My gift to you, word for word


When Mrs. Lambada asked the class to write a “personal” poem as our final project, I didn’t know what to expect. I asked her, “Can’t I just write about what I did last summer? or my dog Sandy?” She responded with, “No, no, no, my darling, it must be something that is brought out of your eternal being.” I never really got her; those chunky rings and candles around her desk always had me question her judgement as a teacher. But nevertheless she was the teacher, and so my input on the matter to change it was irrelevant. On the way home, I tried to think about what I could write about; though it was hard to because my mind kept tracing back to  Daren. He moved here last year from England and long story short I was in over my head and got my heart ripped out after we dated for 3 weeks. Although I guess you could call it more of a fling then dating; he was after all one of the new popular kids. But that’s not the point; the point is that I have to write this stupid poem but all I can think about are the stupid little things I had done with that boy.

I can remember every detail in his face too. How the corners of his mouth would curl up into a little smirk, and the indents of dimples were distinct and more beautiful than the greenest valley with the most diverse arrangement of wild flowers. His eyes were his mood ring, allusive like smoke and ranged from grey to olive. His hair soared with a raven’s wing and rested with the swan’s elegance. His lips…oh god. They were the thing I craved most in this world. A sweet intoxication; they held me in and sent on a trip to the stars. His glowed with an amber light but so much black at the ends; like he would show the world one side while concealing a secret within. One word would captivate even the most detached souls, and I fell deeper and deeper with every brush of the hand, kiss on the cheek, and piercing stare.

You know that feeling, when your stomach feels like it’s inside out, and your lungs are full of air but you can’t breathe? That was what being with Daren felt like. He electrified every hair on the back of my neck, and I felt alive for the first time in existence. But like all fairy-tales and hallucinations, they have to end sometime. Mine ended in the form of Catheryn and her deviously innocent personality. I spent endless nights awake with puffy eyes and an empty chest thinking, “what did I do?” I thought that if I figured out what I did wrong, I would be able to find the solution and to bring him back. I made charts, sketched scenarios, got all of the stereotypical teenage blogs and articles I could get my hands on, and analyzed each and every one until I knew them by heart… with an overall result of nothing.

I didn’t know what to do. My mother said, “Teanna, you’re taking this out of hand; he’s just a boy.” But it was more than that. It felt like I was being stripped away piece by piece until I was mere dust. You know how John Green talks about that girl Alaska, and how the boy Miles talks about how she is a hurricane and he’s just a small piece of rain? I felt like that; only I was a mere drop in his whole damn ocean. He was my world, but him I was nothing more than something to be replaced. Emotions boiled in me like never before; anguish, rage, malice, and overall…. pain. I think it was the pain that hit me the worst. It was a burning in my cheeks, an ache in my bones, and a feeling as though I could scream in a sea of people and on one would hear me.

I knew that I had to get rid of these feelings, because if I didn’t, they would destroy me. So the night before the assignment was due, I finally saw what Mrs. Lambada meant by writing with your inner soul. These feelings were just swirling in the pit of my stomach, and looking in the mirror I saw someone I didn’t recognize. She looked like me, and sounded like me, but there was this look in her eyes….she scared me. I did not want this girl and her vulgar emotions to consume me, but fighting back was hard. I couldn’t fight her forever, but giving in meant that I would never get back to being the Teanna I once was. So with the help of extremely strong coffee, I poured all of my emotion into the small journal she had given us to write in. My hand moved as fast as the tears that used to flow, but instead of my tears being red with anger my eyes were lit with the flames of passion. I had to look deeper than any ocean to find the core of how to fix myself.

When the time for our presentations came, I asked if I could go first. I slowly made my way to the front; like a soldier preparing for the biggest challenge of their life. I looked over those against me, and signed off to the general for my final address. The poem went like so:


“All the time I think of you

you’re stuck in here like gum on my shoe

And i’m supposed to stop and retrace my footing

but then i go back to your lips and it feels like I’m shooting

Up into oblivion and i’m not sure what I want to do

But i’m stuck here crying on this floor and having thoughts of you

And some would think it’s time to take another pill or have another drink

But through all of this liquor dammit I can think of a world free from memory

Of what we had and used to be

And break free from all this hopeless loss and misery


But that’s what happens when two souls drift apart

One falls with their head and the other with their heart

And they’re left alone thinking “how was I blind?”

I thought that you loved me, but you were just being kind

To the girl who sat in the back of the class

Who was laughed at and constantly called “fat-ass”

And i thought you were different and you saw me for me

But I should’ve stopped dreaming and woke up to reality


There comes a time where you have to choose

Whether to die in the storm or come out in refuge

Most would think to stand in the debris

Or to float along with the raging sea

But for me I’d like to stay awhile

just lay in the stars look inside and smile

that I had found my prayer and my key

the secret to happiness, was me”

Looking up at my peers, I saw a sea of faces; some in shock, some with blank stares, but most an unutterable awe. I noted how every pair of eyes following me back as if I had just killed off a militia with the flick of my wrist. At first I first thought to go back to my desk. But slowly, I made my way over to Daren’s. He looked up slightly bewildered and confused but kept his lips clamped together, as if opening his mouth would cause him to say something he’d regret. Very calmly, I placed the poem on his desk and said, “This is my gift to you, word for word.” and slowly moved back to my desk.The rest of class period  felt like a blur. I was watching the others recite their stories, but all I heard was a soft hum. I tried to pay attention, but I couldn’t because of the warmth of this glow that was engulfing me.I felt serene, like a mountain river flowing effortlessly from one place to another. Reciting that poem killed off the girl in the reflection, and I could feel the Teanna I used to know return. As the bell rang and the others scurried off to their lockers and what not, I could feel Daren’s eyes boring holes into the back of my neck. Those eyes, once so entrancing now seemed ordinary. After feeling all I did, I finally came to realize who he was; just another face in the crowd, and nothing more.