Seeds: poetry collection

poetry, Writing

Overgrown

Sometimes my brain gets too crowded and my thoughts start pouring

out of my ears.

They land on my shoulders and drip down my skin to embed themselves

along my spine.

A thought pressed under my skin to sit against my vertebrae and to grow

among goosebumps.

Mushrooms crawl up my back nourished by my bone marrow.

Vines crawl over my shoulders to wrap around my ribs.

Thorns stem from my collarbones to make sure no one can get in

to the body garden grown from my thoughts.

The hair on my arms stands on end as it turns into blades of grass.

My fingers sprout dandelions

and forget-me-nots sprout from my toes.

My breasts grow bleeding hearts

and honey drips from my nose.

Bees live here now, and beetles and moths.

They crawl around my stomach lining,

up my throat,

and out my mouth.

My heart slowly turns a tulip bulb and my brain’s a clump of poison ivy.

Ring Around The Bathtub

If you ran your hands down, they would roll along small hills

Bump bump bump bump

The contours of my back bone

Weak, warped, and sharp like knives

Don’t cut yourself on my lethal body

Let the water run down the stretched translucent canvas

Blue lines painted in textured brush strokes

Paint running down the shower drain

Humanity swirling down the shower drain

Clumps of hair clogging the shower drain

Dark spiders plucked out of my skull

Leaving paste white bone showing

Through the hole in my head.

Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk

Beat up sneakers hit the pavement

In an uneven rhythm matching the beat

Flowing through the earbuds

That no one else can hear

Chilled wind painting a blush

Over her freckled face

Kicking rocks across the street

Sleeves pulled down over her hands

Walking into the corner gas station

Going to the very back of the store

And getting the chocolate coffee in a can

Pulls her debit card out of her pack of camels

She takes a cigarette out at the stop light

Cups her hand around her lighter

To keep it safe from the breeze

She inhales deeply

Nicotine fills her lungs

Cigarette smoke clouds her thoughts

The taste of ash sticky on her tongue

Mentally feeling her body rot

She cracks open the can of coffee

And swallows the sweet syrup

Inhaling the caffeine her body runs on

Ashing her cigarette on the ground

Caffeine and nicotine

Cigarettes and chocolate milk.

Recurring Ache

the knowing,

you’ll never be mine is the hard part.

The absolute sureness that I will never touch your naked back.

Connecting the constellations of freckles along your spine,

The knowledge that I will never hold you

or kiss your tear stained face when you cry.

I’ll never get to see the sun hit your body just right

as your laying next to me with your eyes closed.

Never get to run my fingers through your hair

until it gives me all your secrets.

The ache

that sits in my ribs for you nestled right next to my heart.

House Guest

I hate that my body has learned to accommodate pain

It walks into me and I ask it if it would like a glass of water.

I exhaust myself trying to figure out what it needs

Doing everything I can to keep it from becoming enraged and taking over again

@baby_caleb

After a full blown facebook investigation

I found your Snapchat and added you.

And you added me back

Your Facebook is depressing

You’re a real sadboi ™

See: that’s an example of the correct use of you’re and your

Which according to Facebook, you don’t understand

But you’re real cute

Even though your teeth are crooked

It’s ok mine have a gap

I want to tell you I’ll be your friend

I want to tell you I think your the most beautiful boy

I want to tell you that it could be worse.

You could be me.

In person I said

“I have annoyingly thick hair but it falls out in clumps from anxiety”

I don’t know why I said it but you said

“Me too”

I want to tell you a lot of things but instead

I just asked if you had to work today.

You haven’t opened my message yet

Satan’s Poster Child

The disgust in your voice when you say the words “cancer stick”

As if you think it can change me.

As if I didn’t already know

The concern in your eyes as you explain the importance of your god

My blank eyes staring back at you

So you can look through and see the hollow soul.

I bet they tried to tell Lucifer how to live too

Your help is judgement

Making me fall farther from your heaven

Satan’s poster child.

Heaving through hell and back

Long black nails curling around your throat

If you tell me one more time

I’m gonna die young

I already fucking know that and I wish it would happen today

So please climb up on your precious pedestal

I’m fine in fire

Sitting on my throne of cigarette cartons and bic lighters

Onyx horns protruding from my skull

Dressed in ash and lingerie

Making you all uncomfortable as I

Cry freely for no goddamn reason.

Coffee Convo

Non-fiction, Personal, Writing

Ok, so it’s not really a coffee this time. It’s actually a green tea with honey and an asiago bagel but that’s only because it’s 8,000 degrees here today and I couldn’t be bothered to drink anything that wasn’t refreshing. It’s only May and I’m already so over sun. I mean I’m not asking for 7 foot snow again, I would just like it if it was always 60 degrees and cloudy.

Since I am posting regularly again I figured I should give you a bit of an update and since I haven’t done a coffee convo in a hot minute, I figured I would share my asiago bagel with you all.

For starters, I am turning 20 in a few weeks which feels bizarre. A lot of me still feels like I’m only 14 and the other part of me is coming to terms with the fact that my sister graduates in a couple days. YES MAISY JAM HAS A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA. I’m honestly probably more proud of her than I was of myself. She works insanely hard and is also incredibly smart in ways I have never been and I can’t wait to see where her life takes her now that she has been released from prison/the public school system.

Summer has also officially begun which means lots of plans are being made. I am making a trip to Idaho over the 4th of July with my family as well as trying to figure out all of the logistics of moving, which, if everything goes to plan, should be happening in late August.

My asiago bagel and tea

My asiago bagel and green tea.

I’m trying to find time to spend with all the people I’ve known for years as well as make connections with new people and it really brings to light just how many people come and go in your life. There are people that I still have genuine love for that I haven’t seen in years. It really puts into perspective how much time we set aside for things that don’t give us the love that family and friends give. We put work, money, and material things over interactions that could change our lives and that’s crazy to me.

I haven’t been reading hardly at all this year, which is frustrating because there’s so much I’ve been wanting to read. I think I need to work more on prioritizing the things I love over the things I have to do. I put work over a lot of things, and while I do generally like my job, My life has taught me that I need to make time to do things I like because, I don’t get to re-do life, and I should probably spend it doing things I love.

I’m also working on not caring what other people think about my life. I generally don’t care what others think when it comes to the way I look or act, especially when it comes to strangers. Lately though, I’ve been focusing on not needing validation from the people I’m close to. Even the people I love aren’t going to understand me and I need to accept that and be ok with it.

These are just a couple things that have been thinking about lately. If you have anything to add, I always appreciate your comments and messages, and if you want to see more photos like the one in this post, please follow me on instagram @avejam_ . Thank you for reading and you will hear from me on Monday!

– Avery

The Ice That Cracks In Your Lungs

Personal, poetry, Writing

So this is the first compilation of poetry that I wrote for second semester. I hope you enjoy!

Winter

I’m feeling a lot.

The icy numbness melting.

This is almost worse.

 

Which way would hurt less?

Feeling no pain or all of it?

 

Mermaid

Stuck underwater.

Voices of those above speak,

Muffled without pain.

 

Why can’t anyone care when

I can’t ever seem to stop.

 

She go lost somewhere

Now she only floats around,

Faking who she was.

 

Poem for a Yandere

Standing there across the yard,

A girl with a knife in her hands.

 

Slowly stepping closer,

This girl holds your life in her hands.

 

Imagining sticky red blood flowing out,

Veins pouring into her hands.

 

Seeing pain mirrored in her eyes,

Memories of you holding her hands.

 

Coming to hurt you like you hurt her,

Heart barely beating in her hands.

 

It’s too bad you didn’t think to call,

Her phone sitting silently in her hands.

 

It’s too bad no one will help you now

Today you die by my hands.
Ouch.

That’s my heart lying on the floor.

A limp organ pulsing unsteadily

Dripping in a puddle of my blood.

 

Sticky and

Dirty and

Oh so alone.

 

That’s my empty chest cavity.

A hole gorged where that heart was

My ribcage

 

Cracked and

Bruised and

Hurting to breathe.

 

Pick it up.

Force that ugly thing back in your chest

Choke through the pain in your lungs

 

But I can’t and

It wont fit and

This hole is too big to be filled.

 

Who’s gruesome heart is that.

Filled with swollen veins.

How’d it get so torn up and cold.

 

The scars and

The aches and

My heart still lying on the floor.
Have Fun Throwing Your Petty Little Fucking Fit Avery

 

New Message: sorry the only thing

You have to deal with is

 

Mental illness. I’m sorry

Too, that I can’t function

Like a normal human but

 

Believe me when I say that

I wish I could take care of that

Baby that you leave alone instead

 

Of taking care of the crying child

That is my mind. Give me something

I can control. New message:

 

take your fake ass shit somewhere

else everyone sees through it anyways.

