The Time Traveler’s Wife

“What came first?” You used to ask me. “The chicken or the egg” Well obviously the chicken I would say, for a mule is unable to reproduce and yet a coyote, dog, and wolf can reproduce because they are still the same species, so reproduction needs to be followed by a continuation… “That’s not what I meant” you interjected “I was simply asking a silly ques-” and out of anger I spat out “Leave me alone then, your very presence is an annoyance!” I didn’t mean it but I thought you were trying to get between me and my work. You knew my work was everything to me. You were just trying to keep us together and I was too busy breaking us apart.

After the accident, I couldn’t focus on my work anymore, you were gone. I thought if I could just finish my work, on Time, I could give us the life I believed we deserved. I didn’t know my time with you was limited. I wept so hard for you, and I wept because I knew there was no one like you on this earth, no one who could handle me the way you did.

I stopped my work for a time. I stopped because what was the point now. Then in my darkest moment, I remembered you said something to me in one of our fights. You said, I couldn’t think creatively, that everything I spoke of was in concrete rules, and that I couldn’t think outside the box. I was so angry then because rules are rules, and you can’t escape the rules of the universe. You can’t skip steps, but who said the steps needed to be in order and it was only in that dark moment I realized that you were right. While I still must follow the rules of the universe, why couldn’t I think outside of the box. If I couldn’t break the rules, what if I just bent them.

We take small steps over a millennium. So was there really a big bang? or is the big bang just a small continuation of something more grand that has existed since the beginning which we refer to as time? A beginning – maybe that is just something we made up because we can’t fathom a continuation that never ends or ever begins, it just continues. 

Time…. time is the separation of matter over a period. Time doesn’t cost anything and yet, it’s priceless. It is only priceless because it can’t be bought, but what if… what if I was able to harness time. Would that make time a valuable commodity if I were able to give it to the people or invaluable if I were to keep this technology to myself and harness it to change the past and shape the future into how I want it to be… 

I would not be skipping any of the steps but use other people’s time instead. Those who don’t deserve it, those who I could take their future time from them, distort it, and make that time malleable. What if I could use that future time to go back… so that I can bring you back, so that I could bring you back into the future with me. 

I don’t know if this experiment will work but I know I’m close, I’ve got all the people I need downstairs and their future time will be what powers my experiment. Children have the longest futures so the average is quite young but what are they if not insects just taking up our time.

The thought of holding your warm hands again, the smile that was full of life, your hair that flowed so seamlessly through the wind, and that body that I could outline with my fingers. I used to think my work meant everything to me, but now I know it means nothing if I can’t have you with me. That’s what keeps me going.

My work is what got between us before but now it is my work that will bring us together. Testing will begin tomorrow, but what is tomorrow if not only the future and the past, or whatever I choose to make it.

New Resident

“Fuuuuuuck!!!” I wake up with beads of sweat dripping from my face, raining down onto the thirsty dirt. I attempt to jump to a standing position except I can’t. I try to reach out my hand but feel restraint. “What is this?” I feel rope around my wrists and ankles. I wiggle my body to reach for my blades on my belt but I don’t feel them, they’re gone! I feel nothing at my sides, nothing in my pockets. I look around but my vision is blurry and I only feel the hot sweat running down my chest. My eyes slowly begin to focus on my surroundings but this place looks unfamiliar, I must not be in the village. “This is bad” I think. My heart rate begins to increase, my sweat starts to hit the dirt harder as I struggle to reach for anything that can help me get out from this rope. I struggle and strain but to no avail, I’m stuck.

I can smell the crisp air, the wind brushing against my cold sweat meaning it’s close to dawn, but for the life of me, I can’t see anything that would help locate where I’m at. How did I get here? “Where the fuck am I?” I shout, but only my echo responds.

Who did this to me? Did the villagers find me in the woods? Impossible if they sent a scout they would never have found me, I was too far from the village. Even if they found me, they would have immediately sentenced me to death. Is that where I am, am I dead? No, I can’t be dead, death can’t feel this way. It feels too real.

