Willow | Teen Ink


March 17, 2014
By xWritingWonderlandx PLATINUM, Ormond Beach, Florida
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xWritingWonderlandx PLATINUM, Ormond Beach, Florida
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Favorite Quote:
"The past can hurt but the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it" -The Lion King

"To live would be an awfully big adventure!" -Peter Pan

"Without pain how could we know joy?" -The Fault in our Stars

"I will never fit in because i was not ment to" -Cher Lloyd

"I can't go back go to yesterday because I was a different person than" -Alice in Wonderland

Author's note: This story really helped me understand the meaning of life, and I hope by reading this you will too.

The wind awoke me from my tedious slumber. My back lay in a pillow of dewy grass, and my long white blonde hair circled around my head like a golden halo. My eyes fluttered open. The sun’s light poured into my irises, and spilled liquid gold light over the capered brown grass. My nap had been impromptu. I had come up here to the hill in the middle of the prairie hoping to find everlasting peace. I had brought my sketch book and pieces of charcoal hoping to spend my day connecting with art, and not the sorrows that plagued my heart. I had fallen asleep though, my sketch book untouched and my charcoal smudged beneath the thin blades of dry grass. I had been tried. Sleep had not been marked into my agenda lately, but sleep had me today. It had dragged me down deep into a pit of doziness, and I had let it.
I sat up and arched my back. A yawn scratched at my throat, and my arms expanded into a stretch. I lifted my head, and glanced up at the sky. Clouds danced across the horizon, black and gray. Thunder rumbled in the distance and the delicious breath of rain glided through the air, smelling sticky and sweet. Rain would soon wet the dry field that longed for a drink in the scolding summer heat, and I knew I had to find shelter from the rain. I was miles from home. It would take a couple hours to trek all the way back to my neglected farm house, and I knew my feet would not reach its destination before the rain drowned me in its sorrows. No one would miss me if I didn’t come home. My mama was probably out at the country bar, masking her depression behind a thick glass of whiskey, and my Dad was dead. He’d gone to heaven a couple days ago, when he was shot by an ominous man who my Dad owed money to. Now my Dad was in the arms of God, and the man was confined in a musky jail cell, rotting away his sins. Then there was me, alone, with an alcoholic mother unable to hold love and no friends to spare me of my misery. I was broken, with no money, and not an ounce of love resting in my heart.
The rain was fast approaching as I sat up, dusting off the crinkled brown grass from my shorts. I scooped up my tattered sketchbook, shoved a piece of charcoal in my back pocket, and began walking. The grass rustled together beneath my muddy bare feet and grazed my slender ankles as I ambled over the dry land, my head held high. Then the wind started to pick up, whistling a soft tune over the mighty roars of the thunder. The air turned heavy, and pressed against my skin, turning it cold. The humid air coiled around me and hummed like electricity, but I kept walking in the barren prairie. The sun’s light started to diminish as the storm ate away the light. My dull blue eyes swam with worry as the storm chased me, cackling wickedly like my inner demons. I picked up my pace, my eyes scanning my surroundings, trying to find shelter, but nothing struck my attention. All there was were plains of rippling ember that were framed by towering mountains in the distance. I started to run. My hair tickled my face as I ran and my arms pumped beside me furiously. Leaves blew and twirled in the wind like pieces of confetti, and I could hear the rain beating down behind me, stridently.
Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw it, a tree. It stood out green and boldly against the dead stalks of grass. At first I thought it wasn’t really there. That it was just a shimmering mirage playing with my eyes. But as my feet propelled me towards the flourishing green object, I realized it was real, and boy was it huge! Its trunk was thick, brown, and marinated with cuts and scratches. Each branch was strong, steady and thriving with life.