I wish I was faking, so I could feel

 

The pain your words are

Supposed to inflict but I don’t

And I won’t so

 

I hope you like being alone because

I do. It has become my home.
Vacation Pt. 1

It was raining

The rain dripping down the car window

Like the rain dripping down my cheeks

Mom staring with worry

 

Bright red emergency, and my hand being held

Like a small child who might wander

Sat in a chair as they pulled up sweater sleeves

sticking to severed skin with dried blood

 

Nurses eyes filled with pity

Led to a room and placed in a bed

Removed of clothing and belongings

Fragile, pale, staring at the ceiling

 

Hours passing

Eyes dry up and gasps grow silent

My brain feeling like it has melted

Green-blue scrubs on a shivering body.

 

Down the hall

Someone is crying in pain

The world continues around

But time stood still in my tiny room

 

Two in the morning

How are you feeling?

mom sits in the corner crying

I explain the feelings in the brain that turned against me

 

More waiting

Picking at scabs forming in long clean lines

It starts to rain again when I hear what I already knew for the past 5 years

We recommend you be committed.

Note From The Devil, My Lover

Dear you’re my human sacrifice

A gift to those in pain

Your sad solemn words that entice

Umbrellas protecting those in the rain.

 

Nothing you ever write is nice

Because you do it to sustain

To fight against the constant malice

That I stuck inside your brain.

 

How did it feel when you started to slice

When you pierced those precious veins

The blood that dripped from that vice

It left a very large stain.

 

Dear you’re my human sacrifice

Heart dark and deep and maimed

Happiness will never suffice

Because I made you to be insane.

 

Vacation Pt. 2

Eyes blurry, ears ringing

We’ll give you a minute to get ready

No phones allowed. your mom can bring more clothes the next day.

Here’s phone numbers and your socks, I promise you’ll be ok

 

Are you ready

You have to go in a wheelchair. Why? Because you’re sick.

Eyes filled with pity staring sadly at me

Skin becomes itchy. Ok I guess I’m ready

 

Through winding hallways

The nurse and the security guard talk about who didn’t come to work that day

Their lives so normal, and mine so crushed

Eyes glazed over but out of tears to cry

 

Nurse said I like your socks

My socks said bitches get stuff done

I didn’t get stuff done

If I had I wouldn’t be in this elevator

 

Finally sat in a dimly lit room

3 a.m. with rules set out in front of me

Paper titled “Your Fall Prevention Plan”

Too late for that, I’ve already hit the ground.

 

 

Holy Heck She Lives: Florida and Future Content

Personal, Travels

So I want to start by saying that it’s only been two months since I last posted which in comparison to some of my other hiatuses is not that long. However, after a spike of followers and a comment made by my Grandpa about how I should start posting again, I decided I should probably write this.

If you’re new here, welcome. please don’t leave, I promise to be better. I tell this to almost everyone in my life and it’s almost never true so do with that information what you will.

Over Easter, I took a trip to visit my grandparent’s in Florida where the weather was amazing and I didn’t have to go to work or school. Now I’m back in Montana, where I have to do all those things and it’s also snowing…in April. What the actual fuck Montana.

Here are some highlight’s from the trip:

In case you hadn’t noticed yet, I dyed my hair blonde.

Now that I’m back in Billings, it’s back to the daily grind of college which I actually haven’t attended in a few days because I feel empty and like lying in bed all day. (Wow Avery, you haven’t changed a bit.) I have decided that with the end of the school year coming up I will be posting every Monday, Friday, and Sunday and I have put it in writing here so you all can yell at me when I inevitably don’t post.

Some content I have on my to-do list includes:

  • A new coffee convo
  • College with depression
  • Books I’ve read so far this year
  • journal flip-through
  • 2nd semester poetry compilation

I love feedback so let me know what you would like to see next on the blog and also since their are so many new subscribers tell me something about yourself in the comments! Thank you for reading and I’ll see you on Monday!

Watering Dead Plants

Fiction, Writing

A Play By: Avery Jam

[The scene begins in a kitchen. JACK sits in a chair at the kitchen table reading a book and LIZA stands at the counter facing the audience carefully picking the dead leaves off some obviously dead plants.]

LIZA: Hey Jack?

JACK: Hm?

LIZA: I want you to stop calling me stupid.

[silence]

JACK: You know Liza, those plants are dead.

LIZA: No, they’re not they just need to be cleaned up a little.

[silence]

LIZA: So…could you stop calling me stupid?

JACK: Why do you care?

LIZA: Because I don’t like the way it sounds and it makes me feel inferior. Plus it’s not like I’m stupid, I graduated with honors.

