On one side of a busy street stands a home. The exterior is warm and welcoming; in the large front yard grow beautiful flowering trees. The grass is uneven and green in some places. There is a small garden filled with flowers and vegetables. The late evening sun bathes the home in a magical golden orange hue.
Through the large windows the cheerful home is glowing. In the living room a family is eating their dinner, merry talk and laughter can be heard. The smiles are true. As they finish, the dishes are put away, and the merry laughter continues. The parents try to get the younger children to get ready for bed as the eldest child heads to their room for homework. A perfect family, a lovely home. Happy people.
A door opens and in a lit up room stands an oak desk, papers scattered on the floor and desk. Homework by the looks of it. A yellow backpack is lying on the bed. The walls are a cheery blue; a beautiful picture of the galaxy is hung on the wall. Otherwise, the room is empty.
Or so it seems.
On one wall is a closed closet door. Within the closet there is a figure curled up into a ball. Not a sound they make. Tears trickle down from the eyes. The figure is shaking. Memories from earlier that day swirl through their brain. The snide smile of the bully. The comments that echoed throughout the room. The evil glares that were received. The line of tears becomes a river, cascading down the red cheeks. The sadness within the small closet is suffocating. A sound is finally made. A soft whisper, no louder then a whispering wind.
There’s a first day for a lot of things but today was special. It was the first day of high school and I was nervous. Adrenaline pumped through my body as I tried to squeeze past people to get to my block A class, which was in Room 222. I was worried that there wouldn’t be any familiar faces in that room. After looking downstairs I made my way up only to find the class right there across from a huge library.
I walked in the class to see my best friend sitting uncomfortably at her desk. I quickly looked around the classroom; there were numbers and posters everywhere and it struck me: my classroom was the math room…dun…dun…dun… “Noooooooooooooooo!!” I screamed inside my head. It’s not like it’s every eighth grader’s dream to walk into the math class the first day of school, so don’t blame me for being disappointed. It turned out not to be as bad as I thought it would be. I mean hey!!! Math is kind of fun.
School was going great, I was getting good marks and making new friends. It was a quiet Wednesday afternoon when our principal announced over the loud speaker that we were going to have a hold and secure. I just thought, “Hey it’s okay, whatever is going on is outside…” It didn’t stay that way for very long.
Approximately five minutes later we transitioned into a lockdown. A LOCKDOWN!!!!!!!! It was my first ever real lockdown. We all walked to the corner and huddled up against each other. Hot bodies all pressed up against one another, staring toward the door as if we were waiting for a monster to come through. It was silent in the school; the only sound was the worried murmuring among ourselves. One hour and ten minutes later we went back to hold and secure. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to leave the classroom, not even to go to the bathroom.
We waited a while until the police came to our class and escorted us out. It was a bit windy outside with a tiny bit of rain. I looked around; dozens and dozens of worried parents were standing outside, frantically looking for their child. The moment they saw their child you could see the relief flood through their faces. It was just like we were the most valuable thing in the universe and nothing else mattered. We were all safe! Our parents were leading us to the safety of our vehicles. It was a scary experience but, thankfully, no one was hurt and it was just the police making sure we were not in danger.
High school is pretty nice, there’s not as much homework as I expected and I love having lockers to store all my supplies in. I like all my classes and most of them are with my besties. I hope all my years at Brookswood are like this (except for the lockdown part).
“I want to be an adult.” This is what I said when I was a kid.
“I want to be a kid.” This is what I’m saying now.
When I was a kid, I really wanted to grow faster to become an adult, because you can do more things than a kid. Your parents are your model, you want to be like them in the future. You don’t have your own thoughts, what you want is to follow your parents’ shadow; as time goes by, their shadow will leave far away from you. You have your own opening and thoughts.
Right now, I really want to turn back to become a kid again, because you can do more things than an adult. More freedom and no pressure. Dreaming about your parents and your future job, no pain at all. Didn’t have to make things hard for yourself. Didn’t have to choose between anything. Didn’t have to cry by yourself at night and wet your pillow. Your have your own freedom and thought.
By Rocky Cheung
The hills of the highlands are no longer visible, blanketed as they are with the corpses of the fallen. Some who fought for their homes others who sought to take those homes, all side by side in the sweet indifference of death. As I stare out across the expanse, words ring out in my mind yet again, promises of glory, calls to duty. Yet no duty can I see, no glory. Only the threads of life cut short by the tailor of fate using the blades of fools as his shears. Useless, unnecessary. The only victors I can see are my fellow witnesses, the vultures. After witnessing glory’s facade crumble before my very eyes to reveal the depravity underneath, did they really expect me to return to my village, find a wife, live a normal life and even toast this hateful battle? There is no way I’ll be able to go back to where and, more importantly, what I was before.
Suddenly, some movement catches my eye. Another survivor, another…enemy. My vision clouds red: he did this, caused all this senseless slaughter. At a run I snatch up the closest weapon. With a tortured cry, I jump onto him, beating him mercilessly with that armament. When I return to myself, even the sun has hidden its face from the monstrosity I have committed. The kid, no more than fifteen, grins up at me grotesquely, his skull gaping back at my mollified visage. I see my hands, red and wet. I see the gauntleted arm in my right hand, deformed almost beyond recognition but still raised as if for another potential strike. I see, even, the dark depths of my soul. The nature of which is to kill.
I ask myself: Is anyone different from me? Would any man hesitate to kill for a “good” reason?
