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

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   Big Bird

by M. N., Old Orchard Beach, ME



Have you ever had that feeling that something is missing? Not something comical like your memory. Nothing simple like a pen. No, not your keys either. I'm talking about that empty feeling down deep inside that lets you know exactly why, although you pretend you don't.

For me, I can tell you in a breath why suddenly my heart hurts, why I'm feeling lonely and lost, what's missing from my life - Jess. Who? you ask. Jess who? You only wish you knew her. My sister Jess. Closer to me than any bloodline could ever define. You'll never know her like I do. She's a beautiful green-eyed baby gone off and away to the Big Apple ... without me. She packed up all her clothes, books and big birds - ready and waiting to take on New York. All those boxes and bags - no space for me? Wait a minute. What do I do without her? Somebody tell me what I do now. Who do I pick up after? Who sleeps on the bunk below? Who's gonna laugh at my twisted humor and reassure me when I need it most but am afraid to ask? Who wakes me up in the morning? Who buys me rockets and visits me at camp? Who takes care of me when I am too far off the right path to take care of myself? Who does a million and one things more for me now? How do I do the act solo? How do I harmonize the song of life with only one voice singing?

Do you know? Does anybody know how I cope, go on with my life. She's not dead, just gone away for a bit. I haven't lost her - I just miss her.

She's still there. True, not there for me to wrap my arms around every second I need to. Not there for me to dance like a madwoman with "Used to Love Her" or scream and yell at because I need to yell and I know she won't pay any mind. But she's there. Always and forever. Not any less a part of my life, not any farther away from my heart. We are connected. Miles don't matter. Time doesn't matter. We are connected. That's just how it is. Jess may be just a name to you, but to me it means completeness. No empty spaces. Nothing missing - except for my favorite pen which she took with her. Figures.


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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