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The Colour of Her Eyes

Her phone rang.  Caller unknown.

She didn’t typically pick up calls from people she didn’t know, but something compelled her to do so tonight.  She immediately regretted it.

“Hello.”

“Minnie, it’s me.  You busy?  Wanna grab a drink tonight?  I can swing by your place and pick you up if you want?”

“Tonight…?”

“Or any night.  Look, baby, I’m sorry.  I fucked up.  There, I said it. I. Fucked. Up.  I should’ve never let you go.  I miss you so much and I want you back, baby.”

Three months ago she would’ve given anything to hear those words.  But that was three months ago.  She learned a lot about her own self worth in that time, to understand what it meant to love someone, to miss them, but to recognize that they didn’t deserve to be in her life anymore.

“Minnie, you still there?”

“Uhh, yeah.  Sorry, you were saying?”

“Do you think you can give me a second chance?  I mean, we’re only human, we all make mistakes.  You’re not perfect, but neither am I.  I made a mistake.  I’ve fessed up.  So you gotta take back, babe, that’s how this works right?”

“I-I don’t know what to say…”

“Yes, say yes.”

“Before I do, can I ask you a question?”

“Of course.  Anything.”

“Tell me what colour my eyes are.”

“What?”

“What colour are my eyes?”

“If I answer this, I’ll get you back?”

“Depends.”

“On?”

“Whether you give me the right answer.”

“There’s a wrong answer?”

“What do you think?  Of course, there is.”

“Uh…mmm…bl..ree…brown?”

The colour of her eyes held the warmth of saccharine liquid gold on a frigid, winter’s eve.  Their lustre rivalled that of the finest obsidian.  And the way sparkled in the sunlight, like golden sapphires made them all the more more beautiful.  But the one thing that set her apart from all others was the way her eyes lit up when she talked about her passions; they were brighter than fireworks on the fourth of July.

To call them brown was like saying the ocean was big.  It wasn’t wrong, but it wasn’t right either.  There were so many ways to describe her eyes that calling them brown was a huge injustice.  To the world, they were just ordinary, but to a lover, they were poetry.

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Self Loathing Love

They say
To love someone
You must first love yourself
But I think it untrue

For loving you
I forgot
My pain
My loneliness
And self-loathing

Loving you
Showed me
I was capable
Of giving you my whole world
Of risking everything I believed in

By making my heart vulnerable
I was given a strength I knew not

But you shattered it
To a thousand shards

The resiliency of humanity
Will always surprise me

For from the ash and dust
From the infertile sands
A phoenix emerged
Burning ever so bright

Fire was never meant to be contained
Heartbreak showed me my true nature
That I will love
No matter the circumstance
No matter how broken I may become
No matter how many
Bandages
And stitches
I will always burn bright

For nothing can extinguish these external flames
Least of all
A boy
Who doesn’t understand what it means to love

Prompt: “You have to love yourself before you love anyone else” bullshit!  I have never loved myself, but you, I loved you so much I forgot what hating myself felt like.

A Lesson in Life

They all sat facing forward. A formless black mass. Their heads bowed in prayer as I made my way down the aisle. A few lifted their eyes to catch a glimpse, wondering who I was and how I dared to come so late. I took my seat at the front, next to a woman I presumed to be his wife. I set my little boy on my lap and faced forward. The woman, not much older than myself, looked over at me startled.

“Who are you?” she whispered.

“I think you know who I am,” I returned.

“These seats are reserved for family and close friends,” she hissed.

“Does the mother of his child count as such?” I returned.

She glowered at me, but said nothing. I knew her type. She wouldn’t make a scene here, but in the privacy of a sound proof room, she’d let me have it.

We endured the ceremony sitting next to one another. I watched as she rose to give her eulogy to him.

“…He was a great man who was loved by all. But most of all, he was a man who loved life and all it had to offer him…” she finished.

With that everyone rose and began filing out into the reception area. The mood had lightened. Now they were to celebrate his life. The man that he had been. I was probably going to get a talking to, but what did I care?

I rose, following the others into the reception area. She followed close behind.

“Where do you think you’re going?” she hissed.

“I have every right to celebrate the man he was-” I started.

“No,” she said cutting me off, “Not until I’ve had a word with you.”

“Why?” asked the little boy in my arms, “What has mama done?”

“Why don’t you go and play with the other…others while I talk to your mother?” she said with a forced smiled.

“Why did you bring a child to a funeral, are you insane?” she hissed.

“Stop being mean to my mama!” he said loudly, catching the attention of several guests.

“Shh, Adrian, it’s alright,” I said reassuringly.

He frowned, “But she’s being mean. You always said to stand up to bullies. She’s a bully!”

