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Four Minutes

“Oh my God did you see the roses she had? It’s so cute and so romantic… Ah, if only someone would do that for me!”…

“Hey did you finish the Spanish project? Our group isn’t quite done yet and it’s stressing me out!”…

“I played Assassin’s Creed for two hours last night, it was amazing. But I didn’t get any homework done but whatever”…

“Do you think if I asked her to go to the movies that she’d say yes? What movie should we go see? I know Star Trek came out but maybe that’s too geeky, I don’t know”…

I walk down the hallway, voices and conversations and hellos and goodbyes swirling around me as class lets out. We only have four minutes to get to our next class but it seems like an eternity. Four minutes is enough time to tell a friend a good story or give them a hug because they had a bad day. Four minutes is the difference between a happy relationship and a broken heart. Four minutes can be enough to finish that last problem on your test. Four minutes is 2400 seconds and each one is t i c k i n g
d o w n.

The flood of babbling comments goes on fastforward and becomes louder and louder until with a sound like rushing air, it goes silent.

Nothing.

I slowly let my hands fall from my ears where they were trying to protect me from information overload. My filter isn’t there, isn’t protecting me like she normally would. So I have to protect myself, but I’m not sure how. I’m not even sure if I want to, maybe I want to be drowned in the voices and stories and concerns and other people’s lives so I don’t have to think about my own. To be submerged in the noise and the crashing waves of emotion until I can’t feel anymore. Can’t think. Can’t.

But the sounds aren’t reaching me anymore. I continue down the hallway, weaving through the crowds and it’s like the world is on mute. I’m so numb nothing really registers. Which is good. I want to be numb. Because feeling hurts, too much to feel grateful for the happy times right now. Even thinking about previous happy times hurts. Everything hurts. Nothing matters because she’s gone. Gone. I can’t even say the other word, it makes it too real. I want to pretend that she’s just not here because she’s sick and had to miss a day of school but she’ll be back tomorrow with happiness lighting up those chocolate brown eyes of hers and a conspiratorial grin on her face just waiting to tell me some new secret of hers that we can laugh and whisper about and feel special about because no one else understands what we’re saying.

I want to pretend she’s just in a coma and that’s why she didn’t wake up when I called out to her and pleaded with her and begged her to come back to me until my voice broke and rasped and settled on a nonsensical low guttural singing because words couldn’t contain anything and maybe if I sang she would hear the music and smile like she always did when she walked by orchestra and could hear the cellos playing. It’s just a coma, nothing more.

Four minutes. She wasn’t in my last class but that doesn’t mean she won’t be in my next one if only I could get through the next four minutes that separate me from here and there. 2400 seconds means 4800 tears, because it’s not enough to only have one way to see someone, you need two different angles to know exactly how much you have. And how much you’ve lost. Four minutes because I can’t think in terms longer than that, because she can’t be away from me longer than four minutes.

She can’t be gone forever.

She’s not dead.




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