Saturday, May 14, 2011

hallucinations of mass destruction

It was a dark and gloomy and gloomy and dark. Nothing could be seen for miles but mysterious and empty black. Floating and turning in her mind, can you see what she sees? The creating of power and fear fly past and her breath catches. Eyes open and close, flashes of soaking April and deep December. It’s paper and water and soil, mixing around through her fingernails and into her soul. The azaleas bloom and fade, flash her face with a smile.

Lining up from miles away the men and boys vie for her attention. Over here, over here, they call. Stare down at her palms, nothing can feel past the steel of the mind. A glance up to see one dazzling smile but the darkness consumes her eyes and ears, blocking out the sight and sound of all the good in the world.
It’s terrible and amazing, heart wrenching and beautiful. The vibrating sounds that whisper awful stories of endless love and unreachable goals. Not for you, not for anyone but the make believed, desolate.

Here, take my hand. Pressure from an unknown source sends her tumbling and flying over nothing that facades as everything. The wind blows her hair up to reach the sun and the cool heat breaks her heart back down to reality. A tear floats up and her hand opens to drop the pressure. Screams echo around harmonizing and painfully missing the right notes.

Gazing into the pit of the ring, cream and blue absorb the eyes and consume the epitome of everything that is her; inside the eyes of a blameful stone. A first kiss, tinged with regret and worry. The reflection of glorious anguish masked, unnoticed and unimportant.

Flash. It’s the beginning of time. A deep voice resonates in the silence, muffled by her thoughts that yell to no one. Spinning wildly and without purpose she rams into glowing neon hands that shove her over and over. All in a circle, the hands, relentless, pinch and mold until she’s a new person.

Grass and rain swirl and run, laughing with glee. They graze her face, infectiously grinning to her empty eyes. Translucent tires fall from the monkey laden trees and she wonders about the silver and orange pens that write lies into their brains.

Splashes of paint on the walls of her new house. Indecision seeping from the pain in the strong sides, pressing in on the subconscious causing hallucinations of mass destruction.

A life zooms by, forgetting the past and ignoring the future. Maybe they died long ago or maybe it’s just coincidence. Aren’t you tired? she asks. Tired of all the critiques? Do you even try to make sense anymore? A boom of thunderous laughter. Oh no, silly girl. But please do remember to live by the words of the wise and high. Mighty above everyone because of their plants and figures. They bend the world to be what the wildest imagination can create.

You are what you also see.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blossoming Madness X

A week goes by completely uneventful. I have taken to eating a bag of cereal each day along with half a sandwich at Andrew’s. He’s delighted by this change but I’m more anxious. Unfortunately, the world won’t let that be my biggest problem. A few of Andrew’s friends have gathered at his house for a movie night. Friends that I did not particularly enjoy.


“Fiala,” Matt calls across the room in a singsong voice, “where’d lover boy go?”


Imbecile. 


Andrew,” I say, glaring at him, “went to go get the pizza, remember?”


“Luurv pizza!” the three boys mock squeal in unison. 


“Matt, Aaron, and James. Do not make m-”


“Pizza’s here!”


Andrew jaunts in, completely ruining my threat; I smile in spite of myself. 


I stand up and take three of the boxes (we ordered six because of the boys huge appetites) and place them on the counter. Maria walks over as I’m opening the first cheese box and sniffs.


“Hey Maria, what’s up?”


“It’s Jewel. You know, like the singer?”


Oh right, her most recent fad. 


“How many calories are in a slice?” She asks.


“I dunno. Why?”


“Uhm, so I don’t get fat, duh!” 


“Jewel, you’re a cheerleader and you weight about a hundred pounds. How could you ever get fat?”


“It’s possible. I mean, I don’t wanna, like, end up like you! No offense, of course,” she says, “but you have got to be, like, one fifteen, and that’s just...” 


Her sentence trails off as she sees Andrew walking over to us, the last three pizza boxes in his hands. 


“Oh hey, Andrew darling,” She purrs, throwing her arm around his waist. 


I grab the boxes from him and try to block out Maria’s blatant flirting. Why do I care? It’s not like we’re together, we’re just friends. So why is my heart dropping to my toes? I have no idea why the fates are making this happen but I can’t find the will to curse them because...well, for reasons I am not yet able to admit.


“Hey Fia,” Andrew pries himself away from Maria’s perfectly painted nails, “Do you remember the homework for Math?”


“Yeah, It’s in my binder but I don’t-”


“No, shhh,” he puts two fingers over my mouth, “I was just trying to get rid of Maria. Oops, I mean Jewel.” 


He laughs and slings his arm around my shoulders. I can feel relief pooling up inside of me. So he doesn’t like her. Good. 


Andrew walks away and I smile after him.


“You are so full of it.”


“Huh?” 


I spin around to see the voice behind me; Matt.


“You totally like him, why won’t you go after him?” He says, shaking his head.


