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Short Stories and Prose


UglyCasanova

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Hihi! Man, this place is(was) so silly! I want to post some stories and prose and stuff to entertain you guys! It's not that macabre and stuff, sorry. Certain people may be disappointed, but I hope you still enjoy it! I may just consolidate all my work into this topic, unless I write a more extended piece, which I haven't written in, gosh has it been like 3-4 years? Wow! Time flies when you've run off to college and and enjoying life as it slaps you across the face with a combination of drama, alcohol and schoolwork! Anyways, here's the table of contents, which I hope to fill, and my first piece! Hope you silly members of The General Writer's Forum enjoy it!

 

This is The Table of Contents!

Manic Depressive - This Post

A Couple Shorts About Rejection

A Throwback

For Your Shopping Pleasure

Infinity

Day 8 Southeast Review Prompt

Hardly Scattered

Swan Song

Black Dalia

Tight Jeans

Other People's Lives

 

 

Manic Depressive

 

- and the streetlamp lit them up on the spot, the finale act in the play of his life. He had replayed everything before this, over and over again like a movie being projected from above and into his mind. Each scene, each run of dialogue. Played out, and he really tried to figure out where it went wrong and how it could’ve played out, and who, in this movie, could’ve intervened and changed the entire course of the end. And he pointed out, each and every single moment, and if he could he would. Go back and change something, but he would be thinking the same thing now, and in the infinite other universes spanning across space and time, he would have this same thought. The thought that this wasn’t how it was supposed to end. That maybe there was a better ending. One that he approved of. But this is how it always was for him; thinking it could’ve gone differently and he had made a mistake along the way. But this is how it played out, and with Charity held tightly in his arms, with the wind beating and the moon glowing oh so bright, he thought right back to the beginning.

 

***

 

He had recently began talking to Anne again. It had been a year or so since they really talked. Within that year, were random, awkward conversations that were held briefly just to be courteous. Simple subjects like how the other was doing and other casual topics. They had previously been intimate, and maybe it was that pervading awkwardness that lingered on, but she had caught his attention again. One year later.

 

He was going through a phase, where it was the same thing over and over again. The same nothing that comes with routine, and he had been hoping for something to change or something to come up and quickly turn everything upside down. He was a big fan of the random and unexpected, and Anne returning was, hopefully, what was needed to throw everything into the utter chaos he came to love.

 

Self destructive isn’t the term that quite describes his actions, though most people do label his love for chaos as so. But with Anne back in the picture, he viewed it as the perfect moment to take reins over his life once more, and see where it can go. Well, that was until Lindsey told him, just a little too late, that the reading he had just done wasn’t due for that class.

 

Lindsey was the kind of girl who never really had a voice. Never really spoke up and kept to herself, but for some reason, seeing him there, confident in just finishing his reading, wanted to spoil it. He would, later, go on to say that she was perfect and was able to compliment his dire pessimism and cynicism, but this was still the first time and in his mind, this was just another cliché to throw into the folder he filed called “romantic relations”.

 

All he had really ever wanted was a normal type of relationship; one that had been burned into his skull by society and the media. Every other relationship he had been in was, deemed to him, abnormal. Something always went horribly awry and ruined the entire relationship. By the time he had finally met Lindsey, he finally came to terms with the fact that all relationships have their pitfalls and that the media was brainwashing him into being single. He was done with that scene, and when Lindsey sat there, scribbling down in her notepad, he said f*ck it. Why not?

 

***

 

Charity was a completely different story. She had come out of nowhere as quickly as she had left and came back again. He had thought she was cute and for a second thought that maybe something could happen. A few lunches happened here and there, but the more he got to know her, the more he realized she was great.

 

The problem he ran into was the unconscious brainwash that had slowly veiled itself around his perception of relationships. He always thought, that for a relationship to work, both parties must have common views and interests, while still having opposing traits. He had found out, from experience, that having too many similarities can lead to apathy and indifference and lack of interest, while completely opposing ideologies can cause rifts that can’t be traversed. He had been trying to find someone with the right amount in common, while still having some opposing views. But with Charity, her ideologies and view of the world were on a completely different spectrum. While he was pessimistic, realistic and viewed everything with a negative edge, she was a burning ball of optimism. Bright as the sun. At first he thought this was nothing to worry about, until he realized she was devout and his complete lack of indifference and care would cause the previously mentioned rift to emerge and tear them apart.

 

As quickly as he was standing there, with no direction or idea of where he was going, routine and the mundane ruling his life, he was drowned in all the choices that would dictate the new direction his life would take, and he didn’t want to make a choice. Because each one had its pros and cons and although he would love to pick one and finally be happy, he will forever be doomed to look back and think if it could’ve been better by making one different choice. It was this crushing reality and pessimism that ruled his life and he felt he would be condemned to a life of ‘what ifs’. It wasn’t a future he looked forward to having, but it was a future he had to live. He had to make a decision. But not one he wanted to make.

 

***

 

What he had really thought, at that moment, with Charity held tightly in his arms was what a huge mistake had been made, and whether telling Anne to f*ck off was the best course of action. Of course there was also Lindsey, but she was the first one and all signs had pointed to her, but it still led to this. Hugging Charity tight in his arms, keeping her warm as the frigid wind beats on his back and face; his fingertips were frozen, but he had stopped caring about the numb pain long ago. The moon was glowing white, high above and -

Edited by UglyCasanova
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  • 2 weeks later...

Man, this place isn't as active as I thought! No worries though, here are a couple pieces I wrote a while ago when this chick totally broke my heart! It's cool though. In the end, she lost an amazing friendship due to her stupidity. But enough of that nonsense and to the writing!

 

A Short Bit About Rejection

 

The pavement was cold. As my palm ran along the street, I could feel the dust and dirt and gravel and grain digging and rolling. It was a full moon, and the cities lights completely eliminated me from seeing any stars. So as Rosalinda laid next to me, her arm laid across my chest, all I could do was point to the sky, pretending to connect constellations. Pointing to Ursa Major in the south, to Betelgeuse in Cassiopeia, to Venus. This wasn’t right at all, but of course, I couldn’t see any of it anyways. She was comforted, though, with my confidence in knowing this, and took shelter in it. She pulled me in closer, I put my hand on her head, the gravel and grit dirtying her hair; she’ll need a shower later.

 

A car swerved past us, horn blaring and a stream of curses spewing out the driver’s window. The wind stirred the dust around us in a whirlwind, and her hair was lifted and spun around. It landed back on her face, and I gently moved it off her face, and tucked it behind her ear. She let out a small thank you and resumed staring up at the sky. Asking me what else. To show her more constellations.

 

I let out a long sigh and my head rolled, leaning against the top of hers. My finger still tracing the sky. Tracing invisible dots, connecting Aries – pointing out Andromeda. I stopped for a second, another car sped by and I caught a trace of her shampoo from earlier that day when the wind surrounded us like a cyclone. I tried to pull her in closer, but she was fine where she was. She didn’t want to be closer.

 

“So I met someone today.”

 

Another car passed. The horn echoed along the empty street and my head laid still against the pavement. She turned her head on my shoulder to look up at me. I moved my hand from her head and put it at my side. She continued to look at me; she wanted a response. Some form of approval or rejection.

 

I lifted my arm to the sky. Still tracing. Still pointing out planets and galaxies and stars. The moon was bright, the only thing that I was guaranteed to see in the sky. Whole and complete and totally there. She was still looking at me, but I was fixed on the moon. I didn’t want to respond. Not yet. I just wanted to wait a little bit longer.

