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Creative Corner

“Silence” by Jackie Branch

Silence… The night is the only closest thing to perfection in our broken world…

“Come on, it’s pitch dark out here. Get in,” Beth opens the window and quietly tells me. A flame sparks in my heart at her voice, telling me what to do while sober. I turn to look into her eyes, the bright amber-orange iris we share creating its own source of light, and her golden hair reflecting the dim glow from my bed lamp. Her pale skin absorbs the light, like how she absorbs my happiness. I stare at her, forming an entire 10-page essay on why I will never go back to sleeping inside with her around in my mind. I tighten my jaw, my teeth pressing against each other behind my lips. She exhales, nods and shuts the window. I turn back, and the night comforting me with a warm lick to my face, wiping away the tears.

Beth is my mom, but I refuse to call her that because ‘Mom’ is the name you give to the half who not only created you, but also understands and cares about you.

Someone who not only protects and believes in you, but also respects and trusts you.

Someone who supports, comforts and is proud of you.

Someone who loves you.

Beth has been one to “fall for old tricks, and never learn from them”. You know that saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me?” Well, she plays on the first part only, refusing to acknowledge that it’s also her fault when times turn south. Which they almost always do. I think about Dad, and Kell. I wish I could call them, and beg them to take me with them. But they can’t. Last thing I want is to see pushed-up daisies at their site.

Vvrrrrmm…. vrmmm

My phone vibrates in my back pocket, sending slight illumination. I pull it out to check a new message, from Reina. Hey, on the roof? Help me up. I smile at the words. Beth hates Reina, which is another reason why I love her. I report back that yes, I’m on the roof, and that I’m sending the rope down now. SEND.

I open the window and grab the long rope behind my nightstand. I pull on all of the knots that I made in it, and shut the window on the end (there’s about a foot or two of end, weighed down by books and rocks). I slowly let it down the edge. I keep going until I feel a tug at the bottom. Holding very tightly on the rope, I hold my breath and plant my feet firmly on the tiles. A beanie-covered head pops up, bathed in the silver moonlight. My grin grows as Reina climbs up. She’s wearing my favorites of her wardrobe: her black beanie covered in pins, black flannel over a dark-gray crop top with a design we made together, black leggings with constellations and black tennis shoes. The design is one we made together of a monster outlined white, with a long gilled neck, no eyes, and a long tongue. Its head is above water, being petted by someone in a small boat, with the words ‘Everyone deserves a little love’ in a small white font. As soon as she’s safely on the roof, I drop the rope and hug her.

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