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What We Don't Know

By Maya JOseph 

  1. Untitled
    Untitled
    By Brittany Ahn
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i remember feeling nothing

the sun was low in the sky, peeking out of the few cotton candied-like clouds, fabricating a blue-pink filter that blanketed over earth, wispy trees that elongated and bordered the road casted shadows on the extensive highway

my father kept squinting as he drove, and it took a couple of more miles down before his stubborn self pulled down the sun visor, his tired eyes thanking him silently;

the bronze band on his finger made the slightest noise as he moved it across the steering wheel, the sound was dulcet, intermixing in with the humming of the waning engine of our family’s prized truck, which was far too old to even be regarded as a prize anymore—but, still, these were words not meant to say out loud

his other hand was loosely hanging out the window, his discolored and grainy fingers spread, opening and closing as if he was trying to clasp and collect all the warming mid-summer air into his hands; like a child who didn’t want to let go of the memories that the next season would eventually sweep over, and bury to only be remembered in fading photographs

it wasn’t our usual sunday afternoon, as it was just the two of us, side by side and entertained in our own thoughts, and at the time, it was a new kind of beautiful
my younger siblings and i would usually take turns being sprawled across the back seat, pulling each other’s hair out until our mother would make my father stop the car to forcefully pull us apart. or if my mother wasn’t there, i’d take shotgun and drown out the unavoidable nagging from my father due to my too-long legs and dirty white sneakers on the dashboard by plugging in cheap earphones and my music on the highest volume level possible.

in return, my father always played the worst station possible—which happened to be his favorite, and i hoped my music would overpower it and somehow blow my eardrums out, but somewhere along the way my earphones would always fall out and rest idly against my collarbone, then i found myself recognizing lyrics and humming along with him, while tapping my blunt nails against the smudged windshield

but today, the radio had seemingly given up on life, ear-wrenching static met our ears instead of my father’s favorite 80’s tunes, and the open window floated tuffs of wind that rushed around us and that became our melody, and remembering it now, everything about it somehow felt different;

i don’t remember the speeding car on the wrong side of the road, but only my youth that was escaping me like the wind slipping between his fingertips. this calm moment had only lasted but a second as my father slammed on the breaks; the colors of the clouds and the sky and car lights blending together before it all turned black—it was anything but beautiful

i just remember spending a day with my father

but i don’t remember thinking it’d be his last
  
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