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Drama Romance

Once again, she was sitting on the bench all alone. 

The girl with big black eyes and a black hood. What was her hair color? The boy asked himself. He had never seen her hair color. He imagined that it was red because once he saw a lock of the hair on her face and it looked red.

She was always so concentrated and immersed in what she was doing that she barely noticed what was going on around. She had focus.

On that day, she carried a book with her—a large one. 

Every day she went to that park and sat on the bench. Alone, all alone, she kept staring at the enormous tree on the other side of the park. She was lonely and probably confused, he imagined.

He had seen her so many times, in the bad and good days. The boy had seen her crying, laughing, watching, sleeping, singing, talking, smiling. She was so beautiful; her smile was so magnificent and contagious. She had healded him without even knowing him.

But now, she was in pain, more pain than before and more than he had ever noticed. 

She had stopped buying food in the food trucks, and her giant eyes were always filled with tears. Her concentration was not the same, and she started to have this fiercely worrying expression on her face.

What has happened to that angel?

He wanted to know her honestly. He wanted to stop with the assumptions and theories. He was craving to talk to her and tell her what she meant to him.

But how could he do it without looking like a stalker? Like a creep? 

The boy was so scared. He felt this weird connection with the nameless girl, but he wanted more. He needed to be there for her. But he was shy. He didn't have enough courage to go there. She was only a few steps apart from him, but he was afraid.


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Staring at the grand lonely tree on the other side of the park makes me think, makes me understand.

 That tree is far away from the others, at least five meters of distance, and far away from the playground, but she's beautiful, the most beautiful and vital tree over there.

It carries and brings so much life with itself. There is a family of birds living in there, and squirrels. Bees are always around the leaves, and owls arrive there at the end of the day and start of the night.

In the summer, the tree is shinier than ever, and, in the winter, it is petrified. But it is magnificent in both ways. 

My favorite season is the fall. That's when the large brown-ish leaves are falling and occupying the whole grass around the trunk.

I love that tree. I see me in the tree. I was probably a tree in other life, and if not, I want to be one.

Be able to show every different face that you have and just keep calm and still and marvelous. That's what I want. To be still and calm, not to have problems or differences, to shine every day with a glance, not being afraid, to know that I'm as lonely as the others, not having to talk or explain myself to people.

But I couldn't. I wasn't a tree, and I would never be one. I doubt it. I will always stay stick to this life in which I'm seen and treated differently, having people with pity on me.

My parents always told me that I'm special somehow, that I'm atypical, and I'm grateful for that, for not being normal. But I don't need to be reminded of this every single day. I know that I have my own way to see the world, so why people keep treating me like this? Like I'm a child?

That's why I've never felt like there is a place for me; that I was on my own then and now. 

I can't make friends, and my family is failing on me. Everyone looks so giant compared to me. I feel like a grain of rice, a good-for-nothing kind of person. 

I'm not able to live my life the way I wanted, the way I desired. I'm controlled by the people that are helping me. But I know that they aren't. 

They are as tired as me, but can't leave me because they are afraid of something happening to me; they feel guilty thinking about this. 

I love that they're trying to help, but I just want to be free. Have a life full of freedom and peace like that tree.

That's why I go to the park every day. In that place, I feel free. I feel like I'm normal, that I'm invincible and strong. I don't need to worry about anyone but me in there. There is where I find my peace.

Today, I saw ants. Giant black ants were walking on the ground. They were so little but so strong. How come? I wanted to know how they see the world and wanted to see what they saw. They are tireless and workers. They are impressive.

My bare feet felt the keen wet grass touching them. The cold and refreshing touch of water, the itchy feet...These sensations were like a drug - they make me relaxed, happy, and hopeful. I'll always want more of this impossible sensation that is only possible in that particular place. 

The book was right next to me on the bench. I grabbed and started to read it, and then someone sat next to me.

A boy.

No one has ever sat next to me. Who was this person? My heart was beating so fast, and I was panting. I tried to ignore that someone was there, but I couldn't.

He threw the black Nike sneakers on the ground, and the jeans had a big mustard stain. The stain made me smile a little bit.

Around five minutes passed, and the boy was still there. I didn't look at his face, and I was so nervous that I was almost choking. I didn't dare to stare at him, to look him in the eyes. And then, suddenly, he touched my right shoulder.

Slowly, I turned my face in his direction, and I saw him.

I knew him. He was in the park almost every day, but I had never seen his face. His grey eyes were fixed on his hand, and his mouth was contracting like he wanted to say something, but he couldn't.

