Dec. 11, 2016 @4:13

As the title says, it is 4 am on a Saturday night and I can’t sleep. It’s probably because I was up so late last night but now that I am up tonight, I keep thinking. Just bare with me for a bit, Okay?

So, I never stop discovering new things about myself. I am honestly in a constant state of confusion. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my passion? What will the future hold? Did I make a huge mistake? The questions go on and on and lately those questions have been circling in my head nonstop.

I took a chance when I came to school here at SUNY Purchase. One that I do not regret. I’m happy with how things are here and the fact that I am filled with no regrets confuses me. If I didn’t drop out of school, I would’ve been even more depressed or on a bunch of anti-depressants. So, I’m happy I made that choice. I’m also happy that I followed my sister’s advice on applying to schools. I don’t regret following the advice of someone close to me and applying to this school. I’m happy with all the choices made to get me here but I still have a part of me that feels… weird.

There is a piece of me that wonders if this was the right time for me to come here. If I came any other time, I wouldn’t have met Alex or Amanda or Aisha. The boys down the hall and everyone that I have come across in the past three months. I can’t imagine not being around them. Even though we still don’t know each other fully and deeply. I love having these people around me and coming home to them.

I am in a stage of my life this is a transition. Right now I am in a place where I am discovering another part of me. I feel like I am a cocooning myself with thoughts of a better me and desperate to already be that butterfly. My least favorite things about the period are the mistakes I’ve made. The laziness that I was so used to, I always half-ass the things that I do, I don’t give things my all and I hide being my stubbornness. Not really noticing that that is not how the world works and the world will not accept parts of me. The world needs to have me. My whole being. I close myself off from being the best and showing my all. I barricade myself because, why try at something if there is a chance of failure? Why give it your all if it won’t be enough?

That sort of thinking made me realize that if I gave myself away in everything I do. Just more effort, more of my spunk, love, energy. If I shared that part of me, I think I will go much farther than I am now. I want to learn how to do that. How to feel free enough to let it out. I think that being away from home has given me that freedom. The freedom to breathe a bit easier and to want to let myself be vulnerable.

I am now on a mission to be that person. To free myself. I know this journey will be rewarding.

Now let’s hope I can get some sleep.

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Day 2: Hot Chocolate

A Chocolate Carol


“Come on, Marissa! Get up! Let’s go!” Gabriela bellowed while plopping herself on Marissa’s bed.
“No. Shut up. I am a sleeping and it is Saturday and Christmas eve eve. Go to sleep.” Marissa grumbled in response.
“It. Is. Noon. GET UP! WE NEED TO GO!”
“Shit. It’s noon? Ugh. Go where?”Marissa started stretching in her bed and turned over to look at Gabriela through her short black hair.
“I am feeling so melancholy today,” Gabriela says while dramatically lying next to Marissa, tangling her thick and curly brown hair with Marissa’s. “I need something warm and sweet!”
“Oh. cider? I have some in the fridge. Didn’t you see it? Just warm it up. Or some tea, just add sugar!” Marissa says this smiling and using her best matter-o-factly tone.
“Ha. Ha. You’re so funny.” Gabriela says in her driest voice. “You know what I need. Now, get up and let’s go! Let the Hot Chocolate Tour begin!”

Gabriela has researched three hot chocolate places that they could go to today. The two girls have a tradition so that if either of them feels any hint of sadness, they must get hot chocolate. Their hot chocolate tours are only to be done when something huge has happened and they need to go out. Either one of them can decide that they must go and the other one of them has to go. 

Gabriela guides Marissa through the busy streets around Rockefeller Center in New York City. Her long legs moving much faster than Marissa’s, her being a foot shorter than Gabriella.

While doing research for their day out, Gabriela watched a YouTube video stating that the Godiva Chocolatier had some of the best hot chocolate.

Gabriella rushes into the store, excited to get her drink but jolts to a stop when she notices her ex-boyfriend James standing at the counter. Marissa walks into Gabriella’s back and pushes her into the store and into the warmth. Marissa walks right around Gabriella, to buy the hot chocolate when she sees James and snarls.

“Hey, piece of shit. So, you work here now?”
James just stares at Gabriella for a moment later before she dashes out of the store.
“If it wasn’t the holiday season, I swear I’d end you without laying a finger on you. You scum bag.”
Marissa heads over to the other employee and she gave her a proud smile before taking her order of two hot chocolates. Then goes out to find Gabriella with their drinks in hand. Gabriella was waiting for her two stores over still with shock on her face. 

“Here, sweetie,” Marissa says handing her hot chocolate and reaching up to hug her. “It’s okay, he can’t bother you. You’re okay. Come on, let’s get somewhere warm.” 

Marissa guides a quieted Gabriella into the Magnolia Bakery around the corner. They buy some banana pudding and sit down. 

