sounds of silence

December 17, 2009
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A monotone blip echoed through the bleak room. Aging blue wallpaper and drab curtains hopelessly hid the inevitable. Dark shadows permeated the far corners. An antiseptic fog lurked in the stale air, a harbinger of things to come. Remnants of medical soap lingered and fused with the odor of starched sheets. Minutes ticked away, and the grasp of my brothers’ hand grew weaker. His complexion was a ghostly pale; the thin pillow beneath his fragile head was only a shade lighter than his face. Rubbing my puffy red eyes, I shivered. The wretched beep still rung through the room. Planting kisses on his hand, I tried to remember days of old. But reality invaded my mind like some conquering nomadic army. The soft blips consumed me, and I was transported to a vast abyss. Suddenly it arrived, abrupt and merciless, a continuous moan, and a horizontal green line on the black screen.

Flinging myself on him, I heaved loud sobs. A dam had instantaneously burst and tears were gushing from my eyes. Regretfully I wished it had been me, because without him I was dead anyway.

The time that followed was a blur. Propelled by an unknown force, I was a zombie among the living. I continued as close to a normal life as possible, but still nothing felt right. Depression heaved over me like a tsunami. Like an atheist at church, wherever I wandered I was out of place. My emotions swirled into a grey oblivion.

Finally I had eaten my last frozen dinner, drank my last drop, and my six-month hangover was subsiding. With nothing and no one to turn to, I consumed my self with my career. Workaholic was the name stamped across my forehead. Old tweed blazers and patent leather pumps were resurrected from plastic storage bins. Mindlessly I drove to work day after day. Weeks melted together, and the only reason I had a grip on time was from frequent updates on my Blackberry. I was a woman afflicted by mind control, like a freak from a bad science-fiction movie.

One particular morning on the way to the office, I was driving unusually fast. A quick flash and I felt myself lurch forward. Awareness of the world faded into a whit wisp. Waking up, the frightening sounds of the ICU whirled in a frenzy around me. My body ached, but the room felt light and almost cheerful. Get-well balloons and bouquets were scattered about, though over everything the little blip remained dominant. The very noise that had haunted me those long months ago was now sweet music to my ears. I struggled immensely through recovery, but that blip befriended me and gave me, strength, hope, and encouragement. What I once thought signaled death, and demise was now the chant of life and renewal.

I learned something in that foreboding room, a “life lesson” you might say. For everything there is a purpose. For everything there is a time, like the almighty expiration date, each one of us is branded with. I will live through my brother. Hence, another will live through me. Just as the “fall” signifies death, the “springs” breed life.

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This article has 20 comments. Post your own now!

sArAcArTs!=?D said...
Feb. 4, 2010 at 3:54 pm
hello elizabeth arvanitits!!! haha i love ya girlayyy. your going to win because i bribed them for you....jk! ;) gooooood luckkk!
ItsSaraAgain;) said...
Feb. 1, 2010 at 4:35 pm
heyy liz. its mee again. youu betterrr winn. because if you dont i'll yell at mr ficarra for not bribing them! ;) just kidding!
wishuponastar97 replied...
Feb. 2, 2010 at 6:53 am
awe i love <33 mama miss you
sarawashere14 said...
Jan. 27, 2010 at 2:18 pm
LIZ! beautiful storryyy my dearrrrr! if you dont win I'm gonna yell at whoever picked them! luhh yaahh:)
dufffette said...
Jan. 27, 2010 at 6:46 am
powerful imagery,you showed your feelings rather than told them.
omi123 said...
Jan. 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm
I am so proud of you. This is beautiful.
solin said...
Jan. 22, 2010 at 11:03 am
This is the most moving writing I have read in a very long time. I am so very proud to know you!
wishuponastar97 replied...
Jan. 28, 2010 at 7:34 am
you know me? everyone tell me who they are so i can thank<3
solin replied...
Jan. 28, 2010 at 8:48 am
Its Linda, yes you know me silly.
xgina said...
Jan. 15, 2010 at 9:55 pm
this is amazing.
eschappert said...
Jan. 15, 2010 at 8:37 am
Beautifully written and very powerful. Well done!
Mrs. F. said...
Jan. 15, 2010 at 7:55 am
It is so exciting to read a former student's writing! Keep up the excellent work!
Racer said...
Jan. 14, 2010 at 7:10 pm
Beautiful story of finding strength after adversity!
janed said...
Jan. 14, 2010 at 2:13 pm
What an awesome story!
janineh said...
Jan. 14, 2010 at 11:15 am
Really enjoyed reading this one!!!
knach said...
Jan. 14, 2010 at 10:26 am
This work is INCREDIBLE! What great word variety and the details are extraordinary.
James H. said...
Jan. 14, 2010 at 8:12 am
I love the story, a true winner!
turtle1 said...
Jan. 13, 2010 at 9:32 am
A powerful story i loved. You sshould win!
turtle2 said...
Jan. 13, 2010 at 9:32 am
Whoa your story was so good! I hope you win
joevic said...
Jan. 12, 2010 at 9:37 am
The use of irony was a powerful tool used in thi story.It also brought closure to it.
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