Cherry Blossom | Teen Ink

Cherry Blossom

March 11, 2019
By audrayy, Pueblo West, Colorado
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audrayy, Pueblo West, Colorado
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Author's note:

I wrote this short story for a grade in my language arts class. I recieved an A, and was pretty proud. However, my family has supported me enough to give me the courage to post the story. I am an eighth grader, and can only hope that not only people actually read it, but also enjoy it. This piece hits some people hard because of the harsh reality it contains. I also want to bring awareness to the topics of this piece. Do not hesitate to get help for issues that you are fighting. You do not have to be alone. I hope you enjoy Cherry Blossom. 

I hear a thundering crash my soft hazel doe eyes close forcefully. I hear shouting, and begin to open my mouth to catch my breath. When I try to inhale, the air gets heavy on my chest.

“Good morning Alex.” My mom gently opens my bedroom door and brushes against my pale arm.

Sitting up and rubbing my crust filled eyes I mumble back “Morning.”

I rolled out of my grey sheets jamming my fuzzy slippers on and making my way to the bathroom across the hall next to my sister Lana’s room. Swinging Lana’s door open, I leap into her warm bed next to her. My short messy golden hair covers her face. Lana jumps up and shoves me to the floor before her long dark hair falls over her face.

“Time for school!” I shout racing to the bathroom to get ready.

“You always do that” she replied angrily, “ I never even get a chance.”

After getting ready we sat to eat breakfast.

“How did everyone sleep?” our dad walks in with a big goofy smirk and shaving cream covering his chin.

Our mom follows slipping her sleek black heels on chuckling, “surprisingly well with your snoring”.

Letting out a bellowing laugh my dad turns to wipe his face off.

My mother’s vibrant blue eyes follow my sister’s. Lana stares back to her full bowl of cereal, and pushes it away from herself.

“Not hungry?” Mom asks.

Smiling, Lana bounces up, “Not really. Are we ever going to leave?”

“Any moment now.” My mom said staring me down.

Stuffing my face with the last of my Lucky Charms, I run to my shoes. Putting on those black high top vans was a struggle, but someday it will get easier.

Getting into the car, we drop Lana off at Bohemia Middle.

“I love you guys!” she says closing the door. She walked to a large group of her friends waving.

We headed to my high school. Before I reach for the door, my mom grabbed my arm. “Do you know what is wrong with Lana?” she asks letting go of her strong grasp. “She has been acting strange for the past few weeks, not like herself.”

“I don’t know. I’ll ask her when I get back home after school.” I reply, “Bye. I love you!” I yell as I run to the front doors before they close.

As I walk in, David, my best friend, approaches me. “Howdy,” he blurts out in a rotten country accent.“How is this lovely lady doing on this fine fall morning?”

I giggled mockingly. “I’m doing fine as a peach in the summer heat”.

We seem to be a weird pair, but I have known him since second grade. He has grown so much. I was once taller than him. However my short body just stopped growing while he skyrocketed. We are juniors now, so it has been a long time to get the awkwardness out of the way.

Throughout the day I go to my classes, where I can only hope the other kids enjoy my competitive high spirit. As class president it is my duty to include and make everyone’s day better. I take pride in that because a smile and kind words never hurt any one. After School I was free to go back home, but David took me out to grab a bite. I knew I was leaving Lana home alone, but I planned to take her back dinner.

“How is Lana?” David caringly asked.

My small mouth full with my chicken, I mumbled, “Her same old self, just as always.”

Wiping my mouth with a dirty crumpled napkin, and a finished meal, I ordered a chicken sandwich for Lana and started back to the car. I knew this was her favorite meal when we would always go with my older brother.

David dropped me off at home, and I jingled my silver keys at the door until it opened. Throwing my blue polka dotted bag to the side of the wall I hollered out to Lana, “I’m sorry I wasn’t here earlier. We stopped to eat, I brought you a sandwich! I know you love them.”

Expecting to hear her light footsteps echo down the stairs I was surprised when I didn’t. I walked up the stairs still carrying her food.