 

 

Recipient

 

I wish I could say that I could’ve held on longer, but the truth of the matter was, I was rooting for my strength to give and to watch Andy fall the seventeen hundred feet to his death. It was a most pleasant sight. His eyes moist with tears, looking up at me, pleading and begging for me to not let go, Rosalinda screaming for him to hold on and that I would save him. Yeah, I would save him, because that’s what I wanted to do.

 

“Please don’t let go man,” he tried to throw his other hand up to grab my one arm, but I was covered in a thin layer of sweat and the attempt proved futile. It was a glorious thing to watch. He swung there, helplessly, feet trying to get a grip on the smooth Cliffside, my hand only holding on at half strength. I could drop him and just tell her I tried my best. There was nothing I could do.

 

But that wouldn’t have been true, and at some level deep inside, she would’ve known and hated me. And I was okay with that. My other arm, though, was getting tired from hanging onto the railing and I was starting to tire of this heroic charade. I was ready at any minute to just let go and grab something to eat. I was starving.

 

I leaned a bit over the edge, closer to his head, my mouth a foot or so from his ear. Just enough to be an ear shot away from Rosalinda; I don’t think she needs to hear this.

 

“You know man, I can’t hold on much longer. I’m not strong enough to pull you up either,” it took a lot from me to stifle my glee and he saw it, but his thoughts were only on the fact that he was facing his own mortality, not at my contempt for him.

 

“Just please help me up. I’m sorry for whatever I did. I didn’t do it intentionally,” he kept trying to get his other hand to wrap around my wrist, but each time failing.

 

“It’s not something you did, although I do hate you, but she has to learn her lesson,” by this time he started sobbing and Rosalinda chimed in and started also. The wind blew the dead leaves and dust around me. Some dust got in my eye, and I was slightly inclined to let go of him and rub my eye. So irritating.

 

“Please, Victor, please don’t let go of him,” the tone she took, I almost believed she was going to jump the railing and try to help, but I knew she wouldn’t. She just clenched the railing, tears streaming and covering the rust.

 

I turned back to Andy. Still sobbing, still helplessly trying to get a two-hand grip on my hand, and it was slightly getting on my nerves. “I’m sorry Andy, but I’m going to have to let you go.” It was at this that he lost it and started screaming at the top of his lungs.

 

“Oh God. I’m going to die. He’s going to drop me!”

 

My eye kept twitching, watering up to dry to expunge the dust from it. I was tired of this. This was stupid. Why was I holding on? And with that, I looked down at Andy, helplessly – hopelessly – swinging, still trying with all his strength to get both hands on me and climb up. “Stop it. You look foolish.”

 

And with that, I finally relieved my eye of the irritant and jumped over the railing, walking back towards the car. Rosalinda stood at the railing, trying to look over the edge, only hearing the final crunch of Andy’s body on the rocks below. She turned to me, and I turned around, a tear falling down my cheek. But I knew she knew it wasn’t for him, and I rubbed my eye again, trying to get the dust out.

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  • 4 weeks later...
UglyCasanova

D:

 

A Throwback

 

The chat window blinked and he wasn’t responding immediately. It had been about maybe two, three months at least, since he had last spoken to me. College and the real life were taking up most of my time, but the times back on that writing forum in high school were always a blast. Writing nonsensical macabre pieces that people would get all riled about. It was almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy, where the more bullsh*t came out of my mouth, the more everyone praised it. Being venerated like a God, and it really felt like that. Top of the world. Unable to be knocked down.

 

“Hey, Alex, what the f*ck are you doing in there? Another one of your movies?” my roommate banged at my door. He had a habit of always not minding his own business. My room is the only sanctuary passed down to me by the Gods. “You coming out tonight, or are you gonna stay home and whack it to your weird sh*t?”

 

A sigh escaped and my office chair rolled to the door. The lock clicked and Jon made his way in. He picked up the Rubix and threw himself on my bed; sinking in and wading in the sea of my sheets. My eyes simply observed him and his face contorted with finding the solution for the cube. He eventually mumbled out of frustration and tossed the cube onto the nightstand, sitting up and clasping his hands together.

 

“We are going out tonight.” A grin stretched across his face and my chair rolled itself back over to the desk where the internet continued to soak up all of my attention. “Did you hear me? We are not going to stay in tonight. We are leaving. We are going to go, and get hammered and stoned and laid. You hear me, Alex?”

 

Susan?

 

“Oh forget her, she’s so last year. I need to go out and find some new pussies to bang. Come on, Alex! Be my wingman!” His tone was pleasantly pleading.

 

The chat window blinked again and Tony said something along the lines of, “Heeeeey, Sexy Lexi”. It was such a nostaligic sentiment and wanted to just, briefly, go back to high school, back to writing on forums, back to f*cking my mom, back to all that, even for one instant. But is it that easy? Would they remember me? Jon put his hand on my shoulder and he leaned down, to whisper in my ear.

 

“All the pussy you want man.”

 

And so, why not? Writing can happen whenever. The forums always there to be written on. What’s another couple of nights with no writing? I lit a cigarette, and made my way into the night.

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These aren't bad at all. They're short in both length and sentence structure - you don't do what some seem to do (myself included, I admit) which is try and stuff each sentence with something clever and interesting. Sometimes sentences just roll with the pace of things and just tell the story, and that's what you're doing. That's by no means suggesting you're dull because you do elaborate on things, but you don't go overboard.

 

I don't know what to offer in terms of criticism, but one thing stood out above others truth be told. These sentences:

 

 

She turned to me, and I turned around, a tear falling down my cheek. But I knew she knew it wasn’t for him, and I rubbed my eye again, trying to get the dust out.

 

One thing I would say you do get into the habit of (again, something I do, so I'm not in much of a better position) is making things a little messy. I had to read that a couple of times for it to sink in. I don't know whether it was the comma use or the abrupt "but" at the end of a sentence, but it could be written a little smoother so it matches your otherwise slick prose.

 

Like I said, these are good little reads and are above all fun. There's nothing too deep here, and you don't try and lose me with elaborate plot changes and "who-the-hell-was-that" style character introductions. Keep banging away, and I'm only sorry it took so long for me to post.

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UglyCasanova

Thank you so much, Craig! That means so much to me! And in regards to that example sentence, it's actually two sentences. The 'but' is the beginning of the second sentence, so there should be a pause before continuing on. I know people usually look down upon conjunctions beginning a sentence, but I'm trying to emulate a more conversational style of writing, where it sounds like someone is telling you a story, personally, as opposed to an author narrating a story to you with an absurd amount of detail that really don't add anything to the story itself, other than imagery. Who goes on about how colorful and detailed a room is when you're recounting a story? I concentrate on the thought processes of the characters and motivations, and less on how pretty a flower is. It's the story that really captivates me. Anyways, this is a short story I wrote a couple semesters ago in my Fiction Technique class, and it's undergone a bunch of editing and work shopping since, and it managed to get me into the Advanced Work Shopping class, so it's got to be good, right? smile.gif

 

For Your Shopping Pleasure

 

It was a restless night and as I tossed and turned in bed, I was met with Kelsey’s foul breath and a pungent, TV dinner stench right in my face. It wasn’t the most pleasant moment, but I really thought I loved her. Her silky brown hair, fair skin and that adorable little mole right below the tear duct by her left eye. She was everything I wanted, but I needed to head out. I truly thought love always brought me here, but Mike was coming home any minute now, and I needed to get to work early today. God forbid he fire me for canoodling with his wife.

