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  • My Autumn Leaf

     MH updated 1 month, 1 week ago 7 Members · 14 Posts
  • MH

    Member
    October 15, 2020 at 4:38 am

    Hi everyone! I’m thinking of submitting this in a writing competition and any feedback or thoughts you have on this would be great;) My Autumn LeafThe hospital room is too spotless. Too white. Too bland. Too clean. I hang colourful streamers to distract myself from the pale prone figure on the bed. I attempt humming, and immediately stop, because my tune doesn’t match the heart monitors’ beeps. I busy myself with flattening out the white sheets on the bed and straightening the picture that sits on the desk. I catch a glance at my reflection and force my eyes to remain on my face. My lifeless green eyes and cropped brown hair. But my eyes stray past myself, and to the bed, and I blink rapidly to hold back the tears that have begun to form. A nurse rushes in to refill the IV, and once she’s finished, she pauses by the doorway. My eyes meet hers, and she motions for me to follow her out of the room. “She doesn’t have much longer, so it’s good you came now,” her tone sounds reprimanding and I find my cheeks flaming. Her hand touches my shoulder. “I’ll leave you to say goodbye,” her tone softens as she walks towards the Nurse’s Station. I’m tempted to follow her. To escape the situation, I’m in. But my feet lead me back to her room, and I sit on the chair by the bed. I finger the rips in the leather, and wonder who sat here with there loved one. They probably didn’t have the cowardice I have. They probably had the strength to look at their loved one. So, with every ounce of courage I have, I raise my eyes. My lower lip trembles and my eyes betray me, as the tears spill over on to my cheeks. My beautiful little sister. The angel they call her. The one that danced on stage in the Music Festival, golden locks flying as she spun. Those golden locks are long gone. Her name is Autumn. She is my sunshine. The divorce never came. It should’ve. Instead mom one day picked up and left. The following week dad did the same. And it was my job as a sixteen-year-old to take care of my four-year-old sister. She was my everything. Now, four years later, I know I have failed. We were living so perfectly. I had gotten a job and was able to pay rent for a small apartment, and enough means to support the both of us. And then Lymphoma snuck up on Autumn and all that money is gone. And my heart was put to the test as she fought. Oh, how my Autumn fought. I sat by her bedside morning and night, willing her to continue. Held her hand after every round of chemo and sung her songs when the nights brought pain. Two weeks ago, they said she had a sixty percent chance of living. Last week they said a ten percent chance. My hand caresses her cheek and I kiss her cold head. “You’re gonna stay with me baby. You have to stay with me,” I murmur twining my hand with hers. When I look at her sleeping face I’m flooded with memories. When I took her to the park in the fall and we jumped into the piles of leaves. She would sit on the grass for hours with a pencil and pad and draw the trees. She loved Autumn. “Because it’s my name!” She would say proudly. And then in the winter when she had only patches of hair. “Taylor, I think it’s autumn time,” she would say to me with her wide smile as she passed me the shaver. And as I shaved off the rest of those beautiful golden locks, she sang the song from the Music Festival. But once I was done and she saw her bare head and the golden strands on the floor the song got caught in her throat. I held her that night as she cried over her beautiful hair, over her beautiful life and I felt my angel breaking. “You’re going to get it all back,” I vowed. Later when she overheard her percentage her eyes held betrayal. “You broke your promise,” she rasped. She looks too small for the bed. It looks like the bed is swallowing her whole. It’s too quiet. The silence echoes around me, suffocates me and I force myself to sing. I sing the song from the Music Festival, the one she sang through every round of chemo. And then I sing the song I made for her when we found out about her condition.“I can’t imagine the pain you go throughI don’t thing I could handle it as well as you doYour hand will remain in mine foreverThroughout the seasons and the weatherHold on because I still need youWithout your smile my life is doomed.And if you feel your chest is tightLay down your head and I will fightFor you, I would do anything to protectAnything I can for you to have a peaceful rest,”My voice is hoarse at the end, but I don’t stop. I remind her of all the memories we made. All the hot cocoas and snow days. The dancing and laughter. I beg her to open her eyes, so I know she’s listening. I pray to her that she forgives me if I ever wasn’t there for her. That I went to work everyday for her. That my life revolved around my princess. And when the last word of the never-ending dam is released the floodgates open. And I sob on to the sheets as her heart fights to beat. I sobbed for the little girl who should’ve had her parent taking care of her. For the ballerina who dreamt to dance on the biggest stage. For the girl who got one wish from Make a Wish and chose to spend it on a matching charm bracelet for her sister and her, because she knew she was leaving. But she wanted to leave me with something of her. “Tay?” a voice rasp. I lift my head from where I’ve been sobbing and find myself staring into two large blue orbs. “Autumn,” I breathe, and I wrap my arms around her, my body shaking as I cry. Autumn is crying too, and we hold on to each other. “Taylor, I don’t want to go,” she clutches my hand tightly. Like it’s a lifeline tethering her to a world she doesn’t want to leave. “Tay, I want to get married, and have children. I want to dance with my husband on my wedding night. I want to have a home. A home where daddies and mommies don’t leave. Taylor I’m not ready,” I bite my lip to contain another tidal wave of tears. I need to be strong for her. I need to be strong in her last moments. The nurse from the hallway stands at the door and she nods at me. I ignore her. “Oh honey, I know baby. I know,” Autumn cries harder and her grip on my hands turns crushing. “Autumn, when you were a baby only just born, mom and dad brought me to the park,” her eyes lock on mine and she quiets down so she can hear my story. “It was before they named you. Dad was holding my hand while mom held you in her arms. Dad helped me build a pile of leaves and mom placed you in the center and took a picture of us,” tears are running down my cheek unchecked, and Autumn hangs on to my every word. “You were so cute and tiny, and the pile of leaves were high, so mom scooped you up in her arms again. And as she rocked and cooed you a gust of wind came, and the pile of leaves scattered. Mom looked at dad and dad looked at mom and just like that they came up with a name,” I hiccup but forge on the rest of the story. “Mom said she wanted to call you Autumn, because of the leaves. She said “The leaves hold on so tightly to the branches, but they know that in the end they’re going to have to let go. So, it’s their courageous choice when they let go without the wind forcing them off”,” Autumn is quiet but her lips tremble. “I love you Autumn,” I kiss her forehead. “Taylor, I didn’t need parents. You were always mama to me,” and with that my angel left the world. Her fingers went limp in my hand and the heart monitor beeped a long sorrowful sound.

