Look Beyond

She sits in the grass on the outskirts of the playground, attempting to use words (on fresh white pages) to drown out the insistent voices of children screeching, squealing. It almost works, until she hears his words plain as day, above all: 
"Words mean nothing."

He blurted it out in passing, talking of things surely meant to impress her. A tiny seed of worry sprouted as he continued speaking...speaking as though he had not just sucked the air out of her lungs. Words mean nothing?

She had lived her entire life, so far, on the firm foundation of words: those that smoothly rolled off the tongue, those that stuck to the roof of the mouth like peanut butter toast, those that clung to the heart... 
...When she was younger, she had such a thirst for other people's words: she read well above her age range, she listened to adults speak in church, at parties, at parks. As she grew up, she began to find her voice. She began to fill page after page in journal after journal with her own words, seeking peace between the lines. When she was lonely, scared, angry, lost, she sought words that would both soothe and transport.

...And now he spoke three words that were supposed to change how she felt about words, about the core of her? No.

She closed the book and laid back in the grass, staring up at thick clouds and bright sunshine. She was at a loss. Again. 

How do you defend something that is such a crucial part of yourself, without pushing away the first person that has wrestled his way into your core while your head was turned? 

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