The tip of the paintbrush barely skimmed across the painting below, leaving a slight trace of light brown. Leaning back, the young woman tucked a strand of her shiny black hair behind her ear, further smearing the dab of blue that ran from below her eye to her temple.
Her phone chimed, shattering the silence and startling her slightly. Dropping her paintbrush onto the table next to her, she stood and walked towards the window. Sun washed through and the gentle breeze waltzed with the thin white curtains.
A sigh escaped her lips as she read the notification. Sliding her phone into her back pocket, she grabbed her coat from the hanger by the door and swung around the corner to check her reflection in the mirror before leaving.
“Agh, again,” she wined, shuffling for the kitchen where she quickly wiped the paint from her face. Her hands were stained and, in her opinion, looked more like art than the canvas in the other room.
Without another thought, she disappeared out the door and into the buzzing crowd below.
Eko rubbed the back of his neck as he stared at the floor. The hum of the elevator's ascension was making him anxious and each floor they passed seemed to crawl by, mocking the nervousness that bloomed in his stomach.
“Relax,” Emmet muttered. “It won’t be worse than last time.”
“And how do you know?” he countered.
The door slid open before either could say more and they hurriedly stepped off, each eager to be on solid ground again.
Intricate white walls surrounded them, designed and mazes engraved on them. Cream-colored flowers lined the hallway, their vases a sheer granite allowing visitors to see the stems that sparkled and shined from the Ven that had kept them alive for so long.
Ven was plant-based power. Some called it magic, but regardless of how it was referred to, its purpose was quite simple. It kept things alive and could heal dying things, including species such as humans. It only worked to certain extents but, with the right Weaver, it could save someone’s life.
Eko drifted back to the present when they reached the conference room before them. Scanning his badge, the grand door moved backward and then disappeared into the wall, allowing them access. He took a deep breath and looked at Emmet to see if he was ready. His gaze was met with a nod and both stepped forward.
The door instantly closed behind them, sealing them in the room until their meeting was finished.
“Ah, good to see you.” Juno stood at the end of the large oak desk.
The roof stretched upward, its glass ceiling giving a view to the grandeur surrounding them. Galaxies upon galaxies sprinkled the dark heavens as the flashing of docking lights and cruise ships swept across the scene.
It never failed to take his breath away. Millions and millions of different life forms were out there and what he was seeing was just the tip of the iceberg. His chest tightened as his throat swelled shut. Sweat began to form on his palms and his head spun as the realization of how small he was hit. His stomach dropped and he forced himself to look down at the ground.
The world spun before his eyes and he struggled to stay standing. Emmet led him towards the closest chair and helped him settle before speaking up.
“I thought you wouldn’t be using us for any more missions.” There was a certain bite in his tone, one that you wouldn’t quite catch if you didn’t know him and one that could most easily be misunderstood if not careful. “We were promised a peaceful Break.”
“Unfortunately, there’s been a change of plans.” Juno straightened his suit coat, his white hair complementing his black fitted suit that snugly fit across his broad shoulders. A gentle smile played across his lips. “And blame the higher-ups for bothering you, I’m just the messenger.”
Eko rested his chin in his palm. “Can you just tell us what the mission is?”
“It’s not something we would normally title as a ‘mission’ but we’ve located another Traveler.”
He raised an eyebrow.
“However.” Juno held a finger up. “She isn’t aware of her ability yet. We’ve traced her Pathway and she’s jumped multiple times but never for long. We’re assuming that they were just quick bursts into parallel universes and since she didn’t stay for an extended period of time, she most likely didn’t pick up on it.”
“And you want us to do what exactly? We’ve never encountered anything like this before.” Emmet spoke.
“We have regulations and protocols to follow in situations like this but I have permission from the Geau to bypass all of them. They need her as soon as possible and if we adhered to the rules it would take too long.”
“So you go and we kidnap her.”
“Yes, but I would hope you go about it in a more civilized manner. Let’s not have the authorities on our tails, okay?”
