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It’s like a stupid infection.

“Oh fuuuuuuuuck,” you might say one day. Better be prepared.

It creeps up on you, slowly, inch by infiltrative inch.

One minute, one week, and you make the mistake of thinking it’s okay. That you’re okay. That it’s safe to be familiar and it’s safe to sit a breath away. That it’s safe to look at and it’s safe to smile. Out of a hundred, you estimate that the chance of you catching it is around five percent. Or less. Likely zero.

Here, have a non-committal snicker. Not you. Never you. It’s probably just a myth after all.

That’s when the symptoms start.

It begins with the little things. Trivial minute details that you (or anyone else for that matter) barely notice.

First you see. (No, not yourself. A little bit later on you will, when it’s too late.) You notice the cause of the sickness first. Wow. When did those smiles get so unique? When did you start wanting to see them so much? What’s that scent? Since when did it smell so good?

Since when did your gravity shift from the world in general to just one, previously insignificant being?

And then you start fussing about the little things, ‘I look ridiculous‘, ‘Does this hairdo suit me‘, ‘Do I look awful‘, ‘Did I say this right‘, ‘Do I sound desperate‘ ‘Am I being obvious’Shit, could they possibly know I…‘- you put an end to your average carefree life and constantly live through the exhausting thrill of thinking too much, assuming too much (oh my god, he looked this way; oh hell, she smiled at me today), with occasional dips of depression that out of the two of you, you realize you’re probably the only one who gives a flying fuck about what stupid shirt you wore today.

It’s an affliction that eats you from inside out.

Of course you deny it, like all infected do. Some lie, so well in fact that they end up believing it. And the sickness festers, rots, and gnashes, and throbs- until it hurts too much so they succumb to treatment or they try to kill it themselves. Others acknowledge it with defeat. With hope. With dread. Few take the flippant approach where the symptoms are pushed to the surface (because truth is so rarely spoken out loud these days- it’s a lie, it has to be, otherwise why would you say it and risk it?)

Then again however you may deal with this it’s final. You caught it (or rather it caught you- hook line and sinker) and you have no idea how to cure yourself. Comparable to addiction maybe but no, addiction gives you the first hit, the first choice- try it? No? Yes? – this one however- Hey, hi, nice to meet you. Yeah, what are you talking about, of course we’re best friends. Or, yes, I hate you. Despise your very existence. Or, I’m straight, I can’t possibly- that’s gross. 


Uh. I think I…

It’s hardly a matter of choice.

It creeps and creeps and when it finds one weak point, it tumbles all at once and breaches all precaution like there’s no tomorrow. You wake up and you find yourself sick and aching for a cure. A look maybe. One message? A laugh? A glance? For just a second?

Like every infection there were ways to avoid it. Of course like vegetables or exercise, the healthy way isn’t always the tastiest. The happiest. The liveliest. You just had to go and gorge yourself on delectable personality traits and feast on physical attributes that suddenly became your ideal. Now it’s too late.

This is the kind of infection that you either nurture with the right medicine where the cause is the cure. The medicine is costly, the stakes high. Painful. You may get the medicine or die trying. It can take months, weeks. Depends on the gravity of the cause or the level of infection. You can try your darnest and still suffer pain until you die.

When you die, good luck, you’re cured.

Or you cut it before it consumes you whole. An amputee- less of who you were, but hey, at least you’re alive.

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Describing the color red without using the word itself : a tiny writing exercise for myself I guess


It’s the first color that greeted me when I walked into that room.

It’s the fire I felt spreading across my face when I remembered I hadn’t worn the prescribed dress code for Fridays.


It’s the raging inferno that constricted my lungs when I saw you for the first time.


You, who wore that garish shade and made it seem as if the intensity was crafted just to compliment your alabaster skin.


It’s the subtle glow in your cheeks when you talk, completely oblivious to the fact that you have me enthralled with every flick of your hair. (For what seemed like an eternity, I am captivated. I can’t look away.)

When finally (regrettably), the class ends; I’m still swimming in that shade of your lips that held my attention throughout the whole day. (Even if I never really did get a chance to hear what they had to say.)

It’s the sudden jolt of panic in my chest when we accidentally exchange glances from across the room (don’t ever turn) -and I immediately look away.

(No, I didn’t mean it- I need to see your eyes again.)


It’s the heady mixture of giddiness and paranoia in my head when you change seats by chance -in front of me- (so fucking near, so fucking far away) on the last day of the semester.

It’s the streak of ink that marked my paper, when I finish the test earlier than intended and run away.


It’s the figurative flames I use to burn the few pointless memories I have of you in my head.

It’s the persistent flicker of embers that refuse to die each time I try.

It’s the vibrant hue of the little trinkets scattered all over campus on valentines when I regret not catching even a glimpse of your lean, wispy frame.

It’s the the color that would then annoy me for days.

It’s the frantic pulsing in my ears every time I see you walking at least five steps ahead.

It’s the silly shame that drowns me when I think that, between the two of us, I’m probably the only one who cares.

It’s the warmth of the sinking sun the last time I cross paths with you on my way home.

It’s the sensation I felt leaving me when I realize this might be the last day I’ll see your face.

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