Summer Time Changes- Let’s Talk

summer-tag-copy[1]I think it’s safe to say, Summer is here and kicking. The 4th is tomorrow and that right there is the epitome of Summer to me. The weather is hot, school is out and life becomes this different existence. Everything is slightly more laid back- or at least it’s supposed to be.

For me, Summer is a bit of an anxiety stressor. My job changes a little bit and I get placed in a new environment, working with new people for the duration of the summer. So that feels like an uproot, and something new I have to get used to all over again. Last year it was actually a really pleasant change and so this year I’m hoping for the same. I’m pretty optimistic that it will be and that’s a good feeling. 🙂

I also don’t do well in the heat so that’s another reason why Summer brings upon anxiety for me. Along with having this extra time during this season, there’s a lot of pressure to make use of everyday and do fun exciting things, everyday. Raise your hand if you’ve compared yourself to anyone on social media lately? #Guilty. I’m sorry I don’t have that kind of money to just be jumping flights, here and there. I have a lot going on in my life that I need to be saving up for, so unfortunately vacationing isn’t in the stars for me. And that sucks, but it’s my reality and that’s ok. Everyone’s life is different.

I think I’m learning to balance my boundaries. Sometimes I know I can push through my anxiety and sometimes I know I have to pull back and give myself a beat. And knowing that has made an incredible difference in my life. This notion is certainly a work in progress, but it’s coming along slowly.

It’s ok, to take breaks. It’s ok, to push yourself a bit, you will learn what you can handle. It’s ok, to say no. It’s ok, to strive for change. And it’s ok, to be afraid of that change, and still go for it anyway. My whole life I thought that I couldn’t use the words risk taker to describe myself. I’m taking that back. Recently I died my hair blue. BLUE! (No not my whole head…they’ll be a post coming soon!) But I have freakin’ blue hair right now and I’m just doing things I’ve been wanting to do for myself.  Different things. I’m just going for it! Sometimes I feel guilty, like wait that’s too much money or I should be here or there or doing this or that. But then I think wait- why can’t if do this for me? It’s allowed! There’s nothing wrong with caring about yourself or the things your passionate about. 

I’ve also been thinking about huge life changes lately. Some will take a while to accomplish, but the building blocks can start now. The other day I was told; “you seem optimistic and seem to be accepting change.” This was an incredible thing for me to hear from another person who knows me and knows how my life is and the things I struggle with. Change is literally the reason why I realized I have anxiety. Anytime change is upon me, my anxiety can peek. It doesn’t always, but if I’m anxious it’s usually because of some change happening in my life.

I’m at a point in my life, where I can see things a tiny bit clearer and the things I want out of life. The things I want for myself. And sometimes that means being a little selfish and doing my own thing. I hate how some may take offense to that,  because it is not intention. But I think that now is the only time I have to be selfish. Other people do it, why can’t I? And that’s not a dig at anyone, it’s just an observation. Once I’m older, and have a family of my own things will be very different. And my husband and my children will be my priority. So now this is my time to sort myself out so that dream of having that life when I’m older can eventually come true. I don’t want to sit back 10 or 15 years from now and regret not going after the things I wanted. I don’t want to resent my family. So this is the time to get my  mind right and just do my thing.

I’m trying to tackle the things that scare me. Granted, I have my days when I falter and I let that fear hold me back, or I allow the laziness of summer overcome me. But I’m keeping high expectations for myself this summer. There are so many things I want to accomplish on a personal and professional level that I am making strides toward those goals already.

I’ve always wanted to write a pilot script for this tv show I’ve had running in my head for YEARS-since high school. The show is written in shifts and on random papers all over my house-some are on my computer- it’s all over the place. I’ve never written a concise first episode. There’s no organization and I am all about organizing this summer. My planner and inspiration notebook are my best friends! So that ish, is getting written THIS SUMMER. I’ve started to do my research, surprisingly I know a lot of the things I’ve found out which makes me feel kind of good. But there was also a ton I didn’t know- things I’m still learning, still researching. Oh you mean I have an excuse to watch television. Awesome! 😉 Your never going to stop learning, ever. Life is full of lessons.

So there’s that big change happening. Which is huge for me, because researching my craft has always been scary for me. I can’t exactly explain it. It was, I guess something I loved so much, that I was scared that if I researched it I would find out how little I know, or how far from my dream I actually am. But my mind set is different now and I realize that I can’t get there if I don’t try. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it to where I want to be. I don’t know if I will ever get my dream of creating my own tv show. But the show is not ever going to leave my heart or my brain. It could be months, and then a story will pop into my head for one of my characters and I will have to revisit that world. Or a line will pop into my head and I will go-“Oh my god that would be the perfect thing for Travis to say to Sara.” (Shhh Spoilers!) 😉

I’ve been thinking more seriously about my next move. About my career long term. I love where I work right now. I know I haven’t given exact details of my work, but that’s because I truly believe in respecting privacy and I want to remain professional. But basically I do work in a school setting teaching creative subjects like writing, and film. And I think it’s been an eye opening experience for me. You really can learn by teaching.

I have a lot of creative projects I am tinkering with this Summer too. I’m not going to reveal them, because I don’t want to jinx them, or put extra pressure on myself to finish them all. I will overwhelm myself with an over extensive to do list, I know this. So let’s just say that my main creative goal is to get my pilot script written and keep learning more and more about writing and working in television.

I would love to track that process on here for you guys to see, but to also be able to reflect back on it and see how I progressed. I hope you’ll come along on this journey with me.

Happy Summer!

XO

Michelle Leigh

Welcome Home. -Chapter 6

Read Chapter 5 HERE

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Melanie stands in line at the airport waiting to buy her ticket back to New York.

“Explain to me why you  always fly again,” Cassie says standing beside her confused.

“Because two hours of me with my thoughts, operating a vehicle? It’s not the best combination. I’d never make it to Philly. I’d chicken out a half an hour in and turn back. Flying means money is spent, and I have to get off the plane and face the mistakes I’ve made, no ifs, ands or buts.”

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“Interesting, but effective. Except for right now when I think you should be pressing pause on leaving again. You need to go talk to the man you love. You do still love him, don’t you?” Cassie says challenging her friend.

“Of course I love him. How can you even ask me that.”

