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Monday, May 23, 2011

Goodbye, Lia

                A sound, somewhere between a laugh and a sign, trickled out between my parted lips. I imagined the noise as a fine stream of light green mist, rising into the clouds.
                I could hear my heart pounding through my ears. My body felt overwhelmed, bursting at the seams, alive.
                The sun’s shine dried small drops of rain off my arms and chest. The grass beneath me was soaked.
                I used to think that I could outrun the rain. Not the drizzle-type rain, the deafening kind of rain. The weather where people crash their cars and houses topple over. People call me crazy for being in a wide open field when the skies are in the midst of a war. I find it the safest place in the world to be. Especially with Lia.
                I heard her muffled thud as she lied down beside me. I listened to her ragged breath as she attempted to slow her pulse.
                “You always beat me,” she said, the same green smoke trailing along her words.
                I smiled. “Only because you stop and look at every tree you pass.”
                “Why don’t you stop to look around? Have you ever noticed how beautiful the world is?” Her tone was light, the topic was not. She pulled her left leg up to her forehead, stretching her toned muscles.
                “I like to get here before you. After that I have plenty of time to observe my surroundings.” I reached over and curled a stray piece of her hair around my finger.
                Lia laughed. “Always so competitive,” she said.
                I turned my head and felt the rubbery grass crinkle around me. Her eyes, soft and golden, held mine. It was scary how she could do that, look and me and fill me with so much love. Sometimes I wished she would just away, I needed her to leave. I needed to step out of this frightening lust, and back into our comfortable friendship. I have to… but part of me wasn’t ready to let her go. This love felt so right, why should I have to give it up?
                Lia looked up at the sky. It had begun to rain again. Fat drops of water landed on my jeans. I watched them settle through the fibers.
                “I’m going home tomorrow,” Lia said her voice indifferent.
                “I know.” What else was there to say? I know you’ll always walk away. I know my home will never yours. I know I’m not good enough for you. But I can’t change her mind, I and I don’t want to either. I wished she would change her mind on her own. I suppose there could be a chance for her to come out, and tell me how much I mean to her. This happening was immensely unlikely.
                I stood up and brushed dirt off my palms.
                “Where are you going?” Now she begs. But it’s too late.
                “Lia, I cannot keep being your toy. This-” my voice cracked. She’s begging for this last moment, why am I backing away? This was what I wanted.
                She watched me as I wringed my hands and let out short sputters of breath. “Naomi, please, I’m sorry, you know…” Her words trailed off. She suddenly sounded very childish.
                I looked up and sighed toward the sky and I dug my heels into the soft soil. Rain splattered down around me. I was preparing for takeoff. I looked ahead to the line of trees. They were far away, but not far enough. Nothing would be far enough to get away. “What, Lia, what do I know?” I whispered to the floor, this beautiful, rich green floor. She heard me.
                “If you run again,” she gulped, “I won’t come after you this time.”
                Tears of fury shot up through my throat. “This time? Are you implying there was a time when you would try to find me? Have you ever put me first?” I could feel my muscles flexing, craving for me to run. I wanted to run so bad, worse than I ever had before.
                “No, no, I know you understand, come lay down, the clouds are so pretty.” She grabbed for my hand. Her eyebrows were knit together tightly. Her knees were bent, as if ready to pull me with all her strength. Lucky for me, she’s the weakest person I know.
                I shrank away from her touch like it was a burning flame. I don’t understand. I have no idea who this girl in front of me is; all I know is who she pretends to be.
                Lia plopped down on the ground, looking like a pitiful seven year old. And oh how I did pity her.
                “I just, I feel so lost, and I don’t know. I can’t be as confident as you. But that’s why I need you, because I know you can fix it and you…” She was talking to me, I think. She was whining. Dear god, shut up.
                I gazed off into the woods, thinking about all those kind whispers, and a pair of soft hands drifting over my face, never holding back. I thought of how different these two girls were. Then it struck me, after all the thinking and crying and thinking and expressing, I know what I want. Lia was still talking, now hiccupping in sobs.
                I reached down and pulled off my sneakers. I tied the laces together and hung it over my wrist. Lia screamed my name, she screamed for me to stop, to save her.
                It was pouring as I ran through the forming mud and flattened blades of grass. The sound of Lia’s cries was drowned out by the crack of thunder. My hair flowed behind me. Our field wasn’t so big. Before I knew it I had reached the edge of the woods. Of course, this didn’t stop me. I jumped over fallen branches and tapped on the trees that flew by. My legs had a mind of their own, my soul drifted above my body, watching as a gleeful smile reached my eyes.
                Go back to your boyfriends, Lia. I can’t keep waiting for you. I need someone who knows who they are, and she’s here. But it won’t ever be you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Come home...

