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Most people dread moving. Me, I couldn’t wait to get out of Tampa. Population: too many, it started to bore me. Sixteen years of the same thing gets to be repetitive. Waking up in the morning and off to school I went. Every day, I came home and did my homework. I never snuck out to visit my boyfriend, or let alone, ever had a boyfriend. I made myself the girl that hung low. I never made friends; the girls at my school were the picture perfect, head turning, make-up caking snobs. The guys, ugh, weight lifting, heart breaking, trash talking typical teenage boy. They were far from the kind of people that I like. The students at my school explain my lack of friends. Two friends, to be exact. I needed a change. Moving was exactly what I needed. So, that’s what we did. My family and I, my mom, Jane, my dad, Evan, my sister, Hannah, and me, Jewell. We left. Off to Oregon. Right in the middle of nowhere, Grandview, population 573.
Grandview. That’s what it is. It is a very small town in the mountains of Oregon. Beautiful. Google it. See for yourself. I was thrilled. I still am. We moved here about two weeks ago. People here are very welcoming. I’ve started school. Already have more friends than I did in Tampa. I thought it was going good. One week in, everything changed.
One dream. Sunday night, the longest dream I ever had. I saw everything. Every person I ever would meet. Every question. Every answer. I didn’t know what to do. I was lost, confused, scared. I saw every day. Every move. Every step. Even my last breath. I had one week. That’s it.
What am I supposed to do? Tell someone? What would they think? They’d call me crazy. They would declare me insane. I’d have to move again. I couldn’t do that. I didn’t want to. I wasn’t going to. I just won’t tell anyone. No one will know. Nothing will happen.
But then again, what if this dream was real? What if everything really happens? What if I really only had a week to live? A week to do everything I want to do in my life time? What if a week was all I had? What do I do? Should I tell someone? Do I really want to tell someone? What if no one believes me? Maybe they won’t. I wouldn’t. It’s just a dream, no big deal.
I kept telling myself that. It’s no big deal. I’ll just forget about it tomorrow. Wait, 7:50. My mom should come in right about…now.
“Honey, it’s time to wake up.” A loving voice came in from down the hallway.”Are you up already? Oh, good morning” A sweet smile spread across her face. “How long have you been up?”
I was stunned. I knew everything she would say and what she was about to say. She would ask me what was wrong; I would say I was just tired. I would lie. I wasn’t going to tell the truth. Not now.
“Jewell, are you okay?” She spoke in the same tone as I knew she would.
“Yeah, umm, I’m fine. Umm, I’m, I’m just tired.” I finally stuttered out.
“Okay honey. I made you-”
“Pancakes” I whispered. Hoping she wouldn’t hear.
“…pancakes. Your favorite. Your sister is already up. You might want to hurry up before-”
“She eats them all.” I interrupted her for the second time, but now it’s loud enough for her to hear. “Okay mom. I’ll be down in a little.” My mom walked always with a confused look on her face. She could tell something was wrong. I knew that I would not forget this. This isn’t normal.
Every day happened the way I knew it would. I would finish my friends sentences, get all the answers right. All the time. Every time. I didn’t know what to do.
Days went by.
Monday, Susie, the first person that talked to me, would ask to come home with me on Wednesday. Her dad, the pastor at the church up the road, had a meeting to go to and he wouldn’t be able to pick her up till around five. Tuesday came. So did Susie.
Wednesday came. My mom would pick us up. She wouldn’t be driving her car. She would be in my dad’s. She got in a fender bender. Dad took her car to the shop to get fixed. She would be sixteen minutes late. Traffic jam in front of the Walmart. My mom wanted to take a back road. She was texting my dad. She missed the turn. I told Susie that while we were sitting in the car rider line. She didn’t think I was right.
My mom pulled up in a silver truck instead of a blue mini-van.
“I’m so sorry girls. Dad had to take my car to the shop, some grandpa ran into me. Walliworld had a traffic jam again. I was thinking about going around but I missed the turn, like always. Your father was texting me. Sorry again. How are you Susie? Glad you can come over?” I glanced in the backseat. Susie mouth was wide open.
Susie was the first person I told. The only one.
Thursday. Nothing interesting would happen. It was just a normal school day. Susie asked if everything went the way I told her it would. It was exact, down to the blinking of my eye, flipping of my hair, and bending of my fingers. I went to bed that night with a clear picture, of what would happen tomorrow, floating in my mind.
I never really liked pools. What a pathetic thing to hate. I mean, just the fact that other people swim in them. Babies wear their diapers in pools. Animals could easily get in them. It never set right with me. Not to mention the fact that it wouldn’t be hard to drown either. My dream reinforced my hate for pools.
Friday. The day I would die. I would wake up. I would go to school. I would do everything I usually do. I would do something I hadn’t done in a while. I would go swimming. The previous owners of my house put a brand new pool in before they left. So they probably didn’t use it much. They didn’t have any kids and the pool was fenced in. It masked my worry, to some extent.
I had to expose the “SUMMER” box out of the mounds of boxes we are yet to unpack. I scavenged out my raggedy, old bathing suit, hardly ever worn in the salty water near Tampa. This was the first day that it was warm enough to actually be outside wearing less than jeans and an old tee. Me and my sister took advantage.
My sister would force me to go swimming. It wasn’t my choice. I would never pick to go swimming. Hannah would be very pushy. She will want to take her favorite doll. I would tell her that she shouldn’t, she might get her doll wet and ruin it. I thought back to my dream as I found my swim suit.
With some excitement, I jumped in. I even ran in. I would enjoy my last moments. I wouldn’t spend them upset at Hannah for dragging me out here. So, I splashed her when she took the slow way in. her lips would slowly change color, turning to a dark purple.
Before she reached the last step, she was scurrying out of the water. I knew Hannah would make me do what I didn’t want to do. She grimaced, her doll in her hand. Down it went. Fourteen and a half feet. Down, in the cold water, to the corner. I knew she would call mom if I didn’t get it. So I did. I forced the water to let me under.
I had 57 seconds. I counted. One, two, three and four. I didn’t see the doll. I looked again. Nine, ten, eleven. I look up. How far did I get? I see Hannah standing over the pool. Still holding her evil grin on her face. 28,39,40. I couldn’t go any longer. I grabbed Hannah’s doll. I tucked my legs in, ready to push up but I coughed. Without realizing what I had done I took another breath too get the water out of my lungs. It would be there forever. I heard Hannah’s petrified scream. I felt more cold hard water trickle down to my lungs. I heard footsteps on the porch. Two sets. I open my eyes, lungs full of water. To see my last sight. My family. Looking over me. The last sight that I will ever see. That’s it. It’s over. My one week, gone. Seems like longer, 168 hours, 10,080 minutes, 604,800 seconds. My last few were gone. Times up. I began to drift off. That’s when push the rest of the air out of my lungs with a word.
My last word.