Creative Writing

Heavy Heart | A Short Story

Her heart was heavy. So was her mind. She sat alone, more than one hundred people sitting around her.

Mara didn’t register anyone else in the room except for one person. A boy she didn’t even know. He was a stranger to her and her to him. But she couldn’t help but feel as if she knew him personally, on some deeper level. Mara had a hard time understanding why she felt the way she did.

Mara knew his full name, a feat of nothing to her. He had said his first name when introducing himself to another classmate. In her memory, she could recall that day easily. She found out his surname with the help of Facebook. It took her a few minutes. A few minutes of her life she will never get back. But her heart had no regrets.

She focused on her breathing. In. Out. Mara clutched her red binder to her chest.

A part of her tried to convince herself that she was wrong. That the boy she met wasn’t the boy sitting a few rows in front of her, talking to another girl. Another part wanted to reason with the more logical side of her brain. That the boy she wanted wasn’t the boy she needed. Besides, she didn’t need anyone. Not a boy, not a friend. Mara had herself. That’s all she ever had. All she needed.

To make her feel better, Mara attempted to tell lies. Lies she never believed and wouldn’t start believing now.

Class was halfway over when her heart finally began to break.

Creative Writing

Collision | A Short Story

They bumped into each other. Literally.

He blasted rock music using earphones. His eyes diverted, his ears covered.

She had a book open, her eyes scanning the words and her mind in a different world.

Their arms brushed before they collided. The unexpected human contact startled the two, although they expressed their surprise differently.

She slammed the book shut as her eyes darted upwards. He took a step back and held up his hands.

That was the first moment they laid eyes on each other.

A sensation came over her. It wasn’t a feeling or a longing. She felt strange. The girl couldn’t begin to explain the experience.

She stared at him standing across from her.

Around her, other people continued to move, but she stopped.

People had places to be, people to see. She had no where to go.

He had been moving. Sprinting to be exact. The young man shuffled his feet.

Sweat dripped down his forehead and nose.

His mind was in a different place.

The two smiled at each other. They went about their day without another collision.

Creative Writing

Walk Away | A Short Story

I knew it was going to be a hard conversation. But I wish it didn’t have to be.

“It’s over,” she told me.

“We can make it work.”

She shook her head.

“Why not?” I asked.

“It just can’t, okay?”

I crossed my arms, heaving a sigh. “You haven’t even tried to make things work—”

“I have,” she interrupted. “I’ve tried. Trust me.”

“Try harder,” I mumbled under my breath.

That made her head snap up. “What did you say?”

“Nothing.”

Her head bowed forward. “You deserve better.”

My mouth opened, but no words came out. I didn’t expect to hear those words, especially from her. I didn’t know what to say next.

“Sorry.”

A shiver sent the hairs on my arms stand up. “Don’t apologize.”

“None of this is your fault,” she whispered.

I had a good idea of what she was trying to imply. “This isn’t your fault either. Nothing is.”

Her eyes darkened like the sky when a cloud conceals the sun. “I’m a mess.”

“No, you aren’t.”

She held up a hand. “This has been so hard.”

“Everything good in life is.”

“Everything in life also ends.”

I didn’t disagree with that.

“It’s over, okay?”

As much as I didn’t want to, I nodded. “Okay.”

She patted my arm, forcing a smile. “Take care.”

“You too.” I watched her walk away. She never walked back into my life.

Creative Writing

A Pawn | A Short Story

They targeted her. The men set their sights on Ava and didn't rest until they had her where they wanted. Then they made a call.

"Hello Ava?" came the voice on the other end.

"Ava can't come to the phone right now, Joshua. She's a little tied up." That sent the trio of guys gathered around the phone into a chorus of laughter.

"What the hell? Let her go. This has nothing to do with her, Lawrence." Joshua started breathing faster.

Lawrence flicked his gaze to Ava who was unconscious. "By association she has everything to do with this."

"She knows nothing."

"You underestimate her intelligence, Joshie boy. She knows more than you think."

Josh gritted his teeth together. "I swear to God if you so much as touch a hair on her head, you'll—"

"What, huh?" Lawrence chuckled. "Don't worry. She's fine. Isn't that right, Ava?" He grinned as he walked over to her in the corner of the room.

"You'll—" Josh began but Lawrence had hung up before he could get another word out.

Lawrence ran his hand through Ava's long hair. "I'm going to make your boss pay for what he's done. You're just a pawn in this game." He shook his head. "How could someone so smart be so stupid? You would've been fine if you had minded your own damn business. But you decided to get involved, stick your head where it doesn't belong. Unlucky. Or maybe I should say you deserve what's coming."

