Charmed

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Thin wispy strands of red and blue silk were welded together, forming a fin. The fin hung low on the small body but was quick to fling itself back up to keep the fish afloat. The fish’s fins rippled the water, temporarily staining it with circles of crystal. It was magnificent to watch the fish swim, blue eyes plastered open. Life felt so full, so contained at that moment. I wish I could go back to that moment. I wish I could have seen what was coming, but I couldn’t. Now, I will warn you of what could happen.

I was mesmerized. The patterns on the page were formed in such a way that I felt like I could reach out and grab the letters and numbers. Like if I just smoothed them with my hand I could turn myself to gold. Each word complimenting the next, each number in sync with the others. It was beautiful. I read it so many times it echoed in my head like a poem. I wanted the numbers and letters to fill up my body weigh me down through the floor and let me go back to my home. I wanted it so bad I was ready to eat the paper just to experience the taste of the letters and numbers, their gold hues and flecks of every color imaginable deep between the lines. The bell is what snapped me out of my dream. My mind refocused and I was no longer staring at a piece of beauty and fluidly, but instead a jumbled page of symbols that asked me questions I did not know the answer to. Mr. Bovines walked past my desk and ripped the paper off of its placement and gave me a look I knew would take a while to leave my mind.

“You will come see me in tutorial tomorrow Ms. Vokovi.” His voice rolled out of his mouth and left me insulted by his rude demand. I did not respond except for my dash out of the class.

Last class of the day was blurry. I can recall the shrieking of everybody’s laughter as I mispronounced a word. The smug look present on my Ms. Lolite’s face when she crumpled up my paper in front of the class. Her insults piercing my heart like my limbs being torn away from my body. Sitting on the floor in the bathroom crying. Not knowing exactly why, but crying. I asked the bus driver to drop me off three miles from my house. Walking three miles home didn’t seem as bad as enduring the punishment of the bus. Outside my house I felt an urge to make a dash for the never-ending woods. Escape in what was once called mystic and magical by my mom. It was dark and cold out the lights were on in my house. That meant fighting. It had to be around 5:00 and mom would normally be sleeping and dad at a bar hanging with some of his friends doing something stupid. The lights being on meant they were home. Probably ripping each other’s heads off. I slung my backpack over my back, took a deep breath and walked to the front door.

I swung the door open and walked in to find no fighting, no evil glares. Nothing. Actually, less than nothing, no one. I waited a second standing still, maybe I would hear them. Nothing.

“Mom? Dad? Hello? Anybody home? The lights are on,” I called up the stairs. I slowly made my way up the stairs repeating this. Still I heard nothing. The upstairs was darkand had a dingy feel that was slightly creepy. I walked down the hall peering into each room I passed. Nana’s guest room; nothing. Mom’s office; nothing. Dad’s office; nothing. My room; nothing. As I passed these doors and turned the corner a faint light cast spooky shadows across the floor. There they were. I pushed the door to their bedroom open and saw the two of them sitting quietly. Both in reading glasses that sent the bedroom lights spiraling onto the ceiling.

“Oh, Hi. I’m going to go do my homework now,” I turned on my heels and felt for the door knob.

“Wait. We have to talk about something. Come over here,” It was my dad’s croaky voice that uttered the unpredictable words. They never talked to me. I was always just another mouth to feed and thing that sometimes needed to be dusted.





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