Using Words as Wrecking Balls on Social Media

sad, black woman
Photo by RoseofaDifferentKind, Design by Ericajean using Pixlr Express

 

sad, black man
Photo found on Pixabay, Image design by Ericajean using Pixlr Express

Words still matter.

In order to have a movie, we need a script.

In order to study biology, we need a textbook.

To have conversations without a voice, we text it to one another.

You see? We use words even more so today, maybe in a different medium now and perhaps using different reading strategies due to the web and e-book reading. But we do still use words.

Here is one thing I do know though: If I must use words, they will be used to build up and not tear down. It is quite easy for tongues to become a wrecking ball. Wrecking balls have no thought processes or feelings.

They turn things to rubble.

Vicious Words Tear Down Nubian Structures

However, to build up a house, it takes planning, blue prints, some kind of sensitivity for who will be living there.

Recently I have been reading tweets and watching videos of people who are disgusted with how black women are treated online. I knew it was bad, but I never thought in my life I would hear black men say some the most poisonous, vicious, vile things I hear them say today.

In turn, there are black women saying equally vicious, hateful things to those black men, in response to their hurt.

As a collective, we need to understand the power of words. They translate into pain, but we ignore it because we are too busy throwing stones at each other. Verbal stones hurt worse than real ones.

I refuse to use my mind, creativity and “Twitter fingers” to spit vitriol at a group of people who have not hurt me.

Put Our Tongues to Powerful Work

When I write blog posts, stories, and even novels, I am creating worlds with words and my hope is to entertain and sometimes to uplift or to make you think.

My mouthpiece should be used for three things:

  • To encourage and uplift.
  • To educate.
  • To have healthy, wholesome conversations(humor is even better!)

If I am using my words to judge and convict an entire group of people, I am no different than a wrecking ball being used to turn beauty into rubble.

I am not perfect, though.

There are still days when I nearly cry because I have said terrible things to someone in the past, not sure how I can take them back.

There are days when my patience is tested and I say something I know for sure I will regret.

What I have not done is make a ton of videos and blog posts of how much I hate a specific group of people. That is cowardly, that is bullying, and wholly evil.

On the show Mary Jane, Mary Jane learns that her friend has betrayed her, and even though she knows her friend is suicidal, she says vile things to her and does not forgive her. Was the friend wrong? Certainly! However, Mary Jane’s words became that ye old wrecking ball and the consequences were…fatal.

Anyway, I just thought I’d post this because we can all do better with how we wield the most powerful weapon which happens to be one of the smallest part of our bodies: The tongue.

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Love yall! 🙂

Ericajean

Heaven or Nah?(the conclusion )

Taking my hand, this man who felt new and old to me, I let him lead me through the beautiful, forest. The sun, about three suns shone brightly. There was no darkness, no shadows.

Wanna know the super cool, mysterious inspiration for this story? Click to skip to it!

Then roughly, I am pulled tight up against him. Our naked bodies- whatever they were made of, felt a thousand times more sensitive than on earth. Many tingles rippled throughout my body, causing me to moan.

Suddenly it all came to me.

Tipping my head up with a finger, the handsome being drags his lips across mine like twin feathers rubbing against each other. His arms wrapped about my waist and then our lips pressed harder.

His mouth was a like a vacuum sucking me up into the feeling, into his lips and his touch.

Teeth, tongue, mouths wet clashed and clanged against each other full of unnatural want and need.

My heart, wherever that was, beat loud in my ears. My spirit was incendiary and instead of seeing colors. I FELT them.

“Who are you?” I asked after we pulled away. I had to gasp for breath. I couldn’t help but stare at and through this magnificent man. “I think I know you.”

The right side of his mouth curled into a smile. A wicked, sexy one. “You know me, Nanine. I am yours back there.”

My skin prickled in confusion and excitement. Both his large hands rubbed down the length of my arms. I made the mistake of looking into his eyes. Which suddenly looked like small, twin planets. In them and through them, I saw what looked like stars, bursts of light and a shadow of doubt and of love.

Beautiful.

