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Crying With The Sky
I’m running. It’s raining and the wind lashes at my cheek, but I don’t care. I’m cold and wet, but I don’t care. I nearly trip, but I hardly notice. Everything around me is in a daze and it feels as if I’ve just awaken from a nightmare.
“Claire!” I shout through the downpour and as if in response, thunder booms in the distance. “Claire!”
I take a desperate look at my surroundings and find myself in the public park where Claire and I had spent so much time together. The trees thrash in the fierce gale and the darkness of the sky creeps upon me, reminding me why I was here.
I’m running again and this time I can feel the pounding of my heart against my ribcage. My breath comes in short gasps and my lips feel numb.
Seconds turn into minutes as I sprint past the giant fountain that sat in the middle of the park and the flowerbeds-turned-mud. I must find her! I kept thinking that single thought.
“What do you want to do in life?” she asked me. I gave her a quizzical look.
We were sitting on a bench after school, the last class having ended 10 minutes ago. Two girls with twin pigtails and flower skirts frolicked past us, whispering to each other about the latest fashion gigs. Buses rolled by in front of us, their large complexions blocking my view of the cloudless sky. It was a warm afternoon, the second semester of our years as sophomores.
“Me?” I reply numbly. I didn’t really have anything to say. “I don’t know. Something in science, I guess.”
“That wasn’t my intended question,” Claire said. She looked at me with curious eyes. “I mean, ‘What are you living for? ’’What is your purpose?’”
“What kind of question is that?” I say, shocked. I brush my ponytail off my shoulder, but Claire’s eyes dig into me, searching for the answer. Not wanting to keep her like this, I think deeply.
“I…guess I want to be useful. To the world,” I say slowly.
There’s silence after that, so I ask, “What about you?”
Another silence. Then-
“I just want to live.”
I stop running and my knees give way. I stumble and fall onto my side. I lay there for a while, feeling the rain run down my face and the coldness of my soaked shoes. Lungs burning for air, the cold seeping through my body, mind in a state of chaos, there’s only one thing I could do.
I stand up and begin to bawl out my heart and soul.
“Claire!” I scream into the oncoming night. It is night, but there’s no moon. No stars, to guide my way back to sanity. My tears become the rain, and the rain becomes my tears. “CLAIRE!!!” My howl of despair rings through the empty city, with its empty buildings and empty cars and empty people-
“My God, you’re a mess.”
I stop crying for a second to stare blindly at the figure standing in front of me. I recognize the boy from my class, Jared. The boy who had loved my best friend.
I’m too distraught to say anything, so I start crying again. I hear footsteps, then a sudden, sharp pain.
Holding my stinging cheek, I stare at Jared in confusion.
“What the hell’s wrong with you?!” he shouts at me. Through the rain I manage to see that he’s crying too.
After a brief silence between our sobs, I whisper silently, “Where is she?”
Jared stares at me. “What?”
“Where is she?!” I yell at him. “Where did she go?! You know, don’t you?!”
“You’re crazy. She’s gone.”
“She isn’t!” I cry. “She isn’t gone! She wouldn’t leave me!”
“She is.” Jared’s managed to stop crying and is looking at me through hard eyes. “She died in the hospital, surrounded by her family and friends.”
“No, she can’t have! She told me she wanted to live!” I try shouting at him as much as I can, but in reality, I’m shouting at no one. “She wanted to live!”
So why? I think. Somewhere in my grief-crazed mind, I knew it was true. My best friend was gone. She said she wanted to live…and yet-
Jared slaps me again, the hit sending me a step back. “Get a hold of yourself!” he shouts at me. His voice quivered. “You can’t lose yourself like this!”
I just cry even harder.
He comes forward and grips my shoulders tightly. “Your parents are worried about you. Come back to the hospital. You can’t think about Claire anymore.”
I had lost myself in my emotions, but his voice rang through my mind. I can’t think about Claire anymore…
“Why not?” I ask him. My head is slightly limp, rolling back. My eyes stare into the clouds.
“Because the living are more important.”
I regain my composure and look into Jared’s eyes. The sadness in them are unending.
I wonder how my eyes looked.
We just stand there, Jared and I, crying along with the sky.