Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Locket

Five years had passed since that day. Five, and she still remembered every last tiny, miniscule detail about him. His tight brown curls, warm hazel eyes, bright smile, big hands, tall height, contagious laughter, and love of life…and her.

She was only 15 at the time, and he, 17, and many, if not all, who watched their relationship grow day by day would have the same response: “They’re just too young.” “They hardly know what love is.” But they were wrong. They did know what love was, and she was in it…with him.
“Morgan…hurry up!!!” called Danny impatiently up ahead of her along the sunny dirt path in the woods. “You’re soooo slow!!!”
He said this playfully of course, seeing how he could never see himself getting mad at her for anything. Anything at all. But even so, she was falling behind, and he did want to show her what lied ahead of them further down the path.
“Coming,” came the sweet, innocent voice of the girl on the path, her voice like that of an angel as she spoke. Yet she could not find it in her power to increase her speed, for she felt that as did so, she would be missing out on so much of the world around her.

Stopping shortly, she bent down to pick up a cluster of tiny, white flowers, sticking one gently behind her right ear, and then looked around. The trees where in full bloom and a vivid shade of green, shading the path they were on save for a few spots of sun that found their way through the leaves’ clever shield, and there was a slight, but evident breeze in the air that with each new breath played among her hair. Standing back up, her dress swayed gently in the breeze, and she caught the faint smell of flowers and spring all around her. She was so caught up in the moment that she didn’t even see him coming up behind her. Without thought her wrapped his strong arms around her tiny, delicate waist and pulled her closer towards him. Now having her in his arms, he took her in, the way she smelled, the way her body moved with his, the look on her face when she saw his face nestled beside hers. Then, before she could say a word, he turned her around, took her beautiful face in his hands and kissed her sweet, crimson lips, their taste lingering on his own, moments after the kiss had been made.

“Come angel…you need to see this.” Then picking her up and carrying her in his arms, he brought her down the sun-kissed path to a clearing in the mist of a field.
“What is this place?” she asked, looking around.
“This is but the mere entrance to a world all our own, to a place, I’ve loved all my life, and now can share with you.”

She wanted to respond, but knew her words would never come out the way she wished them to, so instead, nodded her head, and nestled it among the boy’s chest, all the while keeping her arms and fingers delicately wrapped around his neck.
A while passed, but soon they were there, and setting her down, he kissed her softly a top a head of blond curls.

“This is it Morgan…look around.”
And he was right, it was beautiful…absolutely stunning, and she had never seen anything like it in all her life. Before her lay a tiny, bubbling stream with water as clear as day, with romantic looking trees falling lovingly above it. Walking out to one of the rocks on the side of the stream, she looked down into it studying her reflection in the water. And then he was there, holding her once more, kissing her softly along her neck, and whispering in her ear…“ It reminds me of you Morgan.” “Beautiful, breathtaking…amazing.” And opening her hand, he slipped a locket with their initials and date inside. “I’ll always love you…never forget that.”
Then turning towards him with tears in her eyes, she whispered, “Why you?” And let herself fall and weep helpless into his arms.

Wiping away her tears, he looked deep into her blue eyes and whispered back…

Five years had passed since that day. And three weeks after that, his body had stopped responding to treatments. One week later, he was gone. Walking out into the clearing she held out an old lantern in front of her, lighting the path through the darkening field. A little further and she would be there. Five steps and she would reach the rock; one look and she would remember it all. Looking into the water, she smiled thinking how it hadn’t changed one bit since that day, and how much she still loved being there…feeling his presence all around her. Gazing at the reflection that played back at her, she smiled while tears fell down the sides of her cheeks. Then holding the locket in her hand she whispered into the breeze…

Baby Bella

It was about mid-April and warm out. The flowers were all in bloom, the trees full and fresh, and the sky a whimsical shade of baby blue with wisps of fluffy, white clouds flirting playfully among what looked like an endless sea above them. The breeze was soft and gentle, and rose and fell in tune with Ellie’s heart. Thu-thump. Thu-thump. Distinct, strong, constant like the love she felt for her newly born daughter. She was perfect. An angel, if ever she knew one. In every way.

Walking over to the window, Ellie let the warm, spring air play among her skirt and dance upon her skin. She wanted to take it all in, every second, every moment, every breath to be savored as if it were a gift. Each day, each gift far surpassing the last.

