Read Dealing With It (Two Short Stories) Online
Authors: Christina Channelle
Tags: #fiction, #drama, #short stories, #young adult, #contemporary, #teen, #ya
Two Short Stories
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
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Copyright © 2013 by
Christina Channelle. All rights reserved. This novel is a work of
fiction. Any resemblance to people either living or deceased is
purely coincidental. Names, places, and characters are figments of
the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious setting.
Cover image provided by Stockfresh/yuriarcurs
Editor: Ocean’s Edge Editing
For those with a
passion for stories: whether creating your own world or diving into
I looked up from my soggy bowl of cereal,
shaking my head fervently. The spoon in my hand clattered against
the bowl as my eyes landed on Ian.
“No,” I answered in return, uttered lowly
under my breath. I felt my throat tighten against the food stuck in
my throat. I concentrated, forcing myself to swallow the mushy bran
flakes. The feeling was painful.
Coughing, I spoke louder. “No!” I felt
better saying it with more vigor, hanging onto that single
Tentatively, Ian walked over toward me. We
must have looked strange to the outside world, Ian and I: me
sitting so motionless at the kitchen table, a spoon hanging from my
fingertips as I looked straight ahead, my head shaking back and
forth repeatedly. Then there was Ian, now standing two feet away
from me as if afraid to come any closer. His blond hair looked
almost comical, standing on end. I would have laughed had it been
any other situation. Jesse would be poking fun at him if he were
here, asking Ian what electrical socket he tried to stick his
finger into this time.
I did laugh then, scraping the wooden chair
against the floor as I stood, startling Ian. I tilted my head in
his direction, remarking, “You know, Jesse would be rolling on the
floor right now at the way you look.” I walked closer to him,
closing the gap between us and gave his arm a quick squeeze.
“When’s he coming home, anyway? I don’t want
to miss seeing his expression when he takes a good look at you.
It’ll definitely be priceless.” I moved away from Ian but he
grasped me tightly by the elbow, refusing to let go.
I looked up at him in confusion, noticed
that his blue eyes were unusually dark. He was frowning, a strange
occurrence for him and it made me frown in return. I placed the tip
of my index finger against his bottom lip, slowly tracing his
unfamiliar expression as I looked up at him, a question in my
“Angie....” His tone was a little off.
Hoarse, as if he hadn’t used his voice in a while.
Or he’d been crying.
I knew the next thing out of his mouth would
be something I didn’t want to hear. I wanted to scream at him to
stop before he said anything else but my voice became stuck in my
“He’s gone.” Hearing those words again sent
me back into a spiral. I jerked away from him but he wouldn’t
budge. I stared, pointing a finger up at him accusingly; I knew my
eyes must have looked wild to him.
“Don’t,” I started, my lips trembling. I
shook my head again. “Don’t say that, Ian. It isn’t true. And
that’s a horrible thing for you to say.”
“You need to wake up, Angela.” I immediately
froze when he said those words. Two things startled me the most
about his statement. First, his tone of voice, which was so unlike
Ian, hard and full of … agony. The second was the fact that he
called me Angela.
He never called me Angela.
A tear slowly rolled down my cheek and I
finally broke away from his grip, moving quickly toward the kitchen
sink. I grasped my hands on top of the counter, taking in a shaky
breath. I felt Ian come up behind me and rest his chin against my
shoulder. He took a deep breath as well as I felt the warm air
touch my neck as he exhaled.
“He’s gone. Jesse is gone, Angela.”
As the tears continued to roll down both
cheeks now and I felt the wetness of Ian’s own tears start to soak
the back of my shirt, I continued to shake my head back and forth
slowly. Under my breath, I said only one word, over and over
A PILE OF broken glass was scattered all
around me. Adrenaline pounded through me so hard that I didn’t
notice the pieces of glass embedded into the soles of my bare feet,
blood seeping from the wounds. I breathed heavily, almost panting,
and grabbed another glass from the cupboard, slamming it against
the wall. The satisfaction it gave me as it exploded into bits only
lasted a second before I felt the anger boil up inside me once
I grabbed three more glasses from the
cupboard and carefully set them each on the table, staring at them.
The middle one especially caught my eye as it used to be Jesse’s
favorite. It was a gift I had gotten him for Valentine’s Day a few
years ago. Simple, I know. But Jesse never asked much from me.
He always said my smile was all he
As I continued to stare at the familiar
shape of the glass, I imagined Jesse’s hands as he’d grip the
object. I concentrated so hard, I began to see every little detail
of what his hands looked like, right up to the little half-moon
scar he had at the base of his right thumb. Something he got when
he was a little kid, playing in the woods, he told me.
Grasping the glass myself, I slowly picked
it up and gently turned it around in my hand, memorizing everything
about it. The simplistic square structure as my fingertips caressed
each side, the almost greenish tinge the glass had, ever so
Green was Jesse’s favorite color.
At that thought, my lips curled inward as I
looked at the glass accusingly. Yes, green was Jesse’s favorite
color and it should have been Jesse holding this glass right now.
