Ghost Towns Whisper Softly This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Vibrations of cars passed violently as we giggled, forgetting time existed. We looked up at the moon and you dropped a cliché’ line, “I’d get that for you, I promise.” I smiled, knowing this wasn’t my place. Knowing he wasn’t home and knowing this was an empty promise like his empty devilish smile. But my stomach still turned at the nice gesture he presented.

Darkness grew, as did the silence. My breathing was still, not wanting to ruin any moment there might’ve been. I held his hand in mine, something I was once used to, and watched the pavement pass under our steady delicate steps. I knew what I was doing was wrong. His hand wasn’t mine to hold anymore, nor was mine for him. But I kept silent and watched the street lights dance and play as we walked under orange halos. I knew what was rushing through each nerve ending and corner of my mind. I was terrified to ask what was going through his.

I was slipping into 6 months of a past, a piece of the old me. I was like a ghost wandering through this old home. It was never home. It was all building up behind the pressure of his hand squeezing mine, hopefully understanding it all too. Feeling like we were lost ghosts wandering.

We continued on this was, as ghosts, lost on these streets we grew up on. We kept walking until we collapsed on the prickly grass of my backyard. I could see sleep filming his eyes, uncomfortable. He still allowed me to use him as a comfort pillow. So I could rest too. He guarded me from the cold winds.

I looked at the stars above us on the 2am dark blanket. They glistened and sparkled beautifully. They were glorious, stunning even, until I remember his lake eyes. They still stood out in this sinful darkness. I remember the days we’d lay down and I’d get so lost in his eyes. I never could see to the depths of them, see the real him. I still can’t, not in this moment.

The silent bliss is shattered by an alarm on his cell phone. It signaled time was winding down. We gathered ourselves and walked indoors only to once again collapse on a floor. A comforter spread across the floor was all we needed. The shadows on the dimmed tv casted shadows across his face. I was awestruck in remembrance.

He kissed the tip of my nose so delicately I barely felt it. He whispered a goodnight and a sweet smile. It was the first time I’d seen his smile reach his eyes in so long. It was a warming moment. They were sparkling again. He lay on his back, eyes closed and fingertips lightly, like butterflies wings, grazed my skin. It was familiar. I stretched up to place my lips lightly on his cheek. His lids flew open and he turned toward me, pulling me in closer. There was no distance to go back.

I traced his face as he stared me down. With every soft movement I knew how wrong I was. I also knew, this was the past I needed to see one more time to get it out of my head forever. He was miles away while lake eyes was staring me down right in front of me. This was false chemistry; I knew it was one simple night.

My fingertips passed over his soft lips. I traced them, remembering how they felt against mine. I kept my eyes there, fear keeping them from his. But my eyes slowly drifted up to see his smiling. My mistake was a few centimeters away.

Our eyes drifted shut and lips delicately collided. I pulled away. He was smiling at me but my mouth was slightly open, eyes full of shock and disappointment.
I broke the silence, and his smile, with a quiet, “Why’d you do it?” He didn’t know. He just laid back and put his arm over his face, staring at the ceiling. I did my best to ask what he was thinking but he wouldn’t say, only an “I don’t know. I’m confused.”

Tears welled up and I pulled away from him. Laying back as well. I knew this was always a mistake. I knew he was never really here. Just another weekend. Our days were dead; like the lily pad he fetched me when I said, “Please get me a lily pad Willie.”

The night faded and the sun broke through the blinds as the tears spilled over. It was uncontrollable. I watched you walk away after whispering, “I wished it’d happen”, in your ear as we hugged goodbye one last time. I knew, as you walked down the road, tomorrow liquor would pass your lips as would another girl. Your drugged mind would block this all. It was nothing. Just a memory passing through like a ghost in a town.





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