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The Bridges Future
I can still hear my mother asking me if I wanted to go and pick up Emmeline, all I said was “No.” Since that moment and two hours later, I wish I had said: “yes.” After several phone calls and police calls, I was done. I hadn’t even cried, emotion was in me, but the tears wouldn’t show up like I wanted them too.
My hands began to sweat from holding a bouquet of sticky yellow roses, I tried to wipe it off, but the pollen would show on my skirt. The gravel started to bother me, climbing its way into my shoes, I wanted to take my shoes off and throw them out. But I couldn’t: because I was at a funeral.
The preacher said his goodbyes and allowed us to throw our possessions in, I walk gently close to my parents stone and laid two roses right beside there names. Then I stumble right over to Emmeline’s and placed a full bouquet of yellow roses, I didn’t know that this could feel so weird or strange. They’re all gone, they’re never going to come back, not ever. I’ll never get to see my little sister’s face again. I will never hear my mother tell me goodnight or my father’s singing in the shower. I couldn’t do anything, but try to cry and mourn.
My aunt wrapped her arms around my shoulders bringing myself from they’re graves. “Come Enna, it’s time to leave.” She mainly pushed me, but I bet she couldn’t feel it. I knew she hated this place: commentaries. My grandma: her mother, my mother’s mother, died when she was in forties. Now that my mother is gone, my aunt just lost all of her family.
My aunt lives in Virginia and now that I’m alone like her, I get the feeling that she’s my new guardian. I love my aunt, but she wants to take me away from home. A place where my family is, I couldn’t leave them.
We drove up the drive way, and as she puts the car in park she just sits there watching members of the funeral gather into my family’s house. “You can go in.” She says. Tears begin to stream down her face, and it makes me sad. She can cry and I can’t, it makes me so mad that I can’t cry. What is wrong with me? I open the car door and got on up out of the car, inside were people laughing and eating food that the church donated. Pictures stood on tables, walls, and the banister. I see one with Emmeline and I, we’re sitting in the front lawn laughing. I remember that day perfectly: Emmeline thought it would be smart to climb the telephone pole in our yard with knifes, she fell half way up leaving the knives still stuck in the pole.
“Oh Enna, I am so sorry for your loss.” A lady in purple said. She was round the edges, and she smelled more like a man than a woman. “You probably don’t know me?” She leaned into my eyes like I was deaf. “I went to school with your parents, and I was in their wedding. It’s hard to see them gone, and I can’t imagine what it is like for you.” I smiled and nodded to try and make her leave. “Enna, do tell me how old was your sister?”
“I believe that should be asked another time, Carol.” My aunt butted and took me by the hand and we sat down on the couch in living room with the pastor.
“How are you doing Enna?” He asked. I just stared into space, feeling the smoothness of my aunt’s hand rubbing my back. “I know this isn’t the best time to bring it up, but who is to take care of Enna?” He spoke to my Aunt.
“Enna, why don’t you go out and leave this all to us to figure out.” She says calmly.
I stumble out the back door, finding Kevin on the back porch in his baseball cap he wore to the funeral, with black jeans and a black sweat shirt that he got in Virginia when we visited my Aunt. He is such an awkward boy, is hair always in his face and above all he loves to hide behind me. But he has a mind of his own, which makes me scared. He pretty much just speaks his mind to me and one day I’m scared what will come of it. Because I know he has strong feelings for me, but I haven’t really seen Kev like that.
I walk past him, him the one who hasn’t look twice at me since I came out. His foot shoves into the ground kicking the gravel and leaves. “Hey, where are you going?” He yelled like a whimper.
“The woods.” I said, quietly. I could hear his feet fly from his spot to catch up.
“You and those woods can’t stay away.” He chuckled. His eyes took my face and scanned it with suspicion. “You’re not going to the woods? You’re going back to the cemetery?” He asked.
I didn’t know what to say, I just kept walking. I can’t help it that everyone is talking about me. They want me to make a choice, but I know they’ll make the choice for me. I would love to tell Kev this, but he hasn’t lost parents or a sister. Sometimes I just think he wants me for something else, he doesn’t sit down with me at all: like a girl. But I’ve never had a girl that was a friend, accept Emmeline. I miss her light ash hair, I miss her laugh, her voice, and I miss the way she annoyed the farts out of me. I couldn’t do anything again with her, I couldn’t tell her anything. I couldn’t do anything at all that had something to do with her.