“I know baby, but let mama talk to her. Maybe she has something worthwhile to say,” I said.

“Damn straight I have something worthwhile to say. Get. The. FUCK. out,” she said enunciating each word.

“I thought I’d just come and meet you,” I shrugged, “I didn’t have to, but I thought it’d be the civil thing to do.”

“Well leave. You’ve outstayed your welcome,” she snarled.

I shrugged and walked in amongst the guests, losing myself in the crowd. He had touched so many people’s lives in his life time it was only right to have so many well wishers at his funeral.

I chatted with a few of the guests, all of them too polite to breach the subject of my relationship with him. From a distance I saw a young couple looking at us curiously. They seemed like interesting people and I approached them.

“Hello,” I said with a smiled, “My name is Brienne. This is Adrian. Thank you so much for coming today.”

“Hello, I’m Marcie and this is Luke,” introduced Marcie, “So how do you know Caleb?”

“We were high school sweethearts,” I answered, “Circumstances drew us apart…and then together again. But as luck would have it, he was already married.”

“So…Adrian is-” started Luke.

I nodded.

“Aren’t you a little young to have a child?” he asked.

I shrugged, “I suppose.”

“Do you mind me asking…when?” asked Marcie awkwardly, “I mean, Luke and I want…to have kids, but we’re kinda young too…”

I smiled, “I had Adrian when I was eighteen. That’s what initially drew us apart. But when Caleb discovered his wife was…how do I put this delicately, unable to provide what he wanted most in life, he came running straight back to me. You see, years ago, he just wanted to have fun. He wasn’t in it for a seriously relationship or committed to providing for a child.”

Marcie looked at Luke who nodded, taking her hand in his.

“Thank you Brienne…you’ve given us something to think about as we prepare for our life together. We’re so sorry for your loss,” murmured Luke.

I nodded drifting away again.

“A lot of people liked daddy didn’t they?” asked Adrian.

I nodded and said, “But you must know, daddy loved you most of all.”

Prompt: “Aren’t you a little young to have a child”

Price of a Woman

Don't cry my little Joanna Artist: Sharandula (DeviantArt)

Don’t cry my little Joanna
Artist: Sharandula (DeviantArt)

Source: http://sharandula.deviantart.com/art/Don-t-cry-my-little-Joanna-397455594

A pain
Resonant and true
In flesh and in soul
Beautiful and blue
A true tragedy

She was the only daughter
Of the only woman
To ravish the seas
And command the respect of her crew

Beautiful but terrible
Like her mother
Only delicate
And terrible for her uselessness

She, unlike her ever feared mother
Was a mere trinket
A trophy to be won
A waste

Immodest
Controlling
She got what she deserved
Playing the field so dangerously

She was a plaything to them
She certainly acted like one
She was of no value
Neither to herself
Nor to them

Used and cast ashore

Here she stands now
Ravished and Torn
In tears

Begging for your mercy
Imploring for your sympathy

But it’s just another game
But this one
Will burn her

Resolutions

I walked up to the door in a familiar neighbourhood. These where the streets of my childhood. This was where I had grown up, fallen in love and been left heartbroken. These were the streets that I had sworn to protect.

On these streets lived the people I promised to protect, people whose names I still knew. On these streets lived my friends and some of my best memories, but now…things were different. I had come back for another reason. A sadder purpose. All my life I had made others laugh. That was what I was good at. Then I was told of my duty. I had to be the one. The harbinger of woe, the bearer of calamity.

War always changed things. No matter how we tried. No matter what we did. War always changed us. We tried to hold on to our ideals, our morals, but War was determined to take away the things that meant the most to us. I gave myself because I thought I had nothing to lose, yet, I found myself mourning a loss not of my own.

He had once been a good friend. Perhaps even my best friend, but things changed. It was a girl. It was always a girl. I loathed and despised him for being better than me, for being the one that she ultimately chose. I loved her. She could do no wrong in my eyes. So it had to be him. He had to bear the brunt of my anger.

Days turned to months as we continued to drift apart. How could he know how I felt? I had been alone for so long. When I found her, I had been the happiest man alive. How could he know how it felt to lose all of that in a heartbeat? As he took my place, he took my happiness and the anger inside of me grew. He still valued me despite it all. He still thought of me as a friend. I tried to let the feelings pass. I tried to pretend I was not still bitter, but I was. I loved her, but it wasn’t his fault.

The last time I had walked up to her door was to take her to prom, the night she left me. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I approached the door. I knew I had been wrong to be angry with him. He had the right to be happy. He had been so alone. He deserved to be forgiven. He deserved an apology.

I rang the doorbell and waited. I heard the bark of a dog, the laughter of children and her melodic voice.

