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We Fly Together

Spring 2016 Thoroughfare


“Just as when we come into the world, when we die we are afraid of the unknown. But the fear is something from within us that has nothing to do with reality. Dying is like being born: just a change.� Isabel Allende


Staff

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Editor-in-Chief: Kat Lewis Managing Editors: Keven Perez, Katie Robinson Prose Editors: Keven Perez, Lydia Youngman Prose Committee: Sabrina Pyun Katie Luo Saena Syed Alyssa Mefford Samantha Igo Poetry Editors: Josh Katz, Annie Cho Poetry Committee: Hannah Manley Alex Schwartz Art Editors: Samantha Igo, Victoria Yeh Art Committee: Elena House-Hay Hannah Ingersoll Thaara Shankar

Layout Designer: Hannah Ingersoll Layout Team: Elena House-Hay Hannah Thorpe Blog Editor: Lydia Youngman


Brake Light Hannah Manley

When the music swells loudly in the backseat of a car Howling down the road through stars, And the windows are rolled down So that youth can be shouted, announced Into the still summer night. Heads undulate To the gentle tune of exhaustion; The rhythm of a song Radiating from tinny speakers, The drum beat pulsing in tune with each beating heart. The warm season of laughter, Each moment spent breathing, Nudges its way forward into the empty; Each of its inhabitants yearns for a red light, A paused instant to inhale Sweet honeysuckle sounds Of unfading adrenaline


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Elena House-Hay


Daisy

Victoria Yeh


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Aflkahsfkjhblfkhdsljfhlkjdshflkdsh;fkhaslkhfd Stranger’s Arms jkjg hlkjgjh kjgj Giovanna Molina

Your yard once full of pussy willow trees, now covered in cement, has one patch left of open dirt, which the pavers seemed to forget, he e a g ee bu s s

e i

es

i

i g

your arms that are sprawled through me, ai i g

a h he bla ke if i falls

the bed, recall if I speak while asleep, to tell you how my mother once made me feel,

safe, like how cows feel before slaughter: caught in winding tunnels, unaware of where they’d end, warmed by the false comfort of a meaningful embrace

that will be gone tomorrow after you leave an unwashed glass in my sink, with a faint mark from your lips, that once held water that I poured for you.


memoriam Vivian Tsai

x in honor of a boy I have never met x once, I almost died. or maybe this happened to all of us once. I think it’s not impossible to believe that everyone has, even if only f

a fli e i g se

d

a e i i kle

h ugh he sa e e i-

ble thought, whispered silently: I am nothing but a speck here on a skyless beach where the waves are crashing, and I am here existing and what if all of a sudden I wasn’t? x I don’t think anybody knows what it is like to disappear. we all think we do; perhaps we are all disappearing inside ourselves piece by piece; but to truly be gone, to not be eaten by a black hole but to be the black hole, what does this mean? is it possible for something more than the particles it’s made of be reduced to particle once again? sometimes I don’t think so. and sometimes I think I know it’s true and I’m just too afraid to believe it.


x I am ashamed to say that I have never heard your name, not once, until now. but then I realize that I have never heard the names of hundreds and thousands and millions of people. it is easy to twist inwards and realize how big your thoughts stretch inside of you, a spreading universe of secrets; it is harder to realize that the earth is bigge s ill ha all f his ha a i

i sig i a

la e

uld h ld

so many many people who all harbor these billowing mysterious things inside; and if you can’t envision how large the songs in your heart reach, how can a whole world of hearts be possible? all this fullness makes me feel empty inside. I walk on the streets and de e

hi g a bla k sla e all ega i e s a e i h u e e a a e

of tangibility to keep me from drifting away.


x bu he e a e

a

he hi gs

s i g skies a d s

flakes

fl a i g like fea he s a d he i d flushed i h e i e e

as

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cruise your bike down that gigantic hill that takes forever to pedal up. there is the feeling of laughter that spreads inside you like warm lau d

kies s aigh f

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a

es

as

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the ground, rushing over all the sidewalks and washing all the stains away for a new beginning. hese hi gs he a e s e ial a d ative spaces. they help me to see. x and I wish you’d seen them too.

agi al a d eal he

ll he eg-


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Elena House-Hay


The Hypochondriac Lauren Alpert

“My face is dry,” she says. Her eyes are lifeless puddles. Flaps of skin fall from her cheeks, as adi g

he fl

like

drips of sap leaking from a tree trunk. “Go for a walk,” he says, “or out for lunch.” “I can’t,” she says, “my back hurts.” Her ailments are like velvet: smooth, never-ending, e fl

i gi

he e

And yet, her life is the darkness of an unfurnished bedroom, her days the monotony of kitchen to bathroom, bathroom to den. She aches. He cries. There is nothing they can do.