Eko chewed on the inside of his lip for a moment. “What do they need her for exactly?”
“I don't know but if I were to guess I would say for the Liberation. We’re getting to be too big with not enough room and–.”
“And they need someone else to do it for them when they have the two of us?” He cut him off.
“And Anitha who is stronger than the both of us combined,” Emmet added quickly.
“Look.” Juno took a deep breath and stepped back. “Just look up. Do you realize how little you are compared to everything out there? Yes, your powers may be immense but if we can get our hands on her, we have the key out of this god-forsaken place.”
“It’s not that bad but you wouldn’t know anything about that because you sit in your little spiny chair all day.” He rolled his eyes.
Eko silenced him with the wave of a hand. “I still don’t understand. We’re both indebted to the Geau and they’re just going to hire someone else on when we could do it and be free from you guys?”
“Take it up with them,” he snapped. “I don’t have the time or the effort to argue with someone like you.”
“Apologies. I let my anger get the best of me.” Juno closed his books and slid one across the table to them. “Here’s everything you could possibly need to know about the new Traveler. We’ll have a check-in in about a month.”
Words rushed to the tip of Eko’s tongue but he bit them back. He’d long since learned that there was no point in arguing with Juno or asking any more questions. The rest would be up to him and since they no longer had to follow regulation, the Geau wouldn’t be watching over him like a hawk.
Juno stopped, his hand resting on the door. “Please do be gentle with her though when you break the news to her. The last thing we want is for her to be traumatized and scared of the Pathways.”
“No promises, sir.” Emmet mock saluted.
And with that, he disappeared through the door leaving the two in silence.
“Well, that certainly wasn’t what I was expecting.” Emmet dropped into a chair across from him.
He nodded. “I don’t know if it’s worse or better than what I had prepared myself for.”
He reached across and grabbed the files from him. “Where do we find her?”
Ecko tilted his head to the side. “Are you ready to be the proper art student or are you going to play hooky with the rich girls behind the studio?”
A pout formed on his face. “Fine. I guess the newbie is more important.”
Eko had always hated the Rain.
Not only did it make his bones hurt, but it also made it almost impossible to get home without one of his artworks being ruined by the grey sludge that fell from the sky.
He trudged through the dirty back streets, hand clenched tightly around his backpack straps, head low. Bumping into a few people, he muttered a quick sorry before disappearing into the ever-growing darkness.
That was the other thing about the Rain. It could be broad noon and the sky would be mourning, blocking the little bit of sunlight Kalisper ever managed to get.
Ducking into the awning of a shop, he ran a hand through his hair in a futile attempt to rid it of excess water. A sigh escaped his lips as he leaned a shoulder against the doorway, the smell of freshly baked bread coming from inside.
His stomach growled a reminder that he hadn’t eaten at all today. Temptation crept up his spine and wrapped around his throat tightly as he pushed away. Maybe tomorrow he would indulge himself in such a delicacy but, for now, he needed to get home before rush hour.
His footsteps sounded in the empty hallway as he made his way to their door. Creaks flooded around him as if something else lurked just behind him, out of sight.
After wrestling with the rusty doorknob for an ungodly amount of time, the door swung inward and the familiar smell of engulfed him. He dropped his backs onto the closest counter and collapsed onto the old, tattered couch. The moment his head hit the pillow, he drifted off to the sound of the Rain and traffic below.
Darkness hugged his skin, every inch of it grabbing onto his pores and scars, clinging on for dear life. It’s little legs felt like a million insects running over him, refusing to let go for fear of falling –or worse, dying.
He kicked gently at the shadows that raced around his feet and shooed them away with his hand until they disappeared into the far corners with nothing but a mere snort or a small growl.
“And you called me here because why?” He asked, walking forward. “I thought we’d made a deal that we’d go out separate directions.”
“I wish that was the case but you and I both know that’s not how it works.” A voice answered him from the void. “They need you again.”
