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Brown Eyes

January 18th, 1997

It is cold. My hands shake at my side while I wait for my mother to return from the eerie house in front of me. I hear crying from outside the car, so I get out. I look around, but no one is there. The impossible place it seems to be coming from is a bush that is covered in snow.

I look around. The sound can’t possibly be coming from the bush, can it?

I decide I have nothing to lose, so I head towards the snow-covered bush.

As I approach the bush, the sound seems to be getting louder and louder. When I get closer, I can see there is a bowl-shaped indent in the center, but I cannot see what is causing it.

As I finally reach the edge, I stretch my short legs to peer over the edge.

When I peer down, I see a baby, nestled in many blankets, but her face is still blue from the cold.

Not even stopping to think of how she got there or who her parents are, I snatch her-gently and lightly, but quickly- out of the bush. I must have snatched her too quickly, it seems, because she begins to cry louder.

I rush the baby to the car and practically pull the door off its hinges. With the baby still crying, I slide into the passenger seat and turn the heat on high to warm the practically blue baby.

To see over the dashboard, I have to stand up. The car in front of me blocks most of my view at this angle, but I can still see the sidewalk leading up to the house.

I don’t see much, much that is except for the front yard. Then, out of nowhere, I see my mother, flying through the air at a speed I didn’t even know a person could travel at.

My mother lands with a “THUD” twenty yards down the driveway, and I cry out for her, thinking that she might be gone.

For a moment that seems like hours, I stare at her, motionless in the snow. When she gets up, I breathe a sigh of relief- too quickly, it seems, because coming across the lawn is a large animal that could be a dog. It’s fearsome grown scares me terribly, and I only have time to get out, “RUN!” before it pursues my mother.



January 17th, 2010

When I wake up, I am shivering with fear. The memory brings with it many thoughts and feelings, mostly bad. Knowing I have to stay calm, focused and organized for Jamie, I push the thoughts back down.

Walking down the hall of our one-bedroom apartment to wake Jamie, I hear snoring coming from the bathroom. The first thought that goes through my mind is, “Not again.” Knowing I have to deal with this now, I knock on the door. “Jamie, did you sleep in the bathtub again? You have a bed, you know.”

Jamie emerges from the bathroom sleepy-eyed. “ Kevin, you know I feel safe in there. Why don’t you sleep in my bed and just sell the couch for money?”

We tease each other some more until Jamie’s face turns serious. “Kevin, what will happen if you can’t find a job soon?” Gazing into those beautiful, but yet pitiful eyes, my mind flashes back to that day when I first gazed into those beautiful eyes.

I was ten years old… No, I needed to keep my mind off of that. Jamie doesn’t need to see me sad. “Jamie, don’t worry. I won’t ever let anything happen to you. Don’t you ever forget that.

“That’s what you always say…” She says this so quietly under her breath that I can barely hear her.

After Jamie left for the bus, my mind began to wander again. Back to the very day my mother died, the day I vowed to raise Jamie as my sister. That day, I vowed to only let her know she wasn’t my sister when she was ready.


*

*

*


That day, my mother died to save me. I can still remember it now, twelve years later-tomorrow. Forever burned into my memory is the sight of the growling, ferocious beast and its eyes that burned right through me, making me shake and shiver with fear. It hovered directly over my dead mother; mouth watering, head held high, like it had defeated me.

I remember screaming out in agony, desperately hoping that just for one moment, she could be alive.

I remember scooting over to the drivers seat, my short (but long for my age) legs reaching for the pedals, touching them, and pushing. I remember the car shooting forward into the giant black SUV in front of me, the car sirens going off.

I remember gathering up all the courage I could, and opening the car door. I remember the beast, continuing to stare at me, but I knew what I had to do. I got out, and ran-past the beast, past the car, past the iron gate at the end of the long, winding driveway and out into the night, clasping Jamie tightly in my arms.

*

*

*


Later that day, I wake up on the couch. I hear the front door open, and I’m relieved- It was all just a dream. I’m ten years old again. My mother just came home from work. Our pet dog, Sputnik, is in my lap.

Jamie’s voice breaks my reverie. “Kevin? Kevin, are you home?”

“Yeah, sis. I’m here.” Where else would I be in the middle of the day?

“Oh, okay.” She sounds different… Depressed, maybe.

Something is definitely wrong here… Jamie’s usually bouncing around as soon as she gets home from school, ready to tell me about her day. “Is something wrong, Jamie?” I ask her, “It seems like you have something on your mind.”

“Just tired, I guess. I think I’ll go to bed early tonight.”

Well, that’s a shocker- she always goes to bed late. Something is up, I can tell. She doesn’t seem to want to talk about it though, so I let it slide. “Sis, can you help me start dinner?”

“Sure, I’ll go wash up. But also, I’m really cold. Do you have an extra jacket I can borrow? Mine are all in the wash right now.”

“Yah, you can borrow the green one on my bed.”

As she walks away, I start to worry. If she’s sick, then she’s doomed. Since she was a kid, her immune system has been very weak. Anything as simple as the common cold could kill her.

