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  • Lucy Nicodemus

Freezing and Boiling

He’d known her since his freshman year of high school. Now, they’re in college and still thick as thieves. He’d seen her entire range of emotions from happy, in love, or falling over from laughter to heartbroken, bitter, or livid. After all of their years being friends he’d found that, in the way that water has its properties, so did her anger. While usually simply lingering in the air, occasionally it took physical form.

Most often her anger was a fluid that would wane and flow, wearing down her target with snark and furrowed brows. This was the anger most like her annoyance, only her words fell harsh and sincere instead of the teasing tone she often used with him. He secretly enjoyed this anger; seeing her gracefully throw obloquy was like watching the most dynamic water show of insults.

It was less entertaining when her fury boiled over, spilling out all at once. It wasn’t slow or tempered but instead wild and messy. Her eyes streamed the fire she felt and she spat scalding streams. It lasted briefly but left the most devastating impact of them all. This was anger that hit deep and hurt deep in turn. He always did his best to make sure that anybody else was on the wrong end of that kind.

Of all of her types of anger, his least favorite was the icy glare that traveled the room, leaving frostbite trailing through the eyes of those who dared to meet hers. He dreaded the way her muscles would tense like stone, afraid that if he were to touch her she’d be immovable and stiff. Her hands would not clench and her jaw would not tighten, but she radiated her feelings all the same. Slow glacial anger that waited to destroy. He’d seen it cause the inevitable destruction of only one person before.

He thought she was beautiful in that way, the phases and states of her being. He’d been in love with her since freshman year of high school when he first saw this anger directed at the boy who’d attempted to bully his lunch money away one too many times. Her angry words had been beautiful as she’d rained sneering words upon the boy, who would never again bother him. He’d never told her how radiant her anger was. Perhaps someone should.

“You’ll never guess what happened today!”

He turned around from his contemplation to see her walk in, sunlight haloing around her and highlighting the fury in her eyes. Clenched fists, a tick in her brow, and an exasperated huff escaping her lips. Entertaining anger it was. He couldn’t wait to hear the story.


Art by Caroline Mealia


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