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Emily Edmiston

Dear Adrian,

Sorry I haven’t been in touch lately. I’ve had a lot on my mind. I just couldn’t seem to get over Edna’s death.

I know everyone else saw her as just another old lady, but not me. I liked her a lot. She’s like the grandma I never had. At the time it seemed like she was the only one who cared about me and my feelings.

Mom and Dad got a divorce, and unlike you I had to travel back and forth from one house to the other every month. At least they still live in the same town.

When Dad married Janice, I lost it. I didn’t like her at all. She was pretty, but she thought too highly of herself. She saw me as “a poor excuse for a young lady.” I told Dad about my problem with Janice, and Janice’s problem with me. All he said was “Aly, I love her. I want her in my life. I’m not giving up my happiness for a selfish fourteen year old.”

That one hurt. I wasn’t trying to be selfish; I was just having a hard time adjusting to my new life. I complained to Mom, but she was so tired from working five a.m. to 10 p.m. that she didn’t comprehend what I was saying.

It soon got to the point where I was a selfish, spoiled brat who couldn’t do anything right. I tried to do my school work, but I got distracted by my jealousy. Janice got all of the affection Dad had to offer. It was like I was invisible: a ghost. And I was, in a way because no one noticed me. I could break a glass and no one would care. I could trip and break my leg and scream and holler that I needed help, but no one would hear me.

After a while I gave in. I didn’t sleep, which only made things worse. I ditched school. Everything I did made it worse for me. When I was so deprived of sleep that I looked like a zombie, no one noticed, or maybe they just didn’t care.

Then one day, as I was looking for a place to hide out so I didn’t have to go to school, I met an old lady. Her name was Edna Elight. We became friends. Soon I was at her house every day. She made me go back to school. I had so much make up work I could have drowned.

Edna talked to me about Jesus and God. She said that if I ever felt alone I could talk to God and he would hear me.

Don’t you think it’s weird that someone you can’t see hears you a lot better than someone that you can see? If God could talk to me with out being in front of me, then why can’t Mom and Dad talk to me when we’re standing face to face?

Edna told me that I could go to her house anytime. She even gave me a key to her front door.

Aly put down her pen. She opened the top drawer of her desk and pulled out a blue envelope. Inside the envelope was a piece of paper and a key. She removed both. Aly was fourteen and she owned a house. In her will, Edna said that the house and everything in it belonged to Aly. She ran her finger across the key. It had been a year since Edna’s death, yet Aly had not gone in the house. Placing the key gently on the desktop and turned her attention to the piece of paper. It read:


Aly picked up her pen and continued to write to her sister.

I haven’t been in her house since she died. I kind of want to, but I can’t. It’s weird because I’m over it. I’m cool with her death. You probably want details, huh?

Well, last year when I was hanging at Edna’s house she started talking about how she was old and her time was almost up. I had no idea what she was talking about. She was perfectly healthy and only in her sixties, so I figured, hey, nothing bad’s gonna happen. Then the next day she told me that she had cancer. I was confused. She said her doctor figured she had one month to live. I began shouting at her. I told her that she was just like everyone else in my life, making up excuses to push me away. I told that if she wanted me gone all she had to do was ask. I ran out of her house slamming the door behind me.

I stayed away for almost a month. When I finally went back, what I saw horrified me. Edna was laying on the couch with a young man bending over her.

“Excuse me,” I whispered.

The man turned. He told me that he was Edna’s doctor. He asked me my name and I told him. He said that Edna wanted to see her before she died. I walked forward and knelt by the couch.

“Aly” she whispered touching my face.

“Aly” was the last word she would ever say. I cried and cried hard. The doctor told me where the funeral would take place. I told him Dad would never take the time to drive me there, and neither would mom or Janice. He nodded and carried Edna to his car. That was the last time I ever saw her.

I can’t help thinking about the last words I said to her. I pushed away the only good thing in my life. For half the year I stayed in my room with the door locked so that Mom, Dad, or Janice couldn’t get in.

Seven months after her death I remembered what she said about God always

being there. I prayed every day, and soon I was back in school.