    And all I could do was stare at my beautiful leaf who had learned to let go.

  • MH

    Member
    October 15, 2020 at 4:39 am

    Sorry I divided it into separate paragraphs but when I post it, it posts all together…

  • Anagrammer

    Member
    October 15, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    <p>No! I can’t! Please, no. It’s too painful. This is so powerful, MH…. It feels almost funny to comment on the nitty-gritty when the overall scene is so moving, but here are some lines I liked a lot:</p><p>”I attempt humming, and immediately stop, because my tune doesn’t match the heart monitors’ beeps.”</p><p>”And I sob on to the sheets as her heart fights to beat.” – Love the internal rhyme here.</p><p>”And all I could do was stare at my beautiful leaf who had learned to let go.”</p><p>Also, it took me a while to figure out if Taylor is a boy or a girl… is she a girl (because Autumn says she was ‘Mama’ to her, and because of the charm bracelet for her and her sister)? Maybe add some more definite distinguishing details in the beginning.</p>

    • MH

      Member
      October 15, 2020 at 8:14 pm

      Thank you! And after I finish writing this I’ll clarify that Taylor is a girl;) Thank you for the feedback!

  • Sherry

    Member
    October 15, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    <p>Stunning.</p><p>Gripping, heartrending, and inspirational.</p><p>Wow, MH.</p>

  • Novice

    Member
    October 15, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    Just wow. This seems perfect. Loved every word! Tearing up…..

  • MH

    Member
    October 15, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    Thank you so much! It really means alot<3!

  • Rochel Solomon

    Member
    October 16, 2020 at 1:40 am

    STUNNING!!!! OBSESSED with the vivid imagery. Fantastic work!

  • MH

    Member
    October 16, 2020 at 2:03 am

    Thank you Rochel and everyone for your comments! I just sent it in…now I just have to wait;)

  • PassionforWriting

    Member
    October 16, 2020 at 2:45 am

    Wow wow!!!! What a story, MH!!! Stunning indeed!!! wow.

    • PassionforWriting

      Member
      October 16, 2020 at 2:45 am

      Heartrending and gripping, as Sherry said..

    • MH

      Member
      October 16, 2020 at 5:23 am

      Thank you Passion! Honestly I’m nervous for this whole competition but hopefully it’ll go well…

  • Chaya’la

    Member
    October 16, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    <p>MH, the intense emotions jump off the page! So touching, and deep. It made me feel like I was experiencing the tragic scene first hand. </p><p>Now please excuse me while I go get a tissue(s)….</p>

    • MH

      Member
      October 16, 2020 at 3:57 pm

      Awww thank you Chaya’la!

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