Dear Maggie

June 22, 2008
By Karen Perez, Mission, TX

As I sit alone on the bed in my cold room, I realize life is tremendously valuable. Still that realization came in too late…hours late. Tears fall down my eyes, perhaps in an hour my room will be an ocean full of sad memories, memories that have cut deep into my soul, leaving scars that will remain there forever. If only I wouldn’t have been so self-centered, maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t feel so guilty. I am perfectly aware that God makes things happen for a reason but the question is, what’s the reason? I lay my troubled head on my pillow and soon enough I was driven back again to my insensitive human form…

“Sarah, dear, please lower that music down! You known, I can always use an extra hand on the dishes.”

“Mom, I lowered it five minutes ago! And I am busy doing homework.” Mom is starting to get on my nerves just the same as I was getting on her nerves. I just couldn’t understand my parents or simply any other adult in the universe.

I can’t say I had the perfect life, but I guess it was okay. I had everything I needed and wanted, well not exactly everything if you want to count the fact that everybody that knew me felt sorry that I was an only child in the family, but I think that’s way better for me, I mean I get to have everything that my parents buy me to myself.

As I made a mental note of how my life was going on, I worked on my algebra homework. I just had to keep myself at the top 10% from the class. After that I decided to reward myself with a bowl of ice cream and a movie premiere on TV. It wasn’t even a minute after I had comfortably positioned myself on the mini couch in my room that I heard a loud knock on my door.

“Gosh, can’t I have a little peace!” I screamed aggravated. Unwantedly, I lifted myself from my couch and opened the door a little too dramatic to make sure whoever it was got the message that I was outraged.

“Hello Sarah! I was wondering if you want to play with me and Dolly.” Great, it was my 4-year old neighbor, Maggie. Ever since she moved in next door, my life has been, well, like a nightmare!

“Maggie, how many times do I have to tell you I am too old to play with you, if you haven’t noticed I am sixteen!”

“Mommy told me you were like, thirteen.” Now she really pushed the red button on me. It happens to me a lot, people think I am in junior high when I am really in high school. I just disdain it; can’t anyone tell I am a very mature person?

“Well tell your mommy, I am way older than that. Oh and can you tell my mommy not to let strangers inside my room? Thank you. Why the hat though, there’s no sun inside!” Then I shut the door in her face. As I sat again on my couch, I could hear short sniffles outside my door, but I was too tired to even bother.

The next day I was forced (by my parents after what happened yesterday with Maggie), to cancel my night out with my friends at the movies, since I had to “attend” a tea party with Maggie and her dolls. The day just couldn’t get any worse.

When I knocked on the door of the Peterson’s house, I was surprised to see Maggie’s eager face greet me.

“Hey Maggie, where’re your parents?”

“They’re doing writing on the table and stuff like that. Come on, I’ll show you my room.” Maggie took my hand into her tiny, soft palm, and I have to say, it felt warm, friendly and welcoming…I hadn’t felt that way for a long while.

I spended about an hour at her place playing with her dolls and having tea, but it was boring to me, I’ll admit. When it was time to leave I passed by the dining room table were I saw her parents having a discussion. I decided to eavesdrop; I mean their faces reflected concern and worry.

“I told you Tom, we don’t have enough money to pay the medical bill, I got all we had from our bank accounts but it’s just not enough.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll find a solution to our problem.”

“I just don’t want anything bad to happen to my darling!” And then Maggie’s mother burst into tears while the father gave her a reassuring hug. I quietly made my way out the door so I wouldn’t cause any disturbance. As I walked on the sidewalk toward my house, I started wondering what could’ve happened to the Petersons… they really looked agonized and distressed.

A month had passed and I was living my life to the fullest. I had made it for the cheerleading team next year, and I had passed my entire state tests with excellent scores. Just when everything seemed to be going right, I starting feeling gloomy, I guess it was due to that my friends were kind of jealous that I had made it to the cheerleading team and they hadn’t. So that created a cold barrier between us. I started feeling lonesome and sad, therefore, I decided to go visit Maggie, and yes I was surprised at myself for doing that…even thinking that. I hadn’t seen her for like weeks. I went to my mom to ask if I could go and check on Maggie, but something hit me like a cold rock on the chest when hearing those words coming out of Mom’s mouth…

“Sweetie, you know that Maggie had been diagnosed with leukemia…she was sent to the hospital the past month, I don’t think she’s doing that well.”

“What! No she can’t…how come I wasn’t aware of it!” And then it hit me…I had been so blind …the hat she would always wear to cover the falling of her hair, the pale skin, and the argument on the medical bills, and when her mother burst into tears, that all made sense! If only I would’ve known before, but no, I had to be too busy with my life to even care about others, especially Maggie.

When I got to the hospital, with a huge teddy bear in my arms, I quickly asked for Maggie’s room number and dashed for it, my mother jogging along. When I reached her room, I decided to take a peek in, since the door was left a few inches open. The picture that I saw in front of my eyes was devastating. Her parents were kneeling beside her bed, holding her innocent hand, shedding tears from the heart. I couldn’t stand to see Maggie’s precious face in that condition; it just didn’t seem right for this to have happened. Maggie was meant to be a cheerful, happy, living girl and not the opposite. Mom, having seen the commotion, gave me a tight hug, and I exchanged one in return as well. I just yearned so much to be told this was some crazy nightmare, but deep inside I knew denial wasn’t the way out of this.

That night I cried endlessly…I felt so disgusted at myself for been who I was, I mean, precious Maggie didn’t deserve all the wrong and cruelty I have done to her. God, why did you take her away from us?

Three years have slowly passed by. I am now attending college and living a stable life. Yes, the memories from my sixteen-year are still fresh in my mind, and they keep blooming every time I think I have forgotten them. Those bad times I had with Maggie…gosh, I regret them so much, yet I still give a grin at the remembrance of those good times we spend together. The first year that Maggie left us… it was the worst year of my life. I felt so guilty thinking that if I hadn’t treated her the way I had when I first met her, maybe she would’ve lived her short life happier. I keep in mind the time she told me I was like the sister she never had, I wish I would given her a hug. I know that usually memories are the only things that are left behind of someone special who’s just left, but I have something else to consol me when I feel disheartened…the huge teddy bear I was to give Maggie the day she passed away. That teddy bear makes me feel like Maggie is still alive…next to me. I have also become closer to my parents and I feel grateful for that. God took Maggie for a reason and hopefully Maggie is living a happier life up in the divine world of God.

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