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Activist, Writer, Actress, Speaker. Acknowledgments and Idols: Antoinette Pippin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emma Watson

Message to Readers

I ran away once with my sister because our mother had yelled at us and called us 'disappointments', we went back and confronted her. I thought about expanding on the experience and this happened. The song is made up and not very thought about, bear in mind that all my stories are first drafts. Thanks!

The Things We Carried

May 6, 2016

As we walked farther away from the house and family we did not love, our backpacks clunked, clanked, with the sound of broken hearts and pain. Flashlights in our hands, shoulder touching, voices breaking. The night carries on as we walk, sounds of birds fill the air as the house grows smaller behind. My sister says nothing, but I hear her sniffing.
Jalen, my older sister, sniffing of relief and fear. She stands at 5 feet 9 with skin darker and hair longer than mine. I can see her dropping the weight of responsibility as she holds back tears. Bruises on her arm and face from when our drunken father hit her, cuts on her neck and eyelid from when the shards of his bottle bounced back off the table, they are softly shadowed in the moonlight. Her backpack holding all the food and water we stole, all the money and things we need. She always comes prepared, she's had her backpack ready ever since mom left. 
My backpack feels a lot heavier. The weight of three sandwiches and six water bottles clash with that of adrenaline and guilt. Guilty because Jalen always takes the punch for me; "It's for the best," Jalen had told me earlier before we snuck out, "I don't want him to hurt you." She doesn't, I know she doesn't. She has shown it on various occasions; she took the blame when I broke a vintage lamp when I was six and said she was the one who stole a sandwich from the fridge after he denied me dinner. 
Swish, swish, smash, swish, the sound of the water and sandwich bags fill the empty but comfortable gap between Jalen and I.
Her soft sniffs continue and then I burst into tears. All the tears I've held back since mom left spilled out. Jalen cries too. She pulls me into a tight hug and runs her hand through my hair, singing the song she's sang forever. 

She flies with the wind
moves with the willow
Girl in the broken
her mother's a widow
Sing very softly
it'll all end soon
girl don't you cry
just wait until noon
the sun will be high
darkness all gone
sing very softly
girl don't you cry
fly with the wind
​move with the will
girl don't you cry
just wait until noon'

Our backpacks are still on our backsides, heavy with guilt and relief and sorrow. Swish, swish, smash.


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  • May 6, 2016 - 10:36pm (Now Viewing)

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