“Because you have a funny way of showing it. I gotta say I think you’re making a mistake here Mel. A big one. If you leave now, without a face to face. It’ll really be over,” Cassie says.

“It’s already over, I could hear it in the sound of his voice. I’ve finally put him through enough. He’s completely given up on me and us. And I honestly can’t blame him, I’m surprised he lasted this long.”

“This just-sucks. He loves you so much. Don’t you get that? Women dream about guys like him. He’s so great. How can you let him just walk away?”

“I love him more than anything, but I know I have to be strong enough to let him go. He deserves better, so much better. He deserves the world. And he deserves a family, and that is something that I biologically can’t give him.”

“Yea but he doesn’t know that. He doesn’t know the full reason why you are so resistant to be with him again. That’s a huge part of the puzzle that you left out Mel. You owe him that much. Enough excuses- go see him. Now.”

“It’s better this way. He should hate me. It’ll be easier for him.”

“Easier for him, or easier for you? If he knows the truth, he’ll understand and he’ll be even more in love with you and wanna be there for you and that scares the crap out of you.”

“Ugh god, why do you know me so well? Sometimes I hate that. Stop analyzing me.”

“Get used to it babe. Call him. Now. You’ll always regret it if you don’t. Let him be the one to decide his future. Don’t just decide that he won’t be able to handle it. Or that he won’t want you because of it. Stop writing the tragic end to this story in your head and just talk to him. ” She says handing her a cell phone.

Melanie takes a deep breath and exhales as she dials Oliver’s number….it rings and rings and rings and rings and then his voicemail comes on.

“He didn’t answer,” She says defeated. “He always answered….I told you- he’s done.”

“It ain’t over until the curvy lady sings and I ain’t singing yet. Next stop….house call. Come on.” Cassie says starting to walk off, thinking Melanie is following.  

“Cassie I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but I have to get home,” Melanie says rooted in her place in line.

“You are home. Do not mess with me Evans, I will throw you over my shoulder or drag you by your hair kicking and screaming…”

“I can’t.”

“You know for a really strong, smart woman you are being really stupid.”

“Cassie I am so messed up. And he’s so amazing, I don’t want to ruin him.”

“Whatever. You already are by not fighting for him. But then again you never did fight for him. You only cared about yourself and what you were feeling.  Have a nice flight.” She says walking off.

Melanie sighs as she turns around stepping up to the counter to buy her ticket, tears in her eyes.

*************************************************************************

Melanie stares out of her office window, rain hitting the glass and trickling down in clear, delicate patterns.

Phones can be heard ringing, along with the slamming of fingers on keyboards and pages flipping.

Melanie has been in full work mode since she got back.

She shakes a memory and returns to the manuscript in her hands. Not wanting to think of him and what happened between them.

Her co-worker knocks on her door.

“Hey Billy? What’s up?” Melanie says looking up.

He saunters in and plops himself in the chair across from her desk, a pout playing on his lips.

“Uh oh, what’s wrong?” Melanie says concerned for her friend and grateful for the distraction.

“Nothing much, my date cancelled on me for tonight.”

“Date? Are you holding out on me! Who is he?”

“He’s just this really cute guy I found on city single.”

“Well maybe something came up. Don’t worry, if it’s meant to be, he’ll come back around.”

“I hope so, you know my rule, you only get two chances with me. Are you ready for lunch, cuz I am. The walls are closing in.”

“Yes. I hear ya, let’s go. Thai?”

“Yes please,” he says as he glides out of her office, she lets out a small laugh as she grabs her purse and follows him.

***********************************************************************

The waitress places their meals down on the table before them.

Melanie smiles her thanks.

“We should have a movie night tonight. Are you up for it?” Billy says excitedly.

“Billy you know I love you, but I am just not going to be the best company tonight.”

“Oh come on, it’s New Year’s Eve. It’s bad enough we had to work. Let’s do something tonight! I’m sure there’s a party happening somewhere. The city comes alive in a new way on New Year’s Eve. People pledging to be new versions of themselves and then failing miserably by the next morning. It’ll be a blast.”

Melanie laughs sarcastically.

“Nothing is lonelier, than New Year’s Eve in New York City,” Melanie says sadly.

Billy looks on intently.

“What happened in Philadelphia?” he says his hand on his chin, inching forward and staring at her.

Melanie stiffens.

She looks up at him.

“What makes you think something happened?”

“Because you’ve been more cynical than usual since you got back.”

Melanie frowns her heart sinking. This is not who she used to be. This is not who she wants to be.

“I don’t know, I guess I had to face some harsh realities.”

“Like?”

“There is this man…”

Billy’s eyes light up.

“Tell me everything.”

“There’s not much to tell,  he’s the absolute love of my life, but it ended in tragedy. I messed up and left and he- he loved me anyway.”

“I’m sorry, where’s bad there?”

“He deserves better.”

Billy looks confused as Melanie picks up her drink and clinks it into his-

“Happy New Year.” Melanie says sarcastically.

 

A Few Months Later

Melanie is rushing to get ready for work, she’s ready to rush out the door and rushes back in to grab her purse. She leaves once again and rushes back in to grab her car keys. A pattern of frantic lateness stirring up. She leaves again, not gone more than a second, she rushes back in and into the bathroom as she lifts the toilet seat cover up, throwing up her breakfast smoothie.

She sits on the floor in exhaustion.

Getting up carefully she splashes some cold water in her mouth and on her face.

Melanie looks at her reflection in the mirror, pale skin and perspiration stare back at her, she has a flashback of she and Oliver making love just a few months earlier.

Her eyes go wide. She rushes to her purse and pulls out a calendar. She counts.

“Oh my god.” She says covering her mouth.

There’s a knock on the door.

She looks up startled, walking over to the door she peers through the peep hole.

Letting out a sigh of relief, Melanie grips her chest leaning against her front door.

Opening it, Cassie stands there holding balloons that say I’m sorry, a pout in place.

Melanie smiles and hugs her tightly.

“I’m so sorry,” Cassie says.

“No, I’m sorry you were right. I just didn’t wanna hear it.”

Cassie smiles simply.

“Where the hell did you find I’m sorry balloons?” Melanie says laughing and opens her door to let Cassie in.

“You can find anything on amazon,” Cassie scoffs as she walks into the apartment setting her things down.

“Even pregnancy tests?”

