FC: BeReAvEmEnT | Story by Katelyn Tillman Photos belong to their respective owners
1: Jamie wasn't very happy today. Her mom had just dropped her off at her grandma's old house with her cousin; Jamie's dog had recently passed away, so she figured it'd be good for her to get away from the house, but she was still depressed and about as bored as a ten year old could get. "Play a game with me!" she demanded at her older cousin, who was sitting on the couch beside her. Anything to get her mind off her old friend. "Can't", he responded coldly. Jamie blew an exaggerated sigh through her lips, "You're so boring! I'm gonna tell grandma you're ignoring me!" Why couldn't he just see she needed him right now?
2: Her cousin wasn't intimidated, "don't bother her, she's too old for your crazy games and, besides, I'm doing homework and that's important. Why don't you go explore or something?" "Whatever", she muttered as she lifted herself off of the old couch and dragged herself out the front door. Her spirits lifted a bit as she realized how big this place really was. A huge forest bordered the left side of the house and her feet naturally carried her there. Once she was beneath the trees, her imagination ran wild and for the time being, her depression vanished. She sped across the ground as she imagined herself fleeing from some imaginary monster and her laugh echoed through the trees. She could do anything out here, all alone. Except she wasn't.
3: She skidded to a stop at the sight of another girl crouched to the ground picking flowers. Her grandma said that no one else lived out here. The girl turned around and offered a warm smile, "Hi Margaret!" she greeted enthusiastically, and before Jamie could say anything, she was being dragged along by the hand of this mysterious little girl.
4: They finally stopped in front of a large house and Jamie shouted "Who are you?!" "It's only been a few days since you saw me last, you can't forget me that easily," the other girl pouted. "Huh?" Jamie responded. "It's me Elizabeth, remember?" she enunciated. Jamie was really confused now and feeling pretty creeped out as well. "Okay, I think you have me confused with someone else, my name's Jamie." The girl named Elizabeth looked embarrassed now, "I'm so sorry! I didn't realize..." Jamie laughed, "It's okay, I was told no one else lived out here, so I was surprised is all."
5: "That's weird" Elizabeth replied, "But since you're here, you can come to my tea party!" "Tea party?" and before Jamie could protest, she was being dragged by the girl again, only this time, into the house. Before Jamie knew it, she was seated around a small table and surrounded by various dolls and other toys. "I'll go get the tea!" Elizabeth proclaimed and ran out of the room.
6: Now, Jamie was alone and left to deal with her confused thoughts. However, before she could reflect on them, a small dog came charging into the room. Once it realized it wasn't alone, it jumped into Jamie's lap and proceeded to coat her face in slobber. Jamie began to laugh, but stopped once she was reminded of her own dog. Elizabeth walked in carrying a platter of tea and saw the other girl staring at her dog with tears in her eyes.
7: Elizabeth rushed over, "Oh no, did Jack hurt you? He's usually really good around strangers..." "No, it's not that... my dog's just not here anymore" Jamie choked out. "Oh! I'm so sorry!" Elizabeth apologized. "It's okay, I just miss him so much" Jamie said, trying to stop her tears. "Hey now, none of that. You know what someone once told me?" Elizabeth smiled as Jamie looked up. "They said that it's normal to be sad over lost friends, but they would be sad to know they were making you sad. Instead, make sure to live your life great enough for the two of you!"
8: Jamie stopped crying and mumbled, "I guess that makes sense." "Of course!" Elizabeth beamed, "and I'm sure a tea party will help cheer you up!" Jamie laughed, "Yeah, sure!" They drank their tea, even though Jamie thought tea parties were old fashioned and that this girl had a strange obsession with them. "Hey, don't you usually have sweets with tea?" Jamie asked. "Oh no! I forgot about them and the oven's fire's still going! I'll be right back!" Elizabeth shouted as she ran from the room with her dog following closely behind.
9: Jamie sighed, she was alone again. However, now she was confused as to where Elizabeth's parents were and why she was cooking sweets over a oven fire, weren't those electric nowadays? Jamie took in a deep breath. Well, she better go help the girl before she ended up hurting herself, and she could smell smoke. The food was probably burning as she tried to figure out a way to retrieve them. She stood up and froze when she heard the barking and frantic screaming. She ran out of the room and bolted down the hallway, then stopped when she reached the source of the noise. It was the kitchen, and it was up in flames.
