Day to Day Writing, Flash Fiction, Short Fiction

#7 Revision

Guilt kept our apartments clean.

It was the monster that pushed me into back-breaking labour; the frenzy that possessed me to keep scrubbing until our little cave reeked of bleach and disinfectant. Our cat yowled scathingly, perched on top of my bookshelf, watching me from afar.

It never calmed my guilt – the routine just buried it. My guilt was insurmountable – a Goliath I could never keep quiet. It walked with me every step I took, and sat on my shoulders until the burden kept me from ever being able to look anybody else in the eye, because I was no longer upright. I forgot how to detach myself from it; it is always inside me, at the forefront, right smack in the middle, centre stage, hidden by layers and layers of masks I’ve learned to put on through the years, until  I’ve forgotten where polyester ends, and my skin begins.

I can pinpoint exact moments in the life we once shared together where we made wrong decisions. We wasted so much of our youth. An entire decade of missteps and dead ends.

That one sunny afternoon when I was curled up beside the dormitory phone, legs tucked underneath me, you said, “This is what you wanted, right? It’s better this way, right?” Your yearning for my approval came through more clearly than your voice fighting static over the phone.

Kneeling over you in the hallway of your mother’s house, while you tied your shoes, and you looked up at me and whispered so your family won’t   hear, “You don’t think I feel bad about this? Don’t you realize how bad this makes me feel?”

Waiting for you in a coffee shop in the frozen tundra that was Mississauga, sipping on on watery, tasteless coffee I spent our last $2 on, and everything we ever owned packed inside a single suitcase I kept beside me, everything depending on this one job interview, and you came into the cafe, with a grin on your face, sat down in front of me and said, “Got it,” and I immediately burst into grateful tears.

Lying down in an empty apartment I was so proud of, dazed and confused, looking at my laptop with ever widening eyes and mumbling, “It was today.” “WHAT,” you jumped in from the kitchen, your pupils as wide as the sun – “It was today,” I repeated, sinking, “I missed it. I fucking missed it.”

Rolling a joint while the television blared, and I looked at you and said accusingly, “You haven’t gone home in days.” And you smiled back and said, “That’s because I live here now.” – “About fucking time you admit it.” – “This is what you wanted, right? It’s better this way, right?” “Yes,” I said, my heart in the palm of your hands, “Much better.”

Clutching each other on a single bed, trapped inside a room for days, and half-teasingly, half-threateningly joking about the landlord that was waiting for us outside the apartment for not having paid rent.

“Don’t be like that,” she said, her hand extended, about to reel me in for an embrace, “I’m your neighbour now. You HAVE to say hi. You can’t avoid me forever you know.”

“Where were you?” I hissed from our room. “Upstairs,” you said, avoiding my deathly glare. “It’s our FUCKING anniversary.” – “I know, I know, but you know how they get – it’s hard to get away”. I threw a pillow your way. You dodged it as smoothly as you held my hand on so many of our lazy afternoons – “If you fucking cared enough, you would have come home!”

Leading me through the frozen lake, our skates ripping on ice, stars never shone as bright as they ever did for us in Port Credit, and you said, “We got it all figured out, you know. This kind of thing doesn’t just happen twice.”

You opened your eyes to my worried face towering over you, shaking, our vicious argument forgotten, and you reached out and held on to my shoulder, like a frightened child and said, your voice trembling, “what happened? Oh god, what happened?”

Sitting across from me in the hospital, cradling hands, smiling awkwardly at each other, and you said, “Things are going to work out. It’s going to change. Things will get better. Promise you won’t give up yet.” – “Okay. I promise.”

Standing by the front door, your hand gripping the doorknob, half-facing me, half-turned away, and  you said, “This is all because of you. Because of a stupid decision you made that changed our lives. We had it good, you know, it wasn’t perfect but it was good! Why couldn’t you have just been happy?” – “You said things would change. You’ve been saying the same shit for 10 years! 10 years! I’m not waiting another 10 years just hoping things would change.”

“Well, I would’ve,” you said, opening the door for the last time, “I would’ve waited forever.”


Day to Day Writing # 54

She sleeps against him, with her young secrets pulsating through her heart hardened by trauma, weakened by fear, doubled by the chemicals that swims through her senses, decorating the lining of her nostrils in barely visible halos; the only proof that it exists within her are the red scratches on her cheek, ones she unconsciously digs with her nails in the early hours of the morning.

