silent

‘Can you move out of the way?’ Everyone in the store stopped what they were doing, looked up. It was the first voice I’d heard in 20 minutes.’: Woman details ‘awkward’ shopping experience during pandemic, ‘This has changed us’

“Suddenly I could see people’s eyes. Almost all had masks on. No one was chitchatting or smiling. Was that a cough? I swear I just heard a cough? Yup. Glare. She should not be out in public right now? There were no couples, no one leisurely strolling around with a cup of Starbucks in hand. Not today.”

‘I jumped in as fast as lightning, pulling Levi up out of the water with a pale face and blue lips. ‘This can’t be happening!’: 3-year-old boy drowns while celebrating at grandparents’ lake house

“I yelled as loudly as I could, ‘HELP!!!’ Once the ambulance arrived, we had to answer questions. Still, to this day, I can’t hardly answer any of them. We were right beside him, and we never heard a sound. Never heard a splash. He wasn’t even near the water.”

‘Who is this naked girl on the screen? She looks a lot like me. Wait, wait, wait.’ My fingers began trembling.’: Sexual assault survivor speaks out against stepfather’s abuse, ‘I finally have power again’

“I found a video file. In tears, I kept repeating to myself I was strong. The camera was planted upside down and was sitting on a brown bookcase, hiding between books in my room. I watched myself on the screen. ‘What the heck. What the heck. What the heck?!’ My thoughts began to race. I had so many questions.”

‘Lathered in sunscreen, poolside, I suddenly realized my son wasn’t with me. My eyes hit the shallow end. I spotted a toddler completely submerged in water. The world stopped. I plunged in.’

“I was not the mother to make this kind of error. The mother who looked away. ‘If he’s alive, he’d be kicking, fighting.’ Why wasn’t he fighting? I pulled him onto the cement and thrusted my hand against his back. Fingernails pink, skin pale, lips discolored. His white knuckles gripped my neck. ‘ANDREW. Andrew, please come back to me.'”

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