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The Hope That Ran
i have a dream. so does hannah
I did not care that the sharp pieces of pavement cut into my bare feet. I didn’t care that my nicely done hair was ruined. My breath was sharp and bitter, raspy. The rain mixed with my tears burnt my eyes, blinding me. The rain hit me like a train, it was so cold. The coldness bit into my skin, sending chills to my heart. Our rain was never so cold, but what I saw made it so much colder. My older brother's body laid ten yards from our front door, near the road that followed into our town. Our large oak's leaves blew in the wind, mocking my screams. I ran as fast as I could to him, running, my lungs screamed for life, begged for me to stop. I stopped in front of him and cried, I cried hard. My tears rained on his body. The guards of our city were picking up his limp body. His body was white, and lifeless. I fell onto him, his skin was frozen, he hated being cold. He always would dress way to warm. The guards told me to get off him, I didn’t listen they became more harsh. The pushed and pushed on me, I wouldn't let them take me off him, my grip was firm. There was no way that I would leave him behind. The last thing I remembered was them shoving me off him; I hit my head, on a low, sharp-edged rock when they pushed me back. The rock was black, yet that didn't matter. My vision was black, yet that didn't matter. And for my heart was black, that didn't matter either. I laid in the cold, for what seemed like forever, forever is a long time. Nothing good can last forever neither can anything evil. Some things in life we need to give up, I wasn't ready to give my brother up.
My name is Hannah Speck I’m fifteen-years-old, I have long black hair and green eyes. I'm stubborn and mean. I hardly ever listen to authority. Its on the inside of me, pulsating ready to explode, I’m on my own train. You don't want to mess with me or my family; family should be everything, to everyone. My dad disappeared five years ago; nobody found his body or his belongings. It was like he fell out of mid air. My dad looked nothing like me or my brother; he had red hair, a squared face, and brown eyes. He was a wise man, with many jokes to tell. My mom’s name is Sarah she married my dad, Stanley, when she was twenty years old. My mom and I could be twins; she has short black hair and her bright green eyes that are just like mine. Although after my dad disappeared, her eyes seemed to turn gray. My mom has a heart of an angle, she is willing. She would do anything for her kids. Me and my mom love spending time with each other. She is my rock, she is my hope. Two years after she got married she had my brother William. William is brave, he is funny, and he is my hope. He was a healthy baby, and a happy baby.
Three years after they had William my mom and dad had me. I have a lot of childhood memories. They were happy ones. The type you don't forget. Times when your dad pushes you on a swing, or when you bake with your mom, and so much more. Ten years after I was born my dad left. Not like my parents wanted a divorce, my parents loved each other. He went missing, the guards of the city looked for years, and my heart will look for decades. Life without a dad is dreadful. My father missed so much in life. My father was humorous, he was sweet, and he was my hope. William and I grew closer through our dad going missing and the ache it brought. We walked to school alone. We ate dinner alone. We laugh and cried alone. As for my mom she zoned out. Like she wasn't real she was like a ghost. A ghost that wasn't capable of taking care of her kids, let alone herself. She spent her days in her room, moaning. She took many pills, but I knew she still cared about me. She still loved me. William took on the “Mom” role for me. He walked me to school, made me meals, and taught me beautiful life skills. Our city was built for those who survived the war that broke out around one hundred years ago. The war separated the world, into four sections; I live in one of the four. Most people state, were we are in the world is somewhere called Chicago. I believe it, but some think it is a rumor. Gates block the city limits, nobody has ever bothered to try to leave, and we felt save where we are. We aren't in contact with any of the three other sections; there is no documented truth of life outside of were we live. Our city is beautiful. It has many large houses, and buildings. All the houses are nearly the same, inside out. The walls are all base on the inside of the house, and on the outside they are all gray. Brick detailing covers the outside creating a beautiful floral pattern.
Even the rooms are the same; each room has the same furniture and the same style. All my friend’s rooms are the same as mine. We aren't aloud to add extra things to our rooms. No personality. The roads we walk on dirt, and dust. Large oaks grow in the pastures of our yards. The giant green leaves give our yards amazing shade. It is usually always hot, and sticky. Almost everyday I feel super hot. It's like a wave of heat that covers you all day. Every so often it rains. But that one day I hated the rain. My name is Hannah Speck, I am a person. People make mistakes, but don't hate. Love. Cherish people in life, your not promised tomorrow. Here is my story of pain, loss, and laughter. You can always start a fire, from one spark the world gives. The fire of kindness to burn the hate. So here it goes the beginning of the end.