Elena House-Hay


Elena House-Hay


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Arisa Morgan


Stale Blood by Kat Lewis

Mama and I had matching bruises. Handprint bracelets circled our wrists. Blue veins shrugged under brown skin with each tender turn of the hand. My sister was screaming again. “Fuck you, bitch!” Her voice cracked and her neck bulged like parody of Emily Rose. In that moment, I knew why I always laughed whenever I told my friends the new ways Reiny broke my nose or put me in casts. Insanity was laughable. She stood across the kitchen from me, still wearing her sweat-stained cheerleading uniform and reeking of cheap perfume and B.O. Makeup was splattered across her face – eye shadow smudged into raccoon-like rings and red lipstick smeared across her mouth and teeth like she had just drunk someone’s blood. Reiny swung at our mother with open palms as if she were swimming. “You’re hurting me!” Mama cried over the slap of skin against forearm. “No, no,” Reiny said, exasperated. “They’re hurting you.” Our Jack Russell, Milo, stood at Reiny’s heels, slouched forward with growls ripping from his throat. He peeled his upper lip back to bare his teeth. Mama caught Reiny’s wrists and her elbows thrashed about as she struggled to break free. Milo barked.


“Tara, go get the Xanax and take your fucking mutt,” Mama said. I hurried to my sister’s bathroom, snatching the soles of my ba e fee f

hei s ea glued s

s

he ile fl

he

i

of the medicine cabinet chattered against the wall as I threw it e

ifled h ugh he le h a f

bilif

ile al a d e

uel bef e

a ge b

les

di g he

ssi g aside

a a

u ed

two white pills into my hand and returned to the kitchen, my sweat eating away at their chalk. Reiny was biting now. Although Mama had her by the wrists and under some control, Reiny was pulling her closer, trying to h

d

a as

ge s

a a gla ed

e

ei

s sh ul-

der. “Put it on the counter. Reiny, take your pills.” As I set the pills on the counter and made sure they wouldn’t roll away, Reiny shouted, spit foaming at her red mouth. “I don’t need medicine! They need medicine! They need to pay for what they did.” The elusive “They”. I never had so much hate for a pronoun. Reiny always posted mediocre vocal covers on Youtube, but refused to disable comments. Not only did people drop trou and shit on the performance, the anonymous cretins of the Internet seized every opportunity they had to call her a “monkey-face nigger.” The bullshit of the world was maddening enough as is, but coupled with


Autism, sometimes I didn’t blame her for wanting to draw blood. Milo growled again, snapping his jaw at Reiny as she snapped hers. “Get the damn dog,” Mama yelled. “Milo, c’mere,” I tried to coo but something quivered through my voice. I was never sure if that tremor was fear or anger because Reiny made me so afraid and so angry. Milo didn’t hear me l ba ked l ude

i h his bead e es

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step forward and Reiny stumbled back, still throwing elbows. One hit me in the mouth and my lip busted open. “Jesus. Fuck. Tara,” Mama muttered, subconsciously letting go of Reiny to check on me. Screaming, Reiny turned around and trapped me against the counter with a barrage of slaps. My arms burned, but I didn’t feel it for long. Reiny smacked my nose and stunned my senses. I felt nothing but pain in my face that was white a d age ha

as e e

hi e

e he

g

a kill he

gonna fucking kill her.” There was more screaming and barking. I didn’t even feel my own lips move to utter the words. I caught one of Reiny’s arms and bit her until I tasted the copper twang of blood. An awful wail rang out in the kitchen. To my surprise, it didn’t come from Reiny but Mama. Mama tore us apart and I glanced down at Milo. He scratched at Reiny’s leg, shaking his head with his teeth sunk into her calf. Blood drizzled down her unshaven


leg, dribbling across the pristine white of her cheer shoes. Mama ki ked he d g

ei

a d s

ed hi

u a d s i ed i

my room. The door slammed, the lock clicked and I pressed my back against the only barrier between the screaming and me. With Milo s ill i

a

s

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he fl

s e s hu

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the hardwood outside my room and jostled the trophies on top of my upright piano. On the other side, Reiny screamed about he

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e i h he

ss

u di g agai s he d

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il

trembled in my arms, I thought of Trudy Steuernagel and how her autistic son beat her to death. I didn’t understand that kind of love. I only felt hate and how desperately I wanted Reiny to disappear, die a d

il a d huddled

ge he

iny’s blood like stale pennies in our mouths.

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as i g e-


Volamos Junticos


Rocio Olivia


Silent by Katie Robinson

You wake up to a cat that isn’t yours scratching at the porch door and streaks of mid-afternoon sun streaming in through the windows. You roll over onto your stomach and bury your throbbing head into a pillow. The cat is still scratching and meowing. You s e h u f jea sh

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i

he

s hi g

a ball he

u

h

u h he

a ai a he

door. u k

u

u e i

he shee s he

l se

u e es

sleep for another hour or two.

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u

all ge u f

he da sli

i g

u ba e legs

out of bed and stumbling your way, half-naked, down the hall and into the bathroom, your mind is swirling with questions. You search all the drawers for toothpaste. Where were you last night? Who were you with? You stare at yourself in the mirror as you brush your teeth ih

u

ge

What’s that bruise on your left cheek from? Why do you look like you were crying?