I opened my eyes lazily and watched the bare light bulb swing back and forth on a thick wire. I could hear the strands of copper rubbing against each other. I could smell the rust.
I closed my eyes and blew out a spiral of icy breath. I opened my eyes again. The light stopped swinging.
I was in an old kitchen; the house was thought to be abandoned long ago. But we never left. There was nowhere else we would rather be.
The counters were bare and shining, we never had a use for them. It was daytime. But no sunlight ever came in. Only shadows did, which made the kitchen sadder and more gloomy-like. The floor was cold, but there were no bugs or rats here. They didn't dare enter here.
I stood up and brushed the dust off my clothes. Instantly, I was struck with vertigo. I wondered how long I had been lying there, changing the world inside my head.
Lia coughed from behind me. One of us was always sick. She came to stand next to me. She was emitting fiery warmth. I put the back of my hand against her forehead.
"You're warm. You should take some medicine," I whispered. It was always whispers around here. Part of me was afraid if we're too loud, then the house would shatter.
Lia put her hand over mine, and held it tight. Half of her face was illuminated by the light. Her short hair was sticking out at odd angles, as it constantly was when she wakes up. Usually, she put her bangs into a ponytail that stuck straight up. It reminded me of a unicorn. But Lia was more beautiful, more majestic, and real. If only I were real too.
"I've been thinking a lot..." she said, avoiding eye contact.
"I love you," I said. I looked her dead in the eyes. I rubbed my thumb in circles over the smooth skin on the back of her hand. It brought me back, all the way back to when we ran down the empty streets, kicking pebbles, laughing at the breeze, smelling the grass that was never cut, splashing water from the pure ponds, the whole time we were hand in hand. We were always connected.
I watched her swallow hard. Look at me, Lia, please. Smile, for me. Something, anything. LIA COME BACK HOME. I pushed the thoughts at her, and I hoped a thousand times that one day she would get them. She would wake up from her daydreams and know how much I need her, right now.
Suddenly, my world got hot. So hot I could feel the thick air shoving its way down my throat. I choked. Lia stared at me hopelessly, like she always did at this point.
I knew how things went now. The air would get hotter and hotter. I would cough and scream and fall down. Lia would wrap her arm around my waist from behind me. Then she would put her nose against the back of my neck. Her cold breath saved me. Her simple words kept me alive. She would murmur into my ear, see you in the morning, love. Then she did. She was there when I woke up that day. When we woke up we laughed at each other's bed head, and ate breakfast together, and walked together, and then we sat with each other. We sat and neither of us talked, but both of us knew. We knew each other so well, words weren't necessary anymore. The world around us spun and spun, but we were living to our own tune. Eventually, time found us. Then I broke.
Now, I will wake up, because right now, at this very moment, it is time for me to keep going. I will count down the days. Worst of all, I will cry because Lia is hundreds of miles away and I have no idea if she is just fine without me. I have no idea if she has replaced me. Please, Lia, I love you…


                “Page four seventy-one…” I murmured, flipping through the massive text book in front of me. Bright red blue and greens flashed by.
                “Do you really have to do that now?” Olivia said, glaring at me over thick navy glasses.
                “Yes, actually I do. In case you haven’t noticed, this book weighs as much as I do, and I don’t fancy lugging it around school all day.”
                Olivia grunted. Ana grinned down at her book.
                I squeezed my eyes shut and focused my mind. Problem number thirty-two… graph the inequality. I sighed and leaned back in my chair to examine the ceiling.
                Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Olivia pull a book out of her backpack, obviously bored with Ana and me.
                X is less than seven which is more than… The rain beat harder down on the windows. It sounded like someone was throwing rocks at us all. Not even the comforting library could make me feel better.
                “So I texted my mom and she said you could sleep over,” Olivia said in her high pitched voice.
                I rested the legs of my chair back down on the floor and looked across the table at her. But not before I could catch sight of Leah.
                She was wearing a navy-purple button down shirt. It filled into the perfect curve of her waist, and flared out at her wide hips. She leaned on one leg, in a very casual position. Her body rocked back and forth, she was never still.
                “Um hello?” Olivia was agitated, more than usual.
                “Huh? Sorry, what was that?” My mind was completely blank; whatever she had said didn’t register.
                “What are you staring at?” Olivia’s face twisted into a snarl.
                Leah leaned on her other leg. She rested her slender arms on the main desk where the librarians sat. I felt it an injustice to her to say that I was looking at nothing.
                “Everything,” I breathed.
                Olivia rolled her eyes. Anything that wasn’t crystal clear bothered her. “Well, you’ll need a bus note if you’re coming over. You know what a bitch my bus driver is.” She examined her nails.
                “Yeah okay,” I replied, only half meaning it.
                I looked back down at my math homework. Numbers and letters blurred together. All I could think about was Leah. The thought of her was like an infestation, eating its way through the dips and curves of my imagination, leaving blissful rainbows in its wake.
                I ran my hands over the blank sheet of paper in front of me. I closed the textbook with a thud. “Math is too difficult for my small brain to comprehend,” I sighed.
                Ana laughed, peeking at me over her novel. Her wisps of hair cascaded across her face.
                Olivia broke into a wide smile, and started her rant about her latest crush. “So I’ve been waiting all day for him to text me, but now I’m thinking that I should text him first.”
                “Text who,” I asked, my eyes still glued to Leah’s back.
                “You know…” She gave me that I-don’t-dare-speak-his-name look.
                “Oh, right. Go on.” When Olivia is distracted, she stops asking me questions.
                “But I don’t want to seem obsessive…” She droned on.
                Leah pushed off the front desk and spun around. For a split second our eyes met and her face slackened. Oranges, greens, and violets exploded through my veins. But everything was a torrent and I couldn’t find the words to get her attention, or show that she had mine.
                Then she was gone, and the moment felt sour and disgraceful. My small world was shoved back into a tube of black and white. No muscles worked, I couldn’t even raise my hand to say hello to Curtis, who was smiling at me.
                “…Even though he has a girlfriend…” Olivia just doesn’t know when to stop.
                I heard Leah’s voice echo from the outside hallway. I still had time to go after her. The black was engulfing the last small speck of purple now.
                “She’s trying to get your attention,” Ana whispered into her book.
                I kicked her under the table. Olivia looked startled but continued blabbing. Why would Leah possible be interested in me? No, no, she does not care for me. If I admit that she does, I would fall right through the thin layers of my defense. I will not love Leah. I will not be in love with Leah. But all the hope I had left seemed to stream out of me. I know it’s too late to backtrack on my feelings. I can refuse to believe it, but every fiber of me knows. I am drowning in a current of passion.

