“It’s not that I’m shy,” said Cassandra. “I want to say what’s on my mind. It’s just . . . “

“Just what?” asked Annie.

Cassandra exhaled forcefully, vibrating her lips. She closed her eyes, looked down. When Annie asked what was wrong, Cassandra’s head snapped up, eyes open, and pointed to her temple.

“It’s all here,” she said hurriedly. “I can see it, feel it, but I don’t know what words to use. Those thoughts, they feel so good, so right, but  . . . these thoughts have to be carried outside my mind, and the only way I can do that is through words, but I can’t find the right words to transport those thoughts. I can almost feel my thoughts travelling down to my mouth, causing my lips to move and sounds to come from my throat . . . but they’re missing words. So I speak the closest thing I can think of at the moment to what my original thought was. And I know it. That’s why I sound so hesitant — I’m using the only words I know how to use, even though I know they’re not right.”


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