There isn’t a tale he knows from her past that isn’t embellished or hidden; everything she tells him is a re-telling of truth, another version of another story she is too afraid to divulge. Once he felt her wake up in what he thought was terror, and asked if she was okay – except it wasn’t fear that opened her eyes, it was guilt, but there was no way of knowing.

Last night, they stood in front of each other inside the elevator, their reflection on the mirrored ceiling conveying polar opposites, despite the fact that both their sweaty palms gripped the silver railings, their fists clenched, their backs hunched, their legs tightly wound against the other, the distance between them like a chasm they cannot cross, silence muted by meaningless conversation.

Once she walked down the stairs from his apartment building and held her coat tightly against her in the cold December morning, smiling at the way he discreetly held her against him all night, softly breathing, and could not understand whether he was the mirror that focused her past, or the heavy smoke that annihilated it.

It is within those early hours in the morning, before the waking of the sun, before his offerings of honest conversations, their only common ground for intimacy and desire, before his eyes open and he leaves the bed to fill her glass with water, does she lay against him, silently, slowly becoming the woman she had always wanted to be at 5 am, that frigid January morning.

Day to Day Writing

Day to Day Writing # 44

A/N: Apologies for the lack of writing folks, I am currently obsessed with Saint’s Row IV and Andy Weir’s The Martianand my writing is suffering because of it. But worry not, because I got a lot of things done today such as, cleaned up my apartment, finally put up curtains in my bedroom so people can’t watch me sleep from outside, and sketched a bit.

On the meantime, here’s an old short story I wrote for one of my classes eons ago.


Calculating Literature

By: Ellise Ramos

Loving Myra was a decision I set heavily in stone, with as much vehemence and relentlessness as an infatuated 10-year-old could. From the moment Mr. Rodney sat us together in class, she already looked me up and down with those judging eyes and offered no “hello” or nod – just a penetrating glare that I felt solidify in my skin, into my nerves.

“Hi, my name is Ellise,” I said, smiling.

She rolled her eyes in reply.

I craned my neck to see what she was working on and saw her full name written on the top-left corner of her notebook. “Hey, your name is Ellise too!”

“My name’s Myra. My second name’s Elysse. And it’s spelled differently from yours, so no, we don’t have the same name.
That didn’t matter. I was already in love.

Read the full story in .pdf here:

or keep scrolling below to read it in its entirety on my blog.

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Day to Day Poetry, Day to Day Writing

Day to Day Poetry #34

It crawls into my skin
like little parasites
that dig under my veins
and settles into the crevices of my chest
and pounds and pounds —
until the only thing that can stop
my sporadic bursts of breath
is the pain that electrifies my nerves
whenever I clench my fists
to dig my nails into my palms,
tiny cuts of red
that grounds me back to reality.

Because loving you was a decision
I set heavily in stone
with as much relentless and vehemence
as a naive 10-year-old would –
taking every minuscule sign as proof of your love,
justifying your hesitations and radio silence
biting back my lip to prevent my heart from breaking
sitting alone on a thirty-minute cab ride
refusing to cry.

Because you are thunder, the tiniest of all tempests
The persuasion and conviction of my soul
Within forty-two hours you owned me
And rendered me speechless in prisms of crimson and catatonic ecstasy
As you swing me back and forth in an euphoria induced coma
Until the sunlight of the early morning doesn’t scare me anymore
For we have, gathered in our hands,
The laughter that will keep us calm even in the break of sobriety
The serotonin that will keep us sane and going
And the stories that will tide us over until the next bitter year.

Yesterday, my love, you held me on Danforth avenue,
Tonight, dear stranger, I stand alone.

Day to Day Poetry, poetry

Day to Day Poetry#33

Her fingers can type 120 words per minute,
from cataclysmic to chaotic to climactic–
she can process words in her mind like shape-shifting entities,
each adjective and euphemism creating their own existence,
playing out a plot in the crevices of her mind in which she’s the star–
and though fully aware this kind of escapism is futile,
she will ride the subway from kennedy to kipling anyway,
on her most manic of days, buried in white headphones and scarves,
because it’s better than staying at home.