“It’s going to get cold!” I said shaking the paper bag.

I went to her room where I assumed she would be with earbuds in and homework spread over her bed.

“Stop playing. I said I was sorry.” I said hoping for a snarky comeback.

Taking notice she wasn’t there, I went to the bathroom, the door was cracked open. I peered my head in to find her laying on the ground.

“What are you doing laying on this floor? I said resting her food on the countertop.

Nervously I looked around seeing spilled pill bottles. I choked up and touched Lana’s cold shoulder. I shook her and turned her over. Tears began to well in my eyes. Now running and scrambling for my phone, I call the police. With Lana in my lap, tears fall like water staining my yellow blouse. Minutes later I hear blaring sirens outside of my house, cradling Lana, tears streaming from my eyes. I hear my mom racing up the stairs and falls to her knees at the top as the paramedics follow. They take Lana from my sleeping arms. I quickly make my way down the stairs step by step following the man carrying my sister. The neon red and blue flashes of light reflects off the windows when I arrive outside. I see our neighbors crowding around whispering about. Zipping up the small white body bag, a woman brushes her fingers across Lana’s eyes closing them. I see my sister’s eyes open for the last time.

Sleep is foreign. My mom and dad don’t blink, and I listen to the endless argument for hours on end. I haven’t gone to school for four days now. David tried visiting, but knew I didn’t want to speak. Our older brother Ridley came back home from California to be together at least until the funeral. I lay where I used to next to Lana in her pink bed. The room is cold and haunting. When I look into the mirror I see my once lively hazel eyes have turned to grey like a stormy day. Seems to be how my heart has turned, warm and alive with spirit too cold and breakable like glass.

The day of Lana’s funeral where friends and family come to honor Lana one last time. Gloomy, but the sky vibrant baby blue with not one cloud in the sky. The sun shine on a dark event glaring on the black short coffin of the poor forgotten thirteen year old girl. Whose future bright just not fulfilled. As we lower her casket into the ground the silent cries of a thousand autumn trees dropping their once green living leaves to the ground. I feel the last of my tears fall, and reach the yellow turned grass.

My first night of sleep I had gotten in a long while was strange. For the next morning, I did not wake my sister, I ate alone. Running back to the bathroom next to Lana’s old room. I almost open her door before my dad pokes his now shaggy head around the corner.

“What are you doing?” He camly takes my hand. “That’s Lana’s room.”

Letting go of the handle I force a smile, and continue walking down the hall. We keep her room untouched as if she will be coming back. Our house is silent in the mornings now. After Lana’s death my parents have lost it all.

I went to school for the first time in two weeks where I knew everyone was talking about me. I still try to keep a smile when someone apologizes for my loss.

Amy, my vice president, gave me a light hug as she says, “How are you Alex? Don’t worry everyone has been there, you will be back to normal soon.”

Angered by a comment coming from someone who has never felt pain, I silently walked myself to the bathroom. Girls who were whispering caught sight of me, and quietly turned away from me while leaving. I looked into the mirror, I just didn’t see myself. I saw a girl that looked like me, but her smile was fake and her eyes empty. David met me outside of the school main door.

“Do you mind driving me home?” I asked David.

He looked at my eyes softly, and his tall self leaned over to give me a hug, “Of course.”

I wanted to cry because school was hard with such a heavy conscious. I felt tears begin to well. I took a quick breath, and hugged back tighter. My heart hurt hard inside.

David dropped me off at my house that no longer felt like a home.The large house was empty and cold. My tall boots did not keep me warm, my bright floral dress felt like a lie.

I dropped like a rag against the mirror near the front door. Crying loud and ugly, no one could hear my sobs. After the amount of time it had been since my little sister’s passing it still felt like yesterday. Thinking about it made my stomach turn, and I could see the red and white lights flash through my window.

My parents were home shortly after me. Each coming in giving me a hug and asking about my day. That night I snuggled with my mom while the news played. We were to be expecting a minor earthquake on Friday. I didn't think much of it because Minnesota was prone to them. I fell asleep in her arms.