You spit in the sink. Splash water on your face. Yawn. How did you get here? You smell like cheap vodka and cigarettes. Your stomach is writhing. You kneel down in front of the toilet and rest your elbows on the cool porcelain, holding your head up with your hands. Close your eyes. Smell that musty toilet scent. Relax a little. When are you going home?

An hour or so later, you’re sitting on the porch with your legs u led u de

ua dah

u

f

ee e e

h ugh i s

90 degrees out. It smells like summer but the not-so-nice side of summer: like melting rubber and trash rotting in August heat. When you try and look out across the street everything looks wavy with warmth, or maybe you’re still a little drunk. There’s some guy who looks to be in his mid-twenties sitting in a chair next to you who says his name is Eddie and he’s staring you like you should’ve known that. You guess it’s his house. “Tell me something about yourself,” he says. You’re staring out at the sidewalk, not looking at him. You think how he sounds cliché and dumb. There are droplets of sweat forming on the back of your neck as you bring your mug to your lips and feel warm all over. You stick out your tongue and lick a


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“I’m not that interesting,” you say. You think how you sound cliché and dumb. “I’m sure that’s not true.” You rack your brain for some kind of response, but nothing comes to mind. “How did I get here last night?” you ask. “We walked.” “From where?” You hear him sigh. He seems confused. “A party down the street.” You lean your head back and stare up at a covered flu es e

ligh ha s u ed

a d li e ed i h dead bee les

When he tries to start conversation again you ask him if he could stop talking. He seems a little angry but doesn’t say anything, so you say thanks and sit there in silence for a while, wondering when he’ll tell you to go home.

You lost your virginity in the woods behind Tom Callahan’s h use he

u e e f ee

ab

u d alked

i e bef e

and not once after. He smelled like potato chips and stale beer and his hands were confused and fumbled around your body in a way


that told you he’d never done this before. You remember the smell of the dirt and the trees and the grass when you were down on the ground, and the chirping of crickets and faint music pumping into the woods from the party back at Tom’s house. You remember the sky being real dark and that you could see a lot of stars. You don’t really remember much else. Not what he said to you after or before or during, not what it felt like, not how much or how little it hurt. Just that you weren’t that moved by it one way or another, that the world didn’t tilt under u fee a d

u did

feel like

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di e e

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been before it. You remember staring at the sky and thinking it all still looked the same after as it had before. You remember wondering why people thought the whole thing was such a big deal.

*

There are exactly 23 missed calls on your phone when you check it. “It’s been buzzing all morning,” Eddie says when he sees you looking at it. “Think someone is missing you.” You say, “No. No one is missing me,” and turn your phone


When you were sixteen your parents sent you to N.A. because they found a drawer in your room full of prescription pills that shouldn’t have belonged to you. It was the middle of winter and you came home at three AM and they were sitting on the couch in the living room waiting with one light on and all your pills laid out in color-coordinated piles on the table, like some ironic play on a fancy jewelry display. You didn’t cry or anything, just kind of sat there across from them while they feigned concern in their attempt at an intervention. You told them something was wrong with you. That you didn’t need N.A. Maybe if you had parents who acknowledged their daughter had a bigger, less tangible problem than popping pills… “Don’t try to blame this on us,” your mom said. You said, “I’m not.” And you sighed and bit down on your ge a d l

ked u he i d

*

In the few hours you’ve been at Eddie’s you haven’t talked much, only enough for you to learn that he goes to college nearby and lives at this house with a few friends who are away during the summer while he takes summer classes. After that you couldn’t really think of anything to say, so you ask him for a beer and he


gives you one and you go outside and lie on the sidewalk and drink it. It’s cool and trickles welcomingly down your throat like an old friend and you say, “Thanks,” and he says, “Why are you lying on the sidewalk?” “I don’t know. Why do I do anything?” “I don’t know. Why do you?” You don’t answer him and he says, “I don’t understand you.” You still don’t say anything. He says, “Why did you leave home?” You choke on your drink and start coughing. You sit up but kee

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b ea h a d he

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You press your hands into the sidewalk until pebbles dig into them and they hurt. You blow air up into your face. “I didn’t leave home.” “Do you not remember anything from last night?” he asks. “What?” “You told me you left home and needed a place to stay, and I e ed f

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a li le hile if

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u

a

“Oh,” you say. You squint up at the sky and chew on your cheek. “Why did you leave home?” “I didn’t like it there,” you say. And then you don’t say anything else for a long while and he doesn’t ask you to.


*

It wasn’t until you were 18 that you started thinking about death. Real, actual death. It wasn’t so much that you were suicidal; you had no intentions of going out of your way to die, but you weren’t trying to stop yourself from dying either. You didn’t die, not yet. But it would be a lie to say there weren’t days you wish you had.

