My friend and I love writing, and have been working on a book together for the past nine months...
Show full author's note »
The day I saw her by that old willow tree, leaning in the misty shadows, my entire life changed.
I’ve lived in the same house, with its all-too-familiar creaky shutters and brightly painted walls, since I was about two years old. I live in a town, where no one really leaves, and no one new really comes. My small town in Minnesota wasn’t exactly a hot shot city in the cooler areas of my state. If there are actually ‘cooler’ areas in my state. So when I see a strange looking girl around
my age hanging around the old willow tree I know so well in the woods, I’m intrigued and just a little bit mystified. Who is this girl? I don’t think I’ve ever seen her before. And I think I would know if there was someone new in this town.
I was on my nightly walk through the woods behind my house, listening to the gentle crooning of a wolf howling off in the distance when I first saw her. She was sitting near the little white lily’s that grow only by that tree, and she looked very strange to me. Her eyes were a cloudy blue color, with delicate lines of midnight blue snaking through them. They looked a little unfocused, as if she was blind, and she stared unblinkingly off into the distance. Her long blonde hair fell in curls down her back, and she looked lean and graceful even sitting down. She was beautiful, although in a different way than most girls looked.
She had a sad expression on her heart-shaped face, and a single tear slid down her cheek and dripped slowly off her chin into the slightly-wet grass. So strange. The tear was a delicate blue, a shade I’ve never seen before. The tear didn’t disappear into the blades of green, but instead clung to one blade slightly taller than the other, and then stayed there for a while. After about five minutes of her quiet sobbing, she took a deep breath, stopped crying, and wiped her face.
I feel an odd urge to find out why this girl was crying, to try to do anything to make her feel better, anything to help this girl that I don’t even know. I’m hiding behind a tree so she doesn’t see me, but then my foot slips, and my sneaker makes a muffled squeaking noise, and she tenses. She jumps up, with a gracefulness I’ve only seen in wolves. Huh. Weird.
“Emmaline? Are you here to torture me again? Because, let me tell you, I don’t think there is anything else you can do to make my existence worse.” She says cautiously.
I step out into the open, and she sighs.
“Oh, it’s just another human going on a walk. Don’t these people ever sleep?” she says in a slight, lilting accent that I’ve never heard before. She is talking like she doesn’t think that I can understand her. I wave my hand a little, and she freezes.
“Don’t you know I’m right here?” I tell her. Her eyes widen, their cloudy depths a mix of fear and hope.
“You can…….hear me?” she stutters.
“Um, yeah,” I say.
“And I’m guessing you can see me too, right?”
“Duh,” She looks confused.
“What does…….duh mean?” she asks, pronouncing it like ‘do’. I give her a look that probably has ‘are you from this century?’ written all over it.
“You know. It means, um, I think, obviously,” I struggle to explain the meaning of the well-known word that everybody seems to know. Well, except her.
“Oh,” she says slowly. “How is it that you can see me?”