 

I stumbled out of the bed, both quietly as to not wake up Kelsey from her restful state, and quickly enough to beat Mike before he comes rushing home to grab his work uniform - khaki shorts, starched, cornflower blue collared shirt and matching Ermanegildo Zegna tie. How the poor bastard managed to afford that kind of tie is beyond me, but I haphazardly laced my shoes and dashed downstairs, grabbing my car keys and bolting through the door, forgetting to close it properly, something I didn’t take immediate notice of.

 

My Civic grumbled to a start and I peeled out of the driveway. I attempted to put on my work uniform as I was driving, but a homeless man was wheeling a cart full of cans across the street and I tried my best to swerve out of the way, knees to the wheel and teeth clenched tightly to my shirt, but my bumper nicked his cart and sent it spiraling into the curb - cans spilling out and raining across the sidewalk. I came to a red light cursing my erratic driving and finally finished buttoning my shirt, my body still faintly smelling of sex and Salisbury steak, Kelsey’s favorite meal. I saw Mike across the intersection, sipping on his Venti White Mocha coffee, his drink of choice back in our college days, when we would stay up all night studying and making brownies. He had a huge grin plastered on his face, and I can only imagine what he was doing last night. Something probably not too far off from my own activities, but I made sure to wave to him. The light turned green and as our cars passed each other, I turned to him, and him to me and I waved.

 

***

 

“You know, if you keep this up, Mike will have your balls.” Kenny took a bite from the fresh apple and chewed it thoroughly as I mopped up the aisle. “You can’t just sleep around all willy-nilly with his woman. That’s like, career suicide.”

 

“First of all, what happens between Kelsey and I is none of your business. Don’t look at me like I’m the asshole here. I’m not sleeping around behind my wife’s back.”

 

Kenny raised his fist to his mouth and coughed slightly, pieces of apple darting out and landing on the shelves. “Whoa, man. That’s kind of a big thing to, you know, accuse someone of. Cheating isn’t something I’d wish on anybody.”

 

“I know, man. Prick doesn’t even know what he has.” I leaned on the pole and stared off at the lines of cereal boxes, stretching far back into the shelves and imagined that Benedick-of-an-ex-friend, now riding the corporate wave, nailing her, with that stupid grin on his face. It was the kind of resentment only an employee could have for their boss. “Yeah. And wait, career suicide? You’re implying that working in this supermarket is a career.” I picked up the mop and replaced it in the bucket, soaking up water and wringing it. “I’m only working here cause, f*ck man, I need money.”

 

Kenny took another bite, the juices spraying out from the corners of his mouth and coating my face. I wiped the combination of spit and fruit juice off and glared at Kenny. “Yeah, I know. Hospice bills and stuff, but I like working here. It’s pretty laid back and the pay’s not terrible.”

 

“Not terrible? Kenny, you’re making $7.56 an hour. You can make more organizing packages at the UPS warehouse down the street. You’re a big guy; you’re perfect for it.”

 

Kenny shrugged and chewed. “Too much work. I don’t like heavy lifting. It f*cks with my back,” he put one hand on his lower back and stretched backwards, each vertebrae cracking as he leaned back. “See?”

 

I rolled my eyes and scrubbed the floor harder, trying my best to remove the stepped-on fudge blocks that caked to the floor. The mop simply glided over it and accomplished nothing. Suddenly, Kenny’s chewing came to a stop and I looked up to see Mike hovering over us, arms crossed and his eyebrows furrowed.

 

“Oh, hey, Mike. What’s up,” Kenny said, trying to hide the apple core behind his back.

 

“Not much, Kenny. How about you? Stealing fruits from the produce section again?” Mike grabbed Kenny by the arm and managed to grab a hold of the apple core, holding it out in front of us like it was some holy relic recovered from a lost tomb. “If I catch you one more time, Kenneth, stealing from this store, I will fire you and make sure to fine you for the total of how much you’ve stolen while working here. I have been keeping track.”

 

Kenny swallowed hard and looked down at the floor in dismay. “I’m sorry, Mike. I just get hungry, ya know? And the fruits are just there and ripe and ready to be-”

 

“Enough. Go back to the register.”

 

“But, we aren’t even open yet. We don’t open for another-” Mike cut Kenny off again and pointed down toward the registers. Kenny promptly turned and walked off to his post.

 

“You seem to be in a great mood, Mike.” I was still mopping, trying to remove the fudge from the floor, but nothing. It stayed caked there, almost mocking me.

 

“Not the best of. I found my door open this morning, Kelsey sound asleep. I think she might be screwing some other guy, but I’m not sure,” Mike started to rifle through his pockets, in search of something. “You can stop mopping; I need you to do something for me.”

 

“Cheating? Well gosh darn, Mike, that’s a damn shame,” I leaned my chin on the mop’s pole and looked over at Mike, whose attention turned from his pockets, to glaring at me.

 

“Listen here. I don’t need your sarcasm and attitude today. That’s why you’re stuck where you are and you’re already this close to being fired and I’m just looking for an excuse to get you out of here for good.” He reached into his back right pocket and pulled out a clip of $50s. “I need you to go to the bank and change these to $5s and $10s. There’s $250 and if I count it and a single dime is missing, I will ream your ass. You got it?”

 

I put the mop in the bucket and grabbed the clip of cash and looked at Mike. “A dime? But you said to change it into $5s and $10s, not nickels and dimes,” a grin stretched across my face and Mike’s face turned a bright red, but before he could even utter a word, I threw my jacket on and was out the door.

 

***

 

My stomach grumbled as I walked down the main avenue and my eyes passed over various pizza places, cafes and pastry shops. I desperately wanted to stop and grab a quick bite to eat, but I knew it was just a way of lengthening my trip before going back to that hellhole called Quik-E-Dee Mart.

 

“Can you spare some change?” a man grumbled from behind a trashcan as I passed an empty storefront. I looked him over, and for a second there was a moment of recognition, but it might have been from the hundreds of other times I walked this street.

 

“I’m sorry, but I don’t have any,” I shrugged and gave him that look most people give to homeless people. That look of pity. And I continued down the sidewalk. I felt his cold, sticky hand grab my forearm and I immediately turned to try to get him to let go. “Get the hell off of me.”

 

“You! I know you! You’re the youngin that crashed into my cart,” his eyes went wide, almost staring into my soul. “With the shirt and the car and the speeding and the not stopping! It was you!”

 

I shook him off me and took a few steps, brushing myself off. “Listen, I didn’t mean to. I tried to avoid you, but I didn’t react in time and I ju-”

 

But he grabbed me again, this time by both my shoulders and started shaking me furiously. “Now I don’t have cans! Food with no cans? Monster! Thieving monster! I’ll kill you!” He lunged forward and we both fell on the floor, rolling and beating me in the head. I attempted to shove him off a couple times, but his weight got the best of me and managed to pin and hold me to the ground. “Monster! Thief! I’ll kill you!”

 

And with that, he cocked back his fist and knocked me in the face. Everything went white for a split second, but came back in a blur. I couldn’t quite get up so I lay there, feeling his hands rub along my body, riffling through my pockets. I was in too much pain to care right then, but I saw a flash of green before I blacked out. I should’ve just put the shirt on while I was parked in the driveway.

 

***

 

When I did finally come to, the bum was long gone and nowhere to be seen. I don’t know how long I was out for, but the first thing I did was search my pockets. Nothing. My wallet was gone. My cigarettes were gone. And the money Mike gave me to change was also gone. This wasn’t good at all. I needed this job. My mom needs me to need this job.

