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March 08, 2001 - Image 21

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12B - The Michigan Daily - Literary Magazine - Thursday, March 8, 2001

The Michigan Daily -- Literary Mag

LATTE
Continued from Page 11B
"Exactly," she said. "You just
must be reading my mind again.
Let me read yours." She put her
coffee cup down and placed her
hands on either side of my fore-
head. Even though she had been
clutching her latte only seconds
before, her hands were still cool
as chocolate. The unmistakable
rustle of jasmine huddled close
to her wrists, teasing me. I took
deep breaths of her as she
vaguely massaged my temples.
"I deduce, Watson," she said,
as she plucked her seductive
hands away from my face, "that
you have already finished your
homework for this weekend."
"Jolly impressive show,
Sherlock," I replied, finishing
my second cup of coffee. "I am
done with all my homework."
"I don't know how you always
manage to get it all done before
Sunday," she said enviously. I
probably should have left it at
that, but part of me was still bit-
ter ... even with the jelly dough-
nut.
"I had a lot of time to get
work done Friday night," I said,
regarding her from my chair.
Her expression didn't change,
but the blinking of her eyes
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went into slow motion, which is
how I know that she had heard
me.
"I just went out with my
friends to cool down after our
fight Friday morning," she said.
"No ... you went out Friday
night and got completely shit
faced in retaliation of our fight
Friday morning," I corrected.
"There's a difference?" she
asked, a nervous smile playing
at the corners of her lips, and it
was my turn to answer her with
silence.
"You told me last night that it
wasn't bothering you anymore,"
she said, a greenish desperation
coloring her voice.
"I had other things on my
mind last night," I said.
"Yeah ... sex," she spat. It
stung. "Please ..." she began,
the shards of her voice melting
into honey, "please don't still be
mad."
"I'm not," I relented. "But I
didn't know where you were. I
sat up, worried that you were
going to do something stupid
and hurt yourself, and it'd be my
fault."
"Yeah ... sex," she spat. It
stung. "Please ..." she began,
the shards of her voice melting
into honey, "please don't still be
mad."
"I'm not," I relented. "But I
didn't know where you were. I
sat up, worried that you were
going to do something stupid
and hurt yourself, and it'd be my
fault."
"Nothing did happen, though
and I did bring you peace
offerings of a delicious, grape
jelly filled doughnut and my
sparkling smile." She gave me
one of her brilliant smiles then,
and I really did forgive her.
"I wish you could promise me
that it would never happen
again... that you'd talk things
out with me instead of running
out with your alkie friends and
getting trashed," I said
reproachfully.

"But if I promised that," she
began, "I'd be lying. And then
you'd really have something to
be angry with me about."
"You have a point," I said, and
once again that day, I sat cor-
rected.
I contemplated a third cup of
coffee, but when my hand went
to reach for the mug, I realized
that it was shaking.
"Too much sugar and caffeine
has given you the jitters bad,"
she said, amused.
"The sugar wasn't my fault," I
said.
"Do I look like Eve to you?!"
She asked. "I just offered you
the apple ... I didn't force it
down your throat."
"I'm sorry," I said. "It must
have been that 'sparkling smile'
that blinded my senses."
She scowled in my direction.
"Don't make fun of me."
"I can't help it... you leave
yourself wide open."
Her eyebrows twitched, as if
she just remembered some-
thing.
"Hey ... what were you writ-
ing when I walked in?" she
asked. Her gaze was fixed on
me, otherwise I would have
blushed. Half of me had hoped
that I wouldn't have the oppor-
tunity to bring it up ... and the
other half of me was aching to
draw it into the light.
I cleared my throat.
"My my ... " she said, her eye-
brows speaking of mock
intrigue. "I get a full fledged
production instead of a simple
one word answer."
"Hardly. I was just writing a
poem." My nervousness
laughed before I could keep it
in check. I watched as her eye-
brows slid down her forehead
and narrowed her eyes.
There was no going back,
then.
"What about?"' she asked.
She was on the defense, her
arms folded so that her hands
could warm themselves in her
arm pits.
"About gas fireplaces," I said.
I hoped that she would give me
a bewildered look ... then I
could have just laughed it off
and told her not to worry about
it. But nothing on her face
moved except for the slow,

