HUMAN

Everyday you wake up to choose either a coffee or a coffin, I chose coffee that day, but my friend chose a coffin. Everyone was there, her mom's eyes were wet, everyone sat in a circle around her consoling her, and I watched. I felt hands on my face and it was her sister, her sister's eyes were not dry too, she thought my wouldn't be too, but they were. "Why aren't you crying?" She asked, and I stared at her not saying anything. It happened when I was twelve, my mom said there was something wrong with me when I watched my father die with nothing in sight but his legs dangling and his body soulless. The doctor diagnosed me with alexythymia, and my mom read that as me being a creep, she still thinks that till date, she still thinks that as I do not mourn my friend. The summer went and so does the thought of her from everyone, they stopped talking about her situation and the source of her death was never revealed to me, I did not ask, and they did not tell. My mom worked as a teacher at the school I attended, when she was asked about me, she simply said, "she'll get over it with time", I'm fifteen and I'm still the same, no one asked about it again. They saw it for themselves. It was a Wednesday, school for that day had ended and mom was busy so she asked to wait for her, then I saw it, I saw a boy being hit on the head, he was bleeding from the head, he was screaming and tears were streaming down his face, I went back in to my classroom and met a teacher, I told him what I saw, and he looked at me for a moment, then went on with his work. "Why didn't you say it a little more seriously" his nose was scrunched, his eyes were red, probably from the tears, but I stood there, watching everything unfold, people had now gathered, some speculating that the boy was soulless. "Leave my daughter alone please" my mom said something when the man kept screaming at me, he looked at me one last time, before getting on his knees to take the boy, mom then stared at me too, her eyes were red, everyone's eyes were, except I was not part of everyone. After the incident, mom decided I should change to another school, she suggested a boarding school, and I nodded when she suggested that. We set off the Tuesday of the following week to a neighbouring town, throughout the drive, she held my hand and looked through the windscreen, I took my hand a few times to either fix my dress or drink water, she did not say a word and I did not ask why. We reached the school at noon. "Your roommate will be joining you shortly" the man looked like someone approaching forty, he had lines on his forehead, his eyes weren't on me as he spoke, the papers on his desk kept him busy. I expected to see my roommate a week or two after the man told me that, but I didn't see her till after three months, she came in not like I did, her eyes were puffy and her hand had scars, "What's wrong with you?" I asked her, she didn't respond, she had a mirror facing her, she turned away from it, maybe she did not want to look at it, "Does anything seem wrong with me?" "Your eyes are all puffy and your skin is all scarred, you don't look right" I "You're brutally honest" it almost came out like a whisper from her, I nodded when I met her eyes. She laid on her undone bed, and I saw her close her eyes, I did too. The next morning, I woke up and she was not there, I went on to my classes and saw her, she had the clothes from yesterday on, and her eyes were still like they were except a bit less swollen, "You're late" the teacher stopped teaching to face me, "I'm sorry" Mom had taught me phrases that she claimed would make me 'normal', she told me to use 'im sorry' more than the others and I did just that, when I did that often, her eyes didn't get teary every morning. The teacher went on with his lesson. ★★ "Wake up" I heard a voice faint as I tried to see though my eyelids. I opened them and it was her, she had changed from her previous clothes and her eyes were a little less puffy. "Classes are over" she said again and I nodded, she went out through the classroom door and I followed. Then suddenly I heard a loud thud. It was her. I looked around for a teacher but there was none. Then I heard her get up, she got up coughing as if choked by something, "Can't you help me up?" I saw her raise her hands right at me and I grabbed it and helped her up. "I heard you're sick too" she said and I found it very not related to the current situation, but I nodded. It rained and we stayed in the rain because she said so, we did that the day after and the week after. "School's over, see see you next... year?" I she said it like a question and walked out of the room with her suitcase as she waved at me, then I heard her slam the door right before I felt it, I touched my face to see if they were real and they were. Tears streamed down my cheeks and I did not stop them. I smiled.

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Tiana Mar

Poet & Aspiring Author

Srebrenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina