Volume 17, Issue 4, March 2018
Volume 17, Issue 3, January 2018
The Between the Lines Issue
VOLUME 17 ISSUE 4 MARCH 2018
The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamouring to become visible.” VLADIMIR NABOKOV (1899-1977)
Sun on Serpentine
You Set My World on Fire
between you and me
A History of Patience
Lost in Thought
Context (To The Tune...)
To my future children
Behind My Eyes
Pure Unadulterated Hatred
AMANDA SCHEIFELE MADELINE MCINNIS DONNÉ MARSHALL
SOPHIA GRANDE-LAWLOR JOHN GARFIELD MCMORRAN KIMBERLY CHUNG YELIBERT CRUZ
Front Cover ZHIJUN XU
MADELINE MCINNIS STEPHANIE M. SILVA YVETTE TUYISENGE ITANGISHAKA ALICIA LAVIGNE RAQUEL SA RAQUEL SA
CINTHYA M. FERNANDES MILES SMITH ZHIJUN XU KODY SMITH
PREYE T. ADUWARI
CAMILLE DEHGHAN TJ MROZ
THIRANGA WIJEDASA MANREET LACHHAR
EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Manreet Lachhar firstname.lastname@example.org
Production Manager Camille Dehghan email@example.com
Literary Editor Stephanie Silva firstname.lastname@example.org
Art/Photography Manager Madeline McInnis email@example.com
Promotions Manager Sophia Grande-Lawlor firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Editor Judy Barazi
Brantford Manager Alexandria Clément email@example.com
Interns Kimberly Chung, Kourtney Reich, Emily Buccioni, Kody Smith
Kimberly Chung, Camille Dehghan, Cinthya M. Fernandes, Sophia Grande-Lawlor, Manreet Lachhar, Madeline McInnis, John Garfield McMorran, Victoria Parker, Amanda Scheifele, Stephanie M. Silva, Kody Smith, Miles Smith, Adina Turkonje, ZhiJun Xu
Isabella Andrade, Preye T. Aduwari, Yelibert Cruz, James Lao, Alicia Lavigne, Donné Marshall, TJ Mroz, Andreas Patsiaouros, Raquel Sa, Yvette Tuyisenge Itangishaka, Thiranga Wijedasa
ADMINISTRATION President, Publisher, & Chair Andreas Patsiaouros Executive Director Lakyn Barton HR Manager Paige Bush Finance Manager Randy Moore Advertising Manager Care Lucas Web Manager Vacant Treasurer John Pehar Vice Chair Lisa Irimescu Corporate Secretary/Director Noa Salamon Director Benjamin Cooke Director Alan Li Community Director Rosalind Horne Community Director Hayley H.G. Watson
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COLOPHON Blueprint is the official student magazine of the Wilfrid Laurier University community. Founded in 2002, Blueprint is an editorially independent magazine published by Wilfrid Laurier University Student Publications, Waterloo, a corporation without share capital. WLUSP is governed by its board of directors.
The Between The Lines Issue Let’s get to the heart of the matter, shall we? Because that’s what this issue was supposed to be. We wanted everyone to look inside themselves and be honest — about their hopes, their fears, their failures and triumphs. It’s about what has passed and what is yet to come. It’s about the beauty that’s in front of us, but also in everything around us. And most of all, to me, it’s about heart. It’s about sincerity. So, as I always am in these editor’s notes, let me be sincere: this year has been the most stressful, most exhausting, most exhilarating year of my life. Being the Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful magazine has taught me so much about myself and what I’m capable of. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to be lost, and it’s even better to rise up and try anyway. And as I prepare to leave the role behind, I’m reminded of all the experiences, both good and bad, that have made up my tenure. I’m sure within a few days of leaving it, I’ll be wistful to go back. That’s because it made me honest, it made me hopeful, and in some ways, it made me whole. I don’t exactly know what’s next for me. But I do know this: one of my childhood heroes, Winnie the Pooh, said: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” This magazine, this team, our contributors, and you, dear reader — I mean it with my whole heart when I say that you have made saying goodbye hard.