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long, but at some point the door creaks open and Eddie pokes his head out and asks if you want to come help cook. You don’t really, but he looks at you all excited, like he’s really looking forward to cooking with company, and even though you don’t understand how s

e

e

uld be ha i

aki g di

e

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u self ge i g

up to help. In the kitchen the air reeks heavily of tomato sauce and garlic. Eddie hands you a zucchini, some peppers, a knife. “Know


how to cut vegetables?” “Yeah, I think I can handle it,” you say, taking the vegetables as he hands them to you and placing them on a cutting board. You both do your work in silence of a little while, and eventually he brings it up again. “Why did you leave home?” He goes on about how it’s weird that he doesn’t know, considering u e s a i g i h hi

f

a i de

iea

u

f i e

e sa s

what if you did something terrible. You wipe your forearm across your head and stare pointedly at the zucchini sitting in front of you. You stall with your knife. You feel cold. “Come on,” he says. “I wasn’t serious. I don’t think you really did something terrible.” “What if I did?” you say, snapping your head up. He squints, knits his eyebrows together. “Did you?” You bite your cheek. “No,” you say. “No. No, I didn’t.” You put your knife down on the cutting board. “I need to go.” As you’re on your way out the door, Eddie calls you to come back. He apologizes for if he said something wrong. “I don’t know you,” you say from halfway down the block. “I shouldn’t be here.” But you don’t really have anywhere else to be. So you just sit down on the sidewalk, with your head bowed low and some tears


hanging from your eyelashes, and then after a few minutes, you walk back to the house.

Sometimes you have these really bad nightmares. Ones that wake you up in the middle of the night, screaming, cold sweats, even though you can never remember what the dreams were about once you’re awake. Tonight is one of those nights, and when you wake up writhing around and covered in sweat, Eddie runs in to see if you’re okay. You’re confused and disoriented and it takes you a minute before remembering where you are and why. Then you burst into tears and can’t stop. “Whoa,” Eddie says, and comes over to sit down next to you. “Hey, it’s okay. It was just a dream.” But you’re crying so hard and you don’t even know why anymore, not if it’s because of the dream, because you’re scared, or because you forget how to not be sad sometimes. Either way, you fall over onto Eddie, still crying. At s he feels igid bu af e a

e

he u s his a

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u

shoulders and strokes the back of your head. You’re not sure how long you both stay like that, but it must have been a while and you must have fallen asleep, because when you wake up in the morning, you’re all tucked in and you aren’t


crying anymore.

When you come downstairs, Eddie is sitting at the kitchen able i h a u

ee s a i g

u a d s iles ge i g u ha ks a d si d i h his

f

ge s i sile e f

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the twenty-four plus hours you’ve known each other seems out of character for him. You feel nervous, like he’s about to tell you that you have to leave. Maybe last night was too much for him. Maybe he thinks you’re psychotic now too and he’s probably right and next thing you know you’ll be back out on the road not sure of where you’ll end up next, always in search of a place to stay for a night or two, never landing anywhere for more than a moment. You’re about to tell him to just say it, to tell you to leave, when he speaks up. “I lied about how we met at the party.” You feel relieved. You almost laugh that that was all he had to say. Smiling, you say, “What?” He looks up at you. “You ended up here because you were really, really fucked up. I don’t know from what. I think you took a lot of pills or something – that’s what people were saying anyway.


You were practically passed out across some guy who was going to take you home with him, and it just looked like a bad situation to me. So I told the guy that you were my sister and that we were leaving, and I took you back here and you passed out as soon as we got in the car.” u e a bi e ba assed b he s

bu ha de

i el

sounded about right. You’re quiet and you think. “Why would you not tell me that?” “I’d seen you at a few parties, a few times. I wasn’t sure if you had a place to stay or were just kind of wandering, and every time I saw you, you seemed to be dangerously drugged up. I wanted to give you a place to stay… Maybe somewhere you couldn’t get more of whatever pills you’ve been popping. I didn’t want to tell you because I didn’t want you to think I was trying to clean you up and get mad and run away again.” ul

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eyebrows. “Why would you…” jus did

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ended up dead.” You feel like there needs to be more to it than that. For the s i e

u e he

e i h ues i

s

u ell hi

ha s

enough. He looks at you and raises an eyebrow. “Everybody has their


reasons for things,” he says. “Just like you have your reason for leaving home.” “Oh,” you say. “I get it.” He smiles at you but you don’t smile back and then he gets up to go get a shower, and you sit there wondering why he cares.

*

N.A. never taught you to stop popping pills, all it did was teach you how to be better at hiding it. Your parents pawned you a i us he a is s a d su

g u s a d ea h jus

ade

you better at hiding all the things that you used to lay out there on he su fa e

u

u he ills f

he s hia is a d ll he

bottles with the pills you liked to take the most. Smile at people instead of walking around grimacing all the time. Use words like, “Great!” and “I’m doing really well now,” when family asks about you. Practice your laugh until it sounds real. Cry late at night when everyone is asleep, or in your car while in transit, or in the shower if you can keep it quiet. What scared you as you got older was not how well you la ed i

bu he fa

ha i did

feel like a

f

a e i

anymore. You were just doing it. Pills and depression became company. You never thought of actually committing suicide, but


sui idal h ugh s be a e a ga e

h

a

a s fd i g

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you come up with? The truth was that Eddie’s question was hard to answer because you didn’t really know why you left. One day you got in the car with the intention of going to your weekly therapy session and i s ead

ud

e s aigh

as he he a is s

e a d jus ke

going and somewhere along the way you realized you didn’t want to come back.

