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Patchwork This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

It was a patchwork blanket. Just a sheet of fabric, torn and sewn and stitched a hundred times, then folded up and tossed over a chair in the corner of the world.

Before I met you, my front yard was dull. I know, it sounds weird. But the trees were dead and the roses were dry and the fingers of winter were still dragging through the mulch. You hadn't come yet to drape silly string all over the garden and the sidewalk, or to shower the driveway in a thousand sharp pieces of glass. You hadn't come yet, and my front yard looked tired. It didn't look like Spiderman had thrown up on it yet, and my feet didn't sting when I walked out to my car.

Before you sat next to me and gave me a pencil you did not borrow, the blanket was wrinkled and torn. A boy had wrapped it around his body like a cape, calling himself Superman, and then had changed his mind and torn a patch out – the patch of fabric that looked like my Halloween costume and smelled like him – and he tossed the blanket aside.

I asked you once if you were sick of me. You laughed. Silly me, for thinking that after five days of my face, you might want to look at someone else's. Silly me, for thinking that you would tell me even if you did. But you smiled and said you didn't think it was possible to get sick of me, and swore that you never thought you would. I appreciated that you thought I would believe that. To me, it was only a matter of time.

Before you told me I was, I never thought of myself as complicated. I thought I was simple, unoriginal, and predictable, like every other book on the shelf. But you said you liked my pages and that my words kept you on your toes. I'd told you once that you liked complicated things, and you told me that was why you liked me.

When you first held my hand, you picked the patchwork blanket up off the floor. It was cold between your fingers, but I hope it felt soft. You studied every square of fabric, quilted into a forgotten masterpiece, and memorized every wrinkle and tear. And I loved you right then, when I was wrapped around your fingers.

You asked me once if someone had gotten sick of me before. I thought of the boy who called himself Superman, and the others before him who had tugged on my strings until patches of me had come loose. I couldn't explain it to you, even though it would feel good to have you understand. But you understood just fine anyway, and you traced shapes on my skin with your fingertips. You pressed your lips to my forehead and said, “Well, I'll just have to show you how much I like you.”

When you came into my room that night, you saw the blanket on the floor. You picked it up and sat beside me, draping the quilt across our bodies. You held me against you beneath the broken and repaired pieces of fabric, all sewn together to keep us warm. You liked that blanket, every tatter and tear, and so I gave it to you. You took it with you, and I hope it kept you warm. I hope you breathed in the smell of me that clung to it.

It was just a patchwork blanket. But in your hands, it didn't look as battered. You sewed the tears closed and cut off the loose strings. You patched on new fabric where pieces were missing, and you made the blanket whole and new.

I was just a patchwork blanket, forgotten and tossed over some chair in the corner of the world.

And then I met you.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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blueskies21 said...
Feb. 2, 2012 at 5:50 pm
When I saw that this new issue was the love issue, I didn't expect to actually be moved by any of the stories, but yours did just that. The beautiful comparison between yourself and a patchwork quilt is so lovely. You take a commonly used metaphor and transform it into something original. It's so true- we are all patchwork quilts, with people ripping, crumpling, and sewing us back up. Thank you so much for this piece. It will always be one of my favorites.
be_lie_ve said...
Jun. 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm
brilliant, a little confusing at times, but I love it by the end!
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