Ophelia S. Di Angelo, 8th - Plymouth, CA
I have always been able to see it. The numbers.
I remember the day I mentioned them to my mother.
At kindergarten I drew this family portrait. Me, my mother (05-15-2012), and my uncle, Donny (10-6-2079). The teachers let us bring a picture to school for a reference. The numbers had always been there, so I drew them too, in a bright green crayon. I thought everyone could see them.
Later that day, I took the drawing home, insisting that Donny put it up on the fridge. After my dad left, Donny, being his brother, insisted that he move in and took over the paternal position.
Both my mother and Donny were confused by the random numbers that were written above their drawing-selves’ foreheads in green Crayola, though my mother eventually passed it off as my young brain assigning random numbers to the people I knew.
We honestly forgot about them. Until 2 years later. On May 15, 2012, my mother was in a car crash. She was on her way to pick me up from school when a drunk driver ran a stop sign and smashed into the driver’s side. A pedestrian who witnessed the accident called 911, while I sat at the school, alone and unknowing. Someone finally contacted Donny, who came to pick me up from school.
I don’t remember much, just going to the hospital and seeing my mother, the woman who raised me, hooked up to a bunch of tubes and machines, deathly pale.
The doctors told Donny that she was on life support and most likely wouldn’t recover, and I remember that being the only time I had ever seen my uncle cry.
Days later, he told the doctors to pull the plug, and I watched my mother take her last breath, my jaw dropping when the green numbers above her head turned black.
I tugged on the sleeve of my uncle’s wrinkled sweatshirt, a hard contrast from his usual leather jacket. When I pointed out the change in my mothers’ numbers, it must have clicked in his head that what I was seeing meant something.
“Hey guys! Long time no see,”
The four of us sat down, as the waitress (03-14-2035), came to ask what we wanted to drink.
Looking around at the three men sitting at the table, Donny asking Matt about football, and Nick ogling at a boy our age a few tables over (08-26-2087), I realized how lucky I was to have these people.
This was the life, and I couldn't be happier. Everything is gonna be great.
Boy, if I knew what would happen in the next few hours, I would not have said that.
Students 6th-12th Grades