I woke up with a start. Someone was getting murdered and I could’ve prevented it. The sight, the memory was so vivid that I was almost convinced that it had happened, yet no matter what I did to tell myself that it was just a dream, my mind wouldn’t rest. My eyes darted around the pitch black room, scanning the warped shadows as I tried to distinguish the shadows between reality and mind tricks. As I started to sit up to scan the room again, a soft snore startled me. I smiled as I saw my boyfriend sleeping peacefully, curled on the side. I crept out of bed without disturbing him and looked around in every corner. I made sure to check under the desk, but no one was there. “Honey? What are you doing under there?” a groggy voice called out in the dark. I crawled out from under the desk and saw my confused and tired boyfriend awkwardly standing in the shadows. “I had a nightmare and dreamt that there was a murderer, so I got really paranoid and wanted to look–“ my boyfriend wrapped me in a tight hug and kissed me on the forehead. “It’s okay. I’ll protect you. Let’s go back to sleep.” he said as he led me back to bed. He tucked me in and crawled in after me. Within minutes, we were fast asleep. The next morning, I woke up to the morning sun and my boyfriend’s bright eyes. “What did you dream of?” he whispered. “Eating endless chocolate cake with you.” I said with a smile. He closed his eyes and laughed. “Good, no more murderers.”
It was 2am and we were at a 7-eleven. We woke up at 1am after an hour of tossing and turning and realized that we neglected to finish a task before going to bed. “We forgot to get slushies.” Gabe said after noticing that I was also awake and trying too hard to admire the ceiling. I turned toward him and I could still smell the toothpaste on his breath. “What are we going to do?” I whispered. That’s how we found ourselves under the bright lights of 7-eleven, surrounded by snacks that couldn’t be as colorful as they were at 3pm than they were at 2am. “Hey babe, look, they have Whatchamacallits.” Gabe said as he held up the candy bar. I darted as fast I my slippers allowed me and stared at the candy bar in wonder. “I haven’t had one of those since high school!” I said. “Let’s get it.” We wandered through the aisles and found ourselves accumulating a pile of nostalgic snacks and guilty cravings. When we finally made it to the slushy machine, the colorful frozen liquids no longer seemed appealing, so we sauntered to the check-out. There wasn’t a word exchanged, but his wide, confused eyes gave us a clear glimpse of a dialogue he was having with himself. “$13.45” the cashier said, breaking our train of thoughts. Sleepiness had started to settle. I started to fumble with my wallet, but Gabe just shook his head and took out his wallet, pulling out a 10 and 3 singles. Without breaking eye contact with the cashier, he rummaged through his wallet counting out exactly 45 cents. The cashier stuffed our goods into 1 bulging bag and we darted back to the car, clutching our precious cargo and laughing hysterically. By the time we made it home, we only had enough energy to open up one candy bar before passing out surrounded by sweeter dreams.
Towards the sunset we walked with your hand in mine. A small sense of peace and security overcame me and my heart fluttered with joy. “I just can’t believe it.” I whispered. He rolled his eyes and nudged my shoulder. “Here she goes again. She’s having an epiphany, everyone!” I laughed and nudged him back, a little harder. “Don’t make fun of me! I’m just really happy and it’s been such a long time.” He smirked at me and whispered, “That’s only because we’re getting ice cream.” I laugh and darted into the store and found the ice cream section. He stood next to me, ogling along and said, “I’m going to have to get a job. All of these flavors sound so good.”
Here I am sitting with you under the setting sun with the sweet taste of the simple vanilla on my tongue. Without a word, I glance at you, your face glowing from the ending day and I kiss you on the cheek. “What was that for?” you said, your mouth full of ice cream. I shrug and respond, “I don’t know.” Silence falls as the night wraps its arms around us. He pulls me closer, saying “I’m happy too.”
The rain poured down on us, but it didn’t matter. “Hurry up!” I shouted. “We’re going to get wetter the slower you are!” I looked back and saw him walking two steps and then breaking into a soggy jog. I doubled over unable to contain my laughter. “Man, all I wanted was ice cream, but I’m just getting wet and cold!” he shouted through the pouring rain. I continued laughing, but I got a well deserved punch. “Hey! That was uncalled for!” I said, unable to contain my smile. He rolled his eyes and said, “You mocked me! You made me look like a fool!” I took his hand and started walking toward the ice cream parlor. “It’s not my fault that you’re slow.” He pulled me as he walked a little faster and said, “It’s not my fault that you forgot the umbrella!” By the time we made it to the ice cream parlor, we were dripping wet from head to toe and shivering, but it didn’t matter. We held onto each other and ordered ice cream, sitting in a booth across from each other and shared the ice cream we trekked through the rain just to get. He took my hands and started rubbing them and said, “This was unexpectedly worth it.” I smiled back at him and whispered only so he could hear, “You’re worth the rain and the storm. You’re worth it to me.”
