Concert.

The lights dim. One by one. Thousands of conversations calm and then altogether raise in one coherent roar. The blackness soon takes the shape of the night sky, as tiny dots of bright light come to life. And as the guitar sound echoes through the arena, he comes onto the stage and suddenly nothing else matters.

Not your grades. Not your boyfriend or girlfriend. Not your sick mother. Not your depression. Nothing.

Just him.

The crowd.

And the song.

What happens after the lights are back on?

You see that indeed he was nothing more than a good singer. And you … You are a miserable, broken little insect that they want to extinguish.

Ps. Sorry .. Originally the post was meant to be happy .. I don’t know what happened.

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Her story.

Her breath stank of cigarettes. Half empty crumpled packet of Malboro red was sticking out of her pocket.

She was texting her son. He was to buy milk on his way home. She was on her way to a job interview. Fifth time this week.

The blue coat she got for her last birthday was on her last days of existence. But she would sow the little hole under arm at least twice more. One, she couldn’t afford a new one. Two, it was all she had left of him. Everything else, she burned.

She never forgave herself.

She kept on repeating over what she had to say, “Hello, Aleshia Moor. Nice to meet you!” Smile. “Smile God dammit!” she whispered and forced herself to curl the corners of her chopped lips. It looked painful. As if she re-visited an old wound.

She didn’t know this, but she wouldn’t get this job either. Or the next one.

And soon her son would leave her alone too. It wasn’t because she was a bad mother. Not even because of the scar she gave him one Friday night. It was because he didn’t want to waste his life just like she did.

She started off, good. She was one of the best lawyers in the city.

But he was better. And one drink too many, alone in the bar, on a Wednesday night, turned to a completely valid reason to let him destroy her.

Within two months she was without nothing. No house, no money, no job, no hope. Only her son. Only on Fridays and the weekends.

It was never that she wanted to do it. I was never her intention. She loved her husband. She wanted them to grow old laughing about different cases they have won or not. She wanted her son to be a lawyer. She wanted, she dreamed that someday she would be explaining Habeas Corpus to one of her grandkids.

But that won’t happen. And in fact she will never get to know her grandkids. She will have none. Her son will be a musician like he always dreamed to be.

But she won’t be forgotten by him. In fact the song that will get him the ticket to the top will be about her.

And she will stay up late every evening to listen to it on the radio. In the nearby train station. Just beside the bus stop she will fall asleep on…

… till the rest of her life.

Dr Death.

“Do it.” I told him. “Do it!”

He turned his back on me. He said I should go and fix myself. I don’t understand why does everyone always say that to me.

He was the thirteenth person to say no. Am I asking for really that much? All I want is for someone to experience the happiest moment in their lives.

Death.

See, I’ve been studying death for the past seven years. I’ve attempted suicide fifteen times and twice had the opportunity to nearly succeed!

But everyone that I attempt of informing about this novelty, claims that I’m crazy. I have three masters and two doctorates. I am a well read person. And I have lived through death several times. Not to mention all the people that I have interviewed that had the same experience.

They always described it as their soul leaving their body and a bright light calling them.

From my own experience I know that its much more. It’s the feeling from within. True happiness. I guess it’s extremely hard to put it into words and that’s why others haven’t tried.

It’s this warmth, like when you know you made the right decision. It’s your heartbeat when you win the race.

Yes, your soul leaves your body. But then you can see your flesh as it is really. Without any preconceptions and in bright white light. You see all your flaws and strengths as simple features that make you, you.

And then only what I can describe as the call of God reaching you silently. Light.

“Antony!” the nurse called. “Pill time.”

Sorry, I’ll be back in a second, I need to test the medication for the institute.

The winner of Nothing.

She was only 14.

Her best friend was called Jenny.

She was smart.

Never liked to show off her intelligence.

She didn’t like to be the center of attention.

She liked silence more than anything in the world.

The lunchbreak was always spend in the library.

Who these days even went there?

She liked key rings.

That was her thing.

She also liked him.

Adam.

He didn’t like her though.

He was one of the guys who smoked weed behind the gymasium.

He was the guy who every girl liked.

He was older.

And of course this meant he got respect. No, not because he hit the little blond boy in second class. He just got respect.

Besides, the boy deserved it. You just had to look at him and you were gay.

So all she did was stared.

And wondered.

What his lips felt like.

Were his hands warm or cold?

