Pixels & Pages

Calling all creative teens! Send us your best poetry, stories, and artwork! Accepted entries will be featured on this page, with a chance to be published in Pixels & Pages, our annual Teen Magazine! Submit your work at any MCPL location, or online at www.mcpl.us/teenzone/publishing.
APRIL 2, 2012
Life Goes On
        It was a foggy day in Wisconsin.  I was riding in our car with my mother to the supermarket on the highway.  We needed paper towels, and if we hadn't gone, the accident wouldn't have happened.
        I remember it like it was yesterday.  My mother switched the music to an oldies station, and we were singing The Beatles' song, Let it Be.  We were laughing at a joke, but my mother's eyes were focused intently on the icy road.
        I saw something in the upcoming fog, and I passed it off as nothing, believing that nobody would have their lights off in this weather.  My mother saw it, too, and I opened my mouth to say something once I realized what it was.  She looked at me for half a second, but the car was in the wrong lane and approaching fast.
        Her arm reached over to protect me, but it wasn't enough to protect herself.  Swerving to avoid the upcoming vehicle, our car skidded on the ice, toppling over.  We rolled down a ditch, our screaming the only noise I could register.
        Finally resting at the bottom of the ditch upside down, I looked over at my mother, groaning in pain when I turned my neck.  She looked back at me, and only then did I see the blood seeping from her head and arm.  "Mom," I whispered, weak with worry, and her eyes fluttered shut.  "Mom?  Mom!"  I grabbed my phone and called 9-1-1, but it was too late.
        "Mary," my mom whispered, eyes opening ever so slightly.  "I love you, Mary."  She became slack, eyes still partially open.  Tears rolled down my face, resting in my hair, forever in a ponytail.
        Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.  The song finished, and I was screaming, trying to free myself from the car.  Sliding out of the broken window with shards of glass on the edges, I crawled until I reached the road.
        "Mommy," I cried loudly, screaming nonsense up to the point where the cops and ambulance arrived.  They tried to touch me, but I was hysterical, fighting them off and screaming, "No!" over and over.  I was finally captured and dragged onto a cot, shrieking at the top of my lungs.  I eventually became exhausted, and my eyes shut, my brain still active.
        She's gone, I thought.  She's really gone.  Who will be there, waiting for me to wake up in the morning?  Who will tell me that they love me as I leave for school?  Who will be there every day when I get home, smiling and asking if I wanted anything?  What about when I graduate the eighth grade?  Who will be there to hug me tightly and smile with pride all while being the most responsible for keeping me sane?  Who will take care of me when I'm sick?  Who will be my mother?
        Finally, my brain shut down, leaving only numbness to remain.
        "She's not waking up," a familiar voice whimpered, close to my head.  Hair was brushed out of my face, and I wanted to sneeze.  Where was I?  I felt something slip, and suddenly, I was staring at the doctor and my father, both leaning over my body, concerned.  Why did Dad look different?  Why was I at the hospital?  Why could I see my body?
        I was pulled back into my body, feeling the pokes and prods from the doctor.  My eyes fluttered open, and I saw a middle aged man with thinning hair that used to be a light caramel but was now becoming gray.  I stared at the man, slowly realizing it was my father.
        "Daddy?"  I rasped, and he held me close, crying.  I realized that something was wrong, but after I persisted to know, everyone kept silent.  I was told of my injuries, and I cried more, not remembering how I received them.
        The doctors kept me there for two more days, and I soon found that I had been at the hospital for an extended period of time.  I got home, and my dad asked me to retrieve a roll of toilet paper.  I went to the place where it usually was, hiding on a shelf by the stairwell to the basement.
        Instead of the toilet paper, I had accidentally grabbed a roll of paper towel.  The crash came back into my mind, leaving me breathless.  The memories collided with one another, and I understood.
        My father had been worn down from losing his wife - and almost his daughter.  He had grown all of the worry lines over the accident.  Mike, my brother, was quiet and unresponsive because he had lost his best friend.  I didn't even recognize the loss of my mother, which I later blamed on the shock.
        Life had changed forever, all because of that foggy day in Wisconsin.
        I never realized how wrong I was.  I watched people who lost family members look dead, more lost than humanly possible, and wondered how they needed so much attention.  I saw how others who didn't know the person that died cry for their friend's relative, and I thought that it was stupid.  Death happens...  At least, that's what my mom said.
        I couldn't focus for more than a few seconds without thinking about my mother, and it was a month ago when she died.  I saw how much pain and burden others who had lost relatives carried, and I now felt that overwhelming weight.
        I missed my mother.  I couldn't listen to The Beatles' soothing melodies, sit in the passenger seat of a car, or feel the woven texture of paper towel without unhinging.  I couldn't live without her, but I couldn't do anything about it.  She protected me for a reason, and I'm still alive for that same reason.  I didn't have any clue what it may be yet, but that reason must be important enough to keep me breathing.
        Still, life went on.
        Now, in the month of May, I give my exit presentation to go into high school.  My counselor suggested that I should change my presentation, but I can't, not when I've kept it the same for months.  I know the risk of this, the emotions that I attempt to keep caged inside of me being released, but I can't change it.  I can't have anything else change.
        We have to explain our role model, and my throat closes in on me, speaking about my mother.  I can see her, a faint light in the back of the room, watching me present why she was and still is my role model.  Tears of joy well up in my eyes, and I finish my presentation crying.  The others don't understand, believing grief is my reason for my sudden breakdown.  A slight breeze brushes past me, caressing me softly, and I know my mother is still watching over me, as she always will.
        I didn't understand the reason I was saved from death, but now I do.  I had to learn that, even as life goes on, there are some things that will never change, such as my love for my mother, my drive for writing, and my inspiration of music.  That's why the whole presentation, I had The Beatles Let it Be on loop, it's soft-spoken lyrics reassuring me that I will go on, just as time does.

Add a comment  (1 comment) posted by Megan D.

Categories: 2011-12Teen Publishing ProjectShort Story/Essay



Rebekah said, on Apr. 30 at 7:02AM
It's a very sad story, but with a little bit of a bright side. Good job!