*

Eddie is upstairs in his room and you go in and sit down on his bed, facing him. “I left home because it seemed like the easiest thing to do,” you say. He doesn’t really seem surprised that you just walked in and started talking. It almost seems like he’s expecting it. “Okay,” he says. u

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anyone else. Maybe it was because you were sick of hiding from them or maybe it was because he genuinely seemed to want to listen, but either way, there you were. You told him about being depressed for years, how you were afraid of it but it was a part of


shdksjkbelfhjajkhbdfkhgaslkfjhaslduifghlads;gkf;kjjdjfhbsdkjhfldkyou all the same, that you had a rocky relationship with your flkahsfkjhblfkhdsljfhlkjdshflkdsh;fkhaslkhfd a e s a d al a s h ugh i as u faul jkjg hlkjgjh u ha e kjgj ble s you’re hard to deal with, you drove them away. Leaving seemed like the only thing that could every make anyone happy. You let out a long breath when you’re done. Eddie gets up and walks over to his dresser drawer, taking out a picture and handing it to you. It’s Eddie, much younger, with a girl maybe a year or so younger than him. He points to her. “That’s Ella. My sister.” He sits back down on the bed. “She died two years ago. OD’d on prescription pills.” You stare at the picture. Ella was beautiful. It was an empty thought, but you don’t know what else to say. Eddie looks at you. “It’s not easier to disappear,” he says. And now you’re crying again and he’s holding you and neither of you speak for a long time.

*

he

u e e se e

u e

ki e fl i g i h

u

ae s

in August. You remember the day being beautiful and the park you were in being huge and empty. You remember the sun setting right over this big hill, and you thought if you got to the top of it, you’d be able to touch the sun. So you started walking towards it, but


didn’t tell your parents why because you were afraid they would think it was silly. Then when you were almost there, almost at the top, your parents called you and told you it was time to go. You stood there, looking at your parents, then looking those few feet to the top of the hill. You wanted to keep going, but your parents kept yelling for you to come down. So you turned away from the sun and left. For some reason the memory always stuck As silly as you felt thinking it, you always thought that maybe if you’d gone to the top of that hill, you would have touched the sun, just like you’d hoped, that you’d missed some big chance by turning around and walking down the hill. But maybe you didn’t. Maybe you could have that chance again. But only if you stopped thinking about the chance you’d missed. Only if you let it go and believed in the chances you still had. This is what you think about when Eddie turns on your phone and hands it to you. Thirteen voicemails from you mom, six from you dad. You stare at it with your head in your hands, and Eddie sits across from you, waiting. Then you pick it up and listen.


Elena House-Hay


Beloved


Victoria Yeh


Some Reasons for living, Title Some for by authorDying by Nat Moss

asdfasdf There are eight people whose lives are changed on the day e a died

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es

be a e ed b

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was the driver of the car that hit him. The driver, a Mr. Wright, was late for a business meeting, and happened to not see the stop sign on the corner of Belvedere and Hawthorne. He likely would not have noticed that he missed a stop sign at all were it not for the fact that he hit Stewart, who was crossing the street. After hitting Stewart, Mr. Wright stopped his blue Chevy Malibu by the side of the road, and checked it for any damage. There was a rather large dent on the hood, but his windshield had been spared by the fa

ha he f

e se

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to tell his insurance company that the car got dented, Mr. Wright remembered that something must have hit him for the dent to occur i

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all

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he

side of the road. “You there, I do believe you should look both ways before crossing the road. This is hardly my fault.� If all went as planned, Mr. Wright could get back on his way to work quickly after getting


asfasdfasdf the man on the ground to agree that it was his fault for crossing the street. Stewart considered mentioning the stop sign, but decided against it after realizing he was seeing too much red, and perhaps he was imagining the stop sign. “Right…sorry, should have looked both ways…don’t mind me…” With that, Mr. Wright nodded to the man on the ground and headed swiftly back to his car. He was almost at work when he remembered what the man on the ground had said. “Wright…by god, he knew my name! I’ve never seen that man, and yet, he knew my name! God was testing me, and I’ve failed!” At this realization, Mr. Wright nearly ran another stop sign, but the sight of it in his periphery shocked something within his very core, and he slammed on his brakes. “A sign! A stop sign! A sign from the heavens that it’s not too late!” And with that, Mr. Wright turned his blue Chevy Malibu around and drove back to the corner of Belvedere and Hawthorne. The man he hit was no longer there. he se

d es

be a e ed b

e a s dea h as

the person behind the counter of the corner store Stewart limped into. This person was a young man named Dennis, though, due to he fa

