Their timelines on social media had returned to normal in the last week, with less and less content that showed evidence of the great civil rights struggle still ongoing in the country. Videos of protesters clashing with police had been replaced with more pointed action items about donating to charities and petitioning for legislation. A series of surprise Supreme Court victories had given the country the momentary breath of hope that things weren’t entirely doomed, which only distracted from the fact that things very much still were.
– PRIDE MONTH 2020 –
The apartment was empty.
None of Gwen’s pots rumbled on the stove, and Dania wasn’t holding any conversation in their living room. The sun shone through the window––in their haste to leave, none of the trio had thought to close the blinds, and keep the sun from discoloring the art on the walls. It was, on this hot summer evening, quiet at home.
The streets were not quiet. Protests across the country had flamed every night for nearly three weeks, met with violent responses from government forces and police squads. Images of burned-out storefronts and activists washing pepper spray from their faces had filled every social media timeline, to a degree never seen before in the modern political age. The last few years had been an impossibly stressful time, the conscience of the country bending to accommodate the strain being put onto it. But, at least to the other protesters who shared the street with Gwen, Eleanor, and Dania––at least to them, the dam had finally burst.
– PRIDE MONTH 2020 –
She was a mess by the time the credits rolled: cheeks glistening with tears, hair falling down from her brow in messy strands, her hands dampened by futile attempts to wipe her face clean. The presto from the opening of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons played on, and the three on the couch, gripping each other tightly, sobbed to see a woman they’d grown to adore over the past two hours be brought to such grief.
Dania reached for the tissues, and found the box missing.
“May the Fourth be with you!” cried Dania, exiting her room. She wore the requisite merch: a distressed tee, bearing the original Tom Jung poster design, and an anachronistically modern pair of C-3PO mouse ears.
Eleanor and Gwen looked on from a distance. Unlike Dania, neither considered themselves to be a particularly passionate fan of the Star Wars franchise. Eleanor had watched them when they were released, but lost interest as the series continued to blend into the larger trend of blockbuster action films.