CJ Melroy 2019

Story:     "The Girl Sabotaged by Those She Trusted"

Poem:    "A Monster Masked as a Boy"

Poem:    "Skipping Record"

After "Belief in Magic"




months ago, he messaged me on instagram, both of us hesitant to start over, and left us with this aftermath.


     We sit underneath the wide expanse of night sky. We are planets creating an intricate solar system as we sit in the bed of his run-down Chevy. Stars illuminate the back road we’re parked on, offering him enough light to roam my body in amazement. For the first time in what feels like forever, I do not shy away from the adoration gleaming in his hazel eyes.

     His shoulder is sturdy underneath my head and his hands encase mine with warmth. The crickets delicately sing around us, a light breeze carrying their tune. It is here where I feel the most at home; my world is beside me and the space around us is serene.

     There is so much I would like to say to this boy aloud. I want to share his milky-way smile and constellation heart with the people around me, let everyone know he is the brightest star shining in my sky. I know he would scoff at me if I tried. He would give me his smile, explain that he is merely the moon; he borrows some of my shine to make himself shimmer. I roll my eyes. He already knows that he is right.

     His body rises as he takes a deep breath, shifting himself so his eyes can connect with mine. I am taken aback by the fondness that has filled his eyes; something accompanied only by tears. My heart jumps as my mind races with ‘what if’s. It takes a moment to stifle my anxieties. Instead of questioning him, I move one of my hands and gently caress his cheek, allowing a soft smile to pull at my lips.

     “I love you so much.” His hand moves to gently curl around my wrist, “I love every single atom that has ever been so lucky to be a part of you. You are the person I prayed for, the one thing that I’ve always needed. I know that you are my forever.”

     I’m not sure when my eyes started watering. I know that the tears come because of the meteorite emotions slamming into my chest. They aren’t from sadness, perhaps happiness - but definitely from relief. He pulls me into his lap. I relax into his secure hold, my eyes fluttering shut. The hesitancy at our beginning wasn’t necessary. Our souls radiate brighter than any supernova when we are together.

     We weren’t always transmitting a beacon this bright. Once, we were decaying satellites. Abandoned by past owners; people who cried about how much they loved us while tearing us apart, panel by panel. We collided by chance, slowly learning how to fix the other as we elected to move forward in our new orbit. We seared our broken bits together, allowing the other to find our places back in the glorious sheet of sky.

     Our deterioration began with each other. We were asteroids hurtling towards Earth; dented bodies from space that were more chaos than human. This was years ago - in times when we were acquainted with the swirling darkness inside of our minds. This was when we hardly cared about who was scorched in our path, when I was a nuclear bomb set on destruction. In my attempt to spare him from the blast, I seared a scar across that constellation heart he had so willingly given me; self-destructing, floating in my own space.

     I tried to find his light in other stars, tried to see if I could fall into another orbit as easily as I had dropped into his. Through galaxy girls and blackhole boys, I eventually learned how to glow on my own. I taught myself to stop staring at other luminosities, to cultivate the raging inferno inside my core. But I still yearned for the radiant being I had left behind. In time, I found him charging back into my trajectory.

     It is hard to stay by one object in space when you are untethered. It is more difficult still to navigate the infinite sky without mission control. But is it possible to escape planetary bodies slated for collision?


the girl sabotaged by those she trusted


     You can see bits and pieces of her damage standing out against her fair skin; deep scars hidden underneath clothing, telling stories upon stories of hindrances and obstacles that she had been forced to endure. Life hasn’t been easy on her poor soul; but she learned quickly to trade the heart on her sleeve for a strong shield - she learned how to shove things down, to act like the damaging things did not ruin her, to hide the chaos that ran rampant through her skull.

     The truth about her is that her real damage does not lie in the rivets in her fair skin - it lies inside of her, coursing through the veins that hold every red blood cell that they can. It lies in the hurricane of her mind, the dumping ground of her emotions, and mangled puzzle pieces of her heart. Cracks and defacements reside beneath her skin; marks left behind from erosion. She is the Grand Canyon: slowly washing away to reveal an enchanting chasm.


A monster masked as a boy


I am terrified to tell this story,

About a monster masked as a boy,

Who held words so sweet,

I couldn’t feel the poison.


