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The wind sings. It sings songs of honest reflection and blissful solitude. The willow’s weeping creates rhythm and depth. Harmonies are derived from the intermittent sway of the flower petals. A smile grace my face as my mind rolls on with the tune swirling and winding its way around my body’s meek frame. The scent of pollen and car exhaust dances around my nostrils as I enter the outer limits of the city. In that instant, I realize how much better I feel. The past few weeks have been hell, but I feel like moving on. My positive attitude is echoed by my peppy disposition. New clothes, a new haircut, and a new home. I know exactly where I’m headed this time.
The air around my head is damp. My throat clenches up at the first utterance of his name. The blue in my iris grows tainted and fades into a pale charcoal. The heat caresses my cheeks and winds it’s way around the length of my body. Darkness lurches in. The scent of burning hay and turpentine filled the cavity in my chest and engorged itself upon the oxygen I was saving. I hear a hymn of desperation and beauty. Collapse.
I wake to my hands clenched on the tope sheets I had just purchased earlier. The tears from my eyes still dampen the matching pillowcase. Release. That night still haunts me to this day.
Morning creeps its way into my blinds. The light skips among the particles of undetectable dust that inhabit my apartment. The radiance and warmth encompasses my limp body. I rise finally and step into the shower. Rushes of water hum in my ears as I begin to focus my vision. I hate the reoccurring thoughts. I slip on clothes and step out of my door onto the cold pavement. The leaves slide across the street like a bow on the gentle strings of a violin. People pass by me at speeds comparable to a Beethoven concerto. I breathe in. The air is subtle and refreshing. I think about the past in a way that makes me wish I could toss the contents of my memories into the nearest garbage can.
The coffeehouse’s atmosphere snaps me out of my coma like mindset. The fragrant aroma entices my cravings. I order a small, black coffee and set myself down in the cushioned seat of the corner booth. The mix of reds, deep browns, and pale greens that cover the walls in intricate spirals and splashes seem to calm my shot nerves. I focus on the metronome of conversations that pack the room. Voices alter pitch in lieu of emphasis. My reflection shakes and twists in the surface of my coffee mug.
Across the room, I notice a guy, impeccably dressed in fact, twirling a stirring stick through his cappuccino. A quick glance up and my eyes are darting in the opposite direction. I know he spotted me. I look at the wall and trace the patterns with my eyes. The curves dip and turn like treble and bass clefs intertwined. I attempt another peak but find the subject of my stare has shifted. Now, he is walking towards me through the gaps between chairs that are scrambled over the floor. Nerves kick in.
“Hello, stranger.” His voice was raspy and full of honest intentions.
“Hi. I’m Geoff.”
“Geoff. Hmm, that’s a nice name. I’m Adrian.”
Simple conversation and sincere smiles dominate the hour-long conversation. Numbers exchanged and cups emptied, I slowly stroll away from the distinct smell of coffee and croissants. I smile. It’s weird to finally feel happy about something again. After making my way back to my cramped, unorganized apartment, I slump on the couch and replay the whole scenario in my head. The soundtrack consisting of faint percussion and inconspicuous string ensembles wisps through the gentle breeze. That smile still lingers on the canvas of my face. The life I’m forming seems to triumph over the darkness of my past. I am happy here.
I reach the glittering handle of my new home and breathe in. Warmth presses against my cheeks. I step towards the counter, placing my keys on the small table near the front door and my scarf on the back of the worn sofa, and head towards my answering machine. One new message. “My mother,” I thought to myself as I carelessly tapped the play switch with my fingertip. As I toyed with the idea of a slight nap before my shift at the grocery down the block, the entire world’s rotation seemed to stop. His voice radiated from the speaker and stung my eardrums similar to a poorly tuned guitar. It resonated there until I lost all composure. The tears poured from my face like a symphony spills from the orchestra. The emotion overwhelmed me.
The beeps from the scanner create a twitch in my body. Tonight is going to be one that I could do without. A familiar voice graces me ear and tightly draws me in. Adrian was standing there in all his beautiful glory. A wide smile parades its way from his face into my heart. Focusing so hard on him, I pay no attention to the cans of peas and frozen entrees that stack the conveyer. A small casual conversation snaps me back into reality. I ring up his items and smile as he walks off. The feelings I had earlier fade into butterflies and cosmic explosions. I am happy once again.
I crawled into bed after my shift had ended and snuggled up to the soft down pillows I had purchased. Nothing but a smile and soft breeze covered me that evening. A gentle lullaby floated throughout the midnight sky into the cracks of my window. I hum along and drift into the first nightmare free sleep I had since the night of my incident. I drifted into a peaceful sleep resembling the smooth jazz melody that echoed in from a few apartments down.