Writing Prompt IV

I sat calmly in the tiny interrogation room. The steel walls and concrete floor left a chill in the air. It felt good on my skin. I leaned back in my chair as a tall man dressed in a dark suit strode into the room from the single door to my left. He looked as though he had been up for days. I smiled to myself, I knew why I was here. The man threw a folder on the table in front of me and said, “Open it.” I opened the folder and flipped through the dozens of pictures. There was one from the Boxer Rebellion, Paris in the twenties, Audrey Hepburn at a party, and so many more. I smiled. So many old memories. I picked up one of a man and a woman in front of their antebellum home. On the back it said, Mel and Adam, 1859. The man took it from my hand and held it in front of me. It took everything in me not to laugh at his face, he was trying so hard not to look confused. 

“You’re in every single one of these photos.” I smiled at him. Poor guy, he has no idea. He threw the picture back on the table and looked me in the eye. I leaned forward and rested my forearms on its edge. 

“Do you have a question for me? Or did you do all of this to give me some old pictures I’m in?” This seemed to shock him. What? Did he think I would deny it? Oh, honey. At least you won’t remember any of this by tomorrow. Finally, he seemed to compose himself enough to ask me a question.

“Who are you?” 

Panic Attack

Panic. Anxiety. Struggling to breathe as you drown in your own stress and fears. Your heart pounding in your chest like a caged animal. 

One moment you’re fine. The world is moving along, and suddenly it turns on a dime. You’re heart betrays you. Your mind shuts down. Your body crumples under your own weight. Pain, in the form of a panic attack courses through you and you can’t function. You just want to move and yet you can’t even move your lips. You lay there. 

Oh, will it ever end? When can I breathe again? How can I make my heart calm down? 

And every piece of you aches.

But just as quickly as it came, it’s gone. A dull throbbing still makes its way through your chest, but it loosens its grip. Your breathing comes easier. The clouds in your mind begin to clear. 

And you sit there trying to gather yourself. 

It’s just another day.

I hope you stay

For someone who doesn’t trust people easily, and who fears getting too attached… he is an anomaly for me. 

When he is around I feel safe. His smile pierced through every wall I had. I didn’t have a chance when his eyes met mine, and every part of me melted when our fingers intertwined, swaying to the sound of the music. When his arms wrap around me and his head rests on my own, I can feel my heart beating faster. His laugh is contagious. And, his voice makes my knees go weak. He is strong, and smart. He has a movie, or show or music, reference for everything. He calls me silly names to put a smile on my face. 

I’m not sure where he came from but I do so hope he stays.

Oblivious

Something was different when I sat down next you and you smiled, clearly happy I was there. Something was different as we talked about random things and our conversation didn’t slow. Something was different in the way you looked at me when you thought I didn’t notice. 

Something felt different when you asked me if I wanted to hang out. Something was different when you sat down close to me on the couch. Something was different in your laugh when I told a joke you liked. 

And then you kissed me. Looking back I should have seen it, but I was oblivious to how different things had been. And then you smiled. And I felt my cheeks burn red. Yes, something was definitely different. But I am completely fine with it. 

Excerpt of a Book I’ll Probably Never Write XI

She could hear the music as she walked up to the house. The windows were open. People were walking around and talking. She took a deep breathe and opened the door. Here we go. She glided down the hall, making her way to the kitchen talking to friends as she went. There were more people she knew here than she thought. Splash. 

“Oh!” She shouted as a cold drink made its way down her side. Some kind of cheap beer by the smell of it. And I just bought this shirt!

“I am so sorry!” A guys voice floated down to her ears. It sounded vaguely familiar. She looked up. Their eyes met. Recognition crossed his face. 

“Hey, Haley!” His smile made her insides melt every time, but she hid it well. She smiled back.

“Hey, John,” she looked back down at her ruined cream blouse, then back at him, “guess you didn’t like the shirt?” He chuckled before motioning for her to follow him. Taking a deep breathe she did just that. He led her to a room at the far side of the house and told her to wait for him. She nodded and he disappeared. Oh my word. Deep breathes. It’s fine. It’s just John. You see him at work all the time. The door opened again and he handed her a new shirt. She looked at him puzzled.

“I figured you wouldn’t want to wear a shirt covered in beer the rest of the night so I grabbed a button down from my truck.” 

“Thank you, this will definitely be better than a wet shirt.”

“I mean…” his voice trailed off but his eyes finished his sentence. And then I remembered I was in a partially soaking wet cream top. Great. She felt her cheeks turning red, and he obviously noticed too. He grinned again. “I’ll wait for you out side the door.” And with a wink, he turned and closed the door behind him.

independent princess

We grow up on fairytales. We grow up believing that Prince Charming is going to come and save us from whatever is holding us back. For Cinderella, it was her evil stepmother and sisters. For Ariel, it was trying to remain human after Ursula double crossed her. Aurora had to have a prince rescue her from Maleficent and kiss her awake, same with Snow White actually. Hercules had to swim into the underworld to save Meg. My point in all these being fairytales teach us to be these damsels in distress waiting for our knight in shining armor to come and save us from whatever evil is there.

Maybe that’s why Belle was always my favorite princess. She was strong, loyal, independent, kind. She didn’t let anyone hold her back and, though she wasn’t necessarily fearless, she was courageous. She wasn’t going to let someone like Gaston or even the Beast try and control her. She knew her worth and what she wanted. 

She was different from the rest of the little town she lived in, she wasn’t someone that expected things to be handed to her, neither was she someone that just just blindly followed suit like everyone else – example Gaston, the whole town fawned over him. She saw the truth. 

It’s Almost sad, seeing people grow up, still holding onto the notion that fairytales will come true. I’m not saying they don’t exist, modern day fairytales are all around us. I’m just saying we shouldn’t expect them. 

In the immortal words of the Cheetah Girls, “I don’t want to be like Cinderella// sitting in a dark, cold, dusty cellar// waiting for somebody// to come and set me free… I rather rescue myself.”

But, hey, if Prince Charming does come along and wants to stick around, I wouldn’t say no.

13 Reasons Why

Warning: Spoilers

I’m sure by now you’ve seen, or read, or both, 13 Reasons Why. I’m sure your heart broke when you saw Clay break down. I bet you related to a lot of the things that she went through. I’m sure that you cried when Jeff died in that accident. You may have even turned your head away when Hannah and Jessica were raped… the whole show grabs at your heart strings and yanks… hard.

I’ve heard and read so many arguments over this show. You get the sense that if you’re just kind to a person, if you can love them and stay by their side, they will be okay. Clay says in one of the last scenes that he killed her because he was afraid to love her. On the other hand, I’ve heard the argument that the show completely over looks mental illnesses. It says that kindness can solve it all. To be honest, I agree with both. As someone who has been there, who has had suicidal thoughts, who deals with depression, I think both sides have merit. 

On one hand, kindness goes so much farther than some people realize. Even with  a mental illness, if one person does something kind for you, it helps. Even if it’s just for a moment. Sometimes that one moment is all you need. I knew someone that once told me that if I hadn’t called to see if they wanted to grab lunch or something that day, they wouldn’t be here right now. I had no idea at the time.

On the other hand, I think that mental illness actually did play a role in the show, even if it wasn’t obvious. You see Hannah falling farther into a pit. Each incident pulls her further into the abyss. And some people scoff at parts of it. I’ve seen tweets that say “someone doesn’t give Hannah back her pen. Welcome to your tape.” But if you have a mental illness it doesn’t matter how small the incident, it can tear at you and destroy you all the same. You can’t just get over some things because it eats at you and chips away at everything. That’s what mental illness does.

I don’t believe that suicide is ever an answer. Things get better with time. You may not see it then, but eventually you’ll start to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m also not saying that leaving those tapes behind the way she did was okay. Do I think those kids needed to realize the harm their actions caused? Yes. Do I think the way it happened was okay? No. 

I think that this show/book is something that people should know about. I think that if you know someone who is struggling, it will help you understand their mind a little better. I think that there are a lot of hard things to hear and see. And if you haven’t come to terms with certain things, I think that this show may not be for you. 

Just keep in mind that you never know what is going through someone’s head. You have no idea what they have to deal with daily. You don’t know if people bully them, or spread rumors. You don’t know if they have a mental illness or if they battle to make it through each day. I think it’s important to be kind to one another. And if nothing else, 13 Reasons Why is the perfect example of why.