Cassie looks up at her. Her eyes go wide.

“Are you?”

Melanie looks at her.

“I think so.”

“Wait so it would be…”

“Of course it’s Oliver’s.”

“Oh my god.”

“I know.”

“Wait so did you take a test, or see a doctor?”

“No. Not yet. But I haven’t been feeling right. I’ve been overly tired. More than usual. And I just threw my guts up, so there’s that. It all feels pretty familiar.”

“Maybe you’re just stressed?”

“I thought so too, or that maybe it was something I ate. But I checked my calendar and I’m pretty late. I guess I just hadn’t noticed because my mind has been kind of all over the place. But yea the timeline fits, Oliver and I were together about three months ago, a few times actually….and we weren’t exactly worrying about protection. Which in hindsight was pretty stupid I guess.”

“It’s not stupid, you love each other. You weren’t thinking about anything but that.”

“What am I gonna do Cassie? I can’t throw this at him, now.”

“Ok first of all, let’s take a test and see if you really have anything to tell. And then if you are, you have to tell him. Hiding it will do you no good. Stop deciding his life for him. We talked about this.”

“I know you’re right. I should get to a drug store.”

“Good, I’m coming with.”

“I’m so glad you’re here.”

“Me too,” Cassie says taking her friend’s hands in hers as Melanie smiles she looks down and notices a big sparkling rock on Cassie’s finger.

“What’s that?” Melanie says her voice a loud shriek as her eyes widen.

“Oh. Yea, I’m kind of engaged.” Cassie says smiling.

“Oh my GOD! What!”

“Dave proposed last night. That’s kind of why I’m here, I couldn’t just call you, I had to come tell you face to face. Besides, I hated how we left things, it’s been months. I couldn’t take it.  And the things I said ,were so harsh, you know how much I love you and how great of a person I think you are. I was just trying to get you to come back and talk to him…”

“I know, but you weren’t wrong. I have been selfish. I’m so sorry.”

“Water under the bridge.” Cassie says hugging her tightly.

 “I’m so happy for you,” Melanie says. “This ring is gorgeous!” she says grabbing Cassie’s hand to take a closer look at it.

“He did good, didn’t he?”

“He did,” Melanie says smiling. “Congratulations!” She hugs her again tightly. “Ugh once again here I am dragging you into my drama when you came to share your amazing good news. I’m so sorry.”

“Hey I don’t wanna hear any of that again. Best friends don’t apologize for needing each other.”

She smiles hugging Melanie.

“Let’s go get you that test.”

************************************************************************

Melanie sits in her bathroom staring at the numbers on her cell phone as they decrease.

Her heart racing.

Cassie looks on worried.

The alarm goes off.

Melanie sighs, and gets up turning her back to the pregnancy test.

“I can’t look at it, not yet.”

“Ok.” Cassie says standing next to her.

“I don’t know what to feel right now. Part of me is really terrified. But part of me is really calm. Which I don’t quite understand.”

“Well then, let’s talk about it. Maybe we can make some sense of it. In your heart right now. What do you think it says on that test?”

Melanie looks over at Cassie.

“I think it’s positive. I would almost bet that it is.”

“And if it is?”

“I’ll be really happy, because I really want it to be,” Melanie says coming to a realization and allowing her tears to fall freely.

Cassie smiles. “There it is.” She pulls Melanie into a hug.

“I love him so much.”

“I know you do…so let’s find out what you’re dealing with, either way you’re gonna have a lot of people in your corner, including Oliver. Are you ready?”

Melanie nods and turns picking up the test she looks at it and starts crying again.

Cassie hugs her tightly.

To be continued…

*I do not take credit for any images of gifs used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

Describe yourself in Fictional Characters

So I’ve noticed this bit of a “Describe Yourself In 3 Fictional Characters” challenge/trend surface on the internet lately. And I loved it and instinctively wanted to turn it into a blog post.

As a writer I have a ton of fictional characters that I relate to and feel like somehow mirror my personality. I love identifying bits of myself in characters I see written and portrayed on screen. I couldn’t decide so I did 4, #ICheated #SorryNotSorry. (well Pocahontas is based on a real woman so I guess I didn’t cheat, there’s three fictional here!) 

So here goes…

Haley James (Pre-Scott)

Portrayed By Bethany Joy Lenz

TV Show: One Tree Hill

If you’ve followed this blog before, you know my obsession with this character. It is real and she is probably my most beloved tv character. Since the first day I started watching One Tree Hill, she was the one I felt was most like me. She was the shy, smart girl who was way beyond her years, wanted to help everyone, had this keen sense between right and wrong, wasn’t popular but had her friends and family who she would do anything for and dressed kind of funky. She is my spirit animal. As later seasons came, she of course got cooler, started dating a jock, made friends with the in crowd, dressed better/different, got married in high school, and became this total rock star, made some mistakes, redeemed herself, had a baby in high school, and then later on became an English teacher and co-owner of the new and improved Karen’s Café. All while looking flawless the whole damn time. Which goes to show you, why I really identified with her in the first season mostly. As much as I love Haley James Scott, Haley James was simple, was real and her life seemed normal. Without all the fancy pants stuff, at her root Haley James-Scott or not has always had a strong moral code and a big heart and for that alone I will always be a fan. #ThatJeanJacketTho

Pocahontas

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Voice-Irene Bedard,  Singing Voice-Judy Kuhn

The Disney Film

While all the little girls wanted to be Cinderella, and Snow White, I related most to Pocahontas. To me, is was the Disney Princess who I felt looked most like me. For starters her olive complexion and her free spirit. Her barefoot adventures and love of sunflowers and jewelry and feathers. I love the story, I love her roots and how she knows who she is and knows that her family her everything. She makes decisions based on what’s best for her, she’s independent despite the many trying to decide what’s best for her. She explores, she is curious. The Indian culture has always fascinated me, and I have always felt a pull to it. She is probably the reason why.

Raven Baxter

Portrayed By Raven Symone

TV Show: That’s So Raven

FreeForm shows old school Disney shows late at night and once night I caught That’s SO Raven on TV, and I couldn’t help but laugh and see a bit of myself in her. Her crazy fashion choices, I have had my moments. #BlueLipStick #FlowersInMyHair #FurrySweaters Her impromptu dancing, her absurd slang. It’s all me. #YANASTY #OHSNAP I love her, and I too at times feel psychic. #SHHHH 😉 Also can we just state that Raven paved this way for curvy girls to feel good about themselves. She wasn’t perfect, she was curvy and loud and fun and colorful and she was SUCCESSFUL! Raven is most like my younger self, and I think she comes out still every once in a while.

