It’s Cool

It’s Cool

(A/N: So my friend the other day posted a status on Facebook about people using mental illness as a kind of trend. Like being clinically depressed and making hospital trips because of this depression is trendy in some way. So being me and being as outspoken as I am, I made a comment. I read it over, and I found something in it so I made that comment into a poem. I guess I wanted to write this to raise awareness (???) and maybe bring some attention to this subject. Mental illness is not a trend. It isn’t cool, it isn’t fun, and it doesn’t make anyone special. It just makes life terrible and in some cases unbearable. I hope you enjoy and I hope to get some feedback on this poem. Thanks so much for reading!)

Yeah,

it’s cool to wake up

every single morning

and not want to go through with the day

because everything feels pointless

Yeah,

it’s cool to feel like you

can’t do simple tasks like everyone else

because you fight

 

a war that no one can see

but you

Yeah,

it’s cool to know

that people won’t want

to love you

because, again

everything is pointless

and you come off as a “downer”

Yeah,

it’s cool to take pills

to try and help yourself,

and then have people turn around

and make fun of you

say things like:

“oh, did you forget

to take your happy pills today?”

because let’s not forget

they don’t fix everything

and you still have

low days

Yeah,

it’s cool to have constant

negative thoughts

like a little voice

always reminding you:

you are shit

you will amount to nothing

there is no point in whatever it is

you are trying to do

Yeah,

it’s cool to cry

for no reason

other than feeling pointless

Yeah,

it’s cool to feel your entire body

shut down completely

because you had to simply

call the doctor

and make an appointment

for the doctor

to prescribe a refill

for your medication

I’m sorry

“happy pills”

Yeah,

it’s cool to feel like everyone

friends and foes alike

are talking shit

behind your back

because who would ever

actually

want to be your friend?

Yeah,

it’s cool to feel like

a hassle

because your mental health

sometimes feels like it is just

not yours to control

Yeah,

it’s cool to feel

hopeless

Yeah,

it’s cool to feel

worthless

Yeah,

it’s cool to feel

numb

Yeah,

it’s cool to feel

like you don’t have a purpose

in life

Yeah,

it’s cool to feel like everyone

could just keep on moving

if you weren’t here

Yeah,

it’s cool to feel

like nothing matters

Yeah,

it’s cool

it’s so fucking cool

every part of it

every single part

of feeling like a mess

that no one wants to deal with

is so

fucking

cool

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Cry Baby

Cry Baby

It shouldn’t hurt

I don’t need you

I can love myself

The love I have for myself

is enough.

I don’t need you

It shouldn’t hurt

At the same time,

I hear what used to be our song

I cry

I watch what used to be our show

I cry

I remember one of our moments

I cry

I cry

I cry

Why am I still crying?

Why do I still care?

I was the one who did it

I was the one who made it happen

But all I do

is cry

Cry, cry, cry

Call me cry baby

I saw you last night

in my dreams

and I woke up,

but I didn’t cry

I was angry.

Even in my slumber

I was screaming at you

I was yelling

saying words to you

that I told you I would never say

yet any time I opened my fat mouth

vulgarity

swears

insults

pain

What’s wrong with me?

Is there something wrong with me?

Well,

we both know there is

at least I do

At least I know

it isn’t fake

but for some reason,

you always did

and never told me.

That’s when I cried the most,

you know.

When you told me,

“You fake it so I will pay more attention

to you”

Maybe that was your way of coping

or maybe you really felt that way

I hope not.

I am a cry baby

Sometimes it seems

like I could drown a city

in the rainstorm from my eyes

I can destroy lives

I can destroy myself,

but I never do

I just cry

and cry

and cry

and cry,

but I don’t need you.

It shouldn’t hurt

I love myself

and that’s all I need

 

Can You Teach Someone How To Write Creatively?

Can You Teach Someone How To Write Creatively?

