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The First Interaction

Everytime he looked up from his book, he glanced briefly in my direction. First, I wasn’t sure that he was looking at me. 10 minutes later when I caught his eye staring at me and he looked down quickly and started to blush, I was sure he was looking at me. 

This had been going on for a while now. Jackie told me last week that she noticed him looking in my direction during English class. Then, Bella told me the same thing. He seemed perfectly content continuing the same, but I wanted to talk to him and see where things could go. We should at least be friends? What more could we be, anyway? I hadn’t even come out yet. Well, no one except my three best friends knew that I was gay. And, this was a strict religious school. I couldn’t risk it but at the same time I almost wanted to risk it. He seemed like the type that I must risk it for. 

And, so I did. 

Hey! Liam?

I was going to ask him to be in my group for the final project. He had his group of friends and he would decline anyway, but anything for a conversation starter right? I wasn’t going to be the boring kind and inquire about the weather, obviously!

Yup. Liam. 

I realized that he probably didn’t even know my name. 

My name’s Dane. Would you like to join our group for the project? We just need one more person. I mean, you don’t have to, just thought….

Now, he wasn’t even looking at me. And he was shaking his right leg so hard that I was scared he was going to topple the table over.

Sure. 

He smiled. He quickly met my eyes, and immediately looked down on the table and started to flip through the pages of the novel. 

I don’t know why but I felt the need to shake hands with him right now so I extended my right hand out to shake his. I thought he wouldn’t notice but he did and we shook hands. 

Nice to meet you. See ya later bud!

That felt different. Somehow. 

And then I walked away, smiling wide. Who knew that a six feet, bulky guy like myself could ever feel butterflies in his stomach after just one interaction? 

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Saying Goodbye and Thank You

As soon as she turned her head away I remembered where I had seen her before. 

Shiny, big brown eyes. Freckled nose and cheeks. Long and curly red hair carefully braided….

She was my crush in high school.

My first ever crush. She was unlike anyone else I knew. Everything about her always seemed so surreal. 

I was shy. She was confident. 

I was pessimistic. She was optimistic. 

I didn’t care at all to fight with my bullies. She cared too much about me to fight with my bullies.

After that summer in grade 11, I never saw her again. I never got to say goodbye and I never got to thank her for all the times she stood up for me.   

I smiled intently thinking about the past. I abruptly got up, grabbed my cane and decided to go say goodbye and thank you one last time. She got up too and started to walk away.

I had to talk to her.

I hurried.

Five steps away.

Now, Four.

Three. 

Two. 

I lightly touched her left shoulder and she turned back to look at me. 

It was as if time had stopped.

Same eyes. Same nose. Same cheeks. Same hair….

“You look like Lindsay”

She looked confused. And, irritated. 

“Sorry?”

I coughed and tried to talk a little louder.

“I said you look a lot like my friend Lindsay”

“Oh, my mum! Yeah, I get that a lot.”

And then she turned her head and hurried away.

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Whodunnit

Thick, red blood was splattered around the body. 

It was getting late but there was still a lot of light in the sky. I looked up and saw the sky a mixture of red, orange and yellow. 

I looked down on the now lifeless body on the pavement with indifference. But I didn’t feel indifferent. This is what I have always wanted yet it feels like I shouldn’t have done this at all. 

Well, it’s too late now.

I didn’t want to leave the body there but I wanted Mr. J to see it. I will not eat, I must control myself. I got up, walked to the backyard and sat on the wet grass.

Mr. J will be home soon. He will be so glad. And, so proud. Lucy had been a pain for him for the past week now.

I heard the jingling of keys and the soft creak of the front door opening. He was being careful. He must have seen the body and known it was me. I abruptly got up to see him. 

With a big smile on his face, Mr.J walked through the back door towards me and picked me in his arms. 

“Oh Whitney, is that blood on your fur?”, said Mr. J looking at me with concern. 

We went inside together with me held in one of his arms and his big red bag hanging on the other. He wiped the blood off my fur, picked up the leash to put around my neck and we walked out the front door. Once out, I started to look for Lucy but her tiny body had now been moved in the garden, ready to be buried.        

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The Evil Godmother’s Curse

Once upon a time there lived a King and Queen, who were very sorry that they had no children, so sorry that it cannot be told. 

At last, however, the Queen had a daughter, The whole kingdom was overjoyed, and the Queen had all her godmothers and fairies give a gift to the newborn as it was the custom in those days. All the fairies and godmothers blessed the baby and gave her amazing little gifts. 

All but one. 

The oldest godmother, who despised the King and Queen deeply, looked at the baby and wished for her to change into an ugly looking beast on her eighteenth birthday. Whatever the godmother had predicted was always true, and nothing could be done to avoid it. This terrible gift made the King and Queen tremble, and they started to cry. 