“What? No...I don’t like Andrew.” I blush; the godforsaken curse of the redheads.


“Uh huh, sure you don’t.” 


Matt crosses his arms and stares me down. I take this lovely moment to stare at the orange and red walls. 
Oh look, there’s that hole from when we tried par core... I smile to myself, forgetting that Matt was watching me until he clears his throat.


“I wasn’t thinking about Andrew!” I blurt out.


You lying liar, you will burn in hell.


“I never said you were.” He replies with a triumphant grin.


I turn around and see Andrew joking around with James in the living room. The girls are turning on the television, probably trying to find MTV. A couple seconds later I hear, “E.T.” playing out of the speakers accompanied by three shrill squeals.


“Ok, listen,” I say quickly, turning back around, “even if I do like Andrew, which I’m not saying that I do, why would I do anything about it? We’re fine as friends and me making any sort of move would just make things really awkward.”


“Awkward?” Matt guffaws, “He's head over heels for you. You make a move and he’ll be proposing in a day.”


Then, on that frighteningly appealing note, he turns away and saunters into the living room.


Head over heels? That couldn’t be possible. Well, I mean. . . It just doesn’t. . . how could he. . . ohmygodhelikesme. Why does this idea make me feel so exuberant? Shouldn’t I be worried? Scared? Totally freaking freaked out? 


Barley conscious of my feet, I feel myself move forward and walk into the living room just after Matt. I walk in to see Amanda, Sam, and Maria pooling over issues of Teen Vogue on the carpeted floor. Amanda is singing along, loudly and a little- a freaking ton- off key to “Perfect” and James and Matt are in a heated discussion on one end of the couch.


“I can totally fit five slices in my mouth.” Matt boasts.


“Oh, you’re on,” James goads him on, “Can’t wait to see you barf!” 


Andrew, on the other end of the faux leather couch that stretches around a third of the room. Andrew is looking at me and grinning. He lifts a hand at me and motions me to come over. I leap over hid dogs, Abby and Hannah, who are trying, futilely, to lick my feet. I plop down right next to Andrew, causing the cushion to deflate a bit. 


“What’s up?” I ask.


“What were you and Matt talking about?”


“You jealous?” I tease. 


“Psssh, no...” He turns his head away.


“Andrew!” I half laugh, not sure if he’s actually upset or not.


He looks back at me with doe eyes. His face is burning red -he blushes an awful lot- and he’s smiling, bashfully.


“Ok, so maybe I’m a bit jealous.” He admits.


“Of Matt? Matt Walker? Oh, dear child,” I put my hand on his shoulder, “I happen to like my guys with brains.”


“Hey, Matt is intelligent!”


“Oooooooooh! Dude!” James exclaims.


Matt just attempted to cram five slices of pepperoni and mushroom pizza down his throat. 


“Yeah, I feel the intelligence radiating off of him.”


He snorts,


“Maybe this is the wrong time to be discussing his intelligence...”


We both laugh and he tousles my bangs with his hand. They fall infront of my eyes, I blink, and raise my hand to brush them back but Andrew beats me to it. Carefully, as if my hair is a fragile piece of art, he sweeps his hand across my forehead. Our eyes meet and I loose my breath. He moves closer to me, tucks another piece of hair behind my ear, and rests his hand on my cheek. I swear to goodness, he is about to kiss me. This is actually about to happen but I begin to loose track of my thoughts as I find myself only able to concentrate on Andrew.


“Hey, Saturday movie night! the girls shriek. 


“Wanna watch Pirates of the Caribbean?” Amanda calls out, startling us our of our reverie. 


I hear Andrew quietly sigh as he removes his hand but stays just as close. Matt and James shout in agreement so the girls turn the lights off, pop in the movie, and gracefully settle down on the couch, filling the gap between the boys and Andrew and I. I turn to face Andrew and I see that he is barley an inch from my face.


“Boo.” he whispers.


“Muah.” 


Startled, he flinches back a little bit. 


“What?” He asks.


“Oh, nothing, nothing.” I whisper.


I turn my head to face the movie while humming along to the theme music. I glance over at Matt and he rolls his eyes at me. “Just kiss him already” he mouths. Damn. He’s more intelligent than I thought. Slowly, I turn my head to face Andrew who is watching Johnny Depp swagger on screen with mild interest. There is a slight smile on his face and I resist the almost overwhelming urge to trace the lines on his face. 


The rest of the group is commenting on the movie loudly and laughing but as Andrew turns to look at me, the rest of the noise is drowned out by the blood pounding in my ears. Immediately, I reach up and skim my fingers over his face. Down from his ear and to his chin, over his nose, around his lips. . .
Then Abby jumps up between us and furiously starts licking my face, pushing me back from Andrew with her paws. I sigh and pet her, trying to make sense of what just almost happened. I hear myself think that I wish we were alone and I feel the ache to be that close to him again. Something registers in the logical part of my brain that makes me beam broadly. Andrew wants to kiss me. Of course, I knew that before but, for some reason, now it clicked. I push Abby off of me and turn to face the movie. I look to Andrew and whisper,


“I want to show you something. Hold you hand out in front of you, palm facing your face.”


He complies. I slip my hand into his, smile, and turn my head back to the flashing screen. I feel him squeeze my hand and I honestly cannot wipe the grin from my face. The rest of the movie passes by fairly quickly due to my disengagement.


Maria yawns and soon after everyone else is yawning too. 


“It’s ten, my dad wants me home soon.” Aaron calls out.


A chorus of “yeah, mine too” and “woah, it’s really late” echos that statement as Andrew and I stand up, dropping our hands.


The group meanders painstakingly slow towards the door and one by one, they make their way to their cars. Sam and Aaron jump into his red convertible, undoubtedly to go off and make out at every stop light on the way home. Matt and James are still arguing over who won the pizza bet as they wave their hands to Andrew. Amanda and Maria flit off  but first Maria taps Andrews nose and motions to her cell before flouncing off to her solid black sports car, giggling with Amanda. I smirk. Oh the things they don’t know.


It’s late but my dad would have fallen asleep by eight anyway. We walk back inside and there’s an awkward silence.


“Where are your parents, again?” I ask.


“Vacation. Skiing in the Alps.”


“Oh, right.”


Convenient. 


“So...,”Andrew starts walking towards the living room, “I should probably turn the DVD player off.”
I follow behind him thinking the opportune moment to kiss him has long since passed. Yet, the instant we are both in the living room Andrew spins around, grabs my waist, pulls me towards him.


“Hi.”


“Hi” I whisper, barley able to speak.


He raises on eyebrow at me and smirks. Oh my goodness. He’s going to make me do this. But he doesn’t think I will...


I reach up to wrap my arms around his neck, I pull his face close to mine, and breathe,


“I like you.”


Monday, May 9, 2011

Blossoming Madness IX

Going home from Andrew’s is the usual walk but it feels longer than usual. Lost in my thoughts, I turn the same ideas over and over in my head. Am I too skinny? I remember seeing a video of an anorexic woman who saw things like a double chin and a pot belly on her when in reality she was stick thin. Could that be the same thing for me? Andrew could be right about me...Andrew. There’s something I’d rather not think about. What I heard...what I felt...no. I shouldn’t be thinking about him right now. My wei-


“Fiala, where have you been?” 


My father is sitting in the living room with his arms crossed. His face looks tense and maybe a little worried but I’m more concerned about why he’s even home.


“Uh, Andrew’s. You know, where I always go after school. Oh wait, you wouldn’t know since you’re never home!”


Where did he get the idea that he has any authority here? We haven’t spoken in over a month, he’s been too busy ignoring me.


“Young lady, you cannot talk to me like that.”


“And you can’t talk to me like that. These are the first words you’ve spoken to me in almost a month. 


Where is all of this unearned authority coming from?


“Fiala! You cannot talk to your father like that. Now apologize and tell me why you were over at a boy’s house. Right now.”


I sigh. I might as well indulge his little phase and see what happens.


“I’m sorry.” I say, hoping I come off as slightly sincere.


He looks at me and gestures at me to continue. 


“I was at Andrew’s, you know, my best friend for three years, because that is where I go everyday after school to do homework and watch “Animal Planet”. On the weekends I spend most of my day over there and they feed me breakfast, lunch, and dinner more than you do. Remember now?”


He just blinks. The rage gone now, he’s reverting back to his shell, unable to address the facts I’m presenting him with. 


“Well I suppose that’s all right...”


“So, I’m going to go upstairs now.” I say.


He just nods and opens up the Stephen King novel next to him, burrowing his head into the words. I wonder what it’s like to have a real father.


I turn from the room and walk towards the stairs. Once I’m out of sight I rush upstairs, burst through my bedroom door, and collapse onto the purple carpet. All day I’d felt the tears building up behind my smile and now, with the random variable of my father, they had perfect reason to begin pouring out. I lay on my floor, letting the royal fibers soak up my tears, for the next fifteen minutes. More than ever I wish I had someone to hug. Of course, I know it’s ridiculous for me to be doing this.


“Come on. How over dramatic can I get?” I say to Flamalamadingdong, the stinkbug near my bookshelf.


“I mean, seriously. So what if I just found out that my best friend likes me. So what if I might even like him back. So what if that will completely overturn my entire world. So freaking what!? It’s not like my life is hard. I have a school and a house and pretty much no father. I can do what I like, why am I so upset?”


Unfortunately, this out burst brings on another round of tears and I imagine Flama turning his deceased eyes down to spare me the embarrassment of having a stinkbug see me cry. Yepp, this is what my life has come to. 