The idea of teaching an art is something that I actually think about a lot, especially since I just got accepted as a transfer student at Emerson College for their writing, literature and publishing program. Writing, much like visual and performing arts is an art that requires years of practice and hard work to not only master, but to even begin to grasp and harness. There is also a large portion of mastering an art that takes talent alone. Not everything in writing can just be taught to you. You can’t just teach someone how to come up with ideas for stories and poems. Maybe you can teach someone how to organize the ideas and develop them further, but you can’t teach them the act of creating alone. Creating things and being creative is something that someone is born with. They can either create worlds and works of art, or they can’t. So that leads to the question, can you teach someone how to write creatively? And if so, then what do you teach them? How much of the art of writing and creating worlds and scenes can be taught?

I believe that these are questions that don’t have any right or wrong answers, mainly because I think most writers would answer with their opinions. Studies have been done to prove that creativity can be taught because all of us have creativity in us, but the thing is that some of us need to actually take the time to unlock the creativity within us before we can begin to create. Personally, I have been coming up with stories since I could hold a freaking pencil, and believe me, a lot of people hated it (mainly teachers who were just frustrated that I was writing a story rather than listening to them drone on about geometry) but for others that isn’t as easy. Of course there are ways that creativity can come to us, but in my personal opinion, not everyone has the capacity to be as creative as others.

I am going to use myself as an example here. As I said, being creative has always been something that just comes naturally to me. For a while it was in terms of visual art. I used to love to draw and paint and I loved experimenting with all different colors and I was constantly doodling on any paper I was given. This continued until about 7th grade, and that’s when I started to write. I would write little stories here and there with a splash of fan fiction that was based off of other books I read and T.V shows I watched. By the time I got to high school, I put my pen and paper down and I began to focus my creative energy on music in my high school concert choir. I wasn’t aware that you could do more than one at the time. Even when all of my creative energy was going into music, I still wrote, and sometimes I would even draw or paint here and there, but my writing was always the strongest. Still, most people saw me as a singer because I never showed anyone my writing or art, mainly because I never deemed them worthy of the public eye. There also weren’t a lot of chances for me to show off my writing in my high school. All we had was a literary magazine that no one ever read. Most people just took them and threw them in the trash (not even the recycling bin which in my opinion is a bit rude considering they didn’t even put in the extra effort to put it in the correct bin)

A lot of people looked at me and all of the things I was doing with my creative energy and thought I was insane. Singing some people understood. Art was something that most people just kind of brushed off. Writing on the other hand confused the hell out of people in my high school. When people in my high school heard writing, they thought of research papers and English essays. Not once did they ever think of poems, stories, or novels. Any time someone would ask me why the hell I would ever consider writing for fun, I would tell them basically that I can’t help it. I would love to be good at something that made me look more employable, like math or science, but instead of numbers and equations in my head, I have characters screaming their stories at me, and I feel pressured to write them down, but that is a talk for another time. The point is, my mind is just constantly creating and that makes me wonder, can someone be conditioned to be like that as well?

I am never one to argue with science, mainly because I know that everything that makes up the world we live in is science, but when I hear that studies have shown that you can teach creativity, I can’t help but think that there has to be some kind of disclaimer on that statement:

THIS STUDY SHOWS THAT CREATIVITY CAN BE TAUGHT**! AMAZING!

**Disclaimer: you are already creative, but you may not be as creative as someone who can write a novel in three months, or compose a symphony in an hour, or paint a masterpiece flawlessly

Creativity is something that all human beings are capable of, that is an undeniable fact that science has provided us. Thank you science, but the other part of said fact that you can’t deny is that some people just either have a more creative mind than others, or an ability to access creativity easier than others. So yes, every one has creativity, but the next step is accessing it, and using it, but can that be taught to someone?

In a class I was taking while I was still studying at Suffolk University, I learned that it can take a person up to 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill, especially if it was an art. This was a class on how music effected the brain, and considering the professor was probably the dullest person I had ever met in my life, I kind of fell asleep during most of his lectures. Still, the one day that I didn’t fall asleep, the professor mentioned this bit of information and it stuck with me. It can take someone 10,000 hours (possibly more) to master an art or craft, and that got me thinking about my writing. I wondered if writing was a skill that I had mastered, considering most days it is all I can seem to do.

Although the research is there and there are many studies showing that creativity can be taught, I still believe that there is more than just having it there to make someone have the ability to create, and there is something about the individual mind that determines the level of creativity that we can unlock and use to create and compose. There is still a lot to this question, and there is also a lot that I believe is up to a matter of opinion since science can’t quite explain everything just yet (based on the multiple website articles I read). In conclusion: my opinion is my opinion, but others are allowed to think whatever they would like! I am interested to know what you think about this topic considering it is something that everyone seems to have some kind of opinion on.