JACK: It’s not like I call you stupid in front of people.

LIZA: Yea but I’m not stupid…and also you do.

JACK: Liz, I call everything stupid. It’s a word. It doesn’t mean anything.

LIZA: Ok, but it means something to me.

JACK: Then stop letting it. I’m not going to change the way I talk because it makes you uncomfortable.

LIZA: [becoming more agitated] Is it that hard to change one word?

JACK: Is it that hard to stop letting one word affect you?

[silence. LIZA begins to water the dead plants with a small watering can.]

LIZA: What about bitch?

JACK: What about it?

LIZA: Could you stop calling me a bitch?

JACK: I call everyone a bitch.

LIZA: You don’t call your mom a bitch because you love and respect her. Do you not love and respect me?

JACK: You know that’s different.

[LIZA turns to JACK who is now disinterestedly looking at his phone]

LIZA: How?

JACK: We’ve been together for three years so you shouldn’t take it personally. Why are you asking me this? Why do you want to change me so bad?

LIZA: I just wish you were a little nicer to me. Especially in front of other people.

JACK: [Beginning to get fed up] The only reason you think I’m mean is because you take everything personally. That’s not my fault, it’s yours.

LIZA: Ok, but-

JACK: And the only reason people think I’m mean to you is because you tell them I am. I should be the one telling you to stop saying things.

[LIZA turns back to her plants and looks down at her hands before going back to caring for the plants.]

JACK: Liz there’s no point in watering them.

[silence as JACK looks at LIZA and then back down to his phone.]

LIZA: Do you remember… when you were coming off the pills and you thought I was hiding something from you so you put me in a chokehold and pushed me on the ground?

JACK: Liza why the fuck are you bringing that up?

LIZA: I don’t know.

JACK: Also it was hardly a chokehold. I put my arm around your neck and sat with you on the floor. It’s not my fault you’re so weak.

LIZA: It was a chokehold. It hurt.

JACK: No. It wasn’t. You always make me the bad guy and are telling me that I hurt you but you’re the one always exaggerating.

LIZA: I was just thinking…you never apologized for it.

JACK: sorry that you are weaker than me and I was struggling with drug withdrawal

LIZA: That’s not what I meant.

JACK: [Yelling] Well then what the fuck do you want from me Liza?

LIZA: Nothing…nevermind.

[silence. LIZA goes back to watering the plants]

JACK: Liza just give up on the fucking plants already. You’re stupid to keep trying to grow them.

LIZA: [Suddenly throws one of the dead plant pots on the floor.]

JACK: [Yelling] What the fuck was that for?!

LIZA: [Also yelling] You’re so mean to me! I know you are, no matter how many times you say you aren’t I know you are! You shouldn’t want to call your girlfriend stupid or a bitch!

JACK: [remains silent looking at LIZA]

LIZA: Go on tell me how it’s all my fault and how I need to stop being so irrational. If you loved me you would do anything not to hurt me. But all you do is hurt me and you never apologize and I’m fucking tired of it Jack!

JACK: What is wrong with you?

LIZA: Nothing is wrong with me. I am allowed to be angry. My therapist says I’m allowed to be angry.

JACK: This isn’t angry. This is fucking crazy. You’re crazy. Are you taking your pills? Are you trying to accuse me of abusing you? Do you know how serious that is? I can’t even believe you would consider that!

LIZA: Jack no I-

JACK: Compared to other women you have it so good. I would never punch you in the face or anything.

LIZA: but-

JACK: [putting on his coat to leave] Just stop Liza you’ve said enough. I understand how you feel.

LIZA: Jack please don’t leave I didn’t know what I was saying. Please don’t leave again.

JACK: I’m going to hang out with some coworkers.

LIZA: Don’t leave. I don’t like it when you leave angry. It makes me feel like you won’t come back.

JACK: Maybe one day I won’t. I’m not attached to you Liza. There are a million girls like you.

LIZA: Why do you stay with me then?

JACK: Because girls are a chore Liza. Getting a new girlfriend would be too much work.

LIZA: Oh. ok.

JACK: I’ll be back later. Pick this mess up while I’m gone [JACK gestures to the broken pot]. And please calm down.

[LIZA looks down at the floor and slowly nods]

JACK: Oh and Liza?

LIZA: yea?

JACK: There’s no point in watering dead plants. They’re never going to grow.

[JACK walks offstage as LIZA sinks to the floor picking up a leaf or flower from the floor.]

