Writing Prompt Challenge (Post Here)
Posted 17 July 2013 - 03:03 PM
The following are the prompts we will be dealing with and the dates we will be posting them over the next few weeks:
1. The friend zone—June 18th
2. You're the suspect for a crime you didn't commit—July 21st
3. The one that got away—July 24th
4. You find the end of the rainbow—July 27th
5. Your opinion of Taylor Swift—July 30th
6. How you feel about Mean Girls—August 2nd
7. You miss your flight—August 5th
8. Write from the perspective of an inanimate object—August 8th
9. Review a book/movie/TV Show—August 11th
10. Your first memory—August 14th
The things listed above are meant to spark an idea—prompt you to want to write something.
There are no specifications as to how long it has to be. You can write one paragraph or ten thousand words for all I care.
You can also interpret the prompt however you would like.
For example, the first prompt "The Friend Zone." You could write a personal piece about a time you were friend zoned (haha), a fictional piece about a character in the friend zone, or an opinionated piece about how you feel about the term "friend zone," etc. Basically, there are no rules.
There is also no winner. This is just for fun Anyone is welcome to join. You don't have to post every single date, just as often as you'd like. If only a few of the prompts interest you, only write those prompts. Don't force it
Okay, everybody! Tomorrow is the first date. The topic?
The Friend Zone.
Posted 18 July 2013 - 12:39 AM
The friend zone is defined by Wikipedia (AKA, the all-knowing web-lifesaver) as "a platonic relationship wherein one person wishes to enter into a romantic or sexual relationship, while the other does not." Half the time Wiki fails me, but I think it managed to nail this one right on the head.
Who do we have to thank for this popularizing term? Well, turns on Wikipedia was of some help there as well. We can trace the start of the friend zone all the way back to a 1994 episode of Friends. How perfect, if you ask me.
Friends character Joey spouted off the line "mayor of the friend zone" and here we are today. MTV made a show called FriendZone in 2009. Even though it sucked worse than a vacuum, the show further expanded the use of the now nineteen-year-old term.
I'm sure I wouldn't be the first to say the term is wildly overused, especially by the teenage male demographic of today.
I could count the number of trees in a forest quicker than I could count the number of guys I have heard whine "she friend zoned me, dude." In actuality, a good two percent of these guys knew what they were talking about. The other ninety-eight were sadly misusing the term as the first excuse they could think of for a girl turning them down.
Reality check: a girl may not want to date you for other reasons. You may just be an a--h----.
I would also like to point out something everybody seems to forget: girls can be put in the friend zone too. In fact, I would say it's an even fifty-fifty playing field here. The difference between guys and girls that are in the friend zone? Girls don't mouth off about it and complain. Girls like to preserve this thing called their dignity.
Guys don't have dignity, that's why they give no shits.
Now honestly, I think everyone has been in the friend zone at one point or another. You can't really develop a crush on someone unless you spend some time with them, now can you? (Ignores photos of male celebrities I've never met saved on my phone.) So, naturally, you spend some time with someone...you start to like them, so you keep spending time with them...and suddenly you're friends! Except, there's a problem. Because your intentions weren't to be in a friendship with them...but a relationship with them.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where the term relationshi+ comes into play.
Basically? The friend zone? Not a fun place to be.
So let me all leave you with this little piece of advice. If you start a friendship—no matter if they're fifty years older than you, the same gender as you, or even your cousin—begin it with a simple statement:
"If you happen to fall in love with me, let me know."
That way, if they do get a crush on you, they'll tell you. And you can be a real a--h---- to them so they'll change their mind.
Or, hey, maybe you'll like them back. Plot twist.
LOL. That was so fun to write. I hope someone else decides to post something about "the friend zone."
Edited by Jcrazy, 18 July 2013 - 12:48 AM.
Posted 18 July 2013 - 01:44 AM
I CAN'T COMPETE WITH THAT. I know it's not a competition but...THAT WAS EFFING AMAZING. How am I to think of anything remotely as good after reading that?
JAMIE, WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME SO?
Posted 18 July 2013 - 01:52 AM
You are so sweet! Haha. Write something completely different than mine! Don't even let mine influence you! I really wanna read someone elses
I CAN'T COMPETE WITH THAT. I know it's not a competition but...THAT WAS EFFING AMAZING. How am I to think of anything remotely as good after reading that?
JAMIE, WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME SO?
But thank you...your outrage was like the best reaction ever for something I spent forty-five minutes on
Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:31 PM
Ill try to post something tomorrow. That's cool right? I've been cleaning all day today and don't feel like writing. (Wow I'm such an interesting person.) Haha.
Posted 19 July 2013 - 12:01 AM
Jk it will probably be really fluffy and boring.
Posted 19 July 2013 - 01:20 AM
Looking forward to the super gritty, edgy, dark Friend Zone story, Artemis
Posted 19 July 2013 - 12:05 PM
I am totally, one hundred percent, madly, slightly ...okay, well I'm pretty sure I am in love with my best friend. And it was the stupidest thing I ever realised.
It's a total cliche, and I know it. Trust me, being this self aware of the misery that is your life is enough to make a girl do something drastic. That girl was me. I was desperate and consumed by my feelings.
But the worst part about it all? He knows it.
That's right, two months ago I made the completely rash decision to tell the boy that I have been best friends with for the past five years that my feelings aren't exactly innocent when it comes to him.
Though, I guess nothing will be more humiliating than the pitying look on Ethan's face as my heart split in two. But the tone in which he said "Sweetie. I love you, just not in the way you want me too. I couldn't imagine you as anything else than my best friend" comes in a very close second.
Yes. I was friend zoned.
The illusive club that no female or male wants to be inducted into. Nobody really means to put you in the 'zone', but apparently it takes a certain type of person and then suddenly its inevitable. I don't think thats meant as a compliment either. But what nobody seems to mention? It hurts like freakin' hell!
It took roughly a month of one worded texts, silent conversations and group outings before things became more bearable. However that didn't stop it from being amazingly awkward when it was the two of us alone.
Then one day it wasn't just the two of us anymore. Another girl came into the picture. I think that was the moment my split heart actually pulverised into dust. I guess that even though Ethan did put me in the friends zone, I still had this hope that one morning he would wake up and realise that he had always been in love with me.
Romance novels never prepared me for this side of the 'I think I love you' speech.
Today I really hit my all time low when Ethan tired to set me up. The guy was totally not my type.My entire story boiled down to this moment, slumped in my chair and banging my head against the sticky table at the our favourite old bar.
"It's not all that bad," Ethan said with that pitying tone again.
"He was gay Ethan, totally and completely out of the closet gay." I replied. It was literally the first thing he told me, after realising a mistake had been made. Where had Ethan even found that guy? The Internet?
"I couldn't tell okay?"
I just groaned in response.
Footsteps approached the table we were at and I heard Ethan and his girlfriend talking away, I didn't want to lookup; I just wanted to wallows in the failure that was my love
"Hey! Charlie, get your head off the table. I want you to meet someone" Ethan said, whacking me on the arm.
I raised my head and bore straight into the brightest pair of blue eyes I had ever seen. The guy that I was being introduced into was cute, really cute.
"This is Teddie, my good friend from high school" Ethan stopped talking to me and turned to Teddie, "Its been what? Three years since we last saw each other?"
"About that," Teddie answered, his eyes never leaving mine.
"Teddie, meet Charlie. My best friend - we met first day of college"
"Hi." I spoke nervously, extending my hand out.
"Hey," he replied breezily.
It was astounding, but I found it. Though I didn't believe it possible.
A bright side to the friend zone.
There it is. Okay, it's 3 am and the only reason I am posting this is because I am sleep deprived, couldn't stop thinking and.. It's 3 am. I don't think straight at 3 am. Warning. This is not good writing, this isn't anywhere close to the type of writing that I like to post.. This is 3 am writing. I apologise. by the way. Jamie, yours is awesome!
Posted 19 July 2013 - 12:47 PM
Posted 20 July 2013 - 09:10 AM
ANNOUNCEMENT! I know what I want to do, I just have to write it now.
Gerogia: I loved your story. I didn't think it was bad at all! I thought that ending was genius.
Posted 20 July 2013 - 01:40 PM
I may be able to do this from Wednesday onwards ( the day school finishes), as I am exhausted at the moment. If it's alright with you guys.
Posted 20 July 2013 - 03:05 PM
So the July 21st topic started? Cool. Does spelling and punctuation matter? Does it have to be double spaced if its a story?
Posted 20 July 2013 - 03:07 PM
So the July 21st topic started? Cool. Does spelling and punctuation matter? Does it have to be double spaced if its a story?
Yep! And no, I don't care about grammar nonsense. This is just for fun Space it however it works for you!
