Archive for short stories

A soul lost but not forgotten

It’s hard to talk about how you feel. It’s harder to accept how you feel. Worst of all, how do you figure out how you feel? You need to figure that out before you can accept and begin to deal with how you feel inorder for you to heal. 

2 weeks ago I got a phone call that made my blood turn cold and my skin turn white. It was so unexpected that I did not know how to react let alone cope. 24 year old. He was only 24 and lost the battle with addiction. How can something as small as a little pill be so powerful and life threatening? Small really is powerful. Molecules we can’t see with our naked eye, keeps us alive. So in essence, makes sense how something so small can dictate life…

What do you say to the family? I wish you long life, sorry for your loss, no regrets… How is that comforting? You walk behind this box that contains the family’s prize possession. Almost like the unique diamond that is owned by only one person or a painting without a duplicate. There is only one… Or so there was only one…

After the longest walk of their life, you arrive at a hole in the ground hoping that they don’t fall in or jump in after this precious box. THUMP THUMP THUMP. Your soul sinks into your shoes, tears roll down your face and your heart seems to break into thousands of pieces as you hear the father cry out in pain. Not a dry eye in site as family members confess their regrets out loud… I am sorry I failed you and was not able to help you in your time of need! 

Slowly but surely you walk away and as their cries get softer, your thoughts get louder. Only problem is you have no idea what your thoughts are. Are you happy that he is no longer suffering and having this constant battle in his life or are you sad and horrified by the whole event? How do you come back from this? How do you learn to cope? Are you so angry at the fact that he could be so selfish or was it an accident? These are all just questions… Questions you will never get the answers to. 

Time goes by so slowly and yet seems to fly. The pain takes long to go away however memories and voices seem to fade quickly. It all just does not make sense… How do you feel? How can you put into words your shock and disbelief? People come up and ask you so how you doing and and truth is you have got no idea! Because fact of the matter is you buried someone who meant something to you, and you do not believe that you should have done it in the first place! 

I am 21 years old. I have buried my best friend, and now a brother figure. That’s not right. And how does this all make me feel? When I figure it out I will let y all know. How to you cope and move on from it all? You don’t move on, you don’t forget, you learn to live with the pain and giant gap where he used to stand. 

He is a soul that has been lost but not forgotten. 

Please guys, addiction is a serious problem that can have and does have effects on everyone around you. Get help before it’s too late. It does not make you weak in anyway, makes you strong and brave. Admitting You have a problem and need help is the first step. There will always be people around to love and support you. 

Take what I am saying to heart,

Ash

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We are like Mirrors

Good morning all my gorgeous viewers

So I have a thought and theory for you guys I want you all to think about…

I was told a story the other day that sent shivers down my spine. It went as follows: One day a doctor was traveling and he saw the local Rabbi walking so he stopped and offered the Rabbi a lift. So they started to travel together. The doctor thought he would tut his own horn and started to brag to the Rabbi about his achievements.’You know, I get patients in that cannot afford to pay but I never turn them away. I treat them the same as my paying patients. The rabbi replied,’I also do that.’ The doctor figured that the Rabbi was talking about the Spiritual counseling he gave his spiritual ‘patients’ So the doctor continued, ‘also, a lot of them need expensive drugs and they cannot afford them so I give it to them for free.’ The Rabbi replied the same way, ‘I also do that.’ Ok so now the doctor was beyond confused. He did not understand that every statement that he says, the Rabbi would say that he does that as well. The doctor asked, ‘Rabbi, I don’t understand. You are not a doctor so how can you do all those things?’ ‘No, all I meanty was I also do that. I also only talk about my own good qualities!’

We have been taught by the Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement, that if we find ourselves noticing faults in others, it is because they exist within us. The whole world is like a mirror. It is deigned to show us what our faults are and how they make other people feel. Understanding this story helps us become more understanding of others and helps us realise our faults. So look in the mirror and think to yourself, ‘what do you see?’

Time to deal with my problem

Hey guys

This post includes a short story as well as an explanation… At the moment, I am dealing with someone in my life who is making my life hard and at time, I just cannot deal with it. I feel as if she is trying to run my life and be someone who she is not but having said that, I still love her with all of my heart and soul. I honestly just need to find the balance between all of this and learn to deal with it. I have always been told that you are not given anything you cannot handle,therefore, it is time for me to learn to handle this.

You are taught things in life like how to walk and talk, how to ride your bike and then the fairy wheels get taken off and you learn to ride a two wheeler, you then learn how to drive a car and run a home. Anything that is attached to something materialistic, you can be taught how to use it or taught the skill. All you need is the instruction manual and you are good to go. The issues begin when emotions come into play and your feelings and other human beings. You see, no-one can teach you how to deal with every single person because everyone is different and we all come with our own sets of rules and goals and life lessons. We learn from each other (the good and bad about a person can help you learn about the way in which a certain type of person functions) and by learning about other people, we begin to learn more about ourselves and the type of people we can and cannot handle. New problem… what if you are related to someone you cannot handle all the time? A person who you cannot connect with or understand on a certain level… I was told a story tonight that I would like to share with you

