Zoey Klein 2015

Poem:     "Gravel"

Poem:     "Fly"

Story:      "Missing Her"

Story:     "The Story of How I Died"

Twitter Pieces


Gravel

 

Gravel. Little rocks,

a piercing enemy

to bare feet.

 

I’m full of memories,

not all remembered,

but all experienced.

 

Small cracks cover my face.

I am broken and dirty, yet

smooth and strong.

 

I am a piece of gravel,

always moving,

surrounded by others.

 

I erode with time,

dismissing old and

becoming new.

 

 

 

 

Fly

 

My mother’s dream of flying

was cut short by a rope.

 

I watched the wingless angel

that was once my mother.

 

She stared at me.

Her body hung from the rope.

 

 

 

 

Missing Her

 

     

     I cross the stage and receive my high school diploma. I look up to my dad in the bleachers, sitting by himself. Where is my mother? She promised me that she would be here. She made so many promises to me over the years that I should have known better than to trust her again.

 

     It’s more likely that she is in some back alleyway drinking until she blacks out, instead of being with her daughter during her high school graduation.

 

     Since she came back into my life, it’s been nothing but heartbreak and sadness. She told me things like; The only thing I want in life is to see my baby girl graduate. I was naive enough to believe her. I don’t even know why dad is still with her. She went off the rails when her sister passed of a heart attack a year ago. She had been doing so well for the past 6 months. We let her come stay with us after she got out of rehab. My mother and her sister were very close, which forced dad and I to become close as well. We would invite my aunt over to watch movies, go to the lake, have bonfires, and she would often take me shopping. While mom and dad were on the couch, my aunt and I would squish into the chair. She was a blast to have around. Often, when mom was away, dad, auntie and I would still do these things; although Dad did not seem to have near as much fun without Mom. Her sister passed exactly one year ago… today.

 

     For the next hour, people blur by giving me hugs and congratulating me. What’s there to congratulate? I made it through high school, but my mother is gone and I don’t know if she’s ever coming back.

 

 

     After the reception, we walk into our home to find my mother sitting on the couch.

 

     Dad starts to shout at her, but I can’t understand what he’s saying because relief has flooded my whole body. My mom’s ok. She’s ok and she’s here. No- she’s not ok, her heart is breaking. She’s all dressed up but looking disheveled at the same time; mascara is running down her face staining the rivers of tears black. Her shoes are covered in mud and her shirt is falling off of her shoulder. She went to her sister’s grave. I walk to her, sit beside her on the couch and  gently wrap my arms around her. I’m afraid a movement too harsh could break her. Her body begins to shake. She’s sobbing. I look at dad, who looks very confused. I mouth the word sister and his eyes widen. How could he forget?

 

     Tears begin to pour from Dad’s eyes, as well, and he shoots through the front door. He doesn’t say anything about where he is going.

 

     He returns several minutes later with eight yellow and red roses in his left hand. Those were the colors of their wedding. In his right hand, he holds mom’s wedding ring. She hasn’t worn it since she came back from rehab. She said that she wanted her husband to still have the choice to love her after she fell off the wagon. I didn’t know he was even considering giving it back; I thought he was done with her drama.

 

     When the door closes behind him, mom’s head snaps up. The sight of dad with the ring and roses sends her into another fit of hysteria. He walks toward the couch and sits on the other side of her.

“I want you to know that I never stopped loving you. You were always the one for me, and nothing you did could have changed my mind. Cindy, I love you. I always have and I always will. I know that this is a hard time for you. When you decide to come back to us, we’ll be here. Whether you want us here or not, we will not give up on you.” I don’t know when I started crying, but now I am the one with rivers carving paths in my makeup. Mom turns her body towards dad, head still hung low. I remove my arms, letting her turn completely. She looks at dad from under her eyelashes, takes the ring from his right hand and slips it on her finger like it never left.

 

 

 

 

The Story of How I Died

 

     I see a book: The Story of How I Died. The author is anonymous and the cover is blank. I reach for the book and my fingers touch air; it’s gone. I retract my hand and find the book, taunting me on the shelf once again.

 

     I jog to the front of the library to ask for help in retrieving a book. The librarian, Mary, follows me to where I saw the book. I ask her to grab it off of the shelf because I don’t want the dirt on my hands to ruin the beautiful, blank cover.

 

     She glances at me before removing the book from the shelf. A door opens; it’s about three feet wide and four feet tall. Mary doesn’t even blink when it reveals the doorway, like she’s done this a thousand times. I, however, am not used to this. I jump backwards and gasp so loud that I’m pretty sure the whole block just heard me. We duck inside and Mary flips a switch. The walls are covered in books; floor to ceiling. There are more books in this room than in the whole library. Mary puts the ghost book on the center of the table and takes two steps backwards. I do the same. The book opens itself and she gestures for me to sit in the only chair around the table. I do as she says.

 

     As soon as I sit, my head is slammed forward onto the table, and I blackout. I wake and sit up.

 

     I look around but I’m not in the library anymore. I’m in a living room, it’s the living room I’ve always wanted. There is a middle-aged couple sitting on the couch watching television and two toddlers wrestling on the floor. On the wall hangs a picture of me with a cute boy. It’s me with my… boyfriend? I don’t have a boyfriend. Why do they have that?

 

     None of the people seem to notice me standing in their living room. I walk across the room and stop in front of the TV. They don’t even blink at the movement. I look down at my body and, yes, I am still a whole person.

 

     Before too long, the woman gets up and says, “I’ll be back. I’m going to go get some food for dinner tonight, any recommendations?”

 

     The husband shrugs and the two children continue playing like she never said anything at all.

 

     “Braelyn? Darin?” she asks and the kids’ heads snap up to their mother. They shake their heads. “Fine. I’ll just choose something.” She walks, a little more stomp in her step than necessary, opens the door, and slams it shut behind her.

 

     I’m in the car with her, driving away. I’m not sure how I got here. She’s driving angrily; speeding through residential streets and blowing all stop signs, along with red lights. Someone is going to get hurt if she keeps driving like this! I shout at her to slow down and stop, but she can’t hear me. She’s approaching an intersection, but she either doesn’t see the semi truck, or thinks she can make the gap. She can’t. The semi slams the car in the side and it snaps in half like someone breaking a graham cracker.

 

     Suddenly I’m staring at a woman lying 25 feet from her car. She’s covered in blood because of the glass shards stuck in her body; like pins in a pin cushion. The truck driver gets out of his truck, seemingly unharmed, and calls 911.

 

     The ambulance and police arrive in minutes. Before I can react, they are covering her with a white cloth.

 

     I am transported back into the house and hear a phone ring. I watch my future husband get off the couch and answer the phone. His face turns a ghostly white, and he falls to his knees. The children are now coloring in a book. They don’t sense anything is wrong.

 

     “Kids, we have to go to the hospital.” he says. There are so many tears falling from his eyes that I know, in a couple of days, there will be no more left to spill.

 

     “There’s been an accident.”