Fiction On Odyssey: A Goodbye That Offered No More Future Hellos

Fiction On Odyssey: A Goodbye That Offered No More Future Hellos

The final chapter has arrived.

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After reading chapter three, this is the final chapter to the short story, "Apologies Not Given." A little longer than the previous chapters, the final chapter holds closure for both Vicki and Seth!

Seth (2018)

Awkwardly transitioning from another one of my failed attempts at witty banter, I told you all about my new life. New would be an overstatement: the life is completely the same, but the roles changed and now each one is filled with a person unfamiliar to you; although that's what you're comfortable with – unfamiliar. "Don't say that," I thought as I rambled on.

Taken by surprise, you asked to see a picture of Suzanne, and I quickly obliged. Your tiny mouth curled up on the left side, a smile I knew all too well. You were being polite – keeping comments to yourself as to not say something you may later regret.

You said nothing of Suzanne.

"Do you have children?"

"Not yet. I think, well I know, I want to have children soon."

Nodding, there was an unspoken, painful memory we knew we were both sharing at that moment. You had just gotten home from whatever hobby of the month you were participating in that night, and I was babysitting our neighbor's baby, Julia. You intently stared at me as you watched from the kitchen entryway as I fed Julia mashed bananas and cheerios.

The look on your face was one of annoyance and sadness when most women your age would've been delighted to see their partner enjoying and well-caring after a baby as thoughts of your own fertility created wishful scenarios in your head.

"No," was all you had to say.

Startled, I looked up, and asked, "Excuse me?"

"I will not have children."

I got up and followed you into the living room where you threw your ballet-slipper clad feet on the expensive white couch. "I guess that answers where you were," my mind spoke. Before I could hesitate, you calmly stated, "We don't have to talk about it. There's not much to discuss. I won't be having children." I would sacrifice anything if it meant watching your ballet slippers curl up under your, one of many, yellow blankets for the rest of our lives.


Vicki (2018)

Bracing myself for the blow I knew was inevitable, I asked about your wife. My mouth spoke before my mind could warn it, and soon you were showing me a picture of a girl that looked like she was the complete opposite of me. Maybe you weren't able to ever look at someone who resembled me in the slightest because it hurt too much. Maybe you were eager to show me a picture of her to show that her hair was as light and innocent as she was to her life, while mine was as red and hot-tempered as I was. Or maybe you wanted to show me that her arms were planted around your waist more firmly than my feet ever were to this ground - still fresh with my footprints from my last run.


Seth (2018)

Shifting from my average life accomplishments and semi-permanent happiness, I wanted to hear your thick voice talk about yourself. I craved details of events I was left out on that I still dream of as years slip away just like you once did. When you spoke about the man you were moving in within downtown Chicago, fulfilling the only permanent dreams you ever let me know of, I felt sick. I wanted to run away, and pretend I never saw you standing in that too crowded line that seemed to disappear when I caught a glance of fiery hair and speckled freckles on a face that reminded me of happiness and a life I still pretended to live.

My face was red; I could feel it. Instantly, I regret coming here. Not just to the coffee shop, but this town. I could've chosen a different college, never introduced myself to the girl that had danger in her cold, yet inviting eyes, never moved to this town five years ago, and I wouldn't be finding myself sitting in this all of a sudden too closed in shop that smelled like a drink I was long over drinking because the taste had gotten old. Pain stabbed at me in a way I became immune to when it came to you. I was ready for a goodbye that offered no more future hellos.


Vicki (2018)

Maybe the problem was that you never stopped looking for me long enough to let me find you. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't find someone else, and my God, I did. I found him. I found Scott because we were running from two different things in two different directions, crashing into each other. When we run, we run together.

Before your once familiar, too-forgotten lips graced my cheek with their final goodbye, I heard your last words whispered, sending shivers through my body as I watched you be the one to run first this time. My face was red; I could feel it. I'm glad I finally learned, too.

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade.

I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass, and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school, and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone, it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach:

Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off," and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake, I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself, not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, but you also turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It's about the players.

You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won't have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Poetry On Odyssey: My Thoughts As A Teenage Insomniac

"Shifty minds in a shifty night."

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My thoughts have hit a new low,
My bedroom is feeling too cold-
I wanna sleep but my bedspread's only made for two.

DON'T FIX MY AESTHETIC,
I'M CALLING A MEDIC-
I'LL F**K ON THE TABLE,
AND HOTBOX WITH GOD.

Illusions depicted,
Writing hometown fictitions,
And drinking big bottles with uplifting tongues.

I'M PLAYING WITH RATTLES,
I'VE UPSET SOME CATTLE
WHO WASHED UP A BOMB-

Rolling around twisting some thoughts,
I've gotten insomnia-
And switched on and off.
I'm subtle and bitter,
I've craved for hard liquor,
But felt gross off the thought.

GO DRINK SOME BEER,
AND THEY WILL ALL CHEER-
I GO IN AND OUT
OH F**K I JUST SHOUT!
I PUNCHED MY FRIEND BOBBY
I'M MAKING A HOBBY,
TO SUCK ON MY THUMB!

My mind is a gutter,
A repulsive mess.
I shift around-
On and off bed.
For the nighttime thoughts lingers
And I'm shriveled with thought.
For graveyard hours really just suck.

LIGHTS ON, ON AND OFF
I THINK FELL,
THESE MOMENTS SUCK

I'm a teenage insomniac,
Whatever will I do?
When my mind comes down under,
I relapse again.

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