A few years ago a man became very rich and his father lived with him. They were not short of anything and whatever the father needed, he got and the son was very happy to give it to him. As the years went by, the father got older and more and more demanding and slowly but surely, the son could not take it anymore and he kicked the father out the house and onto the streets. The more the son thought about all the mess the father would make and all the stuff he broke, the better he felt about his decision. A few weeks past and the grandson was walking home and saw a bunch of beggars on the side of the road. The one stopped him and asked for some money or food or something. The grandson turned around and said, “I am sorry but I don’t have anything with me at the moment.” The grandfather grabbed his hand and said, “Do you not recognise me? I am you grandfather.” The boy was in shock and told his grandfather to wait one minute as he ran home to get help. When he got home he started to cry and said to his father that you have to help him! He has become a beggar and has nothing. “My son, I am not interested in your sob stories but go into the attic and get a coat and you can give it to him.” The grandson wiped his tears and went to go get the coat. A few minutes later the father went to the attic and asked what is taking him so long. Eventually the son came down with half of a coat. “My son! What have you done? Now there is no coat and your grandfather is going to freeze!” The son looked at his father and said,” I am saving the other half of the coat for when I kick you out the house just like you did to your father.” It was at that moment that the son realised what he had done and he brought his father back into his home…

We are all faced with challenges and people we do not always want to deal with but at the end of the day, we have to be grateful that they are there and that we have to do what we have to do sometimes. We cannot live life with regrets and no matter how much something or someone might get on your nerves, we have to remember that one day we will all be there and we will all get old and need some help and someone to be there.

Don’t give half a coat. Give the full coat and learn to balance everything.

Have a great weekend guys
Ash
xxx

Yom Kippur

Good afternoon everyone

So today is Yom Kippur. It is a day where us Jews fast for 25 hours and repent for all our sins. Sounds like a pain right. Fast for a long time, sit in shul and say sorry for all the things we will probably do again. So what did I learn from all of this??? I will tell you

There is a section today where people who have lost loved ones sit in a service and remember their loved ones. I thank G-D do not have to sit in this service but before it I was told a story I want to share with you.

A while ago there was this girl who had to go to jail for 11 and a half years because she stood up for what she believed in. She had a father and an 8 month old son. She left a red purse with the father and told him to please look after her son and she will see them both in 11 years time. The only thing that kept her going in prison was the thought of her son. 11 years past and she was released and went to her father and asked where her son was. He said he was at school and that she must go look for him.”But father I have changed and the last time I saw him he was 8 months old. How can he remember me?” Her father when to the bedroom and brought her the red purse.” This will reunite the two of you. Every member I share with him about you, I show him this red purse. Go and find your son my child.” She took the red purse and went to the school. The bell rand and all the children came out. A young boy pulled on her arm and said, “Mommy is that you?” She started to cry and embraced her son and did not want to let go.

What do we learn from this story??? Every family needs a red purse for the loved ones that has passed away. Their memories can live on inside of us. 4 times a year, their souls come down to earth and stands next to us during this service and they see what we have done with their memories and their lessons they have taught us. As long as we have the red purse, they will be able to find us and we can find them in anything we do that they taught us or used to do. Something as simple as making their favourite food or sharing a lesson with your children.

They are always there for us when we need them. Not many of us look up and talk to our family members that have died but they are right there waiting to listen to you and even though they cannot tell us what to do, it is comforting to know someone will always listen.

I hope you take this story to heart and realise that keeping people in our hearts, will keep their memories alive.

Have a good fast my fellow Jews and may you all be inscribed in the book of life.

Ash

xxx

The day that changed me

I woke up as if it was a normal day but little did I know
that Sunday morning was going to change my life forever. I was soaking up the sun and talking to my mom. All of a sudden I had a sudden urge to help children that was less fortunate than me. I was flabbergasted because I was not sure where that idea came from but I knew that I had to do it. It was in the middle
of my holidays and not many places would be open then but I had to call somewhere and find out a way to help others. I got the phone book and started to look for an organisation that helps children but not children with aids because aids was something everyone does. I wanted to help those children who were less known than the kids with Aids. My mom told me about CHOC. I was a 10 year old child who was calling an organisation that helped children older and younger than me. I picked up the phone, my heart was racing because I did not know what exactly CHOC did but it was “calling” me, and a lady by the name of
Sadie answered the phone. My heart stopped because I was not expecting anyone to pick up the phone and now that someone had, I had to decide if I wanted to commit my life to helping others. “Hello. My name is Ashlee Zlotnick. Honestly I am not sure why I am calling you but I have the sudden need to help out others less fortunate than me.” My first words to Sadie were not very positive but I made an appointment with her to learn about CHOC and how I can help out no matter what.

The next week I met up with Sadie at the CHOC house. I was
sitting on the couch and I was scared to be there because I found out that CHOC is a safe haven for children who have cancer and need a place to stay whilst they are having their treatment done as well as an organisation to fund their very expensive treatments and procedures. One of the children there came up to me and I pulled away from her because I was scared I was going to get cancer just by touching her. I was uneducated about cancer however I knew about Aids. My mom explained to me that cancer is something that is in your body and is not contagious. I felt ashamed of the way I treated that child and embarrassed that
I was so uneducated about this disease. I had yet another epiphany. I needed to not only help these children raise money but I had a need to get to know them on a personal level. I walked into CHOC house as a normal citation and I walked out a volunteer.

