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I could hear the sound outside the window. This ticking. It would stop whenever I looked outside, then start again as soon as I climbed into my bed. Like any sane person would, I assumed it must be the bed making the sound. It must have been a spring or something. It had to be. But it wasn't. Night after night I'd hear the ticking outside my window. I had almost become used to the sound. When it started happening at my girlfriend's, I started to feel concern. The first night I spent at her place was normal. I think. We had a few drinks before making our way to bed. I think I was a little drunk. I passed out and slept like the dead. It was the first night in a long time that I felt I could relax. The second time I spent the night, I heard it. The very same ticking from outside my window was now outside of hers. I tried to wake her up. Every time I did, the noise would stop. I persisted, rambled even. She eventually stopped listening to me and went to sleep. The ticking start


He has the most beautiful eyes. Entrancing, even. In them, I can see the world. The past, the present, the future. I see every possible universe. It happens in flashes, like the big bang. Starting from there, too. I see different realities, like the way things could have been. If only circumstances had been different. Or if I had been different. That doesn't matter though. I don't get caught up on the "what ifs" of the past. Those flashes are just passing thoughts. My mind is focused on the present.  I knocked, he let me in, but neither of us are moving past the entrance way. I only wish he'd invite me in. I want to get to know who he has become. I'm not tangled in the past, I'm not rushing ahead to the future. I'm truly just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to give this a chance. It's a risk, but I'd claim I'm worth the ride. I love hard. I didn't know that about myself until recently. I can see, looking back, things that

He Left

  And just like that, it was over. As fast as it had began, it had ended. There were no harsh words. No long or drawn out goodbye. Hell, no goodbye. It just went silent.  I knew it was going to happen, but I let myself believe it would be different. He had always been unlike anyone else. He went against the grain and he never even meant to. He was a great person. He was upfront. But even the great can make shitty choices. In the end, I guess I was one of them.  I should have told him how bad it would hurt me to lose him. He knew, but I think the gesture would have been nice. Or in vain. It would have only been for myself anyway. I should have told him that the silence would drive me mad. I didn't. Again, it would have only been for myself at the end of it all. Everything I felt or hoped only damaged me in the end. He was untouched.  I should have left him that way.  I had delusions of how things could be. We could end up together. Happy, but not perfect. Life is better when it'


  [from the Vault]  Yesterday I held your hand and whispered sweet nothings in the dark, uncertain of tomorrow. I smiled wide and spoke softly, like the air was a delicate flower and the pressure of my voice might cause a collapse. You laughed loudly, like it wouldn't matter because the flower could always be replanted. We could always water the seeds of our love and watch it grow again and again. Together. Hand in hand. Then I forgot to water the garden. I pulled a flower from the bed to keep as a memory. And suddenly, that's all you were to me. The rest of the flowers wilted as you refused to water them any longer. The ground dried up as we walked into tomorrow. Apart and broken hearted. Today, that garden is a barren land, like nothing could grow from the soil of our poisoned love. Of course, I've still got that first flower. Pressed and sealed. Though long dead, still beautiful in its memory. Like you. Long gone, but not forgotten. I've pressed a piece of you too. I

The Diner

I called Jason when I got to town. He said we needed to talk. I wouldn't have called if part of me didn't want to see him, so I agreed. We met at a quiet cafe. The kind with the small tables and high, almost backless, chairs. I asked what he had been up to, even though I already knew. He asked if I went to New York for school, but I told him I had given up that dream. He made a comment about "our" dreams, and how different they turned out to be. I bitterly replied that I had given up dreaming when he gave up on us. We had both been quiet when he reached for my hand. As he did, I felt that rush. That spark. The same electricity I had felt every time his skin touched mine. We didn't bother with words from there. We went back to his parents. Thunderstorms made less sound. Tornadoes did less damage. The time between this encounter and our last didn't matter in the moments our skin was together. It didn't matter who had been me on nights before. Or who had been

Friday Night

[from the vault] She showed up to the party late. By how much, she couldn't tell. She had a thing about wearing watches, and keeping track of time. The way she'd tell it, time never kept track of her, and likewise. She was off the grid to time. Immune. She didn't have a cellphone either because technology was ruining communication, and she was trying to take a stand against it. She had never been to Lex's parents'. She knew that's where he was throwing the party. His boyfriend, Ryan, has insisted since the new club track they wrote was finally finished. His own version of a record release party. Luckily, she could hear the music from five or more blocks away. She didn't bother knocking, knowing that no one would hear her anyway. She sauntered through the empty hallway, towards the flashing lights that indicated the living room. Ryan had his turn tables out, and was literally playing Disc Jockey fot the night. He was just at the entrance of the living room,


  This was the worst. The hardest part. I looked at the concrete steps in front of me. Worn down and covered with leaves. The colors of fall were the only good part of these stairs. Stairs thar seemed to stretch forever. Multiplying themselves with every step I took towards them. My foot raised above the first step. It was like I could hear the concrete telling me to turn back, that this was a mistake. Coming here. I'll admit it took me a second thought to force my foot down on the step. I knew if I stopped to think too long, reality would catch up with me. I moved fast, with a purpose and a newly restored courage. Oh of course that faded when I reached the top. Standing on the porch, I lost all courage I had been building up. I wanted to melt into the hard concrete below me. Down past the tattered brown welcome mat. If the mat were placed for me, it would say "unwelcome". There was no one here who would be happy to see me. Reality was the opposite. Her mother would sucke