She had decided on Bella almost the moment she had discovered she was pregnant and never questioned its notability for a second there after. Bella was a good name, a strong name, a beautiful name, and Bella…well, it just fit. Moving slightly in her mother’s arms, Bella let out a tiny squeak of a yawn, blinked her beautiful brown eyes, and nestled her tiny head of tight, dark curls deep along the side of her mother’s long, elegant neck, and continued to sleep the long, hard sleep of a newborn that could be broken by nothing more than feeding.

Ellie stroked the sweet head of curls swaddled securely against her chest, and kissed her softly on her tiny forehead, her skin a soft, smooth brown reflecting her own. Reaching down, Ellie passed her index finger along her baby’s clenched fists, so small and fragile, let out a deep sigh of admiration, and swayed her body rhythmically to the rise and fall of Bella’s chest until she was sure that she was fast asleep.

Not wanting to let her go, even for a second, Ellie hesitated before placing Bella carefully in the basinet set up beside the table. Once more Ellie leaned over and kissed her small daughter on the head. She let out a short, momentary squeak, tightened her body, squinched up her tiny nose, and then relaxed.

Walking back over to the window, Ellie thought, “She’s perfect.” “She’s an angel.” And after gazing out at the clear blue sky, warm sun, and bursting colors of the day she closed her eyes. She wanted to take it all in. Every second. Every moment. Every breath. She was a mother…at last.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Looks like Rain

Walking through pounds and pounds of mud and muck, and rain, and sludge I was glad that I had packed those trash bags with me. However, that’s not to say that I didn’t question its oddity, and my own, the entire time I trudged along mile for mile trying my best to block out the rain and dreariness. But that was easier said than done with everyone around me, dressed just as crazily as I, serving as a constant reminder to our present predicament.

To my right was a middle-aged man holding a big, black umbrella and orange draw-string addidas bag, he was wearing a black and orange rain coat, and shorts complete with clear trash bags over his sneakers. Others, like the man behind me, chose the more limited approach such as the simple poncho over regular marathon clothes. I on the other hand was the extreme…the exception to the rule…the one they would be talking about as they trudged on. This would be because I happened to be wearing every form of rain protection possible. Over my head I wore a bright yellow poncho, and a regular cut out black traditional trash bag over my waste reaching down past my knees. Over my sneakers, much like the man to my right, I wore clear trash bags to keep my shoes from getting ruined, either through mud, or rain, or any such annoyance. However, I will admit that it was quite the challenge to walk in, especially at a fast pace as I enjoyed.

Up ahead was a lady talking to one of her friends, and I wondered what they were talking about. Not paying attention, I tripped right over a hole in the ground and ripped one of the bags on my feet. I was so upset. This meant I would have to step outside of the hoard of people and re-apply another trash bag in place of my damaged one. Quickly, tactfully, I pulled the wet, muddy bag from my foot and opened the new one, slipped it flawlessly over my right sneaker and jumped back into step with the mass. Had I not stopped, I was sure that I would have been three markers from where I was now, so I decided to pick up the pace.

It was raining harder than ever now, and I could hardly hear myself think. Exhilarated yet annoyed, I listened to the constant patter of rain pelting the top of my poncho, until its sound become a monotone hum in the background…at least for now. I wondered how close we were to our next rest spot, but then looking down at my filthy, mud caked trash bags I thought “Who cares???” “Bring it on!!!”

Horizon of Heaven

“Horizon of Heaven”
By: David Luong

“Claire…Claire honey are you going to give us an answer, or continue to daydream out the window for the rest of class?” questioned my Pre-Calc teacher as she walked over to my desk peering down at my empty notebook and pointing at the board. “I’ve asked you the same question three times.” “Do you think you can-”

“Five.” I said, almost instantly without taking my eyes off the spot that they had been fixated on since the moment class began.” “The answer’s five, and no, I’m not, because you can’t continue something you weren’t doing in the first place.”

“So what would you call what you were doing then?” she asked, confused.
“The answer’s five. Am I correct?”
“Yes, but you never-”
“Alright then, so it’s five.” And wiping away a tear I turned my attention back to the window…the sky…Tommy.