Manreet Lachhar Editor-in-Chief
COVER by ZHIJUN XU
Between each line, within each story, is a world that we walk among with our imaginations. “A reader lives a thousand lives before he (or she) dies” (George R. R. Martin). And I brought my experience as a reader to the creation of the cover, aspiring to capture the journey I incur amid the pages of a book. I wanted to illustrate the other “self ” that I become in this black and white world, and the colourful: life, greenery, and good things that can be grown between these black and white letters and spaces.
Content appearing in Blueprint bears the copyright expressly of their creator(s) and may not be used without written consent. Blueprint reserves the right to re-publish submissions in print or online. Opinions in Blueprint are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Blueprint’s management, Blueprint, WLUSP, or WLU. Blueprint is created using Macintosh computers running Adobe Creative Suite.
NEXT ISSUE Seasons On stands July 2018
MADELINE MCINNIS Shh. Don’t speak. You’re still heard. The world is listening. But never to the words.
Hiraeth AMANDA SCHEIFELE
You feel a beckoning A wordless pull For somewhere you may have been Perhaps Maybe Maybe not here Not now but
It’s in the colour blue It’s a window, A puddle A bowl of sky That never has a rim
It’s in that flash of Loneliness
It’s in the leaves Long done overtaking And now holding up A medieval gate It’s in smiles Laughter 4am stories That you never thought you’d have
That urge you feel To go To stay To call a new place home To return to a home forgotten It’s sad But a good sad The oxymoron holds true For truly, Only a moron Wouldn’t feel this too
It’s in that time when nothing bothered Nothing got in the way Of happiness It is bliss It is goodbyes It is a pull So deep inside English cannot comprehend Half forgotten A fraction remembered Old books New grass Ancient stones Open eyes
Can you get there? Did you get there? I don’t think you ever did Can Will I don’t think anyone did Can Will Lonely for a place you’ve never been before So let’s be lonely together
LIN DE MA
STEPHANIE M. SILVA EM N CIN
I hate this texting like it’s enough for us. Some boyfriend! U don’t even reply. Might as well talk to myself. *send* U there? Remember when we’d watch the stars and play pretend? We were fire. Didn’t have to speak-- just warm each other. *send* Wish I’d written some epic love letter, perfectly penned. I sent “I luv u.” Why didn’t I tell you I love you? *send* We weren’t stars. We were just pixels on a screen by the end. We short-circuited. U burned me. Or maybe I did. *send* Who is this? Steph… Who? Nvr mind. He must’ve changed his # [I guess that means we were never anything real then….] *send*
conditional tense CARINA RAMPELT
si j’étais/je serais it’s all clichés in the end anyway we were limitless, once
Presently Absent YVETTE TUYISENGE ITANGISHAKA Walking down the streets quickly on bare feet. So many thoughts in her mind, Trying to catch a breeze She was convicted, almost surrendered Must she always exaggerate her effort? The question escaped her intelligence He tapped her on the shoulder with his palm, Without realizing that she was absent. She kept walking along exploring her mind. How much control do I have over life? When was the last time happiness knocked? Unintentional truth revealed While running out of time. Life is neither measured by dark secrets Nor the truth of gone history Heal yourself, connect the new discovered end.
Reconciliation ALICIA LAVIGNE you don’t know how deeply you affected me diving into something new, we were clockwork people come naturally to you, but I was used to being alone and content until you found me and brought me close you struck a match and let it fall to a trail of gasoline and my love became a blaze it’s been burned out for a while now but the smell of ash still lingers I can’t live without that warmth, that fire dancing on my tongue, the taste of coffee and weed I don’t need you or want you but I’m no longer comfortable by myself you’ve displaced me and now I long for the company of others when before, the fire burned brightly on it’s own oh girl, help me to rekindle that flame, that love for myself, for my own mind I don’t want to be alone
Lost In Thought
It begins with the water tracing my veins as if it can sense the stream of my blood. Synchronized like drops of rain hitting the window of a car on the freeway, I sink into being mesmerized. Softly, the water blurs the outline of my fingers and suddenly, I forget their true form. If I get to the bottom of this ocean when I come back up I’ll start to float, because the water knows I’m just curious. It knows I’m still naïve. But if I get to the bottom of a deeper ocean, I’ll come back up and start to drown, because the water breathes faster than me and it thirsts for the life in me. Now, I am caught up in the bubbles. Circles and circles and colorless circles, burning, boiling, buttons sewn into me. Swirling, sailing, never sinking bubbles. When the bubbles stop bubbling then I’ll start swimming, and maybe then I will get to the bottom of my ocean.
