spectral

United States

黃愛莉
| she/her | chinese american |
memory & mortality & madness
50~ Sept. 2020

Message from Writer

hey guys im interested in perhaps publishing an arg on wtw? idk what the admins stance on that would be but would that be of interest to any of you?
self-promotion, will again, be ignored lol; if i want to read your work, i will in my own time. its much more impactful when you're not being told to do something

you shot my heart (i hoped to die)

January 27, 2021

FREE WRITING

21
tw for death- car crashes, (and a bus) falling, allergy attack . be careful.

o.
three's a crowd, that is true.
but take one more. take four,
and you have death.

i.
we live in a world that wears our humanity around our necks.
four lives, the wind whispers weighing lightly under my chest.
four lives, four deaths.
i'd almost wish for only one. one life, one death-
because then would it truly matter.

ii.
that week you didn't come to school. everyone wondered
what happened, but when you appeared the next,
you had only three of the four pins everyone wore on their shirt.
three, not four, metal pins, each shaped like a heart. 
i think i cried.

iii. 
you know, the first time you lose a life, you lose the red pin.
(then blue, white, gold.)
i lost mine shortly after yours.
you reassured me death did not hurt; but you died from falling
down (down) your stairs. a painless death indeed.
(you were no icarus, and indeed
this is no myth, no fairy tale.)
but that night, when my sister was far too intoxicated to be
driving, for the minutes (hoursyears)
it felt like i was conscious before i slipped away, (a leaf in a breeze)
all i could think about was you, and your fall.
they say dying the first three times has no physical effects.
that might be true. but it'd be a lie to say that the other kinds
did not exist.

iv.
no one around me seemed to fear death in the way i did.
after all, you had more tries afterwards, didn't you? you and i,
we were the only two who had actually experienced it
until high school. but even you didn't understand the
way i couldn't sleep or think or feel on those certain days as
the weight of only so many chances starts to dawn on you
after you lose the first.

v.
you were never the same after my first death; in 
retrospect, it started when you lost your first.
you became more careless after the first pin disappeared
from your jacket. you wore the absence of red like a 
badge, while i wore mine with shame. i asked and you
said that now i know what i'm gambling. i nodded but
really i don't think you did.
a month later you had an allergy attack; peanuts.
(a blue heart gone, a shard of humanity.) i worried so
hard that weekend, i slept even less than usual
out of fear and anxiety.
when i told you this, you laughed. why so worried?
i've gotten the hang of this.
but i hadn't.

vi.
it wasn't particularly unusual for high schoolers to have lost
one life, maybe two. some even consider it a rite of passage,
losing the red. my fear of death was profoundly unusual, so i tried
to hide it. i went along, tried my classmates daring ways,
along with you, of course.
the lake behind our school, that was always a subject
of dares. one time i hit the water too fast, too wrong, and.
well. and i lost my blue.
when i woke up the next day unable to control my breath,
you called and congratulated me. you're getting the hang
of it, you said.
i always thought i cried too much, though you used to disagree.
but i thought maybe you'd be proud of me for holding back tears
while throwing my blue pin into the wind.

vii.
and so we were equal once again. we were so young, spending
away our chances at such a small age. i tried to understand, then
to reason. look, we need to change. we've already wasted half our
chances. we cannot afford to keep this up.
you nodded, agreeing. we promised each other no more
gambling, that we'd wear our hearts together with caution.
but fate held no such promise, so the next year
the school bus we rode every day skittered
out of control, and off the freeway. for a moment
we were weightless, timeless, ageless. like the universe
held its breath. and i caught the glint of your eyes, angry and
desperate and confused
but not scared.

viii. 
so much tragedy, i could hear everyone around me whispering.
that week we came back, (always back) to school. a senior, already
on one life. the white was gone, only the gold remained.
but when i met up with you at lunch, you were not angry, nor scared.
you merely looked to me, so resigned. one more, for both of us, eh?
i fingered the singular heart left on your jacket. yeah, i said.
one more for both of us.
but how to spend it?

