January 17, 2009
By Lauren Jones, Evanston, IL


Your constant talking always got on my nerves. Your constant irrelevant story telling about someone you saw, or something your friend did always annoyed me. I’d look out the window or anywhere but your eyes to show you I didn’t care, but you kept talking. When you thought something was really funny, you’d touch my hand and I’d look at you and your eyes were bright and you were smiling. I’d look at you, but I wasn’t listening. I couldn’t hear what you were saying because I blocked you out. You’d call on the phone and I’d put the receiver down for a while, flipping through the channels instead of listening the whole time. You never asked me questions to make sure I was paying attention, but you would keep on talking. I would heave heavy sighs but your jabbering was nonstop.
But I liked listening to you talk because your voice was so soothing. I would listen to its low rumble and it was comforting. You always had a calming voice, but it spoke of things I didn’t care about.
One day you realized I was never listening, and now, I wish I had listened so you’d still be here. People would laugh about the stories you told and I didn’t know how to react because I didn’t remember that one, or any of them. I was too busy focusing on your voice than what it was saying. Everyone was so interested in what you had to say. I wish I had been. I took your stories for granted and I always thought I didn’t know anything about you. But your irrelevant stories told me everything I’d ever wondered. But I didn’t listen. I didn’t really know you. All I knew was your voice.
When I heard it behind me one day after you left, I was so excited, but at first you didn’t talk. You just smiled and I didn’t get to hear your voice, because for once, I did the talking. You were staring like it was foreign, and I guess it was. I’d hardly ever said anything, and you’d never really known what my voice sounded like, or what kind of stories it told. But this time, you listened, and when I was done, you decided to tell me one last story, and this time I paid attention. You told me about someone you were head-over-heals in love with and how you adored talking to them because they were the best listener in the world. You told me how you told your favorite stories and how you guess the stories pretty much told everything about you, and I wished you’d tell me all of those stories again, but you didn’t. You told me about how you missed telling them stories and sitting across coffee tables from them staring into their perfect, gorgeous eyes that never met yours as you unfurled your life in stories that were seldom about you. Then you touched my hand again the way you used to and I felt like crying. I looked at you the way I used to, and you just stared at me. You turned and walked away. “Tell me a story.” I whispered.

The author's comments:
I know for a lot of people who write, they rarely like their work later on. This is also very true for me, but this is a piece that I wrote a few years ago and I still like it everytime I come back to it. How odd.

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