Laney and Owen

By , Chicago, IL
“Can you hear me?” she whispers the snowflake words and they float down onto the boys cheek.
She knows he does not hear, or see, because he is dead. The snowflakes melt into him and slide into the pocket with all the other lonely words.
“Please,” her voice cracks in the middle, and the simple word burns into her heart.
A single teardrop falls down her face, racing past her nose, past her soft lips, slides the rest of the way down her face and falls a million miles onto the cold boy’s face. The silver droplet sighs as it lets itself disappear. It lingers a moment, the way a first kiss does. Not to be forgotten, but replaced with more powerful, loving kisses. The kisses begin to fall, tons of tiny pieces of love leaving from the girl’s eyes. Each one a memory saying goodbye. The girl’s desperation turns to sadness. For some death is sad, but this girl is used to the way a heart feels heavy yet empty. She lies down next to the boy and holds his cold hand. She begins to whisper talk again, “I’ll never forget, I promise.” The cheesy line stings her mouth, but it feels right. Almost as if she just found the missing puzzle piece to a puzzle that had long been forgotten. Her tired eyes begin to close, but before she falls into a dreamless sleep, she lets more kisses fall.
She woke to the soft humming of a car near by. She stood up and walked away from the forever-sleeping boy. She opened the car door and slid inside.
“He’s gone,” the once whisper voice became a whisper scream. The voice was struggling to become louder but couldn’t quite break through the invisible walls.
“I’m sorry,” a man’s deep voice says.
“Not your fault, don’t be sorry,” she whisper screams.
“Just let me be sorry for you this one time, Lane.”
Laney, the girl’s name, thought about the man’s words. She had let her walls down before, she remembered what had happened. A man. That’s who she had given the key to her trust to. Then he had thrown it on the ground and stepped on it over and over again in front of her. Each step built her walls back up, brick by brick, stronger then ever before.
“Everyone I trust dies, you know it’s true, Owen,” he barely hears her whisper screams.
“It’s not true. Lane, you’re shivering.”
She looks down and notices he’s right. The man named Owen parks the car by a curb and steps outside. He walks around to the back, opens the trunk and pulls out a blanket. He walks to the shaking girl and wraps it around her with care. He sees her shirt sticking to her pointy ribs and sighs. He sits back down in the drivers seat but doesn’t move the car.
“I’m fine,” The girl named Laney says in a barely audible tone, but she keeps the blanket wrapped tightly around herself.
“Have you been eating?”
“Yes,” he can tell she’s lying.
“Why do you do this to yourself, Lane?”
“I’m fine,” she says again. He can tell she’s lying.
They drive in loud silence for a while. The girl continues to shake even though she tries to stop. Her teeth chatter as she tries to talk. They pull up to a small apartment building and the man helps the girl to the door, then up in the elevator. They walk down a long hallway and into an apartment. The man then helps the girl into a bedroom and into a soft, warm bed. He tucks her in and makes her feel like a little girl again.
The man walks away from the girl and into the small kitchen. He starts to boil some water and lets his thought run around in his head. They shout many things and he cannot keep them straight. The water begins to shriek and it pulls him back to reality and away from his talking thoughts. He pours the hot water into a mug and puts a tea bag in. He walks quietly towards the girl and walks inside the room. She lay just where he had left her, she had stopped shivering but her lips remained as blue as the ocean. He walked over to the bed.
“Drink this,” he says.
“How many calories?” she whispers.
“None, but you’re lucky I’m not making you eat plain sugar,” he says, only half joking.
The girl grabs the mug and lets the hot tea burn her lips and tongue. Except it didn’t burn, it felt better then anything, a little piece of heaven hidden in something as simple as a hot cup of tea. When life becomes worse then death a cup of tea is a wonderful thing. He leans down and kisses her softly on the lips. His taste lingers on her cold lips and hers on his warm lips.
“I love you,” he whispers into her ear.
“I love you too, Owen,” the girl tries to break a whisper.
She cannot help thinking of the dead boy she left behind.





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