Jane Villanueva

Portrayed By Gina Rodriquez

TV Show: Jane the Virgin

Let’s put aside the whole baby daddy/mama drama, that is this show. Yes Jane was accidentally artificially inseminated and instantly was thrown into motherhood way ahead of her planned out life’s schedule with a guy’s baby, who she never expected to come back into her life. That is the juicy stuff and my life is nothing like hers in that sense. But for some reason in a lot of other ways, Jane may be the character I relate most too. She’s always the responsible one, but when she messes up she owns up to it, and when she let’s loose, her beauty shines. She’s an older 20’s. She is a curvy Latina, with a heart of gold and good morals and extremely close to her family. She believes in love and is a hopeless romantic-not to mention a soap opera fan too. My favorite part-she’s a writer and she is constantly drifting off into her own world, as she stars in her scenes as she writes them. Her morals are very similar to mine and I adore her character as a whole, because everything I mentioned about her holds true for me too. She spontaneous dances too, so I mean we’re twins who need to meet and be best friends.

As you can tell I love seeing strong, determines, driven, independent, caring, loving, kind, big heart of gold female characters. They are what inspires me to write and to be a better woman.

 

-<3-

*I do not take credit for any images used.*

 

Writer’s Corner: The Neglectful Writer

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Anyone who stumbles upon this blog recently, would think of it as a fashion/lifestyle vibes type blog. The truth of the matter is on some days it is. These are things I am interested in and this blog is basically an open diary featuring things I love and care deeply about.  But at the root it is supposed to be a safe place to tell the stories I have been harboring in my heart and soul and notebooks for years. Or the stories I get inspired to write day by day. And because of this, I feel like my blog motto has taken a bit of a blow over the past few months.

Lately, (and I know I’ve posted things like this before) I have been neglecting writing my own stories. It’s something I’ve been avoiding. Coming up with excuse after excuse, first it was well I’m starting a new job- I need to get acclimated, then it became well now I’m just too busy to write, (life is too crazy, too much is going on, *hint hint* Dear Michelle, this is your clue- all the more reason to write down your feelings) and now I don’t know maybe it’s the summer slump that’s getting to me.

Writer’s block is real. But I think this is bigger. This isn’t the first time I’ve struggled to create [what I feel] is worthy content, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. But this feels like a bit more than a block. It’s not so much like I haven’t had ideas, I always have ideas floating around in my head. It’s just that when I sit to start a blog post, there’s nothing there. And I end up looking for fashion inspiration and doing a post about that instead. 

That pilot script for my own television show I’ve been meaning to write since I was in high school has yet to get started. My short story series “On The Run” I started back in March, has been on a halt. Every time I start a series, I end up going on a hiatus for a longer time than I should. It’s like I lose momentum, or I’m just too lazy to take the time to finish. Sometimes I can have a great story idea and I will even jot it down, but I never write it up. Often times just the thought of sitting at a computer for hours drumming out a story, just is too much of a tall order and I decide against it and instead decide to watch my favorite tv shows and obsess over the love stories of my favorite couples. (*hint hint* Dear Michelle, but what about YOUR characters, what about their love stories.) Not to mention that my blog posting schedule has been all over the place lately. Ugh, I hate when that happens, I really do.

It’s terrible to have to feel the guilt of finally admitting to myself that I am a writer and then feeling as though I’ve bailed on it completely. I feel like I’ve been struggling with inspiration lately. As I mentioned this has happened before and I’ve pushed through it, so I know I will this time too. But it doesn’t make it any easier, to go through it. Sure life gets busy and it becomes easy to neglect our passions. But I imagine creative people with creative souls go through this vicious cycle every now and again. I’ve seen the many YouTubers talk all about it. It’s just a funk.

In fact a quote by Anne Tyler comes to mind in this moment while I sit and ponder why a writer doesn’t want to write…

“If I waited til I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.”

That’s what it is. I’ve just been waiting. Waiting to have time. Waiting to feel less tired. Waiting to get everything just so, in my head BEFORE writing it down on the page. Waiting for inspiration to strike. Waiting- to write. The truth is the only thing that is going to help me break this bullshit streak, is just to nip it in the bud and write. Just write. Even if it sucks. And start the scripts I’ve been writing in my head for basically half my life.

Who knows maybe this post was my therapy. Writing this post is like my version of a girl going through a bad breakup who decides to burn all her exes pictures and letters. Haha. I find that when something is getting to me and feels like a weight on my back-pushing me down, preventing me from reaching my full potential and I write a blog post about it, it’s kind of like me releasing it into the world and admitting it to myself and realizing that it’s something that either just needed to be said, or something that I feel I need to spend my time working on and improving. For the past year and half I have put so much work into bettering myself and conquering my anxiety over certain aspects in my life. This is currently the main issue I need to put my focus on. I have faith that I can conquer this one too. Hey I’ve done it before. I can certainly do it again- only this time, I’m going to do it better.

And for anyone dealing with their own personal writer’s slump, may your pen be mightier than that sword you feel has pierced your creative soul.

*I do not take credit for the image used.*

-<3-

 

Distant Shadows

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 A young woman sits at a bar alone; not drinking.

A young guy walks in and sits down next to her, his face unreadable.

“Did you tell her?”

“Yea. Unfortunately.”

“How’d she take it?”

“To say she was less than thrilled would be an understatement.”

(sighs) “I’m sorry.”

“Yea… right.”

“I am. I never meant for this to happen.”

“Didn’t you? I mean this is what you wanted all along, isn’t it…me… all to yourself?”

(whispers) “No…not like this.” (louder) “I definitely did not want this; I’m not ready for it!”

“Well…it is what it is.”

“So… she ended it?”

(sarcastically) “No, we’re still together.”

“What I meant was… did she end it… completely, like there isn’t even a chance for you guys to work it out?”

“No- not a chance.”

“But-”

“You’re pregnant…I mean its bad enough I cheated on her in the first place, but now you’re actually pregnant- she wants a divorce. So yea…it’s over.”

