Crush Me … Part Eight

© Jarenwicklund | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Jarenwicklund | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

FICTION Friday. Already!?! Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. In case you’re new. :)  Dive right in returning Crush Me seekers! 


Bang. Bang. Bang. I don’t see anyone through the small window on the exit door. The door that locked behind me. When I stepped outside to run away from Gage and his broken Kermit heart. Bell sounds, and students begin to flood the hallways. Someone? Anyone? Just open the stupid door already. But they stream by like I’m invisible. Invisible Meena. For the fleeting moments Gage or Jay make me feel alive, so quickly I return to my usual state. Of here but not all there. I turn around and measure the fence with my eyes. I can climb most trees. Maybe if I start—

“Meena?” Door pushes toward me, and I see Jay balancing his crutches with his books. “What are you doing—? Forget it. Just get back in before you get another deet from Mr. Deadhead. He’s roaming the halls now, pen and pink slips cocked like he’s hunting or something.” Jason laughs at his own joke.

I’m still stuck and struck by the fact that he opened the door for me. What a gentleman! “Gimme your books. Lunch right?”

“Awesome.” Without hesitation, Jay pretty much drops his books into my arms, and we start making our way toward the scents of cafeteria casseroles. Continue reading

Crush Me… Part Seven

Welcome back to Friday Fiction! Crush Me began almost seven weeks ago, in my attempt to introduce myself as a YA Fiction writer. Not just a writer of whimsical events in my daily life. :) With my debut novel launching in June, I want to give you a taste of my fiction voice. To be honest, Meena’s story in Crush Me is new for me each week. I’m discovering it only days, sometimes hours before you read it. So bear with the rough edges. :) And, if you’re stopping in for the first time, take a short detour to the start of Meena’s story and I’ll meet you back here in a few! Thanks, always, for reading.

*Hugs* -Raj

Crush Me: Part One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six


Part Seven:

The first time. Nothing like the first time. Once in a while something triggers and I remember the first time I cut like it was yesterday.

As I bypass the girl’s restroom, widening the distance between Gage and me, wishing foolishly to return to the time I didn’t know. Couldn’t tell. Hadn’t seen. His feelings for me. That look in his eyes when he said, “I care about you,” and opened Kermit’s heart, punctuating his find with “It’s broken,” he let me see him. A peek into his own heart. And I wasn’t ready. Never asked. And now I’m wondering if he thinks I wanted him see a part of me. My cut. On purpose. An invitation to share a secret? But does it matter anymore? I can’t undo the day. Just like I can’t undo the first time. Continue reading

Crush Me … Part Five

 mountain bridge

Part 1


Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

As I walk to our next class, Jay hobbles next to me, bumping into my side as the student body rushes down hallways to beat the sound of the late bell. With each accidental brush, I’m wondering how my life turned this unpredictable corner today. A day ago, I was top choice for Freshman Choice Award #4: “Most Likely to Eat Anything and Get Straight A’s While Chewing.” Because when you’re Indian, you don’t have a choice about the latter, and you’ve eaten enough strange things by the time you turn five that the first part isn’t too farfetched either. 

Continue reading

Crush Me… Part Four

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

I walk into math class and sit in my usual spot. I can hear the snickers all around me but that doesn’t hurt as much as the, “Meeeee-na” whispers when I turn and am greeted with a bubblegum bubble-covered smirk and then a pop. Like my world. Deflating with each jab, I have no control of the rejection that fences me in.

Until I take the sharpened pencil and slip it under my shirt, just at the waistline. Under my desk where no one can see. With my two fingers, I find the cut, just days old, still scabbing and not healed yet. Not stupid enough to slice along my wrists. Or even on my thighs. That’s what all the predictable girls do. The ones who prefer an audience for their pain.  

