Dear Father of mine. The love I have for you is a bittersweet love. In the beginning, a doting single father raised two kids. By all accounts a perfect father. You loved and supported me to be the person I am today. I will never forget how great you were. But somewhere somehow I missed something about you. Something so crucial that'll affect me until my last breath. It was my last 6 months of high school when you cast me out. Just one month after my 17th birthday when you discovered I had snuck before work to see my boyfriend one fateful Saturday morning. Work started at 9 am I left at 8. For 15 minutes I sat in my boyfriend's room talking before we both went in. At some point, my manager asked me if I could go to another store to help. I called you to let you know and you informed me you saw I wasn't at work at 8 am and my heart went through the floor, then I knew what was in store. The screaming match that ensued when I got home at 1:00 am kept me awake until 5:00 am knowing I still had to work at 9. This was my last day at your house. But nothing. Not the lying about where I was. Not the sneaking behind your back. Nothing but the fact that you thought, just thought, that I was with a boy was what made you cast me out. Still, I invited you to my graduation for you are still my father who I still love and respect, but I never saw you. I knew you were there with my sister. But because you saw the boy who had taken me in, you left before I ever saw you. Not a word. Not even a text. Still, I had hope. I keep turning over and over in my head the words you said about my mother. “How could someone ever choose drugs over their kids?” But I believe addiction to be harder to kick than prejudice. To make it worse. She had always, always tried in the 10 years we had no contact with her she always tried to talk. I can count on one hand the number of times we've talked since that Saturday. Once for the graduation. Once for my enlistment. One happy birthday. And once before I left for basic. I remember so vividly that last one. Because it's what gives me hope today three years later. You had told me all you needed was a little time to come around. Let the dust settle from my escape. Let you grasp your feelings. I told you then that the boy wasn't going anywhere. We'd been together a year by that conversation. We spoke about how I'd reconnected with Mom and how she seemed to be much better and I was hopeful for the relationship. You reminded me we'd done this song and dance before. Unfortunately January 1st, 2022 the day before I left for the second part of my training she took her own life. I was too drunk the night before partying with my best friend and boyfriend on New Year's Eve to answer her call. I never got to tell her I got married just 10 days before. Married in the back of a hair salon by the barber who'd only performed 1 wedding before mine. I didn't want you to know and out of fear she'd talk to you about it I didn't tell her the last time I saw her on Christmas Day. I haven't heard from you since. Didn't see you. Didn't call you. I gave up then. A part of my soul died whether I knew it or not. Yet in all this turmoil, my now husband by this time had stood solid. An ever-present wall for me to lean on. My anchor to reality. So I left. Off to Fort Sam Houston, I went. Luckily the army gave me the money and time off to fly home for her funeral. I decided to leave you and everything else during those months. My husband and I moved to San Antonio 1100 miles away. So here I am in Texas working as an EMT. I make enough money to provide for the family I want to build with the love of my life who's never wavered by my side. I'd be lying if I said there weren't hard feelings from him towards you. You never gave him a chance. I got his parent's blessing to marry him and you haven't even met him yet we've been married almost two years. Maybe it's hopeless. Maybe my brain is right. But my heart still beats for the chance you'll be there for the wedding ceremony my husband and I swear we'll have in the home we're set to buy in a few months. I still love you Dad, And somewhere in the bottom of my heart, I know that great father is still there. I'll be waiting at the altar for the day you can accept me for who I am. The photo attached was the last photo taken with my mom on December 15th 2022.
