Of Confidence


Melanie stared at the blank piece of paper in front of her, trying to form the words she wanted to write down, but nothing came into her mind. She threw her pencil down on her desk as she turned her eyes to the clock next to her, 1:32.

She sighed and ran her fingers through her hair. She had been assigned the creative writing project of writing a letter to yourself a week ago and she still couldn’t write a single word down; it was due the next day.

She felt her phone begin vibrating in her pocket as she pulled it out, involuntarily smiling at the name that appeared on the screen. She pressed the green button and she was met with the distant sounds of cheerful yells under the soft breaths of the boy on the other side of the line. “Kennedy,” she smiled as she spoke his name.

“Hey Melanie,” he replied, and she could hear his exhaustion through the phone. “Why are you awake so late? You have school tomorrow.”

Melanie chuckled. “Sorry, Kennedy, I didn’t know I still had a bed time.”

He laughed. “You don’t, I’m just saying. But who am I kidding? We both know you’ll be sleeping through first and second tomorrow anyways.”

“You know me well, Kennedy Brock.”

He mumbled a soft “mhmm” and she could hear the background behind him slowly turning into quiet. “I can hear you better in here,” he sighed, and Melanie could tell by the rustling on his side of the phone that he was laying himself down in the van. “Why are you up so late?”

“I’m writing a paper for Schwartz’s class,” she groaned, looking back at the empty lines that seemed to be laughing at her.

“What’s it on?”

“I have to write a letter to myself, saying things I would change and wouldn’t change and how these choices would have effected my life,” she said, leaning back into the plush desk chair her father had bought her.

“Dang, when’s it due?” Kennedy asked.


“Have you done any of it?” He laughed.

“Uhm, not exactly,” Melanie groaned. “I don’t know what to write.”

“You could write about your secret love and how much it would have changed your life if you had just admitted you were are infatuated with me, Melanie,” Kennedy laughed, jokingly, into the phone, “Duh.”

“Oh right, how could I forget?” She laughed.

Melanie loved talking to Kennedy so much. Ever since the boys had left for tour she hadn’t heard a single thing from John, and she was losing her mind. She felt scared to be on her own, being with John was all she had ever known, and now it was gone. Kennedy was what was keeping her hanging on. He was keeping her strong, he was keeping her connected to her friends; he was keeping her sane. He was helping her with each and every phone call to realize that she could be strong on her won, without her boys there every second to watch over her. She was becoming stronger in herself.

But, with each and every laugh, and each and every time she could hear him softly start snoring into the phone on their late now phone calls he made her miss John so much more. Her best friend should be the one calling her, and making her smile, but at this point she didn’t even know if they were friends anymore.

“I don’t know, you’re so ridiculous, Melanie, geez,” Kennedy continued to laugh into the phone.

She felt her smile grow bigger with his infectious laughter. “I miss you, Kennedy.”

She could hear him smile as he said he missed her too, “John misses you, Melanie.”

Melanie gulped as she pictured his blue-green eyes, his crooked smile, his bed head hair… “He doesn’t seem like it. He hasn’t called once,” she said. It took her everything she had not to let a tear fall at these words; she wasn’t as strong as she thought she was after all.

"I know, but I can tell that he does. He just mopes around all day, and then puts on a fake smile at shows. When we go back to the van he just puts in his ear phones and stares at nothing. I keep telling him to call you, but he thinks it'll be harder on you. I don't really understand his all, but I'll keep trying," Kennedy said.

“Don’t, maybe he’s right. And besides, I’ll see him next weekend at prom, remember?” Melanie said confidently. Maybe John was right. Maybe they didn’t need to speak anymore. Maybe they just couldn’t do this. The words haunted her heart as she pictured them on John’s note. If he was going to be done with her now, maybe she should try to be done with him as well.

“I guess, oh, Melanie! The craziest thing happened today! Do you remember Kyle from the sickest kids?”

Melanie giggled as she thought of the tall, blond boy that pretended to kiss her at the last show to witness John’s irrationality for himself, “Yeah, he texted me the other day. Why?”

“Oh, he for real did?” Kennedy laughed. “Well, he told John that he texted you and John got so pissed off. Like, I thought he was going to hit Kyle in the balls, or break his drum sets or something. The kid is so in love with you, I wish he’d just admit it to himself.”

Melanie wanted to deny it. She wanted to rip away the goose bumps that the mere thought of John being protective of her gave her. She wanted to scream in the phone to Kennedy about what John had done to her. And, she wanted to hit John square in the mouth for getting mad at Kyle for texting her, because he still considered her his property.

And in a way she was. She was like an abandoned house that he had renovated years ago, he made her at her best, he loved her. He gave her the finest furnishings, he didn’t let people walk with shoes on her carpets, and they could only drink their drinks over the marble tile. He always repaired the broken windows, and leaks, he always made her feel perfect again. But, then he left. He’d leave her after all his work, and after all the trust she had put into his care and he’d leave her alone to wait for him until he decided to come home and dust her off again.

“Hey, Kennedy? I’ve got to go… I think I know what I’m going to write my paper on. Call me tomorrow night, okay?” Melanie said into the phone.