Dandelion Seeds RAQUEL SA
If the sky is bigger than the sea then I’ll put my trust in the dandelion seeds. I won’t skip stones or throw a wish in a well, for those things will never come back to me. Inside my rolled up socks in the drawer and a few in the midst of my spare change. In the cracks and wrinkles on an elephant’s back, in the iris of someone’s brown eye. Dandelion seeds are not hard to find. They’re never-ending fields like the dreams in my mind. When the wind carries them to the clouds they’ll rain back down and grow again. And so, my dreams will never die.
Nebula CINTHYA M. FERNANDES Nebulous, hidden within the shadows Walls once put up for defense Not wanting to come down. Remembering my youth in rose tinted glasses A time where innocence reigned And all the evil in the world fades. Yet here I stand, a hollow shell of my previous self Searching for the smallest crack To lead me somewhere I may remember. Like a painting frozen in time, with one singular interpretation Where has the time gone? Still, still, each second ticks by. The hurdles needing to be overcome By one such as I Not so easily done, for someone frozen in a spell of their own making.
Context (To the Tune of St. James Infirmary) MILES SMITH Sometimes her context betrays her, Her song, her dance, her tune, Her history, her talk, us walking that walk. It’s just a new thing to do.
I know I’m being played now Like a fiddle at Old Grand Ben, But I love it, She says the place; I say ‘when?’
I can read between the lines now, To know what she may do, ’Cause although I’m a poet, I’m also a sucker through and through.
So she plays me like the shoestring, Plays me for her own twisted game, Now, I’ve lost my prose, my clothes, I’ve lost my pen, I’ve lost my own name.
But I’ll tell you a little secret, Something I always quite knew, Although all of her words aren’t quite lies, All of her words also aren’t quite true.
There’s something between us unspoken, Something not quite new, A familiar old nostalgia, Something I’ve come to rue.
I see my mistakes now, And I see the pattern true, And now I see exactly how, You make someone like you.
Words ZHIJUN XU
And she thought about it—those heavy, ugly words So, she believed it—those words that weren’t funny words She felt every sting and slap that caused her to cut Why feel such pain—when they sounded-like lovely words? She sat in agony, alone and aching. No one cared, Because she wasn’t hurt physically. They were only words. She felt them, each vowel, letter, and syllable, More vivid than any punch—those smugly-said words She stood there, bare, without shield, weapon, or armor And waited as they stabbed and sliced with sully words So, she tied the noose, downed the pills, stepped off the edge. Because she wasn’t strong enough to win gully words. After she died, she was left wandering the dark. I forgot my poet life, but never the ugly words.
ADINA TURKONJE ZHIJUN XU
Sun on Serpentine MADELINE MCINNIS A restless night turns to an active morning. Quicker than usual, I turn out the door, floating through chain restaurants, looking for somewhere — anywhere — to plug in my lifeline to the world outside my head. I order a coffee, still convincing myself that I don’t drink coffee, and watch the world fly by. Still in a daze, I step back into the outside world, only to make a wrong turn, bringing me deeper into the morning and deeper into the park. Like a Hollywood set, the paths stretch in every direction. Sets were painted, the stage was set, but the buildings do not fall from the pressure of a hand. The bricks stand firm and the foundations hold, spreading their roots deep underground, refusing to fall despite the tremors that they have endured. The fog machine spews droplets into the distance, catching the rays of sunshine that stretch in the morning air, greeting the world with a clandestine smile and an attitude that encourages all of us to take our time and appreciate the day we were given. It blankets the world with a glow that can only welcome us in and make us dread our departure. Extras, each seemingly with a canine companion, dart in every way, but never block the perfect shot. Birds float lazily nearby, extending their necks only for the promise of a full tummy. The swans seem to be a particular favourite, and who could blame them? Every filmgoer knows that they’re a symbol of beauty, love, and grace. The filmmakers have staged this setting with every thought in mind. The film reel has started, but I dare not record. It occurs to me that there can be no photography allowed in Heaven.