Breaking the silence, I hear my computer ding rapidly, reminding me of my bed time. If I want to get enough sleep each night I must go to bed at six. That way, my two o’clock wake up leaves me seven hours of sleep. I have no real friends outside of Andrew (who knows to not call after six) so I can usually obtain those precious hours. If I’m lucky.


I wonder what Andrew’s thinking about now...






[Sorry for the short chapter, does anyone have ANY edits for me? Shmiles and joy:)]

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Blossoming Madness VIII

“I...Andrew, what’s wrong?”


“Nothing, nothing.”


Oh, that answer again. He’s frantically wiping the tears from his eyes but they keep falling. Did I do something to make him cry? Maybe I should ask him that... Good idea Fiala, now stop thinking and ask!


“Did I do something, Andrew?”


He looks up quick when I say his name but shakes his head causing a few dark brown hairs to fall infront of his hazel eyes. Without thinking, I reach up to brush them away. My hand makes contact with his skin and he closes his eyes. I brush the hairs away but my hand lingers and falls down the side of his face, catching a few tears.


“Andrew, what is wrong?” I ask.


I hope I sound assertive and not scared out of my mind.


“I’m just...frustrated with you.”


“Oh...”


I drop my hand and start to scootch away from him but he grabs my wrist and stops me. One of his nails is still partially blue from when I painted it last month. He is surprisingly strong and the grey sleeve of his shirt lifts with his muscles as he pulls me over to him. Impressive.


“I’m not frustrated in an angry way. I’m frustrated because I want you to see how skinny you are. I don’t want you to die from this because I know you can,” he takes a shuddering breath and continues, “if you really stop eating you skin can turn yellow and hair can grow on your face, back and arms. You’ll look like a monkey, Fia.”


I’m shocked. I literally can’t move. Can that really happen? Did he spend time researching anorexia because of me? Could I have a monkey face?


“But if we just work at this, you can get better.” He says, grabbing my hand.


“Get...better?” I ask. 


Does he mean that I can be skinny again? I jump up from the bed and begin pacing. Maybe his routine would work better...


“Ok, so I do what you say and I could be skinny again?”


“What? No, Fia, you are skinny!”


Andrew starts laughing and stands up to hug me.


“Oh beautiful child, you will be normal again, I promise.” He says, rocking back and forth.


I laugh and squeeze him as hard as I can. 


“Now, what were you and Matt talking about?”


“Ah, hey no changing the subject.” He says turning red again.


“I guess I can accept that for now but I’ll find out soon.” I reply, pointing a finger in his face.


“Yeah, sure. Hey, guess what we get to do now!”


“Hmm?”


“You get to eat a sandwich.”


“Oh Andrew, you know I can’t.” I say.


I step away, shaking my head.


“Oho, that’s what you think! Come on.” He says, grabbing my hand.


Practically hysterical, Andrew drags me down the stairs and into his wood floored kitchen. We both slide to the fridge in our socks and I pull out turkey, mayo, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, olives, and yesterday morning’s bacon. For his sandwich, of course. Andrew grabs the PB&J for me.  


I begin putting his sandwich together precisely, laying the bread out first I snatch the mayonnaise and a butter knife and put the first layer on both slices. Then, I put two pieces of lettuce on the left slice and three on the right. Another layer of mayo and then four evenly divided tomato slices followed by the turkey. One more mayonnaise layer, one slice of swiss cheese, and the sandwich is finished. I press the two sides together and heave the mountain onto his plate. Andrew pushes my plate over to me with my small (or rather, regular sized) sandwich and I pass his to him. Carefully, so nothing falls over. Immediately he stuffs a third of it into his mouth and turns to me to say,


“Wuh, ar yu gu’uh ea ‘t?”


“Don’t talk with your mouth full,” I admonish, “And yes I’m going to eat my sandwich I just won’t be a pig like you!” 


He swallows the giant sized bite and smiles ruthfully. I hesitantly smile back, suddenly nervous and turn to face the sandwich. Determined to not have another food show down I pick the sandwich up and take a bite. A normal sized bite too. Oh my god, I’ve forgotten how much I love peanut butter and jelly. It overcomes all my senses and I actually become a little overwhelmed by how much taste there is to it. I take five more bites, savoring each mouthful until the entire sandwich is gone. 


“Isn’t it better to just eat?” Andrew says into my ear.


I wasn’t aware of him ever moving behind me but I lean back against him and laugh. 


“What?” He asks.


“I was just thinking,” I say while turning to face him, “that from an outsider’s point of view we look more like a couple than two friends.”


He flashes me with a smile tinted with a blush.


“Not that I mind at all, I’m sure you’d make a fantastic boyfriend.” I tease.


Really, it’s not considerate of me to pretend like I didn’t hear what he said to Matt but why shouldn’t I have fun with this?


“I-I would?” He stutters at his feet.


