1. The Persistent Punching Bag

    3rd Grade

    When Kaitlin walked into her 3rd grade class, she immediately noticed the differences between the room and her 2nd grade classroom back in New York. The first thing she noticed was the bright colors of the sun that entered the room from the wall of windows right next to her desk. The second thing Kaitlin noticed was the decorated walls around her. They were filled with desired jobs drawn by the Kindergarteners who occupied the room just two hours before. There were drawings of astronauts and firefighters with the occasional inanimate object mixed in the bunch. The final thing that Kaitlin noticed was this boy staring at her. She immediately looked away to avoid eye contact. The first thing the teacher had the students do is write their name in cursive on a nametag to tape to their desk. When Kaitlin was done she looked up from her desk and found that same boy standing right in front of her. “What do you want?” she asked bluntly.

    “My mom says I need to talk to the new kids in school because they’re new,” The boy answered dryly. “I’m Matthew.”

    “I’m Kaitlin.” She said still a tad confused by the situation.

    “You do cursive good.”

    “Thank you”

    5th Grade

    “I like you.” Matthew said, looking anywhere but her face.

    “I know,” Kaitlin rolled her eyes. She had heard this before. Many times actually, over the last two years. She had heard it from him. She had heard from other snickering boys while he hid behind. She read it on notes. She smelled it on the cookies he baked her. “But I don’t like you.” Kaitlin looked back down at her desk and started finishing her homework in cursive. Kaitlin made eye contact with Matthew, hoping to get complimented about her cursive once more.

    7th Grade

    “You really do have the finest cursive anyone has ever seen.” Matthew smiled at her with the same dorky smile from 3rd grade. Some things never change.

    “It’s been 4 years Matthew, when are you going to stop flirting?” Kaitlin rejected him… again.
    “I’ll always be here! You’re the love of my life!” He responded without thinking.
    “We’re not even in High School yet, you don’t love me”
    “I get it, you’re scared! What if I say I like you? Is that scary still?”
    “Matthew, I’m not scared. I just don’t feel the same way about you. I like Nick.” She responded matter of factly.
    Matthew rolled his eyes and groaned, “All the girls like Nick! Just because he smoked weed once…”
    “It isn’t the weed! He really funny! You’re just jealous because all the girls like him and no one likes you.” Kaitlin said it and immediately felt a sharp pain. Even she knew that saying something like that was a little far.
    Matthew froze for a second. He didn’t know what to say to that. “I… I’m… not jealous that all the girls like him. I’m jealous that you like him…”
    “That’s just the way it is Matthew. If you like me so much, don’t you want me to be happy?”
    “Of course, but he won’t make you happy. Be happy with me!”
    Kaitlin groaned and buried her face in her hands. She spoke through her hands “It’s been 4 years Matthew, why are you so persistent?”
    “What does everyone call me?” Matthew asked.
    “Uh, what do you mean?”
    “In class, if someone wants to get my attention, what do they call me?” He clarified.
    “Everyone calls you Matt.” Kaitlin answered as she lifted her head up from her hands.
    “Not everyone calls me Matt. You don’t.”
    “Well that’s because I know you prefer Matth-” She stopped realizing what he was about to say.
    “That is why I’m so persistent.”

    8th Grade

    “So you’re going to date him.” Matthew stated as he looked up at Kaitlin next to him.

    “I’m already dating him.” Kaitlin corrected. She sat down next to him at the lunch tables. “I’m sorry. You really are one of my closest friends. You were the first friend I ever made here!” 

    “He’s not going to make you happy.” Matthew said as he itched his beanie.
    “Matthew! Don’t say that. Why can’t you just be happy for me?”
    “Why can’t YOU just say that you love me back? Even as a friend?”
    “I don’t say it because I don’t want you to get the wrong idea.”
    Matthew itched his beanie again. “Well I didn’t get the wrong idea. Mission accomplished.”
    “Why do you keep scratching your head? Do you have lice again?” Kaitlin giggled.
    “No! I don’t have lice!”
    “Sheesh, then why is your head itchy?”
    “No reason.”
    “Hmm okay.” Kaitlin swiped the beanie off before Matthew could do anything. Underneath the beanie, there were no lice. In fact, there wasn’t even hair. “Matthew, why are you bald?”
    “Can you please just tell me you love me?” Matthew asked.
    “I can’t do that.” Kaitlin said again.
    “Why not? Please?”
    “I can’t!”
    “I’ll be able to die happy if you just tell me you love me once!”
    “Well maybe in the next 70 years we are live I’ll tell you one of these times. It’s just not going to happen today.”
    “You’ve really ruined my life.” Matthew got up from the lunch tables and stormed off.
    “Stop being so dramatic!” Kaitlin shouted at him while he walked away.

