SAIDEL , VERA
Age: 14, Grade: 9
School Name: Hunter College High School, New York, NY
Educator: Zachary Gale
Category: Flash Fiction
writing you to tell you how happy I am. don’t write back.
I hope you know that I stopped going to the house after what happened. And that I miss it—the pale blue wallpaper with the small pink bouquets peeling, the patterned linoleum tiles, the way the sun slid through the big white windows like every day was the first real day of spring. I even think I left some of my things there; I was looking for the book about the man and the mouse that I recommended to you, even though I knew you shouldn’t read it because it made me cry, and thankfully you never read it; I think it is still on that bookshelf we made and filled together. Last week when Rob brought home the nicest bunch of yellow flowers I immediately wanted to put it in my china vase, but all my mind could see of the blue and white was in the back of a memory where you smile at me from across the breakfast table and the vase is filled with flowers you gave me. I hope it’s still in one piece—I took it from my grandmother, and she’d had it for such a long time. I suppose it could still be in the house now, perched on top of the kitchen cabinets for safekeeping, collecting dust. I gave the house to a young couple with a baby boy who would most definitely get his hands on it and break it, which I guess could be dangerous.
I don’t miss the house, if that’s what you’re thinking. I don’t even go down Sycamore anyway, though I’ve grown so tired of avoiding that block and it’s on the way to book club. Maybe I’ll go that way again, but if I do it’s not because of you. It’s because going back around Adams makes my casserole colder than it needs to be. I hope you know that. There are so many things you thought you knew, so many questions I thought maybe one day you would answer for me. But “one day” never came. And that is why the middle-aged couple sits there alone while their son and daughter are away at college and the tiles are not blue like they used to be and the wallpaper is covered with band posters and maybe the book was read, but most likely it got sold for a dollar or two along with my vase and some lemonade. (Is that how long it’s been?) But even though I don’t tell people how old I am anymore, I still think about how you couldn’t answer my question (though I thought I heard you say forever) and I’m still here and I’m happy and you will never ever read this letter. Just like we will never ever, not in forever, go home.