CHOC has changed my life tremendously and I
would not have been a part of it if it wasn’t for that Sunday morning epiphany. CHOC has opened up my eyes to a more positive way of looking at life. Because of CHOC, I now look at life through eyes of an optimist and I have the children to thank for that. They have not only given me someone to focus my energy on
but they have also given me a life lesson and that is: there is always light at the end of the tunnel and where there is not light, there is a torch waiting to help me find my way out.

A Step Forward

‘Sir I don’t understand. You tell me that you love my writing but you are not willing to publish it, why?’

‘Ashlee, you are an amazing writer and you have a lot of potential but your writing is not what I usually support and publish. I am so sorry but not this time.’ Mr. Kruger is the editor and chief of this huge publishing agency in my area and I was hoping he would give me my big break but I guess not. That is the seventh person this week alone that has turned me down. I am beginning to think that either I can’t write or my breath stinks but either way I am getting nowhere fast and I am going to give up soon.

Hi Ashlee, I got your number from your gran. She said you were interested in trying to write a song for us? So if you could try to write a song about friends going out and having fun/like a girl’s night out…if we can use it we will buy the song from you. Thanks, Tammy’ My gran did mention something to me the other day but I never thought she was being serious.

‘Gran, I just got a sms from a girl by the name if Tammy, she asked me to write a song. Know anything about this?’ I could hear her smile on the phone. My gran is very proud of me and I know she would do anything to try and get my writing out there in any form possible.

‘Hello my doll. Yes I told Tammy that you are an amazing writer and that you can write anything. Her twin sister, Stacey, and herself are a duet and are looking for original songs to write. The second I heard this I knew I had to tell her about your writing and give her your details. I hope you don’t mind my doll but you are an astonishing writer and you deserve to get recognized for your talent.’ How can I be upset with her? All she is trying to do is help me. I owe it to her to try don’t I?

I would love to write a song for you guys. Thank you so much for the opportunity. Ashlee’ I felt no pressure at all. Everything in life happens for a reason and there has to be a reason why this is happening to me now. I don’t know Tammy from a bar of soap but my gran has told me she is a lovely girl.  I sat down, in front of my computer and wrote. The words just flowed as I thought about a typical night out with my friends. I captured the fun we have together and how when I am with my friends I only smile and have the time of my life.

Hi. It sounds cool. I will pass it on to my producer and let you know. I would love to read your other stuff. Mwa.’ I read her email about five times just to see if what I read was true. She asked to read my other stuff and she told me she liked my song. She is the first person who has not turned me down in a long time. Could this be my big break I was been looking for? There is only one way to find out… I would have to write her more songs and try get to know her so that I could write things that appealed to her. My life was finally going in a direction I liked and it was as if I got high on confidence. I loved this feeling and I had to get more. The more I wrote and the more she began to like my writing, the more I wrote. My blog was finally getting viewers and my writing was getting somewhere. I took a step back and realised that even if she doesn’t use my songs, I would be ok because I made a new friend.

Hello Ashlee. My name is Belinda and I heard that you write beautifully. I was wondering if you could help me write something to place on my cousin’s tomb stone. He died in the line of duty and I want you to capture that aspect. Thanks so much.’ This was beginning to get a bit weird. First I was asked to write a song and now a saying to place on a tomb stone. I felt honored that I was asked to honor a man that took a bullet for our country.

‘ you were the sunshine in our lives

You were the hero in our eyes

Andrie was a man who lived for his family

Andrie was a man who died for his country’

She read what I wrote and began to cry.  I thought it was bad but Tammy told that it was beautiful and it is very difficult to make Berlinda cry, so I did a good job. At this point Tammy and I have yet to meet but I was getting to enjoy this girl more and more. It is very hard to find someone who has the same morals as you do. She understands me. Stacey and I soon started to talk and get to know each other as well. Talking to them both at different times is like talking to the same person. They are so similar it is astonishing. This just shows how close they really are.

This story just shows people that in order for you to pursue your dreams and aspirations, you have to move on from all the negative comments and learn from them. After taking so many bad reviews I was willing to give up but I didn’t and now not only am I writing, which I love to do, I have also made the most amazing friends and confidants. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to want to move on and reach your dreams no matter who gets in the way, you can always find a detour route to get there.

Moving On In Life

Four years ago I stood before you as a stranger. A few months later I stood before you as a best friend and towards the end, I stood before you as a soul mate. Today I stand before your coffin and your family as a griever.

‘Ash, I am not sure how to tell you this but Ryan died this morning…’ my heart stopped, hands shook and my eyes started to cry. I went into shock straight away and my body turned into jelly. It felt like I went from a lovely dream at Monti Casino to my worst nightmare. ‘Camilla; that cannot be right. I was with him four days ago and he was fine. You are lying!’ my voice was shaking and I could not get all my words out. I put the phone down and called his family hoping to hear Ryan pick up the phone, ‘Please tell me what I have just heard is not true. Tell me he is not gone. TELL ME!’ there was a pause on the phone and I knew it was true. ‘Ash, Ryan was run over this morning. He was crossing the road and got knocked over. Rachel called the ambulance and by the time they got there he was in a critical condition. He had broken every bone in his body on impact but he was still alive. They rushed him to the hospital but had to resuscitate him a couple of times in the ambulance. When they got to the hospital, it was too late, he was gone. I am so sorry but I have to go. I will keep you updated about the funeral plans as soon as I know anything.’ My world came to an end. What was I going to do without my best friend? He had a very hard life. He survived seven open heart surgeries, a back problem and he was taken away from us in such a brutal, inhumane way, culpable homicide. Rage took over my body and emotions thus causing me to exploded like a volcano. I could not feel anything but anger and I thought this is how the rest of my life was going to be like.