Posted 20 July 2013 - 03:18 PM
Yes! Absolutely! I'd love to see your writing
Thanks, I will start writing as soon as I can.
Posted 21 July 2013 - 11:33 PM
Never did I intend to spend my Saturday night in a police station, being watch by Officer Unibrow (I knew his name was Ronald, but the nickname had already been coined and put to use in my head the second I saw the monstrosity on his face). But here I was, stuck in a dingy room with filing cabinets and a big, metal desk I was sitting behind.
"Are the handcuffs seriously necessary, dude?" I said, tugging at the things attaching me to the desk. I looked to where the officer was leaning up against the wall like he was something. He cast me a disgusted look before returning his attention to the coffee in his hand.
I sighed loudly.
"I'm being accused of stealing a pregnancy test, not a TV or something," I complained, but still no response. I sighed again and resisted the urge to mutter "douche."
It all started with a friendly trip to my stupid small towns pharmacy. I was picking up my birth control and even grabbed some tampons. Then, as I was leaving, the sensors went off (who even knew our towns pharmacy had any of those?) and Officer Unibrow just happened to be picking up his prescription as well.
He searched my purse and there it was. An unpaid pregnancy test.
Even I was confused as to how it had gotten in there. Somewhere between being utterly confused and my ride to the police station, I deducted it must have happened when I knocked a bunch of stuff on the female hygiene isle down. Somehow one found its way into my purse.
I tried to explain this to the guy, but to no avail.
He didn't even listen to my very valid argument: why would I be buying tampons and birth control if I was pregnant?
Office Unibrow mumbled something about how I could have been stealing it for a friend. I busted out laughing and he hadn't treated me with much respect since.
The creaky questioning room door opened, breaking me away from my thoughts. I looked up, smirking a little when I saw who it was. Of course he would be the officer to question me. I cast an I win gaze to Uni and he frowned at me.
"Mrs. Jones..." the officer looked down at the Manila folder in front of him. "It says here you stole a pregnancy test from the local pharmacy." His eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
"Mr. Jones, you know as well as I do that I'm not pregnant," I shot back.
My husband—police chief of our small town—gave me a dry smile before turning to his fellow officer.
"Come on, Ron! You arrested my wife?!"
Posted 22 July 2013 - 09:08 AM
Heyy, so this is my post for #2, being the suspect of a crime you didn't commit.
It's rather short, but I hope you like it
They’re all looking at me. Staring at me. The looks in their eyes are accusing. They’re calling for justice, and blaming me seems to be the easiest choice. I hear the whispers as soon as I walk into a room. They get louder and louder the longer I spend in one place. So I stop going to places.
They think I killed her. I didn’t. I loved her. I loved her so much. I didn’t kill her. But they’re blaming me. Everyone’s blaming me. I’ve been accused enough times that it has even planted the seed of doubt in my mother’s head. I didn’t do it, I tell her, and while she assures me that she believes me, I still see the glimmer of apprehension and doubt in her eyes. The eyes never lie, they say, and it appears as if my mother no longer trusts that her son would never kill another human being.
There wasn’t a time that I regretted having a troubled past more than when the accusations began. There wasn’t a time when I hated my frequent blackouts more than when I saw the glares, the disgust in peoples’ eyes. At first I thought that if I refute their claims and prove my innocence then they would believe me and stop blaming me; it just made it worse. The whispers became louder, the accusations more frequent, and the hatred more intense.
I feel like I’m suffocating. Everyone I thought would stand by my side is now facing me accusingly. No one believes me. No one. I’m starting to not believe me too. I’m starting to doubt myself. And that’s the worst part.
So, that was it
Sorry it's late
Posted 22 July 2013 - 09:15 AM
Jaime, I totally loved your story! Funny and quirky with a very cute ending
Mr. and Mrs. Jones... Hahahaha, sounds so romantic-y
Can't wait to see what you have for the other topics
Posted 22 July 2013 - 03:35 PM
Hey, look, Artemis took this super literally and wrote something with about zero creativity at all.
Still. At least I did it. I know I skipped out on the last one (just never got around to it; maybe I’ll go back to it later), but I could not miss this one. I mean, it’s dealing with crime. That’s my favorite topic right now. How could I not participate?
It's not completely "you're the suspect for the crime you didn't commit." I mean, it sort of is...but the perspective's different. Lol. That made no sense. It's not the best thing I've ever written, partially because I wrote it all in one shot and partially because I was way too lazy to take some time and plot it out like a normal person would. It was very spontaneous. I had to revise it about a billion times for it to make any sense, haha. It was fun to write, though, so that part's good.
The town is fictional but inspired by the one I live in. I biked around to try and come up with ideas before writing today. I got the idea for the car the boys drive from the Black Keys' "El Camino" album art. Not sure why I decided to do what I did, but...it works.
Summers in Wisconsin aren’t that hot compared to other states, but for those of us used to the freezing cold winters and slightly less freezing springs and autumns, 90+ degrees is pretty much the definition of hell. You don’t see anyone straying outside their air-conditioned homes unless they absolutely have to, so even downtown Dixonville is deserted. On a normal day, the place is littered with the locals: teenagers loitering outside the McDonalds or the 7-Eleven where I work, kids at the middle school’s park, lots of cyclists maneuvering their way downtown, middle-aged women drinking overpriced coffee at the café, et cetera. But when it gets hot, the place is frighteningly desolate.
It’s hot like that today. It doesn’t help that we’re in the middle of a drought, either. The crops won’t grow, the flowers are dead, and the grass is sickeningly yellow. Dixonville is dusty and hot. I wouldn’t go outside if you paid me.
Luckily, I’m being paid to stay inside. That’s really all I’m doing. I stand behind the counter at the 7-Eleven and wait for customers that never come. Occasionally someone will fill up with gas, but they rarely venture inside—and if they do, it’s to use the bathroom and nothing more. The job’s boring. All I can do is remind myself that it’s better in here than it is out there.
Ten minutes before my shift’s supposed to end, a group of five teenage boys and two girls piled into a decrepit 1990 Plymouth Voyager pull into the empty lot across the street, music blaring. I don’t recognize any of them from school, which means they must be from out of town. One of the girls is blonde, wearing a tight blue shirt that exposes both her bellybutton and an excessive amount of her cleavage. Her jeans shorts are faded, tight, and far too small. She and the other girl, who is dressed in a similar manner, both wear pink high-tops. The boys seem to be all over them.
I can’t hear them from where they stand outside, but it’s not hard to tell that they’re laughing at something. The tallest of the five boys shoves the blonde against the Plymouth Voyager. He kisses her deeply, but it doesn’t look like she’s reciprocating. I roll my eyes at the scene and turn back to my phone.
No one else is around. Dixonville is near other small towns, but not anywhere major enough for consistent traffic to roll through. I’ve seen a total of about twenty cars in the past two hours. A few have stopped for gas. Most drive past without a second thought.
I look up at them again. Four of the boys surround the blonde now. She’s completely out of my sight. The other girl and the fifth boy are on their way to the store. They aren’t walking— they’re running. Their expressions are grim, no longer laughing. I stand behind the counter and watch, unsure of what’s going on. For the first time, I’m able to hear something from outside. It’s a yell of some sort, but it’s quiet. It could just be my imagination.
The girl bursts into the store. The boy stays outside, standing in the middle of the road that separates the 7-Eleven from the empty lot. She’s talking before the door is even shut. “Help!” she pleads, her eyes wide. “They’re hurting her! They’re hurting Emile!”
I hear the noise again. It’s definitely not my imagination—and it’s not a yell. It’s a scream.
Without much of a thought, I rush out the door and begin running toward the car across the road, the girl on my heels. Now that I’m outside, I can hear them better. The girl, Emilie, is screaming bloody murder, and the boys are laughing. I can’t see what’s going on. They’re surrounding her, her back still against the car.
My mind is reeling. I don’t know what to do, so I keep running toward them. Her screams grow louder and louder until it’s all I can concentrate on.
One of the boys in the huddle looks back. I’m just yards away now, sweating in my uniform. He says something to his friends, masked by Emilie’s screams for help, and just like that, they’re piling back into the Plymouth Voyager. They drive off with the radio as loud as it can go.
Emilie’s body lies crumpled on the pavement. I can finally see her now. There’s blood—lots and lots of blood. It covers the asphalt, her clothes, her whole body. Bleeding incisions cover her now disfigured face. Half of her stomach is split open. She holds one hand to her face, the other to her stomach, crying out in agony. The knife lies right next to her. A wave of sickness rushes over me, and I can no longer look at her.
The boy and the girl rush toward Emile while I turn away and vomit onto the asphalt, clutching my stomach. Unable to look back at the horror that is Emile, I collapse onto the pavement. My head is spinning. I can’t get the image out of my head.
Hours later I’m at the hospital. I passed out in the empty lot and woke up here. It reeks of antiseptic. Everything is white.