“Hello,” she answered coming to the door, her eyes twinkling.

“Mrs. Madison,” I began.

“Tony?” she interrupted, “How long has it been?”

“I’d say about fifteen years,” I said dryly.

“What brings you ’round to these parts?” she simpered in her beautiful southern accent.

“Well, you see, I-” I began again.

“Come inside, make yourself comfortable. Lucy, please fetch us some scones and iced tea,” she called leading me into her parlour.

“Anna, please…” I said, trying to bring some professionalism back.

“Tony…look. I never got the chance to apologize to you. I know I hurt you real bad, but you gotta understand, David made me feel things that you could just never…well…I’m sorry,” said Anna, her feelings spilling out.

“Anna…that’s not what I’m here about,” I said quietly.

Lucy brought in the scones and iced tea before disappearing again.

“You’d better take a scone and explain then,” said Anna sitting down across from me, holding a plate out to me.

I nodded and took the plate, taking a bite before starting, “Anna, it’s about David. I-I’m not sure how to tell you.”

Anna shook her head, her curls bouncing against her face, her eyes wide with terror, “No, please.”

“I’m so sorry Anna. After all these years, after all this regret, I’m so sorry I have to be the one to bring you this news,” I continued quietly.

Tears welled up in her eyes as she pressed her hand to her mouth, suppressing a sob. I leaned across the table and handed her my handkerchief.

“How?” asked Anna, her voice cracking.

I shook my  head, “I don’t know. I don’t know how they knew we were coming. Someone must have told them, tipped them off.”

Anna just kept looking, waiting for an answer. I struggled with myself. How could I put it gently?

“His plane went down over Germany. We don’t know if he survived,” I said at last.

“If he did, the Germans would have captured him right?” asked Anna.

I nodded.

Anna bit her lip, “And…is there a chance he could have escaped?”

I shook my head, “I don’t know Anna. I-”

Lucy reappeared at the doorway, “I’m sorry Mrs. Madison, but there’s a gentleman at the door for you. Says he needs to talk to you urgently.”

Anna stood, drying her eyes with the handkerchief. She reached out for my sleeve, “Tony, come with me.”

I nodded and followed her to the door.

“David?” asked Anna bewildered.

He nodded.

“DAVID!” she screamed running to him.

He wrapped his arms around her wordlessly watching me. I approached him with a nod.

“It’s good to have you back buddy” I chuckled.

“It’s good to be back,” he returned grinning.

Prompt: You are a military officer responsible for going to people’s homes to tell them that a family member has died in combat, is a prisoner of war, injured, missing in action, and the like. Describe one of the notification scenes.

The Colour of Tomorrow

Today she was the colour of the sky in her white summer dress, blue bolero and sunshine yellow purse
Today nothing could touch or taint her
She had the innocence of her childhood
Encasing and protecting her

Yesterday she was the colour of ash
A ghost haunted by the shadows suspended on dust
A pale pitiful creature cowering under the cover of night

Tomorrow she will be an unopened lotus dying at summer’s end
Dying, but not suffering
Her cheeks will burn with the red of the autumn brush
Her eyes cold as winter’s sting

She is a woman in love
Holding back in fear
She has lived a thousand lives through her work
Lived a thousand lives through the books she’s read
She aches for intimacy
But remains loyal to her ideals

There is nothing more poisonous than regret, anxiety and the pressure of an unwanted experience
Nothing hurts more than abandonment
But abandonment required expectation
She had not expected empty love

She was not an easy girl
Lusting for companionship
Varying from night to night

She is tainted by the ideals of a traditional courtship
But she is strong
Not to be dominated by the weak willed

This is the literature of her future

Prompt: Reflect back on this whole experience and create something that reflects that.

A Face From the Past

You wind me up in such a way

I don’t even know my left from right

You’ve taken away my sense of direction

And left me chasing after shadows suspended on dust

I’ve been numb for so long

That when the colour returned to my world I didn’t know what to do

I’ve forgotten how to live

And I’ve lived through my poetry

My stories and the songs I’ve mentally dedicated to you

Let’s just say I’ve never been the object of sonnets

I’ve never been called beautiful

Or loved as you have loved me tonight

I don’t know how to feel

I don’t know how to act

All I know is confusion in the darkness

The way your words caress me in the dimly lit office

The way it wraps around me and keeps me warm at night

The thought of you makes me smile more than usual

The fact that you are in love not just with my body

But with my mind is rare

Thank you

You are someone I could learn to love

Prompt: Go chase some feeling down a rabbit hole of sorts. Create with passion something intense and meaningful, be it meaningful to you or to someone else. But, mostly, create something that’s going to leave you feeling inspired.

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