He smiled, “Okay, Melanie. Sleep well, okay? I’ll talk to you tomorrow after our show.”

She said her goodbye before she put her hair in a bun on the top of her head, grabbed a pencil, and wrote down the best times of her life, and her worst regrets.


Melanie felt a vibration against her desk as she slowly picked her head up off of the computer desk in her room. She rubbed her eyes as sunlight brilliantly shown into her eyes from the window in front of her. She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes as she pressed the green button on her phone, pressing talk to whoever was on the line, for she hadn’t checked the caller I.D.

“Hello?” she said through a yawn.

“Melanie? Melanie, its Garrett.”

“Hey Garrett, what’s up? What do you need?” She asked, her senses gradually coming to her.

“It’s 12:30! You’re going to miss school! You didn’t answer my good morning text and so I just realized you weren’t going to be in class on time!”

Melanie looked at the clock next to her before she thanked Garrett for the wake up call and ran to her closet. She slipped a pair of jean shorts on her feeble body and a sweat shirt over her bust. She brushed her teeth as she shoved her blonde locks into a pony tail in the nape of her neck. She grabbed her keys as she ran out the door and jumped into her car. She must’ve broken at least twenty laws on the way to school, and even with the hall monitor’s yells she still ran the entire way to class.

She slammed the door to Mr. Schwartz’s room open as she ran into the front of the room. Giggles came from her friends around the room and Melanie saw a small smile on Bryan Cook’s lips as he raised his eyebrows at her.

“That’s quite the entrance, Miss Hendricks,” Mr. Schwartz chuckled. ‘What’s your excuse?”

She rubbed her hand on the back of her neck, wiping away a bead of sweat from the Arizona heat. “I kind of fell asleep writing the paper, but, I finally finished it.”

“Good,” he smiled. “You can be the first to present.”

“Are you sure we have to read them out loud? Like we cant just get a grade for doing it?” Melanie pleaded.

“Sorry, kid,” He gestured her to the place in front of the chalk board where he had a stool that sat about three feet high. She took the letter she had written the night before out of her bag and opened it slowly, fold by fold.

She cleared her throat as she sat down on the stool, looking out at all of the eyes that were focused on her. Why was it that her class wouldn’t pay attention to the instructor, but to her their eyes were glued?

Melanie sighed, before looking at the first word of the sentence and letting her lips project her thoughts. “If I could go back in time and tell myself what to do and not do I would tell my six year old self to not go into the haunted house that John will dare you to go into. A huge clown is going to run at you with a chainsaw, and you will forever get chills down your spine and not be able to sleep if you see a clown anywhere in sight anytime that night.

“I would tell myself that Santa wasn’t real, so that when you catch Dad putting the presents under the tree, and eating the fat man’s cookies you won’t scream. Dad would get scared if you screamed, and he would knock over Mom’s favorite China plate, which she would still hold as a grudge…even when you’re seventeen,” Melanie chuckled. She continued to tell stories from her family, her best friends. She told about the time Garrett pushed Haley off the swings and when Melanie laughed, Haley punched her in the face. She told about the time she gave John her unused acoustic guitar, and about how if he hadn’t received it he wouldn’t know his potential. She told her favorite memories, trying to relive the happy past, trying not to let it haunt her.

“When you’re eight years old, agree to build the tree house with John. No matter how ridiculous he sounds about the color, or the ideas he has for the décor of the inside it will be fun. It’ll be your two’s place to hang out away from your parents, hide when you’re angry, and meet to play Yahtzee in the middle of the night. But, when you’re twelve years old, don’t step on the board that lays in the far corner on the left, it’ll break and your ankle will snap like the board will.

“”On your sixteenth birthday, remind Kennedy to put gas in his tank when he kidnaps you at midnight because if he doesn’t you’ll end up in an abandoned amusement park, nothing but the sounds of what used to be blowing with the wind. When Kennedy jumps out from behind the old buildings, don’t act like you’re not scared, because you’ll learn that no matter what…he’ll keep you safe. On the second thought, don’t tell Kennedy to put gas in the tank of the car; that night turned out pretty cool.

“When you’re seventeen learn to stand up for yourself. Learn to be your own person, learn to trust yourself, learn to be your property, and to not give everything you have to someone who doesn’t return the favor.

“I would tell myself to go back and learn to need the boy who kidnapped me on my birthday, and not the boy who was too wasted to remember what day it was. I would tell myself to go back and fall in love with the boy who protected me from the frightening noises in the amusement park, and not the boy who dared me to go into the haunted mansion.

Melanie felt a small tear roll down her cheek. “But then again, I wouldn’t change a thing; because without the imperfections, without the jealousy, without the fights, without the make ups, or haunted houses, broken arms, fully clothed bodies being thrown into pools during the winter, and the Yahtzee games in the old tree house outside my house, I wouldn’t know what love is. And despite all the pain he will continue to give to me, my heart will never give up.”
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All right guys, so I go on vacation tomorrow and I won't be back until August, so I wanted to give you one last update before I left because I love you that much.
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