What did he go through in life?

What would it be like if she ever talked to him?

Would he be interested in keyrings too?

Would he be impressed by her drawing?

Stupid question, of course not. She’s just a stupid little girl.

She would imagine how their days would be spent if they were together.

He would talk about his life. His dreams. His aspirations. His fears. She would sooth him. Like a mother soothes a wound from a bike fall of her little baby boy.

He would tell her he loves her. And she would reply with “I love you more.”

It would be their thing.

.

.

She was a little drunk, Jenny brought her to his party. All the girls were around him. But this time he wasn’t looking at them.

He looked at the rim of her red checkered skirt. He saw the goose bumps on her freshly shaved tighs. He looked at her lightly coloured baby pink lips and cheeks. He saw her eyes flying around the room, confused. He saw her brand new black lace bra under her white shirt, which was stained with beer. He looked at her knees rubbing tightly off against each other.

Doll. He thought.

She lost her breath when he came up to her.

Her words too.

She could feel her entire body giving up the control.

Entirely up to him.

He wanted her.

NOW.

And so he took her. He lured her into his den. She was about to have the time of her life and she had no clue.

“No!” she screamed.

“No!” she said.

“No!” she begged.

“No!” she whispered.

.

.

She was no longer smart. Or intelligent. Or quiet. Or pretty. Or ugly. Or little. Or young.

Nothing.

Thats what she was.

And him?

He was the winner.

Birch.

It’s beautiful.

It’s fragile yet strong.

It never fears.

It doesn’t need anyone.

It’s delicate yet sharp.

It doesn’t hide the bad one and doesn’t shelter the good one.

It sings during summer and in winter it hides in between the dimonds.

Water is its friend and the mountains its companion.

It ALWAYS fits in.

It could win every dance contest with its moves but never shows off.

It is controlled by its loving mother.

It is what I want to be.

birch-trees

Friends – short story.

She was soaked in sweat. Her handbag was rebelling against her as it kept on falling off her shoulder. And the broken wheel in the suitcase didn’t speed up the run to the gate. She knew she was going to get checked by the guard – by now she learned that her chocolate shade of skin was only useful for free drinks at a bar. NOT at the airport.

She dragged the last of her dignity up the stairs and after squeezing through the smallest corridor between seats she found her one.

10E

Middle seat. Of course, this day couldn’t go worse for her. But the seat beside the window was empty – so there was a chance. Surely she was the last to get on board. She wanted to get the handle down but it got stuck. She kept on pulling at it, up and down, up and down, up and suddenly it was no longer attached to the suitcase. Instead, it was flying around the plane as if in search of a new, better path of life.

“Need any help with that?”, said a deep voice behind her.

“No thank you, ugh!” she began turning towards it. “Ugh why is it always me?!” she whispered under her breath as she squashed her bag into the overhead compartment.

“I have a tiny bladder and I’m at the window, maybe your situation isn’t that bad, huh?”

He had dark hazel eyes that emitted this specific warmth and kindness. She smiled.

“Yeah, I’ll still have to get up every time you do, 10E, nice to meet you.” They shook hands, laughed and fitted each other in their seats. It was nice to know that at least this once she wasn’t surrounded by a mother with a baby and a sweaty hairy pig, that ALWAYS decided to use her sleeve as a napkin for his drool.

“So, 10E, what brings you to the great land of Britan?” he asked. As soon as he took out his car magazine she felt like grabbing it and looking at the comic section.

“Umm,” she looked at him hesitantly, “I live there?” she giggled. “I am just coming back from a holiday.”

“Oh, very good. Did you enjoy Italy?”

“I mean, it is beautiful.” she hesitated.

“But?”

“Well, I was there on my own ..” she said.

“Me too actually! I like those kinds of trips. You can really do what you want you to know. Meet new people. Eat where and what you want to eat,” he paused clearly seeing she was not that interested. “Use the bathroom with the door open!” he laughed.

“That last one is my jam.” she joined him. But her laugh was orderly. Although she was glad he wasn’t an annoying mother with a baby, she didn’t feel like remembering the worst two weeks of her life.

“How come you were alone?” he pushed.

Did she really have to reveal all her depressing secrets to an aeroplane stranger?

“The person I was supposed to go with cancelled,” she said.

“Total shame! Well, at least you got to do whatever you wanted right?”

