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Talking to the Stars

by Alyssa Scherer

I wrote a list of things I would tell you today.

Things that I wanted to tell you, but I can't.

So now I’m reading them to the cold stale air blowing from my fan.


I can never tell you about the poem I'm writing about you.

This one.

And it's stupid because you'd be the only one I would want to share this with, but I can't.


And it's stupid because a part of me still thinks you're going to walk through that door, healthy.


With your smile the way it was before.

And I can't help but think that there's nothing else to write down because the same part of me that misses you, hates that you died. And that I didn't.


Neither of us were healthy kids, chronic illness crept in slowly, and then all at once.

The slow tidal wave crashing down, begging for anyone to catch. You just got pulled in a little deeper than me. And I wish I could have pulled you back out.


I wish I knew that you were going to become a memory before you became one.

Maybe then I would've laughed a little harder at your jokes.


Maybe then I would have hugged you a little harder at family reunions.


Maybe then I would've spent more time loving you than worrying about my own life.


Maybe then I would have spent more time listening than talking.


It’s been 1420 days since you left this world and everything else behind. Since you left us behind.


But I talked to the stars today, I know how much you loved them. I told them about the adventures you and I went on as kids in our grandma's basement, and how I’d see you every holiday. How you loved the weather and space. How you were always there when someone got hurt. And how I wasn’t there when you did.


I think about that day constantly. The day that you got diagnosed with cancer, that same day that I was going on with my life as if nothing happened, that same day that changed your life forever. I’ve tried convincing myself that my reaction was normal because I was just a little kid, but so were you.


As the nights went on, I would stare at the night sky and talk. Asking, pleading, and praying that if God truly was real, that he would give me all of your pain and suffering. And I guess in a way, he did.


Your death felt like a bad dream. I’d wake up every morning just thinking about you. I would give anything for the stars to talk back to me, to hear your voice, to go ghost hunting, to see you one last time. I don’t know how I survived without you because now all of the things that were beautiful and bright were buried with you on that day.


I talked to the stars again, no one responded.

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