 ‘Dear friends and relatives. It saddens me to say that my dearest brother, Ryan, was killed this morning in a car accident. His funeral will be on Friday at 11 am. I hope to see you all there.  Regards: Rachel and family.’  To go or not to go, this was the question that was stuck in my head for two days solid.

‘I have never gone to a funeral before. My first one I go to should not be an eighteen year old friend of mine. I understand that life is unpredictable but this goes beyond that. This is the type of story you hear in the news papers and never think that it will happen to you let alone your best friend. This is just damn wrong.’

‘I understand where you are coming from my angel. Funerals are not easy but this one for your first funeral is going to be unbearable. You must do what makes you feel comfortable and what you want to do. You don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to. Ryan would understand that where you are coming from and he knows that you are there for him whether you go or not. To watch an older person gets buried is hard but watching a young boy, a son of a living mother, it is indescribable.’ My Oumie always knows what to say to me. She carried on telling me how the funeral works and the sequence it goes in but I zoned out. I thought about Ryan and all the times we spent together. He was always a positive person and looked on the brighter side of life.

‘Oumie, Ryan would want me to go to his funeral. I know that he knew I was always there for him and always will be but he would want me to see that he is at peace and that he is fine. As scared as I am, I need to go to get a sense of closure.’ And that is exactly what I did. I called a friend of mine and we decided to go together. Every night before the funeral I had nightmares. I saw Ryan and his sister walking across the road. He had one of his permanent smiles on his face, one of the things I loved the most about him. They started to walk and I heard the cars starting to rev their engines. One, two, three and the drivers took their foot off the break and went forward without looking in front of them. I heard Ryan screaming Rachel’s name and as she turned around she heard a thump and saw her baby brother flying through the air. He landed like an egg cracking into the pan and just like the yoke breaks sometimes, his body breaks open and his blood was everywhere and then I wake up. I had this dream for three days in a row and before I knew it Friday arrived.

Driving in the car I tried to calm myself down and kept telling myself to breath. I pictured Ryan holding my hand and telling me that everything is going to be ok and flash me one of his big smiles. I was hoping that we would get there and this would all be one big joke and he would pop up from behind a tree and say, ‘got yah,’ but he didn’t. Instead we drove into the cemetery and saw the family and friends with a loved one in one hand for support and tissues for their tears in another. I took one breath ad opened the car door.

‘Ash give me your hand and I promise I will not let go until we get back into this car.’  Kayla is more than a friend to me, she is like my sister. I would not have been able to go without her.

‘Kay, what would I do without you?’ I took her hand and held it tight. We walked up the stair into a hall. On the walls was names of people that had died and their loved ones contributed money to the cemetery in their name. As I looked to my right I saw the room where they kept the coffin before the ceremony. I tried not to freak out; Kayla held my hand even tighter and mentioned that I have to breathe.

‘Ladies and Gentleman, may I please have your attention.  Will you all be so kind as to make a path way between yourselves so that we can bring the coffin in.’ they opened the wooden doors and I heard the sound of the wheels rolling on the floor. I tried but I couldn’t look at the coffin. The thought of him being in a small wooden box freaked me out a lot. I felt the first tear fall from me eye, roll down my cheek and I knew it would not be the last. We walked with the coffin to the grave site and I watched them place him into the ground and cover him up with sand. That noise I will never forget.

So I am standing here today in front of a tree we planted for Ryan. It has been a month since he has been gone and I never thought I would move on however standing here I feel a warm breeze over my shoulder and I know I will be ok.  He is looking out for me from above and he is always with me in my heart. Life does go on, and we all move on from events in our lives. We understand that it is ok for us to laugh again and it is ok to cry as well. A loss in one’s life is something that one will never forget but we learn to live with the pain and move on in life.

The Girls Who were Bullied

 

 

