No Time for Reservations

The fireworks have died out, the last bangs have faded with the smoky remnants of the previous year. People come out of their houses in groups of two and three, huddled under blankets and beanies. They look to the sky as if something magical will happen in the next few seconds.

It’s the end of the year, the start of the new one. Just like the changing of the seasons, it happens every year.

But this year seems different, more promising, less gut-wrenchingly destructive. (more…)


But He Loves Someone Else

She looks at him, and sees him looking at another with the same look in his eyes. The longing, the yearning for someone they know they can’t have.

He keeps her bed warm and her heart on ice. His mind on the one who is with another. He smiles and wraps his arms around her, pulls her close, and drapes the covers over them. Her heart cracks with every kiss he places on her naked shoulder.

Sleep never comforts her in those nights. Thoughts and broken images of him in the arms of another woman plague her mind, making her hug him tighter to her body, believing he’ll be able to feel how much she craves him. (more…)

Stupid Girl

He passed the small blue pipe to her, and she took it, making sure to brush her fingers against his in a lingering touch. She wanted his eyes on her, focused on the way her lips closed lightly around the base, how the fire from the lighter danced in her eyes, adding even more heat as she stared deep into his own.

But she was never one to inhale, choosing instead to have the smoke swirl around in her mouth, waiting to exhale the breath that would never cloud in front of her. It wasn’t that she didn’t want the high, but rather a different one, a high that lasted longer and wouldn’t damage her voice. After all, it was one of the the features that drew him to her. (more…)

Warm My Aching Bones

She flips another page of a worn paperback, so engrossed in the words written on yellowed pages that she’s lost to the world around her. The corner of her mouth curls up every so often, and laughter shines in her eyes. A stray hair falls gently in front of her face, but she doesn’t notice as her brows draw together in what can only be surprise.

I can’t help wanting to make her smile as much as her books do, to feel her hair as I run my fingers through her wavy brown locks, pushing that one strand behind her ear. But I don’t want to be the one to break her out of her fantasy.

We sit in silence as the day winds to a close, and the light outside the window starts to cast its familiar shadows as the sun dips below the tops of the buildings outside. Hours have passed and she has yet to move, save for turning a page or a change in her expression. I can read her like the book in front of her, everything as clear as day in her expressive eyes and small facial cues. (more…)

Don’t Go

She sits in the cramped airport, waiting for a plane that seems like it will never arrive. The sounds of a crying baby, a man yelling into his phone, a woman humming a song only she can hear are drowned out by her recent memories.

So lost in thought she doesn’t feel the hot tears burning streaks down her red cheeks, doesn’t feel the cold blow of the air conditioning above her. All she knows, all she sees is him walking away from her. Not once looking back, never pausing as he drives out of her life.

If only she opened her mouth, told him everything she wanted to say during their brief time together. She knows these few days every month will never be enough for her, and each time she leaves, a sliver of her continuously splintering heart remains with him, in their city. (more…)

A Night at Phillies

She sits there, at her usual place at the end of the bar. Old man Phil pours her a double whiskey neat and slides it down her way. What a dame. A woman as beautiful as her who can drink with the boys.

I’ve been watching her for months, now. And I doubt she even knows I come here.

Phillies is one of those bars that just opens its arms to all its patrons, giving them what they need, whether that’s a drink, an escape, or an excuse. That’s why I come here. Anything to get away from my life outside these walls. I don’t want to go back to my loveless marriage of convenience. I don’t want to go back to working at the factory for my wife’s father, but I got no choice. (more…)

Open Letter

To My Once and Future Love,

These mixed signals have gotten me all confused. At first, it was a simple, innocent friendship that we let blossom over the past decade. I was happy with how things were. You talked to me all the time, you saw me for me, flaws and quirks and all. I didn’t need more than that.

And then you had to go and kiss me. (more…)

The Joy of the Question

Cameras flash, blinding me as I stand behind the podium. Video cameras are pointed in my direction, and a sea of journalists eager to ask me what they consider to be the tough and scandalous questions stand before me.

I don’t want to hold this interview. I don’t like being the center of attention. But right now, this is what my job calls for.

After all, I’m the one who may have saved the world.

It’s almost time for the questions to begin, and sweat drips down my brow and I hastily wipe it away. I try thinking about all the techniques my coach gave me to ease my fear. (more…)

What I’ve Become

Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that something or someone is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Courage is acting not in the absence of fear, but in spite of it. So why is it that I can feel so courageous in the face of almost anything, but when it comes to how I’m feeling and thinking, I run away with my tail between my legs?

For me, it’s tough to see all these happy couples all around me, children playing in the park without a care in the world, teens ditching school to become small-time delinquents. These people can so easily express what they want, how they feel, or what they’re thinking. And I wonder if they would be as carefree if they shared what goes on in my mind. (more…)