Quiet, by Aubrey Brickzin

It was nearly dusk when we met at the “spot” like we had done so many times before. We sat shoulder-to-shoulder with our legs dangling off the edge. The sun’s dance was especially poignant that evening and I remember thinking that if I had any beliefs in a deity, this was his manifestation right then. Summer was in full force now, bringing with it the sunsets that make you wonder about the people who were here hundreds of years ago, watching the same glowing orange sun go down. Soon I could only see the red tip of his cigarette and feel his body shift closer to mine, a protective move he often assumed when we were together but more so now to share the body warmth I needed in wearing cutoff shorts and a sleeveless top. Our transition into this phase wasn’t contrived or methodically acknowledged. It was the natural evolution of two people becoming completely comfortable with each other even if we didn’t know what that meant. And I wanted to bury a piece of myself in him. A piece of me that wouldn’t be bothered in a place where we couldn’t get hurt. The silence was interrupted with the beginnings of nature’s lullabies and our own musing of getting coffee before heading home. Later we held each other for a suspicious amount of time before I got in my car and everything was quiet again.

Aubrey Brickzin is a student at UC Riverside.