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Times, They Are A-Changin' This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I eased myself into the big comfy chair and casually sipped at the mint chocolate hot cocoa. The warm liquid flowing through the straw set the scene for that wet spring day. Something was wrong and I could see the troubled eyes of my best friend clearly wavering with worry. It was the unwritten code between us: letting her tell me her problems before I asked what was wrong. We knew each other's thoughts without saying.

The large oak table seemed even larger, as the pregnant silence enveloped us.

Wrestling with her thoughts, she swirled the steaming liquid, the straw making soft clicking sounds hitting the sides, followed by the whirring of the cocoa sloshing.

Crossing my left leg over the right, I rested it on the table's surface, making myself comfortable. I tried to shorten the vast silence, looking up into her eyes, trying to read her mind. Mentally I tried coaxing her to open up, but trouble still ebbed in her eyes. Her message was unclear. It was as if she just didn't know the whole situation herself.

As I looked away, engrossing myself with the intricate, tightly woven pattern of the tablecloth. It reminded me of our friendship. Close enough to know the other strands makes us both stronger as a whole. I keep looking back at my best friend, the one whom I could tell anything to. She wrestles with her thoughts and emotions. Bob Dylan plays, wafting down from her loft. He was who she emptied her soul to. He was her savior, her soul food.

The music softly echoed playing "Times, They Are A-Changin'." My glance lightly flicked over the room resting upon the window. As I look out I see a time before, many years before, filled with the happier, easier years of our lives. The time when things just went smoothly without pain, without confusion.

The music softened the room's atmosphere, inviting the sun's beams through its large bay windows. The light filtered through the glass, falling on the table, the mugs of chocolate, reflecting off the cabinets behind her, highlighting her head like a halo. The luminescence helps her clear her emotions, inviting her to talk. Prompting her with my eyes, I lift them to her face to find her looking at me. Dark cesspools of confusion, thought, hurt, and hate reflect back. We're here for her, me and Bob Dylan.

She's been here too few years to take the world onto her shoulders, but opening herself to everyone, she gets hurt. The hurt never leaves and her eyes foretell its ache, her soul exposing its wounds. She goes through life dealing with those things that hurt the most. She can't eat, can't sleep, can't change her mind about things that mean so much, but hurt more.

All this in her hazel eyes, wearily they hold her heart. Anguish and hurt hold itself there. A dark void, ominous to her true feelings. Yet they are her being, her heart, her strength to go on.

The faint odor of pine scents the room, a smell I've grown accustomed to. The familiarity has settled in. The room hasn't changed over the years, yet we have.

The long day has taken its toll on us both. A sound breaks from her lips. She breaks the silence and puts one hand to her mouth to smother a sob. The other curls tightly around the mug, her fingers, deathly white, turn red around the knuckles. She releases the mug and reaches across the table to grasp my hand. We are now linked as one in thoughts, connecting us not only mentally but as a bondage piece. Together we heal scars of memories, together we always pull through.

She tries to speak but the despair in her voice forms a lump, drowning her words. Opening her mouth to try again she fails to get the words out, instead a single tear rolls down her cheek. It leaves a black trail of mascara, carving a path for others to follow. She reaches into the pocket on her shirt, pulling out a long white piece of plastic and sets it before me. Raising her eyes, she shuts them and squeezes out the remaining tears. I look at her, then down, wondering what could be the problem. Studying the plastic that caused my best friend problems, there is a sign. Pink, no bigger than my pinkie nail, plus, positive. Pregnant. Why now? How? A million questions run through my head, to be answered later. I clutch her hand and squeeze. Now there's no turning back. These times are definitely changing, and it seems as if no one really cares. Only me and Bob Dylan, strumming away his life by a guitar.

The tears were on their own, slipping down, clasping, clinging, clutching her chin before rolling off her face. They fall into her hot chocolate, making a ring of hope in its brown surface.The ring of hope still ebbs out as she begins her tale of woe. Emotion drains out and she withdraws from the pain to prevent further heartache. She empties her soul at the large oak table which seems smaller now. Today she cleanses her soul with me, Bob Dylan singing in the background. Tomorrow she faces the world again. She's been here too few years to take it all in stride, to feel this old.


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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chocolateluver said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 1:56 pm
really descriptive! I really liked how you drew the reader in by getting them to fell like they actually know the character. Really great!
 
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