Containment (Prologue)

Containment (Prologue)

(So this was an idea for a story about a zombie apocalypse that I tried writing out. I have a few chapters types up and I might upload them, but I thought that I would upload the prologue first. Please let me know what you think and if you would be interested in reading more! Thanks so much as always!)

The cool morning air nipped at  my skin, and the smell of freshly dawning dew swirled inside me as I inhaled deep. Appleton Rhode Island was one of those quaint little towns you saw in all of the movies, and unlike most people who were just aching to escape, I wanted to stay. This small dot of Earth that we called a community was all I would ever need. By now, I couldn’t even imagine my life without walking down Rivers Drive and seeing all of the little shops open for their morning customers. All of the stores in Appleton were family owned, and we never had a high enough population for big corporations like Walmart and Stop and Shop.

The only place I was somewhat excited to get away from was the Appleton Memorial High School.There was only about two or three hundred students per graduating class, and all of them were ready to fly from the nest. Not to mention that you could never just do one thing and go unnoticed. It was like living under a microscope. No matter how hard you tried to hide whatever it was you were doing, people found out. Everyone knew your basic life story, who your parents were, their basic life story, and their parents history, and so on. There was nothing that you could do to escape it either. You just lived with it, and watched everything you did to make ture that you didn’t become the gossip of Appleton. Sometimes, walking down Rivers Drive was like walking down a pathway of hot coals.

The sun shone down on Appleton Memorial High School’s tennis courts, and I sighed deeply as I approached the fence, trying my best to put on my mental armor, hoping that people’s harsh words wouldn’t penetrate it. Everyone has their own way of surviving the four years that come along in life known as high school. Some can breeze right through it (and even enjoy it), some crash and burn under all of the pressure, and then there are people like me, who just fight the battles that they have to.

To me, high school is just some medieval battle that you are constantly required to fight. You make allies, who help you make it through a hard day at war, and you have your rival kingdoms, who try to burn down your castle and decapitate you publicly. Then you have teachers and principals, who are almost like your own wise wizards and guardians. Some do more than others to help, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers, right? They’re simply there to soften up the ride, but if you get on their bad side, then they can make your life more of a hell than it already may be. So at the end of the war, who wins? In every kind of battle, you have to have some kind of victor, so who always wins this kind of war? Trick question, because no one ever does. Sure, a lot of survivors live great lives afterwards, but they’re still scarred by what they saw in the battle halls.

So, I suit up, putting on my metaphorical battle armor, sharpening my daggers of witty comebacks, and meeting with my closest ally in the combat formally known as high school tennis, Tori. Tori has been my dearest friend since I could possibly remember. Growing up, I would always run down past the first six houses on the street of Mayberry Avenue, and at the corner, I would turn left onto an old dirt road that led up to her parents gorgeous mansion. Appleton was an old town, so there was rarely ever any new construction. Her house was one of the old plantation houses that you always read about in history textbooks. Everyday, she and I would play in the acres of free yard space, or explore new places that we had found on the premises of the property.

“Ready for yet another day of amateur tennis with high school kids who think that they are playing in some kind of world tournament?” she asked me, swinging her tennis racquet back and forth as if it were her sword.

“Oh, am I ever!” I told her, sarcasm emanating from my tone of voice. Miss Beck stood in front of the whole class of seventeen kids and let out a short blow from her whistle, and the classes attention was all on her, as if we were her little minions.

“Okay, so today is our final tennis match for the semester. Whoever wins today gets extra credit added onto their full year grade!” she announced, then glanced down at her clip board with a small smile. “So, we have Team Seven, which is Andy and Sylvio.” She said, and the two boys broke out into cheers and shouts.

