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The Forgotten Stories
Standing over my own grave makes me feel at ease. I brought my friends to the cemetery, but they are mingling far enough away that they will not disturb me. A draft of wind thrusts the beautiful smell of flowers under my nose. Nearly a second later, my cell phone begins to ring, but I ignore it. All I want is stand over my own grave in peace.
The tombstone’s inscription reads my name. Beautiful flowers outline the perimeter and a simple quote is burned into the center. Underneath, my date of birth—January 5, 1995—rests next to me date of death—January 5, 2013. I died on the exact day that I turned eighteen.
However, I am now twenty-five; too old to be a college kid and too young to be in my athletic prime. I died seven years ago, yet I am still standing over my own grave.
My cell phone rings again, but again I ignore it. “Please leave me alone,” I think to myself. “I just want to stand over my own grave in peace.”
Soon enough, the peace is disturbed as my friends begin calling for me. “Come on!” they say. “We have to leave!”
I sigh. Must my life and death be like this? As I lay a flower over my own grave, I cannot help but wonder if death can be a truly beautiful thing.
Now I must return to life; responsibility, work, and chaos. As I begin to walk away from my own grave, my cell phone rings again. I finally answer it.
I always wanted to put the golden star on top of the tree during Christmas. But I’m only ten years old and I’ve always been too short to reach the top. Even if I’d stand on a chair, I’d still be too short. The only way I could reach it was if Dad would put me on his shoulders and lift me up. But since we usually put up the star during our Christmas party with all of our relatives, Dad usually lets one of the older kids put the star on top. That’s how it is on an average Christmas.
But last Christmas was not average. A lot of things were different, like how I had a plan to put the star on top of the tree all by myself. My plan was like this; first, I would take a glass ornament off the tree and start playing with it. When Dad would tell me to put it down, I would drop it on the ground and watch it break all over the floor. Dad would have to clean it up. When he would bend over to sweep it, I would grab the star, jump off of Dad’s back, and slam dunk it onto the tree like Michael Jordan. Okay, the plan was a little far-fetched, but I thought it would work.
I had a plan for Christmas, but apparently my parents didn’t. They didn’t have jobs. They called it “unemploide” or something like that. I don’t know how to spell that, but I do know that it made Mom sad. So I’d tell her that Christmas is supposed to be a happy time. Then she’d smile and say, “Sam, I know, you’re right.” And then she’d say that I might not get many presents from Santa Clause that year. So I’d say that’s all right, Christmas is about family, not presents. Then Mom would smile real big.
Then, before the party, I was talking to my friend Austin. He lives on my street and we hang out everyday. We know all of each others’ secrets, like how he picks his nose when nobody is looking. He told me not to tell anybody about that, so I don’t.
Anyways, Austin’s mom was unemploide too. And she was divorced. So she told Austin that Santa wasn’t real. But I told Austin that he was. I could tell that Austin was confused and sad. But I know how to make him smile. First, I told him that Christmas is about family, not presents. Then I told him about my plan to slam dunk the star and that made him smile real big, and we started talking about the cool Transformers toy that we both wanted.
Finally, it was time for the Christmas party. Dad told me to stand by the door and greet everybody, so I did. I even said hello to a homeless man because Dad told me to greet everybody, not just the people who were coming to the party. But I greeted them too. Aunt Beth and Uncle Andrew, John, Rebecca, and everybody else that showed up. They all brought lots of presents, and I noticed how excited Austin looked as he was looking at them.
Later, Mom and Dad made everybody go downstairs because they thought they saw Santa outside. Sure enough, as soon as everybody was downstairs, I heard some jingly bells and boots as Santa walked across the floor right above us. Then he laughed and shook the whole house.
After Santa left, everybody was allowed to come back upstairs. There were even more presents under the tree! All of the kids sat in a circle while the parents gave out the presents in what they called an “organeyesd fashin.” But really, it was chaos. Kids were yelling and parents were laughing. Only the really good kids like me and Austin stayed sitting the entire time. Everybody else just wanted their presents.
Mom was right. Santa didn’t give me as many presents. Mainly boring stuff, like clothes and underwear. But I did get the cool Transformers toy that I wanted. I was excited.
However, when I opened that present, I looked over at Austin. His eyes opened wide, but then he closed them and looked away from me. I felt real bad. I felt bad because I realized that Austin didn’t get any presents at all. And here I was with a cool toy that he wanted most.