LIZA: No point in taking care of you…you’re never going to grow…

[LIZA sets the piece down]

LIZA: Dead things can’t grow. I can’t grow.

[LIZA places her head in her hands as the lights fade to black.]

These pills are getting hard to swallow.

Personal, poetry, Writing

A poetry collection by: Avery Jam

 

How To Be Better

I am constantly saving myself.

Pulling myself up from the sad things that put me down.

 

Hardly anyone notices and hardly anyone cares

but I keep doing it so I don’t drown.

 

I fight so hard for myself.

I fight so hard against people who lie,

 

or say I’m hormonal,

 

or say it’s natural

 

or say I need to take vitamins.

 

The pain I feel is not normal. This can’t be normal.

Because if this is normal then I don’t want to fight anymore.

 

So I will rage against anyone who tells me otherwise.

 

Disturbed Sleep

I keep having nightmares about you.

 

Ones where we get back together.

 

In the dream I let you hurt me just to feel less alone.

Like I did before

I left.

 

I relive that year and a half every night and every morning

I wake up with a new memory of something

that you once did to me.

 

The only thing worse than the nightmares

is just how stupid I was to fall, for any of it at all.

 

Good

Apparently personal

Not supposed to talk about it

Bringing everyone down

Am i making you uncomfortable

Good.

Being sad all the time makes me uncomfortable too.

Sorry I’ll keep my pain to myself

 

His Bird

When I left you,

i thought I could walk out

of the cage

 

But when I look around me

i see

steel bars with a lock and no key

 

In the anger

i haven’t felt

for so long

 

In the smoke

of my memories that you lit on fire

until I forgot

 

In the stab of guilt

i feel

for things I never did

 

I walk in circles

untangling the rope of lies

that you tied me up with

 

Your precious rare bird

wings clipped so she can’t fly

always stuck

 

Fucking Asshole

Fuck you.

I was always sad.

Now I’m just sad

And angry.

 

Vanilla Flavored Vodka

It burns

It stings

It warms

It aches

It helps

It calms

But I can’t stop remembering

That I’m supposed to forget you

My mouth overwhelmed

By the taste of vanilla flavored vodka

About Beer and Bad Friends

Fiction, Writing

Here is the first short story I wrote for creative writing back in October. I hope you like it. I will hopefully be posting more on the blog next semester so stay tuned!

About Beer and Bad Friends

By: Avery Jam

 

Opal was staring again. Her mom had always told her she watched too much and spoke to little. Actually everyone had told her that all her life. It’s not that she hated talking it’s just that she hated people. But she didn’t hate Ember. Opal’s hair fell over half her face in a long black curtain as she watched Ember, from across the newspaper classroom animatedly speak about some party she had went to the weekend before last.

Ember was the kind of person everyone stared at. Her petite frame and too big green eyes drew attention, as well as her loud and joyfully manic personality. Ember’s unbrushed caramel colored hair was tucked behind her ears and she threw her head back when she laughed.

Opal was distracted from her staring by her phone notifying her of a facebook event. “Event Today at 7: Snotty Nose Ring Show @ The Boneyard.” Opal sighed and glared at her phone. Snotty Nose Ring was her best and only friend J.B.’s band. They were surf punk and totally amateur but she knew she should go for support. She had already gotten out of four shows prior and she didn’t think she could come up with another excuse for this one.

“Depression should make you automatically exempt from everything,” Opal thought to herself. “Sorry I can’t come because I’m too busy trying to drown myself in the bathtub.” She laughed breathily to herself, with the sarcastic thought.

“Hey! You’re friends with J.B. right?” Ember suddenly yelled across the room. It took Opal at least ten seconds to even realize it was directed towards her.

“Um. Yea.” She replied.

“So you’re going to his show right?” Ember continued.

“I… don’t really know. I don’t really know anyone else going,” said Opal.

At this point Ember had rolled her wheelie chair over to Opal’s side of the room.

“Duuuuuuuuude you should totally come! I mean I’m going to be there and i’m basically the coolest so.” Ember said.

Although Ember meant it in a sarcastic way, to Opal she was literally the coolest person ever. She was everything that Opal had ever tried to be and ultimately failed at being. Friendship with Ember was like the unattainable cliche hipster friendship from any indie flick ever, yet here she was sitting in front of Opal basically asking her to hang out.

“I mean it could be cool” Opal finally replied.

“Hell yea it will be cool! Come on you never do anything right? So it will be an adventure,” said Ember

Opal felt a knot form in her stomach at the mention of her near non existent social life.

