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Goodbye, I Hope You're Not Leaving Me
The tears flow down my cheeks and drip onto a little puddle on the dirty road. All around me, people gasp and some cry like I am, but not one person dares to come to me to help. It is already too late; there is nothing that they could have done. How did this happen? Could I have done anything to stop it from happening? No. Just like all of the people that surround me and gasp in horror, there was nothing that I could have done, no matter how much I wish I could have. So, I just lean over and let the tears flow some more, until I don’t have any left. Then, I look up at my mother’s unmoving face, her green eyes, her bloody cheeks, and all of the makeup that she put on this morning, just to have her life end tragically and without warning. Eventually, the medics come running up from behind me and yank me off of her limp body to put me into the back of an ambulance, kicking and screaming, but not before I blow one last kiss to my mother, who will continue to be loved, even to her grave.
I sit there in the ambulance, now fully aware of the blood that trickles down my head and onto my lips, giving me a salty taste in my mouth. Still, I never take my eyes off of my mom, who now has a blue cloth pulled over her face, which causes the tears to come spewing back out of my eyes. It all happened so fast. Only now can I see everything, from our little white car to the green Jeep that smashed it in from the front. I can see the driver of the Jeep, too, who almost looks as if he wants to run from the scene. I can see no scratches on him, but I find myself wishing that he was hurt. I want him to feel my pain, which bubbles up in my stomach and makes me want to double over and hurl. However, I stop, knowing full well that the one thing that my mom wouldn’t want for me is hate.
The medics pick my mother up and put her in another ambulance opposite mine while the others lightly dab a soft cloth on my minor head wound. I want to see everything, because this is undoubtedly the most vital moment in my life, but I feel my eyelids start to become heavier and heavier until everything goes dark. Then, I dream of my mother and I, sitting in the kitchen, baking cookies. Flour is all over the kitchen, but we don’t seem to care. We both laugh like we’re having the best time in our lives. I lean forward and try to hug my mom, but all of the sudden she disappears. She’s gone, and I know she’s never going to come back.
I wake up in a soft bed that kind of reminds me of the one I sleep in at home, except for the dinosaur sheets that I have. I look to the right side of my bed and see my dad, who has red blotches underneath his eyes. He has been crying; who wouldn’t be? But, seeing him like this raises a feeling of anger up in me that I can’t describe, and I start to shake rapidly, almost like I’m having a seizure. I want to get up, but I didn’t know how. It was as if something was pushing me down, restricting me from leaving. So, I scream out with all of my might, which seems to scare my dad. A nurse runs over to me, holding a small needle in her hands. I scream out once again; I’m terrified of shots. Still, she sticks it in my arm and everything goes dark, almost exactly like last time.
This time, I dream of the crash. One moment, my mom and I were singing along to “Every Breath You Take” on the radio. The next second, I see the massive Jeep speed up from the front of our car. The final memory of my mom was her jumping across the two front seats and flattening herself against me, preventing any harm from coming to me.
. . .
I was five when my mom died, and I’m thirteen now. But, I still carry the dreadful memories with me wherever I go. Now, it’s just my dad and I, and he loves me twice as much as before. I stand there in the kitchen, fixated on a picture of my mom and me together, hugging. It’s the only picture of us together, so it’s the most valuable thing I own. I start to think that there’s water dripping from the ceiling, but then I realize that it’s just my tears falling onto the frame. Today is the eighth anniversary of her death, the saddest day of the year.
My thoughts are interrupted by my dad, who yells, “Come on, Michael, you’re going to be late for dinner!” I set down the picture for the first time in an hour and come running to the door. My dad always takes me out to my favorite restaurant on this day. The only thing that he doesn’t know is that mom and I were headed to the same place on the day she died. So, we both walk out to our little silver Pontiac and head off.
I try my best not to cry on the way there, but I never can. My dad can’t, either. So, he turns on the radio, and on comes my mom’s favorite song: “Every Breath You Take.”
All of the sudden, it all comes back to me. This is the exact spot that the crash happened, and the same song. “No! Turn it off!” I yell, but it was too late. My dad’s eyes widen in horror as a giant red Jeep comes swerving towards my side of the car, and finally smashes into me with a deafening crunch. I get hit in the head, and the next thing I know, our car is on the other side of the highway, and my dad is dragging me out of my seat. However, I know there is nothing that he can do. I know how he feels: incompetent, almost like he is no help to me anymore.
All around us, people gasp and cry just like my father, whose tears fall onto my chest. Yes, this is it. This is what death feels like. I feel like falling asleep, but I won’t let myself before saying, “I love you, dad.”
Then I close my eyes. But, I open them once more to see my smiling mom, as beautiful as ever, with flour all over her face and the rest of the kitchen. I lean forward and hug her, and this time she doesn’t disappear. She stays with me and says everything I’m feeling towards her with three words. “I love you.”