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Mr. Calibri pushed through the doors of his three story suburban home .As he stepped outside he felt the warm August sun on his back and looked at the date on the newspaper, which he hadn’t bothered to pick up all day: July 7th, 2003. He had his cane in one hand and car keys in the other. He opened his Mustang car door and slipped himself inside. He glanced at the picture of his daughters set on the dash board. He smiled and his face wrinkled. He quickly turned the car on and head out to Los Angeles, where his oldest daughter lives. He’s excited to have dinner with family members.
As he reaches the white townhouse and pulls into the driveway he notices a purple and white bow tied to the mailbox blocking out the words The Bakers. (The family’s last name) His face didn’t smile nor was he pleased, he just felt a horrific sadness in the bottom of his stomach. Getting over it, he pulled himself out of his car and into the house.
“Grandpa!” A young boy at the age of six ran down the wide stairs almost tripping on his own feet. Mr. Calibri gave a sweet smile to the boy and hugged him so soft and angelic.
“Hi, dad,” A tall woman with dark brown hair and tan skin walked out of the kitchen. She gave her father a gentle hug and kiss on his cheek.
“Hi, Carolina,” he smiled
“Alex is on a business trip. I told you that, didn’t I?” she asked, walking towards the kitchen. For eight years Alex had been her husband but Mr. Calibri didn’t like him too much.
“No,” he assured Carolina while following her to the peach coloured room, “I’m afraid you forgot about that.” He smiled just a little so that his daughter would not see it.
“Oh,” She turned to her son that was playing on the floor with his jumbo sized Legos. “Matthew, could you please get your grandfather some water?” The petite boy got a small glass of water for his grandfather. He said thank you and took a few first sips.
The family of three generations sat down at the round, mahogany wooden table. They ate a three course meal that contained a Caesar salad, steaks, and cherry pie with vanilla ice cream. Carolina glanced at the giant Grandfather clock at the end of the hall. She caught Matthew’s eye and said,” Why don’t you go get ready for bed and your Grandpa and I will be up in a few minutes to tuck you in.” He grunted and sighed and dragged himself up the stairs to his bedroom. “She would’ve liked that dessert, it was always her favorite,” she said while looking down at her plate. Her father touched her hand and very softly said, “I know.”
About ten minutes later they both walked into Matthew’s green dinosaur room. Carolina sat down on his bed and gave him a considerate “goodnight” and a mellow kiss. As she left, Mr. Calibri looked down at Matthew and gave him a warmhearted smile. “Could you tell me a story?” asked Matthew.
“Okay, how about I tell you a story of a girl that dreams all the time. She kind-of lives inside her mind, I guess. It’s very sweet and touching but can be sad all at once.” Matthew looked at his Grandpa and did want to hear the story but he didn’t understand how good and bad emotions could be packed all into one. “So, quite a while ago,” started Mr. Calibri, sitting into the rocking chair in Matthew’s bedroom,” there was a girl named Virginia that loved to dream. Just by the day she could talk she would make up stories, but none about a random princess or prince, she was always the princess. She named all of her dolls Virginia. But one day her dreaming got to vivid and imaginative and things went horribly wrong.
“Pulling and pushing the water as she was slowly gliding along the shallow bottom while watching the sunlight bounce and dance off of the surface of the green water. Virginia was amazed at the beauty of just simply closing your eyes and opening them again. A black figure started to swim towards her. As the person got closer its long red hair and bright smile start to show. She smiled back and swam to the top of the lake water.
As she took a breath her ears were filled with laughing and joy. She smelled the chlorine water and hotdogs and hamburgers. As Virginia opened her eyes all she saw was the Community pool with children and clear blue water.
“Gosh! How long can you hold your breath for? I went under to see if you were okay!” laughed Olive, one of Virginia’s best friends. Virginia sighed, alas; it was only Olive that could be the dark figure in the lake. She smiled as they climbed out of the pool.
“Hey, maybe we could go to the lake soon. You know, like we did when we were little.” She requested.
“Uh, yeah sure. Why’d you think of that?”
“I don’t know, just an
“Oh okay, well what do you want to do now?”
“I’m really tired, I think I’m gonna go home.
“Do you need a ride? My mom could drive you.”
“No thanks, I’ve got my bike.” She gave Olive a quick hug, put on her shorts and rode away on her bike. As she rode through her neighborhood she listened to her Walkman. “Here comes the sun, doo doo doo doo, Here comes the sun and I say, It’s alright…” Virginia closed her eyes and quickly opened them.
She walked through a thick, dark wood during the middle of winter. The snow was freezing her toes and she could barely move anymore. She kept walking, her body aching with every step. Along came a cluster of green leaves rushing past her wanting to get a spot on all of the bare trees. The sun peeked out above the horizon. The purple and white flowers bloomed gracefully over the greens leaves. As she skipped into the grassed meadow she picked flowers and they smelled ever so sweet. She danced and laughed and smiled. Everything was nice and perfect. She laid in the field and dreamed. She wished her life was like this. She wished it was always perfect and blissful. She didn’t think it would end so bittersweet. Only had she wished that her life couldn’t be sparkling but she just enjoyed it the way it was. A loud horrible sound started to go off. Virginia quickly closed and opened her eyes.