I felt resentment quickly build up inside
and with not so much as a thought, I raised my hand as high as I
could and smashed in down on the floor. It shattered into tiny
green slivers all around me.
A slight noise caused me to look up and I
saw him, shocked.
Tears formed in my eyes, a sob caught in my
throat at the shock of seeing him. Such joy filled my soul. But it
was suddenly destroyed when I looked into his eyes and saw
beautiful baby blues.
Jesse had beautiful
It was Ian standing before me, eerily
resembling Jesse. They finally looked like the identical twins they
were. Both were tall, blond and handsome—the only difference was in
their style and the color of their eyes. Today though, Ian was
dressed so similar to Jesse with his dark blue jeans and argyle
So different from his usual khaki shorts and
“Why couldn’t it have been you?” I said
bitterly, picking up another glass and throwing it in his
direction. Ian flinched as it hit the wall next to his right
Shaking his head, he stepped forward, his
shoes crushing the broken pieces of glass around him as he
approached me. I backed up so my back rested against the wall and
slid down until I sat on the floor, looking dejectedly up at
“It should have been you!” My rage was
directed at both Ian and Jesse, still boiling up inside me. At that
moment I hated Jesse for dying and Ian for being here with me
“I know.” Ian said this very quietly and sat
down next to me. He ignored the glass around us, my bloody
footprints, as we just sat there in silence, both lost in our own
thoughts. I looked on ahead, not really staring at anything in
particular as our shoulders touched. My hands clenched tightly into
fists and I heard Ian sigh beside me.
I LAY IN my bed, eyes closed, deeply
breathing in the smell of Jesse’s pillow against my face. His smell
was still there—faint, but there nonetheless. Lazily giving a small
smile to myself, I imagined him lying next to me. He would stroke
my hair ever so softly to lull me from my sleep, tease me with the
tip of his fingers rubbing against my cheek. I would slowly open
one eye, then the other, and find Jesse staring at from me with
those gorgeous eyes of his. And then he’d kiss me on the nose, his
way of saying good morning.
I smiled widely at the thought.
I knew though, that if I were to really open
my eyes, this would end my beautiful daydream. So I continued to
keep them shut, not wanting my life to shatter into pieces yet
again. Instead, I imagined the day as it should have been: when I
opened my eyes and stared across at Jesse, he wouldn’t leave my
side after his nose kiss to go pick up his brother. I would have
refused adamantly and tell him to leave his drunkard of a brother
to walk himself home, after a night of partying.
And stay with me.
I’d get up and make him my specialty
strawberry and chocolate pancakes, his favorite thing to eat. We’d
go for a short stroll in the park and then catch an afternoon
movie—I’d even let him pick. Afterwards, I’d force him to bring me
to the mall where I would, of course, go on a mini shopping spree.
Then we’d walk back home, arm in arm, and I’d have him make me
dinner. We could have done anything that day.
I would have never let him get into that
A tear quickly rolled down the side of my
face though my eyes were still closed. I suddenly turned my
thoughts to God and questioned him on why he would do this to me.
Why he would take such a beautiful soul away from his mate. If
there was anything in the past that I did that made me deserve
this. If there was anything that I could do to fix this so life
could go back to the way it was supposed to be.
I’d do anything to get him back.
And I would. I would make him breakfast
every morning. I’d let him win every fight. I would give him the
tightest of hugs every time I left him. I would give him the most
passionate of kisses every time I saw him again. I would do
everything to be the best person I could be—the best girlfriend and
the best of friend. I’d give up everything but my necessities.
Just bring him back to me.
I BARELY FELT the hand resting on my arm. It
was a warm presence against my constantly chilled body.
I didn’t even remember where I was. I was
stuck in a shell within myself, lifeless. Feeling nothing, seeing
It was all a big ball of emptiness.
I blinked, then finally looked up. It was
slow moving but I found myself staring into a pair of concerned
eyes so similar to my own.
But while I stared into eyes that were alive
and vibrant, passionate with life, I knew what she saw when she
looked at my own was the complete opposite—listlessness.
She finally removed her hand from my arm and
settled back into her seat across from me, a look of sympathy on
I didn’t want to see that.
I looked down into the plate in front of me
instead. She had ordered Hawaiian pizza, my favorite. I stared at
the bits of ham and pineapple on the pizza slice as it lay there,
It was beginning to get cold.
“Angie, you need to eat.”
I could hear the almost exasperated tone in
her voice but I didn’t care. I practically tuned her out as she
continued to rant.
“You’re skin and bones, wasting away
completely. You can’t do this to yourself, honey. You haven’t seen
any of your friends in so long. And what about Ian? He’s hurting
too and you’ve completely shut him out. It’s been months—so many
months. It’s time to let Jesse go, sweetheart.”
I didn’t say anything for the longest time,
actually brewing on her last words.
Let Jesse go.
I didn’t want to be having this conversation
with her, talking to her about Jesse. I didn’t want to hear her
analogy on why I should be moving on. In fact, I didn’t want to be
eating a meal like everything was okay—I didn’t want to eat at all.
The thought of forcing food down my throat made my stomach queasy
and I fought the urge to gag.