Thursday, July 30, 2009

02. Taking a Chance.

Trevor sat in the coffee shop and stared at his laptop; the blank screen daunting as if challenging him to a duel that he was without a doubt losing. Every thought he had was immediately deleted with furious taps on the backspace key and to add to Trevor's frustration, the cursor continued to blink at him calm and steady as ever.

This used to be an environment where he flourished, where thoughts were easy to come by, where he wrote his first best selling novel. Trevor loved the dynamic coffee shop atmosphere where hipsters and businessmen, socialites and average joes, stay at home moms and trying too hard teenagers converged for their daily caffeine fix. He thrived on the interaction of people as social spheres collided and life happened. But now the familiar sounds of coffee grinding, milk steaming, keys tapping, and the occasional street noise that disrupted the latest indie rock song were all blending to create a cacophony that was driving Trevor mad. Even the silence was deafening in the packed coffee shop with no one saying but two words to each other.

He had a contract for his next book with a 500 page draft due in three weeks and he had nothing. He was about to give up for the day when he saw an interesting woman walk in the door. She was the first person to catch his attention in a long time but not because she was particularly attractive in anyway and he couldn't quite figure out what it was about her that piqued his interest. Trevor began to close watch her in the same way he was taught to close read books in his English 101 class by paying attention to the particulars rather than the general. He started with her face, but came up with nothing; it seemed to Trevor that her features were ordinary enough so that she wouldn't stand out in a crowd. He critiqued her outfit and decided that while she was dressed well, it was nothing special compared to all the other fashionists in the city. Then he pondered on her vibe and noticed something familiar: just like the hundreds of women he saw everyday, she held herself with a misplaced confidence, almost as if to tell the world that she was a force to be reckoned with and could be if only she believed that herself. She could be anyone and no one, so why did he notice her?

Trevor continued to watch as she casually twisted her long brownish hair that cascaded down her back almost consuming her tiny frame. She occasionally glanced over her shoulder like she was looking for someone but he doubted she was meeting anyone; she looked like a loner, like someone who was always alone, although not entirely comfortable with it. He imagined her going home every night to an empty apartment with only her cat to talk to for the rest of the evening. She probably ate from the same Chinese take out restaurant, had her routine of nightly shows to watch, and went to bed longing for something to happen with the coming day. Then he realized that the loner he saw in her was a reflection of himself. He was tired of his mundane, day to day life and the pressure to create by a deadline. He longed for something to happen, something to change. Trevor still eyed her as she made her way to the front of the line and ordered. She fidgeted with the zipper on her wallet as she waited for the barista to take her money as if she was in a rush and needed to be somewhere important, but Trevor knew that wasn't true. Yet, when the time came, she seemed nervous and caught off guard as she fumbled with her cash and double and triple counted her bills.

This girl fascinated Trevor and he watched as she asked another patron if a seat was taken, then sat down and opened her pink Juicy Couture messenger bag and pulled out a sleek paper thin Air Macbook. Trevor let out a sigh of relief that she was a Mac girl and gazed at her as she opened her computer and started browsing the Internet. After a couple of minutes, it looked like she found was she was searching for as her eyes darted back and forth across the screen. He hoped he didn't come across as stockerish as he unabashedly stared at her, but when she finally looked up and caught his eye, he smiled at her and he thought he noticed a spark of interest flash across her face. Trevor took that as a good sign and suddenly felt a strong need to talk to her, every day he waited for something to happen and was starting to realize that things wouldn't happen until he made them happen. He summoned all his courage, packed his bag, and walked over to her, asking, "seat taken?"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

20sb Blog Swap - Manhattan Lovers

For the 20sb blog swap, I got partnered with Margarita who is nothing short of amazing over at Ramblings of a Fab Brunette! Her blog details her life, her loves, and a little bit of everything else. She did me the honor of writing a short story to go along with the theme of my blog, and who knows I may continue this's that good. Enjoy, and definitely check her out.

Manhattan Lovers

Juliana lay awake in the dark, on a bed so heavenly, next to a man who she thought must be an angel sent directly to her from heaven, but her thoughts were keeping her awake.

She was in New York again, determined to “make it” – for the third time in her life. Only this time, she had found love. A love that made her believe that she and New York were meant to be after all.

Trevor was a writer who she had met at the Starbucks on the corner, between their two buildings.

He would go there to write, and watch people, and get inspired – inspiration which he was constantly lacking.

