24in48 Read-a-thon Day 1 | Ecrits du Cœur

Bonjour readers! The first 24 hours of the read-a-thon are over and I’m severely behind. It’s currently 1:20am (hour 26???) and I only have 4 hours logged so far. But it was my birthday and I had guests over so I’m letting myself slack a bit.

I have read a little bit of Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and about half of Kissing Olivia Winchester by TheGodAthena17 (on Wattpad) so I’d say this weekend has been productive. I went into this thing not expecting to read a full 24 hours, that way I didn’t pressure myself. The fact that I read something is fine with me. 😉

How is everyone else’s reading going? Will you make it by the end of the 48 hours?

I’all be back tomorrow night (or I’ll be on Twitter all day: @jasmine_writes_) but until then, keep reading loves. 🙂


24in48 Read-a-thon July 2017 |Ecrits du Coeur

Bonjour, lovelies! This July I will be participating in the 24in48 readathon once again! I’ve already signed up and I have my stack of books ready to go! This is basically an intro into what can be expected this weekend. I will be updating often on my Twitter (@jasmine_writes_) as well as on here at the end of each day (that way there will only be 2 unlike last July where I bombarded you with posts 😉 )


I hope you’ll join me as we try to read for 24 in 2 days! If you are, comment below where you’ll be updating and I’ll be sure to follow you! See you all later but until then, keep writing, loves. Au revoir. 🙂

157 Reasons I Love You | Ecrits du Coeur

Bonjour readers! I know that this is the second post in a row to be about Lexie, but I honestly don’t care. It has recently come to my attention that I love her with everything I have and I started to make a list so I wouldn’t forget. The list kept growing and growing until there were a little over 50 things I love about her. I decided to challenge myself and come up with even more. It’s a lot and I don’t blame you if you don’t read them all, but this was something important to me and I want Lexie to always have access to all the reasons why I love her.

Lex, hopefully you read this when you wake up and it makes you smile. I put a lot of work into it so I hope you like it. Love you through Heaven and Hell and everything in between.

