Remembering Regina

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a short story about a boy who learns to deal with his grief and problems in life. Let me know if you have any suggestions for this piece! It is kind of long, but I know you will really enjoy it! It is really just a first draft.

Submitted: February 18, 2015

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 18, 2015

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A A A


Your sister is dead.

 

Regina is gone.

 

She was thrown from the car.

 

It was an accident.

 

Those were the words that haunted my mind as I walked the city sidewalk. They rattled the inside of my skull, throwing themselves into bone time and time again, bouncing around as they did every day. Each time one surfaced, it sent a new jolt of grievous pain through me, causing my hands to shake slightly and my mind to grasp pictures I did not want to see.

 

Dead. Accident. Gone.

 

A harsh wind blew threw my coat, heading straight for my scrawny limbs. I shivered, clutching my parka tighter as more snow blew down from the bleak Chicago sky. I shifted my backpack across my shoulder, daring to take a peek at the dark clouds that loomed above. This blizzard wasn't going to end soon, and I was barely halfway home from school.

 

Home.

 

Another bad word.  This one sent a bitter taste through my mouth. This one was a place, a place where parents screamed and fought, and where everywhere you looked there was a reminder that someone or something was missing.  I sighed.

 

Your sister is not coming back.

 

I can still picture her beautiful face even now, a year later.  Even now, miles from her grave in California, where she rests silently under a yawning willow tree. Her wavy blonde hair, sparkling blue eyes, lips that were always tugged into a smile.

 

That was a funny one.

 

And her voice. Her wonderful, amazing voice. A voice that was dappled with sunshine, and sprinkled with stars. A voice that no one could outshine, not even angels. A voice that when combined with her laugh, could melt even the coldest of hearts.

 

Her laugh.

 

A warm, tinkly sound. One that I heard often. A sound she gave to me more than any other.

 

It’s okay, little brother.

 

I shook my head, trying to clear the memories. I was getting nowhere. The snow stung my nose, and my nostrils began to freeze. I glanced up the street, looking for the street sign that was mostly covered in snow. I still wasn’t used to the way home from school, even though we had been here for nearly six months. Wasn’t used to the way home, the city, anything anymore.

 

I won’t let anybody ever take us away.

 

Out of the corner of my left eye, A white truck appeared from nowhere, blending in with the white snow.  It barreled around a corner, coming straight down the street I was walking beside. It was streaked with dirt, and immediately I recognized it. Fear coursed through my chest.

 

Don’t be afraid, little bro.

 

The car was only a ways behind me, and it had slowed its pace to a crawl. I  glanced hurriedly around the street, looking for someone, anyone. But it was empty.

 

We will get through this together.

 

I looked behind me once more, only to see the front driver’s window beginning to roll down. It soon revealed the face of a brawny redhead, his face bent into a sneer, teenage eyes turned into a squint. The car was coming closer. I bolted into a sprint, but the vehicle just sped up.

 

I won’t leave you.

 

The truck was upon me, a big, roaring piece if warped metal. As it drove by, I heard the shouts and laughs from the more kids inside. They spilled out the windows, bottles in hand, most all smirking. As if on command , they hurled them at my face, with my tiny arms not being able to do much to help.

 

Bottles and bruises.

 

The car doors opened, and a few of the teenager filed out, launching themselves at me, gripping my shirt, tugging me across the sidewalk and against a brick wall. The fists flew, and the jeering and taunting began. “Runt, they said.” “Wimp. Loser. What you gonna do ‘bout it?”

 

Nothing.

 

When I didn’t say anything, they laughed, eased off my shirt, and clambered back into the truck that soon sped away. Their words echoed in my ears. Tears began to fall.

 

Loser.

 

Runt.

 

Wimp.

 

Memories of her flood in from all sides. I broke into a run, trying to forget, to escape. But they kept pounding against me.

 

Her. Dressed in a flowing silk dress, twirling before me, a broad smile across her face.

“Do you like it?”

“Beautiful,” was my reply.

She laughed, floating towards me, wrapping my body into her own. A scent. Her scent, flooded my nostrils. Lavender. Honey. Crisp and flowering fruit.

 

Run.

 

Me and her. Kneeling on the ground, ears plastered against a heavy oak door. Voices are shouting inside. They belong to my parents.

They scream at each other, about money, work, us. At one point tears and a loud crash are heard. I begin to whimper and shake.

“It’s okay.” Regina says. “Mom and Dad will be fine. They will work it out, they always do.”

I am reassured, but I sniffle anyway, and allow her to take my hand a pull me away from the door. Away from the sadness and anger that lay behind.

 

Run.

 

The memory changes. Changes to the one I hate most. The one of the last day I ever saw her, talking, moving, breathing.

 

She stands near the kitchen doorway, smiling, hugging my crying parents.  Her eyes shift to my sad figure, hunched over my breakfast, and I find her hand soon cradling my head.

“Dont go,” I say. She looks away.

“I HAVE to brother,” she says. “It’s college.”

She turns to leave, and I reach over quickly, knocking out the suitcase in her hand. Its contents fall to the floor.

“Wha..!” she says, surprised, anger seeping in through her as she picks up the case’s contents. “What is wrong with you!”

I grab her arm. “Don’t go,” I plead, tears coming.