By Ashlee Zlotnick

I walked into the room. A lady with a huge pimple on her nose opens her mouth and, “I have been expecting you.  You must be Samantha. Please have a seat. My name is detective Beauty. I have a couple of questions I would like to ask you if you don’t mind.” My legs were shaking, I couldn’t think straight and I had the image of that person looking me in my eyes and telling me I am a waste of space on this earth. “Yes I am Samantha. I would be only too happy to answer any questions you have for me. I want this person to be put away for a very long time. Because of her my best friend is dead and I want her to pay for what she has done.” The detective passed me the box of tissues as she knew I wasn’t going to leave the police station with dry eyes. “Right Samantha, start from the beginning. Who is this person you keep on talking about and what did she do to your friend.” I took a deep breath as I began to tell the story of how a bully tortured 3 girls including me and how she drove a young talented girl to lose herself. My mom held my hand as I started to speak. “The girl I keep on referring to, her name is Alicia and she is my age.” “Can you describe her to me please?” I tried to picture what she looks like but every time I try I get a sudden rush of anger and disappointment. “Come on Samantha you can do this my angel. Describe Alicia to the detective.” I am so grateful to my mother because I could not do this on my own. “She has long, dark hair and brown eyes. She is thin and has a squeaky voice. She hangs around people just to use them…” “Let me stop you there. Are you telling me she uses her friends and people she hangs out with? Is this how the bullying started?” I took a deep breath again and my throat got all choked up. “I always knew she was bad news. She would take people away from you when you are talking to them and act like nothing was wrong. I feel sorry for her as she is an only child but that gives her no right to bully people and use them. She is the type of person who gets what she wants when she wants it. I didn’t want to get involved with her but something happened 3 years ago whereby I had to stand up for my friend.” Before I could go on I had to take a break and go outside. As I took a refreshing breath of fresh air I stopped and burst out crying. It was the first time I thought back to 3 years ago in a long time and it was not a very nice year of me.

“Ok I am ready to talk about what happened that day that started the end. Dani and Alicia got into a huge fight. Not a physical fight but I sometimes wish it was. To be quite honest I am not sure why the fight started but I know that I had to be there for my friend. I got involved and found out that they were fighting over something Dani said that Alicia didn’t like. Can you believe that? I mean I know sometimes people say stuff that other people don’t like but do you really need to fight over it? Basically I took Dani’s side and not Alicia’s.” “ Hold on Samantha. By the sound of things you and Alicia were friends. Is my assumption true?” I looked away from her. “Yes your assumption is right. We were friends. In fact we were more than friends, we were best friends. However by this time I was not aware of the true Alicia. I never thought she would get so upset with me and try to ruin my life. When I think of our friendship now I can see the truth. I see a person who is scared and thinks she can control everything and everyone. I blame her mother Tammy.” “Samantha I just want to make sure I understand everything. You took Dani’s side and now Alicia is not happy with you. ( I nodded). What happened after you took Dani’s side?” The tears were sliding down my eyes and they were about to get worse. “Alicia pulled me aside to talk. She said, “Samantha because you took Dani’s side we can no longer be friends. You have betrayed me and now you are going to pay for what you have done to me. You are going to regret what you have done!” Before I could say anything she walked off. I never quite understood what she meant by that but trust me I understand now.”Little did I know what was going on in her home. Her father was never at home and her mother continuously pushed her to do better. She was like a 5-year-old child trapped in a 16-year-old body. The way she was treated at home she started to treat people in the same way. It is as if her mother stuck an ear piece in her ear and told her to say all the horrible things to people even if she didn’t want to say them. “After the fight did you and Alicia ever speak again?” I had a sip of water and took my jacket off. I stuck my hand into the one pocket and pulled out a piece of paper. It looked relatively old and it had writing on it. I stared at it for a few seconds and explained, “This is how we communicated. She wrote a letter to me saying I was a bitch and how I am in trouble because she has told her mom about what happened. I wrote back:

 How dare you call me a bitch for standing up for a friend. I never want to speak to you again. Oh ya and regards to your mother I don’t care if you told her. I can handle anyone. Goodbye PIG.

And you know what I do not regret sending that letter because I had to show her I had a back bone. Here is the letter that we exchanged and I would do it again. ” I thought for a moment, “I take that back I would not do it like that again but I would stand up for her Dani again and for myself.” I handed the letter to the detective and sat in silence as she read the letter. She placed the letter into a plastic bag and gave it to another detective to send to the lab for tests. “Did anything happen after the letter was sent back?”I tried not to but I giggled a bit. “Detective that was just the start. She got her mother to call my mother and the two of them had a huge fight. In the end Tammy told me that I am not to step foot into her house ever again and that I should never have done what I did. From that day on we didn’t speak. Well I thought I was rid of her you know. Like I never had to look at her face ever again. Every time I thought I would never have to speak to her I got a grin on my face from ear to ear.” “Miss Samantha I am sorry for what happened to you 3 years ago but we are here today investigating what happened to Miss Cheryl West. I believe you guys were good friends.” I still have the image of her pale face in my head. “Miss Beauty, I am no telling you these things for fun. I am telling I am telling you this information to tell you what kind of person you are dealing with. This is not the first time Alicia has driven someone to do something they will regret. Alicia became friends with a girl by the name of Kelly. Have you heard of her?” the detective looked as if she has seen a ghost. “Yes. Kelly was a 14-year-old girl who committed suicide last year. Her family never understood how a girl who was always happy do something like this brutal. If I am not mistaken she jumped off a building. I am not sure why you are bringing her up Samantha. Can you please explain” The water works began again. “Kelly was a friend of mine who I was very close to. It took me a while to figure this out but I believe that Alicia was the one who drove her to kill herself. The last time Kelly and I spoke she told me that Alicia always put her down and tried to break up her friendship with me. She said that Alicia was bullying her and the reason why she never told anyone was because Alicia said she would make Kelly’s life a living hell if she told anyone what she was doing to her. My point is Alicia bullies people so badly, to the point of suicide. Pull out Kelly’s file and I’ll show you something.” Beauty called a police officer and ordered him to bring her Kelly West’s file. “I can’t believe it. Samantha you might be right. The report states that Kelly had teeth marks and bruises all over her body. We all assumed that she did it to herself but now I am not so sure. What else did Kelly tell you about Alicia?” I was proud of myself for putting two and two together because now we might find Cheryl before she can do anything stupid. “Kelly told me about how Alicia had bullied her emotionally and that she used to take pictures of the two of them together. As if she wanted to have some sort of evidence of what the two of them where doing. Come to think of it she did the same with me. When I used to go to her she always had her camera out and was always taking pics. Detective why do you think she was doing this?” There was silence for a moment. “Samantha I am not sure but what I am sure of is we are going to find out.”

