Ah, the power of friendship.
I wake up this past Sunday around 7 am. The birds outside Sean’s window are orchestrating a flash mob dance party but Sean doesn’t seem to notice. I look at him all smushed up against his pillow, blonde hair pointing in all different directions. He’s beautiful.
My dog, Rocco, looks up at me. He knows I am awake because he knows everything. Rocco knows when I am having a bad dream, he knows when I have to pee in the middle of the night (he’s already waiting for me near the bathroom), and he knows when I am anxious. This morning, I am guilty of all three.
After a quick trip to the restroom, I flick at Sean’s window enough to stop the bird chatter. I hope I can get a little more sleep in.
But I don’t. I lie there on the bed awake for what has to be two hours. I can’t seem to get my latest dream out of my mind — knowing that it may soon become reality and Sean may really be gone from my grasp.
Soon, Sean is rolling around and little slits of bright blue are appearing from between his long eyelashes. He mumbles, “guh mumrin”. I brace myself.
For two hours we sit on his bed, hoping the cocoon of sheets entangling us can make the pain duller — like a tight bandage on a very large wound.
We talk about what happened the last six months, we talk about what will happen in the next two months, we talk about how beautiful each other looks in the morning, and we cry. Cry a lot. Like more than I have ever cried outside of a Disney theme park.
Driving away from his apartment, I can still taste his chapstick on my lips. My fingers fumble to my phone through blurred vision of salty waterfall tears. I call my sister, I call my mother (forgetting it’s Mother’s Day and that this is a shitty way to say “Happy Mother’s Day!”), and I call my girls.
Within an hour, I am sitting at my dining room table with Morgan and Lauren. Lauren has brought me food — with my history I am definitely at risk of leaving this “human necessity” behind for a few weeks — and Morgan has forced me out of bed. We’re just three young women, talking about life and boys and — oh yeah — that whole “break up thing”.
Another of my friends, Sarah, comes over.
It’s been hours of crying and I can finally take deep breaths, despite my eyes looking like those of a fly. I’m eating, and then I’m showering, and then I’m getting dressed and then I’m…okay. Just okay. One foot in front of the other.
Morgan calls me her hero, as she’s been with a really sweet man the last year and a half who isn’t right for her — and she knows it. She just hasn’t been sure enough to end things with him. But on this crazy Mother’s Day, with her girls behind her, she does.
My friends and I are all single now and we talk all day long about how we will always be there for each other. And I realize how much I wish I had that closeness in college when I was really sick, or high school before I went downhill. I am so lucky to be around people like them now: so smart, capable, beautiful, caring. We go for a walk to talk about the day and get some fresh air. And then we’re all shopping, and then we’re at a restaurant talking about hot men, and then we’re in a car belting out Britney Spears, and then I’m home again. Alone.
How do you move on from two years with someone you would have bet your life on marrying? How do you look at everything in your apartment again when everything was moved in and rearranged with him? How do you continue to wake up and go to sleep knowing that the other side of the bed is cold, empty, yet still smells like Old Spice deodorant and pancakes?
You just do. That’s how.
Paul picked at the neon grass by his feet. He tore the blades long-ways and watched them drop into the tranquil lake water. One by one, the strips of green caused little ripples to explode around them. Paul looked out to the blindingly-bright sunset ahead.
Next to him, Andrew was forcing a slimy gray worm onto the hook of his fishing rod. He cursed as he poked his own finger with the rusty point and used the back of his hand to wipe sweat off his brow.
“Need help?” Paul looked up at his younger brother, always the resourceful one. Andrew built forts in the Carson’s backyard late in the summers of their elementary school days. He climbed the tallest trees to find the longest branches for bonfires when they finally had cars and girlfriends to take to late-night parties. Andrew never needed help. But Paul’s duty as his older brother never wavered. He was always the one calling to him to be safe, to stay out of trouble, to use protection with those beautiful young girls on the bonfire nights. Paul may not have been as strong physically ashis brother, but he always felt the need to be the strongest one emotionally.
“Nah. I think I got it. Jus’ poked mahself. Les’ go! They aint gon catch emselves.”
Paul tossed the rest of his grass blades into the water, watching them float away momentarily before standing up and grabbing his rod — which Andrew had placed a worm on first.