The screech of brakes momentarily stopped Sandra's heart. Instinctively, as only a mother can intuit, she knew something awful had happened to Warren. Letting slip the dish cloth from her shaking hands, not caring anymore about the chore, Sandra sprinted out of the kitchen. Her heart once more stopped for five long seconds when she saw the open front door. “Dad,” she called to her father, “where's Warren? Warren!” she yelled for her six-year-old son. He was mildly autistic and tended to wander off if unsupervised, which was hardly ever, but this afternoon she had left Warren in the care of her septuagenarian father, assuming he would be safe. Before she reached the door, her father said, “He's in the garden, Sandra. But don't worry; the gate's closed, dear.” Sandra nearly stumbled upon sighting the open gate which led straight to the busy road that ran in front of their modest two-bedroom council home. Warren was nowhere in sight. Behind her, Gavin stepped out of the house to follow his daughter. The old man was shocked to see the wide-open front gate. “Sandra,” he called out, “did you find Warren?” The old man was now beyond panic; not seeing Warren in the yard where he had last left him caused Gavin's breathing to increase with the onset of heart palpitations. “I'm checking the road, Dad,” Sandra yelled as she stepped out into the street. Her worst fears were realised when she saw her son slowly rise to his feet, mere meters away from the front bumper of a stationary panel van. A crowd had surrounded the scene. “Dear God!” Sandra gasped upon spotting the blood pouring from a deep gash on Warren's forehead. His left arm was bent at an unnatural angle, clearly broken. With a heartrending scream Sandra ran to Warren, reaching him just as he tumbled back to the ground. “Mama. Van bump Wallen,” he said before passing out. “Ma'am, ma'am. Please, let me put him in my van to take him to hospital,” someone said to a distraught Sandra. She looked up at the stranger, her brain making the connection that this was the driver who had knocked her son over. Before Sandra could fling recriminations and curses at him, he said, “He came out of nowhere, I swear!” Picking Warren up gingerly, Sandra said curtly, “Take us to the closest hospital,” not trusting herself to say anything more. Sandra felt she had buried her heart with her little boy. She stared at a framed photograph of Warren, tears streaming copiously down her cheeks. “How can I go on without you? You were the love of my life, Warren, my whole world,” she sobbed on the third night after his interment. Minutes later she fell asleep, only to wake to a warm glow in her room. “Mommy, I'm here, always. God loved me so much He wanted me with Him, but He told me my spirit will be with you forever.” Sandra stared in disbelief at the vision, convinced that she was dreaming. But then she felt Warren's small, soft, baby hand wiping away her tears, and with his touch, a profound sense of calm descended upon her. “Be happy for me, Mommy. I am whole now,” Warren said, smiling that special smile of his. He embraced Sandra in a comforting hug before slowly vanishing from her arms. As if her beloved, departed son's touch had healed her broken heart, Sandra's tears welled up anew. This time, they were ones of gratitude for the merciful miracle she had been granted. Six months later, Sandra sat beside Warren's grave, holding a beautiful bouquet of flowers she had lovingly created. Sandra gently replaced the wilted flowers in the graveside vase with the fresh arrangement. “Hi, beautiful boy,” she greeted Warren. “I feel your presence nearly all the time; I know you're no longer in pain. I've got news for you,” she added with a smile. “I'm getting married next week, and I'm pregnant. You were my special gift, Warren, and this new baby will learn all about you. I promise.” Sandra left the cemetery with dry eyes, her heart overflowing with immeasurable love and peace. Image: Courtesy of Nancy Herrendoerff
How would life be without you? I struggle to imagine What would i do Without you guiding my footsteps Life is filled with ups and downs, but you have gotten me through them Roads with broken lanes, but you have helped me climb all the hurdles My past was pitiful I didn't have a direction nor did i have a plan but you came along and led me through the darkness Doubts resurface at times because i haven't seen you, but i know you're here with me Your wonders and glory are beyond what man can comprehend and see So marvelous, so true I cried unto you, and you answered my cry You turned my frown upside down and gave me a million reasons to be thankful I open my eyes I'm in awe of your love and compassion towards us I can't thank you enough, but i'll keep on thanking you I may not be able to express my thoughts very loud and clear, but i express it in the way i know to show my appreciation Father , i love you Always and forever. This is actually a poem i wrote for quite some time, but i was waiting for the right moment to post it. It talks about our Faith in Our Lord Jesus christ and generally of the journey of Christian faith. At times we as christians doubt, and that's human, but Jesus hasn't given us any reason to doubt us, as He shows it from His actions. He loves us with all our imperfections and flaws. I have gone through my fair share of never feeling good enough and like i was too damaged to even acknowledge God, but God doesn't see us as broken. He sees us as His children. As a christian, doubts comes but the only way we can overcome them is to pray. Jesus died for us, and there's no doubt about that. No matter how imperfect we think we are, He assures us that we are perfect and we are His children and that he'll always be there, in both good and bad times. This reflects genuine love and i'm happy that i can call Him my father. Follow christ and you'll genuinely experience the true meaning of happiness and the future Jesus has planned just for you, his child and remember, Jesus loves you.
