May 19, 2012

Starting Today by: Shelby Nicole (Fiction Story)

I turned over in my bed. It was morning, I grunted. I was not ready for this. Every day seemed to be harder than the last. Especially when everyone else carried on like nothing had happened. Then again, their lives hadnt been changed forever.
"You've gotta get up, sis!" My brother Ian whispered trying to get me to open my eyes. He was quite a bit older than me, but we'd always been extremely close. When he was younger, we used to get that we looked like twins all the time. We had the same Snow White black hair and fair skin with blue eyes. Somehow, we always just seemed to have this unspoken connection with one another. He was always the one I went to for guy advice, when I needed a pick me up, or if I wanted to just feel like one of the guys. Today, nothing would work.
"What's the point?" I shrugged, pulling the covers over my head, avoiding eye contact. I could still see sun light peeking through the window. It made me cringe.
Ian sat at the foot of my bed and slumped his shoulders down. He really had been doing the best he could and I knew he was worn out. Hell, we all were.
Our mom had passed away about a month ago and dad had been a wreck since. Ian had stepped in to help out with the house and me. He had been away at college, but immediately decided to take a semester off with everything going on.
My parents were high school sweethearts who were destined to be together from the moment they met. They were the kind of couple everyone hopes to be, so in love that they disgusted everyone around them. But, it was real and everyone pulled for them. I thought back to all the times they sat at the dinner table making googley faces at each other and my brother and I would just roll our eyes. Never had I wanted to replay those moments anymore than I did right then. But, it only made me feel guilt. A twinge in my chest occurred.
I saw a tear run down his face; he tried to hide it, but it was too late. I had already seen him wipe it off.
"I don't know..." he answered honestly. "I don't know what the point of any of this is anymore. Mom should be here. You're only fifteen, girls that age need their moms. She shouldn't have left!" he took a deep breath, trying his hardest not to lose his composure. "Not like this," he continued. Ian was always the strong one. He was always the one looking for the bright side of things and the one encouraging me to do the same. But, not this time. No, this time things were different. There was nothing he could say, because he had never known this kind of pain either. I didn't like seeing him like this.
That opened a floodgate to my tears and I couldn't stop.
"It's not fair!" I sobbed, and he threw his arms around me. We held onto each other and cried for minutes straight.
Time passed so slowly when there was nothing to look forward to. I watched the clock change several times. Neither of us knew what to say. The silence pretty much summed up our conversation. It had been days since I'd really come out of my room in the first place.
"You know what?" Ian looked me in the eyes, placing his hand on my shoulder. He always did that when he had something important to say.
"What?" I sniffled.
"We've been avoiding life."
He was right. I had ignored my friends since the funeral, skipped school for the past couple weeks and I had missed the Nick Jonas concert at The Hollywood Bowl. I hadn't been myself. I was trying to adjust to the new normal, but I was afraid. Afraid to admit the fact that mom was really gone. Because if I moved on without her, the reality that she wasn't coming back would set in.
"I know..." I admitted in a monotone voice.
"Mom would be really upset with us right now," he tried to smile to lighten the mood.
I copied the gesture, "She'd say 'you kids had enough of me while I was alive...go on out there and help dad. You know he can't do anything without me. Oh, and make sure he eats those Brussels sprouts, especially if he's going to keep eating those sweets,'" I said in the same tone of her voice.
Ian chuckled,"That's freaky! That's probably exactly what she would say." He looked at me with the same sympathetic look that everyone had been giving me from the moment we found out.
"What?" I glanced away awkwardly.
"I never realized just how much you look like her."
I bit my lip to keep myself from crying again. I already felt like I'd been beaten up with my puffy red eyes.
"Thank you."
"I'm sure you'll be an amazing mom like her someday. You have her same spirit and charisma, with your own little bit of sarcasm and spunk. She wouldn't want you to lose that just because she's gone."
"I guess you're right," I nodded.
"You know I'm right," he cleared his throat. "How about you skip school one more day and we have a day with just the two of us?"
"I'd really like that."
"Okay," he kissed the top of my head,"I love you, Court! Don't ever forget that. I'll see you down stairs." He smiled from the doorway and I heard his footsteps as he walked away.
I sat in bed, still trying to find the courage to face the day. I looked out the window and saw a small blue jay sitting on our fence. That simple bird reminded me that God can bring beautiful things out of dust. I took a minute to put myself together and wiped my eyes that were stinging.
"It's what mom would want," I said out loud.
For the first time, I decided to get ready and continue on with my life. Mom was gone, but I wasn't. It was up to my brother and I to continue the legacy that she would want us to. Starting today.

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