Over the years, the little Princess grew up to be extraordinarily beautiful. But as fate would have it, on the day of her eighteenth birthday, the Princess looked into the mirror and found herself transformed into a hairy monster. Deeply saddened, the Princess went into the forest to find someone to help undo the curse. As she was walking around, she saw a Snowy Owl perched up on the highest branch of the smallest tree in the area. 

“Oh Wise Old Owl! Help me undo the curse of the witch who has changed me into a beast, and help me become my true self again.”

The Snowy Owl looked up at her and said, “Keep your eyes open to light the dark path. Follow it to the place where you can wash away your curse. But you must do so before the sun sets.

“Why can’t you just transform me?” said the Princess lazily. “I don’t want to listen to your riddles.” The Owl flew away and the Princess walked away angrily. 

Up ahead, she met a Bald Eagle sitting on the lowest branch of the highest tree in the forest. 

“Oh Wise Old Eagle! Help me undo the curse of the witch who has changed me into a beast, and help me become my true self again.”

The Bald Eagle looked up at her and said the same thing as the Snowy Owl. 

Keep your eyes open to light the dark path. Follow it to the place where you can wash away your curse. But you must do so before the sun sets.” As soon as he said this, the bald eagle flew away. 

“Ughh…” said the Princess in disgust. ‘Where am I supposed to find a dark path now?’

Confused, she continued to walk deeper into the forest. This time she spotted a Western Painted Turtle, busy collecting food at the base of a beautiful blue pond.

“Oh Wise Old Turtle! Help me undo the curse of the witch who has changed me into a beast, and help me become my true self again.”

It is no surprise that the turtle said the same thing as the Snowy Owl and the Bald Eagle to the Princess. 

The sun had set.

It was beginning to get dark and the only light in the forest was the moonlight. “Oh yes!” the Princess thought. It was a dark path and the light of her eyes was leading her. The moonlight created a path on the ground and she continued to follow it, determined to find a place to wash away the curse.

She stopped when she reached the base of a little cave. She walked into the empty cave, and noticed a little stream of water flowing inside the cave. Hurriedly, she went up to the water and washed her face.   

Amidst the ripples in the water, she saw her new face. 

But alas!

She looked like an old witch now. Her face was wrinkled, and all her hair had turned gray. 

“No!” the Princess cried. 

She ran away to the kingdom and never stepped outside ever again!

The Last Day

It was his last day. 

No one knew. 

But, he knew. Of course he did. He had been meaning to cut the cord for months now but he could never gather the courage to do so. 

Well, he finally woke up. He rolled and got up on the right side of the bed today. Even though the right side is so much neater, he always had a habit of waking up onto the left side of his bed. Not today though. 

He then made himself the special coffee that his grandma gifted him for Christmas. He had been saving it for a special occasion. Today, it was! 

He drank the coffee carefully from his favourite mug, and watched his garden through the window. It was spring, and his garden was finally starting to look like a garden. Not like he ever cared for it, but it looked beautiful. Today, it looked prettier than ever. 

He noticed the time and started to get ready for the day. It was going to be a special day. 

After checking that all doors were locked for the third time, he walked over to his car to drive to work. Unlike other days, he let other cars pass in front of him. He could hear cars behind him honking at him. He was never going to drive down this road ever again. He wanted to be nice this one last time. 

Once in the office, he sat down and cracked his knuckles. 

He switched on the computer screen, downloaded the document and printed it carefully. Two copies, just in case. 

He then walked over to the CEO’s office because his manager was useless and he never liked him. He dropped his resignation letter onto her table. 

I’m sorry, I quit. 

That felt extraordinarily good. 

She looked at him like she had been expecting it. She sighed loudly.

Two Choices

Hailey hated choosing. Especially, between two choices.

When her mum was still alive, she would tell her mum to choose for her. Her mum, without a second of hesitation, would point towards her preferred choice and Hailey would readily agree because mom was always right. 

On Hailey’s sixth birthday, her aunt had asked her to choose between a homemade chocolate cake and a store bought red velvet cake. With eyes welled up with tears, and a snotty nose she had screamed that she would rather not have a cake at all than choose between the two. Her aunt never asked her to choose ever again. 

It was that dreaded December 12, two months before Hailey’s birthday that she had chosen between two options for the last time. She had been alone at home with her mum that night. The evil man had stabbed her mum’s stomach and while blood dripped from her mum’s stomach, he had asked Hailey if she would rather have the red candy or the blue candy. That was the first, and last time she had chosen for herself. While clutching the red candy tightly in her left palm, she looked at her mom and asked her if she had made the right choice. She had smiled in pain while shutting her eyes forever.