See you later, Adrian.



Aly put down her pen, folded up her letter, and put it in a neatly addressed stamped envelope. She walked out of her mother’s house and put it in the mailbox. Her mother never even noticed something was wrong with her because she was too busy working.

It was a warm spring day. Aly was wearing a light yellow tank-top covered by a sky blue jacket and jeans. She sat on the door step to think. Everything was fine wasn’t it? She was over it, really she was. If she was over it, then why couldn’t she go to Edna’s house? It was right in the middle of town. Aly really wanted to go to Edna’s house.

“Oh, God.” she whispered. “Please help me! I thought talking to you would fix everything, but sometimes I think that doing things instead of saying I want to do things, maybe I would feel better. I can’t go into Edna’s house, I can’t. I really want to, but I can’t.” Aly was quiet for a moment. “That’s it! God can you please help me? I can’t do it alone and hardly anyone else cares, so please help me. I won’t ask for anything selfish again! If I can enter her house just once, I’ll be able to do it again, and again, and again, until I’m not afraid anymore! That’ll prove that I’m over it!”

Aly was not entirely sure if it was God who made her do it or if she did it on her own my talking to God, but she ran to her room retrieved her key and raced down the Ohio streets until she came to Edna’s house. It looked haunted and scary. Aly couldn’t move. The sight of her old friend’s house scared her. Someone gave her a little push forward. She spun around looking for the person who had pushed her. A deep voice in her head said

“Go in, child. Do not worry. I will protect you.” The voice gave Aly courage. She walked up to the house, unlocked the door and went in.

The house was dark and spooky. Aly flipped a switch. Nothing happened. The electric company had long ago cut the power. “Wow.” Aly whispered. “I think I need to do some cleaning.” She ran her finger along the dust covered table where she and Edna used to sit and eat sandwiches. She missed her friend even more, but something made her stay in that house, something made her get over her sadness.

When she got home the police were there. Her mother was crying and showing them a picture of her daughter. Aly was confused. Did her mother notice that she was missing? “Well, that’s a once in a lifetime chance.” Aly said bitterly. She walked casually up the driveway to her mom. When she saw her, Aly's mother went crazy.

“Aly!” she exclaimed, hugging her daughter a little too tightly. Her good parenting took over after a long time of lying dormant under her fatigue. “Where were you? I was worried about you! Never run away like that again!”

“Oh, now you care? You and Dad didn’t care that I didn’t like Janice! All he could think about was his life, his happiness. You just waved me off because you were so tired from work. What about my happiness? Doesn’t anyone care about me?” Aly shouted. Tears filled her emerald green eyes. She brushed a strand of her long black hair out of her face and continued. “I don’t matter to you, so why would you care if I was gone? It would just make it easier for you if I wasn’t around! There was a time period when I was hardly eating, and you never noticed! I hate Dad and Janice because they hate me! I want to live with you, but you’re never home! I would have lived with Edna, but she’s dead! I’m okay with her death now, but I wasn’t for six months! I skipped school and you didn’t care!”

“Aly, I’m sorry. I thought I was doing what was best for you. I guess I should have listened to you when you said you didn’t like Janice. I left for work so early that I didn’t see you get on the bus. Your father apparently could care less about you or your education. Aly, I care. I do. I know it may not seem like it, but I’m putting in all of those extra hours so that you and I have a house and food. If you don’t want to go back to your father’s house, that’s fine. I’ll talk with my boss and convince him to let me off early every other day.”

“Thanks mom.”

“Officer, I’m sorry about all of this. Our lives have been falling apart since the divorce.”

“Ma’am, we’re just happy she didn’t end up like most kids reported missing.”

“Thank you for coming.”

The police cars disappeared, leaving Aly and her mother alone. “Mom,” Aly said. “I talked to God, and he helped overcome my sadness about Edna, He can help you too.”

“I hope our broken family will soon be at peace.” Alyson’s mother said quietly. The two hugged and went inside to figure out ways to make Aly’s life a little bit easier.

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