The World's Gone Quiet

All the thoughts in my head

Category: Short Story

Pray

He asked me how I’m doing, how’s school, what are my friends like. I answered every question with a smile and kept the topic on myself. I couldn’t ask him how he was doing, how he was feeling, how his day was going. I already knew the answers.

I hadn’t expected him to be so frail. He looked too small compared to his armchair. His body seemed to be slowly and painfully caving in on itself, it was hard to watch. It was hard to look away.

I noticed the way her eyes savored him, as though she was worried it would be the last time she would see him laughing… Or breathing. It very well could have been the last time. You never know.

I watched her as she struggled to stand up from the couch. She rocked back and forth four times before successfully pushing off. With her back curving towards the ground and eyes cast down, she made her way to him. She put her hand in his and I swear she was just a skeleton with a thin layer of skin covering her bones. How did I not notice her shrinking before?

She stood next to him and smiled for a picture because my mother feels the need to document every moment in life. Then, once the photos were done, she continued to stand next to him for awhile. I could see how difficult it was for her to stand up straight but she wasn’t ready to leave his side. How could she ever be ready? They’ve been together since they were 15. She would never be ready to let go. She spent her entire life with this man and now she has to watch him decay right before her very eyes.

I wanted to hug her and tell her that it would be alright. I wanted to tell her that they would be joined together for eternity in heaven, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I didn’t even believe it myself. I haven’t had faith in heaven since I was young.

However, in that moment, I bowed my head and prayed to a God that I didn’t even truly believe was there. I prayed that there was a place where they could join each other again. A better place than here. Somewhere where they could be young and healthy. There has to be a place where lovers can be free after death. I prayed to God that there was a heaven waiting for them.

-r.e.

 

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6 Word Tragedy

BANG! They won’t tease me anymore.

-r.e.

Ms. Q

Today I’m not posting a poem or a short story like I normally do because I was having a conversation with my dad that conjured up some pent-up emotions that I didn’t realize existed anymore. My dad and I were talking about my high school teachers and experiences. The most important part of high school for me was the plays and musicals that I performed in, acting kept me going. I started to talk about one of my high school directors who led the shows for two years, Ms. B. I didn’t get along with Ms. B, I don’t really know if anyone did. I had a problem with her because she would always talk about the kids in her acting classes like they were superior to the rest of us who only did the shows. I always found this particularly insulting because it wasn’t my fault I couldn’t take her acting classes in the first place, my honors schedule wouldn’t allow it. Another thing that bothered me was I didn’t doubt my acting skills, I am not cocky and I’m not an extremely confident person but I am confident in my acting capabilities. One day I sat down with her to tell her that the way she spoke to us, as though the kids in her acting classes were better, was insulting and hurtful. She looked me straight in the eye and said “Well, I’m sorry Rachel but it’s the truth. You will not compare to the kids in my acting classes. You can’t be as good as them.” I had never been so infuriated in my entire life. Her words stung and I still reflect on that conversation to this day.

Thankfully, the day came when Ms. B announced that she would be leaving us for another school and I didn’t shed a single tear. When school started back up, we had a new and young director who I will call “Ms. Q”. Ms. Q was spontaneous and cheerful, constantly lifting us up and encouraging us to be our best. In my senior year of high school, I got the role of my dreams, Lydia Lansing in Shakespeare in Hollywood. Lydia Lansing was a spunky, obnoxious actress who was trying to make it big. She was the comedic, leading-lady role I had always hoped for. While we were rehearsing in full costume during tech week, I noticed Ms. Q watching from the audience and snapping pictures of us on stage. I didn’t think anything of the pictures or wonder at all about what she was planning to do with them. Finally, the day of the first show arrived and I was beyond ecstatic and ready to perform. When we walked into the dressing room to get ready, there were little gift bags waiting for us at our tables. Inside of my gift bag was a magnet with a picture of me, as Lydia Lansing, decked out in a full-length, sparkly dress with the words “And though she be but little, she is fierce” printed on the picture. Ms. Q took the time out of tech week to take individual pictures of each member of the cast and tech crew. She made everyone magnets with their photo and an individualized Shakespeare quote that she believed resembled them the best. When I told my dad about all of this, I started to cry. This happened over a year ago and I can still get emotional about it today. Ms. Q gave me my confidence back after it had been severely damaged from two years with Ms. B.