MARJORIE MARSHALL/Daily

methodical blinking of her eyes.
I continued.
"Well ... you know how you
live with something everyday ...
and your present is colored with
your past?! But your past is not
only made up of what happened
... but what you think hap-
pened," I was stumbling over
myself, and in my mind I cursed
whichever deity was listening
for creating emotions in the
first place. "Like... take this
fireplace, for instance." I indi-
cated, but she kept her eyes on
me, and for the first time, I real-
ized what she meant about a
gaze that could set kindling on
fire. "It's like ... we look at that
gas fireplace, and our memory
comes up with images of wood
smoke and embers and chest-
nuts roasting at Christmas ...
but who ever really experiences
that stuff?!"
"You're speaking in
metaphors," she said. "I don't
understand you." But she did
understand, with a comprehen-
sion colder than the wind that
was blowing outside..
"Not just a metaphor ... it's

unforgiving irony. You under-
stand irony better than anyone I
know. It's a metaphor that says
sometimes what we have is
based off of what we had ... and
we might not have had as much
as we thought we did."
Tears that she would never
shed twinkled over her eyes
liked murdered snowflakes. To
break the stillness, she finished
the last of her cold latte. She
crumpled the paper cup in her
hand, and placed it inside my
empty coffee mug.
"Come on," she said as she
rose and took my hand. She
looked me right in the forehead,
and flashed me one of her most
dazzling smiles. "Let's go home
and finish out Sunday morning
alone," she cooed, drawing me
towards the door.
I probably should have
stopped her. I probably should
have made her face the skeletons
that I uncovered in the closet we
shared. But she can be very con-
vincing in changing the subject
when faced with a debate that
she might lose ... and I don't like
confrontation, anyway.

TAKIO
Continued from Page 4B
for the club with his parents in the
stands at every one of his meets. He
used.to be embarrassed at his moth-
er's cheers, which would sound out
through the entire gymnasium.
After his match, whether he won or
lost his father would ruffle his hair
and smile proudly. His mother
would never let him cry and always
rewarded him with a hug. She said,
"As long as you try your best you
will always be our little warrior."
After three years, however, the "us"
had become only Gavin. Not that he
minded. It was just that his mother
was so ...
"Hunter, you're doing it again."
Melissa flicked her cigarette into
the ravine and looked into her
boyfriend's eyes. There was no sign
of recognition. Tears began to well
up in the corner of her eyes, as did
Hunter's.
"Oh baby." She took his head
gently and let it rest on her chest.
Hunter slowly brought his arms up
to give her a hug. The two had orig-
inally met when they had to take a
class over the summer together
because neither could fit it in their
fall schedule. They began as lab
partners and would always talk of
what was going on in their lives.
More times then not, Hunter would
talk of his family and Melissa
would just listen. She knew that
when Hunter drifted that he was
thinking about his mother. She did-
n't' personally know anyone that
knew Hunter's mother besides her
boyfriend or his father, but she must
have been a wonderful woman in
order to have left such an impact on
the lives of two men.
"Melissa, when I go you'll be the.
second person to come with me."
Hunter came back to her and began
to slightly shake.
"I know Hunter, I know." Melissa
rocked back and forth, with Hunter
in her arms. She had always pic-
tured Hunter being a handsome
stranger that would take her away
and care for her for the rest of her
life. She never imagined how strong
this stranger really was, and that
what he really needed was someone
to take care of him.
It was the reality of the dream that
caused Gavin to thrash around so
violently. He was sitting in the
kitchen with his wife, whose girth
was overblown with their first child.
They were talking about what to
name their first born, baby boy.
"I would really like something
strong. You know like Spike." Fiona
joked with Gavin, flexing her
biceps and crinkling her eyebrows
together.
Hunter looked at her with 'No'
written all over his face, and gave
another suggestion.
"Tough, huh? What about Takio?"
Translated from Japanese, Takio
means warrior. Gavin had been
obsessed with this name since read-
ing it in an article that appeared
next to his in the science fiction
journal he wrote for a long time
ago.
"You want to name him what?"
She asked patting her growling

