She met him last week when he had an empty seat next to him then. He always had an empty seat next to him. Sahar had no idea how he managed that. Some people were magnets, she supposed, in a world full of magnets.
Parties. I have no business to do with parties. They’re too loud, too populated, too everything. House parties? They’re the worst. A sensible version of me would’ve declared ”no” in her best friend’s face, left her to be happy with her handsome boyfriend, and called it a day. But no, such version of me does not exist, and I know that too well.
I cross my arms and wait. Five minutes. Ten. Before we know it, we’re both crying. Me because I don’t want her here, to take the good out of the equation. Her because she is delusional and wants something from me that she had lost for herself a long, long time ago.
Sadie looked up. There wasn’t much to see. The buildings towered over each other, effectively blocking the night sky. They were the exact same height and width, all of them, twelve floors and seven windows apart. Sadie lost count of them after passing a dozen or so. A light turned off on the fifth floor across the street.
you know what they say during drills.
get under the desk, it’s safe.
well, I’m the desk,
stuck in the corner as the first wave hits,
the dishes and pots hit the ground,
my legs threaten to give way but not quite,
Stores were just starting to close one by one, the bookstore around the corner, the butcher shop in front, the hair salon. What did a hair salon have? Hair. Hair that Asher did not have. She had an idea: a terrible one, but brilliant for sure.
all I had to do
was leave the car,
but my hands froze,
and my heart beat faster and faster
until terror rose above me
like a boat facing a threatening wave
until the wave capsized the boat,
and my breath stuck in my chest
She parked her car at the very end of the street. Strictly speaking, it wasn’t hers, it was her foster parents’. Her seventh. The ones that she ran away from eight days ago. The ones that probably worried more about their car’s whereabouts than their foster daughter’s safety. Fuck that.
the monster is awake.
it is a bad day.
it reaches inside my cage,
it starts clawing me,
I tell it to stop.
it replies back, you deserve it.
you are nothing,
you are pathetic,
you are despicable.
I open my mouth to scream,
but all that comes out is, I agree.
She glanced at her mom’s unfinished work still standing on the kitchen counter. Her creations were often so intricate, so delicate that they took Cassandra’s breath away, and this one was no different. Eleanor King was quite the mechanic. A witch, as she called herself. “I can make anything for you and your dad,” she used to say.