 

“Hey buddy, you okay?” a man in a blazer stopped and looked me over. My work uniform was bloodied up and I had a nice black eye.

 

“Yeah, I’m good. Hey, you have a cigarette I could bum?” I kept searching my pockets, hoping I forgot one and my cigarettes were in it, but they weren’t. The man gave me a disgusted look and I just squinted at him.

 

“No, sorry. I don’t smoke.” He turned around and continued walking down the sidewalk. I put my hands on my hips and tried getting the kink out of my back.

 

“Yeah, screw you too, man.” I rolled my neck and looked at the cinema across the street, the time tickering across the marquee. I had been knocked out for about seven minutes. I knew that I was completely screwed once I got back, and it probably would’ve been better to just not have gone back, but I wanted to see Mike’s face when I did get back with no money and with my work uniform all stained and debased. And if I was going to get fired anyways, maybe finally tell him, that after all these years of constant bullsh*t, I’m sleeping with Kelsey.

 

***

 

I had taken only one step into Quik-E-Dee before Kenny came running up to me from a register, mid check-out of a customer, with this look on his face telling me to turn around and run for my life.

 

“What the hell, man. You better get out of here. Mike’s looking for blood. Your blood specifically.” Worry lined his face, the bags under his eyes sagging a bit deeper. I don’t know whether it was from him legitimately worrying about my life, or if he went out back on break and took a couple of hits from his pipe. It was probably the latter, because Kenny never really worried too much about anything. He was too laid back for that.

 

“Well, hopefully he can’t be too ma-” the door to Mike’s office slammed open, and the heads of all the customers in line turned at once to see Mike marching down the front of the store, directly to me.

 

“You! How dare you have the audacity to show your face here…what the hell happened to you?” His face was the exact same shade of red when I left to the bank.

 

“Well, you see, Mike, it was all just a-”

 

“Shut your f*cking mouth. I’m sick and tired of your bullsh*t. You used to be a semi-decent human being, but now all you do is complain how sh*t your life has become - taking out all your anger and frustration on any form of authority. You’re always late, hung-over and reek of one-night stands. What the f*ck happened? All you do is stand around, playing footsies with your new boyfriend, Kenny, over there and smoke marijuana out back, like a failure.” I would’ve been slightly scared, if it weren’t for the mustard stain on his shirt pocket that was almost winking at me.

 

“Well, I don’t remember you calling yourself a failure back in college before you-” but before I could even finish myself, Mike was right back at it, tearing apart my flaws.

 

“No, that’s it. I’m done with you. Give me the f*cking money and get out of this store. It took me this long to finally do it. I tried Victor. I was patient. But I can’t do it anymore. You’re fired. I can no longer deal with your sarcastic attitude and your apathy and general lack of motivation. You are a disgrace to this job, whatever friends you now have left and your mother. You are a terrible person and I regret ever having known you. Now give me the f*cking money.” And with that, he held out his hand, awaiting the thick wad of cash to grace his fingertips.

 

But I didn’t give it to him. I was finally done with him. “So, you want the cash.” I reached in my pocket and pulled my hand back out, one finger sticking up. “Well, screw you, Mike. I don’t have it. Some bum mugged me and stole it, and you know what, he probably deserves it more than your ungrateful, cheating ass.”

 

“How dare you call me ungrateful!”

 

“I’ll call you whatever the hell I want!” I felt Kenny’s hand on my shoulder and I tried to shake it off. “No, Kenny. Not right now. I’m sick of Mike’s self-righteous attitude and his holier-than-thou façade. You think you’re better than me Mike? Is that it? Just because you got the f*cking store manager position while you left me in the dust?”

 

Mike brushed the hair out of his face and straightened himself, arms crossed and pressed tightly to his chest. “Leave you? In the dust? Please, Victor. You did that all by yourself. After your mom was-”

 

I tried to lunge at Mike, but Kenny held me down. Keeping me grounded. “Don’t you dare bring my mom into this.”

 

Mike slightly flinched and took a step back, but maintained his stoic stance. He looked me up and down, that look in his eyes. It was too familiar to me. That look you give somebody that you feel you are infinitely better than. The one you give homeless people. That look of pity.

 

I whipped around to face Kenny and grabbed the cigarette from behind his ear. “I hope you don’t mind if I bum this.”

 

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

 

I reached over to the counter and grabbed a lighter, the smoke filling my mouth and lungs as I took a deep inhale, every customer in line gasping and covering their mouths and noses.

 

“You better not smoke that in my goddamn store!”

 

“You fired me. You can’t tell me what to do anymore, Mike,” smoke escaping from between my lips and causing a smokescreen between us. I could hardly seem him, but I saw his silhouette raising an arm. “Do it.”

 

And right then, when the last syllable escaped my lips and Mike lifted his fist, I heard my cell phone ringing in the distance, like it was in a cave. I turned around, along with Mike and Kenny, and saw Kelsey standing at the entrance to the store, tears welling in her eyes.

 

“Victor…your mom…” The cigarette dropped out from my mouth, and I looked Mike in the eyes and for the first time, since Kelsey’s wedding, I cried.

 

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UglyCasanova

This is from a series of 10 shorts I wrote for my Fiction Technique class as part of a writing regiment with a topic for each day of the week for a month. I forgot what the prompt was for this one, but it turned out to be one of my less alienating pieces due to the fact that it doesn't contain a cynical lead character and actually has some emotional backing to it.

 

Day 8 Southeast Review Prompt

 

I was having one of those dreams where you’re falling and falling and it has no seeming end, but it’s not really bothering you because it feels nice, just to be weightless and free for once. But I crashed, immediately, through a ceiling and landed in a bed. All the dust and debris slowly fell and covered me, and all I could do was cough. I sat straight up and brushed off the white powders and turned to the body lying beside me. She was quite and asleep, and I loved how my wife would look so serene and peaceful while she slept.

 

I placed my hand on her shoulder and leaned over, giving her a kiss on the cheek, but my lips were met with a frigid sting and I pulled back, in pain or shock I didn’t know, but something wasn’t right with how cold her cheek was on my lips. I shook her a bit, trying to wake her up, but she just laid there, with a peaceful smile.

 

I started to violently shake her, barking and screaming. Trying my best to wake her up. I grabbed her by the shoulders and was belting out at the top of my lungs.

 

Wake the f*ck up. Honey? Sylvia? Please wake up. Wake the f*ck up right now.

 

By now I was lifting her up by the shoulders and slamming her into the bed, the small capsules jumping up and pelting my face, streaming with tears. I lifted my hand and slapped her across the face, my tears dripping onto her face causing the sound to come off louder than it should have.

 

You can’t just do this to me. You promised you wouldn’t. You said you were getting better and had it under control. You f*cking promised me. How could you?

 

I fell on her, tears falling and coating her hair and her face and her neck. I ran my fingers through her hair and pushed it behind her ears, her pale face glowing in the moonlight. One last tear drop fell and landed on her cheek, running down and soaking into the pillow.

 

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

 

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UglyCasanova

This is something I wrote in the span of an hour or two while waiting for my Foundations of Creative Writing final. It isn't completely polished and I haphazardly wrote it cause I really felt like writing something. It's a tad bit long, but I think it came out pretty good for a one shot piece. Enjoy! And please comment. sad.gif It makes me feel unloved when no one does. Even if it's negative comments telling me how sh*tty I'm doing, I'd be happy with that! I love to improve!

