Skip to main content

Goodbye

Today I wanted to share a short story that I wrote a little while ago and is one of my favorites I've written. I submitted this to the National Council of Teachers of English awards and received recognition for Superior Performance in Writing, but since they don't publish an anthology, I never got to share the story with an audience. I thought that this would be a great first short story of mine to post on the blog for the writing section (I don't post more since many contests publish your work which prohibits me from sharing it myself). I really hope you enjoy it, and please leave me a comment with your thoughts. (And just to restate, everything I post on my blog I have worked hard to  create. These are all protected under copyright and reproduction for any reason without my written consent is both unacceptable and illegal.)

            Goodbye
            Come on Sadie!” called a little girl as she ran through a field of spring green grass as tall as she was. A crown of daisies hung through her amber curls, and there was a gleeful sparkle behind the bright eyes that matched the open skies. She turned and looked behind her to check on her friend and to any onlooker- there wasn't anyone there. But I was. I always am. I just happen to be invisible to the pesky nonbelievers, but I was the very important very best friend of one Maggie M. Mason.
            My feet floated effortlessly through the field after the little girl. “I know! I’m coming!” I called back.
            We have to make it to the fortress before the pirates get us.” Maggie made it out of the grass and onto the soft wood chips that surrounded the play set.
            The princess is coming,” shouted a rowdy little boy hiding in the brush.
            Princesses,” Maggie replied panting as she ran for the brush.
            Well if you have Sadie with you then I get to bring Jack to make it a fair fight,” the boy said. Evidently, the six year old didn't grasp the idea of a covert hiding spot well.
            You should invite him. He’s always so much fun to play with,” Maggie giggled.
            The boy straightened and pushed a thick mop of black hair out of his eyes before cupping his hands around his mouth and yelling, “Jack! Come play with us.”
            I watched as a thin boy with sandy hair appeared next to me. “I thought you’d never ask,” he joked. “I’ll give you a ten second head start Sadie, but that’s it. Get ready, Toby.”
            I took off in a run for the safety of the jungle gym that Maggie sat on dangling her feet down tauntingly at Toby who was just too short to reach one of her patent leather encased feet. Jumping with all the energy I had left, I reached out my hand for the rusty bar with chipping blue paint above me. Clutching it with one hand, I tried to swing my momentum forward so I could catch the other bar. Luckily, Maggie grabbed my hand and pulled me up through the gaps in the bars just before Jack tagged me.
            We win,” Maggie said in her best sing-songy voice before dissolving into giggles. Toby threw his cardboard sword to the ground in mock disgust, and Johnny demanded a rematch.
            We get to chase this time,” Maggie said with a smug smile.
            And I want your sword,” I added looking at Toby.

            I didn't realize how much I would end up clinging to those memories. Racing through fields and parks, making sandcastles on the beach, swinging on the tire swing. I had been there all along. Through every turn, disaster, and misstep, I was there for Maggie more than anyone you could see, but of course, she didn't remember that. The same thing happened to Jack. “If only kids weren't so forgetful,” Jack and I would say to each other when we would meet between the two neighbor’s houses. We were starting to fade, and yet we couldn't accept it and let go.
            Hey, Maggie,” I asked the girl as she walked into the room, “how was school?” What I got instead of an answer was an eye roll and a glare. She threw her bag onto her desk. I watched her walk around the room in her combat boots and short skirt. She took out the diamond earring from her ear- the compromise with her parents when she asked for a diamond nose stud. Her sweet amber curls had been flattened out, and she covered her sweet smile and cherubic cheeks with layers of makeup. Finding herself had been a hard road.
            I told you to call me Margret,” she said with gritted teeth. That’s why I’m still here. She hasn't forgotten me yet.
            Until high school, Maggie had stayed sweet and quiet. She had clung to her childhood so hard she couldn't part with her dolls, pigtails, or her favorite white sweater she wore with all her dresses. And I guess she got tired of always getting picked on, and she changed. I can’t blame her. Life with only friends that only exist in your mind is tough, but I never thought it would drive her to become the person in front of me. I could tell that she would forget me soon, but I had one last mission before I went.
            That night I snuck out to meet up with Jack. It’s not like Maggie missed me. “She just needs a little reminder of what life was like when she was happy and young. I can’t go knowing she’s spiraling head first into every mistake in the book,” I said to Jack as I paced in the alley between the two houses.
            She needs to see Toby. They haven't talked in years, and seeing that you’re still here, she still believes enough to keep you around. That should count for something. Toby can remind her of what it’s like,” Jack volunteered.
            I spent the rest of the next day making flower crowns and cardboard swords to carry into battle. When Maggie walked into her room that afternoon, I nearly pounced on her. “Put this on. We’re going somewhere important.”
            Why should I listen to you… or wear that?” she asked feigning a disgusted look at the pink dress, Mary Jane’s, and white sweater that lay on the bed.
            Just do it,” I said in my most authoritative voice. Remarkably, I got her in the outfit and to the edge of the field just on time. At the last second, I remembered to weave the flowers into her hair. “Now run through the field and make it to the jungle gym before the pirates catch you!” I said with a smile.
            She gave me an annoyed look and craned her neck to make sure no one she knew was near. After a deep breath, she took off running, obviously lulled by nostalgia. The grass only brushed past her hips now, and she was much faster, but I got what I wanted. She laughed and smiled back at me. “Come on, Sadie. Let’s do this together.”
            I matched her pace across the field and gave a thankful smile to Toby who crouched in the bushes, now much taller and with a better haircut. “Game on!” he called dashing out of the hedge as soon as we crossed the threshold of the playground. “Go get Sadie, Jack.”
            Jack appeared at my side a millimeter away from tagging me. “Not today,” I giggled. Maggie swung onto the bars ahead of me, but Toby was taller now and triumphantly held onto her shoe.
            Maggie slid to the ground to stand next to Toby. “I’m glad you came,” he said to her. She looked around at all of us.
            I’m happy I did, too.”
            That was when Jack grabbed my hand in his and looked me in the eye. “You know we have to go now,” he said. They were words I knew were coming when I did this, but I wasn't ready to hear them especially after all this. “You know it’s true, Sadie.”
            He moved to take my hand. I could only bring myself to nod my head. With a mournful look over my shoulder, I let Jack lead me toward the smoldering sun that fell from the sky to make room for the moon.
            My last glance before the park disappeared from view made me smile. Maggie and Toby were standing together giggling and smiling. Suddenly, he lunged toward her starting a game of tag- something that had been long forgotten. But the subtle reminder was enough to spark her interest and remind her of her skill. They were going to be okay, and that is why Jack was making me leave them. The funny thing about imaginary friends is that even though they’re often forgotten, sometimes they have to go themselves when they know that they’re not needed anymore. Learning to let go when you know the job is done is sometimes the hardest thing, but the sense of accomplishment is enough to get through the initial pain.
            She’ll remember me, Jack, won’t she?”

