Teenage Ghosts & Iron Oxide

Walking down a dirt road in a nowhere town you’ve never heard of. These two, they don’t belong here but by the grace of God (or at least in his providential sense of humor) they were both set here together. They were born in a hospital 20 miles down the road, 7 months apart. Despite the size of their town they never really noticed each other until that same grace or sense of humor brought them together after she turned 18. She’s the oldest of the two.

Matching strides, he is looking down, she is looking straight ahead. This speaks volumes about their personalities but we really don’t have time for that, I don’t think. Maybe another day, another scene where we can have that discussion unhindered by the weight of what’s on both their minds. The strain of growing up, not only on the body, but on the mind is a terrible burden to both of them. They walk side by side to try and balance and bear the weight together. The balance is precarious but they manage. Their fingers, awkwardly entangled and loose as if their youth would not let them hold on too tightly.

She speaks, “What do you think of heart and soul?”

His brow furrows in thought for a moment, formulating his answer.

“I read somewhere that ancient cultures believe that the heart was the center of emotions. Kind of like, what we consider as emanating from the soul is really a matter of the heart. They didn’t even really have a concept of soul. That came later on with the Greeks, I think…”

He kicks a rock idly that is resting in his path.

She looks confused for a moment. “Oh. So, what do you think do we have both a heart and a soul?”

His brow still furrowed, the corners of his mouth lift slightly so he can think.

“I guess we have heart but it doesn’t function as any sort of emotional center. It’s all in our brains; a mixture of chemicals and whatnot. I think maybe we have a soul, something intangible that makes us who we are. It’s hard to believe that the only thing that keeps us living is continuous chemical reactions. I think the ancients had it right, maybe. They just assigned the idea to the wrong body part.”

She nodded her head in understanding. They kept walking for a moment before she looked at him. They looked each other in the eyes, he a little uneasy as always and she patient as always.

She lifted her head and looked around them. Everything is rust colored and old and has been as long as she can remember and that’s what her mother would tell her too, if you asked her. This town is eternally aging and coated in iron oxide but still stands.

“We don’t belong here.” She sighed.


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