While I Cry

                                                                                                                                 ~

I know I love you

But, dear, when it comes to you

I’m never sure why.

~

Nor, it seems, are you.

But, dear, when it comes to that,

I’m too scared to push.

~

You love me, you say

But, dear, it scares me so much

Hearing what I need.

~

I try explaining

But, dear, when it’s said to you,

Words always fall short.

~

I take time to trust

But, dear, when it came to you,

I forgot briefly.

~

My voice stumbles, falls,

And, dear, I fear it happens,

You misunderstand.

~

Meant as confession,

You take offense, but that was

Not ever what I meant.

~

You are everything

I prayed for all those long years

When I had nothing.

~

You, my dear, all that

Never seemed possessable

But, dear, I was wrong.

~

I have told you this

But, dear, so have too many more.

I’m too weak to shout.

~

You first, you tell me.

Belief comes harder than trust

So I fear to call

~

In fear of the day

I rely to no reply

So please forgive me.

~

I want to share all

But I’m not half who you are –

I cannot lose you.

~

You’re leaving too soon

What will I do without you?

No one else loves me.

~

My sweet, sweet heart, love,

You’ve restored crushed hope, I thought

But now I wonder

~

Was it therapy

Or an anti-depressant?

I will find out soon.

~

I want to beg you

And elicit promises

But bondage breeds fight.

~

Repression always,

Now I see regression too.

Old cures come to mind.

~

It is a dark road

One I’ll make sure you won’t see

For whose good, can’t say.

~

Don’t fault my brusqueness

I use it like lavender

Or as reminders.

~

I want you to know

With absolute assuredness

That, dear, you are loved;

~

If even you take

A thing from me, from our years,

That it be just this.

~

You are loved, my dear.

You are my role model, dear.

You are beautiful.

Misunderstood

“You feel like home,” I smiled, head on his chest. “Like my bed after a party or a long vacation.”

“So basically, you have fun elsewhere, and come to me when you’re done?”

That wasn’t what I meant.

Trifecta’s prompt for the week:

Plenty of times over the past two and a half years, we’ve given you the beginning of a story and asked for you to complete it.  This time, we are giving you the end, and we are asking you to start it for us.  We want 33 words in addition to and preceding the following:

That wasn’t what I meant.

 

Held by Cement

Trifextra: Week 102

This week we’re asking for exactly 33 of your own words about love gone wrong.  But we’re asking that you not use any of the following words:

love
sad
tears
wept
heart
pain

 

I made you known; you helped me grow

We gave new hope; gave off a glow

Of shy beauty, resilience;

We attracted life and lens

Until, dear Wall, you crumbled

And I tumbled.

-Sunflower

The Conversation We May Never Have

Trifecta’s challenge for the week:

MANIPULATE (transitive verb)

1: to treat or operate with or as if with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner
2a : to manage or utilize skillfully
b : to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage
3: to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one’s purpose : to doctor
 
 

You lied when you signed it.

You had no intention of keeping your promises.

I went back, though.

Checked for a loophole.

There was none.

It wasn’t the words of the document you tried to manipulate –

It was the truth.

(And it worked.)

I loved you, you know. In my own way.

Sure you weren’t the wittiest kid on the block

And sure you weren’t the fullest of life.

But you were my friend.

Smiling,

Loyal,

Good.

Until you screwed everything up.

I lost more than what you took from me that day, you know.

I lost you too.

And you meant more to me than I will ever admit to myself.

Ever.

Because it’s easier to pretend that we never really hit it off

Than to admit that I liked having you around so much that it never seemed to matter.

But what’s done is done.

And all this…

Well, it’s my fault too

Because I have a hard time letting things go

And an ever harder time letting people go.

Sometimes when you smile at me in the street,

I am enraged by your audacity

But, more recently,

I just want to give in and hold you tight

And have you hold me tight.

But something tells me

(Or maybe someone did)

That that’s not healthy.

