Speak & Listen

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"Dear Benjamin

I don’t know why I’m writing a letter to you in the middle of a Spin the Bottle game, but it makes sense anyway. I appreciate your understanding. You’re more beautiful than I ever assumed. I’m drunk, yes, but I’ll mean the same thing tomorrow. I lied, your mouth smelt like cherries and sweet strawberries. I never intend on giving you this letter, but I understand how you feel. And I would be there for you when everyone isn’t. Because I UNDERSTAND. Your hair is so sexy. Your dimples complement your smile, your eyes are similar to stars I see at night. I can’t love you, because I can’t change you into what I want you to be.

Yours dearly


I sealed it in an envelope. I didn’t know his address, but I would find out later, just like the rest. I know how disturbing that sounds.

I was quick to place the letter in the chest and quick as well to hide it before anyone entered, but I wasn’t quick enough to exit the closet in time.

“Hey...are you okay? We’re still playing downstairs and...we’re waiting for you.” Sophia was at the door, peeping with only her head in the room.

“Yeah...yeah, I’m okay. I’ll be right down.”

She left. There was no way she could’ve figured what I was doing in the closet and where I hid my chest. She was probably tipsy too, so I’m not risking anything. I think?

I ran downstairs, erratic as ever.

“Sorry guys, phone call...” I lied.

We continued playing. I don’t know how or why, but I didn’t get to kiss anyone. Everyone was starting to pass out. Benjamin first, then Sophia, Mia, Jeremiah and myself.

Next morning, Mia, Benjamin and Jeremiah had left. Sophia was up already, drinking coffee.


“Hey, hun. I’m dying.” she moaned.

“Where did everyone go?”

“They all attend church on Sundays.”

“After that drinking session last night?” I giggled.

“It’s called Repentance" she smiled

“Yeah, right.”

I made coffee for myself as well. Sophia seemed unrelaxed and fidgety, but I never asked. After drinking coffee, I cleaned up all the liquor stains and vacuumed. It was squeaky clean by the time Sophia had to leave. She was not okay, but I assumed that it was the aftermath, or after-shock, of the personal disclosures we made last night.

Mom’s car screeched from the driveway. I took out cookies and milk. That’s what she loved the most in her mornings. She entered with only her purse. She held it carelessly. Her footsteps were slower and lamer than usual. Her hair was all over her face.

In conclusion, she looked like a mess. Her eyes were wet. The mascara on her face has smudged and made a gory ghost-like appearance on her face. I was afraid to ask.

“Mom...what’s wrong? Are you hurt...?”

“...I’m as good as dead...”

“Mom what are you talking about?”

I went to her and touched her face. Her eyes had nothing, they told me nothing. She was as good as dead. But I wanted to know what killed her so much. What killed her soul and kept her body.

"Nana...” My grandmother. “She’s gone.”

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