What The Darkness Conceals

Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. 8 times, then a click that makes my heart lift. Instead of her warm voice, brimming with apologies for missing my calls, my dozens of texts, it’s only a machine telling me to leave a message at the beep.
“Hi . . . I’ve called several times now and it’s late and I have school so I have to sleep but I’m worried about you and I can’t sleep please come home please be okay you have to be okay I love you so much please be okay please call me back I love you,” my words rush out without filters or thought and I can hear the waver in my voice. I’m pleading and begging and crying but I’m trying so hard to be brave and strong.
I put my phone down and flick of my light. Click. The darkness seems oppressive and quiet and I feel like I’m drowning in it. Click. Light pours back in and it becomes a little bit easier to forget about my demons.
I pick my phone back up. The screen grows bright, but it only shows the bright colors of my wallpaper. I set it back down. It goes bright again with a buzz and I nearly drop it as I fumble to see the name painted across the top. Caden Kelley. Not her. I disregard the text and wrap my arms around myself.
I lay down. Pull the blanket up to my neck. Close my eyes. Sit back up. Just one more, I think. I grab my phone again and tap out another message. “I hope you’re okay. I love you.” The message sends, bouncing out to her phone. I wish I could follow it. I want to be there next to her.
Before I can stop myself, I’m typing another message. “Please come and wake me up when you get home so I know you’re okay. I love you.” I send it. Guilt crashes over me. I’ve sent far too many texts. One should be enough.
I set my phone down in disgust and curl up facing the wall. I leave the light on and pull my blanket over my eyes to block it out.
I must manage to doze because it’s hours later that the front door slams and I’m jolted upright to bound out of my bed. She sweeps in the door, bringing with her the scent of all things good. She drops her heavy bags to the floor to hug me and tell me she’s sorry in a whisper. Her eyes are red and her voice rasps in her throat. I breathe the clean scent of her in deep and tell her I love her over and over again until I wear out the words.
She tells me she loves me back and then we return to our respective bedrooms.
I crawl into bed and heave a sigh. Click. The light fades away, only the glowing numbers on my alarm clock breaking the blackness. It seems more peaceful now. It no longer conceals the thousands of ways one might die on their way home to their family. No, instead it only conceals her, in the room through the wall, clambering into her own bed to fall into an exhausted sleep.






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Nobuo This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 26, 2014 at 2:54 pm
I like it, it's how many feel when waiting, I feel like it's more of you just writing out whatever pops in your head. Could you make it into a poem? Maybe refine it a little and it would be even better than it is. I'll keep reading what you have to share
 
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