stomach.
"Takio, it means ...," he began,
getting his wife a bowl of double-
fudge death by chocolate ice cream.
"I know what it means," she said
impatiently, reaching greedily for
her ice cream. "It's just that ...
Jesus, where are my sprinkles?" She
began to get annoyed with her hus-
band's lack of attentiveness towards
her food.
"What? It's just that, what?" He
rooted through. the cupboard,
emerging with two different types
of sprinkles.
"It's not what I had in mind when
I said tough, that's what." She
looked at the sprinkles the same
way a tiger looks at a lame gazelle.
Tearing the top off of both boxes
she poured both types of sprinkles
into her bowl. "What about ..
hmmm, something like, oh that def-
initely hits the spot ... I don't
know," she said in between mouth-
fuls.
"Hunter?" Gavin gave it a shot.
"Dat's purfek!" she said, cheeks
bulging. Ice cream spat from her
mouth all over Gavin's face. Her
eyes went wide as Gavin grabbed
the tub of ice cream from her hand
and launched his counter attack.
Laughing the two erupted into a
mess of ice cream and kisses, and
sprinkles and love.
Gavin shook himself awake.
Waving his arms about for a second
he became very still, trying to gath-
er his bearings. He must have fallen
asleep at the table and he had woken
from some type of dream. Had he
been dreaming? He wasn't exactly
sure but damn, it seemed real what-
ever it was. Looking over at the
clock on the wall he saw that it was
2:30 a.m.
"Must've fallen asleep at the
table." Gavin rubbed his eyes
"Gavin you can't keep doing this
to yourself." He got up and walked
over to the kitchen window to see if
his son's vehicle was in the drive-
way. His whole body stiffened when
he saw that it wasn't.
"Stay calm, everything's okay ...
he must just be with Melissa,"
Gavin assured himself, even though
he was still very worried. His son
had told him that he would be home
at 1 a.m. and it was not like Hunter
to miss his curfew. Gavin sat down
slowly and tried to shake the sleep
from his body. Taking a deep breath
he remembered that Melissa had
also had a curfew of 1 a.m. and
Hunter would have never allowed
for her to be late. Going to get his
coat, Gavin sighed and tried to
remember what it was that he had
been dreaming about.
Even though her husband didn't
know it, she did. She new some-
thing was wrong but she had no idea
what it was. It just scared her. She
went to go tuck her only son in for
the night and she was scared that
this would be one of the last times
that she'd have the chance to talk to
her boy. Call it a mother's intuition,
she just knew. So lifting the blanket
to his chin she knelt next to his bed.
Hunter was a bright boy for his
age. He knew that something was
wrong with his mother. But she was
asking him not to be frightened and

that it was her job to be scared for
him. She also asked him to always
help look out for Gavin.
He thought the world of his mom
and she was scared now, asking him
to be strong and take care of things
that she wouldn't ever be able to. He
wasn't scared anymore but con-
fused, and didn't know what was
going to happen. She kissed him on
the forehead, and offered a solemn
goodnight for her little warrior.
Hunter remembered this over and
over again while sitting in the dark
in front of Fiona Donahue's grave.
He usually only visited his mother
during the weekends but tonight
was different. He realized for the
first time that he truly was in love
with Melissa. Another person to
take care of. Shit, he was still a kid
and he couldn't imagine doing this
forever. Not like his mother could.
He reached out and traced the let-
ters on his mother's headstone,
quickly at first and -then slower.
Ending on the 'E' in their shared
last name, he heard the snap of a
branch behind him as footsteps
made their way smoothly between
the two trees and then veered to the
right. Without looking up Hunter
said aloud.
"Hello, father."
Gavin sat down next to his son,
and thought of his wife.
"Hello, Takio. How's our girl
doing?"
Slowly the wind began to pick up,
carrying with it the flowers given to
May and the cards given to Norman,
and the prayers Fiona blessed upon
both of her boys.
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