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Sea of Green This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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The truck pulls up beside the rusty gate and screeches to a stop. She steps out onto the dirt road, outfitted in a pink dress three sizes too big. Her pigtails whip around her cheeks in the wind, the pigtails her daddy had done for her early that morning while he told her where they were going.

Her daddy comes around the truck now, flowers in hand, and picks her up. She rests her head on his shoulder. They pass through the gate into a green field. The contrast between the green grass and the gray stone slabs shocks her eyes. She is drawn to the flowers scattered across this sea of green. Last year when they’d come she’d asked if she could pick some of those pretty flowers, but her daddy said they belonged to someone else.

Their walk takes them almost to the back corner of this endless sea, to a spot where the sun has not yet given up hope of reaching. They arrive at their place, and her daddy sets her down. Holding her hand, he lays the flowers on the ground.

He squeezes her hand tightly and she squeezes right back. She knows he needs her here. She’s not sure why, but she can tell that he is already sad. The silent tears have started their journey down his cheeks, wavering at the end of his nose and eyelashes as if afraid to fall.

He kneels down to hug her. She is used to these hugs from her daddy. Sometimes, when she is playing, she sees him watching her, as if remembering a dream. And she smiles at him and he smiles back and reaches out to hug her.

He stands up now, taking tissues from his pocket. Facing the flowers he says one last thing, casting his eyes to the ground. She stands respectfully, still holding his hand, while he finishes.

The green sea seems to have swallowed his truck, for she cannot see it from where she stands. The walk back is quiet, and she almost falls asleep in her daddy’s arms.

As he buckles her into her seat, her mind wanders and she begins to dream. Her dreams are filled with an endless sea of green, dotted here and there with flowers. And amidst this vast ocean is her mother.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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