ha e g a i g a a e ag

ss f

e s a le e his ead

Denis. While most would think that Dennis and Denis sound


exactly the same, Dennis would swear up and down that he could ell he di e e e

si

ee

s

f he e

le he

e

e e us-

tomers, and without fail, every one of them pronounced his name as Denis, and, without fail, he ended up despising every customer. When the door of the corner store opened, Dennis was already preparing himself to hate whoever might come in, and perhaps accidentally drop all their change on the ground or to secretly shake their soda as he was scanning it. However, upon seeing who entered, and how much blood the stranger were covered in, and how the stranger’s arm was twisted in a terrible, angular sort of way, Dennis fainted. he hi d e s he s

e

a age

h

h

as a e ed b

as i

he ba k

e a s dea h as e he he hea d a hud

and began calling out to Dennis to see what was the matter. Upon receiving no response, he stomped angrily over to the counter. As soon as he almost stepped on poor Dennis, the manager, a Mr. Locke, heard another thud, this time from the entrance of the store. There he saw a body, and a quite mangled one at that, lying on the fl

he f

half f i i

he s

e he legs s i ki g u he d

Nearly fainting himself but realizing that having a body in the doorway can’t be good for business, Mr. Locke kicked Dennis awake. e is ge u

ill

u

he e s a

a

he fl

i

door and I need you to move him.� Waking with a start and

he


grumbling over the fact that his own manager didn’t know his a e

e

fai ed i fled

e

is ushed hi self he he

s

la e al a

he g u d a d sa s fai i g agai

he fl

a d

he eas

he

he ai he shufke ga e hi

a s lid

nudge with his foot. The bloody mess then shifted a bit, apparently i g

ge u bef e falli g igh ba k d

fa e

s

ke

nudged the man again, this time managing to turn him over on his back. “Oh, good, he’s alive. Denis, go get a mop, will you? This fell

s

ade a a ful

ess f

a a a d s ill s a di g

e he

fl a

ke sh he fl

ed

bega

e

is

add ess

him. “Sir, I’m not exactly why you thought now was a good time for coming to my store, really, you probably should’ve gotten patched u

s

i he

a

his fl

s a e is f

a i g us

es

l s

do you intend to buy anything?” At that, Stewart looked very apologetic. “Oh, sorry…I just sort of…got hit by…well, wallet, back pocket…I’ll uh…buy some gum…please.” “Very well sir, coming right up.” With that, Mr. Locke turned Stewart face-down again so as to get his wallet out of his pocket, helping himself to the cost of the priciest gum and a tip for having to deal with such an unhelpful customer. Later, he would buy a lottery ticket with this tip and end up winning a hundred thousand dollars, which he would spend almost exclusively on


Title

lottery tickets. “Denis, come give this man a pack of gum, will you? Any will do.”

by author

Dennis returned from the back with a mop and grabbed his least favorite pack of gum, spearmint, from a shelf, dropping it on heasdfasdf a

he fl

he disg u led e

l ee he bega

around Stewart, mumbling how a considerate customer wouldn’t bleed s

u he e

he e

his su

ise he

a

he fl

responded. “Dennis…sorry…doing a…great job…” Hearing his name said by this stranger, his name pronounced correctly, Dennis dropped his mop in shock, letting it land with a quiet thud on the man. “How’d you…how’d you know my name?” “…name tag…” e

is s

d he e s a i g a he

side i g his e i e life he

he f u h e s

a

he fl

a leas hese e i e

a e ed b

e ha s ee

i u es

e a s dea h a e i

s li le

old lady of about seventy with curly gray hair escaping her bun s

di

he d

a a fl e f

a i g he fl e ab u fl

e

s

ea

a ke i ha d

he ld lad asked f he

u s ill ha e he b iske i s

k

a

eed e

he u ds f i

for…well, dear, you look like my poor cat Phillip when he got hit by that car.” “Know how…Phillip feels…”


he fel dea

hilli s bee g

ef

e ea s

Your generation really needs to learn your grammar properly.” Mr. Locke, having been watching this scene unfold from behind the cash register after receiving payment for the gum, spoke up. “Ma’am, Henry’s Meat Market’s two doors down. Buy something or leave. Or both.” Squinting and looking around skeptically, the old lady bent and picked up the pack of gum still sitting on Stewart’s back, dropping a few quarters in its place before beginning her journey towards brisket. he f h e s

a e ed b

e a s dea h as

e

of said meat market. He listened impatiently as the old woman went on and on about her cat that was hit by a car, zoning out and eventually completely ignoring her rambling. Something suddenly reminded him of his son Phillip, and he thought perhaps he should call him, it had been many years since they’d last met. He should call his son and tell him he loved him, and decided he would tell his wife he loved her when he got home from work. He was torn from his thoughts at the sound of his shop door opening and looked up to see that the old lady had left. She could be heard even as she walked down the street, saying something along the lines of, “Doesn’t anyone sell a good brisket anymore? It’s a sad world, Phillip.” It was then Henry noticed that the old lady had left a pack of