She froze. The horrible sound was the horn of the train her purple bike was riding into. So many things went through her mind. Where am I? How’d I get here? Why can’t I move? Too late. Just minutes later an ambulance arrived at the scene. Just minutes after that her father and older sister arrived at the hospital ,”When can we see her?, Is she okay?, Why won’t you speak to us or tell us the truth?” they both asked the doctors in urgency. They slept in the hospital that night and two nights after that. Three days had gone by before they could finally see her. As they walked into the hospital room they barely noticed their beloved family member. She had bruises all over her body, her face was broken and so was her leg, arms, and ribs.
“It’s amazing that she’s still alive,” said a doctor behind them, “a miracle really. I’m afraid that even though she is alive she’s asleep, in a coma. We have no idea if she’ll ever wake up.” Virginia’s family cried and fell on top of her, weeping and sobbing in sorrow. But while they were upset, she was happier than ever.
The red and orange leaves crunched below Virginia’s feet as she skipped throughout the forest. An open space started to show through the wood. In that open space, was a giant house. That home must have at least six stories to it, she thought. She went up to the house and it was even bigger, almost like it was growing slowly right before her eyes. She knocked on the door and a small girl at about the age of nine with magical eyes and light skin answered it. Almost immediately the girl asked, “You like to dream. Don’t you?” Virginia only nodded and said nothing. The girl let Virginia into the house and she was opened up to many other children. Every child was a different age and looked different and sounded different. But they were all the same. They all liked to dream. “By the way, I’m Kaitlyn,” said the small girl.
“Virginia.” she smiled.
“Well, nice to meet you.”
“Why are there so many children here?” asked Virginia.
“This is where all the dreamers go. A stopping place. Between Earth and Heaven. Only special people come here.”
Virginia shook her head, “No, this is a dream. I’m alive right now. You’re joking.”
“I don’t joke.” Kaitlyn had an apologetic look on her face.” She ran through the house with her other smaller friends and Virginia just stood there. She walked straight through the house to a 12 foot long and 30 foot high window. It was crystal clear with no streak marks or puffs of breath. She tried to blow on it, but she didn’t need to. She was sated and joyful, she was warm and comfortable, and she didn’t need to dream.
She looked through the window down to a cramped boat dock and an older boy was sitting and fishing. Virginia climbed down to the basement, squeezing through running and playing kids on her way down. Skipping down the bright green, grassy hill down to the dock, the boy sees her but just kept fishing. As soon as she reached the floating wood she greeted him.
“Hi.” He didn’t say anything but she kept trying. “I’m Virginia. And you?”
“Patrick,” he muttered, still not looking up.
“Could I fish with you?” She asked. He nodded and scooted himself over so she could sit down. She took off her shoes and put her feet in the chilled lake water. “Have you caught anything yet?”
“N-no,” he answered.
She couldn’t help it anymore so she just went ahead and asked, “What’s wrong?”
He laughed, not knowing that she was serious. She gave him a stern and concerned look and he immediately stopped the giggles.
“I’m just a very quiet person,” he answered. She could tell he was being honest
“Oh, well, well no need to be very quiet around me.”
“Hello, Doctor,” quietly said Virginia’s father as he spoke into the plastic phone.
“You might want to come down here,” said Dr. Clark. He dropped the phone and ran out of the house with the front door wide open. He sped down country roads for 15 minutes until he finally reached the emergency section of the hospital. He sprinted to the room his daughter was being kept in, completely ignoring how he almost tripped over a man holding a bloody hand towel to his right ear. He dashed into the room where his daughter was still asleep. An expression full of disappointment and anger came upon his face. The heart monitor attached to Virginia was beeping slower and slower by the minute. They stood for about five minutes until it became a long and slow beep.
They were splashing each other with water now. They stood in the shallow lake and laughed and floated along the sunset.
“I’ve always wanted to be in a lake like this, but have never gotten the chance.” Virginia said sadly.
“You are now,” Patrick smiled.
“And now I just can’t complain. I never want to leave.”
“I don’t want you to either.” He grabbed her hand and they shared a friendly smile.
They took off through the hospital followed by nurses and doctors. They came upon a room where the father couldn’t come in.
“We’ll be out before you know it,” quickly said Dr. Clark. Neither of them knew if that was good or bad news. The worried dad paced quickly through the halls.
Virginia felt a slight pinch in the middle of her stomach and instantly knew it wasn’t a dreadful feeling.
It definitely didn’t take long before Dr. Clark stepped out of the room and delivered those dreadful last words, “I’m sorry, we tried as best as we could.”
A tear rolled down Mr. Calibri’s right, wrinkled cheek as he finished his story. His grandson was fast asleep and he gave him a soft kiss and pulled the cotton sheets upon him. “That’s how I like to think it happened,” he whispered.
The next day Mr. Calibri pulled on his jacket and looped his tie around his neck and went out once again. Not to his daughter’s house though.
“Today we are gathered by the memory of…” He stood where the pastor said those words twenty-eight years ago. He remembered when the speaking of the memorial was over everyone took either a purple or white flower and placed them at a tombstone with large swirls carved into it.
Today, Mr. Calibri places his flowers and falls on his knees right at the words that read:
December 13 1962-July 9th 1975
A beloved dreamer