But I will say here,

In the privacy of a worldwide audience

Where you may never find me,

Where I don’t have to look into your eyes as I rage

And storm

And blame you

And then break down midsentence

Because of a rising sob threatening to choke me,

Here,

I will say this:

I loved you.

I would’ve protected you for the rest of my life

If you had only kept the one promise I needed from you,

The only promise you ever made me:

To keep us all together.

 

Ender’s Game: ’77 vs ’85

I was first introduced to the Ender’s Game series at age 11 through my school book club by a wonderful teacher. The version I read then was the revised edition, the one that made it to a book.

EG - 85

It was around this age that I started writing. I’d been working on a “book version” of a movie me and my friends were making, and I’d been working on it with real gusto. So, when I read in Card’s afterword in the book that he was so happy with the alterations to the original that he wished he had written the original that way…boy was I shocked. I hated editing. It felt like I was killing my child; or worse – being disloyal to it.

However, it was only recently that I had the good fortune to come across the very first edition of Ender’s Game – the one published as a short story/novelette in the August 1977 edition of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. And only then did it finally hit me what he meant. Turns out we owe almost as much to the editors and suggestion-givers as we owe to Card.

ANLGAUG77                                      EG '77 - ASFF - contents

As always, spoiler alert. If you haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, I’d hate to spoil such a classic book for you, so don’t read beyond this paragraph. If you came looking for advice on which version to read, I’d say go with the ’85 version. [The one you’ll find in bookstores.] The reason I say this is because, without giving anything away, this book owes a lot of its success to its dry wit and to-the-point dialogue [obviously other than the supremely engaging plotline, and the way key political, social and moral issues have been tackled. The first really intellectual book I ever read.] The ’85 version, having been superbly edited and expanded, has all that. Also, the ending is markedly different. And that’s all I’ll tell you Ender virgins.

For people who’ve read the ’85 version and not the ’77 one, I’ve mentioned a few key differences I noticed below. As you can see if you’ve read this far, I much prefer the ’85 version. If you thought otherwise, or have anything to contribute to this discussion, I’d love to hear from you, so drop a line in the comments section below!

Differences:

  1. Ender’s Game (’77) is about 31 pages, give or take, whereas Ender’s Game (’85) is about 204.
  2. The original (’77) Ender’s Game begins with the “the enemy’s gate is down” battle, thereby leaving out the whole Earth segment, and everything to do with Ender’s family.
  3. Apart from Bean, none of the other Jeesh members we know and love are there – a few are named, but they’re different names, and none are given a role.
  4. A lot of the key moments are more drawn out in EG ’77 – specifically the dialogue. Being less to the point, they lose a lot of their impact; more than you’d think.
  5. The story is terminated well before the ’85 version’s ending.The whole colonization arc is lost, and Graff and Anderson’s post-war job descriptions change.
  6. As the colonization part is left out, neither the Hive Queen nor the Hegemon is mentioned; nor, indeed, do those books even exist in the old version. Meaning  no opportunity for Ender’s redemption.

To conclude, reading the first version of Ender’s Game was a learning experience for me – it was like getting to see Card’s rough draft, like seeing Ender’s Game in the making. For me, reading EG ’77 was basically just a lesson in appreciating the final version. Although EG ’77 features the main elements and scenes of the A-plot of EG ’85, it feels very skeletal (which, in some ways, I guess it was.)

You know how they say that it’s hard to appreciate something you have, or that you never appreciate what you have until it’s gone? EG ’77 helped me see all the things that could’ve gone wrong, but didn’t, in EG ’85. It helped me pinpoint exactly why I love this book. For all of you who are curious, or whose appreciation for Ender’s Game may have been dulled or forgotten over the years, I definitely suggest a reading of EG ’77, followed by EG ’85. You’re welcome.

*N.B.: According to Wikipedia, Card revised Ender’s Game again in 1991 to account for major political events that happened post-1985 (for example, the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.)