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Angel of hope
I don’t know what time it was, late I’m sure. It had been pitch black when I had first lain down, and that had been a while ago. I felt cold, both emotionally and physically, and the drops of water splashing on my face did not help. I opened my eyes just in time to see a flash of purple light illuminate the sky. A heartbeat later and the heavens went “CRACK”, loud enough to wake the dead. Ironic seeing as I was in a graveyard.
“It’s raining, mom,” I whispered into the gloom. The sprinkle had turned into a downpour in a matter of seconds. I lifted my, or I should say my brothers, hoodie over my head in an attempt to see in front of me. Mist had started to rise of the ground, creating an eerie effect. “You love the rain, remember?” I said barely audible. I THINK I was crying. It was hard to tell seeing as my face was already soaked. If I wasn’t crying, it was only because I had no more tears left inside of me. I was empty and hallow; a shell of whom I used to be.
“JOSELLE!” Someone was calling for me. Someone was worried about me. It was my older brother, JJ, the only person left who cared about me. I don’t know how he stayed strong. No person should have to loose their parents and then take care of their depressed little sister. But he had to at 19 and never once complained. I got up and touched my fingertips, briefly, to the cold granite that was my parent’s graves.
“I miss you,” I thought. I trudged my way through the mud, towards the entrance. JJ was leaning against the gate. Dressed in all black, as we both had since our loss, his sunny blonde hair was the first thing I saw. So different from my Raven layers. Then I saw the smoke. He was smoking a cigarette. “Those things will kill you,” I said with my teeth chattering. He straightened up and smashed the disgusting stick beneath his sneaker. He felt my cheek with his hand.
“You’re freezing,” he said, concern obvious in his magnetic blue eyes.
“I’m a mess,” I commented shivering. I threw my arms tightly around his waist before he could respond. Leaning my head into his chest, I prayed to the same God who stole my parents from me, that I would never loose him. He kissed my forehead and led me to his car. I vaguely remember falling asleep to Storm by “Lifehouse.” JJ must have carried me in because I woke up warm and dry in my bed. The walls of my dark room were not visible underneath all of my drawings. I love to draw. But even my paintings had begun torturing me. They were once things of beauty and nature, things I saw around me, but they had morphed into ugly, dark creations. That was all I saw of the world anymore. There was no escape from my own mind. I walked through the hallway in my daze, not even noticing the things around me. I found JJ in the living room.
“Morning,” I yawned.
“Good morning, sis,” he said distracted. Seated on the black leather couch, he was rummaging through an old box. I sat down beside him just as he pulled out a CD.
“What’s that?” I asked, as he put it into the DVD player.
“I don’t know,’ he said, “It was in mom’s stuff.” We both sat like stones as our mom’s beautiful face filled the flat screen. My heart beat for what felt like the first time since she died. I watched her flip her chocolate curls. I stared into her piercing green eyes, the exact same color as mine. She looked nervous, I was crying, and I’m pretty sure JJ was waiting for her to talk before breathing.
“Umm,” she laughed in that voice I craved to hear at night. “My beautiful children, “she smiled. “I made this to give you when you got older. I don’t really know how to say this, so I’ll just say it. You have a half sister. I was a teenager and I gave her up for adoption. It would mean the world to me if you’d find her. The paper included in the CD case will help you. JJ, she is 6 years older then you. I can’t do it. I’m ashamed.” The video then just cut off abruptly. The blue screen was all I could focus on. I did the math quickly. JJ was 19 so she would be 25, and I was 15 so she would be 10 years older then me. The police had told us that mom and dad had died instantly when their car flipped over. I wonder if she had time to think about that video.
“Are you going to find her?” I questioned my statue like brother without looking at him. My words seemed to spur him into action.
“Right now,” he said grabbing his keys and the paper. He was gone faster then I could blink; abandoning me. All I did was re-watch that video a thousand times. Listening to her voice, watching her wave her hands around when she spoke, missing her. JJ didn’t come back for almost two days. When he came home, with her, I was sitting in a corner of the living room; complete darkness. My eyes were open but I didn’t see him until he knelt down in front of me.
“Josie,” he whispered, pulling my face up to look at his. “Come on.” He nodded at the kitchen. I grasped his hand and followed him. My eyes had grown so accustomed to the dark; the bright lights momentarily blinded me. “Meet Angel,” he said in my ear. A girl with short burgundy hair was sitting at the kitchen table. She looked at me; her grey/violet eyes starred into my soul. I had no doubt this girl was my sister.
I immediately noticed two things about Angel. The first was that, a soon as she looked at me, I loved her. At first glance she looked nothing like my mother, but when I really looked, I could see parts of mom looking back. The way her hands never stopped moving, the kind expression in her huge eyes that looked dead at you, never flickering away, and her wide smile. It was the same smile that used to light up my mom’s face. So yes, she hadn’t spoken a word, and I already loved her. I could tell by the expression on JJ’s face that he saw it too, loved her too. In this aspect I was not crazy. The second thing I noticed about my sister, I knew JJ knew too. And I was angry at him for it. Angel was sick, very sick. She seemed to have mere days left. She appeared frail. Her skin had an un-healthy look and it was so pale, it gave her a transparent air, almost as if she wasn’t truly there. Her face was sunken in and I could clearly see her bones. She looked as if she was running from death, but death was gaining ground and she was growing tired. Fear crept over me. I became afraid, for her and myself. I was scared of loosing her before I could know her. Was fate really cruel enough to giver her to me and then rip her away?
I was afraid and I was angry. Angry at her illness, angry at me, angry at God, angry at the world; right then, all of it was directed at my brother. I didn’t care he was suffering just as much as I was. He brought this new terror into my life, and for a moment, I needed to hate him. I pulled him out of the kitchen, out of her earshot, and dug my nails into his arm, trying to hurt him.
“How could you?” I whispered letting the bitterness I felt flow into my words.
“Let me explain!” JJ said running his fingers through my hair. I pushed him away and crossed my arms.
“Joselle, how could you ever think I would bring her here if she was going to,” he glanced at the kitchen and lowered his voice, “die?”
“She looks like she is at death’s door!” I hissed leaning towards him.
“She has a kidney failure,” he said calmly. “It’s curable with a transplant.”
“She has a donor?” I asked straightening up, feeling hope spark inside of me.
JJ smiled. “I’m a match. What do you I’ve been doing all this time?” I hung my head in shame and looked away. JJ doing something he knew would hurt me was not likely.
“I’m sorry,” I heard myself say. JJ wrapped his strong arms around me, forgiving me, or perhaps never mad in the first place. My thoughts were a blur for his safety. I couldn’t loose him too. But I knew he would never forgive himself if he didn’t, and I couldn’t ask that from him. So I kept quite and tried to think positively.
That was 3 years ago. My brother and sister were both fine after the surgery. The transplant was a success. Today all three of us are inseparable. My sister, Angel, really is an angel. I still hurt from my parent’s death, but I know if they hadn’t died, my sister would have. Without even knowing it, she showed me that even when you are in a world of darkness, there is a bright spot. And eventually, the darkness will fade. It will never go away, but you can go on. Angel was just what I needed. My Angel of hope.