I failed her

Submitted into Contest #136 in response to: Write a story where hard work doesn’t pay off.... view prompt

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Crime Sad Teens & Young Adult

This story contains sensitive content

WARNING: There is slight violence, self-harm and mental heath issues. There is profanity as well.

I released a deep breath and stared at the ground beneath me. The sun beamed on us brutally. I covered my eyes with my hands, but that didn't seem to help. I could feel the beads of sweat roll down my face. My armpits were wet and sticky. The sweat that ran down my body soaked my feet. I wiped the sweat from my forehead.

My sister sat there on the steps in front of our house and wiped the sweat from her forehead as well. "This town is getting boring," my sister Olivia says looking up at the sky. You could see the desperation in her eyes. The way she wanted to explore. It took her a while before she realized she could not look at the sun. She threw her hands up in the air and covered her eyes. You could see the pain and agony on her face. "You, ok?" I ask in concern. "Yeah. The sun's bright today." She says, uncovering her eyes and looking down at the ground, “Oliva?” I speak. “Yeah?” Olivia says, looking at me. "Why can't we go into the house if the sun is so bright?" "Ava! I told you we will not be going into the house for the rest of the day. That was my dare to you." I sighed loudly and said, "Yeah, that was my dare, not your dare." She folded her arms and pouted. "Well, it's my decision and you can't convince me otherwise." I put my hands behind my head and stared straight into my sister's eyes. Her dark blue eyes became lighter as the sun beamed on them. "What should we do today? We can't stand on this porch forever." "Ok then, let's go down to the creek." There was a creek that sat at the end of the park. We would sit there and throw big rocks or try to skip the skinniest rocks we could find. 

We never could. No matter how hard we tried, it was as if it was impossible. “Ok then, let's go.” I say, walking down the steps in front of our house. “Let me tell dad we are going." Oliva says, reaching for the doorknob.”  "Do you have to tell him everything?" I ask, agitatedly. "He is our dad, and he needs to know where we are at all times." She opened the door. The smell of smoke smacked me in the face. It burned my nostrils. I turned around and coughed. I swatted the smoke away. "That's bad for you," I yell, knowing he didn't care. "Dad, we are going to the park," my sister says in the softest tone ever. She was always the smart and talkative kind of person. Ever since mom died, she was all I had. "Whatever.'' I heard a furious and very discreet sound coming from inside the house. I couldn't believe that he actually said something. He rarely said anything or even care where we were going. It must be because my sister was the one who said something. She looked exactly like my mom. Her smile was pearl white, and she had the most gorgeous blue eyes. Whilst I was stuck with a dark brown. I grabbed her arm and spoke. "Let's go." She yanked the door closed, and we ran off. We ran a few blocks and then, when we were far enough, we walked.

When we made it up to a streetlight I asked, "Why do you like that old man, anyway?" She looked at me in confusion and then she said, "Because he is our father. Why don't you like him?" she says, turning the tables. "Because mom would still be here if not for his rotten way and because he- never mind.” I say, retracting my words. Olivia just looked at me in suspicion." That's not what happened, and you know that" Olivia says looking down at the ground. "She died because she didn't feel like she wanted to live anymore." "No, she died in her sleep because he was putting too much stress on her! You don't know what he did!" "And what is it he did?" Olivia asks quietly. I didn't respond. The lights changed and then she walked away. I ran up to her and started breathing hard. I could tell that she wasn't in the mood to talk anymore, so I left it alone. The rest of the walk was pretty quiet.

The sun was still bright, and it only got hotter as we went along. "This heat is excruciating," I say, trying to start a conversion. I looked over at Olivia and I watched her tuck her long hair behind her ear. I hated seeing her in pain, so my instincts kicked in. I grabbed her arm. ''What are you doing?" "Come here." She stopped dragging her feet and went along with it. I pulled her towards a white bench that sat by the sidewalk. "I'm going to braid your hair so that it is not in your face." " You don't have to do that." "Please let me do this for you. '' Olivia was my younger sister, but she was always the ‌girl that didn't want help from anyone. I guess I unknowingly passed that trait down to her and it's finally showing.