I trace the bumpy skin until my fingertips find the start of my newest scar on my waist, grit my teeth and poke hard. With the tip of my pencil til I feel the skin break. I’m a writer. I call it rewriting my story. With lines of pain. Just one more reason I love pencils.  Continue reading

Crush Me… Part 3

Where were we? Ah, yes… the bubblegum episode. If you missed Parts One or Two of this Novel in Progress, Bit by Bit, Soap Story thingy I’m trying, hop on back and catch up. Then Hop forward and read today’s episode. :)


The next morning, mom tells me she’s working from home. As a project manager for Wells Fargo, she likes to boss her employees around, but she also loves them enough to do it via emails once or twice a week. When she camps out in her makeshift office, really a corner in my parents’ bedroom with the least amount of clutter. But since she’s home, skipping is out of the question. Unless I pretend to go to school and go elsewhere, but that never works since the first place the school calls is always the house.

Nothing like New York city in the fall. I try to focus on the changing leaves on my walk along Central Park and decide to detour by Belvedere’s castle in order to arrive at school ten minutes late. Just need the hallways to be empty so I can enter under the radar. And then I’ll jet a few minutes early to make my Potter with-the-cape exit.

Buzzed into the front door, Mr. Jones, the school Dean of Discipline, aptly nicknamed Dean Dread or Dean Dead depending on who you ask, greets me. He is not smiling. “You’re late. And Ms. Meena. If your locker’s not cleaned up by the time the first lunch bell sounds, detentions for an entire week.” Continue reading

Crush Me… Part 2

In case you missed the start of this story… Then come on back for Part 2! :)


The school day ends like any other day. I drifted through the high school hallways like an invisible princess, wearing an invisible crown, in search for my visible prince. My life is the kind of fairy tale girls envy. The girls who wish they were invisible, that is.

“Jay! We’re late for practice! Let’s jet before coach makes us do crawling push-ups across the field again!” Ben says loudly from near my locker.

Ben says everything loudly. But blond Ben is not who I’m listening for. Who I’m fixed on. Jason, Jay, my visible/invisible prince with dark waves that match his dark brown eyes, borrowed my pencil this morning. Visible because I can see him. Invisible because he can’t see me. He still has my pencil.

Just as I reach my locker, Ben and Jay slam their lockers closed and walk past me. No “Hey, what’s up?” No, “Thanks for the pencil.” Because no one can see the invisible girl.

My pencil! He stuck it to my locker, just above my combination lock. With the help of chewed up bubblegum. I glance left and right to make sure I don’t have an audience, pull off the pencil with the gum still stuck to it and pop the small pink wad into my mouth. Continue reading



[Welcome back to Fiction Friday All! First short story of 2013. Enjoy.]

Had the same dream again last night.

I’m leaning against a leafless maple tree, deep in the forest, the floor a carpet of foliage-matted collateral from winter’s whispers. 

He’s here too. Camera dangling from his neck, sunglasses slightly lowered on the bridge of his nose, jaw tight with determination.

Close. Closer. In front of me now. Continue reading

A Modern Day Mary Christmas

Student working on laptop

Fell asleep in my jeans last night. Came home after piano lessons, basketball practice and jazz class. Hit the books after scarfing down some leftover lasagna. By the time I covered all my reading, pumped out a lab write-up, and conjugated three pages of Spanish verbs, math became one big blur of numbers. Hopefully, they all found their homes in the right spots and my Algebra teacher will lay off on the eyebrow-raised, head-shaking, “Mary, did you know…” because I do know that x + 7 = y + 17 does not make x and y equal to zero. Every time. Just when the one is dropped. 

And I’ve been dropping the ball in math class. But I promise to pick it up and shoot up a three percentage point increase on my report card so Mom and Dad won’t make me do times tables every weekend. They still think that if I just master the 13’s, math will no longer be a struggle for me. I told them, “I just have a feeling, not everything in life adds up. Like most people expect it to. That’s why math and I don’t get along.”

“Do you homework, Mary.” Dad’s response no matter what I say. Continue reading