I don't believe in love. With my generation genuine love is hard to come by. No one wants anything serious anymore. For some “I love you” is a meaningless statement, you can't truly love someone if you can get over them in a week. I was under the assumption I would never find real true love. My heart was already torn. I didn't want some silly boy making it ache. My parents got divorced when my older brother and I were young. Since then I never wanted anyone too close. Close enough for me to let my guard down. Figuring being insincere by not letting anyone in, I can't end up hurt. My “childhood” and so far teen years have been very hectic. So I never had a want for a relationship. I've been told to never settle young. I am young. Observing friends and couples around me. I never thought there was any point. Maybe further down the road, but not yet. Then this boy, this boy wasn't any boy. He was like finding a blue lobster, instead of 1 in 2 million, he was a 1 in 7.7 billion. Something you'd never find. There he was at my fingertips. When our eyes met, everything stopped, like the world stopped spinning. Mine did. The vast rush of butterflies I got when his striking deep pools, of glacial blue eyes met with mine is unexplainable. He has a dreamy smile, and an enchanting personality. Wearing his heart on his sleeve, with respect on another level something that most guys our age don't have anymore. I've never met a more gentle and genuine soul like his. The way his finger tips meet with mine, they're right in line. My heart in my throat everytime he spoke. A simple thought of him made my pupils dilate. What we have is fate. I believe in love.
A few months after Mabel's 16th birthday, her parents died in a tragic accident and now a blind Mabel was a ward of Aunty Kay. In her absence, Mabel would fall prey to her cousins' incessant bullying and tricks. One day, they had put peanut butter in Mabel's favourite sneakers. A fuming Mabel rushed into Troy's room and delivered a stinging slap with the one sneaker in hand to his face. I told you she was a blind psychopath Troy shouted. Sensing Mabel's distress, the guy introduced himself as Leo but an embarrassed Mabel scurried away. For the next few months, whenever Troy had his friends over, Leo and Mabel would secretly meet in the kitchen. He was 18, fascinated with cars and her first crush. Reality rudely intruded on their secret meeting spot by Troy whose shouts brought his sisters rushing in. An angry Adele, who was liked Leo viciously slapped Mabel d as she let loose angry words and barbs at Mabel's ploys. Mabel, immensely hurt rushed to the safety of her small room. After what seemed like hours, the door creaked open and Leo called out. Mabel flung her pillow at him and told him to go. Leo persisted and pressed a soft kiss to her lips telling her that she was a breath of fresh air in this hell-hole. He continued to caress her neck and shoulders. Kisses turned heated, caresses became more frantic and clothes discarded as Mabel's heart and innocence were offered up and consumed in the lusty atmosphere. In the dawn, after kissing a clinging Mabel, Leo left. Mabel blurted out her love when her cousins barged into her room unannounced. Troy and Adele laughed as they boasted of the bet Leo was a part of or else he would never look at a blind nerd. In the coming weeks, Leo was MIA! One Saturday after dinner, Mabel overheard Aunty Kay on the phone talking about the Johns moving to another state. This hurt Mabel to the quick who vouched to never fall for such a ploy! In the 5 years since that fateful day, Mabel blossomed into an intelligent, caring and capable young woman. Despite her disability, she successfully pursued her passion of cooking with the upcoming release of her first cookbook. That heart wrenching summer with Leo was pivotal for Mabel. Lost in her happy thoughts, she nearly missed her beeping phone signalling that her publicist and best friend, Maria had arrived to give her a lift to the venue but then encountered a slowly deflating tire. Luckily, the service guy Zack, was nearby to pick up the call. With both ladies safely ensconced in the truck, and their vehicle in tow, they made their way to the garage. Mabel smiled as she overheard Maria flirting with Zack. Before long, they arrived at the garage. The door creaked open signalling someone's entrance. After a shuffling of papers, a masculine voice called out Maria's name. Mabel froze in disbelief as her friend went about her business. She could never forget that husky baritone. It was LEO! As Maria concluded her paperwork and payments she hollered to Mabel which grabbed Leo's eagle gaze. The air was tight with tension as Leo stumbled over Mabel's name. As Mabel hurriedly nudged her friend to go ahead, a strong, calloused hand grabbed Mabel's wrist. Mabel was having not of that and delivered a stinging slap to an unshaven but hewn jaw. She was overwhelmed by repressed hurt. Maria tried to calm the situation down with the ladies hurriedly escaping after a few attempts. Zack met a stunned Leo standing in the same position, weary lines on his face. After some consideration, he held up a business card with a naughty smirk. Mabel refused to talk on her way back to the hotel but lying in bed that night, her memories came to the forefront. After a sleepless night she called Maria to confirm her schedule. A barrage of questions of Mabel's well-being were fired by Maria, which Mabel answered quietly. Seven o' clock sharp, the doorbell rang with a sombre trip to the restaurant. When the meals arrived, a frizzle of awareness ran up Mabel's spine. A voice which haunted her dreams announced Leo's presence. Crossing her hands across her chest, Mabel sat back without a word. As soon as Leo broached the topic of the first time they had made love, Mabel lost it and flung her plate of spaghetti at him. He made light of the attack and pleaded that he was threatened by Adele the morning after their sweet night. She had maliciously filmed them entwined asleep and would share a copy with the entire school. He had stayed away to protect Mabel's reputation. Troy had lied to the Coach which got him kicked off the team. His dad had gotten a job transfer out of state which was a clean break. Leo continuously professed his love whilst raining kisses along Mabel's face, hands and wrists. She softly returned her love enveloped in those strong arms that were imprinted in her memory forever and a day.
