January 11th – By Serina Ruggeri

It’s coming up. The anniversary of her absence. The day my earth stood still.

How much I can remember the moment it all took place.

I watched those wretched words as they slipped out my mother’s mouth. As much as she wanted to tell me in loving and sympathetic words, they all sounded the same to me; like a thousand little knives aiming for my heart, all at the same time. Bulls eye.

My God, what a relief, I thought as I peered out my bedroom window, a lonely smile spread across my face. I had not imagined anything more heart wrenching, more uncontrollable; an itch that cannot be scratched.

Everything around me was strangely serene. The rain, echoing her laughter, trickled gently on the roof. The movement of the clouds had formed a pattern of her face. My tears slid, one by one down my red cheeks. If I could bottle them, I would show her how much she was deeply loved and missed.

The day she left, I felt my innocence had been stripped away. Like Eve, taking a bite of the apple. Like, Delilah cutting Samson’s hair, my strength withered.

My best friend. My distant sister. Gone. In just one moment. I fell to my knees in disbelief, gripping my bed sheets. Hours had passed, my eyes grew tiered and heavy, still I managed to squeeze out more tears. It was all I could do to feel closer to her. That and prayer. I knew that I couldn’t just picked up the phone to call her and tell her how I was feeling and that is what killed me the most. That night, as I lie awake in disbelief, my tears drenching my pillow, I reflected on the purpose for what we shared. My thoughts had wandered to a few months back when we had shared an afternoon together. When I had to leave, I remember our hug goodbye; long and powerful. It didn’t make sense to me then, but now I realize why I had hugged her for as long as I did. Maybe I was missing something. Maybe she tried to tell me something and I wasn’t listening. As my heart grew heavier and my tears fell harder, I heard her laugh one more time and whisper “It’s ok, I’m fine”.

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Serina Ruggeri resides in sunny South Florida and Upstate New York. She has been writing short stories, poems and micro-fiction since she can remember. Her hobbies are traveling, writing, and studying about fitness and health.

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