Lily was a simple girl with simple dreams and a simple life,
but not to Michelle. To Michelle, Lily wasn't simple at all.
She was what poems call beauty. Especially when she sat on the
little park benches on the roof of her apartment, and read
cloth covered books. Books so moving that when she read them
sometimes a single tear would drip down her baby soft cheek,
which was always covered in her favorite berry colored blush.
The roof much quieter, the wind much softer when she sat up
there, drinking from her chipped blue cup that said "Daddy's
girl". The cup she tried to throw away so many times but
always held onto like a security blanket. On really cold days
it snowed fluffy cotton-like flakes that drifted onto her warm
yellow mittens. But even then, she perched herself up there.
At night, she would stay up past one, hoping and
wondering, her mind always moving. Michelle would sit outside
her door sometimes, watching the glowing light emencing from
under Lily's door. The light seemed to shimmer, like the
shimmery lip gloss she'd smear on her lips on thursday nights
when she went down by the pier. The boys busy with their cool
glass bottles filled with bitter liquid, bitter like love
turned foul by girls with trusting green eyes.
Lily's apartment was enormous. Filled with whimsical plants,
antique lamps, and a huge oriental rug that covered her cold wooden
floor. She bought it at a thrift store for $30. She often
wondered the rugs history. Who had been in love on it, what
children had played on it. When she finally did decide to
sleep, she'd curl up into a ball on the rug, tight and safe.
Michelle couldn't believe nobody talked to Lily, with her long
slim stomach and cute little hands. She drove the boys wild.
Michelle watched her everyday. She would buy the same berry
colored blush as Lily, and she wore than same plain flowing
black skirt and white button up shirt, which was never buttoned
One day Michelle decided to tell Lily her love for her. Not
really the kind of love like in the movies but Lily
inspired her, she made her a better person without even knowing
it, but she soon WOULD know.
Michelle started up the stairs to the apartment building, worry
festering in her stomach. She pulled open the heavy gray door
and was immediately hit with the familiar smell of baby formula
and cat urine. She squinted into the dim hallway and started up
a flight of stairs.
The lights flickered over her head as she stepped over piles of
trash. She passed a door that was swung open, a large woman
stood there with a Mickey Mouse shirt hanging off her shoulder,
a turquoise colored bra showing. She was crying, and so was
the child she cradled. The child looked about four and still
wore a diaper, his little face covered in food or dirt. A man,
drunk or dead, lay in the doorway face down. Michelle walked
around him, her eyes glued to the child's hint of bruising on
his chest. She walked up another flight of stairs and came to
Lily's door. A light tan door with graffiti. Michelle knew
every scratch on the key hole, every crack in the paint, by
heart. That door had been her savior some nights, when she sat
outside the room, just to be near Lily.
She knocked on the door and nobody answered. She slowly creaked
open the door and heard faint music playing somewhere in the apartment.
Michelle spun around smelling the hint of strawberry and
purity. She fell into Lily's bed and closed her eyes, imagining
she WAS Lily. Then, she sat up, wondering where Lily was. She
went outside the room and climbed another flight of stairs to
the roof. She stepped up and saw Lily standing on the ledge
looking down. Her long dark brown hair caught in the wind, her
long flowing black skirt wrapping around her. Michelle cocked
her head to the side and walked slowly toward Lily. Just then
Lily let herself fall freely over the ledge. Michelle hurried
to the ledge and watched Lily fall. She looked up at Michelle
and she fell and smiled. Her arms flowing above her, tangled in
her hair. It was the most beautiful moment of Michelle's life.
She stood upon the ledge, and she whispered Lily's name. And
then she jumped into infinity.
Submitted by Tricia Fisher, Cameron, Missouri
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