My heart was beating faster than usual. His messy light brown hair was covered by red paint; his small mouth kept contracting, and at some point, he bit his lips. He looked like the kind of person that is attractive but doesn't know it. 

The fact that he was as insecure as me at that moment made me feel better. We were two awkward people sitting there.

That strange and unknown boy. I felt like I knew him and that he was part of me. I felt a connection.

I was sure that I had seen him before, convinced that I had seen him in the park, but it wasn't it. 

That insecure look and the grey eyes. I knew that I knew him from somewhere else, but where?

And then, like a flash, I was eleven.

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It was a rainy and rowdy night, and everyone in my house was desperate. 

I, more than everybody, needed answers. She was hit in the morning, and we were waiting: waiting for a call. But I knew that if they called it would mean death, that she was dead, and I couldn't imagine it.

I hadn't spoken to my father until now. I couldn't face him yet, was too much to handle, and every time my eyes fell on him, the still recent vivid images came to life. I was living that nightmare all over again.

It was morning, and I was still sleeping, dreaming when I started to listen to a desperate scream in my room. It was my brother. I barely opened my eyes, but I knew that something terrible had happened. His voice was tearful, and his words tumbled out so quickly that he was scarcely able to catch his breath. 

I was so sleepy that I hardly listened to what he said, but I identified four words, and then I knew it. Everything tumbled and blanked, and I forced myself to get up.

Dad. Ran over. Matilda… Dad. Ran over. Matilda… Dad. Ran over. Matilda...

These four words were haunting me the whole day. My worst nightmare was happening, and I couldn't do anything about it. I was useless.

I couldn't lose her. She was the best thing I had: those large black floppy ears, droopy eyes, and body folds. She was so beautiful, and she wasn't even one year old.

She was given to me as a gift to "help me with my social skills," as my psychologist had said, and I couldn't lose her now; it wasn't fair. Since she arrived at my house with that short bowed legs and long, wrinkled face, I fell in love with her. She was my best friend, the most beautiful dog in the whole world. 

And now, because of an accident, she was probably going to lose her life, and though I knew that my father was feeling more guilty than anything for the event, I couldn't face him yet. 

I knew that she had run away when my father was going to the market and that my mother couldn't hold her because of her lack of strength. She got in front of the car, and then it was too late.

My mom told me that she looked fine; she was just gasping because of the shock. So now, at this time, we just needed to wait; wait for her to come back.

I was lost in my thoughts when the phone started to ring. My father answered, and I already knew it.

I sat down on the ground, and my mother sat down next to me. I hugged her between sighs.

"It's my fault. It's my fault!" I said. "If I were awake, I could have held her."

My mouth was drying, my nose tingled, and my cheeks were soaked with tears.

"Shhh," my mother said, rubbing my head. "It's not your fault, okay? If someone is guilt for this, it is your father and me."

We kept hugging each other until my dad came to give the news.

Matilda was still alive, but she was in pain. She was suffering from pulmonary trauma, and the vet had said that she wouldn't take much more. She invited us to see her one last time.

After fifteen minutes of silence, gasps, and tears, we arrived at the veterinary clinic.  

There was just one other family there that late at night. The place had some pet toys and a weight balance next to the reception. The receptionist talked to my parents and told them that the vet would talk to us soon.

The black-haired woman explained that they first thought that Matilda just had water in her lungs and that they tried to drain it. But when they saw that the stain of "water" was still there, they found out that she was suffering from a much worst thing that was practically impossible to cure. 

We couldn't touch nor see her. We just saw her through a surveillance camera. She was gasping a lot, and there was a needle tucked in her little snout. 

I couldn't see that; these couldn't be the last time I'd saw her. I ran to the restroom.

I was so shaken and unstable. This couldn't be true; it couldn't be the reality. I washed my hands and wet my face to try to calm down. I was out of myself. I looked at the mirror, and all I could see was my red and swollen face.

So, I got a fright when I heard a flush and saw a boy coming out of the booth. 

He was older than me, probably about six or seven years older, just like my brother, and had very intense grey eyes. He had messy brown hair, and his cheek was blushed. What was he doing there? Was he also crying? Who was in the wrong bathroom? Did he lose a pet today too?

"Are you fine?" I just nodded my head negatively. He was washing his hand now. "It's okay. Everything will be fine," he was walking towards the door.

"I don't have any idea of what happened to you, but I imagine that you lost your dog or cat. And it's okay. It's inevitable. One day everyone will lose someone or something, but this doesn't mean that this person or thing will be forgotten. Life is this crazy puzzle that we need to know how to fix because if we don't fix it, a giant hole will consume us and drive us to a dark place. You're young, and many things will happen to you; some will be good, and others won't. But you need to keep going no matter what; you can't stop your life in the past. You need to adapt."

