Status: A work in progress.

Everything But Time is Running Out

Open for discussion, but your opinion doesn't matter.

The tea kettle screeched at me and I hurried over to calm it down. The steam was piping hot, just as my forearm was. I was feeling a lot more calm and content after I had released some negative energy through forearm not even twenty minutes ago. Hey, a girl has to have a physical outlet somehow and I wasn't really the one to take on screaming or fuck buddies.

I only had the title of my poem down and my thumbnails were scattered across the kitchen table, where I always ended up doing my homework. Molly was a theater major, and she would often times need the television to watch some sort of play or use the living room space to practice her lines. It worked out well, though, because the kitchen had enough light that my drawings required in order for the details to be perfected and refined. Nobody draws well in dim lighted areas.

I really was at a loss for what I wanted the poem to be about. All I knew was that I wanted to hurry and get it done and over with so I could focus on needed the most time to complete: my everlasting cover poster for a would-be new release for a movie. I was trying to recreate a BioShock poster to make it seem as if it were a movie instead of a video game. I was stoked about working on it; the whole plot of man only needs man and how Andrew Ryan would try to create a totally free, anti-religion, anti-government socialist community is such a powerful step toward an intensely great fallout to a utopia that would never bloom. The propaganda regarding the Adam and Eve contraptions was also so intriguing to me; how one purchase could make you see all the possibilities and how-

Oh wait. Poem. Right... Okay, to start and finish my poem...

I looked at my paper and the title I had written down was such an original title: Untitled. It was actually a placeholder until I had actual words down on paper to give the title some content to represent. Honestly, half an hour of sitting and staring, I just picked up my pen and found myself writing feeling:

No one knows,
and no one will know
how hard it it
nor how hard it was.

Hmm... Vague, mysterious, open-ended. I liked it. I pleasantly and proudly wrote my name, date, class, etc. at the bottom of the page and then decided to title my poem Strength. There. Done. Even though it was only technically one sentence, I'm sure my professor would appreciate the simplicity of the verse. Or at least, I really had hoped so because that's what she was getting.

"Now," I said to myself, "time to get down to business." I rolled up my sleeves, grabbed some charcoal and colored pencils from my bag and sat down for the long haul.


I heard Molly come in through the mudroom and looked at the clock. 7:26pm. Yikes, I've been hunched over this goddamn poster for five hours? I sat up and immediately regretted it. My back refused to stand up without a fight.

"Whoa there," Molly said, talking in the kitchen and seeing me have an internal fight with my spine. "Did you zone out for one too many hours on your project?"

"Yeah, more like five too many hours," I said, finally able to stand on my feet. I stretched long and hard as Molly set her purse down. "How was your date with Jack?" I probed, knowing full well she would deny it ever being called a date.

"Kar," she sighed, "you know it-"

"Yeah, yeah," I waved her off. "Keep telling yourself that, Molls. Sooner or later, you're gonna be telling me how he proposed and how there's a baby on the way." She stuck her tongue out at me and walked down the hall.

"'Dat ass, though," she said in a valley-girl sort of tone. I laughed as she disappeared behind the bathroom door.

I skimmed over my progress throughout the five hours I had been stationary and was extremely satisfied with everything I had managed to get down. "I'd say that's a far enough head start on this project." I yawned quite widely and loudly. I hadn't realised I was so absorbed into my work that it had gotten so late. I wonder what Frank's up to... I found myself thinking just as my phone vibrated. Perfect timing? I thought as I checked to see who it was.

'Sup girly? Frank had texted me. My phone vibrated once more as I received a new message.

You up for a phone call? I immediately pressed the phone symbol next to his name, but afterward cursed myself. Maybe I should've waited maybe five minutes to reply instead of five seconds.

The phone rang a couple of times before I heard his sweet, soft voice. "Y'ello!" He answered. It made me giggle.

"Who answers the phone that way anymore?" I joked, taking a drink of my entirely too cold and old tea that I had forgotten I made before starting my project.

"Hey, an old dog can't learn new tricks," he complied.

"You're so lame," I said, trying one-handed to gather up my drawing utensils and papers and such. Apparently I was making too much noise because Frank commented about it.

"Did I catch you at a bad time? It sounds like a fiasco over there."

"Nah," I said, preoccupied. "Shit!" My pencil case fell and all of my charcoal and pencils slipped out of their once nicely organised sections.

"Kara! Are you okay?" Frank asked, concerned.

"Yeah, fine," I grumbled, "I just dropped my entire life savings onto the floor." Hey, anything art-related isn't cheap! So the statement was at least half true.

"Maybe I should let you go..." Frank offered lightly.

"I'm sorry Frank," I said, still a bit preoccupied to realise that meant us hanging up the phone, which I didn't actually want to do!

"Hey, no worried. Say, have you eaten anything for dinner?" he asked suddenly, and I replied no, that I had lost track of time working on my project. "Do you like pizza?"

"Yeah, who doesn't?" I said back, putting the phone on speaker phone so I could clean up my mess more efficiently. There was charcoal dust everywhere, grey and black smudges on the white tiled floor. The tips of my pencils had broken and there were pieces of lead scattered around.

"Okay, babe, hold on." And then he hung up. My head popped up as I started at the phone.

"Frank?" I called out. I had dust all over my hands and really didn't want to touch my phone until I washed them. Did he mean to hang up? I thought as I gathered the rest of my stuff, hopelessly dropping it into the pencil case, each piece falling where it may. I'll organise them later... I thought and suddenly felt immense irritation. It was unbelievable how quickly the flames to my rage ignited and grew. I'll just wait for Frank to call back, I thought as I washed my hands quickly and grabbing paper towels to wipe the floor down with. I rolled up the sleeves of my sweatshirt even more so they wouldn't get in the way. I don't know why I didn't just take the damn thing off. I was starting to sweat from cleaning up the God forsaken mess.