I try to shake it off, thinking it’s just the amount of schoolwork and boy trouble. She is thirteen, after all. I’ve expected this since the day I decided to bring her up as my sister.


*

*

*



That night, while we were finishing up dinner, Jamie says the last thing I’d ever expect from her. “Kevin, I’m really sorry for saying this, but I can’t help you with the dishes tonight. I’m just too tired. Do you think you could do the dishes without me tonight?”

This really shocks me, but she really looks like she needs sleep- and lots of it, so I agree. “Sure, Jamie. Finish your homework and then you can go to bed.”

That night, as I finish cleaning the dishes in the eerie silence of the empty kitchen, it dawns on me. “What if all my worries are true? What if Jamie is sick?”

January 18th, 2010

When I wake up, I realize it’s a Saturday. Today is the perfect day to get Jamie to the doctor.

As we arrive at the weathered brown building of the doctor’s office, the car sputters, and stops right in a parking space. Jamie looks over at me, “Why are we here?”

“I’m sorry that I forgot to tell you, but you have a check-up today.” I feel terrible about lying to her, but she shouldn’t have to worry that she’s sick if she’s not.

I take a long look at her, noticing all of her beautiful features. I see her auburn hair, her big beautiful brown eyes, and that wonderful toothy smile. “Kevin, stop staring at me. Let’s go. If I have to go, I want to make it quick as possible.”

I force a laugh and get out of the car. We walk up to the door in silence, me pondering what will happen, her wondering why she’s really here.


January 19th, 2010

I can’t believe this. My mind has to much to pick at and ponder I think it might explode.

I can hear Jamie in the bedroom, coughing and sneezing. She says something, but I can’t hear what- her words are muffled by my thoughts.

The only thing I can think to do is to call my best friend, Derik. I hope he’ll help me, but I’m not expecting much more than advice. He has a job and a girlfriend to take care of.

The line rings, and on the third ring I am relieved to hear the sweet, deep voice of Derik at the other end, “Hello?”

“Derik, it’s me, Kevin. I know it’s early, but I need your help. It’s Jamie, she’s… She’s… She’s sick.”

“What can I do to help, Kevin? I’m not a doctor.”

“I don’t know. I was hoping you can help me clear my head.”

Derik pauses for a minute, then speaks slowly. “I think I have a better idea. I’ll be there in ten minutes.”

I open my mouth to protest, but the line is already dead.

January 20th, 2010

Derik is in the other room with Jamie. Her fever has gone down, but not by much. She still hasn’t puked yet, and I don’t know if she should have by now.


January 21st, 2010

Last night, Jamie’s fever became worse. All the doctor says I can do is give her medicine and wait it out. I can’t stand not knowing if she’s going to live or not.

January 22nd, 2010

Each day that passes, Jamie seems to get worse and worse. This morning, she began to shake. She still is shaking now. Blankets and coats can’t even come close to stopping it.

As Jamie gets worse, I become more and more depressed. Derik tries to cheer me up, and so does Jamie, but it doesn’t help. I know this story, and I don’t like the ending one bit.

January 23rd, 2010

To make matters worse, money problems arose today. The small amount I have stored in the bank isn’t enough to support us and pay the rent. I think we might be evicted soon if I can’t get a job today.

January 24th, 2010

We’ve been kicked out. The landlord has decided that we have today only to pack our bags. We have to be out by noon tomorrow. Even worse than that, Derik’s girlfriend kicked him out of their apartment, so we have nowhere to go. We could stay in a hotel, but we would have no money to pay for it.

January 25th, 2010

We have to live in a box now. We try to make it as warm as we can for Jamie, but the cold weather still breaks through.
January 30th, 2010

I hear the minister, asking if anyone would like to say a few last words before they lower the casket. I feel Derik pushing me forward. Once I am up to the podium, I can see the small gathering of people that knew Jamie: classmates, teachers, and Derik’s mother.

I try to speak, but no words come out. My mouth is sealed shut, never to speak another word.


I feel my legs starting to give out, and I let them. I lay in that position until Derik rushes over to help me sit up. I just want to curl up in a ball.

I see the freshly dug grave, and the simple wood box casket holding Jamie. In a few days, she may not even be there anymore. I can’t stop it, so I start crying.

At that moment, I could swear I can hear Jamie’s voice again. Her words are comforting. “Kevin, don’t cry. I’ll be with you again someday.”

Tears roll down my cheeks, and I wish inside. I wish that someday will happen soon.





Join the Discussion

This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

Macx14 said...
Oct. 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm
Very suspenseful!! Kept me on the edge of my seat, awesome job!!
 
katikoolaid replied...
Oct. 22, 2010 at 9:19 pm
Thanks for reading my story. I really liked this one, its one of my favorite stories I have written so far. I'm working on another story right now, but I may also be posting poetry as well. I hope you take the time to read it!
 
anneliese S. replied...
Oct. 23, 2010 at 5:06 am
I sure will! Maybe you could check out some of my stuff, if you wanted. I'd really like your opinion!
 
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