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Grade
11

 

Time passes by and all of a sudden no life stands. Time has passed, though life is still among us. How long it will last? We can’t tell. If we start to take action, things could change but only if we want them to. In this case, no one wants to anymore. That’s the problem. You see, the problem is us. We don't take care of our earth. More filth fills the air. It becomes worse and worse every year. It used to only be a threat. Now that threat has taken people’s lives. Yes, the air’s that bad. My family has been killed. They have died from the filth in the air; it started to become too much for some people. And those some people just happened to be my family.

What kills me the most is the death of my sister. She died, right in my arms, only after I had taken care of her for months.  I don't know what happened to my parents. One day I saw them, then one night I sat on the couch waiting for them to come home, yet they never did. Later on in the week I saw them at the market. My sister asked again and again. All I could say was, “They’re gone.”  Once I said that, I never heard her ask about our parents ever again. After that I saw her as my only hope in this world. Now without her, my life is nothing. About two years after my sister died I found a girl just a bit younger than I was. She looked like my sister, and for a moment I thought she might be her.

The locks of golden hairoh how long and wavy it wasand her thin, fragile bones as she walked in raggedy clothes. I saw she was looking in a dumpster. My bet was for food. After I got to know her, which took many months she shortly told me her name, which is, Samantha. She didn't tell me anything else, not even her last name; and to this day, I still don't know. We’re only friends because we have so much in common and not enough to live on. Pollution is so wretched. Food cannot be produced anymore without it becoming contaminated. The street reeks of old food that fill the bins, which people search through for stuff that won’t kill you.

Luckily for me, I had food stocked up in my house. People come knocking at my door all day long. All I can do is turn them away. I feel selfish. Some part of me always wants to just end my life, say ‘no more’, but what keeps me here is the fact that things won't get better, If I don’t help then who will? One person cannot make a difference. But one person can help make that difference. While others follow. I want to start something, and end up having many people follow me in the end.

All I need is some big group, who works with government, to say yes; and we can get things started. If I don't a yes, then nothing changes, nothing moves forward. I slowly sink to the floor with my hands over my face. Hoping and praying that this will all turn out. Letting myself go and just think for awhile. I finally decide to get up and get dressed. My hair is curled and braided. All put up. My body is packed in a tight dress that they have given me.

It’s supposed to make me look beautiful. Yet, I don’t feel beautiful. All I feel is like a doll. I pull down the hem of the dress. It’s a knee length purple dress with lovely sequences, as they trickle down the dress. My black heels make me seem more sophisticated and tall of course.  Someone knocks at my door as I finish playing with my makeup.

“Come in!” I yell from the bathroom. I walk out of the bathroom to see the

door slowly slides open. It’s just Noah.

“Ready?” He asks me. I love how he makes no comment on how I look but just looks at me with the gorgeous green eyes that he has. I smile at him, he smiles at me and it’s as if time has stopped for the moment. I nod at him.  “Alright.” Noah whispers in a hushed tone. I follow him out the door.

“Wait.” I say grabbing him by the shoulder. “Shouldn't we be grabbing our guns?” I ask Noah in a whisper, hoping that no one else hears me. He shakes his head, as he smiles and opens up his jacket. Inside is three guns. I give a small smile to him, grab his collar to fix it and kiss  him on the cheek. “Let’s go,” I say as I swing my arm in his. “Were going to do this.”

 

***

Where I’m speaking is a place, which no one knows about, almost as if a secret, yet it’s a place everyone can go. It’s open just like our air. It used to be a good thing just like our air but like our air, churches have faded away. Noah looks over at me and gives me a general smile.

“What?” I whisper over in his ear as we make our way through the front door.

“I hope someone will show up. You have a good voice, use it for something good. Don’t lie… do not play it down. They know what they need to hear, so by all means let them.” He muddles on the last words.

“Thank you” I whisper back clinging onto his arm leaning my head against his shoulder.

“Anytime sweetheart.” Noah says kissing the top of my head.  I laugh, and Noah laughs back.