“I feel sorry for whoever has to play against them. Remember what happened when Andy and Sylvio played Lydia and her partner the other week?” Tori whispered to me, and I nodded affirmatively. Poor, poor Lydia. She turned around for two seconds to talk to Miss Beck, and when she turns back, BAM, the tennis ball hits her so hard in the forehead she passes out. For the rest of the day she had to walk around with a tennis ball sized, black and blue lump right between her eyebrows. Lydia never even saw it coming, but the part that sickened me was the fact that Andy felt no remorse for what he had done. He never said sorry, or asked for forgiveness. No, instead he just laughed, and cheered along with his lackey Sylvio, who was no better than Andy.

“And up against them is Team Five, Tori and Rowan!” Miss beck said to everyone, and my heart dropped. Tori’s face started to burn bright red, and with each shade of pink, I began to realize that we had only lost two games in the past three and a half weeks.

As Miss Beck told everyone else to play on their own court with whoever they wanted, Tori and I prepared as much as we possibly could. If there was ever a time where I felt like I was going into some kind of big battle, it would be now.This was the moment of my junior year that I felt was the final showdown.

“Rowan, I don’t wanna die,” Tori sighed, taking the tennis ball from the rusty basket next to the gate to the courts.

“We are not going to die Tori,” I groaned, then looked at her with raised eyebrows. “But keep in mind that if I must use you as a human shield, I will not hesitate.

“Come on!” Tori whined, but I simply pulled her over to our side of the court. Andy and Sylvio stood on the other side of the net, laughing with one another, and probably thinking about how they plan to crush us in this game. Finally, the two boys turned to us, and I realized what was really going on here.

Anyone who knows anything about high school P.E programs is aware of the unbalance that comes along with things like pairing up teams. Right off the bat, (no sports pun intended) I can say myself that the pairing here was somewhat uneven. Tori and I are both lanky, but it’s obvious that I am a few good inches shorter than her. Neither of us have any noticeable muscle build up from things like baseball or tennis. So going up against two lacrosse jockeys was just flat out unfair, but hey, I guess that’s high school.

“Let us know if you need a small break ladies! We will be more than happy to let you forfeit the game!” Andy shouted with a condescending laugh trailing behind.

“Yeah, you too!” I yelled back, stepping on the red cement, preparing to serve. When I turned back to the net, I saw the sun breaking over the peak of the mountain, and suddenly, I found myself imagining what it would be like to fly to the peak of that mountain, just to see my small town of Appleton.

“Come on Rowan, quit slacking!” I heard Sylvio yell, and I snapped right out of my daydream. I scowled a bit and grunted under my breath as I threw the bright, neon colored ball up over my head. When the ball met my racquet, it went flying over the net and towards Andy and Sylvio. I heard Miss Beck tell me that I made a great serve, but I was too worried about saving my own skin to worry about her encouragement.

“I got it!” Yelled Sylvio, whacking the ball with his racquet in a single fierce moment, sending the ball hurtling towards my face. Quickly thinking on my feet, I lunged to the left, dodging the ball by a toads hair. Tori quickly sprinted and caught the ball with her racquet, hitting it just as hard as Sylvio had when he returned my serve.

I Swiftly scurried to my feet, standing ready to play more; to fight more. That one action fueled my want to win this battle. As I got ready, I saw the ball in Andy’s hand across the court, and he and Sylvio had puzzled glances glazed over their faces. Everyone around me was silenced and looking past me. I spun around on my heels, and madness broke out.

Cries of terror emerged from the school building, along with what I would never describe as normal “screams”. They were awful, painful shrieks that made it sound like those people inside the building were being torn limb from limb. Glass shattered from classroom windows, and these screeching people came crawling through the frames, pushing one another out of the way. Blood was smeared all over their faces, especially their mouths. Behind them, I saw students and teachers alike on the floor, their red blood splattered all over the walls and the tile.

“Run, everyone! Run to the gym!” Miss Beck shouted at us, waving towards the gymnasium doors.

“Screw that! I’m not going into the same building as those things!” Andy yelled back as he dropped his tennis racquet and made a run towards town. I whipped my head towards the school and saw the bloodied screaming people running faster and faster towards us. No, those were not people. They had to be cannibals or something…

“Rowan, come on!” Tori screamed as she grabbed my hand and tried to pull me along with her, but I was paralyzed in fear. I caught a glance at one of the monsters and recognized them as the guy who sat next to me in chemistry. He and I only talked once or twice, but that didn’t matter now. It was like that person was completely gone.

