Hello! I'm Riley and this is my first story on the wiki. I write stories all of the time, but I only let my best friends read them, and that's only certain stories. This is just an idea I had, so I hope you Like it!!!
-Riley ILoveRedPoodles 03:16, June 26, 2012 (UTC)
“I’m sorry there wasn’t more I could do...” says Mrs. Clark as she leaves, door swinging shut behind her. My mother stands there for a moment. Looking out the window as the Clark’s car backs out of the driveway. I know it’s only a matter of seconds before it hits her, and as I predict, my mother goes from looking out the window sorrowfully to kneeling over on the ground, sobbing, with the blink of an eye. I stand there, watching, wanting to cry with her, but I can’t. I can’t draw attention to myself at a time like this. No, I owe Ally that much.
Finally I can’t stand it anymore and I run up to my room. I throw myself onto my bed, burry my head in my pillow, and let go. Let go of my fear. Let go of my grief. Let go of my life. Why? That’s the only thing I can come up with in my head. Not ‘I miss you Ally’ or ‘What am I going to do without Ally?’ or ‘Ally was so this and that’, but why. She wasn’t a bad person, she had such a full life to live. Everyone loved her. And now she is gone. It seems impossible that just yesterday morning she was teasing me about my constantly messy hair.
It’s so strange how that happens, death. Everything else that’s big seems to take so long. But one second Ally was driving her car and the next she was lying, unmoving, in her flipped vehicle. The image just makes me cry harder. Why did she have to die like that? Why couldn’t we just have known, so we could have stopped her from going to Emily’s? Why couldn’t that truck have come a moment later? Why did she have to take that road? Why couldn’t I have said goodbye? Why can’t I change it all? Why did it happen to her? And all of a sudden, the final question I don’t want to admit comes to mind: Why couldn’t it have just been me?
I mean, everyone likes her more. It’s obvious. I don’t have any friends, while she’s always surrounded by them. She’s far prettier than me, we don’t even look a thing alike. She was Miss Perfect. Always helping others, smart, pretty, kind, friendly, generous, I could go on forever. She was ‘the perfect role model of what a young woman should be’ as I recall one of her many adoring teachers saying. I was just the loner. The tall quiet girl who sits in the back of the classroom, keeps to herself. I’m pretty smart I guess, but that doesn’t do anything when your popularity status is zero. Seeing my long bluish blackish hair, new kids assume I’m a goth or something, and stay away from me. And since I’m too shy to go up to them, I just happen to never officially meet them.
I've never cared much about school anyway. I mean, I care about the academics, but not the kids. I just ignore them and get on with my life. What's the point of being all caught up in that drama anyway? Maybe I'd get it if I had wavy blond hair, bright green eyes, tan skin, and a shining smile like Ally did that made her the sweet little popular girl. But, I have my weird blue-black hair, light blue eyes, pale skin, and unnatural tallness that make me the outcast nothing.
I wonder if everyone would be grieving the same way if it were me... but no. That’s no way to think. I have to clear my head. I sit up and try to slow my steady flow of tears. What would she want me to do? I wonder. She wouldn’t want me to forget her, but she would want me to move on with my life. The thing is, in movies and stuff, people usually don’t know that until the end, when they realize that and get over their losses or whatever. But this seems to be a lot easier said than done. I give up on my attempt to cease my crying and walk downstairs, careful to avoid the room my parents are in.
My parents aren't mean or cruel, they never exactly showed favoritism. Well, they did seem to think everything Ally did was amazing, but I know they love me. That isn't the problem. I guess I'm just not that close to them. For example, I know they'll try to comfort me, but my mom won't come over to me and ask how I am coping with the situation or anything. That's probably the last thing on her mind. I slip out the back door and walk over to the old willow in our back yard. Before Ally entered high school and became Miss Popular, she used to hang out here with me. She would tell me stories or something like that and ask about my day. We were really close. Until she started valuing Facebook over her sister and hardly spoke to me anymore. She was kind of annoying after that, but she was still nice enough to me.
I sit down and lean my back against the old trunk. Remembering, thinking, wishing. I stay there like that, not noticing the time pass before me, until my mother comes out of the house.