I wanted to be the one that she depends on. But her stubborn ways make that kind of hard. There were pink and red painted flowers scattered, poorly on the bench. Different weeds and thorns surrounded the bench. We sat down on the bench, and I braided her hair. Her long brown hair went through my fingers as loosely started braiding, strand by strand. When I finally finished, I got up from the bench and stepped backward. "Where Are you going?" My sister asked me, "I have to look at my masterpiece," I say with my fingers forming a checked shape. I pulled my hand up to my chin and judged. Something was missing, but I couldn't figure out what. I looked around me and there was one thing that caught my eyes. On the side of the bench was a red rose. This rose, in particular, was beautiful. I started walking towards my sister and she shouted out, "Do you like it?" She chuckled and watched as I approached her. "I have something I want to give you."

I walked on the other side of the bench, and I picked the beautiful rose from the ground. The rose was a perfect red and had no thorns. It was as if it wasn't even real. "What's that for?" she asks, confusedly. I looked up at her and sat on my leg on the bench. This would go beautifully in your hair. She looked at me and her smile lit up my day. It was as if the sun wasn't even beaming anymore. The cars driving by were completely silent. It felt like she and I were the only people left on the earth. I tucked the flower behind her ear, and I looked at how beautiful she was. She looked like mom. "Can I tell you something? "Yeah, what's up?" she says, touching the rose. "I will hurt you. "She got up from the bench. "L- Let's go play before it gets dark." She says, changing the subject. The way her voice cracked once filled me with concern.

"Are you ok?" I ask in worry. She sniffled and said, "Yeah, I'm fine." She ran away and yelled, "tag your it." I got up from the bench and I chased her around. I didn't get the chance to braid my ‌hair, but I guess I could do it later. The wind whispered through my hair, sending an unknown message. She started running through the field. The wind almost picked me up as I was running, so I stuck my feet to the ground. My sister, who was running behind me with her eyes closed, ran straight into my back, sending us onto the ground. We laughed and chuckled while playing in the grass. I picked up a handful of grass, ripped it from the ground and threw it at her face. "Ew, I got grass in my mouth." I laughed hysterically as I watched my sister peel grass from her tongue. We laid there on the ground making snow angels even though it was snowing. I stopped moving and turned my head towards my sister. "Olivia," I called out to my sister. "Yes, ava?" "Thank you." "For what?" "For being here with me." Bolivia turned away from me. "Are you trying to get me all emotional today? Not going to happen.'' Olivia got up from the ground and took off. I sluggishly got up and chased after her. She looked both ways and ran across the street. "I bet I will make it to the lake before you," she says, making it into a competition. "Ok, then you are on." I looked across the street before darting after her. 

I ran as fast as my little legs would take me. She ran through the flowers, and we were getting closer to the creek. I picked up speed as I ran closer to her. The grass got longer. It almost came to my knees. "Ok Olivia, slow down. The creak is right ahead of us." She wasn't slowing down. "No! I'm almost there." She argues. "Olivia, stop running,'' I commanded. But that didn't stop her. She ran even faster. I stopped running and just stood there. She slowed down a little, but she was still running too fast. "Olivia, stop running, dammit!" As loud as I could, I yelled. I squinted my eyes closed out of both anger and fear. I could hear the trees rustle and I could hear the echo of my voice underneath the bridge that laid over the creak. "I made it.'' I hear Olivia's voice crack from the creak. She made it to the bottom. I opened my eyes and there she was. She was standing there right next to the edge of the bridge. Her back was facing me, and she looked down at the ground.

A wave of joy spread through the air, but I could tell that something was wrong with Olivia. “Are you ok? Did I say something wrong?” I ask slowly, approaching Olivia.

There was no response. She just stood there at the bottom of the hill with her head down. It was as if she was a robot that was turned off. When I reached the bottom of the heel. Oliva still looked down at the ground. "What's wrong?" I say, holding her arm. She slowly lifted her head to look me in my eyes. I looked at her face, the tears poured down her face and she just looked at me.

I stood there in utter confusion. "Am I the reason mom died?" I sat there terrified that she would think of such a horrible thing. I put both of my hands on her face. “It was not your fault. She died because of someone else.” "Who?" She asks, looking up at me desperately. "Dad!" I say, with no hesitation. She snatched her face away from my hands and stepped back. "No! He couldn't have," she says, bringing her hands up to her chest and shaking her head. "The stress from his bull crap pulled her under," I say, getting snarky. "Ava-" She took one more step back, but this time there was nothing underneath her feet. She stumbled backward, grabbing the air in front of her.

March 07, 2022 02:08

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09:10 Mar 24, 2022

Great story, but in the story Olivas name suddenly changed to Bolivia.. " I called out to my sister. "Yes, ava?" "Thank you." "For what?" "For being here with me." Bolivia turned away from me. "Are you trying to get me all emotional today? Not going to happen.''


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