I'm a female manipulator Something I've come to terms with It's easier than you think Call a boy pretty once He's yours forever I feel justified in my behavior Man after man lying to me when I didn't know better I lash out and retaliate after pain I take it out on others But I'm not hurting the ones that hurt me After years of constant disappointment I'm wounded I feel justified in my behavior Because my type is not-great people Almost a vigilante Except I forget I'm perpetuating a cycle People hurt people because they were hurt themselves By someone else in this pattern of abuse I feel justified in my behavior I'm open about this fact Right away I warn that I'm a bad person Run, if you don't want to be led on because of my confusion I don't feel justified in my behavior Some of them are innocent Great people But they give me the attention I so desperately crave So I hold the carrot and push them away with the stick I don't feel justified in my behavior Because I don't feel anymore Any remaining shred of vulnerability, trust, and whatever the hell else Has been stripped away from me I wish I could fall in love Instead of constantly doubting if I even like this person Allowing for vulnerability, even to myself It is even worse to not know how you feel Than to feel it I would sacrifice myself to constant disappointment For even half a chance of some kind of emotional stability I'm consciously aware of what I need to change Except I can't It feels better to inflict some of my misery on others I don't want to process it Relive and put myself through more trauma A knife in a wound can't be pulled out Otherwise you're gone Be patient, wait for a doctor I've been stabbed Some of the wounds so old they've begun to heal around the blade I haven't arrived at the hospital yet Only loaded onto the EMS gurney I'm a female manipulator And I'm sorry for those I've hurt
If you're lying, You are incredulous You allow penny truths to spit off your tongue Into my slot machine heart The rush of a gamble on love, The rush of winning or losing Why aren't you perfect? You showed me you were perfect. What did I do to change things? The wrath of my embarrassment is closing in I thought I'd want you to own my flesh and bone Soul, body, and mind I don't know if I believe you I do know I love you Without you I am not me
I never dated and I never had a relationship. I valued people and treated my friends as my real treasures, as they are, but I thought love, at least in the romantic sense, wasn't meant for me. I tried, maybe too hard, and got to a point where I thought "well, it is what it is; I won't live to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend". I got used to sleeping alone, I got comfy with waking up alone in a big bed. Most of the time, I went to the movies, to the theatre, to museums, by myself, enjoying art and life, and also having fun with the people I love and who love me. Along came the pandemic, and it seemed like I finally finished setting my priorities straight: it's all about the moments, the people who always have beautiful and supportive words, and the right smile. Friends are important, my Art is important, and living with and around Art is what matters. Not success, not fame, but people, moments, and places. When I forgot it, it happened, at the same time, like a reward for my patience and my meditation: I felt utterly in love (or so I thought) with a girl, a lot younger than me. I felt seen romantically, and sexually, and for the first time, I said "good morning" or "good night" to the same person, every day. My mind raced with imagination, roaming with stories of eternal love, two women artists living abroad, the whole idealization. Soon, it became understood that I was a vehicle to her ego, something to make her feel adored. It was pure abuse, and I fell through my deepest emotional hole. It took some time but I put an end to it. By this time, I genuinely thought it was over, I would never find love again. If that was love, I'd rather be alone. It didn't take long for me to realize I never knew what real love is in the first place, just what it shouldn't be. He showed me what kindness could be, and what altruistic care meant. He wanted to be with me and, for a moment and until this day, he is the first person I got romantically involved with who said "I love you" or "You're beautiful". He worries; he helps; he communicates; he respects, and he supports me every step of the way. So, this is what "being seen" actually looks like. We've been living together for some months now, and everything seems natural, organic, and simple. Who would have thought that a pandemic in my thirties would be what it took to know what "the closest to happiness" meant? The picture I posted is one I took during our last stroll, last weekend. One of many to come.
