Remembering This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Running into the garage, I realized I needed to get away. I mounted my sturdy red Bradlees special ten-speed, and began my journey to my grandparent's old farm.

I got to the main road and started to pedal fast. The wind picked up and it became harder on my legs. The breeze blew my hair in my eyes making it difficult to see. Past the red farm, the white mansion that I have yearned to live in and the shambled house with many dogs, I rode. I caught sight of the river bending through the field with the mountain lurking in the background.

Finally I reached the driveway. It seemed to have taken a decade to get here, but I glanced at my watch and saw that it had only been 15 minutes. I swung my bike up the steep, rocky drive.

Nothing had changed physically, yet it all seemed drastically different to me, as if the whole farm was empty. It seemed like everything around me had died.

I walked to the barn and slid the door open, but waited before I turned on the light. The smell of horses had been replaced by a musty, empty barn smell. I turned on the light.

The aged wooden grain box, the rough wide floor boards, and assorted liniments and brushes remained a symbol of the past. I went to each stall door and ran my hand across the nameplate of the horse that had lived there.

I exited the barn and took a right through the covered way where my grandmother used to cross tie the horses. The back lawn was as mushy as the front, yet it seemed darker as if there was a permanent cover on it.

The sugar house was tucked into the far corner and joined the lawn. The forest rose in the background up the mountain. It was rotting and dark. I felt as though I needed to look inside, yet I was afraid. Afraid of the memories that kept pouring into my head since the minute I pedaled up the driveway. My grandfather left a huge hole in my heart that dark, dreary day he shot himself in the sugar house. Unfortunately, I had never found a way to deal with the pain.

I decided to look in. The rotted door creaked as I pulled it open. It was dark, hardly visible to the human eye. I saw nothing but rusted old sugaring equipment. I slammed the door shut. I had hoped, in my childish mind, that my grandfather would be there waiting for me to come and hug him. Anger and sadness overwhelmed me to the point of mad sobs. I ran to my bike and hopped on. I was so confused. Why did he have to end his life in such a stupid way? Didn't he realize that we loved him and that things would get better?

I got off my bike. My visit couldn't end this way. My biggest regret in life was that I never had a chance to say goodbye to my grandfather who had taught me so much about life, horses, and myself. I never had a chance to thank him for all the wonderful things he exposed my mind to.

I returned to the sugar house with a single white rose plucked from my grandmother's old garden. I opened the door again and placed it inside. I turned toward the door to leave, but then turned toward the flower and murmured softly the words I had wanted to say for so long. "Thank you Grampa for everything. I will always love you and remember the beautiful things you taught me. I miss you, Grampa. Goodbye for now."

I glided down the driveway and turned onto the paved road. The sun had returned and was setting over the mountain. Mist was rising above the field. It's time to go home, I told myself. c


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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