“Do you remember when he spilled the beer all over the table and then drank it up right from there?” “Wasn’t that great?” “It was great right?” “Wasn’t that great?” But she wasn’t laughing. She was crying, sobbing, shaking uncontrollably, and holding me tighter than I’d ever been held in my entire life. Her hair was a mess, and her makeup was running wildly, but comparatively she might have been the best-looking one there…she always was. And her eyes. Those bright, blue, beautiful eyes were the same as always…except today they were like nothing I had ever seen before- strangers, and it startled me. It all did. Why was this happening? Why to him? Why us? I had so many questions and felt so many emotions. I was more overwhelmed than I had ever been in my entire life…ever.
“Yes,” I said, tears streaming down my face…“that was great.”

Walking into the room I felt a chill go down my spine. This was surreal. I felt disconnected, like I was watching the whole thing take place before my eyes…except it wasn’t my life at all, it was someone else’s altogether. Then I saw him. But only for a second before I pulled my eyes away, forcing myself to be strong…if not for myself, for them.

First it was my Aunt, his mother.
“Oh Claire, you look so beautiful.” “And your hair…it’s down!” And then a whisper, “for Tommy.” I hugged her and kissed the side of her head, letting my tears fall silently among her shoulders, and then without a word continued on. David-a brother, Danny-a cousin, my brother and his girlfriend, Melissa, a cousin and good friend like me, and then Karen…with those eyes-a sister.

Holding me in her arms she said, “You know honey, I’m so glad you want to become a teacher…that way you can teach people to be kind and loving like he was.” And wiping a tear from her eye and my own I said, “Of course I will…I promise.”

It was getting harder before it got easier, and now the next in line was Danielle…his fiancĂ©e. Walking over to her, I started to cry almost immediately. They loved each other so, so much and seeing her like this was practically unbearable. She reached out and pulled me into her, cradling me in her arms and holding me tight against her so I could smell the light scent of her hair and feel her tears meshing with mine. Then in a whisper barely audible she began, “He was always so proud of you. You made him so, so proud. And he’d talk about you all the time. He loved you Claire, loved you so much. And Halloween. You know that was a special holiday to him…I want you to come to Pumpkin Carving with me next year.”

And whispering back in her ear I said with tears still falling, “I wouldn’t miss is for the world.”

There was only one left in the line now, and that was Steven. And reaching him, his and my eyes red from grief, he told me, “You know, he really loved his cousins.”
And I said, “I know…we loved him too.”


The last flower had been placed, and the cars were filing away now, but I couldn’t help but notice how the sky looked as we drove off. How the sun could be seen breaking through the clouds as if to say “Cheer up, I’m here.” And it was then that it hit me. That I realized that that was our Tommy. Our sun. Our warmth. Our hope.

Dear Ms. Bradley,
I’d call it…talking in class.
- Claire

Monday, April 14, 2008

Community Project (Pieces of Hope)

Hey guys!!!

Seeing how my concept is Hope I was thinking about doing a community project called "Pieces of Hope." I was thinking about having it go something like this:

-First I'll make a whole big pile of tiny slips of paper.
-Next, I'm going to write a tiny hopeful quote on each individual slip of paper. For instance, "Don't never know who's falling in love with your smile," or "A Laugh is a Smile that Bursts," and thousands more.
-I absolutely love quotes, and making people happy, so I think the combination of the two are perfect.
-The next part is the most important.
-I'm going to go out around Norton, out of Norton, to my family, to my friends,to that random person standing in front of me in the Dunkin Donuts line, to anyone...and simply hand them the folded slip of paper and walk away, without saying one word.
-Then, hopefully, if all works out as planned I may just be able to bring a tiny ray of hope and make at least one person's day a little bit better, a little bit brighter...and if I'm lucky, a little bit more hopeful than it originally was.
-I hope it works.
-I can't wait.

Paradox Poem


There's this girl I hardly know, I'll tell you of her life

Of how I never met this girl, of how she came my wife

You see, I saw her walking there upon a busy street

And since no soul was close to her, I matched her fast paced feet

She paused and looked straight in my eyes, and then I knew for sure

This was the girl they'd sent for me, those boys with pent up lore

But soon I noticed she was odd, the sanest girl of all

This crazy ball of hyper, wasn't moving...not at all

Her words came faster than a train with sense the slower making

And as I tried to look away, she looked me back to staying

And in her hands she held a mess of organized lined notes

And glancing quickly at the top, I read the bottom's gloats

In script it begged tonight at seven, say yes, or I'll go crazy

And answered, you know I can't and said, I'm busy being lazy

Let's plan next week, to catch a bite much earlier this time

For now you see I cannot go, not with these words to rhyme

And that's as far as I could get before she turned to see

Excuse I know you sir?