“Well I might as well and come along.” He spoke with a grunt.
The cemetery was not like the ones in stories or in the movies, with fog roaming through the grave stones. It’s peaceful with low cut grass, and graves kept polished. In-between two willows were two heads, reading my mother and father’s name, and my little sisters. I still can’t see them being gone, I think to myself and I want to believe that they’re on their way home.
I start to feel the buildup in my throat, but no tears. Behind me a hand reaches my shoulder and pulls me in for the tightest hug I’ve had all morning. “I miss them too,” Kev loved Emmeline like his own little sister, and when I knew he was too old for her I still knew that Emmeline loved him too, just a little too much. “All we can do now is grieve together.” He smiled. “And maybe help you get those tears going.”
I let go of his warm embrace and wiped my eye’s feeling for wetness, and all but one tear. The shimmer of light from the sun shined down on the stones and in-between the stones just a few steps away was a bridge hovering over a big gap in the ground. “Since when is there a bridge over there?” I asked. Kev looked in my way and started looking under the branches and he even squatted to see the wooden bridge.
“What bridge? Nothings over there besides a meadow.” My eyes were set on the bridge, the bridge that hardly been used, the bridge that I could see, but Kev couldn’t. “Are you just kidding with me, trying to change the subject?”
“No, I am not. Look over there and take a step on the bridge!” I could see the wonder in his eyes and I could tell that he wasn’t going to go and step on it. I took his hand and pulled him in-between the two stones and to the bridge. It was covered in moss and looked too new to even call old. “Here, can you still not see it?” I asked.
“Enna, I know it’s hard loosing someone, but this is insanity. There isn’t any bridge in sight.” His went free from my hand. His pasture went from slouching to standing up trying to keep him up. I stared at him with; the same wonder he gave me.
“If you can’t see it, then why are standing on it?” I raised my eyebrows and smirked.
“Enna! Look at me, I’m standing on simple green grass, I am not on any old junk bridge.”
“I’m not playing, I can see that bridge. It’s like one step from me and right under you, why don’t you believe me?” His face was damp with sweat, I wonder if I made him sweat from stress and worrying.
Kev took my shoulder’s in a playful way and shook me, “When bad things happen to us we tend to see things that others can’t, when I was younger my dog died and I kept seeing toilets on people’s faces.” I laughed, and was about to argue back, I needed
I didn’t want to drive him away because something was wrong with me.
Kev walked me home that night and after he left the back porch I was the only one in the house with my Aunt. She was sitting in my mothers green chair reading a book, but really was looking at our old picture album. I walked quietly; not even disturbing her and no sound came from her. So I headed upstairs to my room, Aunt Karol didn’t sleep upstairs she always slept on the couch downstairs. The hallways were a dim light, and my shadow walked along with me even when I passed my sister’s bedroom and when I skidded beside my parents. My room was in the attic, and I enjoyed it, because I knew the people I loved were beneath me.
I don’t like it anymore.
My bed was made and everything was in the same spot from this last Friday. Almost every night of this week I slept in the hospital, in the police station, and in the swing on the porch. It was time to come in and start sleeping in my bed, I tugged the covers back and without putting on my pajama’s I slid on in and tried to go to sleep, but I kept on waiting for my mother to come on up and say goodnight.
Morning was quiet again, but as I drew my eyes open I heard a pan drop and Karol throw out foreign word. I climbed down the stairs and went into the kitchen finding fried eggs scattered all over the floor. “Are you all right Aunt Karol?” I asked. She opened her eyes wide with a smile and nodded.
“Did you get any sleep?” She asked. Her hands were wrapped in a towel wiping her fingers from the eggs.
“Yeah, I think I actually did.” My smile wasn’t joyful or full of laughter; it was just a smile I simply had to put on.
Karol took a seat at the table and wanted me to also sit down without saying a word to me. She was nervous, her hands shaking and was awfully quiet. “Enna, we need to talk about your situation.” She said it slow and awkwardly. “I’ve decided to stay here until you finish your junior year, but I was given permission to take you back to Virginia this summer.”