They tell me Emile is dead. A boy, Alex, murdered her in front of her friend, Haley, across the road from the Dixonville 7-Eleven. I tell them that’s not true, not true at all; it was a group of boys with a Plymouth Voyager who killed Emilie. They insist I’m hysterical. There was no Plymouth Voyager. No group of boys. Just one with a knife. The sheriff drove by and saw him. It’s all taken care of.
I can’t believe what they’re saying. What do they mean, no group of boys, no Plymouth Voyager? I saw it happen. I saw it.
But no matter how many times I insist that it didn’t happen the way they say it did, they tell me I’m wrong. There is no evidence of the group of boys or the car. Alex claims the same thing as me—but our stories don’t match up. And besides, they found the boy holding the murder weapon and covered in blood when they arrived at the scene. They say they’re still investigating, but the evidence that the boy killed Emile is there and impossible to ignore.
Alex says the only person with him that he knew was Haley. The rest of them were her friends. She dragged him along with them but never knew what they were up to. They don’t understand why he would kill Emilie—yet, somehow, they’re sure that he did. When I ask where the Haley is, they say they don’t know. She disappeared shortly after the crime took place, after I passed out but before the police came. There’s been no sign of her since.
A month later, Haley, the girl who saw her friend Emile’s murder across the street from the Dixonville 7-Eleven, is found dead on the banks of the Fox River. She drowned. The police say it was an accident, but I just can't believe that.
Six months after that, Alex, the boy who allegedly killed Emilie, is in jail.
There have been no sightings of a group of boys in a 1990 Plymouth Voyager in Dixonville or anywhere near it.
No one knows the truth.
Posted 22 July 2013 - 04:03 PM
Posted 22 July 2013 - 04:06 PM
I still really want to go back and do the friend zone one. I have a fun idea but I have to actually sit down and write it. Sitting and down and writing never seems to happen with me, lol.
Edited by Pretty.Odd., 22 July 2013 - 04:07 PM.
Posted 22 July 2013 - 07:23 PM
Posted 22 July 2013 - 07:29 PM
Posted 22 July 2013 - 09:05 PM
Artemis: That was probably one of the best short stories I've ever read. I still can't believe my eyes. Your descriptions were so vivid and the idea was genius. Really left me hanging on that one.
AAAH, thank you. That's quite a compliment. It was a blast to write. Glad you liked it!
Posted 23 July 2013 - 07:42 AM
All of your writing is brilliant, I will start writing as soon as I can.
Posted 23 July 2013 - 01:28 PM
Loving all these stories !!
I really want to start writing again after so long but don't think I could be anywhere near as good as you guys.
Owl Eyes- I love how we get into your character's head and feel their emotions, really well written !
Jcrazy- your story was just so funny and loved the characters- the ending was really cute.
Artemis- wow that was dark, and really sad, well written and you were really good with the suspense ! Love it.
Posted 24 July 2013 - 05:47 AM
All of your writing is brilliant, I will start writing as soon as I can.
I couldn't agree. Maybe all of you can combine the stories into a book! Hmm...What would the title be? LOL
Posted 24 July 2013 - 04:14 PM
So I finally got around to writing my story! It took a little while because I’ve been writing it off and on. That and I’m a slow writer. Haha. It’s really uncreative as far as ideas go and also absurdly fluffy and maybe even a little predictable. I’m hesitant to even post it because it pales in comparison to the stories already posted. Ha. Nevertheless it was fun to write. If I’m being truthful here, this was actually probably one of the best/easiest things I’ve written in a while.
This story will be told primarily through flashbacks and is loosely based on an actual friendship of mine. I’ve had a friend who I’ve known since birth (he got to hold me when I was born) and his mom is also best friends with my mom. I’ve known him all my life. His name is Tanner.
[Spoiler alert] Significantly enough (you’ll see why this is important when you read), Tanner’s birthday is on New Years. We’ve also been on several camping trips together (again, you’ll see how this relates when you read) with his family, as well as a few vacations, I remember playing video games with him often, and he has a river in his backyard so we went swimming in it every time I came over.
I’ve never thought about him as more than a friend though. He’s four years older than me and is in college now. Sadly, I don’t see him much anymore.
Just thought I’d give you a little backstory on why this is semi-personal to me. Lol.
Significance of the dates:
-July 15: New single from my favorite band (P!ATD) released.
-September 17: Jamie’s birthday. (Haha. Hi. )
-January 1: As already mentioned, my friend Tanner’s birthday. It’s also the day I joined this site.
-May 10: My best friend’s birthday.
-June 1: My brother’s birthday.
-September 23: Artemis’s birthday. (Haha. Hi. )
-July 9: My other best friend’s birthday. (I have a lot of best friends.)
-January 19: My birthday.
Hope you think it’s okay. I actually put a bit of effort into it.
I know it’s long so I’ll just give out a big thanks upfront to anyone that takes the time to read.
THE FRIEND ZONE
Todd and I first met the summer I was seven. Todd was eight. His mom had always been close friends with my mom, but they’d lived far away then. It was the summer I was seven that Todd and his family reconnected with us and moved to Atlanta.
Instantly, we became friends. That’s no shocker to you probably. I was a bit of a tomboy back then so we spent many of our early summer days preoccupied with things like biking, catch, nerf gun wars, building forts in the woods, video games, etc.
Everything was effortless with Todd. We hardly ever fought. We were together almost all the time. Thinking back on it, there was rarely a dull moment between us.
As to be expected, we ended up as best friends. The thought of liking him as more than a friend though didn’t even occur to me until the start of my freshman year in high school. Things for us started to get a little complicated after that.
This is the story of how I was Friend Zoned.
July 15, 1999
[Seven Years Old]
The river water was icy bliss compared to the heat waves of July. The sky was the kind of faded blue you’d paint with watercolors and the grass was the kind of bright green you’d find in a box of crayons. Some geese waddled at the edge of the bank, others traveled down the lazy current. The giant oaks towered along the boarders, threads of moss dangling from their branches. They leaned in such a way that made for a semi-canopy over us. The water was a clear greenish-blue. Clear enough to make you feel like it was clean, but not enough to actually see the bottom. The river wasn’t too terribly deep, at least not the part where we were swimming in anyway, but it was still deep enough to where we couldn’t touch.
I straddled a foam noodle and floated while Todd climbed up the side of the river edge, grasped the rope hanging from an elderly oak, and back peddled a little in preparation for take off. The next thing I knew I was sprayed with the aftermath of his splash.
“Nice one,” I commented approvingly when his head surfaced. “That was a bigger splash that time. Eight.”
Todd, his dirty blonde hair wet and sticking to his forehead, grinned. “Cool.”
I watched and floated as he swam back over to shore. He was going to give it another whirl.
Seconds later I was splashed again.
Once he resurfaced, his dark brown eyes fell on me expectantly, awaiting my review.
I just shrugged. “Still an eight.”
He looked disappointed at first, but quickly brushed it off. “Hey, why don’t you try, Mel?”
I wrinkled my nose. “You know I can’t swim well, Todd.”
“It’s about time you learn then, don’t you think?”
I eyed the rope nervously. “I’m...I’m good.”
“Come on, just once. That’s all. Just one time,” Todd tried to persuade me.
“I’ll drown,” I argued.
“I wont let that happen,” Todd assured me.
“I don’t want to.” Just the thought of touching the rope frightened me.
“It’s really fun, Melanie...” Todd tempted. “You’re missing out.”
“That’s okay. I’m happy right here,” I protested. “On my noodle.”
“Yeah, but don’t you want to be able to swim like me?”
“No. Not really.”
After about ten more minutes of debate, Todd finally managed to coax me into doing it.
“On three!” Todd yelled up to me as I stood shakily at the top of the hill that slanted into the river, clutching the rope in a death grip.
“Err.” I began to reconsider. “On second thought...”
“One!” Todd shouted.
My stomach tightened.
My heart stuttered a beat.
“Melanie! Why didn’t you go?”
“I need more time than three!” I shot back defensively. Preferably an infinite amount of time. An infinite amount of time would’ve been ideal.
Todd rolled his eyes. He was stationed on my noodle just off to the side of where I’d land in the event I ever eventually decided to jump.
“Fine. On four,” he compromised. Though, if you’d ask me, that wasn’t much of a compromise.
I felt nauseated.
My throat was dry.
My legs were trembling.
I kicked off the ground.
The grass whooshed from underneath my feet and all at once the water was below me.
The river seemed perfectly okay when it was just me and my trusty noodle; now it was downright terrifying. I squeezed my eyes shut in fear.
“NOW LET GO, MELANIE!” Todd instructed me.
I almost didn’t let go, but by some miracle I convinced myself to do it.
Ever since then I’ve been able to swim. I don’t need my noodle anymore.
