Turning Point by Nouf Al Nafisee

Posted on December 31, 2011 by

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Around people I love. Laughing too loud for a public place. In ecstasy for what seemed like forever, but that forever ended in thirty minutes.

A phone call. That’s what started it. January answered her phone. The blood in her face drained and her mouth went dry. Avoiding questions, she ran off to her car faster than an Olympic gold medalist.

We sat there, looking at one another with questioning eyes. January was so abrupt and unlike herself. We called her over and over. When she finally answered, she was wailing into her phone like a child. We understood nothing until she said loud and clear “April has gone missing”.

My heart suddenly weighed a thousand pounds and dropped to my feet. I could hear it beating. I could hear all our hearts beating.  The laws of physics crumbled around us and the room itself started pulsing.

Nobody dared to move until one of us pulled out a cell phone and directly called April. Her phone was off. I got back home shaking. April is a smart girl. Could she have let something like that happen to her? Was she forced into it? Was she safe? Was she alive?

I sat in a puddle of despair for the rest of the weekend. I could concentrate on nothing. Stuff like this just doesn’t happen in real life. It happens in movies like “man on fire” or shows like “CSI: Miami”! I was afraid, and fear is a sickness. It is a fire burning inside you, eating away at your soul.

At school, rumors flew in all directions about what had happened. They were spread by bitches and accepted by idiots. They spread like Spanish influenza in the year 1918. It was as if people were paid to make a mockery out of her reputation. I hated that. I never hated gossip more than I did those few weeks. No one had benefit of the doubt. Not even me. And I hated that too.

After a while, people gradually forget. Some may still have a lingering doubt that appears when they look at April, but it can be ignored. It has been ignored. No matter how bad your reputation has been damaged, it can be repaired. It may feel like forever, but remember that “forever” that lasted thirty minutes? When you look back at it, you realize that comparing it to what’s ahead of you, it’s just a little interval.

To have a changing point doesn’t necessarily mean to have an incident happen directly to you. It can be the result of something that has happened to another. It doesn’t matter if you’re the smartest human alive, or if you have twenty body guards watching over you. Mistakes happen.

But what kills me a little bit inside everyday is that people will believe anything if you whisper it.

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