“Adin. My name is Adin.” He said wearily.

“Adin! The love of my life!??” My brain snapped back to the past. The white hospital room, the alcohol scent, sick smells, the wailing of my family. My boyfriend, Adin.

The cancer that ate my life.

I am dead. But what am I now?

“You are one of us.”

“Wait. One of you?” I pull back farther. I am happy to see Adin, but what was he doing here?

Once again, he heard my silent question.

“I am with everyone in their final hour, Nanine.” His brows furrowed. “I have always been with you. Exclusively in your last hours though.”

“No. We. We dated. We were planning to get married. Remember?” Sunlight began drift from over his face, slowly and his skin began to lose its glow., a beautiful shade of navy and purple midnight crossed his handsome features.

“We have been together some time, Nanine. I, particularly like you, but I am not what you’ve been thinking. You already know my name, don’t be afraid to say it.”

The words bubbled in my subconscious. His name floated on every wind trail, every cell of my body. It was in every kiss. Every whispered conversation.

Every look.

The name that was ancient and forever. An ancient forever name, an event no one can escape.

“The cold one. The one that should not have been. A perfect, exact non-discriminatory design.”

His eyebrow raised. His full lips twitched.

Death.” I said as the suns dipped lower and we were finally cloaked in darkness. I heard the humming of women and children. A gentle tune of sorrow and loss. But saw no one. It was just us.

He nods solemnly, his long brown hair and brawny body, lithe and muscular, shimmers and shifts to a more pale color, a design slowly crawls over his left torso, down his left rib cage. Ink. Ebony ink, in the shape of a huge, black scorpion.

Gone were the rainbows, the squirrels- life. We both stood in a dark forest. I did not hurt. There was no devil chasing me.

“You can move around however you wish here. There is a boundary you can not go beyond though.” He points behind me and up into the sky where I see a silver lining arc across the night sky.

“So this isn’t, heaven? Is there a heaven?”

“Heaven….” He comes over to me and take my hand. His feels like a solid block of ice. “Heaven is in your mind.”

“Then the churches and the bible was wrong.”

He did not flinch when I said bible. Wasn’t he bad or something? Evil? Did he believe in God’s word? Funny I should be this judgmental in the afterlife.

“Actually, darlin’ the bible is a snippet of stories woven together to tell truths based off of personal experiences. I can not say it is completely wrong, but your finite minds cannot grasp the whole truth.” He lands another soft kiss on my lips, surprising me by how soft and cold his kiss is. “But you accepted me and kept your mind open. Which is why you’re here.”

Adin went on to explain that others before me, made it here, but are in another location. Others who pass on, stay in darkness forever, their minds shut down. He called it ultimate hell.

With a thought, I wished it light again. I wished for the silver blue oasis of water and the birds and squirrels and it made my Adin happy. When I opened my eyes again…all had come true.

Unfortunately he told me there are men, women, and children whom he granted the Kiss of Death to and I felt a familiar pang in my chest. Could be jealousy, not sure. But I watch his naked back as it turns away and walks into the clearing of the forest, the ground lighting up as he walks his path and into some void I can not see. A path where he will collect more of the dying.

I wonder if I will be alone here forever…

*****************

©Copyright 2017 Ericajean

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed the conclusion to my Flash Walk story.

***BONUS: What inspired me to write this story?***

A few years back, I had a dream that I was “trapped” in this wooden gazebo thingee. It was big enough all around but I could touch the smooth glass and peek through it looking at life all around me. Somehow, without anyone telling me, I knew I was dead.

The gazebo kept me encased where “the dead belong” but I was floating and there were others around me in these small gazebos.

Inside me a voice said, I can move about but not past the gazebo, because then my spirit would fall.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this. Stay tuned for more blog posts and stories this month!

 

Heaven, or Nah?(A short, fictional romance)

Image from unsplash.com/Designed by Ericajean using Canva

His hands crushed mine, not tenderly, but tender in love and fiercely. The honey brown orbs that were his eyes, pierced mine as he grabbed hold of me, already feeling me slip away.