All thanks to Todd.
September 17, 2002
[Ten Years Old]
“Mel, do you know any constellations?” Todd asked me as we lay on our backs in the grass, blinking up in awe at the night sky.
Our families had decided to go camping together that weekend. His parents and our parents were fast asleep in their tents now, and his little brother, Spencer, was already bundled in his sleeping bag, dreaming away in our tent. That left Todd and I to stargaze undisturbed.
“My dad told me that one is the little dipper.” I pointed to the little dipper. “And he showed me where the big dipper is too, but I can never find it.”
Smoke still lingered in the air, leftover from the campfire. The taste of the s'mores was still on my tongue and the memory of laughing and story telling was fresh on my mind. After an action packed day of hiking, however, I was beginning to get drowsy.
“You have them mixed up,” Todd informed me. He indicated to each one for me.
“And that’s Orion over there.” Todd gestured to someplace in the sky. “You see those three stars all in a line? That’s his belt.”
Todd continued to spout off his superior astrological knowledge to me while I pretended to follow along.
Of all the things in the night sky though, the moon was the most fascinating to me. The stars were cool, sure, but something about the moon drew me in. It’s phases were especially interesting to me. To my left Todd was talking about some special star named Sirius when all of the sudden I blurted out—
“Do you think we’ll be able to live on the moon one day?”
Todd took a second to consider this. “I think it’s possible. I mean, we’ve already had men walk on the moon.”
“Do think it’ll happen in our lifetime?” I wondered. It was a full moon tonight and it lit up the sky bright, casting an eerie silver glow over everything. The breeze carried the scent of pine trees and other woodsy things.
“I don’t know. Maybe.”
“I think it would be awesome if people could visit the moon,” I added. “Not just astronauts, but anyone.”
“I’d like to work for NASA or something someday,” Todd said, sighing dreamily. It wasn’t exactly a reply, but I guess it was in relation to what we were talking about.
“That would be fun,” I agreed.
“Todd, when you go off to work for NASA and stuff, we’ll still be friends then, right?”
Todd only chuckled at my uncertainty.
“We’ll always be friends, Mel.”
January 1, 2005
[Thirteen Years Old]
Todd’s birthday is on New Years.
This year we celebrated it with a small, intimate gathering of just his family and I. We’d gone out to eat beforehand at his favorite restaurant. Todd’s mom had already brought out the cake, and we sang happy birthday to him as he blew out his fifteen candles.
“Do you feel fifteen at all yet?” his dad asked him the age old question as his mom doled out the chocolate fudge cake. His little brother Spencer was already digging into the ice cream.
Todd only shrugged, shoving a forkful of cake in his mouth.
“You’re old enough to get your permit now,” his mom chimed in.
Todd wasn’t paying attention to them. I can’t say I blamed him. Once I took a bite of the cake, I wasn’t paying much attention to anything myself. It was the gooey melt-in-your-mouth kind. Basically the pure definition of heaven.
After cake Todd and I decided to go upstairs into his spare room to watch a movie. We ended up watching Lord Of The Rings because it’d been a while since we’d both seen it. That and it was probably one of the only decent DVDs he owned.
I curled up in one of his beanbag chairs while he took the couch.
After the movie was finished, it was late. He opted to watch the second one, but I had another idea.
“It’s been a while since you’ve used the telescope. We should get it out,” I suggested.
I used to be about as ignorant as the next person when it came to astronomy, but after the fated year Todd got his telescope for Christmas, it was almost impossible not to know about it now, considering the countless times he rambled on and on about stars and planets and constellations. He isn’t a nerd or anything really, but he seriously geeks out when it comes to space. Only I and his family knew about his little obsession though.
It didn’t take long before the telescope was up and ready to go. Todd had the first look.
“Sirius is really bright tonight,” Todd observed.
He scooted to the side so that I could have a peak. Sirius, I had learned, was supposed to be the brightest star in the sky. Todd was right about it being bright tonight. Up close, the thing could’ve nearly taken an eye out.
I left him to his telescope for a minute, making up some excuse about having to pee, and scrambled downstairs to fetch my birthday present for him. I had his mom hide it for me so that I could give it to him at the right moment. It wasn’t much, just a silly space atlas I’d ordered from National Geographic, but I guess it’s the thought that counts, right?
He was still completely engrossed with his telescope when I returned. I cleared my throat and he turned around, his eyes instantly flickering to the gift in my hands.
“Um, happy birthday.” I thrusted it at him, slightly bashful.
Todd unwrapped it, and, after a moment of leafing through the pages, glanced up to smile at me.
“You know me so well, Mel.” He was genuinely impressed. “This is perfect.”
May 10, 2007
[Fifteen Years Old]
Freshman year was the year when everything changed. I was finally starting to realize my romantic feelings for Todd.
This was also the year Todd acquired his first girlfriend.
Her name was Jill. Naturally, she was a goddess. Or, at least, that’s how I pictured her anyway. It could’ve been the raging jealousy talking. She was most likely pretty average looking in reality and my vision of her was probably just distorted.
We were all piled in his pickup and on the way to the mall. Jill was in the passenger side, I was in the back, Todd unquestionably the driver. Already I was the third wheel.
Todd had the radio blasting horrendously loud with the windows rolled down as we drove along a backroad. Supposedly, at least according to Todd, it was quicker that way.
Today of all days happened to be the worst to be stuck in Todd’s truck with his new girlfriend because, just my luck, one of his tires decided to blow. Todd, swearing at the top of his lungs, swerved to the side of the road just in time.
He threw a dismayed glance at both of us, switching off the music. “I’m going to have to change the tire.”
No cars passed by as Todd fished out the tire-changing tools and the spare. Jill and I stood there, awkwardly far apart, as we watched him work.
“You need any help?” I offered lamely. I had no idea of what help I’d be, since I knew nothing about how to change a tire, but I had to ask. It was the nice thing to do.
“That’s okay, Mel.” Todd grunted from under the car. “I think I can handle it.”
“I can call someone if you want, Todd,” Jill volunteered.
“No,” Todd insisted stubbornly. “By the time anyone got here I’d be done with this.”
Jill attempted to make small talk with me while we waited.
“So what grade are you in again, Melanie?”
Yep. One more reason to hate her. Hasn’t spoken all of two sentences to me yet and she was already condescending.
“I’m a freshmen.”
“You’ve been friends with Todd for a while now, haven’t you.” It was more of a statement than a question. “He’s talked a lot about you.”
“We’re childhood sweethearts practically,” I agreed, my smile heavily sarcastic.
Although Jill was talking to me, my eyes kept wandering to Todd. I couldn’t help but marvel at the way his muscles flexed as he fiddled with his car. Plus his jeans fit super well on him and were faded in just the right way. His white T-shirt was grease satined now. I found something in that incredibly sexy—which was weird, but undeniably true.
It had been a gradual realization that I was falling in love with Todd, but ultimately I’d always felt it to some extent.
Mostly it was the way that he would laugh at something I said that would cause my heart to swell. It was the way he loved to sing along to the radio carelessly, unconcerned whether or not anyone was with him. I’d usually sing along too if I knew the song. It was the way we would bake cookies on our annual movie nights, scarfing them down with soda and whatever other sugar we could find. It was the way he hugged me after a while of not seeing me. It was the way he’d cuss at the TV whenever we’d watch a show with a bunch of drama and/or deaths. It was the way he would help me with my science homework. It was the way he’d whisper inappropriate jokes in my ear. It was the way he cried on my shoulder the day his dog died, the absolute most vulnerable I’d ever seen him. It was the twinkle in his eye whenever he talked about astronomy with me. It was the dimple in his cheek. The curls in his hair. The cuteness of his smile. The warmth in his brown eyes. It was way his voice said my name.
Sure, all of it sounds really gushy and pathetic when you spell it all out like that, but that doesn’t keep it from being the truth.
Eventually Todd fixed the tire and we all hauled ourselves back into the truck. As we drove away, I gazed out the window in thought.
A long time ago Todd had promised me that we’d always be friends.
I wasn’t so sure that was what I wanted anymore.
June 1, 2008
[Sixteen Years Old]
Todd was finally graduating. His years as a high schooler were over.
Most disturbingly: he was leaving me now.
Todd got accepted into Columbia University and would be further pursuing his career in astronomy and astrophysics there. Columbia is well known for it’s astrological science program so it all worked out perfect in the end for him. Splendid, that is, for him.
The only problem with Columbia is that it’s all the way up north—In New York.
The graduation made me cry like a baby. I probably cried about as much as his mother, if not more. When the principle handed him his diploma, a wave of depression seemed to engulf me like a tsunami as I realized that this would be the end of the road for us. Well, not the end-end hopefully, but the end of our glory days.
