Strong | Teen Ink


December 12, 2009
By goddess_of_the_moon_123 SILVER, Beaverdam, Virginia
goddess_of_the_moon_123 SILVER, Beaverdam, Virginia
5 articles 0 photos 70 comments

Favorite Quote:
'To unpath'd waters, undream'd shores' ~ William Shakespeare, A Winter's Tale

She sits up straight in the chair facing away from the stairs—away from me. Her spoon clinks softly as it hits the bottom of the bowl; it’s cereal, as usual. Boring. I watch her for a moment, planning my attack. I don’t move an inch: this moment has to be perfect.
The corners of my mouth twist a little when I realize she’s wearing braids; my own blond hair, squeezed into pigtails, looks identical. We look identical. Ha. I could almost laugh. But that’s what twins are for, huh. Just in case you can’t find a mirror.
“Tag, you’re it!” I shout into her ear. My timing is perfect—when I poke her, she jumps into the air. Her hands shoot up to cover her ears and her eyes scrunch closed.
“Uhh… too loud,” she moans. I laugh. No matter how many times I do this, it never gets old. I smile at her, big and bright, with all my teeth showing. It’s so fun to make her mad.
“Kate, leave your sister alone,” Mom shuffles in and fumbles for the coffee. When she turns, her eyes are still drowsy—half-asleep.
“Fine, fine,” I say, raising my hands above the table, a universal white flag. “I won’t touch her.” But I wink at her when Mom can’t see. She sticks out her tongue.
The clock is being hateful this morning—it screams that I’m late. I grab a piece of toast and whisk toward the door. My ride is waiting in the driveway; I can see the car through the window. I grab my heaviest coat and heft my book-bag onto my shoulders. But when I get to the door, I turn.
“Bye Mom, Bye Leah! Love you, have a great day!” It feels so strange to leave Leah behind. But Mom says she’ll be at school later, so I don’t say anything. I’ll make sure she’s forgiven me then (she will, I know). I wave once more and dash to the car.
At lunch, the noise is a dull roar behind every conversation—it’s like some kind of twisted theme music, but I don’t know the show. Probably something shallow and dull. I’m starting to wish Leah were here, just to break up the vapid conversation I’m trapped in. Maybe she’ll show up to save me, right now. Okay, maybe not. But how about now. Again, not so much. I excuse myself and get up to throw away my tray—momentary escape. Dealing with people isn’t usually this exhausting.
As I turn away from the table, I walk face first into Brian. Brian, who is Leah’s best friend. Brian, who has that dreamy voice and even dreamier face. My lunch goes flying.
“Oops, sorry Kate,” he says and all I can think is God, those lips. But, I remind myself, Leah has dibs—even if she won’t take them. So I half-smile at him and back away and crouch to pick up my trash. He does the same and hands me the rest.
“I was actually coming to talk to you, “he says. “Is Leah sick or something?”
Oh, she should definitely take dibs on this one. It’s hard not to stare too far into his eyes when I answer. I concentrate on speaking coherently.
“No, I don’t think so, she was just going in for a doctor’s appointment, she is supposed to be back later today, so I’ll tell her to catch up with you, you know, if she gets the chance…” I’m babbling. Message to mouth: Shut. Up. He just nods with a half-smile on his face.
“Cool. Tell her I’ll talk to her in a bit. And I’ll see you around.” With a wave, he turns around. I smile as he walks away. It’s nice to see someone so sweet so in love with my sister.
When I walk into the house, it’s quiet; I can hear the thump-thump of the laundry, the swish of the dishwasher, the voices whispering in the kitchen—I follow them to the doorway. Leah and Mom are sitting at the table—they stop talking when I walk in. Leah looks up and raises her hand at me, but Mom does not move; she stares off at the wall and does not speak.
“Hey.” I slide into the seat beside Leah. “What’s up?” She looks at Mom for a moment before she answers.
“I have something I need to tell you. “ She says it quietly, slowly, in a way that makes me nervous. I wait as she looks at Mom again. I think the clock on the wall is the loudest thing I have ever heard. She opens her mouth.
“I have cancer.”

It’s late. I’ve been here for… wait, what time is it? Maybe midnight? So probably seven hours. I bury my face back in my pillow.

“Kate? Are you awake?” Her voice is quiet. Like when she told me. Like when my world began to crumble.

“You have cancer?”The words burned as they fought their way out of my mouth. She looked down.

“How bad is it?” Did it count that my voice trembled? That tears came to my eyes? Did that count for anything? She didn’t look up.
Mom spoke instead. She tried to smile; it looked like a grimace.

“ They’re starting her on chemo tomorrow, and radiation next week, and you know they say that’s very effective, and she’s normally so healthy, so that’s supposed to …”

“A year,” Leah interrupted, her voice clear and quiet. She always was the stronger one of us all. “They said that at this point, I probably have a year.”

I was choking then. Drowning. It was so hard to breathe.

“I’m… sorry, I… I have to go.” The room spun: spun as I dashed up the steps. Spun as I ran through the doorway to my room. Spun as I wiped the tears from my eyes.
I closed the door behind me.
“Kate?” She whispers again. I lift my head so she knows I’m listening. She walks in and sits on the end of my bed, behind me; when I look, silver tears are trailing down her cheeks. I sit up and face her.
“Kate, I’m scared.” Her voice is thick. “I am so, so scared.”
“Me, too,” I whisper. And I hold her as she cries.

