The Past

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It was fall. The leaves were just starting to turn and it was still warm. Not hot, but warm. The nights were crisp. They were on vacation in a beautiful place. There was a crescent moon and they went for a walk to get a better look. It had been years since they had even taken a walk together. There was no romance between them.

The landscape was flat, but there was a small hill in front of them. They climbed the hill to get a better look at the moon. In front of them was the ocean. He took her hand to help her up. He held on. Her instinct was to let go, but she made herself let him hold her hand. It had been years since they had even held hands. His hand felt foreign to her.

The moon over the ocean was beautiful, casting another moon into the ocean. He had always enjoyed the moon shadow but had never seen it very often over water. Usually just on land. She was a child of the sun. Over the years, she had become afraid of the dark. She didn’t know why. She found herself taking deep breaths, hoping to avoid a panic attack because of being in the dark. He gripped her hand tighter. He knew.

They stood there for a long time. Talking. Reminiscing about all the past years. He wanted to talk about the good times. She could hardly bear to remember the good times, but she tried. Good times with him seemed so very long ago. When he mentioned them, she tried to remember and laughed with him even when she had forgotten something he remembered completely. She had blocked out so much.

He told her he’d like to spend the night there on the beach. That he had sleeping bags in the car. It was his birthday. She hated to disappoint him. She felt like she had spent years disappointing him so she agreed. He found a good place and put the sleeping bags and a cooler with her water and some snacks down. They got in their sleeping bags. If he had done this years ago, she would have been pleased.

They laid there and talked for a while. Not about anything significant. Just about the beautiful place they had found here ten years ago. He reached for her hand. He fell asleep while they were holding hands. She laid there awake for a long time, thinking of how they had been only roommates for so long. How she didn’t know how to be anything else with him now. His hand was warm and made her feel safe. It made her remember the night they met. How he’d made her feel safe that night too. So long ago. She listened to the ocean all night.

She thought of what his mother had said all those years ago.

”It doesn’t matter if you love each other. You come from two different worlds. It will never work out in the long run.”

How right she had been. But, for some reason, they had always hung on to each other even though they would have been so much happier with other people.

She watched the sunrise, her hand still in his. What he didn’t know is that, now, she was sick.

 

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Mean Girls

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The two girls with bright red hair gazed at their creation hanging on the wall.

“See, Alicia, the one on the left.”

”Oh, she’s the smart bitch. The one the teachers all call on. Her Daddy drinks. She’s nothing.”

They giggled.

”The next one is the Marilyn Monroe chick, Katie. Ms. Beautiful. All the boys want her!”

”Oh, so is the next one, Alicia. She thinks she’s so tall and gorgeous, she’s going to be a model and smart to boot. Who wants to hang around with her?”

”I like the next one, Katie. She’s nice and just seems to be one of us girls. She even kisses the boys, she says! Let’s invite her to our next slumber party.”

”Don’t even mention the next one, Alicia. Her Daddy is some big shot and she thinks she is really something.”

”Alicia, the last one. I like her. Her mom is sick though and she doesn’t get to go anywhere.”

”That makes four of us at our next slumber party, Katie. We just need to find four more out of our high school class.”

After high school, when the ostracized girls weren’t heard from again, the two redheads couldn’t understand why.

200 words

Photo Credit to J Hardy Carroll