#29: Dead Plants

She keeps the dead plants in their pots to remind her that she’s still living.

They’re dead and dried and curled up on themselves, but they remind her that even in the best conditions, things just die anyway.

She looks at the dead plants on her window sill and remembers to live her life to the fullest, never letting fear or inadequacy scare her.

She breaks barriers, and creates without question.

She lives, but the plants, just like parts of the old her, are still dead.

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#28: On A Barstool

There’s an old man,

Sitting at the bar,

Crumpled up on a barstool.

He turns to you,

More full of drink,

Than motivation,

And hands you his card.

“Penny for your thoughts?”,

He asks with a crooked smile.

You find that your head is empty.

#27: Binoculars

He uses Binoculars because he is afraid to touch her. He’s afraid to talk to her, to face her head on. He’s scared because he fears she will laugh at him, reject him, avoid him.

He wants to talk to her, but the fear swallows him up whole. He finds that he likes watching her from afar.

The way she carries herself when no one else is watching. How calm and comfortable she is when no one else is around.

He wants to touch her, but she’s too far away.

Until she’s banging on his door at three in the morning.

#26: The Tree is Still Up

Dear you,

I drove by the park where we used to hang out after school. It’s been years, but the playground is still standing, the rust crawling up from the sand and eating away the paint. The benches are still there, cracking with age, splintering away more and more with each rain.

The tree is still up. The same tree where we carved our initials in a jagged heart. The same tree where we shared our first kiss. The same tree where you told me you were leaving.

It’s still there, and I’m still here.

Where are you?

#25: XXX

The list in her hands was old. The page crumpled up multiple times, as if shoved into a pocket or a fist several times. The names were scribbled in a quick scrawl, the red X’s across them a sign of something.

“What is this?” She asked, gazing up from the list at the man in uniform before her.

“A hit list,” he said, adjusting his belt around his hips. “My boss wants me to keep you safe and these men are–” he let a brief smirk cross his lips, “–were after you.”

She put her hands to her hips. “Obviously my father doesn’t think I can take care of myself,” she said, unsheathing the knife from it’s place at her hip. “But he doesn’t know about my list.”

Ten minutes later, she placed a red X over his name.

#24: The Gambler

He rolls the dice in his hands like they mean something to him, blows on them like they really are hot between his palms, says prayers in as many languages as he knows, as if he believes in all those higher powers.

It still isn’t enough and he loses his gamble with Death. Not with his own life, of course, but with hers.

“There’s nothing else we can do,” The doctors tell him, but he sees the dark cloaked figure staring at him from the corner of the hospital room.

“Double or nothing,” he whispers as soon as the doctors are out of earshot.

Eyes with more life than he has ever seen behind that dark cloak stare back at him, alive with a curiosity.

He follows his usual protocol and rolls.