Remember Her a short story by Jeinise Castro

This story started as a writing assignment for my english class. After writing my short story, my teacher suggested that I should submit my story to Art of Me. I didn't really have much of an inspiration for my story, I just wanted my character to be strong and be able to workout her problems without feeling the need to do something negative. I also wanted her to have a safe place that isn't necessarily everyone's idea of safe.

“I’m so sorry for your loss.” I couldn't believe what was being said to me at that very moment.

“Is there someone we could call...a relative? Family friend?” I found it hard to speak. It was as if my throat was on fire and everything coming out was too painful to bear. I backed away until I hit the hospital wall and slid down onto the floor. Everything seemed like a blur. I don't remember how long I was sitting there for but my father came at some point to get me. He looked sad, but not as sad as me. He looked so different, now he wears a suit, the tie loose and he carries a briefcase his initials on the handle. He stares at me with such caution and guilt. I wonder if he thinks mom dying was his fault. I wonder if he regrets leaving us. I wonder what he will do with me and my brother. Will he treat us well? Or ill he just abdond us like before? My questions are still left unanswered, as the doctors begin to talk about organ donation.

“We’re going to be late Isabella, hurry up,” my father broke me out of my train of thought. I immediately realized I was late and I wasn’t ready yet. My first day of my senior year at a brand new school. I rushed, not even paying attention to what I put on. As I ran down the stairs and out the door I noticed my mom wasn't here to take me to my last year of school.

Classes have been okay, they're boring but not to a point where I want to burst out of class and leave. Three weeks have passed, nothing interesting has happened in school. My English teacher, Mr. Green, spits when he talks so I tend to sit in the back. I haven't really made any friends, there are nice kids that talk to me during class, but I don't think I can call them my friends yet. They have not established we are so I'll wait in order to not make a fool out of myself. But there's an English project coming up, so hopefully my partner is nice and well become friends.

I walked to the front of the class towards Mr. Green awaiting his response to see who was going to be my partner

“Ashton Smith.”

“Whos that?”

I felt a tap on my shoulder.

“That would be me, and your name ?” Wow, he is a fine looking specimen. Now, now Bella don't make a fool outta yourself.

“Hello, hi. It's Isa…bell, my names Bella,” Great job, couldn't even speak proper English. I quickly dashed out of the class, realizing that I didn't get any of the worksheets needed, I ran back. Only to come down to the floor when colliding with… you guessed it,- my english partner.

“You okay?” He asked reaching his hand down to help me up.

“Yeah I'm fine, thanks.”

“So when do you wanna start?” He asked with curiosity in his eyes.

“Start what?” Great, made a fool of yourself again. “Umm yeah, my place after school?”

“Yeah sure, meet you in the parking lot after 6th period.” The parking lot? He's got a car? Hmm, interesting. All my classes after English were pretty boring, I couldn't focus. My mind kept wandering to Ashton. He was coming to my house to work on our project, I couldn't help but think something was going to happen. I just couldn't sense if it was something good or bad.

Ashton and I were sitting up in my room discussing whether we should make a poster or a slideshow to represent the book we've been reading in class. I personally believe a poster is a better idea, it's easier and it can be more powerful, but when he argues he got this cute little crinkle in between his eyebrows. Drawing away my focus from my project to him. I'm forced out of my thoughts by my father yelling.

“Isabella Adriana Gonzalez why do you think it's appropriate to have a boy in my house.” I grabbed my father's arm and dragged him downstairs, trying to avoid making a scene. However he resisted and I’m forced to talk to him in front of Ashton.

“We’re just doing homework, relax.” I assured. He clearly wasn't happy.

“ On your bed? With the door closed?” He stares at me

“ It’s not what it looked like. I was just trying to keep Dan out. You know how he gets, I was just trying to focus.” I try to reassure him.

“ It was just homework”

“Yeah homework. I know what that means”

“What do you mean. Homework means homework.”

“No it means you’re sleeping with this kid right?”

