A short story BY SHYLA WICKHAM
Grade 8, NCSS
“I’m so sorry” he choked out, his words thin as ice. The nothingness that surrounded his mind was heavy and was slowly corrupting the entirety of his body. The words ghosted her cheeks, haunting her. It was the first time she understood what he was, who she was. It was like a sad song they both sang, calming, yet crying out in fits of rage. Tears streamed down his face and he laid crippled over on the nothingness, clenching his dirty shirt. There was nothing else to say, nothing else to do. All they seemed to do was watch one another as they slowly waited for the nothingness to take over their minds. She knew it would only be minutes before this moment was over, and everything faded. A smile tugged at her lips as she stared at the boy. She wasn’t smiling to enjoy his pain, but because she finally understood that they were one in the same.
Every color in the room seemed to stand out, but at the same time everything was dull. Time flew by, but also went dreadfully slowly. She was overwhelmed, but cool and collected. It was then she felt the moment slipping out of her fingers like thread, and took a deep breath to savor the moment for a last time. She knew she would never feel the same again, never feel the boy’s pain once again for he was going into shut-down mode.
“I know,” she whispered. A painful moment later, it was over, and everything came back to focus. Except this time, they were both gone. He stood up, creaking like an old wooden chair. His hair messy, his heart numb and raw. He wouldn’t call it love, but it wasn’t nothing. There used to be something, but now it was shattered and broken, and haunted. Haunted by memories. The floorboards creaked as he stood, taking shallow breaths.
Sun shone through the dusty window of the attic, and he could feel the sunny rays filling his hair. Dust floated around like mini galaxies. He wiped the tears away, and breathed in the cool spring air. He ran his calloused fingers through his hair and he shifted uncomfortably. She left, and everything left with her. His smile, his heart and his soul.
If he wouldn’t have told her, she would have never left; No, if he wouldn’t have done it, she wouldn’t have left. But he did. He picked up the only thing that remained of her, a photo of them together on a beach. That day there was nothing but smiles and laughs, today was nothing but crying and frowns.
He blamed himself, and he couldn’t stop. She sat watching this whole thing as he stood in the middle of the room crying.
“Litho… ” She mumbled out, but he didn’t respond. She took a step forward, saying his name a bit louder. Nothing. “Please answer me,” she whispered this time, hoping he would turn around or do something, anything. But he didn’t. After long silence, he finally managed to choke something out.
“I shouldn’t have let you get in that car,” he barely said, wiping away his tears, “and now you’re gone,” he said, turning around and walking right through her. A frown made its way to her lips and she looked down with teary eyes.
“I know,” she breathed out.