Juliana would go there for the free WiFi, since she couldn’t afford it after charging her new MAC Airbook to her sole Visa card. She would go to Starbucks and look at celeb gossip, checking out Gawker and what else there was to do in the seemingly busy city.

This time she had been in Manhattan for no more than two months, working as a shop girl at an independent clothing designer’s boutique. The city seemed to swirl like crazy all around her, but she had yet to be sucked in – instead she watched stolen cable on her 27″ flat screen, set up crazy outfits for work the following day, and went to Starbucks, which was, ironically, consistently packed with people, all who said not more than two words to each other – “Seat taken?” – and even that was sometimes drowned out by the incessant ‘klickey-klack’ of keyboards on laptops.

To be so entirely surrounded and yet feel so disturbingly displaced from it all made Juliana a little angry and a little hopeless.

When she finished reading the latest gossip, checking the latest fashion shows on, and even reading random blogs from old classmates on Facebook – she would people watch. Juliana often sat there, waiting for life to happen, and then it just did.

She saw Trevor. A dark-haired, blue-eyed man, who kept glimpsing over his laptop to look at her.

At first she was freaked out, imagining a stalker-like scenario, but then he lifted his head, smiling at her, showing off his perfect teeth and chiseled features. After a few minutes of stealing glances, he closed his computer and left when she wasn’t looking.

She considered jumping out of her seat and chasing after him, but didn’t want to appear desperate. A tap on her shoulder brought her back to reality and a ‘Seat taken?’ took her right back up to the heavens.

Trevor bought them another round of coffees – his a Tall Americano, her a Skinny Vanilla Latte – and she suddenly felt alive. She felt a connection with someone other than a computer screen and it was exhilarating.

He was 28, a published author working on his second book, raised in New York – Upper East Side, but needed to a find a more ‘real’ scene, so he moved down to Greenwich Village. He used to play piano, doesn’t watch much TV, and spends his weekends walking in the city, discovering places.

Juliana knew it was love at first sight. And although she didn’t confess her TV-obsessed, non-reading, hermit-like ways to this sexy artist, she did tell him about her job and her two previous apartments in New York. And when she started ranting about something irrelevant, which is what she did when she was nervous, he touched her hand ever so softly and asked if she wanted to go somewhere to eat.

They walked half a block with their cute messenger bags in tow – his a beaten up brown leather, hers was a pink Juicy Couture – and she thought they must have looked like a real couple to the strangers around them.

They arrived at a shabby chic Mexican place that Juliana passed on her way to work. During the day the noticeably peeling paint, mismatched colorful furniture and broken door looked downright gringy and ghetto. But at night, with colorful string lights, candles scattered on all the tables, and the smell of good cooking in the air, the Mexican place looked cute, romantic and cozy.

Sharing nachos, fajitas and a pitcher of sangria, Juliana swore to Trevor that she would read his book, her first in 3 years, and he swore he would start watching MTV – just to stay pop-culturally current, for his “material”.

The drunken sloppy kisses started when the check arrived, her Juicy bag felt so heavy she made him carry both their bags while he groped her walking down the sidewalk to his building. The building was two blocks away from hers, a five story walk-up of which they climbed to the fourth floor.

He fumbled with his keys while she kissed him as passionately as she could. When he finally got his door unlocked they fell into his apartment – dark, and smelling of coffee, Chinese food and vanilla (thanks to Glade Plug-ins found throughout the place she would later discover).

They eventually made it to his bed, which was surprisingly comfortable, with a mountain of pillows and a cozy duvet which landed on the floor. Their lovemaking was passionate, lengthy, and very satisfying. Jiliana hadn’t made love in ages, and this made the wait worthwhile. Trevor was attentive, intuitive, and made her orgasm four times.

They fell asleep all over each other, literally a tangle of limbs, sweaty and exhausted.

When she awoke she felt enlightened. This only happens in the movies, she thought to herself with a smile. Meeting in a coffee shop, a lovers tryst, one that you could only dream about in Paris, a city full of romance, and not in New York, a city full of cynicism, failed idealism, and those drifting, like herself, waiting to be found.

Now awake, she heard the shower running and she was alone in bed. She suddenly felt shy – she was nude, and the large windows all through his apartment let in so much daylight she felt exposed, as if people could be watching from the outside.

She scrambled around his apartment trying to find her clothes, her bra was hanging gleefully off of a lamp in the corner, her pants were found scrunched up on the sofa, and she mistook her sweater for a sweet little area rug by the doorway. When she gathered up her clothes and quickly threw them on, she noticed there was a sudden quiet in the apartment, and she realised that the shower had stopped running.