He rubbed his forehead. “They know I'm on probation. I can’t do anything.”
“Not legally.” A creak split the air, followed by footsteps. “However, since you’re registered as dead, it wouldn’t be impossible to work around.”
A figure emerged from the darkness, it’s blue hide glimmering in the little bit of light that somehow managed to penetrate through the thick clouds. Their silver hair waltzed behind them as they neared, hand outstretched.
Eko shied away.
“I won’t hurt you, child,” they growled in protest. “I simply want to touch you. After all, we aren’t strangers.”
Reaching out, he guided their hand to his face, their rough caloused touch startling him. A freezing sensation rushed from the nape of his neck to where their fingertips brushed his skin and he flinched.
“You still have the power. Good.” They let their hand drop.
Anitha was a strange creature who rather much resembled a fairy although she looked nothing like one in her true form. Her small ears were invisible underneath her silk hair and as her three violet eyes peered at him from the darkness, he couldn’t shake the fear that was crouching in his stomach.
She rolled her eyes. “See, this is why we always talk in dreams where I can control the setting. Because if you ever saw me in person, you’d probably die.”
He gritted his teeth and she smirked at his reaction. “Humans are easily scared.”
She once again reached to touch his face but he lightly knocked her hand out of the way.
“I’m not a human any more than you are a Fjeha.”
“Saying such pretentious lies could get one hanged, darling,” she smiled, her sharp teeth shining for a split second. “Now, let’s get on with it. You’re briefing is tomorrow…usual time. Do not be late.”
Without another word, she was gone and the black mist that had once rushed at him now dissipated. He was once again back in his living room, staring at the stained ceiling above him.
Rubbing his temples, he rolled over and tried to erase everything that had just happened from his mind but as he began to doze off, the door snapped open.
He startled, sitting up.
“I’m not here to murder you, just to sleep for the night,” Emmet waved at him as he kicked his shoes. “I’m assuming you got called in as well?”
He nodded. “Unfortunately. I was really beginning to enjoy my break.”
“I know, right?” He rummaged through the fridge. “It’s so much easier to just…live a normal life as a human than have to worry about whether or not the Geau can handle their problems or not.”
Eko let out a deep breath and leaned his head back. The roof had long since seen better days and was now damaged from flooding and the Shifting. Cracks spread from each corner of the room across the walls and onto the ceiling, causing him to zone out as he traced them.
He was brought back to Emmet snapping his fingers in his face. “You good?”
“What do you think they want with us this time?” He stood. “I thought we were basically guaranteed our freedom after the last…situation.”
“You know how they are…They always play word games. It’d be useless to argue with them over this.”
He remained quiet.
“Well, I’ll leave you alone to ponder our impending doom. I’mma get a shower and crash in your bed if that's okay.” Emmet stuffed the remaining apple roll into his mouth and disappeared down the hallway before he could answer him.
Eko brushed the shower curtain aside and stepped out, wrapping a towel around his waist. Swiping the palm of his hand across the old cracked mirror, he was able to see his reflection through the fog.
Scars of different sizes spread over his body from the top of his head to as low as his ankles, each one having a different story behind it. Subconsciously, he slowly ran the pad of his thumb over the ones on his wrist–some of the deepest ones on his body.
Droplets of water fell from the shower head, splattering to the puddles below. He blinked, finding his own eyes in the mirror and quickly looked away. They reminded him of hers. The mere thought of it made his stomach twist.
Composing himself, he quickly got dressed and left. The city was starting to quiet down as the day came to an end and although it would never be silent, it would still doze off when the sun set.
Old York. The city that used to never sleep.
An involuntary sigh escaped his lips as he massaged his neck. He glanced at Emmet who was spread eagle face down on the bed and smiled slightly. They’d known each other for so long, it was almost impossible for him to get mad at the Blanket Hog.
