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. 

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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

The Present

Shay notices three threes as she rushes into the courtyard between the parking garage and her coffee. Well, the cafe really, where she buys her cafe con leche every afternoon. They’re tall evergreens, in the center of downtown. In a main part where they can’t be missed. Someone took the time to string lights on each of them, blue, red and white. Like a traffic light, turned sideways, she can’t help but stop in her tracks for a moment. And stare.  Continue reading