“I don’t really care for your attitude right now. Nor do I understand it.”

(laughs) “You come out of nowhere and destroy my life, and you don’t like my attitude.”

“You know-your reality of this situation is hilarious. This isn’t only my fault. You’re not exactly innocent here. I didn’t know you were married when we were together all those nights. You made it pretty easy for me to assume you weren’t when you hid your ring. Also if I destroyed your life so much, then why couldn’t you leave me alone. Or did I imagine the incessant calling and texting me every free minute you got.”

“You never asked if I was married.”

“Wow…you are unbelievable. I don’t blame her for wanting to divorce you; you have no respect for her or me, you have no respect for anyone. You deserve whatever comes to you. I hope she bleeds you dry… takes you for every penny.”

“Now that’s no way to talk to the father of your child, now is it?”

“You may be my child’s biological father, but make no mistake I don’t need you, or your money.”

“I’d like to see you try and make it by on that teacher’s salary of yours.”

(laughs) “Plenty of women do it every day. Don’t you worry, I’ll be fine.”

The woman gets up to leave.

“Wait…”

“What?”

(tone softens) “Where can I reach you?”

“You can’t.”

“Please?”

“No. I’ve had enough of your games…you need to learn how to take responsibility for your actions, and grow the hell up. And I won’t be your test subject. I’m done.”

“What… so you’re just gonna raise this baby by yourself?”

“Don’t worry; I’ll take care of it.”

Woman exits bar, Guy orders a drink.

*I do not take credit for the image used.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Belated Love”

BLOGGER’S NOTE: I have to apologize for being MIA this past week. I think this is the longest I’ve gone without posting in quite a while. But I am recently dealing with some changes in my life and it’s seriously taking over all of my mentality. So blogging has kind of taken a back seat, while I get acclimated. It’s not something I set out to let happen, but it just had to. And instead of getting mad at myself, I decided to just accept it and move onto giving you guys fun and new content. I have had this little story waiting to be posted for you guys since Valentines Day. It was supposed to go up last Sunday on Valentine’s Day but then things got crazy and I pushed it to Monday but then I got sick last week and posting just didn’t happen at all last week. And although that saddens my heart, I am human and sometimes in times of great stress and change, we need to give ourselves a mental/emotional break to just be. So I hope you are still with me, this short is finally ready to post so I present to you “Belated Love”- A short love story following  Melanie and Grayson’s journey to finding each other again.

Poster

Mel &amp; Grayson

********************************************************

Valentine’s Day 2015

Melanie walks hand in hand with her boyfriend Grayson as the city lights twinkle alongside them.

“Did you enjoy your dinner?” he asks smiling over at her.

“I really did… but the dessert was my favorite part.”

“Oh I could tell, I know how much you love your chocolate,” he smiles letting out a small laugh.

“And Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse for indulging with little- to no shame,” she replies, laughing.

“No shame. None. You- are perfect,” Grayson says stopping and turning to her. He takes her hands in his and pulls her toward him. “I love you. Happy Valentines Day.”

“I love you,” she says smiling brightly as Grayson kisses her.

Grayson and Melanie continue walking as they enter Central Park, the cold crisp air kissing their faces.

“Are you cold?” Grayson asks looking over at her.

“Just my hands. I forgot my gloves,” She says rolling her eyes at her own forgetfulness.

“Come here. Give me your hands.”

Melanie holds her hands out to him, he takes them in his and brings them to his lips as he breathes on them, trying to warm her up.

Melanie looks at him her eyes smiling with love.

“Thank you,” she says kissing him.

“My pleasure,” he smiles “Actually I should have a pair of gloves in my pockets somewhere. Here- let me, see, …”

Grayson begins checking his pockets. He pulls out a ring box and hands it to Melanie.

“Can you hold that a minute?”

Melanie’s eyes lock onto Grayson’s. Her face in complete shock.

Grayson continues to pretend to look for gloves.

“Oh whoops, guess I left my gloves at home too.”

He smiles looking at her, he begins to kneel down on his knee.

Melanie’s breath catches in her throat as she looks away in awe.

“Oh my god” she says, standing there- frozen.

Grayson takes the box from her hand and opens it revealing a large sparkling diamond ring.

“Mel, I love you so much. You and I are amazing together. I know that we may not always be on the same page about everything but you are the only person who I actually want to fight all my fights with. You amaze me every day, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”

“Are you serious?” she asks as he slides the ring on her shaking hand.

“Well I didn’t buy this ring for nothing,” he laughs.

Melanie stares at the ring on her hand. Still in complete shock. Her body shivering for an entirely new reason. The winter cold has nothing on the shock of this moment. Her emotions are all over the place as Melanie tries to gain some stability.

“Hey…”

 Grayson stands up, cupping her face looking into her eyes.

“What do you say?” he asks.

Melanie looks up at Grayson and kisses him.

“Is that a yes?” Grayson says pulling away and looking up at her with a sweet laugh.

“Yes. Of course,” Melanie says smiling.

“I really caught you off guard, huh?” he says laughing.

“Well yea. I mean I really didn’t expect this, at all,” her voice stumbling.

“Well I mean, it can’t be that much of a surprise right? You know how much I love you,” he questions with concern on his face.

“Of course. Oh my god- of course. And I love you too, so much.”

Melanie cups Grayson’s face and kisses him, as he smiles brightly at her.

“I just didn’t think you were there yet,” she says.

“Really…well here we are,” he says kissing her again.

Melanie hugs him excitedly.

“Here we are,” she says with a nervous laugh.

*********************************************************

Valentine’s Day 2016

Melanie steps out of her shower into her fuzzy leopard printed slippers, as she wraps a beige fluffy towel around her body.

She wipes the mirror above her sink with her hand, revealing her reflection.

Her hair, wavy, and long, lay damply upon her shoulders. Her skin freshly washed and glowy.

She smiles and sets to brushing her teeth.

Upon rinsing, she hears her phone begin to ring and she rushes into her bedroom to grab it.

“Hello?”

“Hey girl,” her friend Kristin says.

“Hey, what’s up?”

“Nothing much just out picking up a few things for my singles girl’s night in valentines gala tonight. Are you coming, or did that cute guy Will finally ask you out?”

“He did! I’m getting ready as we speak.”