He gently rolled him to his side and curled up, his knees tucked into his chest. The AC window unit sputtered on, providing a white noise that covered up Emmet’s soft snores.
His thoughts wondered and he did nothing to stop them. Sometimes, it was better to let them run instead of restraining them, pushing them back until they exploded with a vengeance so big it made it impossible to function for several days. That was the last thing he needed right before a new mission.
Once again, his thumb found its way to his wrist as he chewed on the inside of his cheek. One more warning and he’d be ‘honorably’ unassigned–a fancy way of saying he was no longer of use.
His jaw clenched. He had to continue, had to make it, had to succeed…if not, what was he? Nothing more than a lost boy in another solar system, another world with nothing to his name except a few scrappy paintings that couldn’t be sold for more than thirty bucks. If they let him go, he’d have nothing.
Body aching, he sat up. Pain richoted through his back as he stood and headed for the living room.
“Tomorrow will go well.” He assured himself as he collapsed onto the cushions. “It will be just fine.”
the doctors said it would take four to five months
but now it's been six to seven months and you're
still as distant as before, farther down the hill, an
empty shell of who you used to be. your smile
isn't the same anymore and it seems that was lost
a long time ago. you still grab my hand and call
me by my special nickname but it's just for show.
you're simply hanging on to the tiny threads that
remain of your past life. i wish it didn't hurt as
much as it did. i know you just want everything to
go back to normal, for you to be better, for life to be
better...but people like us don't get better. we learn
to deal with it like we always have. to find some
way around this obstacle in the road. and maybe,
just maybe, it means you don't make it over this
hill. maybe this is where we part ways until after death.
if that be the case, so be it for a part of me wonders
if it would be better for you to pass on and to leave
us behind to morn and grieve but also to heal and
prosper. these past months have been difficult on
all of us and all i can think about is when will it
be over? oh god, when? i don't know how much
more i could take of this. oh god if i had not made
that stupid promise on a stupid serotonin high, i
could be long since gone. i'd be six feet under,
next to my brother, finally at rest. the bit of my life
that i can recall has been garnished with trauma
and scars...nothing i'm too proud of but i guess
in the end, it is what it is. i just wish, that if
tomorrow were to come, i would not awake
from my sleep but simply continue on.
when i first met you i honestly
thought nothing of you. knowing
absolutely nothing about someone
is quite a dangerous concept.
they could be wearing their heart on
their torn and tattered sleeve and you
would never see it until later on
down the road. or maybe they'd
be holding a knife to your throat
and you never feel the pain of the blade
until that one evening when they'd had
too much wine and you'd had too little...
but i still remember the way your eyes
found mine, the way we seamlessly
communicated without words even when
we didn't know each other. i asked once
if you believed in soulmates and you
told me you didn't. fate was the thread
of fairy tales but this was real life.
you called it happenstance, a coincidence
that we ran into each other, that we ended
up like this. and i don't know which scares
me more...the fact that we may never
talk again in a few months or the fact
that maybe, just maybe, we were just
happenstance- a happy accident that
occur on our crossing paths.
but how long do our red threads tangle for?
i wish it was for eternity, your hand in mine,
palm against palm, heart to heart, soul to soul.
idek what to call this...
I know no one asked for this but I felt like it so deal with it :D
First of all, it took me a good solid minute to find the writing button and that's just embarrassing on me.
OMG, DO THEY HAVE A SPELL CHECK NOW?? FINALLY???!!?!??!?! The number of times I wanted to murder Grammarly for not working or having to copy and paste work from Microsoft word/google doc was disgusting *eye roll* (or is my computer finally just not being dumb and telling me when my spelling is wrong? Do y'all have spell check?)
I don't have a lot to say about the update as I feel like we've all had time to scope it out before they put it into action and honestly, I really like the fresh layout. Although I do wish that the left sidebar wasn't as compact, I do really like everything else.
