Chapter 3: How It Will Always Be

Melika was on Tumblr.

She hadn’t been dragged out to Terre. Melika was happy to be at the gallery. She was celebrating Sabine’s big night. Melika wanted to be present for Sabine, and she was… sort of.

Melika had been fine when Sabine was with her. A close friend was the only emotional support system Melika still needed to function in crowded, public spaces. She’d come so far since college. Her days of intense, total seclusion were mostly behind her.

Melika had been fine when Severin had stopped by and asked how she was doing. They always took a special interest in Melika when she came in to Terre with Sabine. Severin did have a habit of studying Melika intently and not apologizing for the stares. She could handle Severin’s looks though. Melika knew why they stared. Unlike most folks in the ‘Burgh, Severin couldn’t have cared less about Melika’s visible Adam’s apple. Her visions were of far more interest.

Yet, Melika still felt like she would rather cease to now be or have ever been than be left by herself at shows like this.

This is how it will always be.

Continue reading “Chapter 3: How It Will Always Be”

October 11th, 2008 – 1:00 AM

A couple of Todd’s coworkers were manning the late shift in Thibodeaux #3’s cramped lobby, checking student IDs and processing off-campus guest sign-ins. A tiny freshman girl was vomiting in a trashcan, near the line for the elevators. A friend held her hair back. The RAs working the desk all wore the same gold uniform and had the same “I’d rather be asleep or studying or out drinking or literally anywhere besides babysitting all these drunk assholes” look plastered on their faces.

The red-headed sophomore with the Introduction to Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Policing textbooks open in front of her was in charge of the ID swiping station. She did not smile when Todd approached.

“Enjoying your night off? Must be nice.”

She took Todd’s student ID and swiped it.

“It’s been wonderful.”

Todd flashed his most charming smile, but his peer still didn’t react. Todd’s face flushed with frustration. He hid the anger quickly, but Todd wasn’t fast enough to keep Melika from noticing his facade starting to crack. It was the first time she saw anything other than exactly what Todd wanted. It would not be the last.

Continue reading “October 11th, 2008 – 1:00 AM”

October 10th, 2008

Melika had her first undeniable prophecy the fall semester of her sophomore year at Hodges.

She had just started telling her closest friends that she was a woman. Melika was wearing makeup to queer bars. She was finding dresses and women’s formal wear that she felt comfortable in. Melika didn’t know if she’d ever be able to afford hormones or surgery, but she was going to exist as a woman and do so outside of the confines of her own head.

Melika had gone to Jardin earlier in the evening. She had heard the rumors about the club, and Melika wanted to explore those lustful impulses for herself. She craved that physical vulnerability and passion. As Melika prowled the dance floor, she received invitations to the multitudes of sexual congress. Queer women and femme-leaning genderqueers waved beckoning fingers and stole hungry glances, but, after an hour, Melika was sitting at the Rosebud, sipping a screwdriver, and trying not to cry.

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April 8th, 2010 – 12:05 AM

Orchid

Vol. 1: Overture

By Dawn Saas and Nic Frankenberry

Powered by the Apocalypse and the work of D. Vincent Baker

as well as

Urban Shadows by Andrew Medeiros and Mark Diaz Truman

Microscope by Ben Robbins


Content Warning: Drug Use, Gender Dysphoria, Implied Sexual Violence, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depictions of Severe Depression and Anxiety


Sabine knows.

Melika Ghazi’s hand shuddered as she took the joint from Sabine. Sabine couldn’t help but notice Melika’s shaky hands. Melika took a deep drag and coughed out a swirling pillow of white smoke.

The dissipating cloud was whisked away by a spring breeze that tore across the second floor balcony where Melika and Sabine leaned against the railing. Sabine Almeida’s cropped mop, a feathered hallucination of purples and pinks,  refused to budge. Melika’s shoulder-length black hair flew across her face.

The hair isn’t fooling anybody either.

Continue reading “April 8th, 2010 – 12:05 AM”