What was his name? Tony? Yes, Tony. He was on the baseball team, and he was one of the only members to acknowledge my existence in the world. That may have only been because I was acing chemistry and he was failing, but none the less, he was kind to me when some of his friends may not have been. But that thing running for one of the other kids in my gym class wasn’t Tony.

“Tori…those are our friends,” I whispered, my voice unstable and trembling violently. They came closer and closer, making that awful, gut wrenching sound. They weren’t the people I always knew from when I was a kid. They were animals who mimicked their appearance. They had to be.

“No, they obviously aren’t. We need to go now Rowan please!” she screamed at me, yanking at my arm profusely. I felt my body jerk in her direction, and my brain finally kicked into overdrive. My legs felt like bags of sand, weighing and slowing me down as I tried to run as fast as I could to get to somewhere safe. My lungs felt as though they were on fire, and breathing became more difficult with each hard step further. I heard one of them coming catching up to me, and when I felt a hand land on my shoulder, I let out a blood curdling scream.

“ROWAN!” Tori shrieked, and began pulling on my arm harder. When I looked at the creatures face, I froze. It was my sister, Caitlyn. Her eyes looked glossy, and her skin was more ashen than normal. For a split second, I caught a horrific glimpse of her expression. A single real, genuine look told me what I knew was already true.
Caitlyn was gone.

“C-Cait, Cait please! It’s me, Rowan!” I begged, as if somewhere deep down, she could hear me, but I was dead wrong. The monster standing before me tackled me to the ground with unbelievable strength and speed. I let out another scream in terror as I began to whack at the creature with my tennis racquet.

“ROWAN, NO!” I heard Tori scream at the top of her lungs, but I didn’t know why until the racquet was torn from my hands feverishly. Whatever demon took over my little sister was about to kill me, and there was no escaping it now. I felt it’s teeth sink into my throat, and my life went black.

Free Preview of Vengeance

Free Preview of Vengeance

(So with my novel going into the production phase, I am coming closer and closer to a release date, which is very exciting! It also got me thinking; I should start promoting the novel on this little blog here. I started writing Vengeance when I was a Sophomore in high school and I finished it three months after I started it. This novel is my baby. I worked on the first draft every night until about 4-5 in the morning (handwritten by the way since I didn’t have a laptop at this time) So this is my heart and soul that is going to be bound in 275 pages. So, here is a free preview of my up coming novel, Vengeance! I will be posting updates on my novel’s progress here regularly so that I can keep everyone up to date!)

Ominous clouds loomed over the city and thunder rolled across the sky. From inside my grandparent’s small home everything seemed so peaceful. This was nothing more than another summer storm in Ireland. Still, gazing over the city skyline from my bedroom window reminded me of my mother and father. Six months ago, my parents drove their car off the bridge that crossed the River Liffey. They were downtown at a party for my father’s promotion at work. According to the police officers investigating their deaths, he had one too many sleeping pills, thinking that he would get home in time before they kicked in, and fell asleep at the wheel. They told my grandparents and me that was the only reasonable explanation, since that was the only substance known to cause something as horrific as this. It was only half a year ago, but it still felt as though I had only lost them yesterday. Now, I was living with my grandparents on the North side of Dublin.

I was used to life here. Both my Nan and Granddad were understanding of my feelings about what happened. Of course, they were just as hurt as I was, if not more. They lost their only child; their only daughter. Nan and Granddad were heartbroken, but they were still moving on. I, on the other hand, felt as though there was no way to go on. Still, I accepted the fact that they were gone. I was over those five stages of grief or whatever that dumb shit is called, not like the people who made it up really knew that they were talking about. Nan still kept a close eye on me, but I was now nineteen and I was fine on my own. The only person I really needed was my best friend, Melanie Davidson.

Mel and I had been friends since our third year of school and ever since then, we had never fought, or gone more than a week apart. Even a day or two was little too much time away from each other. My grandparents and my parents always loved Mel. They knew how much she meant to me and they knew for a fact that I couldn’t even imagine life without her. Both Mom and Dad knew that without Mel, I would probably go insane. Mel was really more of an older sister than a best friend. She protected me from mean ex-boyfriends and bullies in the schoolyard. More importantly, Mel could always put a smile on my face when no one else could. She was like my other half. Melanie Davidson was really the only person I needed. There wasn’t one step of life that I took where she wasn’t by my side. Even when her family took her on a trip to England, she refused to move until they agreed that I could also go with them.