“How are you feeling?”
“I- I’m okay. I just didn’t expect to see that fucking scum bag,” she sighs deeply. “I just needed a moment. I haven’t seen him since we broke up since he continued to make me feel like shit. He always made me feel like I wasn’t enough! I hoped I’d never see him again.”
“Yea, I know. I’m sorry, hon. Do you want to go back home?” Marissa asked as softly as she could in the business of the bakery.
“No, the hot chocolate is already making me feel better. I’m sure even more hot chocolate would make me feel even better. I heard you yell at him before I left. What did he do?”
“He just stood there looking stupid. I didn’t give him a full on curse out. I mean, it is the holiday season. But did you see that haircut? Plus his apron looks tight around his beer belly.”
Gabriella cracks a smile and the growth on her dark skin came back in full force, “Yea, and was it just me or were his eyebrows tattooed on. Why did he do that?”
“I saw that too! What the fuck. Thank goodness he is over and done with. He ain’t shit.”
“I know! Come on. Let’s go get our next cup. We’ll eat on the way to Brooklyn.”


Marissa and Gabriella walk into their favorite Panera Bread and quickly order their hot chocolates. 
“We come here every year. Aren’t out Hot Chocolate tours supposed to be us trying something new?”
“Yea, but it’s so gooood! There are chocolate chip marshmallows! CHOCOLATE CHIPS! I needed this! Seeing James’ tattooed eyebrow face. I think we deserve some consistent deliciousness.”
“Ha. Alright. That’s true. I’ll go get us a table.” 

 

Marissa went upstairs to look of seats when she bumped into Gabriella’s current boy, Michael. He was slouching in a corner looking dejected and staring into his cup of coffee. The sight of him looked so different from the cheerfulness he usually had. Marissa quickly put two and two together. The only reason they have Hot Chocolate tours were to perk them up when they’re feeling sad. By the look of Michael, and Gabriella this morning, Marissa assumed they broke up. Which means they should not see each other. Marissa needed to move quickly to stop Gabriella from coming upstairs. She turned around to see a smiling Gabriella holding two drinks. The smile slid off when she saw who was slouching behind her.

Marissa shooed Gabriella into a booth that was out of sight of the slouching boy.
“Why didn’t you tell me you guys broke up? What happened?”
“I was gonna tell you but later. Over wine or something.”
“What? Why? What happened? Spill it!”
“He’s just- He doesn’t make me happy. He doesn’t make me feel anything. He’s just boring.”
“Things were going so well. Now you’re saying he is boring? What made you come to this realization?”
“Honestly, I kept reading about these amazing fictional boyfriends and I knew that Michael just wasn’t it. He didn’t make me feel feel good about myself and I didn’t feel like we had a supporting relationship. It just didn’t feel… good. I needed to end it.”
“I wish you told me. I had no idea what happened between you two. You normally tell me everything. I understand though. I really do. That’s why we came out today?”
“Yea, I broke up with him this morning. I needed a day out to forget about it but then I end up seeing two ex boyfriends. I just wanted a break!” Gabriella flopped on the table looking forlorn. 
“It’s okay sweetie. We can always go home and lay on the couch and watch the entire Harry Potter series OR the entire development of the Avengers, Hulk to Civil War. Just say the word.”
“No, we have one more place to go before we head back. Let’s go before he notices we’re here.”
Both girls carefully get up quietly and leave without bringing any attention from the boy in the corner.


“So the final place is around the corner from our home? We could’ve came here first!”
“Yea, but we needed the adventure. Now we don’t have to go on a journey just to go back home. Plus, we love this Connecticut Muffin!”
“Now we can have our movie marathon. Right?”
“Yes, but we need to decide if we’re watching Harry Potter or Hulk to Civil War”
“Can I take your order? By the way, my choice is definitely Harry Potter.” The curly haired employee behind the counter asks. She gave Gabriella a dazzling smile while she asked.
“Yes. Can we have two hot chocolates, please?”
“Yea, sure. And you?” The employee asked Gabriella.
“Oh. No. Thank you.” Gabriella have the employee an even wider smile.

Marissa decided that she should excuse herself from their smiling competition and went to grab them a seat.

“I don’t think I’ve seen you here before. Are you new?”
“Yea, I just started last week. Why? Do you come here often?
“Well, I live right around the corner. It’s the best place to get my morning coffee.”
“Does that mean I’ll be able to see more of you?”
“Yes, every morning.”
“I look forward to it. By the way, my name is Angela.”
“Hello Angela, I’m Gabriella.”
They both smile at each other for a while, already sensing the bond between them.

Angela makes three hot chocolates and joins Marissa and Gabriela. They sat talking with each other in the empty cafe on this cold winter evening.

Day 1: Stars

Here is the first story. I once again want to say that these stories are written and edited by me. I usually try asking other people for their input before I post my stories but I am working on being more self-reliant and only going to others when I really need it. I hope to see growth in my writing when I finish this challenge. I hope you guys like it!

First Date

Christine spent the entire day trying to find the perfect outfit and to calm herself by watching youtube videos. She asked Joel on a date after they finished their Intro to Literature final last week. She wanted to ask him out for the entire semester and was too nervous. But when she and he had to work on their final project together she decided to take the chance and ask him out. 

