CHRISTIANS CARE. Spring 2016 - Page 6

Journey

ISABELLA MARTINEZ
They sat on the bank of a dark gray river . The water lapped at the dirty grass that lined the edge of the banks , threatening to drown the vegetation all together in the disgusting sludge . A dank fog rose up from the river , blotting out the bright lights on the other side and giving the entire scene a ghostly appearance .
It wasn ’ t a nice effect . Anyone who happened to look down towards the river from the noisy road would probably wonder what the hell those four teens were doing . Some might decide that the youths were involved in some sort of illicit activity . But , truth be told , most would not care . Because that was the type of place this was . People rarely cared about others .
Which is why the small group of four was so unusual . Four people not only having a conversation but meeting again and again to talk with each other ? Perhaps they actually cared about each other – or pretended to do so .
“ What do you think it ’ s like ?” one of the girls said suddenly . She was not remarkable in any way . The gray light bleached away all color from her face and made her hair an ugly mass of shadows . But something in her voice carried a hint of it which would have attracted the undivided attention of anyone else on their side of the river .
“ What are you talking about H ?” asked the other girl . This one didn ’ t have that hint of something in her voice . It was harsh , almost cruel . But H didn ’ t seem to mind . “ Across the river ,” replied H . She strained her eyes , trying to see more than just dim lights . “ Warm ,” answered one of the boys instantly . There was a note in his voice that seemed to signify a shiver , as if he were cold and always cold .
“ Warm ?” the second girl pulled a face that the others could barely see in the dim light . “ Do you even remember what warm is , B ?” “ Don ’ t you ?” B asked her . The second girl ’ s gaze darkened and she didn ’ t reply . “ It ’ s like …” B searched for the words . “ It ’ s like every muscle in your body relaxes , and you stop fighting yourself . And you don ’ t need to think about being cold because you aren ’ t …”
“ I think you made it up ,” said the second girl harshly . “ I don ’ t think it ’ s possible .” B ’ s face fell and H frowned at her . “ You don ’ t need to be mean , C .” “ I ’ m not being mean ,” C insisted . “ I ’ m being realistic .”
Finally , the fourth youth spoke . He ’ d been seemingly ignoring the conversation , taking long drags on a rolled up tube that could be a cigarette , could be a joint . But he suddenly spoke up , and said in a halting voice , “ Can we … can we even be realistic … here ?”
“ I think we can ,” said H softly . “ I think we ’ re still real .”
“ I thought we were beyond real ,” said B seriously . “ Aren ’ t we …? Didn ’ t we …? In a hospital or from a gun or …”
“ And it doesn ’ t matter anyway ,” C snapped . She was getting annoyed with them . This talk made her heart pound uncomfortably . “ What ’ s the point of talking about what is real or not real ? Or even about the other side of the river ? We ’ re stuck here .” “ I think we can ,” said H softly . “ I think we ’ re still real .” “ I thought we were beyond real ,” said B seriously . “ And it doesn ’ t matter anyway ,” C snapped . She was getting annoyed with them . This talk made her heart pound uncomfortably . “ What ’ s the point of talking about what is real or not real ? Or even about the other side of the river ? We ’ re stuck here .” “ What about the Bridge ?” asked H suddenly . “ The Bridge ?” C actually laughed . “ Don ’ t be stupid , H . People like us don ’ t get over the Bridge .”
The Bridge gleamed tantalizingly just down the river . It was the only thing that was clear through the gloom of the day – or was it night ? It was this Bridge that gave the youths enough light to see as they sat on the edge of the river . Sometimes , people could see others crossing the Bridge , where they disappeared into the mist forever .
“ How would you know ?” asked H . “ Don ’ t be stupid ,” C repeated . “ Everyone just knows .” “ But why ?” H insisted . “ Cut it out , H ,” C complained . “ What are you going to do ? Try to cross the Bridge ?”
H hesitated , her eyes on the dim lights across the water . “ You would ?” C ’ s eyes got wide . “ H ! No one ever comes back ! What if it ’ s even worse there than it is here ?” “ It can ’ t be worse than here ,” H replied stubbornly .
“ I want to see color again ! I want to feel warm !” “ Color ? Warmth ?” C shook her head . “ Those are things we made up back when we were there . They don ’ t exist . At least we know what to expect here . We have no idea what lies on the other side of the Bridge .”
H suddenly stood . Her mind was made up . Maybe it had always been made up .
“ I ’ m going to try ,” she said fiercely . “ Who ’ s coming with me ?”
C shook her head and looked back at the river . “ You ’ re a fool .”
H looked at B . B rubbed his arms miserably , looking at the grey water and said , “ I don ’ t know , H … what if C ’ s right ? What if it ’ s colder there ?” And he didn ’ t stand .
But the fourth boy stood , flicking the almost finished roll into the river . “ I ’ ll go ,” he said . “ May … maybe you ’ re … I ’ ll try .”