The two stood on the edge of the dock, staring at the lake – their lake. The lake that Ma stood by when rocking baby Paul to sleep a couple decades ago. The lake where Sandy Carson had first kissed Andrew under the brush after a day of swimming. And the lake that had been the backdrop the day Sandy became Andrew’s forever.
“Haw’s Sandy?” Paul’s thoughts wandered to his beautiful sister-in-law. Her silky blonde-brown hair was always pulled back underneath a headband — typically one with a sparkle or jewel on the band. He liked that about her because it really made the blue of her eyes stand out. He swore that on her wedding day, he mistook her eyes for part of the lake.
“She’s good! Beautiful as ever, man. Ya knaw? Got that newlywed thing still hoverin’ about us,” Andrew let a handsome grin appear on his rugged face. Paul rarely saw this softness from Andrew unless he was talking about Sandy.
Paul looked away from his brother. How was he supposed to tell him? Was it up to him or Sandy? Shouldn’t Sandy have sat him down and talked to him? Isn’t that how a married couple deals with changes?
Paul swallowed hard and turned back to Andrew, who was now wrestling with a catch on his line.
“I gotta tell ya somethin’ Drew.”
Andrew lurched back, as his line came flying towards the dock, a small gray catfish squirming on the end.
“Gottem!” Andrew yelled, as he stomped his boot on the catfish’s body, removed the hook and tossed it aside. Paul imagined Sandy making her perfect fried catfish. Hair tucked behind her ears, that checkered apron on that Ma bought her…
“So whadju wanna talk ’bout Pau?” Andrew’s question brought Paul back to reality.
Paul took a couple deep breathes, looking down the lake to find those blades of grass he dropped earlier. Finally, he turned his eyes towards his baby brother’s.
“Sandy’s pregnant, Drew. She probly shoulda told you erself, but I overheard ‘er talkin on the phone with ‘er Mamma and couldn’t wait to — “
“WHA? OH MA GOD PAU THIS IS AMAZIN’!” Andrew couldn’t contain himself. He shrieked as he jumped into his brother’s arms, clutching his shoulders tight against his body. Paul could practically feel Andrew’s heart beating through his flannel shirt. Both were soaked in a Mississippi sweat coat, breathing hard as ever.
Both were crying.
Andrew let go of his brother after a few minutes and grabbed his shoulders, looking him in the eyes. “Thank you for tellin’ me Pau. Now I gotta go find my wife!” Andrew ran towards the house, dropping his fishing rod and leaving his struggling catfish in the bucket nearby.
Paul picked up the bucket and tossed the fish back.
“At least one of us should go on,” he said under his breath.
As Paul made his way towards the screened in porch, ready to feign happiness to his entire family as the news was sure to spread about Sandy, more desperate tears filled his eyes.
How was he supposed to tell Andrew that the baby wasn’t his?
I haven’t written much the last few weeks. There was a time when I published a post every couple of days. Things have just gotten too crazy lately.
Between my slowly failing relationship — we uncomfortably “celebrated” 22 months of being together last night — and my impatient waiting to find out about Chicago, I have been feeling like a puppet in the play of my life.
But I think that time is ending now.
I got the job in Chicago and I will be moving in a few months.
Now it’s time to talk to Sean and figure “us” out — what little of us still exists. I hate to be that woman who is scared of being alone. I am only twenty-three and I need to spend time getting to know myself. However much I may dislike many parts of my being, I am the only thing I have at the end of the day.
In my own body, in my own realm, I am increasingly feeling suffocated.
I weave through warm bathes and tangled white cotton sheets, symbols of comfort and innocence.
I am not sure what I seek to find, but when it’s found I will stop seeking.
Sean, with his bright blue eyes, stares at me from the distant land of The Other Side of the Bed.
He’s trying to get inside of me — in the only way he can anymore –through my eyes.
We open our mouths and sounds come out but we aren’t talking.
I haven’t heard him in months. As for me, I am certain there isn’t anything left to say.
But I hold on to this hope, this frail whisper of a chance, that we can continue our charade.
Only I am tired of being a pantomime.
I can’t breathe any more.
Marlena stared out into the bay, glowing a cobalt shade from the overclouded skies.
The tiny candle she stole from the cupboard barely lit the rocks around her and a chill was beginning to creep onto her shoulders like an icy shawl.
She thought she would find comfort here, but instead a desolate silence encompassed her surroundings, reminding her of how alone she really was.