The boy left the restroom and left me staring at the mirror without words.

 "By the way, this is the men's bathroom," his face quickly appeared at the door.


……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….


He was that boy. The boy that I didn't even know that I remembered.

The day that he said that to me, I had cleaned out of my memory. I didn't want to remember her death, and I always try to avoid remembering it because it makes me feel pain; guilty. 

I didn't remember that he had said those things to me. I thought that was my imagination or something like this, but then I started to notice one weird thing: he was always there for me.

He was in the restroom that day, and he was always in the park. He was there when I got the internship. He was there when I found out about my brother's accident. He was there when I fought and reconciled with my mother. 

He was always here in the backstage doing these small things that I overlooked no matter how strange it was.

 He was the one that cleaned the bench. He was the one that guaranteed the permanence of food trucks there when everybody wanted to take them out of there. He was the person who made the petition that prevented the tree, my tree, from being cut down.

He was my savior.


………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


The boy was agitated. He couldn't believe that he was sitting next to that girl and that he dared to place his hand in her shoulder. 

He was sweating more than the normal, and he didn't know what to say. He was there for about 15 minutes now but it looked like 45, and though she was looking at him in the eyes, she wasn't saying a word too.

The girl's eyes were piercing, and, for the first time, he saw that she had gold freckles under the eyes. She was much more marvelous up close than from afar.

Without losing eye contact, she closed the book and took the hood off her head, leaving the view of a beautiful wavy orange-blond hair. Then, she raised her left hand to greet him. 

Nervously, the boy touched her left hand with his sweaty right one.

"Annie."

"Luke."


September 28, 2020 16:51

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14 comments

Amelia K
19:29 Oct 15, 2020

Hi I really enjoyed your story and I was wondering if you could subscribe to It’s Cartie’s World on YouTube. I would really appreciate that.

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Lydi B
19:42 Oct 08, 2020

I enjoyed how you allowed the story and relationship of these characters to build throughout. I could feel Annie's trauma from losing her dog. It's also assumed that Luke works with the county to maintain the park areas. The one area I had trouble digesting was Luke's sudden verbal dump in the bathroom when he was so frightened to approach her well after that. A bit more of a buildup or keeping his dialogue shorter may keep better to his character. Either way, keep up the writing!

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Amanda Meireles
22:52 Oct 08, 2020

Yeah. I understand why it was kind of weird Luke’s sudden courage, but when I wrote I was thinking that in the past he was a confident and brave boy and then something happened in his life that made him lose his confidence and made him turn into this insecure and shy boy. Thanks for replying! ;)

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Lydi B
18:41 Oct 09, 2020

It's tricky to find that balance of character development for short stories. I'm still practicing as well. If you want, you can leave a critique comment on one of mine. I'm always curious to see others' feedback on areas I may need to improve as well.

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Vanessa Marczan
09:21 Oct 06, 2020

Hi Amanda, what a moving story. It has many layers and I really felt connected to the characters. I'm looking forward to reading more of your work soon!

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Amanda Meireles
22:28 Oct 08, 2020

Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed.

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P. Jean
14:33 Oct 05, 2020

One of the lovely things about stories is that you don’t have to understand everything immediately. If the writer is good, what you have read draws you in, allows you to somehow become the silent witness, almost part of the story and you crave more words. That was the impression your writing made on me. I felt if they both turned their heads and looked, they would see me watching. You have a lovely gift. Write....

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Amanda Meireles
15:15 Oct 05, 2020

Thank you!

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P. Jean
15:19 Oct 05, 2020

You are very welcome!

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Vajeda Kardar
21:13 Oct 06, 2020

Truly loved your story Amanda. It is very emotional and beautiful. I had to post in reply. I wonder why am I not able to comment???

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Maya W.
15:53 Oct 04, 2020

Hi Amanda! I love your writing! It's so poetic and beautiful. I loved the emotion in this story. One thing I will say was that the perspective changes were a little bit jarring at first, but as I kept reading, they began to fit in more. Thanks so much for liking my story, by the way. I really appreciate it!

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Amanda Meireles
16:09 Oct 04, 2020

Thank you very much! I loved your story by the way :)

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Maya W.
16:19 Oct 04, 2020

Thank you! Would you mind reading some of my others? If not, it's fine. Take your time :)

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Amanda Meireles
16:41 Oct 04, 2020

Sure, I'll

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