Beauty asked me to leave as she wanted to try to figure out why Alicia took the pictures and how this piece of information can help her find Cheryl. I was escorted into another room. I looked out of the window and I had a flash back of that last time I saw my dear Kelly: “Samantha after she took the picture she used to put a black bag over my head and drag me into a room. I’m not sure where this room is but every time she takes me there, there is a certain smell about it. I can never quite put my finger on it but I know it doesn’t smell so good. You have to promise me something.” “Anything Cheryl. You are my best friend but you have to tell someone besides me about what she does to you. You are the only person who can put an end to her madness.” She took my hands, “Sam you have to promise me no matter what happens you won’t tell anyone what she does to me. If you do she will come after you. I don’t want that to happen to you. Promise me.” I hesitated, “Alicia I love you. You my best friend but I can’t promise you that. I can handle myself and you have to put an end to your suffering.  She has bullied me as well.” “Sam what did she do to you?” I took my hands away from hers’, walked to a window and paused. “One day at school, after the whole fight with her and Dani, she came up behind me and tried to strangle me. I fought back so she slammed my head into the edge of the window. There was blood everywhere. She left me on the floor and ran off.” “Oh my gosh Sam. Why did you never have her arrested?” I giggled. “I never knew it was her until a few days after. I went to my one friend who lives next to her. I saw her in her garden washing the blood of her clothes. When I went to the cops they could not help be because I had no evidence it was her. That is why you have to put her in her place. You have to tell someone about the room and what she does to you in there.” Kelly started to cry. “The room is very dark. There are no windows and it has that smell I told you about. On the wall there is water running down it as if there is a leak in the room but I checked and there was no hole. I have a feeling as if someone or something has died in it. Sam it is not you problem I just want you to know you mean a lot to me and I am so glad I got to know you and that we are friends.” Before I could ask her why she was talking like that she went upstairs and the next time I saw her she was dead. “Mom I know where Cheryl is most likely to be if she is still alive.” I ran out of the room and stormed into the Detective’s office. “Kelly told me about a room Alicia used to drag her into before she used to hurt her. It has to be somewhere in her house. It may be the place she is holding Cheryl. I know it is a long shot but we have to try.” “What are we waiting for? Get your jacket and I will call and get a warrant. I hope you are right Sam because if you are, you might be saving someone’s life.”

We drove to Alicia’s house. As we drove up her drive way and I got cold shivers and my heart started to beat rapidly. Behind the detective’s car were 3 police cars and my mother. I knocked on the front door whilst policeman hid in the bushes and went around the back. “I thought I told you never to step foot on my property again.  What the hell are you doing here?” “Tammy I believe. I am Detective Beauty and I have a warrant to search your house. Where is your daughter?” I have never seen Tammy speechless in my life. Her face was full of shock and confusion. “Why do you want my daughter? It doesn’t matter why you want her; she is not here right now. She is out with her friends and even if she was here she has nothing to say to you.” “Maim if I were you I would co-operate with the authority.” Beauty moved Tammy to the side and we started to check the house. We have searched from top to bottom and there was no sign of Cheryl or a secrete room. “Sam we tried but there is no sign she was ever here.” I clicked. Alicia once showed me a room. It was under her pool. Even thought I never went in it, when I got close to it all of a sudden it very cold. “I know where the room is. It is underneath her pool. Come on we have to hurry because her pool is at the bottom of her garden and that is far.” We ran as fast as we could and while we were running I couldn’t help but thank Kelly. If it wasn’t for her we might never find Cheryl. We finally got to the pool and went down the path to a door under the pool. “HELP ME PLEASE!” “That was Cheryl I just know it. Open the door.” “It is stuck. It won’t open” A policeman said. I was pumping with adrenaline and I knew I had to get her out now. “Sir out of my way please. I will open it.” I was pulling and yanking on the door knob. CRACK. The door broke open. I ran into the room and saw Cheryl lying on the floor. She was tied up and was very pale. We got her to the hospital and we had Alicia and her mother arrested for kidnapping and murder. I found out that Alicia had a pin board with pictures of all my friends on it. She had a plan to hurt them to get to me. Alicia never hurt another person again.

Bullying is very hurtful and to you it might be fun and a game but it messing with the victims mind and it might make them do something out of the ordinary. It may also make them turn to something for comfort like drugs or alcohol. Be the voice to stop bullying and stand up for what you believe in. Put an end to someone suffering.

Not Waving but Drowning

By Ashlee Zlotnick

Being a life guard isn’t easy. I mean not only are you are responsible for a lot of lives but you also have to be alert all the time. Hi my name is Jess and I am a life guard at one of the busiest beaches is Durban. I have been working here for about 6 months now and I love every moment of it.