s ea

i

gu

Title

he

u e a d la e he

uld

d hi self

chewing it, and when he got home, his wife smelled it on his breath as he

by author

ld he he l ed he a d s ea

fel he sudde u ge

kiss hi

he si h e s asdfasdf

f

he

a e ed b

i

bei g he fa s i ei

i e fla

ea s

e a s dea h as a

a

around the age of thirty walking home from her Zumba class. She wanted to buy a bag of salt and vinegar chips, but soon discovered that she had not put her wallet into her Zumba bag that morning. On her way out of the store, she saw the quarters sitting on Stewart’s back, picked them up, bought a bag of salt and vinegar chips, and left the corner store. he se e h e s

a e ed b

e a s dea h e e ed he

corner store a few minutes after the old lady left the meat market d

sd

his e s

e a d he had

e

as a

li e

e

f ab u f -

i es iga e he a ea af e hea i g a

ld

woman walking down the street crying about someone named Philli bei g hi b a a

he

e

u hed d

i f

f

e a

and began to question him. “Are you Phillip?” “No…I’m…” “Well, I’m looking for a Phillip. Have you seen him anywhere? He’s been hit by a car.” “Cat…”


asfasdfasdf u sh uld eall be

e hel ful

li e

es

u

know? But you don’t look too good yourself sir, so why don’t we just all

u hilli a d ge

u

e

he h s i al

he

e he

dragged Stewart over to his patrol car, shoving him in the backseat a d d i i g hi

a a

he

e s fa

i e sa d i h sh

as

over by the hospital, and driving Stewart to the hospital meant having an excuse to eat there instead of eating the soggy tuna salad sandwich and browned apple slices his wife had packed him. The e

uld als

e ei e a e

a

l a a

de ful bla k

d

Mustang, for having helped Phillip to the hospital, even if he didn’t quite make it that far. fe s

es

i u es af e he he

a

e d agged

i h he

e a i

de ed blue he

his a

he

alibu

Wright, entered the corner store, looking for the man he hit. The man was not there. Mr. Wright asked Dennis if he had seen a man who looked like he’d been hit by a car, and Dennis would say, “Oh, that’s what had happened,” and would say that Mr. Wright had just missed him, and it didn’t even occur to him that this Mr. Wright was obviously the sort to mispronounce the name Dennis as Denis. he eigh h a d las e a hi self

es

is safe

be a e ed b

e a s dea h as

sa ha he as a e ed he leas

hile

there was a stop sign at the intersection, Stewart was the sort to ss he s ee

ih u l

ki g b h a s as he as e fe l

e


with the idea of not making it to the other side of the road, though b

ea s did he a i el ju

i f

f

i g a

e

did not have much to live for, but he also did not have much to die for, so he would spend his free time walking around town, looking for reasons for either. Whatever reasons there could be, he believed he

uld

d

f

i ha i g a

eas

f

li i g

d i g

e

did not know the reasons for his death beyond “I’ve been hit by a car,” but found something of a reason for living in the fact that, by dying, he caused some people some trouble. Stewart’s last thoughts ee fs

ah f

he

li e

e d i i g hi

as there was now blood all over his back seat.

he h s i al


Masquerade Ball by Sabrina Pyun

New York City, December 23, 2013. An attractive young girl sat quietly at a round table, decorated with a cheap paper tablecloth and a purple-blue tinsel centerpiece, with two boys that she’d met earlier that evening. One was twenty-one years old, and was avidly fli i g i h he u

he

he

he

as f ee

li el e gaged he f

a d jus as if e sa e i

s bu

e a ias a

i us

to hear from the friends she was waiting on since four o’clock. As soon as her phone signaled that her friends were near, she excused herself from the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center gymnasium, dashed through the silver streamers swaying in the doorway, ands stepped out onto a chilly West 65th Street. The orange haze from the incandescent streetlight cast a a

le

she lif ed i

e he side alk a d he fa e

he se ui s f he

ask as

ki g lef a d igh he f ie ds e e

nowhere in sight. Instead, her gaze was caught by a handsome boy wearing a black pinstripe suit with a red dress shirt and black tie. Embarrassed by the accidental eye-contact, she walked a few paces away from the doorway where he was waiting. “Are you looking for someone?” he asked, approaching her. He had also been waiting on some people to arrive, and decided


