No Love No Help

It was a gray day. The kind that just killed the spirit after a long ass winter. And it had been a long ass winter Bella had thought to herself. She was walking with Linus from uptown where he had tired to get help to no avail because Bella wouldn’t help him. She wouldn’t lie.

She had wanted to, but she just couldn’t open her mouth to say what she knew he wanted her to say. She had wanted to believe that maybe this would help bring him back to her, but a bigger part of her knew better.

She could tell by the way he was carrying his shoulders and walking slightly ahead of and not with her that he was angry with her about how it went down.

He started to speak, Bella’s brain rushed into overdrive thinking that this could be finally that long over due conversation that she had been waiting months for.

Bella tried to reason with him and use this moment to say some of the things she had wanted to say.

Linus had cut her off before she could barely get another word out.


It had been the middle of the day in the middle of a busy street. There were cars and people. Witnesses.

She sighed long and hard. Waited for him to continue walking in front her so she could cry in peace, quietly without him seemingly exasperated by her.

They both knew she would help eventually.

She died a little inside with that thought burning away at her already tired soul.

And with it, burned away another string in the disentanglement of Bella and Linus.

The Wall

It wasn’t that she didn’t clean, it wasn’t that she couldn’t clean. Normally she had a pristine and tidy home. Those feelings though…

She knew what they were, even if she could not say them out loud to explain. Gods knew she wanted to. But that fucking wall. She COULD have a pristine home right now. So many things logical and illogical stood in her way

It was his house and she had a hard time doing things that benefitted him these days.

The fact that having a pristine house right now would mean losing precious sleep to achieve that level and maintaining it. She needed that sleep to help regulate her the best it could.

Mostly, it was that godforsaken wall. Made of despair and self doubt. Fit with all the mouths whispering the bitter truths of her short comings, her failures. Whispering of the things she could never be… never aspire to.

That wall built on sorrow and desperation, decorated with may mouths. All hers. That wall had seemingly grown during this particular time in her life.

It had never seemed so big and Bella had never felt so small

With daunting realness, another string melted away in the disentanglement of Bella and Linus

Lights Lit with Gasoline

She sat there listing all the ways she could validate her feelings. Nose had even confirmed that Bella was right to feel that way. So why did she think maybe she was the problem? She quickly scrapped that notion. Dwelling would not fix this relationship.

Bella began listing in her mind all the ways she could improve. Every once in a while her mind would wander away and she would imagine him coming to realize the mistake he had made, which would then trigger her to see how her feeling this shitty and unable to voice it to him in a way he might believe her this time.

Bella gave her head a shake. No! she needed to focus on the current problem. Her. She needed to fix herself to fix this. If she changed herself to fit his mold this would be better. It was not hard, so why couldn’t she just do it?

And just like that another string burned away in the disentanglement of Bella and Linus


Here she ended this last decade where it began. Lost, alone, feeling like she had wasted precious time she would never get back. On something that never really wanted to waste time on her.

She was shown again that she is easily discarded, even when she holds something valuable. It’s not enough to give her value.

She never thought someone could make her feel so small.

Yet, here she was. It was largely her fault. She needed to stop living her life with the “lets just see what happens” attitude. Even thought admittedly it had mostly led to some great memories, this time she had lost herself in the journey trying to please someone who could not, who would not let themselves be pleased. At least not by her.

But boy had he fooled her this time. He started out so normal. so nice. Patients and understanding mixed in with severe conviction all in one package. This probably should have been a red flag. One she chose to ignore.

Much to her detriment it was not the only one. The signs only seen after the disaster seemed so clear now. At the time when she was completely submerged in it, she had genuinely thought she was the problem.

She sat there looking at the crumbled pile that was her life. Took a long breathe and started to pick up the pieces of her life.

As she picked up the pieces, one of them broke another string in the disentanglement of Bella and Linus

All Smoke, No Mirrors

He pops in and out, random moments when she least expects. almost like the memory of a deceased loved one. He’s not dead though, just gone. he can be seen sometimes, under the bright lights of a punk rock club or in the warm dark of the boundary. moments of “what could have been” or “what if”. the timeline of their journey together plays in her mind. For a quick second their is insurmountable joy before the crushing sadness of reality. She can still remember exactly what his house looked like.

in that last unknown moment she had jokingly hid a bottle of maple syrup. She never got to tell him she did it and often wonders when he found and if he thought of her when he did. did he smile? she hoped so.

then… it would be gone. the whole memory, until the next time it would play. in that exact sequence, with those exasct feelings. like the slow kiddie rollecoaster that whilefun, as an still didn’t quite go fast enough to make you feel those butterflies in your stomach.

yet still fast enough to cut another string in the disentanglement of Bella and Linus

Love and Punk Rock

It was probably the most fun that Bella had had in a very long time. Standing in that shitty dank basement club listening to a punk band she would never remember. Not because they were terrible or hurt her ears through the crappy sound system. Because the Toymaker was there. To him, she was the only other in that bar.

