Confessions of A Silenced Popsicle Thief*

It was a white December evening in 2016. We were sitting at her kitchen table in a small town on the east coast. We were speaking in low tones, telling hushed stories that held us fast to the cold wooden seats of the stiff kitchen chairs. Outside, the deep silence of midnight had draped the windows and the dishwasher behind us whispered a soft, swishing monotone.

She looked at me, her hand coming up to cover her mouth. I could tell that she was biting the inside of her cheek. She always did that when she was deep in thought or when she wanted to cry. I took a sip of water from the glass I had filled a long time ago to take to bed.

“I didn’t know,” she said softly, “why didn’t you tell me? I would have-”

“I don’t know. I was afraid you would do something and then it would be a big deal and everyone would know…” My voice trailed off slowly. “I don’t know why I didn’t tell you.”

“I wish I had known. I would have done something.” She twisted slightly in her chair, turning her face away from me. “I feel so bad.” Her voice was strained.

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