Timelapse (a Rapunzel reworking)

Submitted into Contest #84 in response to: Write a story that spans exactly a year and takes place in a single room.... view prompt

1196 comments

Sad Fantasy Inspirational


Day 6274 + 0


You pace the length of the room, over and over and over. The same ten feet you’ve crossed a million times. Your shaggy lavender rug, with yellow flowers woven in, is tattered and torn from a century of weight.

Up, down, up, down. Feet hitting the floor.

There’s nowhere else to go.

Over and over and over.



Day 6274 + 29


Your room is your haven. One big box of space, with a bed pushed into a corner, a desk in another. The walls are painted baby blue, like an ocean dialed down.

It’s supposed to make you feel calm.




Day 6274 + 56


The books you’ve read have glorified ADHD. Sometimes it's a tool. Other times it’s just a pain. It’s always a small character trait, though. Like the author casually sprinkled in the crane that wrecks a life.

One, two, three. Crushed flowers.

You can never stop moving. Stop thinking. Stop tapping. Your mind is never the calm ocean, just a collage of videos. It’s overpowering.

And annoying.

And when you’re stuck in a single room for years, your sanity’s downfall.




Day 6274 + 64


Sometimes you can only express yourself through abstract nonsense, in a way visual arts just can’t measure up to.

So you turn to poetry.

You love haiku especially, how the 17-or-under syllables can carry oceans of meaning. The best part is they don’t even have to make sense.

They’re like little snapshots of time.





Day 6274 + 65


piece by piece, broken

rainbows crumbling to the ground

the songbird’s last cry





Day 6274 + 83


There’s nothing to do in this room. 

You don’t want to touch your blue walls with your paintbrush, so instead you watercolor in your sketchbook. Always concentric circles. Rings inside of rings inside of rings, dipping the paintbrush in and out of the water. The colors melt into each other, a beautiful embrace.

It’s like you harnessed a rainbow. A ribbon of vibrancy, tied to the page. But the sun can’t stay out without a cloud passing by, and you never finish a book without being sad it’s over, and your colors come at a cost. The water gets murky. Dried up sunshine. So you empty it out the window and refill.

It’s a long way down from your window. Up in a crooked tower, the view would be stunning if not for the endless trees. Sunshine blooms in the aquamarine skies, but the grass below you can’t flourish while being dumped with gray water daily.

They shrivel.

You shrug.

Nothing comes without a cost, and you’ve paid too much already.




Day 6274 + 90


The highlight of your life is your mother. While you’re in your room, she’s collecting tales to tell you when she returns.

Your mother is your rose, your rainbow, your dancing sun. She tells you everyone you need to know about the world, while keeping you safe in your tower.

Mother knows best.




Day 6274 + 121


beauty abandoned

soft petals against cement

a discarded rose


She brought you a rose today.

It’s so pretty, vivid petals hugging each other.

She said she found it tossed on the side of the road.





Day 6274 + 138


Your hair is like your anchor. It’s always there, five pounds of gold locks twisted into a braid. It has the same comfort as a weighted blanket.

Other times, you wish you could throw your hair away. Thrust a fist through the window, slash a piece of glass around your scalp. Toss your prize out the window for the squirrels to nestle in.

But you never touch your hair, for it’s the pride of your your mother.

Twice a month, she’ll help you with your golden monstrosity. You’ll sit by the window as the sky grows dark, pale clouds dotting the iris dusk. She’ll take out your braid and brush it until it’s smooth. You sing while you watch the birds swoop, sweet lyrics embedded in your head.

You barely register the words any more, having sung it so many times.




Day 6274 + 159


The walls are closing in.

You feel trapped, you feel lost, you feel forgotten.

There’s nowhere to go.

Nowhere to run.

Nowhere other than this flowered carpet, the blue walls, the piles of sketchbooks and novels. 

You’re practically wasting away.




Day 6274 + 167


You want so much. 

You want to feel the green grass tickling your feet. 

You want to run a finger down the cold cobblestone of the tower’s exterior.

You want to laugh and run, fighting against the warm wind as the sun waves goodbye.

