February 21, 2008
By Myrissa Britto, Providence, RI

Leah lay atop the thick green grass, looking up at the sky trying to decipher the clouds. She reached out her hand to the empty space beside her, closing her eyes imagining the presence of her lost sister.
"Its a beautiful day isn't it Eli?"
“Yes,” she imagined shed say. “Its perfect weather for flying.”
Leah laughed sadly to herself. That's exactly the type of thing Eli would say. Something so impossible yet the way she spoke made it seem real, made Leah believe it was the most possible thing there was. Eli made the best of games. They'd run the fields trying to escape the giants who had come down from the clouds, like in the story of Jack and the magic beans, only reaching safety once they dashed into the thick of the trees.
“That was too close Leah.” She’d gasp, holding onto a tree as if she’d fall from exhaustion without it. Once she was absolutely certain that they where safe from the giant they’d immerge from the wood, skipping along with fairies and sprites. Before Leah knew any better and clung to each word her sister spoke, she’d whine and stop around.
“But Eli, I don’t see anything.”
“They are there” she reassured her. “You just have to think them hard enough.”
“I am.” she whined. “ I don’t see a thing!” Eli would just shake her head at her and go on playing.
Even after she’d fallen sick she still amazed Leah with her talent of imagination. They’d stay indoors now, of course, since she was to weak to go to far.
“Do you see the portal?” She’d ask.
Leah would look around trying to seek out where a portal might be. “there?” she’d exclaim and Eli nodded approvingly.
“Right Leah! Oh how wonderful you see it too!”
“But where does it lead?
She smiled an illuminating smile, even her pale skin brightening slightly. “Lets find out.” And off they’d go to a land in their minds while sitting on her bed. Their mother did not allow them to play around the house anymore; she said it was no good for Eli to “play.” Leah remembered her mother had spat the word so distastefully, it made her cringe. But being in bed did not stop Eli, Leah didn’t think anything could.

That’s why the day Leah woke to find her mother weeping, her father at her side doing his best to comfort her though his eyes shined as well, It was such a surprise. Leah knew her sister had been sick, but she never thought she wouldn’t be there. She was always so happy and joyful, it could not have been this bad. Leah remembered sitting and thinking how she could not have noticed. Surely there must have been something to signal her last days with her beloved older sister. But even the day before, Eli insisted they play, nothing had seemed different.

Leah rolled to her side on the grass opening her eyes and taking a deep breath, it had been almost a year since her sister passed, and the depth of the pain never ceased. She hadn’t played a single day since. Only coming out to lay in the grass remembering the games and the fun, she only had her sister in her memories and refused to live a day without her.

The wind blew her hair up tickling at her face. A low whistling sound called to her attention. The wind can not speak, can it? She stood gazing at the dust and leaves twisted up around her, twirling in the graceful wind. The soft whistle called out again. Her hair stood up on her neck as a warm feeling washed over her, and for a moment the pain of loss subsided. She breathed deep trying to hold on to it but it slipped away leaving her with her ache. She looked to the sky, trying to understand, and just as easily as it had come, the wind and whistle returned; brining with it the serenity that captivated her. Suddenly she understood and broke out into a run, across the fields her heart beating rapidly with more joy than she had felt in months. She ran fast and hard over the land heading for woods. Once in the safety of the trees she tumbled to the ground rolling in the leaves laughing out with happiness. She wasn’t so alone after all.

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