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Author's note: I had started some it for a English paper in 9th grade. It's still not done but it's mostly the outline right now.The story had made just about everyone that read it cry so it inspired me to continue writing it.
I was only seven when it happened. My mom hung herself. She was watching me and then all of the sudden her eyes got foggy, like they have been for awhile, but this time was different. She didn’t hit me or start talking to her new friend, that only see can see or hear, like she always did. No this time, this one time was different. At first she left the room and I could hear her talking to him. I was so absorbed in the puzzle that I was doing, that I didn’t notice her come back in to the room with a rope; by the time I finally noticed her, she was gasping for air. I was so shocked and scared that I was frozen. I barely noticed when she went limp, dangling like a doll from the ceiling by that tiny rope. At first I couldn’t believe she had done it. I mean her “friend” had told her to before but she always stood her ground and said, “No.”
When Daddy finally came home that night, he started to do the one thing I never thought I would see him do, cry. After mommy died, daddy started to get very sad and very depressed. He spent days upon days locked in his room not wishing to be disturbed, and if I bothered him, he would slap me. On the bad nights I would hear him cry him self to sleep. On the good days I got out of school for a shopping or movie day. But, with a snap of the fingers it would all be bad again.
About a month after mommy died daddy told me that he loved me, and he was sorry he had to do this to me, he said I had a lot to learn. I remember, right before he walked into the room, he grabbed his gun, gave me the phone and told me, “If you hear any loud bands come from my room, don’t go in there, just call the number I have in the phone. Will you do that for me Lexi?”
With out waiting for an answer he just left with the gun and shut his door with a loud SLAM! About five seconds later I heard the loud bang that I had been waiting for.
Here’s the facts: Both my parents killed themselves eight years ago to the day. My family is all dead. I’m an orphan. I’ve been in and out of foster homes, never have stayed anywhere for long. I don’t have friends because I know I’m going to be out soon, so I don’t even bother. Most importantly, I have a repot due in two days about my family whom of which I remember almost nothing about. They also want me to fill out a family tree as much as I can.
You see my only problem is that my case worker, Mrs. Green, who is not as old as she sounds, she is only in her mid-20’s, doesn’t think that I have a right to see my own files. So I am going to have to break into the office and steal the files. That won’t be hard though, since she gave me the key to get in, “Just in case I needed anything.” So I developed a plan to sneak in that night and get my files.
That night around midnight I grab the keys to the family van and the keys to Mrs. Green’s office. Once I get in the van without being caught, I take off in search of the social services office. When finally get there, I let out a breath that I didn’t know I had been holding on to, thanking God that no one decided to stay late. Once I find a spot far enough away from the building not to get people wondering, but close enough that it’s not going to be a killer walk. I get out and try to act like I normally go for a walk this late at night, even though any normal person would wonder what on earth I’m doing.
As soon as I find my way in the building I must find Mrs. Green’s office. Once I find it I see that a light is on still. I try and fin a place to hide quickly but I am so frightened about getting caught that the best place I can find is underneath an old wooden desk, that you can tell it is used as it is scattered with papers. I hear the door handle turning so I quickly dart under the desk. Clomp, clomp, clomp, to perfectly polished black shoes appear in front of the desk and stop.
Errk, “Over, Earl, over.”
The guy, who must be Earl replies, “Um, yes boss?”
The other man, the boss, responds back, “There was an accident on the fifth floor and we need you to clean it up.”
Earl says under his breath, “you always want something don’t you, you fat cow?”, but in to what I can only guess is a walkie-talkie, “I’ll be there in five.”
Off he goes towards what must be level five. Whoa! That was a close one! I better hurry up, get those files, and get out of here before I get caught.
I get into the room and find the file no problem. I look in the file and on the first page it just says tree family member, their relation, and address along with a few other bits of information. The first two people list are of course my parents but it’s the next name that catches my eye. I don’t notice the name so I keep on reading. First it lists her address- 16592 256th Ave. New York, New York 01125: name- Calli Conners. No its not any of that information that leaves me breathless it what’s under the relations part. Sister. How can that be right? Shouldn’t someone have told me? Why don’t I remember her at all?
The walls start closing in on me, and I run out of there with the papers confirming my sisters life. It has all the information I will need if I ever decide that I want to talk to her. I run and don’t care that I might get caught.
I stop when I get to my car to catch my breath. I get in and start to drive. Before I realize what in doing, I arrive at the bus station and pay for a one-way trip to New York City. The bus leaves in one hour so I go into the nearest diner to clear my mind and to get some food in me, seeing as I have an extremely long trip ahead of me. It should only take two days or so to get from San Francisco to New York.
For the most part my bus ride is uneventful. I met one friendly guy, who appeared to be about my age. He got on about half way there and was only on for an hour. We chatted about where we were going. I told him my story, and he told me his. He is 19. His name in Tony but once he makes it big he is going to change it to the first name he hears that has a ring to it. He was going to Nashville to try and make it big in country music. He even sang a song for me! He was great, if I actually listened to country I would buy his songs for sure, I might even buy one now! I wish I could just get off with him.
In Nashville we switch buses so I have an hour to kill , so I decide to grab a bite to eat and call Nan and Pa before they call it the whole S.W.A.T team. Their real names are Anita and Paul but they told us to call them Nan and Pa since they are old enough to be our grandparents anyways.
Nan is one of those women who makes being old look good. She is like 59 or something like that but she look to be about 40, just with gray hair. She is beautiful. She is also what you would call the “perfect grandma”. She is always baking and spoils just about everyone. Plus she is also about the sweetest person you could ever meet.
Pa is also very sweet, but when you first meet him he frightens you because he has such a low voice and he towers over everyone. Pa though could actually never hurt a fly. Even the most annoying fly.
Nan and Pa both agree to give me about a weeks time. They also remind me that Calli might not want me so I better not get my hopes to high. They send their love than hang up.
I am happy that they understood, and ever since I called them I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
I also decide that I better call Calli’s place but decide to try and get a hold of her closer to New York. From Nashville I sleep basically the whole way, since I have been awake this whole time, because I have been so excited. I finally end up getting up a little before we get to New York State.
We stop in Albany, so I decide that I cant hold off any longer to call Calli. From what I can gather by the documents is she is three years younger than me which would make her twelve or thirteen; depending on when her birthday is. She das been adopted now for six years. Other than that they don’t list much about her.
I finally work up my courage and walk over to the pay phone to call her family, since she is more than likely in school right now, seeing that it is only Wednesday.
The phone only rings twice before a chirpy voice answers, “Hello, this is Jennifer. May I ask who this is?”
“Hello, Mrs. Ummmm…..”, I respond dumbfounded, she sounds super nice though and I really don’t want to intrude.
“Oh. It’s Mrs. Conners. Sorry about that”, she says back, seeming not to notice how nervous I am.
“Mrs. Conners, than. Hi, my name is Lexi Loverstien. Well, it has changed. You are wondering why I am calling, and I am blabbering on about my name and wasting your time. Anyways, I believe that you adopted Calli Loverstien.”, I finally manage to say.
“Oh, yes. Her name is now Calli Conners, and if this is her mother I am sorry ma’am but you didn’t want her, she is just fine here.”
“Oh no, Mrs. Conners, no, you got it all wrong. Our mom died a few years back. I am in Albany and was wondering if you would allow me to see her while I am here. I’m her sister.” I say, shocked that she thought I my mother is still alive. Didn’t she know?
“Dear me! I apologize. I didn’t, I had no clue, that she had a sister. I am truly sorry Lexi.” She tells me, her voice full of sorrow.
So, I have nothing to say except, “It’s okay. I should have told you who I am. Anyways, I will be in New York City in an hour. Is there somewhere we can meet?”
“Yes dear. Once you get off the bus go onto the subway to the corner of 45th and 39th. Go into St. Joe’s, you cant miss it dear, its right across the street, only takes ten minuets to get there. Go on up to the third floor. Ask the clerk for the Conners room. They will need take you right there. Is there anything I can get you on our way there?” She manages to say that all in two breaths.
“No thank you. Our bus is getting ready to leave though so I must go. Thank you very much Mrs. Conners, I will see you soon.”
“No, thank you Lexi. Our dear Calli needs a buddy. Please call me Jennifer, dear. I will talk to you again soon.” With that she hangs up.
I run to the bus and hop on, excited to meet Calli. There are no seats left except one by a young mother with a small child. I sit down, thankful for the silence, then as if just to prove me wrong the baby starts screaming. The poor mother let’s out a sigh and tries to figure out what is wrong. Nothing the mother does will stop him from crying. The mom get off after a half hour, before she gets off she shoot me an apologetic look as if to say, “I’m sorry for her.”
The next half hour is peaceful and quiet. I take advantage of it and gather my thoughts. When we finally arrive in New York City I grab my papers and set off towards the subway.
I finally find it and, just like Jennifer said, its only a ten minute ride. I walk up the stairs of the subway and find St. Joe’s. It was St. Joe’s alright, St. Joseph’s children’s hospital. I cant believe that she didn’t tell me it was a hospital.
I walk in and go up to the third floor like she told me to. I can hear the cries and laughs of children as I walk through the hallways. It a sad thought knowing how many parents have heard bad news in these hallways. When I get to the reception desk the clerk is on the phone so I go and watch a few kids the must be patients since they have gowns on. Just as I start to wonder why Jennifer wanted to meet me here of all places I hear the clerk get off the phone.
I walk over and find out that they are currently in room 666. Not a good room to be in and I start to worry about just even walking into the room. I am very superstitious and I know its not going to end up good. I should just leave right now but before I even get the change to turn around I am at the door to room 666. I could just turn around now before anyone see’s me….
“Hello, you must be Lexi. I am Jennifer it is nice to meet you dear”, Jennifer intercepted me before I even got a chance to turn around. She is prettier than I would of thought. She must be five foot six, with perfectly manicured nails. She must be only in her early to mid 20’s.
I realize that I am staring. “Sorry”, is all I can manage to mumble.
Under her breath she says, “Would you mind Lexi if before you got to meet Calli we went to the cafeteria and talked. I will buy you lunch.”
“Oh no Mrs. Conners not a problem but please let me pay for myself. I have my own money and I would feel horrible if I let you pay for me.” I tell her sincerely.
She leads me down into the cafeteria and we get our food and sit down. Jennifer looks down at her food and says, “I know you are wondering why I brought you here. I mean I didn’t even tell you it was a hospital. I figured you would come if I told you where you really were going. We are here because Calli has cancer. She doesn’t know that you are here. I wanted it to be a surprise. Right now she is living off the machines that they have her hooked up to. She doesn’t like it any more than I do but it’s the only thing keeping her alive. She has a rare blood type and so it is hard for them to find a kidney. I know you don’t even know her but will you please see if you’re the blood type. We are desperate and they said a lot of times family members will have the same blood type epically with there rarer types of blood.” She is pleading with me now and I can see many years of hurt and fear in her eyes.
“Jennifer I would love to but can I first meet her? I want to get to know who she is first.” I tell her wishing I could comfort her in some way.
Her face instantly lights up and in a more perky voice she responds, “Oh of course silly me lets go right on up. I should of know you were going to want to meet her.” With that she takes me by the hand and drags me back up stairs, leaving my half eaten pie behind.
When we walk into the room the girl in the bed, who must be Calli, and the man on the couch are bent over in deep conversation, the girl smiling. When we walk in their heads snap up and a huge smile come across both of their faces. The man turns toward Jennifer and tells her, “Sorry Jennifer but I had to tell her. When you walk out she knew some thing was going on.” He than turns to me and says, “Oh, hello Lexi my name is Andrew Conners. This is Calli but Jennifer and I will give you to girls some time to chat. See you Calli. Nice to meet you Lexi.” With that Jennifer and him float away arm in arm.
I turn towards the girl in the bed. She still has hair. You can tell that it use to be way thicker but has thinned out. I can picture her better with beautiful blond curls, like mine but mine are black. She does look like me but prettier. She is thin and very pale. I cant tell if she was that way before or if its just from the cancer eating away at her. There is a picture of her right next to the bed and her face is lit up. She looks truly happy and beautiful.
“So,” I say nodding towards the picture, “Is that form before you found out.”
She just nods her head yes still smiling at me. I let out a very childish giggle and that creates giggles from her and before you know it a nurse is in the room trying to hush us telling us that we are disturbing other kids. Once the nurse leaves I go over on the side of her bed and grab her hand. She looks up at me and tells me, “Some times I wish that I could get away from all this. That I could be a normal kid. I have dreams of running though the grass, the grass between my toes, the wind in my hair. With the salt from the ocean in the wind, licking my curls, lifting me higher and higher until I am flying with the birds. If I could have one more thing before I die it would be this dream Lexi.” She has such a soft, high pitched voice that it makes me wonder who she really could have been before this all.
For the next hour we talk about our lives up till now. I tell her about how mom and dad died and she tells me that all she remembers is her room from back then. After our hour is up I decide to go and it get my blood taken to see if it’s the right type. As soon as Jennifer and Andrew walk into the room I tell them and then go in search of a nurse to ask what need to be done.
The tests weren’t so bad. All the did was draw a little blood and talk it to the lab. They said that they will have the results tomorrow. When I get back into the room Calli tells me that Jennifer and Andrew have already left and if I would like I could stay with either of them. I decide to stay with my new-found sister.
The next morning the nurse comes into wake Calli and takes her to dialysis appointment in another part of the hospital. While the Calli is there another nurse come in and breaks the news to me.
“I’m sorry ma’am but your blood type is not the same.” The nurse tells me and walks away leaving me alone in my pain.
I think back to last night and know what I must do.
That night at around 10 I tell Calli my plan. “Calli, remember last night when you told me about your dream?” I start.
“The one with the wind, yes I do. Y?” Calli manages though her sedated “sleep”.
“Yes that one. What if I could make your wish come true?”
“You could! Oh that would be great Lexi! But, how? There is no way out. You will get caught!” She exclaims, almost yelling now.
“Hush it Calli, you want to hear my plan or not?” She nods her head ever so slowly as if she is scared that even nodding her head will make to much noise. “Ok, well here it is.” With that we go off into setting our plan into action.
The next morning I walk around to find all the exits and Calli asks to be taken to the gardens, so we can get an idea of the lay out of the building. We get everything that we might need and I rent a car so I can drive her to Connecticut. We learn the nurses route, fro the far side to our side, and figure out what rooms are empty in case we need to hide. Calli says that as long as she is back for radiation she won’t die. She also thinks that we should right a note just in case they notice we are gone.
That night at 11, when the nurse is on the far side, we were lucky that tonight is bath night, we head out. We make it to the car with out being caught and take the short trip to the ocean, a spot that I found out about online today. Calli is so excited when we get there that she cant sit still. She just about jumps out of the car.
As she is running I can almost see her dream. She is beautiful and happy. That night she takes her last breath of air while running. Nobody knows what went wrong except that her body wasn’t used to it.
Even though I didn’t know her that well I cried that night thinking of all the memories we should of had and could have had together. She taught me so much in so little of time. Calli taught showed me that I should be okay with who I am no matter how bad it is, and that the report was just a report, nothing more. Was it really going to kill me to tell my whole class that I am an orphan?
Calli taught me most of all how to fly.
Because that night Calli finally got her wings and flew.