Relaxing for a moment in an abandoned park during the weird part of night. Simon and Colin lounge in the most comfortable park bench they could find. Offering some minor shelter in scattered trees, something to block crisp winter winds. The frigid air tickles exposed skin and chilling spilt beer that seeps into their clothes. Colin fills the night with sound, soft snores echoing in the park. Head pressed against Simon’s shoulder.
Avoiding boredom and hunger, Simon sets his sights on their 3 AM snacks. Settling on store brand chips, Simon grasps at the thin plastic covering. Pulling at the slippery surface that embodies the grease of the crisps within. The flimsy vault comes open and a concentrated waft of chili pepper comes forward. A deep breath stings Simon’s nose and sets his mouth to water. Removing a single chip from the hoard, a golden delight comes forward, lightly dusted in scarlet savory succulence, uncracked and whole: an exemplar for all other chips to aspire to.
Last week, Jack and I were sitting on a bench eating ice cream when he told me he needed to talk to me.
“Hey, so I have something to tell you,” Jack said. He was playing with his mint chocolate chip ice cream with his spoon.
“It was last winter. I was closing up at work that night. I was the last one in the building, my boss trusted me with the keys, so I did what I had to do and I left. I locked up the building and realized my phone died. I had to get home but it was pitch black. Thank God I had my flashlight though. So I started walking down the block and took a shortcut through Amherst Street. All of a sudden, I heard this weird, like, screech. I figured it was a hyena or something. But then I heard another. Guys, this wasn’t an animal. It was the scariest thing I ever heard. It was coming from the woods, so I walked over. As I started getting closer to the woods, I heard rustling. It was like, leaves, but it was the dead of winter. I don’t know. I pointed the flashlight toward the woods and I saw something.”
Laura ran as fast as she could over to my house; outfits hanging over her arms as if she were dressing models for the runway. She gave me all sorts of options; dresses, shirts, jeans and nice shirts. It was all so overwhelming, and I still wasn’t sure what I should wear. Up until this point I never questioned the way I looked or dressed but I knew for this date I had to look perfect. If I didn’t look my best, Ryder would never fall for me.
“How about this?” asked Laura hold up a light blue dress that just reached the floor from where she was holding it.
“I don’t know, I never wear dresses.”
“Okay, how about this one?” Laura was holding up a pair of dark washed jeans with a baby pink dress top. I never liked the way I looked in jeans, but I tried it on for Laura.
“Definitely not this one.”
“Ok, last one. What do you think about this?” Asked Laura.
“This is beautiful,” I said, wearing a light blue skirt with fringe on the bottom, paired with a black tight shirt that fell off my shoulders. I never felt prettier until I tried this outfit on. I knew that if I wanted Ryder to fall in love with me, that this was the outfit to wear. My excitement for the date grew bigger and bigger and I couldn’t wait any longer to go.
Walking into the new middle school, all alone, I kept my head down and my hands in my pockets. I hated always being the new kid. Not being the most outgoing, I always had a hard time meeting people. My dad told me everytime his job dragged us to a new town or city that I’m too quiet. Xavier didn’t care. He came right up to me, the awkward looking new kid, and immediately started blabbering. It was overwhelming at first, if I’m being honest. Nobody ever approached me so quickly before. It felt nice, like I was finally accepted, and I barely even had to say anything.
As they walk inside, everyone is going crazy. All of the seniors are screaming; they are all excited that it’s senior year. As for the freshman, the young, innocent kids, they all looked scared. Their poor little faces looked as scared as a kid on his first rollercoaster.
I took a deep sigh and chose a parking spot on the side of the building, as usual. I tried to prepare myself for another typical Friday morning shift, but I was already anticipating going home in seven hours. There many different things I would like to spend my time doing rather than spend my morning and afternoon working in a trampoline park café. All I could think about was my endless list of homework to do when I get home. Although I’ve been in college for nearly two years, I can’t help but get stressed out about homework. I always have so much to do, so I feel like any time I’m doing something else it’s taking away time from getting my work done.
I get out of the car on a hot sunny morning and walk the long dreadful walk up to Marcello’s. I walk in hanging my head low hoping no one will see me. I have one goal here and that is to get in, make my money, and leave. As I walk in I see my boss Toni right away making pizzas behind the counter.
“Ciao buongiorno, Gianna.” Toni said.
After working at the pizzeria for a month and a half I learned that means hello, good morning in Italian.
“Good morning Toni.” I say back and lower my head real quick cutting the conversation short.
I go straight the waitress station and start to fill the lemons and roll the silverware in the napkins. Next thing I know Terri comes walking in, she looks tired and has a cigarette in her hand as usual. She and Toni are whispering in the other room, but I can’t hear what they are saying. I try to listen so I can hear bits and pieces, but I can never hear anything. I see Terri coming my way so again I keep my head down trying to avoid her.
“Katie, um I see you did not wipe off the tables like you are supposed to do for me.”
“Hi Terri, I know, I didn’t get to it yet because I was refilling the lemons and rolling the silverware for you like you ask me to do.”
“Well you know I like those things done in the morning by the time I get here so I don’t have to do it when I come in.”
I sigh and roll my eyes as I walk away from her. I go outside and water the plants, come back in and wipe down the tables and lay the placemats on them, and turn on the open light. Then go back to the waitress station so I can hide from Toni and Terri until a customer comes in.