Warning: Depictions of self-harm. Readers discretion is advised. Harvey's music blasted from his laptop, causing everything on his desk to vibrate. His pens and keys shook against the commanding sound waves, which jumped from its epicenter like an earthquake. He had turned the basement of his rental house into a DJ club. He was surprised a neighbor hadn't come banging on his door yet with fire in their eyes, asking him to shut it. “I ain't no therapist, but ya'll got the gist!” He sang the lyrics to his song even louder. It was a Thursday evening, and tomorrow was going to be his debut as a DJ at a local bar. There was no choice but to erupt his basement into an eardrum-smashing destruction - practice was all that filled his mind. The next verse featured a harsh rap which Harvey chanted along: “Money, cash, bank, the coins are in my fanny! Ya'll fuckin' mofos want empty hands, saying love, love love!” The music then spun into a dubstep-style track for a half minute, until the next verse arrived: “Ain't no fuckas saying no to ya'll dimes, just buy them bitches before they mine! Love ain't real, ya mental shit only wants to feel-” Cling! Harvey twitched and stopped his rap abruptly, startled by the loud clang below him which pierced his ear, even through his rowdy music. He directed his gaze below the table at the source of the noise. His lucky penny, which dropped to the concrete floor of his basement thanks to the loud vibrations of his table, was finishing its twirl before flattening. Face-up was heads instead of tails. “God dammit, can't believe I lost my groove just ‘cause of a coin,” Harvey muttered, and paused his music. He bent down to pick his penny up under the table. And that's when he heard it. Not the sound of his music; not the clinging of his coin. It was a faint rumble from upstairs in the house. Harvey glanced up to the ragged ceiling of his basement, pretending to see through the wood. His own music still echoed in his ear, making it hard to tell if he was only hallucinating. He looked back at the coin, peering at its shiny heads surface. It reminded him of a certain conversation he had with his housemate, Samuel, just a few days ago. “Dude, what if I told you I'd off myself based on the flip of a coin?” Samuel asked while sipping a beer next to his friend at their dining table. “The fuck? You're messed in the head, my guy,” Harvey replied, putting his can down and raising his eyebrows to his friend's weird statement. “Then the coin better land as a tails. You gotta support me for Friday night's party, it's my DJ debut!” “Haha, true that.” Harvey's eyes glared at the penny for only another second before a dark feeling of unease filled him to the brim. Samuel had never made such a joke before during the three years he knew him. Wait, he can't be ser-! Before the thought fully passed through his mind, his body moved before his brain. Without picking the coin up, Harvey dashed down the hallway to the stairs of his basement. He leaped a few steps up and reached the first floor of his house without issue. That was when the rumbling noise from one more floor above had become real. There was shaking between the walls, yet no footsteps bounced into his ear. “Shit!” he gasped. He ran to the next staircase, and flung himself up to the top floor of his house. In front of him was the door to his housemate's room. Grabbing the doorknob, Harvey gritted his teeth when it wouldn't open. “You fucking idiot!” he screamed and clenched both his hands into stone to brace for impact, and readied the kick of his life. His body flung at the door, shoe first at the knob, and he jumped as if delivering a karate hit. Thump! He watched the knob cave into the cracked wood, until splinters emerged. Finally, on the fifth attempt - Thwack! - the knob fell through the crack of broken timber, and Harvey barged into his friend's room. He reached to the back of his pants for his pocket knife - a small Swiss Army blade which featured multiple tools - and glanced desperately around for the silent Samuel. After performing a three-sixty, his eyes landed on - The closet! Harvey gulped. With his head covered in sweat, goosebumps devouring his skin, and every limb jittering, he swung open the sliding door to Samuel's closet. “Fucking hell.” The sight of his unconscious friend, hanging on a rather thin rope tied into a noose, was almost enough to give him a heart attack. Instead, his chest sank like a ship, and his hands twitched while reaching for the rope to cut it. With every back-and-forth movement of his knife, the tears around Harvey's eyes grew. By the time his friend dropped to the floor, those tears had already trickled down his cheeks. “Wake up, please, I'm begging you!” He dragged the fainted Samuel out of the closet, laid him on his back, and began performing CPR on both his chest and his mouth. After what felt like forever, Samuel's eyes slowly opened.
