A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art
“Dad! I’m going to school! I’ll see you later, love you!” I have an important math test today and the last thing I can think of is showing up to write it. None of my friends are going, so why should I? Anyways, I’m already late to meet Geoffrey at the beach.
I bike past school and rethink my decision, I can’t stop myself from wondering about my future. What am I going to do next year? I’ve barely passed junior year. What will my dad think of me? I keep biking, thinking about how I do not want to disappoint my dad, he’s all I have.
Geoffrey is sitting on a log with a stick in his hand, his head bowed with boredom as he writes in the sand. I throw my bike in the bush and discretely creep up behind him. I’m standing over him and I look at his drawing, he’s playing Tic Tac Toe by himself. I aggressively put both of my hands on his shoulders and scream. Geoffrey jumps, he lets out an embarrassing high pitched voice and his elbows fly into my stomach! Crouched over, I laugh it off. We spend the whole morning talking and drinking beers with our feet hung off the side of the dock.
It’s 12:20pm and I glance at my phone, 6 missed calls from dad. My laugh drops into a frown. Dad never calls me this many times. Did he find something in my room? Did the school call him?
“Does he know?” asked Geoffrey. “Did the school call him? What did he say? Hang up!” He assumed I was in trouble with my dad.
“Shut up! He hasn’t answered yet!” I shout at Geoffrey as I finish dialing my dad’s number. Immediately, a woman answers.
“Hello, is this Dawson?” she asks. I don’t answer her. My dad does not work with any women. Why would a woman answer his phone? Is he having an affair? Is there a woman in my house? Dad never told me about her…
“Hi Dawson” she continues, “My name is Rayna and I am a nurse at the hospital. Your father came in this morning with chest pain.”
She continues talking, explaining the matter, but everything she says turns into a blur. Within ten minutes, I found myself at the front desk of the hospital. My father is in the first room to the right, his eyes barely open, he grabs my hand.
“Son, how was your exam?”
All I can think of doing is telling him the truth, I didn’t write it. But instead the words that came out of my mouth are:
“It was good dad, I think I aced it.”
Tears rolling down my cheeks, I squeeze his hand tighter.
“That’s good son, that’s really good.” He says as his hands touch my face and his voice trembles.
There are so many things going through my head yet I don’t know what to say. I stand over him staring at him as he struggles to breathe. He pulls me closer to him.
“You must embrace the changes that will happen in your life” he says quietly. His heartbeat slows on the monitor and his eyes slowly close. The shapes on the machine turn into a line. The nurse unplugs the machine. The room is silent, like there is no one around for miles. I have never hated the sound of silence as much as I do right now. My body collapses over my fathers as tears fall down my cheek and onto his ocean blue hospital gown.
My whole life it had just been me and my dad, no other family. The next week goes by really fast. It is just me at home now. The weather has been awful; constantly raining, cloudy and occasional thunder.
Geoffrey is staying with me at home for a bit. But we haven’t talked very much. I don’t think he knows what to say, the only thing I am thinking about is: what did dad mean when he said “Embrace the changes”? What changes? Being home alone? Having more responsibilities? Taking care of myself?
A few days later Geoffrey and I start talking regularly again. I told him about my father’s last words and asked him what he thought they meant. Though my father did not like Geoffrey very much. He thought Geoffrey was a bad influence, but I didn’t agree.
“What a coincidence that the sun came out at the same time you started feeling better!” Geoffrey said.
“What if the weather is mirroring your emotions? Just like the cartoon, The Fairly OddParents.”
“That’s stupid, it’s probably just a coincidence!” I told him.
Once we got back to school, everyone was talking about the weather. How the weather has constantly been off for the past two weeks.
Geoffrey turned to me “Still a coincidence?” he asked.
What if I did control the weather? I thought to myself. It would kind of make sense. I still did not believe him. Maybe that’s what my father meant when he said “Embrace the changes”.
I turned to Geoffrey and said “Tomorrow we are skipping school. Let’s go to the lake.”
Exactly what I predicted, we were swimming in the lake, having fun for a change, and for the weather has been nice for a few weeks! The sun was beaming on the lake, the birds were chirping and there was not a cloud to be seen.
“Geoffrey, look at the weather. It’s nice out.” I told him, knowing what his response would be. “I told you so!”
He yelled. “This is awesome!”.
“We still don’t have enough proof,” I told him.
He swam to the bottom of the lake and picked up a rock.
“What are you doing?” I asked. Before I could finish my question, there was a rock flying towards my face. I ducked as fast as I could and screamed at him “What is wrong with you? You could have killed me!”.
“But I didn’t… Dawson!” He shouted back at me.
“What?” I interrupted.
“Look at the weather,” he pointed out.
I looked up, the skies filled with clouds and it looked like it was about to rain. I guess this meant it all added up. And it all makes sense. That’s what my dad meant when he said “embrace the changes”.
“Holy crap! I control the weather.” I yelled at the top of my lungs. “What am I going to do? This is crazy. What if this is too much responsibility?” I have never been this excited or scared in my entire life. The sun was now glistening on the water, it must have turned into the hottest day of the year. How could my father trust me with this much power? Did he do this to me on purpose? What if I let him down? My head was spinning.
A month went by and after a while, I realized that Geoffrey and I were not very close anymore. He made some other friends and usually excluded me. Every once in a while he would call me and invite me, but I realized it was only because he wanted to ensure there was nice weather. He had been using me. He had told all his friends about me and had just been trying to keep me happy so his days could be sunny and bright. This is a lot for me to take in, but I don’t really have anyone here for me anymore. I can finish my senior year somewhere else, I thought to myself. A fresh start really does sound nice. This way I can keep my secret, a secret.
A week later, all my things were ready to be unpacked on Avalon Island with my uncle. My new life felt like an envelope waiting to be opened. I finally felt ready to “Embrace the changes” in my life.
Amy is a 17 year old writer from Vancouver, BC, Canada.