And then there he was. Trevor was in the doorway, his hair wet, a towel wrapped around his waist and a smirk on his face.

“Did you find your clothes alright?”

Juliana nodded, and noticed a weird feeling creeping up behind her, an uneasy feeling that she attempted to shake off, even just temporarily. Trevor made her coffee, he actually used a coffee grinder and the glossy high-tech machine and made her the best tasting latte she’d ever had. And then she realized what that feeling was.

She suddenly felt like this was all too good to be true. She’d been in New York twice before this, her last sexual encounter was with a busboy at an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, and she heard so many stories about love in New York – most specifically that it doesn’t exist. In one single night she had fallen for a man so amazing, so romantic, so sexy, but what if it was all fluff? A dream? What if when she goes back to her apartment and her heart gets broken again and she’s left alone, again?

She shrugged away the feeling yet again and put down her latte. Trevor walked her two and a half blocks to her apartment, and she was surprisingly calm. They held hands, he even kissed her before she went up to her place.

She wasn’t sure what this would lead to. She wasn’t sure about Trevor or the future or love. She looked in the mirror with happiness, and walked to work with a kick in her step. All she knew was that she didn’t feel alone anymore. Someone had found her.

And that was the only sure thing that mattered.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Civil War.

I didn't tell my parents how I felt about it; that I didn't want to have the operation because I wasn't ready to die. I did, however, put on the bravest face I had and told them I would do what was necessary and I understood what it meant not to have the surgery. But perhaps I didn't fully grasp the concept of what was going to happen to me because what I knew about surgery was both my cat and my great-grandmother went under the knife and neither one come back up. I didn't know anyone who made it out alive so it seemed like it was an extremely risky procedure. It made me think about one of the comments my fourth grade teacher wrote on my report card. She said that I 'play well others, has a competitive spirit and is a risk taker and a natural born leader.' At the time, I didn't exactly know what that meant, but it started to look like she was right. Here I was on the front line of a battle to save my life and I was going to fight to the end even if it meant getting slain in the process. It was war and while I was still confused as to whom I was fighting against, I was sure that every war had casualties and people made sacrifices so the greater good would reap the rewards, but it seemed as if the battle was within me and there would no one to benefit from my sacrifice. I'll admit that my metaphor was a little skewed, but I knew I had to take the risk and be the brave solider no matter what the odd were.

Perhaps that was the first role I ever played long before I realized I could take my pretend game out into the real world. Ironically I never wanted to play the dying child role because the reality of the situation might force me to face what I didn't want to. No, my real world pretend game was for me to escape, so that's just what I did. I wanted to get lost in the lives of other people and really become them, not just spontaneously making up with a story off the top of my head; my next character was going to be carefully thought out and planned, researched and prepared.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


MJ, at In so many words... , one of my favorite bloggers who always spreads positive vibrations in her posts, tagged me for a MeMe Award. So now I will share 7 things about myself and tag 7 fellow bloggers for the award.

About Me:

1. I am terrified of driving because:

a) I have not had a car for 6 years. The only time I'm behind the wheel is once a year when I go home for Xmas and need to go somewhere and there is no one available to give me a ride and I then I go into panic mode and it takes me 15 minutes of deep breathing and adjusting my mirrors before I can back out of the driveway

b) I do personal injury cases at work and every file is a reminder of how a pleasant drive to the store or to school or to do anything ordinary can turn into a disaster.

2. I used to love writing by hand because it felt more authentic as my raw emotions exploded onto the page and my sloppy handwriting reflected the rapid pace that my thought were occurring. It was so much easier than staring at a blank page and a blinking cursor. Now I never write by hand because now I have a computer, a netbook, and an iPhone so everything I write is typed on one of these mediums. I love having these mobile devices so I can record my thoughts and write no matter where I am and can always have access to them.

3. I listen to NPR all day long and I thoroughly love public radio/podcasts like this american life, the diane rehms show, planet money, diggnation (I also have a school girl crush on Kevin Rose!)

4. I desperately want to be passionate about something but I lack the commitment to devote myself to anything.

5. I don't have a lot of close girlfriends and usually I'm okay with that, until I think about getting married or I see pictures of close friends that have maintained a ten year plus relationship. Sometimes I wish I had that bond with another female, but I have a hard time letting my guard down around other girls.

