Belonging to the abyss (3 days ago)
Posted June 12th, 2019 by Ninasilverrose
in British Columbia
There was an unspoken understanding between the people of oldemeadow the following day, when Anne Marley officially got added to the missing people of this year. She was the first. For 5 years, nobody had gone missing. The town thought it was the end of grief and a mean for celebration. The celebration ceremony was supposed to be in a week, but I had a feeling that was getting canceled. This town has many secrets, but this is one of its worst. And now that Anne had gone missing, everyone knew what had happened to her. But nobody could bring themselves to say it.
Maybe we were all hoping it wasn't what we thought. But one thing was clear: Anne wouldn't be the last. So, that night, everyone locked their doors, pulled down the blinds and turned off the lights. And so did I. Nobody said a thing, we just did what we needed to do; it was an unspoken understanding between the people. Nobody dared use words, just actions. And so the town fell into darkness. It became invisible. Exactly what we wanted. The first time someone went missing, I was 5, a terrified bundle of tears stumbling in the dark, looking for my parents.
Nobody explained to me what had happened, or why we had turned the town dark; the only comforting thing was my mother, rocking me back and forth in her arms and quietly humming, more to calm her own nerves than mine. Gradually, I started to see the understanding between the people when someone else went missing. I started to make the connections on my own. Nobody in this town spoke about it. Seldom, and even those times it was very brief; just an acknowledgment of what had occurred and what to do. I managed to find some old articles on the subject, back when the town was called something else: Moonbrooke.
I didn't dare ask anyone, in case I broke the connection, which by itself was barely hanging by a thread. It felt like a sacred subject, a line that you couldn't cross. I lower myself into bed and exhale, exhausted. Mentally and emotionally. I missed Anne; her presence calmed me in an odd way, as if I was being caressed by the wings of a butterfly; a gentle tingle on my body. Cradling my throbbing head, I gaze up at the plain white ceiling of my bedroom.
"Sid? What's wrong?" I don't answer right away; not because I don't know the answer, but because the question took a minute or two to register in my head. I look at Josh's large, innocent eyes, and almost cry at that instant; but I told back the tears and force a smile.
"Oh, well the girl that went missing yesterday was my classmate, and I'm just worried about her, that's all." He offers me a comforting smile and sits at the edge of the bed.
"I'm sure they'll find her!" My throat tightens and I almost don't speak at all. Then I answer in a voice barely audible and at the verge of breaking:
"Yeah, they will. Of course they will." I felt tears well up and I brushed them away, repeating my sentence: "Of course they will..." And then I fell silent, gazing up at the ceiling blankly. Josh took the hint and the bed springs creaked as his weight lifted, the door gently closing after him. I listened to his footsteps retreat into the attic, and only then did I allow myself to finally close my eyes and fall asleep.
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