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Ring Around The Rosie
by Jamie

I hate the rain, from now until forever. It didn't used to be that way, when I was little, I would dance around outside and soak myself in the cloud's teardrops. It was a joyful thing, being outside in nature's shower, hearing the pitter patter of droplets on the sidewalk, and squinting to see through the muggy sky. Somehow, it doesn't feel the same now.

My mother loved the rain, too. She had left one evening to take a walk down to the lake. She brought her sketchpad in her backpack, along with an apple and her drawing supplies. She loved to draw the old oak tree down by the water. It's leaves blowing in the wind, the smell of summer creeping through the scenery. When she left that evening, I tried to follow her without her knowing. She didn't like me to come because I didn't know how to swim, and she couldn't watch me while she was drawing.

I crept behind her along the path, watching my feet quietly step over sticks and leaves, careful not to make any sounds. When we reached the lake, she sat down underneath the tree and turned towards its trunk. She was going to draw the view from the trunk below, looking up at the branches ahead. I noticed that the sky was covered with clouds, all different shades of gray. I was scared it was going to rain, so I went back to the house by myself. It started sprinkling on my way home, so I figured my mom would come home too. I raced through the path and opened the door to my house.

My eyes traced through our empty living room and darted over to the television. My father was watching the weather channel, which was predicting severe showers. “Hey dad, I guess I made it back just in time, huh??” I gasped. “Yeah, its going to get real stormy soon. Where's your mom?” He said with a worried look on his face.

“She's probably heading back now, I'm not sure though. You know how much she likes the rain?”

“Okay, well maybe we should head over in a minute or two if it doesn't stop raining.”

He was always a safety freak. Especially around my mother and me. He hated for anything to happen to us, because we were the only family he had left. The rain was now pounding on the road outside, puddles growing larger and deeper. A few minutes later, I heard thunder.

“Let's go check on her,” he said.

“okay” I responded hesitantly.

We crept through the slippery woods, shivering between the tilting trees. I saw a flash of lighting between two tall ones, and my fathers eyes looked intense. We plodded through the lengthy puddles and found our place on the banks of the lake.

The first thing I did was look for the oak tree. When I saw it, I darted for it at full speed, screaming at my father to come. It was laying on the ground , struck by lightning. Its branches full of sorrow, no longer able to hold itself up. My mothers backpack was laying on the ground to the side, the apple slowly rolling to my stopped feet. My fathers mouth hung open, and tears ran down my face. I leaped over the trunk, and spotted an arm underneath the humongous width of wood. Pink fingernails, a pencil lying within a few feet away from the hand. Blood was drenching the once green grass.

My father and I pushed the tree with all of our ability to the side. There she was. Crushed, cut open, and her sketchpad over her stomach. I felt my heart collapse under the weight of my dizzy head. She wasn't breathing, and she wasn't opening her eyes. I kicked the tree, and screamed. I yelled at the top of my lungs and cried with all of my might. My father picked up the sketchpad, tears running down his face as well. A light pencil drawing of the tree was visible. I reached for her backpack and pencil. My father picked up her last apple, one bite bitten out of the side.

I screamed. I pounded on the ground with my fists and screamed so loud that it hurt my ears. I ripped apart branches and threw her notebook into the lake, I was so mad. But who was I mad at? I was mad because? because? because why? I didn't even know! I was just angry at the world for making her leave. My father walked up to me hesitantly.

“Maya, we need to go home. Its raining too hard to see very well. It'll start flooding soon.” He whispered in my ear.

“But, But what about mom?”

“Maya, We'll call the ambulance. But we have to get home.”

On the way home, rain and tears streamed down on our faces. My clothes were soaked and I could hear my shoes sloshing under my feet, but the puddles didn't seem like the same ones I used to dance in.

Suddenly I felt someone grab my hand. I looked down at it shocked, just quick enough to see pink fingernails fading away from the delicate touch.

Its been years now and this will be the first time I have gone down to her tree. When I arrived, the tree was gone and only a stump was left. My stomach churned at the sight of the scene, but I urged myself to continue. I had come for a reason. I sat on the stump and looked around. Suddenly, an apple with one bite out of it rolled in front of my feet. I picked it up and smiled. She's with me.

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