“Oh so exciting! Where’s he taking you?”

Melanie walks to her closet pulling out a dress and looking at it.

“I’m not exactly sure. He said he was going to take care of everything and that I should just be ready for 8.”

“Oh a man with a plan. Sounds like a keeper.”

“Ha. We’ll see. I’ve learned not to expect anything, since what happened with…well you know….”

“Oh yea. Well that was a complicated situation. I guess it pays to be cautious from here on out.”

“Yea. Any way I should get going so I can finish getting ready.”

“Yes. Enjoy. And if you find your date is a dud, you know where to find us,” Kristin says smiling.

Melanie laughs

“Ok, you got it. Thanks girl. Enjoy your night. Eat massive amounts for chocolate for me!”

“Done. See ya girl. ” Kristin laughs.

Melanie hangs up and starts pulling her outfit together.

*****************************************************

Grayson sits at his computer in a dimly lit living room. He sips his beer.

He scrolls through his Facebook feed as girls after girls post their Happy Valentine’s Day posts. Happy pictures of them and their boyfriends.

Grayson laughs with a snarky undertone. His eyes drift to a familiar name as he notices Kristin just posted a picture of her shopping car full of goodies. The caption reading…

Girls Night In Tonight…Um did I buy the whole store or what? We’ll miss you Mel Mel! #HappyValentinesDay

His face falls. His heart wills him to click Melanie’s name.

Her page pops up showing a smiley faced Melanie and Grayson’s breath catches in his throat.

He starts to look through her pictures as he sees what her life has been like without him.

“Dude get a grip, it’s over, it’s been over. You have to stop doing this to yourself,” Grayson says aloud as he buries his face in the hands.

*****************************************************

Melanie looks at herself in the mirror, she smiles and grabs her coat and purse and heads to her living room.

She checks her phone and sees that her date should be coming soon.

Melanie walks to her kitchen grabbing a box of chocolate with a small note on it reading “To Mel Belle, Love Dad.” She goes to sit on her couch when her apartment doorbell rings.

Smiling she walks over, opening the door.

Her face falls seeing the face of the man before her.

“Hey Mel,” he says sheepishly as he holds a bouquet of red roses and a heart shaped box of chocolates in his hand.

Melanie is speechless for a long moment.

“Grayson… What are you doing here?” She finally says.

“I know it’s been a while but I’ve been dying to talk to you. Do you have a minute?”

Melanie looks at him stunned.

“You do realize its Valentine’s Day, right?”

“Yes,” He smiles extending the gifts to her.

Melanie ignores the gesture.

“So what…you decided that I didn’t have any plans and that tonight out of all nights would be a good time to waltz back into my life. You must be joking.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t really think this through. I just- God you look beautiful,” he says, his eyes looking her over.

“What do you want Grayson?” Melanie says needing to change the subject quickly, her nerves building.

“Are you going somewhere?”

“That’s none of your business.”

“You have a date don’t you? Of course you do. I’m such and idiot,” he turns and starts to walk away.

Melanie sighs as her instincts scream for her to shut the door, but her heart just can’t.

“Grayson wait-” she calls after him.

He stops and turns, with a hopeful expression.

“You obviously came here for a reason. So I guess… I can spare you 5 minutes,” She says stepping aside and gesturing him to come in.

Grayson smiles brightly as he walks in, he hands her the roses and candy awkwardly as she takes them and closes the door behind them.

“I’ve really missed you,” Grayson says as he watches her place them on her end table.

Melanie looks at him.

“What… you don’t miss me…at all?” he says searching her eyes for answers.

“Grayson, you were the one who broke our engagement. What do you want from me?”

“I didn’t break our engagement. You gave the ring back.”

“Yes. I did. And I may have been the one to officially call things off but let’s be honest Grayson, you weren’t ready to be married. In many ways, you broke our engagement long before I did. I just said what you couldn’t say.”

“Mel. You’re wrong. You are just so completely wrong,” Grayson says with a huff and a stern yet sexy glare.

“Am I? Really? Because every time I brought up something wedding related you made light of it. It was like you couldn’t be bothered to plan it. Like you didn’t want to start building a life together. What does that tell me? That you’re not in it,” she says her arms crossing in front of her chest.

“I was in it. I was all in it. You just completely questioned my love for you based on the fact that I didn’t care what color the napkins were.”

“It wasn’t just that and you know it.”

“Then what else was it?”

“Things were just different. It was a feeling that I would get when I was with you. I could just feel how hesitant you were. You couldn’t be less interested in planning our wedding.”

“How hesitant I was? You sure you don’t mean how hesitant you were?”

“What does that mean?”

“Come on Mel. It was easy to blame me. To blame my lack of planning skills for the reason why we broke up. But let’s tell the truth here. Let’s be honest about who was the one that wasn’t ready to get married. Because I assure you it wasn’t me. My not caring about planning wasn’t meant to be an insult, I told you it was whatever you wanted. I know you, I know how important it was to have your perfect dream wedding. I didn’t care about the hype of it, all I cared about was marrying you. For me our wedding was just about you. As long as you were the one standing across from me in that church- I wouldn’t have cared what you wore, where we were, or who was there. I just wanted you. I wanted to marry you, because I loved you. I loved you so much. That’s what it was about for me. So please don’t say I wasn’t in it. And own up to the fact that you were the one who just wasn’t ready.”

“So that’s why you came here? To hash things out?”

“No. I don’t want to fight with you.”

“Then why are you here?”

“Because I miss you. Because I hate being away from you. Because I was so heart broken by your rejection that I just shut down and I didn’t fight for you. If you needed some kind of reassurance from me, I wish you would have just talked to me. I wish you would have confided in me about your doubts. Or was it just that you fell out of love with me completely? Because you never gave me an explanation you just left.”

“Is that what you think? That I didn’t love you?”

“I don’t know. I mean you seem to be recovering fine. Going on dates and smiling like nothing ever happened.”

“So you’ve been checking up on me?”

“Of course I have. What do you think? I’m not going to apologize for that. I love you. I’m always going to love you. I’m not going to stop checking in on you. So get used to it.”

Grayson walks swiftly over to Melanie and cupping her face he kisses her.

Melanie wraps her arms around his neck as she falls into his kiss.