“Well yeah,” I take a step closer, “you’re tall for one and athletic because of soccer which is an advantage. Plus, you’ve got a fantastic character and dazzling eyes. You care and you’re funny. Really, this list could go on forever.” 


I lace my fingers between his and smile.


“You know, we’d look cute together.” Andrew says, gaining confidence.


“Hmmm, I don’t think I’d mind that at all.” I chuckle and lean in closer to him. 


Suddenly, I pull away and twirl into the living room. 


“Hey, it’s “Animal Planet” time!”, I say to a befuddled Andrew, “You coming or not?”

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Blossoming Madness (Roman Numeral Seven)

It’s not spying if his mom knows I’m here. Sure, Andrew doesn’t know that I’m currently crouched ninja-style outside of his bedroom with my ear pressed against the door but his mom does. And she happens to think that it’s hilarious. Therefor, it’s ok.


What I’m hearing, on the other hand, well I’m sure what I think about that yet. Andrew is arguing with Matt on the phone.


“Dude, I can’t just tell her!” Andrew exclaims.


“Because...well because you can’t just do that. She’d laugh in my face...Yes, I like her...yeah, she’s gorgeous and wonderful and hilarious...but just think-...She’ll laugh at me! Or run away. Or both!”


Who is he talking about? Is it Amanda? She is the perfect girl...not good enough for Andrew of course, like I am. Wait, what? Did I just...


“What if she doesn’t like me?”


No, I don’t like Andrew. I can’t.


“Maybe I could just hint at it.”


Hint at it how? ‘Hey, I like someone and it may or may not be you!’ ?


“She might think that I’m joking, though!”


If he said he liked me I’d...I’d...


“Can you even see her saying, “I like you too?”


...probably kiss him. 


Oh my goodness. I like Andrew. I stand (or rather crouch) frozen in shock. How is this even possible? But then again...remembering the past few days...


“Really? You’re going to sing that song? We’re not in elementary school, dude.”


Wait, what song? What song!?


“I’m not in love with Fia! I just...like her, that’s all.”


Oh. my. god. Before I can stop myself I knock on his door, my hands shaking.


“Hold on, Matt. Someone’s knocking on my door...No I don’t know if it’s her.”


He opens the door and sees me standing here. 


“Hey, I’ll call you back, k?...yeah, it’s her...Dude, bye!” He hangs up his phone, blushing furiously.


“Talking about me?” I joke, walking into his room.


“Uh, no, Matt just guessed it was you somehow. You know, he’s psychic...or something.” Andrew is still embarrassed. I don’t know why I’m not! Maybe I should just pretend like I never heard anything. 


“Yeah sure. So listen, I want to talk to you about something.” I say a bit nervously. 


I lie down at the top of his bed, near the pillows and pat a spot next to me. He walks over, perhaps a little more unsure than usual, and takes his usual spot next to me. Whenever I come over we lay and look at his poster covered ceiling pondering the serious matters of life such as what we've had for lunch and how on earth people like Mrs. Moore get married. I’ve memorized every detail of his ceiling from the Beatles poster to the giant photo of us at the beach last summer.


“What did you want to talk about?” Andrew asks.


He stretches out on the bed and his shirt rises a bit above his waist. Oh wait, am I staring? Lookawaylookawaylookaway.


“Yeah, uhm, so you know that I don’t eat...” 


I wait for his response tensely. I cross and uncross my legs while he just looks at me, once again, not blinking. I wonder if he closes his eyes when he kisses...


“Yes, I know.” Andrew responds, seeming a bit more relaxed.


“Well, I’m.. an-anorexic. When I said ‘my work’ last week I meant my work at keeping myself skinny.”


Ashamed, I hide my head in my hands. Andrew moves over and pulls me close to him. Tears start to fall from my eyes and I just fall apart. I really shouldn’t be doing this, pushing my problems on him, but he doesn’t complain and leaning on him just feels so natural. 


“I...I...just didn’t know how to...to tell you.” I practically wail. 


Jesus, maybe I should talk about my problems more often. 


“Shhhhh, it’s ok, it’s ok.” He says calmly. 


I turn my body in to hug him and he does the same. There is no distance between us at all and if I wasn’t such an emotional wreck I’d probably be hyper aware of that fact. All that matters right now is that he’s not pushing me away, out the door, in disgust. 


“You know you’re beautiful, right?” He whispers in my ear. 


I do the ever so elegant gasp-snort-giggle that makes ever guy fall to their knees in awe. Andrew just laughs and nods.


“You know it’s true.”


“I wish I did.”


He pulls away from me so he can look me straight in the eyes.


“You are the most gorgeous girl I have ever met,” He says getting a mischievous look on his face, “Even more stunning than Aphrodite! Or Britney Spears. You are the goddess of Lincoln High School!” He practically yells.


