[QUICK NOTE: this is a short story i wrote for my english class last year. i've not edited it since summer, and quite frankly, i feel there is a need to, but i'm much too lazy. there may be some bits that may seem a bit strange or random to you; (ex. "but all that came out was 'froth.'") i suppose you could ignore them. they're just little bits that i've inserted for myself, a sort of 'inside joke' with my ex-boyfriend. i actually really hate this story and the way it is, but a few people who've read it have really appreciated it, so i thought i might as well put it up.

The sky isn't blue; the sky is bright and vast. I'd never really understood the whole concept of colors. I'd spent my whole life looking through broken eyes that would only see shades of grey. After meeting him for the first time, I went home and circled the day on my calendar in permanent black marker. I wasn't exactly sure why, but it might've been something to do with how the first thing he'd said to me was 'Have you ever had your eyeball licked?' I remember how when he asked me this, all I could think of to do was to blink and shake my head in response. He was crazy. He took my face in his hands and for exactly ten seconds I watched in silence as his face inched towards mine and then, all I saw was pink.

The next week, he took me to a local park where I had once spent hours digging for worms in the ground and pushing my brother off of the swing set. We took our seats on the tallest level of the jungle gym and I had rocks of sand stuck in between my toes. He spoke about things and I listened. I stayed quiet out of shyness; the nodding of my head became the common reaction to his words. 'I've noticed that anything someone says to you goes in one ear and comes out the other.' I'd found that to be incredibly impudent of him to say; it wasn't spot on, but I really didn't feel like denying it. After all, I knew that I listened to people when they spoke to me; he was just being an asshole. It's not like anyone had ever really had anything of such a great importance to say. I suppose I just tried not to let things get to me, a form of self-protection. But the next time he opened his mouth I was justly left feeling utterly speechless in both mind and body. My ears felt like the insides had been burnt and I hadn't any idea how to react. 'I really like you.' I turned my head away from him and pretended like I didn't hear, but he saw the way my face was flushing bright red.

'Your nose is freezing!' I smiled. My face was buried in his neck and my eyelids were shut. All I heard was the tap of his empty beer bottle being placed beside his lap and the rush of the cars on the boulevard. I was cold. I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want him to ridicule me. 'You're not cold; you're just looking for an excuse to whine.' My mom would always say that to me; she was bitter. I was expecting the same sort of response, but instead I was introduced to the feeling of his arms wrapping around my shoulders, pulling me closer to him. He pressed his mouth against my neck, exhaling his breath purposely onto my skin and suddenly everything felt warm. Very few people get to experience what it is to feel as if you've swallowed a blanket whole, (the pink and fluffy kind.)

The following week I was at work, stocking shelves. Unwrap it, shelf it, unwrap it, shelf it. I couldn't say that anything exciting ever happened at dollar stores. The number one song on the charts lingered in the air, then the intercom asking 'Vanessa, come to the front please, Vanessa.' My mind felt knotted. Regretful words kept playing over and over again in my mind. I hadn't meant to tell him that I didn't want to be with him; I just didn't want to feel like I was getting in the way of him and his ex-girlfriend's confusing and exhausting relationship. In all honesty, I'd wanted nothing more than to be able to stop my mind from thinking for just five minutes. Suddenly, a new, yet somewhat familiar sound; a jingle, a pair of keys that hung from the belt loop on his pants; I would know that melody anywhere. I saw a blur of colors dash by the aisle I was standing in. A moment later, he appeared at the opening. 'I know you hate me and everything, but I missed you too much and I just really think that you are the peanut butter to my jelly, more than anyone,' he said, smiling sheepishly at me. I didn't walk towards him because my knees felt so weak that if I tried to move them, I was scared they would break. He bit his lip and we were both silent for a good five minutes. I choked out a laugh, and relief washed over his features. He then walked over to me and wiped the tears from my cheeks with the palms of his hands.

My bum felt squashed on the concrete outside of my best friend's house. I could feel the grainy imprint it was making on my skin, but I didn't care because his head was in my lap. 'Jess, you have a boog.' All I could do was laugh like an idiot and wipe my nose. 'No, it's really far in, you didn't get it. It's huge; I'm surprised you can even breathe.' Before I could do anything, his finger was in my nose, rummaging around. It emerged, clean, but he stuck his face under mine and peered up my nostril. 'Good, it's clean. Now, let's test your nose.' He brought my face to his chest. 'What do you smell?' Cigarettes, laundry, deodorant, wool…but all that came out was 'froth.'

My favorite hat seemed to find his way to his head a lot. He used to tell me that I looked like Smurfette with it on, because it drooped in a funny way, since it was so old and worn. I was wearing it one night when we were in the parking lot to the local Hot Dog Station with a few friends. He grabbed it from my head and started running away from the crowd, so naturally, I ran after him. Once I caught up to him, I demanded he give it back because I really didn't suit hat hair. But he was insistent.'If you keep wearing it, we can't use our telepathic abilities.' I told him to stop being ridiculous and to give me back my hat. He pouted, and then I told him to stop acting like a child. I persisted until he dropped my hat and placed his hands on either side of my face and brought it inches away from his. He gave me a very serious look and said: 'I want to be in your head all the time; I want to live in there.' I couldn't do anything but smile, because what he didn't know was that he already filled me up to the tips of my toes. Now he had me blindfolded in my kitchen with an old rag he'd found in my room. He'd laid out four bowls of unknown substances on the table. We'd often find unusual ways to entertain ourselves on Monday nights. I listened as he took out a spoon from a drawer and dip it into one of the bowls. He put it in my mouth, placing his hand considerately under my chin so that none would dribble. It was sweet and sticky; honey. The next was saline and granular, so it had to be salt. The third spoon was difficult; it was spicy and runny, so I guessed tobasco sauce. The fourth spoon was sour, so I assumed it to be lemon juice, though it was lime. Finally he cleared his throat and I sat silently, waiting for the fifth spoon. A few minutes passed and then I felt something wet and soft pressed against my mouth; his lips. I couldn't decide between tastes so I just let it linger.

I enjoyed waking up wrapped in white sheets and his arms. It was morning, and with it came the ruckus of cars and birds and people rushing to work, so I got up, shut the window, and crawled back into my favorite place. He seemed to be still asleep and his breath against my cheek sounded like a breeze. Now, everything was still in the house; I could practically feel the blood running though his veins. I rested my head on him, pressed my ear against his chest and closed my eyes. I slipped my hand into his and he gave it a gentle squeeze. I stayed like this for awhile, paying close attention to the rhythm of his heartbeat and the other awkward noises his body was making, and finally I could breath. 'What's he saying?' I looked up, startled. What was who saying? I had no idea what he was talking about. 'My heart,' he explained. 'What is it saying to you?' I was confused. He sat up a bit and pushed a few folds of covers off of his body. He then put his ear to my breast and was quiet. When he lifted his head up again, he gave me a knowing smile. 'Like yours, for example,' he explained, 'it beats my name.'