 

 

“Indeed, there is nothing more arbitrary than intervening as a stranger in a destiny which is not ours.” – Simone de Beauvoir

 

Hardly Scattered

 

Milton had scarcely begun his long, drawn out story of meeting the girl of his dreams before my arm fell asleep and I snapped myself back up from a half-dazed state. He was not the most entertaining conversationalist, but sometimes boredom can be an excuse to get away with talking to him. It wasn’t so much the story that was really doing it in, so much as the tone in which he took while telling it.

 

Imagine you’re back in college, and you’re in a literature class; one of those classes at eight in the morning, where you don’t really want to be there because you’d been drinking heavily the night before, but because your adviser told you it was needed for graduation. Now, that professor has decided, that of all classes of all the semester, that the one class you come hung-over to turns out to be the class in which he wants to discuss the genre F. Scott Fitzgerald fits in. Whether he was a modernist or post-modernist, or maybe he was both, or wrote transitional pieces, but regardless, it’s something you don’t really want to pay attention to because your head is pounding, and you’re parched. So you sit there and deal with it, until class ends and you can go to the hot dog stand outside the building and finally grab a bottle of water.

 

That’s what talking to Milton is like. An inane and unwanted barrage of information that could’ve never happened and my life would’ve been content. But boredom does have its way of lending itself to these situations.

 

“…so she lent me a pencil. Like seriously! Meant to be together man. Meant to be.” He had this giddy tone you’d expect a seven-year-old to have after discovering a new swear word carved into his desk and telling all his friends about it. In fact, later, me recounting Milton telling this story would be far more interesting than the story Milton is actually telling. It’s that bad.

 

“Meeting up with her tonight. We’re grabbing some coffee and maybe a walk in the park. So I can’t make it to the thing we’re doing tonight. Sorry.” He wasn’t though. His eyes gave away this sense of self-importance like he has changed the course of his life by choosing not to go to the play tonight, and instead going for coffee and a walk with the supposed girl of his dreams.

 

My eyes shut and my body heaved a sigh. Milton stood there with his arms hanging loosely at his side and a hurried look on his face. Like he had to go now to start getting ready for his ‘date’. It was only half past three and it wouldn’t cross my mind to blame him for ditching and leaving now. He never did stumble across the chance enough to actually interact and go on a date with a girl. Especially one as attractive as Shannon is. It is actually stunningly unreal how Milton could’ve ended up snagging a date with her. Graduate law student working as an intern for a senator and living in a spacious two bedroom apartment with her even more better off fraternal twin. But now an extra ticket to the show sits in my pocket and am forced to search for someone else to accompany me to the play. Maybe Mary is up to nothing tonight.

 

For the record, Mary is not my wife or girlfriend or an ex-girlfriend. She is simply someone that is there to help me through my rough patches. And yes, sex is involved most of the times, but that’s what helps me through my rough patches. The feel of her soft, slightly scarred skin from her abusive childhood consoles me as the both of us writhe and twist in the sheets, with our baggage and pain blowing behind us in the ecstasy of our mutual lust for each other.

 

She picks up on the first ring, her voice drifting through the wires and enveloping my thoughts. “Hello?” And life is on pause for just a split moment. The rain beating on the phone booth seemed to slow down and the splashes exploded in slow motion on the glass windows. The neon lights of the diner and streetlamps lit them up on the spot, and it was like fireworks exploding all around me.

 

“I’d love to go with you. I was just gonna go for a jog in the park and spend the night in, but a night with you is always entertaining.” It was never that hard to convince her to hang out with me. It was always a good time to hang out with her, too.

 

***

 

Her laugh is what really gets me. I opened the door and we stumbled in, laughing arm in arm. She leaned in and planted a kiss on my lips, moist with lipstick and the taste of cigarettes and rum travelling on her saliva and breath. It was a satisfying moment and we made our way to the couch, hitting play on the record player on the way. The needle crashed down on the wax and softly plucked and mellow bass line to ‘Dramamine’ started up. It really set the mood for us and we crash-landed on the couch, our arms wrapped up in each other, and our breaths hot on each other’s skin.

 

“I want this. This moment, just here. Between us. I want it to last forever,” she whispered in my ear, nibbling on my ear lobe. Her hand made its way bellow my belt line and through my underwear. My hands reached around and cupped her backside, each cheek filling my palms. I wanted this moment to last just as long as she wanted it to.

 

The phone rang. I ignored it and waited it to go to my machine. There was no way anyone was going to interrupt this beautiful occasion with anything. With her hair draping over my face, her hand fiddling down in my pants and the moon shining through my curtains, lighting up the room as the song played softly in the background. It was something straight out of a book of clichés.

 

“Alex? Please pick up. I…she…she’s dead. She was killed.”

 

Mary’s body was soaked in a combination of sweat and lust, with her lips pressed tightly against mine. She pulled off her shirt, her breasts nearly pouring out of her bra. She pulled my pants down and hiked up her skirt. She tore herself away from my face for a second, to flash me a wink and a smile. My teeth were on edge and I just wanted it so bad.

 

“She…jogged ahead a couple of feet while we were in the park. Under that bridge. The one that Mary usually jogs under. And this guy…he…she was killed.”

 

I looked away from Mary, and at my answering machine. The red light was blinking steadily, and I really wanted to pick up. But Mary knew what I was thinking and placed a finger on my lips. I looked up at her, her eyes fuming with passion, and I forgot all about Milton on the machine. She unclipped her bra, and it fell on my face.

 

“Just this once…make me come…” and she kissed me on the cheek.

Edited by UglyCasanova
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UglyCasanova

I'm still gonna update this regardless of the fact that no one reads. Cause if people do read, but just don't reply, at least they're reading! biggrin.gif This is a quick and short piece I wrote for my Article & Essay Technique class. My professor gave us a few topics to write about, one of them being to describe an adolescent memory. This isn't quite an adolescent memory, but she also said we didn't have to stick exactly to the given topics. They were just a guideline and to help us past our writer's block.

 

Tight Jeans

 

My first girlfriend will have, even to this day, denied ever having done anything with me at all. It’s not really as sad as it first appears to sound, given the fact that I chose to be blissfully unaware, but in hindsight, it was just a silly hook-up.

 

Flashback to Halloween of my senior year in high school, when I had just managed to strip myself of these size 3 pants I found in a Goodwill for my Hannah Montana costume. There was still some hair in my mouth from the wig, but the way Britni enticed me to lay down with her on her untidy bed, magazines and clothes littered all about, it made me forget all about the strands in my teeth and I just wanted to lay down with her. How I wanted to just lay there, hold her and just enjoy these moments with her, but she was in a different place in her mind.

 

The way she always put it was ‘when we have sex’. It was never ‘if; she never saw it like that. We were laying on the mattress, resting on the floor, I was running my fingers through her hair and she would look me in the eyes and say, “When we have sex, you’re gonna park your car right down there at the park.” She would nod her head in the general direction of the park and I would keep running my fingers through her hair. I would smile, chuckle. Whatever it was I would do, then I would lean in and just plant a kiss on her lips. It felt so innocent and sweet to me.

 

“You’d have to be gone in the morning though.” Pulling away from the kiss and locking eyes with me. “I know my parents love you and all, but God forbid they find you here in the morning. I’d be dead.” It was more ideal for anything of that nature to occur at her house, given that it was only her parents and sister that lived there. I, on the other hand, lived with my mother, brother, sister, grandfather and grandmother, and at any one time, someone was awake. She told me it would be better this way. I was stupid enough to agree.