You want to see, you want to hear, you want to smile so much your face hurts.

When you tell this to your mother, she just shushes you. “Don’t be greedy,” she tuts. 


She’s right.

You have everything you need.

Food, a bed, activities for creating. A loving mother.

You don’t need the world when you have this room and it’s contents.

You don’t deserve the world.




Day 6274 + 200


But what if you want the world?




Day 6274 + 201


You’re tired of wishing on the stars.

Every night, you walk to the windowsill, dressed in a white nightgown, your hair coiled around your neck like a scarf. You pull open the windows and lean against the windowsill, closing your eyes. Letting the cool night air brush against your face.

Deep breath.

Deep breath.

It’s the only thing you like about this tower—how it feels at night. The ink-covered world is laid out beneath you, the stars glimmering in the coal sky.




Day 6274 + 202


Some people blow kisses.

You blow wishes.

Whispering all of your crinkled dreams, hoping they’ll spiral on the wind.

You don’t believe in magic.

But maybe, just maybe, the stars will hear.




Day 6274 + 232


ink-drenched canvas 

dotted with twinkling amber 

wish upon a star




Day 6274 + 249


You feel suffocated.




Day 6274 + 250


You feel forgotten.




Day 6274 + 251


You feel trapped.




Day 6274 + 252


Like a bird with tied wings, you want to leave, to fly, to dream, but instead you’re helplessly rooted to the ground.




Day 6274 + 260


You’re sick.

Of this room.

Of these books.

Of the filled sketchbooks.

Of watching time tick by, but nothing new changes.

You realize that if you timelapsed your nearly-17-years-of-life, it would look like it was looped.

Same routine.

Same activities.

Day after day after day.




Day 6274 + 323


The days blur.

And they blend.

And weeks pass - 


Gone.




Day 6274 + 330


You don’t like long poetry as much (but you know there’s value in it too), but today you wrote something called “lost”.




Day 6274 + 331


You wanted to show your mother, but you held back.




Day 6274 + 332


What if she doesn’t like it? 

It’s kind of weird.




Day 6274 + 335


lost in a haze

        black and white

blurred in a d a z e

        blinding light

world crumbling to

f i n e onyx dust,

lost in another world 

        of lilac thoughts

              and opalescent dreams 

other-worldly 

      memo r i e s

tossing and turning

piecing together 

broken r 

            e

          a l i

              t

            y

lost in a world of cotton

        counting sheep

              collecting lost marbles 

confused 

afraid 

              mystical shades

swirling and

        spinning and

              twirling and

                      vanishing and

                          whirling and

        g o n e

wondering 

waiting

eyes flutter shut

other realms broadcasted 

behind your e y e l i d s

the cracked boundaries 

        of what was real

smudged on the 

        edges of  

              slumber




Day 6274 + 349


You’ve decided to leave.

No more hair ropes.

No more pretty pink smiles.

You want to claim back your life.




Day 6274 + 360


But it’s hard to find the strength you need to do some things.

After all, this room is your haven.

Do you really, truly want to go?

What about your mother?

She’d never let you leave.


But she can’t control you.

But.

You’ve used that word countless times without doing it justice.

“But” is a word that says it isn’t the end of the story.

“But” is voicing your opinions.

Voicing isn’t enough.

The next step is action.

You can’t use “but” if you’re not going to do something about a problem.


And you’ve decided that this feeling of hopelessness hanging over your head qualifies.




Day 6274 + 365


Another year has passed already for the tied down bird.

Yet you think should completely discard that analogy because luckily, you’re not a bird, and you have opposable thumbs that work just fine when it comes to escapes.


It’s your birthday, actually.

17.

Which means you’re 17 years overdue for...a lot.