H nodded at him and set off towards the Bridge , following
4 CORNERSTONE Magazine
Journey ISABELLA MARTINEZ They sat on the bank of a dark gray river. The water lapped at the dirty grass that lined the edge of the banks, threatening to drown the vegetation all together in the disgusting sludge. A dank fog rose up from the river, blotting out the bright lights on the other side and giving the entire scene a ghostly appearance. It wasn’t a nice effect. Anyone who happened to look down towards the river from the noisy road would p ɽݽȁݡЁѡѡ͔ȁѕ́ݕɔ)MЁѡЁѡѡ́ݕɔ)ٽٕͽͽЁЁѥ٥丁 аѠѽ)ЁݽձЁɔ ͔ѡЁ݅́ѡ)ѡ̸́݅AɅɕ䁍ɕЁѡ̸($)]́ݡѡ͵ɽȁ݅́ͼչՅ)ȁЁ䁡٥ٕͅѥЁѥ)ѼхݥѠѡAɡ́ѡ)Յ䁍ɕЁѡȃLȁɕѕѼͼ+q]Ёԁѡӊétѡɱ́ͅ)Ց丁M݅́Ёɕɭ݅丁QɅ)Ё݅䁅ȁɽȁ)ȁȁ՝䁵̸́͡ Ёͽѡ)ٽɥЁЁݡݽձٔɅѕѡ)չ٥ѕѥ役͔ѡȁͥѡɥٕȸ+q]ЁɔԁхЁ tͭѡѡȁɰ)Q́eЁٔѡЁЁͽѡȁٽ)%Ё݅́͠ЁՕ Ё eЁ͕Ѽ+qɽ́ѡɥٕȳtɕ MɅ)̰她Ѽ͕ɔѡЁ̸+q]ɴtݕɕѡ́хѱ)Qɔ݅́є́ٽѡЁ͕Ѽͥ)ٕ͡Ȱ́ݕɔ݅́+q]ɴtѡ͕ɰձѡ)ѡѡ́ձɕ͕ѡиq)ԁٕɕȁݡЁ݅ɴ̰t+qeЁtͭȸ)Q͕ɳé锁ɭ͡eЁɕ+q%ӊét͕ɍȁѡݽɑ̸q%ӊe)ٕ䁵͍ȁɕ̰)ѽѥ͕ԁeЁѼѡ)Ё͔ԁɕeӊt+q$ѡԁЁtͅѡ͕)ɰ͡七q$eЁѡӊéͥt) é ɽݹЁȸ+qeԁeЁѼ t+q'eЁt ͥѕq'eɕѥt)䰁ѡѠѠ!e͕)ɥѡٕͅѥхɅ́)ɽՉѡЁձɕєձ)и ЁՑͅѥ)ٽq ݗݔٕɕѥɔt+q$ѡݔtͅ ͽѱ七q$ѡݗeɔѥɕt(() =I9IMQ=95饹(+q$ѡ՝Ёݔݕɔ役ɕt͕ͅɥͱ+qɕeЁݗeЁݗ%хȁɽոˊt+qЁͻeЁѕȁ݅䳊t ͹)M݅́ѥ啐ݥѠѡQ́х)ȁЁչչх七q]ӊéѡЁ)хЁݡЁ́ɕȁЁɕ=ȁٕ)ѡѡȁͥѡɥٕ]eɔՍɔt+q$ѡݔtͅ ͽѱ七q$ѡݗeɔѥɕt+q$ѡ՝Ёݔݕɔ役ɕt͕ͅɥͱ+qЁͻeЁѕȁ݅䳊t ͹)M݅́ѥ啐ݥѠѡQ́х)ȁЁչչх七q]ӊéѡЁ)хЁݡЁ́ɕȁЁɕ=ȁٕ)ѡѡȁͥѡɥٕ]eɔՍɔt+q]ЁЁѡ ɥtͭ Ց+qQ ɥt Յ䁱՝qeЁ) ÁeЁЁٕȁѡ ɥt)Q ɥхх饹䁩Ёݸѡɥٕȸ%)݅́ѡѡѡЁ݅́ȁѡɽ՝ѡ)ѡ䃊Lȁ݅́Ё%Ё݅́ѡ́ ɥѡЁٔѡ)ѡ́՝ЁѼ͕́ѡͅЁѡѡ)ɥٕȸMѥ̰ձ͕ѡ́ɽͥѡ) ɥݡɔѡ䁑ͅɕѼѡЁɕٕȸ+q!܁ݽձԁtͭ +qeЁt ɕѕ$+qٕ役Ё̻t+q Ёݡt ͥѕ+q ЁЁа t q]Ёɔ)ԁѼQѼɽ́ѡ ɥt) ͥхѕȁ́ѡ́ɽ́ѡ݅ѕȸ+qeԁݽձté́Ёݥq 9ٕ)́]Ёӊéٕݽ͔ѡɔѡЁ́ɔt+q%ЁeЁݽ͔ѡɔt ɕՉɹ+q$݅ЁѼ͕ȁ$݅ЁѼ݅ɴt+q ]ɵѠt ͡ȁqQ͔ɔ)ѡ́ݔݡݔݕɔѡɔQ䁑e)иЁЁݔ܁ݡЁѼЁɔ]ٔ)ݡЁ́ѡѡȁͥѡ ɥt) Ցѽ!ȁ݅́)5剔Ё݅́+q'eѼ䳊t͡ͅɍ+q]éݥѠt) ͡ȁ)Ёѡɥٕȸqe׊eɔt) ЁՉ́ɵ͕́Ʌ䰁)Ёѡɕ݅ѕȁͅq$eЁܰ#ݡЁe)ɥ]ЁӊéȁѡɔteЁх) ЁѡѠѽѡЁ͡ɽ)Ѽѡɥٕȸq'etͅq5剔׊eɗ'e今t) Ё͕Ёѽ݅ɑ́ѡ ɥݥ((0