“Mine.”

“Mine.”

Snuggled against his chest under the darkness of the room, silence lay between us not heavy nor suffocating but soothing my broken pieces with a midnight glow. His chest against my back, I felt a safeness I have forgotten about. His warmth sparks a fire in my heart that keeps me warm during the coldest night in a long while.

During the day I remember feeling the weakest of the weak. I seemed to hobble my way to my car, unsure that I had the energy to even drive but determined to get through. I wanted to curl up in a ball and shove the world’s problems away. I wanted to melt into a puddle of jello because I didn’t feel as if I could even take an actual breathe of air.

And, no, when I found him with a concerned look on his face, all my troubles didn’t melt away. I even questioned why I had chosen his bed instead of my own. I shook my head at myself not knowing why I wanted to be by his side so damn bad, my heavy heart getting the best of my thoughts.

It was when he held me, as I curled up around a fluffy pillow probably half as big as myself. It was when I felt him gently pull his hand away from where our fingers were intertwined, trying his best to not wake me. It was when I cuddle back into his arms as he returned to me. It was the glimmer of joy in his eyes as he watched me get my things to leave for the night, not seeming disappointed that I had fallen asleep during our time together. It was the tight hug I received as if he didn’t want to let me go.

It was in those moments, of insane exhaustion and meaningful silence, that I felt a connection building between us.

I’ll be honest. I don’t think I would have ever believed any soul who told me he could make me feel strong in my weakest times. I don’t think I would have ever trusted anyone who said he would be the knight in shinning armor I’ve dreamed of ever since my first princess story. I would still not believe anyone who says he’ll be my happily ever after. I would still not believe anyone who says he’s everything I’ve waited for.

Not because that isn’t what a heart in love would want, not because of all the pain this heart has gone through, not even close. But because who the heck knows about his and my tomorrow? Who is going to say they can write our future for us and argue to take the pen straight out of our hands? Anyone want to raise their hand, because I will make sure I’m real clear about that fact that no one else has the right to write this future except for the ones in it. And, that night, started the spark in my cold little heart that gives me hope and excitement to write this future out with him.

It isn’t how romantic he is, it isn’t that life feels like a fairytale when I’m with him, and it definitely isn’t because I know him like the back of my hand. But it’s the moments where I can be sure I have a place in his heart. And during that night, I know I did.

Silent

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*click click click…..*

*click click click…..*

Hearing the simple sound of fingers hitting the keyboard created a rainstorm-like environment throughout the room. The silence beyond that was barely heard. Any evidence of a human voice was not found. The strokes of the little keys continued to create a story, one day to be found.

I look up to the lecture screen and back down to my little monitor. The characters appear on my white background as my fingers rush past the different buttons. A story was to be written, a story was to be heard.

Not the kind of story you could read and understand. Not the kind of story that needed a voice to get heard. Not the kind of story you would find in any storybook. It was the kind of story, where all you had to do was look.

Press the play button. Press the pause.

Press play on the thoughts in your mind, no matter how much you hate to listen. Press pause on everything else that comes from the hectic world in which you live.

I look to my left and to my right. Everyone typing out a different story. Everyone typed at a different speed. Everyone has a different history, a different past…a different wish.

The sounds of the keyboard, the sounds of some sort of song. The melody of writer’s, the melody goes on…so, so long.

Bookstore’s Time

Bookstore’s Time

The hello’s, the goodnight’s, the smiles, the gestures…all of it means more than you might think. In a world where I cannot decipher whether friendliness means geniality or hints at a facade that will one day be torn, the smallest things become irreplaceably priceless.

The day starts with “Good morning” and “How are you today?” along with a bright smile from my boss, despite how behind we might be in our tasks. Then “good morning” and “What can I help you with?” comes from almost every coworker who comes walking into the store. I hear stories about their weekend, their weeks, their classes…their lives. We complain together and we laugh together; we are weird together and we make time pass faster together; we get the job done and we make sure each task is done right; we are in there through thick and thin by each other’s sides.

Despite the chaotic first week of classes, one of the two weeks that are called “RUSH”, there are still little moments that catch my heart. At the register, I feel like I am talking nonstop as I try to get everyone in and out as fast as possible without forgetting anything along the way. I barely leave myself time to get a drink of water or just take a deep breath of air because…why would I? There is always so much to get done.