    9th Grade

    Kaitlin looked around frantically for room 108. Why is this school so freaking huge? She thought to herself as she scurried through the halls. She eventually found the classroom and entered right on time. She examined her surroundings. Matthew isn’t my class? Wow, the one time I need him. Kaitlin laughed to herself at the irony. She assumed she would find him at lunch. At the end of class she ripped out a piece of paper and wrote down a little message she had to get to him. At lunch she searched the halls and found nothing. Not even a glimpse of Matthew. She saw a few people she knew and converse with them a bit. They asked Kaitlin how her summer was and Kaitlin of course responded with “good.” even though that was the farthest from the truth. In all the time that she knew him, Matthew had ever missed a day of school so Kaitlin grew worried. She went to her next class and sat down. She couldn’t get the thought out of her head that something was wrong. Kaitlin folded up the message and put it in her pocket. Near the end of the day, a man walked into the classroom and whispered something in the teacher’s ear. In response, the teacher looked down at her seating chart and concluded by pointing right at Kaitlin. The man asked Kaitlin to come with him and he sat her down in a cold metal chair. The point was chipping off of the legs of the chair. She looked up and saw one singular light that made the cramped office slightly brighter.

    “I have some bad news.” The man started. Kaitlin zoned out as she heard words that forever changed her life. She had no idea what to do so all she could do was run. She got up and ran straight out the door. Sprinted down the hall. As she turned the corner a piece of paper flew out of her pocket. The message unfolded as it landed on the ground. It read “I like you, too.” In the finest cursive anyone had ever seen.


  2. Henry Steel

    I wrote a profile for this character I had in my mind. It was my first time ever using this method. I’ve heard of writers who end up having files and files of characters and insert them into stories when need be. Anyway, the following is an excerpt from a scene with this character.

    Henry got in the car with his Dad after a long day at school. He was waiting patiently for his Dad to ask about his day. He didn’t. Henry actually had something to share with his Dad. He made a few jokes in class and this group of students laughed at them. People! Laughing at his jokes! It was awesome! Of course, Henry didn’t express this to anyone, especially his father. He threw his backpack in the backseat and caught a glimpse of his old Baseball Letterman jacket. Those were the days, Henry thought to himself. He pulled back his seat to try and get comfortable, but even then his legs were bent in the car. Henry’s father opened his mouth and began talking about sports. Oh right, his father never asked about his day. Henry remembered now, that was his mom. His mom always asked. 


  3. No.

    I’ll see you and I’ll like you. I’ll “accidentally” run into you at Starbucks and make some comment about one of the paintings in the store. “Picasso’s work always looks like someone did a puzzle while they were shitfaced.” I’ll make you laugh a little bit so I’ll think it’s going good. I’ll ask you out. You will say no. At first, you’ll be confident with your choice. Not because I’m ugly or rude, but because you just  “didn’t feel it.” 1 week after you say no, you’ll keep living your life like nothing ever happened. About a month later, you’ll find yourself attracted to the hot guy in your Biology class. A couple months after you say no, he’ll ask you out. Of course, as any person with eyes would, you’ll say yes. 6 months after you say no, you’ll be in that same Starbucks that you go to every week. Every man, woman, and dog will be staring at your boyfriend. You’ll feel oh so lucky to be dating such a wonderful man. 3 years, and 21 days after you say no, you’ll be graduating from college and he’ll propose to you. The ring won’t be much because Mr. Wonderful dropped out after his second term. It won’t matter though, because at least people are looking. 8 years, 11 months, and 11 days after you say no, however, people will stop looking. Your lovely husband’s Adonis figure will be shredded away. It won’t matter though because… well, you won’t remember why, but it won’t. 14 years, 4 months, and 7 days after you say no, you’ll be on the top of the world! Your husband just got made parts manager at the Toyota dealership! You’ll quit your job and get a couple of Black babies because “that’s what good people do.” About 16 and a half years after you say no, you’ll be watching your favorite sitcom with your husband and 3 adopted Black babies. You’ll see my name in the credits under “writers”. It’ll take you some time to realize why that name sounds “so fucking familiar” (Yes, you curse in front of your Black babies). 16 years, 6 months, and 2 days after you say no, you’ll be driving home from the store realize why it sounds “so fucking familiar” and you’ll start thinking about the time you said no. 18 years and 4 months after you say no, you’ll see me winning an Emmy. You’ll immediately make some joke to your husband about me liking you and how I could have been the father of your 3 Black babies. Your husband will laugh and conclude the joking fun with a comment about how his penis is probably way bigger than mine. You’ll laugh, too. How ironic.

    The irony being that 18 years, 4 months, and 6 days after you say no, you’ll be pondering if you had said yes. You’ll be sitting in your car with your face buried deep in your steering wheel. The tears from your face will be dripping down like a leaky faucet. As it will turn out, you weren’t the only one getting your husband’s “giant penis”. 19 years, 3 months, and 17 hours after you say no, you will be in divorce court rambling on about your husband’s infidelity. You’ll be able to practically smell the lack of interest reeking off of the judge. All he cares about is something called “financial independence.” You’ll know what the words mean but the syllables won’t translate to anything more than sounds because your mind will be wrapped around your kids. Your mind is the only thing that will wrap around them now because your husband…sorry, ex-husband got full custody. 21 years, 11 days, and 7 hours after you say no you’ll be thinking about me more and more. You’ll think about every millisecond of interaction you can remember. You’ll even be conjuring up some of your own stories and creating me to be a lot more perfect that I am. I’m not complaining, but it’s just silly to make yourself regret something that long ago. You’ll be sipping your low-fat, skinny, caramel latte in the same Starbucks you’ve been going to your whole life. 21 years, 11 days, and 8 hours after you say no, you’ll leave the Starbucks and turn the corner to your car. In the dumpster behind the Starbucks you’ll notice a painting that sort of looks like someone tried to do a puzzle after they were shitfaced.


  4. Dialogue Exercise

    Matthew: You really have the finest cursive anyone has ever seen.

    It’s been 5 years Matthew, when are you going to stop flirting with me?

    I will always be here! You are the love of my life!

    We’re not even in High School yet Matthew, you don’t love me.

    I get it, you’re scared! What if I say “I like you”? Is that scary still?

    Matthew, I’m not scared. I just don’t feel the same way about you. I like Nick.

    All the girls like Nick! Just because he smoked weed once.

    It isn’t the weed! He is a really funny guy! You’re just jealous that all the girls like him.

    I’m not jealous that all the girls like him. I’m jealous that YOU like him.

    That’s just the way it is Matthew. If you like me, don’t you want me to be happy?

    I do want you to be happy! He won’t make you happy! Be happy with me!

    It’s been 5 years Matthew, why are you so persistent?

    What does everyone call me?

    Uh, what?

    In class, if someone is going to call my name, what would they say?

    Everyone calls you Matt.

    Not everyone. You don’t call me Matt.

    Well, I know you prefer Matth—

    That is why I am so persistent.


  5. The Kids

    We are the kids that feel lonely when the clock hits midnight.
    We are the kids that use the darkness as a blanket of self esteem.
    We are the kids who sing away every single breath.
    We are the kids who dream the most magical dreams.

    We are the kids who dance in the shower where we feel our best.
    We are the kids who stand in groups but walk alone.
    We are the kids who make bitter jokes and laugh to ourselves.
    We are the kids who act so warm when we feel cold as stone.

    We are the kids who will be alright.
    We are the kids who will smile, no doubt.
    We are the kids who will stand strong together.
    We are the kids your parents warned you about.


  6. Close But No Cigar.

    Katie woke up on the left side of the bed. She immediately brushed her long brown hair out of her face and went downstairs to the kitchen. She filled a cup with black coffee to start her day. Katie changed into her favorite purple tank top and ran out the door to the bus. When she arrived at school she went to her locker and grabbed more books than she could handle. She gripped to them like they were her mother’s hand in a grocery store. Katie wandered through the halls staring at the footsteps of each passing student. As she was walking to class she noticed someones shoes were remarkably similar to hers. I’ve never seen someone who has the same peach colored Converse. she thought to herself and before she knew it she rammed into the person. BAM! In the blink of an eye, a cup of black coffee spilled onto her shirt. Katie started hyperventilating, because even though no one was laughing she could hear them in her head. She dropped her books and ran away. Katie cried in the bathroom stall quietly to herself and she could so easily feel the tears sliding down her face. They almost tickled as they dripped into her lap. Katie stayed there for about an hour until the end of school. She stood in line at the library to try and see if anyone returned her books. While in line she kept to herself, not looking up at all. She heard people arguing behind her. Something about cutting in line. She ignored it and left the library without her books. Katie was picked up by her mom and immediately started crying when she got in the car. She started blasting Noah and the Whale’s “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N”. Her mom started to console her. Katie looked at her mom and said “Love you!” with a big smile on her face. It was quite a shame when her mom didn’t notice the light turn red.

