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Coming of Age Inspirational

I watched, my head resting on my hands, as the candle flickered. The fire danced. Itโ€™s strange how something so powerful can be so beautiful. How can it consume everything in its path, yet still glow with a warm passion?ย 

ย ย ย I waved my hand over the flame, it caresed my fingers, warmth trickled through them.

ย ย ย โ€œIโ€™m getting worried about you,โ€ A tall, slender girl approached my desk. She moved a pile of laundry off the chair beside me and sat down.

ย ย ย โ€œGo away, Jetta. I donโ€™t need your words of wisdom,โ€ I mumbled to my sister, still transfixed by the flame.

ย ย ย โ€œAngie? Youโ€™ve gotta stop with that candle, itโ€™s getting unhealthy.โ€ Sure, Jetta had it easy. The dark skinned, brown eyed high schooler had nothing to worry about. โ€œIโ€™m serious. Whenโ€™s the last time you went into school?โ€

ย ย ย I snapped back to reality and looked at my hand. I couldnโ€™t stand to see the worry on her face. It was too real. โ€œIโ€™m doing the homework, I don't need to go in.โ€

ย ย ย She tilted my chin upwards. My eyes met hers for just a moment, but I pulled away. โ€œYou need to stop acting like you're my mom.โ€ I knew those words stung, but I didnโ€™t care if she got hurt. She would never feel how I did.

ย ย ย โ€œAngie, I know you miss her-โ€œ

ย ย ย โ€œStop acting like sheโ€™s dead! Sheโ€™s not. Sheโ€™s alive and well, yet refuses to come into the house, our house. Itโ€™s not like mom canโ€™t see us, she doesnโ€™t want to see us.โ€

โ€œYouโ€™ve gotta get out of this funk youโ€™re in,โ€ When I stayed silent, she sighed and wrapped a blanket around my shoulders, โ€œget some sleep,โ€ I heard the door click into place behind her as she left the room.

ย ย ย Part of me wanted her to stay, wanted her to be there for me. But the other part, the more overpowering part, wanted to be by myself. I wanted to forget the rest of the world.

ย ย ย I pulled the cozy blanket tightly around my shoulders and looked out my bedroom window. The sky was filled with grey clouds, reflecting my mood. It had looked like it was about to rain for days now, but not a single drop had come down. Our town had been in a drought all winter. The plants had withered away like my hope for the first sign of spring.ย 

ย ย ย Pulling my greasy hair into a ponytail, I layed down on my bed. I traced the flowery pattern on my quilt until I drifted off into a cold, restless sleep.


โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”


ย ย ย โ€œAngela, time to get up!โ€ Jetta waltzed into the room, her bright-eyed self was just as obnoxious as always. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, โ€œI have a surprise! And youโ€™ll actually like it.โ€ The springs on my mattress squeaked as she sat down.

ย ย ย I raised an eyebrow, โ€œyeah right.โ€

ย ย ย โ€œItโ€™s cool, I promise. But, you have to take a shower. You kinda stink,โ€ she teased as she swiped a long strand of copper colored hair from my cheek.ย 

ย ย ย โ€œI donโ€™t feel very well,โ€ I mumbled, making up an excuse. I couldnโ€™t bear to hurt her feelings again, but Iโ€™m not ready to go outside.

ย ย ย โ€œAre you sure?โ€ She pressed the back of her hand to my forehead and frowned, โ€œyou donโ€™t have a fever.โ€

ย ย ย โ€œIโ€™d rather stay home, but thanks for the offer,โ€ I turned away before my sister could argue.ย 

ย ย ย She sighed and left the bedroom, like she does every morning.

ย ย ย I flung my quilt to the end of my bed and lit the candle on my dresser.

I pulled a chair to my bedroom window and looked out.

ย ย ย The world was still, the air was cool. I tapped the glass, the warmth from my fingertips made the condensation scurry. I breathed on the glass, then I drew a smiley face with my index finger. I chuckled at the face I drew. It was supposed to be me, but it kinda looked like a goblin. Itโ€™s crazy how such simple things can give you pleasure.ย 


โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”


โ€œAngie, Iโ€™m meeting mom at the park, you wanna come?โ€ Jetta entered my room and I groaned.ย 

โ€œIโ€™m sleeping,โ€ I muttered.

โ€œCome on, you haven't seen her in forever. Sheโ€™s sorry about everything and wants to talk to you.โ€

โ€œIf she really wanted to talk then she would come here,โ€ I snapped back.

โ€œYou know itโ€™s more complicated than that.โ€ When I didnโ€™t respond, Jetta continued, โ€œIโ€™ll let you stay home today, but someday Iโ€™m going to drag you out of here,โ€ She ducked through the doorway, closing the door on her way out. I laughed at the idea of Jetta trying to pick me up. She may have been older, but my years of soccer and softball have paid off. I was far stronger than Jetta. She knows Iโ€™d winย the fight. But maybe determination makes you stronger.

I tossed my sheets on to the floor and lit the candle beside my bed, even though sunlight was streaming in through the window. I walked into my closet and, remembering that Iโ€™m about as tall as a grape, pulled my desk chair over. I stood on it and stretched my arms upwards until I felt the soft fabric of my stuffed bear.