157 Things I Love About You

  1. You’ve always been there for me.
  2. You make me smile even in the darkest times.
  3. You always think of me before even considering your feelings.
  4. You have such a great sense of humor.
  5. You’ve helped me discover myself.
  6. You cheer me on even when I’m doing questionable things.
  7. You’re my absolute best friend in the whole world.
  8. You keep talking to me even when I’m being annoying.
  9. You’re honest.
  10. You listen when I need someone to talk to.
  11. You trust me.
  12. You believe I can do great things.
  13. You always mention how pretty I am even when I look like a mess.
  14. You don’t judge me for stupid things I do or say.
  15. You’re not afraid to share your feelings with me.
  16. You’re so incredibly smart.
  17. You get my sarcasm.
  18. You help me understand my feelings.
  19. You’re so gorgeous.
  20. Your writing is some of the best I’ve seen.
  21. You don’t put up with people just because you have to.
  22. You’re so strong.
  23. Your laugh is so cute.
  24. You’re so special to me and always will be.
  25. You care about me as much as I care about you.
  26. You make me feel safe and comfortable.
  27. You forgive me even when most people wouldn’t.
  28. You send me good morning messages that make me smile.
  29. You play along with my cheesy pickup lines.
  30. You support my ideas.
  31. You write poetry for me that makes the whole world seem foolish.
  32. You are and always will be my rock.
  33. You stay up to talk to me even if you’re tired.
  34. You send me funny videos that make me giggle.
  35. You join my livestreams and make my whole day better.
  36. You never put me down for anything I do.
  37. You help me move on from my past.
  38. You’ve made me a stronger person than I have ever been.
  39. You make me feel all happy inside when you talk about the day we finally meet.
  40. You answer my random questions even when they sound completely crazy.
  41. You give me butterflies every time I see a new message from you.
  42. You never ignore me or my messages.
  43. You always let me know if you’re going to be busy so I don’t worry.
  44. You waited for me to catch up so we could watch Glee together.
  45. You ask me how my day is and how I’ve been.
  46. You stick up for me no matter what.
  47. You make inside jokes that make me laugh every time you say them.
  48. You always tell me you lobe me.
  49. You don’t get weirded out when I’m clingy or jealous.
  50. You send me pictures of your face even though I know you don’t like the way you look.
  51. You support me when I have problems and are always there to try to fix them.
  52. You always want to cuddle as much as I do.
  53. Your keyboard smashes are so funny and crack me up every time.
  54. You call me wifey even though I know you’ve had a hard past.
  55. You let me call you all kinds of nicknames and laugh when I make a new one.
  56. You understand me.
  57. You make me laugh when your keyboard misspells words and you frantically try to correct it.
  58. You always contradict me when I call myself garbage.
  59. We can talk for hours straight.
  60. You always seem to know when something is bothering me.
  61. You get worried when you haven’t heard from me in a while.
  62. You use as much text lingo as I do and don’t judge me for it.
  63. You never think of me any differently.
  64. You let me get to know the real you.
  65. You know the real me.
  66. You love Christmas as much as I do.
  67. You laugh at the funny pictures I send you.
  68. You’re so confident with your words.
  69. Your hair looks like it’s really soft.
  70. You always want the best for me.
  71. You care enough to message me when you know I’ve had a rough day.
  72. You signed contracts that you’re probably going to regret later because you care about me.
  73. You’re never fake.
  74. You don’t need to impress me because everything you do is amazing.
  75. You tolerate me even when I’m acting crazy.
  76. You helped me realize I’m not alone.
  77. You tell me if something is bothering you.
  78. You put up with me when I’m impatient.
  79. You make me cry with happiness.
  80. You never leave my mind.
  81. You think it’s cute when I worry about you while you’re gone.
  82. You like the same shows that I like.
  83. You have great taste in music.
  84. You’re not afraid to tell me what you think about something.
  85. You always know the right things to say.
  86. You don’t get offended if I tell you my honest opinion.
  87. You’re proud of me.
  88. You’re never dramatic.
  89. You love listening to me sing even though it’s horrible.
  90. You were the very first person I came out to.
  91. I can count on you for anything.
  92. You try to make things right if we have an argument.
  93. I can’t imagine life without you.
  94. You ask my input on things that you care about.
  95. We have a lot in common.
  96. I can tell you everything.
  97. You made me a part of your future.
  98. You’ve helped me believe in myself.
  99. You’re finally making me see the beauty in the world.
  100. You love my dog even if he’s being mean.
  101. You have really nice handwriting.
  102. You never screenshot ugly pictures of me.
  103. You love me even when I take those ugly pictures.
  104. You love my crazy plans for the future.
  105. You never try to change me.
  106. You never fail to make me laugh with your text messages.
  107. You talked to me every day even when you went on vacation.
  108. You would do anything for me.
  109. You never want to see me hurt.
  110. You apologize even when things aren’t your fault.
  111. You stayed even though I wanted to force you to move on.
  112. You don’t judge me when I change my mind a hundred times.
  113. You text me when you see something that reminds you of me.
  114. You know more about me than I know about myself.
  115. You write cute messages on my thiscrush that make me want to squeeze you in a hug.
  116. I know I can count on you to listen when I’ve gotten myself into a situation.
  117. You mean the world to me.
  118. You know how to make me happy.
  119. You surprise me every day with how amazing you are.
  120. You’re so supportive.
  121. You become friends with my friends.
  122. You never get sick of me.
  123. You don’t get mad when I’m nosey.
  124. You care about my opinion.
  125. You have such high expectations of me.
  126. You give me reasons to keep on pushing through life when I want to give up.
  127. You don’t let me give up.
  128. You love me even when I’m being cheesy.
  129. You don’t judge my love for all things Christmas.
  130. You try to make me feel better even when I’m grumpy.
  131. You love talking about everything gay.
  132. You laugh at my late night rambles when I don’t make any sense.
  133. You write me long messages about how much you care about me.
  134. You’re so creative.
  135. You explain things to me when I don’t quite understand them.
  136. You are so talented.
  137. You’re thankful for the friendship we have.
  138. You make me smile for no reason.
  139. You talk with me when I’m feeling lonely.
  140. You make me laugh when you come up with revelations that everyone already knows.
  141. You listen to the crazy stories about my family.
  142. You make the time fly by so quickly when I’m talking with you.
  143. We became close friends very quickly.
  144. You’ll always be my favorite person.
  145. You make it so easy to be honest.
  146. You repeat things when I forget and don’t get angry.
  147. Your happiness means the world to me.
  148. You’re never disgusted when I talk about weird things.
  149. You love me for who I am.
  150. You always tell me how great of a person I am.
  151. You push me to go to college so that I can live the best life I can.
  152. You don’t get aggravated when I spam your messages.
  153. You open my mind to new things.
  154. You’re always ready to give me advice if I need it.
  155. I’m proud to call you my wife.
  156. You’re so selfless and it makes me so happy to know that you care about everyone around you.
  157. You pushed through and read all 157 reasons why I love you and that means the world to me.


Life Updates | Ecrits du Coeur

Bonjour, loves! Holy cow it’s been a while! I might be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure the last time I updated was February? That was never my intention. I had a goal to take part in #1lineWed, update my Wattpad story every week, do some fun tags, etc. But as you all know, life happens. I’ve been SUPER DUPER busy and I’ve lost a lot of motivation to do anything. I keep lowering my Goodreads reading goal because I rarely read nowadays and the first time I wrote all year was for Camp NaNo in April. I hate it, but it happens.

So, I figured today was a good day to update you. My Instagram pages have been blowing up recently and I’ve met some amazing people. One of my best friends (who I have a feeling is becoming more than a friend…) makes me beyond happy, so I’d say I’m doing pretty good. But I want to know how you guys are doing! I haven’t talked to many of you in a long time!

