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Blurry

by Ruby68


You barely gave me time to breathe.

I’m not sure if that phrase can be considered crude humor. I didn’t intend it as such but the irony is not lost on me.

That day that you stopped breathing, I’ll never forget it.

It was surprisingly mild for Mississippi in April. I was wearing that white button down shirt with the blue flowers. I haven’t worn it since. It will forever be the shirt I wore on the day you died. I don’t want to wear it anymore, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of it either. I had my blue jacket on over the shirt. I was already upset. We were leaving that day, I had missed too much school and dad had missed too much work. He had told me the night before that we would go to the hospital one last time before we left but at the last minute that morning he had tried to change his mind. When he said we weren’t going back I got that panicked constriction in my chest that I’d felt so often that week. I wasn’t ready to let you go and say goodbye. I wasn’t ready to leave your side even though I wasn’t sure if you even knew I was there. I kept thinking that I hadn’t kissed you the night before because I thought we would be back. I had to give you one last kiss. I got angry and I cried until he let up and agreed to stop by quickly.

We parked in front of the hospital this time instead of in the parking garage since we weren’t staying long. I stepped out onto the ground. One of the things I most love about Mississippi is the way the dirt is always sort of sandy, like you never quite leave the beach even when you have. It made me think of playing on the beach with you and of riding through the farm on your four wheeler, sandy dirt spewing up around us. Thinking of you this way, long before all of this filled me with a sort of melancholy sadness. A half smile played across my lips. I led the way through the main doors, past the gift shop, around the corner, and up the elevator. I paused not quite knowing the way to your new room. In a way, I was glad you were out of the ICU with its dimly lit waiting room. The ICU was on the same floor as the labor and delivery. I thought it was strange how the hallway became dimmer and the waiting rooms more gloomy as you neared the ICU, as if highlighting the contrast between life and death. It seemed it should be the other way around, the people down the hall were already happy.

They had only transferred you because you were dying. I knew that. I thought I had accepted it. We walked past the nurse’s station toward your new room. As we neared, I knew something was wrong, I felt it in the air. My chest tightened again. I walked faster, almost sprinting down the white tiled hallway. I flung open the door and stopped. Ash was sitting on your bed holding you and crying loudly as I stood frozen in the doorway. “He passed about a minute ago,” someone informed us. I don’t remember who because I was staring at your face. It wasn’t you, it couldn’t be. I don’t know when I started to cry but I was crying. I was a minute too late. Too late to hold your hand, too late to kiss your forehead the way you had so often kissed mine.

I cried so much my contacts went blurry.

A few hours later we left. I knew we wouldn’t be back. As we pulled away I looked back at everything we were leaving trying my best to cry noiselessly in the backseat. I stared out the window trying to memorize the place I had always loved so much. It didn’t seem the same without you. Everything was blurry and undefined, maybe because of the crying or maybe because my eyes couldn’t quite focus. The only thing I could see clearly was your empty face. I tried to tell myself it wasn’t you. In some capacity I know it was you, but it wasn’t who you are, or were. The horizon slowly melted together and faded into the darkness as we drove on and on. We were driving home but I felt empty. Home felt like what we were leaving behind. Home felt like something I could never get back now. It felt like sitting in your kitchen eating ice cream or watching you sing that silly song the kids loved. The hollow feeling in my stomach didn’t hurt, it was worse than hurt.

It was the kind of pain that is dull and aching and never ending. It was a blurry kind of pain. Just like everything else in the world without you. Blurry. 


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21 Reviews


Points: 795
Reviews: 21

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Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:55 pm
StormCycle wrote a review...



I loved this story and the emotions you showed. Your style seems strong and well developed and your tendencies to mention the little details and make them important is really interesting. I like that a lot.

My first impressions of this story were that you set the scene impeccably well. You definitely got into the narrator's head seamlessly too. You did a lot of telling, but in my opinion, it didn't take away anything from the story because the narrator is telling us what happened.

I also found that you explained a lot. We don't need quite so much explaining. Some sentences meant to explain things are right in the middle of other, more emotional lines and it really breaks up the flow of the story. The other thing that I found fault in was the lack of variation in your words. Varying your words makes for a more interesting story. The word 'cry' is an example of a word you used far too often. Change it up a little and break out a Thesaurus. Or use google, whichever you prefer.

