Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Fireworks

I remember the fireworks. I remember sitting in the back of the van of an unknown family and staring up at the inky black sky, taking in the brilliant colors as they painted the sky. I remember feeling annoyed at the large tree that blocked my view of the rockets when they exploded against the chilly ebony of the heavens. I remember the others joking about cutting down the infernal tree when the owners of the property upon which it stood were away. They said the same thing every year, when we gathered to watch the fireworks. I remember wishing that, for once, the tree would just uproot itself for a half an hour and let me watch the fireworks without having to crane my neck.

I remember the cold. My bare kneecaps were blue and I was shivering under the fleecy fabric of my grey Smithsonian sweatshirt. I remember when I’d bought the sweatshirt; only a week previous, in Washington D.C. I remember the things that I saw and the people I met. I missed them. I remember running a hand over my bare leg, feeling the bug bite welts and wishing I’d worn jeans. I remember looking down at the worn toes of my black Converse and looking at the single black heart I’d scribbled on each toe. The hearts were fading, and I decided to let them lighten into obscurity. I no longer had any love for hearts. I remember wishing I had a pair of wings tucked under my sweatshirt to keep me warm. I imagined the feel of the soft, creamy fledgling feathers against my arms and around my body. I remember wishing for flight, as I often did, but tonight, my wish was slightly different. I wished to fly, not only for pleasure, but for escape.

I remember the familiar bang of the delayed explosion after each firework. I remember wondering if the booms would ever stop echoing off the insides of my head. I remember my earbuds tucked into my ears, pumping music deep into my head. I do not remember what music was playing; only that it was loud. I remember the buzz of an incoming message on my cell phone. I remember typing quick messages, my thumbs moving across the keypad with trained speed. I do not remember the conversation, only the cool smoothness of the phone in my rough hands. I’d never bothered much with looks, and my short nails and coarse hands didn’t give the false assumption that I did. I remember running one fingertip over another and feeling the writer’s calluses that had toughened each tip.

I remember thinking of him. I remember wondering if he was watching the fireworks tonight, too. I remember hoping briefly that he was thinking of me as fondly as I was of him, but soon squished the pathetic thought between my harshly callused fingertips. I remember feeling alone. I remember wishing for a friend to watch the lights with, wishing for someone, anyone, to talk to. But then again, I liked being alone. It gave me time to think. Time to plot and plan and dream and die inside.

I remember sitting in the back of that van, shivering in the damp air, and thinking of him. I remember wondering about death. I remember hoping the rest of my life is better than it is now. I remember realizing that I’m fourteen and a half at that very moment. I was the oldest I’d ever been. I remembered the chilly words of a faux friend: “You’re going to Hell.” I remember the anger and resentment I felt at her, at all the others. I remember wishing they’d all just forget about me, wishing that every picture, every memory they had of me would just disappear. I remember wanting to be alone forever, to never have to worry about what anyone else thought or wanted from me. I wanted to live inside myself, leaving my body to fend for itself, a shell. I remember wanting to die, to never worry for anything ever again, to never feel the harsh sting of my heart being ripped from my chest. I reasoned that no one would miss me much. But even in Hell, I’d remember the fireworks.



Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Jessica G. said...
Aug. 13, 2009 at 5:07 pm
I love the detail! :)
 
unearthlyhaphazard said...
Aug. 4, 2009 at 7:05 pm
Deep, intense, and beautiful. LOVED IT! I totally can relate to the line about the faux friend.
 
Site Feedback