Zephre sits alone up on the roof of the tallest tree he could find inside the concrete jungle. Silence wraps around him and his eyes travel over the lights and the small metal animals that speed along the paths. The visible people wander all around the jungle, some in a hurry, others casually, and some don’t move at all, waiting for the big metal caterpillar to pick them up and take them somewhere else. No one sits still in this jungle though. There is always movement. The waiters stand impatiently tapping their foot, the players’ fingers fly over their instruments, the people walk or run down the street. Females in elaborate outfits and face paint walk with silly men on their arms for money.
Zephre is the only one of his kind. He is invisible. No one and nothing can see him. If he attempts to speak, all that comes out is faint whispers only dogs can hear, but no one can understand except for him. He is alone. He always has been, ever since he was little. He was small when he first remembered. He was in his old home where his mother and father stood guard. They both were dead within minutes when the red men came. They had strange tools to see the invisible ones. He thought he heard one man say it was the shift in the wind pattern that stood out. He may be invisible but his kind still bled. His mother and father both were covered in red, more scarlet than the red men’s face paint. Out of shock, he didn’t move. Doing so saved his life. After the red men left so did little Zephre. He wandered and hoped until he reached the concrete jungle. There he found food and shelter. He refused to leave.
The door to the roof slowly creaks open. Zephre turns and looks on curiously as a young woman comes out of the building. Her face is red and wet from tears as she walks slowly to the edge of the building. Zephre stands as a bad feeling invades his body. The girl, not hearing, walks up to the edge and whispers.
“I know you’re there… you were supposed to protect me. You didn’t… you were supposed to keep me safe. You didn’t. Instead, you worked, took the easy way out by staying with my captor. Now my baby sister is dead. You’re dead. What do I do now?” She steps closer to the edge, getting dangerously close. “Do I join You? Do I jump?” Tears well up in her eyes once more. “Tell me what to do daddy… I feel lost and invisible to everyone around me. No one gets it. They see me but they don’t understand what they see. They hear me but don’t listen. What do I do?”
Zephre stands in awe next to this strange woman. Following an urge, he gently wraps his arms around her and whispers “you’re not the only invisible one” in her ear. She leans into him and sobs, backing away from the edge with him. She allows him to lead her away from the edge.
She whispers back to him. “I’m not the only one who’s invisible… I can feel you holding me and your heart against my back. You are like me… you’re invisible too.”
She grabs his hands and pulls them around herself tighter and he allows her. He doesn’t realize he is becoming more and more distinct. More like the visible ones. After a minute, he becomes just like her. Color and vibrancy coat his body. He opens his brilliant blue eyes and looks down at her. She turns to him and smiles. He smiles back as tears begin to form in his eyes.
He holds her closer and says in a strong, gentle voice, “now we’re both visible.”
–Donna Jones, an empathic, brilliant high school student who explains, “I wrote this because of the number of people who have told me that they feel invisible. It’s good to remember that you’re not alone in that feeling and when you find someone who feels the same way, you can both help each other become visible.”