She was there

March 11, 2011
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She was there. I stood there, staring in the mirror of my apartment’s bathroom. I could see her behind me in the mirror. Her long dark hair fell softly on her shoulders. Her dark brown eyes were staring at me from the mirror. My hands started to shake and goose bumps started to creep on my skin. I took a quick breath and spun around, prepared to defend myself. But all I saw was the dark walls of my bathroom. The shadows crept around me, surrounding me so that I felt like I was isolated, like I was the only person in the world. I shook my head and told myself that I just needed some sleep. The clock next to my bed read 2:00 a.m. It was dark out. The only light that lit my room was my lamp beside my clock. I crept into my bed and slid under the cold covers. The bed was barely comfortable, and it wasn’t the best one. But I was grateful. I turned off the light and laid my head on the pillow.
I was staring at the letter. The Letter. A sentence from the letter seemed to be bolder than any other sentences. I stared at the sentence and repeated it to myself. “She died, we are so sorry for your loss.” My hands shook. My eyes felt watery. The letter slipped from my fingers. I shook my head, yelling why. I jerked forward into the bright sunlight. I had to see that I was in my bed, in my room, to feel relaxed. My eyes and cheeks were wet. I wiped the wetness off with the back of my hand and took a quick glance at the clock. It was 7:00 a.m. I got up and went to the window. My window over looked the streets and on the other side of the streets was another apartment building. I never saw any one in the building but I did see people go in. I looked down at the streets. The streets were vacant as usual in Cleveland. No one really liked to go out unless they had to go out. I then heard a voice calling my name; a soft gentle voice, but a voice that made me fill with great sorrow, dread, and loss. I turned and saw her next to my bed. I looked at her eyes. I seemed to be overcome by a spell. I started shaking. I could feel my eyes water again. I couldn’t hold my gaze, let alone be in the building. So I ran to the door, wrenched it open and ran out of my apartment. I was on the third floor landing, so I flew down the stairs to the first floor and ran outside, leaving the manager who was sitting at the front desk, dumbfounded. The icy wind pierced my skin, but I ignored it. All I wore was a loose white shirt and pants. I wore nothing on my feet which pounded against the icy cement of the sidewalk. It was freezing out. And they call this Spring! I muttered to myself. Memories flooded in my mind as I ran faster. I tried to block the memories that I tried to forget so long ago, but they broke through. The memory of me running away from my adopted family came back. I remembered their voices yelling from the bedroom in their house. “We can’t take care of him!” I heard my adopted dad say. “I know we can’t, but we can’t just leave him!” I heard my adopted mom say. “He’s not important!” my adopted dad roared. This was when I decided to runaway. I remembered when I was teased and put down when I went to school. They would hit me for being different, put me in the trash outside the school, call me names, and spit on me. I couldn’t be accepted by anyone. I was a mistake, a mistake in the world. I cringed on the letter. Reading the sentence over and over. “She died, we are sorry for your loss.” I couldn’t stand it anymore. I tore the letter as much as I could and climbed out of the window of my adopted parents’ house. I ran wherever my gut told me to go. That’s how I ended up in Cleveland. I had no money but I agreed to work to stay in the hotel I’m living in. The letter flashed through my mind. I could hear myself repeat the sentence in my head. “She died, we are sorry for your loss.” It kept coming back. My eyes watered more and more. It felt like they froze to my skin. The icy wind whipped my face, making it numb. I ran faster and faster. I looked around at my surroundings. Stores and apartments were a blur as I ran. Then I saw her in the sunlight. I closed my eyes and ran harder. Everything was numb. My legs ached. The sunbeams couldn’t even warm my skin a little. I saw a vacant lot ahead to my right. I turned into it. Tires and trash was everywhere. Rats skittered by my feet. I maneuvered around the stuff until I came to a rusty refrigerator. I put my hand on the side of the refrigerator to steady myself. I grasped for air, but only coldness froze my lungs. I didn’t care though. My body was already cold and numb. It felt like a million needles were piercing my skin and soul. Then something caught my eye. Green was sprouting behind the refrigerator. I stared at it. I looked behind the refrigerator. I was astonished to see it was a garden. It gave me warmth to see flowers in the garden. In the middle of the garden was a rose. A memory came back to me. She mailed me a rose before she died. Roses were her favorite flower. Even though it had sharp thorns that could prick your skin, she always said to see it as a beautiful thing. She always said, “Just because something can be painful doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. Sometimes the pain isn’t intentional. Sometimes it’s just a way to defend ourselves.” More warmth warmed my soul. I felt a hand on my shoulder. I slowly turned to look. There she was. But I didn’t run; I wasn’t scared. How can I run from her? She was my life, she was my past. My mother smiled back. We stood there looking at the rose. I said to her, “I want to be with you, I don’t want to runaway anymore. I don’t want to be afraid anymore.” She said nothing but she still smiled. We both sat together and stared at the rose. The sun started to set, and it got colder. My skinned froze in the cold, but I didn’t feel it. The rose seemed to make me feel warm. I still sat with my mother and watched the rose until it got pitch black. The stars glowed in the sky. I felt weird as if I was asleep. My senses disappeared. I felt loose and free. I felt like I was floating. The cold and numbness disappeared. I felt warmth. My mom was right next to me, holding my hand like I was a child. We were in the sky. We could see everything. The stars gleamed brightly as if they were welcoming us. I knew now that I could be with my mother forever and that I didn’t fear my past, didn’t fear remembering her, didn’t fear that I’d forget her. I moved on and my cold body permanently rests next to the garden. People say that it was sorrowful the way I left the world, but I love what I did. I learned to cherish my past. I love my mother, and that’s all that matters.





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