The sun wasn’t shining that day. The skies were clear, but the sun wasn’t shining. It was set to be a bad day anyway, as we, all of us, lined up on the polished hardwood floors pretending to not be nervous for the flashing lights and the smiles for strangers. Then you walked in, you, who meant everything to me, you who never failed to bring a smile to my face, and gave me the news that the world had changed.
The sun wasn’t shining that day.
We, all of us, stood there among each other, around each other, near each other, but completely alone. I felt you count your breaths. You felt our chests collapse in fear. You, who meant everything to us, all of us, you, who never failed to bring smiles to our faces, took everything with you from the room that day. It must have been the worst day of your life, to watch my eyes blur with water. To watch us lose hope. We, all of us, were so young.
I followed you down the linoleum hallway because I liked to follow you. You always knew where you were going, and I followed you because I was lost. We were lost. We followed you because we needed someone to tell us what was going to happen, what it all meant. And you wrapped me in your arms because you didn’t have words.
No one had words. I sat next to my father and watched him try to explain, but he just cried and told me what we didn’t know. He spoke a name, and then told me what we, all of us, didn’t know.
There were a lot of M&Ms because there were always a lot of M&Ms. And I ate them one at a time and watched everyone who understood, everyone who knew already of what the world was capable, stare at the ground and press their lips together.
We, he and I, ate M&Ms and didn’t ask any questions because when people spoke they cried. And we were tired of people crying. We offered them M&Ms and they laughed. It seemed to be the right thing to do, to eat chocolate. So we ate chocolate and sat on the floor because the floor was for people who didn’t understand, and we didn’t understand, he and I.
The blues of the sky reminded us how dark the day was, how much darker it got as the dust settled. So much dust to settle. The blues had appropriately faded but the dust kept settling, and as midnight approached (all of us awake to watch the day end) we willed our blues to fade, too.
(There's a happier update on Just Discretion, too, if you're interested!)