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The doors shut before me, and I realize that for the first time, I’ll be missing a stranger.
Somehow, the neighborhood feels quieter than usual, igniting the necessity in me, of finding autumn leaves to crush beneath my feet. There were none.
“No, I didn’t—”
“YES YOU DID!” he kills my words, with assurance so frantic, his lips still try to catch up with his voice. Like when you watch a bad movie, where the sound never matches the actor’s lips, I tried to figure out if what came out of his was, in fact, the truth.
My digital crumbs have already drawn a line near our assigned destination, but I can care less. The pain in my head is killing me, with a bunch of questions I’m too afraid to answer. Not even the hangover made me feel this dizzy.
I closed my eyes and let the fog of that night clutter my mind. The pain caused by the sand sinking its way down into my fingernails was the first to settle in. Was I digging a hole I don’t remember digging?
“Now, take a deep breath,” says the nurse, in a clear soothing voice. Only chaos can
follow such words. As I take what’s supposed to be a deep, deep breath, a glimpse of the needle is enough to deflate my lungs at once. - Natalie
He’s so close to me, making my heart race out of my chest as I feel the warmth of his breath against my skin. Both of us now staring into each other’s eyes.
Her words are muted by the sudden weight on my shoulders. The same feeling I’ve
experienced my whole life. I search around the stampede of teenagers, and I find it quicker than I thought I would.
My palm slaps the side of my head, in response to the sudden buzzing in my ear. I wonder if God created flies to pull people out of paralyzing trances like these.
I smile at the handsome barista, wondering how many muscles it takes to open your eyes
when they weigh like fifty pounds each.
Even though I agree with him, I still want to rip his jawline apart. Maybe that’ll shut his darn mouth for once.
I start walking and just like a lamb afraid of falling, I stumble, taking me twice the time to put a foot in front of the other.
Then it hits me, with twice the strength it took that force to throw me and every other learner to the ground.
As I reached the surface, I waited for clips of my life to flash in front of me… but there were none. That’s when I heard the stillness of the water for the first time in my life. So peaceful… As my throat constricted, I saw nothing but pitch black, as my consciousness faded away like ashes into mid-air.