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“1.”


I can see my breath float above the city from on top of the roof. Early November used to be my favourite time of the year. The maple tree in front of the apartment building had already begun to shed its red leaves, so the most beautiful time of the year had already come to pass. Because it was cold and the birds were beginning to migrate and animals scurrying to prepare for hibernation, often all was silent and still. It was as though nature had taken a moment to contemplate and take a break from all the hustle and bustle in spring and summer; to just breathe. Sometimes this was the time of year we’d have our first snowfall, depending on the year. There was always something very beautiful and romantic about early November.


When I was a kid, the thing I loved the most about early November was the annual visit from my Uncle Tom. Growing up, it was only me and my mom so I liked to think of my uncle as my own father, even though he’s not. Usually when Uncle Tom was over, my mom would “go out with the girls” so Uncle Tom stayed at home with me. As soon as my mother was on the other side of the door, Uncle Tom would lift me onto the kitchen counter. I wasn’t allowed up there, but many of the things Uncle Tom and I did together weren’t permitted by Mom either, like eating desert for breakfast. When I was up there I’d yell, “1, 2, 3, jump!” and then I’d jump and Uncle Tom would catch me. The fall terrified me, like many other things, but just knowing Uncle Tom would catch me somehow made it okay.


“2.”


One day Uncle Tom failed to catch me. Before bed I had asked for another game of Jump and he agreed to it, but after he put me up on the counter the phone rang. He answered it, leaving me stranded on the countertop afraid of falling. I was scared, and I knew the only way to get over it would be to say the magic words and get Uncle Tom to catch me. I jumped off the countertop while Uncle Tom was in the living room, and dislocated my shoulder. Uncle Tom drove me to the hospital, neither of us saying a word.


Mom didn’t come back home that night.


“3.”


Ten years of jumping from house to house, emptily taking from family after family later, I found myself on top of my old apartment building. Things just aren’t what they used to be. I haven’t seen Uncle Tom or Mom or anyone else I used to know since that night. They didn’t even bother telling me why my mother wasn’t going to be there for me anymore.


I hated every single foster house they forced me into. It was as though I was trapped in an artificial world where everything was either superficial and stupid, or somber and depressing. They were either too optimistic or much too pessimistic; too many kids or too little kids; too many comforting words or not enough comforting words. At every new house I would learn something new about the unfairness of life, and the inadequacy of justice. I hated every new foster family like I hated the world. And I hated the world the way I hated myself. But soon that’s all going to end. Today’s the day to try the ultimate pain killer; death itself. After today, I won’t have to endure another second of hurt and cruelty. After today, I won’t fret about the events of the past, the horridness of the present, or even the darkness of the future. After death I become free, and I’ll jump right into the arms of my dearest uncle.


“Jump.”



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east_of_adaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 17, 2013 at 11:13 pm:
i enjoy the progression of the story, the movement of counting as it leads to a prestige of dying. however, i would recommend it go backwards like (3,2,1) since the main is counting to their end. it's a personal preference, but either way, i loved the counting. something else i'd have loved to seen is what happened? to the mother and uncle tom, why did the main enter into the foster system? i didn't really know so it was bothering me~other than those few things i really enjoyed your ... (more »)
 
Kindle replied...
Oct. 20, 2013 at 2:36 am :
I didn't say why he was put into foster care because he doesn't actually know; he was too young. But what had happened was his mother was driving home drunk and got into an accident, so Uncle Tom received the call just as Oliver (the protagonist) jumped off of the counter. Oliver actually lived with Tom for a while, but eventually Uncle Tom released custody of him due to the stress and grief of losing his sister. From then on, Oliver jumped from foster home to foster home, never quite fe... (more »)
 
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