I sat in the silo, feet hanging over the edge, just as I had countless times before. Amy paced behind me, barefoot and silent.
“Why are you so upset? It’s just a piece of paper, right?” she asked.
“I’m tired of it. Tired of it all. Tired of my mom, tired of school.” I answered.
I heard her sigh behind me.
“Only you can fix that, you know.”
She was flippant and I was serious, an unusual combination. I still felt torn, inside, as torn as the page Jay had ripped earlier in the day. I’d found the bottom of despair and pushed on deeper, only to find more. The simple honesty of her comment finally sheared my last thread of control, and I exploded on her.
“How the hell am I supposed to fix it Amy? What should I do? Beat him up? He’s twice my size! I don’t know how to fight! I don’t want to fight! I just want him to leave me alone! I want them all to leave me alone!’ I screamed.
The sound of my voice echoed through the empty cavity of the silo below the pine planks.
“I just want them to stop hurting me.” I whispered.
She sat down beside me, and looked out across the top of the forest. Just a little girl, a kid, like me, but so wise. She turned her eyes toward me, and they were deeper than the universe.
“So stop them!” she said, “Believe you can stop them. Believe you can make it stop, and then make it stop. Believe in you, Adrian.”
She tossed a pebble out into the treetops. The wind whispered through the holes in the dome of the silo, and made the trees below sigh.
“I believe in you.” she said, finally.