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Shadow in the Distance

The last few days of May pass by like the slow turning of a Ferris Wheel, moving swiftly and delicately by a slight breeze, like a child blowing on a paper pinwheel watching curiously as the colors change in the sun. The last few days of high school continued to pass. The times when we were together were timeless, unchanging but yet changing, priceless and most importantly, nothing I’d ever forget. It moments like this I realized that if something did happen to me, life would surely go on, and that scared me most.

The sound of falling rain slowed the beating of my heart as I lay awake, slowly breathing in and out as I stared at my ceiling. I was probably home alone again. Normally on a Sunday morning my Dad and Marco were already on their way to one of his football games. I looked at my iPod clock radio and blinked a few times before I was able to focus on the digital numbering. 11:45am. Yeah, they were at football. As I slowly got out from under my cozy green comforter, I sat at the edge of my bed wondering what I would do today. I knew I had Physics and French homework but procrastinating seemed like a better choice right about now.
As I opened my bedroom door and made my way down the cream colored carpeted hallway, I examined the many portraits of my life just as if they’d been taken yesterday, hanging on the wall. “Good Morning, Mom.” I said as I pressed two fingers from my lips to the picture. “Dad? Marco?” I called out ,and after a few seconds of no response, I made my way to the kitchen.

After examining the almost empty pantry, I thought Fruit Loops was a good enough breakfast choice. After I poured both the milk and cereal into a bowl, I grabbed a spoon from the dishwasher and headed to the family room.
“Oh, hey Dad.” I said, making myself comfortable on the couch as I watched my Dad read the sports section of the Daily Herald.”I thought you’d be at Marco’s football game this morning. How’s our team doing? Dad?” I repeated, as I watched him scan the page and reach his left hand to his head and lifted his glasses off. “Dad?” I asked once more before realizing I was not going to get an answer. “That bad, huh?” I added with a laugh but again I was receiving no response. He didn’t even look at me. “Did I do something wrong?” I asked, but again, no answer as I spooned another bunch of Fruit Loops into my mouth. “Well, whatever I did, I’m sorry.” I mumbled while trying to multitask eating and talking as I walked away.

After adding my cereal bowl to the pile of dishes, I made my way back up the stairs to my room. “Good Morning Goldy.” I said as I looked for his fish food and tapped a few pieces into his bowl, as I watched him curiously swim to the top. I then realized I that I hadn’t checked my Facebook in awhile and reach towards my desk to get my laptop. I heard a loud crash from down the hall and ran out of my room. I suddenly stopped as I saw that it was Marco, my silly brother who had smashed yet another picture frame with one of his shiny sticks again. “Hey bud, you okay?” I said with a laugh until my brother fell to the floor and began to cry. “Marco? Oh I’m sorry I didn’t mean to laugh. Did it cut you?” I asked walking towards him. “Marco?” I asked again. I slowly reach my hands towards his head as he slowly got up from the floor, wiped his tears away and walked out the door, leaving me alone and confused yet again.

Okay this is really weird. I thought to myself heading back down the hallway towards the staircase. “Dad, I’m going for a walk!” I yelled with one foot out my front door. Again I received no response but I didn’t care. I didn’t remember doing anything wrong. I got a D on my Physics test but I thought I had at least another day until he found out about it.

Before I reached the end of my lot, a familiar blue Jeep pulled up into my driveway. “Mark! Taylor! Shasha! Matt!” I shouted as I turned around and ran towards them but, I stopped dead when I realized like the others, they weren’t acknowledging me either. There wasn’t even a hesitation. Something about those four people I had known all my life suddenly seemed unfamiliar. There was fear and sadness behind their perfect eyes and their lips were speechless. “Guys?” I added in a weak voice and again there was no hesitation. As my eyes followed my four best friends, Taylor suddenly turned towards me. Just when I thought she was heading over to talk me, she turned to open the trunk of Matt’s car. A big bouquet of red roses and white daises suddenly filled her arms; my favorite.

I watched in utter confusion and curiousness as the four of them walked in sync to my front door. Sasha slowly reached and pressed the doorbell, her hand lightly shaking as her fingers fell to her side. Within the minute, my Dad came to the door. Once Marco appeared behind him, Taylor unevenly sifted the flowers and they fell to her feet, as she threw her arms around him. As if a secret message and time was implied in their silences, all six of the people I loved most, began to cry. I wanted to follow them. I wanted to know what was going on. I wanted them to know that I was longing to hear the sound of their voices. I wanted to cry but for some reason tears couldn’t even be forced from my light green eyes. I looked at each of them. I then remember why I loved them all so. They all amazed me in their own different ways but especially Marco. I looked at his face and watched the tears fall from his eyes. I had never seen him like this before, not from any of them.

I made my way back towards my backyard until I reached the edge of the neighborhood pond. I sat down a few feet away from the edge of the water and watched as swans swam around on the crystal clear water. The geyser continue to pour into the pond, and I began to feel the sun cooling off my back and the rain began to slow. A slight, crisp breeze sent goose bumps up my spine as the wind whipped my bangs into my face. I lifted my hand to my head and slowly dragged my fingers down the back of my wavy, charcoal colored hair. I was halfway down my head until I suddenly stopped. That’s when I knew what had happened.





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