Reacting to Loss | Teen Ink

Reacting to Loss

September 3, 2015
By ValerieL BRONZE, Unknown, Tennessee
ValerieL BRONZE, Unknown, Tennessee
4 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Never fall in love?"
"Always," said the count. "I am always in love.”
-Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

Jeremy was always prone to overhearing conversations. He didn’t mean to, at least not at first; he would just be at the right place at the right time. But eventually, he began to actively seek out conversations that he wasn’t meant to hear. That was how he came to be here, hiding between an armchair and the wall as his parents discussed something in low tones.
“I just can’t believe that the damn cat ran in front of the truck.” His mother grumbled.
“That’s what we get for letting it out.” Jeremy’s father replied in a calm, even tone. As usual, his voice held no emotion, no warmth. 
The two of them were silent for a short time; only a sparse few seconds. But to Jeremy, it seemed much longer. He was shocked, really; he sank from his hidden crouch to sit heavily on the carpet. His eyes were wide, and he let out a tiny, inaudible whimper.
His parents, unaware of the emotional turmoil boiling away just behind their worn leather armchair, continued to discuss the sad matter.
“How will we tell Jeremy?” his father asked quietly.
“Well… I guess we could just lie. Tell him that he ran away?” Jeremy heard his mother sit down on the armchair, and her weight pressed him closer to the wall. He felt a tear rolling down his cheek, but not much else; shock had made him numb.
“I guess. That would be better than the truth, wouldn’t it?”
“Yeah.” His mother stood abruptly and called out. “Jeremy? Come over here, please. There’s something your father and I need to tell you.”
They waited for a few seconds, silent and expectant as vultures. When there was no answering shout from Jeremy’s room, his father tried to call him over.
“Jeremy?” he yelled in his deep, booming voice, but even this failed to bring a response.
Jeremy, hidden and alone, could no longer hold back his tears. He sobbed loudly, and both of his parents gasped.
“Oh, no… Jeremy, honey!” His mother took a hesitant step towards him, guilt rooted deep in her voice like brambles. She held out her arms, reaching out as if to hold him.
Jeremy, however, jerked away from her imploring gesture. Barely able to see through the veil of his tears, he ran clumsily out the door.
“Wait!” his mother implored, but it was too late. The heavy door closed behind him with a slam.

The author's comments:

Prompt: A boy's cat is hit by a car. How does he react? (This was not fun to write!)

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