There I sat at the bay window in my small bedroom, lost in a sea of my own thoughts, looking over the vast city. My bedroom was at the front of the house, and it had a view of the city like no other. The walls of my room were light blue, though some spots were covered with my drawings. Art was always something I wanted to pursue even as a little kid. Drawing, painting, sketching, whatever it was, it was my escape. The amount of creations I made in the weeks after my parents had died was unbelievable, to be completely honest. It was as though I shut the rest of the world out and found comfort in my art. My room was where I found peace, surrounded by all my drawings.

A frantic knocking at my door snapped me out of my thoughts. Mel’s voice slipped in through the cracks, asking me to let her in, which normally never happened since she would usually just invite herself in. I told her to come in and she burst through the door as if she were waiting years for me to finally answer. Today, Mel was wearing her contact lenses, so there was nothing in the way of her big brown eyes. Her long chestnut hair was neatly tied back into a ponytail with side bangs swept to the right side of her face. She wore a light blue blouse with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows, and a pair of average skinny jeans, with white converse. A classic Melanie Davidson outfit. She always looked flawless. Even when she slept over my house, passed out on the floor in the living room at some late hour while watching a movie, she woke up looking pretty damn good.

“Caroline, do your grandparents know that the people living next door to you are complete creeps?” she asked, closing the door behind her, and then flopping onto my bed.

“Wait…Mr. Stevens? The guy who just works on his garden all day? I always thought he seemed so nice,” I questioned.

“No! Not Mr. Stevens! The people who live on the left!” She corrected me. I thought about the house to the left, but to my understanding that house had been up for sale since I was a little kid.

“Well, what happened?”

“There were two guys out on the front lawn just talking to each other. One had blonde hair, and the other had brown curly hair, and…and both of them just looked at me. They didn’t seem angry or anything, but they both just gave me a blank stare at the same time,” Mel explained. I tried my best to come up with some memory‒any memory‒I had of that house. Nan would always tell me that no one lived there, but I knew that the house couldn’t stay empty forever.

Anxie-Tea

[wallcoo]_coffee_Photo_71123(So I want to start off by saying I LOVE THE PUN. I laughed for five minutes straight when I came up with it. ANYWAY, this is a very very short story that I wrote for my creative writing class so I am eager to get feedback on it. Please let me know what you think and I hope you enjoy!)

Holly

The party was hot and sweaty, and with every lingering second, Holly didn’t want to be there any longer than she was required. Led Zeppelin was blasting through the speakers at max volume, which made the inside of her body shake. The entire basement in which she sat reeked of incense, marijuana, and shitty beer which she wanted no part of. This was not a place where she belonged, but somehow she had managed to end up here. Her best friend, Danielle, had dragged her, since it was an open invitation party, and anyone could enter if they wanted to. Unlike Holly, Danielle was as outgoing and social as could be, and she relentlessly tried to get Holly out of her shell. Still, Holly knew that this had been a bad idea from the beginning, but like usual, she didn’t listen to her. No one ever really did. Even when Holly knew that she was right, she sometimes didn’t even bother to open her mouth, because she knew that no one would bother to listen to her.

Social anxiety was a curse that Holly was forced to handle, which made nothing easy. Even gaining the courage to come to the party tonight took hours of persuasion from Danielle, and even then she wasn’t too sure. Now though, Danielle was nowhere in sight, and she was all alone with complete strangers that she had seen here and there in halls and in classes. That didn’t stop the waves of anxiety though. Nothing really could. This was something that Holly would just have to deal with on her own. No one could know that she was secretly losing her mind.

“You seem lonely,” she heard a deep voice say from beside her, and before Holly could make up some ridiculous lie to prevent this from going any further, the boy sat down beside her, the squeaking of his leather jacket rubbing against leather couch. He flashed Holly a lazy smirk that made her insides shiver. If there was one thing that she hated in this world, it was douchebags like this guy. Just by looking at his messy hair and dirty, ripped jeans, she knew that he was the kind of guy who thought that he could get any girl just by flashing them a nice smile and buttering them up with some pretty boy dip and twirl talk. He was the kind of guy who would screw you in a one night stand and then want nothing to do with you afterwards. He was the kind of guy that Holly wanted nothing to do with.