Being a life guard has its pro’s and con’s but the best thing is that every girl wants to date me. Hey it’s a rough job but someone has to do it. Everywhere I go I hear, “Hey Jess, here is my number call me.” Or, “Oh my Gosh, it’s Jess, he is so attractive!” Yup the girls love me and I thought it was amazing until that awful day…

I got up one morning the same as I do every day.” Good morning Jess. How did you sleep?” says my mom, “Hey mom, I slept like an angel.” I got dressed and went to work. I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach as if something was wrong.” Jess! You late as usual.” My boss Molly doesn’t like me that much. I ran to the life guard station, put my shades on and sat down. A lot of people wave at me, so I waved back. The day went by slowly and it was now lunch time. More people come to the beach about now so we are more alert at this time of the day. The sun was reflecting on the choppy sea, it was difficult to see the people in the crystal blue sea when the sun is in your eyes. I saw a glimpse of a hand in the air. I thought she was waving at me so I waved back. For some obscure reason she was still waving. “ Jess, she is not waving, she is drowning! Go save her.” When Molly said that I froze. I could hear my heart beat in my ears. Molly hit me and ran to save the girl. I jumped into the water. It was so cold and she seemed so far away from me. I kept on thinking about how much time I have wasted all because I thought she was waving at me. The team go to her and brought her back ashore. I looked at her face and body. She was blue and hypothermic. She looked so innocent and helpless. We did everything we could but we could not save her.

She was only 14 years old and because of me she is now dead. I gave Molly my badge without saying a word. I walked away and never looked back. Ever since that awful day I have never been anywhere near a beach. I keep playing that day over and over in my head and then I remember why I have not been in water for 3 years.

I can only go forward now

 

By Ashlee Zlotnick   

My best friend and I just stopped being friends and I don’t really know why. A few months ago I would never have thought that I would be where I am today.  My name is Nikki and I am a 16-year-old girl in a school filled with ‘popular’ people.

A while back I got a phone call from Jessica, my best friend.” Hey Nikki, you would never believe what had just happened to me, John has asked me out.” I couldn’t help but scream, “Jess that is amazing. I am so happy for you and John. Isn’t he your first real boy friend?” “Yes Niks he is and it feels so amazing to have someone I can lean on. Anyway I have to run John is waiting for me in the car. Bye” Before I could say good-bye back she had put the phone down. Isn’t it astonishing, Jess has her first boyfriend? Suddenly my happiness for her rapidly decreased and I started to worry. This was her first boy friend what will happen if … I had to stop myself from thinking negatively but I just couldn’t help it. “Niks phone for you angel” I love my family, they my support system and my mom Abby is not my mom she is my best friend. “Hello” ” Niks it is Alon how you doing?” I couldn’t help but notice Alon sounded like he was nervous about something, “Hey Alon. I am great how are you? Did you hear the great news about Jess?” All the people in my school knows every one’s personal business, ” Yes I did and I so happy for her. Niks you and I have been friends for a long time and you are my best friend, you know that right?” “Alon you are my best friend as well and you mean a lot to me. Alon you making me nervous what is wrong?” There was silence on the phone for a while. Finally, “Niks will you do me the honor and go on a date with me?” I could tell he was nervous because his voice was shaky. “Absolutely. I am so excited to be more than a friend because we have such a strong friendship; I know our relationship will be breathtaking. Good bye Alon sees you tomorrow.” “Great I will pick you up at around 8 p.m. Goodnight Nikki. Sleep well” My heart sank. I have had boyfriends before but none of them I have ever felt connected to like how I feel about Alon. The first person I had to call was Jess. “Jess you will never believe what has just happened; Alon called me and asked me out. Yah” “Niks I’m so happy for you guys. You guys look so cute together and the goof thing about dating your best friend is you already know him and that you guys can work because you are such great friends. Sorry to do this again Niks but I have to go and do my homework.” “It’s ok Jess. Bye angel.” I have a strange feeling in my stomach. A feeling as if something is wrong or something bad is going to happen.

I woke up in such a good mood. On my phone I had a sms from Alon.

Good Morning sunshine. Such a beautiful day isn’t it. Maybe it’s because you are in the world. I can’t wait to see you tonight; I know you are going to look ravishing. Alon

He is so sweet and romantic. Nothing can go wrong tonight absolutely nothing. I started to get ready for my date with Alon at about 1 in the afternoon and he was only picking me up in 7 hours. I had music on and I was dancing around my room when, “Niks, its Jess can we please talk?” I let her into my room and I saw a face I wish I never saw. Jessica’s make-up was smudge and her eyes were blood-shot red. I grabbed her and hugged her until she was ready to talk. “Niks, I went to the mall to get the perfect outfit for my date tonight. I was in an extraordinary mood; I mean this is my first real boy friend. So I was walking and I happened to see John in a restaurant, I was going to go up to him when I saw he was with another girl and he was holding her hand.” Tears were pouring from her eyes like Vic Falls. I didn’t know what to say to her. My mom always told me to speak from the heart. “Jess, he didn’t deserve you. He was foolish to have cheated on you because now he has me to deal with.” More water works came and I knew I couldn’t leave her tonight. Regretfully I picked up the phone and called Alon, “Hello Alon. I know that we were meant to go out tonight and I was really excited to go with you but something has come up with Jess and she needs me so I am really sorry but we can’t go out tonight.” Sigh,” You know Niks you are a really good friend. Not many people would dump their plans to help a friend. I admire you.” He is so sweet. We said good-bye and put the phone down. I was upset about not going on the date but I knew my friend needed me.