She was going to take me away four months from now; she was going to take me somewhere that I didn’t belong. Was she nuts, or did she just not have a heart? “Aunt Karol, I’m not going.” I said. “I am not leaving Kev here or my parents, I don’t want to leave. Do you not understand?”
She had a puzzled look like she thought I would agree with the situation, but she was so wrong. “Your parents left me as the guardian and you Enna are now under my protection, you have no say in this.” She stood up from her seat and almost flipped it over on how abrupt she got up from it.
“I do have a say in this! This is my life and I am not going to let my new guardian take away my life, when my parents promised me this one. You have no say in my life!” I screamed. This time my chair hit the floor on its side, I ran out the back door before she could get her hands to stop me.
My feet started to hurt from running, the branches I stomped on started to crack and fly into my shoes. It felt terrible and I was too afraid that the wood would find its way into my soft pale flesh. My feet lead me to a gate to Kev’s backyard. I could hear him yell and make a little cry. I peaked into the little hole in the gate and found his hands in dark red chicken coop: Kevin’s family loved chicken’s and eggs.
“I thought you said you weren’t going to retrieve eggs for mom again.” I said.
Kev turned his head and locked his eye’s on mine, “Well, that’s when I’m retrieving. Today I’m cleaning.” He said raising his eyebrows. I always saw Kev as that little boy with an accent in his deep voice. He would normally wear boots and vanz jackets with American eagle jeans. He was my favorite and my only friend, and I didn’t want to leave him, I couldn’t and I wouldn’t. “So has your Aunt talked to you yet?”
I nodded, “She’s letting me finish the last four months and then she’s going to take me away to Virginia.”
“You know you can’t go, right? This is not fair; make her wait until you graduate!” He said. His eyes got red and his expression grew angrier.
“She say’s I have no say in any of this.” I stomped my foot in something that I did not wanted to see. I saw his bright brown eye’s raise and his smile curl up like the Grinch.
“Um, your foot just went into chicken crap.” His laugh was like jolt of lightning, I loved how it made me feel so alarm. I wiped my shoe off in the grass lifting my foot and saw ugly things lying on the ground in it.
“What is that?” He looked over into the crap of chicken poop.
“Do you really want to know?” He asked, handing me an old pare of sneakers.
I waited a second, “Mm….naw.” I said. I took of my other shoe and placed them both on the back porch of his house, and placed my feet into the set of sneakers he placed in front of me.
“So where are you headed off to?” He asked.
He asked it as if he knew where I was going, “The place that you think I’m going.” I smiled with a twitch. “You want to come?” I asked.
Kev followed me out of the gate and left the chicken coop to its mess, we took the short cut through the woods. “So when you clean to the coop, why don’t you just let the chickens let loose so you won’t be pecked at?” I asked.
“Well I did let them out, but a few of the female’s like to stay in and protect they’re little soon to be eaten eggs.” He laughed a little like a maniac.
I stopped when I saw the stones still in-between the two-willow trees, Kev startled me when his hand slipped into mine. He took me past my families graves and took me to the spot we stood last night. “Can you still see the bridge?” He asked.
I nodded, the wood shined like it was just polished. “Can you still not see it?” I asked.
He nodded to, “If it is there then walk across it.” He said letting go of my hand and crossing his arms. “Do it so that I can see.”
I had no problem with walking over the bridge, but it made me wander why I could see it and he couldn’t. I grabbed the railing of the bridge and stepped onto the wooden floor and took another step. I could still see him behind me, “Can you see anything different?” I asked.
“Yeah, you’re getting taller.” He laughed, “Oh and is that a tail?”
“Haha, you think you’re so funny.” I kept on walking almost to the other side, when I heard his voice so alarming.
“Enna! Enna, where did you go? Enna…. ENNA!?” I turned around, still standing on the bridge.
I could still see him calling my name. I started to laugh at his cute concern, and I saw the other side and turned around once more to see Kev. “I’m over here you chicken picker!” I yelled with my hands waving in the air. I took a step back and lost my balance and fell backward, falling off the bridge to the other side.
