I wanted a writing challenge to keep me inspired, but wasn't journaling or songs or characters because I've done most of those. I came across this random list of words in a google search, and I thought, why not use whatever the phrase is and build a little story around it? The catch is that I have to use my already established universe to do so. For a little insight on my story, you can check out my 30 Day Character Challenge which talks about the mom, or see my character debriefing here:

Either way, here is the list of words/phrases to use every day:

1. things we carry
2. an open door
3. faces in the street
4. mirror
5. this road
6. aftermath
7. very loud
8. shoes
9. nothing
10. anywhere in the world
11. stars
12. out of control
13. forgotten
14. home
15. witness
16. small things
17. early morning
18. warning
19. walk away
20. supermarket
21. everybody
22. things people say
23. wrong way
24. too many
25. remember
26. song
27. impatience
28. if
29. one hundred years
30. what I wrote

So, without further ado, I present to you day one.

Things We Carry

Jimmy's POV:

I was silent as I drove. It hadn't been the easiest day with all the demons that had been eating away at me. Hearing Peter and Mom fight like that shook me to my very core. Never, not one single time over one single thing had they ever disagreed. If they did, it was some sort of short lived hesitance that Peter easily convinced Mom of. They were so much the same person that I'd forgotten Peter was grown now and could have his own moral code. And where he was okay with aborting his baby, my mother was not.

My boyfriend Damien set his hand in mine. I exhaled with a bit more easiness. "Stressful day, huh?" He quietly spoke.

"Like you wouldn't believe." I squeezed. I think he could tell I wasn't so keen on talking about it.

I turned the corner, then up the hill and parked. We decided to come to makeout reef, the local mountaintop view for a myriad of teenage debauchery. Damien yawned. "I hope this is a good escape for a little while."

"I brought a little more escape than just this." I went into my flannel pocket and picked out a joint. Tucker had sold it to me earlier today, and of course rolled it since I didn't know what the hell I was doing. I lit up, taking a longer drag than I should have. I coughed a little.

"You rarely smoke." Damien took it as I passed it to him. "Something must be really up."

I felt myself bubbling over in anger. "I just don't fucking get why I have to be the one who carries all this shit, you know?"

Damien was nothing short of a saint. My yell didn't scare him. He sat up, unmoved. "I'm not really sure I do."

I bottled it all in. We were in such a happy honeymoon phase that I didn't bring these things up. As much as they haunted me, they were so long ago. There was nothing to do but shove the memories away. I accepted the joint he handed back, taking another drag. "Whenever something goes wrong, it's always me. I always have to see it and moderate it and act to stop it. It's a lot of pressure for tiny shoulders."

"Tiny shoulders? Do you want to talk about what happened?" He leaned in, putting on his best therapist voice.

"I don't know that it would do any good. Just bring up old ghosts." I took another hit.

"Maybe these old ghosts need to be put to rest."

I exhaled, putting the joint down. "Mom and Peter got into this huge fight over Peter's baby, and whether to keep it or not. And I was stuck in the middle of it, trying to stop it. It's fucking heartbreaking. They're best friends and something changed forever. It just brought up a lot of stuff for me. When I was 11 I walked into Peter cutting himself. When I was thirteen I walked into Brian with a noose around his neck. And at fifteen I saw Stella's boyfriend beating her. Seeing Mom and Peter fight today was a reminder of that fear that something is going wrong and my actions will determine how it plays out."

Damien sat in silence for a moment. "Jimmy, you do realize that what you've gone through is trauma, right? You should be going to therapy to solve this instead of just pushing it away."

I took his hand in mine and squeezed. "You have a point."

That's it for day one! See you tomorrow!