6. I am and have always been fiscally conservative. I never overspend or charge more than I can afford, I pay all my bills on time and in full. I save a huge chunk of my paycheck but I never deny myself anything that I want. I am incredibly annoyed at the financial mess our country is in and the all irresponsible, greedy, spend-happy people that got us into this debacle.

7. I am currently learning how to relax. I cannot sit still and I am constantly thinking about the next things I have to do or looking for things that I can do. I feel like this is contributing to my impending mental fritz!

From Me:

1. Mandy at Freshly Good
2. Yeri at Gluttons Paradise
4. Amanda at Sassafras
5. Little Miss Kitty at The World According to Miss H
6. Twopenneth at Going Dutch
7. Rabbit Write at Rabbit Write

Monday, July 20, 2009

On Your Mark.

It was scoliosis; and while it wasn't a deformity per say, I liked to making everything in my life a huge production with everything exaggerated to it's utmost potential. Yet, now looking back, it was a strategy I used to poke fun at myself and laugh on the outside when all I wanted to do was cry.

So, if my parents found out about my condition when I was seven (or six), I found out when I was nine. My parents explained it to me with a picture. They made two crude drawings of the backside of a body, on one they drew a straight line for a spine and on the other one they drew a question mark where the spine should be. They they told me that my spine was growing like the question mark. I looked at them confused as I ran my hand down my back. It didn't feel like a question mark. It felt like a straight line except for the bump half way down. That bump, my mom told me, was the question mark. They asked me if I remembered my doctor telling me to do my exercises and of course I remembered because he would tell me every year and I would do them every year. The exercises were a series of stretches I would do everyday for about two weeks, then everyday became every other, and then it became only on weekends, and then whenever I remembered. Perhaps neither I nor my parents knew how much the exercises could have helped or if my fate was inevitable. Then they drew rib cages around the spine. Around the straight spine the rib cage looked normal. On the question mark spine the rib cage was at an angle and you had to tilt your head to make it look straight. My dad told me that while my spine curved, my rib cage twisted and the more it twisted the more likely it would crush my lungs. It was then that I knew I would die. What I didn't tell my parents was I was already starting to get short of breath. I had a promising track career ahead of me, with talk of being on the track team in high school and how I had no place to go but up and if I continued to train I could compete in meets and win medals when I got older. Yet recently I was finishing in the bottom half because I'd lose my breath halfway through the race.

It never occurred to me that my speed and my deformity were two sides of the same coin. I had incredibly long legs I had for my age, but my spine could not keep up with the rapid pace that my body was developing, hence the scoliosis. It was a blessing and a curse, but it looked like the curse was going to win.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Seasons Change.

It started at my annual appointment with my pediatrician when I was seven, possibly even six, he would ask me to touch my toes so he could check the curvature of my spine. Although he told me what he was doing, I didn't really understand what it meant when he said that he wanted me to do special exercises to ensure that my spine would grow strong and healthy. I simply did as I was told and thought, like most kids, that I was invincible, that nothing bad could ever happen to me and nothing could ever break me down not in mind, spirit, and especially not in body. Everything about my life was normal, my parents had a stable marriage, I had a little brother that I got along well with, I was an A student, I was took piano lessons, and played soccer. I was completely normal and I thought that would never change.

Every year, after my physical, my pediatrician, pat me on the head, gave me a sugar free lollipop, told me to be a good girl and study hard and do my exercises and he would see me next year. Then I would leave and not think about going to the doctor again until next year rolled around. Little did I know that, behind closed doors after my appointment as

Thanks Serolynne!

I blissfully played building blocks in the waiting room, my parents were learning that their normal daughter may not be so normal after all. I sometimes wonder what it feels like to hear news like that. I imagine life to be like a remote, undiscovered lake: calm and placid, rippled only occasional by a breeze or rainfall that temporarily moves the tide, but the overall peacefulness of the lake remains.

Over time, as things change and seasons pass, someone happens upon the lake and everything changes. It starts as being one person's oasis and before you know it the word spreads and people start congregating at the lake every summer. The lake becomes disturbed as children come to play and swim,

Thanks Seuss in NC!

fathers teach sons to fish, older brothers show their sisters how to skip rocks, and the entire landscape of the lake changes and destroys the serene environment that once was, after which things will never be the same. The lake will always be haunted by remnants of the time when people came and spoiled the tranquility of life. From now on the lake knows that it cannot exist alone, but will have to bear the burden that comes with change. This must be how my parents felt. A gradual acknowledgement, understanding, and then acceptance of a life and a family that had been disrupted, a family that enjoyed a peace that was now broken and could never be repaired and every happiness from here on out would be under the guise of the season that brought unforgettable change.

