Letters in the Sky By: Maxine Finks

Dear mom,

It's been a month since you've passed away. I miss you so much. Dad has been having trouble keeping the family together. He doesn't talk a lot. I'm starting 6th grade today! We've moved near grandma and grandpa in Milwaukee. It's different here. It's been cold lately and I'm wearing your old sweaters. I can still smell the perfume you used to use on it. It relaxes me. I miss you mommy! Is heaven real? Are you watching over me?

"Aria! The bus is on its way! Are you coming or not?"

I sprinted downstairs to see my 3 siblings anxiously waiting for me to join them. Amanda, my 13 year old quirky sister, handed me my lunch box as we walked out the door along with my six year old annoying brother, Alex and 15 year old sassy sister, Abby. I walked down to the bus stop and waited for the bus. I felt a gush of air as the bus pulled up next to me and my siblings. When the bus doors opened, the sound of kids playfully screaming and talking spread throughout the cold fall air.

I paraded up the bus steps excited to see what this new day would bring. As I walked onto the bus, the entire army of children went silent. It felt as if my world stopped. Everyone's heads turned towards my siblings and I.

“There is a spot in the back of the bus that sits three. Go ahead.”

The bus driver snarled. My siblings ran in front of me and quickly took up the seat leaving me, the new girl who knows nobody, alone. I felt my palms sweat as I looked back and forth for a seat that looked open. I noticed two girls who seemed nice. They were beautiful. Their blond, long hair was tied into high ponytails that swung as they moved their head. They had ripped jeans on and cashmere sweaters. One was blue and the other was pink. It looked like they were dressed to be on the cover of Vogue Magazine

“Is anyone sitting here?” I asked. They didn't even acknowledge me.

“Uhh Lauren?” The girl in the blue sweater tried to get the other girls attention.

“What?” The girl in the pink cackled like a witch. They both stared at me for a moment.

“No. You can sit in the front of the bus with the other losers. This spot is taken.” The girl in the pink sweater said. My heart dropped. Back in Boston, no kids were mean like that. I slowly walked away as I heard laughter behind me. I sat down next to a girl who looked lonely.

She was wearing a light grey dress with her dark hair tied back into a messy bun.

“Hi.” I said as my voice shook.

“Hi. Sorry, I saw what happened to you back there. That's Lauren and Sarah they aren't very nice. You're lucky you got out of that situation!” She explained. I didn't know if that was a joke or not but I chuckled anyways.

“Im Camille” she said.

“I'm Aria.”

“I haven't seen you around. Are you new here?” Camille asked.

“Yeah. I just moved her from Boston.” I said.

“Oh cool! Why did you move from the coolest city ever to this boring place?” My heart began to pound. Not wanting to admit the fact that I moved here because my mom died, I made up an excuse.

“Um, my parents got a job here.” I said.

“That's so amazing! My moms a stay at home mom! What does your mom do?” She asked. Just realizing how much she talks, I made up another excuse.

“She edits. She edits the news.” I hesitantly say. Right before Camille was about to say something, the bus pulled up to the school. Thank goodness I got out of that situation. Now on to a whole different problem.

My first day of school was a blur. I struggled and throughout the entire day, people treated me like I'm nothing. I sat with Camille everyday at lunch and didn't make any new friends. It was so easy to make friends in Boston. I was so happy there. I continued thinking about how much I missed my mom.

Weeks passed and I continued having the same routine. I would hangout with Camille and go from class to class. The problem is, I never made any new friends. I felt alone and I really needed more people to care for me and make me feel good about myself especially after what happened with my mom. Finally, one day Lauren and Sarah walked up to me.

“Hey…” Sarah said. “We realized we were wrong about you. We think we can make you cool, like us. Wanna hangout this weekend?” Finally feeling accepted, I immediately said yes. I was so excited. I was motivated to become happy again and make lots of friends. I needed to show myself that I can move on with my life.

The hangout was amazing! I had so much fun even though I only hung out with them for around an hour. We made bracelets the whole time and I felt like I really bonded with them. Sarah made me a bracelet that had little blue charms hanging off of the pink thread keeping it together.

I was so excited to show Camille! I immediately ran up to the forest where her house was. I banged on the door and we began going on a walk. I finally decided it was time to tell her about my new friends. I expected her to be happy for me but all you said was,

“No don't hangout with them. They are only going to hurt you!”

