Life and Love is like a puzzle. A thousand piece puzzle to be exact. At times it's easy, but it's moreover hard. You need patience to make it all the way through. Sadly, that's a trait many lack. But one shouldn't be discouraged. There's no need in giving up because it's frustrating. Go at your own pace and put it together. Even if it seems to be falling apart, you have to pull it together. One also shouldn't force it. It may not fit where you think it belongs, but it fits somewhere. Just be patient. It'll all fall into place in time. Don't let life end with an unfinished puzzle on the table.


Don't say her name

"I love you," she exhaled, trapped within the nonsensical reality where the sun would never rise. I was trapped too, but I was more aware of it. My hand traced over her frame. She was still pretty slender, despite her condition. She always been naturally thin. Shame that I'm going to have to miss the only time she'll ever be over a hundred or so pounds. It would have been a sight to see.

I breathed into her neck as my fingers grope around her breast. She arched herself to brush her lips against my chin. She tried to arch body more so that she could reach my lips, but failed. She turned to face me then, and properly kissed me with pure affection.

I miss our intimacy. I long to touch her. To feel the animalistic heat entwining itself with our endless love is something I crave for every night. And, to be completely honest, I miss everything. Not just her, our love, and the sex. Everything. Every little thing that made up my life before she left that morning and officially leaving me the day after.

Sure, there are things in my life that stayed the same when she left to live with her grandma. However, they weren't the same. It felt different somehow, even if nothing had changed about them.

She had rotated herself on top of me and took my lips. The taste of her mouth more flavorful than any candy I was forbidden to eat. I had took hold of her hips, ready to take her for the second time that night. She—

The irate buzzing of my alarm clock interrupted my thoughts. I slam a mighty hand against it, and the clock becomes tranquil. I lay back down, and try to gather my thoughts on what had happened two weeks ago. My mind goes blank, and I'm unable to recollect where I left off. I let out a soft sigh. I wish I could kill the man who created alarm clocks. Or maybe I should be going after the inventor of school, for it is his fault that I needed the alarm in the first place. With no access to a time machine, I roll out of bed and pull on the clothes I laid out the night before. Stomping into my shoes, I walk into the bathroom. My eyes connect to the mirror. My reflection stares at me with tired, depressed eyes with a dark ring around them. With hair outrageously askew and a frown to match that of a beached whale, one might think I have depression or something. Then again, maybe I do.

I quickly turn the facet, and splash the hot water on my sullen face. I shouldn't question my sanity. Just because she isn't here doesn't mean I have to be a mental case.

I finger comb my hair, not caring enough to look for my brush. I then make my way to the kitchen. I'm not hungry. I hadn't been hungry ever since the day she told me she was leaving. So I sit at the counter top, and wait for time to pass.

I slowly become use to this morning routine of waiting. Terrence had gotten into a car accident in early November. He came out of it with nothing more than a busted lip. The car, on the other hand, is pushing up daisies. Seeing as we shared the car and Mom needed the other one for her late shifts at work, it left us both without transportation. It isn't that bad though. I just had to start riding the bus again.

Terrence, moving like a sluggish zombie, came into the kitchen. I sent him a queer look. It's rare to see him up so early, especially since he didn't have to be at his job until the afternoon. He had gotten fired from Wal-Mart after not coming in so many days after he wrecked our car. He was smart enough to join a car pool to get to his new job at a Mexican restaurant. Even though I'm seventeen, my mom has yet to give me a key to the apartment. So when he works on school days, I have to get off at the bus stop closest to said restaurant and wait for his shift to be over. Still, even though I may be a little late getting to Fosters, it isn't that bad. It's not like I really had anywhere to go.

Terrence opens the fridge, pulls a few slices of leftover Thanksgiving turkey out and stuffs his face. He then opens a bottle of ranch dressing and pours it straight into his mouth. I turn away as he repeats the process to look a the clock on the stove. It's almost time for me to be leaving. I get up and move into the living room to get my book bag. Before I reach the door, Terrence calls out to me.

"Make sure you get off at Julio's today. I'm not tryin' to hear Mom complaining 'bout you sittin' on the rail again."

I shook my head at his reference to yesterday. It wasn't that I forgot, I just didn't want to sit in the crowded building. If it wasn't for Louise's parents calling Mom, I doubt Terrence would have cared about it. I turn to see him downing the quart of orange juice.