I never seen my boyfriend cry before. But I am now. It hurts like no other pain.

Everything was growing blurry…two of him, twin tearing men. His white shirt, rumpled with a few paling brown coffee stains splattered on the front, probably from rushing into to see me in my final hour.

“NANINNNNNE! Don’t you dare leave ME!” He growled, his hands no longer felt tight on mine. Was I slipping from this world to the next so soon?

I said something, I think. My lips moved, a tear raced down my cheek as my truly handsome boyfriend stared in terror.

Did not matter how often we prepped for this moment.

All the prayers and all the research of my breast cancer. Late stage, lead us here. I guess, the Final Act cuts deep.

My grip suddenly felt ghost to me. Foreign. My hold loosened on it own as Eric leaned closer to me. My family were all crowded around me, their hands touching my legs, my stomach. Praying. Weeping.

A door slammed in the distance. Another reaction to my dying.

Adin’s warm breath reached my eyelids. My heart began a lub….DUB….lub…..so achingly slow. My lungs couldn’t catch up to any natural rhythm either. The pain meds wore off long ago.

“Nanine.” He slides his hand up the side of my arm. “Don’t. You. Leave. Me. I will chase you across worlds. Remember? I will-” My poor man choked up. I gather strength enough to look into his eyes.

What I saw shocked me.

Shocked me enough to make my heart hit a few beeps.

His eyes, pupils dilated, were deep pools of black. His full lips leaned down over me and my gaze stuck to his as his hot lips landed on mine sensuously in front of everyone.

Only Adin can make me feel this way. Even with my bald head, body nothing but bones from the chemo that ravaged my body, he made me feel sexy. Alive. Always have.

His hot gaze, fierce, determined, supremely angry, swallowed me whole. I believed for a full minute that he literally could chase my soaring soul to wherever.

Our connection have always been so strong.

After the kiss, he only moved an inch from my face and ran his hand down my cheek. “I will find you.”

Suddenly, I couldn’t chase air. My heart’s rhythm, a normal drum in my chest, ceased it’s beat.

I can’t! I can’t breathe! My heart won’t tick!

Oh!

The room, Adin, my family their echoes of pain sounded so far away. I mentally clawed for life. Clawed for it.

Adin’s face of anguish, his honey eyes were the last things I saw before complete darkness overtook me.

*

My lips were kissing something wet and very cool. Smooth.

My eyes were drawn so tight, they felt like lead at this point and I was afraid to open them. My memory slipped from me. Where am I ?

I risked opening my eyes slowly, shocked at the clarity without my glasses. In clear, HD panoramic view, there were lush trees and bushes everywhere, birds chirping.

Some cherry blossoms, floated by me and landed near my face. My face was hovering above clear, beautiful liquid, too amazing to just call water.

My body felt so…clean and lightweight.

Staring at my reflection, I was shocked my skin seemed to glow whereas it was usually pale. It had a hint of gold to it, but the ripples in the water from my movement caused my shimmery glow to vanish.

I finally pushed myself up and on the bank, startling a small squirrel prancing around, chasing its own tail.

The squirrel seemed more orange than brown.

Where am I?

“Nanine Bijou.”

A deeply male, familiar voice made my heart race. I look down at my slightly sun kissed skin and was terrified at how I could see through hands, as though through a veil.

The male approached me.

He was as naked as I am. Shimmering like me. Barely solid, barely ghost.

Oddly familiar too.

His eyes were large, his body designed and perfected in some lab probably and his lips had to be fashioned in supreme love by God himself. I felt nervous, giddy, confused.

He approached me but kept a safe enough distance. “Welcome home, Nanine.”

“Home?”

He reached out to me with his hand. Feeling lost and so utterly confused, even with all the beauty surrounding me, I take his large hand.

“I told you I would chase you from one world to the next.”

Familiar words. Familiar face and lips. Those eyes.

Why did they look so familiar?

Why do I feel…connected to him somehow?

___________________________________

Stay tuned this week for the short conclusion to this love story!

Please comment. Like. Subscribe and share if you like this post!