"Corina? What are you doing out here? The sun's already setting. Get in here now!" she doesn't usually sound this mean, but I think she's just trying to act on top of things when she so obviously isn't. I hear her muttering as I walk past her finally dry face. But I know that's only for the moment. "Honestly, you'd think that with all that's going on you'd save me the worry..." Sorry for considering myself! I say to her in my head. Instead of turning to the kitchen to eat dinner, I turn towards the stairs to go up to my room.
"Aren't you eating?"
"Not hungry," I mutter. And I can't help but add in, "Saves you the trouble."
On any other day, I would have had to go right back downstairs and apologize to my mother, Ally sneering at me and putting on her innocent face when either parent looked her way. But today my mother just stands there in defeat, looking at the staircase that I was on two seconds ago. I hear the crying a minute later, just as I'm sitting down on my bed. But was inevitable, wasn't it? If I had stayed downstairs and said a single word, it most likely would have triggered my mother to start crying again, but I go so that doesn't have to happen, and she cries anyway. I can't do anything right for them, can I?
I feel like they don't even try to understand. I mean, I'm right here and I have feelings too! How can they not notice me like that? Who knows. As I think about it I silently promise myself that I'll never make that mistake if I ever have kids. It's then that I realize just how tired I am. It's still pretty early, but what else do I have to do? I change clothes and get into my bed. But after a few minutes I realize how stupid of me it was to think I could fall asleep. Ally has officially invaded my brain, and she doesn't appear to be leaving. I lay there, staring at my ceiling, for at least an hour or so, until sleep finally comes to me. I can only hope tomorrow's better.
We’re driving down the road, It’s finally moving day. Although I’m nervous, I must admit I’m excited to get there. I've never been to Chicago before. This should be interesting. I'm looking out the window and wondering how much longer it will be until we get there. Anyway, the view is nice so I'm not complaining. I look away from the window for a moment and focus my eyes on the road in front of us just in time to see the truck veer off of the other lane and see the headlights crash into the front window.
My eyes fly open and I immediately sit up in my bed, gasping for air. It takes me a minute to calm down, reminding myself repeatedly that it was just a dream. But once I've relaxed enough to think, a horrifying realization sets in. Part of my dream was true. It's moving day. I get out of the bed and walk over to the window, and sure enough, the truck is out there, ready for our things. I look around my empty room, imagining how it looked just a few weeks ago. I walk downstairs to find my parents instructing the movers around as they slowly take apart my home.
"Hey sweetie," greets my father when he sees me.
"We're leaving in an hour, okay? You've got all your stuff ready?" asks my mother.
"Yep," I reply. One hour. That's all I have left of my time in Rosedale. The tiny town that all overpass when driving past its highway exit. One hour to say my goodbyes. Ha! Like I have anyone to say goodbyes to. Then I realize that I have one goodbye. I go out to the back yard and walk to the big willow in the center of it. I run my hand along its trunk. To an observer who didn't know me, perhaps I would look like a lunatic, living in their own world. But I know it's just a tree. In a way, I feel like it's my way of saying goodbye to her.
My sister, Ally Summers, died about a month ago, yet the pain is as fresh as the moment we got the news. She was driving over to her best friend, Emily Clark's house. She was on the highway and the police think that the truck went into the wrong lane and slammed into her car from the opposite direction, causing it to flip in the air. She died instantly. Emily blamed herself because she had asked her to come over just to complain about her boyfriend breaking up with her, which compared to death - no matter how heartbreaking - was nothing. But we all obviously knew it had almost nothing to do with her. If you are interested to know, the truck driver was injured, but lived. However he was charged with murder with drunk driving as soon as he got out of the hospital. I despised the man, as he claimmed to innocence, after we all knew it was his fault my sister was dead. She was only seventeen.
About a week after the tragedy, my parents annonced to me that my father had decided to work with his company through Chicago and that we were moving there in three weeks. My mother had said, "A big city will be nice for a change. That's how I grew up!" Even though my mother could always find something to worry about, she seemed to be unusually excited for the move. I think that they really wanted to leave Rosedale, perhaps hoping that they could leave their grief with it. I, on the other hand, was appalled at the thought of moving to Chicago ever, let alone in three weeks. And those three weeks just seemed to creep up on me, ending today.
I could hear the Clark's coming in to the house to say goodbye through the screen on the open back door. Sure, they were family friends, but only because Emily and Ally were friends. I decide to stay with my willow until we have to go. I'm surprised when Emily comes out the back door a minute later to join me. I haven't spoken with her since Ally died. I only saw her twice. Once, at the funeral, the other right after it happened. But we didn't exchange any words. For the most part Emily just hung out with Ally and never really talked to me. But she was here now.