“I shouldn’t be doing this. I have a date. He’s probably on his way.” Melanie says in between Grayson kissing her.

“You wouldn’t have let me kiss you, if you actually cared about this guy. What do you know him for like 2 minutes? I don’t care about this guy. I don’t want to know about you going out with this guy, or any guy for that matter.”

Grayson says continuing to kiss her throughout their conversation.

“Grayson…Grayson…stop,” she says pushing him away.

“Why do you fight this so much? I know that there are still feelings here. There always has been. Even if you continuously want to deny it,” He says looking at her slightly dazed.

“I don’t want to deny it. I just-sometimes, I can’t help sabotaging a good thing. And please you have to understand it was never about you. I love you. Of course I love you. But I – I got scared. Marriage is so official and I guess I was just worried that I would somehow mess it up in the long run so I ended it before you could.”

“I’m not buying it. You know how much I adore you. There was nothing you could do that would make me think any less of you, ever. You’re basically walking perfection to me.”

“That’s the problem, Grayson. I love you so much. But you leave no room for me to be human. Everything I do, you just accept. I’m not perfect. I shouldn’t be put up on a pedestal.”

“I’m sorry. I never knew that’s how you felt. Look I get that I can come on a bit strong. And maybe I’ve smothered you by loving you too much. But I can’t help if I think you’re amazing. I can’t help if everything about you turns me on. It’s the price you pay for being madly in love. For finding that person that you can’t see yourself living without. And maybe I’ve convinced myself that you feel as strongly for me as I do for you. There’s something deeper going on, that made you run away from me, something you felt you couldn’t trust me to understand. So if I’m not the guy for you, then find who is. And just be happy, because in the end that’s all I want for you.”

Melanie looks at him, as her eyes begin to fill up.

“I’m gonna go. Obviously I didn’t think this through. It’s just this day. It got me thinking-I mean not that I don’t constantly think about you- but especially today. I just had an intense urgency to see your face. I’m sorry if I ruined your night.”

Grayson heads for the door as he opens it to find a man standing there about to ring Melanie’s door bell, he’s holding pink roses and a stuffed bear.

Grayson hangs his head and then looks up.

The man seems confused.

“Don’t mind me. I was just leaving. But word of advice. She likes Red roses, not pink. And she hates stuffed animals, they creep her out. Chocolate is always a safe bet.”

Grayson walks past the guy as Melanie watches his retreating figure and smiles inside, remembering their time together.

“Am I early?”

“No. You’re right on time Will. Why don’t you come in? There are probably a few things we should talk about.”

Will nods and steps inside as she takes his flowers and bear he notices she sets them down next to a dozen red roses and chocolate.

***********************************************************

Grayson sits on a bench in Central Park. He stares straight ahead in a daze. He has a flashback of kissing Melanie from earlier that night. He can clearly remember her arms tightening around his neck, her lips kissing him back with intensity.

He sighs looking down.

***********************************************************

“Will, I’m sorry I changed our plans I just wasn’t in the mood for dealing with a crowd tonight.” Melanie says handing Will a glass of wine as they sit in her living room in front of the fire place.

“That’s ok. Does this have anything to do with the mysterious stranger leaving your apartment?”

“Yes. We have some loose ends we’re still trying to sort through.”

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

“Is it a matter of unresolved feelings?”

Melanie sighs.

“Hey it’s really ok. I mean you and I are totally at the early stages. I’d rather know now than fall for you and get my heart stomped on later.”

“His name is Grayson and he was my fiancé. I broke things off a few months ago and we never really had an honest conversation about what happened. We were both so torn we just went our separate ways.”

“Do you still want to be with him?”

“I don’t know if I can. It’s kind of complicated. I’m kind of complicated.”

The guys looks at Melanie and ponders, he leans in and kisses her without warning.

Melanie pulls away almost immediately.

“I’m sorry I just-”

“Say no more- I think you just found your answer. And with that said, I think I’m going to head out. Happy Valentine’s Day,” Will says standing up.

“Will I’m-”

“Please don’t apologize. Look I get it. Sometimes, you gotta kiss the wrong one to make you realize who the right one is.”

He leaves and Melanie touches her lips thinking.

The image of Grayson grabbing her and kissing her plays over in her mind.

Melanie rushes over to grab her coat and purse, as she opens her door, she sees Grayson standing there at her door yet again.

Melanie drops her stuff to the floor as they lock eyes.

Grayson as if reading her mind, grabs her into a kiss as they begin to walk backward into her apartment. He pushes the door closed behind them.

“I’m sorry I’m such a mess.” Melanie says kissing him again.

“You’re not a mess.” He says kissing her.

“I’m sorry for hurting you and making you think I didn’t love you.”

“I knew you still loved me. I’m perceptive like that.” He says kissing her.

“Well, then I’m sorry for-”

“Shhh.” He says continuing to kiss her.

“No but wait, we need to talk, I have to tell you-”

“We can talk later, I have other things in mind.”

“But I just think that we still have so much that wasn’t resolved we really should just sit and-”

“Baby listen to me,” he says cupping her face, “I love you. But you talk too much. Please shut up,” he laughs “so we can really get this reunion going,” he says unzipping her dress and pulling it down off her shoulders.

“Words can wait,” she says as she kisses him back and starts to unbutton his shirt.

************************************************************

Grayson and Melanie sit in front of the fireplace, drinking wine and eating chocolates.

Melanie is wearing Grayson’s white button down and Grayson is wrapped in a bunch of blankets.

Grayson feeds her a piece of chocolate. She bites it and kisses him.

He cups her face, deepening the kiss.

“I love you, I’ve missed you so much,” She whispers.

“Well I’m glad we’re on the same page,” he smiles kissing her. “So…where were you running off to when I came back?”

“To find you,” she kisses him.

“Hmm. And what happened to Will?” he asks tucking her hair behind her ear and kissing her softly.

“Well he could tell pretty quickly that my mind was otherwise occupied.”

“So he didn’t kiss you…or anything?” Grayson asks knowingly.

“Um…well…” Melanie squints, scrunching her face,  as she tries stalling.

“Of course he kissed you. How could he not.” Grayson cups her face as his thumb traces over her lips. He smirks and leans in, kissing her.

Melanie smiles against his lips, her hands covering his.