    Travis woke up on the right side of the bed. He hit the alarm clock snooze one too many times and  now didn’t have time to eat breakfast or anything. He just threw on the first shirt he could find, a pair of jeans, and his favorite peach colored Converse then went bolting out the door. When Travis arrived in the car he started playing “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N” by Noah and the Whale and drove off. Travis arrived at school a couple minutes late so he quickly grabbed his purple hoodie and slammed the door shut. Travis walked through confidently with a book clipped to his side by an elbow and a cup of coffee in hand, plenty of room to carry more. Travis noticed a girl in the halls. He had never seen her before, but she just looked at the ground as she walked. The secret girl’s long hair made it so hard to see her face. Before he realized, he’d already bumped into her. BAM! Every book she had fell to the ground. Before Travis could apologize and help her, she ran away as embarrassed as ever. He went on with his day and finished his classes although, she never really left his mind. Katie Hughes, he thought to himself as he read the inside cover of her textbooks, who the hell are you? Travis walked to the library to return them to the lost and found. While he was in line, he saw Katie’s hair and instantly recognized her. He started walking towards her when some tall football player guy yelled at him to not cut in line. Travis kept walking and got pushed and dropped the books. He started fighting with the football player a bit and didn’t notice Katie leave. He picked up the books and decided he would return them to her in person. Travis and got in his car and kept thinking about Katie. He started driving and just as the light turned green he noticed something. Katie, he thought to himself “I..” 



  7. Dear Whoever

    Dear Whoever,

    I titled it that because I have no idea who will read this. I have no idea who reads anything I write. I’m just thinking about life and decided to type on my computer. Actually, I’m typing on my computer and I decided to think about life. That’s a much more appropriate order. I’ve been thinking a lot about sex. Not in a desiring way, but more of an analysis. It’s strange. It’s weird how different something feels when its with someone you care about. I think people enjoy sex because we as a people work so hard and work so fast that sex gives us a really quick satisfaction while other parts of our lives don’t. I think it’s special because it’s one of the only times that you can slow down and enjoy the moments with someone.

    I’ve been trying to figure out why sex is so much better with someone you care about. Looking back on what I said previously, I think it has something to do with time. People enjoy sex because it gives them a bit of time to slow down and enjoy everything! When you’re done having sex the human mind immediately goes back to whatever else you should be doing or want to be doing. However, when you’re with someone you care for everything else you should be doing just seems a tad less significant. We as a people add so much significance to everything that it seems everything loses it’s value all together. I think it’s important to gain perspective on what you really deem significant and what can be left insignificant. If God does exist, I have a lot of questions.

    Your Favorite Realtor,

    Ryan Khosravi


  8. Patricia the Bunny

    The kids in school called Patricia a bunny, because she was. She practically floated from class to class, leaving a positive mark on everyone she encountered. Patricia was the star of her drama class. No one noticed the empty seats where her parents were supposed to be because she didn’t let them. One night in particular, she got to play Cinderella (the lead of course). Everyone in the school was talking about how excited they were. It seemed that no matter what was going on or who you were talking to, everyone loved Patricia. She practically was illuminated with beauty when she walked on to the stage. The white gloves glistened in the reflection of the spotlight. She spun around during her dance number and everyone stared in awe. This night was no different then the others. Her parents seats were empty and again no one noticed. How could they? She was beautiful. When they found her hanging from her closet it came as quite a shock. The white gloves that once glistened were now slashed and dyed red. When the paramedics arrived they announced her dead, because she was.


  9. The Inaudible Drummer Boy

    Robert was never really popular. He never really talked. He didn’t always dress the best and he didn’t always tell the funniest jokes. That one time he attempted to kill himself didn’t exactly help either. “I just wanted my heart to stop beating” He said to his parents. After that he didn’t need to worry about being popular because he was home schooled. One day, Robert found an old drum set in his garage and started to play a bit. He really began to enjoy it after a while. He joined a band and even did a few shows in his area. A rumor went around that he only played the drums because he wanted to stop “hearing the voices in his head.” Robert never cared. He was too busy being happy for once in his life. A lot of things about him changed. He couldn’t ever pick a color he liked the best so he always wore stripes. He wore dress shoes constantly because he liked the tapping noise it made. He decided his choice of ice cream by which one had the most left because he felt bad for it. Robert ended up becoming extremely famous and every magazine always asked the same thing, “Why did you decide to pick up the drums?” His answer was always the same, “I want to make their hearts beat.”

    (Source: ryancanfly)


  10. The Incomplete Irony of Frank and Adam

    Frank stared at the ground solemnly. He stared with those same eyes. The same lonely looking eyes that caught Adam’s attention in the first place. It was all sort of ironic in a way. The lonely feeling was taken away so quickly… and quickly again put back in it’s rightful place. “So this is it? This is how it happens? I don’t understand how someone could be so convincing.” Frank never took his eyes off the ground. 

    "I told you from the beginning that you wouldn’t like me", Adam muttered. "I told you that you weren’t the only one. It just happened that you’d run into me with someone else. It’s not like I was hiding it from you."

    "Can you just answer one question?" Frank asked, finally making eye contact. 

    "Sure, I guess that’s fine" Adam said blankly.

    "How did you convince me so subtly. How could anyone lie that well? I’ve never gotten played before. What the hell made you any different?" 

    "The best lies told are the ones you’re a little convinced of yourself."