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The Box

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The girls held their mothers hand as they stepped up in line. You could see in the girl’s faces that they didn’t understand what was happening.

“Why are all these people crying?” The older of the two girls asked her mother. But nobody answered her question; they just kept stepping up in line till they got to the front.

To the older girl this line seemed pointless. For one, she didn’t know where the line lead to. And two, because there weren’t any other children she could play with except her younger sister. Slowly the line inched up, more people looked in the box, more tissues were used, and more tears weren’t silently shed. When the family had gotten to what they’d apparently been waiting for, the only thing the girl could see was a big box on top of a stand. The box was beautiful, yes, the older girl had to admit but why they’d wasted all that time to see a box that made people cry, she had no idea. It only occurred to her that something was inside of it when their mother had lifted them together to peer inside the box. It was a coffin. And inside that behemoth of a box was her grandfather, but not just her grandfather; it was her monkey-daddy.

The name had stuck; every time he had come to visit he brought some shape or form of a monkey. This, at the age of six was a very big deal to the older of the girls. So, as you can imagine, it was very distressing to see her grandfather stiff, white, and cold. But, at that age you can also imagine, that the girls didn’t fully understand. In the girl’s minds they would see him again next time he visited.

After stepping away box, so as to give others a chance to mourn for their loss, they went and mingled with some other people. Rather, the girls’ parents went to mingle with some other people. The girls were told not to fool around, get their dresses dirty, or their shoes too scuffed.

When it was time to leave the girls went to stand on the between the church and parking lot. The sun had made the outside blazing hot, and the older girl remembers staring at her black shoes as they reflected the sun off of their black shine.

Looking back on it now, the girl realizes that she didn’t give the memory enough space in her mind. She should have remembered more of the important parts, instead of how the sun glinted off her shoes in a certain way, or how the line had taken an extremely long time to get through. She should have paid more attention to her surroundings, reactions; she should have tried to comfort people, more in general. But she didn’t and there’s no going back, at least she remembers what she does and didn’t just forget it all together.

The event was like trying to catch smoke, at that age it’s surprising she caught any at all, but if you catch some, it would have been possible to catch more, if only the container had room to fit more inside.





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emmawu This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 27, 2010 at 10:22 pm
I would love any feedback that you guys have so if you read it, post something please!!!!
 
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