Dear Clive Weston | Teen Ink

Dear Clive Weston

May 2, 2021
By ashlyn_ng22 BRONZE, Vancouver, Columbia
ashlyn_ng22 BRONZE, Vancouver, Columbia
1 article 0 photos 0 comments


in memory of Clive Weston


My eyes fluttered open as a soft ray of warm morning light fell onto my face from my bedroom window. Sunlight reflected off the walls like an echo, until the entire room was decorated with a golden glint which warmed my heart. Outside, clouds danced above trees where birds perched to sing a sweet melody. I couldn’t help but smile as the world around me emerged so gracefully from its slumber. 


I strolled contentedly into school and bade my friends good morning with a bright smile, as they did to me. Laughter filled the halls around us as students closed their lockers and headed to class. Though we were within the school’s cold, stone, grey walls which so closely resembled a prison, the rising sun seemed to radiate from our souls into the building and give it life.  After all, it was a Friday in which spring had finally unveiled itself.  I walked into class with a skip in my step, and settled into my seat. The familiar tick tock sounded above my head as the seconds paced on the clock. It was five minutes to nine when our teacher closed the door in silence. 


She walked hesitantly to the front of the classroom, her footsteps slow and heavy. Everybody’s gaze fell upon her somber expression. We looked around at one another, perplexed and sensing an ominous but almost humorous undertone. She placed her hands on the sides of her pedestal, and glanced up at us with eyes that betrayed her grief. And that is when she told us about you. 


I could not process it. I could not understand how you just stopped living. You were beside me two days ago in the hallway, and now you’re no longer here? It didn’t make any sense. Fog clouded my mind and soon everything became surreal. The warmth in my heart turned cold and all the sunshine of the morning was vanquished by the darkness of the previous night. One of my friends let out a loud gasp which pierced my heart-- a gasp laden with a hundred words so desperate to escape that one can only manage a meaningless breath through parted lips. 


The grief-stricken faces around me searched for answers, but none could be found. A chill snaked up my spine when our teacher talked about you in the past tense, as though a cool blade had been pressed to my back. I closed my eyes in memory of you, embracing the shivers dancing down my arms. Someone in the room started to sob hard and loudly. I flinched at each of her shaky breaths, and squeezed my eyes shut a little tighter. I heard the frantic fumbling of the doorknob and then the door being briskly pushed open. My jaw clenched at the sound of sneakers pounding against the newly waxed floors as the sobbing got fainter and fainter. When I opened my eyes, there was an empty seat in the classroom. 


Our teacher retreated from the front of the class and slid into her chair behind her desk. No one stirred. I stared at the passing seconds on the clock blankly, my thoughts unfocused and scattered. Even though this moment seemed frozen in time, the clock kept ticking, pressing forward.  All I could think of was how you weren’t living through these seconds too. 


The rest of the day was a blur. Our teachers gave us time to collect our thoughts and to process the passing of our classmate. Of course, no one really could. Some people cried- some a few tears, some an uncontrollable bawl. Others sat in a group in silence but grateful to be in the company of their friends. Some sympathized at your empty chair in class and wondered if they had told you how much you meant to them. Still everyone carried on the best they could. Perhaps you weren’t the most popular kid in school, or the captain of the football team or the smartest student we had ever met. Perhaps you were a quiet kid, a diver, and a young, struggling scholar. It didn’t matter. You were one of us, and one loss in a family is worse than that of a hundred strangers. 


By the end of the day, everybody was emotionally drained. My shoulder was damp with the tears of others who had leaned on it for support. I pushed my earbuds far into my ears and turned the volume a little higher than usual and got onto my bus. I stared out the window and at the people who would never smile at the unbound kindness held in your ocean-blue eyes. I looked at the grass that you would never walk on, and at the trees whose oxygen would never fill your breaths. I watched as the rest of the world carried on, completely oblivious to the fact that it had lost a beautiful soul. 


In my daze, I had forgotten to get off the bus at the stop near my home. Coming to my senses, I quickly got off the bus and found myself on the top of a hill overlooking a brilliant sunset. The sky was stained a deep fiery orange behind a series of pink-tinted clouds. Tall buildings that shot up into the sky were buried in the same golden glint of the morning. I sat on a nearby park bench and watched as the sun lowered, the fiery orange sky being slowly suppressed by the cool indigo of the night. And even with this surreal beauty reflecting in my eyes, the gentle music in my ears, and the soft spring breeze on my skin, I felt only guilt in my heart. Guilt because I was going to see sunsets you will never see or feel the warmth of, hear songs you will never dance to, and feel the winds that will never graze your face. Guilt, because I was living in the moments that you were not. 


And it is from the deepest part of my heart that I hope wherever you are now, you have found the peace and comfort that had so cruelly eluded you during your short stay here on earth with us. 

The author's comments:

In memory of my sweet classmate Clive Weston, who passed away when he was only 15 years old. His death has been overshadowed by the pandemic and his family and friends are devastated by the lack of recognition in his honour. I hope this piece of writing is something. His parents endorse my submission. 

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This article has 1 comment.

on May. 11 at 7:37 pm
Lydiaq PLATINUM, Somonauk, Illinois
43 articles 12 photos 264 comments

Favorite Quote:
Normal people don't know what they're missing.

This is incredible! Heartbreaking isn't enough to describe the texture and quality of this warm and sensitive pierce. It is unbelievable. I am sincerely grieved by reading this. How has nobody seen this piece yet? This should be in the magazine. I love this piece.