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Star Stories

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Pressed Leaves

I don’t know exactly how we met.
But I can tell you it was
banal.

So many people focus on the roots,
but the further up the stem,
the closer you are to the sun
and for that brightness I’d fall
into the sea like Icarus.
Just once to touch it, grab it,
and never let go.
I’d take you down with me because

we’re one-use cameras with 
limited memories to share
the entwined fingers of the past,
the hopeless and hopeful of the future
brought together by mere chance to 
share one last dance in the here and now.

Find me that last photo, the last emerging
leaf, and I’ll hold it close in this notebook
heart of mine.

Only thing I ask of you is that you’ll
keep me pressed tight between the lines
of your scrawled pages.

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WaterFalls

You are the water from
a mountain falls, and
I’m the stone at the
bottom..

you came to touch my
life, love me for a
second,

then, left me weeping
for the rest of my
life.

And fate never gave
me any chance to
follow you..

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Reprise...

Just an octave
Lower than my pain,
Just a decibel 
Over my joy,
She sings 
My dreams,
Burnt songs
And broken records
Never played,
She reverberates
My heart
Upon her lips
One strum 
Past laughter
One twang
Before tears,
On her vocal chords
I ride
The memory lane
Her voice 
The wind 
Past my ears,
Making my years
Feel long and short
As if all has been 
A futile trip,
But I know
What she 
Utters sweetly
In her chorus
Is but a reprise
Of my life,
And unlike
The fading of her song
I'm not over 
Yet...
APAD13 - 060

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A Loud Girl

It all gets blocked out

(by this infatuation)

striking with

percussive cussing

slapping sparks

around my head.

I'd digress,

but there is nothing

on my mind right now;

except her breath,

and the faint sound

of her heart beat.

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Love Cries

Love was a boy who I saw smile

He cut through my darkness like a ray of sunshine

He illuminate all I thought was lost,

And helped me learn to ignore my demons

 

I couldn't see how he hurt 

He soaked up sadness like a dry sponge,

And darkness consumed him

He was being eaten alive

 

He looks like the love he will never feel

He drinks his own blood from a cup 

Crafted from the lies of those who said they loved him,

But the more he is filled, the greater the void in his soul

 

His eyes that once shone with mystery

Now only prove broken misery

And the once romantic idea of love

Is replaced by the sorrowful sadness

Of a love that would not be loved 

 

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So Much In Between

You’re the heaven, I’m 
the hell, and the world 
in between us makes 
it even more 
impossible 
to reach….

You..

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You Know You Have Issues When Prufrock Is Your Spirit Animal

I remember, Language Arts, 8th grade—we read a sonnet

a love poem written by Shakespeare… 

the footnotes in my anthology whispered of scandal

and my teacher’s hurried response that ‘yes, it was written

out of love, most likely, to a man’ before asking us to turn

to page 172 in our workbooks, that was enough poetry 

for today.

And I remember being baffled and excited; somehow I

was impressed. I’d pegged Shakespeare for a brilliant 

crowd-pleaser but this—well, it certainly didn’t kill his career

but writing that poem had to take guts.

-

It wasn’t till this year, when your helpless rage and your …

tendency to touch, me, in just the same way, as if

you couldn’t help it; this year when the Venn Diagram of our lives

became a circle. It wasn’t till I found I was chanting Prufrock’s

uncertainty at your shaking hands that I knew I—

well. I. I’m still stuck in that moment and—I

had to leave. I don’t know if it’s confusion or realization ringing

in my ears, or if the mermaids are singing. Regardless,

you look my way and I drown a little.

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Start to Finish

Eye contact. Smile. Look away. A sideways glance. Eye contact. Grin. Uncertain Laughter.  

“Is it just me or is this super awkward?”

“It's not just you.”

“Well that's a relief...”

 

Pause. Look away. Look up.

 

“So, you like me, huh?”

“I mean... I don't know you.”

“Oh.”

“But I would like to.”

“Oh.” A smile.

 

A meeting. Refreshments. Conversation. Laughter. Conversation. Deep and intimate thoughts, exchanged.

 

“This is weird.”

“What is?”