“We've been over this, Leah," Cole told me for probably the hundredth time. "I'm not about to do that to you.” “But you wouldn't be doing it to me," I argued, determined to convince him of the merits of a long-distance relationship. "You'd be doing it for me." “Go ahead and rationalize, but I can tell you now it's not going to change my mind.” Cole sighed and kissed me on the forehead when he saw I was pouting. “Come on, Lee. We've talked about this. You're gonna go off to college soon, where I'm sure you'll meet a lot of great guys. I don't want you to miss out on anything just because you feel obligated to stay with me.” “It's not like that, though. I want to stay with you. I love you, Cole.” “I love you too, Lee. But trying to maintain a relationship when we're thousands of miles apart… it just isn't feasible.” “Are you afraid I'm going to cheat on you or something? Because I swear I would never-” “Who said anything about cheating,” he asked, confused. “No one, I just… I know that's a common fear people have when it comes to long-distance relationships.” “Not me,” he asserted. “That's the least of my worries.” “You mean you trust me that much,” I asked, touched. “Well, yeah. Of course. But I also just know you don't….” Cole stopped talking suddenly as something occurred to him. “You know I don't what,” I pressed, feeling my heart start to race. “I just… I meant that you… that I know you don't….” Cole looked like he was trying hard to come up with something to say. Though Cole hadn't answered me, the flush in his cheeks and his refusal to meet my gaze told me all I needed to know. “How long have you known,” I asked him quietly. He took a second before responding. “I… have had my suspicions for a while now, but I didn't feel comfortable making that kind of assumption,” he admitted, somewhat sheepishly. I fell silent as I considered how this new information might affect our relationship. It was a long moment before I mustered up the courage to finally ask him my next question. “So… knowing what you do now… that doesn't… change the way you feel about me?” I resisted the urge to cover my ears, afraid of what his answer might be. “I mean, I know there are certain… expectations that come with being in a relationship, and there are, you know… needs that have to be met, and I'm just not sure that I can-” “Don't be ridiculous, Leah.” To my utter confusion, Cole laughed. “This isn't funny,” I told him, irritated. “I'm being serious.” “I know you are. I am too.” “Then why-” “I don't know what it's going to take to get you to believe me, so I guess I'll just keep saying it until you do. I love you, Leah Rose. I love everything about you, and I do mean everything. And I would never, ever pressure you into doing something that you didn't want to do.” The expression on his face was so intense it was almost a little scary. “I need to know you understand that, Leah. Please tell me you do.” “I… I don't….” Much to my dismay, I burst into tears and started sobbing into my hands. “Sweetheart, what's wrong,” Cole demanded, clearly concerned. He wrapped his arms around me in a tight embrace. “Nothing,” I wailed, sobbing into his chest. “So then why are you crying?” It took me a second to compose myself enough to answer him. “Because I'm just so happy right now,” I sniffled, swiping at my eyes. Cole released me then, and I looked up to see that he was smiling and shaking his head at me. “Come here, you.” Before I could react, he pulled me closer, holding me tight against his chest. Cole gently tilted my chin up to kiss me lightly on the forehead.