I won Camp NaNo in April for the first time and I’m beyond ecstatic. Unfortunately, I’m still not done with the book I was writing, but it’s getting there. 😉

I took a trip to Louisiana at the end of April and it was one of the highlights of my year. I got to visit my great-grandmother, visit the French Quarters, and experience a new state. I finally got to meet some extended family that I had never met before which was one of the best parts. 😉

I’ve also gotten my book buying under control! It’s been a problem for me for a while, but I think I’ve been doing good. I haven’t bought any books since 2016 so I’m pretty proud. It might sound a bit random, but it’s true. xD

Anywho, I think that’s it for now. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things, but I’ve figured out by now that I’m not very good at keeping promises like that, so I guess I’ll talk to you guys when I talk to you.

I’d love to see how you’re doing, so comment below because I’d like to get back in touch with you all! That’s it for now. Keep writing, loves. Au revoir.

#1lineWed Favorites: Jan. 25 | Ecrits du Coeur

Bonjour lovely people! I’m back again with another favorites post from #1lineWed!

If you’re brand new, my name is Jasmine and I write things! And I also spend most of my time watching things on Netflix… But then in the middle of watching Glee, I suddenly remember that it’s Wednesday and I should write this post, so here we are! 😉

If you’re wondering what in the heck I’m talking about with this hastag, I’ll tell ya! It’s a hashtag on Twitter where writers from all different stages of their writing come together every week and post a line (or multiple) based on the theme. The theme is usually posted within a week’s time by Kiss of Death on Twitter but I normally retweet it so if you can’t find it, look on either of our feeds.

This weeks theme was: books, pages

Every Wednesday I gather some of my favorite lines from the community and retweet them as well as put them on here. The links to everyone’s Twitters will be on their name below, so go like, comment, and retweet them! Remember, these are in no particular order and I try to get a variety of people so if you were featured last week, you probably won’t get featured again. (But I am just one person and I tend to get a bit scrabbled at times. Just go with it. 😉 )

Before I share some lines from you guys, I’m going to share mine. I only tweeted one today, so it shouldn’t be too boring. 😉

I ran my fingers along the cracked spines, memories of so many adventures from childhood. The pages were like long-lost friends.

And now for some of yours! It would be so nice if you could go and like these people’s Tweets and/or follow them!

That summer was a time of beauty, love&laughter. I should have paid more attention, for once the page turned there was only misery

A blank page only needs one word to no longer be blank. There’s always more words and always more blank pages to be filled

Awoke by a yolk of glaring sun, I dog-eared my bed cover and the book of dreams left smouldering under its sheets.

She tasted like coffee, smelled like books. Her wrinkled nose and face-wide smile made him surge with joy. This, was love.

He lets the wind lift the pages of her diary, sparing himself the guilty act of turning them, shaping snatched words into meaning.

He passes me a pencil and paper. Images roar from my brain, jangle down my arms and ravage the pages.

AJ scratched his head as he peered at the cookbook. “’Al dente’. Why the hell can’t they use English.” Partners, Book IV

Loneliness laid gentle hands on her shoulders. From a bookcase in her heart, she took down a photo album and thumbed its pages.

His words stretch across the the paper as if they’d rather be off doing something else than remain stuck to the page.

Otto knew Elijah’s memories flew through his mind like pages of a book caught in the wind. Too fast to see anything important

“Don’t you have a book for these things?” I treaded water lazily. “I lost it.” Threw it out the window, but close enough.

The sight of a grown man sipping whiskey while working on a coloring book struck me as so ironic, I couldn’t help laughing.

Cece loved the way that the illustrations created a path through the pages, as if connecting destinations to be flown.

The train came while she was writing. She grabbed a seat & kept going, her breathing slow as she poured her desire onto the page

“That one was me.” Luc nodded his chin towards the one clean book. “I wanted to see how much dust had accumulated.”

They claimed books mightier than swords, but books could be ignored. Harder to ignore sharpened steel run through your gut, though.

Well, there you go! These were only a few of the many lines on Twitter, so if you want to see more, click on one of the links above and it’ll take you there!

I post reviews on Mondays, tags on Tuesdays, my favorite #1lineWed tweets on Wednesdays, sometimes excerpts or short stories on Thursdays, Chapters from Face All the Pain on Fridays, and Random Ramblings on Sundays.

Thanks as always for reading! I’ll see you all later, but until then, keep writing, loves. Au revoir.

Find my previous post here: 24in48 Readathon: Update 2

People mentioned and where you can find them: There’s too many people to name, but if you click their names in the tweets above, it’ll take you to their Twitter profile.

24in48 Readathon: Update 2

Bonjour de nouveau! Here’s update 2 for the 24in48 readathon! I’m pretty sure we only have about an hour left for the readathon, but I’m done reading for the night. I got close to five hours of reading in total, which isn’t what I was going for, but I still made time in my busy schedule to read.