The graduation party was worse. I was in no mood to celebrate and the fact that his house was swimming with a bunch of his other friends (thankfully Jill dropped out of the picture) that were graduating along with him. I was left to mope on the couch while he mingled with all the other guests.
I was happy for him, don’t get me wrong. I’ve always wanted this for him. It’s just, it’s hard, you know?
Todd had been the one constant in my life, and now he was leaving. It was almost as if my world just got knocked off its axis.
“You look happy.” Todd’s voice startled me from my sulking. He walked over and plopped down on the couch next to me.
I managed a weak smile and an even weaker laugh. “How could you tell?”
“You’re sad, aren’t you,” Todd assumed, frowning.
“I could lie and say no,” I admitted. “But I don’t think you would want me to lie.”
“I don’t want you to be sad about this.” While Todd’s concern was endearing, it only made me want to cry again. I didn’t want him to witness me cry.
“I’m just...” I got caught on a knot in my throat. “I’m just really, really going to miss you.”
That and I’m obsessively and idiotically in love with you. But I didn’t mention that part to him. I didn’t want him to feel even more sorry for me than he already was.
“Hell, Melanie.” Todd sighed loudly. “You don’t think I’m going to miss you too?”
“Um...” I trailed off.
“No?” His eyebrows shot up. “For your information then: I’m going to miss you like crazy—maybe even more than my parents—and the fact that you don’t know that kills me.”
I couldn’t help but crumble inside hearing those words.
“When you go off to Columbia and stuff, we’ll still be friends then, right?” I asked him, stifling a fit of tears. I felt a strong sense of déjà vu just then.
He crushed me into a hug in that moment. It lasted for a surprisingly long time, with neither of us all that hurried to be the one to break it off. It was the first time I ever felt secure about the survival our friendship. I sobbed into his shoulder for a while, uncaring of the many people around us watching, and he just sat there, unmoving, letting me cry myself dry. He planted a kiss on my forehead after I was done and then we both rejoined the party.
Todd didn’t even have to answer for me to know what his response would’ve been—
We were always going to be friends.
September 23, 2012
[Twenty Years Old]
Todd and I met at the top of the Empire State Building.
I’d been hearing plenty about his success at Columbia; we’d been keeping in touch mostly through the internet if not the phone. Of course there was the holidays, but that wasn’t the same. I couldn't believe that I was actually visiting him in New York now.
“You grew a beard,” was the first thing I said to him, grinning like an idiot. He rushed to hug me and I was more than eager to meet him halfway.
“Haha, good one. This is just stubble thank you very much.” Todd laughed next to my ear. His laugh still caused my knees to go soft, even after all this time apart. I practically melted in his arms, drowning in the amazing feel of it. “I haven’t had the time to shave lately.”
I had been attending the University of Pennsylvania as of recently. It wasn’t New York, but it was definitely closer than Atlanta. I was studying to become accountant—mostly because I’d always been crazy smart at math and the other reason being because that’s what both my parents were. It seemed to work out fine for them so...what the hell, right?
For about an hour we talked about our lives, how much stuff had changed, what we were up to at the moment—things like that. Todd suggested we continue our reunion over some coffee and I agreed.
As I sipped my mocha, I listened, fully engaged, while Todd chatted on about his adventures at Columbia. It all sounded very exciting and I was sincerely happy for him. I’ll admit, I was a bit jealous of his happiness.
When he finally made it around to the part about his new girlfriend, I was completely unprepared for it.
“Her name is Nancy,” he explained. “She goes to Columbia too.”
“Wow.” I was speechless. I shouldn’t have been so astonished—Todd was an amazing guy and any girl would’ve been immensely lucky to have him. It was the tiny little glimmer of hope, however, that we would someday, somehow be together that dissipated just then.“That’s...that’s great, Todd.”
“I can’t wait until you meet her.”
A fake smile spread over my lips. It was about as thin as it could’ve gone without him suspecting it wasn’t real. “Me either.”
“Actually,” Todd went on. “She kind of reminds me of you. You two have a lot in common.”
“Really?” I spoke though gritted teeth. Inside, my heart was paper...and it was ripping. “How funny.”
As I sat there talking to Todd in the coffee shop, and eventually going back with him to his apartment, I felt like there was a part of me that died a little. The deep, tender, affection I had once harbored for Todd felt out of place now. I thought about his new life and, more pressingly, his new girlfriend. He wasn’t in a place to love me anymore. I could see it in his eyes, the way he talked. He cared for me, but not in the way I wanted him to. All these years I had spent hopelessly fantasying about our future life together—as Mr. and Mrs.—and it all seemed to boil down to nothing.
It was that day, I think, that I realized something.
I would always love Todd, I really would, but friendship, it appeared, was about as good as it was ever going to get between us. It stung to admit that to myself, more than you know, but I needed to start understanding that if I was ever going to quit deluding myself and move on. Todd would always be a major part of my life, there was no doubt in my mind about that, just maybe not the part I was rooting for.
I would just have to find a way to accept that.
July 9, 2016
[Twenty-four Years Old]
The wedding was a bittersweet ceremony.
The groom stood tall and handsome at the alter, awaiting his beautiful bride. His eyes were filled to the brim with about a million different emotions, and I knew him so well that I could’ve named them all.
You remember Nancy? Well, plot twist: Todd married her.
It was impossible for me to hate her once I actually got to know her. In fact, we ended up becoming really close friends after that. She even asked me to be a bridesmaid.
Todd and Nancy were a delightful couple, one couldn’t deny that if they tried. A random stranger could’ve spotted them together somewhere out in public and instantly get the impression that they loved each other. Everyone in the church was beyond thrilled to see the two finally sealing the deal.
There were certain aspects of Nancy’s personality, ultimately that reminded me of me, that shined through, making her especially likable to me. Todd was right about us being similar. It was almost scary how much in common we both had. It made me secretly question why it was Nancy he chose and not me...
But it was too late for me to dwell on the what-ifs and the could-have-beens. Todd was getting married to a wonderful girl who yeah, wasn’t me, and that’s all there was to it. I knew that and, for once, I was okay with it.
I suppose it was flattering in a way. Todd was virtually marrying another me. Or someone freakishly like me, that is. That’s got to say something about the way he’d felt about me all this time.
Nancy’s entrance was priceless, and so was the reaction on Todd’s face. While part of me still yearned to be in Nancy’s shoes, I was enormously glad it was Nancy in that wedding dress. If there was anyone good enough to replace me in marrying to Todd, it was Nancy.
“We are joined here today...” the preacher began. The rest is pretty much self explanatory.
In a nutshell: I cried.
Happy tears, of course, but still—it was like Todd’s graduation all over again.
At the reception, I was supposed to give a speech.
They had a podium set up for it and everything.
I casted a glance over to Todd and Nancy’s table. They were folded in each other’s arms, as loving as could be, gazing up at me.
I cleared my throat nervously. The microphone screeched as I fumbled to adjust it to my level.
“Todd,” I started, staring into his eyes. “You’ve been my best friend ever since I was seven. It was a friendship that bloomed long into our adult life and still continues to live on today. My life was ten times better with you in it and it still is. You taught me how to swim.” I winked at him, gaining momentum with my words. “You taught me a lot of things come to think of it. How to dance, how to whistle, how to skateboard, the game of football, how to play the hundreds of video games we played.” Todd laughed at that. It was no lie that I sucked at video games. I loved to play them, but I was awful at them. “How to be more honest, and brave, and caring,” I said, a wall of tears formulating in my eyes. I blinked it back. “You taught me astronomy. Something I never thought I would’ve had an appreciation of if it wasn’t for you.” He grinned broadly at that bit. “You taught me the meaning of friendship.” I smiled, struggling to keep my voice even now. “It pains me to let go of the boy I once played in the river with every day, and watched the stars all those times with your telescope. It’s hard to let go of all those other things that came with our childhood. However, I’m overjoyed to still have you as my best friend, and couldn’t be more proud of the person you’ve become. You've turned out to be the kind of man I’d always imagined and prayed you would be.” My voice cracked a little at the end. “I love you more than you know and wish you the best in your next step with Nancy.”
After my speech, I returned to my seat at the bride and groom’s table.
Todd leaned over to whisper in my ear, before his dad seized the podium, “I love you too, Mel. Always have.”
January 19, 2029 (Present day)
[Thirty-seven Years Old]
Todd and I ended up being neighbors again.
After we both got married—yes, I got married, I’ll get to that in a second—we decided it was only fitting to return to Atlanta where we grew up. It wasn’t a planned thing really; it just sort of happened that way.
It only seemed fated for the odds to work out that way, I guess. You know, for all of us to end up together like this. Who knew so many coincidences could take place in such a short amount of time?
He isn’t right next door or anything, it’s still about a ten minute drive between us, but that’s a whole lot better than the distance we’ve had to withstand in the past.
