Community Stories. Get Inspired, Get Underlined


By @sdifabio21

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

I close my eyes,

And her face is with me.

Laugh lines

Etched deep into her rosy cheeks.

Gold mine eyes

Glittering with the sparkles

Of a thousand different crystals.

I clutch my locket,

Feel the cold metal surrounded by my fingers,

And allow my pencil

To lead its way across the paper.

Dancing its own path

Until the sun goes down.

Muscle Memory

Moonlight streams

Through the weathered boards of Fort Samanna,

Giving me the light I don’t need

To draw the face I know so well.

It spills onto the figure

In the yard below,

Her feet moving in a perfect rhythm

As the soccer ball soars into the goal.


The girl retrieves it and begins again

Pounding the same path

Until the grass and dirt

Are blended together

In one muddled mess.

My sister

The one and only

Soccer Virtuoso.

A Reality Away From Reality

Time flies by

Unbeknownst to me

The only thing in the world

Is my pencil.

My thoughts

Are finally at bay.

My own perfect



Until it gets popped.

A Million Reasons

Her hands clamp onto my shoulders

Right as her feet leave the ground,

Catapulting herself up and over my hunched figure.

She lands in a perfect crouch

Like the sure footed star she is.

She straightens up

And her sagging bun slaps the back of her neck,

A feeble attempt to keep her wild blonde curls

Out of her million dollar sight.

Her eyes,

Sparkling with all the life mine have lost,

Focus on me with an exaggerated wink.

I clap my hand over my chest

And focus on my breathing,

Pointlessly trying to calm my frantic heart.

Over 15 years,

And every little antic still gets me everytime.


Taking no social cues as per usual,

Leans over to peer at my sketch.

I shake my head and pull it away,

But not before she steals a glance.

“Again, Sam?”

Her now disapproving eyes

Make my heart sink.

“It’s always her.

There’s a whole world out there to draw,

So why is it always her?”

A million answers

Run through my mind.

Because I miss her.

Because drawing her keeps her alive

Better than the coffin under the ground.

Because this helps me to remember her

And everything about her I vowed to never forget.

Because illuminating her

The way I will always view her,

Eases my guilt.


I don’t answer Anna,

Only shrug

And tell her she wouldn’t understand.

She insists she would,

But I know she’s wrong.

How could she

When she doesn’t feel

The stabbing, lurching pains

Reverberating through me every single second

Of every single day.

Slowly devouring me

From the inside out.

Starting with my heart,

That’s become too dark to follow.

Anna sighs deeply,

Like she always does when I close myself off.

When I act like the firefighters I used to idolize,

Distinguishing any sign of emotion.

She turns to leave,

But bends down before she does.

She cups my chin,

Forcing our eyes to meet.

The shutters in mine flicker,

But remain firmly closed.

“It wasn’t your fault.”

Anna whispers,

Slowly and clearly,

So I can’t miss a word.

I don’t say anything

As she turns on her heel and exits.

But once I hear her footsteps,

Climbing down the ladder

And into the house,

I whisper

As the tears begin to roll down my cheeks,

“But it was.”

5:45 AM, Monday Morning

Anna leaps out of bed

Before the first ring of the alarm clock has ended.

She throws open the curtains,

The light pouring onto me

Is so bright that my eyes clamp shut

And a groan of protest escapes my lips.

By the time I manage to drag myself out of bed,

Anna has already thrown on her favorite pair of joggers,

One of her many varsity soccer sweatshirts,

And her accurately deemed untamable curls

Are already escaping their ponytail prison.

As I stumble around the room,

Grumbling an incoherent mix of nonsense and obscenities,

Anna sticks her tongue out at me

And says, “I get the last muffin,”

Before sprinting downstairs.

I roll my eyes

And finally manage to make it outside

Just as the bus arrives.

Welcome to High School…

I slide into the ripped leather seats

Directly behind the bus driver,

Stupidly believing that it will stop anything,

And drown myself in the sweet world of music.

Anna passes me and sits in the last seat,

Surrounded by the jocks

That idolize her

And torture me.

I’ve learned to ignore

Both the names and the objects

Constantly thrown at me,

More common than snowstorms in New England.

So it doesn’t surprise me

That the second we begin to move

Papers start thumping against the back of my head.

I don’t dare turn around,

But I know if I did,

Anna’s sneers would match those of my tormentors.

… A Predictable Hell

I get off the bus and keep my head down,

Focused on the grass, then rocky pavement,

Then paint-splattered tile.

A weight immediately lifts off of my chest,

Without me even knowing it was there,

And suddenly I can breathe again.

For a short time,

I’m free once again.

I smile

And slump into the beanbag chair.

Everyone nods at me as they enter,

Not because we’re friends,

But because we have mutual respect

For fellow artists.

The teacher,

Miss Settle,

Greets us with a smile.

And we silently begin our separate projects.

The painters grab their paints,

The sculptors grab their clay,

While I grab my trusty charcoal pencil,

Close my eyes,

And lose myself in my memories of her once again.


Her happiness would always trigger mine.

Her chocolate chip cookies could cure any broken heart I ever had.

Her hugs would instantly calm my seemingly endless tears.

