A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art
BY: GRACE FEELEY
“Happiness is only real when shared.” -Christopher McCandless
I went to the place we used to love today. I let myself relax in the cool grass as I laid down to look up at the baby blue sky. I ran my fingers through the blades of grass and I felt your hair on my palm. Too soon!
I sat up and focused my attention on the trees. The breathtaking willow in front of me bent over in sorrow with his arms hanging low to the ground, budding with mossy leaves. He covered his trunk so I couldn’t see his face and witness his despair. If only he knew, I could comfort him.
I then glanced at the other trees, who stood tall and proud, more restrained than the willow. Vibrant chartreuse leaves sprang from straight and sturdy branches. They reminded me of you.
I looked out at the lake in front of me. My hand danced across the surface of the water which gleamed with fresh sunlight. The swans whispered in conversation as they glided together through the water. The sparrows soared and dived, chirping and singing. I wanted to talk to you. Too complicated!
I tilted my head up to the sky and watched the clouds swirl. Creamy white curves painted the blue canvas like the flashes of yellow in your blue eyes. Is that you peering down at me from heaven? Or is it just a coincidence that heaven on Earth, the garden of Eden, reminds me of you? Is this the place that I’ve been dreaming of?
Will you ever leave my mind? Everything I say and do welcomes you back in for only a moment, but of course you decide to stay for a while. I’m told we are both in a better place and it’s time to move on now. I think I’m moving on, yet I go nowhere.
I laid back down on the grass and tried to take in the peacefulness of my surroundings, but my emotions were at war inside me. I closed my eyes and concentrated on staying in touch with the landscape, but suddenly you appeared and reached your hand out to me, smiling. When our fingers were about to touch, I opened my eyes and you were gone. I was alone, just as I came.
It’s human nature to cling onto the things you love most. Just like our old days, you and me, when you were still here and didn’t only live in my heart, we would sit here and revel in this bucolic scene. I would brush my hand against your hair, not the grass, and the birds wouldn’t be the only ones talking to me. I would feel the warmth from your arms, not just from the sun, and suddenly I wouldn’t feel lost anymore. In fact, I could even feel mother nature’s kind eyes watching us with love. At that moment, we were in a magical place that only we knew.
I am your life source and your kingdom is my memory. Because you died young, it’s here you will live forever.
A tear rolls down my cheek and I slowly come back to reality. You are not here. Each time I play your voice in my head, it cracks more and more like an old vinyl record. The movie of memories becomes blurry. You are slipping away.
But I force myself to come back here because it is the only way I can see you again, in our favorite place, sitting under our favorite tree and laughing. You laugh until your face turns
red and you can no longer breathe and I wait for you to take a big, satisfying gulp of air. I experience the agony of loving and losing you all over again.
I just wanted you to know I didn’t forget you.
Your saving grace
Grace Feeley attends Stuyvesant High School in New York. She created this work to express how she felt about dealing with the death of someone very close to her. Her favorite place in the world is Central Park and she enjoyed going there with the subject of this letter. She recently returned to a place in the park where they spent time and decided to write down how it made her feel.