Thank you!

©2017Ericajean. All Rights Reserved.

 

How Barbie and Ken Helped Shape My Writing Skills

Odd, huh?

Plastic people helped me write? Those perfectly painted faces, long hair, and Ken’s fake pecs actually could have shaped my writing life today?barbie-collector

I think so!

Today I was thinking, how does me playing with Barbie dolls back in the day help to shape my writing? How is that possible? I kid you not, the answer hit me like a pile of broken Barbie legs and cars.

Barbies have taught me how to use my imagination at the drop of a hat, how to create flash stories and how to connect with friends.

I am now in my 30s(gulp!) and these principles remain with me as I write.

Barbie Doll Playing Incites the Imagination

I had all kinds of Barbies, the pink haired one, Totally Hair Barbie with the awesome colorful skirt you can paint all over, Ken dolls, African American dolls, you name it.

With all these plastic people, I had to come up with something!

Along with books, my parents bought me and my sisters Barbie dolls, and so we would set up the doll house, clear our small room and the entire place was hooked up, lit up with the Barbie swimming pool with real water.

Then one Christmas, we received that beautiful, hot as heck pink Barbie Corvette and then…

jaguar-box
Image found on joeslist.com

We played.

“What’s the story for today?” Um, Totally Hair meets Black Ken, or, Fashion Barbie will finally let her hair down and ride in the Corvette…without a chauffer….

I tell ya, the memories I am having right now, of the thousands of stories each Barbie doll brought out of my imagination- makes me nostalgic to a high degree.

You see, I didn’t need pen and paper. I had the fake people to use.

Playing Barbies Was My First Flash Story Lesson

I love writing at the drop of a hat.

When my parents had company over(adults fun time, I guess), it was time to go upstairs.

What to do now?

I had the Nintendo and Sega Genesis, but after a while I got tired of using controls to control something on a screen.

I wanted to brush hair, and create little Barbie sitcoms.

Looking around my room, I’d switch on more light and grab the Barbies, the large house and this time, even the My Little Pony land with the ponies!

Quick, as lightning I created a plot in my mind and would have the Barbies interact with one another. Sometimes, I even ran a series, like a soap opera.

barbie-and-ken-doll
Image from thanksmailcarrier.com

 

 

Sadly, after a while, a couple of friends and girl cousins thought I was losing it. We were young too, like maybe ten or eleven- I could have been eleven going on twelve though; and I guess playing with Barbies was suddenly too childish for them to do anymore.

That was my first taste of what loving what I do could possibly make someone ostracize themselves from me.

You learn as a writer, to have tough skin.

Doesn’t lessen the pain though…

Through Barbie I Learned How to Network

On a really bright side, I met others like me!

Besides my sister, I’ve met friends who had more of a love of Barbie playing than even me!

We formed instant friendships and one of my old friends had a Barbie land. A freakin’ Barbie land set up in her home!

She had what seemed like dozens of Barbie dolls. I was in heaven! Plastic heaven!

We would collaborate, bring our stories together and made sure to let our parents know that we must meet again soon to continue this.

Imagination. Flash Story Creation. Networking.

Sound familiar?

It should, this is what we do here as bloggers who tell stories. At first, I thought it would be a bit of a stretch to mention how Barbie helped me to be a blogger/ writer but playing with toys and using your imagination are tools- FREE tools, which helps build the creative muscle.

In fact, using your imagination is what aids in creating worlds and characters in the first place.

Like, comment, and subscribe if you feel what I am saying.

What experiences in your past may have shaped you as writer?

I’d love to hear 🙂

Ericajean

*Disclaimer: There are affiliate links sprinkled throughout this post! 😉

The Anatomy of a Resume(Part 2)

ideasimage
Ideas image from Pixabay

A quick recap from last week, remember to have confidence while preparing your resume. Up to this point, you should have chosen that one job you want. Now we get into the nitty gritty!

Skip to some EXTRA special tips to beef up that resume!

