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i___ the death of max

It's weird to think about this one. It's been a long time now since I last saw Max. Well, since anyone saw him, I guess.

Death is a funny thing. It's hard to think about people sometimes, with the full knowledge that you will never see them again. It's not that they're just not there, as though they've moved away and you both promise to write but never do. There is no choice. They are gone, forever.

You will never see them again, never touch them again, never hear them laugh or talk or see the little endearing things they used to do all the time.

I remember, very clearly, the first time I endured this irreversible application of life. Though I could not tell you the date, I could tell you a great many things not related to the event itself. What my mom was wearing when she told me. What position my bed was in relation to the door. Where my stuffed fox was. Strange, little things.

My brother, the snoop, told me first. I remember quite clearing him walking into the room. I was sitting at the computer, perhaps chatting on MSN, and did not look up.


I raised my head a few degrees. "Yeah?"

"Max is dead."

"Oh... Okay." and with that, I turned back to my monitor, unchanged. Even now, I am unsure if I did not believe it or it simply did not affect me. That would come later.

My mom was on the phone for a couple of hours. I was in my room reading. I don't remember what book. I was lying on my bed, desk lamp wretched over to spill its light across the pages of my book. I was already in my pajamas. My mother came slowly up the stairs, the floorboards creaking beneath her feet as she stood quietly outside my bedroom, just watching me. I looked up, questioning.

She stepped into my room slowly, quietly walked over and sat on my bed. "Kate..." she said seriously, looking at me softly. Then ... "Max is dead."

Somehow, this time, I did cry.

I pictured Max in my head, his white hair and oversize t-shirts, his ready smile and quick laugh. I remembered when he sent me the old laptop, paid all the shipping and handling on it and the printer he'd sent so I had somewhere to keep my stories. I remembered the books his wife and he carefully boxed and mailed me, or drove out of their way to get to me when they were in the area. I looked over at the stuffed silver fox they had sent me, and I was completely at a loss.

"Why?" I stammered, sitting up and beginning to sob. I covered my eyes with my hands and bawled, my mom rubbing my back and softly murmuring the words you are supposed to say when someone you love dies. It was his time. He wasn't in any pain. God called him, and he went. "How?"

He had a heart condition. He was at his son's graduation. His heart just ... stopped.

I remember the look on my brother's face when he came upstairs later to see me in tears. "You didn't cry before," he sneered.

I didn't have an answer. I didn't want one. The room suddenly seemed gray and unfamiliar, as if someone had taken out something but I couldn't figure out what. I remember I spent that night curled up on my bed with the stuffed fox they'd given me, tears in my eyes and memories in my head of the horrific, screaming loss I'd just endured.

And no one even knew. My fingers were buried in the fur of the fox, and no one knew. His heart just ... stopped.

How could it just stop?

No one even knew.

ii___ da vinci

No. I deserve what I have, but certainly I don't deserve you. I should have the mom I have, the one who screams and yells and hates, but not you. My lack of self esteem and nights full of crying. Not you. People like me don't deserve people like you.
People who fall and just don't want to get up anymore, who don't want to try, who are scared not to, who rely on everyone else because they're sick of themselves, who spend their time thinking that hey, maybe this is all they're good for....
No. You deserve better.

Hey. Would you sell a Da Vinci for a dollar? No. You wouldn't, so stop selling yourself short.

I'm not a da Vinci. Don't sell me. Who would buy?...

Anyone who didn't would be missing the purchase of a lifetime. But you're right. You're not for sale.

iii___ the realization

I need to talk to you. Please?

wet hands.
fluttering heart.
will he come?
please come .... please come ...

It started about you, but in my selfish way it came back to me, and of course, my mom.

I'm just ... I'm scared, you know? She treats me so bad, all the time, and it hurts, and yet ...
I'm just scared. I'm scared I'm going to be her. You know? She is who she is because of her father, and I guess I just don't want to be who I am because of her. But it feels like...

my voice dies, rots in the air.
putrid smell of bitter hearts, the wet odour of sadness.
the biting cold scent of apprehension, and maybe...

It just feels like I am.

you whisper my name and I'm crying again. always crying, always breaking.
a china doll, with tears.
you promise no, that I can break the mold.
collapse in your hands, fragments of glass.

take her away, and all that's left is the realization;

She's not the one I hate. It's me.

Author's Note: So ... this was written for the writing community I am part of as part of their Weekly Topic. We, as you probably guessed, were suggested to write about three events or days that changed our lives forever. If you know me out in that silly place called the "real world", you've possibly heard one or all of these stories. Feel free to ask me about them.

I tried to do each one in a distinctly different style. I've never done so much formatting on my work before. >>;

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