“I don't know...” Awkward half-laugh. “I guess it's just that, we've only just met. You and I have really only seen each other a few times but the way we talk, it's familiar. Like we've been exchanging witty banter for years now and this is just a part of our routine.”

“Is that a bad thing?”

“No... It shouldn't be...”

“You don't seem sure of your answer.”

“I suppose I'm just not used to letting people in.”

“Is that what's happening here? You're 'letting me in'?”

“I think so.”

“Does that scare you?”

“Yes.”

 

Another meeting. More conversation. More laughter. Performances given. Performances observed. Performances, enjoyed. A car ride. A confession.

 

“Hey, can I tell you something?”

“Always.”

“I haven't been totally honest with you.”

“Okay...”

“Well, you see,” inhale, “I like you. I mean, I guess I have sort of a crush on you. It's fine if you don't feel the same I just – I wanted to clear the air.”

“Okay.”

“Okay?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay.”

 

Time wasted. Time spent. Time shared. A plan. A get together. A weekend get away. Alcohol. A touch. A joke becomes a proposition. A kiss.

 

“I thought you didn't feel the same way about me.”

“Maybe I changed my mind. Maybe you misunderstood me. Maybe I lied. You'll never know.”

“Won't I?”

“Maybe.” Pause. “I'm not looking for a relationship.”

“Okay.”

“Okay?”

“Okay.”

 

More kissing. Touching. A break. Lie down. Sleep. A day passes.

 

“What happened yesterday probably shouldn't happen again.”

“Alright. Why?”

“I really like you. I don't want to get hurt.”

“I understand.”

 

Weeks pass. A friendship grows. Feelings grow. Two people. A sleep over. A morning spent together. An afternoon spent together.

 

“I have a problem.”

“What is it?”

“Well, remember what I said? About keeping 'us' a friendship?”

“Yes.”

“I changed my mind.”

“Why?”

“I want you. And even if I can't have all of you, I like you a lot. I shouldn't not do something because I'm afraid of being hurt.”

“Okay.”

“Okay?”

 

A nod. Smile. Lean in. Kiss. Kiss harder. Fall back. Hands push. Pull. Hips sway. Fingers wander. Lips wander. A tongue slips. Lips part. A moan. A sigh. A plea.

 

“Don't stop.”

 

A dynamic changes. Hugs. Hands held. Kisses. Warm embraces. Bodies fit like puzzle pieces. Heads on shoulders. Sounds absorbed. Scents memorized. Sights, mesmerized. Time passes. A dynamic changes.

 

“I guess I'm just afraid that, if we get together, I don't know... things will change. Or, worse, they'll end. Just like that, just as soon as they've begun.”

“I mean, we're already pretty much in a relationship, all that's missing is the title.”

“I know but it just feels different”

“Well, I don't want to pressure you but I know what I want. It's still the same. I still want you. We could stay together years or we could break up an hour from now but I'd like to give us a shot.”

“Fine.”

“Fine?”

“Do you want to be with me?”

“Yes.”

 

Time passes. Happiness. A relationship grows. A love grows. Suddenly, things change.

 

“So, I think it's for sure. I think I'm leaving.”

“When?”

“A couple weeks...”

“Okay... You know, as much as this is going to hurt, I think you're doing the right thing. This is really important for your future. No matter what, I support you one hundred percent.”

“Thank you. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

 

Four days before three months. A great distance. One has been gone some days. Things have become too much. Tears. No embrace.

 

“I love you. I love you so much. But I can't handle this.”

“I love you too. What do you want to do?”

“More than anything, I want to be with you. I want us to be happy again. But that's not something that seems possible right now.”

“I know.”

“So?”

“So what do you think we should do?”

“I don't know... I guess... I guess, for now, we should just be friends.”

“Okay.”

 

For weeks after, her eyes watered as though she'd been staring at the sun and had only just stopped to make eye contact. She stumbled when she walked, drunk off sleepless nights and restless thoughts. Her only redeeming quality was that she did this with a smile on her face. People believed that her allergies were acting up. People believed that the medicine was having side effects. The smile she so often wore to comfort others, remained, as genuine and soothing as ever. As quickly as they were created, whole worlds shattered inside her. Universes fell apart in the folds of her skin. Stars didn't explode out of existence, they simply ceased to be and all she was left with, was the hollow black of empty space.  