We take a seat in the first row of the church. Glass windows surround us from every angle. There is so much wood and woodwork; I’ve never seen anything so classy in my life. Glass also covers most of the building, which causes it to be very chilly. That caused me to stand even closer to Noah then I had before. In the front of the church is a cross placed dead-center. It’s like it takes its place there. The right to be there. I have never been in a church before so looking around me it seems wonderful. I can’t even imagine why I never went before. After indulging my eyes on all of these magnificent things, my eyes travel to the front of the sanctuary. Up in the front of the sanctuary, there's a man that stands there. I recognize him. Tilting my head and squinting my eyes, the man sees me looking at him profoundly and waves me over.  I get up and make my way over to him. Noah slowly gets up grabbing my hand trying to stop me, but I just shake my head. The man sees that his gesture worked and smiled at me.

“Hello Jamie, it’s nice to see you here today.” The man smiles as he shook my hand. How does he know my name? Wait...That’s when I recognize him: his voice. I heard it over the loudspeaker days ago. He was the one that said, ‘we know it’s lasting no longer, we the people need to live our lives for as long as we have left.’  His name is Thomas Vanhoose. A news reporter from a long time ago. Now I don’t know what he is.

“Mr Vanhoose.” I nod at him.

“I hope you find my speech today very resourceful and take it to a higher level” I say with confidence. Mr. Vanhoose looks at me.

“How do you expect me to like something, when it hasn't even been said yet.” He’s making me angry. I want to punch him. ‘Not helping, not helping.’ I keep saying to myself. Punching him wouldn't help me win this argument. It would only make it worse.

“Well, I hope you enjoy it.” Without Mr. Vanhoose being able to say another word I turn around and walk away in the opposite direction.

“All my wishes to you then, Ms. Arias!” Mr. Vanhoose yells back waving. I just keep walking breathing in and out. I do; but the only thing that sticks on my face is a smile. As I sit down next to Noah. The only thing I say is.

“Were going to need the guns.” With a shocked look he asks.

“Why would you say that? What did you say to him?” I glance down at my fingers trying to think more clearly.

“Where's Samantha?” I ask dodging Noah's questions. He shakes his head.

“Jamie you’re not answering the questions. Samantha is on her way but you need to answer me.” He pleads with me. I throw my hands in the air, resting them on my head.

“Nothing really, I just said hi. He’s lucky I didn't get to punching him. I would have if I talked to him any longer than I did.”

“Your lucky you didn't. We wouldn't stand a chance if you did! Honestly Jamie, use your head!” I've never heard Noah get that way before. I sigh, still playing with my fingers.

“We still won’t.” A new voice chimes in. Looking up it’s Samantha. She sits down besides me, folding her one leg over the other.

“No matter what you say today, Jamie people will die. They have all been brainwashed.” She stops for a second and looks up at us, wondering if we think she's crazy or not. It sounds weird, but I think brainwashed is exactly what everyone is. Samantha continues. “I went around asking today. Everyone has said yes to pollution, and no to a solution. The only question I was asking myself all day is: why not us? So I went looking around town, when I ran into our friend Thomas, and do you know what he said to me? He told me that he wanted a fight. That this was his plan all along.”

Her golden eyes look up into my eyes. Then glance over at Noah. I look up at Thomas, such an innocent child by just looks, but when you really look all you see is an evil man. “They never knew what to think. Everyone has always struggled for who is right not what is right. No one thought of themselves, or thought what this might do to them if it’s stopped. There are some out there who still believe,  they just don't want to show it because of fear.” I feel like I'm making sense to myself, but to no one else.

“I've never stopped.” I heard Sam murmur. I smile at her shy comment. A bell rings. It’s time to sit down and start the meeting. Thomas takes a hammer and slams it on the desk three times as if we are in court. Clearing his voice he speaks.

“I would like to welcome you all here today. We have a very important speech to hear from Ms. Arias. She has come today, to persuade you of what we should save our earth and the reasons of why we should not just throw it away. Now by all means, let's give Jamie Arias the respect she deserves.” Thomas finished strongly with a smile on his face. Everyone starts clapping, a few cheers filled the air as well. I guess that's my cue. I get up and make my way around Sam. As I make my way up, all I see is their smiling faces looking up at me. Brainwashed. I keep thinking. Thomas gestures me towards the pedestal. I nod at him without caring. It’s my way of saying thank you without actually saying it. My hands are shaking as I start to speak, and the beads of sweat already began forming on my head. .