What you need to include in your resume remains the same:

  • Contact information
  • Objective/summary
  • Experience
  • Education
  • References

Contact Information

This is where your name, email, phone number and website will go. How you style this is up to you, we will go over style and amazing apps to create your resumes in another post. For now common sense and the experts agree: do not use unprofessional emails(like sugarqueen(at)aol.com, or lickItNicely100), refrain from those please. Just create a free account using your name. Mine would be ericajean(at)something(dot)com. Get it?

Career Objective/Summary

This is the really important part. In fact Philip C. Kolin, author of Professional Writing at Work states:

Create an objective that precisely dovetails with the prospective employer’s requirements.”(p.143)

What does that even mean?

This means in step one of preparing your resume, the job ad listed some things required.

Your objective should match that(this is why you will make more than one resume pertaining to what industry you are looking to get hired. One resume can not be used for several different industries).

Kolin says you should ask your self four questions to help you build your objective: 1) What kind of job do I want? 2) What kind of job am I qualified for? 3) What capabilities do I possess(look at your confident skills list)? 4) What kind of skills do I want to learn?

Here is an example from one of my resumes:

Experienced educator using my proven skills in instruction and communication to help increase literacy in students of any age.”

What’s new for this section, is that now it is pretty cool to come up with a brand descriptor of yourself. Something like: Self Starter with a Decade of Customer Service Skills.

This would typically appear right before your career objective. Again, we’ll talk about designing and styling your resume later.

Education or Experience?

Which should go first?

Generally if you have more experience, please list that first on the resume.

If you are a recent graduate, list your education first and for experience make sure to list any pertinent volunteering you’ve done or internships and sometimes I have even listed courses I have taken that matches the job I am going for.

Example: Completed 25 hours in major courses in finance, accounting, economics….

References

Should this even be included?

It is up to you.

Simply stating “Available upon request”-without the quotation marks, should be fine. I keep a separate file of current references available as a PDF just in case the job requests it.

Extra Tips

Now, I can’t leave you hanging. There is more you should understand about the anatomy of a resume.

Words and style DO matter.

First, when you are writing your resume, make sure you use action verbs throughout it.

Words such as “calculated, accomplished, taught, weighed, won, worked” and more are examples.

These words are “action terms”- things you have done. Hiring managers love to see what you have done. My favorite is “spearheaded” the word reminds me of a shark in a suit…okay, you can laugh(138)

Second, which style resume would work for you? Functional or chronological?

This is important to think of before we start plugging information into a resume app.

Chronological is what it implies. It chronicles your job and education experience, “especially if you show a continuity toward progress in your career”(147). Here is an example of a chronological resume.

Now, if you are like me and have changed jobs frequently and have been a nontraditional student, a functional resume would suffice. A functional resume focuses on abilities gathered from education, coursework, extracurricular activities and so on. Here is an example of a functional resume.

Whew! Glad we are done with this part.

Your Turn!

Now get out a sheet of paper and jot down information for each of those sections. Think of word choice and the terms the job ad uses. This is important. I will tell you how important in the last post. For now, get to working, look at the examples provided.

Learn from the examples if anything else.

I’ll see you in the next post 😉

Become an Exceptional Book Blogger

 

 

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Ever wanted to become part of a special, online book club?

Like a haven for bookworms? Ever wanted to explore which online platforms you should use to do so and where to find those free ARCs(Advanced Reader Copies)?

Order now with the 50% discount code: EUREKA50.

Sale ends February 28th!

Lisa Siefert is bringing you an amazing book to demonstrate just how to show love to your audience through exceptional book blogging. In it you will find information on:

  • Platform setup
  • WordPress vs. Blogger vs. Squarespace
  • List building
  • How to Review books

Take the plunge and begin an incredible book blogging journey today.