While waiting for their date at 6 o’clock tonight, she called her best friend five times and ended each phone call asking whether she should make an excuse and cancel her plans because of her emotions of both nervous and excited but to cancel today would mean that all her efforts to get this date, encouraging talks in the mirror, would mean nothing.

Joel wandered around his favorite bookstore for four hours. He didn’t come here to find a new book. He didn’t even have the intentions to buy anything. He just needed to be someplace that would calm him down. Joel has been daydreaming about this day for the entire week since Christine asked him on a date. He kept wondering how it would go. Would he like his surprise later? Would it make her smile?

He had hung out with Christine many times while working on their project and they have both gotten comfortable with each other. Though their relationship has gone into a comfortable friendship, this is their first date.

He spent his morning stressing because he kept wondering how tonight will go. He quickly realized that the only way he could calm himself down would be to do his favorite things. He picked up his tea from his favorite cafe before heading to the bookstore where he intends on staying until his date tonight. He has two more hours until he has to meet up with Christine. Enough time to wander around some more and find books.

While waiting for the crossing light, Joel sees Christine standing outside of the Court St. movie theater. He decides to take this opportunity to admire her from afar. One of the things Joel admires about Christine is the way she dresses. She dresses casual but elegant. To him, she looks royal. Though she was bundled up from the cold, he could still see her bright red dress that stood out against her grey jacket and her black stockings. Her curly hair was put in a high ponytail and of course, she was wearing her red over the ear headphones that perfectly matched her outfit. Joel was underdressed in comparison, with his jeans and white button up which was hidden under his huge winter jacket. It took Joel a moment to notice that the light has changed so he rushes across the street to go and meet her.

“Christine! Hi. How are you?” He says while slightly stumbling over his words.
“Hey, Joel! I am freezing!”Christine responded and reached up to give him a hug. Joel was a foot taller than her. “Come on! Let’s go in.” 

Christine opens the door for both her and Joel and leads them both into the theater. They made small talk about the movie they were about to see. Because Christine doesn’t like science fiction. It took them both some time to decide on a movie to watch but they settled on a Christmasy action-comedy. A weird mix but they both love Tracey Morgan so it was the best choice.

In the theater, Christine didn’t know if she should try and get closer to him or not. She always hated the idea of going to a theater to make out with someone. Spending money to see a movie but all you did was snog.

She tried watching the movie but her thoughts were overtaken by her wanting to touch Joel. She wanted to get closer to him, she wanted to feel what it was like to be close to him. To hold his hand or to snuggle into him. She craved being touched by him but she was too afraid to make the move. She didn’t know where the action would take her. For the entirety of the movie, she argued with herself about her decision and daydreamed about what it would be like to actually make the move.

“So, um… How did you like the movie?” asked Joel
“I really enjoyed the movie. It was so funny!” replied Christine, knowing that she couldn’t remember a thing about the movie.
“How did you like the part where Joanne and Michael argued? “
“It was so funny. I really liked Joanne’s character. It reminds me of Pauline from class. She always made some weird noise or that weird laugh from class. Remember?
“Yea! I had to sit next to her for half of the semester. She always made weird comments out my hair. Like if she could touch it or smell it. She was weird. Why would I let her touch my fro?”
All Christine could do was smile at that comment. Joel’s hair was what made her notice him. You could tell he took great care of it.

“I know. She is not allowed to touch such beauty”
“Awe. You think my hair is beautiful?” Joel stopped to pose for her.
“Ha! Come on. Where should we go now? I could go for something to eat. If you’d like.” Christine asked.
“Yea, okay. Let’s get some food. I know a place close by.”
“Lead the way”

Joel took them through the back streets of Brooklyn to get to the restaurant. Christine was surprised when she saw that it was an old school diner but when she looked at Joel and saw how excited he was they had arrived, she relaxed into open-mindedness.

 

“Okay. I know this looks a bit strange but the food here is great and they have the best view.” Joel said smiling as hard as he possibly could and almost reached to grab Christine’s hand but thought better of it. He ushered her towards the back of the restaurant. The front of the restaurant is like any other diner but the back was dimly lit so that you could see… stars.

Joel turns to look at her and asks, “So, how do you like it?”
“How?” Was all Christine could get out.
The sight before her was breathtaking. She couldn’t understand how she was seeing the stars in Brooklyn. There has always been too much light from the city to see as many stars as she was seeing now. At first glance, she could constellations clearly. All she could do was look up at Joel and smile.

Joel’s face immediately brightened when he saw her smile. “I remembered you saying that you loved seeing the stars when you visited your family down south. So, I wanted to show you this… so that you could… have it… here.” Joel started getting shyer while he spoke. Maybe it was too much or too intimate for a first date. Maybe she’ll think that this was weird.

“Joel,” Christine finally said, tears peeking from her eyes. “This is so sweet. Thank you.” She reached over to hold his hand and smiled at him before she planted a kiss on the rim of his lips. She held it there for a while until she broke away and they smiled at each other and soon they both looked back up at the stars.