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The First Boy Who Flew To The Sun This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "I think I want to be an astronaut when I grow up," Rob said thoughtfully. "That's stupid. What if your space rocket blows up?" I guess I wasn't being so considerate. My mommy says that sometimes. One time, Rob and I were having a race in my backyard. He fell and bruised his knees. There were no cuts or blood, but he was crying his eyes out. I couldn't help but laugh; his face was funny, all scrunched up like that. My mom came and helped Rob up. She told me to stop laughing; that I wasn't being considerate. After all, Rob was only six and I was three months older. She said that that made me more mature. I forgot what mature meant, though.

"You would die so fast," I continued.

"That's okay. Life doesn't have to be so long as long as you make the most of it. That's what my nurse said."

"Well that's wrong. If you want to be happy, you gotta live long," I put my hands on my hips.

His green eyes widened. I decided I had said the wrong thing, so I changed the subject.

"We better go inside. My mom is waiting for us." I grabbed his hand and we walked inside together.

On the table, there was grilled cheese and tomato soup. The grilled cheese was cut into airplanes, and there was milk, too.

"Oh, hello, kids," my mom dried her hands. "I was just about to call you in. Go wash your hands." I love my mommy. Rob loves her, too. He said he loves her more than his mommy. His is pretty nice, but sometimes she spanks him if he is bad. He doesn't have a daddy, though. His daddy ran away after he found out that Rob had AIDS. Rob thinks that my mommy is the most beautiful girl on Earth. Next to me, though. I know this because for Valentine's Day, he gave us each a bouquet of flowers from his own garden. My bouquet was bigger, and it had more daisies; Rob knew that was my favorite. Rob told me that he likes my mom's blonde curls the best about her. He said they make her look like a fairy when they shine in the light. He likes my curls, too. We are going to get married if he lives long enough. I hope he does; I think Rob is the handsomest boy.

We washed our hands and scrubbed them with fish-shaped soap. It smelled like strawberries. I liked the smell, but Rob said it made him want to puke.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" Rob took a bite of an airplane.

"I'll be a doctor," I declared. "I'll find a cure for AIDS, and I'll make you all better."

He smiled, and there was a milk-mustache on his lips. He looked silly.

* * * * *

"Go, Rob!" everyone cheered. He had hit another home run.

I waitied until Rob ran across home plate. When he did, I gave him a high five. He smiled, and I noticed that he was missing another tooth. "How much did you get from the tooth fairy?" I asked.

"Nothing," he looked sad."The tooth fairy doesn't come when you're sick."



"Really? Maybe she'll come when you get better."

"Maybe."

We silently waited until our team was on the field. "Good game," a boy named Carter said, after the game. He shook Rob's hand, and mine.

"Carter! What do you think you're doing?" a woman came and grabbed his arm. She gave Rob a funny look, and left. We waved good-bye. They didn't wave back.

"Hey, great game, guys! Do you want to go out for ice cream?" my mom asked.

"Yeah!" we shouted, and got in the car. Rob never mentioned Carter. I suppose he was used to it. A few moms won't let their kids play with Rob, but most don't care, especially since he is so young. Also, he got AIDS at the hospital when he was born, not from his parents. Some moms actually encourage their kids to play with him because they feel bad.

"I want cookies and cream with gummy bears," Rob peered over the counter.

"I want chocolate-chip cookie dough with rainbow sprinkles." It was my all-time favorite. My mommy just ordered a vanilla frozen yogurt. She said that the older you get, the less interesting flavors you order. That's sad; vanilla is so boring.

I had trouble sleeping. I had a nightmare about Rob dying, but I didn't tell my mom. I was too embarrassed to tell her. It was my first secret from her.

* * * * *

"If you had wings, where would you go?" I loved to puzzle Rob. He would actually think about my questions for hours.

"I don't know. Maybe to the moon. Or the sun. Just so I can say that I've been there," his sandy blond hair was gleaming in the light.

"You would burn like toast!"

"Well, I'm sure that if I could fly, I can have many other special powers, like a never-dying power." Rob was a little taller than me; I couldn't marry a guy who was shorter, right? I looked at him. He looked so handsome.

The next day, Rob was transferred to the hospital. It just happened. My mom was crying, and we went to visit him. She brought him flowers and a teddy bear. Rob's mom first hugged mine. Then, she hugged me and gave me a kiss. I always thought she was pretty; she was younger and had long, straight, brown hair, and she wore dark lipstick. While they were talking, I stood beside Rob's bed.

"Hi," I cringed. He looked so helpless.

"Hi," he whispered.

"Don't worry," I tried to convince him and myself. "Stick it out and you'll make it."

He closed his eyes. Mom and I decided it was time to leave.

"I'll miss you," he whispered. "Bye."

At midnight, my mom picked up the phone. She cried and cried. I knew what had happened, and now I realize what he meant when he said that he would miss me.

My parents went to his funeral, but I was too young. That's silly. I knew him the best, and I was going to marry him. That's okay, I'd rather not dress in black and cry. Rob hates the color black and to see me cry, so I just drew a picture for my mom to put on his grave. It was a rocket, with Rob as the astronaut, and me as his passenger. We were flying to the sun. 1


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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DaBritt3 said...
Apr. 27, 2011 at 8:50 am
This was really good! It brought tears to my eyes at the end!
 
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