I was done wiping up the most obvious dust smudges and began surveying the floor, getting down on my hands and knees, picking up random pieces of lead as it came into my vision. I heard knocking on the door and groaned. "I swear, I'm really not making that much noise. If those fuckers are here to complain again..." I said, really not in the mood to be in contact with any living being. We had a pair of extremely studious girls rooming underneath Molly's and my dorm and I swear to God. Every single noise made wasn't complete without a filed complaint and an upfront and personal complaint. I mean, half the time, we would close the reclining chair and they'd be right up here, complaining about us dropping weights onto the floor. Do they seriously expect us to tip toe around like the floor was made of eggshells so they could have 500% peace and silence? No. That's not gonna fly with my tonight.

"Listen up, motherfucker," I saw, opening the door wide, "I- OH MY GOD. FRANK." I gasped, completely taken by surprise. He just raised his eyebrows, standing there holding a couple boxes of pizzas.

"I didn't think surprising you with dinner would be so invasive, I deeply apologise..." he said, not really being serious and inviting himself inside.

"How did you get into the building?" I asked, closing the door.

"Some chicks were leaving as I was walking up so I just let myself in." Just like he's doing now, I thought, but in actual reality, I didn't mind at all. I was jumping up and down with excitement internally by the mere fact that he came to visit me.

He set the pizza boxes down on the counter and turned to face me. "Whoa," he said, laughing. I just stared at him. He walked up to me and took his hand softly to my face. "You got something on your cheek, love," he said. Oh my God, it isn't charcoal, is it? I asked myself. When he wiped his thumb across my cheek, his thumb returned with a dark stain on them. I inhaled, aghast. "What on Earth did you do here?" He looked around the kitchen. "You really did a number on the floor, didn't you?" And here, I thought I had cleaned up somewhat decently.

Without a second thought, he walked around the counter to wet down some paper towels and then dropped to the floor on his hands and knees himself. "Frank!" I exclaimed, trying to get him to stand up. "You don't have to clean up my mess! Go sit down and eat! I'll be right there!" He wouldn't let me take the paper towels and continued to wipe down the floor as if I hadn't even said anything. I gave up trying to stop him, grabbed a new moistened paper tower and kneeled along side with him. After a few minutes, I spoke.

"Thank you for helping me, Frank. You always seem to be helping me." We coincidentally went to wipe down the same around and our hands collided. "Oh," I said off guard. "Sorry, Frank." But he wasn't looking at my face or my hands. His gaze was on my forearm. Fucking hell, I angrily thought, quickly moving away from him and pulling my sweatshirt sleeves down.

"Kara." He was still staring at the spot on my arm were the bloody bandage was located, even while my sleeve was down. "What the fuck." I had never heard him sweat like that to me. It was so serious; his voice cut through me as if I were melted butter. But in an alarmingly intimidating way. The last thing I wanted was for Frank to be pissed at me, but leave it to me to be able to fuck anything up.

"I-" I started to explain when he swiftly but gently pulled my arm back, lifting the fabric up.

"What happened?" he calmly asked. I found myself exhaling the breath I was holding, feeling so distressed.

"I..." I started again, but couldn't find any words to say. Do I tell him the truth? Do I lie? Will he know lie from truth? My mind was racing, but was running on empty at the same time. I felt my eyes begin to water and I got angry with myself all over again.

Before I even had time to think of anything to say, I was brought into a deep, warm embrace. "You don't have to speak, Kara," he whispered into my hair. "Just stay like this with me for a while. Please." I closed my eyes, taking in his scent. It surprisingly calmed me very fast. We sat like that, hugging each other in the middle of the kitchen floor, just listening to each other breathe.

"Kara," he started after what seemed like forever, "I know you have your reasons about why this happens," he paused, further collecting his thoughts. "I won't force you to tell me why, but I'm asking- no, I'm telling you, the next time you even think about doing this to yourself, you need to call me. You have to call me. I don't care what you're doing, where you are, where I am, what I'm doing... You come find me and don't stop until you do." I could only nod, my throat feeling dry and unable to speak.

"Kara," he released me, holding me at arms length. "This is a very delicate situation and you know I care about you. I'm willing to drop everything for you at the drop of a pin, but I need you to trust me, too. You need to know that when you find me, I'll make everything okay again. No matter what you say, how you protest, your opinion doesn't matter. Put faith in me that I can save you, even if you believe you don't need saving. You can hate me, you can cuss me out, you can shun me, but please, please find me, no matter what your mind is telling you to do." However much I wanted to avoid his gaze, I couldn't help but stare into his eyes.

I was afraid of seeing frustration, pity, sadness... but what I really saw was understanding, hope, empathy, concern. I felt my body start to quiver as I realised that Frank wasn't at all angry with me or disappointed in me. He wasn't disappointed in me. I'm not sure whether it was self pity, relief or simply the fact that I had been absolutely terrified until Frank had reassured me with his little speech that he understood and was willing to stick by me, but I broke down into hard sobs. I cried for the pain, I cried for myself, and I cried for the world and my life that was forced to live in it. I cried for Frank, for he guaranteed to me his support even if it meant staying next to me blindly. I just sat there and cried.
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Thank you guys for continuing to take the time to read! I will say that the poem in this chapter is mine to claim. Comments are always welcomed! ♥