It was a small shop near the shore of Lake Erie where they still sold mostly knick-knacks, touristy items, and postcards. The postcards were for sale on a round wire rack that you could turn to pick the one that suited your fancy. Everyone in town knew about the postcard rack in that store because every year, two days before Christmas, you could buy a hand-written postcard from a dead relative. At first, the shopkeeper swore the few patrons to secrecy, but as things went in small towns, the secret soon spread as more than one person knew about the secret to the cards. My grandmother discovered this deal with the postcards the same year her Mack, my grandfather, died. Matthew was her husband for years, and his passing early in his life, at the age of sixty-four, caught him and her off guard. She had been practically a shut-in until the day she ventured out to that little shop. She couldn't bother to go into the town proper to purchase trinkets from the drug mart, so she thought she would try her luck at the lakeside shop. Never did she imagine buying a postcard that day. Something drew her to the rack, but she couldn't say what it was. She walked to it twice, stared at the cards in front of her, and not seeing anything that she fancied. She turned the rack three times before she saw a card that she knew was meant for her. Both Mack and she loved birds. Her love was the male Cardinal, while Mack's love was the male Bluejay. There on the rack, it may have been the last one, or the only one, she wasn't quite sure. To her, it didn't matter; what mattered was that that card was meant for her, and she knew it the moment she saw it—no question. She suddenly had a spring in her step and saw some glimmers of hope with the bright and merry season this year. As she brought the card to the shopkeeper, he commented on such a lovely card and how nice it was that she found the card she was looking for in all those cards on the rack. He put the card into a bag, especially for the card, and then bagged the rest of her other items separately. She drove home and wrapped the few trinkets she purchased but neglected to take the postcard out of the bag. It sat on the kitchen table in plain view. The following morning, she came for her tea and breakfast and saw the card on the kitchen table no longer in the bag. A pen lay across the picture of the Bluejay. Puzzled, she couldn't figure out if someone had come in during the night or if her eyes were fooling her. She poured her tea and then flipped over the card. To her amazement, a note was written declaring his undying love but asking her to live her life to the fullest without him. A tear fell down her cheek. Grandma read and re-read the card. She thought someone had played a huge and horrible prank on her. She became enraged. But after she realized no one had come by the house, she believed. She didn't dare tell anyone, fearing they wouldn't believe her. She rejoiced in her love postcard. When she returned to the shop, the rack didn't draw her attention this time. She couldn't figure it out. So she returned to that shop every day for the next year. And again, the rack beckoned to her on the eve of Christmas Eve. She had figured out the way it worked. That was the last year she got a card from the shop. Mack sent her one more note. Sharing that he missed their nights of sitting in the tv room watching Sonny Elliott together. Mostly, though, he missed her, her smell and touch. The following year, my mother went to that same shop because my grandmother, my dad's mom, shared with my mom that she needed to go to that shop and peruse the postcard rack on that specific day. My mother went, not knowing why, until she felt the rack calling to her. She turned it and found the card right for her. She brought it to the clerk. He asked, did someone tell you to come and purchase a postcard, or did you need one to send to someone? It was an odd question, but she answered that her mother-in-law suggested it. He smiled and put the card in a bag for her. Later that day, my mother cried a lot. Tears of joy fell from her eyes as she had a note from her mother. She couldn't believe her eyes. I suppose that my mother told two friends, who told two friends and so on and so on. The shop was tiny but always had plenty of postcards to replenish the rack. The shopkeeper couldn't wait to see who would come in the door next.