The thing I am talking about,

Hid behind glistening brown hair and shining caramel eyes,

Bright smiles handed out to everyone he saw,

He seemed to have a gentle hand.


Before he changed,

He fed me words sweet as honey,

I leapt at the chance to become the bee,

My only desire to spin out delightful concoctions.


The mask that he wore stayed on for quite a while,

Long enough for me to fall in love with him,

And while I was busy feeling things for his masquerade,

He had entangled me in a web of lies.


When we got into our first fight,

I should have seen the poison seeping into my veins,

But I was too focused on his tight grip around my biceps,

The words spewing out of his mouth.


He accused me of cheating.

Because this girl neither of us talked to,

Told him I had gotten too friendly with one of my male friends.


I took every punch his words offered,

Of course, it was my fault,

If I had been better,

More careful,

More aware,

It wouldn’t have happened.


The arguments became constant,

It was hard to keep the bruises a secret.

There was only so much concealing I could do before people started asking questions,

I somehow convinced them I was just getting clumsy.


I figured things would go back to normal if I just kept quiet,

If I agreed with everything he said, went out of my way to please him,

I thought maybe he was struggling with validation, that it was my fault for not seeing it,

I tried harder.


I didn’t realize how deranged he was becoming,

Until I found his hands clamped around my throat,

I said something wrong, set him off,

Convinced myself it really was my fault.

I told myself it was okay when his grip loosened and his mouth was on mine.


When he pulled back, I gave him the brightest smile I could muster,

I could still feel his palms wrapped around the small of my body,

He seemed to accept this as an apology,

For stepping out of line.


It’s really hard to hide when your neck is sore,

There weren’t any bruises, but I could barely turn my head,

My voice was scratchy, and it hurt to breathe.

While my neck eventually got better,

My breathing did not,

Because I finally noticed I had been imprisoned in disaster.


He must’ve finally gotten bored, using me as his punching bag,

Because he left me after almost two years together,

I cried when he did,

Because I was so, so relieved.


There is a part of me then who was convinced that,

If I had done better, had been better,

He wouldn’t have left me, and our relationship could have been mended.


A year after he left, I realized that he was a monster,

That I had the audacity to call by a human name.


Skipping record


I have a hard time staying on track when you’re not near me, you’re the glue that really holds me together, that holds my brain —

Starts thinking one thing and then it —

Flipping off my bed isn’t really a smart idea and I think —

I really need to run to the store, my house is running out of —

Ice cream is my favorite dessert and I love —

When your hand is gently grasping mine, fingers quietly laced together. I like it because my thoughts compose themselves into longer sentences but the moment that you let go —

I am falling from a cliff and the water —

Is so blue and beautiful, the waves are relaxing me and —

You are so handsome today, I don’t know anyone who could really —

Be as amazing as you, you —

Are so funny! I love your jokes and —

I wish my dad would keep talking to me, he distracts me from —

You’re hugging me and I love the feeling of your arms around me, you are my anchor amidst a storm and you really make it easier to navigate, you must be —

Leaving to go home and my brain —

Have you ever seen a hamster running on his wheel at night? I feel like my —

One true dream is to be happy and it’s hard when —

The world is a tricky place and I’m learning —

How to sail! I love the lake and it’s the best place —

To take a breath before the word —

Keep going, keep swimming, trudge on, let the world —

Passing by you in the hallways makes me beam and for a split second my thoughts manage to convene again but then you disappear into the sea of people and —

I hate crowds, people have always been horrible and I really just want to go —

Home is what being in your arms feels like; secure, safe, and protected - it is warm and happy but you always have to let —

Going on trips is really fun and I don’t mind being on the road —

My work really bothers me, I always get really scared that I’m going to —

Veer into a new train of thought, this path never —

Stop leaving me alone, please, I wish you didn’t have to go home, can we please just move in with each other? Our lives would be way less hectic with you always here and I feel like you —

Miss out on ending your days with me I wish —

That you will like my skipping thoughts and  —

I love you and I know that you’ll be okay with my thoughts because you’re still holding me after talking to me about all of this but now it has to —

Ending my day by curling up alone isn’t easy and —

I wish you could be here.