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This article has 42 comments.

on Feb. 20 2010 at 8:03 pm
thescientistyellow GOLD, Nauvoo, Alabama
11 articles 2 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton

I think the ending is what makes it seem real. Ending that are meant to comfort the reader after knowing what is bound to happen. A year...and that all you need to know. Very realistic. The best ending of some of history's greatest pieces of fiction have had bummer endings...The vividness of description is also very good.

on Feb. 20 2010 at 10:56 am
SarClark BRONZE, NC, Connecticut
2 articles 0 photos 534 comments
I really agree with doxie lover. This was really good... is there any way that you could have a chapter 2 and then hav her live? :D

doxie-lover said...
on Feb. 18 2010 at 5:37 pm
This one of my favorite descriptions;

isAt lunch, the noise is a dull roar behind every conversation—it’s like some kind of twisted theme music, but I don’t know the show. Probably something shallow and dull." Your words put me right there in the moment. It sort of reminds me of another one of my favorite authors; Roald Dahl. "the moonbeam sliced across her face like a knife..."

I hope you'll continue to paint pictures with words. I loved this piece!

on Feb. 14 2010 at 10:34 pm
Just.A.Dream SILVER, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
7 articles 0 photos 430 comments

Favorite Quote:
Part of the J7X team. :)

You should definitely add more to it!

I like the storyline, you make the characters seem VERY real.

on Feb. 14 2010 at 1:37 am
Chione_Bronte SILVER, Griffith, Other
6 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"And so the Lion fell in love with the Lamb" - Twilight
"Oh Fang you romantic fool!" - Maximum Ride 3


thats so sad

and so well written!

wat can i say!!

it was really beautiful!

AnamCara said...
on Feb. 10 2010 at 4:55 pm
omg. you are so talented and this story is so good. you asked me to read your stuff, I wrote 'The Echo' btw but i don't think it can even compare to this. i'm a identical twin and i know exactly how this would feel to find out the person closest to you is going through something so rough. this is beautiful. keep up the good work!

on Feb. 10 2010 at 11:25 am
alchive PLATINUM, Fort Worth, Texas
38 articles 0 photos 58 comments

Favorite Quote:
The best cure for writer's block write

wow- this is a powerful piece! and the story is a true one, nothing exaggerated- i admire that! is there more on this story- i can see it stopping or going on, depends on your vision, i suppose. :)

on Feb. 9 2010 at 1:15 pm
LihuaEmily SILVER, North Kingstown, Rhode Island
7 articles 3 photos 196 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It is said that there's no such thing as a free lunch. But the universe is the ultimate free lunch." -Alan Guth

This is really beautiful. I would like to know more.

Tim-.- SILVER said...
on Feb. 8 2010 at 10:20 pm
Tim-.- SILVER, Markham, Other
8 articles 0 photos 43 comments

Favorite Quote:
We all screw up sometimes, just some people more than others

... Wow.

Words aren't enough to describe how breathtakingly amazing this is.

This story touched me so deeply, it was woven with threads of hope and despair, and bound together with your mastery of writing. Do humanity a favour

Write more.

on Feb. 8 2010 at 4:16 pm
have_a_heart GOLD, Jackson, New Jersey
15 articles 0 photos 53 comments

Favorite Quote:
Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need of hell.

This was really amazing. I put that on almost every story i read but really this time i mean it. its really really fantastic.

on Feb. 7 2010 at 5:40 pm
love2love17 GOLD, Springfield, Missouri
13 articles 0 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. -Mae West

This was wrtitten so beautifully! I hope you continue to write it! You are amazing!

on Feb. 7 2010 at 8:49 am
Nikiblue PLATINUM, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
20 articles 0 photos 137 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Stupid Is As Stupid Does." -Forest Gump (;
"No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude."

That was so good! Keep writing please!

Louis GOLD said...
on Feb. 6 2010 at 1:45 pm
Louis GOLD, Paris, Other
17 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
Too much isn't enough.

i'm so impressed! you really have a talent! bravo!

on Feb. 5 2010 at 6:04 pm
blanking_out GOLD, Bonita Springs, Florida
13 articles 2 photos 37 comments

Favorite Quote:
Follow the leader, but not too close, just in case they fall.

this reminds me a little of what i've heard about my sister's keeper. it's an excellent piece and so gripping. its exciting but sad. this is a work of art!! Great Job + God Bless You!!

-Kal- GOLD said...
on Jan. 15 2010 at 8:56 pm
-Kal- GOLD, Carthage, North Carolina
14 articles 0 photos 244 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and recieves the impossible"

Wow, that was really good and REALLY sad. Excellent work :)

on Jan. 10 2010 at 10:47 pm
writer-in-pearls GOLD, San Diego, California
10 articles 0 photos 42 comments
This is a very well written and sad short story! It could definately develop into a novel if you wanted.

on Jan. 10 2010 at 9:53 pm
BreeLynne27 GOLD, Carmel, Indiana
15 articles 0 photos 13 comments
Hey! Thanks so much for commenting on my short story. So I just read yours and I really liked it. I really liked the voice that you use; it draws you in and makes you want to know the character. Good job and keep writing!

tash12 SILVER said...
on Jan. 8 2010 at 8:18 pm
tash12 SILVER, Lindale, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
creativity is knowing how to hide your sorces-Einstine

im holding back tears because i could sense the bond that she had with her twin its amazing YOU r amazing. keep writing!

on Jan. 7 2010 at 6:13 pm
You are a fantastic writer! I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I was throughout the entire story. It was definitely a good read. Please check out some of my stuff as well. Particularly "Just a Guy"

on Jan. 5 2010 at 9:18 pm
winterdrifts SILVER, Wilton, Connecticut
5 articles 0 photos 7 comments
wow! i really liked the ending! i know you wanted constructive criticism but i honestly cant think of anything i would want to change...sorry...but keep it up!