Think of Italy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


     Hopelessness was in her eyes as she dropped the note. Ihad been frolicking in merry thoughts of skiing, Christmas and hot chocolate, butI saw her put it on the ground deliberately, so I unfolded it with mittened handsand read it.

The words stopped my heart for an instant. I snapped my headup, and my eyes frantically scanned the crowd. Where was she? She was hiding,hiding from the world.

I sprinted as fast as I could toward the bridge.Neither ice nor "Don't Walk" signals broke my stride. I passed St.Cecilia's Church, where the choir was practicing for midnight Mass, and thebakery, where heavenly aromas wafted to the street.

At last, I reached mydestination. The bridge was high, so sickeningly high above the icy water that mystomach gave a protesting lurch. But she was there, perched perilously on theother side of the guardrail.

"You don't want to do this," Icalled calmly, masking the urgency that threatened to make mescream.

"Don't come any closer," she warned, nearhysterics.

"I won't," I promised. "Just do me afavor."

"What?"

"Think of the people who loveyou and what this will do to them. If you go through with this, you'll bethrowing away your talents and dreams. Think of Italy; you once told me you wouldlike to live there. Who will be the world-renowned writer you aspire to be? Whatabout the children you might have? Most of all, think of yourself! I am here foryou, I'll help you."

By then, my voice was pleading and tears wererunning down my face. I prayed in my heart that she understood what I was saying.Trust filled her eyes as she climbed back over the rail and we embraced for along moment. Then I said, "C'mon, let's buy some cookies from the bakery,and then we'll listen to the choir sing."




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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