She grabbed the bracelet out of my hand and threw it up onto the tree above us. I felt a feeling I'd never felt before. I was in shock. Silence taunted me as it made me feel uncomfortable and scared. “I thought you'd be happy for me. I hate you!” I screamed. Tears began to build up in my eyes and I couldn't even see Camille's facial expression anymore. All I saw was her run off and cry. I stood, standing by the abundant amount of trees. Alone.

I slowly walked home. My stomach felt as if it dropped to my feet. I couldn't believe what just happened. I finally arrived at my home and walked up to my room to listen to music and try to forget about the negativity going on. Right before dinner, a knock came on my door. I continued listening to my music and waited for my dad to get it.

“Aria!” I heard a call from downstairs.

I slowly walked down the brightly colored stairs and made my way to the front door. A man whose head was only around 6 inches from the top of the door stood. His brown hair was gelled back with a police hat sitting on top. His muscles were a boulder.

“Aria?” His deep voice echoed in my not so furnished house. “Do you mind if I ask you some questions?” He said.

“About what?” My voice shook as I asked.

“Your friend. Camille?” My stomach dropped to my feet once again.

“What about her?” I wondered.

“Her parents expected her home 5 hours ago. She has been missing for a very long time and we were wondering if you knew where she was?" I told him how I was with her earlier today but she left hours ago.

He asked me to go back upstairs while he talked with my dad for a little. I ran upstairs with tears dripping down my face. I jumped into my bed and hugged my stuffed animal named Plato. I pulled open my drawer and ripped a fresh new sheet of paper.

Dear mom,

I thought you were watching over me? At least that's what dad says. I think he's wrong. If you were really watching over me, you would help me get through this. You would tell me not to hangout with Lauren and Sarah and you would not get rid of my only true friend. She's missing and I don't know where she is. I'm scared mommy. Please help me.

I slammed my paper into my drawer and shut my eyes as everything went dark.

I woke up to the smell of bacon and I could hear birds chirping. I walked downstairs late and skipped breakfast. I didn't talk to anyone. The entire day at school, I sat alone ignoring anyone who tried to talk to me. Camille was nowhere to be seen and I was scared.

As the bus driver left the school and began driving us home, I heard sirens everywhere. They were all heading towards the forest where Camille lives. My heart started racing and I got up from my seat.

“Stop the bus!” I screamed. The bus immediately came to a jolting stop and I sprinted out. Kids screamed at me as I ran. It felt as if I was running in slow motion. My tears fell down my cheeks as I ran up to the house as I saw billions of people standing there as a body was carried into an ambulance. I ran to Camille's dad and put my head into his armpit. I cried. The one person I cared about. The one person who cared about me was dead.

My dad let me stay home for the week. I mourned the loss of my great friend. It felt as if our entire town was put under a spell that made it so we couldn't talk and the only emotion we could express was sadness. I was laying in my room when I heard a knock on the door. I walked downstairs to open the door as a man wearing all black began to speak. “Camille Rose Havman was found dead at the tree near her house after falling off of it and breaking her skull. We found a note addressed to you in her pocket.” The man handed me the note and quickly left. I slowly opened it.

“Dear Aria,

I don't expect you to understand. I feel horrible. My mom had cancer when I was 10. Those girls tormented me about it. They made me feel worthless. My mom passed away a year later. I know it's extremely hard for you to understand how it feels to loose someone like this. I didn't want anyone to have to worry about these horrible girls. They will find a way to hurt you. I'm sorry. I have decided to go back and get your bracelet. I will bring it back to you. I know how much it means to you. You mean everything to me. Please don't forget that Aria. I can't live with myself knowing you are mad at me. Please forgive me. I'm sorry I never told you about my mom. It's just personal to me. I have so much I need to tell you."

I took the letter and hugged it as I fell to the ground and began sobbing. I ran upstairs and took out my notepad. I began writing,

Dear mom,

Thank you for watching over me. I believe in heaven. I believe in God. I believe in you. Thank you for watching out for me. Please take care of Camille and keep her safe. I know she is going to be with you, jumping off a cloud into your arms. Please explain to her that I'm sorry. Tell her I love her and tell her that you are my mom. I never got the chance to tell her about you. I think it would mean a lot to her if she knew that. I will never stop writing to you, mom. I love you.

Credits:

Created with images by DavidSpinks - "Above the clouds"

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