Slammed, p.6
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       Slammed, p.6

         Part #1 of Slammed series by Colleen Hoover
 

  Bom Bom...

  Bom Bom...

  Do you hear that?

  (Her voice lingering on the word hear)

  That's the sound of my heart beating…

  (She taps the microphone again)

  Bom Bom...

  Bom Bom...

  Bom Bom...

  Do you hear that? That's the sound of your heart beating.

  (She begins to speak faster, much louder than before.)

  It was the first day of October. I was wearing my blue sweater, you know the one I bought at Dillard’s? The one with a double knitted hem and holes in the ends of the sleeves that I could poke my thumbs through when it was cold but I didn't feel like wearing gloves? It was the same sweater you said made my eyes look like reflections of the stars on the ocean.

  You promised to love me forever that night...

  and boy

  did you

  ever!

  It was the first day of December this time. I was wearing my blue sweater, you know the one I bought at Dillard’s? The one with a double knitted hem and holes in the ends of the sleeves that I could poke my thumbs through when it was cold but I didn't feel like wearing gloves? It was the same sweater you said made my eyes look like reflections of the stars on the ocean.

  I told you I was three weeks late.

  You said it was fate.

  You promised to love me forever that night…

  and boy

  did you

  ever!

  It was the first day of May. I was wearing my blue sweater, although this time the double stitched hem was worn and the strength of each thread tested as they were pulled tight against my growing belly. You know the one. The same one I bought at Dillard’s? The one with holes in the ends of the sleeves that I could poke my thumbs through when it was cold but I didn't feel like wearing gloves? It was the same sweater you said made my eyes look like reflections of the stars on the ocean.

  The SAME sweater you RIPPED off of my body as you shoved me to the floor,

  calling me a whore,

  telling me

  you didn't love me

  anymore.

  Bom Bom...

  Bom Bom...

  Bom Bom...

  Do you hear that? That's the sound of my heart beating.

  Bom Bom...

  Bom Bom...

  Bom Bom...

  Do you hear that? That's the sound of your heart beating.

  (There is a long silence as she clasps her hands to her stomach, tears streaming down her face)

  Do you hear that? Of course you don't. That's the silence of my womb.

  Because you

  RIPPED

  OFF

  MY

  SWEATER!

  The lights come back up and the audience roars. I take a deep breath and wipe tears from my eyes. I am mesmerized by her ability to hypnotize an entire audience with such powerfully portrayed words. Just words. I'm immediately addicted and want to hear more. I'm still immobile when Will puts his arm around my shoulders and leans back into the seat with me, bringing me back to reality.

  "Well?" he asks.

  I accept his embrace and move my head to his shoulder as we both stare out over the crowd. He rests his chin on the top of my head.

  "That was unbelievable," I whisper. His hand touches the side of my head, leaning me slightly forward as his lips brush my forehead. I close my eyes and wonder how much more my emotions can be tested. Three days ago, I was devastated, bitter, hopeless. Today I woke up feeling happy for the first time in months. I feel vulnerable. I try to mask my emotions but I feel like everyone knows what I'm thinking and feeling and I don't like it. I don't like being an open book. I feel like I'm up on the stage, pouring my heart out to him, and it scares the hell out of me.

  We sit there in the same embrace as several more people perform their pieces. The poetry is as vast and electrifying as the audience. I have never laughed and cried so much. The way these poets were able to lure you into a whole new world, viewing things from a vantage point you have never seen before. Making you feel like you are the mother who lost her baby, or the boy who killed his father, or even the man who got high for the first time and ate five plates of bacon. I feel a connection with these poets and their stories. More so, I feel a deeper connection to Will. I can't imagine that he's brave enough to get up on the stage and bare his soul like these people are doing. I have to see it. I have to see him do this.

  The emcee makes one last appeal for performers.

  "Will, you can't bring me here and not perform. Please do one? Please, please, please?"

  He leans his head back against the booth. "You’re killing me, Lake. Like I said, I don't really have anything new.”

  "Do something old then," I suggest. "Or do all these people make you nervous?"

  He tilts his head toward me and smiles. "Not all of them. Just one of them."

  I suddenly have the urge to kiss him. I suppress the urge, for now, as I continue to plead. I clasp my hands together under my chin.

  "Don't make me beg," I say.

  "You already are!" he laughs. "Alright, alright. But I'm warning you, you asked."

  He pulls his wallet out of his pocket just as the emcee is announcing the start of round two. He stands up, holding his three dollars in the air. "I'm in!"

  The emcee shields his eyes with his hand, squinting into the audience to see who spoke up. "Ladies and Gentlemen it's one of our very own, Mr. Will Cooper! So nice of you to finally join us," he teases into the microphone.

  Will makes his way through the crowd and walks onto the stage and into the spotlight.

  "What's the name of your piece tonight Will?" the emcee asks.

  "Death," Will replies, looking past the crowd and directly at me. The smile fades from his eyes as he begins his performance.

  Death. The only thing inevitable in life.

  People don’t like to talk about death because

  it makes them sad.

  They don’t want to imagine how life will go on without them,

  all the people they love will briefly grieve

  but continue to breathe.

  They don’t want to imagine how life will go on without them,

  Their children will still grow

  Get married

  Get old…

  They don’t want to imagine how life will continue to go on without them,

  Their material things will be sold

  Their medical files stamped ‘closed’

  Their name becoming a memory to everyone they know.

  They don’t want to imagine how life will go on without them, so instead of accepting it head on, they avoid the subject altogether,

  hoping and praying it will somehow

  pass them by.

  Forget about them,

  moving on to the next one in line.

  No, they didn’t want to imagine how life would continue to go on…

  without them.

  But death

  didn’t

  forget.

 
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