I don’t really remember that day. You’d think I’d remember, as it was the most painful day of my life. I remember a little brother, the smell of cinnamon sugar, and a calm tune playing on the radio. Then a scream, glass shattering, a flashing red light. The little brother was gone, cinnamon turned to blood, and the calm music was now a shrieking mess of screams and sirens. Then a sea of darkness rushed in and I started drowning. A month later, when I woke up, I was alone. I stared at the white-washed walls until my eyes hurt. No more mother to cling to. No more father to hug. No little brother to watch grow up. I was alone. And nothing could change that.
A foster family took me in, but only threw me in a room with almost nothing in it and told me to earn money by myself. It’s been seven years since that day. I am no longer the bright, confident girl I was. I have faded into the background, with only one friend.
“Did you finish the essay yet?”
“Yes, I d-did. You did e-everything but the thesis again, right?”
“You know me too well! C’mon, let’s get to class.”
We walked to class together, people bumping into me all the way. Every day was the same. Wake up, get ready, leave for school, get forgotten at school, go back, sell some drawings to buy food, come home. Every now and then, I’d save up to buy some things other than the things I really needed, like a necklace or headphones.
Our town is small, average, and almost doesn't exist on maps, just like me. I honestly wish that I could stop being so forgettable, be more confident and be noticed, but sadly, I seem to be stuck this way. Maddy says I'm making progress though.
̈ ̈H-hello! M-m-my n-name is Li-lily- O-oh, it's no use Maddy.¨
̈ ̈It's alright Lily! Youŕe getting so much better, you just need to keep practicing! I bet soon you ́ll be the confident, happy girl I know you should be!¨
̈ ̈R-really?¨ I asked, toffee-colored eyes twinkling.
̈Yup! Wait, Lily, don't ́t you need to go cook dinner?¨
̈ ̈O-oh yeah! Thank you for reminding me!¨ I yelled over my shoulder, running off to the plain little room I lived in.
My room was small, and there was almost nothing in it, but it was home. I used to have a closet, but I turned it into a small kitchen. I bought a small fridge and a small stove, and 2 or 3 pots and pans. I only have one pair of utensils. I have a very cramped bathroom, but I am small so I can fit in there. I have a small desk and a shelf to put what little clothes I have and little personal things on. I don't have a bed and sleep on a small carpet and worn blue bean bag chair I got from my ́sister ́ when she didn't ́like the color.́ The things that mean the most to me are the light blue wrapping-like bracelets, the last thing my parents gave to me before that day. I have become a master of multitasking, as it is quite hard to both do my schoolwork and earn money for food. After a small dinner of leftovers, I got the drawings I planned to sell and set out into the blanket of mist to get to the supermarket.
I hadn't sold many of the drawings today, which was not very reassuring as I didn't make much from them in the first place, just enough to sustain me. My long dark chocolate hair was puffy and tangled because my last comb broke and I didn't have enough to buy a new one yet.
̈ ̈Mom...Dad…..W-what should I do? I barely make enough money to buy food, and everyone except for Maddy forgets about me all the time. I love you.¨
Walking off, I refused to cry and appear even weaker than I already was. Suddenly, I grabbed my throat , drowning again in a sea of despair and pain. There was no one around to comfort me, all alone in a dark and forgotten corner of a town where no one cared.
I slowly pushed myself up, feeling a million burdens weighing me down, and trudged back ´home.´ Suddenly, I bumped into Maddy, falling down.
̈ ̈Oh, I ́m sorry M-maddy! I d-didn ́t mean to- ̈ Suddenly I realized something was wrong, staring at Maddy I saw she was crying and looked really confused.
̈ ̈Hello? Is someone there?¨ she asked, and I felt my heart shattering into needles and fall to the bottom of my stomach. Did she… forget me? Then it hit me like a pound of iron. She couldn't see me, that never happened. Everyone didn't see me, but always saw me when looking at me directly.
̈ ̈M-maddy? MADDY!¨ I grabbed her and shook her shoulders frantically. ̈Can you h-hear me Maddy? Did I do something wrong? A-are you ignoring me?̈
But Maddy just looked around, looking terrified, and ran away like the devil was chasing her. What was happening? I ran to school, terrified, and tried to talk to someone, anyone! I even tried to talk to my foster family! But no one even looked in my direction. Soon, I found Maddy again, almost crashing into her but skidding to a stop just in time. She was crying again, and carrying a bouquet of light blue roses. Oh, how I wished I could comfort her, but it seemed she couldn't see or hear me, and she would probably freak out like last time if I tried to interact with her.
She walked for a long time, and it almost seemed as if she knew the route by heart, robotically turning corners without a hitch. Tears were silently streaming down her cheeks, like the silver stream we used to explore when we were younger, the one so beautiful, shimmering but empty of life. Soon, she opened a gate with all who walked in only going one place and- are we where I think we are? Walking up to the plaque, she screamed, ̈Why did you leave me! You were my only friend,̈ As she sank down to her knees sobbing, I started to read the plaque, the shards of my heart sinking farther and farther into the darkness that took away so much from me. Here lies Lily Evelyn Walker, proud daughter and friend. We wish we could have done more for her. 10/27/2006-10/31/2020.