Sage & Sunshine

Clara and Sage were attached at the hip their whole lives. Sage was friendly and loud and so outgoing, and Clara was painfully shy and unknowingly rude at times. But they got along perfectly.
Until Sage was gone.
Now, Clara is lost, too broken over the fact that Sage is gone.
She's just moved to a family friend's house in Australia, across the word from her old home. There's a boy there, who reminds Clara of Sage so much it hurts.

Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.

  • J.R.R. Tolkien





I never really believed in the saying “only the good die young”. My grandfather was a good man, but he died in his sixties. I never knew him, but I was told he was a good man. My grandmother passed away in her eighties, and she had been the kindest woman I had ever known. I never really understood why she had died. Years ago, a time when I had still believed in a God, when I still went to church, I had prayed many times, had pleaded with this higher power to bring my grandmother back, that I needed her and it wasn’t fair that she left.

I was only a child, not even ten years old.

So much has changed since then, though. I grew up, I realized not everyone was good and not everyone deserved what they were dealt and I stopped believing. I stopped going to church when I was thirteen. I told my mother I didn’t like it there, I felt judged. She held it against me, brought up the fact that I was a bad daughter, a bad Christian, in every argument. A I got older, I found that many wish they were still children, unaware as to what sadness was, with no responsibilities. I see why now.

When I was six years old, my grandmother died. I was stricken with grief at such a young age, my own teachers worried about me. I had been incredibly close to my grandmother and she was just gone.

Again when I was six, I met a girl. She was in my class and she walked right up to me. I was a shy, introverted child, I didn’t speak to to others much. This girl, with the bluest eyes I had ever seen, walked up to me and told me I was going to be her best friend. At the time, I was flattered. I didn’t tell her to go away, or leave me alone, because I had no friends. I thought at least one would be nice.

She led me to believe that something good makes the bad a little less painful. Her name was Sage and she was always the happiest person I had ever known. We were best friends. Not just in a childish sense, where it really doesn’t mean anything. We grew together, we became almost the same person, even miles away.

Her parents divorced when we were ten years old. Her father took her with him and they moved 1,000 miles away. I barely spoke to her, I didn’t have a way to. THe next year, she came back. She came to visit for the summer before she left again. She was taller and she cut her hair short, like mine always was, but mine was long now. She was tan now and we spent a day at a pool, then another day watching movies together. After she left, I didn’t see Sage for two years. When I did, it was for one day. I walked with her through our old neighborhood and introduced her to my first boyfriend. She and I went to my house and we swam in the pool again and she tol me about her home a thousand miles away.

Then she left.

That was it.

Before she left, she told me she would be moving home soon, back to the neighborhood we grew up in. She said we would graduate high school together.

But that didn’t happen.

We were always just SageandClara. Until we weren’t.

I was fifteen when she died.

Nothing good came to my life after she left, only despair and hatred.

How foolish I was t think otherwise.



-x-

 

It was Saturday.

I was officially on my first summer vacation of high school and my cousin was staying at my house for a few days. When I woke up, it was eight in the morning and the sun was shining through my open blinds. My cousin, Lea, was asleep on the floor near my unmade bed. I couldn’t figure out what had caused me to wake up until I registered my phone ringing. I quickly answered, not taking the chance to check the caller ID.

“Yeah, hello?”

“Hey, Clara.” I recognized the voice to be a childhood friend, Jason.

“Hey, Jason. What’s up?”

“Something’s happened with Sage.” The moment he spoke, I felt all the bad feelings I have ever experienced coil in my stomach, I felt my own paranoia skyrocket. “There was a car accident, down in Texas. She’s, she’s dead, Clara.”

Everything stopped.

Everything froze.

I hardly noticed the phone falling from my grasp, hitting my mattress silently. My eyesight blurred and I didn’t know why until I felt a wet tear slip down my cheek. I found myself thinking that he was lying. Sage wasn’t dead, she couldn’t be. She was supposed return home in a matter of days, she was not supposed to be dead. I felt checked out from reality, as if everything around me was behind a glass wall. I was jolted back to what was happening when I realized Lea was no longer asleep on the floor, but sitting next to me, grabbing my hands tightly.

“Clara, Clara, what’s wrong?” She insisted, her nails digging into my skin. The sting helped to keep me grounded.

I told her. I whispered, that Sage was gone. Lea was the most understanding of anyone. She just held me close, and I hadn’t known how badly I needed it. I cried for three days. Three days of heart wrenching pain in my chest, breaking down at the mention of her. Then I stopped. There was nothing there. I didn’t cry for months, lost emotions for months. One day, it all came back. It hit me like a train colliding with pedestrians on the railroad, but the train was my emotions and I was a pedestrian.

After summer vacation, I went back to school. I was a mess half the time and the people I had considered friends the year before wouldn’t speak to me. They barely looked at my in the halls. It was as if they knew what had happened, though many of them didn’t. I didn’t tell them either. They didn’t need to know. So, I pulled away from everyone else too. Except for Lea.

That school year passed by without much happening. There was a lot of crying, a lot of breaking down, a lot of sleeping and blaming myself for what happened. That summer was the same, but anger was an often occurrence within me. I think that is what caused my mother’s final decision.

In the first year after Sage’s death, my mother was the polar opposite of supportive. When I had first told her what had happened, she only said Sage had had it coming. She only spoke of her being like her mother, she called my dearest friend terrible names, saying she probably slept around as her mother did. My mother’s decision was to ship me off to live with a family friend for some time. I had met him only once, but it was when I was still in diapers. She told me I didn’t have a say in the matter, because I obviously wasn’t happy at home.

It was not until we were driving to the airport that she told me he resided in Australia.

The End

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