“I was enjoying the loneliness, thanks,” she muttered under her breath, moving away from him and avoiding any eye contact that could possibly be made with him.

“I could tell. This doesn’t really seem like your type of scene,” he said to her, moving a bit closer to Holly, making her cringe a little bit. Finally, she looked over her shoulder at him and realized just how close he was to her, causing Holly to jump a bit. “So, what’s your name sweetheart?” he asked.

“Don’t call me that please, and leave me alone,” she said in as stern of a voice as she could muster up, but that didn’t mean he was backing down anytime soon, which only made Holly more uncomfortable with the entire situation.

“Would it be better if I told you mine first? My name is Ben,” he told her, in his most charming voice. “This is normally where you tell me your name.”

“I asked you to leave me alone, what part of that do you not seem to be getting?”

“I don’t think you really want to be alone though.”

“Actually I do, thanks. Now leave me the fuck alone,” Holly snapped, causing Ben to be taken back a bit. Oh let me guess, she thought to herself, “I’m not used to someone snapping at me like that!”

The two sat in silence for a few moments, and with every second that passed, Holly wondered why he was still next to her. She could feel her throat closing up, and she felt as though the air around her was disappearing. Her breaths became short and staggered. Ben glanced down at her and right off the bat he knew that something was off, but Holly wasn’t paying any attention to him. She focused on her breathing, trying to remember what she had learned in therapy, but it was as if every single thing that she had been taught was gone.

She quickly got up from the leather couch, knowing that she had to escape. She had to find a way out of the house party one way or another. She had to find a safe place away from people. More importantly, she had to get away from Ben. Her thoughts were already racing about him.

He hates you, just like everyone else.

He did nothing wrong and now another person wishes you weren’t here.

You fucked up again.

The thoughts wouldn’t stop, and at this point, the world around Holly was spinning too fast for her to catch her breath. She felt herself collapse to her knees onto damp grass as the blasting music from the party echoed in the distance. Tears streamed down Holly’s cheeks as she covered her face with her trembling hands. She told herself that she wouldn’t do this, and that she would suppress the anxiety for one night. Still, here she was on the lawn of the house breaking down for everyone to see.

“I’m sorry,” Holly heard a voice say from behind. She didn’t have to look over her shoulder to know that the boy from the party had followed her outside. Holly knew exactly what he was trying to do, but she did her best to ignore him and focus back on her breathing. “I said I was sorry, the least you can do is look at me,” but she still didn’t look back at him.

“Leave me alone. Can’t you see I don’t want to be around anyone?!” she shouted back at him, but Ben wasn’t giving up.

Holly didn’t know anything about Ben. Like the fact that he had an older sister who acted just like her when she was at parties or with big groups of people. Or the fact that he had lost his older sister after she killed herself. Holly knew nothing about Ben, and quite frankly, she wasn’t very interested in learning about him at all. The only thing she was concerned with was calming her racing thoughts and short struggling breaths.

 

Ben

Slowly, Ben walked over towards her, remembering back to a time when his sister looked just like this when they were in the mall shopping for their father’s Christmas gift. He didn’t even know her name, yet he looked at this girl and something resonated within him. He was compelled to comfort her, and make sure that by the end of the night she was alright. Ben didn’t want to watch someone else end up six feet under like he did with his sister.

“Hey, it’s going to be okay. It’s okay, you are okay,” Ben repeated more and more. He reached out to comfort her, but she immediately retaliated, finally making eye contact with him. When she looked up at him, he felt his heart break. She reminded him so much of his sister that it hurt. She had the same round green eyes as her, and when she cried, the green in her eyes became more prominent. He kneeled down next to her, still afraid to make any kind of physical contact with her in fear that she would cower away.

“No one is going to hurt you. You’re okay,” Ben told her in a stern voice, but he tried his best to be calming. He could see that she was still short of breath, but as the moments passed between the two of them, her breaths became normal once again, but she still didn’t speak. Still, Ben was patient. He had to be.