"Hey Cori. You okay?" she asked. This was the first time in a month anyone had bothered to ask me that, and it brought out a little smile.
"I will be." I sigh. "You?"
"Same," she says looking at the ground. "You know, Ally told me about this tree, but never actually took me here. I think she was saving her time here for you." I let out a faint, fake laugh.
"She hasn't been here for four years. You were lucky. You at least spent the time with her... you know... before," I say, my words implying the end of the sentence I do not finish.
"I'm so sorry," she whispers, her pitch rising. I can see tears forming in her eyes.
"You have nothing to apologize for," I assure her, my voice surprisingly calm.
"But-but if I-I hadn't..." she stammers, then gives up on finishing her sentence.
"Emily, you're as much to blame as I am," I say sounding nothing like myself. I sound like Ally. Kind but confident. Something I've never been known for. She smiles through her tears.
"Thanks. I just miss her... Next year is going to be unbearable. Ugh... I'm so selfish..." she says, closing her eyes as if willing herself not to shed another tear. I honestly don't know what to say. That was a little selfish, so I'm not going to lie to her, and I let out a little of my own true personality in my response.
"Aren't we all." I look back to the willow. Emily's silent for a moment.
"You know, I wish I could just get out of here too. What's left for me here? As soon as school ends, I'm leaving. I can hardly stand it anymore. But then again, I don't want to just leave her here, you know?"
"I know exactly what you mean," I reply sadly.
"Cori! We've got to go! I need you here in 5!" calls my mother from inside. I turn back to Emily for the last time.
"Good luck," she says and turns away, but I call after her.
"Hey, Emily! You too. You deserve it."
"Thanks," she says, turning back to look at me one last time. Then she disappears into the house forever.
"Cori!" calls my mother again, a minute or so later.
"Coming!" I call. I turn to the tree. "I'm gonna miss you," I say, patting the tree. "Hey, good luck to you too," I say before I begin to walk towards the house. I turn around just before I enter through the back door, and see the willow, dancing in the wind, catching in the sun just the right way. And even though the circumstances I'm under, I smile, happily.
How can a big city be in the middle of all this farmland? I wonder as I look out the window. We are now only 3 hours away, our third day of the road trip/move, yet everything is still field after field of crops. I keep on glancing nervously at the front window, as if expecting my full dream to come true. Lucky for me, we weren't driving past corn in my dream, so it's not completely the same. My parents are chatting quietly in the front seats, most likely to keep themselves awake. My mother seems to have done full blown research on our new home, as she can't seem to stop talking about how 'great' Chicago is.
"Isn't this just wonderful? You go a few hours out of the city and you've got all this!"
"All what, Mom? We're in the middle of nowhere, there's nothing here," I reply, grumpily.
"Cori, just learn to open up to the place a little and I'm sure you'll love it."
"Sure," I mumble sarcastically, though my mother doesn't seem to catch this.
When we finally get there, we get out of the car to witness a rather nice-looking apartment building. I've never lived in an apartment building, but there's a first time for everything, isn't there? I've never been here before. My parents flew in last week to find a place for us, but for some reason they decided not to take me with them. I slowly walk up the stairs because the elevator is apparently 'under renovation', though by the looks of it, it's been that way for awhile. When I get to the third floor I stop and walk into the little hallway. I find our apartment and step in.
The reason that maybe they didn't take me with them to find an apartment because they weren't thinking of me when they bought it seems highly probable as soon as I see the interior. There is only one real bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a sitting room area that I suppose is my new room. At least it's closed off from the other rooms, I think to myself, trying to point out the positives so I don't get too stressed out. As soon as I've gotten a look at the place my mother ushers me out so they can start moving everything in. And it's only now that I understand why we got rid of all that furniture, because we will not have any room for it.
"What exactly am I supposed to do?" I ask my mother when she has led me outside. She looks around, as though hoping she can find something to distract me with so she can run back into the apartment building.
"Uh... walk around. Explore the place," she suggests. "It's perfectly safe here in the middle of the day."