I looked at the action figure and got excited. Then I looked at Austin and got sad. Then the action figure. Then Austin. And then I stood up and walked over to him with the action figure in my hand. He still wasn’t looking at me, but everybody else was.
Once I got to him, I held out the toy and told him to please take it. But he shook his head and said that he didn’t want it. So I said that if he took it, he could help me with my plan to put the star on top of the tree. After he shook his head again, I said that Christmas is about family, and families give presents to each other. But he said that I wasn’t his family, I was his friend. And I said I know because only friends tell each other that they secretly pick their nose. Then everybody started laughing.
After everybody stopped, Austin smiled and took the present. I could tell that he wanted to hug me, but he didn’t because he once said that men don’t hug each other. But I could still feel his heart hugging mine, and that made me feel real good.
Suddenly, it was time for somebody to put the star on the tree. I decided that my plan was too outrageous, so I decided not to do it. In fact, I didn’t even care about the star anymore.
But it didn’t matter what I cared about. Everybody sat down again except for Dad. He stood by the tree and cleared his throat. After a long while, he said that usually one of the older kids gets to put the star on top of the tree, but this time will be different.
He said that this is a special Christmas and somebody did something very special and showed all of the older people that Christmas is supposed to be a happy time, not a time for complaining about being unemploide. Then he looked at me and called my name. He said that I should put the star on the tree. So, I walked up to him and climbed on his back so he could give me a boost. I put the star on top of the tree and everybody started to clap, even Austin.
I still don’t know what they were clapping about. Putting the star on top of the tree wasn’t as awesome as I thought it was going to be. It really wasn’t something to clap about. Oh, well. I guess I missed something. I hope it will come again this Christmas so I can clap for it too. But, then again, I jus enjoy spending Christmas with my family.
To be honest, I’m tired of writing fiction. I’m tired of all the drafts and scratch-outs and wasted ink. I waste that ink for nothing. Not too many people read the stories that I post on this site. They should.
I love my stories. A typical author would say that he writes for the love of writing. But I say this; why should I write if nobody is going to read it? What is the point? Why should I fill my stories with symbolism and themes, whether they are religious, punk, happy, or sad themes? Why should I write about themes if nobody will take the time to get anything from them?
I guess I have to write my own themes in real life through my actions. That’s why I decided to post this story on here. Maybe, just maybe, somebody will find this article and read it. Maybe they’ll hear my story without a title and appreciate it. Maybe they’ll pick up the moral, if there is any, and take a stand. Maybe, just maybe, I can make a difference in somebody’s life.
Or maybe, this article is just a hard confession. You see, my parents know nothing about this story that I am about to tell you. It is something that truly happened, but I am too ignorant (or possibly scared) to tell them, or anyone else for that matter. Maybe, if this article becomes popular enough, they’ll read it and ask me questions and I’ll have to tell them the story from my own mouth, not from the computer.
You see, when I was little, there was a kid that lived down the street. He still does live down the street. We were best friends. We hung out all day, every day. But things got in the way and our friendship was broken up. We still see each other at school, still talk a bit, but nothing much more. He used to be a loud mouth around me. Always saying random stuff to me, trying to impress his friends. I thought it was all fun and games.
But this past year, I found out that he does drugs. Serious drugs. And alcohol. And other stuff, if you know what I mean. Brags about it at school, acting like he’s so cool. Although, I’m conditioned to it. There are a lot of low-lives that brag about that kind of stuff at school. I just sit back and watch. It truly does bother me, it’s just that I’m too…..I don’t know…..scared, ignorant, lazy…… to openly say anything about it unless they directly ask me about it. Then I’ll stand up.
I’m sixteen and have never smoked. Never will. I’ve never drank except for a sip of wine every week at Mass. Kids at school know that I’m clean. Sure, I get made fun of by the low-lives, but I can handle it. I know that it is the right thing to do. I just hope that one day, they’ll grow up and realize that I’m doing the right thing and appreciate me for it.
Anyways, back to the real story. Hot Shot, thinks he’s cool, brags about his illegal activities. He knows that I know about his dealings. Well, one day during this past summer, my friend and I were hanging out on my porch. Talking, joking, whatever. Hot Shot walks over here and asks to talk to my friend privately. They walk away and start whispering. I thought nothing of it. He flashes some money. I thought Hot Shot was trying to buy something from him, maybe some video games.
My friend went inside and Hot Shot waited around in my yard. My friend came back out and said that he couldn’t do it. Couldn’t do it? What was he talking about? Hot Shot looked agitated and then asked to talk to me. So I talked to him.