 

We would be, the both of us, lying there on her bed, looking deeply into each other’s eyes and she would ask me why I liked her. I would shrug, brush the hair out of her face and tuck it behind her ear. Real romantic high school stuff and we would immediately go back to heavy making out. Honestly, this is what I thought love and relationships were.

 

Flashback to a couple weeks before Halloween, sitting on the curb outside the mall. I was smoking a cigarette, and we were making casual conversation. I asked if she wanted to hang out at the mall, and she said yes. We walked around, got tired, but we didn’t want to leave just yet. So we sat on the curb and I was smoking my cigarette when she leans in and makes complete eye contact with me. I could feel some rain on my cheek and she asked the question I had been hoping she would bring up at some point, “So about us…”

 

She had broken up with her boyfriend earlier that day and she was telling me how much she liked me, and my heart was racing and it was just going so well, so I just went in. And, we kissed. And, it wasn’t that bad, for my first kiss. She was just as surprised as me. With the rain falling on us, my cigarette getting soaked she pulls away and says, “Was that really your first kiss?”

 

Flash-forward to the next day of class after Halloween, where she pulls me aside and confesses to me that a guy she liked told her he liked her. That whatever was going on between us was done. Just like that. As quickly as it had happened, it was swiped out from under my feet. And I watched her walk away, my heart broken and stomped on and thought to myself why. Why would she do this to me? How could she just boy hop like that?

 

Flashback to Halloween, on her littered mattress with strands of fake hair in my mouth and her eyes so deep. With her whispering in my ear, “When we have sex, you’ll sneak through my window and I’ll be waiting here, so ready for you.” I really thought that this is what love and relationships were all about. I was just that stupid.

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Hey there, I really enjoyed your piece (I think maybe two, even?) that I've read from the Short Story contest, and was meaning to get around to reading more of your stuff. Just given the last two stories you've posted up a read and, I've gotta say, I love your style man. I noticed it when reading the contest pieces, and it remains in here. I fall some way short of being a literary critic, so unfortunately I can't offer any particular aspect of this 'style' that makes me admire it, but it's there. The best I can do to put a finger on 'it' is that the narration always seems very personal, like a conversation. It makes it all flow rather nice. As I say, I'm not particularly clued up on literary terms, so that'll have to do as far as praise goes! tounge.gif I'll give a read through more stuff sometime soon and add a bit more feedback, but so far I'm rather enjoying it.

 

Also, I out on Dramamine when you mentioned it in Hardly Scattered (my favourite of the two over Tight Jeans), cheers for the tip, haven't delved enough into Modest Mouse. tounge.gif

 

 

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I'm with Mark - the last two or three of these really show how good you are. I enjoy reading your stuff, it seems very fresh and honest. It's something you can relate to, and I have a sneaking suspicion that some of this is based on your own life and experiences. It's great that you can pull personal stuff out and stretch it to the point that it becomes something we can read and enjoy. I like the lengths too, and it isn't something we get lost in. Sometimes it's good to be heavily immersed, but that's not the point of these little stories.

 

In short, keep posting them. Can we expect something longer from you soon?

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UglyCasanova

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while and I forgot about last month's short story. This last session of class caught up with me and a bunch of stuff happened. But I did write a long piece of creative non-fiction you guys get to enjoy! And on the note of longer pieces, I'll think about it. I enjoy writing short stories so much, and I don't know if I'll be writing any really long, continuous pieces anytime soon. So enjoy this personal memoir! I got an A on it, and my professor says I have a pretty good chance of getting it published somewhere.

 

Other People’s Lives

 

It’s always weird, you know, looking back at your own life because it never seems as interesting as other people’s lives. You don’t look back at your own life and see it like a movie or a TV show. It’s simply your life and you’re living it and dealing with it all. I’ve never looked at my own life as some drama infused reality show, until I really looked at it. Until I really broke it down, and realized that, not only to other people, but to myself, that my life is interesting. That it is that amazing, that entertaining, and so right there, ready to be told. And it’s funny, because I’m simply living it and letting it happen.

 

Section I. Hiatt (Late-Autumn; 2008)

 

My first girlfriend will have, even to this day, denied ever having done anything with me. It’s not really as sad as it first sounds, given the fact that I chose to be blissfully unaware, but in hindsight, it was a silly hook-up.

 

It was Halloween of my senior year in high school, when I had managed to strip myself of these size three pants I found in a thrift store for my Hannah Montana costume. There was still some hair in my mouth from the wig, but the way she enticed me to lie down with her on her untidy bed, magazines and clothes littered all about, it made me forget all about the strands of hair in my teeth and I just wanted to lie down with her. How I wanted to hold her and enjoy these moments with her, but she was in a different place in her mind.

 

The way she always put it was “when we have sex”. It was never if; she never saw it like that. We were lying on the mattress, resting on the floor. I was running my fingers through her hair and she would look me in the eyes and say, “When we have sex, you’re gonna park your car right down there at the park.” She would nod her head in the general direction of the park and I would keep running my fingers through her hair. I would smile, chuckle. Whatever it was I would do, then I would lean in and plant a kiss on her lips. It felt so innocent and sweet to me.

 

“You’d have to be gone in the morning, though,” she would say, pulling away from the kiss and locking eyes with me. “I know my parents love you and all, but God forbid they find you here in the morning. I’d be dead.” It was more ideal for anything of that nature to occur at her house, given that it was only her parents and sister that lived there. I, on the other hand, lived with my mother, brother, sister, grandfather and grandmother, and at any one time, someone was awake. She told me it would be better this way. I was stupid enough to agree.

 

We would be, the both of us, lying there on her bed, looking deeply into each other’s eyes, and she would ask me why I liked her. I would shrug, brush the hair out of her face and tuck it behind her ear -- real romantic high school stuff. And we would immediately go back to heavy making out. Honestly, this is what I thought love and relationships were.

 

A couple of weeks before Halloween, sitting on the curb outside the mall, I was smoking a cigarette and we were making casual conversation. I asked if she wanted to hang out at the mall earlier, and she said yes. We walked around for a bit, got tired, but we didn’t want to leave just yet. So, there we were, sitting on the curb after our excursion at the mall while I smoked my cigarette. Right in mid-smoke, she leaned in and made complete eye contact with me. I could feel some rain on my cheek and she asked the question I had been hoping she would bring up at some point, “So about us…”

 

She had broken up with her boyfriend earlier that day and she was telling me how much she liked me, and my heart was racing and it was going so well, I went in. And, we kissed. And, it wasn’t that bad, for my first kiss. She was as surprised as me. With the rain falling on us, my cigarette getting soaked, she pulled away and said, “Was that really your first kiss?”

 

The next day of class after Halloween, she pulled me aside and confessed that a guy she liked told her he liked her. That whatever was going on between us was done. Just like that. As quickly as it had happened, it was swiped out from under my feet. And I watched her walk away, my heart broken and stomped on and thought to myself why. Why would she do this to me? How could she boy hop like that?

 

Flashback to Halloween, on her littered mattress with strands of fake hair in my mouth and her eyes so deep. With her whispering in my ear, “When we have sex, you’ll sneak through my window and I’ll be waiting here, so ready for you.” I really thought that this is what love and relationships were all about. I was just that stupid.