ix.
i think life is much more impactful when you only have one of them.
sometime around now you at last understood my thoughts back when i
had two or three to spare. you were sorry, i think, for not understanding,
though you never knew quite how to phrase it. but now that we had one
we laughed and cried and felt more because we could feel the
hourglass turning at the back of our necks. i thought that at last one life
would bring us together. and it did, for a while.
but here we are now, yeah?

x.
i know you never meant to hurt me, at least this final time. but the fact is.
my hourglass reaches its end, even in this hospital room. i shouldn't have
driven so recklessly after our argument. i shouldn't have argued with you at all.
it wasn't worth it in the end, being right. but things end how they start, don't they?
i wish it didn't end this way, but the fact is that you are a direct cause of this.
you are a direct cause of my heartbeat going still in too few minutes or hours but
so am i, because nothing in all of the lives i've experienced is ever one person's 
fault. my gold is going to be gone, shattered by a shot to my heart- a shot taken
by you, me, who even knows. but in the end i don't care because
yours won't be, hopefully for a long time.
and despite everything that happened, for every wrong thing you've done to me or i've done
to you, i still care.
because now you have that one life and death that i used to so desperately wish for and
now for once in every life we've lived it matters.
so use it well, alright?
 
idk if anyone will actually read this as i've noticed this site has a pretty short attention span but oh well lol, we'll see.
lol you can tell im not very good at coming up with ways of dying
words : 1094
i struggled making this coherent and short enough man. in the end i kind of lost sight of what i was writing for but i hope that you understand haha.
an explanation on the title because im insecure about being too cryptic about things- (i could never be one of those people who drops funky mystery note in the footnotes and leave except that i probably have been in the past)  a play on 'cross my heart and hope to die' but kind of not really. the narrator wanted to die a meaningful death, and hopes that their partner (friend, romantic partner, or otherwise) will carry on using their last life well, making the death meaningful in their eyes.

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  • January 27, 2021 - 7:13pm (Now Viewing)

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15 Comments
  • Wisp

    Replying: Yeah of course! This is one of my favorites by the way, and I'll probably reread it every so often haha. Hm, I haven't really had that issue besides with Jacob so it's a tad odd. I don't know, a lot has changed on WtW as a whole. Mm, I'd say you're a veteran enough, and honestly you could get around the guidelines by making it nonfiction; meaning you use the term "social media" as an umbrella term and then list your ideas. And then in your footnotes you can clarify that you're talking about WtW as well. I think social media is a pretty good broad term that won't violate the guidelines if you were to write a piece addressing self-promotion.


    about 11 hours ago
  • Wisp

    I've been meaning to read this for quite a while, never got around to it until now though. That title really had me drawn in and the way you blatantly said "and you have death." at the end of your first stanza, well, that kept me intrigued.
    This whole concept of the pins and stuff, gosh that's just brilliant honestly. That whole idea kept me interested and the way you make this connection that we take things for granted oh gosh that was just profound. This world you create in ten stanzas has this sense that they take their four lives for granted, that they're reckless when they have time to spare, when they have three more lives to live. And in a way it's kinda like us huh? When we have too much of one thing, we take it for granted. And we don't realize how good we have it until it's too late. And that idea is so beautifully portrayed in this piece, like the whole concept of cherishing everything. Because in our lives we only have one, yet we still take that for granted. I really love the idea of feeling things more, of experiencing it more and appreciating it more. There's such profound meaning in this piece and it just has me stunned.
    Anyways enough of that kind of talk, now I'll tell you how brilliant you are. Because come on? This whole concept/idea/execution? Simply gorgeous. The way you flesh out your characters and make them real people with fears and anxieties and issues like us. Gosh that's just beyond words. You built a whole world in these lines, a whole life (well four I suppose you can say) in ten stanzas and you transformed it into something so glorious. The whole part where the narrator talks about the anxiety they felt from losing their first life, that one was especially lovely to me, like the feelings you evoke are just magnificent.
    I really adored and loved this. It's execution is beautiful, the imagery is lovely, the whole sense of prose poetry is brilliant and every part of this makes me fall in love with it all over again. By far, a favorite of mine I've ever read on WtW.

