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Clouds of Time
written by: Christina Fitzi
I had never seen a girl as beautiful as her. She lived on the same street as I did and, as often as possible, we had played together in my small treehouse. She always said that my treehouse was our escape place. I asked myself why she had called it that way. However, my heart broke when we were about twelve; her dad got a new job at another police station on the other side of town, and they had to move. But, as there is always a silver lining, in the second semester in high school, they moved back, and we were in the same classes on Mondays and Thursdays. She was as wonderful, pretty, and stunning as I remembered. Some boys might have said that she was just ordinary. But her eyes, they were more interesting than anyone’s I had ever seen before. She was always smiling, and her eyes were always smiling or even glowing. But when she thought that no one was watching her, that look on her face just faded away.
On Thursday, we had Math. I had always been very good at Algebra, and she had had some problems, so I wondered if I could help her. I had gathered all my courage to ask her, and she replied: “That would be amazing. Can we meet after school in your treehouse?” I was stunned that she still remembered our moments in that small and cozy shelter room. Full of excitement I answered: “Of course, I’d love to.”
So, I climbed up the wooden ladder and started to tidy up a bit. No one had been here for years. As I walked up to the little window, I remembered me and her playing in this tiny room. We were all by ourselves, joking, laughing and having fun. Everything changed. On one wall we carved our initials into the wood. After the cleaning, I brought some blankets, candles, and pillows up the ladder. I even prepared some snacks for us. I remember that she loved Twinkies so I ran to the supermarket and got some for us. As the sun slowly set down, the rays illuminated the room and all the old memories came back again.
When she arrived, the sun had gone down already, and it started to rain heavily. First, I didn’t recognize but, as she turned to me, I could see that she had been crying, her beautiful eyes were full of water. She was soaked by the rain and she shook heavily. I gave her one of the blankets, but she didn’t stop shaking. I wanted to ask her so many questions, but she made me swear not to. I agreed and it turned out to be the biggest mistake in my whole life. We were sitting in my treehouse, and I didn’t know how to start the conversation. It felt like my treehouse was not as big as it usually was. What an awkward situation, I thought. She was sobbing. I didn’t know what to do, so I just crawled up to her and put my arm around her. She was shaking, her whole body was cold as ice as if she had been outside for hours. I didn’t know how much time passed, but it felt like forever. I knew that something horrible was going on, but I had just promised not to ask her any questions. Suddenly, she wiped off her tears, stood up and left, and I still buzzed, was standing in my little treehouse alone in the dark.
I went to bed, but I still had a strange feeling, so it took some time to fall asleep. The next day I wanted to ask her what happened, even if I had to break my promise, I just wanted to know what had made her cry the whole evening and if she was doing okay. I was standing in the corridor where her locker was, but she was not at school. On the next day, she didn’t show up either. She was missing the entire week.
My thoughts were spinning around so much that I walked to her house even without noticing. When her father answered the door, a cold shiver ran down my back. He was a huge man. In both ways that one could think of. The way his dark eyes stared at me, made me feel uncomfortable. He told me that she was very sick and that she needed to stay in bed. I asked if I could talk to her and tell her what happened in school, but I could swear that her dad already knew that it had just been an excuse to see her. He refused. I tried to call her, but she never picked up. I had sent thousands of messages telling her that I was there if she needed to talk to anyone, I wanted to be the one that she could have spoken to.
Two weeks passed and still no answer. I was extremely worried, so I walked to her house again. I snuck into the small garden and saw her through the window. She was lying in her bed, curled up as she was that night in my treehouse. I went up to the window and knocked on it. She cringed. She slowly stood up and tiptoed her way to me. She opened the window just a little bit so that I could hear her. I couldn’t see her clearly because of the sun’s reflection. She asked irritated: “What are you doing here? Why are you here? If he sees you, he’s going to be very angry. Leave, please leave.” Suddenly the door behind her opened, and she closed the curtains. I could just hear him shouting to whom she was speaking, then I left without answering one of her questions or even asking one. From the distance, I could hear a gunshot.
On the next day, I was so relieved when I spotted her close to her locker. I walked up to her and asked her straight away what had happened yesterday and the other night. She ignored me. She had been the happiest girl I knew, but she was not smiling. She looked sick and pale, like a little girl without any hope. I looked down and saw that she had bruises on her arms, but as soon as I saw them, she pulled down her sleeves. Her eyes looked like something had broken inside of her. I asked thousands of questions, but she just replied you would never understand, or I am fine. I hugged her. She felt so different. She was as cold as a winter day. Then she looked up, right into my eyes, and I could swear that her eyes looked like a month full of rain and thunder. She whispered so quietly that it was hard to understand, but I could hear parts of it, something like no one had ever been there for her like me and that she wanted to thank me for caring, but she will be fine, and I shouldn’t bother any longer. I was irritated but before I could reply she moved on and let me stand there paralyzed by what had happened. Unable to say anything, I watched her walking down the long corridor. She didn’t even look back at me and went outside.
Now it’s in the middle of the night, and again I can’t sleep, so I am writing into my journal. Suddenly, a strange noise is coming from the backyard. I look outside but I can’t see anything, so I go downstairs, through the backdoor into the garden. It is nearly April, and even if during the day the sun heats up everything, it’s still freezing during the nights. Dawn is near, but the grass and all the flowers are still frozen. Even my mother’s roses that have just started to bloom are covered with ice again. I am looking through the garden when all of a sudden, I see a ray of light in my treehouse, so I climb up the small stairs. Before I have reached the end of the stairs, I hear a loud noise. I climb up faster to see what it was. After reaching the top exhaustingly, I see her. Lying. In blood. A small piece of paper in her hand. I’m standing there numb. On that paper it states handwritten: You have been there for me like no one else. You have been my summer in my winter. You have been my sun in my rain. You have been my little escape room. I will love you till eternity, but only now I am fine and free. The only thing I can think about is, how could she’s done that and how can I survive that?
I look up and don’t know what to do. I hear my parents shouting my name, but I can not speak, I just recognize their voices. My mum’s screaming what the hell I’m doing outside but I’m still unable to say anything. Suddenly she stands next to me and puts her arm around me trying to pull me closer to her, but I’m still frozen. She looks at her and shouts to my dad to call an ambulance. My body won’t move, I can’t close my eyes. I keep staring at her body. I turn to my mother who’s been crying the whole time. All I can understand is “Curtis; she’s going to be fine, she’s going to be fine, she’s going to be fine.” I see the blue light of the ambulance, and I see the men and women pressing dressings on her arms. One female paramedic turns to me asking for her name, and I reply anxious and still in shock: “Kristy.” They are still pressing, and Kristy is recovering consciousness. The lady turns back to her, talking and all I can understand is “You are going to be okay.”