            Of course, how could she forget?”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Into YA with Lindsay Sproul

Hi, everyone! I know I've been gone for a minute, but I'm excited to come back with my interview with Lindsay Sproul. Lindsay and I have been working on this interview for a while, ever since I first read We Were Promised Spotlights. I'm so excited to have a more in-depth discussion about the book and get to look at it through this new prospective. It was a super eye opening read for me and probably most other teens my age who weren't alive when the story takes place. If you haven't had the chance to read Lindsay's book, you can check out my review here to get up to speed.


1. The most notable part of the book right from the start is that it doesn’t take place in 2020. It’s set in 1999-2000 in a small beach town. Why did you decide to set it in the near past? How do you approach writing a book for teens who mostly hadn’t been born when the story takes place? 

Aside from the fact that I was a teen in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, I think it’s important for teens to b…

Bi Book Love

I'm so excited about this list and the upcoming list on Aro/Ace/Demi rep because I feel like these areas of representation have grown so much recently. I also feel like it's harder to find these identities on specific lists or super easily, so I wanted to share some of my favorites for those of you who are seeking them out. I've made book rainbows for Pride Month and made general lists (which you can find here), but I wanted to do something different this year. I didn't want to repeat the same list, and I also realized I don't have a complete rainbow of LGBTQIA spines anymore after getting rid of most of my books. This list is by no means exhaustive, but I picked a couple of my favorites that I wanted to spotlight. To learn more about each book, click the title to read my full review.

Verona Comics  by Jennifer Dugan This is one of my new all time favorite books (which I'm extra pleased about because my expectations were sky high from waiting well over a year). …

YA Book Review: I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver 
Overview: Ben is nonbinary. The book opens with them working up the courage to finally come out to their parents. Even though his parents are religious and conservative, Ben feels like it might be okay. Mostly, they feel like they can't keep living with a secret that big. They want their parents to know them fully. Instead of love and support, they get thrown out of the house. Ben calls their older sister who they haven't seen in ten years, but she shows up right away. As Ben transitions to living with their sister and her husband, they have to navigate a brand new school, a new family situation, and a new therapist all at once. While it's a lot to process, Ben comes out stronger, healthier, and happier on the other side. Overall: 5 

Characters: 5 Ben and I have honestly nothing in common yet I found them so incredibly relatable on a minute detail level. We have a ton of similar thoughts and reactions and just life philosophies, which…

Ace/Aro/Demi Book Love

Last week, I shared all my favorite recent releases with bi main characters. A lot of you commented and shared your favorites as well, and it was so fun to learn about some new books! As Pride Month comes to an end, I wanted to make one my post to celebrate. Today I'm talking about my favorite books with Aro, Ace, or Demi representation. Again, I've found it tricky sometimes to find books with this specific representation, so I wanted to share in case some of you are looking for new books! This is a quick, little post, so if you want to add more books to it, just leave a comment!
Tash Hearts Tolstoy By Kathryn Ormsbee I've been a huge fan of this book since I first read it a couple years ago. It was the first book I ever read with ace rep. Tash is such an intelligent, lovable character, and the friendship story is also strong too. Even as she achieves career success with her scripted YouTube series, she's still navigating what her identity means to her, and being open ab…