Friday, May 13, 2011


I knew what he was saying before he said it. I hoped that if I played stupid then he would give up asking. I hoped that there was hope for our friendship. I was wrong.

      “What’s wrong?” He asked a smile on his face, his knee close to mine.
      We were close, I could trust him. “Well, there’s this… person, that I have deep feelings for,” I said, not really knowing how to make the words sounds right.
      He nodded, smiling wider.
      “And,” I continued, “They really understand me. They can see beyond what’s on the surface.”
      His leg touched mine. I jumped up and changed seats so I was sitting in front of him.
      “But, this particular person…” I looked at him. His features so familiar, I can trust him and he is my friend. So I let my heart free, and the words just started flowing. “I get so lonely and desperate. I want someone, anyone to see me instead of just looking. I can’t tell if my feelings for her are real, or if I’m just searching for a love that doesn’t exist. I feel like I'll never find that love. I want these feelings for her to be real, but I don’t want to hurt her if they’re not.” Oh God, that whole rant made so much more sense in my head. It sounded like my words were tripping over each other as they spilled out of my mouth.
      “I love you though, isn’t that enough?” So I guess he comprehended that in the slightest.
      “You know I need a different kind of love.” I sighed. Guys just don’t understand.
      “I do know what you mean, and I do love you like that.”
      I froze.
“You always have other choices,” he said, a slight trace of his smile still visible.
      “What are you talking about?!” I was outraged. How dare he do this to me? Somehow, my legs had worked so I was standing up, backing away from the picnic table.
      “Well it’s quite obvious that I like you, and you’re bi, so it’s okay.” He was smiling again.
I felt the grass in-between my toes as I kept walking further, further away.
Please stop talking now, tell me it’s a joke. Laugh about this all. Please.
“I’m not bi,” was all I could manage.
“So you’re straight? That works too.” His smile was huge, disgusting, and devious.
I was so angry. I found my voice again. “I’m gay. I told you before. When you asked me on that stupid date? I TOLD YOU. I am a lesbian, homosexual, a dyke, what is there not to get about that?” I stopped walking backwards. Now I was digging my bare feet into the earth, my fingernails digging into my palms.
“Wait… you… I thought you were… joking…” His body went limp. Eyes wide open, mouth slightly parted in disbelief.
At first I wanted to yell, and then I decided I would keep it all bottled up as usual, just to make him feel guiltier. “Why the fuck would I joke about that.” Those were my final words to him, a statement, not a question. Then I turned on my heel and ran.
I ran all the way off the high school campus, past the gardens and mismatched tables. Past the classroom where my shoes lay in a heap along with various used books and almost dried up pens. I ran all the way past the track field where people called to me. I ran past girls that snickered and whispered behind their hands. I ran all the way into the woods.
My calves were getting cut all over from broken branches and I could hear the pitter-patter of my feet, and the snap of twigs, the crunch of leaves.
I will not cry.
I trusted him.
I sat on the forest floor and stared at the sky. I turned up my imaginary music and blocked the world out. I’m sick and tired of being invisible.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I am weak, and I choose to take the easy way out. Realizing and accepting feelings means that I have to do something about them.
I will not like her.
Time is running out, anyways. It's too late to start now. But of course, there's nothing to start.
Because I choose to not like her.
In my little world, where I feel so lost and alone, so desperate and hopeless, she saw me. When everyone else gave me dirty looks and whispered...
She called me beautiful.