One last thing that bugged me was the second to last paragraph. It could be split between these two sentences. "I tried to tell myself it wasn’t you. In some capacity I know it was you, but it wasn’t who you are, or were. The horizon slowly melted together and faded into the darkness as we drove on and on."

Overall, I think that this was a great story. The emotions were very realistic and believable. Keep on writing!




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450 Reviews


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Reviews: 450

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Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:00 pm
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Apricity wrote a review...



Hey Ruby, Apricity here for a review.

First of all, this aches. Your ending echoes your title beautifully, and my god it hurts. I like the language you have here, it's so clear and crisp but at the same time, your descriptions bring out the grief, the unwillingness to let go and the shock of accepting. The description of the weather, of the shirt brings everything into painstakingly crystal details, but it doesn't ramble it stops where it should but the shortness of your sentences adds that grief and rawness of emotion to it and it's just so wonderful.

That being said, I think your second and third paragraphs could be stronger. Not that they're not good, but it doesn't have the same crispness as your other paragraphs do. You mentioned hospital and garage, by garage I assume you meant carpack? Correct me if I'm wrong, but garage is usually associated with the parking space belonging to someone's house. In a situation like this, perhaps carpack would be a more suitable word? I love how the dirt leads onto the memories of the narrator and his/her friend, but instead of stepping onto grass which arguably is seated in soil. Maybe change it to, 'stepping onto the ground' ?

I'm iffy about the memories of them being in the ICU, it's well written but it feels strange for the narrator to be sharing memories of their friend in the ICU. Because when I first read that sentence, I assumed that these were memories of their friend before going into the hospital altogether. Just general memories of them being together, pre-illness and in a way, this also strengthen the contrast and emotions you've already built up in this story by adding in all the warm memories you had of them.

AH.

The ICU was on the same floor as the labor and delivery.
Take this with a grain of salt, but I see a chance of exploring the relationship of death and birth, labor and delivery signify new lives being born into the world. Yet the ICU meanwhile, are where people go when death becomes a possibility that may come true. It brings to the mind, how death and life is only one breathe apart, one room apart.

I really enjoyed this story, but I think you can tell that already. I don't know how helpful this review actually was but I also felt the need to tell you how much I enjoyed this. : ) Keep writing.

-Apricity




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10 Reviews


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Reviews: 10

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Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:53 am
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maisewriting wrote a review...



Hello, Maise here to review this story! I really loved this, it was really well written!

I was wearing that white button down shirt with the blue flowers. I haven’t worn it since. It will forever be the shirt I wore on the day you died. I don’t want to wear it anymore, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of it either.
Good. Very good. This is a quality line.

I was panicked because I wasn’t ready to let you go and say goodbye.
I don’t think “I was panicked because” is necessary. It would seem more natural if you got rid of it.

One of the things I most love about Mississippi is the way the dirt is always sort of sandy, like you never quite leave the beach even when you have.
I really like this line. I don’t know. It’s just very good.

They had only transferred you because you were dying. I knew that. I thought I had accepted it.
Ooh, this is a good line!

Ash was sitting on your bed holding you and crying loudly.
Who is Ash? This is kind of confusing, even a mention of Ash earlier would help.

I walked faster. I opened the door. Ash was sitting on your bed holding you and crying loudly. “He passed about a minute ago,” someone informed us
This is… not underwhelming, but I think it should be more dramatic. Highlight her desperation to see him, talk about how she’s feeling. This should be the peak of the story.

I was a minute too late. Too late to hold your hand, too late to kiss your forehead the way you had so often kissed mine.
The frustration is conveyed wonderfully.

Home felt like what we were leaving behind. Home felt like something I could never get back now. It felt like sitting in your kitchen eating ice cream or watching you sing that silly song the kids loved.
This is a GOOD line. I feel really upset that I didn’t get to meet him? But upset in a good way.

Just like everything else in the world without you, blurry.
Instead of a comma, try a period? I feel like this is a dramatic story, so it should have a dramatic ending.

But apart from that, I loved this! Great job!

Maise out :)





If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.
— Woodrow Wilson