The next morning I woke up and I noticed ice-cream tubs everywhere and chocolate papers. Jessica was lying in a bed of used tissues and a puddle of tears. I hated seeing her like this and I had to try to cheer her up but how. It is amazing how Alon always comes to my rescue because just as I thought I needed to help her there was a ring at my door. I opened the door but all I could see was a huge teddy bear. Suddenly the teddy bear moved and Alton’s handsome face popped up from behind the teddy bear. “I thought this would make up for last night.” He has that goofy smile on his face, “Good morning Alon. You are so sweet thank you for the teddy bear. Would you like to come in?” “I can’t sorry Niks I have to go to work. I just came by to give this to you.” I closed the door and I still had the butterflies. I now knew what I had to do to get Jess into a better mood, find her a new boy. A boy who would treat her in the way that Alon treats me.

A few weeks have passed since Jess and John broke up and she now has a new boy friend. His name is Erin. She has never been happier but that same feeling I had about her and John I have now and it has never been this strong. Alon and I have never been happier, he is the most amazing boy friend ever and I think I am falling in love with him. Who knew me falling in love with my best friend. “Hey babe it’s Alon, I was wondering if you wanted to go out with me this weekend. I heard that there is a really good movie on at the moment. So when you get this message give me a call.” I phoned back straight away, “Hey angel I would love to go out with you this weekend. Pick me up around 7 ok?” “Sure. I’ll see you at 7. Bye Niks” Life couldn’t be any better. I have the most amazing boy friend in the world ever and the most supportive family and of course my best friend Jess. Yup life is great and it can only get better. Every time the door bell rings my heart skips a beat and when I see Alon at the door, I can feel my mouth automatically go into a stupid smile and I love that feeling. “Ready to go Niks?” “Yes I am. Bye mom Love you” We get to the restaurant and I remember it is mine and Alon’s 1 month anniversary and I forgot. Before I could say anything he covered my eyes,” Babe I have a surprise for you.” “Alon I…I” ” Happy anniversary Niks.” There were red roses everywhere and the lights were dimmed. The restaurant was empty except there was one table in the middle of the restaurant. It had candles on it and a huge bunch of flowers with a teddy bear on the chair. The teddy had a t-shirt on and it had written on it: I love you Nikki. Love Alon. “I am blown away Lonny. You have gone through all this effort and I feel bad because I forgot it was our 1 month. I’m so sorry.” “Don’t apologize Niks. I don’t need a physical gift from you. All I need is you. I love you Nikki, you mean everything to me.” The tears started pouring from my eyes. Did I hear right? Did Alon just say I love you? “I love you too Lonny. You are truly my knight in shining armor.” That night was the best night of my life.

A few months have pasted and the closer Jess is getting to Erin, the further apart we are getting. I never see her anymore and when I do at school she is too busy to talk to me. Erin has moved into our school and I feel as if he is replacing me. Oh did I mention me and Alon have broken up. We had a huge fight and I called it quits and I feel that it was a mistake to stop talking because I need him but as a friend, we can never be a pair again. “Niks, it’s Jess, can we please talk?” Remember that feeling I had earlier on well I have it again and I know this convocation won’t end well,” Sure Jess, What’s going on?” “Niks you and I have been friends for a long time and I have enjoyed those years it’s just… I feel as if you and I are drifting and I am not sure how to stop it.” My heart sank. I feel as if the whole world has stopped and nothing feels real,” Jess, what are you trying to say, is our friendship over?” “Niks it’s just this relationship between us is too hard to maintain. It is doing more harm than good. I don’t want to hurt you it is just that I don’t have the strength to continue this friendship.” “I don’t know what you want me to say to that Jess except for you and I were meant to be friends for the rest of our lives. You have helped me go through so really hard times and when you needed me I was there for you. When you and I just met I told you that you will be stuck with me for a long time and do you remember what you replied?” “Yes I do. We would be friends for ever and even longer. I am willing to accept any reaction you have so scream at me and I don’t blame you if you hate me because I would hate me.” “How can I hate you Jess? You not my best friend you my sister and now what, we didn’t have a fight or an argument you just saying bye with no reason. I can’t speak to you right now because I don’t Know how to react, I have just lost my best friend, the one person who understands me completely.” I put the phone down and I burst out crying. My best friend will never laugh with me again; she will never hold my hand when I need her. Who am I going to call in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep? Who is going to be there for me if it’s not going to be her? I called Alon ad he was at my house in a split second. He is truly my best friend.

I see Jessica at school and I keep on having flash backs about our phone call. I want to go up to her and tell her how my day has been but I can’t and I know that soon I will accept it. Friends come and go but true friends are forever. I guess we weren’t meant to be friends but I will never regret our friendship because if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be the person I am today. If it wasn’t for us breaking up I would never have realized that I am strong and I can only go forward from here.

 

 

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