O SIA PAT
You Set My World on Fire DONNÉ MARSHALL
The grass shivered and perspired The branches of the trees seemed to breathe She blended with the earth Her eyes the only thing that reminded me that Aéolyn was different So very different Her eyes dressed mine I saw her next to River A communication With limited action But so much understanding I still watched them No control in my approach I was fascinated River looked at me, and gave me this smirk He nodded his head Calling me over I stood where I was and smiled Aéolyn looked at me She was taking on traits of others Her eyes doed This purple galaxy rotating in her iris Her body almost a bit more youthful A rush of heat filled through me River was leaning against a rock And Aéolyn was sitting in front of him I walked over and sat next to Aéolyn ‘Tate, how do you feel?’ I smiled at him And let out a short laugh ‘I feel good, I feel different.’ I stretched and my hand touched Aéolyn I felt it for the next two minutes ‘How do you feel River?’ He looked up through the trees Through the clouds At the sharp blue sky that colored the day ‘I can’t quite define it either... Just different.’ Aéolyn slithered in ‘I feel like the day I was born, like I’ve never experienced life before, I feel wonderful.’ She leaned back and bathed in the sun She was beautiful It was almost impossible to control myself ‘Aéolyn you look really different.’ River nodded his head in agreement She looked away into the woods ‘I know, I looked at my reflection in the river. It’s like when you look in the mirror and everything seems right, I look the way my brain expects me to.’ She looked back and stared at both of us ‘Yeah, I feel incredible.’ My heart moved closer to her direction I could tell River felt the same We mumbled under our breath The two of us At the same time ‘You set my world on fire.’ She giggled and looked up at River ‘What does that even mean?’ Her head shifted back towards the woods I looked at River for permission I had to answer her question ‘You demand attention, your flames, your scent, your heat, your roar, you’re a dangerous piece of art, and you’ve changed our worlds. They are on fire.’ River smiled in agreement
between you and me SOPHIA GRANDE-LAWLOR You and I fall in love between the lines. We hide behind Antony and Cleopatra, acting out a tragedy of our own selfish whims, ruining dynasties and carefully laid plans. Love makes me understand the Queen’s immortal longings. We send each other ships constructed of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera that sail into the unknown to explore untested waters, unsure if they will be received in safe harbours or lost at sea for years or even return at all. We scour Toulouse-Lautrec for some kind of visual explanation of this feeling, waking up together, waking up alone, the paint swimming into our thoughts and colouring everything with an inexplicable nostalgia that I will chase the rest of my life. I will always find you as you found me in Emily Dickinson baring her soul in stark isolation, longing and loving with a vicious ferocity with no one there to say anything back. Is this the introvert’s curse? To feel things white hot, to not be able to explain the colours and feelings and intricate moments of being to anyone? What torture. I will never be able to look at the Mona Lisa without feeling that smug smile tell me that she knows I think of your smile curling in the corners. That same smile given to me when you caught me being cliché and crying at the sight of her. It was simple, you said. You thought it was novel that something stirred in my heart when I saw her. And I think that’s when I knew you don’t see what I see. I will always feel your hand slipping into mine when I look at Klimt. And I will always hear your voice reading to me in the breeze, sonnets slipping from your lips and surrounding me in the spring. There will always be a hint of you interwoven into Monet’s Waterlilies, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to extricate you from it. And if there’s one thing you taught me, it’s that falling in love between the lines is as dangerous as falling in love between the sheets.