 

Section III. Mokwa – Part One (Mid-Summer; 2009)

 

Her first name isn’t Mokwa. It’s really her last name, but over time, you run into so many people with the same first names, that it became my habit to refer to them only by their last names. A few Christina’s have existed in my life, but thankfully they have all had different last names, so it was easy to distinguish between them whenever I told stories. Mokwa became a poison I spoke, between sips of mixed drinks and drags off my cigarettes. It wasn’t really the first, it wasn’t really the last, but it is the most f*cked up one to occur yet.

 

We were both in the car, aimlessly driving after watching some movie. It was a usual thing for us to do: pick her up, drive to the movies, grab dinner after and maybe drive around and go to the beach late at night. Feel the sand on our feet and the ocean breeze so right there blowing on us. She was explaining to me how she could remember, clear as day, her past lives. How I was in them. How I was her best friend. Of course I became too infatuated. Of course I put my heart into it, as usual with me, but I genuinely thought that this is how it always worked. Put your heart out on the table and hope that they would accept.

 

She was telling me, in such vivid detail, about the pyramids of Egypt, how beautiful the sun looked setting behind them, and shadows being cast over the village, and I would nod, nodding along to her ridiculous story and partially to the music playing softly in the background. Just listening to these crazy tales and going with it, because that’s how stupid I was back in high school. She would tell me how all I could be was her friend, because that’s the role I had always played in her lives, according to her. And that nothing more could come of it.

 

There she was, with the dim hue of the dashboard light brightening her face, telling me about the pyramids of Egypt and the beautiful forests around the Fertile Crescent, and I really believed that, with time, something could happen. That if I waited long enough, that she would stop being stupid and crazy and realize that she was being dumb. Only I was dumb.

 

Section IX. Becca – Part Two (Late-Autumn; 2010)

 

There we both were. She straddled me on the beer-stained futon and had her mouth locked on mine, her tongue excavating and exploring every corner of my mouth. It wasn’t too uncomfortable for me, though her weight was getting on the annoying side, and we had been in this position for over an hour and a half, and I wanted a quick drink. She pulled away from the kiss, with our saliva forming a single string between us, and she slipped off her spaghetti strap tank top. I ran my hands down her back and I was about to get ready to cup her backside when the front door swung open and my roommate walked in with some groceries in tote.

 

Now, I had known he went to go grab some food and groceries a few hours before, but that didn’t stop my one track mind from thinking “I can totally bring this girl over and have her out before he gets back”. Thus, he stood there, groceries hanging off his hands, and Becca topless and perched on my lap. It was embarrassing.

 

She scrambled to put her top back on and quickly scurried out of the apartment, half covering her face full of shame and chagrin. The door slammed behind her, and all my roommate could muster up was, “Your ex, man? Really?” He set the bags down and poured himself some chocolate milk, shaking his head with each sip. “Like, really?”

 

And as all my usual responses in these types of scenarios, I shrugged my shoulders and chuckled awkwardly, because really, that was all I could muster right then. With a coke in one hand and an unlit cigarette in the other, my roommate shaking his head at me, I knew I had dug myself back into a hole. He took his chocolate milk and made his way to his room, while I thumbed the cigarette in my hand. My reasoning: she hadn’t put out before, so this was all just a way of catching up.

 

Section IV. Brittni – Part One (Early-Autumn; 2009)

 

The first time I met Brittni, she was too busy crying over this boyfriend of hers back home. Well, “boyfriend” can be used loosely. He was this guy who was emotionally abusing her from a distance, and we were both fresh to college. So I thought that maybe I could change the way I approached people I became infatuated with. Instead of letting them tie me to a rope and drag me around, I could take control. So I wormed myself in, becoming her immediate closest friend here in this new world. And I thought I was being so suave, so smooth, such a man’s man, but in hindsight, I dug myself into the position I didn’t want to be in. I was the best friend she cried to, and once again, I was hanging myself with the rope and tying myself to her car; the hot pavement of her problems searing on my back as I was dragged along.

 

Section XI. Zoe (Late-Winter; 2011)

 

I was being dumb again, as usual, but this time in a more creepy and desperate way. I was working my 11 to 7 job as the night staff receptionist in a residence hall on campus and it wasn’t really a shift I wanted to work. A co-worker of mine stole the hall I was originally working, and I was stuck to work the reject hall. So to say the least, I was upset and I was just looking for something to send me over the edge, and right then I saw some scruffy looking guys wandering the hall with duffle bags and a couple of chicks. So I saw this, and jumped right on them to cause some trouble.

 

Turns out they were trying to stay the night in one of their friend’s rooms, and according to the hall’s policies that is cohabitation, and that is not allowed. But I took notice of one of the girls, and she struck me immediately as familiar. I watched from the desk as she left with them, and she glanced back and smiled, and thus cued my immediate infatuation and need to find out who she was.

 

So, using my astounding ability to stalk the internet, I found out who she was and it didn’t go the way I expected it to go. We talked for a day or so, and eventually I asked her if she wanted to go grab some cookies at the supermarket, and she gladly agreed. So I picked her up at the house she was staying at, and it was the first time I had ever spoken to her in person and hung out with her. It should’ve occurred to me immediately that something was off with the way she was acting. Always touching my arm, laughing at the dumbest jokes, and after driving around aimlessly until six in the morning, we were making out in the driveway of the house she was staying at.

 

It was the second time we were hanging out, making out again, that it sort of clicked in my mind that something was wrong, and a few days later, as I was leaving class and heading home, I bumped into her standing alone outside the building. It really looked like she was waiting for me, and, to this day, I have no idea how she found out where my classes were. It hadn’t immediately dawned on me the irony of the situation, her stalking me to my class, like I had stalked her to find out who she was. But she was there, and she clung to my arm and desperately asked, with a whisper in my ear, what we were. I stopped talking to her after that.

 

Section VII. Amanda (Mid-Winter; 2009)

 

This section, I think, will forever remain incomplete. I’m still friends with Amanda to this day, and she is my closest and dearest friend. And sometimes, when the liquor runs heavy, there will be moments where we look back and wonder about what could’ve been. But we’re both happy now.

 

She was the one. The different one. The actual one that broke the mold. And at first it started off as a joke. It started with me turning to my friend at the bonfire and pointing to her. Saying that I was totally going to win that girl over from her boyfriend and make her mine. Just that simple. I never really expected what happened to actually happen, but maybe at some unconscious level, it was all I wanted.

 

She did break up with him within a week, and we started to hang out. They were casual hang outs; baking cookies in the dorms, late night talks in the study rooms and cross dressing while parading around the dorms with a pair of safety goggles. Normal, casual hang outs. And it did start to pick up, almost immediately. Our friendship kept growing and we kept getting closer, but it wasn’t something I had originally set out to do, not intentionally. It just happened. But, as with any of my romantic endeavors, things took a turn for the worse.

 

I had recently broken up with Laura, and my illusion of wanting a relationship was shattered. I was scared of the stigma and expectations that were brought about when the labels of “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” were brought in, and I desperately wanted to keep our friendship and our feelings toward each other intact. So whenever the topic of actually going out and being official came up, I skirted the subject and said that it would make it weird and awkward between us. It looked like she agreed, at least to me. But she didn’t. That wasn’t what she thought at all.

 

Section X. Mokwa – Part Two (Early-Spring; 2011)

 

She constantly texted and called and chatted with me, telling me how much she missed me and how we would be together when she got up here with me. I was mildly annoyed, because I was trying to move on, and she was a tumor that refused to be excised. I tried ignoring her, pretending she didn’t exist, but every few months I would find a random missed call and voicemail telling me how much she missed me and how we were meant to be together and how we would be inseparable. It was nauseating to say the least.