Day 6274 + 365


Once upon a time

You wished on dandelions 

Laughing in the strawberry sunlight 

As you danced on faerie tiptoes 

You twirled 

Vision blurred 

Memories swirled 

Until your worried melted away


Now, you’re trying to get up

But you’re lying in the dust

You want to take a stand 

Yet no one lends a hand 

You’re falling 

And drowning 

And hoping 

And dreaming 

And broken, so, so broken 

There’s no happily ever after for every story


~ Serenity Azzlyn




Day 6274 + 365


You’ve been repeating that quote to myself since the beginning of your memories. It’s a clip of a larger spoken word poem, and for years, you agreed with the poetess. Her words became your anthem in the tower, the reasoning you turned to every time you got too ahead of myself. You melted into the acceptance that your didn’t need to leave, your were perfectly fine here, and that happily ever after was just a mirage on the horizon.


But now, as you get ready to leave, you think that that reasoning should pack its bags too.

Because if you keep chasing after that happy ending, then maybe, just maybe, you’ll reach it.

March 06, 2021 20:58

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1196 comments

Meera Lakshmi
00:38 Mar 24, 2021

Hey, so many people are getting downvoted...inculding me.... I am so sadddd.. I lost 100 points today..it hit hard

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00:39 Mar 24, 2021

Yea...my friends have lost thousands and I’ve lost like 5,000 KP today alone. Yikes, I’m so sorry! Being downvoted for the first time really sucks. Do you wanna do an upvote-for-upvote? If you spam replies to this I’ll upvote em’ all 🥺

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Meera Lakshmi
00:41 Mar 24, 2021

Sure. I dont understand. It seems like the more you gain the more you lose. I only started loosing points when I started speaking up against downvoting and I started upvoting a lot.

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01:02 Mar 24, 2021

Yeah... I know this is random, but kinda feel like I caused downvoting to some extent. Not that I was downvoting people, because I would never do that, but I mean...I got on Reedsy in like July 2020. Everything was perfectly normal and peaceful. But when I advanced on the leaderboard with super few stories, I started being downvoted. And, like, this was the first instance of this ever happening. And I was the only one. So I lost a ton of points, but my friends helped me, then they were downvoted, but since Reeders are too nice for that, oth...

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Meera Lakshmi
01:07 Mar 24, 2021

Aerin. Who cares if you advanced on a few stories? How did you get on the leaderboard someone might ask? It's because people liked your stories because you are an amazing author! When people downvote it's because they don't feel good about themselves. I don't care if this comment downvotes me anymore. I consider you my FRIEND. And NO ONE, I MEAN NO ONE, messes with my friends. I can take the hit. Yes, it's sad, but you know what? I have amazing friends here who support me no matter what. So don't blame this on yourself. I certainly don't. So...

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Meera Lakshmi
00:42 Mar 24, 2021

I am sad

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Meera Lakshmi
00:42 Mar 24, 2021

I am sad

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CMON MISSY GET ON WITH THE SPAM!

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19:15 Mar 22, 2021

OKIIIII THANK YOU AGAINNNN!!!!!!!!!

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19:16 Mar 22, 2021

Again, I don’t really know how much you want?? So nevermind ima spam this message one more time and you can choose how many of my comments you want to upvote <3 Tyyyyy 🥺💖

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19:15 Mar 22, 2021

OKIIIII THANK YOU AGAINNNN!!!!!!!!!

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Veda Vivek💎
23:02 Mar 18, 2021

wonderful story, i love the way you write!

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01:54 Mar 19, 2021

Thank you!!

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Keya M.
16:45 Mar 17, 2021

Happy b-day Aerin! Wishing u the best! Lots of love, K

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21:04 Mar 17, 2021

Thank you!!!

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Keya M.
22:51 Mar 17, 2021

❤❤❤

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Malini S.
14:11 Mar 17, 2021

Happy birthday Aerin :)) I hope you have a wonderful day

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21:05 Mar 17, 2021

Thank you so much! XD

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Kate Reynolds
12:03 Mar 17, 2021

HAPPYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY BIRTHDAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY AERINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *CONFETTI* *CONFETTI*

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21:06 Mar 17, 2021

THAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANK YOUUUUUUUUU KAAAATE!!!!!!!!

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Kate Reynolds
01:05 Mar 18, 2021

OFCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did you do anything fun?