In a few hours they would be having drunken laughs over pancakes, but right now, she was soaking up every minute of this. All of this felt so surreal. She was out doing something she enjoyed, with someone she enjoyed and they seemed to genuinely enjoy her too.

She looked at the Toymaker and he smiled that coy smile, she felt her world shift a little bit. In a good way for once. Her skin felt alight with this tingle that was unknown to her. It felt weightless, every inch of her skin was on fire with this tingling. It was, dare she say… Joy? Yes? Elation? Perhaps contentment?

Whatever it was, it felt warm and positive and she was almost certain that she was glowing from it.

Glowing so brightly that had burnt away another string in the disentanglement of Bella and Linus

21 Days Til the Sun Died

She carried The Suicide book with her everywhere. That little purple burden. It was both heavy and light. The place where the darkest and saddest parts of her rested. Bella did not particularly want to carry it with her wherever she went. There was the fear of a glance unnoticed over her shoulder, or the terrifying thought that she would set it down to forget it where it lay. It was similar feelings that caused her to bring it with her. God forbid that Nose came across it. Though he may not mean to be intrusive, she thought he may read it out of concern as he knew her best at this moment.

She felt for the book in her bag, more out of habit and silly, unnecessary worry that a book she knew was there wasn’t. She could feel the leather cover, the way the design of leaves and vine were embossed into the cover. It was there. So she sat down and picked up her pen.

She felt away another string in the disentanglement of Bella and Linus

Come and Go

One day long ago she watched her heart walk away under a trilby hat.

Bella didn’t know that when he walked away. She didn’t know that was the last hug, the last kiss, the Last picture to be taken.

The last laugh.

The last time she would hear his voice.

Somedays she was not sure who left who. Those are the happier days. On the days where the sun hides behind the clouds, or near certain dates she felt more she left him. Bella ghosted away and hoped that the feeling would fade and with time the memory would become more of just that. A memory, dulled with time.

It still feels new, she can remember it like it happened last week. It’s always fresh and too new and every time if she dare to seek it, she can find where there is a spot empty in her soul. The piece that she gave Mr Trilby, the toymaker, that he kept.

It’s a different kind of empty. Bella knows she will never be whole and nothing will ever fill that space. She may well be forever incomplete.

And also, with him taken, another string in the disentanglement of Bella and Linus


Somethings Are Better said with the lights out

There’s something to be said about the battles Bella had fought. The years spent in humbling realness doing all she could to keep herself from starvation and homelessness. There’s something to be said about the people who stood by and watched it happen. But she wasn’t about to say anything, she did the “adult” thing, she cut them out accordingly. Using whichever method got the job done best for that particular situation. Some were easy some were tough. Sometimes time did the job for her, others, she had to say those cutting but true things,

Bella had worked hard to survive so she had to ask herself, “How the fuck did I end up here… again?”

This thought made her ponder dark thoughts. Was she the problem? Well yes, to some extent. Was she the reason for the misery around her? Again, a little perhaps.

She sat there staring blankly as her mind, somewhere else, put the pieces together. Everyone around her over time seemed to get over her, feel a strong desire to be free of her. She felt like a heavy burden. She sat there, she thought more on how she could fix this mess she found herself. She could only come up with one not so clean, but at least tidy solution.

There’s something to be said in regaining control of one’s life, no matter how dark or permanent.

With that comforting notion, she wrote another letter. The ink from her pen wrote away yet another string in the disentaglement of Bella and Linus


Until It Wasn’t

She wanted to save him. Not like how other girls mean it. Bella wasn’t aiming to be the girl who changed him and then cried when he broke her heart. She wanted to show him he was more than his wallet or his connections. That he wasn’t dispensable and that someone could and did love him for who he was.

Bella saw him in his most real form. Sure he presented as happy and he wanted everyone to think that. But she could see the sadness in his eyes, the loneliness. He was just waiting for the day she didn’t answer her phone or stood him up.

That was never in the cards.

She loved him from the moment he sat down beside her and said hello. He loved her too. His eyes lit up when he saw Bella.

When they were together they were the closest thing to who they really were that they could be. Relaxed and no one else in the world mattered. It made no difference the story exchanged or the shitty pasts.

For a time it was the truest, most tangible piece of anything Bella had had in a very long time. It was wonderful. Until it wasn’t, of course.

The fool. Full colorful deck, major arcana. The old tarot card, vintage hand drawn engraved illustration with mystic symbols. Man in costume of harlequin jumping through abyss. Joker and cat.

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