By Carl Gervais
A lady in a beautiful white dress with pastel blue high-heels waltzed down the stairs. A man in a dark navy suit held out his hand for the lady, who then elegantly grabbed his hand and tapped the golden tiles with her tall heels. They stared at each other in the eye, only to realize there’s not much time left. They then hurried to the empty but elegantly decorated ballroom. Their dance was butterflies flying, their talk was soft words spoken by God and their kiss was the masterpiece drawn by the best artist of the century. They whispered love and sweetness to each other. They sipped their wine to calm down and walked out on the balcony for the cool air of the night sky. Stars were sewn into the sky, like a fairy tale.
“Did you have fun?” the man asked in hesitation.
“Indeed, I had so much fun thanks to you. You always bring joy to me,” the lady replied with a gentle smile, and then stopped suddenly, not able to finish her words. The man laughed quietly and assured her.
“It’s okay, my lady. Everything will be fine without me, because you are indeed a strong person.” The man held back tears and depressed look, hiding behind a smile which the lady loved.
“Will you, will you give me a hug? Before saying good bye?” the lady asked and he hugged her tightly. The lady smiled brightly while tear drops were falling down her cheeks to the man’s chest. Farewell, every moment was beautiful with you, the lady whispered to him, finally accepting the reality of having to let him go.
The lady woke up from the sweet nightmare and curled in her blankets on the soft bed. The man is dead, a truth the lady was barely able to accept.
By Annie Cheong
When you’re ready to wake up you’re going to wake up and if you’re not ready then you’re going to stay, pretending ‘oh poor little me.’ But there comes a time in every person’s life when you do finally wake up. You often tease yourself with some kind of flirtation with waking up and so you never actually completely envelop it. Sometimes you stray away from it, holding yourself to the past. Holding yourself to death. Like you aren’t part of the bigger picture of the universe. When you see that in the way of waking up; what you do is something that the whole universe is doing here and now. You are something that the whole universe is doing in the same way, a wave is something that the whole ocean is doing. We are all remnants of the big bang, we are all grains of sand to the infinite landscape of the cosmos. In the same way our star is part of a galaxy of other stars. The real you is not a puppet which life pushes around. The real deep down you is the whole universe.
So, it goes to show that when you die, it isn’t just a the fatal ending of everlasting non-existence. The world will still be here whether humans go extinct or not. Try and imagine going to sleep and never waking up. Death can be like our final sleep, yet it is similar to our first wake. That is when you were born. And when you are born you are put into a state of existence with all this strange and weird stuff happening. But you isolate yourself from all others. And so you define your own individuality, which is important, but you also fail to realize that all people are you. Only because you experience it one at a time. You are part of existence which makes you part of everything else, like a single grass thread to a forest. This shows that, almost without effort, you immediately know how to breathe, recognize your mother’s face, and you understand how to feel, cry, and whine. All of this knowledge is gained immediately. Doesn’t it really astonish you that you are this fantastically complex thing, and that you’re doing all of this and you didn’t have any education on how to do it? We are not all separate individuals, we are the whole universe just scattered about. But if everything were once again in unity then we may even come to comprehend the meaning of god. However, with all the hatred and discrimination in the world, we become further apart. Spreading further and further into a world of loneliness. And then this is where all the pain in the world comes from. It is from the fact that we all see ourselves as superior and apart rather than one infinite race. Our hate is causing our own extinction and we will be left with nothing until we find love within our own hearts.
Memories are unique. With every moment of happiness, sadness and unpleasantness we experience in life, we collect them in our little memory box. It is where the secrets stay hidden, where stress loses its sting and where unforgettable memories become a bottle of wine that lasts forever.
When we were children, our little memory boxes were pure. Full of satisfaction. However, as we grew up, deep inside our hearts, we start losing the real us. The box is like an unripe flower- growing, blossoming and withering. Slowly and helplessly.
Calm breezy night. Small alleyways lit by lamp posts reveal a stray black cat. It spots me, stares for a brief moment, then continues on its way like nothing had ever happened. But during this so short-lived moment, I felt something I’d never felt before in a dark, shady alleyway in the middle of a suburban town full of bright neon signs and alcoholics passed out on the curb. It was the feeling of warmth, that which one feels on a snowy day, curled up by the fireplace with freshly made hot chocolate and fuzzy slippers. The warmth emanating from the cat faded, but I continued to smile. I found a friend in this old rundown place, or at least the comfort that comes with one; but it was brief. As I pondered, observing the bright lights beneath an endless sky glittered with more lights, I came to a realisation. All that is bright and alluring is not always what it’s built up to be, while feelings of warmth, peace, and happiness can come from the most unexpected places.
One day you’ll be handing in your last page of homework. One day you’ll have your last pop quiz and your last agonizing earthquake drill that wasted your time. One day you’re going to leave behind all the friends that you have had amazing days with and made thousands of stories to remember by.
You’ll sit in your last class, listening to your teachers knowing that you will never see their faces again. One day you will take your possessions out of your locker and punch in your combo for the last time and take those slow steps out the doors of your school.
One day we’ll all be standing side by side accepting pieces of paper with people you have known and grown up with for years.
If you think about it, one day you’ll forget about all the people you once cared for and you’ll barely remember the memories you had even when you see their face when browsing through your yearbook.
One day you’ll be old enough to live by yourself. You’ll pack your bags and move your things into your new house. One day you’ll hug your parents goodbye and say farewell. One day you won’t be in high school, you’ll be doing a job you either hate or love for the rest of your life.
We’re all so ready to just get up and leave everything we used to dedicate our lives to.