My Sanctuary

August 1, 2010
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I lean forward, farther and farther until I feel the desired burn in my leg and side. As I do, I think; it’s amazing the different sanctuaries people can have. My best friend loves her closet; the quiet, the dark, the way you can’t hear thunder during a storm.
I switch sides and lean forward again, the burn painful yet sweet.
Another friend loves an empty pool at night, the moonlight glinting off the water as it ripples, the way the water caresses her as she swims, the way she seems to disappear in the shadows.
I move, feeling that lovely burn in both legs now.
My mother loves the library, the peacefulness, the sound of turning pages, the knowledge that so many people put work and effort into the thousands of books, magazines, movies, and music surrounding her.
I stand and hear my name. Smiling, I turn to the boy about my age that wants me as his partner. A blonde girl glares at him for claiming me and chooses another girl to work with. It just makes him laugh.
I know my sanctuary is different in many ways, yet I can’t seem to imagine another.
We line up and receive short instruction. Then, we spread out in pairs so we have enough space. We shake hands, and stand ready.
I love the way the mirrors fog up on a cold day in winter.
Our cue manifests in the form of a powerful cry from the mouth of a man dressed in black.
I love the smiles of triumph when someone learns something new.
My partner and I circle each other, watching.
I love the way we look out for each other and cheer each other on.
Finally, I see an opening. I spring forward and execute a nice sidekick to his ribs. He blocks my follow-up jab, and I dodge his counter hook. A front snap kick is his next attack, and I block it. I see an opportunity for a takedown, but I know I can’t pull it off on him, and the moment passes.
I love the feeling of relief when something especially difficult is over.
Beside me, a little brunette girl manages to sweep a big raven-haired guy. He hits the mat loudly, and she is on him instantly. Across the room, two average-size men exchange blocks and strikes. Next to them, a tall brunette boy picks up a girl my size and carefully brings her down to the mat.
I love that there’s no such thing as an underdog.
My partner lands a few good punches and kicks, but so do I. He blocks a lot of punches and kicks, but so do I.
I love the cool feeling that passes over my skin when I step outside covered in sweat on a spring or autumn day.
I can feel the wall at my back. I try to move away, but he keeps me there with well-placed kicks. I can almost feel his eyes as they search for one hole in my defense.
I love the way size doesn’t matter.
Finally, I slip-up, and he sees it. He acts instantly and comes in quickly. He anticipates and blocks the knee I throw to his groin. Soon, he pins me to the wall. He presses against me, I can feel the heat, and I can barely move.
I love how there’s a way out of everything, if you’re creative enough to find it.
I do not have a chance to act on an opening I know is there. He catches me off guard by whispering in my ear, “I love you.”
Yeah, I think I love that, too.
With one swift, efficient motion, he flips me through the air. I hit the mat hard, breaking the fall by slapping the mat with my palms. In ten seconds flat, my boyfriend chokes me until I tap out, laughing.
Welcome to my sanctuary.
Welcome to the dojo.

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This article has 27 comments. Post your own now!

apocalyptigirl said...
Oct. 2, 2010 at 10:17 pm
Teehee. This reminds me of my friend, whose boyfriend, early in their dating relationship, got to see her kick some guy's as.s at Tae Kwon Do. :) I'm not sure I liked the paragraphing, though---too short and choppy sometimes makes it hard to follow (and it doesn't help that TI messed up the formatting...:P) Good job, though!
CallMeFelix replied...
Oct. 3, 2010 at 10:27 am
Yeah this is one of them I didn't format to fit TI before submitting lol thanks =)
Writer24 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 3, 2010 at 11:22 am
I really really like this piece. It's a good suprise ending, and I loved the description of the karate, I never knew so much about it! I don't know if you've thought about it, but even though it ends really well, have you thought about maybe making it a first chapter? I could see it going well as a longer story as well if you wanted that.
CallMeFelix replied...
Sept. 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm
I'm not really sure how I could do that...I'd have to brain-storm. A lot. And I'm in the middle of...much writing (to put it simply). I'll keep that in mind, though. Thanks for the feedback =)
JennaBeaSwimma said...
Sept. 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm
Wow this is great!  I love your writing style in this story.
CallMeFelix replied...
Sept. 1, 2010 at 8:27 pm
Thank you =) I appreciate feedback!
....! This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 31, 2010 at 10:06 am
I love the unexpected romance :)  The writing's really good - I can really feel all of the emotion, especially her love for her sanctuary.
CallMeFelix replied...
Aug. 31, 2010 at 12:02 pm
Thanks =) And I'm glad you could feel the emotion considering, well, I was writing the love for her sanctuary based on my love for my of my sanctuaries. Thanks again for the feedback! xD
Amiee said...
Aug. 31, 2010 at 9:54 am

wow, this is cool

i never knew wat karate was like before and this gave me an idea

i loved the ending>< unexcepted yet perfect

CallMeFelix replied...
Aug. 31, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Karate is soooooo much more than this piece says...though this grabs my love for it, it doesn't list all the reasons (like for some reason, I love it when I wake up the next day and every muscle hurts when I move. It's an awesome feeling). It does show a bit of what classes are like, though, so you're right there =)

Thanks for the feedback! xD (Though I disagree. I don't think the ending is perfect...just the best I could do.) Thanks again!

squidzinkpen said...
Aug. 23, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I like this. I like how personal it is and how vulnerable it feels. I mean, when people talk about where they're the safest they're at a weak point because it's just so private. I like it!

Quick correction:

"Soon, he pins me to the wall."

You don't need 'soon'.

Keep writing! I've read two of your stories, and they've both got an inchanting sense of innocence and vulnerability, which is a difficult thing for an author to have because they themselves are vulbe... (more »)

CallMeFelix replied...
Aug. 23, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Hahaha, thanks =) I'd love to repost this just to take out that one word for you, but I'd feel a little redundant doing that xP

Especially thanks for the vulnerability thing...I never realized I was doing that. It's a good thing to know. Thanks again!

A.Dreamer said...
Aug. 23, 2010 at 7:34 pm
You would not expect from the beginning that he'd say I love you or that he was her boyfriend. I like this, you're always wondering what's gonna happen next and I got hooked on it immediately. Good job! :)
mudpuppy said...
Aug. 23, 2010 at 11:25 am
Five out of five, that's all I  can say.
CallMeFelix replied...
Aug. 23, 2010 at 11:34 am
haha, thanks :)
chipsandguacamollie said...
Aug. 22, 2010 at 10:14 pm
This was really well written.  The imagery is great, and there's a lot of good description.  I really wasn't expecting the "I love you" part but I kind of liked the unexpected element of it.  It was cute, but original.  Well done.  
CallMeFelix replied...
Aug. 23, 2010 at 7:49 am
Thank you :)
thepreechyteenager said...
Aug. 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm
Was NOT expecting the I love you part, caught me totally off guard.  I liked your story very much but I thought the random "I love..." statements inturrupted your flow even though I see how they made sense in the end.
CallMeFelix replied...
Aug. 23, 2010 at 7:48 am
I was debating whether or not to put the "I love you" or just something about him whispering into her ear but I couldn't get the latter to make sense so I went with the "I love you" =) Thanks for the feedback
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 22, 2010 at 6:02 pm
I LOVE IT!!!! It is unpredictable, and real, and even funny!  I can totally relate to the character, great job. ~AsIAm
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