Anyways, also a little update on my personal life. Things are still going rather roughly with my father's recovery and hard adjusting to not really... having a dad... I guess? I was always super close with my father and now, it's like I lost him 6/7 months ago and I don't know who's sitting across the table from me.
I also went through a little... relationship scuffle and it really opened my eyes to some emotions and feelings that I never knew I was capable of feeling. Although we fell apart mainly because of distance it was a good lesson/experience.
Not that any of that was important, it has played a part in why I've not been on the sight. There's been many things that keep piling on top of each other including my rapid decline of proper mental health. As you can guess, life is very stressful right now with school, my father, my family in general, life, my future ahead, and my own health issues that have been causing me difficulties.
I would like to say that I've been writing this whole time but I'd be lying... in fact, I can count on one hand the amount of times I've sat down and attempted to do so. The thing is, for me to write, I have to be in an emotionally vulnerable state and I'm not too comfy on allowing myself to go there right now. Although, I do occasionally have to let a little leak out less I explode from the pressure...aka my new poetry book called Love & Other Mood Swings which, if you would like to be tagged in, let me know.
I am pushing myself to get back at the old grind and hopefully I will get my spark back and be able to keep emptying my imagination onto the paper before. Thank you all for greeting me when I came back. I've missed all of you so much and I'm glad you didn't forget me :)
Until next time! -jj
an emotional dump about a blonde haired boy
you were yellow like the sun in the early morning.
you were yellow like a chick, barely hatched.
you were yellow like a daisy when you smiled.
you were yellow like a coward when you backed out of kissing me
for fear of not doing it right, or making me uncomfortable
and now i wish to god that you would have.
and i dont know if that would have made this better or worse.
because we stopped talking a few weeks ago
but it feels like months, a year even, and all i can think
about is how i gradually watched you become more
distant, just like the years before because you have no
other way to protect yourself from all the people that
have walked away. it breaks my heart to see
you like this but I have no way of getting through
to you that I’m never going to walk away, no matter what.
but now it’s ten o’clock and I’m crying into my ramen
because everything reminds me of you, even soggy reheated noodles.
the dreams i had about you came true
and the words that i had wished would roll
from your delicate lips had touched my ears
it was all i could do to contain the feelings within
me like a million dandelions bursting into bloom
their seeds scattering on the green fields of my soul.
but i guess you weren’t meant to stay
but rather to be used as a lesson to teach me
that little red riding hood wasn’t just a bedtime story
told to my six-year-old self but rather something we
encounter many a time in our life. that people can be wolves
even though they say the most beautiful things as if
they are truths, like dew landing on the blades
of summer grass in the early morning.
and now whats left of the once green field i call my heart
is a rugged and torn ground, dried up and cracked from the
lack of tears and emotions. i should feel something
honestly i think i’m quite broken for your words do
no damage anymore but rather slip through the cracks
that you’ve already marred into me.
pages and pens
letters and ink
scattered across my desk
like shattered remnants of
what i used to be and what
i once could possess and create.
they lay idle, dust-covered and worn
from the use they once had seen
but now remain lifeless as
the day i set them down
and walked away
not knowing if
i would one
i have held a dying soul
as it's taken its last breath
and i have never seen something
so red as the color of the its agony.
i hope you know that i still look for you
when the sky is clear and orion shines through
when the sun rises a little earlier than normal
and makes the dew sparkler like glitter on
your fingertips from touching a birthday card
or your cousins craft from kindergarten.
i hope you know i still look for you
as the water rushed through the sink
and over my hands as if it were nothing more
than a mere second of blissful existence.
a moment, frozen in time, as i meet my own gaze
in the mirror before me.
i hope you know i still look for you
when all else fails --you always knew what to
do after all-- and as the world burns at
my fingertips, the thought of you idles
in my mind and the taste of your lips,
as sweet as caramel apples, lingers on my tongue.
i hope you know i still look for you
when the day is dying in the west
and as the sun sets just out of few,
i turn away from the window and shut the drapes
for although i look, there is nothing to be found.