"Yeah," I reply, "I won't do that again."

The day passed swiftly, and I now find myself at the last class of the day: Biology AP. My mind began to melt as my teacher rambles about the main three organs of a plant. Is it really that important for me to know this? I doubt it. Johnny Depp didn't even start his senior year of high school and he's rich, famous, and has vineyard in France. And here I am, sitting a year early as a senior, with nothing. Yes, I certainly do believe I can live without knowing what the hell a xylem is.

A finger jabs itself against my back, and I turn to see Tzu Nakashima smiling at me. I've known Tzu since freshmen year. She had convinced me to join the math team. But when I got a girlfriend, I really didn't have time for math team anymore. We didn't speak that much after I quit. Nothing beyond a hey or a wave in the hall. We didn't have any classes together sophomore or junior year. So our friendship status dwindled down to acquaintances. Yet she smiles like she doesn't know that. She smiles as if we've been friends since kindergarten and we'll be forever and ever. Her smile is annoying.

"Did you see yesterday's episode?" she inquires of me, aware that I'd know instantly what she's talking about.

"No," I lied, hoping this would end the conversation. Her eyes went wide, and I knew I was in for it.

"I can't believe you missed it. It was so awesome! Hiro was…"

I tuned out her voice while pretending to look interested as she talks. She had to be the biggest geek girl I've ever met. She could happily do calculus in her sleep and watch every Sci-Fi movie the Earth has to offer. Her voice was soft and slightly raspy. However, it got extremely high pitched when she was excitedly talking, like she is now. I wish she'd shut up. I'm not the mood to be around her. Really don't want to be with anyone, actually. I want to be alone. Well, alone with…


I immediately became alert at the sound of her name, and there's a pang in my heart. No one, not even Terrence, had uttered her name around me since she left. I'm barely able to even think my lover's name without falling into a pit of despair. And yet, Tzu says it like it's nothing. As if it was as common as saying "bless you" when someone sneezed.


"I know, right? When he melted to goo, I totally freaked!" she continues her story, and I realized that I had jumped to conclusions. It was foolish of me to even think that someone like Tzu would actively mention her. I nod and turn back around just as the bell rang. Everyone quickly jumps to their feet and rushes out the door. I dash to my locker, toss all my books inside it, and ran out to the loading area. I managed to get on the bus before it got too crowded. As I prop myself into a seat, I pray I wouldn't have to share it with anyone. God granted me this one, petty wish. I stare out the window as the bus began to move. I wonder what I would have done if Tzu was actually talking about her. Scream, maybe? I doubt that I'd hit her the way I would if Terrence or some random guy at school had said it. Who knows?

I miss her.

I close my eyes, envisioning her face. When did I fall so helplessly in love with her? Sometimes I wish I could stop. Loving her, that is. I wish I had a switch to turn it off and numb the pain of separation. At least until she came back. That is, if she came back.

Ugh! This is so…so fucked up! I can't stand this! Why did she have to leave? It's not like letting her stay here with me would be so terrible. It's not like she'll stop being pregnant because I'm not near! Damn. I want to explode. Spontaneous combustion. Wild fire. The bus explodes. Crash. Hundreds die along with me.

"Hey, don't you get off here?" says a voice with a hand that's shaking me a little. My eyes snap open and meet the brown eyes of a guy with braces. I glance out the window and nod at the boy.

"Thanks," I whisper as I got up. He smiles, but quickly stops and cover his mouth. The braces must be new. I walk off the bus with my head hung low. I couldn't look at them. I'd just killed them, after all. Maybe there is something wrong with me. No, it's only natural to feel a bit crazy and out of it. It's not like I don't have a good reason to be.

I walk into the overly air conditioned building that is Julio's. I go to my normal table and sit. My stomach growls for the first time in what felt like forever. And, like magic, a basket of chips accompanied by salsa appeared before me. I look up at Kari, the girl who usually drove us home in her van.

"Thought you might be hungry. Terrence and I should be getting off as soon as his replacement comes in. So you don't have too wait long," she says before quickly going back to work. So fast, in fact, that I wasn't able to thank her. I look down at her small gesture of kindness. A genuine smile creeps to my face and I began to eat.