Café Monday

“What are you feeling right now?”

“Existential dread.”

I continued to stare down, watching your reflection through the glass of sweet tea that sat in front of me.

“C’mon,” you said, nudging my arm from across the table, “you’ll make it through.”

I stayed silent, without noise or motion.

“So it’s really that much, huh?”

I sighed in response.

“I see.” You paused. “Do you remember last spring at all? It was horrible for the both of us. I was caught up in that losing game, and you were caught up in that darned paper. You were so caught up in it, I thought you had lost it! You were completely absorbed in how much you hated that thing.”

“For good reason,” I replied, “it was three pages of torture.” I titled my head to your right, my gaze still locked of the tall glass of tea.

“Yeah, and look where you’re at now.”

I looked up, our eyes meeting.

“You’re still standing here, aren’t you?”

“Sitting, actually.”

You shook your head and let out a laugh as to tell me, ‘I knew what you meant.’ “Point still stands. You made it out then, you can make it out now.”

I smiled, sitting up straight. I took a sip from the sugar-loaded tea, leaning forward as I placed the glass back down. “Well, I guess I should go get started, huh?”

“Guess so.”

We picked ourselves up from off the café booths, and stepped out onto the hardwood floor.

“Thank you,” I said, turning to you as I took a step away from the table.

“You’re welcome,” you replied, flashing your signature smile that could light up an entire room.

Without any thought, I smiled back as we parted ways, not to see each other until next Monday. We were only apart for a few seconds, and yet I already couldn’t wait for next week. I hoped to be able to prove to you that I did make it through it all.

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Memo from January 2017

I know what I want. I’m not aimlessly wandering, hoping to strike gold. I what I want, and I know that nothing else will suffice. I know my goal, and I have a desire to reach it.

I know what I want, but I can’t obtain it. I have no opportunities. Every open door leads to another grueling cycle of being stuck with something I don’t want until I finally abandon it. And as for the doors that are locked, I don’t know where they lead; I can’t break through them. The windows have been painted over and can’t be opened. I know what I want, but I have no paths.

I know what I want, but who would want me back? Who would listen to such pointless chatter? Who would dare support my messed up ideas? Who would be willing to give up so much of their time to me? And even if they would do all of that, compatibility would probably be absent.

I know what I want, but it’s out of stock. All that’s left is an empty shop.

After Party

For a moment, everything seemed fine –– until she opened her eyes.

There was nothing but discarded wrappers and empty bottles in front of the girl. The air smelt of the expired food that sat on the coffee table, and of the spilt drinks that were seeping into the floor. The girl pushed herself up off the carpet enough to look to her left, which was just as much of a mess.

As consciousness kicked in, the girl started to shiver from the air conditioning that started blowing chilly air through the room. She pulled the denim jacket she had on closer to her body as she sat. Pulling her head up initiated a headache, causing the girl to fly back down to the ground, holding her head in pain. After a moment, she mustered up the strength to push herself back up.

“What happened last night?” she muttered, rubbing her eyes.

As her vision began to de-cloud, the girl looked around the room, searching for clues of what happened. She concluded she wasn’t alone, as someone’s entire outfit was thrown on the couch. Standing up on her knees, the girl examined the bottles covering the floor. The shapes, colors, and sizes of the bottles were different, but they all shared one thing in common; they were all once full of alcohol.

“Oh, finally, you’re awake.”

The girl turned around. Another woman stood there, her figure appearing tall, and her brown hair flaring out to reveal a face that was staring straight down.

“Red?” said the girl on the floor, recognizing the person who she called her sister.

“You got wasted off your *** on vodka last night.” Red seized the girl’s arm and pulled her up off the floor. “Come on, let’s get out of here.”

The girl followed her sister’s lead out of the house, taking one last glance at the destruction before walking outside.

A Dream that Never Was (Red Strings)

The last breeze of summer swept by as I entered the room. As I walked across the slick flooring, my gaze drifted to the distant mirror. However, I was not looking at myself; I was looking for someone else, someone following my path, watching my every move. As I continued to stare into the silver-coated glass, there was a shadow to my left, moving along the wall. I jerked my head around, but nothing was there.

I sighed, and began to walk further into the dim room, inspecting every surface. All of the stall doors were open, and each one appeared to be empty. I stopped right before the tiled wall forced me to, and stood still. As I stared straight ahead, I felt a chill run up from beneath me. The freeze-inducing air ran up my leg, and steadily moved up my body.

“Stop it!”

As I turned around, the iciness dissipated, leaving only a feeling of emptiness in its wake. I shifted myself to the left, moving my sights towards the metal dispensers mounted on the wall. Their stainless steel exteriors were spotless, showing a near-perfect reflection, minus the slight shifting of the image that tended to happen to metals of its kind. I glared at the reflection, my gaze tracing the shapes behind me, which were slowly starting to become human.

I stepped back. “No one is here, it’s just me,” I said. “It’s just me. Just me.”

I walked to the exit, breaking out into a run as I got closer to the door. I gripped the handle and pressed forward, sending myself out of the room. I stood straight as the door clicked behind me, taking in the sights of the airport around me. I looked around, my gaze jumping from each ray of light that shined down from the windowed ceiling. The place was vacant; not a single person was in sight.

I stepped forward. My feet fell out from underneath me, sending me tumbling as the floor fell to nothing. I came to a sudden halt as red strings gripped onto me, pulling my body every which way. Suspended in midair, I leaned my head backwards.

Our eyes locked.

It was over.

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