I didn’t end up reading Graceling by Kristen Cashore because I started it and I Wasn’t really feeling it at the time (but I will definitely get to it some other time) so I switched it out for Eleonore by Faith Rivens. I’ve been wanting to read this book because it’s AMAZING (you should read it *wink wink*) but I want to take my time on it and really absorb the writing, so I picked it back up today. I didn’t finish it, but I’m hoping to soon.

So how many hours of reading have you done this weekend? Any winners out there? Heck, even if you signed up and read for five minutes, I’d say you were a winner.

Make sure that you remember to thank Rachel Manwill because she’s just one woman behind the scenes of the 24in48 readathon. She works hard twice a year to write posts, give out prizes, answer questions, interact with other readers, as well as reading on her own. If you have the time, send her a quick tweet (@rachelmanwill or @24in48readathon) and I’m almost positive it’ll make her day. 🙂

Thank you for reading and following me this weekend even though there wasn’t much reading from me. We still have July and you better believe I’ll be giving it my all. I’ll hopefully see you all later with a new post, but until then, keep reading loves. Oh, and keep writing. Always keep writing, loves. 😉

24in48 Readathon: Update 1

So sorry for the lack of a post yesterday, but I was exhausted and actually fell asleep before I planned to. That means there will be 2 posts today; one for last night (what you’re reading now) and another one tonight about today’s reading.

I didn’t get anywhere near my goal for yesterday and I doubt I’ll be able to get it today either. My dad came down and I spent most of the day with him and I didn’t want to have my nose in a book the whole time. I just got home today and it’s already 1pm or hour… 36 I think…? But so far, I only have three hours towards my goal of twenty four. Obviously it’s not going to happen, but I will keep trying and hopefully surprise myself by getting some reading done!

If you’re no where near your goal and you won’t make it in time, keep going. It’s not the winning that matters, the point is that you set aside time to read and you should be proud of yourself whether you fit it into your busy schedule like me or you just like to sleep. 😉

Yesterday I finished Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and it was pretty good. Very strange, indeed, but a lot of fun to read and I would recommend it. I started reading Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne, but I couldn’t get into it so I think I’ll switch it out for Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

What are some books you’re reading? How many hours have you read so far? Tell me in the comments! 🙂 I’ll be back later with the last update, but until then, keep reading, loves.

OH! And I’m also posting updates regularly on Twitter so go follow me and see what I’m reading as I’m reading it! 😀

24in48 readathon Kick-Off!

We’re starting and pumped, right?! The readathon has officially started!

Last July I participated and posted a new update every hour on here, but there has been some last minute plans made this weekend. I’ll be away from my computer where I write posts and I’ll try to read a full 24 hours, but it might not happen.

Here’s my plan: I have a group of books I’m planning on reading this weekend (most of them classics) but also some audiobooks so even when I’m busy I can be reading! I’ll be updating on Twitter fairly regularly and I’ll do one post per day. One after Saturday and one after Sunday. It’ll tell what books I’ve read and how many hours into it I am.

If you’re participating, Tweet me (@jasmine_writes_) and we can talk about books and tips on how to get to 24 hours!

Sorry for this short post, but I just wanted everyone to know what was going on before I jump into things. Thank you for reading and I’ll keep you updated, loves!


Holy cow! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The last time I posted a #1lineWed favorites was in July of last year so it’s past time we get it up and running again, eh? I loved doing this and seeing all the lines from everyone so I’m excited to see more from you all! Also, I apologize that this is so late, but I was busy for the better half of the day, so I hope you don’r mind.

In case you’re new here, bonjour! My name is Jasmine and you’re watching Disney Channel. Just kidding. They can’t copyright me for that, right?… Anywho, thanks for stopping by and if you like what you see, you can follow me for more on here or my social media! 😉

You may be wondering what #1lineWed is. Actually, probably not because it’s a pretty huge deal on Twitter for most writers, but if you don’t know, I’ll tell you. It’s a hashtag on Twitter where writers from all different stages of their writing come together every week and post a line (or multiple) based on the theme. The theme is usually posted within a week’s time by Kiss of Death on Twitter but I normally retweet it so if you can’t find it, look on either of our feeds.

Today’s theme was: TREES, limbs, branches, leaves

Every Wednesday (well, every Wednesday until July last year…) I gather some of my favorite lines from the community and retweet them as well as put them on here. The links to everyone’s Twitters will be on their name below, so go like, comment, and retweet them!

I also post the lines that I’ve tweeted for the day so here they are:

The leaves stretched out across the expanse of the sky and blocked out the sun, making shadows along our path.

Large trees were struck by lightning, falling over in front of me. The charred bark smell shattered the beauty of my dream.

I slowed to a jog and ended up tripping on my pants. My forehead hit a tree root and I screamed as blood flooded my vision.