I married a man named Brendon. He isn’t a Todd, but in some ways, he’s better than Todd. Every day I consider myself the luckiest wife alive. Well, Nancy may tie me there. I think I win, but she might disagree.
Todd acted much like I did at his wedding when it came time for my big day. He didn’t cry, no, but I could tell he was super excited for me, just as I had been for him. I made him my Maid of Honor. Everyone seemed to get a good laugh out of that. Much to his relief, I didn’t make him wear a dress. His speech was unbelievably heartwarming. I would tell you what he said, but I think I’ll leave it a mystery for now.
Two years after the wedding, Brendon and I moved to Atlanta where Nancy and Todd had already been living for a time. We bought ourselves a place on the river, which from time to time will bring on a period of Nostalgia for the days when Todd and I were kids.
Todd is living out his dream now as an astrophysicist (he’s been working on some classified new project with NASA and has to make frequent trips to Texas because of that) while Nancy is a part-time nurse. I’m an accountant like I originally wanted. Brendon is a musician. All of us are pretty content with what we do.
Todd and Nancy had a baby about one year before Brendon and I had our baby.
Todd’s girl is five now, and our boy is four. Todd named his girl Joanna (Jo for short), and I named my boy Jensen.
On occasion Todd and I will dig out his old telescope from the early days. We even have our annual movie nights sometimes, usually when Brendon or Nancy are away. It’s not the same anymore, but it’s about as close as I could’ve asked for.
All of us are gathered around my kitchen counter now, surrounding a cake, as we celebrate the fourth birthday of my child. Joanna is already beginning to play with Jensen, even at that early of an age.
“Happy birthday, Jensen!” Joanna hugs him after he blows out his candles.
I can already predict that they will be great friends.
Who knows? Maybe this time they’ll make it past the Friend Zone.
Posted 24 July 2013 - 04:38 PM
Also, my birthday got a mention! That was exciting! I was surprised you actually knew my birthday. I always remember yours because that's when I finished Alyce.
I also appreciated a lot of the names in there. Hehe.
Anyway, this was really awesome. It was such a great story, with a perfect beginning and end. Well done!
Maybe I'll sit down and write my friend zone story tonight. I have procrastinated for far too long.
Posted 25 July 2013 - 12:49 PM
nbgirl: thank you very much for the compliments It means a lot that people are reading my silly little stories.
Okay so I did write something for "the one that got away" but it turned out, like, wildly unexpected and just only sort of applied to the prompt haha. I will post it though, but I'm om vacation so not until Sunday. Hopefully I'll have that and something about finding the end of the rainbow on Sunday
Posted 26 July 2013 - 02:18 AM
Hey babes. Miss me? I missed you all like hell. Alas, I was celebrating my birthday when I was struck with the realization that it's been around a whole year or more since I've been on. And we can't have that anymore.
Um I'm kind of a few years behind on everything about the MCMB so I'm just gonna go out on a limb here and post about one of the prompts.
I hope you're not supposed to post it on the prompt's day because it's not August 8th yet but oh well:
From the point of view of a flower (based on the Greek myth of Narcissus)
I turn and you’re looking at me. You always are. Your eyes are so deep, so great and vast, the kind that’s so darkly cavernous that you could fall right in at a glance. When I meet those eyes the world slows down to a delightfully sedated pace. Hours could pass by unnoticed underneath your gaze. Days. I could trace your features one by one until the end of time.
I give you a smile, and in that same moment you’re giving one to me. Our foolishly toothy grins widen at the coincidence, although it is nothing out of the ordinary. Sometimes I believe that you and I walk on the same wavelength, for everything I do, you do, in the same split second. It never ceases to make us laugh.
So in comforting unison we look each other up and down. And boy, does the view from my own eyes look so timelessly beautiful. Though I see you nearly every day, I constantly feel like I am seeing you for the first time.
I open my mouth to speak, just as you are.
It echoes between us, reminding me of a girl I once knew. She was like you, always saying what I am saying, although she had to wait until I was done speaking to repeat. But you don’t have to do that. Our conversations are one-sided in the most beautiful way––I speak and my own words fall out of your mouth with so much grace and loveliness that it puts my initial statements to shame. You never question me, you never talk back. It’s like you always know what I’m thinking and what I’m about to say.
You feel what I feel, and that is what I like most about you. The sadness on my face reverberates onto yours, likewise with every other emotion one could ever experience. To see love written in those spectacularly commodious eyes steals the breath perched upon my lips.
I sigh, and can almost feel your own exhale on my face. I allow myself to get lost in the slender curves and handsome surprises of your winsome face. Cheekbones, high and prominent, splayed with freckles as abundant as the stars in a stygian desert sky. Pale skin contrasting against those dots, as if the nighttime stratosphere was painted a calm, creamy white. Your dark brown hair, tousled in every which way like you ran a marathon just to see me. And your lips, so pink and full, boasting the whitest of teeth behind them. How my lips would love to graze yours and feel warmth.
We hold out our hands, and slowly bring them towards the other. We do this cautiously, anxiously, like maybe this time it will be different. Maybe this time will be the first success. Maybe this time I will touch your skin and you will touch mine, for the first time in history.
But I guess I move too fast, because you vanish, like you always do. My hand dips into the icy water of the river instead into your palm.
I furrow my brow, like I’m surprised about this. I shouldn’t be––it happens every time. I don’t know where you go, but you leave, leaving ripples of dark blue in your place. I stare into that water and wonder where you are. Are you just below the chilled surface, waiting for me to dive in and find you?
The more I stare at the water, twisting and twirling at the impact of my fingers, the more I can see your eyes within it. Dark, swirling with emotion, infinite in length. I dare glance up from the river to look up at the rest of it. I cannot see where the indigo ends.
When I look back down, you are there again. I can feel relief flood onto my face––can visually see it flood into yours. My heart leaps. We are glad to see each other. You are glad to see me. Me. Far too many people in my town look at me with longing expressions, but none are like yours. None manage to captivate me like you do with one glimpse into your eyes.
You know how many girls line up at my door to be my wife. You know they think of me as the most handsome man they’ve ever seen. You do not get jealous, because you understand my feelings for you. You know that I acknowledge that some of these girls are pretty, but they simply are not you, and could never be you to me. Because I do not think there is another human being in this whole world who could ever match up to your beauty. You are the most radiant thing I have ever had the pleasure to lay my eyes on. Heck, Aphrodite and Apollo themselves must hang their heads low in chagrin when they so boldly try to look at you.
Sometimes I impress myself with the exceedingly long periods of time in which I can hold your gaze, mind a roaring inferno, yet unfazed on the outside. But sometimes I tremble, lost in your eyes and unable to find my way out. My limbs stop responding, frozen yet ablaze, because knowing you are looking at me makes my insides twirl up, my head fuzzy, my skin a fiery warm at the thought of your touch.
Honestly, I do not remember what those girls look like anymore. I have seen you too many times to have the energy to think of others. It would be almost sacrilegious to do that––to even consider another face when yours exists within my thoughts. It feels like years since I ever interacted with another mortal, which might seem dismaying to some, but to me, paradisiacal. Why would I need anyone else when you can be my company?
We decide together to give it another try. I reach out to you. You reach out to me. My heart pounds in my chest with so much intensity that I feel it could burst. I think the same thoughts, the same three words as I always do. Maybe this time. Maybe this time you will not disappear. Maybe this time we will finally––
And suddenly, I feel something large and rough clasp onto my body, and hear a terrible rip. It takes me a moment to register the ripping’s source is me, and that I’ve been pulled from my comfortable spot by the riverbank.
Terror on my face translates onto yours. I notice that you too are being grabbed. You too are being taken away. I lunge towards you, and you lunge towards me, but we both cannot break the iron grips of whatever has gotten us.
I try to scream, but it’s as if I no longer have a mouth. No, I think, and writhe in the grip, to no avail. No. I do not want to be taken from you. I do not want you to be taken from me. We were so close this time. So close.
But your monster begins to jog in one direction, whilst mine jogs in the opposite.
The last thing I see is your eyes, wider than ever, and then you morph into something strange. You are no longer a person, but a flower––white, with a bright yellow splay of petals in the center, like your face and your freckles. And then you are gone, and my vision goes dark.
I feel limp, drained in this unexpected darkness. Now that you have left my eyesight permanently, it is as if my eyes did not want to see a world without you, and decided to indelibly close. I am suddenly frail and skinny and feel terribly small in the monster’s grip. The longer it carries me, however, the less I think it is a monster. I can feel four specific grooves in the skin, for five specific fingers. Suddenly I believe it could be a very large human.
Or perhaps, a normal sized human.
You wouldn’t think me crazy for considering it. I know you wouldn’t. I watched you transform into a flower; what are the odds that I did too?