I start laughing and he joins in. I am overwhelmed with emotions but luckily not one of them is sadness. Only now does it hit me and I am lying in a bed with Andrew. Andrew from freshman year. Andrew who took me to the sophomore homecoming and played hide and seek on the dance floor. Andrew who wears a retainer at night, who brushes his bottom teeth before his top, who likes frosted flakes with chocolate milk and is a self declared Capricorn despite his April birthday. 


Andrew Lehman, who for the first time in three years, is crying.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Blossoming Madness VI

Andrew isn’t talking to me. I walk into Mrs. Bart’s class the next day (a dreadful Wednesday morning) and take my usual seat next to him and see that he’s put my book bag next to my desk.


“Thanks Andrew.” 


He doesn’t even turn his head to acknowledge me. What’s going on? 


“Hey, earth to Andrew!” I wave my hand in front of his face. 


No reaction. 


“Fine, if you don’t respond I’m going to start flicking you.”


I raise my hands into the starter flicking position and say, 


“No mercy.”


He just shuffles his feet away from me.


“Alright, you asked for it.”


I raise my hands above my head and start singing the Jaws music. I stop my hands just before they reach his head, giving him one last chance but he doesn’t take it. Thus begins the raid. I start rapidly flicking the top of his head and then work my way down the sides of his slightly tanned face, his neck, and onto his shoulders. Each flick hurts my fingers even more but I know I’m wearing him out. As I come to his elbows he finally reacts.


“Fiala! Please stop, I’ll talk to you, ok?”


I grin, triumphant. Score one for Fia. 


“Ok! Why aren’t you talk to me anyways?” I ask.


“No reason.” He responds while crossing his arms but turning to face me.


“Now, now,” I say grabbing a notebook and pen, “tell Ms. Avery all about it.”


I adopt my psychologist pose that I know will crack him. He tries to keep his face impartial but I can see the beginnings of a smile playing on his lips.


“I said, no reason.”


“Now how does that make you feel?”


That does it, a grin is suddenly on his face and I relax my pose. 


“Fia, that doesn’t even make any sense.” Andrew mockingly admonishes.


He scoots his desk over to reach mine and reaches into his bag for something. A pencil probably.


“So I read the seventh Harry Potter book again,” I say, “and you’ll never guess what I discovered this time!” Not waiting for him to guess I continue. 


“You know when Voldemort starts to realize that Harry, Ron, and Hermione are killing off horcruxes and he’s all, “How dare they? What cruel world is this where teenagers can go around foiling my diabolical plans? Oh woe is evil me!” so then he claims he’s going to keep his snake, Nagini, really close to him? 


I look to Andrew who is still digging around in his bag. 


“Well, it happened. So I never realized that once he decides that, he puts her in a bubble!” I exclaim, throwing my hands in the air.


I look over to Andrew and he’s just staring at me.  I think there’s something in his hand but I can’t see it even as he puts it on my desk. He looks a bit confused but he’s doing that not-blinking thing again. Why does he always do that? Maybe giving me time to see how dazzling his eyes are...


“Eat it.” He says, finally blinking.


“Your eyes?” I ask and then embarrassedly stumble over what I actually meant. 


“My...eyes?” He inquires, “No I meant the cookie.” He gestures towards the thing (apparently a cookie) on my desk.


Urg. Food. Why is he doing this? Why aren’t I asking him out loud? Why am I still thinking and not talking? Why am I thinking about thinking and no-


“Why are you doing this?” Andrew interrupts my psychological questioning.


“I, uhm, what?”


“Why are you trying to distract me with random statements about my eyes?”


“Oh, no!” I try to explain, “I was just. . . with your eyes. . . they were open. . . and pretty. . . so then. . . but. . . yeah...” I falter off.


God dammit, now he’s just staring again. He doesn’t look confused this time, though. More like...no, I must be mistaken. I have to be. No way Andrew could look at me like...well like that.


“Alright class, let’s begin.” the teacher’s voice startles us both out of our thoughts.


We both turn to face the front of the class but with a sidelong glance I see that he’s blushing.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blossoming Madness V

“Come on, you promised!”



“I know but it’s already 3 o’clock. Seriously, who eats at that hour?”


You do! Well, now you do.”


“Andrew.”


“Fiala.”


I sigh and throw my hands up in the air. I take in my surroundings while brooding over my deal. We’re in Andrew’s basement where we always go after school. The T.V is playing the new Mother Mother album quietly through the surround sound speakers with Abby and Hannah, his two poodles, lounging beneath it.  I readjust my legs on the worn couch and look over at Andrew, on the other end of the couch, holding out the bag. What am I supposed to say, that I don’t know if I can eat something even as large as a sandwich without throwing up? He’d just become more worried.


“All right, I’ll eat the stupid bag of chips.” I give in reluctantly.


