Vol. 2, Issue #5 March 30th - April 12th, 2007

Holding Hands (more than a review... it's a reaction)
By: Kelsey Renee Faulk
-all text in italics from
What Gives? By: Chelsea Marie (art also by Chelsea)

a girl walks towards charlie and i
in the hallway

i am reading her shirt
and at first it says something
and then the words
move around
and twist and twirl
and then her shirt says something else.
something entirely different.

i look at charlie.

he didn’t even notice.

what gives?

We fell asleep holding hands. After discussing this article, in fact, I suddenly became aware of what to write about. Words began flowing through my head and I wanted nothing more at that moment in life than to tell our story. We traded off, watching each other sleep, both knowing that neither of us were really sleeping. We simply studied the face connected to the hand we held, studied the closed eyelids, the relaxed mouth. I studied our hands linked together like that of a construction-paper chain hung onto an evergreen Christmas tree. Memorized the differences between Chelsea’s shining black nails and my glittering white nails. Our outsides have always been very different, but in our continuing five years of friendship our souls have become the same. Connected. We are one.

I remembered the only point in our friendship where our souls became tangled, where our connection was lost. Our insides were suddenly differentiated from one another.

and when i laid my head on her shoulder
i felt the same warmth
and when she put her hand on my knee
she felt the same warmth

how could i not want this
how come at night
everything good melts away
and all that is left is hate

Her grip on my hand tightened and her nails dug, without thought, softly into the palm of my hand. I could feel my blood escaping, leaving small white fingernail marks at the spot where her strong, delicate fingers rested. I didn’t mind. I wanted to wake her from her bad dream.

She had told me that she was lying lengthwise against her dresser while talking to me over the phone that important night. That day had seemed like two days. That week had seemed like two weeks. But that’s the way our bodies lead us to believe so that we can handle life-or-death situations. We were both crying. She talked. I listened. She admitted. I did all I could to stay strong for her. I cried, but I couldn’t break down. That night, she spoke with no life, with no soul, with no colorful spirit. This was not her. Her subconscious was speaking to me that night. Her subconscious spilled every deep reason to me why we were no longer one. I already knew most of what she told me. But there was something about hearing her state it all out loud so factually. The tears that were running down my face were not my tears. They were hers.

but then i realized she was not crying over a good plot twist
or something like that. she was crying about my life.

We are one. And when each tear fell, it brought a promise. A promise from me to her. She would get better. Her thinking would go back to normal. She would be okay. Everything would be okay.

I wouldn’t get off the phone with her. Not until she promised. Not until she promised me. Not until she promised me that I would see her in the morning.

I did see her in the morning, but then she left, with me wondering where she had gone.

i gather my things
and oh God i am so scared to death.

something is not right.

because my daddy has
never looked at me in that way before.

That day had felt like three days. I think something or someone made the time seem so long because they knew. The threat of losing a best friend is numbing. You can’t feel a thing and the second you do lose them, everything is over. Your body shuts down. Making all that happened in three days seem like an entire week is a miracle from God. A miracle from whatever happens to be up there, from whatever you believe. But it’s a miracle.

this year has been eight years
this week has been months.

So many aspects to our friendship are owed to miracles. The fact that she is still here is a miracle to me.

she keeps saying
“weird, huh?”
wanting to say something
about the Big Man Upstairs
but i’m glad she doesn’t
because i already know

Her hand begins to relax over mine. My eyes are closed tight and I can feel her piercing brown eyes watching me. Her thumb, almost with a life of its own, caresses my own thumb, and we are connected again. Connected forever. “I love you,” she whispers to me, and I know. I know that she understands. I know that she cares. I know that she knows me. That I know her. I know that she really is okay. That everything will be okay. “I love you too,” I whisper through tears. This time they are my own tears. They squirt out of my eyes, flow softly down my cheeks. They are tears full of thank you’s. Tears full of miracles. Tears full of knowing that Chelsea is my miracle. Our hands escape from one another and I stretch far off the mattress to create a simple sound of the lamp going “Click” and leaving us in the dark with nothing left to do but dream.

What Gives? A nonfiction novel about life and death and being a teen and how easily it can all fall apart.

TOGI Entertainment’s first book release is a true story written about…and by… insightful sixteen year-old writer, Chelsea Marie.

On June 2, 2007 from 3-5 p.m., Full Circle Bookstore will host the “launch” of Chelsea Marie’s first book. Enjoy live entertainment and live readings from the book. The author will be on hand to autograph your copy.

What Gives? will be available in your local bookstores in mid-April.

To order What Gives? Online now, go to www.togientertainment.com

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