Daily Prompt || Toothbrush

It’s five in the morning and I’m standing in front of my bathroom sink, staring at it. It’s mocking me. Each bristle on that stupid plastic wand is mocking me. Why didnt he take it with him when he left me?

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In response to the Daily Prompt 8/1

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Writing

I have a need to write. At any given moment, there are hundreds of words bouncing around my brain. Dozens of stories clamor to the front, begging to be told. So whenever I have a spare moment, or when my work gets too boring, I pull out a blank sheet of paper, pick a non-black pen, and write.

Sometimes what comes out weighs a ton. It’s as if I’ve been hoarding every emotion I’ve ever felt. The words tumble out of my pen, nothing strong enough to slow them down.

Sometimes what comes out is light and airy. The words flutter like butterflies, painting pictures as beautiful as their wings. The ideas seem simple at first, but upon closer examination, the intricacies reveal themselves. If you know me well and you read one of these, you’ll be able to understand what it is I’m really saying.

Occasionally I’ll write a poem, and other times it’s a straightforward life update. Honestly, it doesn’t matter. I’m just happy to be writing. I love that feeling I get when I craft a particularly good sentence. I live for turning my feelings into black and white pictures. I get a jolt of pleasure whenever I start a new journal. Writing is my favorite thing to do–I want to get better at it.

And so, for these reasons and countless more, I’ve decided I’m going to write a book. It might be a memoir (I just registered for a memoir writing class), maybe a collection of essays, or short stories. Whatever it turns out to be, I know I’ll love creating it. Writing is the only thing for which my love has never wavered.

I’m excited to fall even more in love with it. Wish me luck!

❤  Severn

P.S. This is a fitting 100th post, wouldn’t ya say? 😀

Glitter

“I swear I just saw it!” I exclaim. “Okay, look to your left and slowly turn your face to the right.”

He sighs, but does as he’s told. There’s a birthmark on his ear, right where an earring would be if his ears were pierced. I play with that lobe more than the other when we’re lounging in bed. His cheeks are speckled with stubble, but through it I see his skin: the color of my café con leche when I don’t put enough milk. His eyebrow is annoyingly tame and unbushy. People born with perfect eyebrows don’t know how good they’ve got it. He’s closed his eyes, but his eyelashes still look long and beautiful. The bridge of his nose is wide, and would make the perfect mount for glasses should his 20/20 vision change. His lips look full and soft, and for a second I forget what I’m doing, and lean in to kiss them.

He kisses me back, so lovingly, so tenderly, but then breaks away with a another sigh.

“Babe.” He grabs my shoulders and looks into my eyes. “Did you find the glitter?”

I give him an apologetic smile and sink into a shrug. “I’m sorry, I got distracted!”

He chuckles, shaking his head. “Wait, I just saw it again!”

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Daily Prompt|| Shine

She sat across from him, studying his face with mild curiosity. He was beginning to get uncomfortable, but he didn’t say anything. 

His eyes were a deep brown, the irises almost blending in with the pupils. His eyelashes were long and curled, the kind girls attempted to mimic with falsies. 

He opened his mouth to say something.

“Ah-” she warned him with a slight shake of her head. She wasn’t done looking at him, not ready to talk about the thing. 

He sighed. 

His mouth conveyed his anxiety. He was softly chewing on the right side of his full bottom lip. His forehead and nose were shining with sweat. 

“Okay,” she said, “go ahead.”

“I don’t think we should be together anymore,” he blurted.

She was quiet, looking into his eyes. They looked desperate. Her’s shined with tears waiting to fall, but she didn’t blink. 

“You’re right,” she said simply. This was the thing. This was what she’d been feeling for the past two weeks. The thing she’d been avoiding. That was it.

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Via Daily Prompt

Float

I am awoken by screams. Not horror movie, helpless girl piercing the silent night with her voice kind of screams (6’2″ 175lb Hector is hardly Sydney Prescott), but screams nonetheless.

“What?! What?!” I ask, freaking out about his freak out. 

He’s not lying next to me anymore, but is instead standing in the opposite corner of the room, terrified. 

“You were floating!” he whisper-yells.

“Oh shut up, I was not,” I say dismissively. 

“Babe you were floating–”

“Was not!”

“YOUR ENTIRE BODY WAS SUSPENDED IN THE AIR! WHAT DO YOU CALL THAT, ASH?!”

I’m quiet. I thought he was messing around, but he’s never yelled at me like that before. My eyes well up. 

His face falls. “Baby, I’m sorry, I don’t…” He looks like he wants to come comfort me, but he’s scared I might go full exorcist on him.

