What I Need From You

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There are things about me that you do not know and some that you probably never will.

Why?

That’s the funny thing about memory, it fades. It is not that I am trying to hide anything from you, it is more that I have somehow hidden these things, these details of my life, from myself. Nothing haunts me though, nothing from my past has me concerned for my future. Even after reckless decisions and pain that I caused to so many along my path, there is nothing that holds me back in regret. I feel that I have always been able to walk away and say that my choices were for the best, that I was able to grow from these decisions that once paralyzed me. Though the details may be long gone…there is nothing hovering over me.

I need that from someone else, from my other half…from you. No matter how complicated and undesirable the situation may have been, I need to know about the ghosts that haunt you. Honesty here is needed, even when it hurts. We are all humans who have learned to grow and thrive from pain.

At the end of it all, I crave someone to grow with me, to blossom and chase these never-ending dreams. Someone who, at the end of a long day, I am almost as relieved as I am happy to see. I need that push to keep me at my very best, to keep me motivated when all of the odds are stacked up against me in the worst of ways. Having my back and fighting by my side are musts. In turn, I need to be able to support you, to fuel your hopes and desires that you have gained through your life – be not a ball and chain, but a rock to keep you centered when the chaos ensues. We need to be a team, able to function in our own ways independently and coming together for something even greater.

We cannot fall in love if we do not accept the failures, the setbacks, and the short-comings of another. I am asking you to accept mine and to help me be a better person, and in turn I want the same for you.

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Ten-and-two,

Ten-and-two.

Car idilng,

The driveway felt like a trap.

A voice in the back of her head

Egged her on,

The other pressed her to go inside.

Decision –

 

They hardly seemed to matter as she took her hands off the wheel,

Throwing her body violently back into the seat,

Letting the weight of it all crash into her.

Future, past, present.

It all swirled together,

A never ending stream of choices and regret.

Angrily, she wiped the tears from the edges of her eyelashes,

She wouldn’t let it get to her this time.

Why bother?

Why try?

It was so much easier to just throw the car in drive,

To run away from something that never mattered.

Not to him.

False promises and dead-end hope.

She breathed in heavily,

Shuddering to keep back the sobs that longed to echo out.

Ten-and-two,

Ten-and-two.

 

Forever

“There’s a word for girls like you.”

“Self-destructive.”

“No, I was going to say cautious,” he squeezed her hand a little tighter, he hadn’t expected her to say something like that, “Why self-destructive?”

She sighed, heavily, squeezing his hand back a little tighter, “because everything that holds the possibility to be good for me, I always end up ruining and being bitter with myself about.”

“Well, I’m still here.”

“For now.”

“For always,” and she hoped like hell he was telling the truth.

Throw Away the Key

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It almost didn’t matter, almost.

It was foolish of him to think that he could try to change me, and even more foolish that I thought I could do the same to him. People are how they always were and how they always will be – change only occurs when it benefits them, not those who surround them.

That’s why I felt like a complete fool, standing there, expecting him to come with me. I even went so far as to hold out my hand, offer up the last thing that I had to give: my dignity. He shot me down, letting me feel the deep burn of shame as I replaced that hand with a finger and stormed off. The ring of his laughter stung deep as I pushed open the door and let the bitter cold of the wind rush against my face, breathing it in for all it was worth, and it wasn’t worth a damn. Somewhere in the back of my mind I hoped that he would follow me, run after me and scoop me up in some senseless apology that would fix it, even if just for the night. My heart craved the idea and it made my stomach churn.

I cursed out loud as I remembered that he had driven us there. I would have to walk home, the only blessing in the situation was that I lived only a few miles away. It wasn’t worth calling someone to come to my rescue; I’d given up on needing someone to save me. Pulling my jacket a little tighter, I started my track across the frozen ground, fuming with every step that I took.

It did not take long to get home, or at least it did not feel like it did. I immediately got to work. Before I knew it, I had almost everything packed away half-hazard in boxes, my i-pod blaring songs that seemed to fit my emotions perfectly, and had finished off a bottle of wine.

Fuck it.

I picked up my phone and dialed a number that my heart would never let me forget. Punching in the numbers slowly, my heart ached – just for a second, before he answered the phone in a whisper, “Hey you.”

“Hey,” I said, a sigh of relief escaping, turning it into a much softer greeting than I had planned.

“What’s going on?”

“Can you…” another sigh, “Can you just come over?”

“Of course,” I could hear him rolling out of his bed, reaching for his clothes that he had more than likely draped over the edge of the nightstand, sitting there ready for the next day. There were still things about him that were easily predictable, “Need anything?”