When I was walking home from meeting up with my friend yesterday, I passed this man. Even though our total interaction on the world was less than 1 second, something about him intrigued me. There was something about his gait and how his leather boots clopped into the cobblestone streets — a perfect match. Or maybe it was how he smelled and how it lingered around me, enticing me, but he was already down the street. Based on how he smelled and how he dressed, I think he was on a date. What if it was a foreign exchange of secrecy? I could picture him meeting up with a vixen with a tight black dress and bright red lipstick. She would lean in and try to entice him, but he stays still and asks for the secrets. Or maybe he was the type of guy who may appear sophisticated on the outside with tailored suits and designer shoes, but he would be that guy who leaves enthusiastic comments in random YouTube videos. He doesn’t really seem like the type to spend hours watching cat videos, then again, no one ever looks like it. I turned back after our brief exchange and witnessed him pulling out his phone, check his messages before slipping it back into his pockets.
I was on my way to meet this girl I matched with on Tinder, but I passed this girl on the way there. The gleam in her eye indicated that a lot more shit went down in her life than she would’ve liked, but based on how she dressed, smelled and looked, she handled it like a boss. I smiled to myself as we passed each other before a crazy idea popped into my head. I pulled out my phone and quickly messaged the girl from Tinder saying that I suddenly fell ill, turned around and said, “Hey, you! This is probably going to sound weird, but I think you’re beautiful and do you want to grab a drink or something?”
Written: 5/27/17 8:03pm
Note: I couldn’t decide whether or not I should schedule this for a Quick Piece or post it as an Unconfined Thoughts because this had never happened to me. I was just really excited to share this piece with you all. I would definitely consider this piece as flash fiction though. I’ll give you a couple words as analysis to compromise: spontaneous and impulsive, but potentially life changing decision of open minded individuals. Inspired by: my long marathons of watching YouTube videos and wondering what kind of person would write each comment. Hope you enjoyed! 🙂
Your fingers trace my face’s features from the stray strands of hair to my chin, sending chills racing up and down my body. I gaze into your eyes, a warm brown color and I find my heartbeat racing to meet yours, so I take a deep breath and my heart skips a beat. You whisper something mundane to relieve my butterflies, something irrelevant before my lips meet yours in an inaudible vow. We dance around making promises that are true for the moment, no matter how long they last. We pull each other closer, no pushing because that’s rude. Without warning, my heart aligns with yours but I allow it. It’s okay. It’s necessary. And when we’re forced to separate from bliss (oftentimes I worry about plunging too deep into the sea of bliss because we aren’t trained to swim in this mess), we illuminate like lighthouses, proclaimers of a saving point. An overwhelming feeling of sadness floods my body, replacing the hormones that were supposed to help me stay afloat and you whisper, “how was it?” and all I could manage was to direct my gaze to the only light source in the room, a dim glow. I finally respond with a smile, sigh and seek the warmth that I desperately lacked again. He draws close to me and I anticipate it, hoping that this will cure my sudden sadness, the explosion of future worry threatening to drown me. Our promises never collide, but they compliment each other. Our grip tightens on each other like a curse to the looming future and we can soon claim to love and move on from the phase, like. It’s okay. It’s necessary. In this short period of time, there are no glimpses of the future even if it frantically tries to signal us. Instead, we hold each other’s hands tightly and avoid the haunted notions.
Written: 2/28/17 1:40pm
PS. I submitted this piece to a literary magazine – wish me luck!
On the account of love, we try and watch as many videos as we can to get a hold of love, to try and understand the complex emotion. They tell us that dopamine is in charge of it all and if a guy texts you first, that is love. I find myself looking at my phone to test this out but the results vary. I pick up romance novels and weigh them in my hand, joining in adventures about princesses and warriors fighting for their lovers. I look at myself, holding up my weak legs and flimsy arms and wonder if I am a hero to someone. I talk to strangers on the street, my best friends and my mother but they all give me the sly smile and whisper, “You’ll just know. Be patient. I know you’ll find that someone.” I nod and smile while fiddling my fingers. I tell myself to be patient, but I can’t help but gaze upon everyone and wonder if my fingers will slip in between theirs. I click through Thought Catalog articles in hope that someone out there sympathizes with me and somehow I find a secret manual on what to do next. Unfortunately, that’s never the case. I even attended the last psychology lecture that ends at 8pm about love. What I got was 15 extra credit points, an attempt to conceptualize it (scientists don’t even know how to) and I check my messages and breeze through my memories in attempt to nail the peg into the hole. On the account of love, I can say for sure that we desperately need it.
Written: 12/7/16 7:15pm (in psych class – we are most certainly talking about love 😛 )