about to cum FYI – and kicked his ass.

“You were 17.”

“Yeah, so.” I shrugged. “You were fucking twenty times over when you were 17.”

“Is different.”

“It’s not. What separates me as a girl from you as a boy?”

“Everything.”

“That’s sexist.”

“So what.”

“You’re a dick. Girls can totally do the same thing as boys without scrutiny from idiots like you and Fuad.”

“I’m not talking about girls, I’m talking about you.”

“Yeah… well, that’s why I don’t tell you about my boyfriends.” I japed, glaring at him. I’d grown irritated that quickly despite the fact that the event we spoke of happened over 4 years ago.

“I thought you don’t have boyfriend.” His brows raised and eyes widened as he ignored my grimace.

“I don’t. I have boys.” It wasn’t a total lie. I went on a few dates, here and there. But none of the guys ever held my attention for long. They weren’t Larry.

He kissed his teeth. “Boys?”

“Yes, the opposite of girls.”

“What you do with this boys?” The tension in his face made me smile.

“Are you asking me for sex tips Larry?” I smiled.

“What!” He yelled. “No, ugh. You so dirty!” I chuckled and then shrugged.

“Well, what are you asking me?”

“Why you never tell me about these guys?”

“Didn’t know I had to.” I picked with my nails nervously though my nonchalant disposition remained intact.

“You do,”

My frown was instant. “I have one older brother Larry, I don’t need two.” It wasn’t the questions he was asking me that bothered me. It was the way he was asking me. He sounded like Fuad and it disgusted me. I didn’t want to think of him in a brotherly way therefore I didn’t want him to sound like my brother. Period.

The thought was so bothersome that I eased out of his hold and stood, towering over his supine figure. I straightened my tank, making sure the cotton covered the lace bra I wore. I didn’t want to hear his teasing about me wearing such a girly undergarment.

“I’m not trying to be your brother.”

“Sounds like it.”

“It shouldn’t.”

“Well, what are you trying to be Larry?” I huffed in annoyance and his face went slack. His expression instilled so much fear in me and forced the next words out of my mouth. “Are you trying to annoy me or some shit?” He chewed his lip saying nothing and I rolled my eyes as my intestines bound itself in tight knots. “Why don’t you just go home and work shit out with your girlfriend?” I bit before moving towards the sliding doors.

“Wait,” He grabbed my hand. “I’m sorry. Don’t be pissed at me.”

“You’re so dumb,” I hid my face from him. I didn’t want him to see my sadness shining through. I didn’t want him to know that his reaction to me asking what he was trying to be broke me. He looked so disgusted by the concept of being anything other than my brother or friend. It hurt.

“I just,” He paused, standing as he held onto hand. His arm curled around my waist as he held me from behind. I sighed when his lips met the crown of my head. “I just don’t want those boys of yours to treat you like…”

“Like you, Lau and my brother treated girls?” I snatched the words from his lips. “Don’t worry for that. I do the swerving, I learned from the best after all.” With that, I pulled away from him entering my apartment.

We avoided each other for the next few hours and I was sure he would leave to go back to the apartment he and Natalie shared in Manhattan but he never did. Instead, he stuck around, dug through my fridge, whipped up food and forced me to eat before joining me on the couch to watch reruns of The Nanny, my favorite show.

By the time I climbed into bed, it was 4:17 and I was cursing myself for having a shitty sleep pattern. Larry was right behind me and wasted no time curling behind me when I laid down.

It was impossible to describe in words just how good it felt to be in his arms. Larry was touchy and always had been and it was one of his attributes that I cherished the most. He was so warm and so comforting. His touch had the ability of making one believe they were the only girl in the world – the only one that mattered. I was smart enough to know better but I took it for what it was and enjoyed the blissful feeling while it lasted.

“Frankie?” He called, nuzzling his face in my neck.

“What?’

“You sleep?”

“I will be as soon as you stop asking me dumb ass questions.” I felt his smile press into my skin and sighed inwardly.

“Don’t be mean to me.”

“I’m not.”

“Thank you.”

I swallowed, “What for?”

“I come here so pissed off and you make it better, you make me forget.” I wish you would forget her permanently, I thought. “You never let me stay upset for long and I love you so much for that.” I didn’t let the words hype me. I’d heard them a million times before but never in the way I wanted.

“Don’t start crying.” I groaned even as I wanted to shed tears of my own. He kissed his teeth and huffed, sending a gust of air against my neck.