To my future children KODY SMITH To my future children, One day You will grow up And you may come to hate me, For years this may happen to some, For a little while, I only hope That we can make it Back To love. Your future parent from the past
Behind My Eyes PREYE T. ADUWARI
I’ve always marveled at the inability of other people to read my mind. Like, how hard can it be to tell that a girl you barely know is really crying on the inside And lying through her teeth when she says she’s doing great? It might be easier if people just knew what I felt, because Then I wouldn’t have to talk about my embarrassing feelings. But I suppose there are pros to this too, Like the fact that my sister can’t hear all the names That I call her in my mind when we fight. Hiding my feelings was all I knew how to do. So I’d hope that someone would poke my surface with a stick and see them Or that the tears would just break free in a room full of people And there’d be no place to hide, But that never happened. At this point I’m pretty sure I have unnatural control over my tear glands Because I spent my childhood perfecting my game face. I used to get exhausted from feeling my own emotions, But instead of reaching out to someone for help Like normal people probably do, I would follow these instructions from Captain Sara Lance: I would take a box, put my emotions inside that box, and then throw the box away. She says it’s the way to get a job done, And if she (a previous member of the League of Assassins, now turned superhero) Doesn’t have all the answers, Then who the hell does? Still, it wasn’t fun being that way because I could never seem to run out of feelings. So, I’m trying to learn otherwise, and I think I’m making progress I will no longer be the person who always says that she is fine. I mean I am a fine piece of... brains. But nobody is ever always fine. So, I will speak to those who are listening. I won’t strive to conceal my feelings tightly behind the words of the poems that I write, And then hope that somehow, people will read between the lines to find them. I will no longer hide the things that are meant to be set free So that people won’t have to look behind my eyes to see me.
CAMILLE DEHGHAN Windstorm. Whip wrath at my face. Leave me raw and cold in a blur. Don’t whisper to me. Scream what you want to say. Bombard me with your pain. Suffocate me with your thoughts. A tyrant in my mind. Feeding off my heart and soul. You’ve taken everything from me. But I don’t care. I’m still here, holding on, in a windstorm.
A History of Patience JOHN GARFIELD MCMORRAN
The land began its existence in a state of violence too natural to be interrupted. Creatures violent in fiber and sinew symbiotically punished according to the natural order of things. Suffering was the language of a world made simple by laws as strict as they were unbreakable. The land was a tablet carved by time and time alone. Each etching distinct from the last only in the great eyes, sun and moon. They stood vigil without fatigue as the land accepted its position in the universe, and with no need for anything different, there was no reason for the way of things to change. For a great time beings passed in and out of existence, the only evidence of any existence their lineage, and lacking that, evidence only of their osseous leavings, should the elements bother to spare such delicate remainings. Individuals could not exist. The landmarks of that hideous archipelago changed at a rate best measured in astral increments, but with each change the world’s forward momentum pulled it onward, its sinister nature accelerating without impediment, rolling toward a destiny written long ago but not yet perfected. And from that land arose a soul so dark, one must assume it to be better than it is, because to admit its true nature is to admit that some things may be so dark as to be irredeemable. Man’s first leavings resembled a trowel overturning a garden, dirt raised up but still dirt. But man looked at the natural order of things with a disdain previously unknown to the world, and his unfulfilled aggression led to work both mortal and timeless. He looked upon the world like a beastmaster upon his breeds, cowed to all intention and incapable of their own. And progress was not without its cost, but the price was paid with such willingness that the results were synchronous to man’s offerings. Driven by this untameable obsession, man concerned himself with progress as he alone defined it. The land’s fabric was dismantled, then reassembled for purposes beyond the reckoning of wisdom long-sincesilenced, and contemptable by the new order of creation. Blood and fire spilled and spread to intimate corners of the world like a rape prolonged to millenia. And man charted his course but gazed upon it only seldomly, instead raising his head and shielding his eyes and staring to the ends of the earth and wondering what lay beyond. Non-comprehension of his world was unacceptable, so he did not permit it. But the land held patience beyond man’s reckoning. And man proved unfit for his kingly station in the world, and his violence permeated to nations of his own self, for whom his greatest and least forgivable cruelties were devised. And these actions were his undoing as he purged his own ranks to the soul, and left but artifacts on the entitiless earth, and no one to study his history. In time the scabs of his presence crusted and scarred, then faded in a way that the world was familiar with, having seen the entropy of beings before. The graves of man rotted and the earth slumped in grateful repose, and what few survivors were left embodied the nature that had governed before the time of great change. And time moved forward uncounted, but the world was not naive, and so it waited.