And these are some that I found on Twitter from you guys! (In no particular order)

Large tiles paved the ground, some half covered with moss and old leaves.

The treetops lapped against the mountain’s sides like twilit green foam, and the glow of the village’s windows shone for miles.

Sunlight filtered through the leaves, and the trees flashed by, a kaleidoscope of colors distorted by the carriage glass.

I stared morosely at the tree, part of me wishing I’d never learned about its existence, never learned I was fae. Never met Alec.

As my leaves fall one by one, all that I’m holding onto seems futile. My branches let go with a reassurance that spring will come

No one wants to be in this place where the silence shrouds like a veil and pain is woven through each branch and blade of grass.

Midnight. A tree falls in the forest. Nobody helps it up. Maybe they’re right not to. Sleep it off, tree. You raging drunk.

Snow dusted my cheeks as I walked toward a grove of aspen trees across the cemetery.

The treetops glimmer in the distance, backlit by a golden orb. Shine on you crazy diamond.

I saw him from a distance My legs shook like trees blowing in the wind My arms quivered like branches No one should know such evil.

A flowering tree that, after a moment of hesitation, burst into the shapes of a thousand butterflies, abandoning sparse branches.

Stacks of horror books covered every surface, gathered as if the pages would rebuild themselves into monsterous trees.

Heaving the most teenagerly sigh in the world, Holly pulls her silver knife from its sheath and walks to the nearby linden trees.

Slipping on a large squishy mushroom, she fell and landed on her side where the odor of moldy leaves and decay made her retch.

Gramps died a month before my foray into the criminal underworld. Now the Copeland family tree consisted of me, myself, and I.

We pass a low-hanging tree, grey and dry like aged skin. I can’t tell if it’s dying or if that’s how it’s supposed to look.

Don’t let him see how nervous he makes you. You are a strong tree, and your feet are roots. Stand firm. Don’t sway.

Had to rethink happily ever after when she cut down the tree I carved our initials into.

He was an oak. Gentle. Timeless. Quiet. We hung on his words and on his arms. When the storms came, he never gave an inch.

Green, wet leaves, so large I could hide behind them. “Stay quiet,” said papa. I was quiet. Even when he screamed, I was quiet.

Clambering up the bark of the nearest tree, I settled upon a sturdy limb. Its form nestled my weary form and, at last, I slept.

“Is it taken care of?” “Yep, buried him right under that big gnarled tree in the garden.” “The Resurrection Tree?” “Oh crap.”

She wore a black dress that clung to her body. The ends of it trailed across the ground like tree roots. She smelled like death.

….the limousine cruised slowly past a line of oak trees, browns and greens smudging in front of Will’s eyes.

A tree harboring memories like lost souls loomed in the center of it all, a chunk of time recycled, a moment relived.

These were only a few of the many lines on Twitter, so if you want to see more, click on one of the links above and it’ll take you there!

I post reviews on Mondays, tags on Tuesdays, my favorite #1lineWed tweets on Wednesdays, sometimes excerpts or short stories on Thursdays, Chapters from Face All the Pain on Fridays, and Random Ramblings on Sundays.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you all have a wonderful day and a wonderful week. Keep writing, loves. Au revoir.

People mentioned and where you can find them: There’s too many people to name, but if you click their names in the tweets above, it’ll take you to their Twitter profile.

Chapter 3: ‘Funny how these things come about’ | Face All the Pain

Face All the Pain

Intro and Summary: Intro and Summary into ‘Face All the Pain’ | Face All the Pain

Chapter 1: Chapter 1: ‘An icy breath that escapes my lips’ | Face All the Pain

Chapter 2: Chapter 2: ‘Fading in the distance’ | Face All the Pain


Chapter 3

“Funny how these things come about”

Benjamin is asleep in the backseat when I finally hit a cluster of buildings. We’ve been driving for around an hour and a half and there have been nothing but open fields and forests.

I’m amazed when I see the first building to pop up. It’s a McDonald’s and before I was kidnapped, I hated that place. All the greasy food and smells. But in this very moment, I want nothing more than to bite into a cheap hamburger.

I turn into the parking lot, figuring we might as well stop to eat and get directions to…somewhere where I could be free.

My hand wraps around the key and I slowly turn it, not thinking about how I’m about to go face society. The money is still sitting beside me, but the last thing I need is for someone to steal the stolen money I stole, so I shove all of it under the passenger seat.

I unbuckle my seatbelt and step outside. Suddenly, my nostrils take in the fresh dense air and I can feel my eyes watering. To be completely honest, I was afraid to ride with the windows rolled down, even though that was something I loved to do before I was kidnapped. I tried to reason with myself, saying it was going to be good for me, but then another part of me wanted to stay enclosed in our little stolen truck. It’s funny how the things that would have terrified me long ago are what I consider normal and the things I used to love doing scare me.