“Say you love me too Francesca.” He demanded, shaking me.

“Larry, I’m going to punch you in the temple if you don’t let me sleep.”

“Just say it.”

“No, I’m not in the mood for mushy shit tonight.” It was a lie. The truth was, I didn’t want to say it because I knew we were saying it in two completely different ways.

“Ugh,” He kissed his teeth and bit my shoulder. “You act like emotionless man!” His words made me laugh.

“Someone has to wear the pants in this relationship.”

“Say it.” He demanded softly, holding me tighter in an effort to annoy me.

“Fuck off.”

“I love you Francesca Du Bois.”

My heart thundered in my chest and I prayed he didn’t feel it. “I love you too, Larry Bourgeois.”

-

but not in that way…

By Brittney

yogurtbee  asked:

So I went to Disneyland few weeks ago & met Peter Pan. He was heading back to that 'cast only' place, but the Disney worker allowed me to walk with him. While we were walking, he held my hand and skipped around adventureland saying hi to people, but I had been walking all day and my feet were so tired so I told him "Peter slow down! My feet are burning!" & he stopped & said "YOUR FEET ARE BURNING? WELL WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOUR GONNA SET THE GROUND ON FIRE!" AND HE PICKED ME UP BRIDAL STYLE & OMG

OMG SO LUCKY!!!! 

When I was 12 I thought my world was made out of flowers. My sun was the sunflowers that grew in my backyard and my sky was the bluebells that sang me songs as I feel asleep. My smile was made out of flowerbeds and my laugh was made out of Dragon Snaps, because they looked more like lips that brush you with kisses than fingers that snapped against your palm. My happiness was a crafted flower crown, sitting in the front yard with my grandmother as she tried to teach me to tie it all the way.

When I was 13 I thought my world was made out of my bike. My feet were the tire wheels that took me to far off lands and lead me down towards the path of adventure, resulting in scrapped knees and scratched cheeks. My joy was the wind against my face and the promise of a new horizon over every hill. My dreams were made out of chains and tire pressure.

When I was 14 I thought my world was made out of hormones. My clouds were the boys in my grade seven class, blocking out my sun and clouding my judgement. Their smiles infatuated my mind and compromised my system. Now my smile had become tight and nervous, and the flowers that once made up my world wilted around me. The petals hung loosely against my skin as my happiness was now determined by forces other than the sun, the soil, and water. They were forces out of mine, and natures, control.

When I was 15, I thought my world was made out of I love you’s. The first and only time a boy I liked laughed the words off his tongue like a tune to my favourite song, my wilted smile blossomed into a feeling I didn’t know existed outside of fairy tales. But they were hollow words like an empty promise, and sometimes on my quieter days I can hear them still echoing in the distance. My hands became a word on the tip of your tongue, cold and distant, always searching for the answer that another hand might hold. My ears became microphones, sitting on a stand waiting for the next love to sing.

When I was 16, I thought my world was made out of black and white. Not the okay kind of black and white that makes you reminisce about a simpler time and weep for days that have turned into night, but the black and white that drained all the colour away from life. My heart was the moon, always reflecting off of the sun but never giving off its own heat, and my air was weightless water that engulfed me and filled my lungs, drowning me alive.

When I was 17 I thought my world was made out of second chances. The second time I went to Paris I thought I would be able to live it all over again, and experience my first times anew. It was then when I realized my world wasn’t made out of second chances, but disappointments. Later that year I met a boy who played my heart like a badly tuned piano and broke it like an eggshell. My fingertips were the broom that swept up the pieces and my tears were the glue that put them back together.

When I turned 18, I started to look at flowers again. They seemed smaller now. Fragile. I found it hard to make flower crowns because the stems could break so easily. It was only then that I realized my happiness wasn’t flower crowns anymore. My feet weren’t tire wheels and my hands weren’t always searching for another hand to hold. My dreams weren’t chains and air pressure and my heart wasn’t the moon. My world wasn’t made out of flowers or bicycles, or hormones and second chances and I love you’s. I am not a reflection of the worlds I live in.

I am 18, and my world is not made out of words or things. My palms are possibilities, turned upwards towards the sky. My soul is space, vast and expanding, mysterious and impossible. My voice is power, giving me the tools I need to build my own world, of my own making. I am the creator of my own existence. My happiness is me.

—  The 18 Worlds I’ve Lived In (by daetion)