Yellow Grief

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 29, 2016

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Submitted: September 29, 2016

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The crunch of each leaf grew louder with each progressive step. Sunlight hugged tree trunks and wind led the waltz of the branches and leaves. The earth’s ground thinned when he proceeded into further isolation. The air was thick and warm in his lungs; a similar sensation to the warmth he felt when he sat and rested on the sandy-colored boulder between two oaks. He smiled, slowly recognizing the path to the secluded area he had previously founded. He continued walking, envying the bees that raced past him. He hoped he was traveling the right way and hoped that his eyes didn’t deceive him.

His steps slowed as his confidence withered. It wasn’t until he caught sight of the yellow lily, which seemed to grow out of nowhere, that he grew the courage the jog forward, duck under the emerald green vines, and inhabit the sudden opening in the woods. The opening was an island surrounded by trees and was very spacious when compared to the narrow, bumpy paths he used to get there.

He hovered over the small pond and observed himself; brows furrowed, eyes slightly squinted, and jaw intact. He smacked the water and his reflection dissipated. He sat on the ground with a sigh and waited for silence in his head. His thoughts seemed to echo through the branches and drowned out the sounds of wildlife surrounding him.

His sister lived in those thoughts, but she also could’ve stopped him from them as well. It wasn’t the same there without her. The ants simply marched instead of danced. Boulders and branches just rotted instead of constructing something they could climb and explore. His reflection was a painful reminder of reality instead of the image of them in a parallel universe.

She was perhaps his best friend, for he didn’t talk much, but communicated mostly through laughter. She built his confidence to dare to pretend or speak up for himself. They fought constantly; but he appreciated that he was at least worth fighting with. He was solemn and boring without her, and so were his surroundings. The only thing that emanated half as brightly as she did was the yellow lily that essentially led him there. She loved picking them because it shared her name and the color of her hair. She always left at least one so they were able to find the hidden spot again and so that she didn’t feel as if she completely robbed the woods.

He hugged his knees and sat in self-pity. As upset as he was that Lily was gone, he was also angered at the fact that she took more than herself with her. He felt all of the secrets he’d told her, all the presents given and received by each other at Christmas, memories that he will probably forget but she would remember, and homework that she would check for him, all swept from underneath him. He knows she didn’t choose to go, for it was the car that T boned his mom’s minivan that snatched her; but he couldn’t help but imagine her accepting death as just another adventure she had yet to see.

Just then, the sky began to shift into a smoky grey. He grabbed his bag, concluding that even alone and in a place that used to promote his happiness, it was both overwhelming and empty without Lily. As the flashbacks of his sister began to fade, he noticed the natural sounds of wildlife and nature fell to a deafening silence. Was there someone coming? Within seconds of his confusion, a blinding bolt of lightning struck one of the trees within his perimeter. The clap of thunder startled him so that he fell to the ground. He looked hopelessly around the suddenly unfamiliar surroundings of trees. The storm stole most of the light that filled the forest, leaving him to panic. He stumbled around, tears mixing with the rain that dripped off his face. Suddenly, he remembered a time when he showed his sister a drawing of him looking into the very pond that was now overflowing with rainwater.

“This is amazing,” she remarked in all seriousness. “See, you didn’t need my help with that, I told you. You’re capable of a lot more than you give yourself credit for,” she rolled her as at him.

He knew Lily wouldn’t want him to wallow in her absence. He knew she would want to think of the cold, ferocious storm as a mission to get out of the woods. He scanned the outskirts of the opening until he spotted the last remaining lily, weighed down by the rain. He ran over to it and removed it from the muddy ground. He took one last look around, then ran full speed down the dirt path.


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