Diamond sugar starlight
Moon ascends on ocean’s brine
To score eve’s flesh of azurite
Sun’s lemon-yellow rind
Half-and-half poured out to sea
Spilt over the edge of dusk
Honey hues quell Sky’s black tea
Earth’s dipped in milk like rusks
Thread by thread
You sewed me up
Just like that,
In the still of night,
Rustling of trees just outside the window,
Where Passion is found,
Honesty is our only plight;
Unable to ignore the rising plateau.
Now it is pouring
The pages disintergrating,
You sigh, defeated
Leave me, til mourning.
I never liked conflict. When I was little my parents would fight a lot. I would just close my eyes and pretend to disappear. They would never notice, they just kept screaming at each other. Eventually I learned to ignore it and I started to pretend that everything was going to be OK in the end, but nothing was OK. I was just fooling myself. They split up when I was ten. I think that was when I decided to fall asleep to the world. If the world was just full of pain and fighting, then I wanted no part in it. Yet, I couldn’t get away from it. My parents never got back together so they were always fighting over me. There were always bullies at school, or relationship problems, and it seemed like I would never get a break.
When I graduated, I decided to go to a college that was 2,000 miles away from my hometown, and away from the conflict. My thought process was, “I can finally have some peace by myself.” So I left, with everyone still arguing about me even after I was gone, and I never wanted to go back.
Two Years Later.....
“You have any plans tonight, Andrea?” My roommate Rachel asks me as we walk around campus.
“No, just homework.” I smile.
“Can’t your homework wait until Saturday? It’s Friday night, let’s go do something.” Rachel pleads with me, then adds sweetly, “I know where Scott hangs out on Friday nights.”
I feel my face flush, “I’ve told you I’m not looking for a relationship.” I object.
“It’s just one night!” Rachel insists, “It’ll be fun!”
“Leave her alone, Rachel.” My friend Natasha jumps in, “She actually cares about graduating, unlike some people.”
“Can’t you have a little fun while you’re waiting to graduate?” Rachel says, “What do you think, Andrea. Can you have fun, or is all about work?”
I bite my lip, “I don’t know.”
Natasha laughs, “Come on, who’s side are you on, Andrea?”
“Andrea, are you even listening to me?” Mom waved her hand in front of my face.
“Sorry Mom, what were you saying?”
“I was asking if you wanted to spend the weekend with me or Robert.”
“You mean, my Dad?” I looked down into my bowl of cereal and cautiously said, “I think it’s my turn to go to Dad’s house.”
“Why do you insist on taking turns when you can just stay here with me?” Mom demanded and slamed the refrigerator door closed.
I quickly filled my mouth with food so that I didn’t have to answer.
“Who’s side are you on, Andrea?”
Why do I have to pick a side?
I feel gravity wieghing on me, pressuring me to say something.
“I’m going to the dorm, I’ll see you guys later.” I leave my friends to talk with each other. I retreat to my dorm room and enjoy some peace and quiet for a few hours until I hear a knock on the door.
“I needed to change before I go out.” Rachel says innocently.
Natasha rolls her eyes, “She wanted to convince you to come with us.” Gravity starts to weigh on me again as Rachel pleads and prods.
“Fine.” I sigh and give in, “I’ll go tonight if you’ll leave me alone tomorrow.”
Rachel squeals and proceeds to squeeze me into a tight white mini skirt with black tights and a white and black checked blouse. After she is done primping me, she says excitedly, “You are going to love this place.”
As soon as I arrive I know that I’m going to hate this place. I can already hear the loud thumping music when we pull up to the large club. I walk slowly to the front door, or as well as I can in Natasha’s forest green pumps that Rachel insisted that I wear.
When we get inside I feel my eardrums burst. I let Rachel lead me through the thick crowd, since I can’t see anything except flashing lights. We arrive at a table with some of my other colleagues who are laughing and yelling at each other over the noise. Rachel introduces me and then joins in their conversation. My head is already pounding so I smile and sit into an empty chair at the table.
After about fifteen minutes my headache is unbearable and I’m pouring sweat. I’m sick of yelling every time I want to be heard and my breath comes short in the suffocating room. I excuse myself and navigate my way to the front door. When I finally find myself outside, I take a deep breath of fresh air and let the night breeze rush over me. The thumping music is still making my head spin so I walk farther away from the club in no particular direction.
Soon I spot a quaint burger joint up the street and decide to eat there, since my headache prevented me from eating at the club. After I get my food, I take a seat at a table outside. The view of the city is magnificent. Bright lights shine from cars, buildings, and street lights while the black night sky shines with millions of stars.
“Aren’t the stars beautiful, Dad?” I commented. We were eating burgers outside on his back porch and I was staring up into the sky, “I think that one is my favorite.” I pointed to a little light in the black sky.
Dad grunted, “You can’t have a favorite star, Andrea.”
“Why not?” I asked indignantly.
“Because, there are too many. You can never pick one out amongst the millions of stars. If one was missing you would never notice.” He leaned back in his chair.
“Are you saying my star isn’t important?” I demanded.
“Exactly.” Dad picked up my empty paper plate, “Stars are just like humans, there are so many people in the world, one missing person doesn’t matter because there will always be another person to take their place.”
“Is anyone sitting here?” A voice asks. Startled, I look up and notice that all of the tables around me are filled with people. An elderly man stands in front of me with his tray in hand.
“No, go ahead. I was just about to leave anyway.” I say and start to collect my trash.
“You don’t have to leave, I won’t bother you a bit.” He says then sits down across from me.
“I should get going anyway, my friends are going to be wondering where I am.”
“Are they at that fancy club across the street?” He asks. I nod. “So why aren’t you already over there with them? I would think you young’ns would want to party it up all night.” He chuckles.
“I’m not really that type.” I scoff.
“But you know how to dress for it.” He gestures to my hoop earrings and high heels.
“It’s complicated.” I sigh.
He nods understandably, “You’re running away.”
His words punch me in the gut, “I guess that’s a good way to put it.” I whisper.
“I’m sorry, it’s none of my buisness.” he apologizes quickly.
“It’s the truth.” I sigh and kick off my heels. “But it's better than being half alive.”
He laughs, “Have you ever thought of dealing with it?”
I bite my lip, “I guess I never thought of that as an option."
"I don't know what your situation is, but in my experience, the longer you run, the harder it becomes. Some advice?" He leans forward. "Don't be afraid to love again. There is more in this world than pain and heartache, there are things that are worth fighting for."
"Thank you." I say softly.
"Speaking of love, that fellow over there has been staring at you ever since I sat down." He winks, "You might want to reassure him that you're not on a date."
I laugh and for the first time since I can remember, I can feel my heart beat again.
"Hey, Scott." I say walking over to a handsome man at the next table.
"Hey, Andrea, who was that?"
I smile at the old man, who winks at me, "A friend. He just helped me wake up."