This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by Figment.com, an online community writing site for young people.
By Sarah Wernher
It was 4:30 a.m. when my eyelids fluttered open. Maybe I’d heard something under my dreams. I wished I hadn’t. I had been dreaming about her, and I wanted to keep hearing her voice, keep holding tightly to all the memories and songs that had belonged to us. I wanted to tell her never to leave me again. But the soft, vague tune from the last song I heard her sing was fading from my mind, and I couldn’t remember the words…
Ages ago, it seemed, at this time of morning she and I would be walking to our favorite hill to see the sun come up.
The dreams were my only respite from a hopeless reality that I refused to completely realize: She was gone. No matter where I looked, I would never find her. But it felt as if somewhere just beyond my reach was another reality, a time where she was still alive, and I just had to be patient and wait for the day that she would come to my door in the morning and we would run through the early chill to see the dawn.
I started to lie down again. I was so tired…
Wait… I had heard something. Maybe a knock… a knock. On the door. Someone at the door. Someone at the door, ready to watch the sun rise. My heart began to pound. Had I been right about her coming back? Was she finally home? No, surely not. That would be too wonderful, too wonderful but so impossible! But still…. Please let me have been right. Let her be there.
For a minute I forgot all reason. I sprang out of bed and raced to the front door, slightly disoriented from sleep. There I paused, saying softly, “Anyone there?” All was quiet. I held my breath and turned the knob. The hinges creaked loudly, but that was the only sound, and before the door was fully open, I knew the answer to my question.
Soon the sun would rise as it does no matter what happens. And of course she wouldn’t be with me to watch it.
I closed the door and walked back to my room. Then I sat down in front of the mirrored closet doors and stared. A person with a tired face, sad eyes, and hair in terrible need of cutting stared back.
"Who is this?" I thought. "Where is the real me? Did he die when she did?" I put my head in my hands.
When I finally looked up I gasped. The one I saw in the mirror was not me. It was her. She was sitting before me, just as I remembered, with the same dark hair and pale face and smiling brown eyes.
“Hello,” she whispered.
For a second, I was speechless.
“Hi.” I finally choked out. “Where are you?”
She gave me a rueful smile. “Guess.”
“I miss you. Why did you leave me?”
“ Do you really think I’d have left you if I’d had a choice?” Shadows came to her eyes.
“I’m sorry.” Talking is hard when you want to say so much.
“I wish you were here.”
“Me too. Can I somehow get to you? Please, tell me there’s a way.”
“There’s no way right now. Don’t break your heart trying to find me.” Her voice was pleading.
“I’ve been looking for you ever since they came to tell me you were gone. My heart’s already broken. It feels like it’s only held together with tape.”
I went on. “Do you remember watching the sunrise? How beautiful the sky was? We loved doing that. Don’t you want to do it again?”
A tear glistened on her cheek.
“Yes. I want to, so badly. But I have to go.”
“You’re already gone! You can’t leave again!”
“I’m not even here, really.”
“Please, please come back.”
“I wish I could.”
“Will I ever see you again?”
“Yes. I promise. With all my heart and more. Someday.”
“Don’t go,” I breathed.
“Goodbye, for now. I love you.” She was fading.
“I love you, too. I love you, I love you, I love you! Please…” But she was only a mist now.
And then I was awake. Sad blue light streamed through the window. The dream was over.
That morning I decided to walk to our hill. It was my first time there without her.
I watched as the sun rose. Colors flooded the sky, drowning the stars. Then I remembered a time we were both sitting here, taking it all in. Smiling and laughing, she’d exclaimed, “ This is so amazing!” Then she flopped on the grass and sighed, “ Maybe Heaven will be like this.”
I hoped it was.
I was alone in the world. I wouldn’t have to be alone forever, though.
In a far off time, we might watch the sunrise together, again. I just had to be patient.