Closing her teary eyes, Marlena traveled back in time. In her mind she was just a child, toddling around in rubber boots much like the ones she wore now — only two sizes too big. The overwhelming smell of slimy dead fish and crisp seawater invaded her nostrils and the mist coming off the ocean covered her freckled arms. She shivered — both in present time and back then, ten years ago.
“Careful with that hook now, Lena!” Papa had to be ten feet tall, she thought, with a big belly that felt hard when poked and a scruffy gray-brown beard that made Christmas Santa much more realistic.
She giggled and waddled over to him. No words were spoken between the two as five year-old Marelena handed her father the chum and hook.
“Fissss!” she screamed as a fat trout jumped just twenty feet away.
“That’s right, shootin’ star! Let’s hook ‘em!” Papa always signaled the start of their lazy Saturday tradition with this phrase.
The words echoed in her head over and over. A dull horn in the distant awoke Marelena to the real world she now lived in.
She swallowed hard, looking deep into the ocean for any reprieve.
Marelena felt guilty for leaving her grieving mother at home with baby Jacob, but she couldn’t even breathe in her own house. The visitors were a constant flow of black: people in and out to say the same phrases she could no longer stand. What do they know about Papa? How could “a better place” be anywhere but here?
Angry, and feeling warm now, Marlena grabbed a large rock and threw it into the water. She just needed to feel the release.
Surprisingly, it helped. Marlena threw seventeen rocks until her arm was tired.
She heaved a sigh, and laid back onto the smooth pebbles behind her.
The sky was beginning to darken. She knew it was almost time to go.
But something caught her eye overhead.
From one end of the sky, to another ran a bright, beautiful shooting star.
Marlena touched her heart and then pointed upwards to the star.
“That’s right, shooting star,” She said in between soft sobs, “Let’s hook ‘em.”
Lauren sends me pictures to write poems/stories and she sent me these five photos that are absolutely beautiful.
I decided that instead of creating five different stories, I would intertwine the seemingly-unrelated photos together into one tale.
Here’s my attempt……
As Henry placed his arm around Matilda, the hairs on it prickled her neck — sending an electric pulse of fear through her body. Matilda stared out into the white landscape. Innocence, beauty, untouched by the human hand. Untouched by anything dirty, dark, or sad.
“You alright?” Two of Henry’s fingers grazed Matilda’s chin, turning her slowly towards him. “You haven’t said a word since we left St. Petersburg.”
Matilda gave Henry a shy smile and looked down at her faded floral dress. He was right; she couldn’t bear to make small talk with him. Not with the gravity of the situation they faced looming closer with every chug of the train.
“I’m — so — sorry, darling. It’s just that — ” Matilda was getting choked up. Her eyes darted to the other passengers. Surely they understood her; most Russians spoke English. She hated the sudden pervasiveness of the crowd.
“Hush, sweetheart.” Henry’s arm gripped her tighter and pulled her close.
She lay her head on his khaki button-down shirt, worn from the days in the sun. Matilda’s hand curved around her protruding belly, begging to feel any positive sign.
But there was none. All Matilda could feel was the chug of the train.
Dr. Bazarov loved days like this. The sun shone high in the sky and the crisp cool air replaced the need for any coffee in the morning.
He hated to drive in cars or ride on a bus. He hated the pervasiveness of the crowds.
And he hated the chugging of trains.
So Boris Bazarov walked to work everyday.
And today, he was especially excited. For today he would meet Henry and Matilda.
And today, he hoped, he would make a miracle happen.
As the train pulled into the station, Henry guided his shaky wife from her seat. He grabbed their shabby brown suitcase with one arm, and cradled Matilda with the other. He couldn’t let her go, for fear she would crumble to pieces before him.
They waited back, letting the rest of the passengers descend before them. They were in no rush, as they still had two hours until their appointment.
“Would you like to lunch, my love?” Henry asked Matilda softly once they were safely inside the station.
Matilda gave a slight shake of her head. She didn’t dare take in another drop of food or drink until she saw the doctor. She didn’t dare make anything worse.
Henry noticed her shaking and removed his coat. Without a word, he draped the black velvet — with tiny holes in the most inconvenient places — atop her shoulders. Then he guided Matilda to the entrance of the station.
“We’ll just head to the clinic then.” He said, defeated. Henry did not want to insult his beautiful bride, but he could feel a strong rumble in his stomach. He could wait. Perhaps it better he wait, lest he risk becoming ill at the sound of bad news.
