A Winter Morning

November 6, 2008
By Shelby Varner, Fayetteville, AR

I woke up with an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I didn’t know exactly what it was, but something just wasn’t right, something was about to happen. Pulling off the covers and getting up I got a chill, I smelled the cold winter air slipping under the slightly cracked window. Autumn, my best friend since second grade who was spending the night, sat up as I closed the window. The door creaked as I opened it and peeked down the hall. My mom was still asleep. Autumn and I decided to surprise her with breakfast in bed. We tiptoed down the hall, careful not to make a sound, and slid down the steps two at a time.

The hardwood floor felt like ice on my feet, and I peered out the window to see the grass covered in a snow-white layer of frozen dew. My eyes had to adjust to the bright sunlight gleaming through the kitchen windows. I opened the refrigerator, searching for something to spark an idea of what to make. We decided on eggs, toast, and bacon. I turned the knob on the stove and got out the frying pan. As the burners turned into bright red coils, the chill bumps on my arms finally started to disappear. Autumn got out a plate, glass, and silverware and placed them neatly on a wooden tray. While the eggs simmered in the pan, we ran out the back door and grabbed a small flower from the vine climbing up the siding, almost reaching the roof of the garage. We neatly pilled the eggs onto the plate and added the toast and bacon. I grabbed the tray and walked carefully but swiftly, making sure the milk wouldn’t spill.

Autumn opened the door to my mom’s room and an ice-cold breeze swept across my face and arms, bringing back the chill bumps. My mom had just woken up, and as she started to get up she realized what I was carrying. I walked to her side and slid the tray onto her lap. I loved the expression on her face; normally it would make me smile, but that same worry I woke up with was growing stronger. I tried to concentrate on my mom’s happiness, and it quickly distracted me. I slid onto the bed next to mom’s feet and we started to talk as she devoured the eggs. She finally finished and thanked us more than enough times. We continued our conversation about the drama going on at our school as she placed the empty tray onto her nightstand.

If I wouldn’t have been distracted when the phone rang that horrible feeling in my stomach would have turned to fear, but I was oblivious. Mom answered it, and her expression soon turned to something I couldn’t interpret. I didn’t know if it was worry, sadness, or a combination of the two. The fear crept up my body and made my breath uneasy as my mom handed me the phone. Once again, her expression was unreadable, but it looked like she felt sorry for me for some reason. I didn’t understand it.

I put the phone to my ear and all I heard were sobs. I couldn’t tell who it was. Then I realized why I didn’t know who it was. It was because I had never heard it; it was my dad sobbing in the background. My arms started to shake as I assumed why he would be crying.

Granddad had always been in bad heath, but he never let the pain show. He was always cracking jokes and making fun of his disabilities. He would threaten to run over my toes in his wheelchair, or turn his amputated leg into a puppet to make me and my cousins’ laugh. I noticed the last few times I had seen him, that he wasn’t as mobile as normal, and he slept more than usual. He went into the hospital for a little while but my “grannat” demanded that he be home, but I wasn’t sure why.

Now I realized why she wanted him home. She didn’t want him to die in a hospital. She wanted him to be home with her at his side. I could hear my dad take a few deep breaths and he finally spoke. “Shelby, Granddad died this morning.” Then the sobs returned, and I lost sight of reality. I felt numb. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t move. I just sat there, waiting for something to pull me out of the darkness. My lungs started to ache as the sobs began. Then I heard another voice come from the receiver. It was a voice that I had heard many times before, a voice that I despised. It was my step mom Shelia. “It’s okay, everything is fine, your dad is fine.” I wanted to scream at her; I wanted to blame someone for what I had just heard and I wanted to blame her.

I just sat there on the foot of my mom’s bed, motionless, as I felt arms wrap around me. It was Autumn. She didn’t speak. She just sat there and hugged me as the tears rolled down my freezing cheeks. I couldn’t even understand anything coming from the phone, so I gave it back to my mom and kept crying. I finally pulled my self together enough to get off the bed and slide onto the floor, leaning my back against the bed with my knees at my chest. I tried so hard to breathe in but my lungs were empty, and they refused to fill back up. Autumn came around the bed and sat beside me, holding me again until I could finally breathe at a normal pace. My mom might have said something, but I couldn’t hear anything anymore. I only felt emptiness in my heart that ached. I had never felt so alone. I don’t think that empty hole will ever be replaced.

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This article has 1 comment.

Rayrox said...
on Nov. 19 2008 at 11:45 pm
YAY VAMPINJA!!!!!! Great job!


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