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Drama Funny Teens & Young Adult

A girl never forgets her first love.

Maybe it was that one boy who called her pretty in kindergarten.

Maybe it was that girl who kept staring at her in the lunchroom in middle school.

Or maybe it was that boy who picked up her books when someone pushed her in the hallway.

Lucky for me, I never found mine. I don't think I ever will find mine. 

I'm not pretty enough. Girls spend hours in front of their mirror every morning prepping their hair and dashing makeup to hide their blemishes. 

I never do that.

The popular girls at school go to the Laserx & Beauty shop downtown to get waxed and tanned.

I never do that.

Some girls get their mothers to pick up prescription medicine to keep their weight down.

I never do that.

I wake up every morning, brush my teeth, pull my hair back in a tight ponytail and leave. But I can't forget my sketchbook. 

I need to have my sketchbook with me at all times. I draw and write in it. It's kind of like a journal.

But it's definitely NOT a diary. I wouldn't be caught dead with a diary. Do you know what the bullies at my school would do if they found a diary?

Not good.

So I just write down the things that make my day and things that ruin it. It's not a big deal really. 

I'm so tired of living my life as an outsider. An outsider looking for a way in. But I found out that there is no way in.

Jennifer Spree told me one time that I needed a glow-up. I needed more clothes, a new face, and a brand new talk.

Do I need a brand new talk? Would I do just about anything to fit in?

Maybe.

Ding. Ding. Ding.

"I'm coming, Granma!" 

And then there's my Granma. She has dementia. My mom has been her legal guardian ever since Grandpa died. Sometimes I'd find Granma calling out for Grandpa. But Grandpa was never there when she called.

Mom and I constantly have to remind her who she is and what she has but she never remembers long. Every hour or so, she'd ring the bell that we labeled for her.

The bell said: "Elizabeth Cougar, you are okay. You have dementia so you don't remember anything. Ring this bell, please."

Granma never leaves without her bell tied to her hand. Whenever she had an episode, she would ring the bell and we would come running to help her.

It's become a daily thing in our lives. Well, my life. The majority of the time, Mom is working overtime or the late shift at Brendon Hospital.

Yep, you guessed it. She's a nurse. With a kid. That has no father.

It was my birthday. I had just turned 3. He was in a bad motorcycle accident. An eighteen-wheeler ran a red light and didn't see him coming. 

Dad was on his way home from the shop where he fixed cars. Mom kept my birthday gift in a locked box until I turned 15. She never told me about it and I never asked. I just took the gift and locked myself in my room.

In the gift, she had written me a letter. It said:

Dearest Abigail,

My dear Abby, I love you to the moon and back. I would travel a hundred miles for you and even more than that. Why? Because you matter the most in my life. You and Mom. Keep this card and necklace and never let it go. No matter what you do, never, ever lose it. You have something really valuable on your heart. Happy 3rd birthday, Abby.

Dad

He gave me a necklace. It looks like a scroll from medieval times. I always wear it on me: under my shirt, in the shower, everywhere. 

But now I can't find it.

And this is why people call me a failure. 

"Where-"

"Elizabeth Cougar, you are at your daughter's house, Madelyn Cougar. You have a rare form of dementia. You do not remember anything. If you have any questions, I'm here to talk to you."

"Yes, um- who are you?"

"Well, Granma, I'm Abigail Cougar. You can call me Abby though. I'm your granddaughter."

"Grand- granddau- I have a grandbaby?"

"Yes, Granma. I'm here."

I know I have to be strong for her but I can't. Every time she forgets I sit down in front of her and hold her hands. Every time I tell her that I'm her granddaughter, she tears up. 

It's like she gets so happy to think that she has a daughter who had a daughter. It makes me tear up a little every time too, but she's the only one shedding a tear.

"Your'e my granddaughter? What's your name again?"

"Abigail. Well, everyone calls me Abby."

"Hi, Abby. How old are you?"

"I'm 17."

"Oh my! You're so big for a 17-year-old. And you're the prettiest thing I've ever seen!"

"Thanks, Granma but I'm not that pretty."

"Oh stop it! Yes, you are! I'm pretty sure you have boys lining up down the sidewalk waiting for you."

"No I don't. I'm not- I'm not pretty enough."

"Darling, don't ever say that. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; remember that. You are beautiful, girl. And if anyone tells you otherwise, they are crazy out of their mind."

"But Granma, I'm a walking disaster everywhere I go. And then I lost Dad's necklace. And-"

"Dad?"

I know I'm not supposed to talk about Dad around Granma. It's a sensitive topic for her; at least that's what Mom says.

"Yeah, Dad. I had a dad."

"Had?"

"He- died. In a motorcycle accident. He left me with a necklace and he told me to never let it out of my sight."

"And you lost it?"

"Yes, I- lost it."

"I'm sorry for your father passing away."

"It's ok."

"But you know, even the darkest of caterpillars can be the brightest butterfly. You're not a walking disaster, love. You're a butterfly."

"Granma, I-"

I look away for one second and...

Ding. Ding. Ding.

"Where am I? Who are you? Why are you in my house?"

Uh oh, she had an episode again.

"Elizabeth Cougar, you are at your daughter's house, Madelyn Cougar. You have a rare form of dementia. You do not remember anything. If you have any questions, I'm here to talk to you."

January 25, 2021 19:49

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14 comments

I lost a gem that my grandmother gave me before she passed away 2 months later. It meant the world to me. And I feel horrible to this day about it. This story hit hard and brought me to tears. I loved it

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Cookie Carla🍪
14:27 Mar 11, 2021

Awww thank you so much!!

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20:25 Feb 08, 2021

This was so powerful and touching. Truly creative. I love how informal the voice was but how strong they were. Amazing job!

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Cookie Carla🍪
20:28 Feb 08, 2021

Thank youuu!!!

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Salma Jarir
21:27 Jan 28, 2021

Greaat story !! Keep up deaar !!! ❤

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Cookie Carla🍪
22:32 Jan 28, 2021

Thank you ! And most definitelyy !!

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09:15 Jan 27, 2021

Oh I love it! It's so simple, so easy and enjoyable to read...just like how short stories should be. Also a great take on the prompt, great job!

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Cookie Carla🍪
14:08 Jan 27, 2021

Thanks!!

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01:10 Jan 28, 2021

Of course! I can't wait to read the rest of your stories (maybe the weekends so then there'd be no classes, more time to read!)

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Cookie Carla🍪
14:15 Jan 28, 2021

Right. I'm trying to read other people's stories and my classes too. I feel the struggle!!

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14:16 Jan 28, 2021

Lolol that's sooo true XDDD

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Maya
00:07 Jan 30, 2021

I absolutely loved this story, Cookie! Her relationship with her grandma was so sweet (but sad) and the whole thing with the bell was so symbolic and creative. Such a touching and beautiful story! :D

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Cookie Carla🍪
14:14 Feb 01, 2021

Thank youu sooo much!!! Your feedback is most appreciated!!

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Maya
14:23 Feb 01, 2021

No problem! :)

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