“Will you please just come back to bed?” I ask, scared. He’s reluctant, but after a few seconds he climbs in next to me. I burrow my head into his chest and he wraps me in his arms. 

“Just let gravity do it’s thing, babe, okay? No more defiance.” 

We lay down to cuddle. I feel safe in his arms, and after a minute or two of racing thoughts, I calm down. Hopefully anymore floating I do will be only in my dreams. 

Daily Prompt|| Tempted

“Ya know that feeling you get when you know–you KNOW– that you shouldn’t do something? That voice in your head that always seems to sound like your mother no matter how old you get? That feeling and that voice, they gang up on you to make sure you don’t order another shot, you don’t smile at that guy looking for trouble, you don’t do anything stupid, right? Well, I have a surprisingly strong talent for ignoring that feeling and that voice.”

He stops kissing my neck long enough to say “Thank God for that.”

He was temptation, I was tempted.

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via Daily Prompt: Tempted

From the Book I Will Write One Day: Frosting Part 2

“Why not?” he whined.

“Come on,” I sighed, ” you know why not.”

“We don’t have to do anything, we can just talk.” I stared at him.

“And why can’t we do that here?”

“It’s just more private there!” He was frustrated now, a scowl on his face. “Fine!” he said, his voice raised.

“What do you want me to do?” I pleaded. He just shook his head, suddenly calm.

“Nothing, never mind,” he said simply. I got up from the couch an went upstairs. Janie’s room was open and empty, so I went in and sat on the bed.

What are you doing? I asked myself for the second time that night. You know you want to. Just do it, no one will ever know–his girlfriend sure won’t. Besides, he obviously likes you more than her, otherwise he wouldn’t be doing this.

I took out my phone and sent him a message, “Come upstairs.” I waited three minutes with no response. I checked downstairs and he was sitting on the couch, still cradling his beer. I went and tapped him on the shoulder. When he turned I told him to check his phone. He said he hadn’t gotten anything, so I whispered for him to meet me upstairs in five minutes. He said he had to go soon because his brother was waiting for him. Taken aback, I told him it was fine, just go. He didn’t move and I went back upstairs.

Sitting on the bed I was really nervous. Then a thought occurred to me. This isn’t my room. Silly, I know since it was so obvious, but I had forgotten. Technically, it wasn’t Janie’s either, she was just staying there. I went out to find the owner and ask to use it. She said, “Sure!” and showed me how to lock the door. She pulled out a futon for me so we didn’t have to use her bed. I wasn’t planning on going that far regardless. She left.

*Knock knock knock*

I got up to open the door, and there he was. I let him in and the shut the door behind him. I sat on the futon.

“So what’s up?” he asked

What’s up?” He looked at me expectantly, eyebrows raised. “What do you think?” I was the exasperated one now.

“I don’t know, I thought maybe you wanted to talk?”

“You think I brought you to a room upstairs at a party to talk,” I repeated in a monotone.

“No,” he shook his head slightly, finally realizing what I wanted. He sat on the futon and I straddled him. I leaned in to kiss him and closed my eyes. I felt him grow harder as I bit his bottom lip before sticking my tongue in his mouth.

This kiss felt different, wrong. His mouth was too wet, we were sloppy. He stopped me. “How far is this going?” He was searching my eyes in my silence.

I slowly unbuttoned my shirt. Once it was off I got anxious. He spanked me, snapping me out of my thoughts. I pulled away from him.

“What, you don’t like that anymore?”

“I never really did, to be honest.” He looked confused.

“Okay… well, what do you like?” he asked.

“Pull my hair,” I said simply. He grabbed a hand full of my curls and yanked my head back. My heart sped up and I kissed him again, more aggressively this time. He unbuttoned my shorts and I took off his shirt.

His body was just as I remembered it, and the familiarity of it pushed the guilt out of mind. “Do you have a condom?”

From the Book I Will Write One Day: Frosting

The party was happening all around us, but we sat quietly on the couch. I watched as one guy tried to teach my friend Sweetie, a small Asian girl, how to dance bachata. She would have been awkward normally, but with the alcohol in her system she was determined to learn and followed him closely.

“Want a cupcake?” he asked me. I looked to my left and there he was: dark curly hair, perfect lips, brown eyes, and the longest eyelashes I’d ever seen. He held his Corona with both hands.

“Sure,” I replied. We jumped over the back of Janie’s couch and took three steps into the kitchen. He grabbed one of the vanilla frosted chocolate cupcakes Janie, Sweetie, and I had made for Harold’s birthday. We just stood there for a second, people walking back and forth between us. He let me take the first bite.

