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Orange Juice

The glass of orange juice is cold in my hand, and I can imagine how it will feel when it slides down my dry throat. Yet I don't drink. All I do is stare out the window into the cold morning and wonder what the heck life’s about.
My mother walks into the kitchen, gently ruffles my head, and heads to the living room, where I hear her crashing onto the leather couch with a sigh older than her years. No words pass between us anymore, and our house has turned to a silent asylum. It’s the dead silence that makes us bananas.
I look down into my glass of orange juice, lose myself in the color. No matter how much I try not to think about it, I do anyways. It’s imprinted so strongly in my mind that I can’t avoid it, climb over the mental obstacle in my mental running sneakers. Today I guess my brain’s wearing flats.
I sigh. Ok, I’ll think about it. But then I have to stop and put it aside. One side of my brain seems to groan in relief and pleasure.
The feel of his hand in mine, nice and warm, like clothes fresh out of the dryer. His smell, a perfect mix of guy and sticky love. I remember the sound of my heart pumping so loud, the constant question, “does he love me?” I gave his hand a squeeze, felt ecstatic when he squeezed back. I looked up to his face (blue eyes and all) and felt my heart skip several hectic beats. The words leaving my mouth before I can register them, “I love you.”
The silence in return. The silence that I’d learned to hate twisting my stomach around into highway exits, threatening to combust.
“I love you too.”
Glorious, glorious euphoria, complete joy. I don’t know what my face looked like, but probably something straight out of a sappy soap opera.
Deep inside, I knew all this love would one day end.
Right now, I look back and tell myself I’m an idiot for believing in teenage love. There is no such thing, I tell myself, just hormones. The grip around my glass of orange juice tightens, in tune with my heart. That moment today, it was nothing, meant nothing, because in a year our love will be gone like this orange juice.
In the next room, I hear my mother sigh again. As if she were sighing for me.




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