Quiet. That was it. It was Quiet. Laying on the soft grass side by side was all they needed. They didn't need anybody else, not their parents, not their siblings or friends. All they needed was each other even if no words were exchanged. The peaceful lulling sound of the nature around them was enough noise for them.Honestly, noise was overrated. There was no need for constant noise. Sometimes the sound of silence was enough, and that's what those girls all by themselves on the cushioning green grass with the sunsetting all around them needed. Silence. Sometimes silence can speak louder than words ever could, for instance right now these young teen girls don't need to verbally say “I love you” they could just lay there in each other's embrace watching the world change in front of their eyes in silence and those words were all they needed.It's quite similar to how animals express themselves to us. For example when a cat or dog is upset or angry at you they scratch or bite. When a cat or dog is happy and wants to show attention to their owner or another animal they rub up against them and or lick or lay with them, similar to how those girls are laying and just enjoying the moment together.The sunset that they seemed to be so mesmerized by had beautiful shades of orange, red, pink and purple. It was a beautiful sight, no wonder they chose the spot they are now relaxing at.They have been laying there for hours on end not a single word spoken, the warm summer air swirling around them and the birds singing It was so peaceful. It was moments like these that would forever stay a memory in both of their amazing minds. It was memories like these that they would tell their future children.People are always talking about how they visited all the great man made wonders of the world but sometimes the best man made wonders are the places no one sees. Like a special spot in a forest somewhere where there is a small gap in the trees where the moon shines through or its a place on the grass where you spent hours sunset watching and stargazing with your lover, sometimes those are the best man made memories.And that's what they did. They made their own man made memories like I like to call it.They did eventually leave but that did not mean that the memory making ends no memory making is constant, even a walk down a deserted, quiet street with only the street lights and the warmth of the other to keep them company it wasn't as scary as I made it seem but it was soothing. The barley lit street with each other's warmth was all they needed. They didn't a blanket or hand warmers because one hands are natural hand warmers and because all they needed was each other to keep them warm. Even the little kiss goodnight when they reach one of their houses promising to see them the next day and finishing with an I love you because all they needed were some kind words so they could fall into a deep sleep.The morning strolls through the park only to end up sitting on a bench feeding the birds was only one of the things they did after that night. They took those night gazing nights they took the sunset watching in the grass they took those little walks in the street, they took those little goodbyes each night and each and every one of those memories were stored.All they needed were those tiny memories that may seem useless and unnecessary to anyone else but them. It didn't matter to them if people thought that about their memories it was theirs to make and theirs to look back at.All they needed were to keep to themselves and those who had opinions that did not matter to stay away and do what they wanted with their lives.These memories were precious to them and all they needed was to keep them forever and continue making more.That's what they did. They made much more memories never needing to stop because who would want to stop making memories? They went skating, went to the zoo.They did things that they would have never done before they met teacher but now that they have all they needed was each other to conquer their fears and one by one the did so many unique things things even I the narrator wouldn't even dream of doing, but they did it together and nothing could stop them day and night they conquered and dreamed all of it .They took over the world just the two of them and nothing could separate them, not even an earth ending event. All they needed was each other to help them out of their shells that they had built to stop the world from breaking them but now they have each other to fight back the problematic world. All they needed was each other to stop the judgy people, the strange looks, the global warming all of the wrong things that have tried to bring them down individually now have no chance against them together for they are ten times stronger together even without words even with people trying to break them down but even with all that going on. All they needed was each other. Please Enjoy! Art by me
Stillness in Motion Where are you, my serenity? A heart engulfed with ice, I'm lost in the oblivion of time, everything is frozen, I can't breathe. Months went by with everyone stuck inside, some witnessed new beginnings and many witnessed sad endings. Winter came in a blink of an eye, even the birds couldn't say their last goodbyes. No matter how wide the world is, I had no destination just like everybody else. Everyday was a repeating episode of the previous day. I was in a loop of time, with nothing else to do. Just get me out of here I cried in agony, but no one listened to me except me. If you get out, don't come back, that's what I replied. Covid made me greedy Covid made me selfish Covide made me desperate What can I do? Everything is monotonous. Wake up, wash, eat, watch, eat, sleep Routine made my depression flare up. Covid made me anxious Covid made me scared Covid made me uncertain When is this going to end? A question I kept asking, hoping someone might give me an answer, but all replies were filled with silence. All these thoughts made me question my sanity. I locked myself in my room from morning till evening until I couldn't tell time. I kept the windows shut, the lights off and even befriended the monsters under my bed. My intrusive thoughts ate me alive, and all that remained was an empty shell. Everything was still, yet everything was in motion, at the same time. It confused me? How could the world move on while I'm stuck? Can't it just give me a second to catch up? I can't comprehend. I was fading away, until someone took my hand and forced me outside. I felt the rays of the sun touch my skin, I felt the fresh air fill up my lungs. Why was I hiding? What was I hiding from? Till this day I can't seem to be able to answer these questions. When you're losing yourself hold on to the people closest to you, and when they reach their hand, grab on tightly and never let go. There's light at the end of the tunnel although I haven't reached it yet, I saw a glimpse of it in the form of my Yuki. They told me I needed to fill my hollow heart with love, but I had forgotten how to love until I got my Yuki. It made me wonder, how could I learn how to love from such a small creature? until I realized it just happens naturally with time. How much time? I don't know, but what I learned was, I was loved by someone who didn't ask for anything in return. Love unconditionally that's what I learned.
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