5 o’clock

It was five o’clock. She sat next to me on a log separated by a foot of space and twenty years of life. Our legs stretched out enough so that when the waves crashed the water hit the sand and our feet. Our heads were turned to the west silently watching as clouds tried their best to force the sun to sleep. The moment was perfect until I realized that loneliness exuded from our bodies like the lightest of fragrances and we were bursting with unspoken words, but neither one of us wanted to break such silence. Finally, words started pouring out about the man that abandoned her. Her words were harsh in comparison to her petite body and old age, but she was angry and she wanted the infinite world above and below the water to hear her. It was as if I wasn’t her young niece she had ecstatically watched grow in her eighteen year old sister who had been destined for more than life as a young mother. I became her equal in the span of five minutes, so I listened and watched her show of humanity with fascination and horror; fascination because familial hierarchy was irrelevant when human suffering was involved and horror because every one was vulnerable even those you thought were strong enough to hold up the world.

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