The sun begins to bathe my cold wet skin, laying a blanket of heat over my body. It’s morning now. What place is this, where are the people? Suddenly, the quiet of the wind fades as doors begin slamming, farm animal noises and roosters start crowing, footsteps start rushing towards me with people whispering and gathering around. Small children run towards me, with all the people gathering around me in a large circle to see the main attraction, me.

The children start to whisper louder than the rest, they start to launch small pebbles, and dare each other to run circles around me, each one getting braver and braver, getting closer and closer, challenging each other’s courage. “Why are children so bothersome?” I think. More people begin to crowd around me. They began to bicker and talk among each other, creating a thunderous commotion of insults and names as they tried to figure out what to call me.

A small child’s voice then asked “Mother, can I go and touch the man?” to which his mother responded, “He’s no man, he’s a demon, don’t you dare go near that demon, you hear me, you stay here next to me!” Then the commotion slowly changed from a commotion of different insults and names to a chant in unison, “Demon, Demon, Demon, Demon, Demon!”


“Do it I fucking dare you!” Whispered Aaron staring down the muzzle, “you don’t got the balls to pull that trigger.”

The woods are dark and boisterous with critters’ clamors and the only light creeping through the leaves was that of the full moon.

“Please don’t do this Ricky, let’s just put it down okay.” Whispered Gabriel.

“Put it down now Specialist,” whispered Linda, with her hand out to the gun, slowly walking towards Ricky.

“Get the fuck back!” Ricky said, now pointing the gun at Linda.

“Let’s just calm down, Ricky. We’re all hungry, tired, and stressed, I get that, but we need to stick together if we want to make-“ Gabriel started.


“Shhh” everyone but Ricky, said in unison.

“Don’t you fucking shush me!” Ricky said waving the gun frantically towards everyone, “I’m sick of this shit, I’m tired of living like this-“

“Quite right now Specialist, or you’re gonna-” Linda urged.

Suddenly she grew quiet, her body now a statue as she could see a pair of bright red eyes in the far distance. Her mouth quivered, with only a soft “shhh” escaping her lips.

Ricky stopped waving his gun abruptly, now aiming it right for Linda’s head. A gasp escaped from Linda’s mouth as Ricky pulled back the hammer…

“I FUCKING TOLD YOU NOT TO SHUSH M-“ Ricky’s body vanished into the night of the woods.

A gunshot went off, then another, and then another.

“HELP ME!!” Ricky cried, “HELP ME PLEASE!” but not one of them moved an inch.

Cracks like the snapping of tree branches and the sound of one drowning on their own blood filled the woods. Teeth ripping through flesh haunted their ears, for this wasn’t the first time they had heard it before.

“Staff Sergeant what do we do now?” whispered Gabriel.

“Quiet Corporal, just stay quiet and it will leave when it’s finished.” Whisper Linda.

“But what if it doesn’t?” whispered Gabriel.

“Yeah Sergeant, what if it doesn’t?” Whispered Aaron.

Linda still unable to move, focused on the dark figured with red eyes ripping through the carcass who was formally part of her unit.

“Then we’re gonna end up just like Ricky.” Whispered Linda.

Second Chances

Her cheeks were on fire, her stomach was a black hole, she could no longer feel the kicks as they had dampened from repetition.

“Why can’t you ever just let me be happy!” cried Jim.

Sarah’s arms covered her stomach but she no longer felt sensation in her arm either. She knew it was coming, he was going to keep hitting her until her body gave out again, until her consciousness would take another break.

“How did I get here…” she asked “Why did I say that to him, I should’ve just stayed quiet. Why did I say anything? He said he would stop, he cried in my lap just a couple nights ago and whimpered with waterfalls running down his cheeks that he would stop, and we were making lots of progress, so why would I test him right now when he was getting better. Why can’t I just be better for him?”

“Better for who?” whispered a soft and youthful voice.

“… I’m sorry I didn’t know anyone else was in the room” replied Sarah, “Why is it so dark in here?”

“No need to be sorry, but who do you want to be better for?” a small figure began walking closer towards Sarah.