Henry dropped his suitcase.
His arm limply fell off of Matilda’s shoulder.
Her body seemed to sink, the coat began to slide off of her.
“What — ?”
“How — ?”
They stared at the glass doors at the entrance of the station. Through them, they could see beautiful fields of grass. The sun lit up the sky, with not a cloud to be found.
Gone were the impeding feet of snow. Gone were the tall pine trees that scraped against their train window the entire four hour ride.
The chill the two felt when stepping off the train was replaced by a brisk fall breeze, as a stranger passed through the glass doors.
It seemed they had traveled through winter and stepped into late summer.
The two were speechless.
Finally, Matilda spoke.
“Henry…where are we?”
They must have stood outside the train station for at least forty minutes.
Suddenly, a cab pulled up and the window rolled down to reveal a gruff man. He had scraggly curly brown hair coming from the sides of his head, but was bald down the center. Three lines decorated his forehead where he was sure to have furrowed his brow one too many times. His lips were almost purple and swollen, holding a cigar between them. The cabdriver wore a dirty white tank top, with thin black suspenders holding up his gray pants.
“Matilda and Henry?” He asked, in a deep raspy voice. Matilda marveled at how the cigar stayed in place as he spoke.
The two gave each other an unsure glance and Henry nodded at the cabdriver — still unable to speak at the recent events.
“Great! Well, hop in. Doc is awaitin!” The cigar appeared to be super glued to the cabdriver’s lip, and Matilda continued to stare as her husband slowly helped her into the cab.
But Matilda’s attention shifted, for, upon entrance into the cab, she and Henry seemed to be entering a whole new vehicle.
What appeared to be an old typical yellow-and-black cab, had now transformed into a clean 1950′s Volkswagen. Instead of the rubber seats showing wear and revealing inner fluff that Matilda had seen when Henry opened the car door, plush leather decorated the interior. The cab did not smell as Matilda imagined — of cigar smoke and sweat — but rather of her favorite perfume, Chanel No. 5.
Matilda’s jaw dropped and she squeezed Henry’s hand. She leaned in close to whisper to him, but before she could, she was interrupted.
“First time here, huh?” The cabdriver looked at her though the rear view mirror.
And he, too, was transformed.
This man, who had earlier reminded Matilda of a gangster-film burnout, was now stunningly handsome. His blonde hair — a full head of which — was slicked back. There was no sign of a cigar anywhere, and his twinkling blue eyes held Matilda’s glance for a little too long.
The cabdriver no longer wore ratty clothing, but rather a pressed black suit. He reminded her slightly of James Bond.
Henry had been very quiet the entire time. But now he could not contain himself.
“What is going on here?!” Henry shrieked.
The cabdriver let out a deep, guttural laugh. His grin made Matilda blush, but something about him terrified her as well. Like a dark, side character in an old black-and-white movie.
“I apologize. I did not mean to alarm either of you. This place is — special. You will see.” The cabdriver winked at the couple from the rear view mirror again, before focusing his eyes on the road.
Matilda swallowed hard and turned to look out the window. ‘Special’ could not even begin to describe it. The landscape reminded her of southern Germany. Rolling hills, tall green grass, and a distant horizon.
“I demand to know where we are! Why did the climate change?! Why did your car change?! And you? Who are you?” Henry was becoming hysterical. Matilda was simply entranced by it all — without a care as to why it was happening.
The cabdriver’s metallic eyes met Henry’s again. “Patience,” was all he said.
They seemed to drive for hours. Matilda fell asleep twice on Henry’s shoulder. The landscape continued to shift. The seasons continued to morph. None of it made any sense to Henry but the gentle rocking of the car put his body at ease. The cabdriver played old jazz on the radio and the air became warmer. It was the perfect setting to fall asle….
The hard jolt awoke both of the two in the backseat. Matilda groggily opened her eyes and Henry flinched awake. The cabdriver turned around in his seat to stare them straight in the face — the first time since his. . . transformation.
“We’re here!” He announced this news like a child arriving at Disneyworld. He seemed utterly giddy at the thought of being ‘here’ . . . wherever that was.
Timidly, Henry and Matilda peered out the window.
“What — ?”
“How — ?”
Again, the two were speechless. Breathless, even.
