Excerpt 1: Caged

I want to get out of this house. My teeth ache, my skin burns and my bones rattle in restlessness under it. I feel my soul clawing its way out my body, yet I sit here and accept the next slice of cake. I paste a smile on my face pretending everything is okay, but nothing is. I long for the cold air that will punch my face when I open the front door and the wind in my hair as I run away from this place.

I want to escape the bright eyes of the people looking at me, watching my every action and waiting for the moment I open my mouth and say something funny. That is one of my roles here. The one who makes everyone laugh with my jokes. They don’t hear the sarcasm. They are too blind they see genius instead of irony. Sometimes, my role is that of a successful scholar. They engage me in intelligent conversations, testing the extent of my knowledge as if we were in a lecture hall. As if they are the professors I need to impress. As if an honor-hungry student is all I am, not a daughter, a sister or a friend or simply someone lucky who got a perfect score.

They talk about their expectations, unaware of the pressure it builds inside me. My mind races and my heart pounds, already scared of the failure I am going to be. I can picture the disappointment painted on their faces when that day comes. And all I can say is that I’m sorry. I wouldn’t be the girl who makes people laugh anymore. I wouldn’t be the girl who amazes them with my wit. I will just be the girl who made wrong choices and bad decisions. The girl who couldn’t do better. The girl who crushed the dream.

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50 Words — Days

I miss the mornings when I wake up to your letters

and the nights when we listen to each others’ prayers.

I imagine the days when we stay in bed

with our limbs intertwined.

Those times are gone and all that’s left is the echo of your voice,

saying goodbye.


Sometimes I don’t know
if I should thank the gods
for bringing you to me
or if I should curse my life
for having you in it

Sometimes I don’t know
if I should say sorry first
so we can be okay again
or if I should punish you
and give you the silent treatment

Sometimes I don’t know
if I should cry in front of you
to let you know you’ve hurt me
or if I should put on a cool facade
so you won’t think I’m weak

Sometimes I don’t know
if I should tell you I love you
to let you know how I truly feel
or if I should wait for you
to say it first like I’ve always dreamed


I warned you of its fragile state
Reminded you time and again
of its unparalleled value
I placed it delicately on your hands
But you allowed it to decay
Eventually it started to disintegrate
between your neglecting fingers
Mindlessly letting it fall to meet
the forgotten soil beneath your feet
And you polished your hands
against your denim-clad legs,
ridding yourself of the dirty fragments
You aggressively washed away your sins
yet the stains remain on your ripped jeans
The glaring evidence of your cruelty,
of the betrayal you have done to me