Don’t forget to comment down below and subscribe for more posts! 🙂

Black Wings, The Conclusion

*Black Wings continues with a slightly longer conclusion. Thanks for reading!

quote from black wings
Image designed by Ericajean using Canva

Everything about her is so tiny, so fragile. Her lips are the perfect bow shape-tiny. Her fingers, long and slender-tiny nails. Her face, a small heart shape- tiny eyes the shape of almonds, with milk chocolate irises. Her hair floats behind her like a big cloud, her skin is the color of night without stars, but her small teeth are perfectly white, glitters in her face. And she does not know she has my heart in a vise…

Ricky was about to follow Cara out into the storm when several hands grabbed at him. “You’re going to be crowned the king! Come on!” Several girls pulled on his arm. They were cute girls. Trim girls. Wore the same makeup girls. Plastic girls. Not really mean, just cookie cutter in order to make it.

“I have to find Cara.”

“Who?” asked one them in a huff. “Stop playing around. If Trish sees you out here trying to find another girl, she will dethrone you so quick.” The girl with dark hair snapped her fingers for emphasis.

Ricky pulled away from her. “She and I aren’t dating. We just…I don’t know.” He shook himself. “I gotta go.”

“During prom?” The girls screeched. “This is important, Ricky! Stop playing around!” The blonde one wearing  a beautiful sequined dress.

Something tugged at his heart. It was beginning to ache. Cara was out there, probably trying to do something stupid. Here he was arguing about being “king”.

In a split second decision, he decided to go look for Cara. She couldn’t have gone far.

Sprinting across to the EXIT, with several swear words following behind him, he burst through the double doors, still smelling the Sweet Pea lotion Cara wears but the wind and the rain were brutal. The scent was quickly sliced.

Rain came down like small swords. Sluicing and wetting up everything. It sounded like rocks being thrown outside.

He did not care.

Where did she go in this night?

A bright yellow dress shouldn’t be hard to miss.

He crossed the intersection where cars were backed up, horns honked in frustration and the freaking streetlight that never gets fixed, remained on red for a while.

Then he saw the hair, like wings flapping behind her. The yellow dress clinging to her tiny body as her small feet kicked up mud and puddle water.

Without thinking, Ricky chased her. He’ll be damned if…if he see this. Witness this.

Within a few steps he caught up to her. Instead of touching her he raced ahead of her and stopped, turned to face her,causing her to bump into his chest.

“What are you doing?”

“You tell me. What are you thinking running out into the dark like this?”

“I can if I want.” Her lips were wet with kisses from the rain and her small eyes, cat-like eyes he now realized, looked at him with iron anger. “What? Afraid I’ll catch a cold?”

“That and the fact that this part of town is dangerous.”

“So?”

“So?” Ricky wanted to hug her so bad. Let her know it was alright to be different and that some people were just anus holes. She was the darkest girl in the school but the prettiest. The girls and guys knew that too and would admit it if they weren’t chicken.

“I can’t just let this happen.”

Cara crossed her arms over her, defiant. “I don’t get it. You are the most popular boy in the school about to be crowned. For your beauty. Your talent. They are probably waiting for you right now. You are out here, chasing me. You sure you aren’t on any drugs?”

Ricky laughed. “I am not on drugs and to hell with prom crowning. They can have it.”

“I gotta go,” Cara said resolved, turning from him.

But Ricky couldn’t let her leave. Not like this. Not right now.

“Cara listen to me! I think you are very beautiful! I- I think you are the sweetest girl I’ve ever known and smart too.”

Cara kept walking away but this time he caught up to her, gently pulled her elbow to turn her around and face him. “You don’t have to do what you are trying to do.”

“What is it I am trying to do?”

They both stood there, rain beating their faces and bodies. The wind whipped harder but Ricky put less distance between them, placed his hands on her shoulders. Her scent sweet and bright, like her dress, like her eyes.

“I watched my mom do it. Said she was going to the bathroom and will be right out. Dad and I waited half an hour. Silence, Cara. Silence! Mom never came out. All I remember…” Ricky was glad for the rain to mask his tears. “All I remember was her dark hair disappearing in the bathroom door, a piece of it caught in the doorjamb, but she didn’t know or care. Then the sound of something falling. Life was too much for her. So instead of thinking of me and dad, she thought about herself. Focused inward so much, we became, maybe caricatures to her. Expendables. Our hearts still beating, bleeding for her and we know she’ll never come back.”

