Friday, May 22, 2009


I was fixing my room when I found an old notebook I used in college. As I was leafing through the pages, I noticed a story that I forgot about. It was one of the last things I wrote before my literary juices dried out. I was in the middle of Janet Fitch’s White Oleander when I suddenly felt inspired to write a little story. I wrote it hurriedly so my penmanship is barely legible and I noticed an apparent need for more punctuation marks. I did my best to understand what exactly I was saying and with a few minor edits, I think it’s finally ready for an online debut.

From a distance, I stared at him. He was dragging on a cigarette, naked as the day he was born as beads of sweat glistened on his brow.

Can he even see me with my clothes on? I began to wonder. Maybe this was it. This was all I was going to get. He seems so different when it’s like this- when I have him all to myself- when we don’t have to think about the people who lack the logic to comprehend our love.

It was an agreement I did not agree with, like absentmindedly scratching the scab off a healing wound, revealing the flesh yet again. He said, nay insisted that this could never see the light of day.

“Our little secret.” he said.

At school, I watched the prepubescent girls follow him, eating nothing so they could shed their bones.

“Where were you last night? I called you like fifty times!” they shrilled in monotonous voices. Even their voices could not hide their intelligence (or lack thereof). I listened as he told them he fell asleep watching his sick father. Funny, seeing as it was I who fell into slumber in his arms last night.

How would these girls even know how to touch him? Did they know how he grew with lust when I kiss the small of his back? Or how his eyes would burn with passion when I take him from behind? No, for it was a secret. “Our little secret.”

I listened as the girls retold his story to each other. It was the same story, told twice simultaneously, each one giving or taking a detail as she pleased. It was like the sea rearranging the sand with each wave, I could feel the weight of his gaze at the back of my neck, causing the tiny hairs to rise. I turned to face him and watched him act like he saw nothing. I looked down and saw I still had my clothes on. He could not see me with my clothes on.

That night, I listened as he climbed up my window. He propped it up, lit a cigarette and I could feel my gut wrenching at the sight of him. He put his hand on my waist. I closed me eyes and let him take me. There, beneath the pale moonlight, I knew my body has started reclaiming its rightful place.

Yes, he only sees me with my clothes off but it was better than him not seeing me at all.

“Do you love me?” he whispered to no one at all and I began to wonder if this was all there would ever be.

Rachael Yamagata
What If I Leave
Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart