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The Girl

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She swears to him that she loves him more than anything. "Those are merely words" he explains to her as he looks blankly down at her tortured face from his chair. She swears again and still he is unconvinced. He stands up to leave, bringing me with him, and promises to her that he won't be back. I her her sobs echoing through the small apartment as I close her front door behind me.

Driving down the street, he is focusing on the dark, empty road much more than what seems necessary. He is quiet and tense, very different than how he has always been. Images of that girl's pitch black tears racing from her dark eyes down to her chin flash before my eyes as the sounds of her sobs echo through my brain. Maybe he is focusing on the road too much, but maybe the road is the better thing to focus on...

Later, at the coffee shop, he is still quiet. I ask him about the girl with the scars running down her arms, the one whom he will never return to. He tells me of her, of his love for her. I ask him why he is leaving her if he truly loves her, and he tells me that although that girl cared deeply for him, there was only one thing she truly loved. Pain. He explains to me that the scars that I saw were there because she put them there herself. For many years, he had loved her, and for many years, he had asker to stop. She never did. Tonight, he said, had been the final straw. I hear this and consider asking why she enjoyed pain, but notice the concerned look on his face and instead ask for a bite of his pie. He gazes down at me, a soft smile just beginning to glimmer behind his uncharacteristically stormy eyes and slightly nods his head. I feel his eyes on me as I reach across the table to slice a small bite out of his pie with the side of my fork but instead of meeting his eyes, I turn towards the window and contemplate the recent events, allowing my tongue to delight in the almost too sweet to bear sensation of pecan pie. As I swallow my bite, but not yet my worries, I turn to face my older brother. He is still gazing at me, but he is also now smiling the kind, warm smile I had known all of my life.

"It's time we got you home, kid," he joked as he rose from his plastic red seat, "or our parents might get angry at me!" He winked, a jocular smile playing at his lips, and at that I knew that not only was he okay, but that WE were okay. That he would take care of me now, just like he always had. I smiled up at him as I also rose from my seat and exited the caffe.




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