But within all of that, a couple of my coworkers had become closer friends. Seeing their smiles, hearing their laughter, and their voices as we go about our day makes a long shift that much easier to handle. Even when I’m in the middle of helping someone, they purposefully stop by to say ‘hi’ when they arrive for their shift. Even when they’re in the middle of helping someone, they pause to help me get through a transaction I am not familiar with due to the fact that I started a lot later than them. Even when we all are waiting to get out and head home to the comfort of our homes and our beds, we stay around a little after closing to check up on each other and say our ‘goodbye’s. It makes the long day with everyone worthwhile.

Having those friendships, being in that environment, is unlike anything else I have experienced. These coworkers are students around my own age, with different experiences, who are so helpful and willing to give a helping hand.

It doesn’t matter how crazy it gets; it doesn’t matter how chaotic everything seems to be; the energy in that store when it gets busy is almost the best thing ever.

Priceless

Day In, Day Out

Day In, Day Out

“You might need surgery again.” He said for the second time after taking maybe an hour listening to my history. This was the first time I met with my new cardiologist; he had no current tests; he hadn’t done any CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, etc. on me. Maybe that’s the part that scared me the most.

At thirteen-year-olds, I underwent my third surgery to help my breathing situation. At eighteen-years-old, I was greeted with the line, “Wow you have a large medical history for your age!” the first time seeing a new pain management specialist versus the normal “Hi, my name is…” Now, at nineteen-years-old, I had not thought the mention or surgery would phase me but it sure did.

I remember the last time I got the news that I needed to schedule my next surgery. I hadn’t understood why tears were forming in my eyes. I hadn’t understood why it felt as if my heart was breaking as I watched my mother melt into tears and breakdown. I remember only panicking because she was. In my mind, it wasn’t a huge deal that I was going through surgery for the third time. But, that day that I saw my cardiologist, it was the mirror opposite of years ago.

One night, I just broke into tears and cried until I fell asleep, exhausted from weeping. I had wanted someone close to me to just hold me and tell me everything was going to be okay. One evening, I was briefly mentioning the doctor appointment to a friend and couldn’t stop the tears from forming in my eyes. One night, I fought back the tears as much as I could as a close friend stood by my side but the second someone came and asked if I was ok, I broke.

Day after day, the daily tasks of life seem petty in comparison to the thoughts that continue to run through my mind. But, what did I expect, this has always been my life…

Expect

Narrow Window

Narrow Window

You were one of the very few people who intrigued me at work the first days I was there. I knew you were one of the “more experienced”, “more authorized”, or “more knowledgable” folk who have sticked around for some time. You had relationships with the others. You stuck with your group, the ones you knew, and kind of left the newbies (like me) to our own business.

You weren’t upset when asked a question, you never argued when told to help out one of the new recruits, but there was always something about your attitude that told me you had a disdain attitude about it. You were a little isolated at the same time you were connected with the other members of your “group”. It was interesting watching you interact with those who you had to call your co-workers.

When we started talking, something about opportunities I was handed led to pry a little to what could be of a relationship between you and me. Turned out you were taking one of my classes, needed help with a subject I had come to like during my first few years in school, and I could lend you a hand during a time you were struggling a little.

Today, you still intrigue me. There’s something deeper within your light-hearted attitude. There’s something darker within those nonchalant shrugs and half-chuckles.

Out of any of the new recruits you’ve seen come and go at work, I was one of the rare few you’ve ever really interacted with. Out of the hundreds of other students, other peers on campus, I was one of the people you felt like you could trust and build a friendship with. Within the hectic rush of the first several weeks of classes, you were the one person who made me feel as if I could slow down and take a deep breath. Within all the worries and stresses running through my tormented mind, something about you felt stable and slightly secure.

I don’t know if it’s chance or it’s what people call “fate” that we met during the times that we did. I met you right after I got more stable with my own life and what my goals are for the next year or two. You met me right before you made a huge change in course to your plans and your future. We crossed paths at seemingly a very narrow window where both our lives overlapped in the sense that we were changing our lives.