Kev’s voice faded away, his screams for me were gone. I wondered if he went for help or if he just stayed silent until I came back. But that would be an absolute lie, because he would always find a way to find me. I got up from the ground, where the feeling of burning in my hands. Snow was collapsed on the green grass, which was weird in early spring. Snow would be done with by the end of January. It was strange, before I walked over the bridge there wasn’t a sign of snow on the ground. What was going on? Was I in a dream? I didn’t know, but none of this feels real. Maybe the bridge I saw was just a dream, or maybe I’m still in the dream. But where is Kevin? I got up and looked around for the bridge, but nothing was in sight. Just a gap in the ground with plastic bottles frozen in the stream, I looked over on the other side and saw more snow. The two willows were standing in the same spot, but the stones were nowhere seen.
“Kev?” I shouted. His voice didn’t respond, I called again and but nothing came back. I wanted to jump the gap, but I didn’t trust myself and I wasn’t going to test it either. I began to hear a sound from behind, wondering if it was Kev trying to scare me. It wasn’t.
It was blonde lady with a brown ranger jacket on, she was holding up her flashlight at me calling for my name. “Ms., are you alright.” At the sound of her voice my legs and every part of me went dumb, the thing I saw was her hands on my head and pulling me, but all I did was close them and dreamed.
“Go Jev! I’ll wake you up in the morning.” I a woman with dark blonde probably in her late thirties pushing a boy out. I was in some sort of cot, blankets stuffed on me and I was sure that the bridge was still gone.
Because all of this feels so real.
After she closed the door she found me and placed her hand to my head and noticed my eyes opening. “My goodness, you can sleep!” She said wiping my forehead.
“Where am I?” I asked her hands still on my head.
“You are in Time, Origen. Its funny how you don’t remember a single thing about where you are.”
I live in Origen, but I don’t her. I don’t recognize her, out town is really small and I don’t know her. “I know where I am, I just don’t recognize you.”
“I can say the same thing. Maybe you lived here when you were younger and happened to come across the town again.” She gave away.
“No I was in the commentary crossing over that bridge and my best friend, you might have seen him he was calling for me.” She smiled at me with a sad look, which was someone who knew I was nuts.
“The only person I saw was you, I did not hear nor did I see anyone else or a bridge.”
The past week she has kept me inside, while she went to go inspected where I came from. She was nice to me like any lady, she woke me up in the morning, and always said goodnight. I haven’t notice anyone living with her, she doesn’t get much visitor’s like I imagined her to have. That boy that left when I decided to wake up hasn’t come around that much.
When she got back she stood in the doorway, her hands were in gloves and she was helping in a boy probably two or four years older than I.
“So this is the girl I saw two weeks ago, Kramer?” He came in before she could get through the door. He had a beautiful face; high cheek bones a round face. Soft green eyes and a smile to die for. His brown curls swarmed his pale ears. “Wasn’t trying to be rude, I am Jev.” His hand extended out to mine.
I looked over at Kramer, and when she smiled I started to speak, “Enna.” Although I didn’t grab his hand, but his smile grew quite big.
“Enna, Jev is my best friend’s sons. He studying to be scientist, and on a normal basis he comes to visit, so don’t be afraid. He’s only scary in the morning.” Kramer said, while making her way in through the door.
“Well come on, Kramer say’s I got to take you and show you around.” He said, in an accent. I got up from the chair and place Kev’s sneakers on and went out the door with him. “Where you did you get those things?”
I looked down and notice he was pointing at my shoes, “There my friends.” I said quietly. I saw his expression turned up and his head shaking. He led me up the gravel drive and we made a u turn into the woods where snow was stacked so high that we climbed and slid down on our butts. “I thought Kramer wanted you to take me into town? Where are we going?”
“The place that you think I’m going.” He said.
My eyes turned toward his, at that moment I remember myself saying those words to Kev. “What did you say?”
“I’m going to where you assume there’s a commentary, Kramer told me about it.”
“Why do you call her ‘Kramer’?” I asked. His head soon fell.
“Because she doesn’t like her name I guess, actually I’ve never heard her first name before.”
“Not even your mother knows?”
“No, my mom died that’s why Kramer takes care of me.” He smiled once more.
“Where do you live then?”
“I live at college; I’m off for Christmas break. I normally stay with her, but since she found you, I’ve been sleeping in my car.” He laughed a familiar as well.
“You’ve been out there because of me? I am feeling much better, so take your position back in your home.”
