Our DemonsMature

"1984?"  Avery asked.  "That's thirty years.  I died in April of 2014."

Theresa didn't seem to care.  "Is it?  That's not too bad, I guess."

Avery was shocked.  "That's almost twice as long as I've been alive."  She pondered.  "You missed cell phones...  Hell, you weren't even around for 9/11."

This perked Theresa's ears up.  "I have seen some people who were...  Involved with that.  Both sides."  She looked up at the blank sky through the bus stop's glass roof.  "It's very sad.  Much more sad than my story."

They sat there.

"This is sad, too."

"I guess that's true."  Theresa looked back at Avery.  "But look.  You can see them in the distance...  If you really try.  They're all out there in the darkness - a thousand stories, so much pain..."

Now that she tried, Avery could see shapes off in the distance, moving like the shadows they were through the abyss.  Each was indistinguishable from the last.

"But thirty years in the grand scheme of things is nothing.  I think I saw Cleopatra around here somewhere..."

Avery stood up, infuriated.  "How can you sit here and belittle yourself next to these other people who are in the same boat as you?"

Theresa looked confused.  "What are you talking about?"

"These people!"  She gestured to the world around her.  "You talk like they're better than you, just because some of them died earlier or 'worse' than you.  Is this why you killed yourself?  Because you felt insignificant?  You're just as good if not better than every single one of them, Theresa."  Avery leaned down to look her dead in the face.  "If you took your own life because you didn't feel important, then what's the point of what you did if you still feel that way now?  What's the point, Theresa?"

Theresa was crying, but within her eyes Avery could see a light turn on.  Her hands were shaking, grasping her knees intensely.

Avery sat back down, depleted.  "I..."  She swallowed and put her hand on Theresa's shoulder.  "I'm so sorry.  I didn't mean to--"

"No."  Theresa turned to look directly at her.  "Thank you.  I...  I think I understand."  She smiled.  "I get it now."

Avery smiled back.

"What about you, Avery?  What's holding you back?"

Immediately, Avery's heart dropped in her chest and she turned away from Theresa.  "I'm not sure.  I think I almost had it earlier, but...  It was too much."

A new sensation came into being for Avery.  Theresa's arms wrapped around Avery's small, fragile body in a way that made her feel safe from everything outside.  Her warm breath against Avery's neck and the sounds of her soft whispers almost seemed to lull away all of the young girl's fears.

For the first time in what seemed like forever, Avery was being held by another person.

"There's no rush at all, Avery.  I'll be here as long as it takes..."  Theresa whispered comfortingly into her ear.  "We'll get through whatever demons you have together."

The End

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