He showed up with a sad smile and an amused sparkle in his eye, holding up the bag that held my final decision in the matter in one hand and a bottle of my favorite wine in the other, “When do we start?”

“Would it come off as too anxious if I were to say right now?”

“Of course not,” his smile grew as he pulled out the new lock and I took off to the kitchen with the bottle of wine. By the time I had returned with two glasses threatening to spill over the rim, he had already managed to get the old lock removed from the door and was in the process of opening the packaging to the new one.

He was humming to himself as I handed him the wine, “At least I got a prettier handle than the old one.”

I inspected it as he put it in, filling the empty space that was there in more than one way. I couldn’t help but smile myself.

Once he finished putting the lock in, we got to the busy work of carefully placing boxes out in the outdoor hallway and stacking them as high as we dared to avoid cluttering and having the neighbors complain too much. It did not take as long as I had expected it to, the extra pair of strong hands was greatly appreciated.

I poured us each another glass of wine before settling on the couch under a blanket. He walked over and sat down next to me and it did not take more than a few minutes for us to be comfortably tangled up, laughing and swapping stories.

Things were back to normal.

Sometime in the early hours of the morning, his head resting comfortably in my lap, eyes closed, breathing even and soft, I heard footsteps dragging up the stairs outside. I sucked in my own breath as I heard the steps stop, and all that I could do was picture him taking in the sight of all the boxes stacked outside of what was now just my apartment door. A jingle of keys as he struggled to find the right one in what I could only assume was a panic of frustration or despair, it was hard to tell.

He tried the lock. I could hear him fall apart – a small cry of defeat and either his fist or his head gently hitting against the door, just the one time. I shuddered with him as I heard him take in a deep, shaky breath. After a few moments, I heard more footsteps and him struggling to start bringing boxes down to his truck. Ignoring the tears that had started to stream down my face, I sat there listening until I heard the engine of his truck start back up.

I finally looked back down into my lap, he was wide awake. He smiled at me as he reached up, brushing the remaining tears off of my cheeks. I smiled back and re-positioned myself to lie beside him, his arms instantly wrapped around me and he brought his lips to where they brushed along the outer edge of my ear, “Just be mine from now on, OK?”

Aside

sweet dreams

head cradled in his hands
trying to breathe
trying not to shake,
to fall apart.

he could not win this battle
it was never his
to begin with –
her heart remained elsewhere
his mind always on her
nobody could have known
nobody could have seen.

he had pulled her close
just one last time
kissing her cheek
in the most affectionate of ways
she had pulled away
tears in her eyes
uncertainty swimming endlessly
he let her go
he had to
she needed so much more.

Wonderland

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” Stupid rabbit,” Alice muttered to herself as she brushed the dirt from her skirt.
 
“Follow me!” she mocked, waving around an imaginary pocket watch before tossing the missing object far into the forest, “What an absolute waste of my time.”
 
“Time is fluid here.”
 
“You!” she screamed at the caterpillar, “Why can none of you just leave me alone?”
 
“You are as lonely as you wish to be,” he pressed his lips to the hose that he held in one of his many hands and drew in a deep breath, letting the smoke slowly escape his twisted grin and swirl around him in a hypnotizing way.
 
Alice huffed, “And you speak in naught but riddles. You waste my time more than that damn rabbit could ever wish to.”
 
“What rabbit?” the caterpillar asked, his interest peaked.
 
“Nevermind what rabbit,” she threw her hands in the air, “all that I want is to get home and forget this ridiculous dream.”
 
“A dream,” he laughed, “and what would you be doing at home that could be better than here?”
 
“See my family again, play in my room with my dolls, maybe have a tea party. There are a million little things that I could do that would be better than staying here.”
 
“Well, there is a tea party down the way.”
 
“Never again.”
 
“I see you’ve already met the hatter.”
 
“I’ve had the displeasure,” she glared, the caterpillar was unaffected and blew another ring of smoke in her direction, which she waved off frantically before giving up on the conversation. She was getting nowhere with the overgrown insect and he was only frustrating her more; she stormed off.
 
“Do not forget your path! It is yours and yours alone dear Alice!”
 
Alice ignored him as she began to tear through the ever thickening forest, blinded by tears of frustration and led by outbursts of absolute anger. How was it so difficult to find the direction of which she had come? Why did she have to follow that blasted rabbit down his stupid, oversized hole? She felt as if she were in a complicated dream, but the many pinches she had given herself did nothing to help shake her from this never ending nightmare.

Demons

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“You are the devil of a woman!” he called after her, screaming out a name that was never hers.

She laughed. How amusing it was to her to have him yell at her, as if that would change her disposition.

Alive with a small sense of curiosity, she walked back over to him, heels clacking loudly against the tiled floor. She looked down at him, smiling wide as she pressed hard into his chest with her left foot. He groaned in pain as the thin tip of the heel she wore broke the tender barrier of his skin. It was a wonderful sound – she bathed in the agonizing sounds – enjoying them after the torture of having to listen to him. The blood began to pool around him, slowly as she tossed her head back, shaking with laughter.

“Do not flatter me so,” and with the flick of a tail and flash of a smile, she was gone.

From Here

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He traced the outline of her lips, gently enough to avoid waking her and firmly enough to send him into a wave of memory from the night before. What she had done with those lips – how easily something that seemed so insignificant could arouse him in such a way. Intrigued, he had just sat there, every ounce of his being screaming at him to beg for more, praising him for nothing less. He sighed, she was something else and everything that he could ever ask for.

Pressing his lips to hers once more, he waited for silence, ensuring her slumber before he carefully climbed out of the bed. It did not take him long to pull on clothes from the night before that smelled only of her. He stood a moment longer to admire her beauty, as though that of a bystander looking at a magnificent piece of art that spoke only to him. She seemed nothing short of perfection and he felt on top of the world. He would have only felt more so had he made the decision to call her his own; the fall had not taken long, he was certain of that much.

Carefully he opened the door and took a step into what could only be described as his future; all of his tomorrow’s would only stem from here. He closed the door after a moment, leaving without a whisper or another thought.

Somewhere in the back of his mind she woke – alone, confused, forgotten.

Forgetting Her

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You knew her once.

Now her name slips your memory as you pass her on the street and she spins in next to you, whispering hello. She does not expect you to remember her, it was too long ago for you to recall.

As you get home you find yourself scrambling to get old yearbooks, flipping through boxes of photographs that you have not touched or even thought about in years. After hours of tearing apart old memories, you will find them – questioning yourself more with every page turned, every picture tossed aside. Desperation will peak as you begin to convince yourself that she has got to be real, there is no other explanation for the sudden obsession of finding out who she is, what she might have meant to you. It will seem as though the caress on the side of the street, the subtle brush of her fingertips against your shoulder blade had never really occurred. Maybe you were imagining things, after all.

She had left no trace of herself behind; she had been so careful of that. Making herself scarce and knowing where every image was, every scratch of paper artistically covered with her name, every little thing attached to a memory that was too big to sacrifice her emotions. The day that you left her was the day that she disappeared – making it easy to forget her as the years slowly passed.

Annoyed with yourself and the time wasted in chasing a ghost, you will drag yourself to bed to drift off into a much needed sleep, but, not without dreaming of her. Her name will come to you and you will whisper it softly into the night, tasting her on your lips.

You knew her once.

Just Give it Time

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She had her bare feet dangling outside of the passenger window, her head resting comfortably in his lap; she could not help but smile up at him as he twirled her hair around her fingertips, lost in thought and humming along to the radio.

It had just finished raining and the woods were starting to come back to life as the heat of the day was finally subsiding. They had driven all the way up there with no intention other than a lazy Sunday and a view of the city as it came to life that night.

“I’m going to miss you,” he said, still staring out the windshield.

“That was a little out of nowhere,” she sighed. She hated to complicate things, had begged him not to…and here he was, complicating them.

“I know,” he finally looked over at her, “but it doesn’t change the fact that I am going to miss you.”

“You hardly know me.”

“I know you enough to miss you, and right now, I think that is more than plenty,” he said sternly, glaring at her, challenging her to test his limits on the matter. She started to open her mouth to argue, closing it again as she thought she had better not. He turned to look back out of the window, dropping the conversation as if it never even took place. They grew silent then, she sighed heavily and he went back to twisting her hair and humming.

After awhile he dropped his head, just for a second before shoving the key in the opposite direction and starting the truck. She looked up at him, hopeful that he would finally say something and after a few seconds she gave up,  tucked her feet back inside and sat up. Throwing the truck into gear, he reached out his hand and grabbed hers. Slowly they made their way back to town.

As he pulled up in front of her house, she gave him a frustrated huff and grabbed the handle to open the door. With one swift motion he pulled her hand closer to him, forcing her to fall into him and leave the door as it was. He wrapped his arms around her, his face lost in her hair as he mumbled something she could not quite catch. Before she could say a word, he pulled her as close as she could get and kissed her.

“Well, I guess this is it,” he whispered in a sigh as he let her reach for the door.

“I suppose so.”

“I know it doesn’t even matter, but I will still miss you,” he smiled at her.

She gave a faltered smile in response, not wanting to say any of the ridiculous thoughts running through her head. It would have been too simple.

“Goodbye,” he let her go.

She hated to end it on such a definite note, “I’ll see you around.”

“Maybe one day.”