Satisfied, he hands me the plastic baggie of chips, my old favorite; Sour Cream and Onion. I open up the bag and pull out a power covered chip. We have a momentary staring contest. Oh, the tension is high. Who will win this battle of will? The fat covered chip or the fat covered girl? Again, I sigh. I bring the chip to my mouth and bite down, allowing the sweet and tangy flavor to wash over my tongue. My mind tells me to to stop chewing now but the rest of my body is begging for more. I reach back into the bag and pull out four more and stuff them into my mouth. I don’t care if I look like a pig, I can’t even remember the last time I had something this good. I look up and see Andrew looking at me with such compassion I’m actually stunned for a moment. What have I done that would cause such an expression? 


“You’re blushing.” He says, his face now curious and happy.


“Oh, uhm,” I look down at my hands, “you were looking at me oddly, sorry.”


“Oh!” he exclaims.


I look up to see his face turning red instead.  Why on earth is he blushing? I meet his eyes and he drops them bashfully. What is happening here?


“What?” I inquire, scooting closer to him.


“Nothing, nothing.” He mutters.


“It isn’t nothing,” I reach out and touch his knee, “why are you blushing?”


“I...it’s just...” he stammers.


Wow, I’ve never seen Andrew speechless before. What’s making him act this away? Come on, all I did was each some chips!


“Andrew?”


He looks up at me and for a moment, I forget what I was going to ask him. Andrew's hazel eyes dance wickedly and begin pulling me out from reality. I start to get that dizzy feeling I equate to a lack of food but somehow it’s Andrew that’s causing this feeling. I must have spaced out for a bit because I hear Andrew clear his throat and I am dragged back to reality. I realize we are about two inches away from each other and I back away quickly so that there is a nice, friendly space between us. 


“I, uh, sorry,” I tuck my hair behind my ear nervously, “I didn’t realize we were that close.”


Andrew seems to have regained his composure and says, “Yes, I know I’m a glorious God of a teenage boy but please, control your hormones. People might get the wrong idea about us.”
I laugh and eat another few chips subconsciously.


“Oh wait, don’t I owe you five dollars?” I remind him.


I pull out a crumpled and ripped five dollar bill from my pocket and extend my hand to him, trying to change the subject. It works. Almost.


“Nah,” he pushes my hand aside with his, “you eating something is far more worth it. I think I’ll take that over money any day.”


I shake my head, put the dollar back in my pocket, and reach back into the baggie only to find it empty. Crap. This wasn’t part of the deal, I only had to eat a few chips not the whole bag


“I, uh, ate the whole bag.” I admit, ashamed at myself.


I suppose he senses my disappointment because Andrew closes the distance between us again and puts his arm over my shoulder.


“Fiala, you eating the entire bag is a good thing. Emphasis on the “good.” If you can do this every day for the rest of this week, maybe you could even manage a regular sized bag of chips. And then sandwiches and full meals!” he exclaims.


“I just...I know I’ll wake up tomorrow with a larger stomach or bigger thighs. These chips will ruin my work.” I stop, realizing I’m crying.


“Your work?” Andrew wipes a tear from my face.


No. I am not have this conversation with him.


“I have to go.” I say while jumping up.


“Fia, no. What work?”


“It’s not important.”


God, stop crying! I wipe my tears hastily, grab my bag, and speed walk towards the door. It’s about ninety degrees out but the walk home will help me burn off those damn chips.


“Fiala!” 


I feel him grab my arm but I jerk away.


“Leave me alone!”


Bursting through the door, I run past the wasp filled bushed and onto the path in the woods that leads to my house. I know this route, I’ve walked it many times in the past year, but I stumble over logs and the uneven ground in my haste. I hear Andrew running behind me so I drop my bag and start sprinting. The footsteps stop behind me and I know he is stopping to pick up my bag. He’ll bring it tomorrow at school. I turn my thoughts away from my guilt at running away from Andrew and instead focus on burning off calories. My house is half a mile away and that just might be enough. Who knows, maybe I’ll get on the scale and the number will have dropped down from 103. I can feel my huge thighs jiggling which each step but I try to block that out. 


“Work it off” I tell myself. 


Just work it off.


I return home with guilt ebbing in on my mind but I push it away as I open the front door and hear,


“Fialama, is that you?”


“Dad, would you please stop calling me that?” I tell as I jump upstairs to the bathroom. “Not even my real name.” Though I mutter that to myself. 


“Sorry, honey. I’m going to work now, dinner’s in the oven. Love you, bye.” He calls up to me.


Finally, I hear the garage door closing and I have the house to myself. I could do whatever I want. I don’t even have to stay here! But first I really have to pee.


“The problem with an all water diet,” I say to the mirror, “is that I constantly have to pee.”


Mirror me, or Alaif as I call her, laughs with me. I don’t know who’s is sincere. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Blossoming Madness IV

Ms. Moore begins class with a truly terrifying sentence;
“Good morning class, I trust you all have your monologues memorized and prepared to present?” 