“Oh my fiance, he’s a really smart man, he’s got a great job, he really takes care of me-” Sarah’s voice cracked, “… sorry my voice does that sometimes ever since-”

“Ever since, what?”

“It was nothing…”

“Well sorry if I’m being intrusive, but I’d like to know exactly what this ‘nothing’.”

“Well if you really want to know…. This one time, we were having lots of fun in bed and hitting each other with pillows and I accidentally got Jim in the eye with one of the corners of the pillow. He complained that it stung and said that I needed to be more serious and not to play around so much and-” said Sarah.

“And..?” asked the voice.

“Are you sure I’m not boring you? Cuz it feels like I’m boring you and I can understand if you just want to go somewhere else- Where exactly are we?” said Sarah.

“Please continue, I want to hear the rest of the story.” said the voice.

“You do? Okay, well if you’d like you can come a little closer-” said Sarah.

“No, I’m fine over here.” said the voice.

“Really? Because I can’t even see you, you feel like you’re really far away” said Sarah.

“No, I’m right here next to you, it’s just dark here.” reassured the voice, “Now, back to the story please.”

“Okay well, I hit him with a pillow and one of the corners got him in the eye. Usually I would immediately say ‘sorry’ but something came over me and I just started laughing uncontrollably. I honestly don’t know what came over me because I knew my laughter was getting to him and I really wanted to feel sorry, but I couldn’t help myself, I couldn’t stop laughing. And then-” Sarah’s voice cracked.

“And then?” said the voice, still soft but heavier.

“And then… and then I just felt the hot iron grip on my throat, and the wall crushing my back. I could feel myself drowning in the middle of the air, his face red with fire.” said Sarah.

“‘Stop making fun of me! I hate when people make fun of me!!’” paused Sarah realizing she was yelling and forgot she was still talking to the voice in the room, she lowered her voice almost to a whisper “Honestly it was my fault though, I shouldn’t have laughed at him, I should’ve known how he’d react, he had a really bad childhood and he got bullied in school-”

“I see…” said the voice.

“Oh I’m sorry, I haven’t even introduced myself, how rude, my name is-” started Sarah.

“Sarah” replied the voice.

“-yes, how did you know my name?” responded Sarah, “Have we met before?”

“No. This is the first time, and the last time we will ever meet.” replied the voice more seriously.

“What do you mean by that, who are you and when are they going to turn the lights on because I still can’t see a thing? Where’s Jim? He was just here a moment ago.” Sarah asked looking around the pitch black space.

“I don’t have a name, but you can call me ‘Second Chance,’ okay.” said the voice, still soft but very serious now, “That’s my job, I give second chances, and while I really want to give you one, I’m sorry I just can’t, it would be a waste, so I’ll leave you be.”

“What? What did you mean by that?” said Sarah.

“Hello?” she cried softly at first, then louder and louder she cried her cries became, until she was screaming at the top of her lungs, “Where did you go, where is my Jim? Where am I? Someone help me!” but it was of no use, she knew she was all alone in this pitch black room and her screams fell on Death’s ears.

The Last Ravioli

Setting: Two men sitting around a dead camp fire… it’s an open setting, and sunny as if they’re in the middle of nowhere. .

Opening scene.

The sun appears in frame bright. The back of a hand comes into frame blocking the sun, camera switches to Joaquin who is creating a shade to block the sun with his hand. Mid-shot of Joaquin laying on his back using his bag as a pillow looking up at the sky with his hand still blocking the sun. Off camera we can hear Locks is searching through his own bag rigorously. Joaquin turns his head to look towards Locks…

Joaquin: “What…?”

Locks: slams his bag on the floor gets up from one knee and starts walking towards Joaquin “Get up, let me see your bag.”

Joaquin: “What!..?”

Locks: “Let me see your bag”

Joaquin: “I’m not showing you shit, it’s hot as fuck and I just got comfortable-”

Locks: raises his foot to stomp Joaquin in the chest

Joaquin: rolls out of the way before the foot can land on his chest gettin up to his feet

Locks: Bends over grabbing the bag “I know you took my-”

Joaquin: tackles Locks, pinning him down to the ground “What the fuck is your problem!”

