Sounds of Silence

October 28, 2008
I wasn’t sure why I did it, I just did. The next thing I knew, I’d hurled myself out the door, raced down the steps, flung open the door, and sprinted into the room. The only thing I can spit out of my mouth – “Talk to me.” Meeting in 20 minutes—didn’t matter. I’ll get the notes later. Right now, her feelings were all that I was focusing on, no matter how long it took.
Not a minute before, my day had been going well. Nothing for me to worry about, just relaxing until I felt hungry enough to walk to dinner. Then it came. “I really need to talk to you. Please talk to me whenever you can.” I was gone. No questions asked. My shoes were on and I was out of my room before I could take another breath.
Curled into a ball on the floor, blanket wrapped snuggly around her, hugging her favorite Coca-Cola pillow, she just looked at me. Heaving sobs returned once I closed the door. I moved slower than any snail ever could, finally finding a spot on the floor next to her. After another rush of tears, she found a cozy spot on my shoulder as we waited for the tears to slow.
We didn’t, and wouldn’t, say a word.
Silence. I was afraid to utter a sound. I waited and waited. I didn’t care. She had my undivided attention for as long as she needed it. Five o’clock came and went. Time is stood still for me. That essay due in class the next day, or the call I should have been making, or the dinner plans that were about to be broken—irrelevant. After she calmed down, she finally told me what happened. “My dad is gone.” Silence. “He got kicked out of the house.” Silence. “I’m not sure what I’m going to. My family is being torn apart…” Steady breathing turned into staggered gasps. I wait. Nothing I can say right now would help. Sitting patiently, I stay there until the tears have run their course. Eventually, she mutters, “Thank you.”

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