He clenched his other hand into a fist, but it was precisely that moment Ava woke up.

Her eyelids fluttered open, exposing two dark irises contrasted against the bright whites of her eyes. She took in Lawrence's gruffy face and pale skin before her world went dark again.

Creative Writing

A Different Kind Of Work | A Short Story

I shoot my eyes to the screen and wonder not for the first time why I’m doing this. Why I deliberately put myself through a task so difficult it’s brought me to tears on more than one occasion.

The buzz of my phone makes me jump. I’m more alert and aware now. But I ignore the notification because I refuse to give in to distractions, however tempting. 

I breathe in and out. A slow inhale. Then I release my breath for a longer count. I don’t keep track of the seconds I’m inhaling or exhaling, but after a minute of doing this, I’m calmer. My heart rate slows ever so slightly.

A cup of water stands beside me. I reach for the handle, take a sip. Relish the cool liquid as it travels down my throat. I realize I drink when I’m at a loss for words. When I hope to clear my head so I can think more carefully.

Already I’m tempted to take another sip. 

My desk lamp provides enough illumination to work by. The light casts shadows against my face.

On my right is a window. Through the slit of the curtains, I can see that it’s dark outside. But the night sky with millions of stars is a welcome sight. 

I glance at all I have to do still. The tabs open in the web browser. The textbook open on my desk.

I used to want to grow up. To be an adult. To feel grown-up. To have more responsibilities. Now that’s the last thing I want.

So I channel my energy elsewhere in hopes that it’ll lead me some place better.

If not, I don’t know what I’ll do.

I know I’m wishing, but I’m also working towards a vision only I can see.

Creative Writing

Crowded | A Short Story

The girl fingered the edge of her black shirt. She watched as people gathered around. The crowd grew larger with each passing minute; however, she didn’t walk any closer and no one paid her any attention.

Everyone else began cheering or clapping. There were shouts and screams. The girl on the periphery had her mouth drawn in a tight line while her hands stayed by her side.

She started to walk away. Her feet carried her in the opposite direction, away from the crowd. Nevertheless, the loud cheers reached her ears.

Walking faster, she nearly tripped over a crack in the ground. But the girl stayed upright.

But her fingers still clutched the edge of her shirt.

Her fingers hurt.

Creative Writing

Raging Fire | A Short Story

Adam shook his head, his dark eyes watching her. “I thought this was important to you.” After a slight pause, he lowered his voice and added, “but I guess I was wrong.”

She shot a dirty look at him.

Holding up his hands, his lips pulled down into a frown. “Show me you care then, Jessie.”

Her blue eyes darkened like the sky whenever a cloud conceals the sun. 

“You used to care, remember? Way back when. You put your heart and soul into this. And now…” Adam didn’t finish his sentence. He didn’t need to. Jessie knew what he would’ve said, could fill in the blanks herself.

“Like you’re one to tell me how to live my life,” she spat under her breath.

To her surprise, he chuckled at her comment. “You haven’t changed one bit.”

She remained silent. 

Adam splayed his hands out in front of him. “Seriously what happened to your fire, your passion?”

Her lips came together to form a thin line. “I don’t know.”

Adam placed a hand on her arm. She didn’t pull away.

“I’ve lost it.”

A moment of hesitation. “Well, you can find it again,” Adam said. 

“What if I never had passion to begin with?” Jessie shut her eyes for a few seconds, squeezing them hard. “You can’t lose what you don’t have.”

He folded his arms across his chest, regarding her closely. “Do you really believe that? You were the most dedicated of them all.”

“I’m not anymore.”

This time he put both his hands on either of her arms. Jessie stood as still as a statue, staring straight into Adam’s brown eyes.

“The fire is there. I know it. You know it. You have a passion that no one can rival. That fire isn’t dying anytime soon. You won’t let it die, Jess.”

“How can you be so sure?” She started to bite her lower lip.

Adam gave a small smile. “Because I’ve seen the fire.”

Creative Writing

Glass House | A Short Story

You’re goals. You’re perfect for each other. You guys are so cute.

That was all anyone ever said about our relationship.

I don’t understand how no one saw the truth, saw through his facade.

We lived together for two years. The house was made of bricks, but sometimes I wish the walls were made of glass, so people could see through it. And find out what really happened behind closed doors.

We weren’t cute. We weren’t goals. We weren’t perfect.

Our outings became less and less frequent before they stopped happening altogether.