ย ย ย Yeah, Iโ€™m thirteen and I still snuggle with a teddy bear. But itโ€™s comforting. Thomas is the only thing constant in my life.

ย ย ย I hug the light blue bear close to my chest and lay down. Iโ€™m tired. Iโ€™m tired of letting my momโ€™s choices get to me. Keeping me from living. hope swelled in my chest. It fluttered softly. Like an ember, it was ready to spark when the time was right. My eyes watched the flame of the candle. It flickered. So much could put the fire out, yet the spark refuses to give in.


โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”


ย ย ย โ€œAngie?โ€ Jetta entered the kitchen, and, surprised to see me downstairs, she dropped her blueberry bagel.

ย ย ย โ€œHey, I thought we could go somewhere today. Thereโ€™s that new boutique that opened up downtown and-โ€œ my sister rushed over and squeezed me tightly. Suddenly, I forgot everything else. I forgot about the hickory kitchen cabinets lining the walls. I forgot about the floral wallpaper peeling at its seams. I forgot about mom and her new husband, her new family. All I could feel is a loving sister, one who would always be there for me. Always.

ย ย ย โ€œI love you,โ€ I mumbled through her thick sweater, which pressed tightly against my face.

ย ย ย โ€œI love you too, Angela.โ€ She stood up, the most beautiful smile spread across her face, โ€œlet me grab my wallet and we can walk over. How does that sound?โ€

ย ย ย The corners of my lips twitched. โ€œGreat.โ€


ย ย ย Jetta turned the key, locking the door to our blue, suburban home. She pocketed her phone and headed down the sidewalk. I stopped.

ย ย ย โ€œAngie, what is it?โ€ She turned to see me staring up at the sky.

ย ย ย โ€œDo you feel that?โ€ I say, holding out my hands to make sure it was real.

ย ย ย โ€œFeel what?โ€

ย ย ย I smile, โ€œthe rain.โ€ A fat drop of water landed on my sweatshirt, turning it a dark purple. And, for the first time in weeks, I laugh. It felt good. I was alive once more. Maybe things would work out. The ember in my chest burst into flames, my hope came along with it.

ย ย ย โ€œFinally, some rain!โ€ She spun around, her pleated skirt flared around her. Like fire. Jetta looked at me and smirked as the rain came down heavier.ย 

ย ย ย โ€œWhat is it?โ€ I laughed again. By now I was drenched in water and I could barely hear Jettaโ€™s soft voice over the pounding of the rain.ย 

ย ย ย โ€œRace you downtown. Loser buys hot chocolate,โ€ she pulled her hair into a ponytail and moved to a runnerโ€™s stance.

ย ย ย โ€œOh youโ€™re on!โ€ I shouted, coming up beside her. โ€œYou ready?โ€ I wipedย water from my eyes. It didnโ€™t feel harsh, heavy. It felt fresh. Like the world had just awakened. Like I had just awakened.

ย ย ย โ€œGo!โ€ Jetta screamed and we took off down the sidewalk.

March 23, 2021 19:12

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56 comments

Another great story! I love the description of the fire. I think that you could have slowed down a little when Angela comes out of hibernation, but seriously. Youโ€™re writing is so good!

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Aw thanks! But couldnโ€™t you have told me that when I asked you to proof read it XD

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XD Yeah, but I wanted to save it for Reedsy lol. Love the title btw!

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WoW tHaNks. But I do get what your saying. I added a sentence or two, but I donโ€™t know how to slow it down without re-working my whole ending

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I think what you added is good, but you could add something to โ€œit flickeredโ€. For example, โ€œit flickered softly, like a butterflyโ€™s wingsโ€. Also, โ€œstop me from livingโ€ sounds a little strange. You could maybe change it to โ€œIโ€™m tired of letting my momโ€™s choices stop me from livingโ€.

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Ok, thanks for helping! I updated my story :)

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This is amazing. Following you! I really enjoy the beginning, it makes me feel so good. :D

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Palak Shah
19:44 Mar 31, 2021

Amazing description Lucy I love your story. Btw I read your bio and I am also scared of pigeons; they freak me out lol :)) Could you please read my story and share some feedback on it. Thanks a lot ~Palak Shah

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Yeah! Iโ€™ll totally read your story :) And arenโ€™t pigeons terrifying?

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Palak Shah
15:08 Apr 01, 2021

Yh they are. People think i'm an idiot for thinking this but pigeons are terrifying and also seagulls lol :))

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Omg yes! There arenโ€™t a lot of seagulls where I live, so I haven't been too traumatized... but my friends make fun of me all the time for being scared of pigeons

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Palak Shah
22:05 Apr 01, 2021

When I go outside in my school seagulls are always flying it is so scary and my friends don't see it but they are terrifying. Anyway, how are you doing ?

