Driving to Church

Charmed Chaos

“When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time.” 

― Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

At fourteen, you don’t think too much about death;
but then there are days it kicks you in the gut.

Riding to a church meeting with my best friend
her mom driving, all three of us sitting in the front seat
I sat in the middle; we talked about school, about boys
while the radio played our favorite song- ‘Hey Jude
Don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better’…
laughing and enjoying the ride, until-

I heard her mother before Judy did
Wait- what did she say? Then the world slowed-
my hand reached for the radio knob to turn it down
and that’s when Judy heard it too-
Her mother kept repeating it over and over and over.

I tore my eyes away from her…

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