Cara was silent. Listening to Ricky was a mistake.

“My essay, Black Wings? From earlier this week was about her, Cara. When I was ten that was all I

bird flying in the sky
Image of bird flying found on Unsplash.com

remember. Her dark hair, flapping behind her like black wings and disappearing behind a freaking bathroom door. Only to lose her moments later. She flew away from me and dad. I wish I could tell her she was good enough. Better than enough. I wish I could bring her back.” He swiped at his eyes. “She basically killed our soul, Cara. That is what suicide does to those who love you.”

The cars zoomed past them. All it would take is one toe out in the street. A quick dart out and then finally she can be away from this dark world. Maybe in her next life she’ll be light and pretty.

His eyes got to her though. Those kind green eyes held a special sadness. A permanent sadness his mother put there.

“Sorry about that, Ricky.”

Suddenly the rain slowed and Ricky put even less distance between them, his hands slid slowly down Cara’s arm, his forehead touched hers. “I will not let the next person I care about, do the same thing. I don’t like people leaving me, Cara.”

Cara looked up into Ricky’s face. This was wrong. Very wrong.

“You have another life Ricky. Go back to that school!”

“No!” He hissed to her lips. “I am not leaving you out here. We go together to the school or we stay together here. I will not lose anyone else!”

“Please. Let me do this. I know I will be free if I can do this. The one thing I can do right.”

“No.” He tipped her chin up so her eyes could meet his. “I want to tell you something, I’ve been trying to say all year. I couldn’t write it in the card but-”

“Card?”

“Yes,” he smiled and finally ran his hand through her thick, kinky hair. “The cards you’ve been given.”

You put them cards in my locker?” Her eyes narrowed at him.

“I slip them in there from time to time.”

“You write nothing on them though,” she chuckled. A small smile, a small feat achieved. Her smile literally broke through the storm. He could watch her smile and hear her laugh all day long.

“I am about to, just listen. Please.”

Cara rolled her eyes, but she couldn’t step away from Ricky’s strong touch. Their bodies were now pressed together as if they were two halves of a heart. As if they were lovers.

“Cara, you sit near me every day in English class and never look my way. I don’t think you notice me. You carry yourself around as if your skin is a heavy burden or bricks to be laid down and you sag in your seat, absorbing class material like a computer. Your eyes are never trained on me, the teacher or class and I find myself wondering: Who is this girl that no one matters to her? She walks alone to class and from class. Her head is down sometimes and most days it is up, not in snotty manner but as if she is a Queen and aspires to be so. I could only hope to be the lucky guy on her arm.

I know you feel like an ugly duckling and that the world does not look at you or admire you. But I will let you in on a small secret. When you are not looking, it is your scent that makes a few of us guys sniff the room. It is your smile that causes a small gossip to erupt amongst the jocks, the secret longings of their hearts exposed in closed locker rooms. The girls sometimes look your way and the next day they upgrade their hair and makeup. One girl in particular tried to befriend you the other day in the cafeteria, she heard that you like Star Wars. Instead you nodded politely and went back to eating, regal as can be because who would really want to talk to you?

Everyone, Cara. Everyone wants to talk to you including me. But I want more. I want more than your talk, I want your lips on mine. I want more than for you just to see me, I want you to gaze at me. I want more than just a handshake from you,” he trailed his hand down her arm to her hand. “I want a hug.”

Cara was speechless.

Before she could say anything, Ricky put his lips on hers, startling her. He kissed her with the feather light touch of a painter’s brush, or the kiss of sun after a stormy, rainy day. A hint of heat and softness.

Ricky knew this wasn’t enough to stop someone from disappearing. What if one day Cara was no longer enough for him? Will she pick up where they left off? Somehow, he knew she’d be in his life forever. She was a treasure to him. Confessing his heart was all he could do. To save her.

For now.

**Author note: I truly hope you enjoyed this story. It dropped in my mind one day as I was waking up. I thought, “Hmmm, what if a girl who felt un-pretty met a very beautiful boy who sent her blank greeting cards?”

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