Opening the back door on Benji’s side, I try to be quiet and careful so that I won’t make him fall out. Sure, he’s buckled in tightly and he has a bag on either side of him, securing him in, but it’s a natural mother instinct. I used to dream of being a mom. Having someone who is purely yours and taking care of them. When I thought about it, sitting in my pink room with white curtains and Death Cab For Cutie blasting next to me, I didn’t think I’d be raising a son who was afraid to see a lollipop.

I run my hand down his head to smooth out his hair. One of the first things I need to do is give him a haircut. Rusty scissors and a few shaky snips doesn’t get the work done. He opened his eyes slightly, but then as the sun shines through the window and catches him in the eye, he freaks out and starts crying. His eyes look over me and then a quick sweep around before he says, “Mommy?” in a panic.

“No, no, no,” I say, unbuckling him and pulling him into my arms. “It’s alright. You’re okay.” I rest my cheek on his head and let him hold me. He probably thought I’m the one comforting him, but no, he’s the only one that’s keeping me sane.

And we stay like that for a minute. Ben was in absolute tears when I woke him up, but after a few pats on the back, he seems to be fine. “Are you hungry?” I ask him and he just nods.

I take ten bucks from the pile and slip it into my pocket as I lock the door and carry Ben towards the fast food restaurant. My heart beats quickly and I don’t know why. I guess five years of seclusion after being kidnapped will do things to you.

You notice the weirdest things when you’re not used to them. Like, all I can hear is cars chugging down the street and my own feet in nothing but sandals I found in the floorboard of the truck slapping against the concrete. The sound of bugs is everywhere and it’s practically deafening.

I see a lady up ahead of me, walking out of the building. She’s wearing things that could be considered as pajamas, but it can’t be worse than what I look like. I haven’t seen myself in a mirror lately, but I already know how I look. My skin is paler, I’m skinnier than I’ve ever been, and there are bruises all over my body, some old some new.

I run to catch up with the lady just as she’s walking out so she can hold the door open for me. I give her a tight-lipped smile, but she barely even looks my way. Were people always this rude?

The restaurant is extremely busy. And loud. People are chattering to each other from across tables, dishes are clattering in the kitchen, and I hear the strange sound of robotic beeping.

I think about how I hope I can find somewhere to sit as I get up to the register and stare at the menu. Not much is new from the last time I was there. Maybe a few new burgers and flavored coffees, but it was mostly the same.

A man in his late twenties is at the counter and he looks at me patiently as I stare up at the bright screen. “Do you know what you’ll have?” He asks.

“Oh, um… it’s been a long time since I’ve been here.” I apologize. I don’t notice until Benjamin starts to squirm a little that I’ve been holding onto him as tightly as I could. I rub his back to calm him down a little bit. The whole experience of ordering at McDonalds is scary for me, so I can only imagine what it’s like for Ben.

“I would recommend number three. It has a bit of everything on it.” The man doesn’t quite smile at me, but he seems friendly enough.

“Okay, I’ll take that.”

“And for him?” He nods towards Benjamin. When he sees the man looking at him, he buries his face into my shoulder. “He’s cute. Is he yours?”

“Yeah, he is,” I say and smile over at Benji’s shyness.

“You look so young to be a mom. How do you do it?”

I think back to the nine months of having a human inside me and how terrified I was. I sure as hell wasn’t taking care of myself so it’s a miracle Benjamin came out alive. “I have no idea,” I tell him. “He’ll have a Happy Meal.”

The man rings up our order and I give him the money. I carry Benjamin over to a table in the back corner where I’m sure no one will look at us.

I sit quietly with Benjamin in my lap until our order is ready and then I go get it. Benji digs in right away, going straight for the chicken nuggets and I smile at him as I eat my own food. Compared to sandwiches, hot dogs, and orange juice, this meal tastes like the best I’ve ever had. I don’t remember much about mom’s cooking since it was so long ago, but I do remember that it was always home cooked and Calum and I always got seconds.

Thinking of Calum makes me almost want to cry. Over the years, I’ve tried not to let my mind drift to Calum, or the red headed lady, or my mom cowering in the corner, and for a while, I succeeded. But you can only stop feeling things to a certain extent. Eventually, you have to revisit the fear you had seeing your dad dead like that, or your sister running to the neighbor’s yard with your younger brother, or your best friend watching as you’re put into a stranger’s truck and driven away hours from your home.

I’m only pulled out of my thoughts when Benjamin starts wailing. I look at him, startled at the loud sound and see that he staring right over my shoulder. I pull my shoulders towards Ben and turn my head slightly to see what he’s crying at.

A woman with dark brown hair, almost black, is standing beside me. She’s smiling despite Ben’s loud screams and is holding a toy that looks like a blue cat of some sort.

“I’m sorry to startle you, but your son threw this at my table and I thought I’d return it.” She holds it out for me and I lift my arm up slowly, a mistake I realize only after the sleeve of my oversized long-sleeve shirt rolls slightly down my arms and the woman gasps at the bruises on my pale skin. She lowers his voice a little, “Are you okay?” Her smile is faded and replaced by a worried look.

