Are you sure about this?
She stares at me with those sad brown eyes. I take a deep breath, determined to stay strong.
“Yes, I’m sure.”
But why now? Why at all?
“Because I can’t stay stuck here forever. I need to start making things happen for myself.”
Can’t I come with you?
I shake my head. “Not this time. You’ve been wonderful and I couldn’t have gotten this far without you, but now it’s time to move on.”
Aren’t you scared?
“Are you kidding?” I smile in an awkward attempt to keep from crying. “I’ve never been more terrified of anything in my life.”
It’s not too late to turn back, you know.
“Hey, I never said I was too scared.”
Something about her laughter reassures me. Maybe I can do this after all.
So what will you do now?
I shrug. “Keep writing the same way I always have. You’re just the mask. Everything else is already mine.”
And you’ll be okay not having me to hide behind anymore?
I pause and breathe a heavy sigh. “Honestly, I can’t be sure yet. All I know is that I’m tired of hiding.”
You realize there’s no going back from this. Once you let me go, you’ll be on your own. Are you ready to be yourself, your real self?
I smile again. “Who else am I going to be?”
Although she doesn’t respond, I already know what she’s thinking. Five years. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
“I am going to miss you.” This time, I can’t stop the tears. “You know that, right?”
Somehow she manages a smile through her own tears.
You’ll be fine. They’re going to love you.
“How do you know that?”
Like you said, I’m just the mask. You’re right, you don’t need me anymore. Maybe you never did. Everything you need is already yours. So don’t be afraid. Just get out there and be you.
I brush the tears off my face. “I will. Promise.”
We both reach a hand toward each other. Our fingers almost touch across the void, perfectly symmetrical through the glass. Though her face never changes, I can feel her fading away, until at last I’m left looking at nothing but a nameless reflection.
What’s in a name? The face in the mirror has always been mine. Soon everyone else will see it too. No longer a persona, just me.
Goodbye, Ms. Wolfe.
The blank page stares at me, teasing me, mocking me, daring me to write something, anything. I frown back at the white screen, my mind still empty as ever. I reach into the void for any words that will break the block. Why won’t they come? I stare harder, seething at the space I wish would fill itself. Oh, how much I could write just about the frustration of having nothing to say… I stop. I smile. Yes, yes. Fingers to keys, I begin to type. The words come easily now. From rage comes enlightenment, from enlightenment comes triumph. Before I know it, I’m grinning at a finished poem. At last, I’ve conquered the blank page.
Anger fuels the fire
Until all falls into place
And my smile returns
Happiness comes in flashes
But such is a writer’s life!
My response to Colleen Chesebro‘s Weekly Poetry Challenge #76: Joy & Fury. The twist is to only use synonyms for the prompt words! For this challenge, I chose to write a haibun about the emotional rollercoaster that is writing. I hope you enjoy the poem! Thanks for the prompt, Colleen!
I endure winter
Until the frost melts away
And the warmth returns
Easter and St. Patrick’s Day
Mark the verdant days of spring!
My response to Colleen Chesebro‘s Weekly Poetry Challenge #75: Patience & Green. The twist is to only use synonyms for the prompt words! For this challenge, I chose to write a tanka about spring. I hope you enjoy the poem! Thanks for the prompt, Colleen!
Don’t look at me like that.
That look like you hate what you see.
You know there’s more than meets the eye.
So what if there’s a zit here and there? Who cares about a few hairs out of place? Is it the end of the world if a smile isn’t perfectly straight?
Why do you even listen to them? Ugly is a weapon losers use to take down anyone they see as a threat. It’s just a word. Only you can give it power.
Do you realize how much more valuable you are on the inside? You’re one of the kind souls in a world full of jerks. People would kill to be as smart and funny as you! And who was the last person you met with your level of talent?
Maybe the world isn’t ready for you. But that’s their problem, not yours.
Stop looking in the mirror for the wrong answers. There’s nothing of value here in the glass. You already have everything you need.
There you go! There’s that smile. Now go show it off to the world.
And whatever you do, never, ever forget the truth. Remind yourself of it every single day.
You are already beautiful.
I used to hate the reflection in my bedroom mirror.
I wanted to be loved, but I’d always failed.
Until I learned to see past the face.
From that day on, my life changed.
Other’s opinions no longer meant anything.
I’d found a true love.
And she was beautiful.
Nobody else mattered.
This piece is based on What If? Exercise 93: “Ten to One”. The exercise is to write a 55-word story in which the first sentence has ten words, the second has nine, etc., until the last sentence has only one word. The objective is to show that precision and thrift in writing can produce surprisingly powerful results. I hope you enjoy what I’ve written. Thanks for reading!
Of all the men I’ve held dear in my heart,
Who’ve seen me at my best and at my worst,
You’re still the one who always tops the chart
Because you were the one to love me first.
Your words of wisdom taught me what was right.
Your humor made me laugh throughout the years.
Your discipline served as a guiding light
To chase my dreams and conquer all my fears.
And when I think of everything you’ve done
To help me find success in all I do,
I’m grateful to have always had someone
As loving and as generous as you.
To the best father any girl has had:
I hope you have a Happy Birthday, Dad!
Happy Birthday to my awesome father! Thank you for always supporting my dream to be a writer! I love you!