The Ocean Was Lucky To Have You

September 30, 2010
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The two of them sit on the pavement in their summer clothes and summer skin. One drawing circles in a puddle with a severed piece of a tree. The other lies on her back beneath the dropping sun; smoking a light cigarette, making a little “o” with her mouth, trying to blow smoke rings. “I wish you wouldn’t do that,” he said. “Why not?” she asked, breathing a puff of smoke in to his face. She liked to imagine he forgave her flaws: she wasn’t pretty, she cried over silly things, laughed at important things, drank too much, and liked to tell the same tired stories over and over again. But the problem was, her flaws weren’t lovable like his: he bit his nails until they were barely present, and if his lips didn’t hurt to the touch- they were bloodied or scabbed from having been picked raw by fidgeting, nervous hands. She actually fancied repeating his flaws in her head, whether it be over a cup of lukewarm ginger tea, or while admiring how the front lawn of house 46 was sprinkled with dandelions that contrasted a bright yellow against the deep green (she often wondered what kind of people lived there, if they didn’t have the heart to pluck such a pretty weed, or if they were simply lazy people).

When he was five he watched his mother die from loneliness, and he often thought that this would be the girl with the cigarette’s destiny too. Under her mattress in a spot she probably forgot existed, there was a picture of a man with skin the color of sand, burnt hair, and eyes so dark- his irises looked like little black holes strategically placed in his head. And he didn’t know why he looked under her mattress, but he thinks it had to do with the letter he found underneath his mother’s mattress after she died, and how he couldn’t really read it until three years later. He didn’t understand how people died of loneliness, because it wasn’t a real disease, and people who are lonely forget they are never really alone. But sometimes people who aren’t lonely forget they are never really alone too, like the time he saw two lovers in a car and they were doing things he didn’t have the liberty to talk about, because they thought they were alone, but he saw them anyway.

She liked to tell about how a riptide once kidnapped her, and how she could breathe underwater and this made her mother believe in God, and it made her wonder why even the sea didn’t even want her. The stories she told usually bothered him, the way her cigarettes bothered him, and the way her drinking habits bothered him, but he liked this one, because it made him believe in God, too, and perhaps if he kept her here, someone such as himself might want her. But really, he had no time for her, because she cried too much, and laughed at things that he didn’t understand, or maybe it was just because she reminded him of his mother: who died of loneliness, which is not even a real disease. “The funny part is, I usually feel like I’m drowning here, on rooted ground,” she told him, dropping the pack of cigarettes in the puddle.





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BlackHoleHighAlumni This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 9, 2010 at 9:44 am
Honestly (and don't think this is weird) but it reminded me of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Mainly the dialogue. I can't really pinpoint what about the dialogue reminded me of it, but it did. Great story!! :)
 
GingerTea This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm
I'm not really sure if that's good or bad, but thank you for the most part.
 
BlackHoleHighAlumni This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 9, 2010 at 6:35 pm
It's a good thing! I love Alice in Wonderland! :)
 
GingerTea This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 10, 2010 at 10:32 am
Oh, then thank you very much. You made my morning.
 
thepreachyteenager said...
Oct. 3, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Ok, so in the last paragraph things got pretty confusing with all of the 'he's and 'she's, and becaus ethere were two 'she's in the story I got confused about what happened to whom.  Also, I though in this sentence, "smoking a light cigarette, making a little “o” with her mouth, trying to blow smoke rings." you might want to change 'light' to 'lit'.

Other than those things, I really enjoyed this story.  The title was very good and forfilling of this story, too.&nb... (more »)

 
GingerTea This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 3, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Thanks for the constructive criticism. I appreciate it. But for the thing about "light cigarettes" she was smoking a light cigarette- as in that is the type of cigarette she was smoking. I think it would be pretty redundant to say "smoking a lit cigarette."

I'll go read your story now. [:

 
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