I don’t know if this friendship is going to last, but it’s not a friendship made by coincidence but was made with purpose. It may be a purpose unknown to both of us, but a purpose hides behind the curtains.

Coincidence

Break Through

Break Through

She can’t avoid admitting she’s slipping back into the darkness, but her heart knows it’s a little bit more complex than that. Her mind wonders, her heart seeks to find…something, someone, she will never know until it is found. Maybe it’s someone to care, maybe it’s someone to repair her, maybe it’s…simply a piece of her she had thought she had lost forever.

She knows she needs to look not around but deep inside her for the answers she yearns for. The longer she stays in the empty woods, the more piercing the cold wind seems to be. The little blows at the leaves scar her flesh; the gushes of wind knock the air out of her lungs; the heavy downpour completely disables her. She spends more time trying to recover, more time trying to survive the brutal cuts, more time trying to remain sane than attempting to bathe in the sunlight that shines above the clouds.

She looks up, through the frost and the mist, through the thick leaves and little creatures, through the rain clouds that storm onward, and she prays. She asks, what is the point in all of this because she has yet to understand. She has yet to read the book of knowledge and learn the truth.

She has yet to break through from the flames as the warrior she has always been.

One Generation, Two Different Parts of Life

One Generation, Two Different Parts of Life

Whenever I talked to him, there was this coating of being carefree. Whenever I saw him, he greeted me with a smile as if I could make his day better despite what else was happening. Whenever I laughed with him, it felt as if nothing else mattered but being happy with where I am in life right that second. For the first moments in a what felt like years of endless worry and stress, I felt okay to live in the present without any worry about the rest of my life.

There’s always been something about him that stood out to me. He was driven, unlike many of our classmates, and determined to no certain extent. He was always smiling and conversations flowed as if we had memorized the lines ten thousand years ago. He had always been a little different from the rest of the crowd. I respected him.

Then, I find out he’s been in the military and I couldn’t help but smile. He had held such a position due to his character and his personality. I couldn’t imagine what kinds of stories he had to tell, but I knew each and every single one of them had molded him into the great soldier he is today. I was so proud of him.

Then, that night happened.

He asked to talk to me outside, after class, with a certain tone in his voice I had never heard before. I followed him outside, after lagging slightly, and found this seriousness in his expression I wanted to avoid for as long as I could. We started talking about how beautiful the campus was, lit by the countless number of white lights throughout the area. I couldn’t help myself when the nervous butterflies within made me nauseous with anxiety. I knew my mouth wanted to ramble but I did my best to remain silent.

But when he finally got to the topic he wanted to speak about, I immediately knew where the conversation would go. I heard the words come out of his mouth but didn’t really know how to react. I was facing the father of a little girl, and the husband of a wonderful young woman. I was talking to one of my classmates who had been making such an impact on my life as is. I didn’t want to lose what there was, but I knew there was no way I would take a part of his life.

I remember how he joked around as he asked if I’ll walk away from him because he turned down dinner. I remember how he laughed, a little nervously, as he made sure I was okay with us being friends. I remember the countless of times he asked if I was okay, in general, and made me smile. I remember talking about relationships and how I’ll find someone someday. I remember the hug that left me wanting to still be in his arms because I knew he cared about me. I remember having to brush off how nauseous I was. I remember wanting to stay there the entire night because you could never get sick of how beautiful the campus was. I remember…so much about that night.

The countless times he made me laugh that night, the countless times I saw the smile on his face brighten with the spark of light in his eyes, the countless times I wanted to just hug him and tell him how proud I was of him…

He had taken his life in his own hands. He defied any statistic that said marriage straight out of high school didn’t usually last. He proved to everyone around him that you didn’t need to wait for your thirties to find your “happy ever after”. He showed everyone how perfectly wonderful a world can be if given the right amount of determination and faith, and patience.

I am so, so happy for him.

I see him walk in and out of class. I watch him work hard to understand the materials. I notice how tired he may be but never hear him complain much. I know that the rest of our classmates see him too, but maybe they simply see the part of him that is a student and a peer. I know that he’s not only a wonderful friend, but he’s a great father and husband. I know that he is in that portion of life that the rest of us have always wanted to be. He found love. He made his family. He got there. He made it. They made it. And I can’t be more happy for them.