For out the window they could see a sea of tall, green grass surrounded by trees. Only that sea was well below them.
They were suspended in air.
Matilda’s breath became short and she began to sweat.
“Oh, yes. The doctor mentioned her fear of heights. But I apologize — all the other spots are taken!” Exclaimed the cabdriver, whom Henry decided was completely mad at this point.
“Okay, mister. This is no longer funny. We need to see the doctor. We do not want to play your charades any longer! My wife is very ill. We cannot afford to waste time like this!” Henry’s face was becoming redder with each word. He was inches away from the cabdriver’s face, with his pointer finger nearly touching the man’s nose.
The cabdriver pulled a handkerchief from his front breast pocket and wiped what appeared to be a tiny bit of Henry’s spit off of his own cheek.
He closed his eyes slowly.
“Yes sir. He will be right in to see you.”
And with that, the cabdriver opened his door and jumped out.
Matilda gave a scream.
Henry reached after him.
But when they looked out the window again, expecting to see the man’s lifeless body on the ground, he was nowhere to be found.
Dr. Bazarov smiled broadly as he checked his pocket watch. Right on time, he thought.
He stood there a few moments, looking up at the car atop the iron tower. Just as he wanted it.
Dr. Bazarov carried with him his briefcase — as is always the fashion of an esteemed Russian doctor — and his sun umbrella, which he very well needed on a day such as this.
The iron tower holding up the car appeared to be stable and Dr. Bazarov made a mental note to thank his driver for such a great parking job.
Inside the car, Matilda and Henry were terrified. They whispered to each other about what a mistake it was to come here and both feared that the car would topple to the ground at any moment, killing them and their only chance for a child.
Suddenly, a flash of bright light appeared in the car, such as an old-fashioned camera disconnected from it’s light source. When they were able to see again, Matilda and Henry let out piercing screams.
Dr. Boris Bazarov now sat exactly where the cabdriver had previously been: in the driver’s seat.
“Ah, pleasure to meet you both!” He said, tipping his hat ever so slightly to them.
“I apologize for meeting in such conditions, but you must understand that all the other spots were taken!” He continued, noting to himself that the two were incapable of speaking.
“. . . Okay. . .Matilda, may I have a look?” Dr. Bazarov pointed to Matilda’s belly. She had her hands protectively covering the bump.
With tears in her eyes from the excitement and fear, Matilda looked up at Henry. He appeared confident — for whatever reason — and she turned back to the doctor and nodded to him.
Right there, in that perfume-scented Volkswagen, Dr. Bazarov inspected Matilda’s growing stomach.
He made noises here and there, of agreement, confusion, and awe.
Henry’s anger continued to grow. What does this man think he’s doing? Where are we?
“Doctor, we don’t have time for this nonsense!” Henry shouted, alarming both Matilda and the doctor.
Matilda had given up on trying to understand what was happening. She was now solely focused on keeping her baby alive, and something deep inside of her trusted this doctor.
The doctor slowly turned to Henry, a small smile emerging from his thin, pale lips. It was now that Henry could see wrinkles forming in the man’s face. He who had moments earlier appeared to be in his late-thirties, was now transforming in front of Henry’s eyes to twice that age.
“Time,”the now old man explained, “is but a game. Time does not exist here. Please, good sir, be patient.”
Henry closed his gaping mouth and decided it was indeed pointless to try to understand. He focused his attention on his wife, who was sweating and breathing heavily next to him. He brushed damp brown hairs off her forehead, revealing her porcelain skin, dewy and trembling.
The doctor, now approaching decay, ran his feeble, wrinkly fingers over Matilda’s exposed belly. The car began to shake.
Blinding light filled the car once more. The couple held on tightly to one another. The old doctor’s cold fingers disappeared. Matilda screamed.
Then everything went black.
When Henry came to, he was collapsed on a blanket of snow. Looking up from the ground he could see the narrow building in front of him, the hospital where he and Matilda decided months earlier she would deliver their baby.
All around him, snow fell heavily. Henry put his arm up to keep snow from blinding him as he stood. He was no longer wearing his khaki button-down shirt and worn blue jeans from the train ride. He was now dressed in a black coat and dark snow pants. He was dressed for the weather, which completely perplexed him.
There was no one to be found around him, as expected in a deep Russian snowstorm. Remembering the wild events that felt to be just moments earlier, he feared the worst. He was back in the cold winter weather. He was wearing black. What did all of this mean? He could only hope that his first thoughts were incorrect. He could only hope his wife and child were safely inside the hospital.
