The Forgotten Future

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I was born on December 21, 1996. I lived in Tampa Bay Florida and my name is Chayla. When in school I remembered hearing kids in high school say that their party was “Gayest party ever!” or “Worst party in my life!”… Well I wish they had gone to my party.

It was at cheerleading practice when my friends all asked when my party was. I’ve told them a million times but they always forgot. “Monday”, I said as we walked on the field. I turned my attention to my friend Janet who looked like she was out of place. I wanted her to feel invited because she was one of the new kids. I had already talked to her before in my Spanish class and she seemed like a nice friend. “Hey Janet are you coming to my party.” She turned toward me to see if I was talking to her, like there was another Janet anywhere around then shyly walked away as if she hadn’t heard a thing I said. I wanted to chase her down but the captain called me back.

In English class all my friends were talking about if I knew about what might happen on Monday. I really tried not to think about it and I didn’t answer but I knew what they meant. When you think about your birth date you usually think about your party and friends and birthday cake, but on my birth date all I can think about is the world dying. While in class I think out loud “Why me…!”

Finally it was that day. My 16th Birthday, the day every teenager hopes to experience. My parents helped me decorate the house with vibrantly colored streamers, music, and confetti. Usually I choose 2 people to stay the night at the end of the party. After I had finished with the snacks I ran upstairs to my room and turned on the Television. All the media were raging over the suicides and crimes being committed. As I watched the news the reporters pulled up to a bridge. They were at the scene of a man that was going to jump off a bridge. The negotiators tried to persuade him to not jump. He said it was God’s calling for him to die that day. I guess God persuaded him more than the negotiators and family members waiting alongside because he jumped and the whole time they just filmed it not once did they turn away the cameras. You could hear him scream as he twirled helplessly to the ice covered rocky river below then I heard a loud smack and I turned the T.V. off. I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. That was the first time I ever saw someone die that was in real life. It was a shock but I couldn’t let it ruin my birthday.

After the unfortunate mishap I had witnessed on the news I looked out my window to see if anyone had arrived yet. I stared but no one showed. I heard something from my right so I turned my head to notice my neighbor’s backyard. I had seen it before but today It looked especially rugged and trashed with metal poles and scraps that had been rusted and welded from previous projects. I had always wondered who lived there and what they were building. My parents took one look at him when we first moved and told me not to go over there. It was like those haunted houses that are in movies that kids always are scared to go near to, but in this case it looked pretty normal (in the front). There was a big oak tree in the front that was leaning into the house and it was surrounded by dead tulips. There was a porch that had a rocking chair and a swinging bench that was wore down from weather and termites. The last time I had seen him come out of his house was when we first moved and that was 5 years ago. From other neighbors I’ve heard that he has lived here for his whole life and that his parents used to own it.

My party was supposed to start at 6:30…it was 9:00. I didn’t bother to call anyone because it was too late. My celebration was held with just me and my parents. They presented the cake to me. It was a coconut cake with buttermilk icing…my favorite. It had the number 1 and 6 in candle form that lit with a bright hue of red and orange. Looking down at it with my parents singing in the background I blew one candle out with a sigh and the other with a teardrop that slid down my face and off my chin. My dad rubbed my back hoping it would make me feel better but it didn’t. They asked if I wanted to help take down my decorations. I had nothing better to do so I agreed. As I finished the steamers they sat down on the couch and turned on the news. From the kitchen I could hear the sounds of gunshots and interviews as mother flipped through the channels trying to find something other than death and despair. Again I just walked to my room and watched from there. Falling to sleep hearing about someone who lit there house on fire and killed his two kids and wife I dreamt if my house had caught fire. It seemed so real as if I felt the heat filling my room and the sweat drip off my fore head into my eyes and down to my ears. It seemed too real. As I woke up from my body wanting to get from underneath the covers cause of the heat I started to cough. Not a “clear my throat” cough, but gasping for air coughs. As I tried to open my eyes I saw but darkness. I rubbed my eyes and felt a flour like material. “Smoke!” I screamed as I jumped onto the hot floor. My room was on fire. I saw blooming fire spread across the floor and smoke ascend my walls. I figured since the floor was hot the room below had to have caught fire… that room was my parents. Tip screaming and trying to find air I jumped across the floor for the ground was scolding. Not remembering the safety fire tips I learned from school I grabbed the door and burned my hand. When the door swung open and I yelled fire blazed in but not hurting me. I was downstairs now and in my parent’s room. Mom was screaming while trying to wake up dad but no results showed. I hoped that it was a dream even though I knew it wasn’t .





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