Now I am here, lying in a bed with an aching, pounding, head. My head was beating, like a song; I felt the blood flow through my veins. I slowly looked across the room, spotting my mother instantly by the window looking down below. The window was large, from the bed I could spot figures of the people below. It took me moments to realize that I was in a hospital. When I finally had the voice, and strength to say “Mom,” It came out like a cry for help. I couldn't recognize my own voice. My mom instantly snapped her head towards me, she smiled. I could tell she had been crying. Walking quickly, towards my bed she spoke, “You finally woke; I thought I lost you too.” Too? Wait what? At first I thought she meant losing my dad. I was wrong. And then, I knew. Before I could even form the thoughts in my head I felt steaming hot tears slide down my face. Choking I spoke, “William”. My mom slowly nodded her head as tears slowly trickled down her cheeks. The tears fell in pots and the pots shattered into a billion pieces.
The walls were too white and blank for me to look at. No matter how many blankets my mom gave me, I was still cold. Nothing got William off my mind. The pain in my heart was worse than the pain in my head. Or in the pain of my ribs, due to the small rocks that split my skin in the fall. I played the memory of him in my head. The two gunshots, I heard them, from my bedroom window. They rang through my ears. I tasted metal. When I looked out my window, I nearly fainted. The tears came fast, knowing he was hurt. An ambulance was coming down the street fast. I tried to race it, like the sadness chased me. As I ran my mom followed. I already had the thoughts of how we were going to have a funeral for him. We had a funeral for my dad, after five years of looking, my mom gave up hope. I never would. I could not do it again, dress in black, cry, or watch the coffin in the dirt. I hadn’t been thinking in the moment that it happened. William must have been murdered, who would murder him?
The thought of death trampled me. Almost everyone in my city loved William. William used to tell me, “it’s not about winning first place in the race, but it’s about finishing the race.” spoke that to me when I was down, hurt. My mom continued to look around the room pacing the floor, she was axis. I knew. Her hair seemed to have a silver lining, she was getting old. I wouldn’t notice things like that in a regular day. I regret that, no matter the weird details I should always have looked at things different. William, such a compassionate person. He forgave people for the impossible. I was jealous of the way people loved him, yet I loved him more than they did. William was my mom’s favorite he always was.
The nurse suddenly walked in, stopping my train of thought. Maybe it was good she was walking in, I felt one of the many stones weighing me down was lifted. I wondered if she had good news to tell me and my mom. My mom also noticed she walked in and sat up, from slouching in the chair against the window. The chair looked and was comfortable; in fact, we had the same exact one at home. No personality. I began starring at the nurse, she had blonde hair, and she looked around fifty or maybe a bit younger. She was also very large. She had wide hips that slimmed down into short legs, not to mention she was over weight. Her face was plump; she carried her nose high in the air, almost with pride. Right away I didn’t like her, I didn’t know why. The nurse walked straight up to my mom, she seemed upset. I heard the echoes of her shoes on the hospital floor, like a beat of a drum. “Mrs. Speck there is a brain bleed in Hannah’s head, if not fixed she would die after a few months.”
What I heard made it hard for me to breath. How could this happen? I had no time to process or reply to her words. The nurse spoke on, "I would suggest surgery as soon as possible. These bleeds can be fatal to Hannah’s health. ” My mom’s expression changed from sadness to rage… I was again confused. She spoke quick and harsh, “No, I will not accept this offer!” I gasped at her answer, but I didn’t speak. I didn't have any idea what was going to happen. When I was little, if I scraped a knee my mom would take me to the hospital. No way was my mom serious. Everything happened so fast, I didn't have time to mentally or physically reply. The nurse reacted more shocked then I did. She dropped her clip board and nearly fainted. Yet she spoke kindly back to my mom, “Okay then Hannah is free to go.” Just like that, the nurse was sending me back home. The feeling that you know your going to die soon, hurts, and burns. I slowly got up, feeling a rush of daze. My vision turned blurry, like it was flooded. My mom looked at me as if to say, hurry up! The look in her eye was a smirk, of rude humor. I glared at her with steam. I tried as best as I could to get up from the bed, the nurse offered to get a wheelchair, but before I could answer my mom nearly yelled no. Why would a mom want badly for her child? What did I do to deserve such a horrible feeling? We stepped into the elevator together. My mom hit the bottom floor number. My chest hurt, it was in the air flying, only I was going down. The elevator was going down, my head was, and my life was. The elevator dinged as it opened to the lobby. My mom walked up to the counter to get discharge papers, she was demanding. The poor young nurse at the desk, shook with fear as my mom told her she was stupid. I stood in the lobby, and looked around at the innocent families who were waiting to be treated. Nobody looked seriously injured. We walked out the entrance. There was no rain in the air, only pain. The sky was a dark faded blue. An ugly blue. The air was silent. It was mid afternoon. We began our walk home, only a mile away. Everyone walked everywhere. Only the city council members had cars, you could rarely spot one, driving near homes. I remember me and William saw one once, we were amazed at the speed of the unique machine. Those were the good days.
As I arrived along our long drive way, I forced my tears back, remembering William's dead body, the blood that was fresh, trickling down his head that turned his black hair, even darker. And the shot to his stomach that soaked his blue shirt. The blood was gone now; the rain must have washed it away. It helped me not think about it, like it was trying to pull the image from my head. That didn't work; it was clearly still there, in my head and in my heart. I should have been a better sister, I thought. I could have done more, been braver for him. Was I a good sister? Did I show him how much I loved him? Did I do enough for him? All these years, did I do anything for him; he was the one who was taking care of me. He did more than enough for me. He made me who I am. Nothing he could have done more. He gave me the chance to spend the fifteen years of my life with him. He gave me the happiness in life. Oh there was one thing he could have done, he could have stayed. Stayed another year, stayed another month, and stayed another day. I would have been fine with another second with him. Spend time with those you love, spend every chance you get, never forget.
When I looked up, I noticed the black car in the driveway, this was the second time I had ever seen one. Along side the car, there was a man in a suit standing by our front porch. He had black hair that was sleeked back with far too much gel. He stood tall, with wide shoulders and a serious expression. His eyes were dark and gray. His hands were folded and sat in his lap. His suit had not one wrinkle. No personality. I had never seen a city council member so close up. He was probably here to talk about William’s death. He must be an investigator; at least I wasn’t the only one that thought William was murdered. My mom pushed past me and greeted him. My mom and him began talking like they knew each other, yet I did not care why he was here, or what they were talking about. I pushed past them and opened our large, brown front door, and walked inside. There in the living room stood a boy, with black hair and the same green eyes as mine. Only they seemed darker, gray. There was no blood caked in his hair, or any gunshots to his body. Even though I could not process who I saw, I still believed it. William. Wait what? William is dead!!!!! My mom walked in with the man in the suit, still talking to each other. They were so casual, it was wrong. “Hannah this is your brother, your mom bought him earlier,” the man in the suit spoke. I did not understand one word. My brother died, was this witch craft. I was confused and baffled. “How can you buy a person?” I shot back at him. How can a person be so crazy and stupid, I thought to myself? What was going to happen, was I in danger? Smirks flew in the wind, chasing me, sweeping me off my feet.
“Well you see, there is a secret program in this city, if a loved one dies with an unknown cause, you buy a new one. See he has the same hair, voice, personality....” I cut him off, “I know how William died. He was murdered; there was a gunshot to his stomach and one to his head!!!! He was taken from me, I lost him, and you bought a new one? ” My mom looked at the floor knowing I was upset; I took another step towards her. I didn't see it coming. Her hand thrashed out in anger and hit me in the face, my face burned. She hit me so hard I fell backwards into the coffee table. I had hoped the man in the suit would help me, he didn't. He almost laughed. A dark smile spread his face. My mothers face was flushed, but she looked almost satisfied. The coffee table I grew up with was in five pieces on the ground. The table I used to color on, the one that I sat on when I was little, and the one that I ate at every night. Tears came upon my eyes, not because my face stung. My memories where within this house and she just broke one of the many happy ones. I felt alone, my mom never hit me, or any body. I still lay on the ground. I had not been watching this person they called my brother. He suddenly walked toward me, picked me up, and hugged me. Indeed William would have done that, but the hug did not feel right, his touch was cold and shaky. William was warm and strong. The man in the suit looked at me with suspicious eyes and spoke, “Hannah, do you believe this is your brother?” What was I going to say, my mom just hit me. I knew deep down every ounce of me said, no. NO my stomach screamed, I felt sick, very sick. I nodded my head yes, only because everything seemed fishy. The room was quiet, too quiet. I did not move. The man in the suit continued looking at me. It scared me, very much. The man, my mom, and my brother all seemed to have a conversation through their heads. Everyone’s eyes seemed to spark in the shadows of the room. They carried on as if I wasn’t in the room. His process carried on for seconds and then minuets. I thought of reasons this was happening. Nothing came to my mind of what it was. It certainly wasn’t a joke. Was it? I began looking at the living room, the brown rug, the black curtains and the couch. The beautiful, cozy style in the room calmed me. The smell of lemons filled my lungs, which is what our house smelt like, lemons and a faint hint of mint. All houses smelt that way. No personality. Suddenly my mom spoke, with no type of tone that would indicate how she felt, “Hannah go to your room and calm down.” Had she not felt sorry for hitting me? Did she not see the war inside of me that was fighting her?
I was scared, scared of how my mom has been acting, and of my "Brother", who was watching me closely. World War III was about to break out from the inside of me.
As soon as I got to my bedroom, I collapsed. I hit the floor. The brown carpet was near my lips. I saw my metal, fancy, queen-sized bed, out of the corner of my eye. I laid there for seconds in shock; it felt like every ounce of happiness was being sucked out of me. At last, I cried, for my brother I missed him so bad. The dread was pulling me. I had heard of deaths in our city, they did sadden me, but I did not know how it felt to lose someone, until it happened. Nobody would no how I felt. Even losing my dad wasn't as bad. There was still hope he was alive somewhere. William was nowhere. It had been twenty-one hours since he died. I was alone. Anxiety filled my heart along with dread, but as I cried, a beautiful memory flooded my head.
Summer, two years ago. William and I strolled down the street, I was sad that day. It was June 27; exactly three years ago my dad had disappeared. It was a sunny afternoon. William was trying to cheer me up, by dancing down the street and singing, some random song he made up in his head, which he was a terrible singer. I smiled anyway. Our mom had left for the day. So William decided to take me out for the day.
That day he bought me a fruit smoothie that had my most favorite fruit in the world in it. We also went to an art museum and he bought a super expensive painting of a running shadow for me. I remember that day he insisted on going square dancing in the town. I remember him spinning me around. Later that day we met up with Bishop, William’s best friend since grade school. Bishop was very handsome, with sandy blonde hair and a strong build. His personality was like Williams. William always teased me of being in love with Bishop. Every time he did, I just smiled. Bishop and I were great friends; I couldn't see me being in love with him. Or was I?
William was the kind of brother who was not embarrassed to hang out with his little sister, one who comforted me when I cried; he was one who could not be replaced by anything or anyone. Now it has been ripped out of my heart, a piece of me left with him. No puzzle can be replaced without its pieces, its nothing.
I felt foolish and ashamed of crying. I got up. I realized I wasn’t alone, I had Bishop. That’s who I needed. He would understand. I gathered myself up. The note on my dresser stopped me. William's messy handwriting filled the page. I read.
Hannah I have so much to tell you and far little time. This will come as a shock, Stanley is not our dad. Forgive me for keeping it from an angle like you. I know you will have a lot of questions for me. I will answer the ones that I know you would ask me. First off, who is Stanley? Stanley Nick Banks is a man that married mom when I was three years old. Mom thinks I think that Stanley was our dad. Are biological dad died in a tragic accident when you where three months old. Shortly after that, Stanley and mom met, and where married months later. Anyway way I’m giving you this letter? It’s because I might not live through what happens next. Mom hasn’t been herself when Stanley left. Something in her snapped and changed her for life. I can’t take the way she feels anymore. I want to fix our family, I know who broke it. In case I don’t make it, look in my closet. Never stop believing in what you believe, never stop dreaming. Remember, it’s not about winning the race; it’s about finishing the race. Take care of mom, don’t be harsh. Oh and marry Bishop someday, for me. Pass your finish line no matter how far away it seems, I mean, obviously you would never win first place, but try your best. I’m just kidding. I love you more than anything, little sis. Don’t ever forget who you are to me, and don’t forget me when I’m gone.
I read through it over and over. After that I wrote it out in my own hand writing, because William’s hand writing was too messy to read. Piece by piece I worded out his thoughts on an old piece of sketch paper, until I had what was none as a death note. The note. He knew. He knew he would die. I never got the chance to say goodbye. Again I read the letter, whispering it to myself this time.
Hannah I have so much to tell you and far little time. This will come as a shock, Stanley is not our dad. Forgive me for keeping it from you. I know you will have a lot of questions for me. I will answer the ones that I know you would ask me. First off, who is Stanley? Stanley Nick Banks is a man that married mom when I was three years old. Mom thinks I think that Stanley was our dad. Are biological dad died in a tragic accident when you where three months old. Shortly after that, Stanley and mom met, and where married months later. Anyway way I’m giving you this letter? It’s because I might not live through what happens next. Mom hasn’t been herself when Stanley left. Something in her snapped and changed her for life. I can’t take the way she feels anymore. I want to fix our family, I know who broke it. In case I don’t make it, look
in my closet. Never stop believing in what you believe, never stop dreaming. Remember, it’s not about winning the race; it’s about finishing the race. Take care of mom, don’t be harsh. Oh and marry Bishop someday, for me. Pass your finish line no matter how far away it seems, I mean, obviously you would never win first place, but try your best. I’m just kidding. I love you more than anything, little sis. Don’t ever forget who you are to me, and don’t forget me when I’m gone.
I sobbed at my brother’s words, and read them again. When I had the full thing memorized I realized something oddly strange, the phrase, ‘look in my closet.’ What did he mean about his closet? I wish I knew. I will listen to his instructions. I walked quickly to my bedroom door, opened it and quietly walked into William’s large room. It was exactly like mine, only boy colors. No personality.
I walked to the closet that was across from the bed, to the right, in the corner. I pulled up the tan shade that covered the entry way for the closet. I loved the style of the closet; it had no door, just a shade. His cloths hung up, they where in a color-coded pattern. I smiled at that. William was very organized with everything he did. The closet looked normal, nothing was out of place. It was perfect. Too perfect. I pushed his shoes out of the way and looked for clues of what William meant by, ‘look in my closet.’ I was about to leave when I caught, in the light, a tiny mistake. In the corner of the closet was a tiny tan lining. I moved all his cloths at once. The lining was a rectangle, tall up and down. I felt like I knew what to do. I pulled back the corner, it came off, easily. Behind the wall laid several boxes and pictures. I wasn’t sure what they were but, I grabbed all of it. I heard heavy footsteps coming down the hall, fast.
That feeling, knowing you were going to be caught, was nerve racking. My heart pounded into my ears, it was deafening. I crept to the door, unsteadily, and pressed my face to it. The footsteps stopped right in front of the door. I could hear their breathing. I saw the shadows of their feet. They slowly opened the door, and stared at me. The new William looked at me with strange eyes. He was flustered, guilty looking. He cleared his throat and spoke, “Oh it’s just you, go ahead you can stay in my room if you want.” I bit my lip at the fact of him saying, “My room.” It definitely wasn’t his. It was my dead brother’s room. William never let me in his room. Why was the new William acting so weird? I walked past him and slammed my bedroom door behind me as I stormed into it. I spread the pictures across my bed. There was a man in every picture, along with my mother and William. I did not recognize who the man was; I looked on the back for name/dates of when or who this man was. The photos were worn, I could tell, someone, William used to hold the pictures a lot. The writing was blurry; right, Ben Speck, July 7. Left William Speck age 3. Middle Hannah Speck, age 1 day old.
At first, I hadn’t understood who the man was, but then it hit me. It was my real dad. Before he was dead. Tears of pure joy came upon my face. All the pictures were of our family, doing things. William had kept them all these years, he hadn’t showed me. I was angry and sad at once. I missed my father, yet I didn’t even know him. I thought of what it would be like to have a dad, to see me graduate, get married, and have kids.
I heard someone by my door; I wiped away the many tears that had formed. Although I knew someone was standing at the door the knock scared me. I didn’t talk at first but when the person banged on the door a little harder, I yelled, “Come in.” It was the new William. He spoke, "Hannah I brought you your favorite fruit." He handed me a plate of sliced apples. They smelt good, and were sliced perfectly. The only thing was that my favorite fruit was pineapples, my true brother knew that.