One More Night

February 14, 2017
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“Is there a reason why you’re wearing those lil lamb slippers?” I laughed. The wind whipped through our hair as we stopped to examine her shoes-or lack thereof. The street lights illuminated the sidewalk, our shadows dusting the street corner. Persephone wrapped herself in the blanket, her fingers tugging the edges closer to her body.
“I’ll have you know I quite like these slippers!” she huffed out, her breath leaving a cloud in the air, “and besides,” she continued on quietly, “You gave these to me for Christmas a few years ago and I’ve grown attached.”
She was right I realized. That day had been an event. I could almost remember the snort she had let out when her dog had made off like a bandit with the Christmas yule log. Back when we were younger and innocent- that is to say two years ago before we began college. It was always us against the world. Not to say that it's still not us against the world, growing up had just shown us that the world was larger than we had thought. The world also came with a lot more problems-deciding who would wake up early to buy coffee among one of them. It seemed that a game of rock-paper-scissors just couldn’t solve these issues.
“Let's take a different path tonight, if we wake up Mrs. Dobson’s dogs again no one would find our bodies, and I would like to return to school in one piece.”
“Scared of the elderly now are you Tristen? I thought you were as brave as a lion. It seems we may have to renounce your status as ‘knight in shining armor’,” she taunted.
“If I recall, you were the one who made us walk five blocks out of the way to avoid passing her house on our way back from school.”
“Oh semantics that was years ago. Stop stalling come on where are we going on this dreary evening.”
“Dreary, do you happen to have a raven hidden under that blanket?” I questioned.
She rolled her eyes, but followed my lead as I walked down the street and took a turn at the next intersection. The moon followed us as we crept through the familiar roads. Our steps echoed through the silence, sounding more like gunshots in the night. As pavement turned to grassy fields, her eyes shone like emeralds as she let out a cheer and began to run. I don’t know if it was the slippers that brought on the nostalgia, but I smiled and followed her as we walked to the bridge where we had first met.
“Careful there Javert, that isn’t the Seine,” I pointed out.
Persephone only gave me a look that promised a long, painful death if I were to continue. I almost told her to fight me, though I knew from experience that her little body packed a punch, and I wasn’t willing to subject myself to the pain. She seemed satisfied with my silence and hopped up on the edge of the barrier that kept people from going over. I walked over to the edge and leaned against the cold railing.
She suddenly looked up, “You need to let go you know.”
I smiled sadly and looked down towards the rushing waters, “I know, but not tonight.”
“It wasn’t your fault,” she whispered. She went over the edge into the dark abyss.
I blinked roughly a few times, trying to keep the tears at bay. It’d been a month since she had gone, but I could only imagine the fear that had rushed through her as she plummeted toward the water. It seemed the nightmare was never ending for me as I walked back to the same damn bridge every night, each time envisioning a new way that Persephone had taken her life. It seems my imagination was full of possibilities. I glanced solemnly at the lamb slippers I had been wearing. They had been muddied when I’d walked through the grass, though I couldn’t find it in me to care. A matching set to Persephone’s, though I never told her I had gotten a pair of my own. There would have been an endless stream of laughter on her end- I’d do anything to hear her laugh again. I sighed and began the long walk home. I tugged her blanket closer to my chest and promised I would let go soon-just one more night and I’d be fine. Just one more night.

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commacanadian said...
Feb. 22 at 11:04 am
THIS IS SO GOOD!!!! I seriously envy your writing style...
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