    Also, I just wanted to say thank you for what you commented on JACOB HOUSTON's piece. Call me a coward, but I hate confrontation, and reading your words definitely made me feel like I wasn't the only one who felt that way about his comments. Anyways I confronted him about it after reading yours, so thank you for that (That's a weird thank you huh? Sorry this is a rambled mess). Hope your day is well!


    1 day ago
  • Madelyn (Carolina Girl)

    I love this very very much. Yes it is long but so worth the read. Hello friend. Love your work and the way you did this piece.


    23 days ago
  • happy butterfly

    ahhh this is so beautiful and heartbreaking.your work is so unique,this is so unique. youve written a short story,yet it has poetry to it.


    27 days ago
  • FantasyOtter12

    Loool I read it all! The first sentence of the footnotes are kinda relatable, but this was just so gripping I had to continue reading :P This is beautiful to no end :)


    28 days ago
  • happy butterfly

    replying: indeed,thank you for stopping by,my grace.hehe
    aww thank you so much


    about 1 month ago
  • FastOceanLove

    This is a raw poem, very true and straight to heart, it's not just a ton of imagery, but very raw. I would do a review but I don't want to change a thing. You're a great writer and I really hope you and everyone else on here would pleaseee check out a piece or two, I'm a bit new and I hope you can take the time to read a couple, maybe The Esp Research Agency series I'm writing? (Btw it starts with ESP Research Agency: A New Member, then ESP Research Agency: Affirmative (on the title I forgot to write affirmative lol, and my latest is ESP Research Agency: New Names in the Interview Games, they're each about a 1000 words told from two points of view originally off a prompt but I hope you can read them and eventually read more :)


    about 1 month ago
  • its.joyanna

    omg this is so powerful and impactful i've been rererereading it and daaamn this is amazing!


    about 1 month ago
  • itzjojo

    This masterpiece of yours is so raw and passionately written! It hurts so good though. Thank you so much for sharing it; your talent is one of a kind and I absolutely adore it. I wanted to review it, but heck, what would I even say? There is not even anything to improve on. It's literally perfect, I need to print it out and hang it on my wall oh my gosh


    about 1 month ago
  • kiranpark

    re: ASDLJHSDKJH I MEAN IF YOU SAY SO


    about 1 month ago
  • Zirong

    This really blew me away!!! OMG I can’t help re-reading it!


    about 1 month ago
  • Syzygy (#words) (J.A.M)

    OMC, this is STUNNING! I had to read it aloud over and over. Truly phenomenal work!


    about 1 month ago
  • Paisley Blue

    oh wow i love this more than words can express. you've told a beautiful, heartbreaking, and really unique story, in such a short amount of time and words. this is stunning! i really got a lot of character in this, and the development for them both was amazing. and the concept of having four pins, four lives? that's really cool and it makes me think, how would i act? i'd be like the narrator, i think, terrified of using them up, anyways. But what you said about having one life being more meaningful, i love that so much.
    this is a really amazing story, and i am absolutely in awe! wow! :)


    about 1 month ago
  • YW_C

    also, the second stanza has to be my favorite (though the third and the fifth are also close competitors) simply because of how raw it is (i think i cried).


    about 1 month ago
  • YW_C

    this site does has a small attention span but i'm obviously willing to go through ten stanzas if it's written by you and holy god i'm glad i did because this is beautiful. the concept, first of all, with the badges and multiple lives and then the mindset of a highschool kid, ready to gamble on his life for the fun of it, and then the pressure and the fear when you finally understand the gravity of the situation, and then you tie it all together in the end. just beautiful.


    about 1 month ago