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This diary entry is written by ‹stickyvaporeon›. ( View all entries )
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GretchenCategory: Stories
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
07:09:12 AM (GMT)
The cashier spent an unusually long time eyeing Gretchen's ID, the way they always
did, trying to discern if the chubby brunette in the photo and this trashy-looking
gal smacking her gum and propping her bony frame up against the counter were really
one and the same. Finally the woman relented and slapped the pack of Newports down as
Gretchen slid a pile of dirty quarters her way. It was late. So late in fact, that it
was little wonder the cashier gave Gretchen a look like she'd just walked in naked
and covered in oozing leprosy, rather than simply asking the woman to spend a few
extra seconds to verify her money counting skills. But those few extra seconds just
so happened to be enough time for the slimeball waiting in line behind her to get a
few words in. She'd felt a thin line of tension stretching between them when she
entered the gas station, but it hadn't seemed like anything to worry about. Not until
he leaned close and hissed hot breath into the lock of blonde hair tucked behind her
ear, and she could smell every beer he'd had that night, and she heard him say, "You
think you're hot shit, don't you?" 

She twisted away from him, leaving the gas station quietly and heading back down the
sidewalk to the park. She could feel him watching from back there, under the yellow
lights on the gasoline-stained concrete, but she just kept walking. It wasn't
important. She watched the traffic that hadn't slowed down a bit even though the sun
would be rising in two hours, and wondered if any of those drivers would be inclined
to do something if she did get into trouble somehow. Maybe not. It was luck,
just like everything. She tapped on the box of Newports until they were packed, then
slid one out and lit it. It was a special treat, since the only thing she'd smoked in
weeks were hand-rolled cigarettes with "recycled" tobacco collected from butts found
littered on the sidewalk, or, occasionally, a donation from a generous stranger. The
quarters were fished out of a muddy wishing well. She wasn't proud of it. But now
that her menthol cravings were finally satisfied, she forgot all about the creep at
the gas station and trotted down the sidewalk into the park, where there was a brick
wall with a nice view of the pond, her favorite place to perch and observe the city's
nightlife. She ascended her grimy brick throne and sat cross-legged, pulling her
jacket around her a little tighter when the wind picked up. It was a lonely night.
But they were all lonely. 

The only cure for the loneliness was writing. She carefully extracted the book from
her worn leather backpack. It was all she valued in the world. Once a beautiful
hand-made journal, she'd quickly filled its pages, and then proceeded to continue her
writing on every scrap of paper she could find, and then these were crammed into the
journal until the binding broke, and now the whole thing was held together with
rubber bands and knotted strings. She kissed the cover, hugged it to her chest, not
feeling silly or embarrassed the way she once had. Everything that Ian still was was
inside this book. 

She took a pen from her pocket and some paper (flyleaves she'd torn from the backs of
old bibles in a thrift shop yesterday morning) and hoped she wouldn't run out of ink
This was letter #561. Or was it #563? #562 might have gotten lost. 
Ian, sometimes I almost want to tell you I'm glad you aren't here, in such an ugly
world. But then I have to keep reminding myself that you were here once, after all.
This hollow little shit hole of a city on this big bleak empty planet and this is
where God decided to send you. It's crazy, really, and when I first saw into those
big blue eyes of yours I knew you weren't meant for here. I knew you couldn't stay,
even before the doctor told me. And I used to believe that I wasn't meant for here
either. How could I belong in an environment that poisons me? It's not the city
that's toxic, or even the people, but more just the lack of love. Or maybe the lack
of peace. The lack of hope. The lack of money to feed your kids, the lack of time or
talent to get where you want, whatever you want to call it. It's insane, that we live
like this. But it's all been said before. Where you are, you can probably see more of
the big picture and understand it better than I can. But enough philosophy. I guess
I'm just distracting myself from what I really wanted to say. The thing I've said
again and again in every single letter I've written. I miss you. And I'm alone. And I
want to know more about you and who you are. And I love you. Mommy loves you so very,
very much and my love for you is what keeps me alive, as ironic as that may sound.

She couldn't write any more. Her temples were pounding and her cheeks growing hot in
anticipation of tears, so she climbed down from the wall and curled up on the ground,
the sand getting into the holes in her jeans and rubbing gritty against her legs. She
noted how the ball her body became each night, when she tucked herself into herself,
was getting smaller and smaller. She knew she'd wake up in a few hours either from
cold or from hunger, but this was the best time to sleep, just before sunrise. But
all she could do tonight was cry.
Last edited: 23 July 2014

‹Hella› says:   17 August 2014   761751  
Oh my fucking god. Dude, you have talent. I legit read this and kept
reading without getting bored. Is this something that's continued or
you're working on? Because I would legit read more if you are. What is
this story even about? Like I want to know the character, lol. Seems
like a homeless woman with some untold stories. (Obviously).
‹stickyvaporeon› says:   17 August 2014   227260  
Yup she's a mysterious hobo 
No idk 
This was just for fun 
But I am working on a book of illustrated short stories and poems so
When that's ready I'll advertise it on here 
‹Hella› says :   17 August 2014   306067  


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