Over Thanksgiving break I had a lot of time to relax. It actually was somewhat boring. So, I started looking through some old files I had on my computer and I came across this short story I wrote in 12th grade English class. I just thought I’d share it with you guys…
The Blinding Light
by Jeb Ford
“Jump,” said the woman with the bright face, smiling warmly, hands outstretched. “I’ll catch you. Trust me.”
“I’m scared. You’re too far away,” said the girl.
“No Hunny, I’m right here, I’ll always be right here,” said the woman.
“I can’t do it. It’s too high. I’m too scared,” said the girl, as the tears started to build up in her eyes. The vision of the woman began to fade, as she became surrounded by a blinding light.
“Wait! Don’t leave me. I can’t do this on my own,” cried the girl.
“You’ll be fine, besides, I‘m with you always,” said the woman, her voice faded as the light intensified. “I love you.”
“Beep, beep, beep.” The alarm sounds. Nikki awakes abruptly. “I love you, too,” she mumbles. Finally, she realizes where she is. She turns off the alarm. As she sluggishly rolls over in her bed, she reaches over to close the blinds in the window. The sun is shining in the cloudless blue sky. There is a warm breeze blowing in off of the sparkling bay. The view from the window looks almost as if it was painted by an artist trying to capture an image of the perfect day. Nikki quickly pulls the blinds shut.
After standing in the cold shower for what seemed like an hour, not wanting to face the events of the upcoming day, Nikki finally decides to get dressed. Normally, black is her favorite color. She has many black outfits and she thinks she looks quite cute in each of them. However, the black skirt and blouse that she is wearing today do not coincide with her normal style. As she looks in the mirror while finishing up her make-up, there is a knock on the door.
“Nikki,” said a calm voice. “Are you eating breakfast before we leave?”
“Yeah, Dad, I always eat breakfast.”
“Well, try and hurry up. You know that we can’t be late,” he replied.
“I don’t even want to go,” she said, under her breath.
“What’s that Hunny?” asked the man.
“Nothing, I…I’m just about ready.” she answered, really wanting to tell her dad that she didn’t want to go and didn’t see why she had to. It’s not like anything she does can change what happened.
“See you downstairs,” he said. Nikki could hear his footsteps slowly walking down the steps. It reminded her of her little brother, racing down the steps in the mornings before school. She felt the worst for him, considering the fact that he is only five and doesn’t understand what is going on. She heard him crying in the night and hoped that he would soon understand.
Breakfast was good. Aunt Jenny made eggs and sausage. Nikki didn’t have much of an appetite, but tried her best to eat what was on her plate.
“You sure do look nice,” Aunt Jenny said, while cleaning off the table.
There was a strange silence in the kitchen. Usually Jenny and Nikki talked quite a bit. They talked about boys, soap operas, celebrities, all the usual gossip. This morning was different. Everyone knew that it was different, but no one wanted to talk about why.
Suddenly, Nikki’s Dad walked into the kitchen followed by her brother, Adam. “Well it took me awhile, but I finally got him dressed,” he said. Adam was wearing a white dress shirt with a black tie, a black suit jacket and slacks. He was dressed identical to his father, who looked relatively young for a man in his forties.
“Adam, you look so nice in your little suit, like a little businessman ready to go off to work,” said Jenny, while straightening his tie.
“I wish we were going to work,” said the Dad.
“Rick, you’d better get going. You can’t be late,” said Jenny.
“I know, I’m ready if Nikki’s ready,” Rick said, looking over at Nikki at the table signaling towards the door with a nod of the head.
“I’m as ready as I’ll ever be,” replied Nikki in a tone suggesting that she wasn’t too excited to get going.
“I hate this as much as you do, but its all part of the process. We’re going to have to get through this, and if we stick together it will be easier for everyone,” said Rick. He sounded as if he didn’t believe a word of what he was saying, but tried his best to be sincere.
“See you in about a half an hour,” said Jenny, as she closed the door while they got into the car.
The car ride was quiet. You could tell that everyone was in deep thought. Nikki was trying to keep her mind on other things, things like volleyball, her friends, and most of all, Josh. It was tough. She just kept thinking about her dream from the night.
“Are we going to see Mommy now?” asked Adam, who seemed to be taking it better than the other two for the time being. No one answered him. It wasn’t because they didn’t know the answer. They knew that he wouldn’t understand that they were going to see Mommy, to tell her goodbye. Rick was planning on telling him that morning, but decided to wait until they got to the parlor.
As they got out of the car, Nikki’s heart started to leap out of her chest. She sat in the waiting room, while her dad talked to Mr. Miller in his office. She had been in the parlor before. Mr. Miller’s son was a good friend of Josh’s. The Millers lived in the upstairs section of the parlor, and she had watched many movies in their living room.
The thought of watching movies reminded Nikki of her date with Josh, just last weekend. She remembered the feeling she had as she sat next to him, his arm tightly around her. If only she would have answered her cell phone, instead of pressing the ignore button. Nikki felt horrible for not answering her phone. The thought of how she felt annoyed when she opened the phone to see the word “MOM” flashing, interrupting her date, made her sick to her stomach. That didn’t matter anymore. Nikki had a feeling that pretty soon that sick feeling would intensify. Oh, how she hated that feeling.
Her father came out of the office with Mr. Miller. “Wait here with Adam, I’ll be back in a minute, then we’ll go in together,” he said. Mr. Miller held the door open as her father slowly entered the room. Nikki had been through that room before, but she never thought twice about what it was used for. Nikki realized that she had never been as scared as she was then to enter a room. For some reason she hoped that her father would be in there forever. She wished that she could sit there holding her brother on her lap in that big squishy chair for eternity. As the tears started to fill her eyes, because she knew what was ahead, she heard the doorknob open and saw her father appear.
“Nikki, it’s time.”
As she got up, she couldn’t help but think of how beautiful her mother looked in her dream. Concentrating on her mother’s face, she thought to herself, “It’s just a body. I can do this. It’s just a body. Mommy’s with Jesus now.”