My carrier’s––or, my kidnapper’s––gleeful laughs become muted and distant, like my ears are closing up. It would be a horrific experience, to feel one’s body shut down, but truly, I cannot feel any pain or fear. My heart feels like lead in a shrinking, hollow chest. The only thing I am preoccupied with now is that you are gone and we will never meet again.
We will never talk again.
We will never touch hands for the first time.
I’m conjuring up an image of your face as the rest of me goes numb, and my brain decides to completely turn off, like a flower slowly dying after being pulled from the roots.
He finishes the brisk jog towards the river, returning to the red and white checkerboard blanket they’d set down over lush, dewy grass.
It is present day. Greek gods are no longer popularly worshipped, and the town a now dying flower once described to his mate has long since been wiped from history.
Sprawled out casually on the picnic blanket is a girl as fledging as the boy with the flower. Their faces are fresh and youthful, in the midst of the hazy salad days of high school and young love. He meets her gaze with a deeply enamored smile.
“I told you these things were down here,” the boy says, gesturing to the white and yellow flower he holds.
“What is it?” she asks.
“A narcissus,” he replies. “Like that boy in the myths we’re reading in English.”
“The self obsessed one who falls in love with his own reflection?”
He nods. “That’s why these little flowers always lean towards the river, so they can catch a glimpse of their own selves.”
“Oh come on, you know that’s not true. None of these myths are real anyway. They probably lean like that because they’re dying of thirst.”
“That’s an entirely different story,” he says. “Tantalus.”
She rolls her eyes. “You know, most guys aren’t mature enough to concentrate on these stories in class.”
“You should also know that I’m not like most of the other guys.”
You can practically see her heart flip and her stomach twirl in disarray. He sits down on the picnic blanket and holds the narcissus out to her.
She doesn’t take it, mock vexation in her expression. “Because I’m so egoistical, right?”
His expression doesn’t falter. He just holds the flower out for her to grab.
“Who knows,” he says mischievously, “This flower could be the actual Narcissus himself.”
Posted 26 July 2013 - 07:03 AM
The Friend Zone
It all started just over a year ago, or so I thought. In all truth, I suppose it started the moment we met, almost seven years ago. We were so young and we became good friends, at times he was my only friend, though he never called me his best friend. All those years of on and off friendship, all those arguments yet now I barely know him. It’s been almost a year since I last saw him, that meeting was brief. The last time I properly saw him was a year ago and that was when I admitted what I felt to him, the sad thing was he was flattered, if he was horrible it would have been easier to forget.
Even nowI have recovered from my first crush, I still think about him, as a friend. It would be impossible not to. They say that boy and girl cannot be friends without this, yet it was hard to live with. It clouded my decisions, it tore me apart, it influenced me far too much and most importantly it hurt. I felt like I was a piece of crap, thrown on to the rubbish heap, I felt as if I would never be good enough. I thought I would never recover.
This was the year I grew up, I changed so much, yet so little. It was not so bad, all the trials I went through, made me strong. All the bullies made me determined, exactly the opposite to what they intended. He was far from a bad person, he was the only one brave enough to stand by me, rather than take the side of the bullies. He was weaker than me though and I was stronger than I thought, I am even stronger now.
The salt in the wound was the fact everyone knew whom he liked – my friend, the weird thing is we are closer friends now. He used to talk about her for such a long time, that was before he knew the truth about my feelings though, I wish he was heartless. I was delusional at the time and hoped he felt the same way, though even then I knew he never would. I was never ignorant to that fact, however much I tried to be.
I wonder what he would think of me now; I wonder how he has changed. After all, a lot can happen in a matter of hours, let alone a year. What I would do if I saw him again? Do I want to see him again; does he want to see me? Does he think about the past? Does he think about me? So many unanswered questions to add to those I already have. Life is a puzzle and I know I should not dwell on the past, I simply cannot help it. I only hope you do not think me sad, nor pathetic, though I am both. I have changed. Life has changed me, the friend zone has changed me.
Posted 28 July 2013 - 11:45 PM
We had one of those summer romances that wasn't actually during the summer.
It was my first year out of of high school and I was taking a year off to figure out what the hell it was I wanted to do with my life. My dad was always at work and I was bored at home, jobless and apparently unhirable. Summer ended and all my friends were going to college.
My mom called me in late September, just as the boredom was becoming to be too much to stand. She had been in Colorado, but she was placing the call from Hawaii. Apparently her new husband, Garrett, was filming his latest documentary on location. She offered to fly me out there for a few months so she would have some company while Garrett worked long hours on the film.
Immediately, I said yes.
I flew out the first week October, readying myself for three months of laying by the beach doing absolutely nothing and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I also wanted to spend some time with my mother, who I hadn't spent more than a week at a time with since middle school.
My mother and Garrett were there to greet me as soon as I stepped off the plane. Mom, in typical Angie fashion, shrieked and ran into a group of Asian tourists as she rushed to engulf me in a hug.
Same old Angie.
Garrett patted me on the back semi awkwardly. Our relationship had been a series of odd meetings and run ins with my mom over the past two years since they'd married. He was a nice guy though, and I was glad he and my mom had met.
Garrett had to rush off to some lunch meeting with some guys from his film, but my mom and me went back to the house they were renting. It was a few miles from the beach, and absolutely beautiful. She showed me my room, which was better than I could have imagined.
I wanted to go see the beach two seconds after I had unpacked. She laughed, but nodded and told me to change.
I spent two blissful weeks tanning on the beach and catching up on how my mom was doing. Then, one evening, I was down at the beach by myself. There were multiple bars and huts along the sand that sold drinks and even meals, so I was seated at a barstool, sipping at some smoothie, looking longingly at the group of guys' drinks at the other end. The only thing that could make Hawaii better—if I could drink. My mom had totally offered to make me a margarita the other night, but drinking with your parents is sort of weird.
One of the guys drinking looked up and caught my eye. He was cute, probably just barely twenty-one. I smiled at him and before I knew it, he was excusing himself and walking towards me with his beer dangling in his left hand.
He dropped down on the stool next to me, immediately sticking out his free hand.
"I'm Austin," he said.
I laughed at how forward he was being, but shook his hand, replying with, "Hi. I'm Catie."
I spent the next month learning every little thing about Austin. He was a Leo. He had moved to Hawaii when he was thirteen with his Dad. He bought me lots of strawberry daiquiris and got me more than tipsy a time or two. He was in training to become a police officer and he also acted as a volunteer youth leader when needed. He told me he loved me after a week when he was drunk. I laughed and told him that it wasn't true.
My mom liked him even more than I did. He would come over and watch bad movies with us on boring Monday nights, showing up late whenever he had youth. She watched him say "I love you, Catie" every time when he left and then watched me laugh in his face.
"Why won't you say it back?" she demanded one night after I'd pushed Austin out the door.
I shrugged. "It hasn't even been a month."
And I only had two more.
Austin invited me to his youth group one night near the end of November. I watched him talk about religion in a way I had never heard anyone talk about it before. He gave all the older kids activities to do, then played with the younger ones.
He motioned me over when he was messing around with a couple of five-year-olds. He had told me about them—they were both autistic. I played games with the kids for the rest of the night, talking with them in a way I didn't know I knew how to. I smiled more than I ever had that night and went home knowing exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
"You'd make an awesome teacher," Austin said when I told him. I was laying in his bed, swatting his hands away whenever he tried to make a move.
"Special needs teacher," I corrected.
"Even better." His hand pushed the hem of my shirt up and he rested his head on my stomach, looking up at me with a goofy expression on his face.
I ran my fingers over his hair. "What?"
"I just love you."
I rolled my eyes and pulled my shirt back down. He started tickling me and I ended up laughing and crying until he stopped and hugged me, pulling me against his side and turning the lamp off.
Two weeks later, Austin was ecstatic. He had been there when my mom announced she and Garrett were going to have to prolong their visit for a couple of months longer than expected to finish the documentary. They said I was welcome to stay.
I couldn't stay. I had no idea how to tell Austin.
I had been looking into classes at the college I had been accepted to back home. I'd already set up courses for the spring semester. They started January third and I knew I had to leave. I couldn't put it off just to stay with Austin. This is what I wanted. I knew it was right.
On Christmas, Austin handed me my present. I had gotten him my favorite book and some new part for his car that he complained about needing, but not having the money for.
I cried when I saw he had gotten us concert tickets for one of my favorite bands. In February. February when I'd be gone.
"What the hell, whoa. Catie, what's wrong? Happy tears, right?" He wrapped an arm around my shoulder, looking down worriedly at my face.
His expression changed. "What?"
I explained it all to him, crying like a complete mess through the whole story.
"Why are you leaving me?" was all he said when I finished.
Still, two days later, I was at the airport.
After a tearful goodbye to mom, Austin pulled me into a hug and kissed the top of my head, mumbling about how much he loved me and how he hated I was leaving. I clenched my eyes shut.