“If I did that, she probably thinks it was my idea.” His eyes were coming to a recognizable face. I shook it out of my head, because all of it was impossible.
We came to the spot where I fell on my back, the spot where I heard him cry out for me, where my parents were buried. A tear rolled down my cheek, and only one finger wiping it away. Jev brought his finger back and wiped my tear on his coat, “I bet you miss where you came from?”
I bit my lip, “Right here should be a walk over bridge, and over there between the two willows are my parents and my sister.”
“I have heard, when bad things happen to those that we’ve lost we tend to see things that others can’t. It’s called a hallucination.”
“First of all, you don’t know me. I’ve lost everything, I’ve lost my family, my best friend, and now I can’t go home.” I dropped down to the ground.
“I know why you can’t go home.” He said in a whispered something, so I shot my head up to look at to figure out what he said. “This Saturday morning follow Kramer, she’ll comes here. Trust me.”
Although the bridge wasn’t anywhere, the image was still in my mind. This Saturday I was going to follow someone who has given me a home, and now I’m going to invade her space. But I am determined that she knows something about me. Jev and I walked back into the woods, and rolled down the snow once more. As he begun to get up, his hands were all scraped and bruised.
“What happened to your hands?” I asked.
“Chickens, my mom she owned chickens when I was a teenager.” As possible as his story was similar to Kev’s, I’ve had a hard remembering his face. How long will it take me to forget, everything I once had?
That next morning like Jev told me too, I walked out the door after Kramer. She was still in her slippers and in her Park Ranger coat. She climbed the mountain of snow and rolled down it like a child. I followed behind without a sound; she walked these woods like she knew them by heart. As the meadow appeared, she sat on her knees looking across the gap at the two willows.
I could’ve sworn she was speaking to herself, she was speaking to someone.
I didn’t want to see no more, but as I turned around I stepped on a branch that broke in half, “Enna, I know it is you. You can come out.” I walked over to her; she was smiling with light in her eyes. It was a tear. “Jev has a big mouth.” She chuckled to herself.
“Can you see on the other side?” I asked.
“Yes I can, all that has come must know why they came. That is why I could not tell you.”
“What? Are you saying that when I crossed over, it was meant to happen?”
“Yes, we all crossed over. We cross to live in the present, where we live the same life. But sometimes we come over when we’re not meant to. Like me. My real name is Kathy Kramer.”
Everything she spoke broke into me, “My mother’s maiden name was Kramer, and I don’t know why that didn’t hit me. Are you saying you apart of me?” I saw her nod.
“Yes Enna, I am your mother’s mother. Crazy as it sounds, I wasn’t supposed to come here Karon faked my death, but your mother was told that I had died.”
“What?” I asked again.
“There were people who were living with you that knew of your sight, that already crossed the bridge; they were waiting for you to see the bridge like: Karon. She was always on the other side, when she said she was in Origen.” She touched my shoulders. “This is where you were meant to be, this is where you belong.”
“But I left Kev.” I whimpered.
“You mean Jev, his real name is Jev. He crossed the bridge when he was very young, when he lost his mother. When he saw you, he promised that he would keep you safe, that he would stay until you found your sight.”
“Everyone I love is over here, because of that bridge. Why didn’t my family cross?”
“Because Enna, God has purpose for everyone. This was not his purpose for them, he wanted you to live. Not saying that he didn’t want them to live, but they did live and that’s why it was their time.”
As I walked back with my grandmother that I thought was lost, I found my sight and ran straight towards my aunt standing in front of the house. She was one that lived over the bridge not in Virginia. She cradled me is her arms and kissed my head, she let go and from behind was Jev.
I always knew him as Kev, but now that I know the truth it all makes sense. I ran for his big bear hug, jumped into his arms and felt his hands wrapped from both sides.
“I should have known it was you. The words you spoke, your hands, it just gives me these thoughts that I don’t even know my best friend.” I smiled and laughed.
He chuckled and kissed my cheek, “One question? What do you think your purpose is?”
“I believe it is my time to live the life God gave me.” I smiled and kissed his warm smile.
After the time that remains I have learned that I was given a new life with those that I loved, the bridge was the way into a different crinkle in time with people I soon learned had a past, future, and a present with me. They were all I needed now, tomorrow, and for the future that I have not lived yet.