“Hello, my name is Jamie Arias, as you may already know. Speaking here today is a magnificent honor, even though only one state is here today to listen. I wish you will consider everything I say. Let me start with this: Why can’t you see that your world is falling into great depths of nothing? I want this to change. I want you to change. I want us all to change, because this… This is not right. Look at you!” I wave my hands in the air at them. “Look at yourself! You're all wearing face masks so you won’t die from the air! From Air!! Or so you're told! I gave up wearing it, because there is no point, no point because everyone here is brainwashed!” Blank stares filled the crowd, others were so offended they already have left their seats and headed for the door. All I could do is watch, watch them throw away the life they were given, all because they were told a lie.

“You all are! You are all brainwashed!” I paused for a second, only to scream one final statement to try and get people to retake their seats.  “Come back!” A set of hands grab me around the arm. I take back my arm and swing my elbow into the man's chest. Quickly enough, someone else grabs me.

“We can’t allow this.” Is all the man with a gun says. I turn around to look at him, then back at the people.

“No!” I yell and yank my arm away. He grabs my right arm back then another man comes up behind me and grabs my other arm. “No!” I scream. “Get off me!” I scream again and again. It seems to be the only thing I can do… scream.

“Leave her alone!” Noah screams, as his face grows redder and redder. He has his gun out and pointed at the two soldiers. Samantha is beside him with hers pointed at them as well. The man to my left grins.

“We can’t do that.” He shoves me in the direction opposite of Noah and Samantha.

“No!” I sob as my tears are streaming down my cheeks. Noah looks over at Samantha. She looks back at him and nods. The last thing I see is Samantha pointing and firing her gun. Not at the soldiers. But at Noah.

My heart is pounding, my eyes are closed hoping, even praying that they might have deceived me for what I just saw. But my heart is telling me different, my heart is reminding me of the terrifying truth. They sit me down in a chair and leave the room, locking the door behind them. I sit there silent for a long while. It’s a musty room with no windows. It’s so cold that I can see my breath. Then about an hour later Samantha walks in. My eyes light up as I run up and hug her. She puts her arms around me, but it doesn't seem real, not like they were before.

“Sam?” I say holding her by the shoulders, trying to stare into the eyes I was so comforted by in hard times before. But she doesn't look at me in the eyes, she turns her head to avoid the eye contact I’m trying so hard to obtain.

“I need you to sit back down Jamie.” With a puzzled look she grabs my arm and brings me back over to the chair. I don’t sit down. I won’t sit down.

“Where’s Noah?” I say in a panick. My hands start to shake.

“I need you to understand Jamie, why I did what I did.” Her eyes finally meet mine. I’m more confused than I have ever been before.

“Where’s Noah!?!” I scream. As if I said nothing, she continues.

“I never told you my last name for a reason, Jamie. I didn't want you to know for so many reasons. But we will discuss that later, because we have a more pressing issue. We need to wake you up. You see, we needed a solution for pollution and Jamie you have done just that for us. We need a way to end the fighting, the suffering. And you're the key.”

Once Samantha turns back around from the sink to face me, she is holding a needle in one hand. Terror fills me, all I want to do is escape, I just want to be free.

“Jaime, it’s okay. Please just trust me.” I run towards the door and shake the door handle but it’s locked. I turn around and face Samantha. Instead of calling anyone in for help Samantha just runs towards me and slams me against the door pinning my neck with her arm.

“Sam, please…” I squeak out as I struggle to breath, she takes the needle and inserts it into my left arm. She says a lot of things trying to calm me, but the only thing I remember is her whispering her final statement,

“I’m only waking you up from your nightmare.” I feel the needle go through me. Then nothing.

***

 

I awake in my bed, in my house. A figure is standing by the curtain. At first I thought it was only my imagination, that everything that just occurred was somehow a dream. But as the figure walks over, I realize it’s a reality. I realize that silhouette was Samantha, and at first I was comforted by seeing a friend.

“Oh my god, Samantha!” I shout and run over to her. Then I gasp. I remember. Slowly I back away from her. Samantha smiles.

“You loved me once apon a time.” She said walking towards me brushing my hair aside. “You took care of me all the time. And I thank you for that.” My eyes squint. I’m more confused than I've ever been .

“I've always loved you Samantha, you were my friend.” She laughs at me as she walks away from me, then spins and strolls back to me.

“You helped me, yes. At the dumpster. When I was fourteen. Tell me. When did your sister die?” Sam turns back to look at me.

“Um, well she was twelve. She died in my arms.” Samantha turns back to face me and grabs me by the arms.

“It’s so very simple Jamie! I am your sister!”

State
Missouri
Zip Code
63301