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“It felt wrong to speak; the room already felt too full to handle the soundwaves.”

Her long blonde curls stuck to the tears on her face, her barely visible blue eyes already bloodshot. The second her feet hit the floor, she collapsed. She was probably ten feet away from me, but I had kicked all my blankets and pillows off my bed in my sleep, cluttering the space between us. My palms had just started to press into the mattress to jump up, but she was already pushing herself back to her feet and stumbling into the bathroom. I heard her getting sick over the toilet. I vaguely remembered reading somewhere that shock and grief could do that to you. I suppose losing your best friend to some unknown cause the first weekend of college constituted both. I stood and took a few steps toward the bathroom door, then stopped again, unsure of where I was going. “What do we do?” Hannah whispered, still perched on the bed. I thought that avoiding religious clichés would be a good start, but I did not answer. It felt wrong to speak; the room already felt too full to handle the soundwaves. “I was trying to help,” Hannah said. I wanted to tell her to stop trying. I wanted t o tell her she had no idea what she was doing, that she was only making things worse. But maybe she was doing better than I was. The bathroom door swung open. I was struck again by how small Cassie was. I was taller than most girls, but I felt like a looming troll next to Cassie. Tears still ran down her face, but less violently now. She took no note of them but stared at the floor. I thought that I should get her a tissue, but remained still. “You need me to drive you to the hospital?” I asked. Cassie shook her head. “Kristen is on her way up.” I nodded. I did not know who that was, but it really didn’t matter. Cassie reached for her glasses on her desk, but her shaky hands knocked them to the ground. The clatter they made disrespected the silence of the room and further cemented me in place as though my stillness would counteract the jarring sound. I stood and watched like a driver pulled over on the side of the road for a funeral procession. Standing didn’t really do anything, but it felt wrong to sit or look away. The girl I assumed was Kristen came to the door. She said nothing, but hugged Cassie and walked out with her. I heard a small crack as they left and saw my plastic pen on the ground where Cassie had stepped on it. I picked up the destroyed ballpoint, ink running down my hand like tears for a pain that I had no right to.

Profile for Ivy Leaves Journal of Literature & Art

Ivy Leaves Journal of Literature & Art — Vol 93  

The Ivy Leaves Journal of Literature & Art is an annual student publication at Anderson University in Anderson, SC. The journal has served a...

Ivy Leaves Journal of Literature & Art — Vol 93  

The Ivy Leaves Journal of Literature & Art is an annual student publication at Anderson University in Anderson, SC. The journal has served a...

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