Thursday morning was a dread. My first hour classes do not seem as fun, but  they were getting better than before. My teachers have stopped tip-toeing around me as well as some other people in my school.    Still I felt unbalanced. Why did the evil seem to be lurking? I thought to myself while trying to see over hundreds of tall high schoolers’ heads. My short body could never jump high enough to find David. So I moved to the side, and waited for him to find me, and take me home.

While we were in the car David played the radio softly, outside almost hit below freezing. My teeth chattered and my braces made a funny noise.

“You are so brave.” David said to break the silence, “Think about it.”

Looking confused, I turned to him. “I am not brave. I am living. It is nothing I am proud of, but I am living. That is all.”

After another moment of stillness, I looked out to the cloudy sky covering the sun. ”I’m sorry.” I said stiffly, “I did not mean to be so cold and rude.”

“It is okay, Alex. I know that you have been taking this hard. You told me you felt as if it were your fault? Lana took her life, and you think it was solely of your doing?” David began to rant, “You are brave because you could have chosen the easy way out like what Lana thought was the only option. You may just be ‘“living,”’ but you are living and that is all that counts.”

My soft voice began to crack. “I am sorry.” The cracking lead to silent tears. “I am an awful person, all I have been doing is pitying myself. I have not thought one bit of how anyone else was feeling”

As the salty tears rolled down my rosy cheeks, we pulled up to my house. David gave me a tight hug.

“You aren’t a bad person. You are human.” He whispered into my pink ears.

Pulling away, I shut the maroon car door, and quickly made my way to the house. I pet our cat Smelly on the head while I lay on the couch. His long blonde fur covers my green sweater. I hear my dad’s heavy footsteps coming down the stairs.

“Hey kiddo!” He says cheerfully, “How was school?”

Looking back at his freshly shaven head, I feel myself lighten up.

Almost making the cat fly, I bounced up. “You shaved!”

My dad hasn’t shaved since Lana’s passing almost a month ago now. He looks like a whole new man.

“I am aware.” He says amused by my excitement.

I bounded toward him giving him a warm hug. I almost cried again. Seeing him invoke a change gave me hope that I was getting better as well. That night, my mom, dad, and I were all able to sit and eat a regular meal together, almost as as sign from God that it was ok to start to move on.

The next week almost flew by until Thursday. We were to stay home from school for an earthquake warning. My parents still went to work, but I did intend on staying home even if I was alone. I went to the basement with some simple survival equipment like water and food. My mom called to let me know  that her and my dad were not able to make it home, but that they would be safe. Naturally I called David to make sure he was safe and sound which he turned out to be. Sitting in the dark, I dozed off. I awoke about a half hour later to the rumbling noises that told me the earthquake began. Grasping my fluffy pillow, I was scared for my life like any other sixteen year old girl would be alone in her cold dark basement. I tried to call my mom and dad, but the cell towers must have fallen. I could hear all of our belongings crash upstairs, and see dust and even some floorboards falling near where I was resting. Standing to get away from the lung filling filth, I heard my home groan. I reached for a support beam when it came crashing down onto me. With splinters in my stomach I could feel my warm blood drizzling down to the floor. Trying to take a deep breath my chest feels tight. The rest of my house comes crashing down onto my now lifeless body.

With a flash before my eyes, I see my life. My first birthday, my sister’s birth, my sister’s death. Not even a house could withstand such sorrow. Like me this house has fallen. Taken its last breath. Maybe now I would see my sister again, and we could live together in our home. I yearn to see her again in a better place where the young can live forever without pain and watch the rest of our family and friends grow. They will grow without us, but they will grow like a flowering cherry tree in the warm days of spring.

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This book has 2 comments.

mkazmierski said...
on Mar. 27 2019 at 11:40 am
mkazmierski, Reno, Nevada
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Easy to read and very relevant subject. The writer does a great job of drawing the reader in and making them feel the loss in the story.

gyocum said...
on Mar. 27 2019 at 12:02 am
gyocum, Pueblo, Colorado
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
A gripping story that shows the other side of suicide.