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[to those who have asked, this is NOT based on a true story. it's just something i made up for a class]. We were way past the first date. The first kiss. The first “I love you.” We already made future plans. Instead of buying Christmas and birthday presents You were buying a ring. And I was buying a dress. But you had to go that bar. And consume one too many drinks. You had to get in that car. You had to go through that red light. I never got to show off that ring. Or wear that beautiful dress. All because of you. It’s like they say, Actions always planned are never completed.
Pen to paper… Pause. Pen to mouth… Pause. Glance around the room… Pause. Wanting to write a masterpiece, But unable to create the perfect beginning. Pausing seems to be so much easier. Listen to the ticking of the clock… Pause. Hum your favorite tune… Pause. Click the pen… Pause. Wanting to write a masterpiece, But unable to create the perfect beginning. Pausing seems to be so much easier.
The doctors said it was a heart attack, but I knew better. She really died from a broken heart. I was ten years old. That was seven years ago. My father left because of her—the other woman. I didn’t care who she was or how good of a person she claimed to be. I hated her. I’ll always hate her. My name is Robert. That’s all you need to know. I’m what you call a loner. That’s putting it mildly. The only one I ever confide in is my sister Emily. At twenty-four years old, she’s the most clairvoyant person I know. I don’t believe in ghosts, or “spirits,” as she calls them. I stopped believing in them after my father left and my mother died. I had no reason to believe in them. I didn’t want someone watching over my pathetic life, feeling sorry for me. It was not until the day that Laura came into my life that I thought anyone would ever genuinely like me. It was a sunny fall afternoon. I always traveled over to the park after school to collect my thoughts. My favorite bench was located under the big oak tree in the center of the park. I would sit on the rickety old bench, staring at the passerby’s: the perfect couple, young and in love; the elderly man, who is older and wiser than time; and of course, the caring mother with three children. I always think that her kids are staring at me, laughing, bragging that their family life is so much better than mine. On this particular afternoon, I was sitting on my bench when a strange girl walked by. She was surrounded by a group of gossiping girls. I didn’t think anything of it until I noticed her staring at me. I even thought for a second that she smiled at me. But it wasn’t with her mouth. She smiled at me with her eyes, those pale blue eyes. It took me awhile before I realized where I had seen those eyes. Every day for a week this girl would walk by with her friends; she always stopped and stared at me, smiling with her eyes. The last day of that week she was finally alone. I don’t know why, but I decided to get up off my bench and walk over to her. “Hi, my name’s Robert.” “I know who you are,” she answered softly. “How do you know who I am?” I asked, confused on how this girl I had never seen before this week knew who I was. It’s not like I had any friends that could have told her about me. “I always knew who you were. I’ll always know about you.” Her calm and soft tone spooked me more than anything. And there was something about those eyes. The way they looked at me; it was almost warming. That really scared me. I blinked hard, as if getting out of a deep trance. “Okay, you’re really creeping me out. Please tell me who you are.” “My name is Laura. Laura Michael. I know your sister, Emily.” O, okay, I thought, this girl is not completely crazy. I’ll have to ask Emily about her later. “I have a message for you, Robert. I know it will be difficult, but you need to live your life, and stop feeling sorry for yourself. It’s not your fault that your father left. Please promise me you’ll be happier.” Wait, how did she…. “How do you know about my father? Who are you??” But she said nothing. Instead, she handed me an old photo. “What’s this for…?” She did not respond, but merely smiled, turned around and walked away. I could had sworn she disappeared into thin air, but I will never know for sure. I looked down at this photograph; it was quite wrinkly, as if it had been looked at a thousand times. Taking a closer look at it, I almost yelled out in the middle of the park. There, staring back at me was a little boy and his mother. But what stood out more was those pale blue eyes. The same eyes I had. The same eyes my mother had. I’ll never know for sure if Laura was in fact the ghost of my mother. But it doesn’t matter. I am now living my life the way I should have started to years ago. I gave the picture to Emily. She needed it more than me. I don’t need an old photograph. All I need to do is look in the mirror. Every time I see those pale blue eyes, I think of her. And that makes me happy.
