I whisper my secrets to the hydrangeas. Shades of sky and periwinkle blue, they wave lazily with the breeze, petals joyful and serene. They are what they were made to be. They have grown perfectly, sublimely into themselves. The sun fades and the first chill of night comes and I sit still in the grass. Tonight is my last night brimming with silence. Tonight I will be blue like the hydrangeas: bold and unapologetic. I hear my parents’ car pull into the driveway. I stand on legs that shake and I think of her. For her I will be brave.

Shannon Layne (she/her) is from Humboldt County, CA, and holds a B.A. degree in English Literature from UC Davis. Her fiction can be found in literary journals The Bookends Review, The Kreaxxxion Journal, Flash Frog, and is upcoming in The Bitchin’ Kitsch. She lives in Northern California with her wife. You can find her on Twitter (@shannonlaynee) and Instagram (@shannonlayneee).