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Example for Applicants

Example for Applicants

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Author: ourlovewasepic
Title: Wait
Challenge: Lyric - "Duncan" by Sarah Slean
Words: 851

When he'd seen his birthday - November 21st - listed across the thirteen inch television set, he hadn't been surprised. The odds had been what? One in three hundred sixty five? They would have eventually gotten to him whether it be sooner or later. It had only been sooner.

Maybe he had wished it bothered him more, but Duncan had learned to roll with the punches - so to speak. He hated that phrase, but inevitably was a person who used phrases like that despite the patience to stand it when others spoke such ways. That went on his internal list of things he hated about himself (nixing cliche phrases, it was the fact that he was a goddamn hypocrite). It was only his innate ability to be quiet and to stay quiet.

Silence, he had learned, was safety.

Anything other than silence invited strangers in. It opened him wide like a long laceration ready and bleeding itself for the hurt. That's why he had welcomed the mail. That's why when two weeks later a letter came - a listing, a place, a name too much like his own, the address on the front matching the number outside of his apartment and the name of his street - he'd opened it instead of tossing it away or trying to figure out a way to steal a van and drive up to Canada.

Really, he should have gotten something to shred the bit of paper. After all it was only a piece of paper and it was only a birthday. He'd nearly been born the twentieth, but they didn't make excuses for minutes or hours. He could only guess what they would have done for people born one second too late - obvious drafting. Time was and never would be tangible.

Time wouldn't have helped. She was beautiful (not the kind of beauty found in a dime store with a centerfold that stretched on and on) and he was not invisible, but he froze like he was fragile glass or ice that would shatter and melt to touch her. There was a she, there was always a she.

"My daddy has a van," she said, mousy brown shining curls falling into her dark doe eyes as the back of her palm brushed against his like she was waiting for an invitation to slip inside of him - lace her fingers in between his like knots. She spoke as if he hadn't thought of it before. He had.

"Your daddy is the mayor." Your daddy likes the van. Fuck, your daddy likes you.

"He likes you, after all that work you did this summer. You know, the town. Everything."

"That music festival, yeah."

"So, we could just tell him."

He could feel his blood chill, stick like it was clogging in his veins - in his throat.

God, if wants could suffice, he'd be long since satisfied. It wasn't as if he was carrying a torch just for her, it was just the ache that he couldn't quench. Turning and churning it fought to wreck him over, a sparrow's heart beating wildly in his chest with each word that slipped from her lips for him. The words that returned back autopilot and spaced for her, small gifts for someone who had none.

"Just tell him, huh?"

He looked up into her shining face, noticing the cherry lip gloss shine moistened by tip of her pink bubble gum tongue. A small motion that sent his chest tightening for air. He could feel the heavy thumping in his ears now - loud and pounding. For once, he felt inside of himself and that was a place he couldn't escape.

Her tone was kind, soft and everything he had hoped it would be. "About us," she said, her voice neither small nor nervous.

"There's... - There ain't nothin' to tell."

There was nothing. Nothing but the way her eyes would shimmer with something unshed - not tears, but something more. There was nothing but the way she'd exhale and inhale again. He looked to her as she took every breath as it was her first and last. He looked to her like the very essence of her could move him - and he waited.

There was a letter on the table at home - envelop ripped in two places - and he waited.
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