I did this in a creative writing class. The concept is as follows: Cinderella divorced the Prince and then started dating the Big Bad Wolf. The Wolf cheated on her with Little Red Riding Hood. Now he’s trying to win Cinderella back. [Wolf stumbles inside in the dark; light flickers on]. Cinderella: Hello there, Wolf. Wolf: Jesus, you scared me! Why were you sitting in the dark anyway? Cinderella: I’ve been waiting for you. Where were you? Wolf: I was…out. Cinderella: And when you say out, you mean…? Wolf: …uh, out. Walking in the woods. Cinderella: You mean prowling in the woods. I know where you were! Mim told me. Wolf: (to himself) I’ll have a talk with that mangy Mim later. (to Cinderella) Come on, Cindy baby, you know I love you. Cinderella: If you really loved me, you wouldn’t have been out with that girl who calls herself Little Red Riding Hood. Wolf: Cindy, I didn’t mean to, she tricked me. Cinderella: And how did she trick you? Wolf: She bribed me with that picnic basket of hers! Cinderella: You weren’t interested in what was in that basket. You were trying to get under that little red hood! Wolf: Cindy, it’s not like that. We are friends. And her grandma is sick. I was helping her out. Cinderella: Helping out?? Helping out!! I was a servant then a freaking princess. I divorced him and I will kick you out too! (picks up glass slipper). Wolf: Oh, God, Cin. Why’d you break that slipper over my head? I’m bleeding! Cinderella: Serves you right, you…you animal! I want you out of this house right now! Wolf: Cindy, baby, please give me another chance! Cinderella: No, it’s over! And for god's sake, stop bleeding on the floor! Now I’m going to have to clean this mess up! Good-bye!
[I wrote this in a creative writing class, and it's adapted from Neil Simon's "The Prisoner of Second Avenue."] [Melissa is pacing around the room, frantically.] Dan: Melissa, what’s the matter? Melissa: What’s the matter? What’s the matter?? I’ve been kidnapped, that’s what’s the matter! Dan: [confused] Kidnapped? Melissa: Yes, kidnapped! People came and took me out of my house. I’ve been kidnapped! [starts to cry] Dan: Sweetie, calm down, please. Melissa: No, dammit, I will not calm down! Dan: Melissa, you really need to calm down. Why do you think you were kidnapped? Melissa: I was sitting in the living room watching TV when a bunch of men in white suits came and took me away! Dan: A bunch of men came and took you away just like that, huh? Melissa: What do you think? …I called them up and said “I live at 123 Woodland Avenue, come take me away?” I was kidnapped! Dan: Melissa, it’s going to be okay. I’m sure they did it for a good reason. Melissa: [angrily] They did it for a good reason?!? What on earth would a good reason be for someone to kidnap me?? Dan: Uh…maybe you weren’t kidnapped. Melissa: Of course I was kidnapped! I was taken out of my home and put into this strange white room. Where the hell am I anyway?!? Dan: Honey, calm down and take your medication. I’ll explain everything to you later.
When I was a child, I dreamt of what I could do. I’d stand outside On a clear spring afternoon, Waiting to catch a butterfly on my tongue. I always wanted to catch a rainbow. I’d sit on the floor, Talking to inanimate objects, Hoping they were actually listening. I always wanted to advise a balloon. I’d sit in front of the fireplace, Consuming the warmth. And be comforted by the crackling sounds. I always wanted to breathe fire. Dreams are tricks, That play on a child’s mind. For one feels he or she can do no wrong. One day I tested that theory out. I wanted to know I could eat that bullet. When I was a child, I dreamt of what I could do. But now I will never have those dreams come true.
“Poor wanderer,” said the leaden sky, “How you go on, by and by. For you do not know which way to go. My, how you travel on so.” For I replied to the leaden sky, “You are correct, I cannot lie. I do not know which way to go If I go the wrong way, please tell me so.” “My child, lie down and look up at me, For I am dark and heavy, can’t you see? Come, child, lie down, at any rate, It is now time for you to accept your fate.” So I did as I was told to do, And lay down beneath that leaden sky. I accept my fate, for this is true, And I now I must bid this world good-bye.
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