Entry A-1 “Paperclips”


Meridian slammed the front door behind her and slumped her back against it. Another long day of work. Another long day of work. Another long day of work. Another long day of work. Another long day of work.

The sky dimmed. Elise walked up to her and offered her something she had made as a gift: a few paperclips precariously bent around each other in strange three-dimensional shapes. It made everything feel worse.

Bent paperclips

The next day, as Meridian left the house for work, she noticed that something had appeared in the front yard - a small PSA stuck into the ground as if a city council campaign poster. It read, “Support local businesses! Something has to get better eventually.”

Elise sat in the back seat of Meridian’s minivan, craning her head to look out the window as she got escorted home from school. Meridian didn’t have work that day. Elise wanted to go to I’m Sorry again, but Meridian said no. They rounded the curve on Main Street and Elise craned her head to look out the other window as the milkshake shop passed by. There were no cars in the parking lot; only dead leaves.

The two of them turned onto Willow Lane. Elise readied herself to arrive at home.
They continued straight past it.
Elise didn’t bother to ask where Meridian was taking them.

Eventually, they arrived at a dirt road going up the side of a hill overlooking the forest that lay beyond their hometown. At the apex, Meridian turned to Elise against the setting sun and almost smiled. “I think it’s going to happen soon,” Meridian assured.

Nothing came.

On the way home, Elise spoke up. “I liked waiting,” she said to try to stop Meridian’s pain. It was as if Meridian couldn’t even hear her.

When they arrived at their house on Willow Lane, Meridian told Elise to go ahead and go inside. She could hear the sobbing all the way from her bedroom. She didn’t see Meridian again until the next morning.