Classes started so quickly that I hardly had time to grieve. I was staying at home since the college was only half an hour away. My dad had missed me, and we spent the time I wasn't in school trying to catch up.
Regardless of how horrible leaving Austin was, I knew I had been right to come home. I loved my classes. This was what I was supposed to do.
Phone calls with Austin became less frequent. Not because of him, but because of me. Hearing his voice but not seeing him was worse than just ignoring him. We had no plans to see each other, no plans to visit. Oregon was kind of far away from Hawaii.
We never had an official breakup, but then again we had never really put a label on what we were. Two months passed, then three, then suddenly I had finished my first semester of college.
Somewhere in the middle of July, Miranda, a girl I had met in one of my classes, was trying to set me up on a date with her boyfriends roommate.
"Miranda, seriously..." I said, shaking my head, even though she couldn't see me over the phone. "I'm kind of busy, and I'm not really looking for someone to date... I just—"
My words were cut off by my call waiting. I pulled my phone away and glanced down at the callers name on my phone. My eyes shot open.
"Miranda, I've got another call. Let me call you back." I didn't even bother waiting for her to say goodbye, just hung up on her.
"Hello?" I said, holding my breath as I waited for the other person to speak.
"Hi. Um. It's Austin," the voice I hadn't heard in months said.
I found myself laughing, even though it was probably entirely inappropriate. "I know. I have caller ID."
I heard him let out a whoosh of air. "Right." He paused for a beat. "Anyway. Uh, you still live in Portland?"
"Um. Yes. Why?"
"I'm sort of...in Oregon."
My heart stopped. "Oh. Wow. Well, um, do you want to...get coffee or something?" I asked, trying not to let myself get too excited. Maybe he just wanted my input on something. Maybe he didn't want to see me at all. Maybe there was someone else in Oregon he liked a lot more than me.
He let out a short laugh. "Yeah. I sort of just...jumped on a plane last night. Uh, I missed you."
My smile made it hard to even talk. "You did?"
"Catie, seriously," he said, and I heard the smile in his own voice. "You didn't think you were going to get away from me that easily, did you?"
so I guess this should actually be "the one who DIDN'T get away" lol.
Posted 28 July 2013 - 11:55 PM
Posted 29 July 2013 - 12:10 AM
Aww. Jamie, that was so sweet! For such a short story, I felt like it had a lot of depth.
Makes me want to go to Hawaii now. Haha.
The special needs teacher thing reminded me of my mom's friend. She does the same thing. I thought that bit was pretty cool. Good for Catie.
I thought it was going to be sad, but I'm happy for the happy ending.
I feel like I say this a lot, but fantastic writing.
I need to write another story for this soon, but this computer they lent me while mine is getting fixed doesn't have word. I won't be able to write anything for another week it looks like. That's the only down side to this arrangement.
Edited by 24moon100, 29 July 2013 - 12:11 AM.
Posted 31 July 2013 - 08:22 AM
Millie May: you're entry was great! You have no reason to doubt how good of a writer you are You should post more.
So I have a cool idea for the rainbow prompt and I am about done with my Taylor Swift piece. Going on vacation really threw me off my writing schedule, but hopefully I'll have something up soon
Posted 01 August 2013 - 11:20 AM
Millie May: you're entry was great! You have no reason to doubt how good of a writer you are You should post more.
Thanks, I will try and post something soon, but I am having fun writing my story and am trying to focus on that. You are brilliant at writing, you never sound awkward, everything flows perfectly and you always leave me smiling, so it means a lot to me that you liked something I wrote.
Posted 02 August 2013 - 11:24 AM
My opinion of Taylor Swift:
Taylor Swift is who comes to my mind when I think "who does everyone know?" I don't think Obama, or the Pope, or even the lovable Ryan Seacrest. I think blonde bangs and crazy lipstick, wearing an outfit that screams "MY ALBUM IS CALLED RED SO I'M FOR DAMN SURE GONNA WEAR RED!"
But that's just me.
From the description above, my standpoint on TaySwift is probably reading pretty negative at this point. But in actuality, it's really not. Because if you pull up my iPod, you will find an embarrassing amount of songs by said artist.
Startling, I know. But hear me out.
I like her music. I think she's a good song writer with a voice that—when auto tuned slightly—has the ability to really sound amazing. She writes crap that makes me happy and smiley and wishing I had a boyfriend half as awesome as the ones that she talks about dumping. But all positive connotation I associate with Taylor Swift ends about there.
Because, my God, can you say twelve thousand boyfriends?
I don't even follow celebrity relationships all that much, but I can tell you just from watching TMZ and Entertainment Tonight, she has definitely had a fair share of ridiculous romantic relationships.
There was that guy from the Jonas Brothers. Then we had the one from Twilight. Don't forgot about Jake Gyllenhaal (who played in Brokeback Mountain! Am I the only one who can't look at him the same way?!) She dated the Kennedy kid, who was like 12-years-old. Then there was the One Direction member who was also, like, 14, right?
And I'm pretty sure all of that was in the past week or so.
Hah. I kid.
My oldest brother said something a few months ago that I agreed whole heartedly with. I think it was precisely after we had screamed "WEEEEE! ARE NEVER. EVER. EVER. GETTING BACK TOGETHERRERR!" at each other on a long car ride. He casually said, "You know, Taylor Swift seems like one of those girls that would invite herself places."
And, honestly, I can totally see this. Example:
Justin Bieber: "I'm throwing this rad party tonight, Selena."
Selena Gomez: "Oh, sweet! Well, I'll totes be there, baby girl."
Taylor Swift: "Ditto! I'll be there with my new boyfriend whom I will also breakup with tonight and write a tragic song, detailing the effects of partying on relationships."
Justin: "Uh, but it's sort of just a few close friends..."
Taylor: "Good thing we're so close!"
See? She's one of those girls. I can just imagine that, even though I like her music, I would absolutely hate her personality. She would be that girl in class that acted stupid for attention and always did her hair and makeup, even on Monday's when no one gives a crap.
My dramatic conclusion of all this is pretty simple: I like her music and her hair, but if I actually knew her, I would probably hate her with a burning passion.
Taylor, I don't know about you, but I bet I don't want to.
Posted 03 August 2013 - 08:50 PM
Haha! That's almost exactly how I feel about Taylor Swift. You basically hit the nail on the head there, Jamie.
I cracked up multiple times as I read that. I like when things are both funny and true.
Edited by 24moon100, 03 August 2013 - 08:50 PM.
Posted 07 August 2013 - 07:36 AM
Haha! Totally cool! Especially loved that Justin-Selena-Taylor scene! Haha!
Posted 17 August 2013 - 10:05 AM
Review a TV show — H2O: Just Add Water.
Through a series of choices and mishaps, Cleo, Emma, and Rikki end up in the moon-pool at the bottom of the dormant volcano on Mako Island, just as the full moon shines down into it at midnight. And magic happens. They find out the next morning that every time water touches their skin, they grow enormous goldfish-like tails and turn into mermaids (with scaly bras). Which, if they are on land, leaves them flopping around like beached whales until they dry off — at which point their clothes (and cell phones?) magically reappear.
Which, because they have three years of school left before graduation, is a serious problem. They have to keep it a secret from everyone, or they would end up "dissected or something." This is absolutely true. If their parents found out, nothing would keep them from calling every medical specialist in the world to "fix" this problem with their child. One thing we learn from this series is that keeping a secret binds you forever with those who are keeping the same secret, and sets you apart from everyone else who does not know the secret.
This Australian Television series ran for three-years of 26 half-hour episodes. You can find it on Netflix, and the DVD's are available on Amazon.com, and the shows are viewable with Amazon Prime. Produced by Jonathan M. Shiff, it starred Phoebe Tonkin as Cleo, Claire Holt as Emma, Cariba Hein as Rikki, and Angus McLaren as Louis. In the third year Emma, gone on an around-the-world trip, is replaced by Bella (played by Indiana Evans), a mermaid since age 9.
In my opinion, this series is remarkably good. It does an excellent job of telling the story of how this situation affects the characters involved. I find it interesting that it can catch and hold the viewer's attention without resorting to violence or a lot flashy special effects. Also, this series is better than Jonathan Shiff's other shows, "Lightning Point" (aka Alien Surf Girls), or the more recent "Mako Mermaids." The main characters in H2O are completely relatable, fully human with a big problem, struggling with having to lie about it. In both Lightning Point and Mako Mermaids the main characters are interesting and amusing, but not relatable, being either aliens or pure mermaids with no knowledge of earth-normal behavior. Also, the H2O characters are innocent and trustable. Both the Aliens and Mermaids of later shows are not trustable because they steal clothes and other things, and their innocence factor is a lot less.
Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:04 PM
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