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Lakewood Times

“Radiant Lilac”

Cecelia sat in her room, processing everything that just happened. Her old lightbulb buzzing above her head in the creaky ceiling fan. Silence filled the room as she choked back tears. She was just shamed for being herself, expressing herself, loving herself. Phone in hands, she shakily texted her brother to rush home, that something happened and she needed her support there for her. She sat there just waiting for something to happen to prove what she just been through did not happen before her glossy eyes. But nothing came. 

It felt like years flew past as she sat in that room, waiting for her brother to arrive. Suddenly the door knob turns. Perking up, she looks over to only see her mother glaring back at her. She could only guess she came to make sure Cecelia didn’t try to run away through the dust stained window, or that worse happened. Silence still lurked at their feet, seeping through the cracked open door, leaking into the rest of the house. They just stared. No words were exchanged. No noises of forgiveness. No apologies. Just a dark, emotionless, empty glare given to each other, both different, both on different levels of understanding. The silence was then interrupted by the buzzing lightbulb above Cecelia. It was as if it were trying to initiate the conversation, to ask why the mother did what she did. 

“Blasted lightbulb is about to bust,” the mother chuckled awkwardly, “best we get that replaced.”


“No? Don’t you want it to stop buzzing so loudly?” stated the mother, going back to glaring at her child’s “rude” response. 

“I want you to go away please,” mumbled Cecelia, wishing for her brother to arrive. 

“Ugh, you are so rude Christopher,” blurted out her mother, “I bet you got it from that rebel brother of yours, he’s probably the one who gave you these fantasies anyways.” 

A door slam was followed by the harsh comment made by Cecelia’s mother. Cecelia was now just stuck in an internal spiral, shaking violently over her mother’s comment. The name, that name that wasn’t hers, was a hurricane in the midst of that peaceful mind of hers. Why would a mother so horrendously hurt her child in such a way. Cecelia could do nothing yet wait for the eye of hurricane Christopher in her mind, spacing out of the shredded diary of hers, a notebook labeled “secret file” with sci-fi aliens on it, laying on the floor as she awaited her brother’s arrival, occasionally glancing at the “Read at 9:02pm” message on her phone. 

After a few moments, Cecelia was was snapped out of her trance by her brother bursting through the door. He was sweating profusely, as if he ran there all the way from the convenient store he worked at two2 miles away. Drops rolling past the many facial piercings as he brushed his hand through the blue puff of hair on the top of his head, trying to keep it out of his face. Once he regained balance, he put his hands in the pockets of his black jeans, arms at the sides of his patch filled vest. 

“What happened? What did I miss?” wheezed her brother, trying to catch his breath. 

That’s when he saw her. Cecelia looked as if she’d been ripped to shreds. Her whimsical lilac hair cut short in a choppy manner as if a four year old took scissors to it, the long locks that were once there now scattered on the floor. Her dress once a lovely lavender color to match her hair now torn. Her facial expression that once held joy and innocence now strewn with gloom and the dark truths she just faced. It nearly made her brother sick. 

“Who did this to you?” he managed to choke up.

“Mom…” whispered Cece, shaking from all the bottled up emotions that wanted to just explode, “mom found out Noel.”

“How much does she know?”

“The diary, she read it.”

“She read your diary?!” 

“Ripped it up, and then called me into the room to yell at me. It ended with her telling me I’ll always be her little boy, and cut the hair I worked on growing out for a year. It’s all gone Noel, it’s all gone.” 

And suddenly, the light bulb burst. Noel looked at his distraught sister, seeing her as much as the light from the window would allow, lost for any words. How could he cheer her up from this travesty before them? This emotional damage from their parents that now scarred not only their children, but the entire family as a whole. To break the moment of brooding, Noel sat next to his sister and put an arm around her. They sat there as the sun set, letting darkness fill the room. Suddenly Cecelia rose from the bed, looking at Noel.

“Let’s go grab a new bulb,” she said through a smile.

“Heh, there’s my radiant lilac.”

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