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Silence in the Sound

The wind whispers through the trees, whistling through the boughs and sending the carousel spinning. The movement is almost mesmerizing, dizzying, spinning faster and faster and faster, not unlike an optical illusion. The rusted bikes sit together in the rack, like worn old men, the red and blue paint slowly chipping off. The slide is full of sparkling, white webs, almost invisible to the human eye; the rounded tube was the perfect hideout, where secret messages echo off the walls. You could hear her anywhere on the playground…you could hear her anywhere in the world, even if she wasn’t there.

The swings sway back and forth in a slow waltz, snow coating the seats. The blue sky has turned into a desolate gray, mirroring his icy blue-gray eyes. She was the only one who could thaw them with her warmth, who could make them soften into gentle pools.

No sound comes from the surrounding trees; the wintertime creates an eery, yet calming, silence. A painful silence, where you cannot hide from the thoughts crashing around in your head. From the memories falling like snowflakes across your shoulders, hands, and head. The birds in the tall fir trees are gone, and a blanket of creamy whiteness covers everything that can be seen, but he still remembers the lush green grass and the birdcalls. He had never liked birds, had always been afraid of them; but somehow, she made them more likable. She made everything he hated or feared more likable, less scary.

His breath comes of in smoky puffs, not unlike the smoke curling out of his cigarette. She always cared about the smoking, saying his lungs would be as black as her hair, and he always insisted that he liked the blackness, thought it was beautiful, as he gently twisted his fingers through her hair; those were the light, fun times. In the serious times, she pleaded with him to stop killing himself. How ironic that seems now, he thinks to himself, as he is the one living.

Shoving his hands deeper into his coat pockets, he steps through the frozen pine needles and pine cones and onto the frozen lake, glazed over like a fresh donut. He begins to twirl, to dip, to glide across the surface. Slowly, his hands come out of hiding, his fingers loosening, and his stiff posture melts away as natural-born grace takes over. The lake becomes a ballroom, and soon he is flying through the air, flying across the deadly mirror his feet once danced on so gaily; but then, his were not the only pair of feet, and back then he had a partner. As he begins to move faster and faster, the deafening silence goes away, and the numbness of familiarity and rushing wind are the only things he is conscious of. The trees, the snow, the sky, the forest, the playground all rush past, swirling around him in a blur. He glances down at the patterns he has made, sees a tiny crack in the ice.

All of a sudden, the wondrous dance ends, the silence crashing down into his eardrums again. She is inescapable. Everywhere. And he hates her for falling, for freezing, for leaving him behind. Alone.

Shaking the frosty droplets off his white cheeks, he hurries away.





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