With the cupcake half finished we went back to the couch. I sat to his right and looked at my lap. What are you doing? I asked myself. He still has a girlfriend!

You’re not doing anything! I argued back. It’s just a cupcake!

“Here”, he said, snapping me out of my internal argument. He held his hand out, a bit of frosting on his extended index finger. I looked at him blankly. “Here,” he repeated, bringing his finger closer to me. I looked at him and covered the tip with my mouth, careful not to use my tongue, like that mattered. I looked away and swallowed, cursing myself for going along with his obvious flirting.

“Here,” I heard again. Without a second thought I wrapped my lips around his finger again. Dammit, Severn!

“You’re not going to give me any?” he asked, not meeting my eyes. I carefully scooped a bit of frosting with my index finger and offered it to him. I held my breath as he grabbed my hand and put his mouth on my finger. His eyes focused on my arm, but my eyes were glued to his. His mouth was warm and wet, his tongue soft. He extracted my finger slowly, sucking slightly until the frosting was gone. My heart hammered in my chest and I was tingling between my legs when I finally exhaled.

“Last one,” he said, his frosting covered finger three inches from his face. I leaned in closer to lick it off, and as soon as I finished he kissed me. It was a slow, soft kiss, the kind that started at my lips but spread warmth through my entire body. When he stopped my face was hot. He came in for another, but I turned my head.

“No,” I said.

“Come on, let’s go to my car,” he murmured into my neck.

“No!” I repeated, shoving him off, angry at such an offensive suggestion.

TO BE CONTINUED

Johnny

On the bus one morning I saw half a man. I mean that quite literally–he had no legs. He was in a wheel chair with a long, skinny, stuffed white trash bag hanging off the back. He was a black man, probably early fifties, and clearly in a lot of pain. His body was at a 60 degree angle from the back of his chair. I thought he might fall out, especially with the constant stop-motion of the bus, but he was holding on tight. One hand was on the edge of the bus’ folded up blue seats, the other on the arm of his chair.

Johnny. That was his name.

I could imagine his youth, when he was just a boy, but whole. His mouth was contorted in agony, but I could easily see the way it used to brighten his face with a smile.

He had a friend, a white man probably around the same age. The friend had a backpack and asked the bus at large if we had any change to spare when they got on. I gave him all my quarters. He took them gently, “Thanks, hun,” and returned to deposit at least fifty coins. He locked Johnny into the handicap spot and went to the back to find a seat. Him I couldn’t imagine in anything other than his current state. That is, until their stop was next.

Johnny’s friend reappeared right after the bus left the Blue Line, “You ready, Johnny? Our stop is next.” We stopped at Pulaski and a few people got off the bus. Johnny’s friend couldn’t unlock the wheelchair from the seats. He took the break off the wheel and reached behind the chair to mess with the mechanism, but he couldn’t get it. While his friend fumbled, Johnny was trying to pull something his friend couldn’t see. He was silent, focused on the lever that inevitably led to his freedom, but it was out of his reach. Finally, he made a sound. His voice was murky, and I couldn’t make out any actual words, but maybe I just wasn’t listening hard enough. His friend came around to the front of the chair, “This?” and grabbed the lever. Johnny made an affirming sound, looking straight at the ground from his angled position, and his friend pushed the lever towards him.

Click

Johnny’s friend went back around to grab the chair handles. Just before they left, while they waited for the bus driver to release the ramp, Johnny’s friend looked at his reflection in the window. He angled his face down so he could see his hair, the pupils of his eyes almost disappearing behind his top lids. With both hands he fixed his slightly floppy hair in a way that reminded me of the Greasers, or the Outsiders. In that moment I could imagine what he used to be like. I even pictured him with Johnny, though I’m sure they met later on in life.

Johnny’s friend showing up in front of Johnny’s house in a beat up Cadillac, but a Cadillac nonetheless. He’d beep twice and yell, “Johnny, let’s go!” as two pretty young blonde girls giggled in the back seat. Johnny would walk out, and while the girls were focused on the fine black man on the porch, Johnny’s friend would fix his hair in the rear view mirror. Just a quick one, two before smiling ear to ear as Johnny opened the door to get in, one long leg at a time. “Let’s roll!”

Johnny’s friend rolled him down the ramp and thanked the bus driver, turning to smile at me one last time before the doors closed.

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MBTI || INFJ Part 2

Hey, are you busy? The message is from an unknown number.

Who is this? I don’t even apologize for not having their number saved.

Dan, from the coffee shop? Oh. Right. I’m not actually busy, but do I feel like talking to him right now? My phone vibes again.