“No, what, we’re literally doing nothing. Stop accusing me.” I said this while trying to contain my anger.

“I can tell you whatever I want, I'm your dad.”

“No. You can't, and you won't.” I was really getting heated.

“Just because your mom died doesn't mean you can throw your life away.”

“ Don’t bring mom into this.”

“ I am your father, I can do whatever I want”

“I wish mom was here, she loved me, she would underst-,” my father cut me off.

“But she's not, so just…”

It was my turn to cut him off. “I know she's not here, and there's no evidence that she was. Why, why is that? Huh? Mom was an incredible person unlike you, yet you have twenty million pictures of yourself around the house but none of her.” The words he uttered next sent me in a spiral of anger.

“It's not healthy to keep her around, you and Daniel won't ever be able to move on.”

“No, what's not healthy is forcing us to forget her, Daniel is only four and he barely knows what she looks like. He needs to know who his mother was, she cannot be forgotten. We need to keep her alive.” I ran up the stairs, leaving my father in shock. I grabbed the picture of me, mom, and Daniel at the beach and ran back down stairs, barely even noticing a very concerned looking Ashton sitting in my bed with his book out. I taped the picture on the wall and left to my room before he could say any more.

“Are you okay?” Ashton looked at me with an uneasy look when I came back in the room.

“You ask that a lot,” I said with a low chuckle.

“Yeah, I do. So are you actually okay?” He asked. I look up at him.

“You wanna get out of here?” Suddenly feeling a burst of confidence.

“ You didn’t answer the question”

“Can we just go ?”

We drove along the Coney Island shore, listening to mellow music. Crooked Smile by J.Cole came on shuffle and I wasn’t expecting him to start rapping along. I joined

we past Luna park. I thought he was taking me there at first.

“Luna Park is back that way.”

“Yeah I know, we’re going somewhere similar to it.” Ashton looked at me with a devilish grin. I wasn’t prepared for what would I happen that night.  

“We’re here.” Ash said as he pointed towards a big red rundown sign reading The Cool Zone

“Why, out of all places would you take me to an abandoned amusement park… Luna Park was perfectly fine.” I regretted my words as soon as they came out. I must of sounded so ungrateful, here I was with this awesome guy who just took me away from my terrible father and I’m complaining.

“I’m sorry, that was mean, it seems cool. No pun intended.” I laugh at my own joke, he chuckled a bit but I could tell he was a bit hurt from my previous statement. Ashton got out the car and hurried my side to open the door for me, he stuck his hand out and led me up to the big gate blocking the entrance. A yellow sign hung, proceed with caution. I tensed up a bit, I assumed Ashton noticed

“Don’t be scared,” he said has he tightened his grip on my hand

“I won’t leave you for dead, ” he joked, but I didn’t lighten up. But I still forced a little chuckle out anyways. He led me throw a hole in the fence, small but big enough to fit through. My worries went away for a bit. Well until I saw where he was really taking me. Ashton approached an old roller coaster.

“We are going up there.” Ash pointed at the ride. My mind instantly started walking to the car, but my legs didn’t move.

“You’re crazy if you think I’m going up there,” I said as I took a few steps back

“Come on, the sunset is beautiful from up there,” he said as he pulled me towards him,

“ I can see the sunset just fine from down here.”

He walked towards the ride, throwing a rock at it. It mad a rattle noise.

“See it’s nice and sturdy.” Even though I shouldn’t have, I gave in and began walking up the maintenance stairs. The more I went the more nervous I got, every time I though Ash was gonna stop walking he continued. Finally we reach a point where you can see the whole city.

“Sit… you won’t fall, I promise.” He put his arm out so I could sit. Once I sat, struggling not to hyperventilate. Ashton grabbed my waist and pulled me closer, I tense up for a bit but instantly relaxed realizing it was to prevent me from falling.

“You can see everything, the city, the beach, it’s just wow!” I sat there amazed, I became so focused on the view. I completely forgot about how high we were, about my father and for the first time in a long time I was actually happy.