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Waiting In The Dark Wind This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The air was warm, with the wind pushing aside fallen dry leaves for us to walk through. The sky was pink and gray, fading from the setting-sun yellow from before. I closed my eyes standing still waiting for his hand. I knew that he was smiling and that his eyes were shining as they always were and I tried not to smile or laugh. The street would end soon and he would let go of my hand, the sky would be dark soon and he would leave and I would miss him, but he was there I knew, and I had my hand out for him to take but he smiled, I could tell, in the wind, and wanted me to laugh. I wouldn't laugh and I couldn't, I just had to wait for his hand to grasp mine. He knew that I wouldn't laugh yet he still waited, letting my hand stay by my side empty. He only waited for a grin, a sign that he had won but I knew he hadn't and told him with my waiting hand.

"The sky is getting dark you know it isn't pink anymore," he told me, waiting for me to grin.

"I know."

"The air isn't very warm anymore, your hand must be getting cold."

"It is cold, it's waiting for the warmth of your hand." My eyes were beginning to tighten and my lips were losing their looseness, I had to smile soon and open my eyes to see that the sky wasn't pink anymore and see his eyes lit up with victory.

"The sky is gray and purple now, it is almost black."

"I know."

"I won't be able to see your hand soon."

"You'll be able to find it in the dark."

He was waiting now for me to give up and tire of the game, but I couldn't let him win. He was sick of waiting for my smile, and if he could make himself lose, would have taken my hand, but he was above losing and knew that I would give up.

"It is dark now," he said, "how could I tell if you are smiling or not?"

"You know I won't, take my hand."

He shifted in the fallen leaves and coughed. The air was colder and I wanted to put my hand into his and smile and end the game but he always won and he was too proud. I couldn't let him win again.

"I need to leave soon," he said.

"Take my hand then and we'll go, I'm ready to leave."

I heard the leaves rustle as he walked to the curb and sat down to wait. I started to feel alone. There was a strong blow of cold wind that dried any perspiration that was forming on my waiting hand, and swirled the dried leaves around my ankles. There was a ball in my throat clogging my speech and I wanted to tell him to come over to me again. I couldn't smile anymore and I didn't want to either, I couldn't hold back the tears anymore and I started to cry. My face was warm and wet and the wind brushed across it sending a quick chill through my spine to my stomach. He got up from the curb, I hadn't needed to ask. He held my shoulders tightly and put his head on mine. His neck was warm and cured my chill. I found my pocket and put the waiting hand inside and felt the warm lining.

"Can we go now?" I asked.

"Are you smiling?"

"No, not yet." He took my hand from my pocket and held it with his warm sweating hand that he pulled from his coat and we started to walk again in the dark. My cheeks tightened and pulled my lips up into a small smile that hurt my chapped face. The air was cold now and it was completely dark with a few stars and more than a half moon. The end of the street seemed far away and we walked slowly. The leaves were crunching with our steps, because the wind had stopped blowing them out of our way.n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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