Locks: lands a right hook to Joaquin’s head

Joaquin: fall off Locks, hitting the ground… slowly grabs towards the knife in his boot “you’re gonna pay for that!”

Locks: reaches inside Joaquin’s bag and pulls out a can “I knew it!”

Joaquin: starts slashing with the knife at Locks with each word “I’m. So. Sick. Of. Your. Shit!”

Locks: dodging all the slashes grabs Joaquin’s knife wielding arm and headbutts him

Joaquin: drops the knife and falls onto his back dazed, crawls backwards

Locks: slowly bends down to grab the knife sinsterly… slowly walks towards Joaquin casting a shadow over Joaquin, who is still on the floor

Joaquin: looks nervous and bleeding from the forehead, suddenly becomes serious “just do it”

Camera is looking through the POV of Joaquin but at a mid closeup shot of Locks

Locks: “I will” lunges the knife towards the camera

Camera cuts to the can and knife plunging through it.

Camera mid shot of Locks trying to cut the can open with the knife

Joaquin: “What!? You don’t want to kill me?”

Locks: “Kill you? Why would I kill you dumb ass, you’re my brother. Plus, you’re the only one that knows how to build a fire.”

Joaquin: with a confused look on his face “Then why did you attack me?”

Locks: “Cuz you’re a thief, you tried to steal my ravioli points to the can like I wouldn’t notice.”

Joaquin: “What the fuck are you talking about? You gave that to me you idiot! For the the soda back in Elsa…”

Locks: looks up, thinking “Oh yeah…. Well, it’s mine now, I already opened it” walking back to his bag to sit down

Joaquin: sits up to a sitting position exhaling loudly and wiping the blood off from his forehead he looks up to the sun and tries to block the sun again with his hand

Joaquin is seen looking up to the sun. Camera switches to the sun appearing in frame bright. The back of Joaquin’s hand comes into frame blocking the sun.

End Scene.

How To Write A Short Fictional Story in 5 Easy Steps

Well first things first, “‘I really did try to be good to you…’ the gun went off” before thinking about introducing any character, setting or plot we have to get your reader hooked. “Why did the gun go off?” your reader thinks “Did they just commit suicide, did they just commit a murder, or were they themselves just murdered? Who are they talking to?” This is all running through your reader’s brain and you haven’t said anything substantial yet. This accomplishes two things, it keeps your reader engaged, and it invests your audience into reading your entire short story.

Now I’m not saying you always have to do this, but what I am saying is that the internet is cluttered with so much stuff that you need to compete for your audience. You have to give your audience a hook or let’s call it a “promise” that your story is worth reading, that it’s going to be good, no GREAT! What you’re pretty much doing is giving your reader a reason to open the door and step inside of your short story.

Now after writing a great hook, since we aren’t writing long form we need to start introducing characters but not with too much description; we don’t need your audience to know how your characters take their cup of coffee, but they do need to know what kind of people your characters are. Imagine your character fully and then just don’t write it, unless it’s relevant to your short story. All we need to know is your characters’ name, gender, their goal (or a bit of an idea of their goal) and maybe their relationship to other characters in your story. So let’s continue:

“I really did try to be good to you…” the gun went off. Karen was looking down at the broken pieces of her white porcelain elephant. “What has gotten into you John, that was from my father!” Karen screamed. “You don’t give a shit about anyone but yourself” replied John, now pointing the gun at Karen. Karen’s shoulders now became stiff, they were two boulders pressing into her chest.

Okay, so now we have introduced the characters Karen and John, we don’t know if she’s a blonde, her height, what she’s wearing, heck we don’t even know if she’s standing or sitting but we do know that she wasn’t frightened about the first gunshot, so she probably didn’t really care about the porcelain elephant from her father and it’s funny that she would even bring up the porcelain elephant considering John just fired a gun. Also, we know John seems a bit unhinged, his relationship with Karen might be intimate considering he’s accusing her of not caring about anyone but herself.