Yes love, you married me.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Dawn of Hope

The Dawn of Hope
By: Daniel F. Gerhartz

“Mama”…no answer. “Mama, I’m talking to you…excuse me…Ma-” Abigail …hush, for the love of God, would you like it that the entire town know of our travels?” A pause. “No.” “Then simply hold tight to my hand and follow my lead okay?” “Okay…but Mama-” There’s an audible sigh let out by the young woman that’s just barely heard over the howling of the wind around them. “Yes Abigail?” “Where are we going?” “And when will we get there?” “I’m cold, and I’m tired, and I’m hungry.” The woman stops short, breaking her fast pace, and kneels down alongside that of her five-year-old daughter, searching and gazing lovingly into her soft blue eyes. Her long, blonde hair is dancing wildly across her face causing her to constantly reach up and brush it back with an annoyed sweep of her left hand, as her right is still clasped tightly in her mother’s own strong, yet delicate grasp. Kissing her daughter softly on the top of her head, and pulling her close to her breast, she runs her hands through her daughter’s golden locks and presses her face sweetly against her child’s fair, pink cheeks, her lips speaking words in a whisper only loud enough for young Abigail to hear. “I know my angel, but you must be strong and hold your head high. We shall be there shortly, and soon find comfort and peace, but until we’ve reached our journey’s end you must continue on like the brave little girl that I know you are.” Abby nods her head making it clear that she has heard her mother’s words, and as they continue on, their pace once again becomes quick and fleeting, towards where…she has no clue.

However, this didn’t bother Abby…in fact, hardly anything ever did at all, except for one thing. One thing that she could not stand to see, to know, was that her mother might be sad for even a second, because after losing her father to cancer only three years past Abby realized more than ever how much she truly needed her mother…how much a part of her she was…how much she loved her and never wished to see her shed one, single tear. She was only five, but already she understood what it meant to lose someone so close to your heart, and quite honestly she couldn’t stand to have it happen again…even if it were through tears. Yet Abby knew her mother would not falter, she was strong, determined…a fighter. They didn’t have much, but they had each other. That’s what her mother always said. She would say: “Remember Abigail, we’ll always have each other…If nothing else in this world…always each other.” And she was right.
The constant sting of bare feet against frozen cobblestone in the middle of the winter, and night for that matter, was almost more than Abby could stand. But each time Abby would think about giving up, she’d feel her mother’s strong hand squeezing her own, and remember what she had said, “You must continue on…you must be brave.” She was brave, and she would continue, because she hadn’t learned any other way to do things…how could she?
They turned the corner of Darvey Ave. where a small wooden building could be seen just a few yards from where they were standing on the cold stones, nightgowns of the palest white blowing anxiously in the wind. “We’re here Abigail” began the mother, a smile warming her face… “we’re here.” Abby followed her mother into the building, the door squeaking loudly as she turned the knob and eased it open. “Mama,” started Abigail, “what is this place?” With a soft sigh, the young mother looked down at her child and then back to the room in which they were standing…“It’s going to be home Abby-our very own house,” but looking down and seeing the concern in her daughter’s eyes, she simply finished by saying, “It will all become clear to you in due time my sweetest angel. And after having ended with such words, it didn’t take much longer before sleep began to take hold of the young woman, and for once, she let it be, not fighting its force. Abby however, held out just a while longer.

Finding a container with a small candle on the other side of the room, Abigail walked over cautiously picking it up and lighting it, just like her mother had taught her, striking the match hard against the box, and holding the flame close to the wick so it would explode in light. Going back over and kneeling beside her mother on a few old laid down blankets, she looked thoughtfully from the small bursting flame to her mother sleeping peacefully, beautiful, in the glow emitted from the flame of the candle and thought, “You’re right Mama…I’ll always have you no matter what…you’ll always be my Mama.” Then laying closer to her, Abigail buried her face in her mother’s long chestnut brown hair, that smelled of freshly picked flowers that she knew far too well. She imagined that she was a princess, wearing a crown of pure white flowers atop her head, and smiled happily at the idea, until there was a flicker in the flame due to a tiny draft being let in from just underneath the side door. Looking admiringly into her mother’s serene face, Abigail whispered softly just above her left ear, “Even if we’re not princesses Mama, we’ll still always have each other, always each other…I love you Mama,” and with that, she drifted off to sleep as the candle burned on for what Abby hoped would be forever…for always.