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A Cry Echoed Through the Night This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Unknown
   I hopped into the car with the ease ofa butterfly. He plopped into the driver's seat andautomatically buckled up; I mimicked him. He turned theignition, and we puttered out of the garage into the cool,crisp night.

I hoped he wouldn't bring up myshortcomings, the fatal flaws in my "perfect" personthat he always managed to find despite my constant efforts toplease. I could only grope for topics of shared interest untila tight silence permeated the car, leaving only the hum of theengine. I turned the radio on full blast, hoping to escape theimminent conversation. A wave of random chords, empty,clanging metal mixed with hoarse, broken screams of depressionand despair hit my ears, my head, my being seemingly damagingmy soul. Anything was better than his screaming. He turned itoff with a sharp gesture and began talking of school, why Iwas so hypocritical and the weather. Next, the one-sidedconversation slipped like a glove into glitches in mypersonality. Sharp words cut, internal wounds stung and openedgashes from my already healing wounds.

The tearsstarted to flow, slowly at first, until the floodgates yieldedand burst. He told me to stop crying. Still the flood ragedon. My eyes stung. Again the command came to stop my tears,and again my eyes washed out their pain. I became aware thatmy face and eyes were red and puffy and that my head wasstarting to beat wildly in unison with my heart. He wasscreaming. His own emotions of annoyance and anger began tosurface in his driving. The speedometer crawled higher andturns and small curves sent the seatbelt sharply into my gut.Trees and dense brush became blurred streaks in my alreadyteary-eyed vision.

I had always hurt in the inside butI wore a mask of contentment to prove my strength. The maskwas slowly disintegrating, revealing the ugliness hiddeninside. I couldn't allow his words and degradations to get tome. They did, though. They always lurked in the dark alleys ofmy mind, waiting for a moment when the monotonous rituals ofmy day finished, and I was alone.

He still screamed,but the screams became a constant shrill ringing in my head.The car continued to gain speed. I could hear the engineguzzling its chemical power. I noticed a truck in thedistance. He didn't slow down. Perhaps he didn't see it. Ibegan to scream. He raced on. My screams were lost in abreath. We struck, spinning wildly out of control, hitting theguard rail and several other cars. Broken glass. Brokenpeople. A cry echoed through the night. Blackness.




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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