“I suppose.” she looked at him flicking through the magazine and couldn’t help herself. “Sorry, do you mind if I just quickly read the comic on the back?”

His eyebrows flew to the top of his wrinkly forehead, but without hesitation he passed the magazine to her, smiling softly.

She giggled. Those comics were the one thing in the world that made her smile even at her worst.

“You like dogs?” he asked after she finished reading about a puppy eating a goldfish.

“I love them!” she looked as if she remembered one of her own ones. “I have a German shepherd. I will never forget the time he was just a pup!” she giggled.

“Oh yeah! They’re sweethearts but if they want something the devil in them comes floating to the top!” he said.

“Did you ever see any of those stupid videos with dogs on TV? Where they act, ridiculous?!”

“I love them! I used to spend hours watching them as a kid.”

“Yeah, me too! But that would be Charlie. She would manage to speak, dance, break stuff, fix stuff and probably perform a show of her life for that one tiny piece of sausage!” she laughed.

“Sounds like a gem! I actually own a shelter and as much as I love German Shepherds, I need to say nothing beats a pug!”

“Wow! Pugs! They’re adorable. Once I heard that they are invincible at snoring.”

“Oh God yeah! If you are a light sleeper and live within 10km of a pug you’re doomed to have an awful night!”

“Aha! But you see unfortunately I’m not a princess.”

“Did you do the pea test?”

“Actually, as a matter of fact, yes. I did.”

He laughed. She believed that it was because she wasn’t as special as he thought. But there was something about that laugh that she found comforting. Like she heard it every time I was about to fall asleep.

“Welll, not everyone can be a princess. But you know once in a while you will find yourself sitting next to one in the aeroplane.”

“Too bad all that I have is you!” she laughed.

“Auch!” he laughed and shifted in his seat so that we would be more-less facing each other. “So, now that we’re friends will you tell me why you were alone on that trip?”

Why was he so persistent, she thought. But then again she would never see him again. It’s just she didn’t want the pitty in his eyes. She didn’t want him to think wrong of her. But was a lie in this situation appropriate? As he said they were friends. Newbies but friends. And was she ever going to get a chance like this? To tell her story and just have it off her chest?

“My husband,” she started. He tensed up a little but didn’t interrupt her. “he umm, we used to come here for our anniversary every year. But he passed away three years ago. So, now it’s only me.” she forced her tight lips to curl up.

As his shoulders slowly went down, he smiled with large loving eyes at her. “I think it’s a sweet tradition you have. But I doubt he would want you to be sad every year during this time.”

“Heh, yeah. I suppose easy to say.”

“I lost my mother less than a year ago. Trust me I know how it feels.”

“I’m sorry for your loss.”

“It’s okay,” he said. “How about when we land we get a real coffee – not this shite?”

She didn’t know what to answer. She was supposed to never see him again. “Umm I don’t know, I’m really  not looking for any .. umm .. you know..” Did she say it right? What if she offended him?? She looked down at his magazine and her fingers suddenly were entwined in each other.

“It’s okay, me neither. Friends.” he held out his hand.

After short consideration, she shook it. “Friends.”

Lonely. 

He came into the lecture hall exactly at exactly 14:31. He was 29 minutes early. But it was okay. He liked it. It was calming. He sometimes dared to put up his legs on top of the desks. 

But not today. Today the place was abandoned. Not empty. 

The lights were off. Few pieces of rubbish here and there, revealed underneath the moon light that came in through the roof. The heating was broken. He suspected that he would freeze to death during the two hours, if no one else showed up. 

One time that happened. He was the only one that came in. Even the lecturer didn’t show up. Perhaps it was because of the college party the day before. Everyone always went. 

Except for him.

It was eerily quiet. The only noise came from the flickering exit sign. That seemed to speed up all of a sudden. 

It didn’t handle it and after a little lightning the sign burst into pieces. 

The doors shut tight. 

Before he was able to realise what’s going on all the chairs started ripping themselves from the metal frames. The screws were rising, floating in the air like little stars. The rolling up counter tops pushed him further back into his seat which was shaking like a wild bull.

He got up and realised that the room was floating around him. The counter tops dancing on the walls, the chairs floating around him as if trying to show him off. And when the lights started to flicker and hilight the most beautiful corners of the chairs, tables, walls and himself. He wasn’t afraid anymore. 

The room became alive for him.

For once he wasn’t lonely.