A Published Work

March 29, 2011 at 12:59 pm (Writing)

I have nothing to write about today. Rather, I don’t feel like writing so I am going to post one of my older pieces.

This work was written after a date with a guy that I had been seeing on and off since I was 13. I met him at the skating rink and we dated for a bit. You know how young “love” goes. Over the next eight years we would talk, on and off. We would get together and hang out, go to pool halls, hang out at his friends’ houses.

This was one of those nights.The night I realized I was wasting my time, my life and my integrity. Everything that night was very vivid and while this story is fiction, some of the imagery and events have a truth.

I was very embarrassed by this story for the longest time. In 2006, I submitted this story to one of my professors at Coastal Carolina University and he urged me to submit it to the literary/art magazine, Archarios. The submission deadline had passed so I didn’t see a point but he persisted and after a few phone calls it was submitted.

This piece ended up taking first place in literary works for the magazine. I was surprised, to say the least. It is amazing, though, how God works things like that out. I was about to leave to go on a mission trip to Africa and needed some extra funds in order to go. The prize for first place was $200 and it was greatly appreciated.

Above the cash prize was the honor of having a published work. I have never had a creative piece published and while it was on a small-scale, I still felt like I had accomplished something huge (especially after reading the words of the other authors that had written for that magazine. Incredible talent.)

I will give a disclaimer that there may be some inappropriate wording…be warned 🙂

So without further adieu…..

 

Gone

I arrive at your car. The walk consisted of a series of nervous fidgets and sideways glances that keep me from looking at you. I get in and make sure that I shut the door in a lady-like manner, thinking that you care. I reach for the seatbelt…my fingers never grasp it and I know it is not there because it is cool not to wear seatbelts so why have them. Yet I keep reaching trying to find something that will save me from you. You start the car and my ears no longer work. I look at you and your lips are moving but no sound comes out. You are drowned out by the beats and turntables of the little box under your dash. So I smile and laugh and pretend I heard everything you said. You smile back and grab the gear shift and we are gone.

     I stare out the window looking past the tiny wet bubbles that ambush the window and distorts everything on the outside world. These new glasses that I am looking through make the road lights look like stars and I cannot tell a difference between the two. I look over at you and cross my legs. I move them slightly closer to the center console hoping you will notice and lay your hand on my knee. Of course you don’t so I take it personal and again look out the window into this new vague world. You turn the music down and say something about stopping to get cigarettes and I say “yeah cool”. But it isn’t cool. I hate cigarettes and the way they make you smell. Especially when you kiss someone…yeah…like I am going to get a kiss from you.

      It takes you a second to turn the volume dial back up to 11 and another second to pull into the BP. You leave the car running as you run into the gas station to get your cigarettes. I watch as you tell the clerk what you want and you laugh together and then look out at me and wink. I see your mouth form the words “Thanks man” and you turn and walk out the door. I take a deep breath and brace myself for when you enter the car. I put my best southern belle smile on so you will think I am having a great time with you so far.

      When we are back on the road you pack your cigs then ask me to open them and light you one up. So I do…the taste of the cigarette bitter in my mouth. I then have the urge to kiss you, to make you taste me. I refrain and hold back a cough and hand the cigarette back to you. My eyes are watering from the smoke and you look at me and ask if I am alright. The southern belle smile returns and I nod yes and say something witty about how my contacts are bothering me. You know I don’t wear contacts.

       So we are driving to a little bar and the whole time I am worried that I won’t be able to get in seeing as how I am 20 and underage. You always know someone who will get me in and they don’t care if I drink. We park and go in and of course you know someone and that someone gives us a pitcher of beer and we set up at a vacant pool table. We play a few rounds…flirting with each other over beer fumes and cigarette smoke. I bend over to make a shot and your stick magically appears to hit my backside and I turn around with the same flashy smile and bat my eyes and hope that you see I am tipsy. So I make my shot and miss and I say something cute about not being able to handle balls. I play with my cup of beer while you are making your shot and take a long sloppy drink and act like it is water. Guys always say that beer starts to taste like water after a few drinks…I still do not believe them. You make a few shots and get all of the balls. There is nothing left on the table except the white. It looks so pure an innocent with little hints of blue just like me.

       You get tired of playing the “pointless” game and make your way over to the dart board. Bullseye. You do not ask me to follow so I stand there looking around for an escape feeling awkward in my own skin. I catch your eye and you give me a nod as to say, “Get over here”. So I waddle over acting as if I’m fine. But you see the glassiness of my eyes and you know if you work hard…that you will get what you want.

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2 Comments

  1. Rebekah said,

    wow. the imagery and emotion in this is perfect. I’m so glad you realized the emptiness of that relationship.
    …do I get to see the magazine?? 🙂

    • Jessica A. said,

      Of course, I believe I have a copy at the house. I just have to find it in the Hallway of Books.

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