I was wondering if I could call you. If you’re not busy, I mean. Sigh.

Sure. 

Thirty seconds later my phone rings. I move from my place at the kitchen table to the comfy chair in my room before answering.

“Hello?”

“Hey, it’s Dan!” I roll my eyes.

“Yeah, I know… we just talked about this,” I say.

“Right, heh… So how are you?” he asks, trying to move past the awkwardness I’d created.

“I’m fine, and you?” I return.

“I’m good! I was thinking we could talk on the phone a bit before our date, get all the awkwardness out now, ya know?”

I purposely pause for an extra beat. “Yeah. Sure.”

“So… where are you from?” he asks, clearly picking up on the fact that I’m not going to make this easy for him.

Honestly, I hate small talk. People always say that you should be open to new things, and building walls to keep people out is unhealthy. But I disagree. Why should everyone I come into contact with who thinks to ask me about myself be privy to any part of my life story? What if this person never amounts to anyone particularly important in my life? It’s a waste of time.

Sometimes, someone comes along who skips the small talk and goes straight for the goods. Like “What are you passionate about?” “What was your childhood like?” (way different from “Where are you from?”) “How do you feel about the state of humanity?” And then “Why do you hate people?” Dan isn’t off to a good start.

“I’m from Chicago,” I say. “I’ve lived here my whole life except for when I left to college.”

“Oh nice! And you came back after college, too? You must really like it here.”

“Yeah…it’s home.” Pause. “Where are you from?”

“Pittsburgh! Yeah, I grew up there and then I went to school at Northwestern. After graduation I just decided to stay in the city.”

“Cool, cool.”Longer pause.

“Why are you so cold? You don’t have to talk to me.” He suddenly sounds frustrated. I feel a slight pang of guilt.

*deep breath*

“I’m sorry, I just don’t really like small talk. And I know I don’t have to talk to you, but you put a lot of effort into getting my number. For whatever reason, I feel like I have to at least give you a chance. Blame my mother.”

“Your mother?”

“She told me to be more adventurous, more open to new things.”

“Then I’ll thank her, not blame her.” The frustration is gone from his voice, and he seems pleased to have gotten more than two sentences out of me. “Why did she tell you to be more adventurous?”

As I’ve done so many times before, I contemplate how much I want to tell him. I decide to avoid the topic of my depression, but telling him I’m an introvert wouldn’t be so bad, right?

“I tend to keep to myself. I prefer to be alone, really. She just worries about me, worries that I don’t have enough friends, that I spend too much time reading books and in my head.”

“Do you not have friends?” he asks, a hint of skepticism in his voice.

“Of course I have friends!” It comes out more defensive than I mean it to. “I have all the friends I need,” I say more calmly.

“Wellll clearly not enough by your mother’s standards,” he chides. I think he might be smiling.

“I’m sorry, are you trying to get me to like you?” I’m not smiling, but I’m not not enjoying this.

“Oh, so I have a chance? I was beginning to lose hope!” I roll my eyes.

“I didn’t say anything about having a chance.”

“Hm, you are very intriguing. I stand by my puzzle statement.” He’s definitely smiling.

“And I stand by mine. I am not yours to figure out.”

“I’m not so worried about finding the solution; I just want to spend time…flipping all the pieces over to get an idea of what I’m working with.”

I stay quiet. I’m not sure how I feel about this statement.

“You still there?” he asks.

“Yeah, sorry, I’m here,” I quietly reply.

“Okay, so… you’re still down to let me take you on a date?”

“Um, yeah. Sure. Can you pick me up Friday at 8?”

“Actually I was thinking day-date. How’s Saturday for you?”

A day-date? Day-dates were for friends, for people I know I like to spend time with. Starting early means I can’t use “It’s getting late” as an excuse if I want to go home. A day with a guy I just met made me so anxious just to think about, I don’t know if–

“Did I lose you again? You get lost in your thoughts a lot, huh?” I can almost see his perfect teeth in front me.

“Saturday works,” I say slowly. “I’ll be free after 12.” I’ll be free before 12, but I will probably need at least the morning to be alone. My battery is going to have to be fully charged if I’ll be spending the day with this particular boy. I have a feeling he’s going to require a lot of energy.

“Perfect! So I’ll pick you up at 12:30. You can text me your address whenever. Can’t wait!” His excitement softens my face a little. Until this point I didn’t even realize it was so tense.

“Great. So… I’ll see you Saturday?” I ask, hoping to end this phone call.

“Oh, I didn’t realize we were done talking…” he replies. Dammit.

“Oh. Uh, I guess I can talk for a little longer…”

To be continued…