I walked over.
“Dude, I need you to pee in a bag so I can pass a drug test for football. My parents are suspicious of me. My mom will be home any minute now to take me to the doctor. Can you pee for me?”
What? Sorry, I did not register. Too much info, never been asked that before. Football is his life. He loves to play football. But he also loves drugs. Should I give him another shot?
“I promise I’ll never take drugs again. I already stopped smoking. Please?”
I hardly believed his statement, but I felt sorry for him. Should I give him one more chance? It would be my one chance to be cool, to make a new friend, to get anything I want in school, maybe blackmail him……
The thought passed my mind. But I could not go against my morals. My Catholic morals that I have been raised with since I was born. Should I give in to him or make a stand?
Sheepishly, I said, “I don’t know.”
No answer, just a general statement. I couldn’t think straight.
“Come on, please? My mom’s coming home. I need to pass this. It’s football, it’s my life. I’ll pay you ten bucks.”
He flashes me a bill. A stronger notion to give in to him crossed my mind.
“Come on, you’ll eventually have to pee. Can you just do it for me?”
Finally, “Sorry, I can’t.”
“It’s just….I don’t know, it’s just…just not right.”
A couple minutes of bickering later, he finally went home, scared to death and extremely mad at me. I spent the rest of the day thinking over my decision to turn him down. Ten bucks is a serious offer for taking a simple pee. But I couldn’t. Neither could my friend, he just didn’t want to be straightforward about it to Hot Shot. He wanted to give Hot Shot a bit of sarcasm and false security.
Anyways, I later found out that he got someone else to do it for him. Wow. What an idiot.
I never told my parents or anyone else. Just me and my friend. We both know that it is wrong to help an addict pass a test. We could have been busted. The cons outweighed the pros. We know that we did the right thing, it’s just too complicated to explain the conflict that was raging in our minds.
But, it still is something to think about. What if I would’ve given in? Would I be “cool?” What if I got busted? Would I be expelled from school? What would my parents think of me? How would I live with the embarrassment? Or what if I did blackmail him?
All of these questions and many others still cross my mind today, a few months later. Hot Shot still does drugs. He hasn’t made any big changes. But I have noticed one thing. Ever since I turned him down, he has been quieter around me. More conserved, more watchful. I wonder, does he respect me more because of my decision? Does he honestly, deep down inside, respect me because I turned him down?
I can only hope that he does. I still feel good about my decision today, maybe more so. I am respected because I turned down someone who needed me to pass a drug test for him. I am respected. That is a million times better than being “cool.”
But, I am still too scared to make a huge stand. I’m too afraid to stand up to these low-lives, too afraid to rat them out. I could. But I can’t. There are way too many drug addicts out there. I’m outnumbered, I’m afraid of the immediate consequences.
Geez, I would be a bad war general. I’m afraid to fight the good fight. I’ll never win. Too many drug addicts. The fight would never end. That’s why I named this article why I did. I can’t create a title until I finish the story. But the story will never end. There will always be drugs, alcohol, sex, bad people. Odds are, there will never be peace. But we can still try to beat those odds.
Like I said earlier in this story, I don’t know if there is a moral. Stories don’t need morals. They need motivation. Or do they? I was motivated to pee in a bag for ten dollars, but I still didn’t do it. Maybe motivation isn’t the answer. Morals just tell you something, they don’t make you do anything. I need this story to have something else. That something else lies inside of YOU, the reader. Do you have the will power to stand up? Can you beat the bad motivations and keep the good ones? Do you know the moral? Will you fight with me?
You see, I will be the general if need be. I just need an army to fight alongside me. I need people to speak up to me so that I can speak up to the drug addicts. I need you guys that are reading this. If you honestly, truly want to fight the good fight, then please, comment and tell me to stand up. Maybe, just maybe, we can win a few battles, just like I did on that warm summer day when me and my friend were just hanging out.
Oh yeah, another thing. Don't criticize my spelling and grammar. Frankly, I don't care if my grammar is bad. I don't care that I didn't indent my paragraphs. I don't care that I misspelled some words. I wrote this article in a hour at most. It's not meant to be perfect. It's meant to tell a story. I wrote it from the heart. I love writing, I still will write, even if people don't read it. I am a typical author that is trying to make a stand.
I wake up in the comfort of a soft bed, refreshed from a night of fairy-tale dreams that only my imagination could concoct. The sweet-sounding song of a bird harmonizes with the ticklish rays of sun that have penetrated the blockade of threes and invaded my room. I wake up to a beautiful summer morning.
