What they forget to teach you, as you are going through school and life, is the power of silence. Maybe because it isn't something that can be taught. Rather, you can only learn it in real-time.
Silence is terrifying. It chills the soul.
She remembered, leaving school after 9/11 - the planes weren't flying. It was quiet. Too quiet.
One time, in the mountains, the birds stopped chirping and the squirrels stopped squirreling. Even the wind seemed to stop blowing for a moment before she was scrambling to tarp down and survive a hellish storm.
The silence of her phone no longer ringing, after her mother passed away. It signified the emptiness.
Her silence after that one cheated the last time. It signified the end.
Silence is a precursor. Silence is a warning.
And even though she was no longer afraid of storms, his silence was new. It was unprecedented, a brewing of clouds that brought back memories of the past. It was torture. She could feel it coming before it happened and it wrecked her.
Then, when she tried to break it, it continued. Then, she knew. Her heart didn't want to know, but her soul did. It knew and it let the black doubt spread through her stomach, her chest, her throat.
Silence screamed she was not worthy. Silence brandished how little someone cared.
At that point, even if she wanted to fight it, the silence had won. It reduced her to a pile of rubble and pain. She tried to sleep through it, but it woke her in a frenzy of quiet nothing.
She knew, though, just like every soundless exit before, that the pain would add to her walls and she would continue to live her life cautious. Never afraid, but fear would always be lurking, telling her to not allow the happiness in.
The moment would come, too, sometime, when he would break the silence. They always did. She would say it was fine, act like nothing was wrong, but the storm would rage inside her.
She had already given up. She had already let him go.
Once someone uses silence as a weapon, or even as a defense, they showed how her little she mattered. Her value was too great to wait for the silence to break.
The phone rang and she looked. His picture showed up. Her heart leapt.
In an instant she was happy. She was relieved. She couldn't allow it to grow, though.
She pressed the red button and rolled over, rain falling as the storm blew over and she knew it was done.