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'SILENCE" By Beverly Honkonen There is power in silence. To speak, to tell all, is to make everything known, providing for closure and the ability to move on, to heal and forget; but, to say nothing is to keep our bond contained, and thus maintained. There is suspense in silence. The things left unsaid and unexplained remain so always, creating a forever connection, a pact based on unspoken words that should have been uttered long ago. There is avoidance in silence. Rather than to reveal the harsh truth of a reality that couldn't be understood, you opted to say nothing at all, to disappear without a word, hoping that time, space, and acceptance would heal the wounds inflicted by the whip of your silent tongue. There is selfishness in silence. In the attempt to uphold a flattering façade of yourself in my mind, and the minds of others, you voiced nothing to disturb that illusion, not wanting to warp the memory I had of you as a decent, warm human being. There is dishonesty in silence. Oftentimes the worst lies ever told are those which are never spoken; to have said nothing at all rather than to have spoken the truth robbed me of what should have been said, and kept me ignorant of the reality that existed in your mind. There is hope in silence. Without the final blow of a muttered word, with the absence of the disappointing truth is the glimmer of optimism that one day that which has not been said will never be revealed because it will not exist, as if it were never there to begin with, festering in the mind, desiring to come out, but never making it to the surface of verbalization; that the truth will reverse itself in one's own favor, making the opposite of truth a reality. There is hatred in silence. There is only so long one can sustain nothingness before she must break out of the dark to scream, demand, force, pry, pull, drag, wrench, tear the loud, unpleasant, raw, real, honest truth from out of his soul, from the depths of his very being. This hatred comes from the fact that the silence was unnecessary; to have told me the truth from the start could have spared both you and I a great deal of pain. Now I say there is an end to silence. I will be the one to say something after all this time. Sorry for being your friend; sorry for caring about you; sorry for supporting you; sorry for laughing with you; sorry for offering words of encouragement and advice; sorry for sharing a few drinks and good times with you; sorry for wanting you in my life. If this is what I must be sorry for, so be it. The end of silence is spoken word, and finally I have had the chance to speak, despite your immaturely imposed nothingness. So, you go ahead and remain silent, vocally, but know that as long as you choose to say nothing your mind will forever be occupied with the voice of your conscience telling you that you were wrong, and will continue to remain as such, as long as you choose to be silent. -- Beverly Honkonen is a high school English teacher in a suburban district surrounding Cleveland, Ohio. She possesses a Master's Degree in Literature from Cleveland State University and enjoys writing poetry.