October 13, 2009
By TANIA BRONZE, Eaton, Colorado
TANIA BRONZE, Eaton, Colorado
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It was Saturday evening, and when most teens her age where out, Jessica was home alone. She sat alone on her balcony looking at the sunset, contemplating her life. Why was she here? If she left would anyone even realize her absence? From under her chair, she pulled out a bottle of tequila and started chugging it. Jessica could feel the warmth of it running down her throat, and within a few minutes, the half full bottle was empty. Her mind became a swirl of faces and thoughts.
The twinkling stars could be barely seen through the darkness of the sky, but the moon was as bright as a light bulb. The Dodge Ram’s engine roared as it illuminated the gravel road in front of it. It was past midnight and the driver’s eye lids became heavy like sacks of potatoes. Up ahead there was a caution sign warning the driver of upcoming curves, but by the time the driver saw it, it was too late. Jessica’s eyes grew four times their size, and her face became snow white. Before she could scream, the Dodge ran off the road and over the cliff.
It was Sunday morning and the sky was cloudy, but no chance of rain. It was noon by the time Daniel woke up and he immediately knew something was wrong due to the fact that he had 20 unread messages. He unwillingly turned on his back and began to read them. One message though particularly caught his attention. It was from his friend Aileen and it said to pray for Jessica’s family. Why would he need to pray for them, unless something was wrong? At this point, Daniel was no longer breathing and started to panic. Daniel and Jessica had lived a few houses away from each other, and for as long as he could remember they would always hang out after school. He called Jessica’s phone but was directed to her voicemail. When he called Aileen he could hear her weeping, and at the point he knew something had happened to his great friend Jessica. Aileen told him that Jessica drove off the road the night before and unfortunately didn’t make it. Daniel dropped his phone, dropped to his knees and put his head in his hands. He began to cry uncontrollably.
While Daniel was crying, across town, Ricky was at the local supermarket bagging groceries for Mrs. J. Mrs. J. was 4’11’’ with gray hair that was above her shoulders. Her coke bottle glasses covered half of her face but she always knew everything about everyone. Rutherfordton was a relatively small town, so news traveled fast thanks to Mrs. J.
“Did you hear what happened to poor Jessica? She was so young and full of life. It’s a shame she went out like that.”
“What do you mean Mrs. J.? Jessica seemed fine just yesterday.”
“Oh, I see that you haven’t heard. Jessica had an accident and sadly she is now up in heaven with the other angels.” With that, she grabbed her groceries and scurried out the sliding doors.
Ricky’s eyes started to cloud up with tears that were building. He had just seen Jessica the day before with her enchanting smile and sweet personality. Although she did not know it, Ricky had always had a crush on her since they were in kindergarten. He admired her for always being kind to everyone and treating everyone equally. Jessica treated everyone equally. She never thought she was better then the rest. How could she be gone? Ricky was extremely shy and could barely mumble a hello to her whenever he saw her. Now she was gone forever and he would never have the chance to tell her how he really felt, that she was the most beautiful person inside and out. Ricky stood behind the counter with tears pouring down his hot cheeks feeling as though his whole world had just crashed down on him.
The weekend had passed and Monday had finally arrived. Jayde had been out on a business trip for a month and was finally coming back home to Rutherfordton. She now remembered why she left in the first place, Rutherfordton was a rural town that had a population of 5,000 people, and was high up in the deep forest. No matter how bad it seemed she was thrilled to be back. It was Monday morning and small children were splashing in the puddles barely formed. As she was driving through the town however, she noticed that many cars were parked out in front of the graveyard. In her mind she was thinking of who could have possibly died. Maybe it was Ms. F., the 101 year old lady in their town?
Her red Volvo pulled up to the graveyard and she sat frozen in her seat. It was drizzling outside, and her windows began to fog. Her hands clutched the steering wheel wondering whether she should go out to see who had passed away. After five long minutes of thinking, she decided to get out into the drizzling rain and see who had died. When she opened up her yellow umbrella she noticed Aileen walking up like a zombie, with no sense of life. Jayde knew it was not Ms. F. who had passed away, for Aileen had no connection with the old lady. Then who was it? She took a deep breath and slowly followed Aileen to the ceremony. As she got closer and closer to the group, she began to recognize many of the people present. Jayde found an opening in the group and squeezed in to get a better look. As she looked around the circle she saw that Daniel had red puffy eyes from crying all day. Ricky kept shaking his head back and forth with a look of regret. He seemed to be having a conversation with the person in the coffin. Daniel, Ricky and Jayde had all gone to school together, but had never acknowledged one another. Everyone there looked exhausted and hurt. Jayde finally had the courage to look down, and she fell back when she saw Jessica’s white facing staring up at her. Her eyes showed no emotion, her hair once a shiny orange was now a dull red.
Jayde remembered Jessica from high school. They were never close friends but she knew that Jessica had a kind heart. One day Jayde was walking through the hallway when she accidentally slipped in a puddle of juice that sent her papers flying everywhere. Everyone started laughing and pointing, but Jessica was the only one who offered to help Jayde up. Jayde was very grateful for what Jessica did, but sadly never got any closer to her.
Now looking down on her, were many people that Jessica had known. Daniel, Ricky and Jayde never really knew each other, but they all had one thing in common: knowing Jessica. Jessica left the world never knowing how much of an influence she had on the people around her. She was a kind person that many people liked and now on the day of her funeral, she united those people. Even though we may think that we aren’t important, when one dies it impacts many around us.

The author's comments:
From my story, I hope that people will realize that no matter how unimportant they may think they are, everyone is important.

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