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Decisions Are Made in Silent Places This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

When he walked into the room she was sitting on the window frame, one leg hanging over the frame carelessly lingering in-between inside and out, the other bending upward and wrapped in her left arm. She didn’t face him. She only gazed into the darkness sprinkled with touches of light that lay beyond the open window.
He stopped just after the doorway, watching her grey hair move softly with the breeze. Her hair reminded him of the dead white roses that sat in a crude vase on the bedside window.
He wondered if she knew he was there.
He wondered if she was going to jump.
He wondered why he had come to the room at all, or what he would even say when she noticed him, if she noticed him.
He stood there for many ticks of time passed over the clocks—but never did she move, nor let even a subtle clamor pass through her lips. He wanted to watch her forever, but forever was too long for her. He knew in due course, if he stayed, he would be forced to watch her body diminish as her soul had done ever too long ago…just as the roses. His lips released a single sigh, an accident he thought. But clandestinely he knew that wasn’t true, he was hoping she would hear and turn to him, talk to him, tell him she wasn’t going to let herself die—but she never even startled. She only sat there—still.
He again wondered, wondered if her mind was already dead—sending itself to warm oceans blessed by the sun and tucked in by the sand. Walking itself upon the cloudless sky called heaven, locked inside a state called bliss.
He imagined that place. He thought that maybe he should let her go there.
The room had been a silent prison, a wall of peace and insanity. But cracks opened, breaking, crumbling the silence as her voice seeped through it—sweet and soft, but confident.
She had known he had been there.
“In all the time I spent in the hospital, I only remember the nurse coming in once. I asked her if God was the only one who could walk on water. She didn’t laugh or sigh, only replied, ‘Of course not dear, anyone who believes they can, will.’ At first I hadn’t any idea of what she meant. I spent my entire recovery thinking of those words—you do think a lot when you can’t see or talk. The day I went back to the hospital was the day I finally figured those words out. She was telling me I could do anything, if I believed I could. A simple, cliché advice really, but none the less it affected me. So by the time I returned to the hospital, I had convinced myself I could see—they all told me I couldn’t—but I believed I could. I told them, ‘Take me outside to take off the bandages.’ You could tell they were confused and annoyed by my request. But I wouldn’t let them touch me until I was outside—and so they took me…Lord, Jonah—I had never seen such a beautiful sky.”
Her words infuriated him; she did not have to live alone. She did not have to die. He walked over to her and placed her chin—drenched of an icy waterfall—into his left hand. He moved her face towards him, harder than intended, but gentle. Her light broken eyes looked directly into his green ones—giving the small motion that proved she was not blind. He stared deep into them, something no one had ever dared to do. They proved gross, but beautiful and surrounded by scars of wiriness. He could see how they all pitied her, letting her silently destroy herself.
But he felt no pity…not anymore. She had given him the truth, the truth that she could choose to live.
“If you believed you could see, and saw, you can believe it’s possible to live happy in h*ll, and live there.”
He let go of her and left the room.
She leaned out the window hysterical. She wanted to jump—the walls were closing in, encasing her into this eternal h*ll and driving her to insanity. The pressures of the prison heaved and compressed her globe, sending her farther out the window. But she stopped herself, what she really wanted, a want deeply embedded into her soul, was to live. She didn't want to fall nor tie death's robe around her neck. She wanted to talk, and to laugh with the ones she loved so dearly. She wanted to eat dinner with them, to play games with them. She sucked in the chilled air until it filled every space of her lungs, letting it out with a scream. Her scream echoed off the hallow streets, reaching broken houses and broken hearts, to the lands known of the unknown. She let the scream fade through as pain arose from her calves, sending her teeth deep into her bottom lip. Her calves dug abysmally into the window pane from her position—posed on her calves, calves posed on the window pane.
By God she was in pain. Not from her calves, nor her now bloodied lip, but from the loneliness she subjected herself to.
Loneliness brought on by fear.
A fear, of pain.
She could move, move into the room and out the door ignoring and embracing the pain that would come with living life, greater than that of the pain she was in on this inferior window, but alleviated by the gift of life.
She could fall, fall out the four story window crashing and embracing the consequences of what could have been.
But she couldn’t—she wouldn’t—move into the room and stay, forever in her cage, forever in a h*ll forged by her own scarred hands.



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