Breaking Silence

Untitled excerpt III

I think he knew,” I say eventually. “It just didn’t matter enough for him to care.”

I could feel her eyes on me, though mine remained fixed on the old oak tree which had turned the most beautiful shades of red and orange since my last visit.

“There is nothing you can do if someone does not care,” she says to me, “you can only teach yourself to not care more.”

Easier said then done.

“I have this overwhelming urge to be reckless. And I think I could run away; I could start over somewhere new, and never look back-not once.”

I smiled at that thought. I would dye my hair lavender, or some other incongruous hair color, and call myself Layla. I’ve always liked that name. I would pack my toothbrush and a bag full of cash and go someplace far away from here.

She was quiet, like she usually was when she knew I was deep in thought. She always hoped I would share those thoughts with her. Sometimes I did.

“What does it say about me that I can run away so easily? What does it say about what I am leaving behind?”


Untitled II

“But actually, you know exactly how it goes. You know exactly what your life looks like later. ‘Cause you are a fighter and you still believe in hope, even if you want to give up.”

“It’s a cycle I can’t seem to break. And I’m not sure which is worse; new scars that are so incredibly painful, or old ones that should have healed long ago but never did. My happiness is dependent on my ability to ignore the two. Otherwise sadness will hit me like a bullet in the back. And my only friends at 3am are the demons inside my head telling me the pain could end. That I could stop the cycle.”

It works like this:

He makes you laugh and he makes you cry and somewhere along the way your tears drown out your happiness. He pushes you against the wall and you mistake it for passion, and you apologize for overreacting when his nails leave marks on your skin. He takes your hand and swears he loves you, and you believe him even though something screams at you to run. And with his hands around your throat you swear this can’t be right. But he caresses your hair and suddenly you could listen to his lies forever.
You break yourself into pieces to make him fit, until one day you catch a glimpse of your reflection and no longer recognize yourself. You realize he shouldn’t be trying to subdue the glow in your eyes and the fire in your heart. And the day you leave, your ribs will finally begin to heal. His hand prints will slowly disappear until you swear they were never there at all. And the broken pieces you so selflessly gave will be returned to you, the rightful owner.


emma thorn

“We could run away,” he whispers, his voice like a lullaby as she drifts to sleep. “Where would we go?” She says with eyes closed.

“The destination’s not important. We could explore the mountains of Wales with nothing but our backpacks on. Or drink wine atop the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Or learn how to surf in the crystal clear waters of Hawaii.”

And she thought then, perhaps this boy, whose touch was so gentle you’d swear you were a delicate antique, and whose actions said more than words ever could; perhaps this boy was everything she never knew she wanted. What she needed.

She thought about what music he’d be listening to ten years down the road. Will he have seen their favorite band in concert by then? She wondered how he’d kiss in thirty years’ time; if it would be passionate and reckless like it is now or more deliberate, more sure. She wondered about his hair- so dark and thick- how time would begin to show at his roots. Would he mind the grey?

And she wondered who he would love after her. Who he would fall asleep next to every night, with a sweet kiss on the lips, or cheek. She wondered if he would be happy; but mostly, she wondered if he would wonder about her.

“Here you are right next to me, yet I’m missing you already,” She says, her words so honest it stuns him to silence, “Promise you’ll see me in that garden of wildflowers on your hike through the mountains. Promise you’ll taste me in that first sip of wine in Paris, and it will remind you of our first kiss. Promise you’ll feel me in the warmth of the sun of whatever beautiful beach you end up resting on.”

“Not tonight,” his voice stern, yet broken. Here he held a ticking time bomb, a fragile antique that could break at the lightest touch. Yet he never felt safer than when he was holding her in his arms.

And that’s the worst part, isn’t it? Loving something with the power to destroy you.

Your New Love Won’t Be The Same As Your Last

Thought Catalog

Flickr / Simon PowellFlickr / Simon Powell

There was a time you were fortunate enough to have opened your heart completely to someone. Days were spent laughing at inside jokes, fingers intertwined as you walked down the street to your favorite lunch spot, his dark brown eyes like a portal to a place only you knew about. Nights wrapped up in his arms, tracing maps on his chest of where you two would visit someday; falling asleep dreaming of that “someday.”

He didn’t need to break down your walls; you never built them in the first place. He studied you like a work of art; the brush strokes of your hair, the way it effortlessly curled around your ear he’d nibble on. The hues of pink that flushed your cheeks every time he called you beautiful. You were on full display, exposed, but never self-conscious. So extraordinary, loving someone who loves you back…

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An Open Letter to My Rapist (Three Years Later)

To my rapist,

I wonder how many other girls could begin a letter to you with that opening. Here I am saying my rapist, as if I own you. It took me an entire year to even allow that word to escape my lips. It was you who owned me. My body that night, and my mind for so long after.

Do you remember that night? I’ll admit, there was a time I couldn’t recall every little detail. It’s amazing what the human brain is capable of, what it will do to try and retain a smidge of sanity. I spent months attempting to numb myself, to drink away your memory. God, I wanted to forget so badly.

I couldn’t forget though. Sure my brain originally spared me the harsh details of your depravity, but you can’t keep secrets from yourself-not for long. The rest of the world however; they could never find out. This was, after all, my fault. Wasn’t it?

I wonder what you would say if I told you about the night I overdosed on sleeping pills. How I had driven myself mad with self-blame, with racing thoughts and vivid nightmares; that I no longer wanted to live. Would you care? Would you feel remorse? Would you feel anything at all?

The good thing about a failed suicide attempt (you know, besides the fact that it failed) is that it forces you to make a decision. Up or down, sink or swim, live or die. I knew if I was going to remain on this planet, the band aids I had used to cover my scars would need to be ripped open; the wounds cut deeper with every submission to my memory. I would have to see your face, be back in that room. Smell the alcohol on your breath and feel your hands on my thighs. First gentle, then forceful as I resisted your touch. I would need to hear the moans from the porno playing on the TV in the background, my phone ringing across the room out of reach, your voice. That tone in your voice as you said, “Don’t be shy” right before you held me down.

That was three years ago.

They say time heals all wounds but I disagree; eventually as time passes you just accept them. You stop trying to hide them. You realize living with scars is better than not living at all.

And while you took a lot from me that night, it is my spirit that will remain untouched by your execrable hands.

I choose to believe there is good in the world, despite people like you who try to prove otherwise.


Your victim no more

4 Reasons Why You Should Date Your Opposite

Thought Catalog

Shutterstock / oneinchpunchShutterstock / oneinchpunch

He was a morning person; she wouldn’t get out of bed before noon. He liked the cold; she’d rather be laying on the beach someplace tropical. He was an NSYNC fan, she preferred Backstreet Boys. You get the idea. On paper these two would not be caught dead at the same boy band concert, let alone take the plunge into relationship territory.

What did N’SNYC and your relationship have in common? You both broke up. I’ll even go as far to tell you why. Too similar is not good. While we can be thankful for that sometimes, i.e. Justin Timberlake’s solo career, it’s likely you won’t see the silver lining of your split. Mostly because of those damn rosy colored glasses we always seem to put on. Trust me, there is a reason you two didn’t last. The problem: not enough differences. While every relationship needs some…

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