Now to my third point, we need to create questions for the reader to keep them engaged in your short story, the hook was enough to get them in the door but questions give the reader a reason to finish the ride. So we used John as a really good device to learn more about Karen, but we also gave the reader questions. Why is John holding a gun? Why is he accusing her of not caring about anyone else but herself? Is John trying to scare Karen or is he actually trying to kill her? Why did he just shoot a porcelain elephant? The elephant never did anything to him and that’s like honestly so rude.

My fourth point is, you can say a lot with very little. The middle of your story is the part where you as the writer, you get your reader to try and answer the questions they have, but by only giving them “bread crumbs”. Let your audience find out more about Karen and John by saying things that hint at the reasons why John is holding a gun and why Karen is being accused, but not enough for them to figure it out until the end. We want them to ask but not answer “Is John crazy or did Karen do something so terrible he became unhinged?” So let’s continue:

Karen took a deep breath, “Honestly John, this is beneath you.” John’s gun starts to shake still pointed at Karen, “I’m gonna do it this time you cheap skank, I’m not bluffing.”

We just gave the audience more information using my previous points but we haven’t answered the reader’s question, we know now that they have done this before, John has probably pointed a gun at Karen or at least threatened her in the past. Karen isn’t phased because she doesn’t really believe John will pull the trigger or at least she wants John to believe that. Also, we know that John thinks that Karen might be unfaithful but your audience doesn’t know which leads to your audience wanting to know more.

I have given you all the pieces to begin writing a decent short story (except the ending… don’t worry, it’s coming) and now you just need to reuse those building blocks to extend your short story to as long as you want, maybe another character comes in because of the first gunshot, maybe the phone rings and John tells Karen to pick it up because it’s her lover, maybe a train suddenly comes in from the side of the building right in between them. So much can happen which is the beauty of short stories, and as a creative writer that’s up to you. You can also use the middle of the story to describe more of the characters’ appearance or backstory considering now you have the reader fully invested.

Now we must end the short story, which brings me to my fifth and final point, which is the ending. The great thing about short stories is, you don’t really need an ending however it’s better to have one because your audience could feel cheated. Sometimes you can end with a cliff hanger and let your audience do the work for you where they solve the ending themselves (but as I said, they might feel cheated). So let’s formally end this story so your audience doesn’t feel duped.

John was still holding the gun pointing it straight at Karen, focusing the nozzle between her eyes, “I can’t do this anymore Karen, I just can’t be with you anymore, not with the way you treat me” said John. “Okay, let’s slow down John, just slow down, I’m sorry… I won’t hurt you again” cowered Karen, getting on her knees and making herself small “What will the kids do, they need their mom John, children need their mother…” she whimpered as she crawled towards John.

Now you can end there but as I said before, the audience might feel a bit cheated, so by just adding a few more lines we can close the story.

“I won’t let you hurt me again” John paused, pressing the gun’s nozzle against Karen’s forehead. Karen’s face dripping with black mascara. “But you’re right, the children do deserve a mother” John moved the nozzle away from Karen’s forehead and put it inside his mouth. The trigger went off.

So let’s go over the 5 steps:

1: Hook Your Audience without giving anything away

2: Introduce The Characters without detailing too much

3: Create Questions big enough that will keep them reading and wanting more

4: Give “Bread Crumbs” to answer some questions but not large enough for them to solve the ending

5: End The Story, try your best not to cheat your reader or have them feel cheated

So now you have left your audience in shock and maybe not with the ending they wanted, but you did gave them one (so they don’t feel cheated) along with it you have accomplished all the things your audience asked of you; you hooked them on your short story, fulfilled your promise and gave them an ending. You just gave your reader a full-formed short story, now go and start writing your next short fiction story.

Detective Batsy

Detective Batsy, Age 1, Black Female Feline, Solves Crime, Likes Treats

11:34am There was a breaking and entering.

I got here right after the incident *the loud crash* and nothing adds up. There was a broken vase in the kitchen, claw marks on the sofa and treats were missing, my treats. I know I shouldn’t be on this case, because I’m too close to it and presents a conflict of interest, but this goes beyond protocol, this is personal.

11:54am After cleaning myself and looking for clues.