The brawny rain stuck my back like knives as my bare feet skidded to a halt under the trees. The branches and the leaves acted like natural roof over my head. The melodic sound of the rain seeped into my soul, instantly calming me. I felt like the rain was pumping tranquil drugs into my veins melting my bones to mush. The sultry smell in the air clogged my nostrils and clouded my brain of all stress. I curled up like a cat against the tree’s base and lay my head against the tree’s tough bark. My eyes fluttered closed, and I saw nothing but serine darkness. I was teetering on the edge of sleep, about to be drug down again, when I heard him.
“You’re really going to fall asleep again? You just woke up” He asked, amusement laced into his voice. My eyes shot open, my senses on high alert. I turned my head beyond the tress’s perimeter only to see a wall of rain. I was alone…or so I thought.
“Hey little girl, I’m up here,” he told me. I glanced upward, my eyes scanning between the branches until I saw him. His auburn hair stood out against the tree’s brown and green backdrop. He sat nonchalantly on one of the thicker branches, and he wore jeans caked in mud, and a blue thin t-shirt. His indigo eyes shone with mischief, and a crooked grin was plastered on his face. I guessed he was about my age, seventeen, and in a weird way, the boy was a looker
“Excuse me, but I wasn’t going to go to sleep, and I have a name you know,” I told him bluntly.
The boy’s grin grew, stretching across his face.
“Well, you could have fooled me little girl, and what’s your name?”
“Willow, pretty.”
“What’s your name?” I asked, my curiosity reaching its pinnacle.
“I don’t have a name.”
“Everybody has a name. You just don’t want to tell me yours,” I proposed.
“Are you sure Willow?” he asked, eyes sparkling like wet coins. Then he melted back into the tree, out of sight. His laughter though remained present; it shook the tree’s branches like thunder crashing through the sky. He vanished though without a trace, yet I could still smell his cologne that was lingering in the air. For a moment, I listened to see if he was going to jump out at me, scaring my breath away, but nothing happened. The rain’s song was all that occupied my ears, along with the faint rustle of leaves.
“Willow,” he yelled, his voice fading and dancing in the storm. “Willow, up here!”
I rolled my eyes, dejavu settling in my stomach. I glance up again to see a flash of auburn hair and than... nothing. Laughter again crossed my ears, ringing and curling in my brain, along with one word. Climb. The wind started to whisper my name, like an Indian chant and the temptation to climb infiltrated my pores, urging me to lift myself upwards.
“You’re crazy!” I shouted to the sky. “You’re going to get struck by lighting up there!”
“No I won’t little girl!” he exclaimed, from the top of the mighty tree. “Get up here!”
I was being idiotic, but my common sense evicted itself from my brain…and I climbed. I tossed my sketchbook to the earth’s floor and reached out. My fingers curled around a branch and then one after another. The higher I went, the more water leaked through the curtain of leaves. Water drenched my face, clouding my sight. The boys’ laughter swirled around me, and I tried to push it away, as my bare feet found flooring on another slick limb. Adrenaline pumped through my body as my hand clasped around another branch, yanking me higher in the bountiful tree. I then brushed a canopy of leaves out of my face, only to be hit by a wall of water. I screamed as the water scrubbed my face clean. The water pierced my skin like a thousand needles, and I covered my eyes, letting go of the branch that held me aloft towards the inky black sky.
Then I remember falling, getting sucked down into the storm. I felt weightless as my screams held me in a cocoon of molten fear. I didn’t know how high I climbed, or if I was close to the top of the mighty tree or a foot from the bottom. But at that precise moment in time, it didn’t matter, because I swore I was going to kiss away the living, and cross into the house of death. Visions of me landing on the ground, breaking my neck, flashed before my eyes, but today wasn’t my time to encounter death and join my father in heaven…because he caught me. The boy with no name caught me. I don’t know how, but one minute I was freefalling, screaming in terror, and the next I was lying in the warm arms of the boy. My eyes fluttered open and the fear of imminent death drained from my body. I looked up at the rugged boy to see sparks of hilarity and warmth burning in his eyes. I peered around to see that we were standing under the tree. The boy’s feet were rooted to the ground, and water dripped off his red bangs and onto my cheek.
“Thanks,” I murmured as the boy pulled me closer to this chest.
“No problem,” the boy answered. “Just try not to fall again.”
“No promises,” I concealed to the boy as I slithered out of his embrace.
“How did you do it?” I then asked, brows raised, my hands placed firmly on my hips.