i. 1 — ready? 2 — almost… 1 — here, wear it. it’s cold. 2 — … it’s fine. 1 — you didn’t forget anything? 2 — no. 1 — let’s go.
ii. 1 — i’m hungry. 2 — we don’t have time. you can eat when you get there. 1 — it won’t take long. 2 — it will.
iii. 1 — i don’t want to. 2 — i know. 1 — please. 2 — i don’t make the rules. You have to. 2 — i’m sorry. 2 — you will understand in time.
2 — it’s better this way.
2 — i’m sorry.
iv. 1 — i can’t 2 — i can’t either. 1 — it’s not fair. 2 — no, it’s not. 1 — please. 2 — we have to. 1 — we don’t. 2 — it’ll be okay. 2 — i’m sorry. 2 — i’ll come back. 2 — i won’t leave you. 2 — i promise.
v. 1 — mom?
Mother’s Necklace KIMBERLY CHUNG I remember vividly his distraught face and his blood seeping through the white carpet and splattering onto the windows that displayed the heavy fog covering London’s landscape. The only witnesses to the invasion were the birds flying away from gunshots and me, hiding in the cabinet under the sink hearing my father’s cry. It was the perfect day to kill. After my father was murdered in my living room by two strange men, I came out of hiding in the kitchen. The men ran out of the house and I tried my best to control the blood gushing out of his chest. He stopped me by stroking my face and said, “They thought they got rid of me, but they didn’t realize I have a brilliant daughter who can’t be underestimated.” His arm dropped to the floor and I stared at his eyes, still held open. I rushed to my bedroom, grabbed my bag to pack my clothes, and changed into a long navy blue dress, a black corset, and my brown leather heels. I opened the drawer next to my bed to find my jewelry box untouched. I felt relief as I grazed the diamonds and rubies bordering around the glass top that revealed everything I needed to get out of the country. I opened the large box to grab the necklaces and rings I could sell for money, my father’s pocket watch, my mother’s favourite pendent, and my small handgun. Even though I had to leave my house immediately, I couldn’t help but feel stunned while looking at my parents’ things. I knew there would be a day when they would leave me on my own but it was still unbearable to feel alone. I put on my mother’s necklace and pressed it against my chest. I can hear her hum her favourite lullaby and see her dancing with my father late at night. She passed away from a disease two years ago and it drove Father mad to find a resolution for his loss. We had limited money at the time, so he joined underground groups that retrieved money in ways I didn’t want to understand. He would bring home hundreds of dollars each night and I glowed with happiness. I thought mother would be proud of how far we’d come, but one night I overheard him pray for forgiveness in his room. I went inside to comfort him and he immediately held me, warning me that he was going to die soon for his actions. I looked at the pocket watch again and gripped it hard. My tears could not stop running down my face. I wanted to save him but he warned me if anyone attacked him, I had to remain alive. I couldn’t distract myself further and still fulfill my father’s wish to live with the wealth he accumulated. I learned from him how to remove my identity and live as a different person if this day ever came. I grabbed the gasoline from the kitchen and spread it all over the house and on my father. The police arrived after I left, just in time to witness the flames consume my past.
the road. YELIBERT CRUZ
there’s a road running right in between my godmother’s apartment and my grandmother’s house where I used to play.