Title

to brave the cold instead of the party, unlike the girl he’d just encountered. He was usually too nervous a person to plunge into a by author

crowd of strangers alone, but something compelled him not to miss his chance at meeting this girl. “I am, but I don’t think they’re here yet,” she replied coyly. asdfasdf he ubbed he

ld

he ha ds as she l

ked hi

e

a efull

She took note of his curly brown hair, hazel eyes, and height, almost he ki g

a lis i he head f assi g uali ies

f

u a el

she wasn’t able to assess his build, and bit her lip in mild disappointment. “And you, are you waiting for someone? Your girlfriend?” e lea ed ba k a d u ed a sigh

ish

l

ai i g f

a

friend.” She nodded in understanding and rocked on her heels as the conversation lulled. She moved aside as some more guests arrived, a d e ded u

igh a his side i he shu i g

u

u

don’t have a mask?” she asked, reviving their chatter. Ready to please, he announced, a little too quickly, “I do!” He pulled from his back pocket and presented it, his thumb brushing against the coarse painted paper. It was decorated in black and red triangles to match his ensemble. “I made it myself, so it’s not very good,” he chuckled. “What about you?” “Oh, no,” she said, unconsciously mimicking his smile. She ulled he bla k fea he ed

ask

he head a d held i

a ds


hi he

asfasdfasdf his is sis e s es ha a e

e b ugh i a hile ba k

i g

he

f ie ds

ade hei s

Daringly, he reached out and lifted away her mask, sliding his

ge s a

ss he edges f he ha ds hile e a i i g i

see

Even if you didn’t make this, I’m sure you look beautiful in it,” he said ge ui el

sui ed he a d he

u

e hai u bled

e

her shoulders in loose curls, her black blazer and pants followed the satisfying curves of her body, and her neck was adorned with a purple ribbon. Not only that, but her lips appeared soft and inviting, especially when slightly parted in awe of a compliment, he noted. A pink glow rose on her cheeks, but before she could reply, she heard her name being called by the people she had been awaiti gf

he as h u

he

k ba k he

ask i kli g his

ge i s

and leaving him with a lingering glance. “Until later,” were the words written on his lips as she peeked back at him before re-entering the venue. * a u d si ables a d hai s u

l k he a f he

s a had lea ed he f ldi g

sa e a fe i

he ba k u ed

the lights, save a few colorful ones, and on the music. It was about a minute or so into the third song, which was one of those un-danceable songs, that the boy in the red dress shirt and pinstripe suit found the girl with the purple ribbon and inviting lips.


Title

“Have I missed anything good?” he said over the insistent music. he see ed

u h

by author

e gidd

she had e

ed

her blazer, revealing her white dress shirt, and left the top button undone. Upon seeing him, she greeted him with a playful smile. asdfasdf “Nothing much, really. It sucks that the music isn’t good,” she lamented. “Where have you been? “ “Around.” “I see you’re wearing your mask, now!” see

u e ake

us

“I have! Is that a bad thing?” “No! I just thought it might complete your look.” “Why don’t I have yours then?” “Wha-?” Suddenly, she snatched the paper mask from his head, nearly snapping the elastic. Laughing, she waved it in front of his face, giving him barely enough time to realize what had happened, and then skipping out of reach when he grabbed for it. Soon, he found hi self s u bli g h ugh he eld f a

g e s as she e e l

weaved herself between them, only letting him catch sight of the end of her heel or the glint of her white shirt. He almost thought he had lost her until he saw the silver s ea e s i

he d

a flu e i g d

af e bei g

ssed aside


asfasdfasdf by the thief. Laughing to himself, the tore through the exit and saw her resting against the wall. Carefully, deliberately, without even daring to breathe, he strolled up to her as she held his mask to her rising and falling chest. He placed his hand above her against the corner of the wall, and all

his e ed Gasping, she stepped back and smiled in shock, and pre-

pared to make a dash for the bathroom. Before she could reach the end of the dimly-lit hall, he augh he b he

e di g a

ha

as ge l g as i g his

ask

so as not to damage it, and turned her slowly so that she had her back against the wall, and his arm rested next to her. For a while, neither of them spoke. “Well... I guess you can have your mask back,” she said breathily, tentatively lifting the mask in the small space between them. Instead, he took her hand, and pressed the mask to her face. “Let’s see how you look in it.” He pulled the elastic up and over, making sure not to snap it against her head. After taking a moment to admire her astonished face, he lowered his voice and said, “I think you look better in that than I do.” She bit her lip and slowly let her breath seep through her parted lips as she tried to relax. Until now, she had never felt the e ie e

f bei g u sued

she had i he life al a s bee

he


Title

one pursuing others. She swallowed to try and clear her timid voice, and asked, “What’s your name?”

by author

Even if she couldn’t tell, his heart was also trying vigorously to punch its way out of his chest. More than once, he found himself praying to whatever God would listen that he wasn’t being creepy, asdfasdf or that she didn’t think he was being creepy, as he possibly could have been acting. Her simple question relieved him slightly, but he as

su e he as

he h

k e f

a k a d beha i

she

looked positively spooked, to him at least. “I’m Rick,” he paused. “And you?” “Cassandra,” she placed a hand on his shoulder, feeling the s i la el f his sui

s i e

ee

u

The muscle in his jaw twitched. “Very nice,” he said, almost inaudibly. Then, they kissed.


Arisa Morgan

Elena House-Hay


https://thoroughfaremagazine.wordpress.com/

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Thoroughfare Magazine Spring 2016  

Thoroughfare Magazine Spring 2016  

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