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At the end... there was love.

‘ Rachel, look at me!’ He demanded almost furiously.

He lifted up my chin with the palm of his hand when I didn’t, his face only a few inches away from mine.

I felt how my blood started rushing through my veins, my heartbeat increased the moment he touched me.

He was to close, I could feel his breath on my skin and it made me nervous. He made me nervous.

‘ Is this about last night?’ He asked on a calmer tone now. ‘ Are you ashamed of what happened between us?’

I shook my head. ‘ No, I’m not ashamed of what happened between us.’

‘ Then what is it Rachel?’ He asked. ‘ You know you can tell me.’

I felt the tears welling up in my eyes although this wasn’t the first fight we had.

Only this one was different from the others, this one was related to my feelings for him, not some stupid disagreement we occasionally had.

Too bad for me this wasn’t the time, neither the place for love.

 

 

I was walking through the forest on my own, looking for a place to sleep that night when I noticed the smoke that was coming through some trees.

At first I wanted to turn around, not knowing who would be there, not knowing how many of them would be there.

Nevertheless something changed my mind, maybe it was hunger or thirst, maybe it was just the feeling that it would be save to go take a look.

I loaded my gun in case I would need it and walked in the direction the smoke was coming from.

For a moment I thought someone just putted on a fire and left, then I saw him, sitting against a tree wrapped in a blanket.

A guy with messy brown hair, probably around the age of 28.

‘ Hey.’ I said loudly while I walked onto the open space, my gun pointed at him.

He looked at me, the glow from the fire was reflecting in his blue eyes, but he didn’t give a single reaction.

He didn’t talk, he didn’t run, he only sat there.

‘ Are you alone?’ I asked while I moved closer , the gun still pointed at him.

‘ Just kill me already.’ He said. ‘ There’s nothing left for me to live for.’

I frowned, then putted the gun away.
He wasn’t dangerous, there wasn’t a reason to kill him.

‘ Don’t you put that away.’ He said. ‘ Shoot me, I want to die!’

‘ Then why are you sitting at a fire to keep yourself warm?’ I asked while I sat down next to him.
‘ Since I want to die, I can at least make myself comfortable waiting for it to happen.’ He replied.

‘ Well, then you can wait a little longer, because I’m not going to kill you.’ I said. ‘ I’m Rachel by the way.’

‘ I’m Brody.’ He sighed. ‘ Well Rachel, since you are the first person I saw in weeks it’s just my luck you aren’t just killing me.’

I grinned. ‘ That’s because you are only sitting here being sorry for yourself and you are not a threat to me.’

He sighed again and took something out of the backpack that was standing next to him.

‘ Hungry?’ He asked while he handed me a cereal bar.

‘ I’m starving.’ I replied while I took it from him. ‘ But if you want to die, what’s about the food?’

‘ I’m not one to starve to dead.’ He simply answered.

 

He had lost his wife, his family, everyone he ever cared about was gone.

It took me a week to convince him to move to another hide out, to make clear to him that we should keep moving in order to be safe.

Now we still where at the same forest, circling around constantly, trying not to get found by other people, the ones who survived just like us.

‘ Rachel.’ He sighed, pulling me back out of my thoughts. ‘ Are you sure this isn’t about last night?’

‘ It’s partly about last night.’ I admitted. ‘ But not because we slept with each other.’

‘ Then what’s wrong? Tell me.’ He begged.

‘ What’s wrong is that we’re both pretending that it didn’t mean anything.’ I replied. ‘ Although it did mean something, at least to me it did.’

‘ God, Rachel, of course it meant something to me too.’ He said while he pulled me against him. ‘ Did you think I would sleep with you if I didn’t care about you at all? Do you think I would do that if I didn’t like you?’

‘ I don’t know, it’s all so messed up.’ I sighed.

‘ I love you, Rachel.’ He said while he made me look into his eyes.
‘ I love you too.’ I whispered.

He smiled before he kissed me passionately,  making me feel like I was in heaven instead of on earth.