The thought brought Henry to a run. He sprinted into the building, tossing aside strangers in his path.
At the sight of the first nurse, Henry froze. Frantically, he grabbed her by the shoulders.
“Have you see my wife? Matilda Grey? She’s having a baby! Uh — ONA BUDET REBENOK!” Henry tried to explain in English and gave his best try at Russian. He was still learning the language.
The nurses eyes widened, seeing his desperation. Without a word, she grabbed his hand and led him down to the elevator. With her pointer and middle finger, the nurse gave him an American peace sign. To Henry it meant: second floor.
He thanked the nurse multiple times. He hugged her quickly before running into the elevator and slamming on the number 2.
On the second floor, Henry ran past countless rooms, reading name plates. Finally, he stood outside Matilda’s door. He took a long, deep breath before entering. He swallowed hard, preparing himself for the worst sight he could imagine: his son and his wife, both dead.
But before he could even touch the door handle, he heard the most magnificent sound: a baby’s cry!
He began to cry himself as he entered the room, to see the beautiful woman he had met many years before holding the precious tiny bundle of their creation.
“HENRY!” She screamed.
“My love! My baby!” He ran to her. Careful with his newborn son, Henry held both of them in his arms.
The family lay still for a few moments, in between sobs from all three.
The room smelled like Chanel No. 5.
Somewhere far away, another man was crying.
On a deserted sandy beach, in a pointed red-and-white striped hut, the doctor pondered his last few moments with Matilda and Henry.
He looked deep into the distance, as tiny tears crawled down his cheeks.
I will never see them again, he thought.
The sadness was overwhelming, but he could hear the baby’s cries in the back of his mind.
Boris had no doubt in his mind. He did what he had to.
He sacrificed his life for his grandson.
Beneath the weeping cherry tree
Is where you’ll find a restful me
And when I’m dead, my soul is gone
They’ll lay me here, beneath the lawn
For this is where my fantasy grows
Of dragons, witches, elves and trolls
Papa’s hand, as hard as rocks
Can’t touch me here, deep in my thoughts
And Mother, with her constant sleep
Won’t notice my absence between her weeps
In my red dress, against the tree
I find redress surrounding me
How many times per day do we let indecision decide?
How often does the fear of acting take away your right to act?
Sit still, sit still
I won’t hurt you, if you don’t hurt me
Relax, please put your buzzer away
I’ve come to play
Quiet now, please don’t attack
Oh this? It’s nothing! It’s just my — SPLAT!
Don’t let indecision decide.
Like baby powder on my sheets
The smell lingers
Perfume, of French syllables
Invades my home, my every breath
There’s nothing left
She walked in
Stormed out in fire
Leaving me in disgust
A puddle of whiskey
A mountain of desire
Little strands of auburn hair
Twirl around me
Hide in dark places
She’ll float away
High into the stars
Become a legend
Break one man’s heart
Okay, just to warn you — because I guess I owe you this — your life will change dramatically soon.
The issues with you and Sean? Well, they’re going to really get to you in a few months. You will ask him for some “time off” from the relationship. And you will hurt. Deeply. You will desire to talk to him and hold him and kiss him when you see him in the factory.But you won’t.
You also won’t look for any guy to replace him — because, really, no one can. You will lay in bed with a book, a water bottle, and your dog and you will be…content. Alone. For once.
You’ll take a trip to Chicago that not only underlines what is wrong with your relationship with Sean but will also point out how unsatisfied you are with your current life, your surroundings, and the path that has somehow been carved out for you — by someone else.
You’ll find an open doorway — a new position at a new factory — and it’ll lead you to Chicago. Alone. Single. Yet…thriving.
You have grown so much in the last two years.
You are confident now, you stand taller. You are proud of yourself. You are beautiful — you always were, but you were always blindfolded from it by that pesky little Anorexia thing.
You don’t need a boyfriend to feel happy, you don’t need much really. There is a fire in you and you know you can make life happen for you, instead of letting it just play out in that boring black-and-white film reel.
You’re an engineer, you’re a writer, you’re creative, you’re talented. Took you years to learn these things about you, and sometimes you still question yourself. But overall, you’ve come so far.
Hold your head up, girl. It’s only going up from here.