The Writer's Voice

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Beth Adair

Ivy lay limp on her bed, crying. She thought of her mother. She tried so hard to remember her voice. It's funny, how, after just three years, a memory of something as simple as a person's voice can fade away. Ivy had been battling depression for several years, but it had gotten much worse after her mom had died. Ivy was having a really hard time dealing with her mom's death. She retreated into herself. She did not talk in school, never did anything with other people, and was flunking all her classes. Her dad felt so helpless. He loved Ivy so much, but what could he do? She seemed to withdraw even more when he tried to talk to her about anything. 

Ivy found Angelique as a newborn kitten a week after her mother died. Ivy had been walking down an alley when she came upon this tiny kitten. It had looked up to her, whimpered, and crawled to Ivy's feet. Ivy picked it up and held it close to her. She could feel it's tiny heart beating. She heard singing; it seemed to be coming from the kitten. She held the kitten up to her ear. At that same moment, she heard her mother's voice singing her favorite lullaby. 

Ivy was convinced that this small animal was sent from her mother. She took the kitten home and fed it from a baby bottle. Ivy loved the kitten more than any other living being. She named it Angelique as a representation from whom it was sent. Angelique comforted her when she cried and shared in her few, but joyous moments of happiness, most having been caused by Angelique herself. 

Lately, though, Ivy has been having an all-time low. She has been thinking about suicide a lot and been planning out the situation. She did not want to hurt anyone else, but also did not want to put herself through a lot of physical pain. She decided she would poison herself with carbon monoxide. As Ivy sat on her bed planning her death, Angelique came trotting in the room, smiling. Ivy looked sadly at her. "Oh, my baby, come here." Angelique jumped up on Ivy's bed and snuggled in her lap. Ivy scratched Angelique's ears and rubbed her tummy. Ivy hugged Angelique tightly and buried her head in her fur and cried. Angelique could tell something was wrong, but she did not know what. She wished she could make Ivy happier. 

Ivy looked into Angelique's eyes. "You know honey, I am not going to be here for long. I know I am abandoning you, but I cannot stand it anymore. My heart hurts so badly, even you, my only love, cannot heal it. Thank you for always being there for me, you helped me when I thought nothing would. I promise that Daddy will take care of you. You can live here in my room. He loves you and will take very good care of you. We will be together again soon. And, I will finally be with my Mommy again. I miss her so much." 

Ivy lay down on her bed and Angelique crawled on her stomach. "You know Angelique, I love you more than anyone else has or ever will love you. You have brought so much happiness and comfort to me when I expected dismal and aching emotions." Angelique purred and pawed at Ivy's neck. Ivy wrote her dad and brothers a note telling them she loved them and asking them to take care of Angelique. 

Then, she snuck into her brother's room and opened his desk drawer. She took out the keys to his car and went down to the garage. She locked the door to the house and shut the garage door. Her whole family was out of the house and would not be home for a couple hours. She got in the front seat of her brother's truck and locked all the doors and closed all the windows. She turned on the car and lay down on the seat. 

The ceiling of the truck began to swirl in patterns above her. Suddenly, she heard a loud clawing at the door. What was it? Ivy sat up and reached for the door. Dizzy and lightheaded, she opened the door. Angelique leaped in her face, waking her up completely. Angelique licked her face and clawed at her legs until Ivy fell on the ground. Ivy realized that Angelique had just stopped her from making a huge mistake. She was so happy that she could not wait to hold Angelique in her arms. 

She stood up and closed the truck door. She called for Angelique. "Angelique, baby, where are you?" She was so relieved when she heard her meow. No, she heard it from inside the truck. She hurried to open the door. It was locked! She tried again. She could not get it open. Where was the key? She thought for a moment. It was in the truck. She pounded on the window as hard as she could. Angelique clawed at the inside of the door and meowed desperately. Ivy did not know what to do. Angelique looked up at Ivy hopefully, with pleading eyes. 

Tears were streaming down Ivy's face. "Angelique, I am coming Sweetie, I am coming, I will get you out!" Ivy could not think clearly, she should get something hard to break the window. She looked around; she saw a snow shovel. She picked it up and swung it at the window. She did this several times until the glass shattered to the ground. 

She reached in and grabbed her beloved cat. Ivy opened the garage door and ran outside, Angelique in her arms. Ivy could feel tiny breaths forced in and out of Angelique. Her eyes were closed and her heart was beating very slowly. Angelique took one last breath, and as she did, Ivy heard her mother's voice, singing the lullaby to her beloved daughter.

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