I spotted treat residue on the couch, meaning the suspect at large took his time with the burglary, first taking their time with the treats and then helping themselves to the couch, but the vase still doesn’t add up, why break the vase, this case is like none I’d seen before.

12:08pm I searched the evidence I’d gathered and determined suspects.

The Detail I ran goes as follows:

Weto, Age 7, White Male Feline, Likes Sunbathing, Likes Treats.

Vampiro, Age 1, Black Male Feline, Likes Climbing Trees, Likes Treats.

Tigger, Age 5, Black with Orange Stripes Male Canine, Humps Everything, Likes Treats.

Rocky, Age 2, Blonde and Black Male Canine, Barks at Everything, Likes Treats.

I was getting nowhere, all these suspects had a motive to do what they did, but which of them was it, it was starting to take a toll on me…

12:34pm Another clue presented itself.

I searched the parameter for what felt like days and I found a crucial clue, a paw mark left at the top of the counter where the vase was before it was knocked off. After examining the paw mark which was made from treat residue, the size was too small to be the Canines, it had to be a Feline which left me with two suspects. Weto and Vampiro. I was getting close to solving this case, I could almost smell it.

12:36pm It happened, examining the paw mark.

I used my own paw to examine the paw imprint left at the crime scene and it was almost identical to mine, Weto was older and his paw was larger than mine, so that left one suspect, the suspect who I didn’t want to believe it could be… because he’s my brother… Vampiro…

Personal Statement

“College has been very difficult, it takes such a toll on me mentally, emotionally and financially. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up but I was good at math so I decided to just jump into a major not knowing what to expect, and now after four years I’m still here. I realize now that I don’t want to pursue a major in Science or Math, but the problem is I still don’t know what I do want. Why is this so hard, why isn’t there someone to tell us what we should want, why can’t I just have a sign…

I just don’t have a passion for anything anymore. There are things that I like and things I enjoy, but nothing really gets me up in the morning. I feel so hollow inside like it doesn’t matter what I do or where I go, it just doesn’t matter. I always want to be alone, I don’t find comfort in having friends over, they just aggravate me now. Why do I feel this way?

Now after a ton of paperwork I’m an Philosophy major, only because I hate it least out of all the other options. The only good news is I’ll be able to graduate this year if I take a full course load, along with taking a couple courses during the Summer, however I feel my plan is already losing momentum since I’m lacking motivation and the monetary backing of my financial aid. I just want to graduate already, make my family proud and prove to myself that I belong here, I’m tired of feeling like a fraud…. Sorry, I didn’t mean to get all personal on you, my bad” said Tommy, the straitjacket squeezing his arms into paste.

“No this is good Tommy, very very good, that’s what I am here for” the Psychiatrist started “now if you feel comfortable, you can keep going whenever you’re ready. Maybe, let’s talk about the incident in the library, for example, where did you get the knife-”

“No, I don’t want to talk about that!” snapped Tommy, his teeth grinding inside his mouth.

“That’s fine, we don’t need to talk about that right now” replied the Psychiatrist in a calming manner, “I know, let’s talk about Philosophy, why do you hate it least?”

I’m Okay

“You don’t want anything, you’re not hungry” my mother asks. I take a deep breath and slowly exhale, showing my discomfort due to the long period of sitting on metal chairs. I reply “Yeah, I’m okay Mom. If I get hungry I can just grab a taco to eat when we stop at a convenient store or something.”

We have been waiting for over an hour for the Greyhound bus and it still hasn’t arrived. “This bus is taking forever…” I say to my mom, as I look down at my screen-cracked Apple iPhone 4, after checking the time. “I hope nothing happened to the bus on the road. You never know, there are crazy people out there” My mom says. “Mom, you need to stop watching the news. The only thing that probably happened is the stupid bus driver just sucks at driving. Now, I’m going to get to Austin all late because of this stupid bus” I said, in an annoyed tone.

