(Hello! Just noting this piece had a mind of its own and is somewhat longer than the usual 200 words. Cheers!)
“Closing time / One last call for alcohol so finish your whiskey or beer.” The mellow lines Semisonic floated into Tyrelle’s ears.
It was 2:00 a.m. and his friends, Jordan and Simone, were trying to shut their house party down, arranging places for closest friends to sleep and for others to catch a cab home. Tyrelle nursed his last drink for the night. As per usual, he was upset these days.
His beautiful Cleo should’ve been with him here tonight, ensuring he didn’t feel like such a recluse at his friends’ party. He hadn’t been in the mood for a party but since Cleo had ended things three-months ago, he knew he needed to move on.
More Semisonic lyrics played through from an IPad:”Closing time / Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.”
Tyrelle watched as Simone finally locked the front door. She peered at at him and moved to give him a short friendly back rub. “You still miss Cleo, huh?”
“Yeah, everyday. Does it get easier?” Tyrelle asked her.
Simone sighed, “Before Jordan, I was with Blake and I thought he was it. Then he broke my heart and for months after, I didn’t function well.”
“After a while I stopped thinking about Blake as much. I realized I resented the hold he had had on me. Then I chose to become involved in life. I volunteered and I saw more friends and family. Not long after, I met Jordan,” Simone said smiling.
Tyrelle smirked. As if what Simone said could ever be possible for him. Then he remembered the last line in the Semisonic song. About how other things had to end for better and new things to begin. So that’s what he decided to do — to begin anew.
He picked up his phone and blocked Cleo’s number. Tyrelle unfriended and blocked her on every social media. Tomorrow he would start going to a different gym location then Cleo to workout and he would go to a different grocery store by his condo to shop as well. Finally, he grinned, he would get a new haircut.
Today’s prompt for Writing 101 is to write a series of anecdotes or vignettes which are defined as ” short, episodic scenes or moments that together read as variations on the same subject/story.” Therefore, each vignettes needs to have a similarity between them which ties each vignettes to the others.
Tessa feels afraid. Life has become unmanageable for her to take a risk in love because she can’t calculate the damage another man could do to her. One guy Ryan, she talked to for a year and he wanted be with Tessa but she was in a relationship at the time. Tessa told Ryan, she loved her boyfriend. She only wanted to be friends with Ryan. He wasn’t interested in being friends. The thought of not talking to and seeing him anymore, made Tessa bitterly sad.
Tessa was single and free. It felt wonderful to not have to go out and spend her weekends at her boyfriend Ted’s place, not doing much of anything. When she was out, Tessa wanted to be doing something, not laying around all day. A nap was one thing, but sitting and watching the same news channel hours on end as Ted did, Tessa couldn’t handle it. She wanted to visit their couple friends and go to fun events on the evenings and a week night once in a while. Her now ex-boyfriend Ted always sat on the couch, eyes on the news or searching the Internet. Tessa left Ted, never looking back.
Freedom flowed through her veins. Tessa was happy and her life was fulfilling. She was working hard each day. Doing the best she could, developing a career. But there were always men who wanted something from Tessa. She didn’t want to be mean and say: “I don’t want anything from you. You’d only mess up my life and I like my life how it is right now.”
To say that would be too honest and being too honest can sound brash and thoughtless and get a woman labelled. Tessa didn’t want to damage her career, but often it meant putting up with men, their sexual inuendo and advances.
Greyson is messaging Tessa again. No real conversation occurs between them. He doesn’t talk about his days or ask much about hers when they go on dates. Greyson gazes at her and says, “I like you. I like talking to you. Don’t you like me?” Tessa is tired of his games.
She tells Greyson, “We’ve been through this. You don’t want a relationship and I do.”
He remarks, “Let’s sleep together and see how it goes.”
Tessa is angry, her attraction to Greyson wanes and she ceases talking to him.
She is dating Phillip now. A new guy who keeps calling her at all times. Phillip won’t stop. He’s a stranger who somehow had her number in his contacts. Tessa recalls she hasn’t had her new cell number for long.
Phillip tells Tessa he is into having a relationship with her but with him too, it comes down to sex. After they have sex he tells her, “We’ll see how things go.” He is suddenly non-committal and distant towards Tess, except when he wants to sleep with her.
Tessa is exasperated. Isn’t she valuable outside the context of sex? Isn’t there a guy who will like her for her personality too and want to get to know her!?
Now, whenever Phillip texts or calls Tessa deletes any trace of him from her cell phone.
Some man starts talking to Tessa outside her hair salon, grabbing her arm. She doesn’t like it when people she doesn’t know man handle her. But Tessa attempts to be polite.
The stranger tells her she’s beautiful and keeps complimenting her. She’s not attracted to him in the least and he won’t let her leave. He keeps stepping in front of her as she tries to take the stairs down to the train.
Tessa had worked in the morning and taken the afternoon off to have her hair done and now this weird man won’t let her go home. It’s only 4:00 pm but Tessa smells the liquor on the stranger’s breath.
“Let go. Leave me alone. My boyfriend wouldn’t like you bothering me like this. I need to go home.” She tells the man.
The stranger acts offended and she shivers in disgust at his repulsive corporate ego. She hates having to lie to protect herself. To ensure her own security.
Tessa meanders in a popular shopping district, alone on a Saturday afternoon. She’s in a boutique and is enthused the clothes are stylish but not overally expensive. Tessa models a blue halter dress and she hears a deep voice remark: “I’d take you out in that dress. You’re gorgeous.”
Tessa turns, regarding the man who complimented her. He’s a bit older, but it doesn’t bother her. The handsome man’s blue eyes are breath-taking, bright against dark hair and attractive full lips. He wears dark jeans and a blue t-shirt matching his eyes.
