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The Possessions

I let the ideas flow out of me, like music notes in a beautiful orchestra’s concerto. I write as many words down as I can. I write quickly, but carefully. This is my last pencil. I can’t afford to break it or lose it. It’s my prized possession. The only thing I treasure more is my notebook. Old, worn, and weathered down to yellowing pages, I use it carefully as well as the pencil. This is my last notebook, too. I see a shadow in my alley I write this in, and instinctively close my notebook and shove my pencil gently into my bag. The shadow gets closer. I can’t let them find me. I’m crouched low to the ground, ready to dart into the darkness of the alley if the shadow gets any closer. However, something familiar is called out.

“Jane? Jane? It’s me, Naomi!” the shadow calls out to the alley. I relax. It’s only my best friend, Naomi Wilson. She knows all my secrets…and keeps them safe, never to share with anyone. I pull out the notebook and pencil out of my bag again. Naomi is the only one who knows about this, too. She steps into the faded street lamp’s light.

Naomi is beautiful with her long, black hair and blue eyes. Her skin has been gently tanned by the sun and shows no scars. Her clothes were simple, a long sleeved T-shirt, a denim jacket, and jeans. She had a plastic bag with her, who knows what was inside. She pulled out a tangerine and tossed it to me. I caught it and put down my prized possessions for a second. I started peeling my snack and eating the juicy citrus fruit. I have always loved tangerines.

“Whatcha workin’ on?” Naomi asked casually. She had gotten herself a tangerine out of the bag as well and was munching on the sliced sections.

“Nothing really. I just started writing a few words down.” I handed her the notebook and she read over what few lines I had written down. She gently placed it back on my lap.

“It’s okay. I wish I had one of those cuadernos sometimes,” Naomi pronounced the Spanish word for notebook fluently, “I would write down all of my worries. Every day, I would take my pencil and just write what happened to me that day. Then, when I am old and gray, I would flip through it and see what I did long after my memory forgot it.” I smiled. Naomi was Hispanic, and she was very thoughtful sometimes, especially about my notebook and pencil, or lapiz, as she called it. Someday, I promised myself, I will get Naomi her own notebook and pencil, so she will be able to know the joy of writing one’s thoughts and feelings on the sheets of fragile paper.

For hours, we sat there, discussing our feelings with each other. I flipped through the notebook aimlessly, skimming through the many stories I had written of a better society to live in, one I could only dream of. Naomi liked my stories, and I loved to write her new adventures to read. It was hard, teaching her to read, but she eventually understood it. Reading isn’t something they teach in schools anymore. Most of our society is illiterate, and what a shame that is. I find the best feelings reading books, escaping this cruel world I am forced to call home. Naomi suddenly turns her ear towards the distance, she hears something faint. I close my notebook and put away my pencil again. She then abandons the sound’s importance and smiles at me.

“Just a false alarm, nothing to worr…” but Naomi stops just as a hand cups over her mouth. Her wrists are bound together as she is dragged out of the alley.

“NAOMI!!!” I scream, but a hand covers my mouth too as restraints are being tied to my wrists too. The people throw me against a wall, and my head hurts from the impact. My captor grabs my bag and shoves his meaty hand through the fragile contents in that bag. He pulls out my notebook and pencil.

“What have we here?” he mutters to himself. He flips through my stories, and his eyes show confusion. I gasp. He is illiterate. He quickly understands however what the words signify this object to be. He sneers at me and drags me out into the open plaza along with Naomi. The townspeople are here as well. They all stare helplessly at Naomi and me, knowing our crime. My captor, a police officer, steals my bag and shows the notebook, full of my creativity, to the town. Some gasp, and others stay with their hard expressions. I finally free my hands and stealthily cut Naomi’s restraints as well. I grab her hand and we run out of sight from the police officers, knowing well I can never get my notebook or pencil back. I, fighting back tears, run into the woods. I try not to look back. But not before I see them toss my notebook and pencil into an incinerator.




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