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Mary Beth W., 11 Oct '12

"Where'd you get that bracelet?" Drew asked Skyler, pointing to a golden chain around her wrist. Linked onto the chain was a single word - Forever.

Skyler shook her head, her light blue eyes turning serious. "It's a long story," she told him, swiping her blonde hair back from her face.

"I like long stories," Drew persisted with a smirk. Skyler smiled at that.

"Fine. As long as you promise to keep everything I tell you a secret." Skyler said with a sigh. Drew nodded in earnest.

"Once upon a time, in a land not so far from here, in a time not so long ago -"

"I thought this was going to be a legit story, not some crummy fairy tail," Drew interrupted, but she shushed him.

Skyler started again. "Once upon a time, in a land not so far from this one, in a time not so long ago, there were two girls. The two were best friends, and they were both equally funny, equally happy, until one day something happened to the first girl. Something inside her was broken, something she couldn't fix. The girl didn't want to tell anybody, she didn't want anyone to share her pain. So she kept it to herself, stayed trapped, a slave to her dark emotions, until one day she accidentally said something to her best friend.

"The girl's friend was horrified. She pressed the girl to tell someone - anyone - to the point of making the girl cry. The girl didn't want to tell anyone, she didn't want anyone to know the truth about her. She was secretly afraid that if someone found out, they would hate her, discriminate her, treat her differently, be scared of her. She didn't want that.

"But the girl's friend pressed. She pressed her to the point of making her want to throw up with guilt. She-"

Just then, the bell rang. Drew gathered his books off his desk, and gave Skyler a long look. "I'm picking my younger brother up from the elementary school today. Want to walk with me? You can tell me the rest of the story then."

Skyler nodded. She was going to pick her younger siblings up as well. "Sure, sounds great," Skyler noticed how hollow her voice sounded, and only after Drew had left did she notice she had been holding her breath. Was it because of Drew or the story, or a combination of both? She didn't know.

After school, she found Drew waiting on the sidewalk outside her house for her. She inhaled the crisp autumnal air, filled with the sharp scent of wood smoke and the pungent smell of burning leaves. She danced her silver-painted fingernails over the golden chain on her arm. Today it felt like it weighed a million pounds on her wrist, but she knew that she would never take it off. She rolled her sleeves down farther, shivering at the nip in the air and at the fact that the story she was telling Drew was not a very happy one. She wondered how he would react when she was finished telling him, when he finally knew.

Drew's gray-green eyes and black hair waited patiently for her to speak - not speak about the weather or make small-talk about homework; that wasn't speaking, it was white noise - and finally, with a sigh, Skyler began.

"So...Where was I...?" She paused a minute, finding her place, then, "The girl's friend kept trying to get her to tell someone. She took it to the point of bullying. The girl realized that her friend hated her for this fear of discrimination, and that her friend hated her for her secret. The girl realized that her friend really wasn't her friend at all, and had probably never been. But she still didn't say anything. Not about her secret, not about her fears, not about how she was beginning to see her friend clearly for the first time."

By then they had come to the elementary school, and Skyler had to stop again while she signed her younger siblings out, and Drew his. They began walking back, but no one said a word.

When they came to the river that ran close to Skyler's house, her younger sister asked to stop and play for a little bit. Skyler told her she could, so the children played while Drew and Skyler watched them from a nearby bench.

"Tell me the rest of the story," Drew pleaded. Skyler was reluctant, but figured that he had already heard most of the story, so it couldn't hurt for him to hear the rest.

"Alright, but remember what you promised," Skyler said uncertainly. Drew nodded.

"One day, the girl's so-called friend said she had had enough. She called the girl worthless, stupid, stubborn, a suicidal, a druggie and so many more names. She said it had been a mistake to ever have become the girl's friend. She said she never wanted to see or talk to her again. And like nothing had ever happened between the two of them, like they were strangers passing on the street, the girl's 'friend' walked away. She never talked to her again.

"When the two girls were six, they had promised each other that they would be friends until the day they died. The girl had two bracelets - she had bought them at the Dollar Store when she was there with her mother; they only looked like real gold - one said 'Friends' and the other 'Forever'.

"Even though the girl is sure her used-to friend had gotten rid of the other bracelet, she kept hers. She feels trapped by the word, unable to let go, unable to take it off. She is a slave to the story, to the memory, Forever. Just like her bracelet says."

Comments · 3

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  • Charlotte Williams said...

    Really liked this. It was a nice way of putting a story across and portraying a relationship, well done :D

    • Posted 6 years ago
  • Audrey Semprun said...

    This story was sad and compelling. You might make the school setting in the beginning clear so when the bell rings it will be more in line with the reader's chain of thought. Nicely done. I liked how you engaged the senses.

    • Posted 6 years ago
  • Mary Beth W. said...

    Thank you both! @Audrey Semprun I will definitely work on that!

    • Posted 6 years ago