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Nothing, Made with Cherry Blossums
Nothing. It’s always nothing. I closed my mailbox and locked it. Slowly I walked down the street. A mother pulls her kid close to her as I pass. A car speeds passed. I pulled out my phone again. No voice mail, no new texts, no email. I headed passed the park out of down town. I stopped and closed my eyes.
â€˜Kent what’s the matter?’
â€˜Ah it’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.’
â€˜I’m not worried about it. I’m worried about you Kent.’
â€˜Let’s go into the park. They planted a Japanese cherry tree there, a Sakura tree. I want to see it.’
â€˜Um okay…’ She marveled at the falling blossoms that day. It was the first time we had ever seen them fall. I turned my feet toward the park and walked into it. She had been wearing a blue denim skirt and a t-shirt. She had clipped her hair back and the sun danced in her eyes when she smiled at me. Now I was in our high school uniform with my messenger bag on my shoulder, alone. The park was relatively empty for a spring day and I was a bit hot in my uniform pants. I didn’t want to go home though. All that waited for me at home was my mother’s long looks and a sigh from my older sister. Not to mention the memories, everywhere they were there mocking me suffocating me. So, I didn’t go home. I walked around the entire park clutching my cell and never going to the Sakura tree. I checked my mailbox one more time before inevitably heading home, nothing.
My classroom is so boring. My teacher is stupid. My classmates are naÃ¯ve. Worst of all her desk is empty. I sit by the window with my history book open on my desk. Outside it was raining. She hated the rain.
â€˜It’s just so dreary you know.’
â€˜Hmm it’s not too bad.’
â€˜I heard in deserts that people smile in the rain and enjoy it but here its cold and bleak not fun like in a desert.’
â€˜I bet the park loves the rain.’
â€˜Let’s take the longer way home.’ That was her excuse not to walk by the park that day. She really just hated the rain. She had wrinkled her nose in thought when I’d mentioned the park but it didn’t faze her. I flipped through my book, a note slipped out.
I slipped this in your history book because I figured it was the last place you’d find it because you never open it.
That was what the entire note said. I held up it to the light to see if there was some secret message but no that was it. It was a simple piece of her favorite stationary. She used it to write to people when she had bad news to tell them. She said it was harder to read bad news off regular old paper.
“Mr. Kent what is that you have?” The teacher looked at me.
“Nothing sir.” I slipped the note in my pocket.
“It looked like you were passing notes. Let me have it.” He walked up to my desk and looked down at me.
“No.” I whispered. He reached his hand in my pocket and opened it.
“AH it is a note!’ He said looking to read it loud.
“Give it back now.” I said
“If you don’t give it back I’ll take it back.” I stood up and grabbed it. Then I walked out of the room. I went out of the school across the campus to the baseball field. I went into the dugout. I held the stationary in my trembling hands. It was dated the last day I had seen Marri. The rain was loud on the metal roof to the dugout. I sat with my elbows on my knees. Why did she do this to me? That day...
â€˜Why are we in the dugout?’
â€˜Simple. Do you remember when we went to the Sakura tree?’
â€˜Yes….’ I picked myself up. The rain wasn’t letting up. I walked out of the dugout, out the school gates. I ran for the park I ran for the tree. It took me a good ten minutes of fumbling to get to the Sakura tree. There it stood. Breathing hard I walked up to it. I was the only one in the park. But it was still alive. Birds chirped in their nests and everything looked a lovely green. But I didn’t care I sloshed in my good shoes through the muddy grass to the base of the tree. On the tree, it was still there. A huge heart with our names written on it in Japanese. It had been Marri’s idea she said it fit better. We first kissed that day. We had sat their talking lazily and then we just kissed. Afterwards we carved that there in the trunk.
I fell to my knees. I slammed my fist against the trunk. Each time I hit harder, each time my heart tore.
“Kent!” I turned fast I could. I wiped the mud from my face and stood. “Oh Kent.” It was my sister. My school had called home saying I couldn’t be found.
“How did you find me?” She dragged me along under her umbrella to her car.
“Shut up! We were all so worried! Your school even called the police. Why? Kent why?” I stared up at her. Marri had called her seour. It was French for sister.
“Seour.” I muttered and held out the note. She took it and she started the car. We sat there in the parking lot while my sister stared at it. Then she pulled out and we drove home in silence. When we got home, I sat at the dining room table while my sister phoned my mom, my school, and the authorities. She also said I wouldn’t be at school tomorrow. She hung up and made tea. Then she gave me a mug and sat next to me. I sipped at it because I was cold. But the coldest part of me not might ever be warm again. Not without her. Without Marri.
“Listen kiddo, about Marri…” She stared down at her own tea. The only sound was the rain stopping outside and the clock ticking. I took another gulp of my tea. It was hot and burnt my tongue. I didn’t care.
â€˜Have you ever wondered what we will be like when we get out of high school?’
â€˜Not really. Why?’
â€˜Because as hard as I try I can’t see it.’
â€˜Well we’ll be happy and go to college and just live life.’
â€˜Yea always.’ I got up and went into my room. My sister followed me.
“I’m okay.” I told her.
“No your not.” She whispered and looked out my window. I changed into sweats and a t-shirt. It smelled like Marri. Everything here did. Looked at my cell phone again. Nothing.
I lied in bed all day. I heard my mother and sister outside talking. The only thing I saw was my stupid cell screen.
“Mother what do we do?”
“What happened to Marri was very hard on your brother. Give it time.”
“But Mom what if…”
“Shh. Keep him optimistic. We all have to for Marri.”
“I’m scared if he doesn’t….I’m scared he’ll die.” I heard my sister crying. I fell asleep.
“Hey Kent! Didn’t think you’d show today.” My friend Aaron waved me over.
“I don’t know.” I said and walked into class. Things went back to normal. I went to school, to baseball practice, and I walked home after checking the mail. One Saturday I even took this girl Evangeline out to the movies. We didn’t go out again though. My room stopped smelling like her and my dreams stopped being of her. One day on a whim, I walked through the park. I walked to the Sakura tree. I looked at our names in the trunk. I took out my cell. Nothing. I sighed and hung my head.
“Something the matter?” Someone walked up behind me.
“Nah don’t worry about it. Not your problem.” I answered and stuffed my cell into my pocket. I turned around.
“I’m not worried about it. I’m worried about you Kent.” The cherry blossoms started to fall for the second time that we had ever seen.