I lost track of how long I’d sat on the damp curb. Staring. Just staring.
The envelope looked so much less important than it was in my limp, quivering fingers. It amazed me how much power a processed strip of dead tree had over me, over my entire life, past, present, and future.
My dreams and hard work stared back at me in bold, purple letters, on the same plane as my own name, enticing me to look inside and behold what lie ahead.
I took a deep breath to catch the heart I felt leaping up from my chest. My numb fingers peeled up the flap. I took another breath to pull the fateful letter out.
Editor’s note: Matt read this short story to Mrs. Fryar’s 1st period class last week. The class erupted into uproarious applause and celebration. We re-enacted Matt’s victory lap in the above photo.
Everything in my head was fuzzy when I was woken up by a strange ringing sound. My eyesight was blurry when I struggled to open my eyelids, so I took my hands and rubbed them for more clarity. When I became aware of what was going on, and when I could feel all five senses, the first thing I realized was how tired I was. My eyes didn’t want to wake up, they kept trying to force their way shut, and at one point I thought I heard them say, “shhh, it’s okay, just go back asleep…” but I built up the strength to keep them open.
My house – big for our small family – had always been a place of comfort.
It was just me and my mom – my father walked out on us when I was young, but at a year and a half old I didn’t really miss his presence. Mom was the only around to raise me, and she often came home from work ready to collapse. As soon as she was through the front door, she would bee-line for the couch in the living room. She would flop down, the cushions absorbing her tired muscles. I would come down from my bedroom. She’d look at me and say “My baby girl’s here!” Read more →
The wind had been howling nearly all day long yet everything about this night seemed almost enchanting, from the crunch of the snow under your feet to the apparition of steamy breath right in front of my eyes. The patches of moonlight were illuminating my street broke through the thick layer of clouds that covered the city. It had been nearly a year’s time since we had weather as amazing as this. Read more →
Marcus’s dirty grubby fingers better not touch that popcorn. We were at the movies watching The Internship, Marcus was on my left and Anthony was on my right. I honestly don’t even understand how I got into this with the boy I have despised since the 8thgrade and the boy I have been in love with since the 3rdgrade sandwiching me in the these small red chairs.
My alarm went off, shrieking in that annoying tone that jolts you out of sleep. I got up, and doing that groggy I-just-got-up-so-I-look-drunk walk, I made my way to the clock to press the power button. After the noise from the clock was gone, I drug myself into the bathroom, and started getting ready for school. Just a normal Tuesday morning that consisted of brushing my teeth and hair, and throwing on an old t-shirt and jeans. By now I was awake enough to do a normal walk out to the kitchen.
My older brother, Jared, was already waiting for me. I had always thought he put too much effort into getting ready for school – the way he gelled his hair up always used to bother me, but now I find myself missing it.
“You about ready to go?” Jared asked – you could tell he was annoyed. “I’ve been waiting for like, 20 minutes.” I replied that I was ready when he was, but kept to myself the surprise that he had been up so early. We made our way to the front door.
Walking to the front door was never walking as much as it was creeping. My younger sisters and stay-at-home mom were still asleep, and of course were light sleepers. So every move we made had to be silent. I still have no idea how my dad did this so quietly every morning when he left for work.