As I lay still in my bed, I ask myself, "What shall I do today? The construction men will surely kick me out of the house so they can repair the roof. So, what shall I do today? It would be a waste to squander the day."
I glance at a pile of junk in the corner of the room. A cardboard box and a piece of wood lie there, coming from the roof repair.
I sigh, "What shall I do today?"
The song of the bird stops as my careless eyes hazily wander around the room. They stop on a dancing shadow that is illuminated by the invading rays of sun. I watch as a great story unfolds on the wall across from me.
A brave soldier, armed shield and sword, rises from the cluster of shadowy warriors and raises his weapon. With silent execution, he swiftly beheads every member of the surrounding crowd, leaving a giant pile of bodies on the ground.
The breeze hits my hair and the giant mass becomes a large dragon who is hungry for the soldier. A harsh battle ensues. The dragon is victorious and triumphs over the fallen executioner.
The executioner and the dragon transform with the blowing trees. The soldier becomes a bird and the dragon a snake. The wall becomes a giant field upon which the shadows play a game of Hunter and Prey. The bird catches the snake in its beak and deliberately turns to face me.
Another gust of wind changes the animals into an elderly man with a viper-like mustache. His lips open and close with the wind. A silent voice, only as loud as I wanted it to be, fills the room with incomprehensible words.
I become Simon and fall into the shadow of the Lord of the Flies. I whisper to it, "What shall I do today?"
The head speaks once more, but all I hear is the wind. Suddenly, the man and his mustache become the soldier and his sword once again.
The soldier, with a glint in his eye, faces me and raises his weapon. We stare each other down for a brief moment. Suddenly, a gust of wind fills the room and the soldier thrusts his sword towards my neck and I snap awake. The shadow disappears.
I stare at where the shadow was dancing just a moment ago. Suddenly, I know what I am going to do today.
I walk over to the wood and cardboard. I pick them up as the shield and sword. I know what I'm going to do today. I am going to be a soldier, a dragon, a Hunter and his Prey, the Lord of the Flies, and anything else my imagination will take me.
Yeah, texting is the "cool" thing that nobody can live without, right? Have to Tweet so you freinds know exactly how long you brushed your teeth? Well, that is certainly what the majority of modern teens (and some "kidults") certainly think. Well, I am going to go out on a limb and be the outcast of that group. I am officially pronouncing modern communication as overrated. I mean, yes, I do admittedly have a phone myself, but it is a pay as you go and I hardly ever use it. I send about one text every three days. But, that is nothing compared to the things that modern society has done nowdays.
Social networking is the face of "cool", tring to have freinds that you have never met before from across the world. People advertise social networking as the new way to communicate with others across the world. Yes, I have been caught up in the fascination of having a ton of freinds from all over the place. It makes me feel cool. But, if I think about it, it is not necessary to have all of those freinds. I don't have a MySpace or Facebook, but I do have a Gaia. Yes, I do have 60 freinds. But really, I only "hang out" with 5 or so through Gaia. And I do consider them real freinds. I know it is not necessary for me to have the other 55 or so "freinds" on my account. At least that is not as bad as some other people.
Aslo, cell phones are very ironic. They are advertised as a new way to communicate to people. But, I have been on the low end of the "communication" before. I have been carrying a face to face converstaion with someone, but then all of the sudden they whip out there phone and start texting. Yeah, awkward silence right there. Real communication goes right out the window as soon as the phone vibrates. Real communication is substituted for virtual communication. Just my opinion, though.
Also, phones are way too expensive. The phones themselves cost up to a few hundred dollars. Andthe plans are ridiculous. Whoever invented the idea of a phone plan must be rich, because those things are money eaters. There is a song by one of my all time favorite bands, Relient K, called "Maintain Conciousness". There is a line in it: We just want more and more and more, until it is all we can afford. Well, that would fit perfectly with some of these phone plans.
Also, phones do cause safety problems as it has been proven. We all know them, so I will not reiterate them here. I fully support Oprah's no phone zone, and would take the pledge myself if I was on her show.
Now, I know I really did not have a style in this opinion, but I just wanted to get my point across and make a statement. I must have sounded like a was rambling on, but this is my opinion and I fully support it. I know some people will disagree with me, but I like being the outcast rebel who makes his opinion known. Now, I hope others will agree with me. Maybe, if we stand, we will create the next trend.