Day 178

Day 178

A Chapter by C. R. Hillin

 

“The Best of You”

By The Foo Fighters

 

I’ve got another confession to make:

I’m your fool.

Everyone’s got their chains to break,

Holding you.

 

Were you born to resist?

Or be abused?

 

Is someone getting the best, the best,

The best, the best of you?

 

(Or are you gone

And on to someone new?)

 

I needed somewhere to hang my head

Without your noose"

You gave me something that I didn’t have

But had no use.

 

I was too weak to give in

Too strong to lose.

 

My heart is under arrest again,

But I’ll break loose.

My head is giving me life, or death,

But I can’t choose.

 

I swear I’ll never give in,

I refuse.

 

Is someone getting the best, the best,

The best, the best of you?

 

Has someone taken your faith?

It’s real"

The pain you feel"

The life"the love"

You’d die to heal.

The hope that starts"

The broken hearts"

You trust"

You must confess:

 

Is someone getting the best, the best,

The best, the best of you?

 

I’ve got another confession, my friend:

I’m no fool.

I’m getting tired of starting again

Somewhere new.

 

Were you born to resist,

Or be abused?

I swear I’ll never give in,

I refuse.

 

Is someone getting the best, the best,

The best, the best of you?

Has someone taken your faith?

It’s real"

The pain you feel"

You trust"

You must confess:

 

Is someone getting the best, the best,

The best, the best of you?

 

 

4ooo Breaths

4000 B R E A T H S

 

 

Day 178

 

A small boy sits behind a wooden play house in a shaded backyard, hiding his face and crying. The sky above him is a pitiless steel gray; the houses around him are separated by oceans of grass and high fences, dozens of trees towering over him, unfriendly and unforgiving. He hides from the lighted windows of the house behind him, shivering when the wind touches him.

“Hello,” says a voice.

The boy flinches and looks around, confused"but then he sees the owner of the voice, a young girl, and relaxes: there is no danger from another child, they are all just like him.

The girl is strange, he knows that much. Not because she is speaking from the top of his fence as she climbs up to sit on its top"this is unusual to him, but more a cause of envy than alarm, for he is too scared to try. Mostly, he thinks that her looks are strange: he has never seen someone with skin the same color as coffee, or hair so straight and rough and tangled, or wearing a dress made of strange material and sewn all over with beads. This, though, makes her all the more interesting to him.

“Hi,” he says shyly.

“What is…?” she asks, pointing to her face. The boy blushes and covers his blackened eye with his hand.

“Nothing,” he mutters nervously.

She looks concerned. “You are sad?” she asks him.

He nods, wiping his nose on his sleeve.

“Why?” she says, and he cannot understand why she looks alarmed, even scared, by this news.

He does not want to tell her about his mother, and he cannot tell her about his father. So the only answer he can give is, again, “Nothing.”

She frowns, confused, but lets it go. “Can I play?” she asks him, her voice loud and brazen, but also very sweet.

“Um,” he says, uncertain"he thought that he liked her, but…. “My daddy says no one’s allowed over.”

“Why?” she wants to know.

“I don’t know,” he admits.

She shrugs, swinging her legs over the fence and jumping down. The boy yelps in alarm, but she lands unhurt, sitting across from him.

“Can we…will be friends?” she asks him.

There’s something funny about her voice"she stumbles over some of the words, unsure of them, and says the wrong ones. He wonders why.

“You want to be friends with me?” he says warily.

“Yes!” she says, with a huge smile.

“Okay,” he says, smiling too. He is relieved; lately, he has been feeling very much alone. He would like a friend. “I’m Evan.”

“My name is Immokaleah,” she says, faltering slightly over each word but her own name. Evan is just the opposite; he cannot wrap his mind around her elaborate name.

“That’s too long,” he complains.

She giggles. “It means ‘waterfall’. Is it really too long?”

“Yeah…? ‘Waterfall’? Really?” he adds, wrinkling his nose. It sounds very girly to him.

She laughs at his expression. “Yes.”

“I can’t say that…can I call you something else? Like Callie?” His mother had once had a cat named Callie, and this strange girl reminded him of her.

“Kylie?” she repeats, mulling it over. Then she smiles. “I like that!”

“Okay. Kylie,” he agrees, deciding not to correct her. Her version sounds good too.

She giggles again, pleased. “What do…what did your name mean?”

He shrugs. “I dunno. You talk funny,” he points out, but not unkindly. He is just curious.

She frowns, looking sheepish. “I do not know English better,” she says in her awkward way.

“Why not?” he wants to know.

“I am learning, my etsi"my mama"she teaches me, but it is hard,” she admits.

He is not quite sure why English should be hard, when everyone he’s ever met had no trouble with it, but says right away, “I can help you, if you want. Since we’re friends now.”

“Really?” She beams at him. He likes the way her face lights up; he can’t help smiling back at her.

“Yeah. It’s easy,” he promises.

To his surprise, she dives at him and hugs him; at first he is terrified and wants to hit her, but she’s a girl, and he isn’t allowed to hit girls. And she’s not hurting him, it’s just a hug. But he wants her to let go. To his relief, she does so before he has to ask. “You’re nice! You’re nice!” she exclaims, giggling uncontrollably. “You’re very nice! I’ll teach you something too, if you want,” she adds, eyes shining eagerly.

“Really?” he says cautiously.

“Yes! I can teach you Tsalagi, if you wish!”

“What’s that?” he wants to know.

“Ah"” This confuses her for a moment. “Is"my language. What do you name it? Nature American?”

“Native American?” he clarifies, his eyes wide. “You mean you’re an Indian?”

“No!” she protests. “I’m"Cherokee. That is it,” she tells him, satisfied.

“Cherokee? That’s so cool!” he exclaims. “Will you really teach me?”

“Yes!” she says, covering her hands with her mouth and laughing again.

He thinks that she is a very interesting person. He is happy to have someone nice to talk to. And though he is bewildered, unsure what he has done to make her so happy with him, he likes her smile and her laugh, and he is possessed by a strange determination to make her happy again and again, all the time, for the longest span of time that his eight-year-old mind can comprehend. 



© 2010 C. R. Hillin


Author's Note

C. R. Hillin
Italics means a flashback; every other chapter is a flashback, and they move backwards in time.

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Added on November 1, 2010
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C. R. Hillin
C. R. Hillin

AUSTIN, TX



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