“I’m…I’m so sorry…” the girl said through her tears, her voice trembling over every single word.

“Don’t apologize, it’s fine. It would be nice though if I could know your name,” he told her, flashing her a small smile. For a while, she simply stared up at Ben. He could tell that she didn’t understand why he was so compelled to know who she was, and he couldn’t blame her. Still, he tried to know her. Ben wanted to know her.

“Holly, and you are Ben right?” she asked and he nodded immediately.

The two of them decided on going to a diner nearby. Of course, Holly hesitated, but Ben wasn’t giving up. He wanted to get to know her. He couldn’t live with himself if another person died because he couldn’t save them. When they got to the diner, Ben explained everything. He told Holly about his sister, and about how he was the one to walk in on the scene of his sister’s lifeless body on the ground. A few times, Ben had to take break from talking. The memories were still so fresh in his memory even though he was only ten when he came home to find that his older sister wasn’t alive anymore.

“I’m sorry to hear that. It must have been horrible to see,” Holly said in a low voice. Ben could see that her hands had stopped trembling, and she was now less tense than before. There were moments when Ben would share a memory and Holly would have this smile like nothing he had ever seen before. He wanted to listen to her talk, knowing that he had to get rid of the tightness in his chest. The silence between them grew, and Ben could tell that Holly was beginning to get anxious. She grabbed the paper napkin next to her and began to twirl it around her fingers. It tore every single time that she would twist it, but it was as if she didn’t even notice, and she kept going on.

“So why were you at the party tonight?” Ben asked, causing Holly to snap out of the trance she was in. “I mean, is there any specific reason?”

“My friend…well, she is kind of my friend, I guess. She convinced me to go. She has been trying to help me get over the anxiety thing, but it hasn’t exactly been working,” she explained, her voice trailing off.

“What’s her name?”
“Danielle McIvor,” Holly told him, and Ben immediately knew who she was talking about, and his heart sank. He constantly overheard Danielle bitching about how she felt forced to be friends with this girl just because their parents were good friends, and about how she hated spending time with her because there were times when she would “go fucking crazy”. Ben never really knew who she was talking about, but just by listening to her, he knew that he didn’t want to be anywhere near her. She never seemed like the kind of person Ben would enjoy being around, and now that he knew that she was talking about Holly this whole time, the annoyed feeling he had towards her grew.

“Right, well listen, I don’t know if what she is doing is really helping you. I mean I know she is your friend and everything, but it doesn’t seem like you are getting better,” he said, and she didn’t respond. All she could do is look down at her hands, which were back to fiddling around with the napkin.

“I know, but…if I don’t have her, then I have no one else,” Holly sighed, running her hands through her long blonde hair. Ben reached out and grabbed her other hand. At first she began to flinch away, but before she could pull away, she slowly relaxed.

“That isn’t true. I am here,” Ben told her. Holly stared at him in awe, and he felt the tightening in his chest again. He didn’t know how she would respond to what he said, and Ben wasn’t sure if she knew what he meant. Ben wanted to help her. He wanted to prevent what happened to his sister.

“Can I start you off with some drinks?” the waitress asked, and Holly broke her stare at Ben to glance up at the waitress.

“I’ll have a cup of hot tea, please.”

Apologies

How_to_break_up_thumb

I am sorry

Sorry that I left you behind

Sorry that you

got hurt by the explosion

that was my ever changing life

Sorry that our memories

mean nothing anymore

not to you

not to me

Sorry that we haven’t spoken in months

Sorry that I missed your last show

Sorry that I left you for another

Sorry that I never returned your calls

Sorry that I never gave you a gift at Christmas

Sorry that I didn’t call you on our anniversary

I am sorry

Sorry that I tried to barge back into

your life

Sorry that I feel entitled

to your love

Sorry that I don’t know

my place

Sorry that I got wasted

and tried to bring you back

Sorry that I drank

until I couldn’t see straight

and you pretended to worry

Sorry that you

had to pretend

Sorry

Sorry

Sorry

I am so sorry.

Sorry that I

am not needed anymore

Sorry that you

don’t care anymore

Sorry that we

aren’t one anymore

but two

looking for what we once had