Books I'm Looking Forward To: July

Can you believe it's almost July? I'm shocked that June is coming to a close. Just like last month, June is packed with an amazing set of books that I can't wait to start reading. We're also starting to see some of the spring books that got pushed because of COVID come out, and I'm so glad that these authors are getting that chance, even though conditions are still less than ideal. I've been waiting for most of these books since I seriously started blogging again back in March, and I'm so excited to finally start reading them. I wanted to share a quick list of some of the books I'm most excited to read over the course of the month. I have ARCs for all of these, so expect reviews coming soon. I just started I Killed Zoe Spanos, and I'm already sucked into its atmospheric, mysterious world. 
As always, preorders, especially now, are so important for supporting authors. Many of them are offering fun preorder incentives if you send in your receipts. I&#…

My Eyes Are Up Here- YA Book Review

My Eyes Are Up Here by Laura Zimmermann
Overview: Greer's life has been governed by body insecurity. She hides in XXL sweatshirts to try to take her chest out of the conversation. It doesn't stop the cruel jokes, the pain, the logistical nightmare with sports, and the impossibility of finding a dress that feels made for her. Over the course of her sophomore year, she starts to test the self-imposed limitations as she gets closer to the new guy, tries out for the volleyball team, and takes her voice back from society and her body image constraints. Overall: 4

Characters: 4 Greer is such a fun main character to follow. She is sarcastic and has a worldview that really matches my own, so we clicked quickly. She's a realist with a streak of idealism. A lot of identity comes from her braininess as she leads all her classes, and she uses it as a way to compensate for trying to pretend her physicality doesn't exist. This emerges for a wide variety of societal pressures that is u…

YA Book Review Parachutes by Kelly Yang

Parachutes by Kelly Yang 
TW: Sexual Assault
Overview: Claire and Dani start out feeling like they live on two different planets. Claire has lived a glamorous life in China, cared for by live-in help and constantly picked up after. Every argument with her dad ends in a new purse or pair of shoes, and she's never had to seriously want for anything. Dani and her mom work for a housecleaning service to stay afloat. She attends American Prep on scholarship and works hard to fund her debate travel. Eventually, her mom signs up to host an international student to make a little extra money. While Claire and Dani originally clash, their experiences over the course of the school year make them realize they have more in common than they originally thought. Overall: 5 

Characters: 5 Every single character in this books was so well drawn and thoroughly paid attention to. Through subtle nuances, even the most minor characters were stunningly clear and realistic. Every character had their fair mix…

I'll Be the One Review

I'll Be The One by Lyla Lee
Overview: Skye loves K-Pop, singing, and dancing. She's studied for countless hours and has gotten really, really good. When the first LA based K-Pop competition starts holding auditions, Skye knows it's her time to shine. While her dad and her friends are supportive, her mom hates the idea. She doesn't believe fat girls can dance. This only pushes Skye more as she's determined to prove to her mom and to all the fat-phobic haters that she can do whatever she wants and be proud of it. Even though the competition isn't an easy road, it's full of fun new friends, self discovery, glitzy performances, and a possible love interest. Overall: 5

Characters: 5 Skye is a character that's easy to like. She radiates light and determination without ever crossing into annoying territory. She has a clear view of what she wants, and she's not afraid to work for it. Despite years and years of hurtful, self esteem wrecking comments from her m…

You Should See Me In A Crown YA Book Review

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
Overview: Liz never thought she'd run for prom queen. It's a deeply entrenched tradition on the suburb of Campbell, Indiana. Though it's mostly a show of popularity, there is a scholarship for the king and queen. When Liz doesn't get as much financial aid as she needs to go to her dream school, she signs herself up to compete. After many weeks of community service and competitions, prom season manages to change the course of Liz's senior year. Overall: 5

Character: 5 I loved Liz! She was such a great main character to follow because she has the right amount of optimism and reality. She has a lot happening in her life that she has to juggle and keep up with, and I could definitely identify with her feelings of never having done enough. Over the course of the prom season, she forces herself to come out of her shell a little more and get comfortable with throwing herself in the middle of the mix. It also causes an identity st…

Into YA with Jennifer Dugan

I'm so excited to introduce my first repeat author for Into YA! Jennifer Dugan is back on the blog to chat about Verona Comics, one of my favorite books of the year (and probably all time). If you've followed my blog for any amount of time, you probably know about Verona Comics by now, but if you want a refresher or some context for our conversation, check out my review of it here.
Also, if you're curious about my first interview with Jennifer about Hot Dog Girl, you can find it here.  And if you want to get a copy of Verona Comics or learn more, here's a link to her author website with all the links.

1.I absolutely love that Verona Comics is such a clear nod to Romeo and Juliet. Did you set out to write a modern retelling? You explore and contextualize a lot of the more toxic elements of the original story. Were there any major changes that you had to make to Shakespeare’s outline to make it fit YA today?   
I actually didn’t go into Verona Comic’s with the idea of mak…