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11:59 Mar 26, 2021

Great job again! Love the metaphors and her determination to get out of the house. This story wouldn't have been relatable to me until last year ๐Ÿ˜… but now I fully understand the want/need to stay inside the house๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜

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Thanks, and I feel you there! And thank you so much for taking the time to read a couple of my stories :)

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12:02 Mar 26, 2021

๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜I'll read some more when I submit a few chapters for my series... Trying to get them out tonight! ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Šโœโœโœโœ Can't wait to see some more of your stories!

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13:18 Mar 26, 2021

๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜โœ

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00:54 Mar 26, 2021

I agree with Angie on this one, fire is the most satisfying thing ever. ANd for the story itself, wow wow WOW you managed to portray the relationship between these two sisters so well! The way to explained the situation with their mom in a subtle way was nice aswell. I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would. Good job! :)

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Aw thanks! And yeah, fire is really satisfying

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Cathryn V
21:52 Mar 25, 2021

Hi lucy! You're a really good writer for being so young! I like the way you used the candle throughout. The story has good flow with a marked change in the main character from beginning to end. A few parts that I particularly like: It had looked like it was about to rain for days now, but not a single drop had come down. And this: Pulling my greasy hair into a ponytail, I layed down on my bed. I traced the flowery pattern on my quilt until I drifted off into a cold, restless sleep. A small suggestion is, "...made the condensation sc...

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story, it means a lot! And yes, the suggestions are SO helpful! Iโ€™ll make sure to watch my tenses from now on!

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Cathryn V
22:03 Mar 25, 2021

Good! I'm always cautious about giving feedback. I think some people don't like it. As if they are being criticized instead of the writing.

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I get where you are coming from. But I really appreciate the feedback! It helps me grow as a writer and see things that I may have missed while I was writing it.

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Cathryn V
22:06 Mar 25, 2021

Oh, one more thing. I noticed someone commented about up and down voting. Can you help me understand this? Is it the arrow next to your name on comments? If so, what does it do? Ive never seen a down arrow in blue. Does it not show up? Thanks in advance.

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Yes! Those arrows are the up and down voting buttons. They determine the number of โ€œkarma pointsโ€ you get, or help you move up in the leaderboard. I think it started out as a way for people to discover great writers (because the more points someone has, the more people have enjoyed their stories). But, recently โ€œdownvotersโ€ have been reducing the number of โ€œkarma pointsโ€ writers get by unnecessary amounts. For example, one author, who was in first place a couple days ago, lost about 30,000 points. There has been a lot of controversy over the...

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Cathryn V
22:20 Mar 25, 2021

Okay, I just clicked an up arrow on your last reply. Check your points and tell me if you have one more. How in the world would someone lose 30,000 points? There aren't that many people on this site to downvote? It's not a big deal if you don't have time to answer. Its just that for awhile, I"ve been trying to figure this out. thanks lucy!

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I do have another point! Thanks! And Iโ€™m not sure how someone can lose that many points! Itโ€™s pretty weird... And of course, Iโ€™m glad to help out!

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19:33 Mar 25, 2021

#StopDownvotingNow

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Yeah, there are good things (makes the point system more competitive) and bad things (hurts other peopleโ€™s feelings) about downvoting, but I really donโ€™t like that people are getting targeted.

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00:48 Mar 26, 2021

Yeah I think that we should get rid of it cause of hurting people. If we keep the upvoting we can still have the points and things. I wish people didn't abuse the point system

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Yeah that would make it a lot easier... What if you only had a certain number of down votes per week? Like 10, so people wonโ€™t get downvoted so muchโ€”unless they make a rude comment

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00:58 Mar 26, 2021

Yeah thats a good idea! that way no one is too jerky and the jerky people can still be told they're jerks

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Thx! I just wish people werenโ€™t so angry about everything

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omg youโ€™ve got nearly 30 likes! Congrats! (This is probably one of my favorite stories of yours)

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18:51 Mar 29, 2021

Wow! What an awesome story! The ending was just incredible! I loved how it was short and sweet to read, but it had an heavier meaning. I also loved how you had an idea of the events before the ones your reading, but not the details. It was very moving feel good story. You are a very good writer! Keep on writting!!!!! Happy writting! :)

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Thank you! It means alot that you took the time to read my story!

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23:50 Mar 29, 2021

Of course lol :)

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18:52 Mar 29, 2021

(Also thanks so much for putting me in your bio! Means a lot)

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Holly Fister
18:01 Mar 29, 2021

I liked that the rain woke her and gave her new life.

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Holly Fister
12:09 Mar 30, 2021

Youโ€™re welcome! Would you mind checking out my most recent story if you have time? Thanks!

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I will! It might take me a day or two though...

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Holly Fister
18:53 Mar 30, 2021

Yes, no pressure to do it!

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Sammy Xoxoxo
19:36 Mar 28, 2021

woooooowwwwww...... DAMN GURL. This is a hella impressive story you got here, not gonna lie. I love your style of writing, so beautiful and unique. Keep up the good work girlie, can't wait to see more <3

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01:03 Mar 26, 2021

ok idk anything about u but we seem kinda similar and like maybe we would vibe so i'm leaving this comment here and if i'm not back in a few days to read ur story then yell at me ok

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You seem fun And ok :) imma follow you

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