"Um, okay-" I begin, but she's turned around and left me there before I can finish my statement. I sigh and look around me, deciding where to go. I begin to just walk down the street, taking in my surroundings. At the corner there's a little coffee shop, and (although I hate coffee) I go in. There's a young woman behind the counter and her already existing smile brightens as soon as she sees me.
"Hello there! Welcome to Kevin's Coffee House!" she says far too enthusiastically for my liking, but I have no reason to not be friendly, so I put on a little smile and go up to her. On my way there though, I notice the place is empty. Good thing I'm only asking for water...
"What can I get you?" she asks brightly.
"Actually, could I just have some water? It's really hot out."
"Sure thing. You sound so surprised!" she remarks as she fills a plastic cup with water.
"I thought Chicago had the cold winters," I say.
"Ahh, I see. You're new here. I knew I hadn't seen you 'round here before. Well, Chicago has winters that always make you want the summer, and summers that make you want to have winter. Constant 'grass is always greener on the other side' cycle. Let's just put it that way. But you'd better get used to it!" she says, laughing.
"Thanks," I say, taking the water in her outstretched hand
"You're welcome. When'd you get here?" she asks, making conversation. Is is that apparent that I don't have anything to do?
"Actually we just got here today," I explain.
"Where d'you live?"
"Just down the street," I say. She nods.
"Hmmm, well you go on and enjoy your day now, alright?" she says, as smiley as ever.
"Thanks. You too," I say. I walk out of the shop, water in hand, and back out onto the sidewalk of the street. I look up at the huge skyscrapers, not so far from me. To compare anything here to Rosedale would be impossible, they're so different. But maybe this is what I need. Something different. Something new. And all of a sudden I'm wondering what Ally would think of it. Living here, in a big city. She'd probably like it. People are definitely her thing, so for her, the more the better. So, maybe, just maybe, I'll get used to this. I may even start to like it. And then I finally see the place for the first time through open eyes, ready to take a chance on the 3rd largest city on America.
I wake up, having just died in a car crash for what feels like the millionth time. Every night, the same basic nightmare. I die in a car that’s been flipped over by a truck. It gets pretty tiring if you ask me, but I have a rountine. We've been living in our new apartment for a week now, and I keep a special stash of pictures, right on my bedside table. They include those of my family, my old home, anything that makes me feel safe. So, although it may seem childish for a 14-year-old, I turn on my lamp, and go through the pictures one by one. When I am finished, I glance at my clock to find that it's 6:00 a.m. It may be early, but I know I can't go back to sleep. I never can.
I go over to the window and pull apart my curtains, the view still shocking me every time I do this. It's not that beautiful if you look straight ahead. There you'll only find an old brick apartment building. But if you press your head up to the glass and see past the trees, the Chicago skyline is just barely visible. Something that even I must admit is beautiful. The area's nice enough I guess. Lately, my days consists of eating, sleeping, and trying to avoid my parents as much as possible.
I'm now a regular at Kevin's Cofee House, though my hatred for coffee is no different. As soon as I am dressed, I leave the apartment building with a ten dollar bill in my pocket, just in case. I knock on the door two times, a little system me and Nellie (the over-enthusiastic lady who works there) worked out so that she knows it's me. Because I have nothing better to do with my time, I have started working at the coffee shop (that's why I'm coming in before it opens), though I don't get paid or anything. It's really her whose doing me the favor. If it weren't for this job, there's a serious chance that I would die of boredom, cooped up in that small apartment. I just take people's orders, get them their food. That kind of stuff. And, if I can bring myself to overlook Nellie's annoying, always-happy, voice, I have found that she's not so bad.
Nellie opens the door with a smile, as usual, and lets me in.
"You hungry?" she asks, pulling out a muffin from her purse.
"You keep muffins in your purse?" I ask, eyebrows raised. She laughs.
"Only if I know I'm about to see someone who hasn't had breakfast yet," she replies.
"Thanks," I say, taking it from her hand. As soon as I'm finished, it's about opening time, 7:00 a.m., so I help Nellie pull up the blinds on the windows and turn all the lights on, giving the shop its warm, happy glow. At about 7:15, the usual customers begin to come in, getting their bagels and coffee before work. Then, at about 9:00, we start getting our usual walk-ins, meaning we have no idea who they are.
Please leave me comments with your feedback!
More is to come!!!!!!!!!!!:)
-Riley ILoveRedPoodles 02:22, July 2, 2012 (UTC)