You Exist

I have been invisible to guys like him even after physical introduction. It got me thinking, why would I let another human being make me feel smaller?

Here’s to everyone who’s ever felt invisible: YOU EXIST, in all your glory. And the stars and the universe know about you — and they’re much, much, much grander than all of us little humans. So if anyone ever doesn’t acknowledge your existence, remind them of their insignificance.

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Life Has a Funny Way – Excerpt

How could I have ignored the time Rey commented on my neighbors’ little sister’s physical appearance? “Man, she’s going to be a heartbreaker,” he said in a way that no grown eighteen-year-old male should be using to refer to a ten-year-old. I found the comment inappropriate, but said nothing. And, how about the time a girl, who happened to go to my school, came up to me and told me that she was my boyfriend’s girlfriend? Or the time he implied that he’d lost count of how many girls he’d f-cked? Or the time when someone told me they saw him making out with some other girl at the beach? The signs were so many, right in my face, and I chose to look away.

It was hard to accept that my little fantasy was over. He was my first love, after all. He was my first kiss and the first living man I had ever shed tears for. Letting go was hard. But he was also the first boy to break my heart, and that was harder. If I’d stayed, I’d be stepping on my own dignity. There would be no back-on this time — we were off, forever.

Get Nostalgia and Deal Breakers: A Short Story Collection to read the whole essay. Available on Amazon Kindle.

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White Matter

The town was completely white. Cars, trees, power lines…everything was covered in white. I climbed up the couch by the double window and slid the curtains to the side. Kneeling on the seat, I cross my hands on top of each other under my chin and watch the white matter fall from the sky. It doesn’t stop falling.

No different patterns, no colors, nothing but white when I look up and around. The brick houses in my neighborhood are untouched, except for their roofs. Up there, the white matter does stick. The roof on some of the houses have a very thick layer hanging on for dear life, while others only have some flakes scattered all over the edges.

A squeaky sound disrupts my absorption. I turn my head to the house next door to the left and see Mr. Claude, our neighbor, resurfacing from under his garage door with a shovel in hand. He walks about two feet from the garage to where the white matter is accumulated and he starts clearing the driveway. Mr. Claude is wearing a big black and blue coat and the hood almost covers his whole pale face. He doesn’t notice me staring out the window.

I watch in fascination as my neighbor cleans all the walkable spaces around his house, only to be hit by more and more of the same white bits. Mrs. Claude storms out of the house, running after Gregory — Mr. and Mrs. Claude’s only child. My new mom says he’s hyper than me and my two sisters combined. I thought maybe Gregory was in trouble and that’s why Mrs. Claude was chasing him, but she’s just being playful. They start playing with the white matter and now I’m really tempted to touch it.

“Do you want to go outside, Emma?” says a sweet soft voice. My mom is standing behind me in her pajamas, smiling and holding a cup of…I think tea. I nod enthusiastically at her question. “Okay, let’s go bundle up and wake your sisters!” I can hardly contain my excitement.

I’m bundled up and ready, waiting for Annabelle, my oldest sister, to put on her boots before running downstairs hand in hand. I watched Gregory play with the white matter earlier and, like him, I want to roll some of it into a ball. I finally go outside and step on it; finally, the white matter. I grab a handful. It’s flaky and fluffy and…cold! Just like the wind. My eyes are googling it with intense curiosity.

“It’s snow,” says my new mom, a smile on her face. Snow. Of course. It’s been seven months since I came to this country, but I’ve only seen this in one of the movies Annabelle plays for me a bunch of times a day. I really like Manny and Sid, and Annabelle says it keeps me busy while she studies. And, here it is, the same white matter in front of me. My other sister Liz comes out running and grabs my hand.

“Yay, snow day! Come on, Emma, let’s make a snow angel!”

Snow angel? I don’t know what it is, but my mom seems excited. She steps aside and takes her camera out of her pocket. I think it’s going to be a fun day.

© Marcia Capellán

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