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00:06 Mar 17, 2021

HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY AERIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I am putting this now in case I forget tomorrow but I know I will not forget but I'm putting it anyways if you don't see it tomorrow) 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

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01:20 Mar 17, 2021

THANK YOU AMETHYST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😭😭😭💖💖💖💖💖💖💖

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02:01 Mar 17, 2021

:DDDDD NP :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD I'll do it again tomorrow because saying happy birthday ON THE ACTUAL BIRTHDAY is better than only an early one or both >:)

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WHOOT WHOOT! Emoji puzzle 4: Home school is boring

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23:47 Mar 09, 2021

YUPPP And I have a whole heap of it rn...😭 Let’s playyy...HOW MUCH HOMEWORK DOES AERIN HAVE?: - 10 loooong math problems (like easily 3-5 minutes each because it’s tHaT kinda math) - A weird PE assignment that I didn’t know existed and was already due (so I got a zero, ugh, but once I turn it in stuff with *hopefully* be fine) - A bunch of slides in this History thingy - I have to read and log my reading, but that smol - OH, RIGHT, I ALSO HAVE TO DO A SCIENCE THINGAMAJIG. XD

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Aww, I feel so bad for you :( I procrastinate all the time

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00:29 Mar 10, 2021

Lol shanks :3 Sameeee

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WHOOT WHOOT! Emoji puzzle 1: Dear Evan Hansen

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02:53 Mar 13, 2021

I forgot to reply to this but YAAAS

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Heyaaa! I'm writing a new story(s) and I was wondering if you'd like to be in it! If you want to be in it, please fill the thingy out below: Name: Gender: Sexuality: Normal Clothing: Personality (please describe well): Eye Color: Hair Color: Skin Color: Power(s) (might be included: (P.S. WHOOOOO! GOING ((hybridly) BACK TO SCHOOL! WHOOT WHOOT!)

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00:29 Mar 10, 2021

Hiiii! Aww, I’d love to be in it!!!!!! Name: Uhm...Aerin lol (I know when putting together a character is at lest somewhat fictionalized, but ima keep my name XD) Gender: female Sexuality: idk? Ooh, let’s make her lesbian! Normal clothing: somewhat darker race shirts (or regular T-shirts), colorful leggings. And black hoodies. I loooove black hoodies >:3 Personality: Basically me? But like better hehe. Sassy/funny, bright and bubbly BUT CAN BE super grumpy because she’s not a huge fan of real people, stubborn, crazy, and let’s make her sup...

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Alr! Thanks! Here's the list of people that are going to be in it. I'd like for you to pick one person (if you'd like) to be your best friend. Luna, Sapphire, Carolina Shaw, Celeste, B.W, Mania. (Luna and Sapphire are sisters.) (Celeste is the head of the group because she was the first one in the bunker ((also because her personality is bossy.))

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02:45 Mar 11, 2021

Ooh, can I be Saph’s fictional best friend? Hehe

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How about You, Saph, and B.W? Does that work for you?

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01:24 Mar 12, 2021

Sure! Thx!

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22:54 Mar 23, 2021

AERIN SAPH WAS DOWNVOTED TO 2000 HELPPPPP

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00:35 Mar 24, 2021

OH NOOOOO I’LL UPVOTE HERRRR SMDOAMOAJAJSDJ...it’s sad there’s so many people to upvote 😭😭😭

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01:06 Mar 24, 2021

asdkjfhasidfhaisdfhpiawe prAHGPUAOSDHGASD yeah .... :<

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Meera Lakshmi
13:17 Mar 22, 2021

Hey. I saw that the downvoters struck. That's why I upvoted a ton. Would you mind upvoting me? Thanks, Aerin. :)

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14:58 Mar 22, 2021

Aww thank you so much! Of course <3

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Meera Lakshmi
15:13 Mar 22, 2021

OMG Thanks! You got me to 432 eek!

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15:25 Mar 22, 2021

My pleasureee!

