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The night whispered in my ear
Beneath the ivory orb Diane swung back and forth on the swing her father made her when she was too young to remember. Her fingers gripped the fraying rope as she pushes off the ground into the air. The breeze combed through the curls of dark hair, leaving the scent of moist grass. Her backyard included many trees dripping of Spanish moss, the rotting swing that creaked and the street, Magnolia lane that was rarely silent expect for late at night. The lights from the street light bounced off puddles and mixed among the moonlight as she swung. She finally had gotten to height where she wasn’t too high; her fingers still wrapped around the rope, bare feet nearly skimming the earth below.
She looked over at the windows of the house behind her. They were all off, not a single light leaked out. Then she noticed that the street was quiet, it was so loud it took her by surprise. Not a neither single car nor person strolled on the lit pavement. It was an odd event for the street to be quiet at a time like this, for it was only eleven and the street was usually silent at two. Diane paid it no mind and continued to swing, her shirt filling up of air, face alit by the pale light.
“ Do you always swing at this time of night?” she looked down from the climax of her height to see a boy not much older than her leaning casually against the oak. Skidding to a stop she look dead at him.
“Yes and do you have a problem with it?” it angered her that a random stranger was standing on her property but angered her more that he questioned her swinging. She couldn’t see his face hidden in the shade of tree but from the faint outline she could tell that he was about six feet tall with short hair. Rising from the swing she could see him better. His arms folded across his chest, smiling with his teeth bare. She wanted to say more but he spoke before she could open her mouth.
“ No, its fine. It’s just that it’s not safe to be alone at this time of night. Bad stuff happens to good people you know. Do you mind if I stay and talk to you, I have nothing better to do?”
“ I guess, just don’t do anything stupid.” Diane sat back on the swing, hands in her lap, squinting her almond shaped eyes turning to depict the rest of him. He slid onto the moist grass and started tearing apart the green into tiny pieces. Long nimble fingers pull the grass into halves then let them fall upon him legs. He looked up, greenish blue eyes penetrating through the dark, smiling with humor.
“Why are you looking at me like that? Do I scare you?” he chuckled softly in the shade, returning his glance to the blades in his hands. Diane fought away her stare and looked up at the stars, elegantly dotted in the navy backdrop. A shooting star streaked across leaving a thin icy blue trail. She was about to tell him about it when she heard the grass blades stop ripping and a dead pause filled the crisp summer air.
“Wasn’t that beautiful. Its rare to see something like that, it could have been Haley’s comet. We learned about it awhile ago….”
“ I’m not afraid of you but you haven’t told me anything about yourself. Its awkward having a random stranger just sit around you and there be no real conversation.” He stood up still with grass entangled in his fingers and walked out into the light where she could finally see every angle and curve of his body. He had olive skin and wide green eyes with flecks of blue. Tall and lanky to where his clothes almost draped upon him. Silently he moved behind her and took the rope in his hands. He pushed softly so that she swayed between the light and the dark.
“ Well, I’m sixteen, I moved here a year ago from North Carolina, I have a mom, dad, and two dogs. I like long walks on the beach and shiny objects. Anything else you want to know?” Diane turned her head slowly to meet his, her brown eyes locked with his as he caught the rope in mid air and held her suspended from the ground. A smile was stretched across his face while he waited for his answer. Diane looked at him long and hard figuring who was he?
“ I’m sixteen, lived here all my life, both parents, a sister and a dog. I like swinging and drawing. Now we’re even.”
“Now we’re not strangers anymore.” He let go of the rope, swinging Diane higher in the air, dark curls following behind being combing in the breeze. Occasionally she would glance behind to see him looking at the stars and stealing a glance at her. She would turn back warm, her face filling up with color. In just a few minutes she felt she’s known him for a long time.
He pushed against her back as she swung back into him, sending her up the other way. For awhile he didn’t say anything, just pushed and waited like there was something he wanted to say but he didn’t have the words to form the sentence needed. Diane wondered what he was thinking about. Between him and the sky there was her, one minute swinging towards the stars, reaching out to constellations then swinging back to earth towards him.
“What did you wish for?” she asked. He froze, missing the chance to push her. Tension sliced the air and Diane was well aware of it. Slowing to a stop she twisted her head to see his expression. He looked as if he was sad, tired from whatever he’s done but had a lightness in his voice that cause her not to worry.
“For you to sleep well tonight, safe and sound. What do you wish?” she laughed, the first time that whole night. Her face radiated from within. She turned around in the swing to face him completely.
“ Your wish wont come true now that you just told me. Silly, that’s against the rules. But for you I’ll promise to try.” He shrugged his shoulders and took her hands into his own, stoking the skin on the back of her palm. Diane couldn’t move, she couldn’t breath, she sat motionless as the moon her hands within his. She could feel his gaze bore into her.
“ It doesn’t matter, I already know that you will. Not in a weird way but I know. I promise that your wish will come true too, since you like things to be fair. I may not know the wish but it will come true, count on it.” With one hand he tilted her chin so he could look into her eyes with reassurance. For a moment it felt like days had passed by, a hundred suns and moons have gone up and down in the period in which they stared at each other. Finally he broke the connection, turning away to look at the streetlight, where sounds of trashcans be pushed down came from.
“ You should inside now, I’ve kept you away for too long now.” He looked back the light and the sound of screeching cats came from a corner. He leaned in and kisses her cheek, thin lips brushing against her cheek then whispering in her ear like velvet.
“ I promise your wish will come true, I promise Diane.” Then walked off towards the light behind her. Unwilling to look back she turned to the light. He vanished in to night. Getting up from the swing she went inside, her mind still running in circles about what happen only moments ago. Laying in the bed, like a light in the darkness she realized, she never told him her name and yet he already knew it. Pushing it away she fell asleep, swinging in her dreams.
The next morning Diane woke up brushed her teeth, took a shower, put on clothes and made breakfast. She could barely remember him now, pouring milk into the cereal when an urgent report came on the news. She didn’t pay it any attention until she saw the family picture. He was there, between his parents and dogs, smiling brightly as before. Same greenish blue eyes, thin lips and lanky body. Murdered at eleven on Friday, October 10th. Everyone, even the dogs were killed with a knife. Stabbed to death. Diane froze; she was like the night before, motionless as the moon. She saw him after eleven almost twelve, he was smiling, playing, he kissed her cheek and now he was dead. Was he a ghost? But he touched her. It could have been only a dream but it didn’t mattered now, like he promised, she got her wish. To see him again, only now he was dead.