These entries from May's challenge were selected as Honorable Mentions. Those who completed this challenge are now encouraged to share their stories in the comments section of the "May Writing Challenge."
The Girl with No Name
Once there was a girl who lived only in her mind. It was full of chaos, yet there was something about it that kept her coming back day after day. Her whole life she had a dream to steal the moon. What would people think of her? The girl who sat in the back row of history class taking the moon straight out of the sky. She wasn’t normal, but somehow she was able to trick her classmates. In her own way, she was the greatest actress of all time, never once forgetting a line. Sometimes keeping her true self from everyone else gave her a thrill like no other. It allowed her to fly. But sometimes hiding took a toll on her. She’s lucky; she could simply sail away in the boat she conjured up in her head. That’s the thing about her. She was always able to escape. She was always able to disappear when she saw herself in the mirror, leaving only an empty reflection. This girl was made up of secrets and surprises. If you knew everything about her, you would surely be in shock; perhaps you would even be jealous. Sometimes she would look out the window in her bedroom for hours, just taking in life. She thought about anything and everything. Next to her window, there was a dresser with too many empty and unused drawers. Why were they like that? No one but her will ever know. It’s one of her secrets. Her smile was rigid, and her breath was sharp. She was a dream and a nightmare wrapped into one and tied with a lovely satin bow.
Our Story and the Ocean
I still remember.
Our last summer night.
We had first met at the ocean under the pale glowing moon.
We were pure chaos. Young and in love.
I remember we would drink coffee by the shore. And you would talk to me about anything. But then your words would trail off. You would look at me with those eyes that matched the blue water surrounding us.
You would wrap your arms around me. I would rest my head on your chest and listen to our heartbeats until I didn’t know which one was yours and which was mine.
It’s like we became one person.
You made me laugh until I couldn’t catch my breath.
And we didn’t need the radio; the rigid waves were our music.
It was in those moments that we didn’t have to gaze at the stars.
We were the stars. Shining brightly in the night sky.
With you, it felt like we were in Neverland.
Kids forever, always chasing our next thrill.
However, our summer at the beach was only temporary.
On that last night, I said to you,
“Please don’t forget me.”
“I won’t. I already know you won’t forget me either.”
“How can you be so sure?” I had asked.
“Because you are a writer. You wouldn’t just forget a story like this.”
And he was right.
To this day, I still wait at my window as if I were waiting for Peter Pan.
I read the notes you would give me. I keep them all in my drawer.
I try to create plots for our story. Still to be written. I suppose what I am writing now counts as one of those plots.
Here I am, alone once more. Not that it shocks me.
I wait to return home to the sea.
There are just those places that have the ability to make you fall in love.
With thoughts and ideas. Moments and memories.
With people too.
The beach is that place for me.
When I am here, all my problems fade away.
And I fall in love.
With life, and with you.
You stole my heart away, just as the ocean did.
And will always continue to.
I guess I finally gathered the inspiration to write our story.
I mean, if I didn’t, then you wouldn’t be reading these words right now.
No one would be.
Crystal clear blue sky as far as the eye can see.
“I can think of at least 27 things that I could be doing right now that don’t involve lying in the dirt, being bored out of my mind,” he states.
“You actually counted?” I inquire.
“It’s that bad,” he confirms.
“You know, if you weren’t so focused on everything else, you might find cloud-watching to be a rather enjoyable activity.”
“Except for the fact that there are no clouds to watch, thus rendering our time here as wasted.”
Abner Mills is, in fact, the epitome of restlessness. He has numerous passions and views any moment that he isn’t pursuing them as unused.
His eyes meet mine, and I realize for the first time how like the sky they are. It’s almost as if they were stolen pieces of the clear, blue atmosphere.
“Alright,” he exhales, “I’m leaving with or without you.”
I chuckle and get to my feet.
“Woods” would be a generous term for the band of trees behind my house that Abner and I had just spent the past fifteen minutes in. “Barren grove” would be a more accurate description. Nonetheless, we decided to come out here to escape the chaos that’s inside. When I remember this, my pace slows, and Abner notices.
“Hey, Emmy!” He calls to me. “Want to go out for coffee?”
He walks backward down the trail as he awaits my answer. I offer him the largest smile I can manage.
“What a dumb question!” I respond before I race past him to his vehicle.
As we’re on the road to Cloud’s Coffee, Abner turns the radio down and asks if I want to talk about it. I answer no; I don’t want this day to be all about my parents.
“Well, I’m always here for you, Emmy,” he says.
“I know,” I affirm with a smile. “Thanks.”
I lean my head against the window and draw a heart in the fog created from my breath. “I’m always here for you” feels like our trademark statement. It’s probably why we’re still friends. I met Abner at summer camp; we bonded over the fact that our parents clearly sent us here so we wouldn’t hear their fighting. Three years later, Abner’s parents are living in separate houses and mine haven’t even filed for divorce. Although, don’t ask me what’s holding them up. I just want to see them happy again.
The ride back to my house is silent. I like to think it’s because we’re intent on finishing our coffees, but it isn’t that. When we pull into the driveway, I hesitate.
“Do you want me to come too?” Abner offers.
“I’ll be fine,” I decline.
He stares back at me for a moment. “Just remember—”
“—you’re always here for me,” I finish. “Same here.”
He gives a smile and reaches across me to open the passenger door.
I carefully proceed to my porch. Abner hasn’t pulled out of the driveway yet, so I wave to him before entering.
“WHERE ARE YOU GOING WITH THAT!?” My mother screeches. Suddenly, I hear the shattering of glass coming from their room. I know what it is from my mom’s next comment: “That mirror means nothing to me anymore. In fact, break all the wedding gifts you want!”
As I hurriedly ascend the staircase, I picture my mother’s rigid expression of contempt. More noise of broken furniture immediately follows, until the house falls ominously silent.
I sprint downstairs in search of the reason for their truce. In the family room I find my parents in
shock, staring at an unmoving figure lying beside the doorway. It’s Abner. I run to him and see that his forehead appears to have been busted by the picture frame that was thrown at it.
My parents fly into action. My mom dials 911 while my dad calls Abner’s parents. In this time, Abner’s eyes flutter open. They’re cloudy now.
“I heard things… breaking,” he explains. “I had to make sure… you were okay.”
I smile weakly through tears.
“The ambulance is on its way,” I tell him.
The moments afterward, when Abner was loaded into the ambulance, felt like a blur.
I still have my coat on from when Abner and I went out for coffee not long ago, so I slip my hands into the pockets. Inside one of them, I can feel a piece of paper. When I take it out to examine it, I find a note in Abner’s handwriting:
I’m always here for you.
He must have slipped this into my pocket when he reached across me in the car.
I stare out of the window. It’s cloudy outside now; not a patch of blue as far as the eye can see.