“Yea ok, maybe I’ll see you there.” Opal replied.

The bell rang, signaling that class was over.

“See you tonight opulent Opal!” said Ember as she left the room.

Opal sat there for a moment taking the extra processing time she needed for uncalled social situations like this one. She decided she would go. She, Opal the girl who never did anything was going to do something, and that something was going to be with Ember the girl who did everything.

****

“I already know what you’re going to say, and I’m going to say fuck you come to my show,” said J.B. as he stood next to Opal’s locker.

“Fuck you, you don’t know what I was going to say” Opal replied

“I do actually, you were going to make up some lie about your dog dying or something, and then crush my hopes and dreams by telling me you weren’t going to come to my show.” J.B. stated with a knowing expression.

“Well guess what my dog is in perfect health and I’m coming, so there.” Opal snapped as they began walking down the hall.

What!? I better call the bar and tell them the one and only Opal is coming. Hell, I better call the newspaper, this is a goddamn event!” J.B. cheered.

“Oh shut up, this is not my first time going out,” Opal said.

“You’re right, you came to my twelfth birthday party four years ago,” J.B. said with a smirk.

“I am diagnosed with can’t go anywhere or do anything disorder,” Opal said in a fake melancholy tone as they reached the end of the hall where they would separate.

“I know depression sucks but it doesn’t mean it can stop everything ok?” J.B. said in a suddenly serious tone. “I’ll see you tonight kid,” then J.B turned to chase his bandmate down the hall, as Opal stared after him thinking about all the ways to stop everything.

****

Getting into the bar was easier than she thought it would be. A simple “I’m nineteen” and she was walking through the door with an x on the front of each hand. The space was the definition of “dive bar.” Low red lighting barely lit up the room and the floor was sticky with beer . The radio played in the background, and in front of Opal, there was a stage, where J.B. and his band were setting up. J.B. raised his hand towards her in greeting and Opal waved back at him. She perched on a stool and looked around at the other people taking up space in the room. A few men were gathered around the bar, clearly only attending for the drinks. A few other teens were standing around waiting for the show.

Opal was interrupted from her observations by a tap on her shoulder. She turned around and was met with Ember’s bright eyes. “OH MY GOD YOU CAME!” Ember yelled, drawing attention to the two girls. Opal pulled into herself as she responded. “Yea. I – uh thought it would be cool,” she said. Out of nowhere Ember grabbed Opal’s phone, punching her number into the contacts. “There!” Ember began sending herself Opal’s number, “Hope you’re ready to be best friends!”

Opal looked up at the other girl with wide eyes. Before she could even respond, Ember was pulling her to her feet as as J.B. began to announce his band.

“We’re Snotty Nose Ring, and this is our brand new song I’m a highschooler and my life sucks!” The heavy guitar began to blast through the speakers. Punk music filled the room as the people surrounding Opal began to jump around. “Come on Opal!” Ember yelled while trying to pull Opal into the pit. “I’m good here thanks!” Opal shouted over the noise. “No!” said Ember. “Tonight I am going to make you less boring!”

Opal felt like she had been punched in the stomach. Did people think she was boring? It wasn’t really her fault she didn’t have many friends. But maybe Ember was right. Of course Ember was right. Ember was the most exciting person around and if she could be like Ember than she would have lots of friends. So with a burst of crazy determination, Opal grabbed Ember’s hand and was pulled into the sweaty, loud, cluster.

All of a sudden, Opal was twirling and jumping around in bright bursts of light. People ramming against her, probably causing bruises to blossom on her paper white skin. The beat of the music pounded in her head and Opal felt alive. She never felt alive anymore, but right then, in between all those bodies she felt the sliver of hope that she could be. Ember jumped around next to her and gave her a wild smile. Ember was crazy and Ember was living and Opal wanted that. In moments it was over, the music dying down and Ember dragging Opal to the bar to get some water.

“Very good my apprentice!” said Ember. “Hey a group of us are planning on  leaving halfway through the show to drive around and have some drinks. You should totally come!” I’ll give you the real high school experience.”

In all of Opal’s sixteen years of life she had never been drunk, not because she didn’t want to be but just because no one had ever liked her enough to ask. “Sure” she responded breathlessly.

“Sweet!” said Ember. “I’m going to run to the bathroom. I’ll come get you when we’re ready to leave!” and with that she was gone.

Opal half expected Ember to leave the venue without her knowing, but sure enough Ember came back five minutes later with three other girls in tow. She’d seen two of them in the halls at school and the third was a complete stranger. “Ready to go Opal?” Ember questioned. “Ready as I’ll ever be,” Opal replied. “Sweet! This is Jade, our designated driver this evening,” Ember said gesturing towards the brunette with glasses behind her. “And this is Lizzy and Bella,” she continued pointing out the remaining two girls. “Guys this is Opal, now that introductions are out of the way, let’s go drink! I cannot remain conscious any longer!”

The girls made their way out of the bar and walked towards Jade’s car. “Soooo I have 2 packs of Red’s right now, Do you think you’re going to want more?” said Jade.

“Yes! Let’s stop at Albertson’s first,” said Ember.

“What’s Red’s?” questioned Opal.

“It’s this really good apple flavored beer, you’re going to love it!” said Ember.

They piled into the car. Jade driving, Lizzy riding shotgun, and Opal, bella, and Ember, piled in the back, with Ember in the middle. Before the car had even left the parking lot, Opal was being handed a beer bottle. Opal looked at the bottle warily before taking large sip. It tasted like apple juice that was set on fire. It warmed her insides as she continued to drink. A few minutes later they had arrived at Albertsons.

“How are you going to get the beer? No one in this car is 21?” Opal asked.

“We’re going to steal it silly duh! Don’t worry you don’t have to come in. We’ll take care of it, Don’t want the newbie getting arrested on her first night out.” Ember said.

Opal thought about the irony of Opal’s statement, considering they were minors driving in a car with over 12 bottles of beer already. She watched Ember and Jade run through the parking lot.

They returned ten minutes later, with two bags in hand.

“Oh my God the lady at self checkout literally told us to have a goodnight as we walked out with the bags, that was so close,” Ember grinned as she explained the crime.

Her cheeks were flushed from the cold and her smile lit up the car.

Jade drove them all around the city. Ember loaned Opal her jacket and Opal promptly spilt beer on it. She apologized profusely but Ember just laughed and leaned against Opal’s shoulder. Ember was one of the happiest people Opal had ever seen. Jade and Ember recounted their many adventures together to the newer girls in the car. Opal smiled at the cliche stories, thinking about how normal it all sounded.

They drove to the edge of town. The large trees stretching up into the sky, illuminated by the suddenly visible starlight. Opal was now on her 3rd beer and things had started to become fuzzy around the edges.

“I have to pee,” declared Opal.

“Me too! Jade, pull over at the gas station up ahead,” Ember agreed.

Jade pulled over at the rest stop while Opal and Ember hopped out of the back seat. Opal hadn’t realized just how drunk she was until she stood up. Or tried to stand up the second her foot touched the ground, the world was spinning and the next thing she knew was her face being on the ground instead of her feet. Opal giggled to herself.

“C’mon Opal! Get off the ground and don’t act suspicious!” said Ember pulling Opal to her feet. The two girls wandered into the gas station. They were single stall bathrooms in the gas station so Opal went in the women’s and Ember went into the men’s. While washing her hands Opal looked at herself in the mirror.Through her blurred vision she saw her cheeks were flushed and she had an unintentional smile on her face. She understood why people become alcoholics. There was something about being inebriated that pulled the pain right out of you.

Opal stumbled out of the bathroom to see Ember waiting for her.

“Come on let’s hurry back to the car before someone sees you, you look absolutely wrecked,” said Ember confirming what Opal had already seen in the mirror. Opal giggled and her and Ember wandered back to the car. Jade drove them around some more. Ember pulled out a pipe and some weed. “You want some?” She questioned Opal. “No I’m ok mumbled Opal “I think that one mind altering substance is enough for one night,” she continued while nursing her 5th beer.

“Ok, that will be a lesson for next time,” Ember replied smiling.

After that things became a blur for Opal. She told the other girls a lot of things and to her surprise they listened. She told them about the bathtub a few months earlier and how she wished to this day that she had been able to stay underwater for just one more minute so the arms of death could take her. She told them about how sometimes late at night, the blood dripped down her arms and she felt like she couldn’t control it. They comforted Opal and told her it was ok and that sometimes they were sad too. She told them about how lonely she was and they responded with coos of friendship and care. She felt cared for. For the second time that night Opal felt alive.

Towards the end of the night Opal found herself nodding off as she layed on Ember’s shoulder.

“You know, you’re a piece of work Opal. For someone so quiet you have a very loud mind. Ember said

Opal nodded silently against Ember’s shoulder.

“I’m going to fix you.” Ember continued. “We’re going to have adventures and do so many things you won’t have time to be sad.

