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Truly Special
Hannah, Age 11, Yorkville, IL

Ever since I can remember I have never really felt like I had everything I needed. Yes I had love, friends, and of course stuff. But I never felt like I had true things or was really special at all.

“Well this is as good as it gets.” I said braiding my ponytails in my long brunette hair. I smoothed out my jeans and straightened my collared shirt. I grabbed my lunch box and turned off my favorite song.

It was technically the last full day of school. Tomorrow would be just a half a day of school. It was picture day so I had to look my best so people will remember you that way. I did not want the pictures to turn out like last year's.

“Ana hurry up or the bus is going to leave without you!” mom hollered from down the stairs. “I will.” I said running down the stairs as fast as I could go. But I tripped and fell on top of my annoying brother Cole. Cole was in the 7th grade and was like a porcupine on a bad day, you definitely did not want to run into him. “Dork!” he yelled “Weirdo!” I yelled back.

“Wow we’re a real loving family this morning!” My mother said sarcastically.

“She ran into me!” Cole accused. “He called me a Dork!” I accused back.

“Order, order in the court!” Mom said. (She always did things the fun way.)

“Wow everyone is loud this morning,” declared dad.

Then my school bus pulled up to the drive way and I ran out to it. Happy to get away. In the bus everyone was excited about the last day of school.

“Ana! Over here!” My best friend Christopher yelled over the din.

I went down the aisle and as I did I saw my mother pulling out of the driveway. I sat down next to Chris while staring out the window looking at my father’s crops.

“Ana and Chris sitting in a tree..” Taunted Sara the main bully in our class.

I ignored her but Chris did not. “Come over here and say that to my face!” He threatened.

“Make me!” Sara taunted again.  “Leave it Chris were almost at the school.” I whispered to him. But his hands were still clenched tight like he was holding on to his anger and would not let go.

When we reached the small school I hopped out of the bus and ran all the way to the classroom. I did not want to hear the girls taunting chants about Chris and I. In the classroom I sat down and waited for the teacher to come in the room. I soon found a note under my desk. It read:

Dear Ana,

Don’t worry about Sara I’ll get her back one-way or another.

Your Friend,

Chris

Oh no! I thought when Chris wants revenge, he gets it. I was going to write back when Mrs. Sevenson walked in.

“Class take your seats. It is time to begin our final assignment for the year. Your assignment is to write about what you think is truly special to you. 'Easy' I thought,'my mom is special'. "You may pick anything you like and tomorrow you will read them aloud to the school. You may begin thinking now.”

The whole day went by but I just couldn’t think of words to write how special my mother is. She is tall, intelligent, thoughtful, fun - her eyes are a pale blue, and her hair is so fluffy it reminds you of a cloud. But I wanted people to think more of her than that.

I got on the school bus and sat down. I pondered what to write. Then the bus pulled up to my driveway. But something didn’t feel right at all. Mom’s car was not in the  driveway for one and dad wasn’t out sitting on the porch with Skippy our dog. So I kicked a can shuffled some dust about and walked really slow. When I reached the house I said, "Hi dad, I’m home!!” “Hey Ana. Come in the kitchen will you?” He sounded kind of like he was about to cry. “Dad is mom home from work yet?? I asked. “Ana your mom… she’s not…. well….” He stuttered.

There was silence. “Dad, what happened!”? I cried with strain in my voice. “There was a bank robbery were your mother works, Ana. Your mom stood in the way of her friend Margot when the man tried to shoot her down. She’s gone Ana. I’m sorry.”

I screamed and ran up the stairs. I could hear my brother kicking the wall as I ran.  I never wanted to leave my room ever. How could I write about my mom now! I did not want to cry in front of the whole school. I looked out my window and saw my father had freshly plowed the corn and beans. I put on my thick boots and went down stairs and ran out the back door.

The freshly plowed area looked like usual long and mysterious. So I went for a walk. There I remembered how mom and I would walk through this very area and how we always wanted to see what was at the end of it. So I started to go faster to get to the end of the trail. At the end was nothing. A blank area of land where I couldn’t find any memories. So I began to cry. But a voice inside of me said “Find memories. They’re not just  going to appear. And remember your love, it's not just going to be there. Look for it.”

As I thought I knew what to write. The words flowed from my pen and the next day I stood as boldly as I could and I read my poem with dignity.
            
             The Trail of Memories  By Ana Sophia Robbins
            
             This enchanting trail where my tears flow the only place I want to go.
                This special thought of memories that I know.
             I miss those times when I was happy and everything seemed to be going my way.
                Where I could sit there and do fun things to make my day pass away
             But now I sit here all alone on the trail. It shall be my thinking throne.
                But as I sit here I can’t help but moan.
             Because on this place where I think. I can’t help but see there is no end.
                This place is like a soft quiet friend.
             It just stays still and listens to my every complaint and plea.
                And all of it for free.
             Now I realize that this never-ending place is the very place were I learned to walk.
                And were I felt free to talk.
             This place is freshly plowed, too ordinary to see its beauty.
                But I’d pick here over all of life’s booty.
             This field has been here for years,
                Now it holds my soft pouring tears.

“That’s what I think is truly special.” I said holding back tears. The whole Chapel cheered. They really liked it!  I went home and Cole, dad and I went for a walk down my endless trail of tears.  Now I finally felt confident in me, thoughtful, and most of all I felt pensively sad. I finally felt complete. No, I felt like Ana Sophia Robbins - Tami Sophia Robbins daughter. The mother I would miss forever.

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