“Uhm, Ms. Moore?” Meghan tentatively raises her hand.


“Yes?” she turns swiftly causing her multiple layers of clothing to fly out around her giving a bat like appearance. Or maybe that’s just my bias.


“Uh...well, you see,” she stammers, “You only just gave us our, uhm, monologues last class so we, you know, only just started memorizing them?”


Ms. Moor’s glare hardens. 


“Yes, but if you were serious performers wouldn’t you already have them memorized?” 


Her cold eyes sweep over the rest of the class as we all shift uncomfortably in our seats. All of us except Andrew. Practically beaming he boldly raises his hand.
Ms. Moore curtly nods in his direction while the class holds their breath. 


“Well, with all due respect, Ms. Moore,” he begins, “Since we’re only in high school shouldn’t we be given a bit more time than the ah, serious performers?”


“Out.”


“I..what?” Andrew looks at me, confused.


I shrug. Hell if I know what goes on in the crazy lady’s head.


“You heard me,” she turns towards her desk and pulls out the grading papers, “Out in the hallway. You get a zero for the day.”


The class fills with muted outrage at Andrew’s treatment but no one speaks up this time. He puts his pinky in mine and squeezes. I sigh but squeeze back and then look up at him while he stands and he’s still grinning.  I am friends with a bloody madman.


Suddenly I become light headed and my vision goes blurry. I try to stay stationary in my seat as the room begins to spin and come in and out of focus. I take one deep breath after the other trying to keep my focus on the pencil on the floor infront of me. After what feels like forever I regain my body again and look around to judge how much time has passed. Ms. Moore is having a word with Andrew at the door. I haven't been out of it too long. Thankfully everyone is too busy scrambling for lines to have noticed my fit.


Ms. Moore then sends Andrew out into the hall and class begins once he leaves the room. It is sure to go by painstaking slow with Andrew gone and this obvious lack of memorization from the students. Each shaking pupil is anticipating walking up one by one to present their partially memorized monologues while Ms. Moore is gleefully preparing to slowly slaughter each grade. 


The first victim is called.


“Meghan.”


Please let her know some of her lines, please, please, please I beg the fates with my mind.


She stands there anxiously twisting her fingers and bitting her lip while we all wait for Ms. Moore to call out,


“Audience ready?”


Yeah, like we have a choice.


We all nod, each worrying about their own monologues. I see some papers crumpled under seats while their owners frantically try to record the words in their minds.


“The let’s begin,” she says, smartly stacking her papers, clicking her red pen of terror, and fixing her eyes on poor Meghan.


“Uhm, should I, uh, slate?” she inquires with her head bowed.


No response.


“Ok, well, uh, I’m Meghan Davis and I’mdoingamonologuefromIntotheWoods.”


“Excuse me?” Ms. Moore asks tightly.


Meghan looks up with a guilty and terrified expression on her face and says,


“I said,” she takes a deep breath, “I am doing a monologue from Into the Woods.”

The entire class groans.


“So,” Ms. Moore says while rising from her chair, “you mean to tell me that you chose a monologue from my least favorite musical and planned on presenting it to the class?”


Now she is standing directly in front of Meghan (who is shaking) with her arms folded and her glasses preparing to jump off her nose. Meghan’s head is bowed allowing her blond hair to cover her brilliantly red face.  Her body is so hunched over that her arms could practically touch the floor. 


“Yes.” she says in an almost inaudible voice.


“And you thought that that was OK?” 


Ms. Moore begins circling around the frightened girl like a shark moving in on their prey. Her voice is calm and eerie, the water before an attack.


“Mm-hmm” Meghan squeaks, trying to edge away from her.


“And what, exactly, did you think your grade was going to be if yo-”


The blaring fire alarm suddenly cuts her off in mid threat. Ms. Moore's wrinkled face twitches in irritation. The tension is swept out of the room as we all rush to the door. I see Andrew casually leaning against the wall across the hallway and he is still smiling at me as I exit the class room. Behind me are Amanda and Samantha who are trying to calm Meghan down. I joust my way through the lazily moving crowd until I’m right next to him.


“Why are you smiling? I ask, “The monster could be plotting your death as we speak!”


I gesture towards the almost empty class room.


“The fire drill will probably disgruntle her into forgetting that she even sent me out here, no worries buttercup!” He says this, not even looking at me.


“Oh come on. You have that much faith in her age?” I question, punching his arm jokingly.


He turns his head to mine yet another grin growing on his face. Andrew grins an awful lot and unfortunately, I knew what this grin meant; a bet.


“You wanna bet?” he challenges.

Called it.


“You are so on!” I reply, “Five bucks says she fails you for the day.”


“Yeah, well my talking money says she will completely forget.”


We shake hands to seal the deal. Then, Andrew looks around, realizes the hallway is almost empty and starts running towards the doors while dragging me along with him.


“Quick! Before the fire consumes us!” He yells.