 “Just so you know the kiss didn’t even last 3 seconds. I think he knew he was just a distraction. He even said sometimes you have to kiss the wrong one to realize who the right one is. And when he kissed me the only thing I could think about was you, and how I’d rather be kissing you.”

Grayson smirks, stroking her cheek.

“So are you gonna marry me or what…because I mean if you need a little extra convincing, that can be arranged.” Grayson says looking into her eyes, as he kisses her.

“Although I’m not objecting to any of your ways of persuasion. Are you sure your not mad…about Will?”

“Will who?” Grayson smirks, pulling Melanie into a kiss.

“I’m serious.” Melanie says smiling and looking at him.

“Do I hate the idea of some other guy kissing you? Absolutely. But I’m not mad. Because at the end of the day, you’re here with me.”

“I think it’s safe to say that I am never letting you go again,” Melanie says kissing him as she pulls him closer to her.

“Ok great. So uh…answer my question,” he says smirking as his eyes sparkle looking at her.

“Um… question was that again?” she says playing coy.

“Marry. Me.” he says seriously, staring into her eyes.

“Yes.” she says grabbing his face and kissing him several times.

Grayson laughs.

“Can we just talk about how sexy you look in my shirt? Kinda makes me feel like you’re all mine.”

“Really? Cause I am. I always have been.”

Grayson kisses her.

“And hey if you play your cards right, I might just let you take it off me.”

Grayson’s eyebrows raise.

“Even better,” he say kissing her as he starts to unbutton the shirt.

Melanie wraps her hands around his neck as they fall back onto the floor, the fire flickering into the night.

kiss

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-<3-

*I do not take credit for any images, or gifs used in my edits or otherwise.*

BLOG UPDATE: I think posting three times a week has been difficult for me, which is probably why I haven’t been so successful in posting on Sundays . So I am going to go back to my usual schedule of Mondays & Thursday. I have a lot going on personally  (all good things) and changes happening, so some things are up in the air for me. Once I feel a little more settled I will try for a third posting day again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear 2016, + Happy 3rd Anniversary!

Every new coming year WordPress sends out the year’s blogging report. It highlights categories like, crunchy numbers (popular posts), posting patterns, attractions, how did they find you? (referring sites,) where are the views coming from? (from around 137 countries total- with most views from The U.S., France and Germany,) and comments from viewers. This year I was blessed to gain new followers, and to finally meet an unconscious goal I’ve had of reaching 100 followers, plus a few extras along the way. I noticed that once I realized I hit 100, I mentally checked it off my list.

Read my Thank You note (and more on that topic) HERE.

I recently noticed that my blog got more traction when I began posting an abundance of short stories/series. And I also realized how effective categorizing and tagging are.

As michelle leigh writes- 3rd Anniversary is coming up tomorrow- January 8th, I decided to dive into the inner workings of this blog and re-evaluate what works and what doesn’t. As the old cliché says; Practice makes perfect. And I truly believe that mlw has come quite a long way since my first post.

Check it out HERE for a Blast from the Past

happy 3 year anniversary

Thank You

I’ve noticed that it’s difficult for me to always come up with something to post on the days I’ve committed myself to; Mondays & Thursdays. For the most part I stuck to this schedule pretty consistently. I think the only time I missed a day that I can actually recall, was on Christmas, but I posted Friday instead. As I saw on my posting patterns, there were a few Sunday, Wednesday and Friday posts along the way, but for the most part the schedule stuck. And I’m pretty damn proud of that fact. It has been really important to me to stick to this schedule to maintain a consistency. But I also want to maintain a credibility and put out worthy content, and not just fillers. Which is something that I think I often struggle with, because inspiration isn’t always consistent. Every writer has their dry spells. However, as I’ve noticed my latest post record has filled me with much more joy. As short stories have been somewhat of a trend for me.

Over the past few years that I’ve had this blog, I usually tell you what we can look forward to in the New Year. I give you a list of things I want to work on, I share my resolutions with you. But this year I’m not going to do that, because the greater the list (and you know I love my lists) the more likely they won’t happen. The list can put the pressure on. So I know there are some things I’d like to do on this blog, ways to improve it, but I think I’m going to keep them to myself and let you be surprised when they happen. No resolutions, just helpful ideas to achieve a better life and by extension- a better blog.

As for the content, there will continue to be short stories, and poetry. And as much as I at times feel like this blog is all over the place with no consistent message, and I would love to just stick solely to sharing stories with you, I do have other interests. Sometimes things will fall into the lifestyle genre, fashion genre or the movie/music review genre.

This reminds me of a story. In college, I had to start a blog for a class. The blog had to center around one thing. I chose music. I love music and I love lyrics and analyzing the meaning behind why an artist writes their words. But being confined to one subject drove me crazy at times. I felt like it limited my creativity. I like the freedom to post what I love and enjoy, despite the subject matter/genre/category.

As I ponder all of this, I am suddenly reminded of the phrase attached to this blog; the phrase written just beneath my blog name; “A safe place for the written word.” That’s the message of this blog. To allow myself (and all of you) to feel welcome to read and write about what we feel is important to the nurture of our souls and spirits.

Obviously I still feel that there are things I’d like to change and work on. There’s always room for improving your craft. And the more you do it, the more confidant you will feel about your ability to do it.

I remember a professor/mentor of mine used to always say, “A draft is never done.” No matter how any times you proof, edit, or rewrite it. And it’s true you can always find ways to change things, to make it better. But you have to write it in the first place.

So as we move forward into the New Year, my hope for this blog, is simply to keep it going. At this moment the schedule will remain the same. But as life changes, it may vary, (but I will always keep you posted.) Things may start to change slowly, but I only wish to strive to make this blog better- more fun, and more interesting to read. So thank you for coming along on this journey. I look forward to all the love stories that are to be written and shared here on michelle leigh writes along with anything else I feel to share. I do hope you stick around. And I thank you again. And let us once again rejoice and say a big…..HAPPY 3 YEAR ANNIVERSARY MLW!!! I am so proud!

Stay Tuned!

(And yes Love Conflicted readers, I WILL finish it, I promise. In the meantime…catch up HERE!)

Love conflicted new posterlove conflicted new poster ft. lily and ian

 

Follow me on Twitter: @Shellbelle91

*Spoiler Alert: I tweet about television shows for the most part, #LIVETWEETER.

-<3-