ii. earliest memory: bare feet burned as I ran across the tarmac – it held cracks and stones and a rather large pothole in front of my godmother’s bright yellow car. the smell of gasoline and firewood lingered in the air the way a newborn child grips onto its mother’s thumb. my mother’s voice yelled from across the street and I waddled across miles and miles of road to reach her. the top of my head burned. iii. the christmas I received my bright orange bicycle, santa came to our road – he drove a large red truck, as bright as the reddest lollipop and as big as the moon, and stopped in front of my godmother’s. the rest of the kids ran and swarmed and climbed and pushed and shoved. I sat on the curb and took off the sparkly shoes my mom had picked out for me, waiting patiently. my pink dress was smudged with dirt and there was mud speckled across my cheeks like the freckles I had always wanted. my name was eventually called, and when my big beautiful bike appeared I ran to get it before my older cousins claimed it for me. christmas lights along the road lit us up like fireworks. iv.
santa’s truck got stuck in my godmother’s pothole.
v. the year after santa’s truck, my grandfather bought an old, used car – it was pastel yellow, blue, and pink, like easter eggs lined up in a basket, and it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. vi. sandals stuck to my sweaty feet as I ran up to my uncles who were leaning against the car – it had dents in the doors and a crack in one of the front lights which no longer worked. I opened the passenger door and crawled into the backseat. the seats were covered in beige leather that had begun peeling like dead skin after a sunburn. the smell of cigarettes and sweat filled my nostrils. my thighs stuck to the seat. it was magical. vii. the christmas of the old, used car, I rode my bicycle all night. I kicked off my shoes and my mother said to mind the pothole and I pedaled my little heart out, my bright purple dress swishing and swaying and dancing and free. viii.
that christmas of the old, used car, I left my bike outside. by morning, it had been stolen.
ix. my cousins and I became quite the fans of ding-dong-ditch. we ran up and down that decrepit street barefoot, the soles of our feet stinging and blistering from pebbles and cracks in the tarmac. I huffed and puffed and fought to keep up. x.
my mother gave me a cold bath as she lectured me on the importance of wearing shoes.
xi. someone broke into my aunt’s house, and the road was deserted when christmas came. the pavement quaked with the absence of children, each of us hidden and tucked away behind fences and gates like fallen teeth squished beneath your pillow. the cracks ran deep in the black-grey street, like veins running up your arm, like the roots of an oak tree digging into the ground and holding everything in place. xii. the year before my grandfather died, the old, used car was stolen – the wheels left a dent in the road and the patch of tarmac was a shade darker than the rest of the street. I could still smell leather and cigarettes. xiii. last memory: my feet bare as I ran across the street as quickly as I could to avoid the searing of the stones and the road. my legs gave out from under me as my foot sunk into the hole I’d avoided all my life – my palms scraped against the rough, rocky terrain as I fell forwards, the split in the road tearing my skin apart and inviting warm crimson to spill from my body. my stomach sinking and my knees and elbows stinging. blood on the road beneath me like a fresh paint job. patches of sand and grime stuck to my bloody knees. xiv.
the next day, wore my shoes to walk across the road.
Elevated Existence JAMES LAO
A book’s cover opens. Like encouragement fingers flap open pages. Wings flap every time I read. I start to elevate, like a bird. As I soar higher through the story, I meet those who are just and not so much. I meet the hero; someone sturdy, I can trust. A friend that protects me. Their face I pair with love. Now the hero meets the villain. I hide trying not to get wrapped up. Mixing with danger will ruin my journey, my story’s end, and the further I fly the greater the significance of the winds that rush past my wings. My long journey soon meets its end, I landed at a wondrous place; a place worth the flight. Now the book’s cover closes, and I smile with gratitude.
Pure Unadulterated Hatred THIRANGA WIJEDASA
I’m not interested in intoxication I’m not interested in your games I’ve got work to do and a life to live and I don’t need medication to drug down the pain to swim through these dark murky waters in fact I welcome it this challenge called life so you can drown in amber liquid if you like I’ll stand above smiling as you slowly suffocate because honey I wish you were dead so take a sip, one last breath, and be gone.
Final Chapter MANREET LACHHAR And yet, this is not where it ends. Youâ€™ll have more heartbreaks and secrets, more sunshined mornings and triumphs beyond this. You are only just beginning.