Just her presence

Filled in any aches in my body.

But now,

There’s nothing to stem my pain.


What I wouldn’t do

To be able to tell her






I am a cloud,

Merely drifting through my day,

Never connecting to anything

Or anyone.

What’s the point of getting attached?

If people will just leave,

And abandon me once more.

So I just drift



Like The SUn and THe Moon

The whole walk home from the bus stop

Is full of Anna’s chatter.


The captain of the football team

And the most popular guy in school

Fighting to be her prom date.


Her best friend being angry

That she’s stuck with

The baseball team leader

And not someone

Who plays a more important sport.


Trying to get out of the detention

She received from skipping first period

To hook up

With her arch enemy’s boyfriend behind the stairwell.

She expects me to listen

Then offer pity

For the oh so difficult life she lives.

But instead

I shake my head

And walk quicker.


It’s only once I walk away

That Anna snaps personalities.

She jogs up to me,

Puts her hand on my shoulder, squeezes, and says,

“Enough about me,

What about you, Sam?”

I shrug.

What does she think the answer will be?

That the tomato stain on my shirt made me laugh?

That the comments made by my own twin sister

Make my life worth living?


There are no words.

The disappointment

Written in every crevice

Of her face,

Triggers my tears.

I shouldn’t feel even an ounce of guilt

For being closed off,

Especially after how she treats me,

But somehow I still do.


Not even the screams of my heart,

The horrors of my mind,

Can drown out

Her broken voice.

“Why won’t you talk to me anymore?”

Like The Moon and The Stars

When we were little,

It was

Anna and Sam,

Sam and Anna,


We were mistaken for the same person,

The inseparable twins you hear about

In books and in studies.

With telepathy



The only difference,

Was our personalities.

Anna was always athletic,


I admired that she always followed her heart,

Did what was best for her,

Not for anyone else.

I was shy,

Obsessed with books and drawing.

I put others before me,

In every possible way.

I’ve never known how to take care of myself.

It’s always been Anna before me,

No matter what she did to me.

At least that hasn’t changed.

Unlike everything else.


I lock myself in our bedroom

And by the thumping

I’ve come to recognize

As the worn soccer ball

Beating against the back of the house,

Anna’s taking her anger at me

Out on the inflatable sphere.

While I release my sadness

By pressing slightly harder on my pencil

And getting angry at myself

Because her face is too dark.

Midnight Thoughts

The blankets are too hot

But the pure air is too cold.

I toss and turn

For what feels like an eternity

But is only a few hour.


I release the demons in my mind.

Letting them fly free

Going in whichever direction they please,

As they drag me around in their wake.

Midnight Discoveries

Just as I’m beginning to lose myself

In the mess of wings and feathers,

My fingers reach for my locket

And catch on a clasp

I never noticed before.

Hands shaking like I’ve just run a marathon,

I carefully undo the latch,

And a piece of paper falls into my hand.

I fumble around in the dark for the lamp,

And once the light hits the note,



Midnight Memories

We were fighting over something stupid,

Not even worth an argument,

Never mind what it turned into.

It ended with me

Red faced

Screaming into her face,

About how I never loved her

And how much of a failure she was.

She didn’t respond

Just left the room.

It was the last time I ever saw her.

Midnight Realizations

They said she was gone.

Committed suicide.

And that it was all my fault.

But it wasn’t.

Because she’s still alive.

The Note

My dearest Sam (and I’m sure Anna too),

I’ll only say one thing,

This is not your fault.

I just need a break.

A change of scenery.

I’ll wait for you,

If you want to join me,

At our spot

Everyday for three months.

If you don’t come,

I’ll move on without you.

If you do,

We’ll travel the country together.

It will be a much better education

Than any school could ever provide.

Either way I love you infinitely,



What happens after an earthquake?

Where your whole life is ripped apart

And thrown into the vast sea of unknown?

You find someone

And hold on tight.



Anna is beside me.

Taking the paper from my trembling hands.

She reads it

And wordlessly pulls me into a hug.

I normally avoid contact at all costs,

But I melt into her embrace.

Opposite Universes


Anna pulls away.

She looks me directly in the eyes,

And asks the question she already knows the answer to,

“Are you going to go?”

“Are you?”

I ask the real question,

The elephant in the room,

Or at least in my mind.

Anna barely thinks before her mouth opens,


My heart sinks,

And I begin to pick at a thread

On my sweatpants.

Because I already have my answer.

And it doesn’t match hers.

Times Changing

Anna’s always been the risk taker.

The one to take great leaps

Into the vast unknown.


Have always stuck to safety.


Whatever will give me a sense of security.

It’s funny

How we’ve suddenly switched places.


For the next week,

Anna’s scolding

Turns into threatening

Which finally morphs into begging.


She can’t live without me,

When she’s always acted

Like she can’t live with me.

One Reason

Come Saturday,

I find Anna clutching my packed backpack,

Sitting cross legged on my bed,

And begins ranting away.

“Why do you want to leave?

Dad takes care of us just fine!”

While a million reasons fly through my head,

There’s only one clear answer:

“Because it’s time I do what’s best for me.”

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