When Words Die

Writer: Nada Elnady

Editor: Abdullah Sobhi

She was so talkative that silence didn’t know a way into her brain. She’d talk and talk and talk, never stopping, never halting, just being her usual self and talking about anything and everything, anywhere and anytime. 

She’d open conversation after conversation with the new girl that just came in class, jumping up and down at the concept of making a new friend, widening her eyes when she discovers that she’s making her way to the only empty seat next to her. She’d pretend not to notice the look of awkwardness strewn all over the other girl’s face as she asks way too many questions, she’d ignore the sudden flinch in the new girl’s demeanor when her pitch accidentally rises too high from the excitement, but she’d grab onto the small smile starting to make its way on the girl’s lips many, many months later as she finally senses the blooming of a new friendship. 

She’d accidentally blabber in front of her crush about this and that, these and those, trying but failing to stop the words slipping out of her mouth unrestrainedly, losing control over the blush starting to make its way on her cheeks as she stutters out way too much information. She’d disregard the rolling of his eyes when she smiles at him in the morning, she’d shrug off the little huff he produces when he sees her tiny figure approaching, but she’d grab onto the warmth of the grin he throws her way many, many months later when her happy self claps excitedly after acing an assessment. 

She’d run to her mother after a long school day and hold onto her tightly from behind, talking about the new friend she made and the test she has to prepare for next week. She’d ignore the wriggling that her mother would do to get out of her grip, she’d bypass the continuous cries and curses of protest her mom would let out, but she’d hold onto the fact that her mother stopped the usual “shut up” thrown her way, that little phrase that she’d become accustomed to hear from so many people. 

Many years later and she’s still her usual self, making friends here, falling in love there, pleasing her mother every now and then, yet something started to feel wrong in the midst of all that was happening; strangely, her light was starting to get slightly dimmer, and the words were starting to slowly die at her lips.

She stopped trying. She stopped smiling. She stopped seeing the bright side of things and convincing others of its existence. She stopped the random twitch of her lips that used to be an involuntary greeting to everyone passing by her. She stopped the warmth that used to find solace in her eyes. Her posture became droopy, her shoulders hunched, her eyes dim, and her lips fixed. The words no longer came flowing to her lips but forever sought refuge in her heart, and she remained, hoping that one day they’d ask her if she’s okay, realizing that all long, she’d been the one doing the talking. She realized that her efforts were forever unrequited. She realized that if she hadn’t asked, they never would. She lost the determination that she used to live by her whole life. 

She stopped talking.