 

And then she got here, and nothing. She ignored any type of friendly communication between us and the only times I saw her were whenever I was on campus and I passed her on the main green. Otherwise, it was like the other didn’t exist. Sure, I was sick of all those texts, but it felt nice to be wanted and needed, even if it was all leading nowhere. All those promises of being together, never leaving each other, being inseparable, they just disappeared. And it was easy then to see, and realize, that it was that simple. All those promises you make for people, to be with them, to care for them, they can so easily be broken and forgotten. If she could shrug it off, then why not me?

 

Section V. Laura (Early-Winter; 2009)

 

She was just so there, in a cross armed stance and her eyes furrowed. So disappointed, so angry, and so pissed. The guilt etched into the back of my mind -- this cigarette was not helping in the slightest. It was right after Thanksgiving, so the cold bit at my fingertips and tried to take my hands for itself. It was late at night, since the bus arrived late, and I bobbed my head down, partly for being tired and partly for being guilty. I examined the sidewalk and listened to her yelling, and I accepted it. Because it’s what I deserved.

 

I was fresh out of high school and believed that what I really wanted was a relationship, and the first instance it happened, I realized it wasn’t what I really wanted. And the guilt I felt for dragging her down this dumb decision was weighing me down into the ground.

 

Her yelling ceased and she glared at me, demanding a response. Demanding an explanation. Why didn’t I tell her sooner? Why did I let it drag on for weeks? And I was sorry. And it was all I could say to her. I kept apologizing, telling her, in all honesty, it was me. But I just came off like another cliché. Another dumb boyfriend doing the same stupid break-up and it killed me because I always thought I was better than that. But in the end, this was bound to happen to me. Simply because I was always the one being stomped on and dragged around, didn’t mean I was perfect. Didn’t mean I was never going to be the one to cause pain. And with Laura standing there, all her hate concentrated on me, I hated myself just as much.

 

Section II. Becca – Part One (Mid-Spring; 2009)

 

My second foray into high school romance was about as successful as the first, but this can easily be blamed on my desperation for companionship and need to be with someone. There was nothing wrong with her, it was just ill-timed and I was still not over my previous heart-break. So when I did see her and became infatuated, I tried telling myself repeatedly that this would work. That this was what I wanted. That this was exactly what I needed.

 

We were not, by any means, a great couple. It was the most awkward thing between us, because we had never really dated anyone else. We didn’t know what we were doing, and to complicate things, she had a hard time showing any signs of affection or attraction. Yes, we were dating. Yes, I did ask her and she said yes, so it’s not like I was dating her in my mind, but it could’ve been the same thing.

 

Hands were never held, hugs were never shared. No pecks on the cheeks and awkward waves when we left each other. People always asked me if I was dating someone, and when I would say yes and tell them who, they would give me this surprised look. Telling me they never would’ve guessed. That they had never even seen me talk to her.

 

And even in the privacy of her bedroom, when I would go over to hang or help her with her homework, it would be this giant cloud of raining awkwardness. One of us on the bed, the other in the desk chair, and never sitting next to each other. It’s a shame she turned into such a whore.

 

Section VI. Brittni – Part Two (Early-Winter 2009)

 

This is the section where I am not the saint slash loveable f*ck-up I have been portraying. This is, in fact, the section that proves how much of a piece of sh*t I am. Just like a lot of guys out there. A user. A jackass.

 

She laid her head on my shoulder and the glow from my cell phone illuminated my face. Billboards passed by and someone up towards the front of the bus coughed. She was slightly startled and adjusted herself until she was comfortable again, then fell back asleep. I looked at my phone and read the text over and over again before I sent it. “Listen, when I get back into town we need to talk.” I had been having second thoughts about being with a Laura for a bit, but I couldn’t deal with breaking up with her. It wasn’t in me to do that to someone. It had always been me being stomped on.

 

She sat up from my shoulder and rubbed her eyes. She looked at me and asked if something was wrong. Saying my heart started picking up its pace. I said it was nothing and she leaned in and gave me a peck on the lips. And, I didn’t pull away. I didn’t fully reciprocate, but I didn’t fully reject it. And with the phone in my hand, her lips meeting mine, I hit send. Four hours until I was back. That’s how long Laura had to stew with that text.

 

I lost my virginity to Brittni. It was only a couple of nights later. I was still pissed over the decisions I had made and decided I could take it out that way. It was terrible, by the way. She was bad. And when a virgin says you’re bad, you better take that as a serious insult. I had only slept with her twice until I realized the gravity of the mistake I made. It’s funny because it always takes me a second time for me to finally realize the error of my ways. Almost like I enjoy doing it to myself.

 

And it’s because of this need to continually do these things -- things that I know are bad for me -- that really destroys me inside.

 

Section VIII. Rachel (Mid-Summer; 2010)

 

The smoke poured out of my mouth and Rachel leaned over and put her head on my shoulder. She took a drag from her cigarette and the ashes floated down onto the steps we were sitting on. The breeze rustled the leaves, and I could feel her shiver slightly next to me. She pulled in closer and I put my arm around her. She nuzzled up next to me and let out a single sob. “I’m so sorry I can’t be anything more. I just can’t reciprocate how much you feel for me.”

 

I rubbed her arm and pulled her in closer, tighter. And I kept whispering to her it’s okay. It’s fine. Don’t worry about it. Hushing her and kissing the top of her head. And she sobbed into my shoulder. I took a drag from my cigarette and ashed off to the side. There was a pause in her sobbing and I took her face by the chin between my forefinger and thumb, and forced eye contact. She swallowed hard and wiped the tears from her face. And I asked her. Why would she lead me on for five months if she knew it wasn’t going anywhere? And she sobbed again. Back onto my shoulder. She kept sobbing. Deeper and deeper.

 

I took one last drag of my cigarette and flicked it onto the street. I stood up and she reached out for me, but all I could do was walk away. It wouldn’t be until months later when I would actually be able to walk away, completely detached from her.

 

Section XII. Victoria (Late-Summer 2011)

 

The ashes danced around the cabin of the car, with the wind funneling in, blowing our hair all over the place. The music blasted and competed with the roaring of the wind and with each drag from either of our cigarettes; the wind sucked up the ashes and blew them out onto the highway. The mellow bass line plucked and reverberated through us and I turned to look at her. Our fingers were interlocked and she gripped them tightly as she returned my gaze and softly laughed while taking a drag. I let a smile slip and looked back out to the road.

 

The painted stripes blurred into a single line and the digital speedometer picked up and steadily increased as traffic lightened in the left lane. I clicked the cruise control on and turned back to her. I separated our hands and ran my fingers through her hair, moving it behind her ear. She took my hand and brought it to her mouth, planting a single kiss on the back and re-interlocking her fingers with mine.

 

The road stretched out to forever and the horizon was sitting right there in front of us. I wanted this moment here to last forever, just between the both of us. Our hands together, the wind sweeping up behind us and blowing all our concerns, all the drama, behind us. Just us, right now and here, in the car. I lifted my hand and brought it to my mouth in the same fashion as her and planted a single, long kiss. Her thumb rubbed up against the side of my hand, and I returned the gesture by rubbing my thumb against her hand.

 

We flicked our cigarettes out the window and watched them bounce on the highway, swept away by the wind. I rolled up the windows and lowered the volume of the music. I turned to her, and her to me and I said hey. She said hi. And it was better than okay.

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