Opal smiled to herself. She hoped beyond hope that what Ember said was true.

***

Things that happen on a Friday night can change completely on a Monday morning. After Jade had dropped Opal off at her house on Friday night, Ember and the other girls went back to the show. Ember continued to drink until Jade had to find somebody to give her a ride home because she was too inebriated. J.B took her home and when they arrived J.B’s car got stuck in the snow. They made a lot of noise trying to get the car unstuck. So much noise that they woke up Ember’s mom. Seeing her daughter falling over in the snow drunk infuriated her. Ember told her mom that it was Jade’s idea in order to stay out of trouble. Her mom called the school the next morning, and got Jade and Lizzy kicked off the debate team. That Monday they were all scheduled to go to drug and alcohol counseling. Ember refrained from mentioning Opal and Bella, seeing as it was the first time either of them had been drunk.

All this was recounted to Opal by Ember who told her during lunch that Monday.

“Well thank you,” said Opal once Ember had finished the story.

“Yea of course. Anyway… I don’t think we should hang out anymore.”

“Wait what?” questioned Opal “What does you getting caught have anything to do with us hanging out?”

“I just think you’re not the best influence for me right now, I mean I’m going to try to get my shit together and I just don’t think that being around someone who’s as negative as you is good for me.” Ember said.

A million thoughts raced through Opal’s head. Was she really that negative? Did people trying to better themselves think that she was some kind of obstacle? How was this fair? Why was the one thing that made her feel alive now making her feel dead? All these thoughts ran through her head and the only words she could get out were

“Oh Ok”

With that, Ember gave her a sad smile and left the classroom.

Opal felt tears well up in her eyes. She was mad at herself for crying over this. She scratched her arms until the scars that littered them turned red and angry.

“Opal? Are you ok?”

Opal jolted her head up to see Jade standing in the doorway.

“Yea. Yea I’m fine.” Opal responded. Trying to plaster a smile on her face.

“Did she stop talking to you too,” Jade said giving her a sympathetic smile.

Opal couldn’t control the tears now and she just simply nodded. Jade came over and wrapped her arms around Opal.

“Hey, don’t cry. We don’t need her,” said Jade.

The two girls sat like that for a minute until Opal’s tears eventually subsided.

“You want to grab some coffee after school?” Jade asked.

“Yea I’d like that,” Opal responded.

That was the thing about beer and bad friends, they both led to better people.

10 Ways To Advocate For Yourself

Personal, Writing

I am a person that tries to avoid confrontation, but sometimes there are situations when you just really need to stand up for yourself. It took me many years to learn how to stand up for myself without being a huge brat, so I hope these tips will help you improve your argumentative and advocacy skills.

  1. Make your goals clear: When trying to get something in your life it is important to make sure that all parties involved, understand exactly what it is you want and what will happen if you don’t get what you want. This will make it easier for the other parties to express their opinions on the subject.
  2. Crying gets you no where: I’m a big crybaby. always have been and always will be, but when you are trying to gain something personally, it is important to stay calm so that people know you are serious.
  3. If something isn’t fair, fight it: Sometimes things aren’t worth the trouble, but if you know that something is wrong and a change needs to be made then you have to fight it! Nobody is going to say you’re wrong for standing up for what you want. If anything they are going to think you are better for coming forward about it.
  4. Don’t let people talk over you: Even though you should stay calm, you shouldn’t let people walk all over you. You want what you want for a reason, let that reason be known, and don’t let anyone being louder than you take that away.
  5. Avoid being talked in a circle: There are times where I have gone in to have a conversation with a superior and have come out an hour later to realize that I didn’t get to say anything I wanted to say. People will avoid talking about things if it doesn’t benefit them so make sure that before the conversation is wrapped up your topic has been open for discussion.
  6. If all else fails, e-mail: When you just can’t talk to someone about something, e-mail them about it! E-mails look professional and are a good way to call attention to a problem.
  7. Have support from others: Whether it is in the workplace or elsewhere, it is important to have someone backing you. This way you aren’t alone and have opinions to provide validity.
  8. Don’t be discouraged: Things aren’t going to change right away. It’s important to stand by your opinion even if that means it takes a couple of tries.
  9. Act like an adult: If you act like a child you’re going to be treated like one, so stand up tall and be willing to accept compromise.
  10. Remember that it’s going to be ok: Even if it’s been years and your problem has still not been heard or fixed, it is important to remember that there are always other options. It’s not going to be bad forever. 🙂