Where does one find the strength to continue after knowing something like this? How do parents continue smiling at their child when they have a secret that changes their child's life in such monumental ways? Can a child detect the sadness in a smile? Can a child detect a parent's pain? No, because all i saw when I looked into my father's eyes was the love that he always had when he looked at me, his eyes never betrayed him. And for my sake, I'm glad they didn't.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A New Outlook.

In the brief 20 minutes that I capture the attention of the people in the food court, I knew I was onto something; something big; something monumental; something life changing. I knew I only had a short time left and I had to make it worth while because unlike most kids my age, I had a deformity that had the potential to kill me. I think I envied that "child star" because he was able to achieve such great success in his short life whereas my life was almost over and I had not done anything. What being Shelley had taught me was, even if for a little while, I could be whomever I wanted and I planned to make the most of this opportunity.

Although at the time I couldn't quite articulate what I hoped to accomplish, it would ultimately be the escape I was looking for to forget about a reality that I was too young to handle or to truly understand the ramifications the situation would have on my life. In hindsight, I'm not sure that I'll ever be okay with my deformity or the results of the corrective action taken, but I did what was absolutely (medically) necessary at the time. Perhaps I should be (and I am) grateful for the procedure for saving my life, but I wish I'd done things differently, taken more preventative action rather than waiting for the most extreme means that had to be done or else...

So, during my 12th year when I had no other choice but to face my reality (although I was far from accepting it) I made the very "adult" decision to undergo a major operation to correct my repulsive, abnormal body. I also knew that this decision meant that I would never make it to my 13th year and while initially I was content on my fate, sitting in the SFO airport showed me a way to use my final year to live out all the lives I would never have.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Split Milk.

A loud piercing scream echoed throughout the food court and although the scream came from my mouth, it sounded surreal. It sounded like it carried every pain imaginable; as if in that moment I experienced all the terrible things that happened to a person in a single lifetime. Every head turned in my direction to witness a child, all alone, covered in chocolate milk. Sure I was exaggerating, but I got their attention didn't I? That scream would dg down in the books as one of the many tactics I would employ to draw attention to myself, although as I got older screaming at the top of my lungs wouldn't come off so well and would have the opposite effect; people turning their backs to avoid the crazy lady. But since I was only 12, it worked like a charm.

The "child star" or whomever he was ,wasn't the center of attention anymore, I was, and as people rushed over to see if the poor helpless child was okay,I saw him narrow his eyes and glare at me. I felt all the more satisfied when even his mother left his side to come to mine. As more people gathered around me, the gears of my mind mischievously turned and a story unfolded. I wanted to draw sympathy as it seemed the only way to keep the attention on myself, so I became Shelley a product of divorce being shuffled from one parent to another, on my way to Texas to see my father where I would spend two weeks before flying to London where my mother worked for half the year. I got more excited and animated as my tall tale grew to extraordinary heights. The people around me were fixated on my story and I saw their eyes widened in shock and then soften in sympathy as they helped to dab up the milk that soaked into my jeans I knew I was teetering on the brink of something magical.

I was riding on a high like I never knew before. It was the first time in my life that I felt alive. During my childhood, I looked towards the adults in my life thinking I couldn't wait to get older and finally start living, but in my condition, I wasn't sure if I would ever make it that far. If childhood was simply a waiting period where nothing of significance happens except bideing your time until you were finally old enough to do all the fun and exciting things that grown ups got to do, what happens to those people, those children who never get to be adults? When do they start living? I thought I would never get my chance, but I figured out a way, here I was just 12 years old going on the rest of my life.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tag. I'm It.

People watching is a great past time of my parents. When they were young and fabulous, but oh so broke, they could have hours of entertainment just watching people. On a Saturday afternoon, you could find my mom and dad (pre-children) sitting a bar enjoying happy hour priced food and drinks watching and laughing and sharing and building a bond and an inside joke that til this day they still share. Waiting at an airport was no different, they liked to spot people and play 'look there's (fill in the blank with a celebrities name) and it was usually an exaggerated version of said celebrity which would bring on bouts of laughter.