I yank my arm back down and cover it back up, “I’m fine,” I say to her and take the toy while still holding the sleeve up with my fingers.

“Are you sure?” She asks.

I nod and turn back to Benji. I stroke his face gently and put the toy in his lap, “It’s okay, mommy’s here. You’re okay.” I whispered those words to him every time he was scared and they seem to calm him down a lot because he stops crying and instead sips on his lemonade.

“You’re really good with him,” she says, her smile reappearing.

“Yeah, I’ve had about four years to get used to it,” and I find myself laughing for the first time in a long time. I’m so shocked by the sound, that I don’t notice the lady sitting down in the bench across the table from Benji and me until she starts drinking the last bit of her soda really loudly.

I look at her curiously and she stops to take a bite of her burger. “I hope you don’t mind me sitting here, I just thought you were interesting and I’d like to get to know you.”

“Oh,” was all I said. Benjamin stretches out his arms as far as he can to attempt to reach the apple slices, but they’re still a few inches short. I’m just about to scoot it closer to him when the woman’s hand beats me to it and she hands Benji the apples.

“Tank you,” Benjamin says, quietly, mispronouncing his words.

“Don’t mention it, kid.” We sit there for a few seconds in silence, all eating our food when the woman says, “I just realized you don’t know my name.” She laughs and I smile at the sound. “I’m Lila.”

Her name seems familiar and my mind goes around in circles, trying to find out where I know her from. “Lila…”

“Oh, Moren. Lila Moren,” she says and holds out her hand for me to shake.

“I’m…Vanessa,” I hesitate. I used to be one of those people who introduce themselves first, but I haven’t done it in a long time and now it just seems… like I’m trying too hard. How you try too hard to introduce yourself, I have no idea. “I feel like I know you from somewhere.”

“Oh, from college?” She smiles.

“No…” I say because I never went to college. “I’m Vanessa Padmore… Vani?”

And she freezes. Her smile completely vanishes and she’s looking me over, her eyes moving rapidly. “Van… Vani?… But…they said you were dead. They found your body… No, I’m imagining things. You aren’t real.” She seems to be whispering to herself now.

“I’m pretty sure I’m real,” I say. “Did I… did we go to high school together?”

She has her eyes closed and is mumbling things to herself. “Lila?”

“Hmmm?” She asks, her eyes flying open and when she sees me again, she lets out a shaky breath.

“I asked if we went to high school together.”

She nods slowly and then hurriedly, “Yeah,” she says, “We… we were in…geometry…together.” I can tell she’s having a hard time with knowing I’m alive, so I don’t ask her any more questions.

My stomach tightens at the thought of actually seeing someone I know again. Out of everyone who could have sat in front of me, how is it possible that it’s her. Sure, I didn’t know her that well, but we knew who each other were and there was an occasional hello while passing in the crowded hallways.

Minutes later, she reaches his arm out slowly and touches my cheek. When her finger makes, contact, she pulls it away quickly and continues staring at me.

“How are you here?” She asks, incredulous.

“That is a really long story,” I tell her.

Suddenly, Benjamin is tapping on my arm, “Open?” he asks as he holds out the package containing his blue cat toy. I take it from his hands and tear it open for him without really thinking. I’m staring out the window next to us, but not really looking at anything.

Lila seems to remember he’s there in that moment because her jaw drops and she stares at Benji’s small form as he pretends his cat is running across the table and jumping over a French fry. “He’s… your son?”

“Yep,” I say, wiping a piece of ketchup from his mouth with my finger and wiping it on my sweatpants.

“How old is he?” This time she says it much quieter.

“He’s four.”

“So, what happened to you? I was so convinced you were dead.”

I take a deep breath and close my eyes. I don’t want to think back on what happened because I just got away from it so I just tell her, “So much has happened. I can’t even explain it all without taking you back in a time machine.”

She shakes her head too, “I can’t believe I’m talking to you again. Did you know, right after the, um, accident… we all went looking for you.” She stares for a minute at Benjamin and then back at me, “We couldn’t find anything. There was no signs anywhere to even lead us to you. Then, a year later, they found a body in a public restroom and said it was yours.”

“Wait, who’s ‘we’?”

“Me, Calum, Maya, and John,” She says. Her eyes droop a little as she thinks about what happened years ago.

I get a sense of nostalgia when I hear those names. Calum was my best friend so I would know that name anywhere. Knowing who Lila is, I link Maya as her cousin and John was Maya’s boyfriend. I feel the need to know everything that happened to everyone in those few years that I was gone.

Lila laughs at Benjamin who is letting his cat swim in his ketchup. “He looks a lot like you. It’s just so crazy. I thought I’d never see you again and here you are…alive and with a four year old son.”

“Yep,” I say. “And I thought I was never going to see the world again,” I chuckle humorlessly at the statement. We’re silent for a good five minutes. We just stare at each other, and then watch Benji play with his cat. And then stare at each other some more.