“Do what?” The boy asked, that cheeky Cheshire cat grin forming back on his cherry red lips.
“How did you catch me? You were at the top of the tree.”
“No I wasn’t little girl.”
“Yes you were and my name is not little girl! It’s Willow, and you were at the top of the tree. And I guess, somehow you went all Tarzan and caught me like I’m Jane, or something.”
“A simple thank you would be acceptable, I also take tips.”
“Thank you,” I huffed. “But I don’t understand-
“Let it go Willow,” he told me sincerely. “Walk with me. I want to show you something.”
I opened my mouth to protest, but I quickly closed it. The boy guided me forward, and brought me away from the tree and into the prairie. That’s when I noticed that the storm had subsided and blew away into the west. The sun had reappeared, its rays sliced through the remaining gray clouds, showering the country side once again with seams of pale gold light. “Look,” the boy then pointed. I followed the boy’s finger to make out a rainbow shimmering like soaked paint in the blue sky. The rainbow was beautiful, how it curved so daintily, and glimmered like water rippling over a pond of a hot day.
“Is this what you wanted to show me?” I asked the boy, kindly.
“Yes,” he replied instantly. He then turned to me and laid his two hands on my shoulders. “I found you Willow to tell you something.”
“What?” I asked blindly. I’d never seen this boy before, and I was surprised at his immanent attempt to find me in this dumpy small farm town. Though, when I stared at the boy again, I really tried to decipher the motive that sat in his eyes. His eyes, like I said, were blue. Dull blue, almost gray…like mine. I dug deeper, picking his face apart one by one, trying to sleuth out a clue to find out who this no-named boy was. Then I picked up that his cheek bones were slanted, like mine, and his nose was crooked like mine. I must have had a bizarre unnatural look painted on my face, because the boy’s lips twitched into a smirk. But with that smirk, the final key to this mystery fell into place. I gasped. I knew who this boy was. I’d seen his face my entire life; in crispy crackled brown photographs in my Mama and Dad’s wedding book, and in ancient picture frames around the house. I also saw this young, blemish free face at my Dad’s funeral around his coffin and in his coffin.
I choked back a sob, and my tears could not be restrained. They poured out of my eyes uncontrollably, and ran briskly down my cheeks and nose. My slender hand covered my mouth, and my breathing became unsteady, like I had a rock lodged in my trachea. I felt like my heart exploded in my chest, killing me on the spot as I dove into my father’s arms. My arms wrapped themselves around his neck, and my head slammed against his chest. My tears soaked through his t-shirt, and my muffled sobs were stiff and uncontrollable, but the boy-the ghost of my dead father-just hugged me, and gave me comfort. The younger version of my Dad finally let me go, and we stood side by side. Even if we weren’t touching, I could feel my Dad’s warm gentle touch glide over my skin, giving me bittersweet comfort.
“I came to give you partings,” my younger dad explained, his voice soft and soothing like honey. “To show you Willow that storms can come quickly. Out of nowhere, killing your heart and causing you horrible grief, like my death. You need to know though Willow that the sun will always shine again. Even if you’re lost in a storm, or falling from a mountainous tree, you will find light, and maybe even a rainbow.”
The two of us were then enveloped in silence, as the closer I’ve been longing for settled in my heart. I turned to my dad, wanting to thank him for visiting me and helping my heart beat again, but he was gone. His ghost had vanished from this earth. I did witness a brown bird though, fly up towards the sun, singing as if it was telling me goodbye. I knew that tawny bird was my Dad. Giving me a finally farewell for me to hold on till it was my turn to walk to heaven, unbound on my own accords. I watched as the bird vanished from the cool blue sky, leaving it’s footprints among the clouds. I than stood in the prairie, touched by my father’s soul, and with his award winning advice.
I then decided to venture back to my drunken mother and my shattered life away from the prairie. I grabbed my sketchbook and started home, soaked, exhausted, and elated. Half way home though I stopped, closed my eyes, and stood motionless in the sun’s eyes. The summer’s heat beat down on the back of my neck, and my t-shirt clung tightly to my chest. I then whispered to the heavens, “Good bye daddy. I will always be your little girl.”

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