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Throw Back Thursday…..Ten Below Zero by Whitney Barbetti

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“I so desperately wanted to be his gravity, to hold him to this earth and keep him from leaving me”

“I want one sweet moment, one moment in my memory to hold on to when my soul leaves this earth”

“Everyone is going to die, Parker. You’re going to die, I’m going to die, we’re all going to die. And I want to leave this world with little dignity. I want to spend the rest of my life, no matter how much is left of it, doing what I want”

“Some of us have scars that aren’t meant to be seen”

“Are you in love with me yet?”

“I don’t need a thousand people to know I existed. I just want someone to know I lived.” 

“I couldn’t stop shaking my head. I didn’t want this. I didn’t want to draw people to me with my broken pieces. I wanted to be left alone among all those pieces, sitting in the middle of them so if people dared to come close, they’d cut themselves on all the pieces to get to me.” 

“In here,” he said, pushing on the skin above my heart, “you’re ten below zero. And you’re closer to death than I am.”

My name is Parker. My body is marked with scars from an attack I don’t remember. I don’t want to remember. I choose to live my life by observation, not through experience. While people are laughing and kissing and connecting, I’m in the corner. Watching them live. I’m indifferent to everything, everyone. The only emotion I feel with any kind of depth is annoyance, and I feel it often.

A text message sent to the wrong number proves to be my undoing.

His name is Everett, but I call him rude. He’s pushy, he’s arrogant, he crowds my personal space, and worst of all: he makes me feel.

He chooses to wear all black, all the time, as if he’s waiting to attend a funeral. Probably because he is.

Everett is dying. And he’s spending his final days living, truly living. In doing so, he’s forcing me to feel, to heal. To come face to face with the demons I suppressed in my memory.

He hurts me, he fulfills me, he completes me. And still, he’s dying. 

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