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Meera Lakshmi
15:26 Mar 22, 2021

I put a notice in my bio for people to upvote mira, Annabelle, sapphire, blixxi and you

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15:49 Mar 22, 2021

Aw thank you! But I don’t really need upvoting as much, I’m pretty used to be downvoted by now lol

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Keya M.
03:11 Mar 22, 2021

Just upvoted you 130+ points Aerin to get you back your KPs. You deserve it. And whoever the downvoter is is so pathetic!! :( Not cool. Don't worry. I got u ;)

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15:05 Mar 22, 2021

Thank you!!!!! Yeaaa...as I was just telling someone, the downvoter is not only annoying, but they also hide and are freaking anonymous 😒 Lol. Tyyyy! UNO REVERSE CARDD

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Keya M.
16:24 Mar 22, 2021

Of course! Anytime.

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Keya M.
00:50 Mar 21, 2021

Wow, congrats on 31000 points Aerin! You are such an inspiration to me, and an incredible writer, and Reedsy is so lucky to have you a part of it ❤️👍

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14:52 Mar 21, 2021

Aw, thank you SO much!!!!!!! 💛

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Keya M.
15:07 Mar 21, 2021

Of course! You’re so talented, I’m so happy to know you 😄❤️

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Know what I like? A lot of your comments are upvoted to 40 :)

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22:29 Mar 18, 2021

Ascmxksmxm and it’s absolutely crazy, thank you [to everyone] <3

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18:05 Mar 17, 2021

Hey Aerin!! Happy Birthdayy I remembered from last year haha! I hope this year treats you amazinglyy

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21:03 Mar 17, 2021

Thank youuuuu Ugochi!! You toooooooo!

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Amany Sayed
11:48 Mar 17, 2021

Happy Birthdayyyy!

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21:07 Mar 17, 2021

Thank you!!!!!

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Niveeidha Palani
02:03 Mar 17, 2021

Happy Birthday, Aerin. Wishing you loads of joy, and bubbly character. 😘🎈✨🎁 (PS - Apologies, if the time zone is wrong. If I'm correct, it's ten pm, 16th March?)

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21:08 Mar 17, 2021

Thank you, Niveeidha!!!!!!!

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Niveeidha Palani
04:28 Mar 18, 2021

No problem. :)

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Valerie June
01:04 Mar 17, 2021

Thank you so much for writing this. Another writer on this website (Philip) recommended me to read this, and I'm so glad that I did. When you write from the heart, it will almost always touch readers hearts' (which you certainly did to mine.) The short sentences, the poetry, the description; this was truly a work of art Aerin. This is my first time reading one of your stories (and no matter how much you tell that that you didn't like this story) I thought it was beautiful. The nature references and similes you used for this story fit so p...

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01:28 Mar 17, 2021

Oh my gosh, thank you SO much for all of the feedback! I always incredibly appreciate such kind, thought-out comments; it means a lot 🥺 Ooh! I’m happy to explain. If you piece together all of the underlined words (there’s only a handful because I didn’t want the result to take TOO long to put together), you get a message, sort of another poetic line related to the story. Thank youuu 💛 My pleasure, I’m so happy you liked it! So true...when I did the math, 8% of my entire life has been in lockdown, which is insane. I can’t wait until life ca...

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Valerie June
05:08 Mar 17, 2021

I totally get it, life in lockdown has been awful, but I'm so glad that my family and I have been very healthy *knocks on wood.* If I can stay home and save someone from dying from this awful disease, my boredom is worth it. Also, happy early birthday! I look forward to reading more of your stories. :D

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Valerie June
20:57 Mar 17, 2021

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AERIN!!!

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20:59 Mar 17, 2021

THANK YOU!!!!!!

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Keya M.
14:20 Mar 16, 2021

Congrats on 1st place Aerin! So happy for u!

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22:34 Mar 16, 2021

Thank you so much!!! <333

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Keya M.
22:44 Mar 16, 2021

What's up? (besides that of course ;)

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01:14 Mar 17, 2021

Nothing much. I have to go to bed soon but for now I’m just chillin’ in bed, watching YouTube, getting ready for tomorrow (I have 2 days of hybrid school a week, and tomorrow is my second one of them). Thanks! Wbu?

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Keya M.
03:37 Mar 17, 2021

just getting thru life in oversized tees and sweatpants lol. i mainly plan on reading and practicing on Duolingo for the next week.

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