“Hey,” I say, eating one of Benji’s apples. “Where are we? I didn’t see any signs while driving here.”

“We’re in Greensburrow right now.”

Greensburrow, Greensburrow… For some reason, the name doesn’t ring a bell. “How far away are we from… Rowbrook?” It’s been such a long time since I’ve said that name and now it feels familiar. I just want to keep saying it.

“Oh,” she shakes her head, “We’re only about an hour from there. I can give you directions.”

“That would be great,” I say and she writes it on a napkin. “So, what have you been doing this whole time?” I ask her as she writes.

“Well, I finished high school, went to the community college down here for two years, dropped out and now I live with my husband here in Greensburrow.” She looks up at me and smiles.

“You’re married?” I ask, incredulously. I can’t imagine how much everyone around me has grown. They’re all adults with their own lives and careers. Funny how much things change when you’re kidnapped.

“I am,” she says. “I’m married to Anthony Johnson.” And she holds up her finger with the ring for me to see.

“Calum’s brother, Anthony?”

“Mm-hm,” she mumbles. “We dated for a little while I was a senior and then we broke up because I went to college. And then, he turned 18 and we got back together. Now, we’re married!”

“Oh wow,” I say. I really am shocked by the news. “So you live down here with Anthony?” She nods. “So how about Calum?”

“I’m pretty sure he still lives with him mom. She told him that as long as he’s in school, he can live there and you know Calum. He can’t pass up the opportunity for free housing.”

We both laugh because that does sound exactly like Calum. “So are you planning on seeing him?”

“I don’t know,” I say honestly. “I don’t really know what I’m doing.”

“Well, I figured you were because he’s practically the only thing in Rowbrook that you’d want to see.”

“What about Rosaline? And Max? Are they okay?” The worst possible scenarios fill my head. What if the killers found them before they could get to safety? What if they died of grief? What if they just live in a mental hospital because of all the trauma they’ve been put through.

She cringes, “Why would I think you knew that already? I don’t know if they’re okay. The last I heard, they were in a foster care nearby.”

“… Foster care? Like adoption?” At least it wasn’t death or a mental hospital.

“Not necessarily. They could just be living there and no one came to adopt them.”

“No offense, Lila, but you’re not making this any better.”

“Not better,” Benjamin says and I just realize that he’s there still.

“I get it, little man. I’ve got to go anyway. I was just picking up lunch before my break ends. It was so great talking to you, Vani, and if you need anything, you most likely know where to find me. Greensburrow isn’t a very big town.” She smiles once before taking her trash and leaving the restaurant.

“My doggy very dirty,” Benjamin says when she leaves and I start cleaning up our trash as well.

“No, Ben, that’s a cat.” And he was right, it’s very dirty. It’s practically covered in ketchup and hair- most likely from falling on the floor- and now his hands are covered in the same mess.

“What’s a cat?” he asks.

“It’s an animal like a doggy but it says ‘meow’.”

“Meow,” he tries and likes the sound so he keeps saying it as I wipe off his hands with a clean napkin.

“Are you ready to go, my sweet Ben?” I ask him. He nods as he meows and I pick him up. He grabs his now clean cat and I grab the trash.

The buzzing sound of insects doesn’t sound foreign as we head back to the car. It could be my brain remembering the sound or it could be that I was thinking of everything at once. I buckle Benji in and repeat the same set-up as before, making sure he’s safe before going to my own seat and turning on the car.

I start driving, not really knowing where I’m going, but hoping to find out once I’m a little ways down the road. All I know is that I need to find Rose and Max. They were one of the only things that were important to me anymore and I wasn’t going to let them slip away.

*(A/N)* If you liked that, please hit the star/ like button so I know to post more chapters!

The line that I used as the chapter title is from the song Water’s Edge by Seven Mary Three. 🙂

Also, I’m so sorry that I’ve been absent for quite a long time! I’ve been in kind of a writing slump, especially with this story, but I’m getting back into the swing of things so hopefully you’ll see me next week!

I post a new chapter every Friday so make sure to stay tuned for the next one! Thanks for reading!

I post reviews on Mondays, tags on Tuesdays, my favorite #1lineWed tweets on Wednesdays, chapters of Face All the Pain on Thursdays, Friday Prompts on Fridays, and Random Ramblings on Sundays. I’ll see you all later but until then, keep writing, loves.


Find my previous post here: Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon Book Review | Écrits du Coeur


Previous Chapters of Face All the Pain:

Intro and Summary into ‘Face All the Pain’ | Face All the Pain

Chapter 1: ‘An icy breath that escapes my lips’ | Face All the Pain

Chapter 2: ‘Fading in the distance’ | Face All the Pain


Read and vote for this story on Wattpad!: https://www.wattpad.com/287988080-face-all-the-pain-chapter-2-%27fading-in-the