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Harper: Slow
By
Colors_of_the_Wind

Harper: Slow

Inspired by: Slow by TheSarahJade on YouTube

"I miss you so much."

I kneel on the grass and stare into the darkening horizon for a long period of time, my mind whirling, the compulsively organized file cabinets in my brain spewing memories onto the floor. I am forced to sift through them in order to find their dwelling place.

I run into the memory of standing up for you to Dad. His voice pierces my heart, driving as deep as it did the first time around.

"No son of mine is a fucking faggot."

Your eyes had glazed over even as you smiled that joking, arrogant smile and claimed a date with the hottest girl in school was in your future. Dad joined in the joke, laughed a little with you, and turned to go do his chores around the house. You smirked at me and I smiled back, never the wiser.

I shove that memory into the Don't Read cabinet and continue cleaning up my brain.

The next memory I run into is a happier one. Neither of us had dates to the dance. As siblings, we got along very well, so we went together and carpooled with a couple friends- one of yours and one of mine. I never thought anything of it when you two disappeared. I just figured you'd gone to look for someone to dance with. I never guessed that it was the two of you who were dance partners.

When I saw your I'm-sad-but-I'm-not-going-to-let-you-see-it expression back in the car after the dance, I just figured you hadn't found anyone and he had. I never guessed that he'd broken up with you.

I never guessed that you were bullied at school or that he'd only gone out with you as a joke.

I never guessed that you'd fallen in love with him, or the him that he'd created.

I never guessed that you didn't tell me because you thought I'd disown you too.

I never thought that pain could drown a person. Never thought that it could swallow them whole and blind them of all the bright, wonderful things in life.

At least, I never thought that until I opened my eyes that morning and went for my walk and found emergency crews under the bridge over Green River. They were pulling a body out and as I saw the clothes the body had on... and as my iPod slid from Runs In The Family by Amanda Palmer to Not Supposed to Go Like That by Rascal Flatts... I recognized the body.

I thought I was wrong. I knew I had to be wrong. There was just no way that cold, dead thing was you. It happened too fast- you were too young, you were too happy. You were always smiling, always laughing and telling jokes. You- and I- were two months from graduating. We, brother and sister, were going to get an apartment together. The first step to moving out on our own was moving out of the house together. Twins. Inseparable, now separated by something a lot more complicated than distance.

I thought it happened quickly then, but now as I run through memories, sitting in front of your gravestone, eyes as dull as yours had been when they pulled you from the river, I understand that it doesn't happen quickly. It happens slowly- painfully slowly. It suffocated you even before you weighted yourself down and jumped off that bridge. But it doesn't stop just because you die, Harley, it's just passed on to the next person down the line. Apparently, the next one in line is me.

Dear Mom and Dad,

I understand why Harley did it.

I understand that it wasn't as quick and painless as we thought it was.

It was painful. It was suffocating.

And

it

is

Slow.
This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012-2019 by Aria Leitner aka Colors_of_the_Wind

Posted with permission at storiesspace.com

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