Perhaps I picked up on their little game or maybe I am my father's daughter because as I sat there picking at my bagel and using my straw to drop chocolate milk on the crumbs watching the tiny pieces swell and get soggy, my eyes wandered around. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was trying to see if people were in fact staring at me but to my surprise they weren't looking at me at all, for all they knew I was just another face in the crowd. Oddly enough, everyone seemed to be looking at something else: two tables down from me was a star, an undeniable child star complete with shiny gold flakes dropping on him from the ceiling. It wasn't like I recognized him from TV or the movies or anything, but I could spot the signs. He was someone that demanded attention from anyone in his vicinity. His mother or manager, or maybe both, was fawning over him as she talked on an incredibly bulky cellular phone with a thick, long antenna and I thought I heard words like photo shoot and audition. She continued to make appointments as she dabbed his cheeks with some powder and straightened his collar and parted his hair. He squirmed the entire time and undid everything she did as if to make a statement that he was actually in charge of things, when anyone could tell that he was at the mercy of his Momager. Nonetheless, his actions, his demeanor, and his very aura conveyed that he was a force to be reckoned with: he was important. but who was he? He could be anyone, going anywhere and in a truly childish spirit, I wanted what he had without really understanding what it was, all I saw was something bright and shiny and it caught my attention and I was hooked. My mind started working a mile a minute trying to figure out how to be in the lime light, how to be the one everyone was stealing glances at and whispering about: I wanted to be noticed. I continued to stare unabashedly and then just like that, I knew exactly what to do.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Face In A Crowd.

I've always wanted to move to a big city, someplace where the sheer size of the place breeds anonymity. I wanted to be able to walk down a street and know no one. I wanted to only have a vague sense of my surroundings so I could discover new places.

Thanks vidiot!

But I also wanted to be noticed. I wanted to be seen as the mysterious outsider that happened upon this city and was perhaps just stopping by on my way to some place exotic. I cultivated this idea from spending a lot of time waiting in airports, people watching and being watched by people. Airports are like a microcosm of the world; strange, interesting, normal, boring people converging in one place for a short amount of time and they can be anyone, going anywhere. There is a mysterious appeal about airports and I could never get enough.

It started by being stranded in SFO when I was 12, I wasn't stranded as in left on my own, but as unable to get on a flight to get back home; one of the pitfalls of flying standby that somehow are always over looked when people hear about airline employee benefits. So there we are, stranded at SFO, it's 4 PM and my family and I have been there since 5 AM, rule of thumb: first flight out. But we missed that one and the one 3 hours later and the one after that until we had one more to try for that left at 8 PM. I usually had my brother to play with to occupy the time, but we got into a tiff about who could be Michelangelo in our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pretend game and my mom took my brother's side so I walked off in a huff. My mom said she knew where I was the whole time but I liked to pretend I was on my own. I thought that would teach my brother a lesson, although looking back I don't know what the lesson was because I was the one who felt a timid and hesitant as I turned on my heels trying to act big, but knowing that I wouldn't go too far away. It was under this premise that I sauntered into the food court with the weight of the world on my shoulders and hoping my faced showed it too. I was at that age when I thought that anyone who saw me would understand the betrayal I just went through as if my feelings were the only thing that mattered. I sighed deeply and walked to Noah's bagels with exaggeratedly drooped shoulders.

Thanks nic launceford!

I was sure the people at the tables were nodding emphatically at me. I got to the counter and ordered a plain bagel with strawberry cream cheese and a chocolate milk. I thought about eating my snack in my brothers line if vision to make him jealous since he didn't have his own allowance money and mom wouldn't let him have sugar so late in the day. I decided against it because something interesting caught my eye and piqued my curiosity.

A Tangled Mess.

The path that he was on would lead him farther away from home than he'd ever been before. He carved a deep dark hold for himself and surrounded his insecurities with people he felt an unexplainable strong attachment to and felt an incredible sense of safety with. He never wanted to leave the comfort of the warm, slightly damp epuddle he amassed around him. He thought that as long as he was there he would never be alone again. He was so high on life and so happy with his surroundings the he couldn't ever imagine leaving. He finally found a place where he belonged. And then to make the deal that much sweeter, he met a girl.

He met her the previous summer at his job, but he never noticed her until now. From his place at the register he watched as she expertly moved across the dining floor clearing tables with grace and ease as she tossed her long sleek black hair and flashed the customers her winning smile. He'd try to engage her in conversation whenever she came up to the register but he thought it was pointless because girls like her never went for guys like him. He appreciated who she smiled politely and laughed when he tried to make a joke. He was in awe of the way she could laugh boldly in the face of the world and seemed so happy, so free, so ready for anything that life threw at her. He pined for her that summer and desperately tried to get to know her and lucky for him, he did.