The Messenger

The Messenger

I make a right turn down Condor Avenue with my shoulders held high near my exposed neck and my hands shoved deep into my pockets. New York always seems to become unbearably brisk at this time of year, and I feel my body shudder with every blast of cold wind to my back. A plaid scarf is wrapped around my neck, clinging tightly to my skin but leaving a few areas bare. I wonder where I could stop to rest for a bit so I can save myself from hypothermia, but no places come to mind. Passing brownstone after brownstone I imagine the untroubled, wealthy families cherishing the heat inside their prized abodes. I feel my messenger bag creating deep grooves in my shoulder, but I cannot stop now: I know where I need to be. Leaves fall all around me, in an arrangement of autumnal colors. Rich orange and red leaves crunch beneath my quick steps, 




The streetlights seem to be dimmer than usual; my late-night walks are nothing short of tiring. I yearn for the warmth and the comfort that is sheltered away from this solitary state. My body is giving me an unpleasant time.

I am on my way to deliver a parcel, just a parcel, nothing more. 

Or is it? 

In truth, I know not what is inside. I am only the messenger. I make my day-to-day living with the delivery of parcels, but it does not pay well. I am saving up for a bike so my deliveries will be less of a burden on my worn-out legs. For as many parcels as I deliver, I, for one, never receive any. 

My thinking has distracted me from the walk, and somehow the harsh cold in return. I glance at the face of my watch, noting its scratches and wear from its journey on my wrist. I have passed 14 blocks at this pace within eight minutes. Not bad.

I am forced to withdraw my hands from their sanctuary in my pocket so I can fish the address out of my bag. My fingertips feel the crumbs and knickknacks at the bottom of my bag, my own trench of trinkets waiting to be rediscovered. I feel the crumbled note in my hand, with the address smudged within. I squint to make it out: 31 West 95th Street. Two houses away. 

I hustle, reaching the steps to a frail door with thick iron-barred windows. The fog hangs low as I find myself at the top of the steps, looking through the stained glass into the house. I see a hearth and its crackling fire inside; golden embers immerse themselves in the air as they take their last breath. With trembling hands, I place the parcel at the heart of the house and take off. I had been unaware of the subtle weight of the package, as my arms feel incredibly light without it now. Quick on my feet, I scuttle away from the brownstone, without looking back. 

I will always wonder what is in the parcels I deliver, and who sent them. It must be nice to be loved so much that you send someone a little something that reminds you of them. For as many parcels as I deliver, I hope that someday, I might receive one for myself. 



16 years old



18 years old

The Voice

November 2023

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