Hand in Hand
By: Rosie Felig
They both couldn’t recall how it had begun. Maybe it had started when she squeezed the other’s tiny hand in the hospital, the first instance where their fingers would meet. Either way, they had been doing it since they both could remember. It had become routine. A long walk on a warm Saturday would always result with them hand in hand, squeezing each other’s fingers with a rhythmic beat. Each time the same words were communicated: I love you.
When they sat in the doctor's office, one would grab the other’s hand and squeeze lightly. I love you. It became a reflex to squeeze harder. I love you more.
They both believed they would hold each other’s hands like this forever, in every situation life might take them.
As one would walk down the aisle, a frantic day of binding decisions, they’d hold their hands and squeeze. Maybe for reassurance, or perhaps just a reminder, I love you.
It was this magic between them; that was a certain kind of wonderful many did not know. It was a unique kind of spectacular, the warmth between them, that some wouldn’t encounter for a lifetime.
That when they fought, it was true they yelled so loudly the house would shake, but they recovered quickly--you wouldn’t guess they were screaming just moments before.
The excitement one had when she had something to show the other, that gorgeous feeling of having someone to experience life with.
The pain that surged in one's body as she watched the other suffer.
The smile that couldn't be wiped off one's face as she watched the other succeed.
Talking about the other to anyone who would listen.
Being filled with pride for one another.
It wasn't random to feel grateful for their relationship.
They would tell each other through their embraces,
Their muffled words only for each other to hear--
“There's nothing like life--with a sister.”
What Would Happen If the World Stopped Breathing?
By: Rosie Felig
The morning had been dewy. The air had a false crispness to it, as if it were a normal spring day, carrying humid undertones that promised sunny days ahead. She constantly was moving, never dwelling on the past. Always making plans, writing up a storm, and dreaming of her bright future. It was a freaky existence, sitting and waiting with the rest of the world; everyone united under one great terror. One unknown. Days felt like weeks, time moving slowly and painfully. She tried to keep busy as life suddenly felt surreal. She tried to run, dance, sing, and jump, just like she used to, but the depressing smog that filled the air now had started to get to her.
Seeing a familiar face, even through a screen, gave her a great feeling of relief. It would get better, she thought, a hope rather than a fact. That foggy Friday she took a walk down her street. She carefully watched for another human so as to not get in her way. But she secretly wished she could hug the first person she saw. Nevertheless, she still kept her head down.
She thought about the dystopian tales she grew up reading and that she used to shiver at the thought of them becoming true. And now, life felt like one of those horror movies she always avoided watching. She listened to the news everyday. The same reporters droning on. Everyday, more and more people succumbing to the deadly unknown that was infesting the world. Spring had been delayed. Even mother nature knew it. The worst of it all, she thought as she took her daily walk carefully on the rough pavement, was the fact that she could do nothing. That all she could do was watch. Watch the world crumble right before her. It would only get worse. It would only become more terrifying. And she was trapped, suffocating under her inability to function like she used to.
She took a sharp breath, closing her eyes and feeling the coldness of the wind. She asked politely, looking up to the clogged gray sky.
“What would happen, if the world stopped breathing?”
Silence filled the space around her. She began once more, her eyes closed and her hair whipping through the sluggish wind of the day.
“This must be it.”