I hope you took the time to read all of this because the message is very important. Show kindness to everyone, be encouraging and lift people up because you don’t know how badly they may need it. I know that I will meet plenty of amazing people in my life but no matter how many years pass or how many people come and go, I will always remember Ms. Q.

Love always,

Rachel Eroh

Show and Tell

I watch as cars fly by on the street below me and all I can think about is how much I wish I could drive away too. I don’t know where I would go but that’s not important. All I want to do is drive down an endless road, blast my music, and scream at the top of my lungs. A sigh escapes my lips as I daydream and rest my chin on my palm. Somewhere in my mind I hear my name being called, it grows louder until I realize it’s not in my head. My gaze snaps up to see my teacher staring straight down at me.

“Rachel, I asked if you are ready to present the contents of your bag,” her eyes pierce into mine.

“Yeah, I’m ready,” I quickly gather my paper bag off of the floor and rush up to the front of the class.

I face my peers and take a quick look around. They’ve been listening to the same presentation all period, which consists of everyone sharing the objects in their bag that describe who they are and what is most important to them. I’m last to go and I can tell no one cares to hear what I have to say. I take a deep breath and begin taking the contents out of my bag one by one, giving a little description of each. I show them pictures of my family and the shows I’ve been in. There’s concert tickets and photos with my closest friends. I take out my father’s necklace, my most precious item and gently put it on my neck. Then I look down to the last content in the bag. It’s a picture of the boy who stole my heart, looking so young and carefree as he smiles back up at me. I feel the familiar stab in my chest as I stare back at it.

I remember when I was trying to figure out what to put in my bag for this assignment. I had gone to my blue memory box that I keep under my bed that’s filled with pictures and random memorabilia. As I dug through the box and begun to fill my bag with items, I had come across all the pictures of the boy that I had recently taken off my wall. In a fury of tears, I had torn them off and shoved them into the box so they wouldn’t stare at me every morning anymore. Facing them again for the first time was not any easier. I had shuffled through the photos until I had found my favorite picture of him and threw it into my bag.

Now as my eyes start to glaze over with tears, my fingers tremble on the edges of the picture inside of my little brown bag. My mind wanders to all of our memories and a bitter taste fills my mouth as I recall the last time I spoke to him. I hear someone in the class clear their throat expectantly and I’m drawn back into reality to find everyone staring at me questioningly. I blink a few times and shut my bag.

“That’s everything you need to know about me,” I shrug and hurry back to my desk.

I shove my paper bag into my backpack and refuse to let myself look at the photo again. Instead I place my chin on my palm, stare out the window, and go back to wishing that I could be anywhere else but here.

-r.e.

Protect

I open my eyes to a bright room with warm colors and soft, inviting furniture. I stretch and notice the person lying next to me beneath the sheets. At first, all I see is a mess of light brown hair and I look closer to see a young, handsome face buried beneath. His face is tan and speckled with faint freckles across his nose. His lips are slightly parted as he exhales lightly, his cheek pressed against his pillow. He seems sweet and innocent. I’m sure any girl would be thrilled to take him home to her parents, but getting to know him is a risk I’m not willing to take. I slowly lift the sheets off of my body and search for my clothes that are scattered throughout the room. After I silently wiggle into my jeans I take one last look at the guy I’m leaving behind. I watch as his bare back rises and falls with each deep breath. My thoughts drift to the one question I always ask myself at moments like this, what if I stayed? I imagine myself crawling back into his bed and curling up with him until he wakes up. I picture him wrapping his arms around me and nuzzling his face into my neck. I could stay. Then I feel my body grow cold and rigid as I remember the last time I got my hopes up. My heart tightens at the memories that go through my mind without warning and without mercy. I shut my eyes and take a deep breath, trying to collect myself. Before my emotions can take over, I shake my head and walk out of the room, careful not to look back.

The sun brings me back to reality as I step outside and fish my keys out of my purse. My body begins to relax with each step I take. I unlock my car and slide into the seat. The leather burns my skin as I back out of the driveway and speed-off, the house disappearing in my rearview mirror.

“It’s better this way,” I reassure myself.

-r.e.