Everything on the outside looks perfect but inside it is fill with lies and secretes kind of like everyone here. We all wear white and navy blue uniforms those are our school colors. Girls wear a navy blue and white plaid skirts with a navy blue polo and knee high socks and Sperry’s during the fall and spring and boys wear long grey dress pants and a white button down with a blue tie and sometimes a blazer. We look picture perfect ready 100% of the time but that is just to make up for our imperfect lives we all have. Everyone here has a secret and they are all just waiting to be expose. Last night I joined the list of secrets and now I have to await my turn to be exposed.
The photo she saw of Steve sitting in a booth at a restaurant brought her back to their first date at Giovanni’s, an Italian restaurant. He ordered lasagna and Stacy had ordered ravioli. He smelled so good that night, he wore Polo cologne. They held hands across the top of the table until their meals were served. Looking into his eyes that night, she knew he would be the man she would marry.
Now, seeing a photo of him looking into the eyes of another woman hurt her tremendously. Stacy wondered what she did to deserve this.
Although I questioned a lot of things, I was sure I wanted to keep my baby because
I thought who was I to decide which children get to live or die.
So I kept it to myself for so long, didn’t even tell my boyfriend because telling people would’ve made it real, although it was already as real as it can get. So I waited and waited and eventually a month later I told my boyfriend but I still didn’t tell my mom I didn’t want to let her down but now I’m almost half way through around 20 weeks and I swore I was doing a good job keeping my little secret a secret but one night my mom’s boyfriend came in my room and wanted to talk to me and I already knew what it was about. Our convo went a little like this ..
He said “ your mom has been saying she thinks your pregnant but I told her your not…”
Crystal walked, then ran, then walked, then ran down the street, tears blocking
her view, but still managed to make it home. She got to the door to realize that she could not face her family like this. She then turned left towards the park. When she got there, she took out her journal and began to write. If you were a bystander peering in, you would feel sorry for the journal as her anger exploded between each line. She closed the book gently, placed it in her bookbag, and went on the swing and before and before she knew it was dark.
Yes, it was true. That ball was smoked and I could only watch it fall to the ground on the other side of that homerun fence. We lost, I lost. Our team didn’t even stick around to see the other guys going wild. We left right away as losing was not something we were used to. We just went back to my house to talk about our team.
As soon as Grandma Mabel and I started preparing and baking for the day, the first customer already had arrived.
“Hello, welcome to Sunnyside Sweets! How may I help you today?” I said.
The customer smiled. “Hi, my name is Joanne. Can I please get a carrot cake dessert for my granddaughter’s birthday?” She stretched her neck and pointed down to the bakery case.
“Of course!” I said enthusiastically. “Would you like a carrot cake cupcake, birthday cake, or brownie for your granddaughter?”
“Wow, so many options,” Joanne said, “but I think I’ll choose the actual carrot birthday cake.”
“Sure!” I said. “Would you like me to write anything on the cake?”
“Yes, that would be great!” Joanne said excitedly. “Can you please write ‘Happy 8th Birthday Julianne’?”
“Certainly,” I said.
I took out the cake from the chilly bakery case and wrote what Joanne had exactly told me in bright pink icing.
“Oh my goodness, that is Julianne’s absolute favorite color!” Joanne said. “She is going to be so excited!”
“Taylor…,” my sister said calmly but nervous.
“What?” I said. Only a half hour until we arrive at my cousins house.!
“I put in the wrong address,” she said.
“No you didn’t…” I said. She usually always messes with me and thinks its funny because she knows I have a short temper and will freak out.
“I swear I put in our address and this is not taking us back home,” she said. I felt myself gripping the steering wheel even harder lowing the music. I looked over at my sister and she could tell I was ready to flip my switch.
“What are you an idiot? Give me the phone,” I said. While putting in the right address, I was typing so fast my nails were making a clicking sound on the iPhone. We were another hour and a half away from home.
“I can’t believe this. How could you be so smart but so stupid,” I said. I looked at the gas tank which read 15 miles till empty. I knew I would have to get off at the next exit and find the nearest gas station.
“Good thing we are in Pennsylvania and I know how to pump my own gas,” I said sarcastically with two hands on the wheel trying to pay attention.
Megan eventually came sliding out from her bedroom, that reeked of puke and lavender air freshener. She dragged her feet down our long hallway of the small ranch house, and plopped down on the cold leather sofa with the two of us.
“How are you feeling?” I asked her as I slid down the couch making room for her to lay.
“I’m. Never. Drinking. Again.” These were Megan’s famous words after every night of going out; until around 8pm when someone would hand her a drink and without hesitation, she would chug.
It was a frosty and chilly morning in the city of New York. Thanksgiving had just passed so the city was getting ready for the Christmas season. There was Christmas decorations in almost every store. I knew that it was that time of year again where the tourists take over times square. I’ve gotten used it and have acquired ways to get around all that heavy walking traffic.
My nerves had been through the roof the night before so I didn’t get much sleep so hopefully some coffee will help. Its just so nerve wracking every time I have an audition. I never know how its going to go or even if I get called back. It’s been such a hectic year since moving out here. I’ve had nothing but small parts in little plays and I’m really hoping that today will be my lucky day.