THE DOOR OPENER|
Art by Lori Michelle Adams
I live in a town called Overlook Valley. This is the town I have been living in for my whole life. I have never gone anywhere else: I have never seen the wonders of the ocean, experienced the thrills of mountains, or looked out upon the amazing views of the world I live in. I have never been anywhere.
The farthest I’ve ever been was the border of the city when my parents were moving. They never let me know when I’m moving, because they think it would break my heart. Instead, they told me they were visiting friends from work and put me outside for the whole time they were looking at the house. I hated moving.
I found out my parents grew poor, and so we lived in a small apartment across town. I shredded in tears when I found out these things. We got rid of a lot of things, such as my computer, some of my furniture, their furniture, valuable objects and a lot more.
But it wasn’t all bad. I actually kind of liked the thought of having a new school, so I can meet up with new friends, and the thought of having another crush. I rarely fall in love with boys, but when I do, I’m crushing crazy. I get shaky every time I see him, and every time he passes by, I stutter. But there was one very special boy in my 4th period class.
His name was Paul. He is a tall, twelve – year – old boy with long brunette hair, tan skin and a beautiful smile. Every time he smiled, it brightened my day. I sometimes smiled myself.
I saw him opening the doors for everyone to come into the school building. He’d smile at every passing student that walked through the red, heavy doors of the school. Often when I’d pass by, I would say, “Thanks,” or, “Hey.” He responds with a nod on the head and a big smile on his face.
In class once, I saw him staring at me. He sat two chairs to the right of me. I saw him staring straight into my eyes with a happy expression. I smiled back at him, and followed his lead by staring at him in the eyes.
That day at lunch, he sat across from me on the lunch table. After a few moments, he said, “Hey.”
“Hi,” I responded back. My hands started shaking.
“What’s your name?”
“Katie…” He studied the look on my face and smiled. “Mine’s Paul. Nice to meet you,” he said in a polite voice. He put his hand out for me to shake it. I shook it intentionally.
“Nice to meet you to,” I squeaked. My voice sounded teary and quiet scratchy.
We started talking about our interests, movies, hobbies, and we soon got into the subject of dating! “So, will you call me tonight?” he asked.
“Sure,” I said. “What’s your number?” He ripped out a piece of paper from his beaten-up looking binder and wrote his phone number. He slid it across the table to me. “Thanks. I’ll call this weekend.”
I couldn’t believe that I was calling my crush on the phone! I was very excited until then. My palms were sweaty, and I couldn’t stop thinking about him all day!
That night, something strange happened. When I walked home from school, my front door was opened. I thought maybe my parents were trying to get some fresh air, but I found out that they weren’t there. I walked inside saying, “I’m home. Mom? Dad?” but there was no answer.
All the doors were closed, all except for my bedroom door. It was wide open. That reminded me of Paul, the kid who opened the door for me and the rest of the school; the kid who asked me out. When I walked into the room, I felt a cold, chilling feeling in my bones.
But that wasn’t all. When I went to sleep at around eleven a clock, I had a dream about him. It was a bright, sunny day at a park somewhere. It was beautiful. Mountains and Valleys lined up from corner to corner, flowers bloomed at the second, blur invaded my eyes and there was a small rainbow that lined from one end of the sky to the other. And there was Paul.
He sat on a bench next to the sidewalk a few yards ahead of me. I ran to the bench and sat down with him, noticing the sad, sad expression on his face. “Katie,” he said in a sorrow voice. He lifted his face up without showing the beautiful smile he always had on. “I want you to know this. I love you, and I will always watch over you. Pray for me, okay?” He bit his upper lip as tears swelled up in his eyes. He shut his eyes and told me one more thing. “Remember me forever as I will remember you.”
I woke up late the next day at around ten a clock. It was a Saturday, and it was the day to call Paul. I was excited, but then it reminded me of that odd dream I had that night. I picked up the phone and dialed his number.
The phone rang once. This is it, I thought. Then it rang twice, then three times, then four, then five. I felt very excited and confused at the same time, for one: He didn’t pick up the phone yet. Two: I was actually talking to him. After the tenth ring, a woman picked up. “Hello?” she said in a sad voice.
“Hi,” I said. “Is Paul there?” There was a long silence. I only heard some sniffles and some weeps.
“He… died.” She said. My heart sank. How did he die? Where did he die? When? All these questions flew in and out of my mind until she spoke again. “While he was walking home yesterday, he got ran over by an unidentified car!” she all of a sudden shouted. Tears started to swell up in my eyes, too.
He died when he was walking home. I dreamed about him that night, giving a message to me. It was a frightening experience, indeed, but we all move on. I pray to him every night, and feel the warmth of his hand on my shoulder, the warmth of his soul flowing around me.
Even now I think about him. When I went home that night, all the doors were open. It seems that he opens the doors only for me now, and I hope he will for the rest of my life.