There was a question asked, and left hanging in the air

It sat, unanswered, reverberating there

She pondered it, with curiosity

But didn’t dare answer, in her uncertainty

Erricka looked up from her homework and looked out the window. Dusk was settling on the scene and the twilight birds were singing their final songs. She listened for what seemed like a while, wondering what desperate pleas they were calling out before they rested for the night.

The songs they sang carried and faded. It was a welcome distraction from the day, a distraction that left her unable to concentrate on the work before her. She looked back down at the book. It was all trite, useless knowledge that she didn’t care about. Didn’t care about it at the best of times, and this, now, was not the best of times.

There was something about the interaction today. Something that stuck in her brain in a way that disquieted her. Was it the question, or the person who asked it? She wasn’t sure. She wasn’t sure about anything, really. The question had seen to that. It was asked in such an innocent way and yet it struck a cord that carried. An internal note, reverberating through the whole of the person she thought herself to be.

Was that really who she was?

She didn’t know, or she was no longer certain. Interesting how such an innocent… benign really… thing could cast so much doubt upon something she’d been so sure of.

She looked out the window again. The light had retreated to a dull yellow strip on the horizon and the birds with it. Replacing the birds, the peepers, sounding off in their high pitched way, pressed the question to her anew. Their calls too, carried and faded, carried and faded. So many voices calling out, no way to tell which ones were carrying and which fading. 

She lost herself in the orchestra, trying to let her mind let go and unable to do so. Sometimes, she thought absently, when you stop trying, the answer comes to you. But she couldn’t stop. The question lingered on the forefront, despite the endless chatter emitted in the darkness, or perhaps because of it. 

She closed the book. It meant nothing to her now, maybe never did. But, in this moment of crisis, this existential wonder that both threatened her very being and held the promise of such wonderful growth, everything was truly meaningless, except the question.


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