That Feeling of Crowds

We stood in the middle of the crowd, bodies pushing in around us as everyone's voice chanted out the current slogan for the movement. I mouthed the words, watching to see if he was watching me fake it.

It was a protest rally, or at least, a rally in the name of protest. There was war in our country or a revolutionary that didn't deserve to be killed or something. I don't remember the actual reason for the protest, to be honest, only that I was here and so was he and he was yelling so loud that his face was turning red. He also brought a sign. I asked him if I could hold it to make up for my unwillingness to chant.

We marched through the streets of our city, avoiding ice patches until some warm body behind us inadvertently forced us to slide across one. He didn't seem to falter though. I pulled my scarf tighter around my neck to fight off the wind that was biting through us. His breath landed in heavy clouds on my jacket.

The crowd stopped abruptly. Chants tried to start up here and there but the voices were scattered. I looked up in the sky and a lone snowflake landed in my eye.

By the time I finished frantically blinking it out, I realized he was pulling me forward, sliding roughly in between people who, as we got closer to the front, became less and less annoyed by the shoves. There was something important to see and necks were straining now.

We broke through the front line and I took a deep breath of air, relieved to have separated from the mass of bristling people.

He wasn't at my side anymore. I looked around and saw him kneeling over someone lying in the street. I walked over, noticing more and more that the crowd was staring at us, not past us.

The woman had been hit in the head by a rock. She was unconscious. I suddenly remembered that this was a women's rights rally. There was a crowd of people dressed in black across the street from us, standing perfectly still, watching us. This was too much for me. I left him in the street, watching over a fallen girl, probably about sixteen years old.

When I looked back to see if he'd noticed that I was gone, I saw rocks suspended in the sky, dozens of them. They were locked in the sky, black specks blotting out the blue sky.

When they finally came crashing down on the people waiting for them, I was across the road, listening to the cracks and screams as the snow started to fall.