Tears for Rachel (Part 1)

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The summer after ninth grade was supposed to be the best summer of my life. My best friend Rachel and I were going to New York City together for a week. We were planning many trips to the beach, days at the mall, and sleepovers to watch sad movies at. I was going to baby-sit when I wasn’t busy, to make some money for back to school clothes in August. I would finally have time to walk my beagle, Nelly, who I’d just gotten in April. And of course, there would be time for relaxation. I couldn’t wait for the lazy mornings; sleeping until whenever, getting up whenever, watching TV, never changing out of my pajamas. No doubt, this summer vacation was going to be wonderful.

Or so I thought.

I was in my room, sketching an awfully deformed cat, when I heard the news. Mom came into my room with wet eyes and put her hand on my shoulder.

“Rachel is dead.”

And I became numb. I didn’t understand. This was all a joke. It was a lie. It was a cruel, cruel prank. I was dreaming. All I had to do was wake up and get back into reality. The next day, when I walked down the road and turned up the driveway of Rachel’s house, she would be there on the porch, drinking iced tea. Yes, that is how it would be.

But I woke up the next morning, and it was not like that. Rachel was dead. And then, I shut down. I didn’t hear what anybody said. I didn’t respond to what anyone did. I curled into a tight ball like an armadillo and never came out. My armadillo armor sheltered me from the world, and I didn’t notice what I was missing.

In the back of my closet was a big empty space, hidden from view by the clothes hanging up. I decided to make that spot my secret burrow. I hauled in blankets, a pillow, and a lamp. I sat down in my burrow and cried my heart out.

I spent many hours in my hidden nest. I was like a groundhog in hibernation. The only difference was I didn’t know when February 2nd was going to come. Would it ever come? Would the snow on my heart ever melt and show the emerging spring?

July passed slowly, like a boring math class. All I felt was sadness. All I could think about was the last time I saw Rachel. She had stopped at my house two days before she died to return a borrowed hot glue gun. Rachel was gluing beach glass to the mirror in her room, and Elmer’s just wasn’t working. So I let her use my hot glue gun. And then all I could think about was Rachel’s bedroom. I was always jealous of her bedroom. I redecorated mine a million times, and never got it to look quite perfect. Rachel’s room was beautiful. The walls were light aqua, my favorite color. Her rug was the same aqua blue, and incredibly squishy. The room had an ocean theme; shells and fish sitting on her bookcase and dresser. I loved her amazing shell collection. Then, thinking about Rachel’s bedroom made me think of all the sleepovers we had. I remembered sitting on her bed and laughing for hours about inside jokes. We played board games and listened to music and drew funny self-portraits. And I wept even harder, thinking of these memories that would never be relived.

To be continued. . .





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

ttyl200 said...
Feb. 5, 2012 at 12:29 am
this story is so sad, but really well written. I'm so sorry for your loss. Great writing!
 
ttyl200 replied...
Feb. 5, 2012 at 12:36 am
Wait! just realized this was fiction... whoops! I guess its just so good it seemed real to me. haha ;)
 
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