Suddenly, Tessa realizes she’s been staring at the attractive man and hasn’t responded to his compliment. She blushes and her skin goes red.”I’m happy you like me in the dress. I wasn’t sure about it, but you’ve made my mind up for me.”
The attractive man chuckles and comes up to Tessa, running a hand gently down her arm. She’s surprised his familer touch doesn’t bother her. He gazes into her eyes and smiles.
“What’s a pretty girl like you doing all by herself shopping? You need a guy to hold your bags and make sure douch men don’t bother you.”
Tessa laughs. “Are you offering to do the job? Because I would definitely have to take you up on that offer. I’m Tessa by the way.” She holds out her hand which is shaking a bit and his strong hand engulfs hers and shakes it firmly. A firm handshake, Tessa is impressed.
She smiles as the attractive man runs a hand through wisps of her loose hair. “What’s your name?” She asks him.
He grins at her question. “I’m Blake and I’m a university professor in economics. What do you do Tessa?”
” I work in HR for a company. I like talking with different people and helping them.” Blake stares at his hands in his jean pockets, smiling at Tessa before touching her cheek with the back of his hand.
Again, his touch doesn’t bother Tessa. She craves it. Blake smells wonderful, like the ocean with a note of sandlewood. Blake and her are standing close and Tessa’s breathing is picking-up speed with Blake’s breath.
“There you are.” An elegant woman in a red dress sweeps in. She’s thin and willowy and seems like she’s a model, on trend and waifish.”Who’s this?” The model asks, regarding Tessa as if she were a peculiar creature for Blake to be flirting with.
The model’s eyes rove over Tessa and back to Blake. Blake sighs and he doesn’t appear glad to see the model, in fact; he seems annoyed. He gazes at Tessa appearing apologetic. Tessa has pity on Blake.
“Oh this must be your girlfriend you were telling me about.” Tessa remarks to Blake. “She is stunning and you’re lucky to have her. I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch. I’ve been busy and I know you have been busy too. I’ll let you get back to your girl.” The model gives Tessa an odd look and then giggles.
Tessa can’t help but feel she’s missing something and that the model is making fun of her.”Lovely to meet you, ” the model says.”I’m Cherise.”
“I’m Tessa and Blake really loves you.” She says. Cherish chuckles and so does Blake.
Cherise smiles at Tessa and Blake. Tessa doesn’t know what to say. She feels miserable. because she has met a nice guy and he isn’t actually a nice guy. He has a girlfriend named Cherise who’s laughing at her.
Tessa was hugely attracted to Blake and wanted to know him better. He pressed the back of his hand to her cheek as Cherise walked away to look at a dress.
“I’m going to try this on,” she tells Blake who nods at her. But his blue gaze is focused on Tessa.
“Why did you do that?” Blake says, laughter in his voice. ” Cherise is my younger step-sister. She’s not my girlfriend. It’s gross thinking about her that way. We have the same Dad and I grew up with her.”
Tessa’s face turns bright red. Redder than it was before. “Oh, I didn’t realize. I was trying to give you an out because I thought Cherise was your girlfriend. But I’m glad she’s only your sister. You had me worried for a bit.”
Blake chuckles again.”Are you going to let me take you out tonight in that dress you’re buying? I have to drive Cherise to her boyfriends but I can meet you down the street at the Manterra Hotel dining room at 7:00 pm?”
Tessa smiles genuinely. “I’d love to have dinner with you, Blake.” She leans up towards Blake and kisses his inviting lips gently for a few moments, keeping her lips against Blakes a meaningful second before walking towards the cash register.
Blake repeats behind her: “7:00 pm at the Manterra Hotel.”
I did not mean to build a wall, I only needed space.
Though you are all with me, though you all care
This battle is my fight, one I must carry alone, don’t you see
Though I try to be included, there are things you can’t see
I am walking the line, my own private journey into the sun.
The sun is not setting, everyday it rises, but I cannot keep up
With rays and shadows, hiding behind clouds, warming the air
The worst battles we fight, are fought internally.
Our own biggest critic, our own form of loss.
Shots, shots, shots in the air, bullets can rip through you
But if you haven’t felt it how can you understand
The individual pain of each bullet, the hurt is unique
We all feel suffering, but no suffering is the same.
Suffering turns us to tears, and builds character
Scarred and battle worn we appear, the fight never ends
In our own private hells, we flounder forlorn
Empathy the greatest emotion you can give
But it only goes so far, you can empathize to a degree
Then you cannot feel the ache, the fatigue, the darkness inside
Walls exist for a reason, such a man that doesn’t love a wall.
To build up high, and keep in the dark, the woman, the love of his life
He builds with mortar and brick, keeping out the light and she freaks out
” Something there is that doesn’t love a wall” a girl fighting to comprehend
Walls behind her own walls, the realization we all have walls
And these walls are thick, they are dense, and hollow
Strong as solid steel, empty like milk jugs in the recycling container
Seemingly plastic and easily crushed, but with a shape that reforms fills with liquid tears
Becomes the hardest material, harder than diamonds, and crumbling as dolomite
You build your walls, I’ll build mine, we must build our own lives to build one together
We must put in plenty of windows and doors that don’t lock if we are ever to see eye to eye
If we are ever to be one solid wall against the world.
Walls are built to keep something out, I’d rather, you see it for yourself…
I’ll stop building my walls if you stop forming your walls –
then we can just be visible to sunshine and the light that guides the air to swirl and blow a fresh wave of summer over us
If you build them they will come, the wall builders fixing up their walls
But did u know if we left the stones where they lay, let the wall crumble into dust
We could build other things, but we still build walls.