After another hour the bus attendant at the front desk says, “The bus from Laredo to Austin, Texas via San Antonio has been delayed but will be arriving in about thirty minutes. If all the passengers going on this trip can get in a line and have your tickets ready, that will assist us in speeding up the traveling process.” “Finally!” I say as I start yawning so it sounds like nonsense. “You know it’s okay to be scared. If you want you don’t have to go, you can just go to college here. You can just stay at home, then you don’t have to pay rent” my mother says in a low voice. Without skipping a beat I respond, “Yeah Mom, I already know, you’ve told me a hundred times.” She shrugs her shoulders, as if saying “okay fine then.”

Every five minutes from then on, we spend apologizing to the people behind us for nudging them with my large luggage bag. “You know Rebecca’s son Anthony, he was also the youngest, he went to Texas A&M and then came back after two years and owed $30,000. I don’t know why he didn’t just go to college here, it’s the same thing.” I close my eyes and open them trying to visualize the bus arriving. “Once they leave the house they forget about the mother, all they care about is finding a woman and then they never­-” “Mom you make it sound like Austin is around the world. I will come and visit, plus you can just call me if anything happens” I say as I continue to looking out the window. “That’s what all your older brothers said and now they don’t even come and visit me or call” she continues, “They find a woman and then they just forget about the mother.”

The bus finally arrives. The line waiting begins to move forward slowly “Damn this bus took forever” I say as my mom follows me in the line. “You’re not forgetting anything” my mother asks. “Nope, if I need anything I will just buy it once I get to the dorms” I reply, trying to quickly nudge my way through the door frame so no one tries to pass me in line. “Can I see your ticket?” the bus driver motions to the loose sheet of paper in my hand, “I just need to see the confirmation number.” “Yes, here you go,” I say as I hand him the online Greyhound bus pass I printed earlier in the morning. He takes one second to look at the sheet of paper, then looks up at me and says, “Okay, if you have any luggage you can just place it under the bus and then go in and take a seat that is available.”

I see other people placing their luggage and bags under the bus and do the same. After putting my luggage under the bus, I turn around to see my mother there just holding her hands, her body looking so tiny. “Don’t worry mom, I’ll call you when I get there, okay?” I reassure her while she just nods and smiles. She grabs my hand and says, “Here, just in case you need anything.” I take a quick glimpse at my hand and notice a crumpled ten dollar bill. She gives me a long warm hug. “Are you okay?” I say to her. She takes a long pause and then responds “I’m okay” As I began enter the bus, turned around and shouted, “Don’t worry mom, I’ll be okay too.” My mother’s face was red with rivers of tears running down her eyes and nose. She tried her best to fake a smile, looking even smaller now with only herself to hold onto. “I know” she mouthed and I heard her voice even with all the people shoving me to get to an open seat.

She stayed watching until the bus and her baby boy was finally out of sight. I don’t think I had ever seen my mother cry before that moment.

Poem For Erin

At first, you were but another leaf

In a forest full of trees

So many leaves to count from

So many, it was too easy to pick from

So beautiful they all were

My world, was but a blur

Leaves were easy to pick from the floor

Until I looked up, and saw a beauty I had never seen before

Hanging from the tallest tree

Only that leaf would satisfy me

Magnificent like a tigress

With an exterior

So superior

An attractiveness that summons you out of a coma

With a power that brings you to your knees

Or chooses to save you from the gallows

And can even set you free

That is my Erin

The leaf with which I have found

I am tied to and bound

But a curse it is not

But a blessing it is

The leaf I have found

Picked from the tallest tree and turned around

To see there is more to this leaf than just its exterior

At points, she makes me feel inferior

Another side just as beautiful

So passive but passionate, so calm and forgiving

If death is inevitable, she is my reason for living

Sometimes I stop to think

What if I had never picked that leaf?

Or was it her who picked me?

But now it is clear, I can see…

She wasn’t made for me…

God made me for her

To make her happy always

And protect her from evil…

Forever I’m yours

With love and hate

My body will never deviate

From that leaf named Erin

My heart wants to shout

She has planted a seed of love in me

You can hear it sprout

If you listen closely to my heartbeat…

It’s shouting!

Yet sounds just as loud as a whisper

But the fact that I can hear it

Let’s me know that I’m with her

*I made this poem over 5 years ago for an ex-girlfriend Erin*