She yanks it back away. “I have to.”

Tears have pooled in her eyes too. Without another word, she yanks her arm free, and walks out the door, slamming it behind her.

I hear the car engine start as she pulls out, pulls out in the car that will lead to her death. Pulls out in the car too soon be sent sprawling. Pulls out in the car that will take her from me.

 

I gasp. My eyes and face are sting from the icy wind. I breathe in pants,  heaving my chest as I pulled to a stop. Tears hung frozen to my face.

 

I have to.

 

Another memory grips me now, taking hold of my throat and not letting me go. This one is vivid and sharp.

 

Mom. Dad. Taking me out to see her grave for the last time. They said it would be a good way to forget, to move on,  to have a new life. A new life in Chicago, miles away. Without her.

I whisper quietly to her gravestone, covered by now with most of the world’s flowers. “But I don’t want to go. I don’t want to leave you.” Leave you for new life in Chicago, where you are bullied by other kids, where you are just a nobody.

 

Nobody.

 

I need something. Need it. Because I know in my heart that I will die without it.

 

Need. Need her. Need me.

 

I fumble through my backpack, searching for my wallet. My fingers find it, pulling it out. They open it quickly, reaching inside to produce a picture.

 

The picture.

 

Soon I am staring at it, trembling, as more tears slide down and plop upon it. In it, I see me and her, one of the very last pictures we took together. You can see me, dressed in football wear, smiling in front of the middle school playing field. She stands beside, arm over my back, dressed comfortably in a sweatshirt and jeans, blonde hair billowing out behind her.  Although it is me, I do not really recognize the boy in the photo.

 

It’s the old me.

 

Indeed, it was. The boy was a stranger. He had brawny arms, sparkling eyes, and a smile was displayed upon his face. Certainly he did not resemble my scrawny arms, dead eyes, and frown, all a result of her death and my grief.

 

I hate her.

 

And somewhat, that was true as well. Ever since we lost her, a part of me became bitter, angry even. Usually I ignored it, but today it came anyway. I was angry with her for leaving us, for saying those lasts words to me, not even saying goodbye before she left for above. My fists clenched, squeezing the photo with furious strength. Tears were coming in torrents now.

 

Dead.

 

I screamed in frustration, hurling the photo at the wall of a building. I stood shaking, aching, and freezing, not daring to move. The truth came in waves around me.  I was tired of  the grieving, tired of the loneliness, tired of being picked on. I knew what I would have to say to make it stop, make it all stop, but I knew it would be hard.

 

I forgive you.

 

Forgive. The word echoed inside me. Forgive. It brought with it not the terrors of the past, but the great times, times of happiness and joy and love. It brought the smell of her, the sound of her voice, her kindness. I sobbed with relief, smiling, really smiling. Forgive.

 

But..

 

There were still two problems to face. And I knew what I had to do.

 

I can do this, Regina.

 

Minutes went by as I walked toward the house where I knew they would be. I saw it ahead, garage door open, music blaring inside. The laughs and shouts of the teenagers partying inside did not send me bolting for once. Instead, they reassured me.

 

Don’t back down.

 

I walked straight up to them, pushing past dancing bodies as I went. I was looking for him.

 

Breathe.

 

He was towards the back of the garage, chatting with a few of his buddies. All at once the music stopped as his friend gestured my way. He turned, his face the same as the driver of the white truck. “Hello, loser,” he said with a sneer. “Whad'ya doing here?”

 

Okay.

 

I forced my chin up, trying to gain the confidence I needed. I looked him square in the eye. “I just wanted you to know that you can no longer hurt me.”

 

Get ready.

 

He chuckled, amused. “Oh really?” he chided, shaking his red hair. “I’ll see about that.”

 

Here it goes.

 

I braced myself for the oncoming fist, and when it was headed for me, I reacted in a flash, moving my hand up so that it gripped it in mid air. I caught his fist, causing his arm to shake violently as he tried to push on. He stared in awe at me. “I think I have proven my point,” said a voice inside of my, one that I hadn’t known for a long time. One that was cool, and even.

 

Yes.

 

“You little runt!” he said, shoving me. I pushed him back with extreme strength, shoving him into a row of boxes behind. He lay in a heap surrounded by them, gasping. I looked up, and to my surprise every eye in the place was fixed on me. I smiled, and strode out of the garage, feeling lighter than I had ever been in the past year.

 

I knew you could do it.

 

Her voice rang through my head as I strode down the sidewalk to my house. I was going to confront my parents tonight, tell them how I felt, how I was being treated, how I hated their fighting. And they would listen.

 

Great play!

 

You got this one!

 

I love you!

 

I love you. Once more tears strode down my cheeks, for today was hers. For today was her birthday. I sighed, she would have been nineteen. But I allowed myself to smile again and not swell on the sad things. I would see if we could go visit her soon.

 

Great idea!

 

I heard her laugh vivid in my head as I unlocked our front door. Her voice, clear as ever, rang with the thing that I remember her saying to me the most.  Rang with my name.

 

You’re the best, Hunter.

 

That’s me. Hunter Grayson. And although I’ve heard it many times before, only her voice could say it in a meaningful and happy way. And I will always love her for that.

 


© Copyright 2020 APurpleHeart. All rights reserved.

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