10: "Elizabeth!" Jamie shouted. "Where are you?!" There was no response, just the roaring of the fire. She couldn't lose anyone else, but she couldn't save them by herself. She tore herself away from the scene and ran from the house. Her legs and arms moved faster than ever before, but time seemed to slow down her movements. Elizabeth's house wasn't as far from the forest's edge as Jamie had thought. She was out of the trees now and tearing across her grandmother's front lawn.
11: She burst through the door of the house covered in sweat and gasping for breath. Her cousin looked up from his work and gave her an odd look, probably because of her appearance. "Where've you been?" he asked nonchalantly. "Hurry! We have to help them!" Jamie yelled back. "Help who?" her cousin asked, still looking at her oddly. "That girl and her dog, if we don't go soon, it'll be too late!" She shouted desperately. "What's going on in here?" Jamie's grandmother entered the room, attracted by the commotion. "Grandma!" Jamie shouted, "We need to hurry and put out the fire, they need help!" "Who needs help?" Her grandmother asked, obviously confused about the whole ordeal. "Elizabeth and Jack!" Jamie exclaimed in panic.
12: Her grandma's eyes widened. "Who?" she asked again, only quieter. "Elizabeth and Jack! Hurry or they'll die!" Jamie screamed. Her desperate pleas were enough to make her cousin get up and follow her. Her grandma followed behind as fast as she could. It seemed to take forever, but they were finally back running through the forest, and Jamie traced her steps back to the house. Only, it wasn't there. Instead, some old charred pieces of wood and undergrowth grew in its place. "I don't understand..." Jamie whispered and slowly walked toward the site.
13: Elizabeth! Jack!" Jamie shouted as she walked around the charred remnants of the house. "Jamie, get away from there" her cousin demanded, "you could get hurt, and I doubt your friend's here." "But, they were here!" Jamie exclaimed, her grandmother had finally caught up with them and she was looking around quietly at the site. "Grandma, you believe me right?" Jamie asked. Her grandma was still staring blankly into space. "Grandma?" she asked. Her grandmother looked at her confusedly. "Let's go back to the house" she said simply. "But, Elizabeth and-" "Jamie, there's no one here" her grandma said sharply. "But..." she reluctantly followed as her grandma led them out of the forest.
14: When they were back at the house, her cousin looked at her coldly. "What?" Jamie snapped. "When I told you to go explore, I didn't mean to make up some insane story and cause a scene." "I wasn't making it up" Jamie replied and left for her room. On her way down the hallway, her grandma stopped her, "May I have a word with you?" Darn, Jamie thought, I'm in so much trouble. She followed her into a sitting room with many old photos hanging from the walls. Her grandmother walked over to one of the walls with Jamie following slowly behind. "Do you know who this is?" Her grandma asked. Jamie looked at the photo of a young girl about ten years of age. "That looks like me!" She said excitedly.
15: Her grandma smiled, "That was me when I was your age." "Really?" Jamie said, looking at the picture again. It did look a lot like her, but it was an old photo. The name Margaret was written in the bottom corner, along with a date. Margaret, where had she heard that name before? "Here, look at this one" her grandma motioned toward another photo. She followed the direction her grandma was pointing until she saw a picture with two girls side by side in the photo. She recognized her grandmother, but there was also another girl. It looked exactly like Elizabeth.
16: "Grandma" Jamie said quietly "Did this girl have a dog?" "She did" her grandmother replied quietly. "And did she have a house in the woods?" "Yes" her grandmother replied, quieter this time. Jamie turned around to face her grandmother. "It's Elizabeth, isn't it?" she asked. Her grandma had a tear running down her face. "It is." Jamie ran to hug her. "What happened?" she asked.
17: "She died over sixty years ago. Her house burned down in a gas fire," her grandma said this with obvious pain. "She was my best friend," she finally let her tears fall. Jamie was surprised, she never saw grown-ups cry and she was shocked about the resemblance the girl in the woods shared with her grandma's childhood friend. Could what she was thinking really be true? It didn't matter. "You know what?" she told her grandma. Her grandmother looked up apologetically, ashamed of acting like this in front of her. "Someone once told me that it's okay to be sad about friends you can no longer see, but crying over them would make them sad. You should make sure your life makes up for what they've lost!" She finished proudly. Jamie's grandmother looked at her quietly. "And who might have told you that?" She asked with a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. "Elizabeth"